How Do I Keep My Vegetable Starts Watered While I’m Out of Town?

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tomato seedlings

One Hundred Dollar a Month reader, Kristin, recently sent in a question about keeping veggie starts watered if you need to leave town and can’t convince someone that seedlings are enough reason to pop over to your house each day.  It’s actually something I’ve learned to deal with myself, as the HH cannot always be trusted to water in my absence.

dead tomato plants

Kristin writes,

“Hi Mavis – I enjoy seeing all of your progress and have learned so much from your blog. But, now I have a question! I live in NE Indiana, so I start my garden seed inside mid-Feb, and plant in late April. This year, however, I am required to go out of town for a week in March. Dosen’t the world know I have a garden to start? Anyway, I have grow lights on timers, but how can I keep my new little starts watered?! I have no access to a “plant-sitter”. Do you, or your readers, have any suggestions? Please help! Kristin”

seed starting trays{lettuce seedlings I started last week}

First, you want to start with the right supplies, plain and simple.  You want to have a grow tray AND a plant tray underneath your seedlings, then you can fill the tray underneath with water and the seedlings will suck up the water as needed–just like they would in nature {I like these ones, because they don’t have holes in the bottom}.  I like to cut out one square out of my growing trays, so that I can easily pour water into the tray without having to lift the grow tray up every time.  Afterall, I don’t want to disturb my precious babies seedlings, and it doesn’t really hurt that it makes it waaaaay easier to water.  It’s also nice to be able to see exactly how much water is in the plant tray, so that it doesn’t come sloshing out over the sides.

This method should buy you a week–unless the humidity is you house is impossibly dry.

I hope that helps!  If any of you have any other suggestions, make sure to leave them in the comments below.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures 1/18/15

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pulling up ivy

I don’t know what the weather is like at your place, but it has sure been a couple of wet and windy days around here. Luckily, I like working in crappy weather. No one else it out, there are no annoying leaf blowers to listen too, and I feel like a real gardener when I work outside in the rain and cold. Weird huh? Maybe I belong in Maine.

weeded side yard

Operation pull up all the ivy from the hillside is in full swing. I am honestly still baffled as to why everyone hates ivy. I LOVE it! Just not where it’s currently residing in my landscape. :)  I’m hoping to have it all pulled up from the hillside by the end of next week. This is the first place we have lived where I’ve had to pull up ivy, and you know what? It’s not that bad.

small leland cypress

Removing the ivy and getting all the leaves and twigs raked up on the side yard will give those Leland cypress privacy trees a good chance at putting on a little weight {and height} this summer. Mrs. Active Wear and I both planted Leland cypress trees between along our property lines in our last neighborhood and I was amazed at how fast they grew. With any luck, the side should have a full on privacy screen in about 5 years.
raised garden boxes

I’ve just begun toying with the idea of installing 3 large garden boxes alongside the side yard instead of creating one huge garden plot up above. One the plus side there would be easy access to a garden hose, the garden a few feet from the door and I could actually see everything I am growing in those boxes from my kitchen window.
galvanized bin I plan on purchasing a garden bench this summer {there’s a guy at the Farmer’s Market who makes them} and setting it up right where I have the giant galvanized bin right now. So, having my garden boxes just steps away would be super convenient and it would also tie the whole area together.

container garden

Plus, since I plan on growing all my tomatoes, cucumbers and beans along the back of the house {where we get the most sun} I really don’t have to worry about the garden boxes being in a semi-shady spot. The side yard gets the same amount of sunlight as the upper lawn, so I think at this point, maybe it should be about aesthetics. future herb garden

I’ll also be growing my herbs, potatoes, lettuce and onions along the back of the house, so really it just comes down to how big do I want this garden to be? These are things I never really thought about until I actually started to look around and work outside in the garden {which really, has just bee the last few weeks}.

seedlings under grow lights

Spring is right around the corner, and if I don’t get this garden plot figured out here pretty soon, I’m going to be stuck with a garden I  may not like. Help! Do you think it makes sense to have a garden just off the kitchen? Or should I put it up on the hill where it will be out of sight?

Opinions welcome!

~Mavis

botanical interests

This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company. You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2015 Garden Seed Catalogor see the seeds I’ll be growing in my garden this year HERE

Up for a tour? Read about our behind the scenes tour of Botanical Interests Seed Company.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

My Goals for This Year – Week 3 of 52

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messy garage

1. Get Organized. Guess what my project is for this weekend {well, besides gardening}? It’s organizing the shelving unit in our garage. When we first moved in EVERYTHING got crammed into the garage … and then the workers came so I couldn’t really get out there and organize anything in the garage because they were using the space to store their tools and run their saws on rainy days. Which was totally fine, but I never got around to cleaning up the space after they left. So hopefully, next week I’ll be able to show you a picture of a neat and tidy shelf. Ha!

lettuce turnip the beet

2. Run, walk or crawl a Marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k race this year. Fact: Normally I don’t post pictures of myself standing around with my pants unzipped. I bought those awesome corduroy pants like 6 years ago and do they still fit? NOPE. And how about that totally RAD Lettuce Turnip the Beet shirt… well it doesn’t really fit me either. HOWEVER, I’m hoping by the end of summer, they will.

iPhone timer

Don’t you think if I keep walking like a mad woman and do a marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k this year I’ll be able to fit into them? Well I sure hope so! ;) And thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions on phone apps last week. I tried 2 and basically got creeped out so I’ve just decided to time my walks until I get my pedometer fixed. I just didn’t like the idea of a phone app mapping out my exact route. Too much technology can be a BAD thing. But then again, maybe I’m just weird.

3. Remodel our Master Bathroom, Master Closet and Monkey Boy’s Bathroom. Chino and his crew will be here in early spring and the goal is for them to be out of here before The Girl comes home for summer vacation. {Since we will be staying in her room during the remodel.}

4. Finish Every Room in Our House. I finished up the bathroom last week {okay, so I still have to paint the door and buy a mirror for over the sink} so the next room I’m going to work on is my office. Mostly because I feel like I have everything {read: it won’t cost me a penny} to decorate the room. I just need to put stuff on the walls and move my computer/printer/chair to the room.

5. Turn Spare Bedroom into a Cozy Home Office Space for myself. :) See above.

side garden pulling weeds

6. Create a Vegetable Garden. This past week I’ve been busy pulling weeds, ivy and doing some basic tidying up outside. It’s too cold to plant and vegetables outside yet {it’s possible we could still get snow!} so I’m keeping busy with the boooooring stuff while I wait for spring to arrive.

7. Build a Path into the Hillside for Easy Access to the Upper Garden.

clara clark bed sheets

8. Limit my personal spending to $100 a month.

I ordered a new set of my favorite Clara Clark Sheets for our master bedroom last week. Technically the old sheets were just fine {and I’ll still use them as back up} but I’m going for a more grey and white look for our new bedroom. My parents gave the HH an Amazon gift card for Christmas which he so graciously let me use on a new comforter, and so now our bedroom is pretty much done. Which is RAD, because once the master bath gets remodeled that whole section of our house will be done. Yay!

I also scored a sweet deal on a pair of Saucony Running shoes. This is my favorite brand of running/walking shoes because it fits my wide toe box.

Last week I bought frozen yogurt and 2 Christmas Wreaths that were 90% off a Target. I think it will be interesting to tally all this stuff up at the end of the year and see if regretted any of my purchases.

Total spent so far this month $66.51.  Still have $33.49

thrift store donations

9. Purge… Weekly. Find 10 things each week to donate to the thrift store.

This week I got rid 2 anchor hocking glass containers, 1 uneven thrift store cake stand, 1 Le Cruset mixing bowl that I got as a gift 3 years ago but have never used {sorry Mom!}, a pair of curtains the people who lived here before us left behind, 1 rubber duck {where did that even come from?} 1 iPad case {I have no idea where it came from either} 1 Southern Living sugar bowl {remember those parties?} the rack from my roasting pan that I’ve never used before yet have stored for the last 5-7 years, and 1 stoneware Papmered Chef cupcake pan I bought at a neighbors garage sale for $5 2 summers ago.

the wild truth carine Mc Candless

10. Read 1 book a week. – The Wild Truth. I loved it. It was real, and it was her story. Good for her. I read some of the comments/reviews on Amazon, and didn’t get why people went on about the book being too much about her because after all, it was HER version of her upbringing and how it made her feel.

primitive hooked turkey rug

11. Slow Down. – I worked on my Thanksgiving rug {that was suppose to be finished last November} a few nights this past week. I’m heading out on a road trip next month and my goal is to get it completed by the time I come home.

blueberry lemon jam recipe

12. Canning – I added another homemade jam to my pantry last week. Would you believe I have already gone through 2 jars!!! I’ll post the recipe soon. :)

Did you set any goals for this year? If so, how are they coming along?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures – 1/11/14

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garden plot

I’ve started to re-think my 10′ x 45′ garden plot. I wonder if it’s too big for the space. I may reduce it to 8′ x 45′ so I have adequate room to walk around the sides of it properly. I really like the idea of a garden plot right smack dab in the middle of grass. The Girl and I eyed some excellent examples at the Gothenburg Botanical Garden when were in Sweden a few years ago and the idea of being able to stroll around the vegetable patch seems pretty appealing. What do you think?

dead arborvitae tree

On the “to do” list for today is to dig out the dead arborvitae tree and plant a new one. I absolutely LOVE using trees as privacy screens. They make for such a nice backdrop. pulling weeds on hillside

I’m nearly finished weeding Mt. Barktopia. It may not look like a large area, but holy cow it is. I’d say I have about 2 more afternoons of weeding before I’m done.

back of house

I think I found the perfect master bathroom layout. If we decide to put in a window it will go just left of the red wheelbarrow. Do you think a long skinny window would be best, or a wide one similar to the kitchen window that’s next to the BBQ?

water cabbage

Have you ever tried growing water cabbage before?

horse tank with water

Well apparently I didn’t drill holes into my stock tank before I planted. Sheesh! How could I have forgotten to do that? I can’t believe the plants are still alive. I think I’ll drill holes in it today and hope for the best. I mean really, what else can I do?

leland cypress trees

I finally got the courage to trim the giant boxwood hedge in front of our house the other day. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be either. ;) I also picked up 3 Leland cypress trees at The Home Depot this week so I could finish planting my privacy screen on the side of the house. The trees were $6.99 each if anyone is interested in picking some up. We planted several at our last house and let me tell you Bob, they grow quick!

meyer lemon tree

I also planted my Meyer Lemon tree this week. Since our winters are pretty mild here in the Pacific Northwest I’ve decided to go ahead and keep it on my sheltered front porch. If the temps dip below 40 then I’ll move it in the garage for a few days. I plan on moving the lemon tree around to the back of the house in the summer months.

It’s been a busy week in the garden and next week I hoping to get even more done.

How is YOUR garden doing right now?

Is it under snow, frozen solid, or are your out there puttering around too?

~Mavis wants to know.

purple carrot seeds botanical interests

If you’re looking for some great seeds for your garden, Botanical Interests Seed Company rocks! I posted the list of the seeds I’ll be planting in my 2015 backyard garden HERE.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Great Aunt Ruby’s Garden in Tasmania, Australia

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This past summer Lisa from Tasmania, Australia sent in pictures from her garden. Well, she’s back, and this time she is telling us about her Great Aunt Ruby… :) :) :) :) :) :)

aunt ruby

Meet my Great Aunt Ruby!

Ruby turned 98 last September, still lives by herself and tends to this amazing garden.

tasmania beach
She lives in a little town called Wynyard in Tasmania and her home is a stones throw from the beach.
Ruby trained as a nurse and has spent a lifetime taking care of people.

Right up until the last few months, Ruby has pretty much sorted out the garden by herself, with a bit of help here and there from her daughter Margaret who lives almost next door. This season she decided that she may need a bit of help with the heavy digging, so that’s where I come in!

using wire guards in the garden

This plot Ruby dug herself and planted carrot, beetroot and lettuce seeds, then used the high tech method of cat-digging prevention by covering the area with any and all wire guards!

vegetbale garden

And it worked! A few months later there was a lush garden happening. The peas were well on their way as well as the potatoes (destined for the Christmas dinner table).

beets

In her garden there are usually potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, beetroot, carrot, lettuce, peas, beans, cabbage, broccoli, artichokes, parsnip, strawberries, pumpkin, cucumber, silver beet, garlic and herbs. Plus probably other stuff I have forgotten!! Enough to feed a small army if one happened on by!!

aunt ruby sitting on milk crate

Often when I go to visit, I’ll find Ruby sitting on her milk crate, wearing her gardening hat and pulling up weeds.

weeds in garden

The before…

weed free garden

And after efforts of the other days weeding! Not bad for someone who is almost 100 years old!!

aunt ruby in the garden
If she is pottering about the garden she will most likely be using an old mop to lean on, not as keen on the walking stick because if people see that, they might think she is “old.”

ripe tomato

There is always a bit of a competition for the first ripe tomato of the season. I thought I may have been first past the post this year, but nope… here is Ruby “skiting” (as she would say)(boasting) about the first red tomato in her hothouse!

aunt ruby in kitchen

Ruby is very used to feeding herself out of what she grows. There is always a big feed of vegetables and fruit on the table. Because she is nearly blind, it gives her a lot of independence to be able to go up into the garden and get what she needs rather than continually having to rely on someone else to shop for her.

aunt ruby scones
I might add that her scones (I think you call them biscuits in North America) are superb! (home-made jams to go on top of course!!)

purple hydrangea flowers

What I love about Ruby’s garden is the way she has pretty flowers here there and everywhere right throughout. You are never really sure what to expect to see blooming at different times of the year.

using seewee mulch
This plot of flowers is now covered in a seaweed mulch. Advantages of living by the ocean!! The council here allows residents to collect what they need from the beach, and apart from being free, it doesn’t introduce any unwanted weeds! In her younger years, Ruby would just take the wheelbarrow across the road and help herself!

old mother Hubbard

Ruby is adored by all her family, she is a wealth of information on gardening and cooking among other things, has great stories , she has a great sense of fun (for example: dressing up as Mother Hubbard for me when I needed a ‘Nursery Rhyme’ photo) and is always happy to put the kettle on for a cuppa when we drop in and I might add its nearly impossible to escape without an armful of food of some kind!!

aunt ruby

Well… there you go.
Cheers,
~ Lisa

Send Pictures of Your Garden For a Chance to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Time to Order Free Garden Seed Catalogs

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seed catalogs{photo credit kissmyaster}

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start thinking about ordering seeds for this years garden.  I added to last years list with all of your suggestions {thank you!}–it’s like Christmas all over again :) .

Botanical Interests Seed Catalog {These are my seed of choice!  I’ve visited their warehouse several times, and they totally care about the quality of product they put out.}

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds {Great place to get rare seeds}

Totally Tomatoes Seed Catalog {Best place to get tomatoes, but you can get other seeds here too}

Burpee Seed Catalog {HUGE company, the website says they are committed to selling only non-GMO seeds, though}

Ed Hume Seeds – {Specifically selected varieties for cool climates}

Gurney’s – {Large selection, website has tons of useful planting information too}

Seeds of Change Catalog {100% certified organic seeds}

Seed Savers Seed Catalog {Non profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds}

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange {Sells varieties specifically suited to grow in the Southern part of the U.S.}

Sustainable Seed Company {Certified organic heirloom seeds}

Territorial Seeds Catlaog {Untreated seeds.  Family-owned business from Oregon.}

Peaceful Valley Seed Catalog {Promotes organic gardening}

Uprising Seeds {Open pollinated, organic certified seeds}

Victory Seed Company {Rare, open-pollinated, and heirloom seeds}

Johhny’s Seed Catalog {Employee-owned company out of Maine.}

High Mowing Seed Catalog {100% organic seed, out of Vermont}

Gardens Alive {a great source for beneficial insects and fertilizers}

D. Landreth Seed Company {oldest seed house in America–catalog is not free, but it is available online}

Amishland Heirloom Seeds {Owned and operated by one woman.  She ONLY sells her OWN  seeds, and has signed the safe seed pledge}

Cherrygal Heirloom Seeds {Eclectic company selling non-GMO seeds and hand-crafted items}

Bountiful Gardens {Seed company out of California selling untreated open-pollinated non-GMO seed}

Pinetree Garden Seeds {Family-owned company promising to never sell GMO seeds or support anything that in any way supports Monsanto}

FedCo Seeds {Adapted to be cold-hardy, specifically for the Northeast United States}

Stokes Seeds {Carries a selection of treated and untreated seeds}

The Cook’s Garden {Seeds for gourmet gardeners}

Renee’s Garden Seeds {Heirloom, organic, and specialty seeds}

Annie’s Heirloom Seeds {Great selection of heirloom seeds}

Irish Eye’s Garden Seeds {Sells quality potato, vegetable, flower and garden seeds}

Hudson Valley Seed Library {Great seeds, beautifiul artwork on the packaging}

Seeds Now {They sell only 100% natural NON-Hybridized and 100% NON-Genetically Modified seeds}

Potato Gardens {Out of Colorado, good place to get potatoes, garlic, onions}

Seattle Seed Company {They encourage people to buy locally and to grow their own food when possible!}

Osbourne Seed Company {Out of Mount Vernon, Washington–seeds designed to thrive in the NW}

Heavenly Seed {Heirlooms, open-pollinated, organic seeds.  Good spot to get sweet potato plants.}

Did I miss one of your favorite seed companies?  Let me know in the comment selection below and I’ll add it to the list.

~ Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures – 1/5/14

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garden marker

Over the weekend I mapped out my garden plot using some leftover wood trim and bright pink landscapers tape. Although if I had to do it again I probably would have tried to find some green tape instead because you can totally see the pink tape waving around from the road {which 10 million people walk/drive past each day}. It looks like I’m up to something suspicious…

Ya know, like planting a vegetable garden in the middle of my backyard in high maintenance suburbia or something, and who does that sort of thing anyway? Isn’t it against the rules? Can we check on that, because before you know it there will be clotheslines and chickens and people roasting pigs in their back yard and there goes our property values if we don’t put a stop to this whole grow your own food thing right away.

mapping out garden plot

I’m a rebel, what can I say?

I thought about creating traditional raised beds and then quickly dismissed the idea. 1. Because I don’t want to have to mow between them {or rather the HH wouldn’t appreciate moving between the garden boxes and then edging around them as well} 2. The ground is somewhat uneven and 3. I don’t want to have to deal with maintenance issues. We had 16 raised garden boxes at our last place, the layout was perfect, and they worked well for the space. But this yard is a lot different.

shaded garden

I’ve also been busy loping tree limbs with my new reciprocating saw to gain a little more sunlight for my future crops.

trimming pine treesI have a few more trees to get to and then I’ll be done. {I decided to not take the tall trees out, mainly because it would have been a fortune to do so and because I like a challenge}.

upper garden photos

The view of the upper garden through the upstairs window. I think a 10′ by 45′ garden plot should be just right for growing vegetables, don’t you? And YES, I am still not finished pulling all those pesky weeds out of the bark. Grrrr, they are everywhere. :(
hillside

I’ve also been steadily removing odd ball bushes and rhododendrons from the side yard along the road. My goal is to clear the whole sucker out by March and then plant a hedge. I’ve been toying with the idea of a long row of blueberry plants. Blueberries love acidic soil {which is what I have} and if I planted a 40 foot row of the same variety I think it might look kind of cool. What do you think? Ornamental, and tasty at the same time.

side yard with dead grass

By the end of summer I hope to have a new walking path, grass and maybe even a gate. giant rhododendrons

When we first moved in 3 months ago, this whole corner lot area was filled with my least favorite plant on the planet, rhododendrons. Now I’m down to just 7. Soon there will be zero. Yee-Haw! I still haven’t decided what I’ll be planting there yet. Any suggestions? It might look cool to extend the blueberry border from along the side yard to the front road portion and then add some skinny pencil trees behind them.

Leland cypress tree border

Since we won’t be fencing our yard in with a traditional fence, I planted a few Leland cypress trees between our yard and the neighbors for privacy. Leland cypress trees grow super fast and in about 3-5 years I’ll have an instant {and cheap} privacy screen. I got the idea to do this from another house down the street. Their trees look to be about 10 years old and it looks fantastic.
boxwood hedge

Does anyone have any experience trimming boxwood hedges? Mine needs to be trimmed but I am terrified I will mess it up. And I don’t want to mess it. Because it’s lovely.

That’s all I’ve gotten done so far. With any luck, I’ll be able to get a few more things done this week if the temps stay above freezing. Fingers crossed.

~Mavis

botanical interests seeds

If you’re looking for some great seeds for your garden, Botanical Interests Seed Company rocks! I posted the list of the seeds I’ll be planting in my 2015 backyard garden HERE.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

My Favorite Stories and Posts of 2014

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I really can’t believe another year has come and gone. It flew by. This year has been unlike any other, with more life changes crammed into one year than I’ve ever experienced. Ever. I’ve tried to blog all about those changes and the fun year we’ve had, and I’m really grateful you came along for the ride.

Because this year has been so busy, when sitting down to pick out posts from 2014 that stuck out to me, it was really hard to narrow the list down. But I managed to get it narrowed down to a few of my favorites. I hope, as you’ve followed along this year, you’ve gained a little insight, learned a thing or two, or at least were entertained! Here’s hoping 2015 will match 2014 in awesomeness!

hugging-rhubarbNot Looking Back, Not Even for a Second:

The decision to move and leave behind our garden, home and neighbors was HUGE. But I knew it was the right decision for us. It opened up a whole new world of possibilities {and projects!}, and, while there are so many aspects we’ll miss, we’re still as excited about it as we were the day we signed the papers. Bigger and better is not always best. Home really is where the heart is, and our hearts are taking root at our new house.

mavis-butterfield-one-hundred-dollars-a-month
Mormons, Walmart, Monsanto and Shiny New Cupboards:

This was a funny post for me. It began with a crazy mean/strange/absurd rant of an email I received in my inbox, and ended with so many comments of support I was overwhelmed. While that was not my intention at all, it sure does make a girl feel appreciated when her amazing readers rally! Thank you for caring enough to comment, and for validating what I do. You guys are the best.

corner-fireplace-makeover3The Remodel:

I couldn’t pick just one post here, because looking back on all the progress we’ve made remodeling the new house in such a short amount of time, I’m blown away. We lived without a kitchen for far too long, and put so much blood sweat and tears into the remodel, I’m listing the entire category here.

harvesting-strawberries

Rare Sighting: Husband in Garden. Please alert the Authorities. Something is Amiss:

Sometimes you make strawberry shortcake that is so delicious, it makes a man is willing to pick for his dinner dessert.

freezer-mealsMaking 26 Freezer Meals in 3 Hours:

This is seriously one of my favorite things to do. It screams efficiency and that’s what I’m all about. Freezer meals save time, money and many nights, my sanity. So being able to bust 26 out in just a few hours was awesome. And surprisingly fun!

graduation-gownRemember That Time I Let You Run Down the Freeway?

Sometimes it’s 12 minutes before high school graduation is suppose to start and the graduate and I are sitting on the freeway in bumper to bumper traffic  about a 1/4 mile from our exit {along with a ton of other kids and families} freaking out. So one kid piles out of their parent’s car and starts running down the freeway ramp towards the building where graduation is suppose to take place, and then another and another, and then before you know it there are about 30 kids running down the freeway ramp. Crazy train.

food-waste-in-america

Mavis Breaks Up w/ Mr. Produce guy:

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it’s with Mr. Produce Guy, even if it’s for all the right reasons.

how-to-loose-a-muffin-top12 Goals for the New Year:

I’ve had so much fun with this. Setting these goals, many of which were totally out there, helped keep me focused and driven this entire year. There were weeks I felt like I might not even get half my list accomplished, but instead of throwing in the towel, it made me work harder to chase what I wanted. I totally suggest setting goals, whether as public as I have, or even just mentally. It’s a proven fact it helps you succeed!

fred-meyer-shopping-tripFred Meyer: Home of the 20th Anniversary Gift. Who Knew?

The HH pretty much takes the cake when it comes to being World’s Most Romantic Husband, if you can snag that title by purchasing your lady’s 20th (yes TWENTIETH) Anniversary gift at Fred Meyer and if said gift includes English Muffins. Yep. That happened.

mavis-butterfield2Doing Arts and Crafts in a Best Western Bathroom and Other RAD Stuff I Did This Weekend:

Sometimes life throws you curve balls. Our move didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped, but this post was a great reminder that sometimes you just have to roll with it, because everything always seems to work out in the end!

food-waste-in-America-SaveitsundayHow Much Does the Average Family Throw Away in One Year?

Seeing a visual of the average amount of food wasted in a year was shocking. I’m still blown away. So. Much. Waste.

jalapeno-pepper-jelly
Canning 101 – How to Can Jalapeno Pepper Jelly Recipe:

I have made a lot of recipes this year, but this has been the one I’ve been craving lately. Jalapeno jelly…Mmmm! Seriously don’t be afraid because of the ingredients. You can tone this way down and still get the yummy flavor. I pour it over some cream cheese, spread it on a cracker and enjoy!

zucchini-and-beans1What Am I Supposed to Do With all This Zucchini?

One of the reasons I absolutely love having this here blog, is because when I’m in a jam and have tons and tons of zucchini and I reach out to my lovely readers for help coming up with recipes, you always pull though. You did this time too in a big way. So many new, good recipes. That zucchini was put to good use with your help!

a-plump-wife-primitive-sampler

Amazing Puggle Dog Eats Blackberries, The Blind Cross Stitcher, and The Case of the Missing Stuffed Animals:

Remember that one time I tried my hand at cross-stitching for a hot second, almost went blind and then gave it up. Yeah. That was fun.

So there you have some of my favorite posts from 2014.

Did I miss your favorite?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Garden Tours and Projects of 2014

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While I love hearing from you guys, some of my very favorite emails are when you share your gardens or gardening projects. I love my garden, but sometimes I really get sick of looking at it. So seeing your garden is a breath of fresh air! I asked you to send in your photographs and stories of your garden, and for yet another year in a row, your gardens have blown me away. Here are some of the coolest ones I’ve seen:

Alison2Alison Sends in Pics of Her Very Colorful Harvest:

We were lucky enough to get a glimpse {through gorgeous pictures!} of Alison’s amazing garden in Pennsylvania. Wow! Those tromboncino squash alone made me love her garden! She also has a pretty amazing broccoli house I’m totally jealous of.

garden-girlVegetables, Kids, Pigs and Chickens! Oh My:

When Amanda from Southern Virginia send in her photos, I thought for sure they had come straight out of a magazine. I mean seriously, does that photo above not look magical! Her whole backyard does really. They call it their “Half-Acre Home on the Range,” which I love. I also love how involved her kids are in the whole process. Pretty lovely setup they have.
growing-vegetables-in-tiresBob and Sherle From California Share Their Vegetable Garden Photos: Take 2:

Bob and Sherle have one of the most amazing gardens on the planet. This is our second rodeo with them and let me tell you Bob, they continue to impress! Last year Sherle sent in photos of their garden {see them HERE} and shared pictures of her husband standing next to their tomato plants that were over 10 feet tall. Wowza! Their pictures this year were just as spectacular. I hope I can have a garden that will look as good as hers someday.

jane7My Friend Jane From Thy Hand Hath Provided Finally Shows us Her Garden:

My dear friend Jane from Thy Hand Hath Provided {you know, the one with the AWESOME cookbook}, shared her amazing garden pictures after months of me begging. She said something in her email to me that I love and refer back to a lot: “We love trying new projects like Shiitake mushrooms, honeybees, fruit trees, and selling sunflowers, but it’s taken a little while to learn that it is only possible to do many different things IF we lower our standards and live with some weeds and things not looking perfect all the time.” Something I need to always remember.

Pallet-Garden-Pumpkin-TrellisDIY Pallet Garden Pumpkin Trellis:

KK from Preppy Pink Crocodile sent in a few photos of a pallet garden trellis she built for her community garden allotment last summer and I thought it was so clever! She only has about 200 square feet to work with so she has to plan carefully to take the greatest advantage of space. She’s pretty resourceful, too, getting the pallets for this project for free!

rainbowGarden Pictures All The Way From Tasmania, Australia:

Lisa and her husband have been living in Tasmania for 3 years and are enjoying gardening in a new climate. I was enjoying seeing all her gorgeous pictures! Here’s what she had to say about the soil there:

“I must tell you the soil here is a delight… its like you throw seeds at it and it says ‘Here! Food!’”

rasied-garden-boxes-backyard-set-upBeautiful Raised Bed Garden Pictures From Austin, Texas:

When Jana sent in her pictures of her raised bed gardens, I immediately had garden envy! Her garden is just so pretty and orderly and organized; just how I like it. Plus, she’s growing stuff like mad. So far they have have 21 tomatoes, cabbage, onions, carrots, broccoli raab, snow peas, lettuce, corn, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, Blue Lake green beans, cilantro, basil and chives. Wow!

Strawberry-TowerEmily From Washington Uses Self-Watering Planters:

Emily had one sunny spot in her yard that gets pretty hot in the afternoon sun. In years past, they had tried using regular pots to grow tomatoes, but with little success. The soil dried out extremely fast, leaving crispy plants by the end of the day. She was determined to find a solution so she scoured the internet and found many self-watering planter DIYs. She showed her husband one of the YouTube videos, and he and a buddy took the basic idea and modified it to work in rain barrels. Pretty brilliant idea if you ask me!

unnamedAnn From Eastern Oregon Gives Us a Glimpse of Her Garden:

Ann lives in Eastern Oregon, which is not the green, lush Oregon most people think of when they hear Oregon. In rural Eastern Oregon they have wide open spaces, beautiful rugged mountains and an abundance of wildlife, cattle and farm land. Ann is growing and harvesting like crazy, crops that include: a variety of produce {both wild and domestic}, a bumper crop of huckleberries, bing cherries, sour cherries, apricots and {soon} apples!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Garden Blog – Mapping Out My 2015 Garden

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measuring for upper garden plot

On Sunday  I got the garden itch {finally} and decided to pull out the tape measure to find out just how big of a vegetable garden was possible on the upper lawn. I was surprise to find out I’ll be able to install a 10′ x 45′ rectangular plot up there. 450 square feet. Not to shabby.

garden plot before pictures

My goal is to break ground in early January and {fingers crossed} create a mini Monticello type garden. Yes, there is a lot of shade, but since I plan on growing all my tomatoes, beans and peas in pots next year, along side the house where it’s nice and sunny, I think I’ll be okay.

pine tree litter future garden gate

The side yard however is another story. See where I’m standing? I plan to straighten the path out first, then add a gate and then install a perennial flower garden along the side of the house. pine needles in garden

But the pine and cedar trees are dropping needles left and right!!! Holy cow, they won’t let up. It’s insane. So much so that I am thinking about calling the tree guy to get a bid on removing the 6 trees that line the inner path between the garden and the house. I DO LOVE A WOODED SETTING, but c’mon, I can’t be raking up 2 wheelbarrows full of brush every single week. No way man.

future blueberry plot

I will admit though, living in the middle of a forest will be great for my blueberry plants. ;) They LOVE the acidic soil and I know they’ll just thrive on the other side of yard once I get them planted. But first, I’ve got a few weeds to pull.

Keep calm and garden on, right?

~Mavis

P.S. What do you think about removing some of the pine and cedar trees? The limbs have already trimmed about 12-16 off the ground by the previous owner. But I think I need more light. And a break from raking.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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