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Finding Home

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life By Sheryl Simons The happier you are with the simple things, the easier it is to be happy. ~Finding Home~ Ever wonder why a plant can do
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 24, 2007
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      The Simple Life
      By Sheryl Simons
      "The happier you are with the simple things, the easier it is to be
      happy."

      ~Finding Home~

      Ever wonder why a plant can do better in one spot, than in
      another? Sometimes you have to move a plant several times before it
      really does well. Sometimes they like sun, or shade, or moisture, or
      even dryness! Like my foxglove. It's a wonderful old cottage garden
      plant I love. Foxgloves are just begging to tell of all the fairy
      stories they know. You can look into one of the `cones' and see
      mysteries you can't even imagine. They like shade – that's for
      sure! Once they like a spot, they will flourish.
      They are not unlike us, are they? You know the feeling that
      can come over you that all the sudden you need to go home? Or how
      good it feels to sleep in your own bed after a trip? Or you can meet
      a new friend and feel "at home" with them almost immediately.
      We all need to find a place to feel "at home", don't we?
      Sometimes we turn in all directions just to find a place that feels
      safe. Sometimes we do dangerous stuff to try to `find home', but
      most of the time, the dangerous stuff is to forget. Some of us are
      blessed enough to find that place we call home – and it probably
      isn't a mansion. Big doesn't mean home. Home can be a small
      cottage – as long as it's peaceful and homey, and warm, and feeds
      us. Home feeds us by giving us what we need. I saw a photo of
      a `designer' modern home that didn't feel `home' to me at all. It
      was all bricks and granite, and hard and cold and sterile.
      What makes you feel `at home'? I'm reasonably sure that it
      doesn't involve yelling, fighting, stress, guilt, or junk. It feels
      safe and friendly. We all have a choice to make our houses home. I
      hope yours feels like home, to you. Do you feel like you are
      thriving, or withering? Do what it takes to plant yourself in a safe
      place. If your friends or family make you feel unsafe, don't give
      in - find safety. If you need help, ask a friend or someone you
      can trust to help you. You have more friends than you know, and God
      is the friend who is just waiting for us to ask.

      * * *


      11 SIMPLE TOMATO TIPS – if you are as sick of hothouse tomatoes,
      too – read on! Is there anything as yummy as a juicy tomato from
      your own garden?

      1. Mulch with Black Plastic. The black will heat the soil, which
      tomatoes love, and keep soil evenly moist, which will eliminate
      Blossom End rot, which can happen with uneven moisture levels. Do not
      mulch right away unless using plastic. That actually insulates the
      soil and keeps it from warming up. (This works for Peppers, too)

      2. Don't crowd `em. Close conditions inhibit their growth, so
      transplant them as soon as they get their first true leaves and move
      them into bigger pots about 2 weeks later.

      3. Give them light! Tomato seedlings will need either strong, direct
      sunlight or 14-18 hours under grow lights. Place the young plants
      only a couple inches from fluorescent grow lights. Plant your
      tomatoes outside in the sunniest part of your vegetable plot.

      4. Give your seedlings a breeze. One grandmother taught her
      grandkids to use a feather to give the seedlings a gentle breeze for
      a few moments a day, or you can turn on a fan – gently – for a few
      minutes a day.

      5. Preheat your garden before planting. Tomatoes thrive in heat.
      Cover the planting area with black plastic a couple of weeks before
      you intend to plant. Those extra degrees of warmth will bring on
      earlier tomatoes.

      6. When planting outdoors, dig tomato plants deeper into the soil, up
      to a few top leaves. Tomatoes grow roots all along their stems. You
      can either dig a deeper hole or lay plants sideways in a trench to
      plant.

      7. Remove the leaves from the bottom one foot of stem after they are
      about 3' high to help prevent fungus. Once the tomato plants are
      about 3' tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1' of the stem.

      8. Remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches.
      They won't ever bear fruit and will take energy away from the rest of
      the plant.

      9. Water deeply to encourage deeper root growth and helps prevent
      stunted fruit growth.

      10. Earlier tomatoes. There are two types of tomatoes, Determinate,
      and Indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes set their fruit all at one
      time, making a larger quantity available when you're ready to make
      sauce. You can get indeterminate (the plant keeps growing) to set
      fruit earlier by pinching off the tips of the main stems in early
      summer.

      11. Share your first tomato with a friend – it always tastes better!
      * * *

      ~Readers Share Gardening Tips~
      Disposable Diaper to the rescue?

      I like to do some container plants for our deck but they seemed to
      dry out so fast. I was told to put a disposable diaper in the pot
      add the dirt making sure all of the diaper is covered and plant the
      flowers. The diapers hold the moisture and the flowers are
      beautiful. I have used the same diapers for 3 years. Give it a try.
      ~~M. Banks, Alpena MI

      To give Clematis vines a great start, plant them behind taller
      plants, or cover the ground with rocks around the plant. They like
      to keep their roots cool. ~ Don Schribner, Michigan's Thumb

      I use carpet scraps cut in strips in between my veggie rows to cut
      down on weeds and rototilling. I roll them up and use them year
      after year! ~ Mary Trumble, Seattle, WA

      Thanks to all who wrote! Keep sending in your tips and I will print
      them!

      * * *

      SIMPLE OAT, APPLE & RAISIN MUFFINS
      1 egg 1 apple, peeled, cored & chopped
      ½ c oil 1 c oatmeal,(uncooked)
      1 t salt 3 t baking powder
      3/4 c milk 1 c raisins
      1 c flour 1/3 cup sugar
      1 t nutmeg 2 tsp cinnamon
      1/4 t allspice
      In a large bowl, beat egg & stir in remaining ingredients
      until just moistened. Pour into 12 greased muffin cups, 3/4 full.
      Bake at 400`F for 15 - 20 minutes. Serve cool or warm with butter.
      * * *

      "The pessimist borrows trouble; the optimist lends encouragement." --
      William Arthur Ward


      Keeping it Simple,
      Sheryl

      Please contact me with recipes, questions, comments and simple living
      ideas that work for you. Email: thesimple_life@...
      Join the online newsletter to print recipes and look up previous
      columns:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thesimple_life/
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