4/3/17

OMG: April Goal Setting

There's a little bit of everything in today's post. It was a beautiful day yesterday, if a little chilly, and so we made good on our promise to get outside. There were two wine shipments to pick up, and so we headed out to do that. The trees are blooming everywhere and spring is making itself known in the form of every blooming thing. At just one of the wineries, we saw these pretties.

If I'm not mistaken, this is Candytuft.


Sunny yellow daffodils.


I believe these are begonias, just judging by their foliage.


Grape hyacinths.


These are some little mini daffodils. Their blossoms are just a little bigger than a quarter.


Before heading out to wine country, however, we spent some time cleaning out the greenhouse. These are last year's plants. They fully lived up to their potential last year, and we are still eating tomatoes from these vines.


If you remember some of our previous tomato-growing seasons, then you might remember that the plants grew so tall they touched the top of the greenhouse.


My son Erik clued me into the fact that there are determinate varieties of tomatoes. Determinate tomatoes are also called "bush" tomatoes, bred to grow to a compact height (approx. 4 feet). Last year, I planted a determinate Roma tomato, and so they grew only about half as tall as the ones I've grown previously. We were able to get this big job done very quickly yesterday, and I think it's partly because the dead bodies were much more compact than previous years. Whatever the reason, we had it done in less than an hour. Now the greenhouse is tomato ready for the coming season.


And just look at these babies grow!


 The plants are about six inches tall now, and with just a little encouragement from me, they're all standing tall on their own without the need for propping them up. Their stems seem stronger than past years, I think because I started watering them with Schultz Plant Food Plus right from the get-go. In previous years, I've worried about over-fertilizing them if I started right away. They're doing well, and so I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.

They're a little too small yet to put out in the greenhouse, and we are still getting freezing temperatures over night. I'll start by putting them outside a few hours a day until the danger of freezing has passed.

The only stitching I did yesterday was to finish up the top half of Gertrude. There's still much to do on this little bag lady.


Also, I wanted to back up to Saturday evening. As I've mentioned before, I've been trying to master the art of homemade pizza, along with my bread-baking enterprise. So far, I've been focusing on Pizza Margherita. When I made this the first time, I baked it on a pizza stone. The fresh mozzarella cheese melted off the pizza crust and onto the pizza stone. It made such a huge mess, that I wondered if I'd ever want to make it again. It took sandpaper and a lot of elbow grease to get that burned cheese off the pizza stone.

So fast forward to Saturday evening, and I tried doing this in my cast iron skillet. What a big difference! The recipe came to me from America's Test Kitchens. Sometimes you need a membership to be able to view their recipes (worth the price, I might add). In this case, I think you can see it without the membership if you click on that link I've given you. The cast iron functions in the same way as the pizza stone, giving the crust a hot surface for baking. It's actually started on the stove-top and then moved to a hot oven for finishing. It was very tasty.


Now that I've done this one, I'm feeling ready to branch out to other flavors of pizza. The CSA season can't start soon enough.

Finally, I've neglected to set my April One Monthly Goal. In April, I'm going to bite the bullet and return to the Quiltmaker's Garden. All the pieces are ready to be sewn into a flimsy. If all goes well, it will end up looking like this:


"If all goes well." Those are big words. This quilt has caused me to call the whambulance plenty of times already, and I don't expect it to go together any easier than it has so far. It's the only project I have left that is ready to be sewn into a flimsy, and so its time has come. It's just possible I'll slit my throat with a rotary cutter before I finish it, but I'm keeping the number for the hotline handy, just in case.

It's another beautiful day, although a mite chilly. When the sun moves a little higher in the sky, I want to get out and do some more weeding. The hydrangeas need dead-heading too. They're starting to sprout green stuff, and so it's time to get them shaped up for the season. There are still two more blocks to finish for the hobo quilt and I want to get a start on the eight little nine-patch blocks for the Welcome Home mystery quilt. There's plenty to do today, and so I'll just get going. Miss Sadie looks as if she's ready to sit here all day long.


15 comments from clever and witty friends:

claudia said...

Wow! Your green house looks amazing after it's spring clean up! It looks like you put in hours and hours!
I took a walk around half my property this morning with the two big dogs. I love seeing what all is growing. My acres of blackberry bushes are sending out new growth. This year I really want to get some of those berries picked and jammed up. I'll freeze some as well for future use. I've got loads of surprise daffodils coming out. I love it!

Scrapatches said...

Beautiful flowers and monthly quilt goal. Looking forward to seeing your flimsy ... :) Pat

Denise :) said...

You've got lots of lovely flora making appearances. It's been so wet here, we haven't dared go down the Beech Bottom Trail to scout all our spring pretties. Hopefully by next week we'll warm up and dry out a little and I can go exploring! I did it! I ordered Gertrude and Millicent. Looking forward to receiving them! (They were my two favorite of the bunch.) I'm glad your Quiltmaker's Garden is your April goal. Seems rather fitting, given the kickoff of this post! And besides, it's such a beautiful piece! :)

WoolenSails said...

Your flowers look beautiful, mine haven't bloomed yet, but it shouldn't be long.
Beautiful stitchery and love the hair and feather, adds nice texture to the piece.

Debbie

Quilting Babcia said...

Miss Sadie sure does like her creature comforts. We finally had a warmish day, the rhubarb is up and growing fast, and the crocuses are blooming. The deer have munched a lot of the tulips and other things they shouldn't have. But I guess they were here first and there are more of them than us!

quiltzyx said...

I love looking at all of your photos at this time of year especially - the flowers are so gorgeous!

Pizza looks good - looking forward to seeing your other flavors too!

Kate said...

You got a lot done in and out of the sewing room last weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing your Quiltmaker's Garden come together later this month.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Just go slow with the 'Garden' quilt - lots of pins. Sadie looks so comfy. We are expecting heavy rains over the next 6 days and are on flood alert. Not a nice word in our area.

Dana Gaffney said...

Mini daffodils? I'm in love. Nice that it took you only an hour to get that all done, it looks great.

Patty D from NC said...

Nice quilt pattern. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and good luck on your project.

Wendy Tuma said...

Your flower pictures are so lovely, do you take them with your DSLR or with the camera on your phone? I had to laugh out loud at your whambulance paragraph. I'm working on a quilt that may cause that too, and now I have to worry about using that rotary cutter in a whole different way. Hahahaha. I'll be finishing up that quilt today, so if you hear a scream from over here, just keep stitching. :-) Miss Sadie looks like she was all in for a long nap! Hope you get that OMG quilt done, it's a beauty!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Gorgeous flowers!

Brown Family said...

I have a bush Roma this year. Hopefully I will get tomatoes! More pretty flowers. I have finished Gertrude's head and jacket!. She is coming right along. I hope Quiltmakers Garden was not to big of a pain!

ckrut said...

Does Miss Sadie have a tail? I have a cat that looks almost identical to her (known as Wiggles, because she doesn't hold still). We had to have her tail amputated, because she came in one night and it was dragging. She's the most loving cat I own.

Lyndsey said...

The flower pictures are beautiful and the greenhouse looks amazing. I pleased it was a quicker job than previously as it gives more time for cute little Sadie. The pizza looks very tasty.