Monday, January 14, 2013

Odds & Ends

Did you know watermelon seeds (if you can even find the big old fashioned watermelons anymore) make great squirrel seeds?  I didn't but we are going to try this for our family of squirrels.  A diet of filbert and bird seed must be pretty boring long about February. 

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees.  Wash your saved watermelon seeds and then spread them out on a cookie sheet.  Bake the seeds for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Let cool and store in an airtight, dry bag or container. 

I wish I had known this in the fall, but if you have forsythia in your yard you can have winter blooms in January or February. 

Cut several longish branches from your forsythia bush with pruners.  I would say about 24 inches, but vary the length a bit.  This just makes the future bouquet less boring.  Next mash 3 inches of the base of the stem and place the stems in warm water (Make sure that there is no leaves or buds below the water line) and place the vase in a dark closet or room for about six weeks.  Replace water as needed during this time. 

When the buds are fat move the bouquet into a well lit room (I'm thinking the middle of a table in the kitchen or dinning room) , and viola!  Spring blooms in the winter.  I heard that if you do many, you can bring just a handful out at a time so you can have several weeks of enjoyment from the blooms.  I might try this myself, though we are about 2 months late.  But a few branches wont be the end of the world. 

We have been giving thought to Spring and Summer plans as well.  A few things we plan to have on our list of must do this year is camping, but I also want to encourage you to think about something even closer to home.  Go berry picking, harvest a tomato plant together, pluck apples from a tree in September.  Every child should pick fruit during their childhood.  It forms memories, cherished memories that they will hold dear as they age and talk about well into their old age.  I spent a summer at 16 picking blueberries and I fondly remember the warm summer days with other children picking berries by the buckets.  I spent a few weeks when I was 12 picking strawberries and had great fun with friends.  At about the same age my mother took me apple picking for the first time and I don't believe I ever seen greater apples in my whole life.  To this day I remember apples the size of grapefruits, plunking into our buckets.  Even at 11 or 12 I marveled at this wondrous bounty God had created for us.  Never underestimate the power of picking food. 

Happy monday musings!

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