Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are Your Winter Clothes Put Away?

Rubbermaid HomeFree series closet system

I am a messy person. My closet doesn't look anything like the one above. I was messy before kids, and kids have only made it worse. In my struggle to overcome the mess I've discovered a wonderful articles at Like Mother, Like Daughter that actually make me feel HOPEFUL and not judged or depressed (just scroll down towards the bottom and check out the sidebar...she lists them nicely there).  I keep a list of her Reasonably Clean Home series right here.

One of these articles is titled "Laundry Problems Start With Clothes". The basic gist of it was that most of us have more clothes in our closets than we need (or at least than we need in any particular season)...and that this hampers (pun intended) our attempts to get the laundry under control.

Now, I wanted to address a particularly Texan issue regarding the storage of winter clothes.

On Leilas Laundry Worksheet she asked:

"Why are shorts cluttering the world up if it’s winter?"

MY ANSWER:   Well, because I live in Texas, that's why. It actually may have a low of 20 degrees one day and a high of 85 degrees the next in the dead middle of winter here.

Here in Waco you can't really put away summer clothes, except the swimsuits and maybe tank tops (and not even the swinsuits if you plan to swim at Baylor's Pool this winter). So my solution in winter is to put at least half of the summer clothes away (because at very least they won't be wearing it as much as in summer). This usually entails boxing up all the t-shirts with very summery designs (surfboards and palm trees and such), tank tops, and all but 2-3 pairs of shorts.

I still have the problem of needing much more shelf space in winter than in summer (since you can't put away all the summer stuff and the winter stuff is so much bulkier), but at least it's slightly more manageable with some of the summer stuff put away.

Now I'd like to ask you some questions:

  1. Have you put your winter clothes away yet?
  2. Have any great suggestions on transitioning closets from summer to winter, clothing storage tips, etc?  (If you know of any good way to deal with the extra clothes in winter, I'd be especially grateful to hear it!) 

Picture by Rubbermaid.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Waco Gardening Tips - November

    November is a busy gardening month in Texas.  Unfortunately, Walmart doesn't know that.  Their gardening section was gutted to make way for the Christmas section.   I wasn't exactly surprized, but I had hoped to find some discounted seeds (if there were any tucked away on some sale isle, the sales clerk didn't know about it).

    But HEB there was a whole display full of seeds right in full sight by the front door!  Another place you can always find LOTS of seeds is the Homestead General Store at Homestead Heritage.  They have a TON of seed varieties including various heirloom seeds.  It's really worth a trip out there.

    This month I found a great new resource (new to me anyways).  The Central Texas Community Gardening Manual is published by The World Hunger Relief Farm right here in Waco (copies are available for download for a $5 donation, or in print for $15).    Now, on to this months's gardening tips!

    Winter Flower Gardens
    November is the transition month from warm season annuals, to cool season annuals.    Cool season annuals grow well from November to May, when it starts to get too hot for them. (Warm season annuals grow from April through Early November.)   This is the last month to start most cool season annuals from seed (you can start some as early as August), but you can plant transplants through February.  Here are some cool season annuals which grow well in Texas:

    Baby's Breath (annual)
    Candytuft (annual)
    Dahlberg Daisy
    Dusty Miller
    English Daisy
    Forget Me Not
    Ornamental Cabbage and Kale
    Sweet Pea*

    *Best Direct Seeded
    **Better to Buy Transplants

    Bulbs and Corms
    You should also plant most of your spring bulbs this month.  Amaryllis bulbs should NOT be planted into the garden now as flowers can be damaged by colder weather.  Hybrid tulips and hyacinths will need to go into paper bags, nylon stocking, or net bags and put in the lower drawers of your refrigerator since Texas winters are not cold enough long enough to give them the proper chill they need to flower in the spring.

    Trees, Shrubs, Roses
    November is the best time to plant or transpnat trees, shrubs and roses.  The ground is still warm from summer, encouraging growth, and they will have time to set down roots during the cold season, which here is gentler than the summer heat.

    Vines and Groundcovers
    November is also a good time to plant perennial vines and groundcovers.    Above the ground, you won't see any growth during the winter, but their roots will grow, giving them a stronger start in the spring.    The exception is tropical vines like Bougainvillea, which will die off if left un-attended.  You can try mulching them heavily (10 inches deep), which gives the roots a chance to survive...or just treat them like an annual and replant next year.  (Of course, if they're potted you should bring them inside for the winter).

    This month is also a good time to dig, divide and transplant groundcovers.  

    Vegetables and Herbs
    Cabbage, celery, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, and Swill chard can be planted as transplants this month.  Here in Zone 8 you can also plant you can plant carrots, spinach, and parsley from seed  (though Spinach may be a gamble).  Now, the Central Texas Community Gardening Manual they suggest growing Cilantro from August through September, but I've been doing some reading and a lot of Texas grow it in successive plantings during the winter, which seems to make a lot of sense since it goes to seed at temperatures over 75 degrees (and  I've read of a Pennsylvanian overwintering these, so if they can survive a Pennsylvania winter it certainly seems they should be able to survive Waco's modest cold snaps.  You can read more about growing wintertime cilantro in Texas here.

    You should also harvest any basil you have while you still can, as leaves turn brown when night start aproching 40 degrees.

    I'm no expert (yet).  My info for the above came from the following sources:  
    Month to Month Gardening in Texas
    Central Texas Community Gardening Manual
    Melody's Gardening in Central Texas
    Central Texas Horticulture
    The Vegetable Gardener

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Grocery Deal - 98 Cent Peppers

    Saw Red Bell Peppers for only $0.98 at the HEB on Hewitt Dr!

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Chick-fil-A Giveaway

    I love Chick-fil-A--it's one of my favorite places to take the kids on a "too hot" or "too cold" day.   Right now there's a giveaway for a Chick-fil-A Calendar (filled with coupons) and free peppermint milkshakes (oh, I am so happy that milk-shake is back!) over at Frugally Thrifty.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Sic Em Science Day at the Mayborn

    This Saturday Baylor Biology department will be offering science demonstrations in the Mayborn Museum Discovery Center from 2 pm - 4 pm. There will be interactive demonstrations on Water Works, Sound, Human Health, Lenses and Mirrors, Small Creatures, Fun with Friction, and Bright Changes.

    Shared of my own volition without compensation.

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    After Halloween Sales...

    After Halloween is a great time to pick up candy for other events, costume items for presents (great for your child's dress up box), and orange/fall items that can be repurposed for Thanksgiving.  I wasn't needing any more candy (my kids have enough for a nice sugar rush, thanks), and the candy at my local Walmart was already pretty picked through yesterday anyways.  But I did find these Star Wars suckers that I'll be putting in my kids Christmas stockings.  There was also some Halloween pretzels that could work for lunchbox snacks, and some Halloween shirts for next year...all 50% off.

    Did you shop the after Halloween sales?  If so, what did you find?