The End of the Semester

So this is the end of the fall semester. Which in one case isn’t such a bad thing since we get a month off before Spring Semester starts.

So right now I am filled with mixed emotions. First one is being stressed about finals. Having not been in school for 13 years one tends to forget that there is a lot of factors involved in going back to school. And to top it off having been sick in bed since Saturday with a serious case of the crud that is going around. Fever, Chills, Achey Muscles and joints.

Factor #1) Not only do you have to go to class 3 nights a week, you also have to do the homework for each class taken. I found this to be a challenge as I worked days and went to class at night. And I’m not talking about an hour or so of homework per class, but some classes actually would be 6 hours to do one homework assignment for one class.

Factor #2) There are mid-terms and finals to be done as well. This is probably for me the hardest part. However in my Social Media class I have the opportunity to do my tests at home. This was very helpful as I could do it when I could fit time into my busy schedule. Then I have that one dreaded class that I went in not knowing anything about the Class Subject, in this case the class is Excel. I had no idea the amount of work that need to be done for this class. I did my best, however feeling completely overwhelmed by how extensive the Excel program is.

Factor #3) I also feel that this time is bittersweet as I have grown to enjoy Social Media and the other students I met in this class. And my instructor Mr. Donald Laird has been a true inspiration and a fountain of knowledge. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed up for this class. Yet I am grateful that I got to learn so much about Social Media. I am computer savey, but so many new software programs were out there that I knew I needed to learn. At first it was quite overwhelming.

This is the overwhelming part. I knew about blogs being out there in the Social Media world, but had never read one until I stepped into this class. Not only did I get to read blogs and learn what they were about. I also had to create one. Can you say DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS? Because that’s exactly how I felt. But as time went on they became easier to write. And getting to read and reply to other classmates blogs gave me even a bigger sense of what blogging is all about.

Then we set up Pinetrest accounts, Instagram and Twitter accounts. And I was amazed at how many of my Facebook friends found me the moment I set up my Instagram account. I would acutally enjoy taking (if it ever becomes a class) Social Media 2. I learned a lot, but feel there is still so much out there that I would love to learn, explore and find my niche.

So I will be forever grateful to Mr. Donald Laird for showing us, just a scratching of the surface, of what Social Media is and how it will continue to grow and affect us years down the road.

CS5711

 

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The Weather

I know that my blog is not about the weather. However the weather does play a huge part in gardening as far as what to plant at different times of the seasons.

This blog on weather has to do with the cold bitter weather we have had over the past couple of days. I’m not fond of this cold to the bone weather, however last night after leaving class at the JC I was walking with a class mate.

We discussed how cold it was and looked forward to getting into our cars and turning on the hearter. Then going from our cars into our homes, which too are heated. I personally have gas paid for me at the apartments were I live and I like to be warm. So for this I am blessed that I don’t end up with a huge PG&E bill each month.

And again, this is not really what this blog post is about. It is about those in our county that are homeless and do not have the option of a warm car or home to surround us. My classmate and I discussed this on our way to our (warm) cars. We talked about how cold it was and how sad we are for those less fortunate that do not have either. Some without warm coats or blankets. Not enough cots in the homeless shelters to take care of all of them.

Today (11/6/2013) I learned that we have over 3,300 homeless men, women and children in our county alone. It made me want to go and volunteer at any of our many homeless locations doing whatever might be needed.

So today when I awoke and the temperature was 24 degrees I once again thought about those homeless people that had to find the warmest place they could to lay their heads and try to get some rest. I say TRY as I know it is not easy to fall asleep when you are chilled to the bone.

Then this afternoon a friend posted that it was SNOWING in Ukiah. So I once again let my mind wander to those that are now not only dealing with the cold, but are also dealing with snow and here in Santa Rosa rain. And if the temperatures drop again, it could be snow.

I know that some of the younger adults will be a bit better off then our elderly and our children that are out there on our streets. Or trying to find a place under a bridge or anything with some kind of awning, cover, shelter or whatever they can find.

One of my friends posted that she was going through the families closets today and taking all the coats they no longer wear to a homeless shelter. This made me smile and at the same time made me think about what it is that I can do to help those in need. They don’t just need warm coats they need warm blankets and a hot meal. They need to know that there truly are people out in the world who care. And they are so greatful for those of us who step up and do something to help, no matter how big or how small.

I am grateful for my warm home and my family and friends who also have the creature comforts of home, yet stop to think of those in need at this time. The weather forecast tells us that we should expect this bitter cold weather for the next week. I am praying that our newspapers and news on the TV do not tell us that we lost a few of the elderly to the bitter cold wet weather that they have to be out in tonight.

So to end this blog I ask that anyone who does read it. Go through your closets, garages or even spread the word that no matter how small or big the gesture is, it is well appreciate by these less fortunate than us.

Be one of those who does a random act of kindness. I guarantee you will feel a warmth in your heart that you may not have known was there.

CS5711

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is that special time when friends and family come together. As i read many facebook comments and saw lots of beautiful tables decorated and waiting for the food to be done it reminds me of the gardens that grew these vegetables.

Although the season for summer vegetabels is over, some of us have either frozen or canned some of the yield from out own harverst. And if it was bought at the store it’s okay as well. Someone put their time and energy into growing and supplying us with the abundance of vegetables we cook and eat on this special day.

And for those that can’t afford to go and buy all the ingredients for their Thanksgiving meal, Sonoma County has many different volunteer groups that collect all kinds of foods, either canned, fresh or frozen. Turkeys are donated as well so that those that are less fortunate than us can have an amazing dinner with thier own families.

So to all the stores, people and organizations that help make Thanksgiving happen for the ones who can’t do it themselves “I Salute You”

CS5711

 

The First Real Rain

Now that we have had the first real rainy night the top layer of the garden with all the mulch will start to break down. The rain will bring the worms out and they will start to eat at the mulch and burrow holes so that the ground can absorb the rain and mulch. Worm droppings are very good the the soil. So this is the beginning of organic fertilizing your garden.

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Autumn Leaves

As the warm season comes to a close it is time to consider a winter garden or just wait for spring when we can start again. 

I notice a new fragrance in the air. It’s crisp and clean. All the trees are turning different shades of reds, orange and yellows. I love the colors of Fall.  It takes me back to my childhood. I grew up in Glen Ellen, which is were I helped my mom plant the family garden. The colors of fall in Glen Ellen make this beautiful small town storybook like. I love the colors of the leaves as they change colors and eventually fall to the ground. 

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Changing of the Seasons

So as the seasons change so does the content of my blogs. Since I don’t garden during the winter I will touch on some gardening tips.

If you happened to grow corn in your garden, at seasons end you can pull the stalks out of the ground and scatter them all around the dormant garden dirt. Over winter these stalks will break down and turn into mulch. You can also do this with some other vegetables dead stalks or vines. If you grow green beans, once the vines are dead you can pull them down and scatter these in your dormant garden as well. All of these dead plant stalks and vines will break down over the winter and will be ready to till into your garden come spring. By doing this you can guarantee that your mulch is organic and sprayed with chemical insecticides and such.

Also by scattering these over the top soil it will help keep the weeds at bay and you will have less to pull out before you till your soil getting ready for the next seasons crops.

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Pumpkin Pie Made From Sugar Pumpkins

So in my last blog I discussed pumpkins and pumpkin patches. All of which is fun to go to and the mazes are entertaining.

In my garden however I grew Sugar Pumpkins, Sugar pumpkins are smaller than other pumpkin varities. The outside of a sugar pumpkin is darker than the bigger pumpkins. 

So as far as pumpkin pie goes, we always made ours from scratch. Starting by growing our own pumpkins. If you harvest them before you need to use them you keep them in a dark cool location. I would put my up in the garage. Once it was time to make the pies you have your main ingredient that you grew yourself. So you bring them in and wash the outside of the pumpkin. Then you slice them open taking out the seeds and then cut them into quarters. Sprinkle a little brown sugar and ginger on them and back them till a fork goes straight through the meat of the pumpkin.

Remove the backed pumpkins once done and let them cool to room tempurature. Scrape out the pumpking into a big bowl and start setting up the other ingredients needed for the pumpkin pie filling. This consists of evaporated milk, pumpking spice, cloves, nutmeg, and brown sugar. You blend all of your ingredients in a blender and pour into your empty pie crust. Then roll the edges of the overlapping pie crust and make finger pinches around the  top edge of the pie pan.

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