Friday, December 30, 2011

Checking off the list

Okay, so lets so how my to-do list is going :)

1. What can I plant-right now? Find out!

So some vegetables are hardy enough that they can supposedly germinate in 30 and 40 degree weather; however, the temperature has been hitting the 20's I may need to hold off just a little longer. Plants that are already growing can survive this cold, but many of them actually germinate at lower temperatures than they grow (grow well, rather.) It looks like I need to wait till about the end of January. When I start planting, here are some of the first plants that can go in:

and possibly...

1. What can I plant-right now? Find out!

2. Why don't we own a paint brush? Buy one!

Wal-mart ripped us off, but I got 5 brushes for $5 and started painting!!

2. Why don't we own a paint brush? Buy one!

3. Who would know what I can grow? Call Dad!!

Some of the items on the above list are ones that dad recommended, others were found on good 'ole Google. Either way, I have a working list, not to mention many awesome tips from "The Garden Guru" I call Dad! Some of these useful tips include keeping plastic covering from touching any covered plants, as this will result in burning the plants. Dirty rotten frost. Dad also told me not to get duped by the suggestions to plant seeds 1-2 inches into soil. 1/2 inch is all that is needed, any more than this could result in DEATH. This worked for our flying dragons, so I trust The Guru.

3. Who would know what I can grow? Call Dad!!

4. When can I get started? Leave house so amazing husband can build boxes!

My eye appointment (to finally get updated contacts and glasses) afforded the perfect opportunity for Jason to illustrate his amazingness. See below.

Square foot garden boxes!!

4. When can I get started? Leave house so amazing husband can build boxes!

5. When can I start planting? Mix soil!

Number 5 is my current dilemma. I don't think I should mix my soil until I am getting ready to plant. Not sure yet. I still have a bit of reading left to do though, so we will see how the gardening skills progress...hopefully better than my skills at keeping rosemary alive. It doesn't like water as much as some of my other plants :(

Living and learning; there is always another adventure waiting!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On to Greener Pastures

...or just green at all, not necessarily green-ER.

Oh how my husband knows me. I want to garden; I mean I REALLY want to garden, and ever since we moved into our house I have been asking people about their garden styles, techniques, and skills to find what might work for us. At long last I have bought the book that seems to have the masses raging!

Square foot gardening has got me hooked...the book at least- I haven't started the garden yet. So here I am, reading my book, and drooling over the prospect of fresh veges, when Christmas hits.

Oh what do my wondering eyes do appear? Why peat moss, vermiculite, compost, and 2x6's !!

Now for my to-do list:

1. What can I plant-right now? Find out!
2. Why don't we own a paint brush? Buy one!
3. Who would know what I can grow? Call Dad!!
4. When can I get started? Leave house so amazing husband can build boxes!
5. When can I start planting? Mix soil!

So excited :) I love you Jason!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

" boldly go where no [me] has gone before."

3 days ago a got a phone call. An incredibly exciting, good news bringing, make me want to sing kind of phone call. This call started with small talk and then proceeded with an offer, an amazing, unrefusable (not really sure if that is a word) offer.

You are now reading the words of a Broughton High School teacher (again!) Yay! I am absolutely stunned that I was re-offered the position so quickly, seeing as the budget has not even been approved yet. With all my excitement, there is also a bit of disdain :( I could be (and most likely will be) teaching a couple 12th grade classes this year. Scary; those kids are huge! As a begin to prepare and work to calm my nerves, I will begin to blaze new trails in the world of Cassie. I have taught 9th grade English, I have taught 11th grade English, and I have even taught 12th a Study Skills class, but I have never taught a 12th grade English class. Let the adventure begin...

As part of my new assignment, I figure I might need to brush up on my British Literature (puke,) since in college I only begrudgingly read the assignments for my Brit Lit classes. Oh does that take me back to failed quizzes and angry, prejudiced teachers-all stories for another day. Now my reading must begin. Let's see what kind of reading list we can pull together:

  • Pygmalion- never read
  • Macbeth- read and really enjoyed
  • Beowulf- never read
  • Canterbury Tales- love!
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde- never read but very interested in!
  • 1984- never read
  • A Tale of Two Cities- never read
  • Meditation 17- never read
  • Shooting an Elephant- never read
  • Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead- never read
I must say I have my reading list cut out for me for the rest of the summer. Not to mention, I really need to refresh a lot of my 9th Grade lit, specifically some of the supplemental texts that Wake County uses. Anyone have any suggestions on which to start first? Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and A Tale of Two Cities are definitely at the top of my list :) I am very excited and will definitely keep you updated on the adventures I embark on through text!! to buy books!

Enterprising Ants

Less than a week to closing!

Now the To-Do List really begins; we need to do lots and lots:

Buy the part for our fridge
Get a washer and dryer
Get utilities put in our names
Get all my furniture from Greenville
Clean (the current house and the new house)
Get the yard cleaned up
Get the survey done
Oh yeah, and maybe take care of the insects encroaching on our home!?!

I've been in the process of researching, trying to find out what is best for killing AND for preventing further population AND not hurting us or our little Jasper pup :( --Not the easiest find.

I think I have found the best for keeping out and not hurting the pup: Ortho Home Defense Max.
At my parents' house we have always had ant infestation, but after my mom started using this product a few years ago, there have been no problems. My parents just respray each spring or summer before the ants start setting up shop, and there are no problems for the rest of the ant season! This product (and its customer reviews) state that while wet it is extremely harmful to pets, but that once it dries, it is no longer harmful. This condition on its toxicity could be a slight issue for some, but since we are spraying and treating prior to moving in, we don't have to worry about it being an issue for our little Jasper!

We do still have to figure out what to do about the ants that are already selling off real estate in our house's nooks and crannies. We are debating a bug bomb, or fumigator, but we have found poor reviews so far. It just sounds so convincing: "Bug Bomb." All I can think of is explosions in the walls and little ant bodies flying everywhere. We definitely want them gone, and we definitely don't want to pay for professional treatments, but we can't seem to find a product that delivers. Please Help!!

Let me know if you have any suggestions or know something that works for on-sight ant slaughter...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Contingency of Plants

Purple Heart:

I had seen this plant in several different places and had been thinking about it a lot as we are considering ideas for landscaping, but it had really been a fleeting thought until we went to the "Gotta Be NC" festival. As we traversed the grounds, we wandered slightly off course and found some awesome plants...that were labeled.

[Side note: I love labeled plants because then when I think they are cool, I can just read the label and know what I want. I adopted this obsession after the first time Jason took me to the NC State Arboretum; it is full of awesome plants and most of them are labeled. This is how we discovered we wanted Flying Dragon trees (pictured below) and began to grow them.]
Back to Purple Heart...Upon seeing what I now know as Purple Heart, I told Jason it would be a great potential plant for our ditch-line. We want a plant to fill our ditch line so dogs aren't drying to use the bathroom in it and so that we don't have to worry about cutting it; neither of us are in favor of lawn maintenance. Then before I know what has happened, I am touching the Purple Heart and find out it has a soft, luxurious feel; now I am addicted.

Time for the research to begin.

Hmm...according to Purple Heart are... "Grown for it’s thick, succulent like leaves, the flowers are totally secondary. Amazing purple color on a tropical looking plant. Purple Hart is a herbaceous perineal in the metro Atlanta area, but an annual any farther north. Grows to about 14” tall, unless planted close together, then it will start growing on top of itself and could get as high as 24”or more. Spreads to around 24”.

Plant in full sun, in moderately fertile soil. Drought tolerant, once established"

Words I like: perennial, annual, drought tolerant, moderately fertile [they] makes some interesting points, stating the Tradescantia pallida is "quite an invasive plant, that will fairly quickly take over an area, smothering out other plants in the process..." Invasive is definitely a word I approve of. We are looking for some self-sufficient plants for our ditch-line; we want plants that can withstand neighborhood dogs and serve as a border between our yard and the road without looking tacky. They also state that it can "tolerate...frost;" I assume this is a positive trait for NC weather issues. It also says the plant "prefers a rich moist soil, but...will grow in many types of soil," and "will rebound quite well if over-watered," which is similar to our Flying Dragons. The main negative that I see here is that it apparently needs to be "pruned periodically,"otherwise it will take over; however, the fact that it is great "in rock garden[s]" could work well for the stone we want while the stone can also keep it in check!

Loving it more and more!!

I want to find a small, green, bushy plant to border the Purple Heart: It will look tailored and will possibly stay somewhat contained without too much physical exertion. The only suggestion I have found so far is that it may grow well with the asparagus fern (, but I will have to do more research into what that is and what it looks like.

Elephant Ears

The other plant that I am most interested in right now is called "Elephant Ears." They actually come in several different colors and patterns, so they add a lot of flair to a flower bed! I still have a lot of research to do on these, but I think they are a lot of fun...There are several pictures below!

Well I haven't looked up too much so far...but at this moment, it does not seem to promising. According to the ASPCA, elephant ears are "Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats." Now the likelihood of Jasper eating a random plant from the flower bed, low, but the toxicity is rather disappointing because I don't particularly want to be the cause of someone else's pet dying either. Now I have to find out more...

According to, elephant ears can also be black and are then referred to as "Black Magic"-way cool!...perennials in warm climates, annuals in cold climates. They are a little needy compared to the other plants we are looking at; they need more acidic soil and prefer wetter areas. The nice part about this is that it means we could probably plant them around the HVAC or where the gutters drain for a good use of the soppy soil, without trying to plant something that will drown in excessive water and they need to be planted 2-4" below the surface.

Well- it looks like we won't be growing elephant ears. As beautiful as I think they are and as much as I really want them, they are not worth the hassle or the danger to our son.

Goodbye Elephant Ears :'(

The Feat of Landscaping

1420 from the front:

(Better pictures soon, but this is from online)

Jason hates the idea of cutting grass, and I hate the prospect of a yard with no flora or fauna. There begins our task. We will boldly bring the rocks of Arizona landscaping to rural Raleigh, NC. We will seduce the bees with sweet scents of color. We will cut down many trees. Okay, so the last part doesn't sound quite as cool, but this does sum up what we are going to attempt to do.

We are currently seeking awesome landscaping ideas (the less-than-awesome need not apply) for our front yard. Some of the following ideas are striking our fancy (or really just techniques that I think are cool.)

I definitely like rock borders around the beds; this gives an organized, yet natural look, and I really like rocks.

We both also like the idea of very low maintenance. I am looking for plants and flowers that I can throw in the ground and not touch.

Like this:
...or like Purple Heart (I love purple heart)
...and maybe some elephant ears-love these too :)

I think that Jason want's some rocks everywhere...if there are rocks, he can't use a mower :)

I actually got an awesome idea from the picture below; I am thinking that instead of pretty red mulch that will turn brown soon, we can get red stone that will stay red longer :) Color=yay!

Comments and suggestions are welcome! We are so excited about our new home!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let the StReSs Begin

It is official.

We (Jason) have signed the official paperwork for a house!! We (us) decided to accept the bank's counter-offer, and we are in our "Due Diligence" period: The time we get from the seller (a bank) to decide that something is wrong enough with the home to legally back out. At the end of this week, we will no longer be able to back out and still get our Due Diligence money back. So we (our realtor) met the inspection guys this afternoon so that we could be assured our home is of the quality we wish to purchase.

Well, it looks like our inspections have been great so far and we are working on securing our loan for the home; this should be done by the end of this week, but in the mean-time, we (Jason) is searching for the best loan as we (I) learn what all the terminology actually means, for example, points, PMI, APR, closing costs, etc. Once all of this is solidified, we can begin the actually closing for our house. Yay!

EOCs :)
The current bane of my existence. Are my students going to pass? Are my students going to study? Are my students going to remember what I taught them? Am I going to properly read the Test Administrator booklet? Ha!

What if they don't pass? What if I have to go to Portfolio? What am I going to do???

I refuse to give EOCs a larger space than what is above. I will not let them override all that am...


Packing my classroom...
Do I pack my classroom? Should I pack my classroom? When do I have to accept that I may not have a job next year, so I need to pack my classroom? I don't want anything to happen to my school belongings. Please don't steal what belongs to me. Please don't think what belongs to me actually belongs to the school-it doesn't; it is mine.

Ah. That was a nice stress relief. Now I can go to bed next to the incredible man that decided to love me. I have an absolutely amazing life: I love my job, I love my husband, and we are supremely blessed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Undertaking of Eternity

One month.

I have been married to Jason Scott Edwards for one month (and one day). We have been busy people; I thought that once we finished with the wedding, and all the planning that went with it, that our lives would slow down. WRONG!

So far the list has consisted of...
~Moving in with Jason, which entailed packing all my junk, cleaning out space to store all my junk, and not knowing where any of my junk is now that I have moved it.
~Both of our jobs picking up-Jason with summer coming and me with EOCs fast approaching
~Searching for a house, putting offers in on houses, and as of today...possibly buying a house. YAY!
~Jason impaling himself with a hammer and needing surgery
~Having the official married life which requires me to actually do things like laundry and dishes!

I love married life! Jason and I are incredibly blessed to have such amazing families; great jobs; stable finances; an amazing pup, Jasper; a belief in the one true Gospel; and so many other incredible people and small blessings received on a daily basis.

I hope that as we embark on a true adventure that I will actually keep track of it all. Partly for entertainment and partly for posterity's sake. Our engagement story and photos are all located on our wedding website:

We will be updating it soon with wedding photos for all those who are following it.
More exploits to come.
Cassie Dennison Edwards