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FOTESS MAY SWAP: Double Delight on May 5th

6 years ago

FOTESS MAY SWAP: Double Delight on May 5th
This year Cinco de Mayo and the day of the Kentucky Derby coincide. Obviously your package won't get to your recipient until after May 5th, but you will select either one of those two days to serve as your theme for the package you send in May. Don't tell which type of package you will send. It will be a surprise for your recipient when it arrives. You may receive the same theme that you sent, or maybe not! (Note that this group requires membership. If you want more information, you can contact me - Jeanne.)


As always, keep the price down and the package small/lightweight. We are good at using our imaginations. There is no need to send a big package or spend a lot on items and postage. We are all about SIMPLE swaps.

Also, Annie was originally signed up as hostess for the May swap and very sadly her husband passed away a few weeks ago. I've checked in with her a few times since then and told her we'll all be thinking of her. Annie, sending thoughts and prayers your way!


Here are some suggestions for the May themes, but include whatever you think suits the theme and what you have access to. Remember, you base your package on ONE of the themes, whichever you like.


Kentucky Derby: any seeds that have roses in the name (the Derby is the “run for the roses”), mint seeds for mint juleps, seeds that reflect speed (germinate quickly or produce fruit, veggies, or flowers quickly), a card you make reflecting the theme, anything simple with a horse, rose, or jockey design, anything reflecting Kentucky, recipes that represent the Derby or Kentucky … anyway, plenty of ideas! If you're crafty, you can probably think of something with a horse design … and even if you're not, how about a PONY tail fastener?

Cinco de Mayo: any seeds that produce the flavors of Mexico: seeds for leaves, flowers, fruit or veggies in one of the colors on the Mexican flag, anything that represents this celebration (a sombrero, burro, native costume, recipe), a card, or how about a mini pinata and include some special treats inside?


I'll have games reflecting the themes; and of course, everyone in FOTESS can have a special horse to cheer for in the Kentucky Derby. Please sign up by May 7 for the swap. Anyone in FOTESS can participate in the games. (Derby game will be posted very soon!)

Sign up by May 7 and mail to your partner by May 19.


Jeanne

Comments (111)

  • 6 years ago

    Jeanne, I'm sorry to hear if your back problems. Don't rush to mail, mine won't go out til Monday. I have to get a flat rate envie at the post office tomorrow. I have a garage sale Saturday so Monday it is.

    Hope you're feeling better. Margo

  • 6 years ago

    Thanks, Margo. It may in fact go out on Monday. I think I'll be finishing it up over the weekend. I have part of it pulled together, but want to add a few things. Our post office is open for part of the day on Saturday, but as everyone has figured out, I am not much of an early bird --- much more of a night owl!

    I'll come up with another quick game for next week, too, so watch for it. Still pondering ideas...

    Jeanne

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  • 6 years ago

    I am cleaning out my seed box. I thought I was done planting seeds this spring so put extras in envelopes to mail. I found another 60 little baggies to plant! It's been a rough couple of weeks--family problems, depression, etc. Seeds have been my therapy. I'm anticipating blooms, anticipating planting of seeds, love mailing seeds to people.

    Heidi

  • 6 years ago



    Heidi in Nebraska, Zone 5

  • 6 years ago

    Heidi, hope you and all the wonderful ladies on here have a Super nice weekend!

  • 6 years ago

    Heidi -- Those are beautiful flower pictures. Hope things settle down for you and you have some smiles this weekend.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Wonderful to watch the royal wedding although I now see that tuning in beginning at 4 a.m. was not necessary. There was little going on at that point. I finally went back to bed for awhile longer.

    Heidi, sorry to hear you've had a bit of a rough patch and I hope the weekend goes well for you. Yes, playing in the garden and with seeds can bring a smile to most of us. I don't know how much I can bend or dig but I'm going outside to check on my garden in a little while. I think there is finally some improvement with my back, but it was a slow and painful process and even yesterday there was still quite a bit of pain. I just hope it can be okay for awhile. It hasn't been long at all since I had those weeks of intensive pain with my abdominal issue.

    I'm giving myself a break from the TV before it's time to watch the Preakness.

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago

    Erica, Thank you for the awesome seeds that you sent me! They are perfect! I love herbs and they grow so good here. I am going to get these planted in an herb garden area right away. I love the Mayo Amaranth and have been wanting that one. I am super excited with the others too Epazote and Guarijio Conivan (I've never heard of this one) So FUN, Thank you, Thank you! Amy

  • 6 years ago

    Samantha, I am very sorry that I was unable to make it to the post office today before it closed. Your package is ready and I will take it to the post office on Monday. Sorry about the delay.

  • 6 years ago

    Here's my park flower bed "bed". I ripped out the grass that was growing and each of those is a seed marker. Lots of coreopsis and gaillardia, some taller things on the outside. We'll see what happens! I'm am deliriously happy with the rain this weekend and I think I'm quite annoying to regular folk, especially farmers who can't play in their fields. We got 3.5 inches of rain Thursday night and it's been coming down steadily on and off Friday night and all day Saturday. A million dollar rain!

    I teased people at work. I said, "Oh, just pretend we've hopped the 'pond' and we're in England! See that water tower? That's Big Ben. See that old lady on the corner? Wave to her, she's the queen and the wedding is this weekend!" It made them smile! Heidi

  • 6 years ago

    Heidi -- I just have to say... You're awesome! The world needs more people like you! :)

  • 6 years ago

    No worries Emily! Yours went out today and I have the tracking number somewhere. I will post as soon as I find it - it’s been a painfully long day between everything on my to do list but I got a lot done AND it didn’t rain here today like it was supposed to so I got to spend time outside working too!

  • 6 years ago

    Jeanne, my package will go out tomorrow. I need a flat rate envie. Was out on a long trip yesterday and literally stopped at 3 post offices and none of them had the envelopes in the lobby. They were all empty. Grrr I'm going to get one today and mail tomorrow.

    Living in the middle of nowhere has its disadvantages. Lol

    Margo

  • 6 years ago

    No problem, Margo. I got your package packed yesterday and will get it out for mailing today. I hope you like it!

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Here's our last game for the month.

    National African Violet Week: May 20-27

    I had no idea there was a National African Violet week and decided to focus
    on that for our last game this month. This will be a points game.
    Rather than assign points now, I will see the answers that are posted
    and then award points more or less based on a curve. Let me say that
    my aunt and great aunt had gorgeous african violets! I thought they
    were beautiful and loved that you could take a leaf and easily create
    a new plant. We always rooted the leave in water and it was easy to
    do. As an adult I've tried growing them a number of times, but don't
    have luck with them. I think it has to do with the only places I can
    place them in my house and the amount of light they get in those
    locations. I remember the older houses had wide window sills and I
    think that helped a lot. If you are successful growing them and want
    to provide some tips, those tips will also give you some extra
    points. All information and answers can be posted here on the
    discussions.

    A. Do you have any african violets growing in your home?

    B. How many?

    C. Have you grown african violets in the past?

    D. Have you ever rooted an african violet cutting?

    E. Have you ever grown an african violet from seed?

    F. Did you have a parent or other close relative who was very
    successful with african violets?

    True or False

    1. African violets (or Saintpaulia) are a genus of plants within the Gesneriad family.
    2. When watering african violets, be sure to wet the leaves thoroughly.
    3. African Violets need at least eight hours of darkness each day in order to
      bloom.
    4. African violets do not fall victim to any insect pests.
    5. When watering your plants, use water at room temperature.

    More:

    As mentnioned above, if you have tips of your own, please share. You can also go to the African Violets forum here on Houzz and pass along some information from there that has not been posted here yet. (Information posted will continue to count if posted before Fri., May 25th.)

    Have fun and good luck!

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago

    A. Do you have any african violets growing in your home? NO

    B. How many? 0/i>

    C. Have you grown african violets in the past? I've never even considered growing them but am interested as I read more about them.

    D. Have you ever rooted an african violet cutting? NO

    E. Have you ever grown an african violet from seed? NO

    F. Did you have a parent or other close relative who was very
    successful with african violets? Not that I'm aware of. My family isn't much of an outdoor/garden type.

    True or False

    1. African violets (or Saintpaulia) are a genus of plants within the Gesneriad family. TRUE

    2. When watering african violets, be sure to wet the leaves thoroughly. FALSE

    3. African Violets need at least eight hours of darkness each day in order to
      bloom.
      TRUE

    4. African violets do not fall victim to any insect pests. FALSE

    5. When watering your plants, use water at room temperature. TRUE

  • 6 years ago

    . Do you have any african violets growing in your home?

    B. How many? 3

    C. Have you grown african violets in the past? YES

    D. Have you ever rooted an african violet cutting? YES

    E. Have you ever grown an african violet from seed? NO

    F. Did you have a parent or other close relative who was very
    successful with african violets? YES, MY AUNT AND MY MOTHER N LAW

    True or False

    1. African violets (or Saintpaulia) are a genus of plants within the Gesneriad family. TRUE
    2. When watering african violets, be sure to wet the leaves thoroughly. FALSE
    3. African Violets need at least eight hours of darkness each day in order to
      bloom. TRUE
    4. African violets do not fall victim to any insect pests. FALSE
    5. When watering your plants, use water at room temperature. TRUE
  • 6 years ago

    Samantha, I got your very creative package today. Samantha sent a lovely Kentucky Derby card, recipes for mint julep iced tea and horseradish pimiento cheese, seeds for early wonder beet, envy zinnia, Ferrari bean, Mexican hat yellow, and acorn squash, and a bottle of Meyer’s mint scent multi-surface cleaner. Thanks a bunch! It is a lovely package.


  • 6 years ago

    Samantha, your package went out today but I realized this evening that I forgot to send a card. I will get that in the mail to you tomorrow. Sorry about that!

    Tracking number: 9500114508418141242675

  • 6 years ago

    A. Do you have any african violets growing in your home? Yes

    B. How many? One plant

    C. Have you grown african violets in the past? Yes

    D. Have you ever rooted an african violet cutting? Yes

    E. Have you ever grown an african violet from seed? No

    F. Did you have a parent or other close relative who was very
    successful with african violets? Yes, my mother

    True or False

    1. African violets (or Saintpaulia) are a genus of plants within the Gesneriad family. True
    2. When watering african violets, be sure to wet the leaves thoroughly. False
    3. African Violets need at least eight hours of darkness each day in order to
      bloom. Yes
    4. African violets do not fall victim to any insect pests. False
    5. When watering your plants, use water at room temperature. Yes
  • 6 years ago

    Everyone probably knows this but:

    Do not leave African violets in standing water. Their roots do not like it.

  • 6 years ago

    Jeanne -- Thank you so much for the carnation prize seeds and the homemade card. It's beautiful. I wish I was as creative as all you ladies who make the homemade cards. They are so pretty and add such a nice, personal touch.

  • 6 years ago

    Samantha, that's a great package that you sent. How great that you thought of mint scented cleaner!

    Erica, I'm glad your prize arrived.

    And we do have some people growing african violets. Hooray!

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago

    Woo hoo, my package went out this morning. I actually could save money cause it was able to go first class. I do have the DC# if needed.

    A. Do you have any african violets growing in your home? No

    B. How many? 0

    C. Have you grown african violets in the past? yes

    D. Have you ever rooted an african violet cutting? yes

    E. Have you ever grown an african violet from seed? no

    F. Did you have a parent or other close relative who was very
    successful with african violets? My father in law had a wonderful display of AV's many years ago. He spent hours dividing them, rerooting them, etc. He gave me some and that is how I started. It didn't last very long though as I am not a fan of indoor plants. I was many years ago and still have two plants I began growing from small plants back in 1975. They will be 43 years old this year!!!!! I don't even make a fuss with them. They are lucky if I remember to feed them. One is a a lady palm that is about 6 feet tall with palms at the top.

    True or False

    1. African violets (or Saintpaulia) are a genus of plants within the Gesneriad family. True
    2. When watering african violets, be sure to wet the leaves thoroughly. False
    3. African Violets need at least eight hours of darkness each day in order to
      bloom. True
    4. African violets do not fall victim to any insect pests. False
    5. When watering your plants, use water at room temperature. True We have had so much rain lately. I just dumped 2 1/2 inches out of my rain gauge and I just put it up yesterday. We had a big dump two days ago that flooded parts of our lawn within 5 minutes. It's crazy. More coming tonight.
  • 6 years ago

    It’s beautiful!!!

  • 6 years ago

    Heidi -- Lovely!

  • 6 years ago

    A. Do you have any african violets growing in your home? no

    B. How many? 0

    C. Have you grown african violets in the past? no

    D. Have you ever rooted an african violet cutting? no

    E. Have you ever grown an african violet from seed? no

    F. Did you have a parent or other close relative who was very
    successful with african violets? My grandmother had many and she was proud of them. She'd propagate more.

    True or False

    1. African violets (or Saintpaulia) are a genus of plants within the Gesneriad family. We don't associate with that branch of the family anymore. There was a division in Holland before we came over to the US.
    2. When watering african violets, be sure to wet the leaves thoroughly. My grandmother would come find you and give you a good talking to, young lady!
    3. African Violets need at least eight hours of darkness each day in order to bloom. I don't know about violets, but I need 8 hours.
    4. African violets do not fall victim to any insect pests. Does my dog count? He digs up many plants--which is why most are outside.
    5. When watering your plants, use water at room temperature. Water at room temperature, but Diet Coke chilled.
  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for posting answers. Heidi, you last comment had me smiling!

    I didn't get much sleep last night so I haven't accomplished much after lunch today - unless a nap counts. I'll post more tomorrow.

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago

    My package arrived yesterday

    jeanne sent a package based on the Kentucky derby and included mint tea bags, handmade gift tags with roses on them, very pretty, a mint cookie layer crunch bar, (you may notice it's just a wrapper now), spearmint seeds, corn seeds, and a recipe for corn on the cob with mint butter. I plan to definitely try this. This was a great package. Thank you Jeanne. Margo

  • 6 years ago

    Some really nice packages being sent! Beautiful day here today, hope everyone is having a great day!

    Shirley!

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I received a wonderful swap package from Margo today. Thanks so much, Margo!

    It's for Cinco de Mayo. I'll likely miss listing something, but here goes: a beautiful handmade card and envelope (great job on the card!), 7 blossom tea bags, chocolate candy coins, bright yellow paper napkins, Atole (I'll have to look this one up), a gift card for Taco Bell (I'll definitely be happy to use that) and these seeds: Spanish onion, cilantro, tabasco peppers, and mortgage lifter tomatoes. As far as I'm concerned, you really captured Cinco de Mayo. Thanks again.

    Today was a day when my back wasn't doing well. Tomorrow is my husband and my wedding anniversary. We just plan to go out to eat so no big plans here.

    Is anyone doing some special for the holiday weekend?

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'll be looking through what you posted about african violets tomorrow. I went to a web site and looked at all the variations. Wow, incredible! Okay, I''m getting tempted to try another one. I haven't grown one for many years.

    Here's a bit about the history of african violets.

    African violets are the most popular of the continuously flowering houseplants. African violets are really not violets at all but members of the larger Gesneriad family, which includes gloxinias (Sinningia speciosa) and the lipstick plants (Aeschyanthus spp.).
    African violets were first discovered by European colonists in Africa in 1892. Baron von Saint Paul was serving as the imperial district governor of Tanginyika, a small country in east Africa, when he discovered and collected two of the plants now called African violets. He sent seeds of this plant to his father in Germany. His father was impressed with their delicate beauty, and took them to Hermann Wendland, botanist and director of the Royal
    Botanical Garden. It was Wendland who gave the plants their botanical name: Saintpaulia ionantha. The genus name Saintpaulia was named after the Baron. The species name, ionantha, Greek for “resembling a violet,” is in reference to the flower.
    African violets were introduced to the United States by a New York florist in 1894. In the drafty homes of the late-eighteenth-century, the plants often took a chill and died. African violets soon earned a reputation as being finicky and difficult to grow. It is probably not a coincidence that the popularity of African violets increased with the introduction of the
    fluorescent light bulb in 1938. The ability of African violets to bloom almost continuously under such conditions, along with the wide variety of color, foliage, and flower-type, created a boom in gardening under lights.
    The first national African violet show was held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1946. The show was so popular that Atlanta police were called in to control the crowds and traffic! The African Violet Society of America was founded shortly after this time.

    I'll post more about them each day until we finish up the month.

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago

    Jeanne, Hope your back feels better and that you have a Wonderful Anniversary!

  • 6 years ago

    Jeanne, have a wonderful day tomorrow! I hope you feel better!

    My piece of African violet trivia is that some seeds went up in the space shuttle for 6 years when the original plan was only a year. When they grew them out, they looked quite unique and pretty. I first heard about it from my Mom and I thought she misunderstood something until I googled and realized she was correct. At one point, I had a couple of these plants but now I just have a regular one.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Jeanne, glad you enjoyed the package. We have a place called Trader Joes's in Cincinnati that has different aisles for all kind of countries. It was fun trying to figure out what to send.

    I have to give credit for the card to Heidi. I received a ton of handmade cards in last months swap.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend. Margo

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I don't post pictures very often, but I received these horses as a Christmas gift and finally got them set up in the strawberry patch this evening so I thought I would share. I think they are so cute!

    And now for a bit of african violet information. I see african violets have changed since I was familiar with them.

    Foliage Types
    Boy: standard plain green leaf; named for „Blue Boy‟; the most famous of the earlier varieties.

    Girl: green leaf with wavy edges and a white spot at the base of the leaf blade; named for the „Blue Girl‟.

    Variegated: green leaf which is blotched, edged or spotted with yellow, cream or white.

    Red reverse: leaf reddening that is especially visible from the back and very dark on top, often nearly black.

    Oak leaf: cultivars of this variety tend to grow very large and have indented leaf margins.

    Quilted: leaves of this large cultivar exhibit marked raised areas between the veins.

    Fringed: leaves overall are extremely wavy and serrated giving the foliage a lacy appearance. These plants are difficult to grow so that the foliage forms a perfect wagon wheel; the leaves tend to twist and fold.

    Trailing: plants produce variable foliage; crowns cover the top and hang down the sides of the pot in a trailing manner.

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Okay, time to update us on the swap and award a prize for the african violet contest.

    Margo and Jeanne - both sent and received

    Samantha sent - Package received by Emily

    Emily sent - arrival probably slowed down by the holiday

    Erica and Amy - both sent and received

    The holiday probably threw off the delivery schedules.

    For the african violet contest, it basically came down to personal involvement with african violets and the winner is Amy! However, special recognition to Emily for the trivia about african violets in space, Heidi with the humor she added to her answers, and to Margo - I loved hearing about your father-in-law and plants including african violets.

    I'll continue to post some african violet information until the end of the month. I have the month of June and know that with summer beginning there may be travel plans, kids or grandkids to entertain, etc. so there will be a June heading for FOTESS but I decided there will be no mailing involved. We are going to share information under our group's heading that month. There's a theme, but I'll wait to announce that closer to June. Also, there will be a participation prize at the end of June.

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago

    Congratulations, Amy!

    Jeanne, when I got the beginning of your post in my e-mail where you said you got horses for Christmas, I thought, wow, your friends and family give different Christmas gifts than mine do. Then I saw the post and those horses seem much more in line with the type of things folks give for presents. They are very charming.

  • 6 years ago

    I got a laugh from your horse comment, Emily! I must admit that as much as I wanted a pony as a child and then a horse as I got older, all of the actual horses resulted from me buying them. There was one time when I was a teenager that my parents leased a horse for me for a month so I could enjoy some extra riding. The horses you see in the picture are much more in line with what we give as presents.

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago

    Jeanne, Thank for hosting this fun swap. Erica and I both sent and received our fantastic Cinco de Mayo package.

  • 6 years ago

    Thanks, Amy. I just updated the post above. For some reason I'm not finding a lot of additional african violet information to post. If I run across something extra, I'll post it for us.

  • 6 years ago

    Amy, your prize is ready to be mailed tomorrow.

    Samantha, has your package arrived?

    I'll be posting the June heading on June 1st so watch for it. Games and lots of information. The theme is a mystery until then ...

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago

    I did receive Emily's package! Sorry for the delay - I was out of town for Memorial Day. It was adorable with a handmade card with some hot pink chili peppers (pink is my favorite color!) She included guajillo chiles, taco seasoning, and seeds (leisure cilantro, tatume squash, toma verde tomatillo, and jalapeno) which I'm very excited to see how they do!!

    Thanks for a lovely package Emily! I will enjoy all of it immensely.

  • 6 years ago

    Forgot to add the picture!


  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for posting, Samantha. Everyone has received so now we take a breather until June 1st!

  • 6 years ago

    Hey all just checking in. I happened to see info about African violets above. Back when my father was much younger he was quite the horticulturist and loved African violets especially. He still has a magic touch with them. Funny (but true) family story. My aunt (mother's sister and known/admitted black thumb) expressed her absolute glee over how beautiful my father's African violets were. She was explaining that she could never ever keep anything alive but had an especially difficult time with violets. At the next family get-together, my father brought my aunt a plastic potted African violet. He said, "this is one you can never kill; I guarantee it." He thought based on that, that she knew it was artificial. About a year later we were at her house and she had it in the middle of the kitchen table and said, "Look Rick, I have been caring for it for a year and it hasn't even dropped it's petals." When he looked at her quizically, she said "I water it every day and make sure to give it sun but not too much. You were right, I didn't kill it." My entire family erupted into laughter when he explained that it wasn't real. Though crestfallen at the time, it has become quite the family hoo haw.

  • 6 years ago

    Jeanne -- Thanks for the fun swap!

  • 6 years ago

    Love the story about your aunt's african violet, Breanne!!! They do seem to be one type of plant that they do fantastic for some people and not well for others, but I think sometimes all of us need a plastic plant. There are some things that are supposed to be simple to grow and I have no luck with them. Sunflowers are one of them for me. I think I've only ever had 2 sunflower plants that continued long enough to bloom for me.

    I'll be posting our new heading late this evening of tomorrow. I hope it will be fun.

    Jeanne

  • 6 years ago

    Jeanne, Thank you for the fantastic prize of violet colored seeds! They are all new ones I haven't grown before. Purple rain candytuft, purple prince zinnia and verbena Tuscany lavender picotee. Can't wait to see these grow! Amy