Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Just a simple post dedicated to the meat in my freezer.
Thank you deer and pig. You make my family satisfied and my freezer full.
You make me happy and well, you are yummy.

I realize that we are very lucky that we can harvest these animals the way that we do. We give to the hungry most of the meat, but these two we kept for our family. The hog meat we kept and gave most of it to my brother. He's on disability and this will help his dollar go a lot farther for the next few months. Don't get me wrong, we still have quite a few packages of sausage in our freezer as well. There is still more biscuits and gravy in my future yet!
We'll try to harvest another doe (hopefully a barren, older doe) out of the herd that needs to be taken and with any luck we'll be able to also take another boar as well. It's possible but not as likely as when it's warmer.

So - here's my post for thanking the harvest.

'Till next time!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Harvest Monday 12.19.11

With so much going on right now, it's hard to believe I haven't posted since last weeks harvest!
We've gone to parties, and thrown our own. We've baked cookies, and eaten quite a few as well. We've shopped and decorated, and gone for walks. We've watched it 'SNOW' in Florida, and we saw Christmas trees dance to music as well. This week has been active to say the least!

The harvest came, but the camera was shy. The nights were busy so the seat of our pants, we did fly -
(Ever get the feeling you've told the Christmas story one too many times?)

Anyway here are the few pictures I DID get of our harvests this week!

There were probably a half dozen tomatoes. but the counter isn't full. Oh no! We had lettuce and radishes and peas and a few green onions to make a nice complete salad for a change! This doesn't happen often here so we are taking full advantage while we still can!

On Sunday morning we decided to take some of the 55 pounds of meat we just put in the freezer and make one of my favorite treats! MMMMmmmmm...... Biscuits and sausage gravy, with 2 runny eggs right in the middle.
That's the kind of breakfast that means I WONT be fitting into my Holiday gown again any time soon! Guess I'll have to slow down on that.Teehee.

Well, Linking in with Daphne's Dandelions for our weekly Harvest Monday PARTY! This week addition is sure to be full of Christmas and other assorted Holiday Cheer!
I hope that you are staying warm and cozy with your loved ones. See you soon!

'Till next time!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Harvest Monday 12.12.11

Linking in once again to Daphne's place for Harvest Monday!

This Monday features our normal December fare of citrus! We got lots of citrus this week, and some tomatoes (red, orange and yellow, too!) Bell pepper, broccoli and hot peppers of course. Not pictured are the peas and radish and a salads worth of lettuce as well.

Also harvested was one sow. We split the meat with our parents so 55 pounds of pork to the freezer. Yippee! :-)

Sown this week: Oregon Snow peas, Kuroda carrots, Little Gem lettuce (thanks Daphne for the lettuce seeds!)

Till next time!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Such a Card

Sending best wishes to each and every person who stops by this time of year. Tonight begins the festive cooking with the late night/all night cookie fest! Bring it on!!!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Turtle Time!

It's time for a Creature Feature. This encounter happened at a friends house a few weeks ago directly before our first cold snap of the season. The poor critter was upside down and lifeless, left to die by some careless driver. He was cold and lonely and well... stuck between a road and a hard place.

I shouted for my friend to pull the car over, jumped out and ran to his rescue. Yes, I assure you it is a he. See those white spots on his plastern down where his Little back legs would stick out? That is where the shell has been rubbing on the ground when he walks. This tells me that the middle of his shell is sunken in. And, after all if you were a gal that wanted to lay eggs that would make things rather uncomfortable - wouldn't it?

Anyway, I flipped him over to see this cute little face stick out to say 'THANK YOU!'
He didn't even so much as hiss at me. Good thing, too. I had to put him on the floor board of the car and if he was both stinky and hissing at me she might not have agreed to such things. Pam drove us to the nearest (larger) pond where we patted him on the back and told him goodbye!

Hopefully he'll avoid the road from now on, because next time I've got a big old fish tank with his name on it just a waiting for him! ;-) Mud turtles - this is a Three Striped Mud Turtle by the way make excellent captive turtles due to their size and their relative easy keeping requirements. Once a week a little vitamin D (sunshine) a decent sized fish tank, a heater, some worms, crickets and fishes with an occasional piece of greenery and you've got a healthy pet.

Just thought I'd introduce you to a little more of my insanity. Hope you enjoyed meeting this little guy.

'Till next time!

Bento Tuesday

It's the first Tuesday of December and once again I haven't been all that great at taking pictures of my bento boxes.

But, if I don't try to make the post I won't actually do it and so I am here to show you what I do have!

This month I got a brand new bento box, and got it home, washed it up, tested it out, and promptly - threw it away. It wouldn't stay shit and it didn't seal at all. The concept of it was fantastic. It had 3 divided areas on one side and a flap that divided the container in half so that when shut you could have one side open for either a sandwich or a meal (pasta, meat, etc)a clip was supposed to hold the entire thing shut. Not only did the clip not function to hold the container closed, but the divider didn't seal properly so it simply wasn't worth my time trying to find a way to keep it closed. It wasn't entirely a waste. I knew it was an off brand when I bought it. It was a charity sale. (School fund raiser) Brilliant concept - poor execution. Next time I'll take the $12 I spent on that container and double it so I can get one that will work correctly!

So without any more drama here are the lunches:

Breakfast for lunch one day                                                                      Corn nuggets, carrots, yogurt, and an apple

  Chicken strips cut up with cheese, apples, and carrots                                a goldfish sandwich (turkey and cream cheese)      and goldfish pretzel mix

This one was interesting linberger jam and turkey on rye with a fruit salad. Go figure!

Since I'm not great at pictures - this wraps up the bento Tuesday!

See you next time!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Harvest Monday 12.05.11

December's first Harvest Monday report!

Linking into Daphne's for the party over there. Make sure you stop by to say hi and tell her thanks for hosting!

Well- after I said that I checked the link and she hasn't posted yet so if she doesn't post still pop on by and wish her well. She normally posts before the sun rises and keeps us gardeners straight!
This weeks harvests looked like this most nights:

I don't have a lot to share as the garden clean up from my week long hiatus hasn't even been completed yet. The peppers suffered from both my absence and a brief dip into the upper thirties. The marigolds that had spread 4' tall and 5' wide are both history. Wow what a sorry sight they are! The purple beans are nearly all gone. What is left is a tangled mess with a couple of live vines intertwined. It breaks my heart to rip them all out because there are a few left that are producing of course and this time of year there is no hope of starting any new plants and harvesting anything from them. The bush beans are nearly all done as well so a tiny handful this week is my pitiful bounty for green beans... but this is December - so I'm NOT complaining!

The cucumber vines also all shriveled up from the cold, and the tomatillos as well... I have one that is still alive but with only one alive it is doubtful that it could set fruit again this year so I will see tonight what is left to mature and bring in anything promising to finish the harvest for the tomatillos for the year. Time to start next years plants indoors! :-D They don't get nearly as tall as tomatoes so I'm seriously thinking about doing this. Besides the purple ones are kinda pretty.

The 'english' peas are doing well and Richard and I enjoy eating them as a snack fresh without cooking them. We eat them rather the way most people eat popcorn- in front of the TV. :-D

Some more Daikons and greens came in - and the first of the lettuce provided a nice salad this week, but silly me got to eatin' before taking a picture.

The Holiday season has officially set in full force as the sitter is officially on the schedule for the remainder of the month and every single week is jam packed with activities and I am scrambling to figure out when to do my baking already! I suppose this is a good thing, but the tree is only up and somehow we need to find time to string lights, and garland and ornaments, and decorate outside and sheesh! I'm tired just THINKING about all that. *teehee* When, exactly did I get O~L~D?

'Till next time!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Well, Heck!

I came home to a garden that did suffer some loss. I expected that. I did. I mean I was gone for over a week. How could it have taken complete care of itself and fended of predators of all shapes sizes and sliminess?

Every year I have some sort of major problem. Garden, illness, home, car....

But, what I was not quite expecting? Was my freezer. Once again my freezer has struck another massive blow to my heart. And so I spent hours upon hours gagging and cleaning, and throwing away pounds and pounds... and pounds of food. MY food. ARGH! Not only the monetary value of this food. But what hurts (emotionally) the most is the amount of harvested and prepared garden produce. The squash, peas, beans, corn, spinach, seeds, okra, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, not to mention all the stuff that was ready for the holidays.... :-( Oh my heart sunk when I smelled the devastation.
This isn't the first time the freezer has done this. Two years ago I threatened to get a new one. I tried to, but my frugality kept me tending my old box. Defrosting it when needed and dealing with it's quirks. It had some sentimental value. It was nearly as old as my marriage.

But last night I welcomed into my life a new friend. He's sexy, and sweet. He whispers to me. He's handsome and broad chested. He's got good bones and a decent work ethic, too. Best of all I can lock him up and he doesn't mind. ;-)

Meet Renaldo.

He's a little bit smaller than my old guy - but I'm not complaining, he at least has the decency not to get cold feet. No more defrosting for me! We bought some containers for categorizing the food stuffs inside and that makes keeping the vacuum sealed packages neat and tidy. That has been a long time coming. They used to either freeze together in the ice or fall out all over me. LOL. 
So here is to hoping that this years harvest is safe to be tucked away in the freezer and won't rot when I'm off gallivanting around for a week.

For what it's worth - that cat peed on my husband's (NEW! WHITE!) shirts while we were gone, and as for the garden - that will be another post! I was just glad I still had some lettuce and most of my seedlings when I got back!!!

'Till next time!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Harvest Monday 11.28.11

Blogging from the road as we travel home from the property in Alabama.
What a trip. Our week went fast. Lots of chores were done and a bit of harvesting, too.
12 gallons of pecans will grace our table and freezer this year, not including the ones that were gathered and brought to the processor. Never know- the ones you use for your Christmas pies might be ours! Check the bag to see if they came from Alabama. ;-)
We also harvested a doe. Her picture will be posted later. It was my sons first deer. As a proud parent I shall gloat a little for him. He did well and handled. Himself like a champ. He is accordingly still on cloud 9, so be sure to give him a pat on the back. He's going for a hog in 3 weeks. Hopefully he'll do just as well.
Hopefully the garden held up OK without me, I will find out in a few more hours.
'Till next time!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Harvest Monday 11.21.11

Harvest Monday is here again and I'm back with yet another first for my garden.
Daikon radish, greens and broccoli. OK only the Daikon is a first of the year but it still counts!

These two beauties featured in my garden update came to lunch one day as well. :-)

The citrus is doing well. Since we had a cold snap it's really sweetened up and the trees will be bare shortly with all 5 of us enjoying the fruit now! Typically I enjoy the slightly bitter fruit before it's fully ripe but the kids don't touch it. That just means more for me, but as soon as that first cold snap hits it's like a light bulb clicks and the fruit just knows it's time. Tangelos, Grapefruit, lemon and key limes were on the menu this week...
The last harvest of the week was a bountiful one. Green beans, hot peppers, tomatillos, more citrus, Sweet peas, chilies, greens, and a few small bell peppers to boot. I'll be away for a week and anything that could be taken needed to be. When I return I know that a lot of clean up will be necessary and I'm sure that plenty of food will have gone to waste. Unfortunately no one that lives near me can be left in trust of my plants.

So I leave my poor garden to fend for itself. It's only a week and this is after all not the high season so things shouldn't be too terrible when I get back - but I do expect some devastation. There always is. The weather should be nice and that will help keep things from going too badly - but I have so many young seedlings it's hard to walk away right now. The growth should be pretty amazing when I get back though!
Don't forget to stop by Daphne's Dandelions to see what everyone has up their sleeves this weeks - harvest reports from all over the world are there and reports on the usage of stored harvests, too!

'Till next time!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

State of the garden address...

Since i now have itty bitty babies starting to sprout I thought I would share with you what is going on in the garden these days. Through pictures, of course. :-) There will be many more of these updates I will assure you of that because there are varieties I have never grown before and well... in my haste to get things planted before dark and having to wait a full 2 weeks I planted out things without marking them. That means I'll be second guessing not only what they are and when to harvest them but just which veggie it is that I had planted in what spot and so forth.
Now I realize this is a rookie mistake but on that same token I also know that given time I'll recognize 95% of these veggies. Patience may not be my virtue but I'm certainly not new to this game and it won't be the first time I've planted an entire garden without any markers. *snort* I mean I know what I planted, I just don't know in which order or in some instances which variety. (4 types of spinach to chose from after all!)
But for now I give to you in all their glory - my infants!

These were all planted a week ago,

and are doing well.
The onions are already sprouting - that is pretty amazing. The last sets I planted took 10 days for most of them to peek out! Seems I'll have the peas up within a day - the earth looks disturbed but the first leaves have not broken the surface yet. Best guesses besides the onion is radish, some sort of green - tatsoi probably, carrot, leek and spinach.
The berry planter is looking good. The Festival strawberries have been planted out for 2 weeks and are going strong. Another 2 weeks and there will be tremendous growth.
The other young and tender seedlings that have emerged in the last few weeks include mostly salad accompaniments:
Different radishes, several lettuce and carrot varieties....

The older plants that are still going strong include the hot peppers, citrus, tomatoes, marigolds that have flushed with fall colors, and limas (but they are ugly these days so no picture!)

The peas are filing out nicely now and will be ready for harvest this week!!!!

This little beauty is giving me some scrumdiliumptious chocolate cherry tomatoes. Well - at least that is the word the kids used. I am yet to taste them. But there are plenty of green ones left. Hopefully they will ripen and I will get some sooner or later.

The last of my warm weather veggies to still be going strong are my remaining peanut crop, a few green beans, and the tomatillos. They seem ever present in my garden from spring until frost and I like it that way. If they didn't attract the darn lined beetle I'd have them all over!

I hope you enjoyed a look at what's growing in the garden. Next month things will surely change as the cooler weather has already come for a short visit and the nights are staying rather chilly (for us) now.  The peanuts will be harvested to make space for more cool weather friends. Shortly after will come our first frost and the rest of the warm weather things will be laid to rest until spring.
I hope that the seedlings hold their own for a week while we travel for Thanksgiving. We set the new irrigation system for a short watering pattern and are testing it out this week to make sure all is well. So far it all looks great! The neighbors must think I'm entirely insane out with a flashlight at night - but they also have asked me to help them build a bed this spring so I guess they don't think I'm too crazy! :-D (That or the crazies are catching....)

'Till next time!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Harvest Monday 11.14.11

Guess what time it is!? Time to join in to Daphne's Dandelions for this weeks edition of HARVEST MONDAY! So don't forget to stop by her place and see what everyone is harvesting - or how they are using their harvests!

This weeks harvest brought three first for our garden.
Our first (and only apple) Dorset. Please do not ask the size. It's embarrassingly small and not even enough for a snack. :-(

Our first pomegranate - There is still one more on the tree. Ah - well not bad for it's first year considering it was one of my 50% off bin recoveries. So far I've had a 75% success rate with those I have chosen. :-) I understand that next year I should have a bucketful. That would be nice!

Another first - a pound and a half of peanuts! YUMYUMYUYMYUMYUM.
There were loads of baby peanuts that didn't quite make it back to the ground. The space was restricted a little more than I wanted it to be but better a crop than no crop at all! I still have another small set of peanuts to harvest in the upcoming weeks, but I like to sow and harvest them in small sections so no nuts are wasted. Next year, though I may plant enough for some butter! The kids really enjoy fresh nut butters and I can't say as I mind making it or eating it myself. :-) But I may still be a little too restricted space wise to dedicate enough for that many plants. Time will tell!

We also had just over a pound of tomatillos, 6 ounces of green beans, 5oz of hot peppers and chilies, some key limes, basil, and a chocolate cherry tomato.

Soon to come pictures of my babies in the new garden patch. The radishes are at the party and some of the other seedlings are beginning to emerge as well. So come on back later this week to check out the progress. Now that i have my camera again I can actually show you the pretty little things!

'Till next time!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Catching up...

Well I think it's time to catch up!

The expansion is done!
The wood is obviously not matching but other than that it fits right in. :-)

Permanent beds (10' each) on either end are my berry beds and have 5 blueberry plants and aprox. 30 strawberry plants in each section. One section has Festival strawberries and the other Sweet Charlie. I'm REALLY looking forward to harvesting the berries this spring. We have always grown them, but never this many. Usually only 10-15 plants a year. Most of those strawberries never see the table barring the initially extreme output when I tend to make strawberry syrup for the kids each year.
Between the 2 permanent sections is 24' that will be my secondary garden. Construction was finalized this past weekend, only 1 week past the 'absolute latest date' I wanted it completed. Not bad really. All things considered.

The new planter is just over 2' wide - making access to the entire surface area fairly easy for weeding and harvesting. This gave me 24' (48'sq) of new garden and planting area. Do I really need to tell you that it's been finished now for 3 days and I've already got it all sown? What? I can't help myself! I had plans to let it sit and amend it once more before spring, but... but.... OK lets face it. I need more space. I WANT more space. I LOVE more space!
So, I planted one 8' section of alliums. 3' of yellow onion, 3' of purple hamburger & 2' of garlic. That makes a total of 16'sq of dedicated space until May. Seems like a lot. I hope I didn't go overboard.
I also planted a few things I have never tried to eat much less grow. These things include turnips, beets, and tatsoi.
But knowing my own tastes I was not entirely foolish and I did plant the remaining portion (aprox 20'sq) with lettuce, carrots, sugar snap peas, broccoli, and spinach.
I still find myself doing a jig every once and a while. But it hurts. A lot. The jigging that it. It was hard work. My husband - he wasn't a lot of help. He did at least pound the nails into the wood.And he was a good cheerleader. But beyond that, it was ALL me, baby! And I'm paying for it. But I'm happy now. Because in a few days those little green shoots will be peeking up at me, and that? That rocks my world!

One of the reasons I was a little late getting the expansion finished was my little girls 5th birthday party. We also had a trip to Seaworld and that was fun. Our camera went a missing so my cell phone is all I have had since that time. *pout*
The pink party? Was over the top pin it's pinkidness. Yes I made up a new word. I made little butter mints by hand. These are my new favorite things! The cupcakes looked like flowers though not intentionally it was a nice touch. I made them chocolate chocolate chip and that is Kate's favorite. But she didn't like that I chose a whipped topping so back to butter cream with flavorings added next time!

The inside of the perfectly poodle pink cake? Was a rainbow of pink. I think I enjoyed this surprise the most. The girls didn't expect it at all and while I was completely disappointed in the flavor of the cake (a constant reminder to check the recipes you use prior to serving them to friends and family!) the servings were truly eye candy. Just wish I'd had a real camera so I could show you how beautiful it really was.
 I also served dog bone shaped cookies, and mini corn dogs, pink applesauce, pink lemonade. A wonderland in pink. We STILL have some of the decorations around the house. :-D Oh, and for the adults I made ham an cheese crossandwiches. This is a standby for the kids that I started making about a year ago form the Pillsbury website when I was looking for ideas for their lunches. It's SO easy and they are good at room temp - but really pretty great when they are warm from the oven. They were completely devoured with no leftovers so I think that every liked them. LOL. The hit of the party? Glad you asked. We bought balloons to blow up to make pink poodles out of. I know how to make them...

uh... but I have a slight problem...with balloons...specifically with latex balloons...that might squeak, or pop...or Get around my face, or touch me..... ARGH!!!!!

HA! OK so some may call this a 'phobia'. So my husband stayed and tried to make balloon dogs but he wasn't so talented. Did you know that kids this age don't really care what it looks like? They absolutely LOVED this part and it was the B~E~S~T thing ever! He entertained them for over an hour making 'snakes' or bracelets or hats, or whatever their imaginations turned the balloons into. It was fantastic. Um, I was in another room for this hour. That may have made it even better. :-D *snicker*

So that is what I've been up to and why I've not blogged much in the last few weeks. Well those things PLUS the whole odd illness thing. But believe it or not, I missed you!

This time of year is super busy for us as everyone in the immediate family has a birthday in October, November, December or January. 8 of us. Eight IS enough. Heh, whatdayaknow?! There is also a few other celebrations thrown in you know those things on all of our calendars plus a few extras for our family.

I hope that your family is enjoying November as much as our family is!

'Till next time!