Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Interesting weekend.

Or also known as 'Yet another trip to the Urgent Care.'

There is my B girl on Friday, all knocked out (not really, just sleepy.) She was awake the whole time. As a matter of fact, she didn't so much as whimper. Only when she couldn't open her eyes and look around at what was going on was she upset. Luckily that didn't last long. We really lucked out that they could use glue here instead of stitches. The stitching process would have taken a lot longer and been much scarier for her. Annah took it all in stride. Afterward she asked for what else, Pancakes for dinner! So we obliged. 
You might wonder just how this laceration occurred in such an odd place. You'd be right to wonder. I watched the entire event unfold and I'm still shaking my head wondering right along with ya. The cut was from a slide. There were no other children on the slide and it was not a metal slide. It was not even an outdoor slide. This was a special slide. It is covered every single inch of it, in FOAM. YUP. Go figure.
If there is any one single thing that my children have taught me it is this fact:
Confucius say - There is no rhyme or reason to the odd things that children can do.
or maybe it is this....
Just when you think the toy is safe the kids will prove you wrong!
Ah, Mark Twain got it right - 'My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.'

And here is Annah a few days later sporting the now less swollen black eye, with purple glue and a great big smile.

She's healing well and happy. She says she looks weird but other than a little bruising it'll be gone by this weekend most likely. I may have a few new gray hairs, but you can add that to the tally.

Because we got to play with glue stitches we didn't get to play outside much this weekend, so we hung out inside and rented a few movies and had popcorn. Speaking of popcorn, tomorrow Troy gets his braces back on. His hearing aids are on the back burner unless the spectrum falls farther for now as they won't do too much good in the classroom setting for him. It looks like we'll talk more about Annah's hearing aids in January when she goes back to the Otolaryngologist and the Audiologist. She will probably have them before school next year but I don't know if they will have them fitted before that. It seems a waste to fit them over the summer only to have them refitted just at school time again. Then again if she needs them, she needs them I will find a way to pay one way or the other. Surely they take payment plans for that. It's not like it's elective, right? Ah well. Wait and see I suppose.

'Till next time!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Harvest Monday 8.29.11

Welcome back to Harvest Monday! I'm joining in at Daphne's once again to see what everyone is harvesting and how people are using their harvest all over the world. Be sure to stop by and check it out!

This weeks harvest again focuses on dry beans:
As well as a few hot peppers and lima beans.
I also managed to get a single Brazilian cherry. It was sweet, and juicy and.... all alone. The other 3 fell off the tree while still green. I wish my tree was bigger but for now it is a tiny little bush, and I'm almost positive the fallen fruit had something to do with a soccer ball and 2 rambunctious little boys. LOL. I didn't stop to take a picture as I popped that sucker into my mouth, but I did think to split it into thirds for each of the kids to taste. EVERYONE loved it. So now it is up to me to save this tree over the winter and protect it with blankets and Christmas lights. :-)
This week I also processed the last Lakota squash:

10 cups of beautiful sweet puree ready for pies, muffins and assorted fall baking goodies, and a cup and a half of seeds cleaned and ready to go! The seed cavity was relatively small, and this puree was without a doubt the least watery, while not the sweetest it was the least stringy of all the winter pumpkins I have ever grown. This squash will have a place in my garden from now on! Those seeds are big and meaty, too. Now I have more than enough to save, trade and eat! :-D

We are still getting rain daily so yesterday I ventured out to plant some Kurdora carrots. Between the heat and rain the only kind I thought might hold up. Thanks Dianne for the seeds! My broccoli is beginning to head up just as anticipated but it looks like tiny heads for me. I guess pushing boundaries heat wise will leave me wanting something. In this case perhaps size. But the fact that the plants are producing at all makes me happy. I'll keep you posted on flavor in the coming weeks.

The excessive rains killed back my cucumbers once again. I may have to start growing them indoors. As for 'Diva' I am completely unimpressed. 3 cucumbers on 2 vines does not a happy gardener make. So much for 'large fruit set' I'd rather take a paint brush to my picklers and get a better harvest. HUMPH! On to another trial for me. If only I had a sun room.

'Till next time!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The expansion and the expansion of the beans.

As titles go that certainly isn't the shortest. But it explains it well!

Here is the first picture of what will be the new garden bed.  There is 3.5' of space between the rows, plenty for the mower.
The foreground is the main(original) garden bed and behind it is the 28" wide bed along the fence. So the wood is in place to mark the length but the sod still needs ripped up inside. Well, for now there is a 9.5' bed on one end. The other end will have another bed that will mirror this one with 1 avocado tree and 5 or 6 blueberry plants. The avocados are a year old now and roughly 5' tall. Next year we may or may not get a harvest but we don't expect one yet not until the third year. We have 4 other avocado trees and 2 of them are older and blossom out well. These blueberry bushes are two years old but this year really was harsh on them in the pots. They didn't leaf out very well and I expect that my harvest next year will not be wonderful - but considering that I have 15 total and some of my larger berry plants have been in the ground for several years, I'm sure I'll get enough to be happy!
After the 2 berry beds are finished off it will leave me with approximately 3  8' sections of raised bed gardening space.  So I'll be adding around 50 feet of garden. It seems like so much more, but then again I'm devoting nearly half the bed to the berries. I'm also hopeful that my strawberry plants will like the conditions the blueberries do well enough to produce. If so I'll leave them there year round and stop digging them up in the fall. Permanent beds sound wonderful!

Now for the ever expanding beans...

I would like you to notice the arrow I put in points to beans that have grown up and out of my grapefruit tree. These are the 'rice pea cowpeas' that I planted. They were planted in an area 18" x 24" directly in front of the little white picket fence. Any yellow you see are the 'holstein' beans. They don't seem to like all the extra rain we've gotten. They held up well for a while be I think every single day rain is just too much for them. They were planted in the same area directly behind the rice peas and you can see the yellowing plants have stayed approximately where they were planted. They aren't trying for world domination. LOL. So far they are producing, but not nearly as well as they are growing. I'm concerned if I don't start getting more beans and less foliage soon I'll be forced to rip them out. What a shame that would be, but I am so limited with space I can't see growing something that will take over a bed and not give enough in return. :-( even if it is so healthy.

And in overview of the rest of my beds you may have heard me talk about how I have squeezed in edibles everywhere I can... I don't lie! They are around the pool pump...

(Kiwi vines, rosemary and cukes here)

The kids play house....
Pomegranate, apple trees, surinam cherry and grapes that grow over the play house. (and my composters tucked in at the corner they are a no-no too, shhhhh!) This is where my Lakota squash grew earlier this year.
I also hide edibles around the sand box....

And I won't tell you what is edible in the front lest someone from the HOA be lurking. Thats about the last thing I need right now. But they are there! Trust me. I'm considering a pindo palm for jelly just because. Teehee. Of course in the back I've got the 'grove' that has cause me so much trouble. 2 peach trees, 2 avocados, a plum, and my citrus that can be seen from the street as well in the main garden. Shame on me for loving food and enjoying growing it. Tisk tisk and shaking finger, all that good stuff.
And since I'm putting up a bunch of pictures my Eastland limas are still looking wonderful - and check out the broccoli's I started in May or June.... they should be heading up in a couple weeks! I'm excited as it will be the earliest I will have ever had broccoli from the garden if it works. :-)

'Till next time!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bento Tuesday

Trying to keep to the program here are the bentos for this past week:
Crasins, gummies, teddy grahams, and a yogurt snack bar went with a  milk container and Ham and cheese.

Cherries, ham roll ups, and goldfish make up the bottom and in the top I pack a string of cheese and carrots with a container of ranch.

This snack size container of carrots and a fresh cucumber from the garden with ranch went with PIZZA day at school! My kids don't actually care much for pizza, but like the crust and pepperoni. Go figure. This completes their meal.

This bento was all about dipping!
Sorry for the phone shot but in the butterfly cup is peanut butter for dipping with graham cracker animals and grapes on the other side. The white things are yogurt raisins. the bottom layer had Frito's and cheese in the shape of butterflies. My girls like dipping their Frito's in applesauce (pictured to the side) I'm on the lookout for the single serve (pudding cup size) screw top reusable containers so I can stop buying these individual packs but until I find them...thank goodness for Sam's club! The regular pop top ones won't work because they are just too young to make sure they are sealed correctly much less to keep them upright in their backpacks! ;-)

'Till next time!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Harvest Monday 8.22.11

Make sure to stop by as we join in at Daphne's Dandelion's each week for Harvest Monday. She is a most gracious host and showcases harvests from all over the world!
As we near the end of August the cool weather veggies are sprouting and the hot weather ones are coming to an end.
This weeks harvest?
Dried beans (rice peas and Holstein) Hot peppers, Bell peppers and Lima beans.
Here is a closer look at the Holstein. Have I posted this before? Hmmm... sorry if I have but they are really beautiful beans.

Also this week a sweet potato. Oh yes only one. Go me. HA! It met it's destiny as Cinnamon sweet oven baked fries - YUMMO! Too bad that is my entire harvest. (plus a store bought one!) Guess we'll have to see about what happened next year.

But in abundance around town and in homes near my work (an hour+ South) are loads of mangoes... I absolutely ADORE these fruits and if I had the gall to beg for more I would. But I did get busy with the ones I was given...
a pineapple and mango upside down cake... and pineapple mango chutney for my fish - no picture cause it disappeared too quickly. Not to mention we had mango slices a few meals and after a week of mango I love them all the more!

*insert sappy love song here*

Let's say the cake didn't last long. Oh my. I need more.... I MUST HAVE MORE!!!! LOL.

The expansion of the garden is finally under way. It took long enough. I won't be ready to plant anything but the blue berry bushes until spring though. Going from grass to garden is a rough transition and I think I'll solarize for the winter.  I know patience isn't my strong suit but it would be best. Unless others have better (quicker) ideas.... :-D teehee... The frame is nearly complete but the grass still must be finished off and the dirt dressed and pressed and readied for the ball. We'll need to borrow a truck and trailer to get a few loads of compost. The inside width ended up at 28" and the outside is 35. I hope the weeds and grass stays back from between the fence, but I know better...I'll just have to formulate a plan I suppose. Hopefully next week I'll have some pictures of the initial lay out.

'Till next time! (and I hope I'll be tilling soon!)


Friday, August 19, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom?

This is a post I have been thinking about for a long time. Something I've been wanting to put into writing but don't. I don't want to forget these things, but at the same time I don't want to forget to put something here and remember later that I didn't. I'm still not sure how to handle that part, but maybe just a Part 2 later. So for now I'll invite everyone to join in and add their 2 cents. I'll add those in on part 2 later. But for now - these are just some of the things I wish someone would have told me about sooner than they did, or that I didn't have to learnt he hard way.

Pearls Of Wisdom.

1.) Always plant more than you need. You'll need more later if you don't.
2.) If you think its a weed, pull it. See number 1. If you plant more than you needed you'll be just fine if you are wrong. If you are right you have just prevent that little bitty ragweed from turning into a 6 foot monster. ;-)
3.) When in doubt ask. Most gardeners are more than willing to share their knowledge with you. Just be aware that they may not always know what they are talking about so take it with a grain of salt and try it out on something small first.
4.) Learn by trial and error. You will retain more of what you do learn this way, I guarantee!
5.) If you think it's ripe, it might be. It might not, but what's the worst that can happen? If you leave it past it prime will it be any good? Refer to #4 and to #6.
6.) There is always next time. Next harvest, next season, next year. Another opportunity awaits you. The endless cycle of life. That's the best news there is. So you screwed up and put broad spectrum plant killer on everything? *ahem* wait a while and replant - you get a do over!
7.) Fertilizer is good, but there is too much of a good thing. Try organic and often.
8.) Compost (when cold) is the bomb. This stuff rocks.
9.) When the plant has tiny little fruits or veggies that drop to the ground - PUT IT IN A POT! All those fruits that fall and don't get found will make baby plants. This may seem desirable at the time but trust me no on needs 1,000+ pepper plants or cherry tomato plants or....
10.) Speaking of tomato plants spray early, spray often but don't spray during the day.
11.) While we are talking tomatoes, go ahead and drop some ground egg shells into the hole when you plant them to help with calcium deficiencies most plants get as they age, and plant those babies DEEP. Don't be scared to take off the branches at the bottom as new roots will form and make your plant stronger. Only leave the top 1/3 above ground.
12.) We are still on tomatoes, right? If you think there might be a frost coming it's better to get the green ones in than to leave them outside. If they freeze out there they serve no purpose, but if you bring them in there is a good chance in a few weeks they will ripen enough to eat.
13.) Harvesting peppers - this is a trick I wish someone would have told me years ago. It took me 3 years to figure out if you go right to the base of the attachment (where the pepper stem attaches to the plant) and twist and lift simultaneously the pepper will pop right off the plant like it wants to be with you! And it will leave a clean break 90% of the time to boot. I can't tell you how many times I cursed the shape of the pepper for making it hard to get in there with the clippers to harvest them. UGH... to think! Oh and pepper plants like egg shells in their hole when you plant them, too.
14.) Peppers are a perennial. Did ya know that? Now you know. Most pepper plants will live 2-3 years before dying off, if brought inside during a freeze.
15.) Mulch is wonderful especially when it comes to water conservations, but make sure you pay attention to what you are using it for. If you reuse it too much you could be spreading spores or like #9 reseeding nuisance plants. If you use straw or shredded paper it can be added into the copost pile or turned in for next year.
16.) If you think you want to start your seed on February 15th you'd better put in on your calendar for February 10th. Inevitably something will be missing or you will get busy. Better to try to get them in ahead of schedule than to be behind by 2 weeks.
17.) Think reusable. As each thing runs it's time in the garden it's going to free something up in the garden. The same tomato trellis can be used for cucumbers, squash, cowpeas, or any other vining plant. Nearly everything in your garden has more than one use.
18.) For small gardens remember that spacing is paramount. The lettuce you plant can be used as thinnings when young for baby green salads then as cuttings as it matures. This eliminates the need for exact spacing and allows for more food in less space.  The same can be said for under stories. There is no reason that low growers can't be planted under tall trees!
19.) Plants need fed in lots of ways. Not only do they need their roots fed, but their leaves need fed, too. Foliar feeding does more to perk up a plant than many people give it credit for.
20.) Bugs are bugs. Yup. I said it and it's true. They are bugs. We don't want to hurt our pollinators and while we would LOVE to have a great good/bad ratio it's not always that easy. Sometimes it's better to squish first, ask later. Get friendly with your local good bugs and learn to like them but when in doubt it's often better to get rid of them rather than risk an infestation.
21.) If you don't eat it, don't plant it. I mean really. Why care for a plant for 2 months only to end up throwing away the food it has provided for you?
22.) Objects in mirror are larger than they appear. When you plant out those seedlings it's so hard to imagine that little cabbage plant is really going to need 24" of space, but trust me - it will! By spacing wisely when you plant you'll avoid potential disasters later. If you really MUST FILL THAT SPACE, find something that grows quickly like radish to fill it in until your larger plants take shape.
23.) Yes, indeed there is a thing as TOO MANY types of seeds. Too much selection leads to too many decisions and then to a memory loss. 'Did I like that bean, or this bean. Which bean was fuzzy and which one was squeaky when I bit it?', etc... I am notorious for this so just take my advice. I try only to trial 4 or less of any one thing a year. If it is something that will cross like corn I stick to one variety at a time. It's a waste if I can't remember which ones I like and don't like!
24.) If you don't get out there and do it no one will. Better titled. If you don't weed they will take over your garden. You have to care for your garden. If you don't it won't do it for ya. Plants can't take care of themselves. They need us to feed and water them, to pat the on their little heads and tell them they are good and to pick eye boogers off. Along those lines if you don't get out into your garden you won't know until it's too late when something is wrong. You have to listen to your plants you know.
25.) Watermelon usually are ripe about a week after the tendril closest to the melon has turned brown and shriveled.
26.) Oil your hand shovel after using it to keep it from rusting. I happen to be partial to lemon and orange oil but only cause it smells so good. Only problem with that is the ants like it too. I keep mine under the kitchen sink but if I kept it outside I'd use something like WD-40 or other all purpose oil. Keeps it looking nice, too. By wiping it down the oil inhibits oxidation and lengthens the life of your tool. Also good for your pruning shears, etc. Any metal cutting surface. You don't want oil beading on it, use it like furniture polish.

Tell me your pearls of wisdom so I can add them to the list. Have a tip or trick about garlic or onions? How about the best time to plant? I have no idea how to organize these but wouldn't it be neat to add in every ones hints and get a great big collection of these?

'Till next time!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to School

It's official. The kids are waking up early. But their excitement is a little much. 3am is NOT the time to get ready for school. Each taking turns. Well, the little ones. The nearly teenaged one doesn't care to wake up any early than he does but the girls are taking turns on who is excited in the middle of the night. Last night was Annah's turn to wake me at 3am and ask if she could go to school now. I tucked her back in, and again every 10 minutes until 4am just as I did her sister the night before. This wouldn't be nearly so bad if I didn't need to get up before 6am to get my own day going.
But they are cute. So excited I can't even get them both to look at the camera and smile at the same time. Guess I'll have to try again in a couple weeks once this is all just routine.
Ah, well. It's not perfection. But I assure you it's worse when I pick them up! I guess we should have given poor Annah's bangs longer to grow out. They fall out of her pony just as fast as I can pull them back. We switched to pigtails today. Trial and error. All I know is that down won't work either. Too messy and in her face for all day school. It would drive the teacher nuts. Drives me nuts after a few hours!

Lunches so far are coming along nicely. We prefer bento style. Lots of little bits of things. The same way they eat when they are home. Tiny nibbles of things, loads of variety. Here was lunch the first day. Don't get me wrong. I don't expect that I'll always be able to have time to bento but hopefully 3 days a week I will. The better variety allows a healthier diet and of course more nutrition and the kids are more likely to eat it when it's cute after all.

Carrots, cherries, grapes, cheese stick, PB&J some goldfish and a half a banana on the side.
This also makes it easy for me to use little bites of leftovers and when I get tiny harvests... currants anyone? Mulberries? Perfect!
Today's lunch is easy. I made Salsa verde with the tomatillos and onion so lunch centers around that....

Salsa verde, chips, cherries, carrots, cheese stick, animal crackers and applesauce.

I've decided to start packing the same bento for myself. I'm jealous of what they are eating and wish I had the same variety! I did think to bring the salsa verde for myself but I left the chips at home. Good thing it will last until tomorrow. I'll end up snacking on junk around the office and if I"m lucky I'll remember I've got soup and oatmeal in my drawer for moments like this. Boring but it will work.

On the garden front the second season of green bush beans were planted, and yellow wax will be new for me. I hope I like them. I didn't care for the fuzzies too much this spring on my green beans so thought I'd try something new. I only planted a few of each to start. I'll have to make room before I can plant much more. I was hoping to make seed tapes tonight, but the way my sleep has been interrupted this week I'm doubting that I'll have the momentum after the kids get in bed.

'Till next time!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Harvest Monday 8.15.11

Somehow Monday always manages to sneak up on me. It seems to roll around right after I scramble back into routine again.

Joining in at Daphne's Dandelions once again to celebrate the harvest and see what is being harvested all over!

This week as with most weeks this month the pickings are slim -but the peppers are abundant!

11oz of Hot peppers (looks like more, huh!?)

13 oz of red onion

9oz Bell peppers

I'm not counting the dried beans until I have something to count. I took in more than what you see here but it all amounted to a handful and that was just 1.5 oz. Hardly worth mentioning and not going in the tally yet.

I've lost my card reader somewhere... otherwise I would have some more pictures for you. Guess I'll have to get another one. I swear if my head wasn't attached I wouldn't have one. *sigh*

Well my kids are all back in school and I am glad for it, though it certainly make me feel old. Rather bittersweet. It marks the change of seasons for the garden as well. Soon I'll be sowing the tender veggies again and the nights will bring cool relief. The days of swimming are drawing to and end and the days of picnics and long hours of yard work and getting closer.

'Till next time!


The big K

My they are getting big. Its somewhat mindboggling to think these are the same 3 pound some ounce babies I brought home about 5 years ago.
Today they begin a new adventure!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A little stressful planning

I'm feeling overwhelmed with the pressure form the HOA to change what I'm gardening and where but I know I can figure something out. I've already managed to put so many edibles right under their noses without them noticing. I just have to keep moving forward. The physical work may be daunting but the emotional toll is worse. If I manage all the labor only to be punished by removing the plants and fines I know that my psyche will suffer terribly.

My front yard is looking a mess.

Keeping up with it is insane. Of course it doesn't look as bad as so many of the foreclosures that dot the landscape in our neighborhood but I feel embarrassed to admit that it is mine. Giant expanse of green grass, tiny oaks, a few hibiscus, a couple palms, iris', lilies but mostly unloved when it could be so much more.

The side yard where I've expanded the edibles the most is looking better. Here is a small section:

People have stopped to say how nice it looks yet not a single person has mentioned the fact that they have noticed these plants have edible functions. Berries, guavas, seagrapes, orchid, grumichama, Jamaican cherries.... All small (tiny really) now in comparison to what they can and will be. I can't wait to watch this area fill in. The way that it is spaced in time will allow the foliage to come together so that only annual trimming of the plants will be necessary. The mature plants will also offer us privacy as they will inevitably breech the height of the fence. From the road our back yard is on stage for now. When I shower after swimming I may as well be on my roof with a spotlight on me. The added privacy will be very welcome. Not to mention that maybe then my fruit won't disappear off my backyard trees so fast. If they aren't seen from the road...

And if this side plot works through the spring next year after the first fruit has set and we don't get flack from the HOA it will be early fall's chore list to rip up the hibiscus on the front fence and replant in the same way. Perennial edibles. Trees and bushes that are easy to take care of and remain evergreen here, or at least mostly evergreen. The initial outlay would be a bit expensive, but so worth it in the end. For this area more berries, gingers and larger bushes would be more appropriate.

My front bed with the ginger grew kidney beans and melon this spring with the ornamentals but the ground is full of lava rocks and nothing but sand for soil.

It's a huge undertaking but the entire thing needs taken out. It will take me weeks to complete the project and in doing so I'll also have to consider not only going under the guidelines of the HOA (initially for approval at least) but the size and shape is so suburban and I had already expanded it once from the tiny box planter it was when we bought the home. I don't know what the limits are and in all honesty if I could keep up with it if it was too large of an area. Not like they would let me put my raised bed boxes here! So the plants would have to play very nicely together (larger plants that needed less from me) and the design would certainly be a big issue as well. But meanwhile I feel like it suffocates me to be in the front of my house. As if it's someone else's life/house, but to know that what is here was raised from root cuttings or seeds by my hands - at least there is that. The recent onslaught of wetness and downturn of sunshine has brought black mildew to massive proportions. YUCK! *hanging head in shame* It is certainly time for a change. The infantile trees were certainly easier to handle putting in ourselves but now I can't seem to get them to grow fast enough. Patience is a lesson I must relearn often. But to make myself remember just how far i have come already this is what my home looked like 3 years ago when we put the fence in during the reconstruction of the first planter...
And when I see that photo I realize just how much I've already done and how much better the home looks. So my plants are small at least I have some - and not the barren lot that it once was. Yes, I have done well. There is simply more to be done!

'Till next time!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A few No Shows...

On the tomato front that is. My baby mater plants now have their first set of true leaves and are looking good! But there were a few no shows. Stupice, Matina and Black were all no shows. I have 2 more seeds of each to try. If these are no shows then I'll chalk it up to 'not meant to be' and move on.
As I type a crazy storm is brewing and a weather alert is beeping on my screen. Yesterday we received 6 inches of rain. Today it isn't going to let up either they are forecasting another 2-4 at minimum. These storms are stronger but shouldn't last all day like yesterday. That's not good for the seedlings that are emerging. The sun is changing angle drastically already and my Pomegranate/Grape planter is not getting enough sun each day now. Production has slacked off of the spring and summer veggies so it is definitely time to start worrying about the changes for fall and winter.

Till next time!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Harvest Monday 8.8.11

Welcome back to the August addition of Harvest Monday!

This Monday we are featuring tomatillos....

 cucumbers and hot peppers, too.
Oh and a few more cowpeas/ricebeans.

Not much else this week. Tonight I have plans to pull out the original 2 tomatillo plants. So the last of that harvest for a while next week. I'll replant the corn and see about some of my fall seeds soon. My 'loupes are up and have their second leaves so hopefully by October I'll have a few of those around the house to savor.
Right now a pot of coffee is calling my name. I have a headache and it has a need for some caffeine.

Till next time!

Friday, August 5, 2011


I feel like maybe they found my replacement at work. What do you think? She' awful cute at least. And somewhat helpful to boot. Besides she's doing a good job decorating the place.
Maybe if I hired her as a secretary then they couldn't hire her to take over my position. :-D


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The schedule (Chores)

It's a start. It gives each of us about a fair shake. 20 minutes or so roughly each day.
This is of course not including the routine things like making dinner each night,or the garden chores but since the girls still need supervised during bath time I have included that - and made it productive. May as well clean the bathroom I use to bathe them in! :-D
I know I'm forgetting simple things but they'll get added on as I remember them. Here is what I have so far:

Guess I should title that DAILY chores, huh?  I think the most helpful thing I managed to come up with is the whole moving their bath around. By using each of our bathrooms once a week they each will get cleaned! I mean I have to be in there anyway, I may as well take advantage, right?

'Till next time!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Harvest Monday 8.1.11

Well, I am hoping to link in to Daphne's Dandelions for her weekly Harvest Monday party. Make sure you stop on by to check out what everyone is harvesting from all over the world!

This week the garden was generous!
1lb 6oz bell peppers
9oz hot peppers

1lb 9 oz tomatillos
 The peppers were abundant as were the tomatillos once again. The Everglades keeps pumping out tiny currant tomatoes, too. I gathered about a pint worth this week! So i promptly ripped out one of the plants. Actually I'm not nearly so cruel. It had gone yellow and while it was still productive it was definitely suffering, and I needed the pot. A note for future reference or anyone thinking about planting these - pots are a REALLY good way to grow them! The drop a ton of fruit.

I realized when I typed the title that this is AUGUST now, not July. So there are a few things different about this years garden. I haven't planted the winter squash out yet. Usually it's already planted out. WHAT? That's right I already harvested a few Lakota squash. I meant for my fall garden. I'm holding back. I'm trying to wait it out and see what happens. The shadows are much longer already and I know that is part of the reason I have problems getting my pumpkins in by Halloween. Our heat is completely ridiculous. The sunlight is super intense, but it is short. I need to rethink my squash and a trellis may be the best answer in order to give the plant maximum exposure to the light. I'm just afraid to put it against the fence. What if one of those beauties grows between the trellis and the fence? It will be all deformed and how exactly would I harvest it?

This week also brought one other harvest. Something new for me. Rice Peas. They are a type of Cowpea.

I did not weigh them because as you can see they are tiny and this was just a harvest of a couple beans. Just to see what was hiding in there. They look a lot like miniature Black Eyed Peas, don't seem to be a crowder type and the bushes themselves? Healthy as horses. Supposed to be a bush type with some 4-6' vines, but uh I got news for the people that wrote that... I think these could easily reach 8'+ and next year I'll need to be better prepared for giving them something to climb on. They do indeed make a beautiful bush but the vines are aggressive and well, I am definitely adding them into my 'I want to grow again' list.  It looks like production is just getting ramped up, and as tiny as the beans are it will take a lot to make a dish. The stupid stink bugs are extremely attracted to the pods so I'm still searching for was to ward them off.

Oh! And my little cucumber I got. I'll be taking the next out of the garden tonight or tomorrow for my salad. I'm so happy. The pickle jars are starting to get empty, too. So we are certainly in need and these are right on time!

'Till next time!