Friday, March 29, 2013

Long winded

This post could be very long winded so instead I'm going to try to stick to just showing you as many pictures as I can and staying out of it.
The trip to Alabama:

Click me! Where is Waldo?

Got it?
Well... it was a whirlwind. The kids had an absolute blast, and we were nonstop from the get go.
The peach and apple trees I planted last year are doing wonderfully. They were blooming well and had grown in nicely. Hopefully this last cold snap didn't kill off all the buds from the peach trees. I don't expect apples so it wouldn't bother me if they were killed off. But, the peach trees are perfectly capable of bearing a few peaches this year.
While we were there we: hiked, biked, hunted, shot skeet, fished, rode the trails, moved the containers, finished the shooting range, and in general went from sun up to sun down. It was lovely. It was only 3 days... LOL
This weekend we should be finishing the second tall garden. I can't wait to fill it up with seeds and plants!!!
See you soon!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The 1am traffic jam.

Otherwise known as... MIAMI. LOL. I really don't have a lot of pictures. As I mentioned in the post on Monday I forgot my phone charger and was forced to conserve my battery the entire time we were there. That meant very few pictures and very few phone calls home to check on the kiddos. That was both a good and a bad thing!
Miami is a wondrous thing. Much like New York the city never seems to shut down.

Pizza at 2am? Sure thing! Coffee and pastries at 3am? No problem! Of course getting TO them... that is a whole other problem. Unlike New York, Florida can't really build underground tunnels in which to put a subway system. If we did? Well, it would just fill up as we dug. We live at sea level. Some of us live below sea level. Go ahead and say it. Nincompoops! Here we live in a flood zone, and we deal with annual flooding because of it. Then, because we are a glutton for punishment we stay during the stormy season and wait for hurricanes to roll in off the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Oh, but I digress. That was not the intent of my post. But, I can answer at least partially WHY some of us are idiotic enough to do this to ourselves. Ready?


There it is. The view from the hotel window. Sweet, right? And on the other side of that causeway was the tennis tournament. It sprinkled once the whole weekend. It was in the upper 80's, and breezy. Un- freaking- believable. Gorgeous, Yup. That is why we do this to ourselves. Every outdoor sport imaginable is right here for our taking whenever we feel like it. Dead of winter? Oh wait a couple hours because I'll guarantee that our version of super cold, is just barely registering chilly once that sun wakes up... Probably around what you keep your heater set at. I may be freezing my tushy off. But 99% of people are perfectly comfortable on our coolest days.

Yup. Something about this place, I just can't get enough of.

Anyway. Back to my story. So, the thing about the traffic? We stayed to watch a night match and it got out around midnight. I didn't really want to be out too late, so we tried to hop back to the hotel really quick. *SNORT* yeah, right. We were about 5 miles away and it took over an hour and a half to get back. It wasn't like it was traffic from the big let out. We didn't leave when all the cars left from the parking lot. I can't imagine if we had. The night picture was when we got back to the hotel that night. Beautiful from inside the room when I've had a shower and feeling a whole lot more peaceful again.

I suppose though, that if nighttime traffic is the worst of my complaints I am doing pretty good, right? Right! We had a great time watching the matches and saw players practicing as well. We ate a lot, and I think Starbucks is now a permanent fixture on my credit card. I should own stock. The weather held out for us nicely. Cool at night and hot and breezy all day, but the morning we left looked a little less happy.

Actually, it looked rather daunting.
I think I would call it down right ominous.

Looking back, I KNOW I would. Just look at that front line. The winds really were whipping up and by the time we met up with my Mother-in-Law in Clermont.We really hit some bad weather. Quarter sized hail and 80+ mile an hour winds. The rain was sideways and at one point I thought for sure the window would break! I can't imagine what would have happened if we had not stopped to eat at that time. Luckily not only did we stop, but ALL of us had decided to stay for a while.

My car is a little worse for the wear with a few dents and scratches, but we are all alive and well. When we got a little further down the road and the trees were down and a semi had toppled. Our trip ended up taking 10 hours and normally would only take 5 or 6 total including the extra time for picking up the rugrats. But the amazing thing? Is that even with going through a small tornado I'm still the most amazed at the 1am traffic jam.

Go figure. I guess I'll always just be a country girl at heart. Oh, and that reminds me. My Alabama trip was not nearly so event filled so this one got posted first. I do promise to be back with those pics. As a preview here is the foggy morning as we drove away:
Ah, there is my balance. Country, woods, and beaches. Hold the traffic, please.
See you soon!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Harvest Monday 3.25.13

Oh yeah! It's Harvest Monday again! I almost forgot! I've been so busy at work and at play that I nearly forgot to post again. I didn't link in to Daphne's last week, so even though I'm late today I will. Thanks Daphne. I know that even when I forget to post on time that you are always there just waiting on all of us!

This week was super busy. We went to Miami to watch the Sony Ericson Tennis Tournament. We got to see a lot of big names there Serena Williams, James Blake, Andy Murray and - well a whole HOST of other professional players. It was AWESOME. Unfortunately I didn't have a charger for my phone so I couldn't take pictures. I had to save the battery to make sure I could get a call in case of an emergency. Even still I ran out of battery around 10pm! We had excellent seats only 5 rows up, so if you watched tennis at all this weekend, you probably saw me and the hubsters! (I was the really dorky looking lady) LOL.

I digress. I just wanted to let you know we went to play in another town. I'll post those pictures, too but I'll try to hold off until Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.

Eggs, radishes, PEAS! (WOOT!) and greens. I'm thrilled about the peas. They weren't much. Just enough for each one of us to have a pod. 5 pods of Springs finest offerings. It was starting to rain when I ran in so if you are wondering about the specked eggs, that is what it is. I haven't yet talked the hens into coloring their own eggs, but if I did specked eggs is exactly what I'd want. Violet, pink,etc. spots are awesome. LOL. I do have one that lays with a light sprinkling of chocolate colored speckles. I love it!

So, that was my exciting week. Hoping to finish the (second) raised box this weekend and have those pictures for you soon. The box has been waiting for weeks now and I have been out of town. I feel like a bad gardener.

See you soon!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Readers...and RSS feeds

So it seems that Google is getting rid of the 'Reader.' I use this product every day to keep track of all of the blogs that I read on a daily basis.  I use My Yahoo as well, but it isn't nearly as flexible. It wants ONLY RSS feeds and won't accept just a blog page. :-(

I'm pouting. I have to find a new reader product and if I'm going to go through that kind of growing pains, I am going to use only one when I am all said and done.

Why is it when we finally get all comfy with something that it disappears? A manufacturer goes out of business, or our favorite brick and mortar closes it's doors. A sad state of affairs. Of course in this case I think they are just trying to get us to use a paid product versus a free product, but - eh. Guess I'll have to start looking for a new home for my blog as well. I've noticed that since they announced the reader hitch that Blogger is having problems.

Golly. That's daunting. Think I'll just cross my fingers and keep on a blogging for now. Not that I think people would miss me that much, but I'd miss it a bit, and I'd REALLY miss reading everyone else's blog.

OK, off to try to upload my pictures from Alabama.

See you soon!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Harvest Monday 3.18.13

Woah! It's already 1pm. I'm REALLY running late today.

The kids had audiology appointments today and it put everything behind. Ah, that's alright I suppose. It keeps me on my toes.

We spent the week up in Alabama. Working some, playing some and enjoying life - a lot. I really spent a lot of time thinking about what I want out of my homestead and it took a lot out of me to come home to my little cookie cutter neighborhood. Then I remembered. I'm making my own mini homestead here. I've come a long way, baby. I'm not just any old neighbor. I'm fighting for what I believe in and I've got proof!
Here's my harvest for the 3 days we were home this week:
radishes, jalapenos, lettuces, mulberries

and eggs of course!
Be back with an update on our trip to Alabama!
See you soon!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Harvest Monday 3.11.13


Look at what I harvested this week!

I harvested me up some Young 'ens!
They sure do grow like weeds some times. LOL. We had a blast out at the Strawberry festival this week. We enjoyed playing games and riding rides, and emptying my wallet most of all. But we did NOT come home empty handed. Nope. We came home with sushi! Yup. We always seek out the game that wins you the 'free' goldfish. I figure we can refill the pond and at least we are paying to play something that will be putting fish back into the system. :-) So far 3 are still alive. So a day of fun and 3 fish for $80 bucks... Nah, not worth it in my book, but definitely worth it for their memory books!
We made more memories when we got home and added our strawberries to the ones we picked at the farm. Then we made strawberry jam!
THIS is my favorite thing all year y'all! Seriously. Nothing compares in my mind to the crisp, cool flavor and the sweet smell of fresh homemade strawberry jam. MMMMmmm.... I look forward to this weekend and THIS is worth my $80. Hands down. Yes, for just a few measly little pints of jam. HA! You certainly can't get anything like it in a store. I'm hoping to make another batch tonight so I'll have enough to at least get me through spring, but I know better. The more I have the faster it goes! It's also not the same made with store bought berries. I don't know what it is, but it's different.

Anyway I really did harvest stuff. A few of those berries are mine, and I harvested 4 head of lettuce and a single jalapeno. Of course I also harvested mulberries as well. What is it with single peppers? I guess they are better than no peppers, but they are kind of hard to use. Mostly when I use hot peppers I need quite a few of them. So this single one just went right into a pickle jar. The lettuce?
One set for us and one set for my sister. I brought it to work for her. :-)
The peas are setting pods, just in time for us to run to Alabama. I'm hoping that the squirrels don't find them before we get back, but I know that is a pipe dream. Potatoes are planted, late for me, but planted. I get the feeling the entire garden is going to be on a late schedule this year because of the new planter. I don't know why it bothers me so much. It's not like it's the first time it will be late. Usually it's MY fault directly. LOL.
Did I mention how happy I am that I have strawberry jam again?  :-D
Trying not to brag too much and dying to make more...
See you soon!
Oh! I almost forgot! Linking into Daphne's Dandelions for Harvest Monday. Keep the ball rolling. Stop by her place to see what people are harvesting from all over the world!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Harvest Monday 3.4.13

March already. It was frosty again this morning when I woke up, so it certainly doesn't seem much like March in these parts! Winter has been super strange here. It's been extremely warm with just these little blips of cold air.

Linking into Daphne's Dandelions once again for Harvest Monday. Thanks Daphne for always being such a great hostess!!!

This week the main harvest was the mulberries. The tree is doing extremely well even after I cut half of it down when I pruned it in late winter. I thought it might hurt the production some or even possibly kill the tree, but it seems to be doing wonderfully.

15 oz of mulberries this week. I am pretty sure that I could have harvest three times that, but the birds usually beat me to them in the mornings. I don't make it home to harvest them until the evening so by then most of them are gone.

My hens are still giving me an average of 17 eggs a week. Bless their little hearts. I feel bad for them when it gets to freezing outside after a week of 80 degrees or higher. It would be different if it was consistently cool. Their bodies would tell them to put on weight to help them deal with the lower temperatures. But, I suppose those down comforters they carry around with them will just have to be enough to keep them warm on those chilly nights. I'm not going out to keep them warm! LOL.

The peas are almost to the size where I'll need to start keeping an eye on them for flowers! I'm getting excited about that. I do love fresh peas, of ANY type!

On the bad news front I spotted a NEW stray cat in the yard yesterday. I'm not happy about that. He made himself right at home, too. Scratched in my blueberry bed,  sprayed my new box, laid down on my small tool shed and had himself a good old time. This now makes 4 cats that come and go as they please so anyone that has any ideas beyond hurting them that will keep them out of my yard, I'm all ears! I'm not against trapping them, but the only local place that will take them has a 3 day rule and I am against that. There is no need to destroy an animal because it isn't claimed in 3 days. I can't afford to get them all fixed (or I would, believe me) and just removing them? I'm not sure if they belong to anyone. So far I've not been slick enough to catch them with my camera so I'm thinking about setting up my game camera so I can hang a flier and ask around. Once I know if the cats belong to anyone in our neighborhood or not I'll remove them. After all if they belong in a different neighborhood.... well that would be THEIR problem. >:-(

OK - Rant over. Still haven't finished work on the new planter box. the wind and crazy rain and temps were too wild to do much outside this weekend. Next weekend we have to get ready to go out of town so I doubt it will get done then, either... *pout* Guess that project is on hold until Easter weekend now. That is unless I can talk my dear sweet husband into an early morning Saturday project. He's got a benefit to go to Saturday at noon so it's rather doubtful, but that doesn't mean I won't try! ;-) Ah, what we won't do for our gardens.

See you soon.