Sunday, June 28, 2015

We're Home!

Yes, we made it to Tybee Island and back.  We left Thursday afternoon.  As we were packing up we hear a faint "chirp" from the incubator.  A new baby decided then was the right time to arrive.  Aint that just the way.  So we got the chick set up and left our oldest son in charge of baby sitting.  He was thrilled.....NOT!

We had a great time visiting with family;  hubby's brothers and sister, spouses of said siblings, 2 nieces, 1 great nephew, 1 great niece, "and a partridge in a pear tree".   Hubby didn't feel so hot the first day there so we did very little.  Well lets face it, aside from eating out and a walk to the beach, we did nothing really out of the ordinary.  Well I did read a book.  In fact, just about everyone brought a book to read.  I'm thinking being a grown up hinders reading pursuits.  Just a thought.  Anyhoo, I read about half so now have to find the time to read the other half.

The new baby chick was still here waiting for us when we got home as well as the problem of what to do with it.  We were at a loss until I heard a "chirp" from the coop and saw that our brooding mama has successfully produced a chick.  We took it out and handled booth the incubator chick and the new baby and put them back.  She seems okay with it, but I am not sure about the rest of the flock.  We have no other recourse.  So, yes, I prayed for the little thing.

The garden also acknowledged my return with more squash, beans, tomatoes, blackberries (about a gallon) and a few more blueberries (not so much).  The garden has really grown since I've been gone.  It will be interesting finding the time to deal with it all.  WHAT WAS I THINKING!  The Blackberries and blue berries will be frozen so they will be a breeze.  The beans will take some doing.

So anyway, we are back and hitting the ground running.  No rest for the weary.  Have a great day yall!

Monday, June 22, 2015

making lemonade from to speak

Good Morning!  I know!  It's Monday and I'm posting something.  Too weird right?  Well it's because we're on vacation!  No outside the home work.  I will still have a house to clean, beans to can, berries to pick, etc, but no alarm clock, no occupation, and to top it all off we are on our way this week to Tybee Island for a family reunion.  Not all of us are going, but some.  It will be grand, and then there will be no work at all (it will be waiting for me when I get back lol).  So until then, enjoy this during the week post.  Once I am home permanently this may become a normal thing (GASP).

So on to the topic at hand.  Making Lemonade from lemons, or in this case making something useful from June bugs and Japanese Beetles.

I hate to spray my plants.  Really hate to spray.  I avoid it as much as possible.  There are times when I have sprayed, but would rather find a way to raise the fruits and veggies I get without it.  For example: Mexican Bean beetles find my garden all the way from Mexico every year.  I have tried to spray in the past, but really it does very little good.  I tried Diatomaceous Earth last year, and, again, not much help.  So this year I planted my beans as early as possible.  Once these beans are done, and I can already see the Mexican beetles a comin, I will pull up the plants, compost them, and leave the area bare for a bit.  Then about the middle of August, I'll plant the rest of my beans in the hopes I can fool those little buggers into thinking "nuthin to see here, nuthin to see.  Move along".  This is a trial, mind you.  No Guarantee here.  Not yet anyway.  We will see what happens.  Again, avoiding the spray.

Also, along that vein is my problem with June Bugs and Japanese beetles.   They love my Blackberry bushes and my Peach trees.  Funny thing is so far they are leaving other things alone (knock on wood).  If you have the time and patience to do so, you can knock some of them out by filling a container with soapy water and go out and pick them off by hand early in the morning before the sun's warmth stirs them up.  I've been doing this for the past 5 days and as of today I think I'm making progress.  So no need to spray (for now) and the lemonade from lemons?  The chickens love the results.  I give them all of the now drowned beetles and then dump the water on a plant in the garden.  So I get pesticide free berries using free pest control, and supplement the feed for my chickens.  It's all good.....well unless you're a June Bug or Japanese beetle.......

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The garden at sunset and in full swing

So it has been hot as all get out in my neck of the woods.  More hotter days than in the past few years and more hot days to come.  As a result I have been taking time after 7:30 to work in the garden til dark.  Much, much cooler that way.  So anyway, I have been dying to get a pic of this years garden to share and I can finally do it.  It's in two shots cause the garden wouldn't fit on my camera pic in one.  Oh well.

This first pic is the top half of the garden which includes the chicken coops and run.  That little round bed to the top right of the pic is another bed of tomatoes and a couple of watermelon volunteers,

This is the bottom half of the garden.  That huge bushy area in the bottom of the pic is Mint.  And that is after its been cut some.  The rest of the beds have tomatoes, beans, cilantro, onions, asparagus, Parsley, Sage, Oregano, Lemon Balm, Thyme, and Lemon thyme.  Oh and another watermelon volunteer.  Its growing up the white ladder like trellis.  Next to that if you look carefully is a tomato volunteer growing in a concrete Block!  The far right of the pic are sweet potatoes but they haven't been planted very long.

So there you have it!  The garden 2015.  Oh and, the cross apparent in my garden is an accident on my part,  but it is nice having the reminder of who provides it all; not the least of which is salvation for all. Have a great day!

A Nifty Little Gizmo

So this past weekend I ordered a few things from Amazon.  Included among the items purchased was an item I have  had in reserve in my "cart" for months, but never bought.  It's a microfiber duster.  You know for dusting furniture.  More specifically a OXO microfiber Duster.  It took me a while to finally decide to try it, even though it only cost me $7.  Well, it came, and like any person getting a new "toy" in the mail, I had to try it out.  Well I have one thing to say....

THIS THING IS COOL!  I opened the package last night and so there I am scurrying through the house in my Pj's dusting furniture.  "well lets try over here, or, no, there!"  Finally I had to make myself stop cause its crazy to be dusting furniture in your pajamas right?  I do intend to make full use of it in the near future.   This thing picks up dust great and the wonderful thing is you can pop the head of it off and throw it in the washing machine to be ready for next time.  I would say this will save me in future dusting expenditures.  $7 well spent.

I know this isn't a barn burner of a post, but time is short this week.  Saturday I will put up something better.  Stay tuned.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Thinking its time for the CRAZY to start

So here we are at another weekend and I know a busy few days await.  Next week is a 40 hour week at work and I won't have time for anything else til next weekend.  As usual Dh and I have a list as long as our arm to finish this week.  Probably more ambitious that we should attempt, but, we try on.  Anyway, Dh left the house a few minutes ago to go get our youngest son from work.  I thought to myself I would go out and check on a garden as well as spend a few minutes at work in said garden before the sun sets.  Ummm...yea...I have my work cut out for me tomorrow.  The combination of good rain and sun has served my garden well.  The tomato plants are exploding and desperate to be tied to stakes (which I purchased today with a coupon for $10 a $50 order that I got in the mail),  whatever vining squash I have growing as volunteers are beginning to crawl across the garden, and there are beans to pick.  In fact I picked a good size handful tonight from a volunteer plant growing in between rows and mostly under plastic.  I just shake my head in amazement.  I checked out a few beds of other beans and , yes, they are ready for picking as well.  This could very well signal a time to take out ye ole pressure canner.  Anyway, Here are my tasks for tomorrow.  Think of me as you bask in sunlight, on vaca, reading a book, or going out on the town.  Anyway, here goes:

****this list has been updated since last night with what I completed****

1)  Stake and tie up the rest of the tomato plants (64 of them)- this includes pulling off suckers and wayward branches. (DONE)

2)  Fill in bare areas of my bean bed, or at least one of them, and replant the extra space with..., yes, more beans.

3)  Move newly grown corn into full rows and replant the newly emptied area with, yes, more corn.

4)  Purchase more pepper plants-  I have a $5 coupon off any order at our local Ace.  This will pay for the pepper plants as well as a box of hooks for coffee cups (another story)

5)  Pick beans and possibly can some. (DONE  only got enough to have for dinner so no canning)

6)  Harvest more Mint.  The gift that keeps on giving. (DID SOME,  BUT NEEDS MORE)

7) Pot up yet more tomato volunteers for another friend at work (as well as my first friend cause that was a miss from last week. (DONE)
8) Weed some more (Oh Joy)(DONE  for now but this job is never really done)

9) and I wanted to wash the car

10) and I wanted to steam clean the carpet in our bedroom.

11) and I need to get at least some of my grocery list.(DONE AND PUT AWAY!)

12)  Dh has a plan to change the oil in the car and help our handsome sons to cut the grass. (DONE)

See what I mean?  There comes a point in every growing season where you go from looking more than working to working more than looking.  At this point your motto goes from "I want my garden to be pretty"to just functional.  In other words, you look the other way when weeds are creeping along because all you have time for is picking and canning.  That means house work goes by the wayside as well.  That means numbers 9-11 are back burners.  By August though I will be to the point where I am telling my plants "its okay to go towards the light.  I can make it without you" or "you know you can just die!"

Naw, seriously, I am grateful for every fruit and veggie that comes from the garden.  It is God's provision for us and I am blessed to receive it.  God does take the whole "pressed down shaken together running over" thing a bit seriously.  Hey, He doesn't do small blessings.

So forgive me over the next few months if I seem a bit dazed.  I have visions of plum tomatoes dancing in my head as well as every other thing coming in.  Come Sept and things slow down, I will collapse and stare at the wall till Thanksgiving.  Until then I press on.