Saturday, October 24, 2015

Oooo, Ahh, OUCH! Sssst

All the best laid plans..... My goal today was a little ambitious in that I wanted to get everything done in the yard except pressure washing the house.  Leeettle bit ambitious.  I gave it a valiant effort though.  I moved all of the fencing in my garden into place for next season.  I put down edging on one side of the garden, helped Dh with the burning, moved the brid feeder where we can see it even when the garden is fully grown and staked two fruit trees which were leaning.  One of the trees was leaning because with all the rain we've had the ground was soft and the kudzu grapped it and was pulling it over.  HOW DARE HE!  I cut the kudzu back and staked the tree up also removing any residual kudzu on the branches.  mess with my fruit trees!  The nerve!  Anyway, we also move the chicken coop again to give the chickens some fresh grass.  I still need to cover the garden in black plastic, put away all of my stakes, garden tools, etc, and pressure wash the house.  I'm hopeful Dh and I can get all of the outside stuff done this next week (avoiding the three straight days of rain Mon-Wed) and then starting Nov 1st turning my focus indoors to home management, holiday prep, sewing, canning, and general store stuff.  I can't believe Christmas is only 8 weeks 6 days away from today.  YIKES!  I hope The month of November and 25 days in December is enough time to get all I want to do done.

So anyway, I got a good bit done today and have discovered at my age everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work.  I still have things I can do tomorrow, Thursday, Friday, and Sat.  My cut off is Nov 1st.  What isn't done by then will have to wait until after Christmas.  I'll just keep my curtains closed so I can't see it during the winter.(smile).

I have decided the garden is going to be smaller next year.  Yea I can hear you saying "I'll believe it when I see it", but I am really planning that!  Promise!  I know, I know.  The gardening bug hasn't bit yet for next season.  So the summer wrap up continues and the holidays are fast approaching.  I wish I had a more stellar post this go round, but the writers block prevails.  Hows your summer wrap up going?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In memory of my cousin

Years ago (more than I want to count), I counted among my playmates, my cousin Allison.  I would go spend the night at her house, or she mine.  We only got to do this a a couple of times a year.  Added to that are the family events where we could reconnect.  She was then, and is today, a light in my life.  Years passed and we grew up.  Our own lives, families, jobs, took over, and we lost that connection in the hustle.  But I never lost my love for Allison.  The knowledge that Allison was out in the world doing her own thing was one of the things that made my world complete.  Everything was right.  We reconnected thru Face Book in the past few years.  It was nice to be in touch, but as often happens, we talked about meeting for lunch or something but it never happened.  It was during this time she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I watched her fight; the victories and the losses over the past couple of years until the end of September when she lost that battle.  The cancer won in her physical body.  Her spirit never wavered.  Now Allison has moved away to a new home.  She is in the same neighborhood  I suspect as my brother, my grandmother, and many other members of her and my family.  That is how I think of Allison.  It's how I think of my brother and anyone else in my family who has passed on.  She has moved to a city I can't get to yet.  There will come a time when I need to move, but for now I need to stay put.  I do know the living is pretty sweet there.

Allison was larger than life.  As children she led, I followed.  That was the way.  She always knew the coolest things to do.  She never lost that spirit..  She could walk into a room and simply change the atmosphere by her arrival.  Her smile lit up the room.  She loved her family, especially her son, fiercely.  I wouldn't want to be the poor schmuck that got between her and her son.  She loved children in general and was such an amazing teacher the children, in her honor, used their little fingerprints to create flowers in art work used at her memorial service.  She loved dogs, she loved life.  

She loved life.  John 10:10 states " The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they may have life. and that they might have it more abundantly".  The thief came to steal from Allison.  He might have taken this earthly shell, but she has life more abundant than ever before thru Christ.  That life the thief can never take away.  We mourn for Allison.  I know what her family is going thru and my insufficient words here will do little to ease that pain, but it's how I feel.  It is my own tribute to my friend.

Life is short,  We are not promised tomorrow.  Don't lose those close connections to friends, and family.  Make the time.  Not face book or email, but real physical time.  Put down your phones, computers, whatever, and enjoy precious time with those you love. You may not have another chance.

In the meantime.  Allison, SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR!  Love you!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Gardening Discovery

Every year I struggle against Mexican Bean Beatles.  I can usually get one harvest of beans before the little buggers strip the plants bare.  I have tried spray in the past but to no avail (and I hate spraying).  The eggs are laid on the underside of the leaves so the spray rarely gets to them.  I have also tried diotomaceous earth and so no real success.  I have even squashed them bare handed and left their corpse there as a warning to the other.  All to no avail.  They grow by the hundreds and so impossible to control.  At least for me.  This year I tried something different.  Once my first run of beans was done, and the beatles were arriving in force, I picked the last of the beans, pulled the plants up and planted nothing in that area for the rest of the summer.  Once the first of August came around, I replanted more beans to get one more harvest.  Since it was experimental, I didn't invest many bean seeds.  I planted about 3 15 ft rows.  I planted the seeds in the same area as the earlier beans.  Yesterday I went out to pick beans.  I picked 6 lbs of beans in one picking.  The plants are green and happy.  I am not seeing the beatles.  So far I'm thinking this is a successful experiment.

The success of this experiment has made me change my gardening plan for next season.  Since I also have problems with tomatoes wilting in the heat, I will be planting beans early/late and tomatoes late.  My entire garden in spring will be beans, both pole and bush.  At the same time I will start my tomato seeds in seed pots, but outdoors.  Once the beans have had their run, the garden will be cleaned out and my tomatoes will be planted in their place.  Having a run of beans first will also add nitrogen to the soil., and allow  me a good harvest of beans before the beatles really get started.  Also, it will allow me to focus on one item at a time.  Beans first, then Blueberries, Blackberries, Tomatoes, then Beans again in fall.  Best of all I don't  have to try and use pest control products.  My planting schedule is my pest control.  I'm also hopeful by planting my tomato plants later, they will besetting fruit once the weather cools some and will continue to set fruit til the first frost.  Right now they set fruit once then wilt and die back when the heat comes on.  They then recover and start to set fruit again when it cools, but I see very few tomatoes because the frost comes first.  An alternative is to start my tomato plants early (like December) and plant them larger.  That would nix my bean plan though.  This is still a work in progress, but then most all of gardening is trial and error.  

If anyone has thoughts on this I would love more input.  My goal is to get the most from my garden without using sprays and such.  Any input is greatly desired.  Thanks

Monday, October 5, 2015

Where have I been? Well I'll tell ya

I have been sewing like a crazy person.  If you want to see what I have been up to you can check out my new page of doll clothes to see my latest offerings.  My Dh has been appropriately supportive in that he has been gushing over each item as I make it cause you know I have to show him how cute they are!  I am finishing up things today because we were without power yesterday until 3 am this morning.  So I am catching up now.  The sun is out today and so once all the rain dries up I will be back outside.  Actually will be doing double duty cause I have more doll clothes to make.  In other words busy, busy.  So take a look at my doll page.  More will be added as soon as I can.  Draw backs to starting from the ground floor.  You guys have a great day!