T’was The Monday Before Easter…

I’ve been MIA from blog land for a few days…again.  I continue to find it more difficult to blog lately.  It seems like there’s always something else to do, or I don’t feel like writing.

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but it was a chilly weekend where we live!  After several days of  wearing shorts, we had to drag our coats out again 😦  We also had to drag out buckets to cover our squash plants out in the garden.  We woke up to a light dusting of frost on Sunday morning!  Other than being cold, the weekend was sunny and nice.  Both afternoons warmed up enough to require only a long-sleeved shirt.

Ed and I got a nice surprise, on Friday afternoon, when our son, Brad, came by for a surprise visit!  He was working nearby, got off early, and decided to pay us a visit before heading home.  (His wife, Jennifer, was working late.) What a great way to kick off the weekend, and I needed the distraction because I wasn’t feeling my best that day!

I seem to be having more and more days when I’m not feeling my best.  My lowering levels of hormones have caused my rheumatoid arthritis to become active again.  I’m experiencing more fatigue and joint pain/stiffness. I’m moving like a little old lady, these days, especially after sitting for a while! The lower hormone levels are causing me to have mood swings, as well.  At the moment, my moods seem to alternate between mad and sad, with very little glad in between.  (Poor Ed!)  This is not a good way to be!  I’m hoping and praying this will soon pass.

Ed continues to stay as ‘busy as a little beaver’ doing things around the house.  It’s nice to have him around to fix things.  I always have a ‘honey do’ list for him!  He doesn’t like to stay inside, but he’ll tackle any outside projects with a smile.  Today’s project is getting our tomato and pepper plants set out in the garden–before the rain that’s expected this afternoon!  I should mention, we’re throwing caution to the wind by going against the advice of the Farmer’s Almanac and planting today.  We’ll see how it goes.

This is shaping up to be a busy week, leading up to Easter.  There’s a lot to be done between now and then, so I’d better get busy.  Have a great Monday!

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Published in: on March 30, 2015 at 9:03 am  Comments (3)  
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Seven Weeks And Counting…

Today marks the seven week anniversary of Ed’s retirement.  It really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.  Thankfully, we had four beautiful days in a row, this week, with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s!  Unfortunately, all of that has changed now.  It’s a cloudy 46 degrees!

We’ve had lots of activities going on this week.  First of all, Ed began a new outdoor project.  He’s putting some extra electrical outlets near the places [in our yard] where we  normally place our outside Christmas decorations.  Now we won’t require the use of so many extension cords, and the decorations should be safer, too.  We tripped a few circuit breakers last Christmas!  This project is time-consuming, so I’m counting on it to keep Ed busy for a few more days.

Ed tackled another project, this week, too.  He built a removable partition for one end of the chicken coop.  This will give us a place to keep any hen, who isn’t feeling well, away from the other hens.  Putting up the partition will make an instant isolation coop.  Speaking of the chickens, we’ve had a little more ‘chicken drama’, this week.

For a while, we’ve been noticing our three older hens have what can only be described as a case of ‘the nasty butt’. (sorry if that’s TMI)  I kept thinking time would take care of this, but it kept getting worse.  Finally, I read when this happens, the solution is to wash their behinds, then put probiotic in their drinking water.  Well, I gave them the probiotic, but wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of washing their behinds!  I read if this condition goes unchecked, it can lead to more serious illness, and, sure enough, one of the three eventually got sick.  Unfortunately, there was nothing left to do, but wash some nasty chicken butts!

When it finally warmed up to 70 degrees, on Monday, I decided it would be a good day for tackling the nasty deed.  One by one, Ed and I caught the hens.  I held each hen in my lap, while Ed gently sprayed water on her bottom.  It took a while, but, eventually, Ed got every hen’s behind clean.  (By the way, he wore gloves, and I wore a trash bag, while tackling this nasty job!)  We sprayed the cleaned area with a wound treatment, and each one of the hens went merrily on their way.  I worried a bit about the sickly hen, because she really panted the entire time we cleaned her, but she survived intact.  By the next day, all three butts were fluffy and pretty again!  The sickly hen still isn’t feeling her best, but seems better than she was at the first of the week.  Who knew keeping chickens could be so ‘involved’?!

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a blanket nest

In other chicken drama, our rebel hen continues to lay her eggs on the dog’s blankets, under our car port.  Not only that, but she’s fashioned herself a little nest out of part of the blankets and some straw!  It’s quite a sight to see a chicken sitting beside our dog, but neither seems to mind.  Rebellion is contagious, because, on Thursday, a second hen started laying in the blanket nest, too!  Oh, my!  This might be a problem.

Chicken drama wasn’t the only drama going on around our house, this week.  ‘Jo Jo’, the formerly feral tom cat got into a nasty fight with something, and came home with one eye all messed up!  Since he’s formerly feral, he won’t let us do much of anything for his eye, and it looks bad.  We’ll be surprised if he doesn’t lose sight in it.  Hormones are raging, and being one-eyed hasn’t stopped ‘Jo Jo’ from trying to mate with our cat, ‘Baby’!  Thank goodness, ‘Baby’ has been spayed, and just thinks ‘Jo Jo’ has lost his mind, as well as his eye!

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squash, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage

Those warm, sunny days, this week, have done wonders for my plants!  The garden peas have begun to sprout in the garden, and the plants I’m keeping in the laundry room have benefited greatly from spending some time outdoors in the sunshine!  I do believe some of them have grown an inch!  Only four more weeks until I can transplant them!

One would think that spring has officially sprung, by some of our activities, this week. First of all, I wore shorts!  Then,  I opened the windows and aired out the entire house! Finally, I had to actually turn on the air conditioner for two whole days! We dusted off the grill, and had bar-b-que chicken for supper one night.  On Thursday, Ed dusted off the lawnmower and cut our grass, too!  It’s too bad  the warm temps didn’t last.  Our high for today is predicted to be 46 degrees!  I’ve put away the shorts, and brought my sweat pants back out. 😦

I hate to end this post on a sad note, but the entire week hasn’t been a happy one.  My long-time readers may remember the little boy named Alex, that my daughter kept in her home, a while back.  Alex stayed with our daughter, Brandy, while his mom worked.  He was with her from just before his first birthday, until about three months before his third birthday.

Alex was born very premature and had a lot of problems because of it.  He was developmentally delayed, had an eating disorder, and was totally deaf.  Eventually, Alex learned to walk, and was able to get cochlear implants so he could hear.  Alex never conquered his eating disorder while he stayed with Brandy, and would often throw up while eating or immediately afterward. Eventually, it became too difficult for Brandy to continue to keep Alex, in addition to home schooling her daughter.  The picture, below, was taken about the time Alex stopped coming.

 

Late Summer, Fall 2013 523Alex with his mom, October 2013

About a year ago,  little Alex’s mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  We were devastated when we heard the news!  Sadly, she lost her battle with this horrible disease, yesterday.  She was just 30 years old.  I am so distraught for little Alex, who has already had to conquer so much during his short life.  You know, sometimes life doesn’t seem fair.

Alex’s mama will be laid to rest on Sunday.  Meanwhile, Alex just celebrated his fourth birthday.  So sad!

 

 

 

Published in: on March 6, 2015 at 8:35 am  Comments (6)  
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Memory Monday ~ The Jobs I’ve Had, Plus A Few Other Things…

Retired Not Tired Memory Monday

 

Another Monday has rolled around, and the prompt for ‘Memory Monday’ is “Jobs”.  I’ve written about all of my jobs, at one time or another, but at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll briefly sum them all up again, for those who may not know.  I’ll be linking this post up @ Retired-Not-Tired.

My first job, and my all-time favorite, was the job of being a ‘gift wrapper’ in a small department store, during Christmas.  I was in my junior year of high school, at the time.  The job only lasted a couple of weeks, but oh, what fun it was!  You see, back then, I absolutely loved wrapping gifts, so to be able to do so and get paid for it was almost too good to be true!  Apparently, I made an impression on the store manager, because she hired me again in the spring, but this time she hired me to work as a sales clerk in the store.  I ended up keeping this part-time job until right before graduating from high school, the following year.  A extra ‘perk’ of this job came when the store manager eventually put me in charge of decorating one of the store windows!  It didn’t earn me any extra income, but it was an honor to be chosen for the responsibility, and I really enjoyed doing it.

My second job didn’t come along until a couple of years later, after marriage, when (with the help of Ed) I got hired as a receptionist in the radiology department of the large hospital, where Ed also worked (in Radiology). Fortunately, Ed and I worked the same shift so we could ride to and from work together, because I still didn’t know how to drive, at the time! I worked at this job for almost three years before I  quit.

I spent the next fourteen years of my life being pregnant, raising children, and keeping the home fires burning.  After our youngest child started to Kindergarten, I was able to get a job working at the local elementary school, as a first-grade paraprofessional.  I worked as a paraprofessional for almost fourteen years, before circumstances beyond my control caused me to quit.  I got assigned to a particular teacher, and could not, in good conscience, be a part of what was going on in that classroom– in other words, there wasn’t much teaching/learning going on.  I know, in my heart, I should have become a teacher, because I truly enjoyed working with children, and helping teach them reading and math.

I followed up my fourteen years of working in a classroom by working as a nanny. I kept twin baby girls, aged 5 months. Twins were a ‘piece of cake’ after working with twenty first graders! I worked as a nanny for almost two years, before I decided it was time to retire and come home.  By then, our first grandchild had been born, and I wanted more free time to stay home and enjoy her.  I haven’t worked outside the home since 2007.  Last year, I finally began drawing a small retirement pension, from my days as a paraprofessional .  At long last, I’m ‘officially’ retired.

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and now for a few other things…

Ed and I spent a quiet weekend at home.  We had a little bit of company, sprinkled throughout the weekend, but, over-all, it was quiet.  The only interesting thing we did was to plant some onions in the garden.  We’d planned to plant our potatoes, too, but the guys at the feed and seed store discouraged us from planting them yet.  So, we decided to wait until today!  It’s 7:30 in the morning, and Ed’s already on the tractor.  The gardening season of 2015 has officially begun!

Saturday night, I rented and watched the movie, Gone Girl.  Ed started watching, too, but got a phone call in mid-movie.  Yowza, what a movie!  I sure didn’t see that ending coming.

The dentist glued my temporary crown back in place, then told me he’d probably see me again, next week–when the permanent crown comes in.  Funny thing about my dentist–I’ve been using this same dentist since I was a teenager. I guess you could say, we’ve grown old together.  Unfortunately, me teeth have grown old right along with us!

On Friday, I asked for prayers for my sister-in-law (my brother’s wife), whose mother was very sick and under the care of Hospice.  Her mother passed away yesterday afternoon.  I ask for your continued prayers, for the family, in the difficult days ahead.

Have a good Monday!

Published in: on February 23, 2015 at 8:52 am  Comments (5)  
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Our 2014 Garden Review…

Our 2014 spring garden was our fourth attempt (in three years) at growing food for our table.  We planted less, and harvested more, so I guess you could safely say it was our most successful attempt, so far!  We’re still learning as we go.

Last year we planted seventeen rows, each over 150 feet long, and we nearly worked ourselves to death!  This year we dropped back to eleven rows, and shortened the rows a bit.  At times, it was still overwhelming, but buying a tiller helped tremendously with the keeping the garden cleaner.

We got a late start planting our new potatoes, thanks to a rainy winter season, but we still made a decent crop.  We didn’t plant many, but are still eating the harvest now–a couple of months later!

We didn’t plant many Lincoln Peas (1/3 row), but still harvested enough to eat some, put four packs in the freezer, and save some seed for next year.  Next year’s crop will be larger, because these peas are really beginning to grow on me!  They’re sweet and quite delicious with dumplings cooked in them.

Our carrots did well, and we had the largest harvest to date.  I fed carrots to the chickens for two months, and still managed to harvest a gallon bag full of carrots for our use!

Our lettuce crop produced well, but our cabbage crop was lousy, this year.  The cabbage heads didn’t grow very big, and we were constantly plagued by worms!  I planted a different kind of cabbage seed, and am wondering if that had anything to do with our problems.

We only planted four squash bushes and three cucumber vines, but we made more squash and cucumbers than ever before.  The reason?  We didn’t see a single squash bug this year!  As long as nothing kills the vines, which squash bugs tend to do, the bushes keep on producing!

Last year we were able to grow okra.  This year, we didn’t have any luck with it.  Some of the seeds didn’t sprout, and the seeds that did sprout grew into unhealthy plants.  No okra for us this year.

We made our first attempt at growing peppers.  At first our seeds refused to sprout.  After replanting, we had  a little better luck.  Next year I’ll know to plant our peppers on the end of the row closest to our water source!  Apparently peppers require more water than I thought.  For some reason, we also lost a lot of bell peppers to bottom rot.  I’ll have to do some research about this problem before next year.  In the end, we had plenty of peppers, and they were still producing when plowed them under.

We did great growing green beans!  Our bushes were beautiful and made plenty of beans.  I picked green beans almost every day for two weeks!  By the time they were gone, I was sick and tired of picking, eating, and canning them.  The only problem we ran into regarding our green beans was battling stink bugs!  2014 seemed to be the year of the stink bug!  We sprayed and we dusted, but the stink bugs kept on coming to punch holes in our green beans.

It wasn’t a great year for tomatoes, but it was partially our own fault.  Ed neglected to stake and tie the bushes up properly, this year, and many of our tomatoes rotted from touching the ground.  We won’t make that mistake again!  I tried a new heirloom tomato seed known as Heinz VF and the tomatoes tasted very good, and they were a good size for canning.  I’ll be planting Heinz VF again next year, and staking the bushes properly!

For a while it looked like our butter beans weren’t going to fill out.  The bushes were loaded with pods, but they remained flat for what seemed like forever.  Finally, about the time the bushes were ready to die, most of the beans filled out.  We still haven’t discovered the secret to growing good butter beans, but we’re working on it!

We planted Pink Eye peas this year, and they produced well.  For some reason, our pea pods didn’t grow quite as long and full as they should have, but the bushes still produced large amounts of peas. As always, we planted our ‘old standby’ of black crowder peas, and they did well, for the third year in a row.

Once again, we put chicken compost in the bottom of the furrows when we planted our two rows of corn.  We, also, planted our corn in the wettest section of the garden, like last year.  Our corn was healthy and produced well. I think we’ve figured out how to successfully grow corn!  Chicken poop and plenty of water seem to be the secret.

We have two thornless blackberry bushes growing at the end of our garden, along with a variety of other fruit trees.  This was only the second growing season for the blackberry bushes, and they really out-did themselves this year.  I harvested over ten quarts of berries off those two bushes!

Below is a summary of how many vegetables I put in the freezer or in jars, followed by a video account our 2014 gardening experience.  All-in-all, I’d say we had a pretty good year!

Blackberries-10 quarts   Pink Eye Peas- 19 packs   Black Crowder Peas- 23 packs  Colored Butter Beans-39 packs   Ford Hook Beans- 9 packs   Butter Peas- 6 packs  Green Butter Beans- 5 packs  Corn- over 100 ears (on the cob)  Tomatoes- 23 packs in the freezer and 14 quarts in jars  Green Beans- 44 quart jars  Pickled Peppers- 3 1/2 pints.

Published in: on July 24, 2014 at 8:11 pm  Comments (3)  
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Our Non-Traditional Fourth Of July…

Our ‘non-traditional’ Fourth of July celebration began early, when sparks suddenly flew from the plug of my blow dryer on Thursday morning!  I had just finished drying my hair, and was hanging up the blow dryer, when suddenly there was a pop!  Sparks flew all over the bathroom floor, as the lights in the bathroom went dark.  I wasn’t quite sure what had happened so I called Ed at work.  Within an hour, Ed came home and diagnosed the problem.  The insulation on the cord of my hair dryer (near the plug) had apparently broken, causing the dryer to ‘short out’.  The shortage tripped the circuit breaker in the breaker box.

Ed was off on Friday, for the Fourth of July, but instead of the traditional family cookout, we decided to tackle the job of re-flooring our front porch.  You know–the deck we just paid to have covered, back in March!  The one with the boards that suddenly shrank and left huge, ugly cracks in the floor…  Yes, that porch!

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taking the porch apart…

Ed spent the first half of the day taking the porch apart.  All of the porch rails had to be removed, then all of the old deck boards had to be ripped up.  The second half of the day was spent putting the new deck boards in place.  Did I mention it was very hot outside?  I felt bad for Ed, working outside in the 90 degree heat, and insisted that he keep a fan blowing on him.

Meanwhile, I stayed inside, under the air conditioning, canning tomatoes and nursing the earache–again!  Just when I thought my ‘swimmers’ ear’ was getting better, it flared up again–over the long holiday weekend!  Wouldn’t you know?  Fortunately, I had a different type of antibiotic ear drops to try, otherwise I’d have been out searching for a ‘Doc in a Box’.

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replacing the decking boards…

Ed and I survived the Fourth of July, although we were a sorry-looking couple by the end of the day.  I boiled a few peanuts, bought a strawberry shortcake, and made some baked beans/potato salad.  At the end of the day, Ed stopped working and grilled some chicken.  We ate supper and went to bed–while our neighbors were still shooting off their fireworks!

We briefly saw two of our children and their families at the end of the day, on the Fourth.  Since we were busy, they ended up visiting with each other and grilling hot dogs for supper.  I couldn’t invite them to eat with us because, in addition to being busy,  our dinner table was filled with ripening tomatoes!

Our son, Brad, who lives out-of-town, called us on the afternoon of the Fourth.  He called to tell us there had been a death in the subdivision where he and his family live.  Shortly after lunch, on the Fourth, a four-year-old little boy drowned in the pool of the subdivision.  Details were sketchy, but some witnesses thought the little boy may have fallen and hit his head while some older boys were engaging in ‘horse play’.  Such sad news–especially on a holiday!  The pool was promptly closed, too, which spoiled the plans of many.

The weekend continued on, and it was a busy one.  In addition to finishing up the floor of the porch, Ed and I planted the beginnings of a fall garden, on Saturday,–and yes, you can call us crazy!  We planted a row of sweet potatoes and two rows of peas.  I started some lettuce and cabbage seedlings in cups, too.  All of this, while I’m still canning tomatoes from the summer garden!  I must be crazy!!!

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the ‘almost-finished’ project

Our porch floor is now finished, except for being painted or stained.  We’ll have to let the ‘treated’ boards dry out for a while before we can do that.  As always, Ed did a great job on the building project–much neater than any contractors we’ve ever hired.  Every screw is drilled in a perfectly straight line–eight of them into each of the forty-something decking boards…  Now, Ed just has to rest and recuperate!   As for me, I’m still doctoring my ear, but it seems to be responding much better to the new ear drops.  I’ve been able to sleep for the past two nights.

You know what they say, “That which doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”  Ed and I will either be very strong or dead, if we keep up the pace of this past weekend.  Have a restful Monday, everyone!  We’re going to try.

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I almost forgot!

7-8-2010 9;08;54 AM BandC wedding2

Today is the 13th wedding anniversary of  our daughter, Brandy, and her husband, Clint!  Wishing the two of them many, many more years of happiness together.

Published in: on July 7, 2014 at 8:08 am  Comments (3)  
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Wednesday Hodgepodge # 180…

It’s almost impossible to believe we’ve participated in 180 editions of Wednesday Hodgepodge, isn’t it?!  That’s a lot of questions to ponder and answer, but, still,  it never gets old.  My hat is certainly off to Joyce, for continuing to do such a splendid job week after week!  She’s an awesome hostess.

Without further delay, let’s jump right into this week’s questions, shall we?  I hope you’ll leave a comment!

1. Speaking of 180…when was the last time you ‘did a 180’ on something?

The last time I did a major ‘180’ was 29 years ago.  You see, when Ed and I got married we belonged to two different faiths.  (We’ve always been Baptists, but different kinds of Baptists.)  Eventually, we both joined a church of my faith, and even helped organize a new church, at one point!  (Ed didn’t totally agree with the doctrine,  but compromised and went along to keep peace in the family.)  After several years, God finally dealt with me, and I realized Ed’s beliefs were actually much closer to the truth than my own!  We ended up leaving the church that we’d helped start, and joining the church Ed had grown up in.  Ed and I were baptized together–twice!  Once in my faith, and a few years later,  into Ed’s.

2. It’s Independence Week in the US of A! What’s your favorite thing about America right this very minute? Favorites only! Let’s hear what you love about America.

I love America’s freedom–and I hope and pray she will always be able to stay that way!

3. Stars or stripes? Red, white, or blue? Watermelon, homemade vanilla ice cream, or blueberry pie?

Stripes.  Red.  Watermelon.  Enough said!

4. When did you last see stars, figuratively speaking?

A few weeks back, Ed and I were carrying his mom’s old dining room buffet up the steps of our front porch.  The steps and railings are narrow, and Ed accidentally smashed the tips of my fingers in between the buffet and the rail post.  Ouch!  I saw stars, and tears filled my eyes.

5. ‘Clear as a bell’, ‘with bells on’, ‘lots of bells and whistles’, ‘saved by the bell’…which phrase ‘rings’ truest for you lately? Have you ever seen The Liberty Bell?

I’m going to say ‘with bells on’ because for over two weeks, I’ve been going to the garden at 7 a.m. every morning!  Every day I have my apron on, a bucket in each hand, and I’m always carrying a can of insect repellent!  Doesn’t that sound like arriving ‘with bells on’?

Nope, I haven’t seen The Liberty Bell.

6. Are you caught up in World Cup fever? Have you watched a lot or a little or none at all?

No, I’m not caught up in World Cup fever.  I haven’t had  time to watch television in over a month!

7. Bid farewell to June in 10 words or less.

You were a great month.  Hate to see you go!

Random:

In case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing, this week, I’ll give you three guesses–and the first two don’t count!

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Nearly 2 bushels of butter beans, picked on Monday afternoon!

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Yesterday’s harvest of peas and tomatoes

All of this, just when the garden is winding down…  My thumbs may never be the  same!  By the way,  I’ll  be canning tomatoes for the next several days!  My kitchen counter is covered with them…

Published in: on July 2, 2014 at 7:54 am  Comments (9)  
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Hello Blog! I’ve Missed You…

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the view of my kitchen table (all last week)

I had the best intentions of re-entering the world of blogging, last week.  That was before–before the pea vines made a second crop of peas, before the butter beans made their second crop of beans, and before our dying tomato plants began growing more tomatoes!  Ya’ gotta’ love a good garden 🙂  So!  Guess what I’ve been doing for the past four days?!  In fact, I still have butter beans spread out on the floor, still waiting to be shelled–but I’ll get to those a little later.  For now, I’m going to blog!

Today is the first day, since June 18, that I haven’t had to get up and be in the garden at 7 a.m. (Sundays included)  I’m not quite sure what to do with myself,  but to tell you the truth, it sure feels nice!  There’s nothing quite like falling out of bed, putting on clean clothes, then covering yourself with insect repellent and heading for the dew-covered garden–and yes, you can insert a bit of sarcasm there!

Last week,  after a particularly ‘dirty’ trip to the garden, I managed to get water in my ear, while shampooing my hair in the bath tub.  I was in a hurry to deal with the vegetables  awaiting my attention, so I failed to get all of the water out of my ear.  As a result, I developed ‘swimmers’ ear’, which I’ve been battling for nearly a week!  An earache is a miserable thing, especially when you don’t have time to be sick.  Thank heaven for daughters who live next door, and have a handy supply of ear drops!  Thanks to those ear drops, I’m finally getting better 🙂

In addition to all of the gardening and canning, we did manage to fit in some family time on Friday night–with the entire clan, this time!   I fixed a pot roast in the oven, and cooked fresh peas and corn from the garden.  I even managed to bake a chocolate cake–all while dealing with an earache!

Our home gets very crowded and loud when everyone is present (there are 12 of us), but there’s nothing like having everyone together, under one roof.  The high point (with noise) of the evening was when the grandchildren decided to drag out the Baby Einstein keyboard and the old Fisher Price Marching Band set!  The ladies were talking in the living room, while the men were talking in the kitchen.  I sent the ‘grands’ into the kitchen to serenade the men folks 🙂  The men folks never missed a beat, they just slid their chairs a little further away from the children and kept on talking.  It was a priceless moment!

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our oldest and youngest grandchildren, enjoying a moment together

Brad, Jennifer, and Evan spent Friday night with us.  Evan doesn’t sleep well when he’s off from home, so he was up and down all night.  I feel bad for the little fellow, ’cause I don’t sleep well when I’m off from home either.  We all woke up, Saturday morning, with dark circles under our eyes, but none the worse for wear.  After all, we all had places to go and things to do.

Brad and Jennifer had plans with her family, so they left us pretty early on Saturday morning.  The rest of the day Ed and I spent picking and shelling–both peas and beans!  I put the last packs of peas in the freezer at 10 p.m. and went to bed, dead tired– but happy– because I knew I would be sitting on St. Simon’s Island on Sunday 🙂

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the view from our favorite tree: two huge ships passing in front of us

Ed and I got up early Sunday morning, and were on the road to St. Simon’s by 8 a.m.  We spent most of the day under our favorite tree again.  (I never grow tired of it!)  This time we were joined by our daughter and her family, which was a pleasant change for all of us.  There was a ‘Antiques Show’ going on, and we all browsed through the exhibits.  Our son-in-law took granddaughter, Madison, swimming in the park pool, as well.  We were all back home before 6:30 Sunday evening.  All-in-all, it was a good weekend!

This week, I’ll be attempting to play ‘catch up’ in the coming days–both in writing and finding out what’s been happening with all of my blog friends.  Of course, things may become a little bit crazy around here, again, during the next few days because…

Now that we have a brand new roof covering our front porch, the old decking boards suddenly need to be replaced!  As a result of now being protected from the rain, sun, and dew, our boards suddenly began to shrink.  We had no idea this was going to happen when we covered our porch!  We now have these HUGE cracks between each board (an inch or more), and this just isn’t working for us.  The chair legs keep falling into the cracks!  Over the upcoming holiday weekend, Ed will be attempting to remove these old boards, replace them with new ones, and close up the cracks.  This will not be an easy job!  (Much of the porch will have to be disassembled.)  Wish us luck, and hopefully, there won’t be any unintentional fireworks at our house!  If you read here regularly, you know how our building projects tend to go…  Have a great Monday, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on June 30, 2014 at 8:08 am  Comments (7)  
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It’s Monday…

It seems like I’ve been away from this computer forever, but, in reality, it’s only been four days.  Ed was off on Friday (another mandatory vacation day), so we had a long weekend together.  I’m beginning to like, and look forward to, those ‘mandatory vacation days’, so when Ed’s off, the computer gets a rest.  In fact, it collects a lot of dust.

To make a long story short,  the past three days,  Ed and I spent another day on St. Simon’s Island (without car trouble), worked in the garden (a lot), canned more vegetables, and spent time with each other and with our family.  Life has been good in our neck of the woods!  All good things must come to an end, so Ed had to go back to work today.

The house is a wreck, my hair needs washing, and the laundry pile is out of sight, so I’ll blog more about what’s been going on around here…later!  I’ll be catching up on blog visits, as I can.

Since it’s Monday, I’m joining Heather and Wayne’s ‘About Me Quiz’ again.  It’s a fun way to kick off a new week!

Acting Balanced

1. It’s email week – do you still use email for communication? How do you keep in touch with most people?

Yes, I still use email for communication. I prefer email over phone conversations because email gives me more time to think about what I want to say. Email and phone calls are the primary ways that I keep ‘in touch’ with people.

2. Today is Donald Duck Day – in his honor, we’re asking what makes you Quackers?

Children who disrespect their parents, and refuse to obey their rules  makes me go ‘Quackers’!   The last time I remember going ‘Quackers’ was about 13 years ago.  Our oldest son, who was being very disrespectful and hard to live with at the time, called me ‘the B word’.  Something in me just snapped!  I grabbed the broom, and chased him out of the house!  It’s a good thing he out-ran me, because I may have inflicted bodily harm on him, with that broom, if I’d been able to catch him!  I was so mad, I actually tore a muscle in my leg, while running down the steps, and I didn’t even notice the pain!  I hobbled around, afterward, for over three weeks.

3. Tomorrow is Iced Tea Day – sweet or unsweet? flavored? lemon? not at all?

I’m a southern girl, so I really like sweetened iced tea!  My favorite brand is Luzianne.  These days, due to dietary restrictions, I only drink iced tea, occasionally, as a rare treat, and I usually drink it without lemon.

4. How is your garden growing?

Our garden is growing great!  (Unfortunately, the grass and weeds are growing great, too.)

Here’s some of the bounty we gathered on Saturday morning:

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Here’s a picture of what our garden looks like, at the moment:

(corn, sunflowers, butter beans, peas,  and more butter beans)

The white dot in the picture is Ed

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Published in: on June 9, 2014 at 10:44 am  Comments (10)  
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In And Around The Garden…

Let’s take a little tour of what’s going on in and around the garden of 2014.  Ready?  Here we go!  I’ll begin with an over-all view of the entire garden.  I’m sorry about the quality of the picture, but the sun was going down whenever I took it!

We have potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, squash, green beans, tomatoes, three kinds of peas, three kinds of butter beans, okra, corn, and a row of sunflowers/zinnias growing in our garden.  Our 2014 garden is somewhat smaller than last year’s garden though.  We decided to downsize and make it easier on ourselves!

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Our sweet onions and squash are now ready! We’ll probably pull the onions up this weekend (to dry), and I’ve picked seven squash, so far.  I’ll be preparing some squash for the freezer soon.

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We’ve been picking lettuce for quite a while.  Soon, the weather in southeast Georgia will be too warm for lettuce to grow anymore. (Expecting to reach 94 degrees today) This is an iceberg lettuce plant. It looks quite different from what we buy in the store, doesn’t it?  Our plants never form an actual ‘head’ of lettuce.  I don’t know why.

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These are some of our carrots. These are actually planted too thick!  I didn’t worry about thinning the plants because I use them as food for our hens.  They love the carrot tops as much as they love the actual carrots. The actual carrots are about the size of my finger, at the moment.  The weather will soon be too warm for carrots, as well.

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This is a green bean plant. If you look closely, you can see the tiny green beans. In just a few more days, Ed and I will be picking and canning green beans.  I’ll do most of the picking and preparing, but Ed will help me with the actual canning part because I’m intimidated by the pressure canner!

It will be about another month before the rest of our garden is ready for harvest.  Peas, beans, and corn are usually ready for picking during the last of June.

At one end of our garden, we planted a row of fruit trees and berry bushes.  We have apple trees, plum trees, peach trees, pear trees, blueberry bushes, and blackberry bushes.

This is the first year our fruit trees have grown any actual fruit (except for our older pear trees), so we’re excited!  We have a few apples growing on our apple trees, see?

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We have peaches, too, but our peach trees look sort of bare. Something caused a lot of the leaves to fall off! We think it may have been the spray Ed used to protect the fruit from bugs and worms, but we’re not sure. Anyway, new leaves are growing back now.

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We have blackberries, too! I’m so excited about this because I love blackberries! We just planted these bushes last year, and now they are already six feet tall, and covered with berries!  Best of all, these blackberries have no thorns!  The berries are red now, but will soon be turning black.  In fact, I’m already finding a black one, occasionally.

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We have blueberries, growing on our bushes, too! You’ll notice we have nets over our berry bushes because the birds love our berries as much as we do!  We don’t mind sharing, but we’ve discovered that birds can be quite greedy.

That’s it for today’s tour around our garden of 2014.  Gardening is a lot of hard work, but it’s also enjoyable, and we sure do like eating the rewards 🙂    Fruit cobbler, anyone?

 

Published in: on May 23, 2014 at 7:59 am  Comments (9)  
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Miscellaneous Monday…

Wow!  The weekend is over, once again, and it’s time to begin another week.  I won’t take much time to write about our busy weekend, except to say that it went by in a hurry and included lots of work!   I’ll spare you the details, but just know that Ed and I were very tired and very dirty on Saturday night–and I went to bed with some sunburn!

We had planned on having a Sunday visit from our son, Brad, and his family, but things didn’t work out.  Just as I was dragging out the pots and pans to cook, Brad called to say sickness had struck their family–again, and they wouldn’t be coming.  Note to Brad & family here:  Country living is healthier for you than city living 🙂  Anyway, I put the post and pans away, and Ed and I went shopping, instead–all day–because it was raining!  Believe it or not, I went to Lowe’s and actually shopped in their garden center, while using an umbrella–and I wasn’t the only one doing it!!!  Gotta’ love that!

Our summer-like temperatures have temporarily left us,  and cool, rainy days have taken their place.  Thankfully, the workmen were able to get the tin on our porch roof before the rain got here 🙂  Hopefully, the ‘April Showers’ will make our newly planted garden grow because these cold, dreary days really suck!

Speaking of the garden, did you know it’s “Garden Week”?   On that note, let’s hop right into today’s questions of ‘The Monday Quiz’, shall we?  Thanks to Heather and Wayne for furnishing the questions and hosting.  Feel free to join us, if you can, by clicking the button below:

Acting Balanced

1. This week is “Garden Week” – do you garden and what progress have you made on this year’s garden… Wayne also wants to know what May Flowers you want these April Showers to bring?

Last week, Ed and I spent three different days working on this year’s garden.  We currently have ten (140 feet long) rows of vegetables and one row of flowers planted in our garden.  Ed plans to plant a row of peanuts and a row of watermelons, then we’ll be finished!  Since I planted zinnias and sunflowers in the garden, on Saturday, I hope ‘April Showers’ will cause them to bloom sometime in June!  I use the ‘garden flowers’ to make bouquets for the house, plus they make the vegetable garden look pretty!  See-

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Sunflowers in last year’s garden

2. Monday is No Housework Day – will you celebrate?

Yes, I think I will celebrate!  I have several other chores that I need to do, today, and none of them involve housework 🙂  I don’t like to do housework when it rains, anyway.

3. Wednesday is Name Yourself Day – would you change your name if you could? and if so, to what? If not, why not?

If someone would’ve asked me this question forty-five years ago, I probably would’ve answered “Yes, I’d like to change my name”, because I didn’t like my name back then.  I’ve always been glad that my mother spelled my name with a ‘K’ instead of a ‘C’, but I used to wish that she’d ended it with an “i” or an “ie”.  However, now that I’ve had my name for almost sixty years, it’s kind of grown on me!   These days, I’m happy being plain, old Kathy–with a “y”.

4. Friday is 8 Track Tape day – do you remember them? Did you have one? What 8 track song will you sing in honor of this day?

Oh, yeah!  I remember 8 track tapes and 8 track tape players (of the 70’s) very well!  Ed had one in his car, and I had one in my bedroom, back when  we were dating.  In fact, Ed actually bought my 8 track  player for me, cause he was nice like that.  (He, also, left all of his 8 track tapes with me while he was off serving in the military.)

One of the tapes I remember us listening to a lot, back then, was ‘The Supremes Greatest Hits’. “Baby Love” was one of my favorite songs on the tape, and hearing it, now, takes me right back to those nights of riding around in Ed’s 1961 Pink Mercury–without a care in the world–except what time I had to be home! With that happy thought, I’ll end this post and say “Happy Monday, y’all!”

Published in: on April 7, 2014 at 8:08 am  Comments (11)  
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