Monday, September 12, 2016

It's Looking Like Fall, Ya'll!


     
The picture really doesn't do it justice. This photo was taken today. The one above was taken in late September, early October.
Usually, this time of year we see lots of yellow and lighter green leaves. Now, we are seeing not only yellow and green leaves, but brown as well. I've never seen the trees turn this color in only September! It's usually mid October before we see real Fall color! It's been so dry the past two months! I think our last good rain was in early August! The ground is like cement! We have had an unusually hot July and August, and now September! Thus the reason for the dry ground and turning leaves. I just came in from taking photos and it's 94 outside! The sun is scalding hot!

      The weather has not affected the fruit production at least! I've harvested quite a few grapes, scuppernongs, and apples! I am in the process of extracting juice from the apples given to us by a neighbor, to be used to make jelly. And I'm going to make apple turnovers from previously cooked apples from our apple trees. Vegetables in the garden are as good as dead, so there won't be any more peppers, eggplants or tomatoes. The peppers and tomatoes didn't do that well anyway with all the rotten spots. I don't know if it was black spot or what, but I fed them with extra calcium to prevent that. Guess it wasn't enough.

      I have taken up a new hobby: brush lettering. I love it! I can't really write anything yet, but I practice everyday. I feel like a first grader, learning to write the alphabet! There are so many font styles to use! And so many writing instruments to use! One reason for learning brush lettering is to write on handmade cards I've decorated. I'm really practicing Merry Christmas in hopes of having it down pat by Christmas! I've been contemplating which electronic die cutting machine to purchase in the making of the cards. There are so many options and reviews, but I finally chose the Cricut Explore Air. I found the best price on Walmart.com, believe it or not! The main reason I chose Walmart is for the extended warranty. I purchased a four year one. I don't think the other stores or sites offer that. I can hardly wait for it to come in! The Youtube videos I watched showed that Cricut Explore was much less complicated to operate than the Cameo. I'm not a very techy person, so that was a seller for me.

      Life has kept me from Facebook and my blog, but I'm not giving up either one! Thanks for hanging in here with me and commenting! Have a wonderful week! Blessings from Bama!

From our garden! I made pasta sauce for spaghetti and baked ziti.

From our garden.

Our own grapes!

My first homemade card.

These were abundant this summer!

You may not can see this streak, but I've been seeing it at certain times of the day. It showed up after severe storms in August. I'm wondering if it is a lightening etch?

Jalepenos from the grow bag.

Three of my girls spent the night a few weeks ago.

Gavyn spent the night too!

Grape jelly!

Pear relish. The pears were given to us by some friends.

Did ya'll know we had a two-headed goat? Lol!

Steamer and canner going at the same time!

More pear relish!

Grilling on Labor Day.

'Fimming' on Labor Day.

Riley reading Brown Bear.

Napping in the chair!

Riding with Uncle Randy in the bucket truck!

Our new puppy laid like this for the longest!

Apples ready to be steamed for juice.

Prepping apples for the steamer.





Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Flies!

     Just thought I'd take a minute and write a quick post before it's August! We've had a very unusual July! The weather has been almost unbearably hot and humid and we've battled sickness! Randy is just getting over pneumonia! He's been sick with a cough for the good part of the summer, but after he jumped in the river to save a man, his symptoms took a turn for the worse! Randy finally went to the doctor after a week of getting sicker and found out he had the walking pneumonia! I'm glad it was that and not a heart attack or stroke! His symptom's at the time could have indicated one or both! The pneumonia, or mycoplasma, the term used in the medical field, is bad enough! He is so much better after taking a week off and consuming his meds! I just hope getting out in the heat and working won't make it worse! Please pray for his complete recovery!

      We have had the girls a lot during the month of July! They had such fun! We colored, cut, and made all kinds of crafty things! And of course, they got in the pool every chance they could. I miss them, as it's been a week since I saw them last! July was such a whirlwind!

      The garden has grown up so that I can't get to the tomato plants because of the weeds! I plan on getting on my boots today and seeing what I can find. The grapes are hanging on the vines, and the apples have pulled the branches down. I just have to keep a watch on them to see when they are ripe. It's my first year for all these apples and grapes, so it's a learning curve for us. 

      I'm looking forward to this coming week since the temps are supposed to be in the lower nineties! They've been in the upper nineties but felt like 100's +! That's when living in the South is such a challenge! But somehow we make it through! Makes Fall such a refreshing time of year! 

      I hope your Summer has been a good one! Hopefully where you live, the weather isn't as harsh as ours! Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a great day! Blessings from Bama!

My girls sure do love their Uncle Randy!

Little Riley is growing up!

Who knew a golf cart could be so much fun?!

Loving the pool!

Four are 'fimming'!

Mostly rotten, but I will cut off the bad spots and make sauce.

These are such large eggplants!

Our first grapes!

       

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hello, Summer!

      I can hardly believe it's summer! Wow! What warm temps we're having! It's been in the nineties for about a month! When summer hits the South, it really hits! From nice cooler weather and rain, to BAM! Heatwave! At least we've been having nice breezes! And the humidity hasn't been as bad on some days. We have been to the beach; celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, and celebrated Father's Day. Not to mention Yasmine and Mother's birthdays! Now, we have 4th of July and my sister's birthday to celebrate.

      My garden is doing good, what survived that is. For some reason my two squash plants just killed over! I'm still trying to grow some in the grow bags. Almost everything is doing good in the grow bags. The tomatoes and pepper plants are flourishing, as are the cucumbers. The sweet potatoes and strawberries are as well. I've really enjoyed summer so far! I have harvested almost two gallons of blackberries! That was not fun, as I always get chiggers! Still have them! I'm sure there are more blackberries that need picking; I'm just not sure if it's worth getting more chiggers! The eggplant plants are producing eggplants! I haven't harvested one yet, as I want them to get just a bit larger.

      I've been suffering with a terrible chest cold this week. I hate being sick, especially during summer when there's so much to do! I hope this stuff leaves my body soon! But even with that, I am so blessed! I just have to stop and look at God's creation to realize it. Everything around me is so beautiful! The hanging baskets, daylilies, green grass and trees! There's beauty in them thar' hills! Thanks, ya'll for reading my blog! Have a healthy and safe 4th! Blessings from Bama! Update!: I just came in from doing chores and my chest feels so much better! I'm beginning to heal, Praise the Lord!
Love this view!

Randy in his new recliner for Father's Day/Twenty-fifth anniversary!

Randy and Gavyn in the old chair.
I made this for a friend.
These beauties rode with us all the way to the beach! What were we thinking?

Our favorite spot at the beach!

Randy and Riley with Winterlynn in background.

Me and Gavyn had a good time on the Sea Dragon!

The three younger pirates.

The little bit older pirate.

What fun at the amusement park!

A deer right outside the camper! They were so tame!

I love this picture! They are all asleep on the way home from the beach! I guess the trip wore them out!


Loving all my pretty plants!
These beauties are going into hanging baskets.
One of the eggplant plants. 

The grow bag garden. Sorry it's sideways! Taken from my phone.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May on the Homestead

      Or I may not! Sorry, I just had to say that! How's everybody doing? We are all fine! I almost let May get by without writing! I would have been sad if I had done that. I at least want to write a post a month; a week would be better. We've been really busy around here this month! The garden is coming in nicely! Except for the plants I over fertilized. Yes, I got happy with 13-13-13! I know not to do that again! Funny; some tomato plants survived and are thriving! Others, no. I am determined to grow tomatoes here on the homestead and have enough to can! I wonder if that will happen this year? I believe I need to plant more tomato plants! I am experimenting with grow bags. I simply cut landscape fabric to the size I want and sewed the pieces on the sewing machine. They look just like the ones you can order online! I hope they withstand the summer! And all the watering! They dry out daily so they need lots of water. I have them in a plastic bin to hold some water. I drilled holes so the water can run out instead of bogging down the plants. That could be a problem if the container held too much water. I also made two very large grow bins. One has strawberry plants in hopes of detering rabbits. The other has sweet potatoes. I wished I had found out about these grow bins before I planted my regular potatoes in the ground! We will see how this works out. I found out about grow bins from Old Alabama Gardener and Executive Gardener on Youtube. Of course I still enjoy watching John Kohler's Growing Your Greens! Have you experienced growing in grow bags? I think it's a relatively new thing.

      The apple sticks all have apples on them! I guess I can call them trees now! We also have grapes! I am so happy! The nectarine, peach, and plum trees are loaded! And man, at the blackberries! I shouldn't have to go off my property to get blackberries this year! What to do with all that jam and jelly? Overall, I am very happy with the growing season! I can hardly wait for harvest! How is your garden growing?


      The weather has gotten hot the past couple of days! Got up to 92 today! Yikes! I've been doing the bulk of my gardening later in the evening after 5. Getting my flower beds cleaned out and looking so much better! Laying cardboard and whatever I can find to keep out weeds in the garden. It's just too hot to be out there between 11 and 5! Needless to say, I've been cleaning my very neglected house! It's beginng to look nice again! I'm not keen on dusting so I dusted the other day. I actually have furniture under there!

      It's hard to believe Memorial Day is coming up! Ya'll have a blessed and safe holiday! Thanks for reading! Blessings from Bama!

We had these beautiful birds visiting our bird feeder again this year!

New Dawn rose.

Clematis.

I almost waited too late to get their pic!

My new swimming pool!

The making of a grow bin.

I had the weel barrow full of dirt I mixed. That was a job!. Rain water.

I'm experimenting growing in these things I found on the homestead.

The grow bag after I sewed it.

Grow bags in plastic containers.

A glimpse of a few of our daylillies in bloom.

Using materials I can find for a weed barrier in the garden.

So happy for these grapes!


The planted grow bins.

Blackberries that will soon turn black.

A friendly snake to deter birds.

So happy for all these apples!



The all seeing eye should help keep birds away.


Lots of nectarines!

Love this beauty!

And this!


The yellow climber adds brightness to the shady area.