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.


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.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Pictures and Projects on the Homestead!

      Hello all! Hope ya'll are well! It seems I have more and more to do as the weather warms up here! Sorry I haven't written in awhile! I just sit down randomly and decide to write. That is, of course, after I've taken a series of photos. It is a very sunny, windy day here in the South! It seems the wind hasn't stopped blowing since January! It's not too bad though, since the temperature is in the mid 60's. We've actually had warmer weather before now. It fluctuates from week to week. Sometimes, day to day! We are having the earliest Spring, ever! I had a rosebush to bloom this week! I don't think I remember one blooming until late April! Quite different from last year, when everything was late!

      I have started yet another healthy eating lifestyle! Have ya'll heard of the 21 Day Fix Program? It has been advertised on television and elsewhere. I just stumbled upon it on YouTube. I really like the way it helps me portion out my food. After reading about it and printing lists and tally sheets, I decided to do it. Then I found the container system at Walmart. I decided to purchase them. They are different from the 21 Day in servings and teaspoons. The colors are different; however, the sizes are the same. I like to combine the two programs on most days. I find it very difficult to eat four, five ounce servings of protein everyday! I can't eat eggs, and I'm somewhat sensitive to dairy! That makes it difficult to get in the servings. The Perfect Portions I purchased at Walmart says for my caloric intake that I only need three servings of protein. It also allows me to have more fruit. That is a little difficult to get in too, cause so many fruits are not in season. Strawberries are still a little crunchy; apples are green tasting; watermellon is crunchy. You get the idea. Leaves me with bananas and frozen fruit like berries and mango. I did find some jars of canned pears in the pantry I can eat. I guess canned is better than none? I go by these programs as best as I can. The main thing is portioning out my food correctly. I wasn't eating enough of some things and too much of others! Now I know! Since December, I have lost 10 pounds. I haven't taken my measurements lately, so I don't know how many inches, but my clothes tell me I'm slimming down. Since this is my first week on the containers, I can tell a difference in the way I feel. I am exercising three days a week and walking on the alternate days. One must exercise to tone. Yes, you can lose weight without it, but it's so good for you! I think I'm having sugar withdrawals or carb withdrawals! I get so little carbs now! Plus, I'm trying not to eat carbs after 6:00 P.M. When I say carbs, I mean like tortillas, bread, rice, etc. I didn't think I ate that much before until I used the containers. I think measuring my food with the containers gives me the right perspective on portion size, so I'll know how to eat the rest of my life! I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is concerned about their health, losing weight, or just knowing the correct amount of food for their lifestyle.

      We haven't plowed our garden yet! The reason is because we are going to transplant our grapevines. Randy has been working on getting posts in the ground to hold them up. The grapevines, including muscadines(yay) have itty bitty grapes!!! I'm so excited! I hope transplanting them at this stage won't hurt them! He hasn't finished running the cables to attach to the posts. 

      I hope ya'll enjoyed reading about my weight loss and healthy eating habits as well as what's going on garden-wise! Have a nice day! Blessings from Bama!

My pitiful ponytail before I cut my hair!

After I cut my hair.

My almost final haircut. I went with shorter layers in back.

Baby boy Gavyn and big sister Riley.

Loving my salads!

Getting ready for grilling season!

The beautiful Keria.

The nectarine tree was in full bloom a couple of weeks ago. Now there are nectarines where the blosoms were.

Beautiful red tips were blooming a couple of weeks ago!

The forsythia was so pretty this year!

I never tire of daffodils even though they're long gone.

The peach blossoms look like the nectarine blossoms.

My beautiful great-nieces Easter Sunday!

The irises are blooming now.

The Fugi apple tree has numerous blossoms.

The photo does not do the Spirea justice!

The Japanese maple is so colorful and full!

All of our apple trees have blossoms this year!

The cherry blossoms are lovely!

Muscadine grape vines.

The fennel didn't really die back this year!


Spring view.

The wisteria was so vibrant this year!

Today's yummy salad.

I used this to portion my salad.