Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sweet (HOT) Summertime!

      It has been a typical week in the South, weatherwise, with hot, muggy temps! We are actually getting a little rain, as I type this. It is so welcome as we have had a very dry August! My pepper plants are drooping as if they will fall over any second! I harvested the peppers from them today in hopes that they won't! The bean plants are turning yellow and unless this rain helps, there may not be any more green beans. Same with the cucumbers and squash. I didn't know I'd still be harvesting from these vines this late in the Summer! Pleasant surprise! Are ya'll still harvesting beans, squash, and cucumbers?

      I think the pumpkin vine finally has a pumpkin on it. I hope it will grow to maturity before a frost! Surely so, since our first predicted frost isn't until November 11! I can't see the melon vines, as the grass has grown so tall around them! I don't want to venture into that tall grass and get chiggers again! I think my chiggers have finally died off! But the poison ivy is another story! I didn't know I could get poison ivy from handling my goats! I touch them before I realize it and then I suffer from extreme itching! It' so hard not to pet the precious little darlings! They always jump on my legs like they're trying to climb up them! I hope to find buyers for them soon! I hate to see them go, but they will not be of use here as their purpose is for breeding. I would not breed them back to their Moms! If they were for meat, that would be different, I guess.

      It was so nice to see the girls home from Morocco! We got to spend a few days with them before they went home to Birmingham. They had to get started in school. I hope to see them again soon. Winterlynn and Riley came too. We got to spend a few days with Winterlynn when her Mom had a virus. She is such a sweet girl! They're all sweet! Never a dull moment when they are all here! They will be sad not to get in the big swimming pool again! We had a mole poke a hole in the bottom of the liner we had just purchased last Spring! I don't know if we'll patch the hole or sell the swimming pool! I'll let you know next time. They enjoy the little pool almost as much.

      I hope ya'll are having an enjoyable Summer! I have enjoyed all the harvests from my garden, and others! I'm also looking forward to next week when I get another box of peaches from Chilton county! They are the best! Thanks for reading and commenting! Blessings from Bama!

A bat was in the top of the umbrella when we opened it!

Don't tell Uncle Randy she's sitting on his mower!

Lulu wants to drive the golf-cart!



The 'Princess' opening her presents! She's such a Momma's girl!

After a long day of play!

Having fun in the pool!

Such a pretty thing!

Got to get over!

I'm glad she was brave enough to get on the float!


They got still long enough so I could get this shot.

I can't look at you Aunt FeFe cause the sun's in my eyes! They found a turtle on the side of the road and had to bring it to me.

I can never get them to look at the same time!

Winterlynn likes my green juice!

Can you believe these potatoes were harvested from our garden? And this is just from one hole!


The angel trumpet looking so pretty!

Me, my Mom, and sister having a girls day!

My last batch of sauce until fall.

Harvested today.

I've been harvesting figs quite often. When my bag in the freezer gets full, I'll make some jam. I'm hoping to make chipotle from the jalapenos. Those are two of six pears on my pear tree. I just picked apples from our tree I'm going to make into a cobbler.

From our garden.

Chicken cooked in the sun oven.

Freshly picked from the garden.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer is for Making Sauce!

      Hey ya'll! Hope ya'll are enjoying the hot August days! Yes, it's gotten hot here again! 90's and almost 100 yesterday! Whew! What a change since the last post I wrote! It's muggy too! We did welcome some much needed rain last night since we haven't seen any in a couple of weeks. Our garden is drying up and so are the raspberries! Hopefully it will perk up after the rain. More rain is predicted for the weekend and next week. I always welcome rain! The only time I hope it doesn't rain is Saturday for Lulu's birthday! They are back from Morocco and we will have her party here then. She turned 4! She and Yasmine will be going to the Muslim school in Birmingham starting Monday! Yasmine will start kindergarten and Layla will be in the pre-school class. They are growing up so quickly!

      I purchased more tomatoes last week. I also got a basket of peaches. The peaches were so wormy; plus I had to wait a week for them to ripen. They tasted good so I made a couple of cobblers. (No worms in my cobblers, however!) The tomatoes took that long to ripen as well so I made sauce this week. I'm really getting the hang of using the Vitamix to make the sauce and cooking it in the Nesco. So easy! Then I just waterbath can them. Using the Vitamix, there is no waste of the tomatoes. The whole tomato, sans the bad spots, is used. I like not having all the waste with the peels. The sauce cooks up nice and thick. The sauce I made this time separated. The sauce I made before didn't separate. I wonder why?

      I tried to milk the girls. FAIL!!! They did not want to be touched! I'm going to keep trying but I don't know how to be successful without a milkstand. Have ya'll got any advice to share about milking? I sure would appreciate it!

      After going some time without laying, the hens are laying again. I love gathering eggs from their nest! I don't love opening the door and seeing a snake devouring the eggs! I caught one in the action again yesterday! I get so mad when that happens! One day, I'm going to learn to shoot that gun!

      I'm anxiously awaiting the time when I can sow fall seeds! I'm giving the fall garden a shot this year. I think I'll use the raised beds for some of the planting. I will utilize the greenhouse for later plantings. I'm going to grow all kinds of greens and beets. I'll keep ya'll updated when I get started.


     I hope ya'll are staying cool! School has started here already, what about where you live? Poor little kids! Riding the bus in this heat! Oh yea, school started the first day of the longest yard sale! They said there were major traffic jams because of the school traffic, buses, and yard-sale goers! I'm so glad I didn't get in that mess! We may go to the sales Sunday since most of the traffic will be cleared out by then. Then again, maybe not. I've found that those sales are much higher priced than regular yard sales. So unfair, taking advantage of people that way! Oh well, if you like that kind of thing, go see what it's all about. It will be hot, so be prepared! Thanks for reading the blog! Leave a comment and let me know you were here! Blessings from Bama!

These tomatoes are from our garden.

I only made three jars of sauce this time cause there weren't enough tomatoes ripe enough to make more.

I love making pickles, and this bag of lime has the recipe on the back that I use. They turn out great every time! You can add hot peppers to make a sweet-hot pickle. I did that, and man are they good!

The guys went deep-sea fishing while we were at the beach. These are some of the red snapper they caught. Randy cooked them on the grill after he put way too much Duck Commander seasoning on them. They were spicy!

Homemade buttermilk in the making. One cup buttermilk to three cups regular milk; let sit on counter for 24 hours. Done!

Thirteen more pints of these delicious pickles! Made from our cucumbers!

Marinara sauce in the making! It gets better with each batch!

I always hate to open the door on this! I watched in amazement as it wrapped its head around the egg before running in to get the camera!




This was a much larger snake than before. Unless it just grew since then.

The rest of its body trailing down inside the hen house.
Peach cobblers: one for me and one for Randy!


My sauce separated this time.

Sir Henry sure has grown!

Sir Malcolm has grown too!
I'm still picking these rattlesnake beans, about a bag a week! Yummy!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Eighty-one degrees on the 29th of July?

      That may not be odd where you live but for here in the Heart of Dixie, that's extremely odd! It has been the nicest day since May! Cooler temps with low humidity makes for one happy girl! Tomorrow should bring more of the same! I hope to get in the garden tomorrow and put down manure and bags over the weeds around the winter squash plants and pumpkins. The weeds are taking over the pumpkins and butternut squash. Some of the leaves are turning yellow. They might need a little drink since it hasn't rained since last week. The days have been in the nineties until late yesterday. Then the weather just changed suddenly! It was so nice to be out in the evening gathering squash without sweat rolling in my eyes! I hope these cooler temps last the rest of the summer! Even the animals are happy and jumping around! The new babies, that is.

      We've really been enjoying the green beans harvested from our garden! The rattlesnake beans have produced phenomenally! And I didn't even plant them! They came up voluntarily from last year's seeds. That's really amazing! The Blue Lake green bean is just about done, although I did get a few yesterday. I will plant those again along with the rattlesnake and wax beans. The tomatoes haven't produced much. Something eats on them before I can bring them inside. I think there's a rabbit hiding out in the tomato garden. Something eats on the cucumbers as well. I bought another box of tomatoes to can and will get started on the sauce tomorrow. I also got a basket of peaches that are not ripe enough to eat yet. I don't think they will be as good as the Chilton County peaches. Those are the best peaches! But I have a peach pie recipe I am going to try with them. If it's not good, I can always make peach cobblers!

      With the rising cost of meat and other items, I've been trying to find ways to spend less on some things to cover the cost of other things. An example of this is switching to Magic Jack for the home phone and a Trac phone for my cell. Together, these will cost approximately $10 a month. A savings of $20 dollars a month by switching from Straight Talk. Of course this means I still won't get a Smart phone, but I've lived without one this long; it doesn't even phase me! I use the laptop for everything anyway since I'm always home. What little I'm away from the house, the Trac phone will suffice. Since I don't work to bring in money for the homestead, this is the least I can do. If I worked outside the home, things would be different. In about 3-4 months, these will pay for themselves. Plus, I want to invest in a good cordless phone. I will have to put the base upstairs, so it will have to have good range. I saw an At&t phone at Walmart for about $50 I'm going to save up for. Too bad we got rid of ours a few years ago! I don't talk on the phone much anyway so the only thing I'll miss is texting. Sometimes that's a good thing to have. Oh well, talking takes up less time, usually.

      I had two precious girls here this past weekend! Riley and Winterlynn! It was so good to see them after going several weeks without seeing them! I miss my two in Morocco! They should be home next week! Yay! We'll be celebrating a birthday as soon as they get back, Layla! She wants a princess party! That should be a fun party!

      I hope ya'll enjoyed this post! I love reading your comments and hope to see more of you leaving them. You keep me inspired! Let me know what's going on on your homestead in the comments. Have a great week! Blessings from Bama!

These are the six peach cobblers from last time. They were put in the freezer.

Another box of tomatoes.

Another bushel of corn. I like the size of this corn. It's not sweet but still tasty. I cut the corn off and after microwaving and cooling it, put it into bags for the freezer.

Squash from our garden. So yummy!

I got eight quarts from this sauce.

Winterlynn and Riley playing in the pool.

They play well together.

She has such a personality!

Riley loves to swing! Her left foot turns in pretty bad and causes her to fall a lot. She fell and hit her head on our table and it left her with a bruise on her eye. I felt so bad!

Randy has put another puzzle together! It is adorable! It took as long as the other, even though it has less pieces. There's a lot of dark pieces that were difficult to piece together.

I hope to put most of these tomatoes into the sauce pot tomorrow! Peaches will be ripe in a few more days.

The bucklings surprised me by getting on the dog houses already! They are so small!

They play sweetly together.

Such a nice day! I hope it lasts!