Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I saw a snake in the shed!

      But I didn't have my camera and by the time I got back to it, it disappeared! It was a chicken snake according to the hubs, which doesn't make me very happy! I don't want it to find the chickens or the eggs! But over by the chickens, we discovered a snake skin. Or should I say Jack did. He went crazy barking so I had to check it out. So glad it was just a skin. I think it was a rat snake. One day I'll learn my snakes. I do know what a rattlesnake looks and sounds like, though.

      I haven't seen any hummingbirds yet but I know they're around. I hung up the feeder yesterday so I know they'll find it soon. Have you seen any snakes or humming birds lately? What about a black panther?

      There's rumor going on around these parts that black panthers have been loosed to help control coyotes and such. They've actually been seen just over the mountain from here and also about two miles down the road from here. The dogs were going crazy about something in the woods, so I went down the hill with my boots on and rake in hand,(that way if I ran into a snake I'd be ready) I looked up at the tree and decided that it was a house cat. But I wanted to be sure, so when hubby and son got home, they went down to inspect and sure enough, it was just a black house cat and not a black panther. Whew!!! What a relief!

      I've been reading a lot about herbs lately. Do you grow and use your own herbs? There is such a wealth of information on the net about herbs. I'm reading The Welcoming House blogspot, and she is posting this week about herbs and what they're good for. A very interesting blog. If I can figure out how to link it here, that would be great. Give her a visit if you're interested. Upon searching for herb seeds to purchase, I found Sand Mountain Herbs . com. Hopefully, one day I'll be able to link this as well. The herb place is local to me so I'll be getting my herb seeds, as well as some ebooks, from this store. Hope you all have a wonderful week and stay away from those snakes and panthers! Blessings from Bama!
Hubs did the hive without assistance.

Changing out some of the old frames with new ones.
Iris about to bloom.

This is sweet scrub. Do you have it on your property? There's no other fragrance quite like. It smells almost like over ripe fruit, in a good way!

The chickens taking cover from the heat under the huge rose bush.

The iris reminds me that my sins have been washed whiter than snow!

Frozen chicken breasts placed into crockpot, then cooked until done. I used Mexican spices and it was delicious!

It really does look like a house cat!

Or does it?

More iris in bloom.

I love the shades of purple on this iris.

More white iris on the same stalk, from the previous photo.

Sage blooming.

Can you see the small piece of snake skin?

He's trying to eat it!

A longer piece of the snake skin.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Canned Baked Beans And Homemade Liquid Soap!

      I guess some people would tell me to get a life, since all I do is stay at home and make stuff! That is my life and I love what I'm doing! I love making homemade ketchup that tastes so much better than store bought! I love making homemade liquid hand soap that saves lots of money and works just as good if not better than the "antibacterial" stuff! I love making homemade yogurt made with local pastured milk, that tastes nothing like the yucky stuff purchased at the store. I love canning dried beans and looking in my pantry and seeing all the shelves full of something I made! Simple. Practical. That's the way I see it! 

      I love going out to the hen house and gathering all of the brown, and occasionally green, eggs. I love searching for my duck egg, that is occasionally found just lying on the ground. She hasn't laid an egg all week and that is unusual for her. I love watching the bees fly in and out of the hive, taking the precious pollen that is eventually turned into honey to feed them. The queen made it into the hive where she is busy doing her thing! We are still feeding them, and will continue until they are better established.

      I don't know what life God would have me to live other than the one He has given me here. My times are in His hands and I trust Him with all that I have, since He gave this to me anyway. Sometimes I think I would like to live in a farm house with lots of land around me. But I don't know if that's what God has planned for us. Until He leads us in that direction, I'm very content to remain here, in the house He gave us. Simple. Practical. That's the way I want to live out the rest of my life on this earth. We are just a vapor, you know.

      As we go about our busy lives, we need to try and not become distracted with what others have. Some people have all the latest technological implements, and everything that they could possibly want. But still, they are not happy! You know why? They haven't put God first in their lives! Yes, It's as simple as taking a few minutes of our very busy lives, to read the Bible and pray. For others. For ourselves. For our families. Just give Him some attention. He's waiting! Have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!

Liquid hand soap in the making.

Checking to see if the queen was released. Guess which one is hubby?

Everything is looking good!

Is that the queen? No, it' a drone.

Keeping the pressure regulated was harder since it only contained four quarts.

The handmade soap filled up this gallon cider jug.

The lovely beans!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring, Ya'll!

      Or in our case, early summer! The temps have been in the mid eighties the last few days, and are predicted to stay there throughout the week! It gets really warm after lunch, so I don't really enjoy the sun much. I can only imagine what it will feel like in a month or so! Still, I love the South! Everything is going to come in early this year, all the vegetables and fruit. I can hardly wait to go pick strawberries in a few weeks!

      The bees arrived this past Friday and seem to be doing very well. We are learning as we go and are doing things a little different this time. We check the sugar water every evening and always have to refill the jar. It's a very thick syrup that has to be fed to the bees in the beginning so they will have something to eat. We are not doing this to try to get honey this year, as I read on someone's blog. This is something that has to be done. We won't get honey until next year, and I'll be so excited when that day comes. In the meanwhile, I just enjoy watching the bees go in and out of the hive, and eventually pollinate the garden.

      I still haven't painted the bathroom trim yet. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever get that job done! Hopefully, the notion will strike me soon! All I want to do this time of year is be outside or in the kitchen! I'm hoping to can some baked beans today.(Probably not going to happen today!) Oh yea, someone asked me about a website on canning and the name of it is: pick your own dot org. I hope she reads this post and gets the right address! Also, if you want to email me, just click on my profile photo. Have a great week! Blessings from Bama

Wisteria still looks pretty, but today it's almost gone!

Old once-blooming rose bush. Chickens stay under there when it's hot, and for protection from predators.

Lots of dogwood trees in bloom.

More dogwoods and irises.

View of raised beds.

The row thing seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

Play date with the nieces. It was a beautiful, warm day!

Tiny tot pushing cart.

Hubs the bee man!

Hubs and the other bee man. Hubs has on complete attire.

Nuc of bees. The can has  sugar water to feed bees during transition.

Close up of nuc.

Ten thousand bees?

Fig tree producing leaves and fruit. Fruit won't be ready for awhile, though.

Pulling out the container with the queen.

Queen is inside this box.

They're already trying to get to the queen.

Emptying nuc inside hive.

Look at all those bees falling into hive!

They're in! Tonight we get to see if they got the queen out.

I was told this was a snowball bush when I purchased it. It doesn't have big snowballs on it like I though it would.

All seems well with the hive.

They're going in and out as they should.

Feeder on top.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wisteria and Roses are blooming!

      Seriously? Yes! I knew the Lady Banks rose bloomed early, just didn't know it would be mid March! And wisteria? Usually the first of April. But they are blooming at the same time! Did you know those are my two favorite blooms? Thus, the name of my blog. I was so excited yesterday when I saw them, so I had to share them with you today. I also just discovered the purple verbena blooming, as well. It looks like it's going to be a long, hot summer! I hope we have lots of rain, though, no more droughts! I really am enjoying this warm and mild weather.

      Someone asked about the cardboard I'm putting in the garden. I have raised beds, so the cardboard will hopefully prevent the grass from growing around them, and the flowers I have planted there. I'm not talking about weeds, it's grass! It takes over everything! The garden, flower beds, you name it! I may pull  up some of the cardboard where there is a large enough space, however, and plant more tomatoes and squash.  There's just so much to do this time of year, but like I said before, I love it! I love staying active and busy, because to me, time is a precious thing to waste! Have a nice day! I intended to post this before 2:00 my time today, but the internet decided to go off until awhile ago! Sorry! Better late than never! Blessings from Bama!

I just can't help showing this Keria again! It is right next to my herbs.

I love all the yellow flowers blooming this time of year!

A spirea still in the pot. Beautiful!

More yellow from the forsythia.

New Lady Banks rose! We sat it out this past fall.

Purple iris.


Blueberry bush. Looks like its going to make it.

I think this one will make it, too!

Blackberry vines, irises, and other random flowers.

Can you see it? Wisteria!

Wild plum tree in bloom.

Purple verbena. Landscape fabric needs mulch on it.

New chicken yard and neighbors horses. View from my front side porch.