Monday, April 29, 2013

A little bit of rain, and a lot of sunshine!

      I wrote this post and while I was typing in a caption under a photo, the whole thing including all the photos disappeared! Where did it go? Oh well, guess I'll start over! We've had family, especially little great-nieces, here a lot lately! They've moved only ten minutes away! I'll have to learn how to balance blogging and children, along with my other chores. Each new season has it's trials and difficulties but as the season progresses, everything gets balanced out, hopefully! Longer days, more work outside! Shorter days, more work inside! 

      The weather has been rainy lately, but today it's beautiful and sunny! The garden is growing nicely! There are beans coming up and green strawberries! I can hardly wait to harvest them! The squash and cucumbers haven't come up, but the nights have been a little cool. They will probably come up next week. Summer will show up just as quickly as Spring did! We'll have a nice day, then the next it will be eighty-something! I hope to get the mulch and landscape fabric down before it gets much hotter! Skylar has been helping, but today he is working! Guess I'll have to get out there and get it done! I love being outside! The flowers are blooming and the weather feels good! It just gets really hot around all that concrete!

      I've been in the kitchen as usual, cooking all kinds of things! I'm also experimenting with different techniques of cooking. I tried a cook box and found that it really works! I cooked soup on the stove for about ten minutes, then put it in the box. It stayed there for a couple hours, and walla, it's done! Good for saving on electricity or whatever you use to cook with! I'm still trying the solar shield cooking and the next sunny day, I'm going to cook potatoes! I think it will work! Tonight I'm using the pressure cooker, as that uses much less electricity, and gets the job done quickly! Have you tried different ways to cook in order to save on gas or electricity? Let me know in the comments. Ya'll have a nice week! Blessings from Bama!
Ran, my Dad, Winterlynn, Yasmine and Layla.

The blackberries are blooming! That's what all those white blooms are.

I'm having to cook on my induction burner. After only seven years of cooking on the stove, one of the eyes have gone out.

Ta-da! Our new Berkey! I've been wanting one of these for about three years, so we finally got one! The water tastes great; actually, it has no taste!

 This beautiful bird was on the bird feeder the other day! I don't know what kind it is!

                  Isn't it beautiful?
The cook-box. Wrap the pot in blankets then place in the box.

Skylar working on the mulch.

Aren't these irises gorgeous?

These look almost black!

The clematis is the same color.

A peony bud.

I love this shade of yellow!

The Lady Banks in full bloom.

Riley enjoyed watching me dig.

Such a dainty little rose!

She already loves to swing!

Win likes the see-saw!

Nanny pushing her. Riley looks like she's smiling!

Riley slept here for three hours! I didn't know she would sleep that long! She usually only sleeps for thirty minutes! I guess the swing wore her out!

The wisteria has really grown this year!

Aren't these red roses pretty?

The flower bed is coming along!

More dainty roses.

The refrigerator is not the theme of this photo! The fig tree is! The fridge is on its way out! The hubs was going to turn it into a solar oven but has decided it would be too much work.

The bees are busy about the hive!

The small hive is doing good too!

Green strawberries!

The rattlesnake beans are emerging!

The almost black irises and clematis.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Everything is pretty and green here!

      I'm so thankful to live in Alabama! Yes, we do have severe weather at times, but for the most part, the weather is mild! Of course the summers are sweltering hot, so thank God for air conditioners! I've been busy working in the flower beds all week and planting seeds. So far, I've planted rattlesnake beans, cucumbers, and squash. I'm going to harden off the seedlings soon, so I'll get those in the ground as soon as possible.

      As I said in the title, everything is pretty and green here! Amazing what a week can make in the weather! We went from cool to very warm in just a few days! Then, everything seemed to turn green over night! We've had a lot of rain, which is to be expected in April, and that accounts for all the green. There are a lot of irises blooming, as well as the Lady Banks rose. The climber by the porch is full of rosebuds about to open. I can hardly wait, since it smells so good! The girls were here this past weekend, but I don't think they're coming this weekend. What will I do with myself? I know, I'll finish in the flower beds, hopefully! The  humid weather really drains me when I'm working in the sun! I can barely move past nine o'clock at night! That's what time we've been eating dinner! I'll be glad when I get caught up so things will get back to normal! I love staying busy though, just not this tired!

      I hope you are getting to plant something where you live! Some of you may still have snow, so you'll have to wait for awhile. I wished I could make a snow angel right now; it would cool me off! I can't seem to get cool for now, and I'm drinking a green smoothie! There are lots of photos here, and there would be more but the camera battery died. I'll have more to show you next time. Have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!

Can you guess who bit the flowers off and scattered them? Rubi!

The Lady Banks with more flowers. There are even more on them today!

A different shade of purple. This is one of the flower beds I've been cleaning out.

You will see in the photo below this is the white iris. This bed has been cleaned out too!

The bluebirds established their nest in this nest leftover from some other birds last year. It is at the top of a column on the front porch.

You can't see the nest, but it's at the top of this column.

Yasmine and Layla enjoying the swing!

The geese and chickens are enjoying the pile of weeds I threw over from the flower beds.

Yasmine is holding hands with her 'bestie' as Layla drags along behind.

A closeup of the iris.

The collie loves the children!

Apple blooms on the older apple tree. Yay!

Cherry blossoms for the first time!

Yasmine and Layla's other friend. Can you tell the shoes are on the wrong feet?

Alaina is such a diva!

Yasmine's bestie, Eden, wanted to ride in the wagon.

Time for a nap! Look, her shoes are on the wrong feet!

Auntie Amber holding Riley!

Handy dandy steamer working to steam the rice. It turned out beautifully!

Dog wood trees in the back. You like the See Rock City bird house? Everyone should have one of these!

I'm excited about pears on the pear tree!

The white irises opend. The peonies are about to open also.

Pretty, green trees!

The neighbor brought us some horse manure to use in the garden. I'm glad to get it!

The once-blooming rosebush that I transplanted from another part of the property. The hens take shelter under it most of the year. It us full of buds!

A fuller view of where the rosebush is. Just to the right of the beehive, is a nook. We separated the hive and made a new one. You can barely see it in this photo.

Yellow iris in bloom with a lily just in front of it.

I really like the orange iris! There were all kinds of grass and weeds in this bed before I cleaned it out!