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!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Enjoying the Blessings of the Harvest of Summer!

      I'm thankful for this moment to sit down and write a post! I have been standing on my feet for what feels like two whole weeks! My feet were actually swollen last night when I went to bed! But I'm not complaining! I am so happy to have all this 'stuff'! Since I wrote last, I have picked more blackberries and froze them, picked three gallons of blueberries from a u-pick farm Purchased from a farm: a bushel of corn and froze it; a half-bushel of peas and had them shelled and froze them; a box of canning tomatoes I just finished canning as marinara sauce; a box of peaches that have been made into cobblers, now cooking, to put into the freezer. I made a second batch of sweet pickles with cucumbers from our garden; and yesterday I cut up onions and zucchini from our garden (not the onions) and made zucchini relish. It's delicious! I hope to get another bushel of corn next week and another box of peaches and tomatoes. I also need to cut up the squash from our garden and cook and freeze it. I hope I didn't leave anything out!

      We have also welcomed some new additions to the homestead! Sir Malcolm and Sir Henry, our new bucklings! They are adorable! I'm just having a problem with how the new Moms butt the other one's baby! Oh my! Talking about stressful! All this birthing and babies makes me want to run! I THOUGHT I wanted to milk the mommas, but not now! They won't let me get to them! One baby runs to me and the other runs away! Delilah had Sir Malcolm and another baby that didn't make it. It was a beautiful black doeling! So sad! But I guess that's what to expect with a freshener. Malcolm is really small but hopping around like normal. Daisey had Sir Henry and he's so big! He's  much bigger than Sir Malcolm, who was born a week earlier than him. Like I said, I just don't know what to think about all this birthing stuff! We are going to sell the bucklings and maybe even the parents! I'll keep you updated as to what we decide.

      The weather has been extremely hot and humid until a week ago. This week has been a nice, cooler week with less humidity, until last night. It's cloudy and raining lightly. The temps are lower, in the eighties instead of nineties, but the humidity, whew! At least the hens are laying again!

      Thanks for sitting down with me and reading for awhile! I enjoy the time I share with ya'll and hope to hear from you soon! Blessings from Bama!

I miss these girls too! The pool is now green, so no swimming for me!
Straining blackberry juice for jelly.

Blackberry juice and a few tomatoes from our garden.

I love the color of this daylily. It even has a fragrance!

Love this double-yellow!

Nice passion flower.

Yellow and green squash and zucchini. No one seems to pay attention to the sign in the back!

Cooking chicken breasts in the Sun Oven. It got cloudy so I had to finish them inside.

I wasn't able to capture this at it's prettiest.

Sir Malcolm and Delilah. He's so tiny here!

Fourteen jars of blackberry jelly!

A bushel of corn now in the freezer.

The box of tomatoes, peas, and peaches are now prepared!

Daisey and Sir Henry, freshly born!

Taking advantage of the Vitamix! It made the sauce quicker! I will be doing this again!

That box of tomatoes is now sauce!

Ten more jars of sweet pickles.

Henry and Malcolm.



Nine jars of marinara sauce.

Cobblers awaiting the oven.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hot Summer and Celebrations!

      There's been a lot going on around here since I wrote the last post! And man, has it gotten hot! The temps seem to ALWAYS be in the 90's! I'm just glad I don't live in Texas or some other hotter state! We've gotten a lot of rain so the humidity has been very high! Enough to for the windows and your glasses to fog up when you go outside! It was like that at the beach too. Oh yea, we've been to the beach. I like the beach, but I'm always so glad to get back home!

      We celebrated our 23rd anniversary on June 14th! I can't believe it has been 23 years since we got married! In some ways, it seems like last week! God has truly blessed our marriage and I believe He will continue to do so! I love looking back and seeing what He's done for us and how far He's brought us! It's amazing!

      The garden has been producing! I've never had much success with squash and zucchini but this year's harvests have been awesome! I'm so thankful to harvest so much squash and green beans! The green beans have finally slowed down, only after I canned 42 pints! The cucumbers have been producing well too! I canned 2 half gallons of refrigerator pickles! There will be more to pickle about next week. The peas are starting to get ready, but I don't know if there will be enough to can. The tomatoes aren't producing much either. At least I will get some tomatoes! This is our best garden ever! I've even had enough cucumbers and squash to share! There's so much I want to improve on for next year. I will definitely get the cucumbers on a trellis, as they are taking over the whole garden! I will also space the squash and other plants out better. I hope to get the ground covered with mulch and more cardboard, too. I love learning and improving the garden with each passing growing season!

      Did I mention I've been picking blackberries? I've gotten about 2-3 pints so far and it takes 5 pints of berries to make 5 cups of jelly. It was so hot yesterday, picking those blackberries. I hope I didn't get chiggers! Not to mention, all the briars I got stuck with! Some are still in my fingers! The things a country girl will go through to get wild berries!

      Today we will celebrate my sister's 50th birthday! Tomorrow, 4th of July! Summer and celebrations! Got to love them! Next month, Amber and the girls come back from Morocco and we will celebrate Layla's 4th birthday! I sure do miss them! I'm sure the time will pass quickly, at least for us. Amber is wanting my homemade bread and pizza. I guess they don't have quite the same kind of food in Morocco!

      Thanks for all the new followers! I hope you enjoy reading the blog. Leave a comment when you can! I always enjoy reading ya'lls comments! Have a great day! Blessings from Bama! (On the preview, there is a large picture of my plum jam. I didn't put it in this post. Maybe it won't show up. Weird!)

Our first zucchini!

I made zucchini bread with this. It was delicious!

How about some wax beans! I picked many more baskets of these and even more green beans!

Some of our many cukes!

Our anniversary present was to re-finish the flower beds. It's been too hot and I've been too busy to get back to it!

Checking on the honey bees.

There hasn't been much activity on the outside, but the inside looked good.

The hive on the left is out-doing itself! He had to add another super!

Look how tall it is now!

Refrigerator pickles. A little sour for my taste.

I like to make three-bean salad which uses wax beans. They are hard to find at the grocery store so I grew and canned my own. I should have enough for the year!

These seeds came from Baker Seed. I think they are a combo of zucchini and yellow squash.

Another batch of beans.

Skylar is peering down at a shell with a mollusk or something inside. Taken behind the camper looking onto St. Andrews Bay.

Our spot.

Skylar's spot!

Skylar's collection of hermit crabs.

Waiting in line to eat at Captain Anderson's.

Mom and Dad went to the beach too. I like the Si-shirt the guy behind them is wearing.

The Sea Screamer.

The boat the guys went deep-sea fishing on. They brought back white and red snapper.

The view behind the camper.

The ceiling inside Margaritaville. The restaurant is something to see!

The highlight of the trip! They love to ride these go-carts!

Even more green beans!

I'm planning on spending some time in here this summer!

These squash plants are half as tall as me!