Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect.

It's learning to look past life's imperfections

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Afternoons

Are for cousin

 Kids & Pink Beachcomberes 003playKids & Pink Beachcomberes 001

water babiesKids & Pink Beachcomberes 010

sand and sunscreenKids & Pink Beachcomberes 008

Kids & Pink Beachcomberes 004doodlin in the dirt

and crawdad catchinKids & Pink Beachcomberes 007

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Monday, June 25, 2012

In the garden, fighting the weed war!

The green beans are coming along beautifully.  I didn’t put as many in this season as I have in years past.  We still have plenty put up down stairs but, I like to can in 2 yr. cycles.  In other words, every other year I can enough for 2 years in case there is a tough growing season…we still have enough to get us through.

While I was in Calif with my son this spring, Mr. Fix-it added a few front loader scoops to the garden to help level it out.  Drainage and watering is much more effective.  But the added dirt also means new soil that hasn’t been “de weeded”  To help slow/smother the weeds growth (cause admit I’m a lazy gardener)  I covered the pathways with sheets of cardboard and then layered cut drying grass on top of the cardboard.  The same thing could be done using 3-4 sheets of newspaper.  It’s a bit of a win win as the cardboard/or newspaper will breakdown and easily till into the garden in the fall.  Cardboard layered with grass takes about 3 months and news paper 1-2 to breakdown and is an effective weed barrier

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Pathways mulched with cardboard covered with cut grass

If you choose to mulch your pathways in this manner, it’s important to use untreated grass clippings. We cut our field as a lawn at least once a week so I rarely have clippings to “harvest” luckily our neighbor bush-hogs his field only 1-2 times a month and provides plenty to rake up. 

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This photo shows about 1/3rd of what he mows.  His field starts just past the shade of the tree & you can see a fresh cut line of sorts.

This morning he’s mowing for the first time in 3 weeks WOOHOO The mother load! 

I’ve found it works best if I let it set a day on the ground before raking.

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As you can see in the far left of the photo, my onions are over run with weeds.  The new soil added is denser and apparently loaded with weeds.  It’s so dry when I try and pull the weeds I’m pulling onions.  I’ve been trying to pull 1-2 around each plant and let it be for a day or so, then go back for more.   I probably should have mulched here first but I wanted the areas that are weed free now to stay that way & will work my way over to the onions mulching.

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Squash, cukes and pumpkins are all coming along in flower and looking good. 

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The weeds in the tomato’s and peppers are out of control!

I need to tie up the tomato’s today & prune a bunch of suckers.

Time to get off here and get busy…what are your plans for the day?


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Friday, June 22, 2012

My Taters aren’t Tot’s anymore!

I do believe these plants are to big to be called ‘Tater Tots” nowGradient Candy girl 003

Last week, they were growing strong and looking good.  Now, they are chest high on me & shading the strawberry starts.

The strawberry babies are growing well also.  At least the rooted runners are. 

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Those in the red containers are slowly gaining ground but I’m not sure they will make it if I don’t get them growing & established soon. Look how tiny they are!  Believe it or not most of the sections have 2 plants. Look at the size difference of those I rooted.

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In the main strawberry bed I ‘m letting any runners grow.  So far I think there are 10-15 more plants started.   With all the babies above I’m really hoping next years crop will be “fruitful” hehehe.  Sorry, just had to go there!

Lots of weeding and mulching in the main garden tonight.   Things really rook off growing in the few days we were gone.  The beets popped up & the late peas are poking through.  No carrots yet and at this rate I don’t think they will germinate with the heat. I’m glad I have some left from last year. 

Woohoo!  We have rain this morning!  Just a touch but it saves me watering

Is it dry where you are?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thrifty Thursday, Strawberry Plants On The Cheap

Don’t you love a good plant score?

A month or so ago Mr. Fix It came home with this hanging strawberry basket (poorly shown to the left of the photo) At the time I kinda looked at it cross eyed (although not ungrateful) I thought of all the berries I could have bought with what he spent on the basket..until I found out it was on clearance and  he nabbed it up. In the basket are 6 nice healthy plants with runners.

Stuff 008 Knowing it would slow berry production I decided to let those runners grow. 

Less than half of the plants we set last year made it through the fall, and our strawberry bed now looks a bit like a raised bed with dirt and less than a dozen plants as an afterthought.  I think we were to late in the season for them to establish before the summers high heat & this would possibly be a an answer to replenishing the beds.  2 weeks ago, I attempted to root those babies & am happy to report they all “took”.  I checked this morning and they are all firmly rooted in their little pots.

A week or so later In the clearance section I found more plants.

Originally $15.00 a container & I was able to purchase both for less than $5.00. and an additional 3-4 plants large enough to place in the raised bed.

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These were literally shoots that had just rooted to late to sell for the main growing season.  They were so new I dislodged one of the plants brushing the leaves placing them in the car. 

Right now they still don’t look much bigger than this & once I unpack the camera I’ll update the photos. 

I know for some that have strawberries these are a bit silly and not at all cost effective but for me they are compared to full pricing. I’m crossing my fingers they all make it and will provide us with lots of yummy berries next year.

Stay cool out there, todays going to be a hot one


Friday, June 15, 2012

More containers & looking for Jewel Weed

This summer one of my goals is to establish a dedicated space for an herb garden.  Ideally the bed behind the garage is where it will go.  Right now I have oregano and thyme in.  They were established last year with cuttings from my daughter Danielle and I’ve harvested and dehydrated about a pound of oregano so far. Yeah, I know what am I going to do with that much oregano?  Well…..if you want some let me know, other than that I’m looking at medicinal uses. 
Anyway back to herbs.  To start with I know I don’t know enough to properly grow them at this point.  Are some friends, enemy’s (like vegies have friends and enemy’s)?  Who needs what as far as sun, shade, spacing, which re-seed,  etc. 

Lots of reading to do so I don’t kill them.

Stuff 009Until then, most are in containers of some sort.

Chives, garlic, leeks,

(yes those are Hens & Chicks watching over the pots)

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parsley(s), bee balm, mint (which I know will take over its space)

I need to find and start some marjoram & basil ,  figure out what is in savory seasoning (or is it an herb?)  SO much to learn.

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On the west side of the garage I’ve a small selection of Lavender started.  My goal is to make my own sachet as a moth repellant for my wool habit addiction stash storage.

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There are 2 other lavender plants in other areas of the yard trying to see what works best. 

OK, I just love the plant and I want them there ok?

Most of all I want Jewel Weed! Anyone have clipping they’d like to share?  It’s an alternative treatment for poison oak/ivy/sumac….which I get EVERY stinkin year. 

Yes I know what it (poison Ivy) looks like, but if I’m within 50 feet of it I break out.

So if you find Jewel Weed in your yard or along the road would ya send me some?
Here is what it looks like.  There may be some in my area but, I’m not recognizing it.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Taters Anyone?

Bucket potato’s, yep I’m growing potato’s in 5 gallon buckets

I’d seen this on numerous blogs concerning container gardening for small spaces.

Ahem…I have the space I just don’t want to dig them up.  I know I’d get impatient and end up stabbing most with a pitch fork.  So, lets just pretend I have a small patio for growing space ok?  We drilled holes in the bottom (5-6)  for drainage, filled the bottom with 2-3 inches of good loose soil.

Stuff 006  I evenly spaced my 3-4  spuds on top of the soil and covered them with another 2-3 inches.  Once they sprout and the leave poke through the soil I would add enough dirt to cover them.  Every few days adding a few more inches of soil till the buckets full.  Then leave them be.  Water once a week or when the top few inches of soil are dry.   Last year I dumped the buckets way to early and only had golf ball sized potato’s.  This year I’ll wait much longer to harvest and hope for better results.

You can do this same process also with tires.  The benefit in using tires is as the shoots grow and are covered you can stack another tire and another layer of potato eyes and on and on….. I’ve seen photos of tires stacked 6-8 high with claims of 1-2 bushel return.  Now, that would be a harvest to celebrate!

What’s growing in your garden?


Monday, June 11, 2012

Main Garden Is In!

Better late than never I say.

Onions, early may I’d planted 3 rows and then 2 weeks ago 3 more rows. Carrots and beets are next and a space for a few other rows.Circus Conv Longies 004A few rows of green beans, then cucumberCircus Conv Longies 006

squash, pie & jack-o-lantern pumpkin and on the shaded end pea’s & spinach.I know the chance of any pea’s or spinach this late in the season is slight but if I have enough for salads I’ll be happy

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The smaller garden has tomato’s, green peppers the melons.  Watermelon and cantaloupe.

When I got home from San Diego, Larry had the garden tilled and ready to go but, I took a few days to catch-up on other things.  It turned out to be a “day or 2” to many as we had really weird weather.  Either pouring rain or mid 90’s.  To hot to be planting per our local gardeners.  The ground was like concrete even though we have wonderful soil.  So, last week he tilled it again and now it’s planted.  We’ve been fortunate to have a family member who raises rabbits and he’s supplied us with plenty of rabbit poo these past few years. 

Beans and spinach are already sprouting up.

I think this is one of my favorite times in the planting season…watching the new green life breaking through the soil…chick like,  hatching and the struggle to be free.  Silly and whimsical I know but everything is so fresh and new at this point.

It’s been overcast and cloudy all day with rain in the forecast but the sun has been flirting playing hide and go seek. Wonder if I get the hose out if it will rain.  Murphy’s law right?

Have a great day


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In everything it seems

.When ever I get off track in one part of my life it seems to follow to others. I’d like to get back in the routine of blogging & it’s a matter of organizing my time….and organized I’m not!  Routines this year have gone out the window and I desperately need to get back on track. 

This past month has been spent trying to catch up meeting myself coming and going…I think we’re all that way at times.  So I decided to stop trying to catch up and just move on with it.  Where I am other wise I’ll always feel behind.

There have been so many of you that have asked about my son’s recovery and I’m pleased to say he’s doing well.  Very well. We knew his head injury was potentially life changing but I also knew he did not really understand how bad it was…until he visited the VA Dr.  Who, proceeded to explain his injury is classified as in the top 5% worst head trauma.    When AJ walked into the office unassisted the Doc was shocked.  He explained with this type of injury most need assistance dressing, eating walking etc. & told him her was a walking miracle & That Aaron had resumed full time classes after the injury floored him.  Are there side effects from the injury?  Yes.  Staying focused or the ability to focus has been impacted.  His calculus class in which he had a 4.0…lets just say he’s taking over.  his balance is effected somewhat.  No alcohol, a toast of champagne at his sisters wedding had the world spinning.   Yes, he was cleared to fly 3 days before the wedding so he was here. 

What a gift to his sister!


Rachel, New Son in Law Justin, Danielle, Erika & Aaron

He was only able to be here for 2 days but, he was here.  Flew in Friday night and we took him back to the airport Sunday afternoon

GOing Home

Bitter sweet to say the least but it was wonderful to see him.

Well the days to-do list is pretty long so I better get busy.  Have a great Monday




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