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February 27, 2014

Life has taken us on a crazy course the last 4 years and it seems as if we have been forsaken. That is not the case at all we know, but, sometimes it is hard to walk through the wilderness.  Those of you who know me know that I staunchly defend the wilderness as a place of growth.  For us it has held true over and over.

I have not written for quite some time, here or on my other blogs.  There are a multitude of reasons not worth explaining as I know they will sound like excuses.  Simply put, they are excuses.  However there is a beginning of healing for one of the losses we have suffered.  We lost our beloved female Newfie Reah Bear in August of last year.  I know – everyone loses a beloved pet at some point in time.  There was just something about Reah that made her extra special.  I am not sure what that was but I can still be brought to tears when I think of her or the grandkids say “I miss Reah” and tear up.  It has been months.   She was laid to rest next to my upper garden by the spot where she always sat guard over me while I was working in the garden.

Recently I lost my little bitty kitty I’ve had for 17 years.  And that was her name “Little Bitty Kitty”.  She was a runt of the litter and stayed that for all of her life.  Probably never weighed more than 5 pounds at any time.  She was the strangest cat too.  All those years I had her and I could never just walk up to her and pick her up.  I always had to sit down and let her come to me.  It was crazy.  She loved us dearly and always wanted to be close to us but heaven forbid – don’t attempt to pick her up.  LOL  And then……life goes on.

In September of last year had emergency open heart surgery.  Enough said about that because that simply says it all.  “Emergency”!  Second helicopter ride……….haha.  Slowed me down some for a few months but I am gaining strength back daily and ready to rock and roll again.  That is if my children will let me.  Talk about overprotective.    Geesh.

As spring starts to poke its head around the corner I find that there will be some big changes for me this year.  First off I no longer have my “fake” greenhouse to start my precious little seeds in.  And where I am now is not conducive to attempting to create another “fake” greenhouse.  Ahhh but I will prevail somehow.  A dear friend has turned me on to the possibility of doing hoop houses.  I am investigating this.  I live in an apartment for the time being and one of my first questions was not how much is the rent – it was is there a community garden here?  Hah………….what’s that tell you!

So to sum it up – change is happening.  I am adapting.  What does tomorrow look like?  Simply don’t know but it will be a good day because I am alive.  I have my precious little seeds with me and am itching to get my fingers in the dirt somehow.  It will happen.  I know it.



September 6, 2012

What, pray tell, do you suppose socks have to do with a gardening blog?  Well, think about it.

This morning as I stepped out on the deck with my coffee to peruse my beautiful yard and gardens (a morning habit by the way) I happened to look down and realized I had on a pair of socks.  In all reality I should have had this thought on Monday as I was canning potatoes and had on a sweatshirt and the windows were closed in the house.   Hmmmmm!  I glance up at the thermometer and it says 44 degrees.  Ouch – it’s no wonder I have socks on.

Fall is coming………..and I hate socks!  Shoes too for that matter but a minimum necessity where I live.  I garden in my flip flops.  I do not own a pair of “garden boots”.  My feet see a lot of bath time hehehe….

The other thing I realized and asked myself was – where has this summer gone?  I see the end results in front of me of all the work this summer and yet I cannot for the life of me put into perspective the time and energy involved to get to this morning.  In the midst of all the chaos of our lives this summer, and it seemed to be complete chaos, things grew.  Can I take the credit for that?  Uh, no.  There is a God who loves me and knows my heart.

And as I furiously try to preserve all that He has given in bounty, I find my thoughts going to Him and what His plan is now.  You know how someone will ask you questions like “What is the forecast?” or “What kind of winter season do you suppose we will have?”.   And you can only answer those questions with a response of “I don’t know, I haven’t seen the forecast” or “It seems as if a new season is already in the air”.  That my friends, is God at work in our lives.

Many of my precious friends are pestering me about why I haven’t been writing, or reading, or very sociable, etc.  It was a season.  His season at work in me.  Throughout the summer the shades are drawn, the windows and doors closed to keep the coolness in and the sunshine and heat out, and the watering is at work making things grow.  The change of season is at hand and now the shades are thrown wide, the doors and windows are open to let the sunshine in and the watering has produced roots that will continue to grow.

And I find myself in a pair of socks for that change of season…………………

A Vegas Vacation Amidst the Flowers

October 3, 2011

Better late than never I guess!  Started this in May.  Geeesh……..what does that tell you!

So we’ve had a hard winter and a very long wait for spring.  In fact we are still waiting!  So for the first time in two years my hubby and I got a chance to take somewhat of a real vacation.  We didn’t go far but we went where it was warm and sunshiny.  So refreshing to feel that on my face instead of rain and cold. Actually got to spend a few hours at the spa getting a massage and facial and girlie things.  Soooo nice it was!

The camera was snapping constantly as everything was in such beautiful bloom.  Enjoy the pics that follow while I work on getting ready to post the emerging gardens here at home.

Incredible! It's all flowers.

Look closely. Every one of these is a potted plant.

One of my faves - lilies

Such a beautiful fountain show

Too bad it wasn't the real thing

Can you see his brain working? How do I build one of these for my wife?????? LOL

You have to know my hubby on this one……..always wanting to give me the Taj Mahal!

Flowers were everywhere - real and fake!

We went over to the Grand Canyon for a day.  Played like “old people” and took a bus tour…..haha.  Guess I shouldn’t laugh – we enjoyed it! Letting someone else drive was kind of nice. We had been to the North Rim but never the South Rim.  Highly recommend a trip to the South Rim.  We will definitely be going back on our own to explore more.

South rim Grand Canyon

Pics do not do it justice

So we took over 300 pictures and obviously can’t post them all.  Just a sampling.  We had fun.  Vegas isn’t just for gamblers anymore.  Families can find much to do and see and enjoy.  We sure did. This post only comes 4 months after we took this trip but I promised to share and so I have.  It was nice to have this time before true summer hit and we hit the ground running with gardens and stuff we have to do when we live where we do.

Egads – It’s Fall Already

September 24, 2011

Where did this summer go?  I know – it got taken by the ghoulie monster called distraction.  Some of the distractions were blessings.  Some – not so much.  Hubby gone working in Colorado most of the summer.  Didn’t really like that too well.  Grandbabies were here off and on all summer – now that was sheer joy and never a distraction.  Mom-in-law here for three weeks in June.  All three of our rigs decided to break down within a week.  Having (still) a little trouble with a cyst in a finger.  Been battling that since the first of June.  Finally had surgery first part of September and STILL having problems.  Sigh………..

So saving our harvest has been interesting to say the least.  Enjoy the pics of what’s been accomplished so far.  Starting on applesauce today and hopefully tomatoes towards the end of next week.  They are pretty late.  I’ve also started collecting seed on some things already.  So far I have canned, frozen or dehydrated peaches, pears, apricots, peas, carrots, green beans, cherries, spinach, pickle relish, zuchinni, pattypan, cucumber jelly, rhubarb, plums, beets, bananas, onions, herbs and then…….baked my fool head off stocking up and freezing my “better than Costco” muffins.  LOL!

So cuz – how was your summer?  Just kidding.  I’ve envied all the festivals and such that you get to go to.  By the way, I’ll take any seed you want to send my way, except the moonflower.  It was beautiful and did well in the fake greenhouse but did not like it after I moved it outside.  At least I got to see what the flowers looked like.  Definitely not for this climate.

Pineapple sage - frozen & ready to bag

Hyacinth beans - drying to save seed

Cilantro and basil drying

This was my first year of dehydrating.  Think I like that.  In pic: bananas, apricots, zucchini, pears, tarragon, green onions and trail mix.  Also a couple flavors of my yummy muffins.


Summer harvest - winter goodies!

Applesauce on the stove today!!!

Royal Purple Millet - starting to seed

Lime hydrangas - end of season

Remember last year how I battled the gophers?  Well………don’t know if I simply won the battle or if planting castor bean plants did the trick but NO GOPHERS this year.  Planted a few of these along the fence where their holes were on other side.  Hmmmm…..will become a garden staple I think.

Castor bean

Fall is in the air and my sunflowers are starting to bow down to the god of cool nights.  This ended up being a fun section of a really pretty blend of flowers.  There are scarlet runner beans, hyacinth beans, sunflowers and yarrow at the side (can’t see that – I’ve already cut it back).  The colors were beautiful together.  Didn’t pick the scarlet runner beans but the orange/red blossoms are so pretty. The hyacinth bean itself is poisonous but the flowers are gorgeous.  Saving seed to plant on my trellis next year.

A short section of fun stuff!

A closer view

Oh yes – my nemesis for the summer!!!!!!!!!!!

Try putting a glove on with that thing!

We did manage to sneak in a little fun this summer.  I’ll post those pics soon.  Oh, I almost forgot…….can’t have a fall post without the firewood that grows around here!!!!

The overflow!

The actual wood room – stacked to the gills.

And more overflow…………

And last, our beautiful Reah showing Mom what is means when the doc says “rest.  yeah right!

It’s Summer Somewhere

June 7, 2011

After reading the latest post at Willow’s Quiet Corner, (my cuz’s blog who lives in California the lucky dog) I looked out the window at the clouds and rain – oh wait –  a moment of sunshine!  I grabbed the camera and ran.  And yup – got a whole 10 minutes of yellow rays before it gloomed up again.  Snapped a few pics.  My garden babies are striving hard to defeat the wet.  All except the tomatoes.  They just are drowning.  So no pics of those!  I remember two years ago it was just the opposite.  At this time of the year I was begging for rain.  Go figure!  At any rate things are starting to poke and peek and we will have a harvest.

Buttercrunch lettuce

Potatoes are loving this weather.

Some of the herbs

If you look closely at the far end the tarragon is going crazy.  I’m thinking I am going to have to give tons of it away this year.  The rosemary is trying and you can’t see very well the lemon basil.  I forgot to snap a pic of the cinnamon basil.  I did plant borage (see below) in a tire this year to try.  It’s working its way out and up.

Borage peeking out at me.

Hyacinth bean, scarlet runner bean, green bean, lovage and yarrow.

Going to need to move the tractor soon.

Corn coming up and itty bitty squash leaves peaking through.

For someone who grew up in Iowa, seeing corn this little in June is pretty funny.  I had to throw out the old adage “knee high by the fourth of July”.  Just doesn’t cut it here! But it is pretty darn good when it is ready to eat in September. LOL

Last picture of veggie gardens is especially for my dear cuz.  Our secret ingredient!  We call it goatie wine or sometimes goat poop tea!  Gloves are a must in our gardens. Hahaha

Premium goatie wine!

Now, as you can see the veggie gardens need some serious sunshine.  Soon my babies……….it must come soon.  So let’s move on to the flowers.  They are faring much better in all this wet.  The first pic is of my stubborn poppy plant that I have dug up out of the vegetable garden twice now.  It refuses to leave there so we have just incorporated it into the veggie garden.  It is going to bloom while I am gone and I am so sad that I will miss it.  This poppy plant creates blooms the size of dinner plates.  It is amazing.

Just a couple of the buds. The buds alone are gigantic.

My Rhodi is blooming!

The hillside continues to fill in with blooms

See the plant in the front of the pic with little blue flowers.  It is a Brunnera. When I first saw one I fell in love with it.  So I bought a couple of them.  I now have these growing everywhere.  I had no idea they would spread not only in the bed I put them in but literally everywhere.  In a way it is nice but on occasion I have to hack and pull.  They are almost invasive.  Here’s a close up of one.

My everblooming Josee lilacs. They bloom all summer long.

Rock soapwort. I love this stuff!

This little perennial, rock soapwort, is awesome stuff.  It blooms early, spreads like crazy and by the end of the summer you won’t even be able to see the rocks.

One of my quiet spots.

Well, the forecast doesn’t bode well for much in the way of heat or sunshine yet, but I’m believing it will happen.  And when it does, I will again see our sanctuary come to life.  I’m off to Iowa for a few days.  Anxious to get back to see how things have grown.  TaTa!

She’s Waking Up – Spring Maybe?

May 26, 2011

Spring officially sprung but…………..our weather here has been atrocious.  Ahhhh, but the garden is persistent.  I have green, I have flowers blooming and I have buds galore!  Makes me simply smile even as I sit here in front of a roaring fire because it’s COLD!!!!!  Enjoy the pics, ignore the weeding I don’t have done yet, and smile.  Click on individual pic to enlarge.

My precious jasmine......

It vined like crazy over the winter.  Like my trellis?  Old tv antenna.  Sometimes you just have to get creative LOL.

Can't wait until they bloom!

Hyacinth beans, scarlet runner beans and plain old green beans. Oh yeah and my yarrow!

Corn/squash coming up. Woohoo!

My pretty hillside that I haven't weeded yet.

Color is coming!

Soon, pink & blue & white & yellow!

Here's a little color starting........

See the little tiny blue flowers on the brunnera.....

Upper garden -

See my peas?

Little tiny lettuce leaves and borage in tire.....

These log thingies seem to bloom around here in spring too!

It’s a start.  And FYI cuz, too cold to put moonflowers and morning glory in but they are up and ready.  Already had blooms on both of them in my little cheater greenhouse!  Soooo anxious to get them in ground.

Well that’s it for now……………more as we progress.

Should I Smack Her Now or Later? LOL

February 17, 2011

There are days when I just love where I live.  Then there are those days that I am envious of people who live everywhere else in the world, like, say, for instance my cuz in sunny California.  And if it isn’t bad enough that I am sitting here looking at all this beautiful snow, she’s writing posts about pulling her tomato plants (smack one), and her basil bushes, (BUSHES??????!!!!  smack two), and buying dwarf trees (exotic I am sure – smack three).   WillowsQuietCorner

Ok, we’ll remove one smack because I absolutely love her artwork!

And along with this green monster that rears its ugly head on occasion, I, who would not be considered computer illiterate – but rather pretty computer savvy, cannot for the life of me figure out how to comment on her blog.  I have followed her instructions explicitly, but alas, to no avail.  So I am left to respond by being forced (like that breaks my heart) to write a post.  So for you dear cuz – enjoy the view of my world in February in Idaho.  And THANKS again for the seeds.


Ok, enough winter………on to wishful thinking for spring!

We have white moonflowers growing like crazy.  Don’t know what I did to deserve this but Hallelujah!  They took off after only 4 days and this is at 10 days.  Go figure.  Now if I can just keep them until the ground finally thaws.

The cantaloupe and mini watermelons.  Again, only 10 days in the dirt!

And here we have the wild purple morning glories.

I have already given away the two little pots of cilantro I started.  Cuz sent me enough seed to last me until the year 2050.  LOL.  Will start some more today.

My messy, messy work bench.  Tell ya what, for the $50 we invested in in fluorescent lights, a few old doors turned upside down, one table, and a heater – I have myself one heck of a little fake greenhouse.

Basil hasn’t sprouted yet.  Cuz sent me cinnamon, lemon, sweet, and lettuce leaf basil.  Yummy!  The good old Arkansas Traveler tomatoes are up, the forget me nots are up, a few peppers are up, the sweet peas poked through just barely, the baby’s breath is reaching for the lights, and even the squash I literally just started a few days ago has poked through.  I’m thinking good gardening this year.

Enough for this post.  I’m off to spend the rest of the day in the heat of the greenhouse!  Cheers…………………