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Finally made the final list and ordered my seeds. Most are from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I really like their S/H price...$3.00! No matter the size of your order! I also ordered a mini greenhouse rack from Henry Fields. Idea is that I can start my tomatoes and peppers in this mini greenhouse. I have a spot where I want to put it. Oh, for my birthday, my mom bought me 2 compost bins!!!! :) I am so happy and grateful that she gave this to me! I've been wanting some for sooo long! Hubby gave me a Lowe's gift card, which he said is to pay for the materials to build a few more raised beds :) So sweet! He's been very supportive in my desire to grow more and more stuff. Not just veggies and fruit, but also herbs (farmers refer to these as "weeds") and flowers.
I have been doing a lot of research on apple trees. I have found that you must grow different kinds of apple trees to help in pollination. So, I am going to order a couple of trees. Still deciding on which two kinds. I want one kind to make applesauce, apple pie filling and apple butter with. The other kind I want to get for fresh eating all through the winter. I have a fridge to put them in.
Have had a lot of snow. Supposed to be getting more snow this weekend and the first part of next week. I am hoping that we can all go bowling this Saturday evening, before my brother will have to go out to salt parking lots, etc. Tonight, I'm getting together with a good friend. The boys (hubby included) are staying home and eating the stuff in the crock pot and fresh baked bread, while I go eat at her house. Looking forward to this. I see her at church, but this will be a fun evening, when we can let our hair down and laugh our guts out :)
Talked to a friend on Sunday about ordering seeds. She said that if I wanted certain seeds, I should order as soon as possible. I guess seeds are being ordered and the companies can't keep up. Guess I need to place my orders ASAP. (gulp)
Sounds like we're going to get hit again with more snow tomorrow and into Wed. We just got the driveway shoveled out. Hubby is hoping to be down south as soon as he can.
Also checking into if I can grow different kinds of apple trees, and they could pollinate each other. Or do I have to plant the same kinds?
The kids and I went to the library today before grocery shopping. Each of us picked out some book that we wanted to look at. I got some books on Indian burial grounds (have a hunch we live on one), a slow cooker recipe book, an herb book, and a veggie garden book. The boys picked out a book about space and another about steam locomotives. I picked out books about Indians and Indiana before it was a state, George Washington, Amerigo Vespuci (sp?), and some others. Don't you just love going to the library? :)
People have suggested growing Stevia. I'm still looking into this and would love to talk to someone who does grow it and could give me pointers.
Made some necklaces last night. I see the "in thing" is long necklaces, so I made one with various shades of green and silver. I also made a double strand necklace that is whtie, silver, and crystal. I tried selling snowman earrings at a small town hair cut place. I sold a grand total of 1. Oh, well. Hubby believes it's the economy. Sounds good anyway. :)
#1 son got a rocket for his birthday. He's been reading and wanting to put it together so that soon, when daddy's home to help, we'll be able to let it fly. He's also been into helping with making food. This ought to be interesting...
Had a great morning at church. Heard good Sunday school message and morning message! Hubby and I traded off going, due to one of the kids has a cold and we didn't want to pass it around. I haven't been on here for awhile and am glad to get back on. Seems I've gotten entangled in Facebook. It has been really nice and fun to see all the old school mates and people I haven't seen for years. I do get to keep in touch with others I wouldn't have a chance otherwise, but I missed the friends I have made on here. Glad to be back and will try to keep in touch much better.
After Christmas, I got online and signed up for gardening catalogs. I suppose I have about 10 that I go through when I'm sitting down. I have dog-eared pages and jotted down seeds/plants that I want to get. I know though, that I will have to be cutting down my wish list before I buy. :)
Many things that I want to try this year. Many things that hubby and I want to grow more of. He is seeing the importance of growing our own food, more and more. A friend of ours is almost in kidney failure and has been put on a no-sodium diet if possible. So we are trying to be conscientious of sodium also. (Like growing and drying kidney beans as opposed to buying the canned kydney beans which is loaded with sodium.) I also am looking more into natural sweetners, as opposed to artificial or chemically-altered sweeteners. I am looking into growing sugar beets and making my own beet sugar.
I also would love to plant some dwarf apple trees, another cherry tree (to go with the one we already have). I want to be able to grow more potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, soup beans, cabbage, turnips, lima beans, etc.
Homeschooling is going well. It's hard to not overwhelm the kids and myself by wanting to teach/tell them more. I ask the Lord daily to help me teach them what is important and trust that the small things will come from everyday life/conversations.
Trusting the Lord is keeping you all healthy and well.
Wow! I know I've said this before, but time has flown...The twins are now 7 and growing like weeds! Homeschool has started with all 3 and that has been a challenge. Hubby has been kept busy with loads all over the eastern half of the continental US. I've been filling orders for jewelry. The Lord has blessed me with new friends and some renewals of friends. And the harvest this past summer was...wonderful! I look in the pantry and freezer and am reminded of the Lord's blessings on our family and garden. I didn't think it was going to be as good as a harvest as last year, but I was delightfully mistaken! Everything did well, except the carrots, but I'm not going to cry about it. We even had pumpkins and have been freezing it and baking with it. I would like to make some pumpkin fudge for the mail man and neighbors.
I did try something new this year, and that was potatoes. I just wanted to see if I could grow them. I was able to get a crockpot full, so I'm going to grow more next year. Really grow them. In fact, we still have onions growing out in the raised beds. Even the geraniums are still blooming! Really strange, but they must be in a spot that is protected from the winds and frost.
Today, I rode with hubby up to Chicago to unload his trailor. It was just a day-run, so he invited me to ride with him. I've never had this oppurtunity before and mom was willing to watch the kids, so I went. I now have a renewed respect for him and what he does as a truck driver...thank you Lord for all the many, many blessings You give to my family and me! And for being a gracious and merciful Father who really cares and truly loves His Children!
I can't believe that it's almost the middle of August! Ugh! Two weeks ago, the kids, mom and I went to visit relatives in Iowa. Had a great time there and enjoyed getting together just for the sake of visiting, not a wedding or funeral. We went to Adventureland in Des Moines and the kids all enjoyed it, as well as us adults. #1 son rode his first roller coaster. :) The twins LOVED the log flume. The next day we went to a "beach" off the Racoon River NW of West Des Moines. That was really nice, though the water was cold and it was windy. Asked the kids if they were cold and their response was, "N-n-n-n-o-o-o" while their teeth were chattering and their lips were blue!
The week before, hubby and I went on our anniversary trip. Had a wonderful time! It's nice to go away like that ever so often. It's like we're kids again, or at least like before we had kids. No making sure everyone gets a meal or a snack, and making sure little ones are in bed at a certain time, etc. We had a great time.
The garden is doing wonderful, so far. It seems the tomato blight has hit all around us, but hasn't affected us. I wonder if it's because we live on the side of a hill, and so the tomatoes, etc., don't sit in wet soil. We have been enjoying cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and green beans, so far. Helped mom-in-law to can green beans, and put up peaches. This coming Friday, the boys and I are to go over and help put up sweet corn.
Has been hot here the past few days. We might go to the neighbor's and go swimming in their 3' deep pool, if it doesn't rain. Today would have been a good day for that, but instead we played in the sprinkler. Then the kids got to stomping in the water puddle, which quickly turned to mud. Then the kids got muddy from head to toe. Got pictures of them. They had fun and forgot about fighting for awhile. :) Nice!
Yes, tomorrow is our anniversary! 15 years ago, we were married on a very hot July day! So, tomorrow, we are heading down to Lincoln, Indiana, after dropping the kids and the dog off at my mom's. We are going to take our time going down, stopping to see different things. We are going to watch the Lincoln show and walk the park. We'll spend the night somewhere down that way and then start back Friday. We always try to go somewhere for our anniversary, just us 2. Am looking forward to it, and the kids are too, for they get to spend the day/night with grandma! :)
First, the results of 4-H: #1 son received a blue ribbon and honorary blue ribbon on all 3 of his projects. The projects were geology (rock collection), recycling (rain guage made out of plastic water bottle) and construction (lego robot pushing a lawn mower). He also received a green champion ribbon for the recycling and construction projects! He did a great job and we are all proud of him!
The garden is doing well. We have picked some cherry tomatoes and 2 yellow summer squash already. Everything seems to be coming right along. My green beans are still little bitty things, though mom-in-law gave us some beans out her garden already. I've been busy watering, weed-pulling and Japanese-beetle-picking. These little boogers I pick off into a cup with hot soapy water. They seem to gravitate to my pole beans, lemon balm, burning bush, rose of Sharon, roses, purple clover, crab apples, and sometimes the coneflowers. They do not prefer the yarrow, annuals, zinnias, daisies, mint, tomatoes, lima beans, runner beans, potatoes, onions, carrots, pumpkins, cucumbers, yellow squash, columbine, among many others. But all this bug-picking gives me a chance to see all my plants every morning and evening, while the sun is up and I see what is doing well, or not, what needs watering, weeds to pull, etc.
I tried cooking some thinly sliced yellow squash with some Italian dressing sprinkled over it, then wrapping them up in aluminum foil and placing over an open flame. It was really good! Hubby and I enjoyed them this way. Last Saturday evening, after a day full of fun and exploring Shelby County's hidden places, hubby wanted to help me out with supper by cooking with the grill. Unfortunately, the gas had all run out of the container, so instead, hubby decided to cook the way we do when we are camping. Out came the wheel hub and the old grill grate we hung onto from our old gas grill. I then mixed up some hamburger with dry Ranch dressing mix and formed patties. Hubby grilled them out and the squash. It all tasted soooo good! Kids enjoyed it too. THe twins were asking if they could roast marshmallows or hot dogs, which of two I didn't have. Then one of them asked if he could roast a carrot! :) Too funny! I'd like for hubby to cook with that again soon, since one can enjoy sitting around the fire after supper.
The hidden places of Shelby County, IN, that we saw on Saturday was the Flat Rock Cave and Blue Springs, a former gravel pit, now filled with water. The former used to be a popular spot for family reunions and picnics in the early 1900s. It is a pretty neat cave, with some stalagtites forming, and many minerals can be seen on the ceiling of the cave. It's great for anyone under 5' tall. Us taller people were really squatting to get through it. THe last half is struggling upwards, through and around rock. The kids went through it a few times. There are some smaller branches off the main one, which #1 wanted to go explore, but only first pushing his younger brother in front of him. We figure the coons and other critters have a hayday in the cave.
The latter place, Blue Springs, is a great place to scuba dive. The lake has hidden "treasures" at the bottom, like a scavenger hunt for the scuba divers that love to go there. One can also camp there, but there is no elecricity or running water for showers, etc. There is a walking path all the way around it. It butts up against Conn's creek and Deer Creek. There are a few waterfalls that are pretty to see. There is even a resident fossil hunter. He and a helper use a wet saw to cut the rock, looking for fossils. I found a few just on the walking trail. (I'm always looking for evidence of the Flood!). It was a pretty neat place also.
Kids and I piled into the truck yesterday evening to see my "little" brother's baby chicks. He had called to say that most would be growing out of their cute stage soon and to see them this week would be best. So we did. 9 are about to gain all their feathers, though one hen had a little one about 3 days ago, so we still got to see a cute one. The boys enjoyed them, esp. #2 son who is not afraid of chickens, not even the roosters!
Also met my brother's neighbors, who are very very nice. They have "adopted" my brother's dog, Rocky, as their kid. They love on him almost as much as my brother. He comes to their window, sits, and gives them those sad puppy-dog eyes. He's waiting for something to eat, anything better than the dry dog food that my brother gives them. :)
They gave me some new plants: Passion Flower (a vine), Moonflower, Monkey flower, and some other thing that I can't think of, but I'll find out. :) That was very nice of them. Really nice people.
Did get my lawn mowed today, in between the rain showers. Tomorrow, we need to go up and mow at the church. Hoping it won't be too wet. Hard to plan mowing in between all the rain that we have had. But I'm not complaining because the Lord is watering the seeds and plants in the gardens/yard much better than I could.
This past spring, I bought 25 strawberry plants and received 25 free! Great deal! But that was with the thought that hubby was going to put in a raised bed just for my strawberries. Well, time came and went and seemed that the money just wasn't there to spend for it, so I've been trying to get some ground ready to put in these poor things. I have some other strawberries elsewhere in the yard, so I thought I would put them there. First it was too wet, but finally after a couple of weeks, the ground worked up nicely with the hoe and I was able to plant 26 of them. But wait! I have 24 left over...Talking to my mom-in-law on the phone and she was saying that all but one of her strawberries had died and she didn't know where she was going to get any strawberry plants. But I know where she can get 24 of them! So next week, when she's ready, I'll be helping her plant her new plants and the problem of the strawberries is all taken care of! (A burden has been lifted! Amazing how the Lord worked that all out!)
Found a slew, I mean, a slew of raspberry plants up at church! After we all have a raspberry pickin' party, I'm going to dig some up and bring them home! Our mulberry tree is really loaded with the mulberries here and am planning on going out and picking all that I can.
Still need to plant carrots, lima beans, more potatoes, and marigolds in the gardens. I would have had it done this past Saturday, but we went to the Mt. Comfort Air Show, where the Blue Angels really put on a show! Awww, I love to see them fly! What an awesome sight and sound!
Just wanting to catch up on what I've planted for my reference:
In pot on South side of house, between windows, with trellis for climbing: Lima beans and two marigolds (to deter bugs).
In pots along new walkway, south of patio: spaghetti squash and mint (to deter bugs).
In flower bed south of patio, east of new walkway: Lavender, Indian blanket flower, white daisy, tickseed, rose.
In dirt along the south and east of raised beds: tomatoes
In dirt along the west of raised beds: pumpkins (must check on these, since I haven't seen any thing for some time now. Might plant something else here.
In west raised bed: turnips on the west side; on the east side, onions, potatoes, scarlet runner beans. Still want to plant more carrots in here as well.
In east raised bed: full of spinach and lettuce. Some spinach has started to go to seed, so I will be pulling these plants and filling in with maybe carrots or the like.
In between raised beds, under hog panel trellis: pole beans and marigolds in the center.
In old garden spot, close to the herbs: pole beans around the outside and inside of twig teepee trellis, marigolds, onions, two tomatoes. Need to plant something else in here. Maybe the cucumbers?
In flower box on patio, carrots are growing nicely. In cement/brick pot, the onions are coming in nicely, too.
From the compost pile, two viney things were growing. THey are either pumpkins or watermelons. I have transplanted them east of the house in new bed where old rose of sharon used to be. They are planted beside bee balm and shasta daisy. Close to them in new bed, I have planted zinnias.
NEEDED: new place to grow lima beans. Make a new trellis for them to climb on. Also need to get strawberry plants into the ground.
Hubby has been home this past week, due to a bad transmission in the semi. So he was home all week, which was nice, though it meant no pay next week. The kids and I took a break from school, since daddy was home. #1 son mowed the grass at church and loved it. So the next day, he used the push mower at home. He still has some things to learn, like getting closer to things (just not too close!). But he loved every minute of it (I better enjoy this, huh?) and sweated like a...uh...boy pushing a lawnmower when it's really hot out! (I'd say sweating like a pig, but they don't sweat). Anyway, it was great having daddy home and it was sad to see him leave last night.
The Lord answers prayer His own way, and He provides our needs and even desires we don't dare think about! A couple from our church came out to our house this past weekend, bearing gifts! It was so nice to see them come in, but then they came in with a cooler, I couldn't guess what was in it! They had brought us things we don't buy for ourselves because we don't have the extra money to get these things. She said she remembered what it was like pinching every penny and having two boys eating everything in the house. They brought us orange juice, chocolate milk, ice cream, 2 things of breakfast sausage, and STEAKS! Wow! Steaks! I haven't bought steaks in years! They also gave us some money for groceries this week! I about cried right there on the spot, and talking about it now, brings tears to my eyes! The Lord blesses His children in ways we cannot fathom! What a blessing these two brought to us, what a blessing these two people are to us each Sunday, and what a blessing and a Friend we have in Jesus! He even sees beyond our needs, and gives us what we have desired for a long season! Hubby and I were speechless...
Much better last night! We all slept soundly, thanks to no storms. Hubby will be home tonight and storms will come again tonight. We'll see what happens. I'll probably be back out in the living room again with "Brave Lady". (HA!) She's not brave. At least about storms. I need to make Lady an appointment with the vet soon. I think that I will bring this up to him about her going crazy with storms. She doesn't want to get down, she wants up off the floor. I, though, do NOT want her on my bed. It's enough that she's in the house.
I put up some trellises on the south side of the house. These will have some kind of viney veggie climbing it this summer.
Well, better go get dinner on the table. We have to go to town and get groceries. I also have to drive out to a cave our little Heritage Trails group will be visiting tomorrow. I need to make sure that the river isn't too high or that's it too muddy to get to. With all the rain we've had lately, with more tonight, we may have to cancel. Make it for a dryer month, like August. This is the only known cave in Shelby County and for me a big thing. When growing up, our family was always going to the state parks and caves in Indiana. Seems I've been in all of them, even the one at Spring Mill state park, though no one is really supposed to go in it now. Used to though, you could go in part way. Seems that the state government, etc, think we're too stupid to make wise decisions. There are those who seem to not be able to and accidents always happen, but seriously, I'm tired of the way "they" dumb us down all the time. Just read the instructions on things or the warnings on boxes. (Okay, I'm done ranting and raving. I'm off my soap box now.)
What a night! Bad storms raged through and lots of lightning and thunder, which means the twins were on edge and the dog. Boy, that dog sure hates storms. Mom thought maybe it was the way her head is shaped? She heard from someone that shepherd dogs' heads are shaped in such a way that storms actually hurt their heads, therefore they are very scared of storms. Our dog is not a shepherd, but a spaniel. I wonder if this is true for her, though, too. Our old dog could have cared less about storms. Lady, though, is stupid during a storm. I let the kids sleep in our bed and I stayed in the living room with the dog, trying to keep her somewhat contained and calm. So, I didn't get any sleep from about 2:45 a.m. (which is when Lady jumped into my face to let me know she was scared) until about 5:30, when I asked #1 son if he wanted to go back to his own bed. He did and Lady followed him to his room, where she got up on his bed. I got in bed with the twins, but was laying next to "Mr. Ants-in-his-Pants". I told him to lay still, but I guess he couldn't sleep, either. #2 son slept through it all. :)
Here it is, almost noon, and Lady is snoozing (of course, she didn't sleep all night!) and I'm tired. I can tell that the kids are tired; they are kind of biting at each other at times. So, I believe we will all be taking a nap this afternoon. More storms, supposedly, tonight...:P NOT looking forward to that with Lady around. Wish they made ear muzzles for dogs! Hmmm...maybe I will invent some....or maybe I could have a tranquilizer for her?!?
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