Nearing the end

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This week has been a bit unproductive for me.  Remember those immune boosters I shared with you a couple weeks ago?  Yeah, well, they work a little better if you actually use them.  For some reason I’m fairly faithful with applying them to the little guy, but it’s easy to forget about myself.  I’m so thankful for my sweet hubby & his willingness to stay home & give me a little break so I could get back on my feet.  I’ve bounced back pretty quickly, but it’s amazing how quickly those little daily tasks that you don’t really pay much attention to, pile up.

I’ve neglected my blog here for a few days in an attempt to make some headway, but I thought I’d make just a quick appearance today to share some of the last fruits from our garden this year.  We’ll have a bit more of a harvest for sure, but there’s no doubt it’s winding down as you can feel the chill of fall in the air.  No complaints here, I adore this time of year!

I’ve purposefully not shared much, if at all, about our garden this year, since there was very little to share.  I hesitantly made the decision in the spring to make major cutbacks to my normal garden plans.  With our garden space located between our garage & the alley, behind our house, I couldn’t figure out a way to tend to the garden {that I’d be comfortable with} with the little man.  We do use the stroller,  but let’s be honest, there is definitely a time limit on how long that’s fun, for him & therefore for me as well :).

So, all my hopes & dreams of a big beautiful garden dwindled to tomatoes & peppers.  It worked.  I’m glad I didn’t have more to tend to, at least for this year.  And, despite the lack of variety, there has been no lack in production.  I’m currently looking at buckets of produce in my kitchen & have a little canning party planned for myself this evening.  I’m happy.

End of Summer Harvest

End of Summer Harvest

End of Summer Harvest

End of Summer Harvest

End of Summer Harvest

End of Summer Harvest

End of Summer Harvest

End of Summer Harvest

Gratituesday ~ Garage Sale Donations & One Thousand Gifts

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Well, today as I sit here & think about all that I have to be grateful for, I’m overwhelmed.  Our adoption fundraiser garage sale is this weekend, & for the past 2 weeks we have been collecting donations from friends, relatives, our church family & complete strangers.  Everyone has been extremely generous & so sweet!  I don’t think I could ever thank everyone enough for their support.  Our garage is filling up fast & we have more stuff coming in everyday, such blessings.

In my bible study today (I’m currently doing Beth Moore’s James study), I came across such a fitting verse for today…

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.   James 1:17 (NASB)

Obviously, this applies to so much more than just our garage sale donations, but it was such a great reminder that all good things come from our Heavenly Father.

I’m also in the middle of reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts with a couple dear friends.  In her book, she encourages us to give thanks for every thing, big & small.  The chapter we just finished reading this week goes so far as to say that by giving thanks for the small things, time can actually slow down.  Now, this isn’t some magical thing that happens.  It’s just that when we take time to notice the small things, to give thanks, we live in the present, not rushing on to the next thing or looking ahead for something better.  Such a powerful message & one I need reminded of daily each & every minute of the day.

My sweet sister’s in Christ & I have challenged each other to begin making that list of one thousand gifts.  We didn’t set a timeframe on it, yet anyhow, but we are making the first step towards living a life of thankfulness for each & every gift from our Heavenly Father & living in the here & now instead of looking off to tomorrow for something greater.

So, here’s just few things I’ve jotted down the past few days.  I won’t even try to post each of the one thousand gifts here but I hope to share just a few each week.  If you’ve read my Gratituesday posts before, you may notice that I’m focusing in a bit more than usual.

I’m grateful for…

1. Fall leaves raining down
2. Sleeping in mornings
3. Snuggles before sleep
4. Crisp Fall mornings
5. Sweat dripping at boot camp;)
6. Warm showers
7. Sweet smelling coconut oil
8. Sunday morning walks
Now it’s your turn, what are you grateful for today?  I’d love to hear about it!

July 5th Garden Update

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I hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July!  We spent our day roofing & painting, we’re real thrill-seekers here I tell ya! 😉

I meant to share a garden update here at least monthly, & I just realized it’s been two months since I last posted anything garden related, oops!

Things are really growing, despite the high temps lately, it’s just taken a little extra care in watering to keep things alive.

I’ve been really surprised by the resilience of my lettuce on these sweltering days.  As long as I keep my lettuce pots out of the direct, afternoon sun, they do very well!  We’ve had several salads from the two pots that I planted, I just pick the outer leafs & they keep right on producing.

I have 4 roma tomato plants this year, the plants seem to be doing well & I see lots of green tomatoes!  Still waiting on the first ripened one yet.  There’s also an eggplant stuck in the middle there, he’s showing lots of potential as well. :-)

 Green peppers {not sure what’s going on with the runt of the litter in the back-left, I’ll have to give him a little pep-talk}

We’ve been enjoying lots of these yummy things!

I planted another whole row of peas a few weeks ago & all I got was 4 little seedlings up, pretty sure I have a case of the grubs, not so cool.

I’m attempting to have these gourd vines grow up these tomato cages, has anyone successfully done this?  Any advice?

The green bean plants are getting big!  I planted these much later than I would have liked so I haven’t had any to pick yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long & I’ll have way more than 2 people can eat {at least that’s what I’m hoping for!}.

The pumpkin vines are growing like mad!  This is a bit of an experiment this year.  I’m attempting to corral these in a not-so-large space, I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.

And here’s my watermelon vines that I’m growing right next door to those mad pumpkins, in the not-so-large spot.  This could be interesting.  Look at the cute, little baby watermelon…

There’s a few weird things growing in our garden this year too.  You see, because we’re super smart, last Fall we threw our old pumpkin back in the garden area to become disgusting rest in peace.  Well of course, all of those seeds did their thing & starting growing like crazy this Spring.  I did my best to clear out the old seeds & put an end to their existence {I’m not a mean person, really!  They just weren’t growing in the appropriate areas!}.  But, this guy just wouldn’t give up, & so, I’ve decided to let him show me what he’s got.

This pumpkin & this watermelon {I don’t even remember throwing a watermelon out back here!} are also, ahem, unplanned.  But, their resilience has won out, they’ve earned a spot, however out of order they may be.

 In my backyard boxes, the rainbow chard is hanging in there.  I haven’t figured out how I want to try cooking this yet, so for now it’s been more ornamental than anything, but that’s okay, I think it’s really pretty.

I finally have some carrots growing!  For some reason, I’ve never had much luck with carrots before, so I’m hoping this is finally my year!

I’m also trying to grow celery this year.  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone local talk about growing celery before so I’m not even sure if it grows well in our area, but I thought I’d give it a shot anyhow.  I had 4 plants, I’m down to these 2, we’ll see what happens.

 I LOVED finding a couple of these beautiful monarch caterpillars on my dill the other morning!  They may not be the best for my plants, but they’re so cool I didn’t even care.

How’s your garden growing?

May 3rd Garden Update

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The last few days have been some busy ones in the garden!  I remember a few weeks ago feeling like I was maybe putting some things in the ground too early {I was sure we’d get hit with a late April blizzard or something!} & now after a couple 80°-90° days, I feel like I’m way behind!!

This year I’m definitely trying to expand our gardening spaces & trying out many new crops that I’ve not grown before.  I’m really excited to see how things turn out.

I took a few snapshots this morning as I was walking around the yard…

I planted these peas at the beginning of April in our alley garden {it’s the space between our garage & alley, gotta be creative when you live in town:)}.  The seed was actually leftover from last year & I think about every seed I planted here germinated!  We’ve got a little ways to go before we start plucking delicious sugar snaps off these babies but they’ll get there.  I’ve been planting a couple new rows every couple weeds so that we have a fresh harvest for as long as possible.

On our back patio we have this fun wooden trough thing that we picked up at an auction last Fall for a buck or something like that.  At first, my plan was to turn it into a table but I’m really liking it as a place to set more of my garden!  I have some lettuce growing nicely that I planted at the beginning of April as well.  As you can see here, if something holds dirt, I’m probably going to plant something in it!  I really like unconventional planters {just be sure to drill some holes in the bottom for drainage!}, they create a much more unique, homey space I think.

These are some garden boxes we made from scrap wood from my hubby’s work.  They were my first attempt at having part of my garden in the backyard where our dog could get to it.  Unfortunately, this has created some setbacks…

In case you can’t tell, in this picture the middle box has been almost entirely emptied of it’s dirt.  I’m pretty sure Miley is telling me here that she just thought she was helping.:)

So, we’ve resorted to chicken wire & lovely bricks for the time being.  From all of her dirt throwing I also have little plants sprouting up in different boxes than I had planted them in.  I’m thinking about calling this the “Can you name that plant?” garden.

These boxes are also a new addition this year & have all been planted with herb seeds over the last couple of days.

Check out my nifty new garden markers too…

I’ve never done this before so I’m not sure how quickly the permanent marker will wear off but it seemed like a cool, cheap {more like free if you have a couple rocks laying around} & aesthetically pleasing option to try out.

It’s killing me that I don’t have these in the ground yet…

I was a little slow getting my seed potatoes ordered this year & then I let them sit around forever it seems{check out the size of the “eyes” on those things!} before I got around to cutting them.  I cut these a couple days ago so they’re ready to be planted, hopefully tonight!  {If you’re not familiar with growing potatoes or have just never done it like this before, I let my potatoes air dry for 2-4 days after cutting & before planting.}

I got a little carried away ordering garden seeds!  Lots of seeds to get in the ground yet {I’m not ever sure where all of these are going to go!}, better get back to planting!!

How’s your garden growing going?