Wednesday, July 20, 2016

YEAR IN REVIEW PICTURES

by Robin

I thought it may be nice to put up some of the wonderful reasons I was so distracted all year!

Last fall, I shared with you that we needed to drain and take down our pool.  We were having major tilt issues.  The pool came fully down and then we had a little lag while we built our boat barn (about a month or so delay).   What an excellent decision to get all this up before the oak leaves began falling.  They make such a mess everywhere.

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We also needed about 3 weeks to remove all the decking around the pool.  We had beams that were no longer attached to the posts and that too had to be address.  **As well as the sink hold UNDER the deck that kept happening because of the decomposing trash pit that came along with the house.**

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But then, we knew spring was coming and the heat would eventually become brutal so we asked around at church and found a friend with a Bobcat & technician who could meet our needs.

He did a wonderful job!!!  We dug 48" down, moved the pool location closer to the house, removed all the stumps and cedar trunks over by the fence.  Found garbage and a concrete slab too!  Part of the slab remains under the former pool area.

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Our pool parts were sitting in the garage since February but now we were ready to assemble.  Jack took 1 week off of work and every day was filled with physical activity and sometimes rain.  Thankfully, I am raising boys, now men!!

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As it stands now, we are raising the money to replace the fence on the far side and then we can begin the rebuilding of the deck around the pool.  Meanwhile, it is nice to take a dip in the water.


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As for the garden, here are a couple pictures from March.  I had a hard time keeping up with weeds and ..... everything.    My chickens were very naughty and destroyed all my heirloom beans that were growing this year.

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Old broccoli was later replaced by okra and sunflowers.  Sweet potatoes were in the back.


I mentioned that I volunteer at the horse rescue and so here are some of our group.

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And then, I also was adding in a lot of photography for either the rescues or clients.

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God bless!!  Hope you all are having a fantastic summer.  Drop me a line to let me know you're still with me!

Robin

I'm BACK!!! - video of Scalloping at Crystal River

by Robin



Oh my......... I can't believe I haven't been here in so long.  I'd love to get this blog active again.



It was a long year of teaching at the homeschool co-op and I have since begun retirement from teaching.  My youngest is dual-enrolled at college.  My eldest is over at University of Central Florida on his last year of college.  They just grow up so quickly!!



I spend every Thursday volunteering at the rescue horse farm.  I have been building up my skills at photography and then began my own photography business this spring!!   It was a monster to create my own website but it was well worth the effort.



After that, I bought a go-pro and movie software.  Long before the business, I always had the desire to put our life into movies.  We were seeing so many cool things on the ocean and through the life around us.  It seemed like a logical step.



We've taken a couple quick vacations this summer.  I still have yet to create the movie for our Pensacola trip.  Yesterday, I finished up the movie of our scalloping trip at Crystal River from last weekend!



Here it is!









My garden is almost completely dead.  I have yet to pick the last pineapple out there and peppers and then I can till it all under.   By August, we'll move in manure and look to see what we want to plant again.  I can tell you that eggplant will be on that menu because it performed so well this spring.



What didn't work in the garden was following Jack's advice of just fertilizing with a store product.  That did not give me even half the results of just regular manure.  It pays to grab the horse poop, especially since I have such great access to it.



I'm done for now, but promise not to be such a stranger.



Blessings,

Robin


Thursday, September 17, 2015

FALL

by Robin

Again, I became too slack in keeping up with my blog.  Somehow, gardening always seems to bring me back to it, in order to record what has been planted and what is blooming.

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School is underway and bits of time are coming back to me between loads of laundry and lessons on learning how to drive.

So, with no particular order, I am sharing shots of the back yard and gardens.

Below is the baby Swiss Chard.  Looks like the Ruby Red variety, although I have the rainbow of colors out there.

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I tilled, moved manure and seeding both gardens between Sept 11-13th.  Here we are, the 17th and we are blessed with nice rains for the past 3 days.

(I believe this is Red Russian Kale, although, much of the Meschun sweet lettuce has bloomed too. They look similar. ) 
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(Broccoli and beans have also made their big break-throughs.)

The rains have caused a great germination in both gardens.


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My goal was VARIETY!!  We were sick of broccoli last year.  And we let one garden sit fallow.  This year, we have a garden of short crops and the other with longer crops.

Here are my Old English babies, now close to three months later.  My dark black one was carried off by a hawk.  I did not see it personally but I know the hawk came back to sit on the garden fences and stalk the last two remaining babies for the next couple weeks.

(Here is Olivia. She is a Red Pyle OEGB.   We've nicknamed her and her sister the Road Runners.)
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Now, they are allowed to finally roam the yard, as they wish.

(This is Duval, as in Duval St. in Key West. She is a Silver Duckwing OEGB)
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Here are the remaining hens.  We lost Peaches last month to something that slowly was killing her.  Maybe she had a taste for some toxin in the yard.  Twice we had brought her back from the brink of death, but she never quite recovered from the last episode.  She was a Zombie chicken.

My Americanas (bottom two) are laying daily since May.  Wow, I couldn't ask for a better pair of layers from last winter's pick.  My Senior girls are still hanging in there.  We did not suffer any molting, which is a miracle.  Egg production has been great all Fall long.

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And Mallory, my lavender EE, was culled for being infertile for nearly three years.  Jack insisted she was my pet but she was always ornery and a loner.  She was not *my* pet.  She was a regret of paying for a designer bird, who turned out to produce nothing, from a bizarre & paranoid woman, who ran a breeding business of unique birds & small livestock.  But I digress....... I feel more at peace without her here.

And last but not least, this is our pool.  About two weeks ago, I swam in it for the last time and made cuts along the bottom so it would slowly drain out.  The frogs have gotten in there and done their thing.  The water was nearly gone and bottom drained out.  The tadpoles have been ever-thankful for the last of the summer rains keeping them alive.

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Our goal is to do some much need back yard makeover work in the winter months and then put in a new & better pool.

Below, Tiki has found the scent of something under the shed.

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Tiki has sniffed out a critter. He is alerting me, but I will deal with it another day.

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Potted Thyme. I did take a big cutting of the overflow of this plant and put it in the dehydrator for drying and putting up through the winter. I like to call it my Chia Pet.  I thought it would slow down production as the days went shorter.  Instead, it has new growth.

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That is all for now.  Maybe I will blog again this weekend. Certainly, there will be more photos as rows of vegetables and herbs begin to cover the drip lines.

Blessings,

Robin

Thursday, June 25, 2015

BROODY!

by Robin

One of my new girls (laying since May) has gotten very broody for about 10 days now.

So...... this happened.

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And this...

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And this.

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Altogether!!
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I could have taken 20 of them.  One had feathery feet that I had to leave behind.


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And then my boys helped me do this....

Sneak them in the back door.
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And this.....


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And then Margaret Louisa was happy again.


It was love at first sight.  It looks like she has adopted them as her own.

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Robin

Thursday, June 11, 2015

SUMMER STARTS!!

by Robin

Where did the past 6 wks go?  We finished up school, made it through 2 performances of a play


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and did more horse volunteer work to create a fundraising calendar.
  








I can tell you what else, a lot of it went into fishing & fun outdoor stuff.  Be sure to check out my www.robinsreports.blogspot.com to see all the fishing we've done!!



We did some boat fishing but also my eldest and I fished from land too because we found a spot where the flounder are running through.  Not huge but they're here and we're eating on them!



I made Flounder & grits.

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Then, I made Lane Snapper & grits too.

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That was more like last week.

This week, I filleted the fish we caught over the weekend and ate the smaller ones and froze back the King fish for a day when the smoker is going full force.


So yesterday, I was canning all the tomatoes I have been accumulating.  Of course, we've eating tomato & cucumber salad about every other day.  But, I wanted to can these before they turned bad.

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Here is the final result.  2 quarts of paste tomatoes, 2 quarts of campari tomatoes and 1 quart of big &
campari tomatoes.

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When I was done, we saw the weather reports that a big storm was headed our way.  I picked all the tomatoes I could get, plus okra, jalapenos and one bell pepper.  My shelf is filled again!!!!   We put up hens too.

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And it came...
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And came....
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And came down until it made pools everywhere!
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And lake-front property.
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It was a crazy 3.5" of rain in about 45 minutes.  No damage from the winds, thankfully.

It cooled us down and brought out all the frogs last night.  My *real* pool was full of them.  We also had a sleep-over of teen boys at the house.  They had a pretty good time with trying to catch frogs. Our hunting chihuahua probably killed about 6 of them.    It was funny & disgusting all at the same time.

So, we know we're in for round 2 with the storms.  Today may just be a good book day.

Blessings,
Robin


Thursday, May 14, 2015

PROM - 4/28/15

by Robin

I cannot believe that I forgot to post these pictures up!

Our "Andrew" was nominated to represent the boys of the 9th grade.   I am so very proud of him for accepting the challenge to do a formal dance without a date and do a group dance with the rest of the prom court.

Here are the pictures, in no particular order.

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Dressed for success!   Forbes 500 future entrepreneur.

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Still waiting on the formal, professional pictures.  He picked out his own tux!  Yes, there is a blue vest under there!


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He had the best time!  Men in Black!

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He looks so handsome.  Do you think he could work for CIA one day??  LOL


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I must have goofed on resizing that City Hall picture.

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The coolest decorations!


City Hall and the stars!

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