Wednesday, March 11, 2015

GARDEN UPDATE - 1 month feat. Tiki (bonus pic)

by Robin

First, we must have a little dog cuteness before we go GREEN!!  (In honor of St. Patrick's Day coming up next week.)

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Ok, nothing grew very well while it was still cold the first couple weeks of February, but wow!! Everything is taking off now.   Not everything is photographed, but many things are.

Okra   - I need to reseed some more where the chickens found a way into the garden.
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Red Russian Kale
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Early Cabbage
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Campari tomatoes
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Big Tasty Maters
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Big Mama (Paste) tomatoes  (oops?? - I skipped photographing it.)


Sweet Bell Peppers - I am shocked these are coming up so well in March.  That is proof of how warm it is here.  Soil is ready to go for peppers!
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Jalapenos - maybe it will be a banner year for pepper.
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Burpless Cucumbers - got a whole row because you can never have enough dill pickles, bread-n-butter, relish and fresh for salads!
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Mayflower bean vine - Oops!  Better get a fence out there NOW!
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Onion buds
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Beans in love with Onions
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Sure-Thing  Zucchini - sure hope these do better than last year.  My others were covered up too much by tomatoes in the other garden.  Moved them over to Garden 1 this year.
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Sweet Potatoes - naturally came up because we did not find all the runners.  Awesome.  Can't wait to pull these in the fall. They are the easiest potato to grow!!
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Yellow Squash - doing good other than what Harris hen is trying to kill.
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Big tomato (? variety) - planted by hens.  LOL
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Ugly Ripe tomato - this one isn't as ripply as the other two.
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Cherry tomatoes - been eating on these a month.
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Broccoli - finally, they're kicking in with the added fertilizer and more frequent irrigation.
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Swiss Chard - not very happy on the vertical garden.  Thinking about putting into the ground.  Hmmm.
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Dill - always the sickliest looking babies but somehow they manage to thrive later.
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Flat-Leaf Italian Parsley - last year's leftovers.
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Aloe!!!  Oh my!! - this is just half of the bunch from last year's splitting.  I started with 3 tiny babies given to me from a friend.  Anyone need aloe???
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Thyme - also leftover from last year.  I lost my lemon basil but the German variety persists.
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Lime tree blooms
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Thai Basil bloom.   I do not enjoy eating Thai basil AT ALL but the bees absolutely love it, so it stays here.  photo DSC_0163-1_1.jpg

My garden gnome.  He follows me as I work in the gardens.
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Tiki says he loves everyone!
Happy Gardening!!

Robin

Friday, March 6, 2015

FATAL HIT-N-RUN (WARNING)

by Robin

On the way home, last night, from the Mock City Council, we came across a terrible accident.  It must have happened in a split second before we noticed a big motorcycle straddled across US 1's southbound lanes.  I warned Jack and the car ahead of us swerved around it.  The traveling motorcyclist in the right lane, pulled off the road and tried to help too.

The second after seeing the motorcycle, we scanned and saw the body in the north-bound lane.  He was lifeless.  Jack ran out to the victim. A gentleman (boater) in the northbound lane, who had also seen the hit, also ran to the side of the victim.  I called 911.  As I was talking to dispatch, I saw another man also calling 911.  I was transferred to medical dispatch and repeated everything.  She asked me if he was breathing.

Honestly, I didn't know.  I got out of the car and approached all the concerned people and asked my husband if he was breathing.  He said, "Yes."  I looked down and saw a breath or two my own self.  I told dispatch, "Yes".   She asked if he was wearing a helmet.  I quickly glanced around and did not see one, "No."  She let me know help was on the way and I am pretty certain that I heard sirens by the time I hung up with her.

I heard the one gentleman talk about a car hitting him and then not only taking off after the accident, but also running the light just further up the road.  There was so much chaos.  Jack covered the man with a towel from our trunk.

It was hard to know whether or not to look  at Mr. Wells (name unknown at the time).  A lady medic (still in her Coastal Ambulance uniform but in a personal car), came running to us.  What relief.  I told myself there was nothing left to do but pray for him.  I took one glance at her as she quickly put her hair into a bun and I closed my eyes to pray.  It was soooo hard to know what to say.  Mostly, my heart was crying out, "Oh God! Oh God!"  I know that I said something about healing, something about giving the EMTs and doctors wisdom and something about the man's salvation.  I was completely unaware of the words being said over Mr Well's body but it has now been understood that the boater gentlemen lost the pulse and said that Mr Wells had expired.  The lady medic began CPR (at least 2 rounds) before Mr Well responded with a cough. I do think I peeked in my prayers at his body during CPR.   He was back but not conscious.

It must be some sort of shock that takes a person (myself) trained in science and having CPR training to not really register in my thoughts that he died.  I saw them working on him but for me... God heard my prayers and it wasn't "over" yet.  Nobody stops their efforts.  Not EMTs, 1st Responders or 1st Prayers.  There is still very much a great effort going on.  When my prayers were over, I took one more look at Mr Well's face.  I will refrain from any further descriptions.

I walked back to our car which was now  pinned between the crashed motorcycle and all the fire trucks in the south-bound lanes.  Traffic was 100% cut-off in both directions.  A blue van had stopped traffic in the north bound lanes until police had taken over.  The ambulance was just to the left of our car.

Our 15 yo son wanted to get out.  I kept shutting the door and pointing the finger, saying "No!"  After the 3rd time, something in me just stopped fighting it.  My boy was becoming a man.  He just spent the month in Driver's Ed class and had watched the horrid movie, "Red Asphalt."  I took a moment to listen to him.  He wanted some fresh air.  He needed to see and comment from his perspective that cars just don't see motorcyclist very well.  All motorcyclist need helmets.  I couldn't respond even though I knew the exact statistic & slide he was referring to from class.  He was right, but it was such an awful time to have philosophical debate while watching Mr. Wells be loaded onto a back-board from afar.

Still numb, I got into my passenger side and left my 15 yr old to his own thoughts.  I saw Jack look up at him a couple times.  Normally, I think Jack would have reprimanded him for getting out of the car when told not to; but, that deep, visceral pain of watching Mr. Wells in his final minutes melted discipline into mercy and compassion.  They shared a hug, or something like that.

My mind was changing focus to the officer taking photos.  They were looking for something amongst the broken parts.  It dawned on me that my professional camera was at my feet.  Was that ethical or not?  I grabbed it and snapped a couple pics but quickly put it back in its case.  By that time, my son got back in the car.  Jack came to the window to let me know that he was not released to leave the scene until they got his information.

I looked forward and noticed the man standing outside his blue van (north-bound lane) was chain smoking.  In fact, a lot of folks on the side of the road, by the marina, all seemed to be chain smoking.  I saw Mr. Well being transported into the ambulance.  They were bagging him oxygen.  Jack would later tell me that the EKG was flat-lined again. I tried praying one more time.  I wanted so desperately to have a mighty, believing faith that Mr. Wells would be healed but my eyes told my heart differently.  I knew that if he was alive by morning, it would be a miracle only God could do.

Soon, the officer was taking Jack's info and then he did a great job of guiding us between the motorcycle and fire truck.  We had to drive on the shoulder until we passed all the debris and possible evidence.

It was a quiet drive home.  Jack and I spoke some once we got our son into the house.  After that, we went in the house and did our best to watch some tv and relax.  *Try*  I laid in bed.  Cried.  He held my hand.  Finally, he dozed off.   I have no idea how Jack got to sleep. I got up.  Our son was up until almost 2 am.  He said the accident didn't bother him, but...   not sure I believe that.   I was up until 3 am.  I finally took something that would intentionally help me sleep.  It took almost until 4 am for that to work.  I was back up at 8:30, wide awake.

And then the thoughts started up again.  I saw the news that Mr. Wells was pronounced dead at the hospital.  The tears flowed again.  I felt myself glued to social media and friends offering prayers.  Eventually, I had to get out of the house to clear my head.  I took a walk with my endurance dog.  :)  We ran into our Worship Pastor & his wife.  I think that was a divine appointment because they knew what we had been through.  I continued on with my Christian tunes in my ears.  The tears flowed freely again and again.  I have never wished so hard for the Holy Spirit wind to flow through my dry bones and refresh my spirit.  I was a wounded soldier for Christ waiting for that wind to fill my soul so I could "fight" again.

I know it will happen.  God is giving me time to grieve for this man I didn't know.  I still grieve for his family.  They lost their loved one so suddenly.  I wish I could give them a hug.  A part of me wants the runner found but I truly think my role through all this was to glorify God by praying for this man who was entering into eternity.  Jesus didn't die for those to perish without hope.  I was interceding on his behalf.

I have included the links to the one news organization and the other newspaper pulled their link already.  However, I screen-saved it earlier today.

If you read this and have some time, please pray for Mr. Well's family and for our family.  I am so very thankful for all the first responders who are able to put emotions aside to give immediate aid to victims like this.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal Savior, please comment to me below.  I would love to lead you to that decision and pray for you.

Blessings,
Robin

Deadly Hit-n-Run 


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MOCK CITY COUNCIL

by Robin

Our son (center) and many of his home schooling friends (and public school scholars) all had their night to shine.

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It was about 6 wks of preparation.  Orientation meeting, matching up with a job description, followed by shadowing your actual real city official.  Then, they did a dress rehearsal before coming tonight.

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Wow!!  I forgot these were kids!!

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Wow!!!  I forgot they weren't debating real subjects.  Look, they had council tv's!!  Everything was recorded.

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Congrats kids!!  Fabulous job of not only looking the part but truly growing up to be exemplary young citizens!   (Below are our NBHSA high schoolers.)

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Maybe one day, my son will not just play Economic Developer but BE one!!

I'm so proud of you!!

Mid-80's~~ Beach Break!

by Robin

It is so hard to stay disciplined in 80 degree weather!!!  Add on 2 doctor appts (well-checks) and.. then, that just gives you an excuse to do a double-day's worth of work the next day.  LOL
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It was only 20 minutes of a vacation, but it was worth it!!

 photo DSC_0093-1.jpgWe even found free parking with a meter that already had time on it.  Yeah!!

I looked for manta rays and whales but I couldn't see any.  The only thing calling my name was the top of my eyelids!

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And I found a friend.  Not a chicken, but close.  LOL

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My camera takes amazing photos in the sunlight!

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LOL    My date for the day!  Can you believe I had to bribe him to get him on sand??

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Blessings!

Robin

Thursday, February 26, 2015

GARDEN INVENTORY - PHOTO-LOG

by Robin

I read yesterday that people are gaining weight by eating so many preservatives in their daily diet.  There must be something to this because in the spring & summer, when my garden is heavily producing, I lose weight.  In the winter... like clock work, I gain about 4 lbs.


Anyhow, this is a photo-log of my Wall Garden.  These are in containers for easy picking right outside my door.

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Swiss Chard (White)
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Spinach did not come up.  So, I have some more lettuce and salad Kale to plant this weekend. (Make use of every inch!)

Here is my journey to Garden #1 from the Wall Garden.  I come across my little girls (pullets), Julia and Louisa.

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And then, there is my personal sinkhole that has put me right on the ground last week.  I am going to fill it up with LOTS of dirt.  It is a serious 10" deep!

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Ok, now we're over to Garden #1.  My original one.  As you can see, I did a horrible job of collecting beans without keeping the other ones safely in a jar.  I dribbled out half a row of beans along my walk.  So.... guess what I planted in here yesterday??  More of the same. Might as well join the others.  Broccoli were planted last Fall and just now really producing good.  All the tomatoes are volunteers from the chicken transportation "system".  Onions are from last year.

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This is American Broccoli.  I know because it is putting out a nice "head" vs the Italian which just does sprouts.

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Compari? Big Tasty Mater?

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Ugly Ripe.  Must treat the garden immediately!

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Zucchini
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Squash
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Sweet Potatoes  This should cover the ground between all the plants.

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My girls follow me from one end of the garden to the next.  They're ravenous for broccoli leaves. They need their vitamins too!

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Ok, we walked over to Garden #2 now.  I believe this is our 3rd spring gardening over here.

Okra  (giving birth from the seed.. LOL)

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Kale    I prefer Red Russian because it is flatter and can be sauteed nicer.
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Cabbage  Left over seeds from a year or two.  Still germinated!
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Compari  (saved seeds on a napkin)

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My biggest Compari baby.  photo DSC_0062-1.jpg

Big
Tasty Maters      The original name of these was lost.  Possibly it was a store or farmer's market variety.  The Compari variety came right from Publix.

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Big Mama Paste Tomatoes

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Another unknown volunteer. Could be just a pretty varigated weed.  Looks lettuce-y.

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Pepper row.  Not sure if this was the Bell pepper side or the Jalapeno side.  They take longer to germinate and prefer warmer ground.

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Cucumbers are already coming in nicely... especially the sunny side of the garden.  I'll need to put a fence on these pretty soon.

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Shady side... not so much.
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Unirrigated Pineapple.  (I have about 5 irrigated pineapples in Garden #1 that are unpictured.)

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Another volunteer thanks to having chickens.
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Collecting eggs after leaving the garden. Yeah!! Doubles.

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Silly looking egg. Who did that? Peaches... you look guilty down there.  photo DSC_0074-1.jpg

Oh... and my poor pitiful pool.  We were going to replace it this year but instead had to buy a car for our son.  It is raining leaves every day.  It is a daily chores this week or two.

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Happy Gardening.  Now is a great time to get your gardens going!

Robin