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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CUCUMBERS AND TOMATOES

by Robin


It has been such a long time since I posted my kids on here, I thought I'd give one small brag.  Ok, technically, it is a BIG brag.   I was busy Tuesday finishing up school with my youngest, Andrew, and Simon Peter was finished with college finals.  (Btw, he officially has his AA degree now!  Off to a big University next!)

So, they had a Father-Son-Friend day on the ocean and they came home with some nice meat for the freezer.  My hubby has vacation coming to him in a few more days and I can't wait to catch my own gag grouper.  :)

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So, while life is just passing by, I didn't realize that my tomatoes were finally turning red! Awesome. There are so many green ones out there.  It's about time!

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Back to Tuesday....  the big guys are fishing and my youngest needs gifts for his teachers on his last day of school.  What did I do??  I picked cucumbers!!

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I've pickled until I have run out of jars!   We're down to eating cucumber salad with every meal.  ha ha.  And still, I picked 29 more cucumbers.  My fingers are to help me remember the ones I gave away earlier without a picture.  I had 2 with larva holes and had to cut them and one that stuck in the fence.  Had to rip it apart to get some parts out.  Our grand total to date is 137!!  More still to come.

Those are also dried Mayflower beans and cherry tomatoes.

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Anyhow, we had 5 gift bags with 4 cucumbers each.  I cannot believe that some of the teachers were actually very happy to receive my veggies.

My veggies are not organic but they're close.  I used to do all the soapy/oily water but this year, so far, all I've needed was food-grade diatomacious earth. I coat my hands and then rub around the tomatoes or cucumbers.  I have sprinkled the leaves but found that I waste a lot and it comes off in the rain.  Mostly, I worry about protecting the fruit.

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This was this morning's pick.  I love that every day is Christmas outside.  I'm always picking something.  I can usually eat okra about twice a week.  My family pretty much hates it unless it is fried but I love it sauteed with some fake butter, salt & pepper.  Four plants seems to be producing enough for me and occasionally, my family.  When I had a whole row, I was giving away okra.  I tried for that this year but it didn't work out with the strange drip-irrigation issue I had.  I think some holes were blocked. Also, my new Ameraucanas are laying now too.  I have blue & green eggs.

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And so it begins with tomatoes on the shelf.  These are just the small sized ones.  I can't wait for the big ones and paste maters to ripen. It will be canning time soon.

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Happy Gardening and make sure you raise your kids up right to love the Lord and the good things that He has given us.

Robin

Saturday, May 2, 2015

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH CUCUMBERS? 108 & counting!

by Robin

Earlier, I have posted my Bread and Butter recipe and a modified dill recipe (non-hot) for you.  But, I picked another 32 cucumbers this week and pollinated another dozen the past 2 days.

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Today's pic (5/2/15).  The missing cucumbers that dodged yesterday's picking.

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Well, I'm getting creative.  Afterall, I have a couple teenage boys in the house and I'm always concerned with providing all of us with healthy alternatives.


I was blessed with a dehydrator for my birthday and it was sitting there waiting on tomatoes.  Might as well learn how to use it this weekend!  Here it is loaded up with one experimental tray.

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I have to say, I oversalted but these are VERY doable for treats.  This below picture was taken at the 2 hr point and I will try another one at the 3 hr point.   I'm thinking < 4 hrs drying time at 135 deg will make a perfect chip.

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Here are another picture I took over the week.

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Also had a nice couple of zucchini to play with.  Used this recipe (below), but with regular flour and I fried them since I was also frying the okra.  Great vegan recipe!

Zucchini Fritters

Kudos to the recipe creator!!  You nailed it.  I will be making these throughout the summer.

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Dilling more hamburger chips with fresh dill heads from the garden!  I didn't count the exact number that went into this but it produced 1 qt and 1 pt of hamburger dill chips.

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Making Gherkins with these small-mid-sized cucumbers.  Basically about 4 in in size. A little big for a gherkin but it kills me to pull these < 3 inches.  These are sitting in boiled water until they cool.  Then you repeat the process a couple more times before you put salt on them.

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Making Gherkins is a multi-day process, which I am still trying to find a way to condense into a 2 or 3 day (max) process.

Happy Gardening!
Robin

Thursday, April 30, 2015

GARDEN UPDATE! - Photolog of the jungle

by Robin

I think there are about 36 photos from today's walk round the garden.  So many pretty things to photograph.  Every day, it keeps me busy with picking, pollinating, tying up, fertilizing and weeding.
I did not plant this sunflower.  I wanted sunflowers but never got around to buying new seeds.  A squirrel got in my plastic container and enjoyed the saved seeds.  I guess while he was out there, he pooped out a lot of seeds and now I have sunflowers in random places.  God works miracles.

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Garden 2:  Tomatoes, okra, dill, cabbage, kale, beans (in back)
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My tomatoes are over my head.
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The cucumbers have left the fence and started attaching themselves to the screen.  This is a first.
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Sweet bell peppers between the Roma tomatoes and cucumbers.  They're blooming.
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I held my camera over my head and just took a random shot from above.  Believe it or not, it isn't that chaotic.  Just healthy & happy.
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Same garden, other side.
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Again, other side of Garden 2, near the front.  Black beans, kale and okra. (weeds too)
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Cukes, pepper, tomatoes
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Garden 1.  Broccoli gone to flowering, sunflower, zucchini, squash, pineapple, cherry tomatoes.
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Front side of Garden 1.  You can see the climbing Mayflower beans (for drying).
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Better shot?  I love a manicured lawn.
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The bumpier the Mayflower bean, the better.  Labor intensive while shelling but worth it.
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Okra.  Have harvested about a dozen so far and eating them as quick as I can harvest them.  I wanted more plants but it just didn't work out. 4 is good enough, I suppose.
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My heart is happy.
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Purple cabbage still going strong.
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Okra bloom. Gorgeous. Part of the hibiscus family.
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My first sweet bell pepper looks to be like a white one!!  Cool.
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Campari tomatoes.  These are very tasty and stay on the smaller side.  Great for salads and making sundried tomatoes.

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Ahhh, I digress.  My next sunflower about to open.
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Back to tomatoes.  Cherry tomatoes are everywhere.  I even have some in the side lot from where the chickens replanted.
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Cucumbers!  Record-breaking year and still going.  76 and counting.  I'm about to pick another batch over the weekend.
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Big Mama paste tomatoes.  Like a Roma.  Gonna make sauce with these.

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I think these are Compari again.
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I have 6 female blooms on the window.  I will enjoy getting to watch them grow and see if they can hold up that weight with those tentacles.
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Dill is going to bloom.  Gorgeous.  I plan on saving some of this seed.  I don't think I'm going to use the heads the next time I make dill pickles.  I did use the fern part though last week.
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Green cabbage... needs rescuing from something.  Looks like it is eaten up by aphids too.
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Big tomatoes, dill, okra, beans, dill.
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Ok, changing gears here.  A few days ago, my hen laid a shell-less egg.  Very cool.  Soft, spongy, dry to the touch, but completely without shell and had an umbilical cord attached.  Another first.
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Ok, but she's fine.  she laid this one today.  And you can see, we got our first blue egg two days ago. :)
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It was Julia!  Congratulations honey. Caught her in the box laying a 2nd one today.
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Still waiting on her sister Margaret (or Louisa, haven't decided yet) to lay her first one.
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Seeking shade.  It was cool this morning but now it is HOT.
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So hot that Harris has decided to sunbath.  Totally chilled out.
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Her eyes were shut but then... she heard something.
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Good feeling.... gone.  Wretched dogs.
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Have a very blessed week.  Kids are heading into finals.  Many prayers are going up for them.

Robin