Thursday, September 17, 2015


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.



Thursday, June 25, 2015


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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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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Thursday, June 11, 2015


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 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.


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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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.