Tuesday, July 23, 2013


by Robin

I had a little spring Turnip experiment.  I got one turnip out of it.

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I have no idea what to do with it.

We shall try again in the fall when I don't have chickens eating all the upper leaves.  Maybe they do much better in cooler weather too.

Monday, July 22, 2013


by Robin

I love my chickens.  They are pets and recognize my voice.  I'm good to them and they give me beautiful eggs every day.

I am, however, having a little trouble with their messiness.  Everywhere they go, they leave a trail of destruction.  For the most part, it is easy to hose off the deck and sweep debris back into its place.  But, after the destruction of okra, pepper, tomato, etc babies, I've decided I need to come up with a better plan for our fall gardening so I don't end up ringing somebody's neck. (figuratively, of course)

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First step to changing our hate relationship into a love one is to benefit from all the chicken and rabbit poo and toss it into the garden.  Then, till it in.  (Both boys were a tremendous help to today's project.)

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Then, we decided to pull other fencing and combine it to make one nice outer fence.  It took two hours to clear lines, till and then put up fencing, but in the end, I was a happy Mama.  I have a small step-over fence in the corner, which I hope will work.  If not, then we go to plan B.

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We're officially chicken-proof in Garden #1.  Tomorrow, we begin pulling stuff in Garden #2 and see how much wire we have to circle that garden.  Once that is done, we will haul in the horse poop.  I hope to have seeds set by mid-August.


Saturday, July 20, 2013


by Robin

I hope you don't mind that I"m going to munch on some sweet potato fries while I am blogging about our dinner.

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Wow.  One thing lead to another and it all came together beyond my expectations.

I was dreading chopping up another salad.  I was peeling off the leaves of a nice head of romaine lettuce and as I did that, they reminded me of little boats.  They were screaming for something scrumptious to fill them with.  But what??

All week, Jack has been making these homemade desserts.  He's been mixing cherries, peaches, granola and yogurt together.  So, that became my second inspiration.  I wanted something cool & refreshing in my boats.

I grabbed a handful of cheeries (pitted) - chopped.  Then, used half of a peach - chopped.  Pounded a crunchy granola bar and poured it in with the fruit.  I diced up 1 peeled zucchini for my chunked veggie. Ok... then I had to think hard because I didn't want yogurt.  I did have some feta cheese in the frig, so approx 1/2 a cup of that went into the bowl. (For some reason, I can handle feta in small amounts but nothing from a cow.)  Looking like it's becoming something good.

What next???

I needed a binder that was friendly to my joints.

Hummus!  I added a couple tablespoons (generous) into the bowl and mixed.     

 Happy Face!!  
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I quickly filled the boats and rang the bell.  Guys came from all corners of the house (I do have them trained as well as Pavlov's dogs.).  First up, Jack.  One down.  Two down.  Three down.  He's loving them.  We have a winner!!  

Simon Peter's next.  He eats one, but I noticed he was really slow.  Doable but he preferred the sweet potato fries with some mac-n-cheese for a side.

Andrew left claw marks on the wall trying to avoid all signs pointing to lettuce.  LOL.  He did take one big bite, chewed and swallowed.  He wasn't unkind but did ask if he could make something else.  I think I was successful if he didn't like it.  He does not appreciate my healthy meals as much as I do.

I ate three of them myself.  Very satisfying sweet, crunchy, chewy goodness.  Perfect for summer while trying to stay trim.  I thought about calling them 'Let us' boats.

Let us be thankful for each and every day.  Every day is a gift from God.  Let us be thankful for one another. Let us be thankful for a Savior that wants to have a personal relationship with him.


PS: This blog is dedicated in the memory of Steve M, who is greatly missed.  

Friday, July 12, 2013


by Robin

I'm sure I could have found WAY better things to do with my time this afternoon.  I had a headache but couldn't sleep because the kids were out playing and I was listening for them.  I heard thunder rumbling. Figured chaos would ensue soon enough, but it never did.  Instead, I took some pictures of my new haircut (in layers) and then thoroughly enjoyed getting creative with the pictures.  I didn't want to one day look back and realize I never had any pictures of me my entire life. I'm always the photographer and never photographed.

So, I started off rather benign. Simple photo. Good enough for any basic social media with a low-grade camera. I did have to cut out my mole as it was catching every single ray of sun that came through the window.

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Goodness, I can do better than look like Glenda, the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz, minus the pink dress, cap and wand. So this came next. I feel like this one best depicts who I see in the mirror, especially on Sunday.  Most days of the week, I do not put on eye liner and mascara.  I threw a little sepia in for good a measure of mystery.

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Yeah, now I'm feeling a little bit better about being in my upper 40's. Anybody can look good if you click enough of the right buttons.

Case in point. Take a stupid picture of yourself making the duck or kissy face. Make it low light. Or if you can't, add gobs of contrast. Turn it black-n-white for a pinch of sophistication (otherwise, you have definitely gone trashy redneck). Then, make it grainy so nobody can see your wrinkles. ha ha.  Please don't tell me if you can find the wrinkles. Really. I don't want years of therapy.

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 Ok, well, I hate good fairies and/ or sexy looks on me, so let's go for teenage goofy. This is something my niece, Mimi, would definitely be proud of Aunt Robin for taking. See, you can teach an old dog new tricks.  Never take yourself so seriously that you can't blog a hideous picture of yourself with your tongue sticking out and eyes nearly crossed. I like my background effect here.  It's a little Looney Tunes-ish.

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Below, I can't see anything that resembles me with this duck face. I don't know if it's the shading or the angle of pretending to being high society. I punked this one up, for the sake of growing up in the 80's. My blog needs some color, right?

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By the this time, I'm totally wasting time. This picture wasn't even focused. I overly cropped it. Overly contrasted it. Not sure it's even me. Are you?   Add layers of weird buttons and then stamp it up like a Hitchcock movie. I think this would be my first album cover, if I ever made one. I think my cousin Courtney would be proud. Me thinks she would like this one... but I could be wrong. I'm often wrong. Just ask my kids.

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Well, hope you got some laugh, at my expense. I know I did.

 Have a great weekend and go do something much more productive with your time.


Thursday, July 11, 2013


by Robin

Who's that behind the bush???

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Oh... it's me.  Having fun with blueberries.

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Ate a piece of blueberry pie for lunch.

Monday, July 8, 2013


by Robin

In the summer, there is always plenty of corn at the local grocery stores. If you can grow it, even better. However, I wait until I can catch them on sale and buy up a bunch. Saturday, I was able to get them for 18c an ear.

 We had a little corn shucking party. I kept reminding them they were lucky I only bought 20 ears. If we had a farm, they'd be shucking a whole lot more.

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Beautiful little silver ears, except for one which was yellow.  Not sure how that happened.

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This recipe comes from my friend who gets a lot of fresh corn from up in GA. Thank you Melissa.

 First, you blanch your corn for 3 minutes in boiling water. Then, remove and cool quickly. I am using my Great-Grandmother's pot which held about 16 ears.

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CAREFULLY, use a sharp knife to remove all the corn kernals off the husk. This was actually pretty easy if you stand the ear up on the end and watch your fingers with the first inch. I actually did half the ear, then flipped the ear over to do the other half. I recently cut part of my thumb & nail off with a mandolin slicer, and I did not care to relive the pain to quickly.  I was extremely careful when I used my knife.

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 I was able to get 4 ears of corn kernals into 1 quart size baggie. This makes more than enough for 1 dinner for the 4 of us. Probably could have had only half a bag when we broke open a bag for dinner tonight.

 You can freeze them easily up to 1 yr (if you can get them to last that long!). I think a can of corn easily will cost you about $.60-.80 in the store. I produced it for $.18- $.36 at home. AND, it was sweeter, fresher, not watered down in a can!

 Hope this inspires somebody like it did me. I'm going back to buy more and put more up for the winter.

 Blessings, Robin

Blueberries EVERYWHERE!!

by Robin

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 What in the world do you do with 23 lbs of Blueberries?? Well, first thing is that you have to cool them down to room temperature. When we picked them, it was 87 degrees in the morning. They sweat. As soon as we got home, we spread them out.

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Right away, I made some blueberry jam. I bought some half-pints that I thought would hold them nicely.

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Before you knew it, I had 9 and a half jars already on the counter, cooling. Do not forget that blueberries are very messy!! Every time I make jam, I use my oldest kitchen towels.

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 Then, I put a couple gallon baggies into the freezer right away (after washing & removing stems). That proved to be a great idea. Sunday, I did not get the rest into the frig and I noticed some of them were beginning to ferment right on the kitchen table. Today, I took care of the remainder ones. Bagged another gallon freezer bag's worth. Made a homemade blueberry pie with another 4 cups. Then, put the rest in the frig for eating fresh. Oh how I love them with my oatmeal for breakfast. Jack loves them as a dessert with yogurt.

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 Here is my pie filling. Very simple recipe. Throw into one of those pre-made store-bought pie crusts, throw a little egg wash on there and cook about 30 minutes. So EASY! I need to grab a piece right now because my mouth is watering.

 God bless!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Orange Grove Pickers

by Robin

Our kids' bluegrass band has an official name and page on Facebook.  They are the Orange Grove Pickers.

They have played at the Farmer's Market in New Smyrna Beach.  We totally enjoyed ourselves up there.  I did a lot of great shopping for food while they earned tips and made great music.  The farmers & craft vendors really enjoyed them.

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We also played at a nursing home a couple of times. 

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I feel that it is very important to take the music to people who are no longer able to get out into the community.  It brings them joy, which brings me joy.

God bless,

Monday, July 1, 2013

From the Kitchen....

One reason why you haven't seen me much in the spring was because everything was booming in the garden.  First I made dill spears with the big cukes. 

Then a week or so later, my smaller cukes were ready.  I had the hardest time with getting enough of these once the rains started coming daily.  I had to supplement with a couple pounds from the Farmer's Market.

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I had to make sure catepillars weren't eating everything (including all my little pickles) and then pick what was growing.  Then, I have put up several jars of bread-n-butter pickles. 

Here is a pic of onions, sweet bell peppers and cukes that were prepped overnight.

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Here is the results of what I pickled.  Also, I threw in some jalapenos for fun.  Not sure they'll taste good but we may have found something new to do with all those peppers.

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I even tried a new Italian recipe where you put your green beans into homemade pasta sauce.  It was actually pretty good.

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Let me see what else I can find to share with you!

God bless,


by Robin

I hate when we start seeing Christmas stuff in the stores in October.  And it also seems weird that we had fireworks already at the end of June.  Hope you enjoy these from our area. 

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This one reminds me so much about palm trees and the sun above it.
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This one is Animal from the Muppets.
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This was one of those that did little corkscrews and the camera captured that beautifully.
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Part of the Grand Finale'. 
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God bless!  I have so much to update you all on.  Soon... I promise.