What's Blooming

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The rains of May have given way to the hot, humid temperatures of June.  Seems like we went from cool and cloudy to hot and sunny overnight with no time to prepare.  We also went from the feast of excessive rain to absolutely no rain.  It's not rained one single drop in my little corner of the world for the past 2 weeks.  My plants, garden, and flower beds could use some rain lovin right about now.  Nevertheless, my flowers are still going and blooming.  Guess they liked the 13" of rain we got in May!

Echinacea, Purple & White Coneflowers were so vibrant thanks to all the rain, cooler weather, and clouds.

This yellow yarrow came to me through a gardening friend.  I think about her every time I look at this plant.

This daylily was the prettiest its been in my garden.  Again, thanks to the rain, cooler temps, and cloudy days.

My all-time favorite daylily, San Antonio Firecracker, pays homage to my hometown.

Mexican Milkweed, a nectar & larval plant for the Monarch butterfly.  I just like the color of the blooms.

Many years ago, I intentionally planted one of these red salvias in my planter.  I've been getting volunteers every year.

This white Salvia greggii is evergreen and has a long bloom time.  It's a native Texas plant and does well in our hot, harsh growing conditions.

Lanceleaf Loosestrife grows on tall wispy stems.  The flowers are very tiny and dainty.  It's always a delight when it blooms.

I received some Roughleaf Sunflowers from a gardening friend last spring.  The plants didn't get very tall, but the did bloom. I sprinkled seeds around my garden and they germinated and have bloomed.  These are easily 4 feet tall, but I love the pretty flowers.

These pretty yellow daylilies were in a box of daylilies I picked up at Sam's about 10 years ago.  I knew nothing of growing daylilies, but that didn't matter to these guys.  They have been blooming along my garage driveway faithfully every spring.

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Welcome to My Garden

Monday, May 18, 2015

Won't you please come and join me on a stroll through my garden? It's a bit wet due to all the recent rains we've received, so please be sure you're wearing your water shoes. :)


 We've got lots of tomatoes, garlic, tomatillos, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, peas, okra, and green beans planted.



The peas this year are easily 5-6 feet tall.  I love the dainty flowers.  It's fun to watch the pods swell with the tasty little peas inside.  This year, we're growing Alaska peas, an early variety.  In the fall, I'll plant Wando peas.

If you pick the blackberries, be careful.  They're very thorny, but oh, so tasty!  These are Kiowa blackberries and they do very well here in North Central Texas.

Hubby was going to yank out the grapes this year because they haven't been very productive in years past.  We have grapes coming out our ears this year and the vines are taking over the back portion of the yard.  Can you say, "You should've trellised them earlier??"


The green beans (pole beans) are filling in and the runners have reached the top of the cattle panel.  We should start seeing blooms soon with bean pods to follow.  These are Blue Lake Pole beans. 

Tomatoes...These are Super Sioux tomatoes.  First year in our garden and they have been very prolific.  I like how they grow in a cluster of 5-7 and aren't huge.  I foresee many salads in my future.
These are Marmande tomatoes.  They are a rare heirloom variety from Italy.  They produce a flattened small to medium sized tomato which is perfect for just one person, or two, if you want to share.
The garden wouldn't be complete without these little Large Red Cherry tomatoes.  They are the perfect size for munching and in salads.  They make a pretty cluster, too.

These cucumbers were grown from seeds I saved last year.  It was my first attempt at saving cucumber seeds, but it was so easy.  I'll do it again this year.  This variety is called "Muncher" and they are so sweet and pretty much burpless.  They make pretty good pickles, too.
I thinned out these Pike cantaloupe seedlings yesterday to allow circulation and better growth.  You can see they are kind of yellowing.  That's due to all the rain, clouds, and cooler than normal temps we've had the past month.  Cantaloupes (as well as watermelon and okra) like it warm and a bit on the dry side.

Thank you for joining me today.  I hope your shoes didn't get too wet.  Next time, we'll tour my flower beds and see what's blooming.  For now, here's a little sneak peek.










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Meow Monday

Monday, April 27, 2015


Hannah

Tumbles

Daisy

Emmie






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Homemade Coconut Lime Lip Balm

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I've been struggling with dry, chapped lips more than normal lately.  Hypothyroidism causes dry everything...skin, hair, lips, eyes.  You name it, it will be affected by thyroid problems  *Sigh* 

I have been using Aveda Lip Saver for many, many years, but it's gone up to $8.50 a tube, which is just about too rich for my pocketbook, so I started cruising the internet for a homemade lip balm that uses few ingredients, doesn't make a bizzillion tubes all at once, and is relatively inexpensive and easy to do.  Believe you me, I found TONS and many are pinned to my Pinterest page.  However, I found this recipe by Fresh Picked Beauty that made one single tube and was easy to make!  I had all the ingredients on hand, so I gave it a go. 

I loved it!! 

I loved it so much that I put it in my pocket and took it to work to make sure that it stood up to 10+ hours in my pocket without melting or becoming too soft.  It did great! 

Since I normally keep one tube of lip balm at work, one tube in my purse, and one tube at home, I decided to up the single tube recipe to make enough to cover those 3 bases plus extras to have on hand or to share with friends.  I decided to shoot for 10 tubes, so I simply multiplied the base recipe by 10.  This recipe makes about a dozen 0.15 oz. tubes.

Coconut Lime Lip Balm (Makes approximately 12 tubes)
2 T + 1.5 t coconut oil (2.5T coconut oil)
2.5 t grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil (Original recipe called for calendula infused grapeseed oil)
5 t beeswax pastilles (or shredded beeswax)
40 drops Lime essential oil
30 drops Lemon essential oil

Place coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and beeswax pastilles in a glass measuring cup.  Place measuring cup in 1" - 2" of water.  Bring water to a slow boil.  Stir to mix and stir occasionally until beeswax is melted.  Once oils and wax have melted, remove glass measuring cup from water bath.  Add essential oils and stir.  Pour into tubes and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.  Place caps on top of tubes and then allow to cool completely. 

**You can use a small funnel or pipette to fill tubes.  I used these containers and they worked okay.  If I could find some smaller ones, I think they would work even better. 

You can use an egg carton to hold your tubes for filling.  Just turn the egg carton upside down and cut slits in the bottom and insert tubes.  It's not perfect, but it's cheaper than buying a tube holder and it works well.


If you don't have access to essential oils, I use oils from Spark Naturals and Mountain Rose Herbs, but you can easily find essential oils at most health food stores or on Amazon.  I also purchased my lip balm tubes from Mountain Rose Herbs.  Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with either business, just a satisfied customer.

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Meow Monday

Monday, April 20, 2015

Emmie



Daisy  
Tumbles
Hannah


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Meow Monday: Daisy's Story

Monday, April 13, 2015


Daisy's story is a story of learning to trust humans and feel safe and secure around them.  We adopted Daisy in January, 2012 from a local rescue group.  She had been found as a stray in a nearby county and found herself in their high-kill animal shelter.  You can read about her coming home and initial adjustment in our home here. It's been 3 years since Daisy entered our lives and she has come so far!

For the first week, Daisy tried to escape out the windows by pawing and scratching her way out.  I have no doubt that she was abandoned in a house and this was how she found freedom.  Every morning when I woke up, I'd find the blinds in the bedroom bent.  I finally pulled the blinds up about 6" so she could get under them and see out the windows.

As she graduated to full freedom in the house, we rarely saw her.  She'd come to the area near the kitchen for feeding time, then she'd disappear into either the living room or the front bedroom, which was her "safe place".  Every time I went looking for her, she'd startle and get the "fight or flight" look in her eyes.  She never growled, hissed, or swiped at us, but she'd dart behind the couch or under the bed.  If she was sleeping, she'd immediately wake up and pop her head up as if she had to flee.  During thunderstorms, she ran and hid under the telephone table, which has a narrow opening.

Over the months, she gradually started exploring the rest of the house.  I remember when she'd eat her breakfast or dinner and immediately head into the darkened living room by herself.  She wanted to trust us, but at the same time, she was afraid to trust us too much.  She gradually started coming into the den in the evenings with us.  Then, she started spending time with us in the kitchen.  Finally, she ventured down the hallway to the master bedroom and discovered the great view of the backyard from the bedroom window!

When I left for work, she'd ignore me when I got home.  I think she has some degree of separation anxiety.  I would work all week, come home and be ignored for a whole day before she decided to have anything to do with me.

Fast forward to today.  Daisy continues to come out of her shell and trust us more and more.  On days that I'm home, she is ON me.  Not near me. On me!  She loves to snuggle up on my chest and chill out.  Sometimes, she jumps up on the back of the couch and snoozes behind me while I watch TV.  She still likes to hang out in the front room, but only because she can watch the world outside, not to hide.  She eats and stays in the room with us.  She doesn't hide during thunderstorms and she sleeps soundly, even when we walk into a room.  She is in the kitchen with us constantly, often standing between my legs while I cook or prepare their food.  Of course, she's hoping for a handout, but she's still there.  She absolutely loves to play with Tumbles and Emie and she's even been seen trying to get Hannah to play. 

Torties are notorious for bonding with one human.  I'm happy she's chosen to bond with me.



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Meow Monday

Monday, March 30, 2015





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