Friday, October 31, 2014

Who turned on the Cold Air???

Ok where did Fall go and who turned on the cold air,the crap isn't funny man!Had to get plastic to cover the plants but the wind kept blowing it off.I think I have it secured now.  I can't wait to taste the kale.I got loofahs drying and hopefully this cold won't hurt them.

I'm piled up on the couch with my blanket,Orion is hogging the heater.We love this dog so much we put a heating pad under a thick towel for him at night. Pretty spoilt uh?He loves it and he's comfortable.I try to keep him off the bed because I'm afraid he'll hurt himself again jumping off it.Yes we let him on the bed sometimes.But he is not a bed type dog,he'll only stay on it for 5 minutes and then he'll get off.

Yep Rotten to the core!See that yellow blanket?That's the one he came with.I throw it in the wash and he loves that. He was cute wrapped up in it when she took him out of the her truck and he was so scared when I brought him home.But it didn't take long after much exploring he settled down.But he loves his blankey.

Makes ya kinda wonder how I will treat our chickens when we get them?I'll be a wreck during the wintertime hoping they are warm in the coop. But those ideas are going in a list.I got my chicken book in and have been looking at different breeds.I don't know yet which breed(s) I'll go with.

Halloween has been quiet here,since we are back from everyone in the pines.I don't like getting out on nights like this because of children being out.We didn't buy candy nor did we go to any parties.I'm not a social butterfly anyway.I hate crowds and being around people I don't know.We were invited to a Halloween party but turned it down. Instead we stayed home and I did loofahs and separated seeds.
I'm getting quite a collection and want to try to sell some loofah seeds. I got some really nice seeds from the summers' crop. Got so much to think about for the coming spring.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Here comes the COLD!!!

Yep that time of year I guess,time for the cold fronts to start coming in.I've been trying to insulate this place and check for drafts. So far I've gotten some plastic on the windows(yes I use plastic sheeting)it helps.This morning I put the blanket over the livingroom window.This weekend it's suppose to go down to 30 degrees.I got to get this place warmed up.Wre going to go look for a heater this weekend and get the gas turned on.I don't think my bones can take another hard winter like last year.Laying down OSB boards this summer sure has helped.The floor isn't as cold and I don't feel no drafts.It's 37 this morning and I have an electric heater on and so far so good.It's cool but very tolerable.

We're having Chicken A La King tonight.I have the chicken in the slow cooker.Sounds good,we'll see.Been awhile since I fixed it.

The plants are inside,I still have bell peppers trying to grow,amazing! I picked one pea off the vine yesterday. My loofahs are drying out slowly.I think this freeze may do the job.The only problem we have is when it freezes here so does the water lines.Usually we turn off the water and drain the pipes.Better than a busted pipe.I fill up jugs of water for general purposes and when it warms up I turn the water back on. It's a pain but ....

Yeah no more of this!

Maybe more of this!

Yeah he's snoring and sound asleep and nice and warm.Spoilt little brat.His leg got better so now he's playing more.He loves this cool weather and he loves snow.That's his couch by the way and no one is allowed to sit on it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mushroom Stroganoff

I have been trying to eat somewhat healthy.I cut a lot of red meat out of my food intake.So I went online and looked up vegetarian dishes. Here's one and I just fixed it.It was very good. I'd recommend this one.But first the pictures.
Kinda fuzzy sorry.Cook the mushrooms and onions in butter.I added the red bell peppers cause I wanted color.
Add beef broth but I didn't have any so I used beef boullion.
Add the sour cream and flour
Cooked egg noodles,the final look.And now I'm full!!!!!!

So Much to Do

And it's 4:15 in the morning and very quiet.You know when you got all these things on your mind?and just can't sleep.Yep that's it. I got the loofahs drying out and more peas picked.That's done.I got my sister-in-laws pine straw basket going and it needs to be finished before Christmas.I gave her a small one yesterday and she  took it to her bedroom.She loves it when I make her stuff.My brother and her have done so much for us since we have been here and I haven't asked them too.That's family.I share stuff from the garden with them and they done the same for us from theirs.

Hubstead will soon be up and off to work. He put on a pork roast last night.He likes BBQ pork and he can fix him something to eat when he gets home. Orion  pulled his back leg muscle,we think he done it jumping either on the bed or off.I guess I'll have to get him some doggie vitamins to help him along.He has a problem with his hips sometimes. I don't think he has hip dysplasia,I hope not anyways.I think he may have been hurt when he was born. We put him on a heating pad and he felt a lot better after a nights sleep.

Went fishing over the weekend,caught one fish.Yeah I'm a great fisherman! If someone said fish or starve,well,I would go pretty hungry! I think we need to find a decent place to fish.

The house has come together well.I still have no room in the kitchen to put anything. I'm looking at shelves for the time being,at least get stuff off the counters.I try to buy things that are on sale and put them in the room I made a pantry out of,but now that room is getting used for storage. I knew it was going to take time to get organized.I just wished it was sooner. Patience is a virtue around here.
The livingroom looks like a livingroom for time being.This room looked big until we started putting stuff in and then it got a whole lot smaller.Now we have to work on getting hubsteads office going.

I've been slowly winterizing the house.Checking the windows for air coming in.Soon we'll have heat and I don't want any escaping.Unfortunately with a fixer upper like this place it's hard to get things in order like this.The only concern right now is around the backdoor.We have to replace a piece of wood at the bottom.We have two bathrooms,one has a tub the other a shower stall.The bathroom with the shower stall,the sinks don't work and the one with the tub,the faucets don't work on the tub.We had a leak and cut it off. So some work there has to done.The toilet in our bathroom,you can't put toilet paper in(we have city water)or will get stopped up.It has drove me nuts trying to keep it unclogged.The pipes under the house needs to be replaced,but you know all in good time!

Well Halloween is coming and I've seen some nice carvings that people did with pumpkins.I may put some pumpkins in the garden next year.I could easily get rid of them around here. Then comes Thanksgiving,one of my favorite holidays! Christmas is fine but I don't get too excited.I may this year cause I told hubstead I wanted to put up a tree.We'll see.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Experimenting Again

Today I walked out to see how the loofahs were doing. I pulled three of the large ones and put them in netted potatoe sacks to ripen off.The reason for this is we have had so much rain here and now there is nothing but dew on the ground,I was afraid they would rot on the vines.We haven't had our first frost yet and I'm trying to salvage what is there and I still have at least a dozen. I hung them in the kitchen closet and I check on them every couple of days.So far they are doing very well drying out.

I'm still getting peas off the vines and saving them a little at a time.They taste very good,very crispy.

The Kale is getting big and the leaves are getting curly.Can't wait to fix some of them.They still have a month of growing then they'll be ready.

We finally got a couch for the living room.It has a recliner on both ends and even though it's not that pretty,it's very functional.Orion wants to get on it but we gave him the loveseat.He doesn't understand why he can't get up the couch but I tell him,this is not your couch and I point to the love seat and say that's your couch.he seems to understand and will get up on the loveseat.I put his blanket on it that he had when he was a puppy and he gets on it.

I started back making pine straw baskets.

So now I've added making baskets,this one is mine,and beading and some woodwork.
Basket tree made of white popular
I have found many uses for vines and trees and grasses here.This is what I have so far.I can pretty much make just about anything out of the stuff.

I broke my rod yesterday.Yep I can't fish but I try.So hubstead and I went down and got me another.While we were there he got a rod and reel and some tackle stuff.Here you have to have a fishing license and a permit to fish in the local lake.In Florida where we lived we didn't have to have one.We did alot of shrimping and crabbing.Oh well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The End of a Very Nice Year

It has been amazing to see the changes going on here. I really didn't know if I could do this or not.Now a bigger and better plan is on the horizon for next year.I have gotten about a half a pound of snow peas from the vines,one loofah done and more waiting to ripen.The tomatoes were so abundant and I got alot of seeds for next year planting. I found out what will grow and won't grow. What to pot and not pot. What will grow good in pots. My herbs ,sage,parsley,spearmint,and basil have all done very well in clay pots.I put some lettuce in a pot and I have eaten alot of it over the summer. The peppers did good in pots but I think I will put them in raised beds instead.

I'm currently working on an indoor garden. I have been looking at grow lights and trying to find a good spot to put them. Our livingroom has now gotten full.We finally picked up a couch and it looks so much better here. We're getting a heater this week and the gas turned on.Yep we got to.It's just too cold here during the winter to not be able to survive without some kind of heat. Later all this will change when we get another heat source installed.

Here are some of the growth pictures :
July 3rd,2014
July 2014

Loofahs at 2 months 2014
Romas July 3rd 2014
Potted peppers and herbs

So see,it's was just finding the right combination of sun and dirt and plants.I'm not a farmer but this has gotten me in the mode now!I know now what kind of bugs I'll get,what time the bees come around,when to start my seeds indoor.It has been a learning experience and I wrote everything down on what I did right and what I did wrong.Next year will surely be a challenge but I'm up for it.

Just a little reminder on this,it's really good!

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

10 to 15 sprouts cut length wise
onion or scallons chopped( ok I don't know how to spell)
2 cloves of garlic crushed(I crush mine with a fork)
Olive oil (just enough to cover bottom of skillet)
water(just enough to cover bottom of skillet)
half a cube of chicken boullion

On Medium high heat-
Cut brussel sprouts,onions,garlic cloves,pour olive oil in skillet and lay brussel sprouts flat.Add onions and garlic.Cook until sprouts are carmelized then turn them over and do the same on the other side.Add water and half the chicken boullion,let the water steam the sprouts until water has evaporated.And you're done. This stuff is good!

And some pretty flowers!
Both of these belong to my sister-in-law so pretty!
This is a hummingbird vine.My sister-in-law gave me a crapload of seeds from this vine and going to do some planting next spring.

Well hope you enjoyed the pictures that's about all I have right now. Going to do some planning and get ready for winter to set in around here.Haven't had the first frost yet but it's coming.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gone Fishing

Well that's what I tried to do this morning.I did catch one little striped bass but I let him go.I haven't been lake fishing in a long time.I had a great time and it's so nice where I go.Next time I go I'll take some pictures for you.

It has cooled down a lot here.I'm sitting here with my blanket on me.Orion is curled up in a ball next to me.Snoring! The leaves are turning slowly and falling.Most are brown and just fall off the trees.It's been an amazing time here. Feeling more and more like home.I picked more peas off the vine today and unfortunately my trellis with the loofahs fell down when we had the storm come thru,I saved the loofahs though.I just laid them on top and going to wait til they turn.Some are already turning so it won't be long.I already took the first one that turned but it was mine.I cut it in half and one is for the shower and the other is for washing dishes.

Funny,twenty years ago,you give me a plant or I try to grow something,usually I killed it. Now I can't stop growing stuff!I still can't grow African Violets,NOPE,NEVER! 

The Kale is growing in leaps and bounds since we had all that rain.Soon they will be ready.mmm Kale chips!

Took down the Hummingbird feeders and got them soaking so I can clean them and put them up for next year.Hummingbirds can sure make a mess of their feeders.We put the rain barrels under the flowing water off the roof just to see how we are going to place them next year.Yep they work really well.Got one completely full and the other we off set and didn't catch any water.I still need to clean them.

This weekend I wanted to go fishing and get out of the house for awhile. I stay in alot and just try to get things done around here. Plus I'm in charge of making sure the bills are paid and everything runs smooth.I'm getting my Bipolar took care of.I love my doctors here.I couldn't say that out in Texas.I didn't get the same care out there.My therapist here is the best lady and she understands what I'm going thru cause she is bipolar too.Next month I start back on my meds.I'll be glad,maybe my energy level will go back up where I can function.Bipolar is hard .I ride a roller coaster half the time and it can really be tiresome.I can't wait to get back to my beading,I miss it,but right now I can't concentrate like I need to.I 'm making these little pine straw baskets and I like doing them,something different.

The house is slow coming together.I still can't believe I'm still cleaning on it.Hubstead got the OSB board laid down in the room he's going to make an office out of.Lots of work there too.He's got his computer setup in there and I get the laptop.We have one more,my old one I was thinking of setting it up near the kitchen and just put recipes on.

I put up some of the basil I grew.I found a lady who said how she did hers.She got a jar with a lid and put kosher salt on the bottom and a layer of basil and then a layer of oil(I used olive oil).and repeat until the jar was full.It smells soooo good.I went and bought a jar and the oil and kosher salt for it.

Isn't that pretty?And the smell wow!You just take what you need and put it back in the refrigerator.It's suppose to last up to two years like this,we'll see. I like trying different methods that people post and I found out they work most of the time.

Well Halloween is coming up and we don't do anything for that holiday if that is what you call it.I hope we don't have a long winter this year.I got the growing itch already.Ordered more catalogs too.I didn't put a pumpkin out or anything.Not this year any way,maybe next year I'll grow some,if we got room.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Rain ,Rain, go Away

Well Misty Pines is living up to it's name today and yesterday and probably tomorrow and then the next day. We are getting slammed with rain here in northwest Alabama.The loofahs are loving it and I suspect they will got nuts with all this water.I am alittle concerned for my small peas vines.

I did my first loofah yesterday and ended up with 360 seeds just from one. 10 minutes later I had sold everyone of them online.WOW!

The first one loofah was mine to keep because I have waited all summer for these guys to grow,well I have 4 other orders for these now.Mainly friends and family want them.mmm maybe a small business later,who knows?

They came out beautiful and full.I have several more hanging on the vine getting ready to finish up the cycle.The Kale is getting big,I didn't plant as much of it as I would of liked but since this year was a "let's see if I can do this"year I wasn't too concerned.

We are having a cold front come in at the start of this coming week.I told hubstead we really need to get a gas heater going so we won't freeze to death. We decided when we did it's going in the livingroom.I don't want to spend another winter here stuck in the bedroom.Yeah that's where we were this last winter.I felt like I was in prison.
The OSB board we laid down is going to help alot blocking of the cold.Come spring start doing some more work.
Well it's a start!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Got the Rain Barrels!

Went this morning to the local farm store and they finally got the barrels in.
Still in the bed of the truck because see the water?,it just poured down.
It still going to rain so I'll wait for abit before I post some close ups.These barrels are pretty thick and heavy duty.

A little later.............

I'm tickled to get them!!
At 10.00 each that was a really good price.And the bottom is already set up for a spigot.Just some cleaning with some soapy water and they'll be good to go.I am a wheeler and dealer when it comes to finding things.Then we got to figure "where" to put them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Feel you Can't?

If someone had asked me a few years ago did I think what I'm doing now was possible?,I would of said "NO".One of the things people don't understand about living this way is this,yes you can even if you don't make alot of money or have the room or land. We are on an acre of hard clay and large trees.I get a good amount of sunlight during the day in the backyard.Of course I had to make a note of how many hours and how the sun came across the house. I get some sun in the front but by two in the afternoon the front yard starts shading up.This is my first year and I'm learning as I go along.For three years I looked up everything I could on plants and gardening and how tos.

Seeds are fairly cheap.Pots,you can find either free(make your own out of buckets or coffee cans)recycle your stuff,or buy them,soil is either from the ground or in bags(usually 1.78 per bag)depends on who you buy it from.Compost can be from under your trees or bags or make your own compost bins.Find some stray pallets and screw them together.Or a garbage can.

Don't expect to get it together all at once.Everything takes time to collect and grow.I started my seeds too early and lost most of them.I had to replant several of them.When they did start growing I was happy.Don't fertilizer them plantlets or you'll burn them(yep I did).Again had to plant some more seeds. Now I know better.

Plant only what you'll eat. I like tomatoes,so I planted some of those and some peppers.I wanted to try my hand at growing luffas and they did great! I also done English peas but they didn't do well but it was because I didn't do the soil content right.Now I have Kale and Snow peas going and they are doing real good.

I know this isn't pretty but it serves the purpose.

I didn't really know what I was doing but how do you know until you get out and try it? We have the humidity and enough rain here to pretty much keep the plants going.You can order free seed books online from different companies. I order mostly organic catalogs.Herbs was the main thing I wanted to do and they done really well in clay pots.
Basil and Sage

Spearmint freshly picked

We were able to find a place to live by looking thru alot of listings.And I mean alot.Don't get discouraged. If you find something,call the numbers and find out all you can and see if the bank or owner will make a deal with you.Also if you have a mind to do a small farm like chickens  or rabbits or goats,check with the zoning board and see if you can have these things.Nothing like buying a place and then find out it's a big NO. Take your first year slow and plan out where you want to put things. I have a great place to put my chicken coop BUT there is a pond the next door neighbor owns and the coop would be too close to it.So I'll have to put it in the opposite side of the yard that's close to the woods.Not liking it but will have to reinforce the coop good.

Save you up (I know this part is hard)some money ,little at a time.If you can do crafts or have a garage sale,save that money. It's been hard for us but we have saved some with what little bit I put in the garden this year.My sweet aunt gave me some advise one time,NEVER buy retail always buy what's on sale.I do.From clothes to can goods to whatever I can find.I got two rolls of black ground cloth for the raise beds next year for 3.00 apiece.When something like garden stuff goes on sale,better start stocking.Get online and ask for stuff in your local area,there may be someone who wants to get rid of blocks,bricks,wood.All you got to do is go get it.Always look for free dirt or wood chips.Save your grass clippings and put them in your compost bin.I got free broken pallets and made mine.

AND this is how you can get started.You don't have to be rich to own it.Ask all they can say is no.
If you have a questions for me ,I'll answer.

My version of Swiss Steak

Tonight I made something I haven't made in years. Swiss Steak and wouldn't ya know it I had a few things missing. But I still pulled it off and it was really good!The recipe called for mushrooms,well I used those for my veggie burgers.And bell pepper but I had none ready off the vines.So here's my version of what I did.

I pour NON GMO canola oil in a skillet,I had finger steaks and I put them in flour and browned them real good.Took them out and I had made my own brown gravy mix so I put some in the skillet and added water.Then I put a can of stewed tomatoes in and chopped up onions.Added a few sprigs of parsley from outside and a leaf of basil.I don't measure when I cook,I eyeball most of it.

This was all that was left.It made a rather thick sauce and it would be good with rice.I buy a specific non GMO canola oil from a local supermarket that works excellent for cooking anything you want.It doesn't leave a greasy taste to the food nor in the pallet.You don't use alot of it either,two bottles last me three months.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Deer and her BABIES!

I know it's a dangerous combo,a garden and deer.But so far they haven't got into anything.
She never told me she had babies LOL!

The picture is alittle fuzzy I didn't want to scare her.The babies still have their spots. This is right out in my backyard. I guess we'll have to put up a fence next year.

Sitting here this morning ,waiting for the next line of storms to come in.Everything is getting a good dose of much needed rain and the plants are looking better.I've gotten a handful of peas so far and the kale looks like it's grown an inch or more .It's been a tough year for us getting settled in but we are gonna make it.We have been getting the house winterized better this year. I've been insulating what needs to be covered.I ordered more seed books so I can't wait till spring now.I have kept a journal of the progress of the garden.I managed to put a compost bin up and got it going already.It's not much to look at but it will work for what I need it for.Still working on some rain barrels but keep a 5 gallon bucket on the back porch to catch what I can.

The yard finally straightened out from all the mowing we done during the summer. We still have a problem with the small pond like area.Looks like we are going to have to get a load of dirt and fill it in come spring. It's so nice here and it's great getting up to the peacefulness in the mornings.As long as they don't develop any of the area,it will stay that way.I got my fishing license and as soon as this rain clears out,I'm going!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ok I did real good with the luffas this year and the tomatoes grew so big.The peppers did some what ok and the herbs were beautiful.

They are huge!

Misty Pines is on her way.Next spring and summer,I'm offering gourds for sale.It's been a trying year for us here.But some of the hard work is yet to come.We have raised beds to put in come spring and new plants to get going.I hope it will be a good year to come!

I appreciate the patience you have shown,It's been tough getting settled in a new place.We have been doing some remodeling and it's coming along great.So with the gardening and remodeling we have been very busy.The snow peas I planted are growing in leaps and bounds(as long as we can keep the deer out of them).