Saturday, May 31, 2008

~ Taste Testers ~

Yesterday I made strawberry jam , my little helpers were taste testers. They got to lick the pot clean , so to speak. I put a dab on their spoons and let them lick'em clean , the jam has been kid approved.Curious J didn't like strawberries at this age , but he does now.

Curious J and Little Bob White (new nickname for baby brother) will be staying overnight with us tonight. It will be the first time I've kept the baby overnight , hope he sleeps (LOL). I gave him a new nickname last week , his coos sound just like a Bob White bird ~ it's sooo cute.

~ Have a Blessed weekend ~ JoyceAnn

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

~ Memorial Day around the Homestead ~

We had a very busy weekend , two birthday celebrations. One was Saturday afternoon for my nephews daughter and a cookout on Sunday for my SIL'S 40TH birthday.

So Monday we spent a quiet day at home , working. I did laundry and worked in the garden. Dh worked on the chicken coop , it's finally coming together. He's moved the building 3 times , has a bobcat and loves to use it (LOL).
I hung out the laundry on the clothesline , Dh made the clothesline last year , he attached it the pool deck , it serves two purposes. I can hang out clothes to dry and it's handy in the summer months for swimsuits and beach towel drying.
I planted more tomatoes yesterday and mulched the spaghetti squash.
How do you like Mr. Something to Crow About ~ I created him a couple of weeks ago , he has a bottle of Vitalis in his pocket. Each day I squirt some of that awful smelly stuff on him , it was given to my DH on his 50th birthday as a gag gift. I'm using it to hopefully keep the deer and crows away until the plants are large enough to add red pepper pods to them.
Seems to be working , haven't seen any deer tracks and all the seeds came up. Guess they don't like the scent of vitalis either.

~ Green Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

~ Ms. Dogwood ~

Gemma inspired this post , I was reading her blog about trees. Thought I would share our favorite tree , this Dogwood grows very close to the house. We've discussed cutting it down , but our hearts won't let us. It's close to the house and we're afraid the roots could
cause damage , hopefully it won't get much larger .We moved here in "85" , my youngest daughter was 2 then , she loved swinging from that lower limb. Now Curious J enjoys swinging from that limb , a couple of weeks ago he broke one of small limbs. He played with that limb for at least an hour , and was telling us he wanted to be a TREE.
Friday evening I was walking Little Missy around the yard and I introduced her to Ms. Dogwood , although she's just 6 months old , she'll be swinging on that tree before we know it. I can see her and Sweet Baby J both hanging from that limb , such a sweet vision especially in the Spring when all the violets are blooming underneath it.

So Blessed are we to have this Special Tree ~ Ms. Dogwood

~ Hope you're Blessed with a Special Tree ~


Saturday, May 17, 2008

~ Being Green ~

It isn't easy being green ....................................................................

I made this journal card last week and it reflected all the things I had been doing that week . I had been busy raking leaves up for mulch and getting some areas ready for planting.

I made my first batch of laundry soap last week . It seems to be working pretty well , but I think I will had some essential oil to the next batch. I've got to get use to ..... No Suds .

~~ Hope your weekend is wonderful and full of things you enjoy ~~

Friday, May 16, 2008

~ 100 Foot Diet Challenge ~ Weekly Meal

Leaf Lettuce ~ Homegrown

Chickweed * Dandelion Leaves * Violet Leaves ~ Wild Herbs/Backyard

Carrots ~ Local owned Grocery Store

Red Onion ~ LGS

Bell Pepper ~ LGS

Ranch Dressing ~ LGS

Feta Cheese ~ LGS

Brown Rice ~ LGS

2 cups Red Clover Blooms ~ Wild Herb/Backyard

Butter ~ LGS

Baked Chicken Legs ~ LGS

The meal was delicious , the red clover rice was really good. It was the first time I ever made it , but I'll definitely make it again. I got the recipe from this website .

Thursday, May 15, 2008

~ Blackberries are Blooming ~

Last night I was working in the garden , mulching the pepper plants , I noticed along the backside of the garden the wild blackberries are blooming , they're beautiful.
I have 3 jars of blackberry jam left from last year , we opened a jar Sunday and had it on our toast. I've found a recipe for Blackberry Coffee Cake and I'm looking forward to fresh berries to make it with.
I hope to go our local strawberry field and pick berries this weekend. We have eaten all the strawberry jam from last year , most of my family prefer it to blackberry. I like both and enjoy having different jams , depending on what I'm eating.

~ Green Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

~ Harvest Time ~

Today I harvested some Red Clover ( Trifolium Pratense) blossoms. I plan to make a red clover infusion. Since these blossoms are fresh I will add a cup of the blossoms to a quart of water and let it come to a boil , turn off the heat and let them soak overnight. In the morning I will strain and refrigerate. Red Clover helps build strong bones and may prevent cancer. It reduces serum cholesterol , so its good for the heart. My family has a history of heart disease , so this is a herb I need to study and make use of everyday.

I also gathered some wild greens for a salad tonight , a few dandelion leaves , violet leaves and some chickweed. I will toss these with some leaf lettuce ( pictured below ) , harvested from my lettuce bed near the compost bin. I'll add some carrot , red onion, bell peppers and some of those red clover blossoms.

I plan to make the salad dressing from garlic , lemon juice and olive oil.

Yum ~ Yum , I'm getting hungry ~ time to head for the kitchen.

~ Green Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Monday, May 12, 2008

International Compost Awareness Week

This week is International Compost
Awareness Week. I started composting about this time last year. I used my first batch of compost when I planted my garlic back in the Fall. The smell of the first compost won me over , it was sweet smelling and looked so dark and rich. Composting takes care of my food waste , leaves , grass clippings and vacum cleaner bags , full of dirt . Composting can be intimidating , but it shouldn't be , nature does it naturally and will help you complete the task , even when you don't have the correct balance of greens and browns. It may take more time but eventually , you'll have beautiful sweet smelling compost too. I didn't add manure to my first batch of compost , but I've added a rabbit to my homestead now to provide manure for my compost . I hope to have chickens in the next couple of weeks , their manure will be added too.

I'm also trying vermicomposting with red wriggler worms. Why should we buy fertilizers , when nature provides it practically ~ Free ~.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

* Salad Garden *

This year I want to grow as much food as I can to preserve and have plenty to eat fresh. My DH's garage was calling me to look at the space it provides , over the years , the leaves had built a natural compost bed beside the building. I raked the top leaves away and found some beautiful black dirt.

I've planted a * Salad Garden * in this area , cucumbers , cherry tomatoes ~ roma tomatoes , leaf lettuce and spinach. It's closer to the house and near the water hose , so I'll be able to water regularly and pick fresh as needed.

I'm planning to help me my daughter's start a * Salad Garden * at their homes also. It's such a wonderful feeling to gather everything needed for your salad right outside your door and you can't beat the taste.

Do you plant anything outside your backdoor , near the house for easy excess or special beds for certain needs ?

~~~ Green Blessings ~~~ JoyceAnn

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008

~ * ~ Meet Ms. Jazzy ~ * ~

Last week , I heard my uncle was trying to find homes for some baby bunnies. So friday , I had to make a trip to the grocery store for my Mom and decided I would drop by and bring one home. She's cute as can be , Curious J and I decided to name her Jazzy. Jazzy will provide manure for my composting bin.

We finished planting the garden saturday. My Mom , 2 daughters and I planted corn , greenbeans , squash/3 kinds , peppers/5 kinds and some cantaloupes. It just about completes the garden except for the tomatoes and we're waiting for those to get a little larger.
Curious J spent the night saturday , we watched the Bee Movie sunday.
It was pretty good , but I don't think Curious J liked it to much , he did enjoy some parts though. We had a Bee parade afterwards with his bees he had collected from McDonald's , we found a bus , elephant pull along toy , jeep , and a couple of other riding toys to put the bees in and lined them up for a parade.We talked about how bees make honey and colored a picture of a bee on some flowers. This was our Earth Day celebration , a little late but I think Earth Day is everyday.
~ Hope your weekend was Blessed ~ JoyceAnn