Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day 2016



"The willingness of America's veterans
to sacrifice for our country,
has earned them our lasting gratitude."
-Jeff Miller

There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country. Nick Lampson
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_memorialday2.html
"There is nothing nobler
than risking your life for your country.
-Nick Lampson

"The patriot's blood
is the seed of Freedom's tree."
-Thomas Campbell

"For love of country
they accepted death."
-James A. Garfield

"We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers,
but to praise them."
-Francis A. Walker


When I'm out and about,
I've gotten into the habit
of taking the time to shake the hand 
of every veteran I meet
and thanking them for their service.
There's no way that it's enough,
but it's what I can do.
This weekend, please remember those who have been lost
and those they left behind.
May God bless and keep veterans,
one and all.
-daisy 

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Motivation Monday
The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude. Jeff Miller
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_memorialday.html
The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude. Jeff Miller
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_memorialday.html
The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude. Jeff Miller
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_memorialday.html

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Maple Hill Hop 134


Maple Hill Hop


Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
OUTSIDE
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*




I had asked Faye & Lynn if we could have the nest 
that had recently been vacated by their pair of visiting Carolina Wrens 
so that C and I could study them.
He's really taken to bird watching this year.
On Sunday, awaiting me at Farm School,
was this collection of fantastic birds' nests.
It felt like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one!

top

Each creation was a masterpiece!

bottom


We plan to dissect them to find out what materials were used
and research which breed of birds may have been the owners.

top


bottom

Some of the components were obvious,
like this Spanish Moss, which can be found abundantly here in Central Florida.




We look forward to learning more
about these amazing creatures.
We plan to use this website and others in our studies.
This type of learning is truly what unschooling is all about.
Natural learning at its best.


This pie-wedge shaped nest,
constructed by a male Carolina Wren,
was the catalyst for our studies.



It is like a delicate souffle,
with layers of dried leaves, paper and assorted found treasures.


Here's where the family called home.
These birds return every spring to this spot
on the inside of their garage door,
to raise their young and keep Faye & Lynn company.
What a marvel!

That's what's going on around here.
What's happening outside where you are?
HOP to it!   

   





Friday, May 20, 2016

The Start of Something Big!

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. Gerard De Nerval
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html?q=nature
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. Gerard De Nerval
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html?q=nature


"Look deep into nature,
and then you'll understand everything better."
Albert Einstein
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins106912.html
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html?q=nature
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins106912.html





We have new visitors.
Just discovered yesterday,
the gulf fritillary caterpillars will be frequent guests
on all of our passionflower vines throughout the rest of spring
and into the summer months.
Welcome, little beauties!


Have a fabulous weekend, y'all!
Here's to hoping you discover something wonderful!

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. R. Buckminster Fuller
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html?q=caterpillars

"There is nothing in a caterpillar
that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
R. Buckminster Fuller

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop


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Motivation Monday




Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Maple Hill Hop 133



Maple Hill Hop


Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
OUTSIDE
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*

sunflower

We haven't had much in the way of April showers,
but we sure do have a load of May flowers to share!
Here are some of the beauties that bless our garden this month.


The lilies are just starting to peek out of the fern bed.



A few Easter lilies are scattered about 
and getting ready to open up.
I guess they don't much pay attention to the calendar.


The passionflower vine blooms year-round,
but we are only now beginning to see the gulf fritillary butterfly
lay its eggs on the leaves and tendrils.


This coral bean plant (recently identified by one of my readers),
is gracing us with a multitude of vibrant red blooms.


The gloriosa lilies are nothing to sneeze at either.
They have reseeded themselves and are popping up all over the west side of the yard.


I'm not sure if this is gallardia or something else.
The stem is tall and spindly and the profusion of blooms
lingers near the top.
The color combination is striking.
(After identification help from a reader,
I reviewed a past post and realized that yes,
it is indeed tickseed!)


I found these on the "dead rack" the other day
at Lowe's and knew that for a dollar each,
they'd bring us a lot of smiles.


I'm excited to say that our agapanthus
looks like it's finally ready to start blooming.
This is one of my all-time favorites in the Florida-friendly garden.
It's so elegant!


Amaryllis are finished for the season
and are dropping seeds to ensure their return.


The porterweed out front seems to be happy where it is.
We get lots of pollinator activity humming around it
and it's a wonderful sight to see out the front window.


Our beach sunflowers haven't stopped blooming since last summer
when they were started by seed.
It just keeps giving.
It is flanked by our beloved lemongrass.


Passionflower vine is being used as a border on the newest butterfly garden.
I ran out of trellises on which to grow it,
so I thought it might do well as a ground cover.
It just needs to be trimmed frequently.
We also have pentas, salvia, zinnias, milkweed,
lantana and marigolds growing here.


Another border was started using variegated liriope.
These send out purple spikes when in flower.
We have more salvia, zinnias and marigolds planted here,
along with cosmos, our agapanthus and the coral bean plant.


A couple of onion plants I just kind of threw into an empty space
are now flowering.
So interesting how food crops continue to provide.


One of the dwarf Fakahatchee grass plants out front.
I just love the way they sway in the breeze
and hold onto the drops of rain like precious crystals.


One of the pines we are keeping in a pot,
so that we can bring it with us when we move.
Marigold seeds were sown a week ago around its base.

shasta daisy

With most of our food crops finished for the season,
it's good to know that we still have a whole summer of flowers
to look forward to.
I hope something wonderful is blooming in your garden right now.

Sharing at:










What's going on where you are?
HOP on!

 


   




Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thrifty Thursday-Candle Making


One of our goals as homesteaders
is to be as self-sufficient as possible.
We are hoping to someday have our own bee hive
to provide us not only with honey,
but also with a supply of bees' wax.



We currently support our local honey growers,

Some of the amazing ways in which the wax is used
is to create lotions and lip balms, as a lubricator for wood drawers



I've been wanting to make candles for a while.
The necessary components were gathered, including:
bees' wax
wicks (it comes on a roll)
a large can
empty glass jars or other containers
craft sticks or pencils (for holding wicks)
Although usually a winter activity,
here in Central Florida,
with hurricane season looming,
it's a great time to prepare our supplies.
Back-up lighting is one of the important items to have on hand.


Baby food jars had been saved for just this purpose.
I first scraped off the labels, then used olive oil and then soap
to get all the remnants off.
Use whatever receptacles you have at your disposal.


This rather cumbersome slab of wax had to be broken down.


C offered to do the job.
He used a hammer and chisel to cut it into
manageable pieces.


The chunks are placed into the can,
which is seated in a small saucepan with water about halfway up the sides.
On medium heat, the wax will slowly melt.
Keep adding as much wax as you'd like to use for filling containers.
You can also add essential oils at this stage
to customize your candles.


While the wax melts,
the wicks can be tied onto craft sticks
(we used old popsicle sticks).
You can use just a dab of the melted wax
to adhere the wicks to the bottom of the jars.



The hot wax is poured into containers
and left to cool for at least 2 hours.
Wicks can be trimmed at that time.

hot wax

Centering the wick is a good idea.


cooled wax



The whole process is really quite expeditious.
It's time well spent to create a useful item
that enhances the senses and provides a feeling
of self-satisfaction.
We'll be making this an annual ritual,
and most likely adding this craft to our gift list at holiday time.
What could be better than a gift from the heart?

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motivation monday

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