Saturday, July 31, 2010

Diversity Rules!

One of my favorite things to do is to walk around the garden and see things in a new light. I can appreciate the variety of shapes, colors and textures, especially on these hot summer nights when it doesn't seem to cool down until way after dark and it's much too warm to do any real work. Most of what I grow takes very little care, as per the Florida-friendly principles. I do notice a marked improvement in the health and vigor of my plants when we get a good thunderstorm. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen too often around here. So, supplemental watering is in order. Those infamous rain barrels to the rescue!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I think it's time to move on...

We are looking forward to moving to a place where covenants and restrictions are non-existant. After several violation letters from the home-owner's association, we are ready for a
change. The latest violation is about this rain barrel in the front of our house. I mean, can you even see it from the street? It's painted, it's in the corner of the house, behind a large bush. We've been told that it is not allowed in the front of the house, although there is a state law on the books that no covenant can prohibit Florida-friendly landscaping, including those which conserve water. I am being asked to consult with a committee, so that they can work out some sort of resolution to this percieved problem. I guess the aesthetics of one's home is more important than conserving water for our community and world at large.
Sounds like some mixed-up priorities, if you ask me.
Time to move on to a place where we can live our simple life in peace. Where people are less concerned with appearances, and more in touch with what really matters. I see it coming, and it's gonna be grand!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Monday!

Each Monday is busy, filled with the rigors of cleaning, laundry and cooking. 

It's come to be a comfortable place, instead of drudgery. 
Over the years as a household manager, 
I've managed to develop a system that works for me. I have certain tasks on particular days 
so I never have to wonder if a chore was completed. 
It also allows me the luxury of enjoying my weekends doing things I enjoy with a more relaxed demeanor.

This weekend was lazy, by anyone's standards. 
The only place I ventured to was the grocery store. I am grateful to be able to have so much wonderful food available to us. Publix carries a good selection of organics and gluten-free items. 
Anything I can't get directly from the farmers or grow myself is readily available there.

I ventured into the yard to note any new developments. 
The cardboard we placed under the pine straw seems to do a better job at weed control than the store-bought landscape fabric.

I managed to capture a few critters on film. Frogs abound! 


The pumpkins are coming along. 
Seems they don't need much but a bit of water
and they are enjoying the semi-shade this hot summer.
I'm hoping that the beds will look a bit fuller come autumn. Gotta keep my eyesopen for deals on plants and seedlings. 
I love seeing the garden come together.
Good thing God made me a patient woman. 
It's worth the wait...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Keep It Simple

I'm all about being organized.
In fact, I've gotten paid to organize other people's stuff. It's always come naturally to me. Maybe it's just the practical attitude I carry about everything. Even though I've moved quite a few times in my life, there are always a few things that I cannot bring myself to part with.
I don't consider myself materialistic by any stretch,
but these things call to a simpler time, a time when people were focused on daily living. As I make my quest to create that kind of life for my family, I find myself looking at these treasures in a different light.
Simple, practical and useful.
Everything has its place...

oil lamps

A butter crock from when I was a kid.
That was in the day when the milkman delivered to your back door!

An old postage scale.  Still works!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Got Melon?

We've got cantaloupe! I counted at least 5 melons which will be ready for harvest in the next few days. Good thing Lil' guy and I love the stuff! No worries, I enjoy sharing them with our wonderful neighbor. 
It feels good to know that we are not only feeding ourselves, but that we can share our harvest, however small, with others. I look forward to having more property so that we can sow and reap even more for our family table. I'd love to be able to provide a local food bank with fresh produce and eggs as well. 

God always sees fit to bless us and it's our duty and moral obligation to pass that on. It feels empowering to know that something as simple as planting a few seeds and tending a garden could change someone's life for the better. 
Seeds are amazing lil' creatures...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rain is welcome here


I sure do miss our daily thunderstorms. It used to be, especially down south, that every summer afternoon, you could count on a good toad-strangler coming through. Since we've moved to Central Florida, we've noticed that the threatening weather often seems to go around our lil' development. Have I mentioned how much I dislike using city water to irrigate my organic garden? Nature's showers do wonders. There's nothing like a good gully-washer to make everything look fresh and crisp again. The plants soak it up like nobody's business and I find myself feeling renewed. The rain used to cool things off on these scorchers, now it doesn't seem to affect the temperature much. It is a good time to take a nap or read a wonderful book that helps you lose track of time. Yes, rain is always welcome here. Maybe I need to think about moving to Seattle?

Monday, July 19, 2010

After a day of running on Saturday, it was great to stay home yesterday
and get a few things done. I got the magazine rack painted,
and I think it will fit right into my boy's bedroom theme. If not, we can always use it in the living room.
While I'm not looking to acquire much these days, I do find some pleasure in finding the "right" item for the right place. Thinking back, I remember how much I used to enjoy shopping for antiques and vintage stuff. I've gotten away from that in the past few years, but it truly feels like part of my authentic self, so I am more open to getting back to it. I've always been a fan of the metamorphosis of things. People, rooms, gardens, it doesn't matter. I just love the idea that people or things can be brought into their original purpose in the best way possible. And being painfully pragmatic, this hobby fits right into that way of thinking.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Busy day

We had a full day on this fine Saturday. One of our first orders of business was to visit the fundraiser in Lakeland. Every year they sell Crape Myrtle trees for just $3.50 each. I've been wanting to go the past few years, but never made it there for some reason or another. Anyway, even though it was barely 9:30 when we got there, there were only white trees left. I bought 2 for our yard and one for a friend. It's too hot to transplant anything right now unless we get a ton of rain, so I'll keep them in the pots for now.

I checked on our pumpkin seedlings and am excited to see them sprouting.
Yipppeee! It'll be fun to see our lil' guy out there picking his own pumpkin. Hopefully, we'll even have enough to share. If you can't get to the farm, sometimes you have to bring the farm to you...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Found Treasures

I had some time to hit the thrift stores in the last few days. I came upon an old magazine stand that I can sand and paint to bring back to life. Just looking at it reminds me of having only three channels on the television. Can you imagine?
I also found three pieces of Fire King bakeware (two shown). 

I like the idea of going back to baking in glass, porcelain and stainless. These pieces all match in color, even though I found them at different stores on separate days. I guess they were meant to make goodies in my kitchen.
I'm not much on shopping, but finds like these resemble a treasure hunt. I think about the people who owned them before me and I wonder what their life was like, where they used them, and maybe even why they were given up. Everything on this earth has a personal history. 
You just never know what you'll discover if you're willing to really look.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

We put in our pumpkin hills yesterday. I hope to have a lil' patch come October. It's been so dry here that I'll have to remember to water by hand. Just looking out there at the possibility of pumpkins helps me get through the heat of this summer.
 C'mon Autumn!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's a go...

Well, I'm doing it. I'm jumping into the world of blogging headlong.
 I may be the only reader, but that's okay. 
I hope to motivate myself to create my dream life.