Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Farm School Update

With the fall garden in full swing,
we thought we'd do an update on Farm School.
About three and a half years ago,
I met my gardening mentors, Faye & Lynn,
who have been teaching me about being a farmer here in Central Florida.
(We have a year-long series on our sessions
posted underneath our header.)

A few weeks ago,
sugar snap peas were sown.

They germinated well,
but took a little while to get going.
They love the cooler temperatures of autumn.


This weekend they looked quite happy.
These snap peas are a vibrant green, crisp and crunchy,
and sweet as sugar.
We're looking forward to seeing those blossoms show up
because we know that we'll soon be enjoying these tasty morsels.

In the lettuce patch,
Faye & Lynn have been dealing with pesky squirrels.
They have attacked the delicate leaves of all of the varieties
including Romaine, Buttercrunch, Simpson and Red Salad Bowl.
Staying true to their organic practices,
they found a way to thwart the nasty critters without using pesticides.

 The shade cloth has done a remarkable job
of keeping them out
and keeping the plants safe.

More shade cloth was added to the garden on the west side of the property.

This time, Lynn used the shade cloth as a wall,
because the pots in this garden are much bigger than the containers in the lettuce patch.

 Inside this protective fortress
are kales and Swiss chard.

So far, the crops outside of the protected area seem to be untouched.


tat soi

tokyo bekana

The eggplant is lookin' good.
I sure hope I get to sample some of these beauties.

Once they reach a certain height, 
Lynn places cages over them for support.

Another crop that we are patiently awaiting
are the Celebrity tomatoes.
Nothing like home-grown maters.
The combination of Lynn's tomatoes and eggplant
is one of my favorite pairings for a peasant stew called ratatouille.

The fall garden is well underway
and we are enjoying spending every minute we can in it.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful as Can Be

So much for which to be thankful.
The Road Back to Health.
Real Food.
A Warm Bed.
Dreams Realized.
The Journey.


May you be blessed this Thanksgiving
with love, laughter and joy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mass Destruction

There's a takeover going on in our garden.

Our passionflower vine is being decimated.

It's not the colder temperatures or lack of water that's causing this destruction.

We are being inundated by these critters,
who feast on this delicate vining plant.

While some of you have welcomed your first frost or snowfall,
we are being visited by a storm of another kind.

The voracious gulf fritillary caterpillars
have descended like a squall.

 Noticing how peaked the plant looked,
I had a feeling that they were very busy out there.
I wasn't disappointed.
Having hosted these caterpillars for quite a few years now,
I can't recall ever seeing so many at one time in our garden.

They start out small enough...

but with each bite, they grow exponentially.
And the passionflower disappears before our eyes.

When they've achieved the right size,
they look for a place to hang out and cocoon.

 Up the walls they go,
looking for the perfect spot to work their magic.

 Here's one that has already transformed
and moved on to greener pastures.

 What a blessing to be able to witness their metamorphosis,
especially during this week of Thanksgiving.
Here's hoping that today you are able to experience
the wonder of the natural world around you.



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

Happy Birthday to you, C!
You're an amazing boy with so many gifts.
We are SO glad that you were born.
Momma & Dad

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Carolina Bound

We are off on a little road trip this week.
It's the perfect time of year for a long weekend,
with fall colors displaying their magnificence.
We hope to visit some of our favorite places,
as well as discover a few new treasures.
We'll try to check in later in the week.
Enjoy this beautiful autumnal season!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thrifty Thursday-Recent Finds

It's been a busy fall so far,
what with putting the house back on the market,
and Sister Deb coming for a week-long visit.
She had all kinds of ideas about staging the house
and worked non-stop while she was here
to help us get ready for our new listing.

We actually had an offer on the house a few months ago,
but the folks changed their minds when they learned about the HOA,
so we took the listing off market for the rest of the summer.
When Sister came to visit a couple of weeks ago,
she was set on staging our home with lots of little projects.
Some of our belongings are already packed and stored in the garage,
so we are as decluttered as we are gonna get.
We just rearranged some of the things we have for a fresh look.

She cleaned and removed a lot of practical items from the back porch
and we picked up this cute lil' table and chairs from a Craig's List ad.
Instant extra living area.
Of course, I had to find a few flowers for the new hangout.

This pot was found at a recent community-wide yard sale.
Love the blue and white combination.

I got the placemats from the same seller.
We paid $1 for four of them.
The other three are used on the kitchen table and work well with our color scheme.
The funny thing is that the lady I bought them from
is the person who bought the house from a neighbor of mine,
who has since moved to Sarasota.
Wait until I tell her I bought something at her old house.

A thrift store find keeps the sage green theme going.

These two brand new pillows were found at an estate sale two weeks ago.
I like the way they add a pop of color to the hall tree
 that Deb painted on her first day here.
I paid just a few dollars for them both.
They had so many goodies there.

This vintage basket was one of the items picked up at the
39-mile yard sale last weekend.
What a treasure for $5!
I'm sure I'll find some way to repurpose it for something practical.

At the same event, this stool was picked up for $10.
It's large enough to place a book and a cup of coffee on
for those times when I can notch out a bit of reading time in our master bedroom corner.

I was thinking of painting over the patriotic, 
as it doesn't match our color scheme,
but perhaps a cover will do for now
until I find another place for it in our new home.
It would serve us well on a patio or front porch.

Just this week, we had to leave the house for a showing,
so that's always a great excuse for us to go thrifting.
This basket, in perfect condition, was marked at $8,
and the clerk thought the price was too high, 
and sold it to us for $5.
C has needed a new hamper for a while.
This bin holds more than a week's worth of clothes,
in case he forgets to do his wash on Wednesdays.
I like that it's open on the sides too,
so that the clothes can breathe between washings.
For now, it works well here,
but it's another item that can be repurposed in the future.

It feels good to have a fresh, new look to the house,
and hopefully, it appeals to buyers too.
We've gotten really good feedback so far,
so I think we're on the right track.
We'll keep you posted!