Monday, April 30, 2012

Come and see...

My almost garden!

Since it is not quite time, here in the Texas panhandle, to put the garden in, all of the plants I have bought so far are in pots. Not to mention, I haven't even gotten my raised beds ready yet. I used "Mel's Mix" in my pots, as that is what I will use in my raised beds. Mel's Mix is the growing medium used/created by Mel Bartholomew, writer of Square Foot Gardening. This is the method I am using to garden this year.

At harvest time, with just the plants above, we will have 7 types of fresh heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, rhubarb, POPCORN!, 4 types of peppers, spaghetti squash and patty-pan squash. All of that is in the pots in the photos. This week, I plan to add pickling and slicing cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, watermelon, okra, cantaloupe and plants.

Once the garden is in, late in May (yikes, 6 years here and I STILL cannot get used to the last frost date of Mother's Day) I will be planting seeds for lima beans, green beans, green peas, purple hull peas, black-eye peas, pinto beans, black beans, red beans, radishes, carrots, corn, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens and gourds. WHEW! I am so excited for harvest time already!

For the first time ever, I have an herb garden, too!

Top shelf to bottom, left to right: basil, chives, sage, thyme. cilantro, lavender, spearmint, parsley, lemon verbena, rosemary and chamomile.

I still would like to get some calendula.

That old set of stairs was here when we moved here and it is a fantastic plant stand. I bought some white spray paint this weekend and will get it painted this week.

I used marigolds for natural insect repellant.

I put one marigold plant in 3 pepper plant pots and 1 tomato pot. Hopefully it will work. I will have the marigolds interspersed within the raised beds, too.

It is a cool, mostly overcast day here today. It is also supposed to storm this afternoon/evening. I thank God for the rain...but really wanted to work outside today. That means it is indoor work for me today.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Such a beauty

Since I haven't posted all week, I decided to introduce you to the *diva* of our barn.

I am beautiful
Yes, she knows she is the pretty one of the bunch in the barn.

Minnie Pearl is a bantam white Frizzled Cochin. We got her out of the "mixed bantam" batch at Tractor Supply a few weeks ago.

Isn't she a pretty thing?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Share {Week-6}

Better late than never, I say.

Siesta time

Homemade Tater Tots - Les Petites Gourmettes

Crochet Chicken Fridgie - Orble

Homemade Grenadine - Cupcake Project

Make your own ACE bandages - The Prepared Homemaker

How to render lard & tallow - Cheeselave

Have a wonderful Sunday evening.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In training

Gregory has never asked for a pet. We have had pets Gregory's entire life and even when we go to pet adoptions, etc., he never really pays attention to them nor asks to bring any home. For new readers that do not know, Gregory is 8 and was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 25 months old.

Up until today, we had three dogs, after having to evict Cody (story earlier in blog). Bailey is a terrier/Maltese mix and definitely Felicity is her girl. Sure, we are all great, but Felicity is her girl. Bailey is 4 and we have owned her since she was a little puppy.  Petunia is a chihuahua (and SO chihuahua), she is also 4 and we have had her too, since a puppy. Petunia likes Gregory and is patient with him, but is really a family dog, but I am "Momma" to her.  Margo is my poodle that we rescued 6 years ago. She is around 10 or so years old. She is MY dog, no other way. She is patient with the kids, though, but she definitely is "Momma's girl". Margo and Petunia have a mother/daughter type relationship and Bailey rules the roost around here.

Our neighbors have a litter of Heinz 57 puppies. Felicity has brought this cute little girl one home before to show me, and yes, she is cute, but I said no more dogs. Then yesterday, Felicity brought the puppy to show me again. Gregory saw her this time and said he wanted "Oreo to live with us". He has never said that before about a pet! He loves the chickens, but never wanted us to add another dog to the family.

Gregory helps out with feeding the dogs and letting them out of their crates in the morning, then outside most of the time after letting them out of their crates. Lately, he has been trying to get Bailey or Petunia to sleep with him in his bed, or even just sit with him on the couch sometimes and they just usually get down. So after he asked to keep Oreo yesterday, I got to thinking that maybe he needs a companion of his own. So....

Meet Gregory's "service dog in training".... "Oreo".

Oreo is 6 weeks old. She is a total Heinz 57 from what we can get from the owners of the Momma next door. Some Pit-Bull, likely some Heeler and a lot of who knows what. Her paws are tiny, so I am hoping she stays somewhat on the smaller size, but he will love her no matter what.

We hope to be able to eventually get her certified as a service animal for him, but have not looked into the process yet. We will train her and teach her that she is Gregory's dog. We will teach him how to feed her (correctly) and play with her, walk her, let her out to potty and everything involved with having a dog. I will put together a chart to teach him, but I am aware I will do most of the house-breaking initially and that is fine with me. If he is happy, we are all happy.

We made the "puppy" trip to Petsmart today. Food, toys, bowl, collar, crate....whew! Free puppies definitely ARE NOT free. Tomorrow it's to the vet for her first shots and check up.  Bailey, Petunia and Margo are doing great with her so far!

Welcome to our family, Oreo!

Monday, April 16, 2012

An interesting little visitor

Yesterday, as I was coming back into the house from being out at the barn, I noticed something little go scampering past me. I looked down, it looked up at me. I fully expected it to keep running, but it didn't!

A "Horny Toad"!!!!  I was so glad I had my cell phone in my hand. He sat so still for me to snap several shots. By the time I was finished, I was only about two feet away from it!

We were told by our neighbor last spring right after we moved in here, that they are "all over the place", but only saw one last year. This is the second sighting in three weeks so far this year.

Actually, they are a Texas Horned Lizard. Until I "googled" them today, I really knew nothing about them. Quite interesting little critters, they are!  You can read about them here.

Here's a better photo I found on the internet.

So now I (and you) know more about these little critters. Nice lesson for the day.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Share {Week-5}

This week presents some major issues to be resolved for us. Please say a prayer that the issues we are facing will end happily.

Wallpaper Art - from Thrifty Decor Chick

Homemade Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns - from Full Bellies, Happy Kids

Blooming Flower Pillow - from Attic 24

Make a Rag Quilt Purse - from Up the Rainbow 

Make a Feed Sack Tote Bag - from Dilly Dollop

Have a beautiful week!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fabulous Homesteading Freebie!

One of the neatest homesteading items that I drool over almost daily is the "Homesteader" model over at Homestead Drying Racks.

They have recently changed ownership and redesigned their website and store and now have many other items available other than their hand-made laundry racks. When I say hand-made, I mean they are REALLY hand-crafted with pride and care by homesteaders.

Just released is The Homestead Community Post! It is a brand new online publication brought to you by the Harrison family over at Homestead Drying Racks.

Be sure to click on the image above or the link below to download your own free copy of this amazing e-magazine! You can even save it to your own computer to be able to go back and re-read or reference it any time you want to.

Get your copy!

***Many are having issues getting the link to load and open correctly. If you will "right-click" then save it to your computer first, you will have no issues opening it then.***

Have a wonderful weekend! I am off to read this beautiful publication.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Beautiful Easter

Sunday Share will be back next week.

Here's wishing you and yours a beautiful and restful Easter Sunday.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our new shed!

Thanks to my wonderful sweetie, David, I can now move some of the boxes that are tucked away in any spot possible into our new shed! Currently I have all of my holiday decoration tubs, etc, stored in the open storage shed and they get filthy in the Panhandle winds and dust. They go into the shed today after being cleaned and wiped down. I have literally dozens of boxes of fabric and yarn and other craft items that I have no space for in this tiny house. Plastic tubs of other goodies are piled in the dining room and a few in the family room. NO MORE! Today, they move to the shed and the humans can now enjoy living in more space!

The shed kit is from Lowe's and our son-in-law put it together. It is not painted yet, but will be in a week or two.

Once painted, it will have shutters on the window and more trim on the door to make it look more like a barn. It will also have skirting around the bottom. Don't want any critters or cats hiding under there to have their babies.

I didn't want to be walking on the bare wood, so I got the cheapest stick-down floor tiles and installed them myself. Me and my handy box cutter and abut 1.5 hours...done!

Gregory keeps wanting to move into it. He says it is his new room.

This great shed is something I have needed for a very long time. Thanks honey!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Share {Week-4}

It's been a wild but productive week here at our house. Ready for another productive week, too!

Drive through Palo Duro Canyon

Burlap and Doily Luminaries -  Crafts by Amanda

Original Toll House Pie - A Bountiful Kitchen

Dresden Plates - One Piece at a Time

Southwest Chicken Barley Chili - Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Yo-Yo Angels - Craft Sayings

I hope your week is fabulous!