Trying to Catch Up

We've had a quiet couple of weeks here at our house.  Ike's caregiver was on vacation one week, then she took some days off for the 4th of July. 

We've been getting lots of rain here, along with our mid-90* weather.  The rain does help the mercury to stand still and stop climbing for a little while each day.

I think the crepe myrtles must really love the rain.  They are all in bloom all over town.

LakeEvaPark

Our summer skies are really breath-taking here in Florida.  I know other places have beautiful skies too; but I am quite particular to ours.

Flsky

Flsky2

I know Kepler doesn't get outside as much as she would like.  I think she was trying to tell me she needed a little more vitamin D when she positioned her head to bask in this puddle of sunshine.

Kepsun

Doug is still planting seeds and harvesting a few veggies here and
there.  Nothing has produced like we expected it to, so for this next
round of seeds he will be using a special fertilizer for each bucket.  Yep,
we have a garbage can full of cow manure in our back yard. ;) 

I like to call this new addition to our garden "Bowl-o-Cilantro". (You can click to make the pictures bigger.)

Bowlocilatro
Bowlocilatro2
Bowlocilatro3

Now…I'm a little hesitant to tell you this, because I'm afraid I might get fussed at; but that bowl?  Yeah…it's Tupperwear.  And yeah, it does have drainage holes now.  Is that like really wrong?  I'm telling you, I just could not resist doing it.  How amazing does that cilantro look in that bowl???

The trick is to cut from a small quadrant of the full bowl when you need cilantro, then rotate and clip the next quadrant the next time you need it.  That way it will continue growing in the bowl all the time.  I am looking forward to some yummy dishes this summer!

We are still doing ok, financially.  We did have to dip into the money we were saving for Doug's surgery during last week, as he didn't tutor.  (The boys spent the week at church camp.)  We received a $300 check in the mail, just in time to pay our utilities bills this week.  We also received a HUGE check towards Doug's surgery.  He will be calling today to set up his surgery date.  He is a little nervous about that, as he's never had surgery before; but I know the Lord is going to see him through it with no complications.

By the way, we are still continuing to try to stay on our diet.  I say "trying" because we got waylaid a little bit by the 4th of July.  When you step out the door and smell barbecue grills cooking, it sets up a domino effect!  We did have burgers…and then cupcakes, and then we struggled all weekend.  However, on Monday, we got back on track and are doing well now.  According to my doctor's scales, I am still the same weight I was this past February.  Eh…  And Doug, of course, has lost in the neighborhood of 30 pounds already.  Yeah…I know.  I want to just poke him in the eye, too! 😉

I leave you with a close up of Poppet.  Doug was cleaning her cage this week and so I was spending a little one-on-one time with her.  Then she bit my ear.  And went right back into her cage!!!  But she looks really cute here.

Poppet

That's all for today!

Talk to you again soon,

Alesha

 

How to Share with your Friends

Well, I'm going to show you how to share PLANTS with your friends, anyway!  You really ought to know by now how to share other stuff with your friends. 😉

I think I'm going to be known as "The Mint Lady" soon.  I now have spearmint, sweet mint, chocolate mint and lavender mint growing in my kitchen.  We love the smells of each of them, and I've enjoyed sharing them with my family and friends.

Just in case you've ever wondered how to "root" a piece of leafy plant like mint or ivy, this is the way my Mama has done it for years.

You cut off a sprig of the plant you want to "clone".  You tuck it into a container of water.  Keep it filled.  Put it in a sunny place, if you'd like.  Eventually, you'll begin to see small root forming; and you will begin to see additional growth at the top of your plant.

Here is a bit of lavender mint that my friend passed on to me.  This was after it had been in the water about a week.

Mint2

Here it is about a week later:

Mint

And here it is this week:

Mint3

It is truly amazing to watch.

Some plant take longer than
others.  I had tiny sprigs of ivy that did nothing for months, then
suddenly began to root and grow like crazy.  I transplanted them to a
large pot and planted them in good potting soil, and now, it is a happy,
happy plant.

I plan to move this lavender mint to a pretty little pot very soon…when we have extra money for potting soil. 😉

By the way, I was able to pay all the bills through this end of this month today.  I also sold a set of books today.  Yay! 

Doug doesn't work the week of the 4th, so it will be interesting to see how God provides for the bills of next month!

Hoping you have a great weekend,

Alesha

A Profitable Week

Wednesday night, I came home from church, and my hubby had these yummy roasted potatoes ready.

Roastedpotatoes

They were so delicious!  There was, however, just one catch:  he included crushed red pepper flakes in his seasonings.  They were so hot I could barely eat them!!!

So, we are planning to do them again, minus the atomic seasonings.

We picked our first cucumbers today!  So exciting! 

Cukes

The long one is a Straight Eight and the short one is a pickling cucumber.  We also picked our first jalapeno pepper this week, and used it to make some delicious Mexican rice and refried beans.  Oh so yummy!!!

My gardenia is out-doing herself this year. 

Gardenia

This is her 5th blossom, I think, and she has 2 others as well.  She has never bloomed very much, so I am enjoying these gorgeous blooms so much.

Our tax return was finally approved and deposited.  It only took over 60 days!  Three times as long as they say it will take.  I'm thinking it was some glitch in the e-filing; but at least it was corrected eventually.

My sweet mother-in-law sent me a box of books this week. 

Books

Does she know my language of love, or what?!  The exciting thing is that I can share them with my friends, too.  So fun.

Our church is doing something special for Father's Day this year.  They put up several bulletin boards in the back of the church, and everybody is bringing in pictures of their dads to put up.  It's been so fun to see the really old pictures of our church members, and the way they resemble their dads (or not!).

So, of course, we had to get a picture of Isaac's Daddy for the display.  We shot this on Wednesday afternoon, and were able to get it printed off and posted in the auditorium.  I really love it!

Ikeanddaddy

Well, it's been a good week.  I was able to order some supplements I needed today, thanks to that tax return.  I will also be able to buy some new bedsheets, which we are in desperate need of.  I'll let you know what kind of deal I find on those!

Praying you have a profitable weekend (by spending time in the Lord's House!),

Alesha

 

It’s Going Swimmingly

With the tropical disturbance in the Gulf, we are getting a LOT of rain every day.  It feels like we need to "swim" about the yard to check on the garden and out to the mailbox and across town with the rivers of water rolling down the street.

Speaking of the mailbox, yesterday I was tickled to find the first of two books that I ordered last week.  I'm sure you're wondering why in the world I am ordering books when Doug is out of work.  So, I will tell you! 😉

I order all of Isaac's diapers and wipes from Overstock.  Each year, I renew my membership in their "Club O".  For me, it is an excellent deal.  Let me explain. 

The first year, I was automatically enrolled in Club O for free.  That was great.  I earned a certain percentage of O Rewards, which you can spend on their site.  The second year, I hesitated to pay the full amount of the enrollment; but then they offered it for $10 off.  Now THAT was a deal!  I've since discovered that they offer the $10 off every year.  I just wait until then to renew.

In 3 years time, I have received over $300 worth of merchandise with those O Rewards!  And guess what I paid for my Club O renewal last year!  $9.95!!!  Over $100 of merchandise a year for $9.95.

Now I realize that not everyone buys $150 of diapers and wipes every month like we do, and so for you, this might not be worth the money.  For us, though, it works great.

  • Last week, I realized I had over $15 in rewards waiting, so I ordered 2 books that I'd been wanting to read.  For them both, including shipping, I paid $1.68.
  • Today, I found a 10% off coupon for a food order that I was making online.  It saved me almost $5 AND I got free shipping!!!
  • I did quite a bit of surfing on the internet this morning, looking for raw cashews.  I finally found them here in Florida for just over $6 a pound.  We got the large pieces, and that saved quite a bit of money.  I will use these cashews to make sweet dishes on the Hallelujah Diet, and so I don't mind one bit if the nuts are whole or not.
  • We picked 5 small tomatoes from our garden today – 3 red and 2 yellow pears…yummy!

Well, Isaac didn't sleep last night.  That's the 2nd time this week that he has done that.  We are trying to track down the culprit causing his insomnia.  We are suspecting that it might be a tummy issue.  Anyway, I am thinking very seriously about taking a nap, so I am going to end this for today.

Looking forward to tomorrow's surprises,

Alesha

Lessons from the Storm

(Here in Florida we are enjoying the absence of Tropical Storm Debby today.  She dumped massive amounts of rain on us, and sent through some big, gusty winds for several days.  I wondered how our little garden would survive.  You can see my last update here.  After inspecting my plants today, I have come to three conclusions that are quite powerful, I think.)

 

1.)  The storm can destroy you.

 

Destroyed

(Our lovely cucumber that had been producing so well, stripped and broken by the high winds.)

 

2.)  The storm can cause you to grow.

 

Stronger

(Our yellow pear tomato had dropped all of its tiny green tomatoes just before the storm came.  We just knew it was completely dead, and we had no idea what had killed it.  It is now literally drooping with the weight of dozens of new tomatoes that appeared during the storm.)

 

3.) Even if you've never produced anything, the storm can teach you to try something new.

 

Newgrowth

(Our yellow heirloom tomato plant had experienced wonderful growth and dozens of blossoms, but had never produced one fruit.  Here, the day after the storm was over, is our first tomato, growing beautifully, all by itself.)

 

Are you in a storm?

Do you feel your storm is destroying you? 

I ecourage you to wrap your drooping tendrils more tightly around the strong Support that is anchored in the Word.  Drink in the waters of sorrow and allow them to feed and nourish your soul.  Brace your branches in the Lord as the winds of turmoil bend you almost to breaking, and allow God's storm to sink your roots even deeper into Him.

Then watch in amazement as HE produces fruit from the very life that you thought must certainly be dead.

There are so many lessons we can learn from God's nature. 

Let's be encouraged by the miracles that we see there…knowing that the very same God can work those miracles in our lives too!

A Garden Photo Update

 

I've been listening to an audio version of The Secret Garden; and every time I go outside to check on my plants, I hear the following refrain (by the mean children who teased little Mary):

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells

And marigolds all in a row"


I love the way good literature seeps into your psyche, and colors your thoughts with lovely rhymes and prose and wonderful little quotes to fit some of life's more interesting moments!

So, in case you've been wondering how my garden is growning, I thought I'd let you see!!!

We moved all the plants out of doors, and that is working really well for us.  Doug was so innovative to find another "trellis" for the cucumbers when they grew taller than the one we had provided for them.

He sunk a discarded chain link gate into the ground near the house and the cucumbers had twined around by the next morning!


It was pouring when I took this picture, so sorry for the "fuzziness".

Lattice2

 

And here's how every little thing is growing:

Tiny, tiny baby yellow heirloom tomato plant

Yellowheirloomtomato

 

So big now, and still growing…new blossoms every day, but no tomato yet.

Bigkid

 

Yellow Pear Tomato

Yellowpeartomato

 

Pretty little tomatoes, growing nicely!

Peartomatoes2

 

Pickling Cucumber

Picklingcucumber

 

This will be cucumber #3 for this plant, and it has many more growing.

Onthevine

 

Here's the first one we picked.  It was delicious!

First fruit2

 

Crazy 8 Cucumber (because the cukes are supposed to reach 8 inches long.)

Straight8cucumber

 

This guy is about 6.5 inches.  It is killing us to leave him out there!

Straight8cuke

 

As you can see, everything is growing very well; and we are so thankful for that! 

Other than our garden, we are all doing well.  Doug and Isaac have been to therapy twice in the new vehicle and we are so thankful for it.  Every time we drive it, we find something new to love! 

On Friday, I went for my first solo drive.  It was so easy, all the buttons, knobs and gizmos are in convenient places.  I usually hate to drive in the rain, but Tranny even made that a fun adventure. 🙂


Trannydrive
 

Praying you all have a blessed weekend,

HopeFULLy,

Alesha