Sunday, June 30, 2013

Grace Under Pressure


This picture has nothing to do with the post, but look how pretty. These were growing wild at the edge of the pond this morning.

A helpful babysitter allowed for a trip to the Jacksonville Farmer’s Market yesterday. I am so excited to have scored a box of tomatoes, a box of corn, three bags of onions, a box of okra, a box of chilis and half a box of hot banana peppers for a grand total of


The thing is, most of it is old and starting to turn. Quick freezing and canning is key to getting this kind of deal. Buying in bulk is a lot of work in the kitchen.

So today, on Ben’s day off, I’d planned to can and freeze and wash and chop and roast and cook all day. (Got 7 quarts of mixed veggies put up last night.)

But… the power went off. And stayed off for 4 and 1/2 hours. We had another storm.

Oh- that brings up another thought--- we’ve finally named this place.


Because it is. Ben mowed the yard this morning (before the rain came) and said that it was his first time ever mud-bogging on a lawn mower. :)

So, now I am canning. And I’m going to work as much as possible tonight to put up corn, okra, and make and can salsa. We go through 12-15 pints of salsa per year. It’s a great thing to have on hand. I love salsa on baked potatoes or chips or burritos. Sometimes if I don’t have any fresh tomatoes, I’ll put salsa on my salad greens. And this is my first year putting chilis and hot peppers in. I think I’ll roast the chilis first. Any thoughts?

So 4 hours behind schedule, actually a little more because the power went out in the middle of canning a batch of mushrooms, so they are in the canner now- had to start all over. And here’s where the grace under pressure comes in…

I’m praying for it.

Lol. No, really. We had a fun time playing games and practicing drums for Lyli’s drum lessons. I had some canned chicken in the pantry, and the lasagna was already cooked for me to put it together and into the oven for lunch. So we rolled some chicken salad into half pieces of lasagna and ate chicken salad rolls for lunch. I have to say, they were delicious.

But I’m much happier now, with my hot cup of tea and air conditioning.

I am spoiled and I love it!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It’s A Blooming Miracle

…that I was able to grow anything at all this summer.

I know most Yankee gardeners think that we have it made in Florida. But what we have is an actually short growing season before the sun burns everything up. Including us- the heat chases us indoors just like the snow chases you.

And bugs. We have LOTS of bugs. Big mutant mosquitoes. Lovely little moths that lay their eggs all over my garden; their offspring especially love my tomatoes. Aphids. Stinging gnats. Ants… the list goes on.

But I was able to grow a few things this year, including flowers. :)




Roses (Knock-Out and Don Juan) and Gardenias

20130604i     20130604n

Spearmint                                               Nasturtium


Some cucumbers


These zinnias bloomed so prettily for about a week before the heat got them.


The pretty zinnia that Lyli and I grew from seed.


And a Chianti Sunflower growing along the garden fence.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


When you purchase a foreclosure, you will get a few surprises. Sometimes, they’re great- like the three gorgeous gardenias that have supplied my kitchen window with fragrant blooms for the past few weeks. Sometimes, they’re not so great- like the destroyed ramp and steps left in our backyard.


We’ve been able to salvage some of the wood for small projects in the garden. But the rusty nails all over I could do without. We’ve cleaned quite a bit around here.

And, along with the help of our friend Ed, we UpCycled the broken steps into a small potting table.


I put a shade on top, some hooks on the sides, and a shelf in the back. I like the space underneath for my buckets and supplies. Yay!