Saturday, November 15, 2014

Antique Roses

A couple of years ago, I was blessed to find People With Dirty Hands in a thrift store. It was love at first sight because of the name. And then the introduction… good heavens! I also want to one day be an old lady in an untidy garden.

This book introduced me to the world of antique roses: tough old girls that thrive in the worst of conditions with little or no care. Admirable. I sent away for the Antique Rose Emporium’s catalog and started dreaming.

Then, on my wedding anniversary this year, Mr. Farmgirl treated me to a trip to our local nursery. I love to go there and wander around. This trip, I was looking for a Wisteria. I left with 2 grapevines, a honeysuckle, some Dinosaur Kale and Rainbow Swiss Chard, and 3 antique roses that I found on sale for $5 each! (The danger of wandering around this place.)

The ARE sells their roses for quite a bit more than that. I felt so spoiled! And excited. The names on the tags were indecisive- antique rose, unknown. OH BOY! It’s a Surprise! The kid in me exclaimed.

I brought them home and watered them well. Within a couple of days, they bloomed. One is a plain 5 petal pink flower with a spicy pepper smell. The next is a beautiful pink flower with a delicate spiced-rose scent. The third, and the one in this picture, is a creamy eloquent flower with a slight touch of pink in its center at full maturity. The scent is pure rose- like the roses from 80 years ago, and so pure and airy that you have to place your nose inside the flower and inhale it. Ahhhh. Bliss.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Finally! A Series of Children’s Books That I Love

When Lyli was born in 2006, I shopped and searched for the perfect children’s books. I saw many that I loved and many that I didn’t. But none were exactly what I wanted. I dreamed about making my own, and I had all these ideas, but no artistic talent. I really can’t draw. My stick figures actually look like sticks.

Then I thought, but I can take pictures! I had taken a class on Photoshop in college. I made a couple of books and tried to sell them to publishers. No luck. I priced some printing shops. No way. So I printed them as 4 x 6 pictures and placed the “pages” in a small photo album flip book. Lyli loved her books. I gave a few away as gifts and then let it slide. Enter Kindle Fire. I have self-published a couple of children’s books on Kindle. They look amazing on my smart phone, so I imagine they look great on Kindle Fire, for which they are designed. And the kids LOVE them. Mission Accomplished.

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Baby’s First Counting Book is free today on Kindle!

And my most favorite so far… (and also the first in the NikiBooks series)…

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Old Junk Gets a New Life on My HomeStead

I love to find old junk and clean it up, spray paint it, and add it to my homestead garden.

Here’s the windmill that someone abandoned. A little scrub, a little paint (with help from the kids, of course), a little work from Mr Farmgirl, {Hehehe. He’s going to love that!} and we have a windmill befitting this eclectic homestead garden we’ve got going here.

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The blue tail barely shows in these pictures. Sky blue. Gorgeous. And the stem is pistachio green.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What Does Your Home Say About You?

So I went to the $3 book store last week. <LOVE that place!> and got Moll Anderson ' s Change Your Home Change Your Life for FREE! Yay!

And she asks, "What does your home say about you?"

Mine says,

I live for my kids. 

And I let them decorate. 

And I love it!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

The last day of my favorite month should rightly be celebrated. If it was just me, I would enjoy this evening with a good book, a nice fire (I wish- FLORIDA), and a cup of coffee. But since I have such cute and creative kids, I think we will go trick-or-treating.
Happy Halloween!

Loral is a "blue butterfly" (her idea), Lyli is a "mommy kangaroo" (her design), and Eliott is a beach boy (cute and comfortable).

Friday, October 24, 2014

Clothespin Bag

I don’t remember where I first saw this- probably Pinterest or a BlogHop. My dear friend Mary knits me the cutest stuff for my babies. But my knitting skills are limited. So, to return the favor, I made a clothespin bag for her. (And one for me, too, because I found these adorable Mermaid overalls at the thrift store.) You just buy some cute overalls (I chose a gorgeous baby-dress for Mary) and sew up the bottom. Hang it on a hanger, fill it with clothespins and it is ready to go.


If you’ve read my first novel, you know about Mermaids. I am a Mermaid. If you’re heart has ever been broken, you are a Mermaid, too. My book is available on Kindle here:

Am I shamelessly plugging my novel? Yes! But it fit so perfectly into this post, please forgive me.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unassisted HomeBirth—A Collection of Real Life Stories

The HomeBirth book I co-authored with Amanda H. has been doing quite well on Kindle. So, I decided to publish a print version. Mainly because I want to save one for each of my two unassisted homebirth babies.

It can be purchased at CreateSpace (an Amazon company) here:

It will be available on Amazon in a couple of days, and of course, it is still available on Kindle.

Unassisted_HomeBirth_Cover_for_KindleThe Kindle cover looks slightly different than the print version. Here is the link to the Kindle eBook:

If you’d like to order a signed copy, please email me at

Swamp Planting

Here on Soggy Bottom Mini Farm, we have lots of water. We have low areas, ponds, and high-clay soils.
To best utilize these natural features, I planted some pumpkins and Hubbard squash in containers with drain holes in the bottom, then set them in the swamp. TaDa!  Raised bed self watering container!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Windows Open – September 24

Ahhhhh. The temperatures finally dipped below 90 on the 21st, prompting me to take these pictures.


It was a beautiful day for walking…


or fishing…


or bike riding.

And now, this morning, I was finally able to open the windows to a nice cool breeze.

I wait all summer for this moment. My windows will be open on every nice (not rainy) day from now till May (or April) when it once again becomes too hot and humid.

My favorite month is coming, and bringing with it our 11th Wedding Anniversary.

Lovely Autumn Blessings to you all!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

It Feels Like September

I love this time of year. There is finally a breeze after a long hot stifling summer. I can work in the garden again- weeding, replenishing, sowing, planting. And there is a stillness in the air, a quietness that I can feel in my soul, refreshing my energy and lifting my spirit.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Farm? or FarmNot?

Is this a farm? Uhhh, no. Not at all. It was—by my definition anyway. We had chickens. I had a little garden. It was a beginning farm… a mini-farm.

But now the chickens are gone, and my gardens are neglected. It’s a weird feeling. Not failure, exactly. Just… struggle. It’ll take years and a lot of work to turn this place into a mini-farm.

So we continue to work, and pray, and live, and raise our children. My number one job right now is Mommy. Also wife, teacher, chef, driver… the list goes on, you know.

Even so, every now and then I just can’t help myself. I got a little crafty this week and repainted this yard sale find. My plans include adding a few more containers to my tiny garden and hopefully getting some veggies and greens this winter.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Double the Yum

I got my first double-yolked egg today!

It was so exciting. Unfortunately, it wasn’t from my chickens. I don’t have any hens right now. :( I got these eggs at the farmer’s market. It was so neat to crack it open and see two yolks slip out.

No, I didn’t take a picture. I crack my eggs directly into the pan to save dish washing. No time for cameras.

Praying I’ll have my own hens again soon…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SunKissed Blessings

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God blessed me with these surprises in my garden this summer, along with a volunteer tomato plant in my compost pile.

I am so thankful for these blessings. I did no work whatsoever in my garden this spring and summer because I was busy with these blessings:


And one more…


A gorgeous sunset in Live Oak.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Beach Trip

We are blessed that our mini-homestead is 45 minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean. Our girls love the beach.


Ben’s first Saturday off since December called for a family trip to the beach.

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I love the one-gallon white buckets from my soap-making for picking up shells. They have lids! No more sand spilled in the car.

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Even Eliott had a nice time, wrapped up with Mama.

He was born at home on March 31, 2014, with Mama and Daddy in attendance. His big sisters were in and out of the room with my Mother (Gaga) watching over them.

He was 8 lb 1 oz and 19 1/2 inches long. Born at 10:58 AM. Everyone is doing well. :) <3

When my pregnancy carpal tunnel finally goes away, I will add his birth story to my Kindle Book, Unassisted HomeBirth- a Collection of Real Life Stories, available here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Strawberries and Roses


After this long cold rainy pregnant winter, I’m happily surprised to see that some plants survived.


I love winter for the greens. And the fact that we don’t have to mow. My red lettuce is so pretty. Lyli picked the chives flowers soon after I took this picture. She’s been having a blast snacking on brocolli and cauliflower. I confiscated the chives flowers for stir-fries.


I sure am looking forward to strawberries!


I hope I get some this year. Last year, Lyli and the birds and snails beat me to them.