Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This big boy was hiding from us in the garden  the other day.

Can't  wait to eat it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We Made It!!!!

Value Village Here I Come

Here I am sitting at my computer at 5:39 a.m. bursting with so much excitement about shopping at our local thrift store,Value Village. Today everything in the store is half off. This will be my first time ever shopping here on a half off day, my sister has shopped a few times on the half off days and she has racked up on clothing. She actually took the day off, so we can get there early to find some deals. Hopefully, I can find my boys some more clothes for the summer today, because that is my true mission, and I'm secretly keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to find a purse or two for $.50 or $1 today. Wish me luck!!!!! Value Village Here I Come......Well, Here We Come....two sisters on a serious mission, lol!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Exploring in the Neighborhood and Found This

Quote of the Week

“ Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. ” -John Quincy Adams I really need this quote in my life right now, my husband just took a job in Miami and we're living in two different households. I wanted to be supportive and follow him to Miami, but I just felt like the money wasn't worth it, and I secretly didn't want to uproot our children at this stage of their lives. We have five kids, but only four would be making the move(their ages:16,14,13 & 11), since our oldest is a college student. Yes, I know kids can bounce back from moves, but I've experienced dealing with two children who have dealt with depression. Our oldest daughter struggled with it when we moved across town in the middle of her school year, and my oldest son struggled with it when he transitioned to middle school and then struggled with anxiety when he started high school. I have always been open to therapy for my children if they need counseling, but my husband has always struggled with that option. My feelings have always been: if you need extra support then I'll provide it, if you need another listening ear/perspective then I'll make sure you'll get it, seeing a counselor/therapist isn't a sign of weakness....it's a sign of strength(my husband felt the opposite). Because he felt like I was babying our children and not pushing them hard enough(Mind you, these two children have always been Honor Students),he really didn't listen to my concerns, and when teachers brought up the same concerns....he still didn't listen. I worried a many nights that my son might commit suicide because he was worried about not having all A's because he didn't score the grade he wanted on a test. I worried many nights about my daughter not being the social butterfly she was before the move and being bullied by a lot of the kids. Because of our daughter's difficulty trying to find her social footing in a new school, my husband and I decided that we would stay put, and provide our children with a consistent school life. Our younger children have been attending the same school cluster since Kindergarten and have really built up really good friendships, and I just love the area.......I don't know, sometimes I feel like I'm just being lazy and just don't want to move,but one thing I know is....I'm content where I am right now, all I want to do is get my children through their high school careers and then I'm willing to move anywhere he wants. Right now, I don't want to move to another city and depression shows its ugly little head again(in any of my children),and I'm left to deal with it all by myself again! Both of our older children are doing extremely well now, our son doesn't fret over being one point off of the the score he wanted on a test anymore, and our daughter is attending college with many of her high school friends(many of them she has known since 4th grade) and she has made lots of new friends in college too. There's so many more feeling I want to share,but I just needed to vent a little and you'll probably see the occasional vent about my husband's relocation and the impact on our family from time to time, so just feel free to give me any advice, if you want. Shelly

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Air Drying Lemon Balm

Clipped a little bit of lemon balm the other day. My plant has gotten really huge and I'm in need of more dried lemon balm for tea making.

Yes, of course tea can be made from fresh leaves, and I love tea made from fresh leaves,but I also love storing away the garden's goodness for later use.

To air dry lemon balm:

1. After you have your clippings....Wash the plant to get rid of dirt and any tiny bugs away.

2. Then place your washed plants(single layer only) on paper towels. The plants stay there until all water is gone.

3. After the plants have finished drying, I gather a few stems and tie string around them, so they'll be able to air dry overnight or until they feel real crunchy.

4. Now, that your plant is fully dry,it's time to strip dried leaves from stems. I prefer to crush my leaves because I love the intense smell of lemon I get from crushing.  However, whole herbs hold their flavor longer than crushed herbs, so you make the call on this.

5. Last but not least, store your herbs away. Store them in a cool, dry place. Don't forget to label and date.

This is just one way to dry lemon balm....you can use a dehydrator, the oven, and I've even read somewhere that some people use a dehumidifier.

Do you dry fresh herbs at home, and if so, what's your method for drying?

* Shelly

Keep Growing

P.S. Sorry I didn't give you step by step photos, and I didn't have the fan blowing to dry the plants. It was a good place to hang the plants, so they could air dry.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Time to Harvest the Garlic

This garlic was really overdue for harvesting, I meant to pull these up at least three weeks ago.....can you notice the lean the plants have....that's how I know they're ready. Some people dig their garlic up when most of the bottom leaves turn brown, and I think that's cool, but I like that extra satisfaction of the lean because the plant is saying, "Hey, I'm ready!" I like using the lean method for harvesting my garlic, do you have a particular method that you like to use?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CompoKeeper...I Soooo Want One

You know how a techie has to have the latest gadgets, well that's how I feel right now about this product.

CompoKeeper on composting from Natural Vitality on Vimeo.

Yeah I know, it's just a glorified trash can, but when you compost as much as I do, and have a large family, like moi....then you might understand. What are your thoughts on this product? Would you buy it or not?