Garden Gab, Loss

My 1st tomato child (first tomato plant I planted) is dying. This year is the 1st year since I began gardening, 3 years ago, that my tomato plants have been fruitful. Tomatoes are hard for me for some reason. 😦

The leaves began to take on a golden hue. I went to my favorite garden center (not a box store) and was told I needed a good quality (and super stinky) fertilizer. Let me just tell you…blood meal and bone meal and all the other things in this nursery made concoction smells like Dead Fish. It’s Really. Really. Gross.


I’m at a loss about what else to try.




I talked earlier this week about our vacation plans.

We’re driving to Alabama from our home in Texas.

I’ve very little idea what we’ll do while we are there…….because we’re going to visit with family.

Family I have not seen in over 20 years.
A nephew and 2 nieces I have never met.

My sister and father had a “between them” issue when I was 20 which resulted in an estrangement and my sister and I lost track of each other.

It’s a little weird. I’m a middle-first child. I’m my Father’s middle child and my Mother’s first child.

My half-sister is 6 years older than me. My brother is 2 years younger than me. I also have 2 step sisters.

When I was 13, my big sister was the coolest person I’d ever met….by far.

When I was 20, she was a full fledged adult and I was….. So Not an Adult yet. (That took another 6 years)

I’m excited, nervous, anxious, and did I mention excited?!

What if we don’t click in person?

What if our families don’t have enough in common.

What if…

So I’m twitchy this week. Nervous excitement does that to me.

Carrot Raisin Salad

One of my favorite summertime salads is carrot raisin salad. It is creamy and fresh. With all the parties, get-to-gethers, pot lucks, barbecues, and what not’s that the summer brings….a good creamy side dish is always a welcome thing!

What you need:

  • 4 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 cups raisins
  • 1/3 cup salad dressing, miracle whip *I have used vanilla yogurt before, it has a different taste, but it works.*
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

What to do:

Soak raisins in warm water with 1 tsp of honey in it. For at least 5 minutes. Drain before adding to the carrots.
Mix carrots and raisins in bowl.
Combine salad dressing (or yogurt), sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth.
Pour over carrot and raisin mixture & toss to coat.
Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.


Let there be pink!!

Summer means……

Pink Hair for the almost 13 year old.

Don’t worry, it will wash out before school starts.

Summer means….

Fresh from the garden watermelon.

Summer means…..


Homemade Ice Cream

Lightly Adapted from a recipe in my ice cream maker’s owners manual.

  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit. (I used blackberries)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Sprinkle the fruit with half the sugar and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Smash the fruit (or pulse it in the food processor)
Add the rest of the sugar, the cream, milk, and vanilla to the mixture.
Place into your ice cream maker and process until done.

Summer means…..

Vacation. Next week I’ll be on vacation.
We’re headed to Alabama to visit my sister and her family. With a stop over in Little Rock, AR on the way.

What does Summer mean to you?

How did Friday get here so quick?

Dude. It’s Friday. Totally snuck up on me.

Summer is busier than any other season for me. The tween and teen are home all day since school out. There are church trips, vacations and lots of outdoor fun.

Here are a few pictures of what I’ve been up to this week.


Harvesting corn.



And making tamales.

What have you been up to this week?

Garden Gab, Blooms and Bugs

I’ve got some beautiful blooms going on.









And Gnomes….we have a blue hat and a red hat. Not choosing a side.



Bug eggs…..


And blasted baby bugs. I missed the first few sets of eggs…apparently.


From My Garden to My Pantry

What do you do when you have an abundance of cucumbers?

I made pickles.

3 jars of Bread and Butter Pickles

4 jars of Dill Pickles


Slow Cooker Monday…Calico Beans


Calico beans are a hearty filling dish.
Sometimes served as a main dish, other times as a side dish…. Calico beans can really hold their own.

Calico simply means multi bean. I’ve seen versions with Lima beans. I’ve seen versions with Butter beans. I prefer Pinto, Red and Great Northern beans.
You can add bacon (about a half cup of crumbled pieces)….

A funny picture I saw on Facebook.

Calico Beans…..

1 lb. ground beef
3 cups pinto beans, cooked and drained or 2 cans of beans
3 cups Great Northern beans, cooked and drained or 2 cans of beans
2 cups red kidney beans, cooked and drained or 2 cans of beans
1-1/2 cups onions, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
4-5 cups of homemade baked beans or 1 large can of baked beans
2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup

Brown beef and onions, drain fat. Place meat and beans into the slow cooker. Add green peppers. Stir to mix.
Combine garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, salt, pepper and vinegar. Pour sauce mixture over the beans and meat. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.



The Blink of an Eye


I’m feeling quite melancholy today.

My oldest leaves 8th grade today. Next stop High School.


It seems like it was just a few years ago that I held the most amazingly beautiful newborn baby boy in my arms.

I helped him learn to walk and talk. I kissed his boo-boos and made sure he ate vegetables.

Seems like it was just months ago that he was my friend Lane’s ring-bear.


Now, he’s taller than me. About to embark on the last 4 year voyage of childhood into the land of adults.

It seems too soon.

I’m not ready.


He is, and I guess that’s what really matters.


Garden Gab-Garden Oddities, Week 10

No sweeping look at the garden this week.

I thought I’d show you some of my garden oddities.

Have you ever watched the show Oddities on the science/discovery channel?


My husband and I love it. Love it.

In honor of our love of Obscura and Oddities….I give you oddities, garden style.

Squash twins.



Acorn Squash twins, but only one is really thriving.


Twin Tomatoes


I love the oddities that nature creates.

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