Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cat Bird Watching

Al put up a bird feeder outside our kitchen window.

The cats love it!

The screen was causing problems with my camera, so we took the screen off.  Unfortunately when Al took the screen off, the birds got scared off.  We’ll try again tomorrow.


Chattanooga up close.  We call him Chatty for short…isn’t he cute?


Planting Pickles and other Stuff

Yesterday warmed up and the wind finally started to die down.

We spent some time inside trying to get rid of clutter...and junk...a never ending job:)  We got a bunch of stuff to take to the dump and another good sized load for Good Will. Where did all these clothes come from?

Al worked on the garden some more. I planted 9 tomato plants and he planted his "pickles".  He doesn't eat cucumbers, but loves pickles, so he considers them pickles instead of cucumbers.  Al also planted some tomato seeds.  We have never planted tomato's from seeds, so we'll see how that goes.

We made both sweet and dill pickles last year and they turned out pretty good so he wants to make more this year.  The only problem we had was the pickles were kind of mushy and not crisp.  He got some pickle recipes from some North Dakota relatives, so hopefully we'll improve!

I started on my Zinnia garden but didn't get finished because I ran out of seeds.

We're heading to Lowes this morning, so will get some more flower seeds and maybe even stop by and get a Grits Cup :)  

Monday, March 29, 2010

Full Moon

I don’t know if everyone noticed, but the moon is full and beautiful tonight.

This is what we saw when looking out our back door this evening.



Garden Planted

Reader Cindy asked if we had planted our garden.  I guess I neglected to post that information.

Yes, we have planted most of it.  We still have to plant Okra, Eggplant, Tomato’s, & cucumbers.

We have already planted red potatoes and Yukon golds, several types of onions, including the white ones that are the same as Vidalia’s.  If they don’t grow in the area around Vidalia, Georgia (yes, there is a Vidalia, Georgia) they can’t be called Vidalias!  But we have the same stock.

We planted snow peas, sugar snap peas, Kale, Lettuce, Spinach, and Garlic (which is doing very well), Jalapeno’s, and green peppers.

We probably won’t plant any corn this year, because we haven’t had good luck with it in the past.  We probably won’t plant green beans or lima’s because it’s so hard to get enough to pick at once, and we have a great U-Pick Farm, where we can pick our own 5 gallon buckets…for $7.  There are a lot of these kinds of places all around the country, and we highly recommend them.  Mr. Long, who owns the farm we go to has been great.  He figured out right away that we didn’t know anything about farming or growing vegetables.  He has so many different types of green beans and peas, that we had no idea what most of them were.  He mentored us and helped us learn how to tell what was ready to pick.  He answered many questions we had on how to grow our own.  It’s a great place, and we can’t wait for the first vegetables of the season.

We find it’s hard to grow enough that are ready to pick at one time so that you have enough to can.  We go there to get canning tomato’s, green beans, and corn.

We also have several peach trees full of blooms and a few small peaches. We have several apple trees, 2 pear trees, raspberries, blue berries, black berries, crab apples, plums, nectarines.  We also have asparagus and it’s coming back up… :)

I always plant a lot of Zinna’s and I find they grow real well here.  I always have plenty of cut flowers.  We also have wild Easter Lily’s that usually are blooming by Easter. They may be late this year due to the weather.  I can go out and pick bunches of them for cut flowers. 

We love spring in south Georgia.  It’s much different than Tampa.


The Wisteria that is on the home page of this blog is one of several we have on our property.  It looks like they are all going to be exceptionally pretty this year. They are my favorite and I can’t wait until I can walk outside and smell the wonderful aroma of Wisteria.  More pictures to follow :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lazy Day

Our visitors just left and Al and I decided today would be a day to relax and be lazy!  Maybe a Roku movie and a nap is definitely in order!

We spent yesterday showing our friends the sights…see my other blog post here blog.

We finally got our first Hummingbird.  I think it looks like “Blackie”.


The Goldfinches are changing colors and are looking a little scruffy.

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More flowering Peach Trees.




Our Redbud tree has never been prettier.








Our Asparagus is starting to come up and I saw a few tiny little Apples and Peaches…yes, spring is here!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Bloom

The following photos are Flowering Peach trees.  We first saw them blooming last year and stopped to take pictures.  The lady that lived there was outside working in the yard,  and she gave us a few small trees.  There were a lot small trees that came from the larger trees. Anyway, we kept the small trees in pots, and babied them all year.  We only have 2 left.  The squirrels liked to chew on them for some reason.




Some of the trees come out in the light pink and some in the dark pink.  As you can see here, some trees have both color blooms.  They aren’t in full bloom yet. I’ll get more pictures later on.

The Dogwoods are starting to come out and are pretty.  Evidently there are two kinds of Dogwoods.  These have small flowers.  The prettier ones have larger white flowers are are more showy.  They haven’t started blooming yet.  These are pretty nice though.



This is a picture from the car…sorry about the big old GPS sitting on the dash!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Got the Finger Today

We decided to go into town today for some good country home cooking at O'Neil's Buffet.  Yum, fried chicken, ham, chicken n dumplins, and all the trimmins.  We didn’t get “pretty” and were hoping we could beat the church crowd since we went more casual :)

Of course we ran into my old boss and his entire family, plus a few other people I knew.  It figures.

Anyway on the way home we got the Georgia version of  “the finger.”  It’s much different than the Tampa version.  In Georgia when you are driving and meet someone coming the opposite way, you often get the finger.  It’s the forefinger raised off of the steering wheel, often accompanied with a nod. It’s a form of greeting and is more often than not, by an older male who is driving a pick up truck.  Things are sure different in the south!  We got the finger all the time in Tampa, but it never made us smile :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

1st Day of Spring

It was a beautiful warm sunny day.  We spent most of it outside working.

We did some work on the motorhome, Al cleaned some branches from a downed Pecan Tree, and I did a little mowing.

We have an area by the road that will soon be covered with beautiful fragrant red clover.  It really is very pretty when the whole area is in full bloom, but now it just looked like patches of weeds.  I decided to mow it down with the hope that it will come back and give us a beautiful red field.

The Wisteria are getting ready to bloom.  The picture on the front of this blog is a Wisteria in full bloom.  We have about 6-7 of them around the property. When they are in full bloom, they are beautiful and so fragrant.

This is what they look like just before they bloom out.  This little 2 inch pod will extend to a bloom that is 6-8 inches long.


The Redbud tree only looks pretty a week a year.  Not one of my favorite trees, but it’s pretty now.


The Hummingbird feeder has been up about a week..and not the first hummer. 

We’re not having any luck with our Blue Bird nests either.  We have 5 of them on the property, and the Blue Birds are checking them out, but so far no nest building.  Maybe we have given them too many choices?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sunny and 75 Degrees

At least that’s what is predicted for today.

Right now, the temperature is only 55 degrees, but the sun is out…finally.  It’s been rainy and cloudy the past few days.  That’s been okay though because I have been working inside the house.

When Al is out of town, I spend less time outside and try to catch up on inside things.

We have been working so hard the past few months…installing the Allure flooring in the motorhome…that we feel we need a play day.   Unfortunately, with company coming, we need to spiff things up some!  Winter has been hard on the yard and both porches.

I’ve had my Hummingbird feeder out for about a week now and still no Hummers.  My little “Blackie” that always comes early hasn’t arrived.  I’m worried.  Last summer/fall I found a dead hummer outside on the porch.  I think he hit a window.  I thought at the time it could possibly be “Blackie” but I wasn’t sure.  I’m hoping he is just late due to the cold weather.

I’m making Goulash today.  It was something I used to eat when I was single and living alone.  I would make a big pot and would eat it for a week.  It was cheap and easy!  Anyway, I was watching Paula Deen’s tv show where she made some.  It reminded me how much I used to like it, so I’m going to see if I still remember how to make it!  Paula said when she used to make that dish, they didn’t know they were poor!  Her son still loves it now, even though they are far from poor.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Making Valances

After I retired from USAA, and we moved from Tampa to the country, I thought I would get into all the homemaker type things, like sewing, cooking, gardening, canning, etc.   I bought a new sewing machine, thinking I might like to take up sewing again.  I used to sew a lot of my clothes when I was in high school, and I enjoyed it.

Once we got here, I never seemed to get around to doing any sewing.  I had been needing some new valances for my kitchen windows, but  I hadn’t been able to find any I liked. I went to a few fabric stores and there were so many choices it would overwhelm me within about 5 minutes.

I went to Wal-Mart on Tuesday and happened to find some fabric I thought would work.  I had no idea how much I would need so I bought what I thought was extra. It turned out to be just exactly enough!

For someone who used to sew her own clothes, I should have been able to whip out a few valances without any problems….wrong!  I’m ashamed to admit, but I had to Google it!  I don’t know if it’s old age, or just I don’t have any confidence in myself, but I Googled how to make valances!

Anyway, I got them made, and they turned out nice, and I am happy with the fabric.

I decided today, before I put the sewing machine away, I will fix all my King size pillow cases and make them fit my regular sized pillows!  Another job, I have put off, but I won’t have to Google that!

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Signs of Spring

We took a drive around town yesterday and found more signs of spring.  The Dogwoods are starting to bloom, but not the pretty ones yet.













Yaupon Holly





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Today is cooler and windy.  It’s after noon and only 60 degrees.  I would love some more 70 degree days.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Forward

We always like more daylight in the evenings, but I sure hate getting up in the dark.

Yesterday started out so beautiful with clear blue skies and no wind, but it changed suddenly when the cold front started coming in.  The skies clouded up and it got windy and cool.  We decided to use the day to go into town and run some errands.

We finally got the movie, Inglorious Bastards.  I ordered it from Netflix but ended up getting the 1970’s version by accident.  We sent it right back without watching it.  It was available on Red Box yesterday, so I relented and got it since Al had been wanting to see it.  I wasn’t thrilled with the selection but it was his turn to pick!  It turned out to be a great movie.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Brad Pitt was great!

It’s cloudy this morning and only 50 degrees.  I was hoping for a sunny day…maybe later?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blue Skies and Sunshine

The 3 days of rain have ended without any severe weather. We got less than 2 inches of rain so our gardens survived.

Al was concerned the rain would wash away the soil and seeds so  He made a berm from old logs.  Our upper garden is towards the bottom of a hill and last year all of our mulch washed away after the first rain.

We are learning from our mistakes.

It’s funny, Al comes from a family of farmers, but apparently it didn’t rub off on him!

Today is absolutely gorgeous out.  We just went outside for a walk.  It is 65 degrees, no wind, and sunny.  It’s amazing how the rain and warmer temperatures have helped to green things up.

The peach trees have started to bloom, as well as Azaleas, Magnolias, and Dogwoods. 




It’s getting green!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


The middle of March is typically when the first Hummers arrive back in south Georgia.

I put up a feeder of sugar water yesterday.  Once they all get here, we’ll have to have several feeders as they are very territorial.

4 parts water, 1 part sugar, bring to boil, cool.  They are one of the most entertaining birds to watch.  They are so tiny but have tons of personality. They make a little noise when they are flying around.

They remember where the feeders were the previous year, and come back expecting the same feeder to be in the same spot!

Sometimes when we take one down to change the “soup” one will go to the spot and hover there waiting for it to be refilled!  A few times I thought one would land on my head while waiting for me to hang the refilled feeder back up!

They are such cute little birds.  I can’t wait to see them.

Every year so far our first hummer is “Blackie”.  He always arrives earlier than the rest and is quite distinctive with his black head.  Hope he survived the winter and is on his way.

We’re having pretty heavy rain today so probably no traveling.  Al is out working on some leaking (constantly) gutters.

So far, no tornado alerts however the weather radio went off twice early this morning alerting us to coastal flooding and a small craft alert.  I think I need to adjust the radio!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

77 Degrees!

It was supposed to be cloudy with some rain today.  So far it’s been pretty nice and warm.

We had planned on having a lazy day since rain was predicted but I’m doing some laundry and housework and Al is working outside. 

We did take some time to watch the movie “Precious”.  It was pretty good, and the acting was great…although I had a hard time understanding them at times. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring is Here

I can tell, because it is nearly dark and Al is still outside.  When the time changes and the days get longer, I can’t get him in the house before 9pm.

We went into town today and got some more white millet for our winter birds.  Hopefully it will be the last 50 pound bag we will need for this winter.  We have so many winter birds that we have to use some of the cheaper stuff. We normally feed them the sunflower chips because they make no mess (no hulls or unwanted plants) and the birds love them.

We came home and planted more onions and I tried some garlic this year.  We’ll see how that works out.
We got the leaves raked up under the front tree and the grass underneath was pretty green.  It looks so much better.
I guess because it was close to the house the grass stayed greener.  The outer portion of the front yard is not nearly as green….but it’s getting there.
I did some mowing on my zero turn Grasshopper mower, which I love.  Al was the one that insisted we get the zero turn style mower, but I quickly found how nice they are.  I do most of the mowing…and Al gets stuck doing the hard stuff!
The Blue Birds have been showing an interest in the houses, but so far no one has started making a nest.  They have been hanging around the boxes though.
Miss Kitty watching me from the window.
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It was a good day.  We worked hard outside, but got some thing accomplished and the weather was about 70 degrees again.  The next two days we are expecting some rain, so we may get a few R & R days.

Monday, March 8, 2010

72 Degrees and Sunny

The weather couldn’t have been nicer and we spent most of the day outside.
Al worked on tilling the ground in the lower garden now that we have the upper garden mostly planted.  Every summer when it’s hot and the weeds are growing much better than the garden we tell ourselves, next year we need plant less and take better care of what we do grow.
Every spring the weather is so nice and we’re so glad to be outside, we get carried away again.
I keep reminding Al that we plan to take more trips in the rv this year and that I don’t want to have to worry about it when we’re gone, but he keeps planning the garden. 
I guess we’ll plant what we want and worry about it later.
I planted more onions and worked on raking the leaves in the front yard.  It’s the only place where we really have any raking to do.  Our tree sheds leaves from late summer until spring.  It has finally lost all it’s leaves, so it’s time to rake!
One thing about spring in the country…you get exercise!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Planting the Garden

We had warm weather today, finally, and no cold wind.  We were actually outside this afternoon without a jacket!
Al got the area ready to plant the potato’s, and that was the plan for yesterday.  First he tilled the soil, which in my experience makes soil real nice but turns up all the weed seeds and they sprout tons of weeds.
We planted Yukon Golds, and red potato’s.  They are easy to grow and store well, so we like to grow them.
That was all done yesterday and I realized very quickly how out of shape I am.  You’d think after the project laying the new flooring in the RV that I would have gotten used to bending and kneeling.
Today the weather was even nicer than yesterday and we spent most of the day outside.
We planted spinach, lettuce, kale (don’t know how that will do here), onions, Zinnas, wildflowers, a Mimosa tree and 3 small oaks.  Of course Al did most of the digging, but I did most of the planting.
Very hard work, but we felt like we accomplished something and it’s sure nice to have fresh vegetables right from your own garden.
Gardening is a new thing for us.  Coming from Tampa, we had a house on a small lot in a subdivision and never did any gardening.  We decided once we moved up here we would attempt to grow our own food.  We have had mixed results.  The weeds grow very well though!
We found out that it’s much easier to go to “Longs U-pick” and get most of our veggies! Long’s is a wonderful farm nearby that grows vegetables that you can go and pick yourself. You get a 5 gallon bucked for $7.  We go there when we want to get a lot at once, for canning or freezing.
Another new thing we started when we moved here, was canning.  Al helps and we kind of enjoy it.  We also freeze a lot of what we pick/grow. We just used up the last of our green peppers recently, but are still eating wonderful peaches and blueberries from last year.
Several years ago we bought a Food Vacuum Sealer and have found it to be a great way to preserve fresh food.
We go pick blueberries and peaches  in June, flash freeze them, put them in a vacuum bag and seal them up. Then we have wonderful fruit all year long.  We also use it for lima beans, green beans, tomato’s, jalapeno peppers, corn and squash.  Of course it is also great for seafood.  We recently got some shrimp and Mahi Mahi.  We brought it home, flash froze it, and zipped them up.  The fish is as good as fresh for a year or better.  Fresh fish has no fish smell, but once it’s frozen it gets that fishy smell.  If you take the air out of it to freeze it, you get no fishy smell.
Anyway, our planting is done for the day. 
Tomorrow we have to take the RV in to get our propane refilled.
We will probably spend the day outside again.  I want to plant some more zinna’s, and we need to do some normal clean up from the long winter.  With 11 acres, there is always something to do!