Chinese Five Color Peppers

As you can see Chinese five color get their name from the 5 different colors that they become. They start out purple, then turn cream, yellow, orange, and finally red. I had 4 on this plant, but I just had to pick one to share with a friend. But I have resisted trying them myself, so I could observe their changes. It is kinda exciting walking out and seeing the progression. But in retrospect I should have listened to Diana, and pulled all of the first buds off so my plants would have gotten bigger and produced more. I know the season isn’t over, and I’m hopeful, but if this is all I get, it will be my own fault. Oh well, live and learn. So, today I am going to go pick them. And I am seriously thinking to freeze all my peppers until I am ready to process. I froze my peppers my first year and they did amazingly. I am definitely going to do some research and see how I can get these plants to get bigger and produce more. My sister’s garden is going nuts! But her pepper plants are huge, however are just now starting to produce. While my plants are small, but produced a month ago. And my jalepenos and serranos have been going wild with peppers. I will definitely update this blog with more info. I’ll let you know the taste and my findings to improve my plants! Please be patient, it might not happen until tomorrow. But, I will conclude for now, that it took 3 years of me trying to get these peppers to grow, and it was worth it, even if just to observe the beautiful colors in the garden!

My Cat Thinks We Are Kitty Breaders

Welp yesterday Marie our 2 Year old cat had her 3rd litter of kittens. Now she is back to her sweet self. We currently have 2 of her kittens from her last litter (Rosie and Lucy) who are only 4 months old.

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During this pregnancy she hissed and smacked at these 2 constantly. One day she even grabbed Lucy by the back of her neck with her teeth and tried to drag her outside. She said “Girls it is time to grow up and find homes of your own!” Ha ha! Well now that she has had her new babies, she’s back to being sweet to the 4 month olds. No more hissing or smacking. I think she was just beginning to be miserable. Come on mom’s, you know that point in pregnancy 7-8 months where your sleep diminishes, because you can’t sleep in any position without losing circulation, you can’t shut your brain off at what needs to get done and you aren’t up to doing, and your not even sure you have toes anymore. I think she was there. So enough blah blah blah. Here’s some pictures of her big day and her 3 beautiful boys!

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They are adorable. The Grey striped one looks just like mommy. The brown, orange, and white striped one looks like older siblings (Tiger, Rosie, and Tara). And then the black one looks like older brother Oso. We aren’t trying to run a Catery, but apparently Marie didn’t get the memo, yet. I’m probably going to drive everyone crazy this time, because after this litter we are shutting down the kitty bakery and Marie will have to find new purpose in life. BTW if she is anything like her mom, food will be her new purpose! We shall see.

Best Friends And Country Life

This summer I and my daughter, Kaely (8 yr old), got to visit my dear friend, Diana Lister, at her home in Medon, Tennessee. It was an epic trip for me. Diana was concerned and even apologetic that there wasn’t enough to do where she lives. But if you are a city girl longing for the country, that is exactly your idea of a vacation! I however would love to recap my trip, so she can see exactly how much there WAS to do, and it was so wonderfully out of the norm for me and Kaely. First of all…

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I got to have french press coffee, every morning, which I know was a labor of love, because it took like an hour! Ha ha. I also got to enjoy this yummy iced coffee, in the above picture. Then 2 times we got to go enjoy swimming in a lake at Chickasaw State Park. http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/chickasaw Which was awesome and we stopped by and visited this little cabin for a quick photo shoot.

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We had a blast at the lake, especially when I whooped Ethan! That’s right E, I said it! Ha Ha HA Whah HAHAHAHAHAH! Then there was “the chickens” dun dun dun! Just kidding, I love chickens. In fact did I mention, I’m getting some myself next year! I’m getting chickens! Whoop Whoop! But anyways, here are some pics of Diana’s…

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Then there was this girl, right here

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She was amazing! Such a beautiful voice and heart. I had a blast hanging out with Anna Lister and I’m so glad I was able to bless her with a kitty (now named Lacey) and I love how she made my Kaely girl feel so loved and at home!

Then there is this guy…

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He taught me how to shoot 2 of his guns. Last time I shot a gun was at least 14 years ago. Not only did I get to shoot, I got to shoot at a home made explosive! Here is a video link 

And Here is a link of Kaely shooting a gun for the first time. 

Then there was Diana’s garden! I love her garden, because it inspires me to try new things. She isn’t afraid to, and that’s great because different things work better for different plants, regions, climates, times of year, etc. She actually has planted into hay bales! Check it out!

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Kaely had a blast on the tire swing. I saw her get on it more that 20 times.

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Maybe next time we can hang out at this place more…

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Ahhhh, porch and coffee go hand in hand, don’t you think?! And as if all I showed wasn’t enough to convince you of how wonderful this trip was, there were animals and a great view, see…

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Those cows literally came to the fence to greet us. Not joking! It was so cute! So that was my trip in a nutshell. Filled with fun, country life, animals, HUGS (that I waited 5 years for), coffee, guns, and much more! Thank you Lister family for being awesome and giving us such a wonderful load of memories!

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In the Beginning

IMG_3016Seed starting

Every year that I garden, I get one step closer to being self sufficient. The first year I put regular seeds that I bought from walmart into the ground. The next year I found http://www.rareseeds.com/ which are heirloom seeds (meaning you can take the seeds from the plants you grow to grow things the next time, as opposed to having to buy new seeds every year). Then I started seeds that year in my house and transplanted them out later. This year I went crazy and then found out about making pots from old newspaper. One call to grandma and I saved a lot of money using what she would have put in her recycling bin. Here’s a link if you are interested in doing this. http://permaculturenews.org/2014/05/06/three-ways-make-newspaper-seed-starter-pots/ hardening off In the background of this picture you can see the two food grade barrels that use to have olives in them. I bought them, with plans to turn them into rain barrels. My gutters will drain into these, and my hose will hook up to them for me to water my plants. It will be awesome. Here’s a link on how to do that: http://www.rainbarrelguide.com/ I also have been using a site to help me prep my garden every year. It is my favorite site for planning a garden. It also has a world of information on different seeds, where and when they grow best, what attacks them, when to harvest, how to harvest, how much sun they need, what nutrients they need, etc., etc., the list goes on and on. You will never regret using this site, with the exception that you may become addicted. http://www.smartgardener.com/ Just this year I was given a huge seed starting system. Four racks with four trays each. If I used the 72 seed starting trays in each one, that would be 1,152 seeds that I could start. There are adjustable grow light above each rack of trays. It’s really quite insane! I am so excited!!! Anyways, a year ago my dad was given a ton of larger pots. I have used some, given a bunch away, and yet still have more, which is great, because I see expansion in my future. This year I started doing some herbs. I have found some to be simple and others to be impossible (almost – I don’t quit easy). I especially don’t quit easy because in 3 years of trying this was my first successful year for eggplant and for Chinese five color peppers. I still haven’t gotten good at ancho poblano, and I’m only slightly more successful with cucumbers (which I’m told are easy – ps not in my experience). Anyways, i want to share my years of knowledge with others who once were afraid to garden, because they were just certain they would fail. Like somehow plants would choose not to grow for them, even though a lot of them require little care. I hope some of this is helpful and would love to answer questions if you should have any.

Hello world!

This is my first post. I decided to start a blog. Really it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. But, for some reason today seemed like the day. Dishes caught up, laundry caught up, embarking on a new adventure in freezer meals tomorrow. I guess I just feel like I have something to offer the world of bloggers and blog readers. So quick, about me… Just to kinda overview what you are getting yourself in to. I am a stay at home mommy of 3, ages 13, 10, and 8. I home school, and NOT in my opinion, wonderfully. It’s a learning process and I hope I get better at it, but I believe it’s my calling. Being a one income family, I have had to learn how to save money. Because as we know, money saved is money earned. I long to be the Proverbs 31 wife, but have a lot to learn. Something I hope to share is my journey. So often people share their successes, but they keep the journey to themselves. Because to share the journey is a vulnerable place. It means if you fail, others know it and they actually get to see it. I will share my successes, but I will also share my failures, and even the “middle”. As I recently heard a wonderful Pastor preach, “The middle is necessary. And the middle is the beginning of A destination (or ending)” – Scott Mayo (Executive Pastor, Bridge Church, Virginia Beach, VA). So, all this being said, I can’t wait to get to know you. And I hope we can learn and live abundant lives and enjoy each others journey!