Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Overnight- or so it would seem- we suddenly went from one or two tomatillos off our giant plant (that I grew from seed and am unashamedly proud of) to about a bazillion. When Hen and I went out to the garden to see if we could find enough to make a little salsa, I was imagining we'd find a handful or two. I was way off.

Happily, we found about a gallon of them (gallon-sized freezer bag full, that is), and were able to make enough tomatillo salsa for dinner and a jar for the pantry. I am also proud to say that Hen did most of the salsa prep all by himself...

The recipe we (loosely) followed was just a random recipe I found by googling "tomatillo salsa," and it was missing something... acidity, maybe? And it definitely needed more garlic. Happily, it looks like that giant plant of ours isn't finished yet, so we'll probably get more than one go at it!

Did I mention we also planted purple tomatillos?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Prepping the Fall Garden

Our local master gardener's association has announced that for our area, now is the time to start prepping the fall garden. Well now, after all that rain we received last week, I need to at least get out there and weed, right? And then I guess I'll need to clean up the stuff that died and dehydrated... and probably pick another round of peppers... and add my compost and chicken bedding to the beds... and... and...

OK, yeah, I guess now IS the time to start prepping the garden for fall...

...and as if on cue, as I'm making my clean-up and to-do list for our garden space, my generous neighbor pulls in to our driveway bringing an entire trailer full of rotting horse manure to share with us!

So at the end of the weekend, I am happy to say we are now in a state of "Good Enough," and that means we have managed most of the weeds, cleared out most of the spent summer plants, dead-headed most of the annuals, and have taken a giant leap towards amending the beds for our fall seeds!

Sunday, August 19, 2018


This weekend saw...

...lots of scrambled eggs, some time outside with our creatures and garden, a bit of a stormy nap time, waaaaaaaaay too much screen time (in my opinion, anyway), a dinner on the grill, a pre-bath romp in the thick grass over the lateral lines (and a couple very dirty bathtubs afterwards!), and a bed time a little later than what should become our habit on school nights. Of course mixed in with all that was grocery shopping, laundry, chores, and other things that don't make for very good photos or a very good story. But all in all, it was a job well done, this weekending thing we do.

Wishing all a bright start to the oncoming week!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Late Summer Hive Check

A couple months ago, I figured out I had a hive suffering from European Foulbrood, so I requeened and have been feeding them ever since. About that same time I also figured out that directly due to my neglect, my other (strongest) hive had swarmed several times and had left themselves queenless.

So I put out a distress call, and a generous and much more experienced beekeeper-friend came over to help, bringing with her a frame of eggs/larvae/brood from one of her own hives. We stuck that frame in the queenless hive, hoping they'd jump at the opportunity to make a new queen for themselves (and thereby save themselves from oblivion), and we also treated both hives for varroa using Hopguard.

I then hit a string of weeks that consisted of either me getting home without enough daylight left to check on them, or rain (still not complaining about that one). Exactly one month later, I finally got out there to check on them...

...and those girls had let all those babies grow up to be workers and were still queenless. Still! So I had to requeen them, too...

...and then I moved on to South Hive (the sick hive with EFB) to see how their new queen was settling in.

Here you can see the Hopguard strips still on the frames

Right off the bat I could see their population was way better, and every frame I pulled had healthy-looking brood, larvae, and/or eggs. Then I saw Her Majesty herself- with her red spot all polished off- working hard for her new hive.

Once I saw her I closed everything up and left them alone. I'm still feeding them, but they're only taking about a quart every 3 days or so, and they're bringing in pollen like crazy, so I'm hoping they'll be able to get themselves ready for winter without much more intervention on my part. I'll keep checking on them, though, just to make sure.

And when spring comes, I'll be watching and ready... this time!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Second & Fourth

It finally arrived, with all the nerves and excitement (and arguments over which socks to wear) that we anticipated... each with their "big kid" backpacks and waffles in their bellies, each swearing that they just wanted to be dropped off then changing their mind in the parking lot... it was The First Day of School today, y'all!

And despite their initial concerns, the reports over dinner tonight were all smiles and thumbs up and anticipation for the next day. They love their teachers, they're happy with the mix of old friends and new kids in their classes, and they each got a compliment on their backpacks during the course of the day.

Could a Mama wish for anything more out of their first day of Second and Fourth?

Look back over previous First Days here.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Cookies and Pajamas

My babes are back. They've returned from a week-long visit with their grandparents, and coming home this afternoon officially concluded their summer of bouncing around from activity to destination to extended visit and back again. They're home, and there's nothing left on their to-do list except prepare for the first day of school.

Well, that and make oatmeal cookies with Mama...

I am so grateful that the summer worked out and our family and friends were there to help us fill the gaps and keep our kiddos safe and having fun... but I'm also glad I've got my helpers back home with me... and honestly, no one makes cookies like my Littles in pajamas. It's just what I was craving.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Soaking Rain

I can't even remember the last time we got a good, soaking rain, but you will not hear me complain that the first one in forever happened on my birthday. I don't care about the frizzy hair day, I don't care that my dog is a mud monster... that sound, that smell, the relief you can practically feel from the trees and plants... best. thing. ever.

It almost feels like a holiday.

Sunday, August 5, 2018


I woke up this morning to let the dog out, and as I was opening the front door, the cool morning breeze and orange-yellow sunlight hit me and I realized: I should be out there. So I made my coffee and I donned my grubby clothes and I went a-walkin' to check out My Outside.

Sadly, what met my eyes as I made the rounds was space after space suffering from neglect... specifically the big front flowerbed that I've been dabbling with (and will soon complete with the installation of a pond). On the far south end, my strawberry patch is dead, and closest to the front door it's knee-high weeds from boarder to window.

So guess what I spent the morning doing?

I may not be able to do much about the neglect that's creating these problems right now, but after a couple cool, shady hours this morning I'm at least feeling like I have the power to start recovering a bit from it... and walking by the window and NOT seeing weeds waving in the breeze is pretty gratifying, too!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Looking Back...


Y'all, I am such a sentimental sucker... I'm registering my kiddos for school this morning first thing, and I've been thinking over all their First Days of School since I got up. I just can't get over all the changes since Audrey's first day of Kinder, and all the things that are still the same (like that terrible iron stain on our front entry... someone needs to do something about that.... ahem).

We'll be completing our back-to-school prep this weekend, and the kiddos will get one more stay with their grandparents, and then it's time to jump back in, this time to 2nd and 4th!

Looking back- even now- it seems impossible