June 30, 2013

Cramming - But Stuff is Happening!

Going through the adjustment of working life around a graveyard shift has been a bit wild.  It's beginning to look like I'll be doing weekly posting for now.  At best – I’ve had to keep shooting photos and filing them with dates.  Trust me.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to catch up.

Okay.  Maybe I’ll get lucky around next January. I won't be posting - period - after I have the first surgery - until I'm given the green light after the 2nd surgery.  But anyway…

Apparently – we had the experience of seeing true colors of a neighbor exposed this spring – which have left a heavy feeling of total surprise and disappointment.

Back in March – Dwayne had gone over to his place to talk with him about cutting and baling our hay field.  Dwayne was told there’d be no problem at all.

Rain has been an issue this year – causing a lot of problems with flies and getting hay cut.  This man is very aware of the fact we have cows and were running out of hay.  Dwayne offered to learn and help him with getting hay cut and baled all around our area – besides helping with our own field - and still paying the man for cutting and baling.  Dwayne would have loaded and carried to our barn – just as he did last year.

We went almost 2 weeks without hay.  Come the 2nd week of June – we had to buy hay elsewhere.  By then – the man had never even bothered to come by or call us to warn us that he might be backed up with work.  And we - still - haven't heard from him.

But we saw him baling our other neighbor's worthless hay yesterday.  That just sealed the deal in what shows us that he never had intentions of following through on the commitment he made with Dwayne.

He could have – at least – given us fair heads up to find someone else before seed heads popped.  It appeared as if he had intentionally set out to do us wrong – without one bit of consideration for the fact we have cows that we needed to feed with that hay.

Dwayne took the tractor out to the field – and simply mowed it all down.  We won’t need any of them to cut our hay in the future.  We’ve decided to go in another direction with our hay field.

From here on out – we don’t believe what we hear out of any mouths around here.  We’ll only trust what we – see.  Kindness given will return 10-fold from our hearts and hands.  Distance will come from much more than an acre of our land – when ugliness is shed upon our doorstep.  God can have them with their every breath – through our faith in Him - without finding our footprints anywhere on their path.

We don’t allow ugliness from our own family – much less neighbors.  We have more than enough challenges in front of our faces on a daily basis – handling all this by ourselves.  We don’t deserve anyone trying to come bestow more grief on our lives – trying to run us off – just because they consider us to be outsiders - rather than newcomers very capable of contributing to helping others - which we are.

The day may come when they need help paying their utility bill – with the funds we donate every month when we pay our own bill.  Or - They might need food from those $5 tickets I hand the cashier for adding to the total at the check-out when I buy groceries – every chance I get.  Those are only 2 of several ways Dwayne and I do our part to contribute to this county where we live.

Yes.  We prefer to tithe in those ways – rather than dumping money into a plate for constructing some gigantic building that’s empty for most of the time.  Believe it or not – yes.  You can get angry and cuss – not go to any church – still believe and trust in God – and tithe.

I’ve been cramming all I can get done into every day that comes – before that first surgery.  Among so many other things – there’s been a lot of work with the veggie garden and the flowerbed around the driveway and under the front porch staircase.

I’ve wanted the area under the staircase done ever since we moved here.  Finally!  We are getting somewhere!

The Azaleas were given a heavy pruning after their blooming finished up.  I ended up finding a spare plant of each of the pink and white shrubs.  Sent the pink one home with Jen and Josh.  Planted the white one between the pink and the new red one we planted this year.

We added more garden soil.  Got the landscaping fabric laid out and staked down.  Added a brown mulch.

This poor thing has been patiently abiding in this pot for 3 or 4 years now.  It was time for it to enjoy a new home with freedom!

I hope it thrives under the staircase as well as it did in the pot before we set it by the gas meter for a bit.

Waiting on some round 18-inch stepping stones that I’ve ordered from Home Depot to be shipped to the Lenoir City unit.  We’ll be planting more color after those arrive and get put into place.

We’re keeping the little greenhouse under the staircase landing for a bit longer.  A Wren has constructed her nest inside.  I found a whole mess of eggs that have not hatched yet.  Momma Wren has not minded when we’ve moved the greenhouse a few feet out of the way while we worked on the landscaping.  She just takes off for a while – and comes back later!

Came across this Petite Pretty while we were at Out of Eden Garden Center in Maryville last week.  I am loving her!  She’s been put into her own special pot – to shine and show off in front of the staircase!

There were 2 different colors of flowers blooming when we brought her home.  But this is one of them.  And believe it or not – those are no flaws on the petals.  The color work-up in these petals reminds me of the stripes on Zebras – the spots on a Cheetah – or – the mix of colors on a Brindle puppy.  Almost a speckled effect!

( White film on the leaves is insect dust that dried after a rain. )

I picked up this beautiful little yellow Princess rose bush at the garden department inside our local FoodCity grocery store!  This little beauty is just beaming!  Seems to be perfectly happy with her new home!

We ended up pulling all our Tomato plants and replanting.  I was so glad that I kept a few extra Amish Paste Tomato seedlings!  We picked up 3 more Rutgers Tomato Plants from Bonnie's Plants.  And we chose to go with their Hybrid Beefmaster Tomato this time.  That Heirloom Beefsteak variety started the whole nightmare we experienced – with the fungus.  The soil was running too heavy with the clay.  Adding garden soil seems to be helping.

But here’s a strong tip.  They wanted $4.50 for a rinky-dink bale of Pine straw.  We spent less than $3.00 on a 2.0cu. foot bag of the mini pine nugget mulch.  Took less than 2 bags.  They love it!

The Veggie garden has grown enough that we can enjoy looking it over from up on the front porch!

Our Green Beans have popped!  We pulled the Spinach and Kale – added garden soil before planting the beans.  Patty and Cora pigged out on the plants we pulled.  Loved ‘em!

I kept one of the BlackTuscan Kale plants.  I love this variety!  I purchased those seeds from Uprising Seeds.  I’ve been enjoying it in salads.  Read in another blog that the flowers are really pretty and edible.  But I want the flowers to provide seeds for next year.  So I’m experimenting.

I am loving my BlackBeauty Eggplant bush - again - from Bonnie's Plants!  This little puppy is flat-dab loading up!

I have no idea how it happened.  But this delicious little gem is growing in front of the Eggplant.  I guess its seed was light enough to float from one bed to another.  It just showed up.  Me being me – couldn’t resist letting it grow! But it gave me an idea.

I’ve planted the SummerGlory Lettuce Blend from Park Seed every year since 2006.  I can’t recommend this variety enough!  And this year – wanting the chance for salads from the garden to extend even longer through summer – I decided to try bringing Park Seed and Bonnie’s Plants together!

I’ve got my Lettuce growing under our Jalapeno Bushes from Bonnie’s Plants.  It’s working!  You can see how the rash of afternoon Thunderstorms washed a lot of the seeds to one corner of the bed.  But I’m not worried.  Plenty of different lettuce varieties coming along!

Using those new Viagro Tomato Cages for all the Tomatoes and the Peppers and Eggplant has been working out really great!  I like these stakes because you can adjust the cross bars as the plants grow.  They support everything so well!  And you can buy extra cross bars by themselves.

I have Sweet Basil from Bonnie's Plants growing in 2 beds.  These 2 are growing behind the Jalapeno and Lettuce plants.

And just look at our Okra!  I’m growing excited more each day!  Can hardly wait to see the flowers! This is the Carmine Splendor Hybrid.  The pods are a really deep red color.  The Flowers are tinted pink.  But they are sterile.  Seed collecting will result in failure.  Still - I wanna check out the flavor and how well things turn out for breading and freezing for frying.  So far – the plants just look so pretty! 

Sharing.  Venting.  Unloading.  Dumping. Enduring.  Surviving.  Accomplishing.

Oh my gosh.  It’s all been happening in so many ways around our home – and for that matter - all around the world these days.

But my most favorite word out of that bunch is Accomplishing – by far.  How could I not feel that way after looking at these photos?

I’m able to look back.  Look over.  Look out.  And see all there  is to show for every moment when the alarm goes off and I have to take another half of a pain pill!

I can only do so much.  Whatever I don’t manage to get done before the first surgery – will just have to wait.  And I’m finished worrying.  God’s watching.  If He wants us to get some things taken care of – then I guess He’ll just have to make it happen.

Dwayne and I are the first to admit – we would just suck at being Magicians!


Deb said...

Your garden looks wonderful! Ours...well I won't even go there! *giggle* Love seeing yours thought. Glad you are getting things done. :-))

A Lady's Life said...

What a wonderful garden
Too bad about the neighbour and hay problem.
I kinda don't like charities anymore. They are businesses profiteering from
gifts people give for a cause.
They pilfer so much money one wonders why they have to advertise so much?
It's more for them than the people they say they represent.We have a Mission here and they ask for money to feed the homeless Thanks giving and Christmas dinner
You give because you know they are all volunteers working there and they do feed the people.Even the SPCA upsets me They say they have no place or food and yet they get such huge salaries. Hire one less person and the money and place would be there.

If you have space you could make a mint doing a kennel business.
People go on vacation and pay 10 dollars a day to babysit a dog or cat. You just have to make sure the animals are vaccinated.So hard to find a place in summer unless you book ahead of time.

Queenacres said...

Your flowers and gardens are beautiful! I haven't had much time to post lately but am thinking of you and praying for your quick recovery.