Thursday, August 25, 2016


We harvested our first watermelon this weekend.

We have not been able to grow a decent sized watermelon here- ever!
 Other years when we tried they grew a bit bigger than a softball but none of them have ever reached a full size before.
It was so juicy!  It reminded me of the watermelons we used to have before the seedless watermelon.  I don't think that the seedless watermelons have much flavor. 
I can remember my brothers and I having a seed spitting contest when we were little. I wasn't a very good seed spitter.  My mom used to tell us that we couldn't eat the seeds because it would cause a watermelon plant to grow in our bellies! Haha!  I told Madi and Ryder the same thing when they were little. 
Ryder and I were taking turns cutting it. He cut through the tough outer layer and I cut it into the smaller sizes. It was heavy and needed to be cut into sizes that I could manage with a sharp knife without cutting myself!

I like to have bite sized pieces in a bowl ready to eat.

I think it is such a pretty melon.

This bowl holds 4 quarts.  It was overflowing as soon as I finished cutting it.  We ate quite a bit of it immediately and I packed some for Jeremiah's lunch. 

My mom likes to sprinkle a bit of salt on her watermelon when she eats it.  I do this occasionally but not often.  Does anyone else eat watermelon this way or have you heard of doing this? 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. I read here four creative activities to try this month. They were-calligraphy, make your own cookbook, dance or learn a new type of dance, and letter writing. Which activity on the list appeals to you most? Will you add it to your August?   At this moment in time, I choose letter writing, but calligraphy sounds like it could be fun.  I have no desire to learn a new dance or dance (it's just too hot) and as much as I like to cook, I wouldn't have a very full cookbook.
2. Bertrand Russell is quoted as saying, 'To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.' Agree or disagree? Explain.  I both agree and disagree on this statement. I agree with it from the viewpoint of: I want a new cell phone, computer, iPad, TV, car, etc. You can find happiness with out those "things".  However, to those who are longing for a baby/child or a spouse; I think you may have a hole in your heart that will complete your happiness when you have a child or find your spouse.  It's not that you can't be happy, it's that your happiness hasn't come full circle. Above all, I feel that without God in your life, you will never achieve full happiness. Period.
3. August 17th is National Thriftshop Day...are you a 'thrifter'? If so, tell us about one of your best or favorite finds.  I am not a thrifter.  I wish I could say that I am but I am not.
4.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 1= almost none and 10=loads) how would you rate your sense of wanderlust? What kicks your wanderlust into high gear? I am a 3 maybe.  I have several places that I want to visit but I do not care much for the traveling part of getting to the destination.  I am excited when Jeremiah is able to go along with us so he does a lot of the driving but overall I am not much into travel.
5. Has life felt more like a marathon or sprint so far this month? How so?  Marathon.  Our garden is producing amazing food for us this year.  I have been canning a lot of our veggies and it isn't done yet.  I am so happy to fill my basement shelves with food to feed our family for the coming year!
6. What do you need to get a jump on before fall officially arrives?  We need to get wood in for winter. Usually at some point in late September we will need some heat.  We need to get our chimney ready and wood cut and stacked.  Jeremiah and Ryder handle all the wood cutting and Madilynne and I help with loading, unloading and stacking.  I am not a good stacker so I am usually the one handing the wood over to Jeremiah or Ryder to stack. 
7. What's the last thing you did with friends or family where you lost track of time? Visiting!!  I get so caught up talking and catching up with friends and family that I loose track of time! Happens quite frequently in my life.  I enjoy a good visit!
8. Insert your own random thought here.  I am getting ready to pick and process more green beans.  I switched to canning them in pints this year.  Our family likes green beans but for some reason we just don't eat a full quart.  I always seem to have leftover green beans and no one wants to eat the last bit. I figure if we need more I can open two jars. Madi opened a jar up last week and ate the whole thing herself- straight from the jar.  She said that a quart jar is just too much commitment!!    

Pines Update!

   This site has been quiet lately and I apologize for that.  We started school on August 1.  I was hesitant about starting early but it has been so hot out that staying inside in the air conditioning has actually been a blessing.  Madilynne has a full class schedule that includes many extras that she is interested in this year and Ryder is keeping things basic-hitting only those subjects that is required by state law and sign language.  They are both doing a good job at getting school done each day.  We started with an 8 am up-and-at-'em game plan.  Those that know my kiddos know that 8 am is early for the night owls!  :-)   They are adjusting pretty nicely to the new schedule.  Do they like 8 am? No, not at all but it sure is nice to get the school done early. 

   Our garden is producing like crazy! It's awesome but keeping me busy.  I have been canning green beans, red beets and experimented with some pickle recipes.  I will pick some green beans tonight and harvest some green peppers too.  We have two watermelons that are getting really big.  I am so excited about that!  We are also getting two cantaloupes.  We never tried to grow them before so getting two of them is really good!

   We have also been doing some baby/child sitting and visiting with friends.  We have spent some extra time in the pool and yesterday we met some friends at a local park to swim and visit.  It was hot but the visiting was well worth it.  I can handle a lot of heat when I am visiting with good friends.  Ok, well I also had a quart jar of lemon ice water! 


   Ok, you know it's bad when I couldn't even get this posted three days ago!!  LOL  Before I could finish this posting I was interrupted over and over!  I also ended up processing more green beans and baby sitting my sweet little nephew for a couple hours.  We ended up going to a BBQ (BaByQ) baby shower for Jeremiah's cousin and his wife. 

   It has continued to stay hot and humid here. Today there is a higher chance of thunderstorms.  We are planning on going to Jeremiah's parents for a cook out and swimming this afternoon. His sister is coming up so hopefully the weather will cooperate.  :-)   

   So now since I have a minute I will post this before the next pressing item pops up! I hope everyone is having a great summer. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Large Cucumber and Recipe Request

  I went to the garden tonight to see what was ready to pick.  I had three spaghetti squash, one zucchini and three cucumbers.  The cucumber on the far right in the picture is almost as large as the zucchini.  Apparently, I missed it when I harvested the last time.  It will go to some of the chickens to munch on!

   I was very happy with the size of the watermelons that are growing.  I hope they continue thriving.  I will have red beets to harvest, hopefully by the end of the week or early next week.  Our tomatoes are coming along beautifully also.  I am excited about the rest of the veggies!  They are looking so healthy. 

   I had to remove of the cucumber plants I had on the front porch.  They had reached maximum potential and were quickly dying.  The cucumbers were no longer growing.  It was a very cool idea and I think that I will try that idea next year but with a different kind of cucumber plant.  Hopefully they will taste a bit better.   

   With all the zucchini we have grown, I have been giving it to family and I tried some new recipes.  We made zucchini fries tonight and I don't think we will repeat that recipe again.  I will stick with our regular favorites of fried zucchini and zucchini bread. I will also freeze some of it.  I wanted to try a zucchini pizza recipe but both kids vetoed it!  They asked me if I remembered the spaghetti squash pizza disaster!  Don't mess with their pizza!  Plain ol' regular pizza makes them happy. 

   How do you like zucchini?  Any suggestions for how to use up some of my extra zucchini?  What about spaghetti squash? Any delicious and easy recipes you could share?