Category Archives: Florida

GLOW…A SMILE

There really isn’t much about glow in this post unless you count the sun and smile on my face when I see my garden.  I’ll try to do better later in the week.

I promised to keep you posted on my fall garden so these photos are from the third week of it.

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On the scale of life I believe gardening is high on the list.  True it is hard work and sometimes in vain.  Sometimes I toil and my efforts just don’t pay off.  Today was a prefect example.  Over the summer I planted sweet potatoes, my first try at it.  This morning I dug the potatoes and found only a handful of small ones.  I guess I got over-anxious and pulled them up too soon.  But that’s okay because I needed the space they were taking up in my raised bed.  In their place I planted beets, radishes and carrots.  Now we have to see how they will grow.  I’ve never had much luck with beets.  I know for some places it is too late in the season to plant these vegetables but I don’t think so in Central Florida.  Our seasons are much different from most places.  And it was definitely too hot for them in the summer.  I just ask God to please bless them so I’ll have enough to share.

Collards,onions and banana peppers.

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Mustard, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and tomatoes.

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Yellow squash and garlic

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Maybe from these pictures you can tell how everything is growing.  Gardening is a slow process.  The peppers are also doing fine.  I was able to pick a few of the hot ones this morning and make pickled peppers. Now I’ll just have to find someone to eat them since I don’t like spicy food.  But I do like growing the peppers.

Thank you for stopping by and please come back soon.  We should have collards and mustard ready for Thanksgiving.  Ahhhh Thanksgiving in the south.  Y’all come, you hear.

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TAKE A HIKE

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I love to walk.  One year, I believe it was 2004, I had like eight surgeries on my left leg.  We won’t go in to details but I can tell you that year I couldn’t walk more than I could.  It is a terrible feeling to not be able to do the things you want to do.  Oh you see them around you and you know what is needed but you are unable to provide that need.  Sometimes I would stay thirsty because I hated to ask others to get me a drink.  I’ve always been sort of independent.  Now I’m not sure if that is a good thing or bad, I suppose it can be both depending on the situation.  Thus I walk all the time.  I do walks to raise money to fight cancer and raise money for the YMCA and what have you.  However, there are a few causes I won’t walk for but there is no need to name them here.  I feel walking is a wonderful gift from God.

A test for you. Take a day and don’t do any walking.  If you have to use the bathroom just hobble to it.  Then you can relate to the person who can’t walk.

I can assure you that walking isn’t usually crowded.  Why?  I have no idea because it is great exercise and if you hike in parks and what- have – you it is wonderful.  You see nature in its best possible way.   And it is a great time to talk to God and thank Him for all His blessings and especially for the ability to walk.

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Get out there and try it.  Even if you just walk around your block or down the street.  Heck for that matter even if you just walk down your drive or around in your yard.  I’ve walked in my yard and seen some great things.  Of course when I walk in my yard I always find work that I need to do.

It doesn’t even have to be a beautiful sunny day because there is beauty in the rain.  Now you know I don’t mean storming but a fine mist or slow rain makes the stroll even more interesting.  There is just something refreshing about the mist kissing your cheeks

Thank you for stopping by and please come again soon.  If I’m not here I’m probably out walking somewhere or working in my yard.

God bless.

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FALL JOY

first soil     The joy of getting my fall garden in the ground is something that only fellow gardeners will understand.  You start with a blank slate, so to speak, but you have a picture in your mind so you start adding plants.

At the first of this week my beds were not exactly bare.  Over the summer I had allowed them to rest and of course some weeds decided it was a great place to make a home.  There I was on Tuesday and Wednesday busy pulling out the unwelcome guest and filling a large trash can to be put out at the curb to be picked up by the county with other yard garbage.  I definitely didn’t want to add the weeds to my compost pile thus giving them a new chance to grow and multiply.  I already have some that I have no idea how they got started in my yard but here they are.  Probably with the help of the birds and/or squirrels I feed;  ungrateful loots.  Only kidding I love the birds and enjoy watching them.  Now the squirrels… well let’s just say I don’t welcome them as freely.  But to make a long story short (I know too late) I was busy preparing the beds for the fall vegetables which I finally were able to plant on Wednesday afternoon and early Thursday morning.

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Now you know how I am and that I will pop a plant in any container that will hold it.  I had a couple of recycle bins from years ago, before the county furnished us with a large can, and I have been using them as  planters.  But when the storm Irma came through she decided they should help support part of a huge limb she flung to the ground; see the before and after below.

Before Irma.

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After but I still use them.

DSC_0899     You just can’t keep a good woman down.  And as long as it can hold potting soil it will serve my purpose.  They, along with an old laundry basket, are the new home for my grandson’s sweet peppers.

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And his old wading pool is keeping the yellow squash and garlic.

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Yes, Thursday I was definitely sore in places I haven’t been sore in a while but I am so happy I have my garden planted.  Now the joy of watching it grow and sharing what it produces will be worth the toil and soreness.  I will do my best to keep you updated with photos.

What does all this have to do with pedestrian?  Heck if I know but I did do a lot of walking while I was weeding and planting so I hope that counts so I’m not cheating.

Thank you for stopping by.  Now I think I’ll have a nice cold glass of iced tea and relax for a bit.

God bless.

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ROW OF ANTS

I like to go for a three-mile walk every morning just to try and stay healthy.  I usually try to go around seven o’clock before it gets so hot.  This morning it was very nice; over cast and a nice breeze.  The breeze always helps. There is one hill that almost kicks my butt so I celebrate with a big drink of water when I crest it.  Small treats that makes one smile.  This grasshopper doesn’t have anything to do with my walk but I love his colors and was happy when I was able to capture his photo; another small treat.  God gives us so many things to be thankful for and we don’t have to look hard to find them.

CSC_0816     So what does grasshoppers and walks have to do with a row of ants?  Nothing really, I guess, except they are God’s creatures.  But as I’m walking I always notice these cars on one street I have to cross.  They are lined up like a row of ants waiting to get on the main highway and get to work or whatever.  People are so busy.  I once was a member of that rat race before I retired.  And I guess they don’t have a single thing to do with Shiny unless you can claim their headlights.  But it is interesting to see.  Just a few of my Monday thoughts.

Thank you for stopping by and God bless.  Stay safe out there.

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ELEMENT OF A MIDNIGHT BLOOMER

This beauty is said to only bloom at midnight.  A very dear friend of mine gave me a cutting of this plant and I as so thankful to her.  She warned me that it only bloomed late

CSC_0724at night.  So this year it is loaded with flowers and I just had to sneak out that at 4:30 this morning before I went for my morning walk and grab a peek.  I was so excited when I saw this wonderful flower.  Yes, of course I had to pick one of the blooms and take snapshots to share with y’all.

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Thanks for stopping by.  Have a blessed day .

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BUTTERFLIES

 

I have so many butterflies in my yard this year it is amazing.  Of course someCSC_0701of my flowers are paying the price but I’ve planted enough to share with them and still have plenty for myself.  Some of the caterpillars love my Dutchman’s Pipe vine and I have to keep a sharp eye out so they don’t eat enough to kill it.  And I do have Monarch but I haven’t been able to snap a photo of them yet but I will keep trying.

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I love sitting at my dining table or out on my back porch with a nice cup of coffee early in the morning and watch them dance from one flower to the other.  They even share with the humming birds.

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I just had to share these pictures with y’all.  I hope where ever you are that you are blessed with butterflies and birds.  I court them as God’s beautiful blessings.

Thank you for stopping by until next time don’t just stop and smell the flowers also relax and watch the butterflies.

God bless.

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TAMPA FOG

This is my first time for trying this one but here goes.  My entry for the Jennifer’s Weekly Weather  Challenge; fog in Tampa Florida

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Have a blessed day.

 

This Week’s Challenges: July 23 – 29 (OWPC & WW)

 

WITHOUT A DROP TO DRINK

 

To paraphrase Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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I haven’t posted lately because I don’t go on my computer when it is thundering and lightning.  Foolish … maybe, because I have a circuit breaker but I’m rather be cautious than have lightning strike my machine.   We have had our share of storms in the last few days.  That is a good thing since our water table is low.  There is a restriction on what days one can water their gardens and lawns even if you have a private well.  I usually don’t concern myself with such cares because I know God will give us what we need when we need it.  The recent rains have helped the shortage a lot.

I won’t complain because I love everything about Florida; bugs, storms and all.  When I was a child I was fortunate enough to go fishing with my Dad and brothers to Apalachee Bay thus began my interest in this state.  Then we vacationed a couple of times in Naples and I was definitely hooked.  I made a goal and told my parents “When I get grown I’m going to live in Florida.”  Of course as typical parents go they didn’t take me serious.  But here I am today fulfilling that goal.

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We have the Gulf of Mexico on one side and if that is too tame for you we have the Atlantic Ocean on the other.  Both sides have their plus and minuses.  There is absolutely nothing that compares to the smell of salt water and walking along a sugar-sand beach with a tropical breeze ruffling your hair and the sun kissing your face.  I will definitely visit other states and enjoy what they have to offer but I will always return to my wonderful piece of Florida.  I hope you can come to visit and see what I’m talking about but be warned once you get the sand between your toes you will want to keep returning.

Thank you for stopping by and please come back soon.

God bless.

 

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FEATHERLESS BIRD

After waiting  and watching for what seemed like and eternity I was finally able to get a quick shot of one of the humming birds that visit my yard.  They are so fast and I am so slow that getting this photo was like winning a grand prize.

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I love birds and butterflies and I guess the people who doesn’t are few and far between.  I plant flowers to attract them and put out food like so many others.  But there is one scene that I often see and I call this character a featherless bird.  There is a street that I travel on quite a lot and it is lined with some very nice apartments and condos on one side and a golf course on the other. So I assume this particular bird lives in one of them.  Really it isn’t a bird at all.  Out in front of the condos there is a man that does his exercise on the side of the road.  Now let me tell you; this is not a body builder or even a body that you would go “Wow!” over.  Bless his heart.  He is so skinny so I assume with all his workouts he is healthy.  He has red frizzy hair and certainly not a tan to brag about but I guess he thinks he is a fine specimen of mankind and that we all want to see him stretch and what have you.  In the summer he wears tiny running shorts, running shoes and socks; no shirt which would improve the appearance.  He looks like a bird who has lost all his feathers.  And in the winter he wears what looks like red thermal underwear with long sleeves and legs. Trust me this is not a pretty sight.  I don’t want to be mean because he has every right to be there and I think it is a great idea to keep in shape.   But come on, take your stretching to your yard or condo then if one sees you jogging by it won’t be so hard on the eyes and heart.  I salute him for being brave enough to do it beside a busy street and I’ve seen him for years so all I can really say is “Good luck Red and go for it.”  Bless his heart.

Thank you for stopping by.  This is not my usual post but I wanted to get this off my chest.  I will keep driving that way (you know I could go another street if he offends me but he really doesn’t) and I guess he will keep stretching and I will continue to picture a featherless bird.  Hey someone might think he looks great!  Until next time God bless.

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COLLARDS

DSC_0076.JPG      I think collards are probably a green vegetable that is usually eaten in the south United States and even then some have never developed a taste for them.  If you’ve eaten kale, well that is a cousin to collards and has a similar taste. Yes it is a strong flavor and I suppose it gets some getting used to.  Frankly I love them and so does my oldest son.  The rest of my family will “kindly pass thank you very much.”  My seven-year old grandson surprises me how healthy he eats but he also does not like my collards.  Anyway, they are a must plant in my fall garden along with mustard greens.  Now my husband can absolutely eat a lot of mustard greens.

     I’m telling you all that to tell you this.  Last fall I planted collards as usual and we ate them at various times and gave some away to friends and neighbors throughout the fall and spring.  But what really surprises me is the fact that they are still growing strong.  Week before last I gave some away and put some in the freezer. This past week I was able to gather (that’s how you say harvesting greens.  You don’t harvest or pick “you gather in the south) another mess (also a southern word for enough vegetables for a meal.  Stick with me and you will learn Southern).  The mustard greens, tomatoes and other spring vegetables are all gone but these collards keep hanging on and producing.

     I planted sweet potatoes and since this is my first time for trying to grow them I’m excited to see how they do.  Trust me I will keep you posted.  The whole family loves sweet potatoes.

DSC_0464     As you know gardening is one of my many hobbies and I truly enjoy it.  It is a wonderful feeling to plant a seed or small plant then watch it grow and produce.  If you are stressed gardening will help you relax and forget all the problems.  Try it.

Thank you for stopping by.  Until then, keep praying, smiling and seeing “how does your garden grow.” (quote from Mary, Mary Quite Contrary a Mother Goose rhyme.)

God bless.

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