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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BRIDGE

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Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

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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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FLOWERS, BIRDS AND BUTTERFLIES

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Order in my yard; are you kidding?  There is absolutely nothing that you might call order in my plants, trees and flowers.  I’ve mentioned before that I am a plant collector so that makes my yard eclectic.  If someone is trying to get rid of a plant I am the first to volunteer to take it.  Plus I cringe if I must thin and discard any of my plants.  But sadly that was the case yesterday.  My husband and I worked out there for hours thinning and tossing.  Now he can easily do away with any or all my plants.  Every time I lug one home he says “Now where are you gonna put that.”  I simply say “I’ll find a spot.”  And I have to watch him like a hawk because he loves to clip; never mind if the season is right or not,  he will be out there clipping away.  Get this; he complains about my flowers but when we have guests he is the first to take them on a stroll of our yard and boast about the plants.  You’d think he did all the work.

Okay…okay it is not pick on husbands week.  I guess I’m crankie because my back muscles are sore this morning.  I used some yesterday I must not be used to using.  That bad husband will rub Biofreeze on it when he finishes eating his breakfast.

We both like to sit on our back porch in our glider and watch the birds and butterflies enjoy our flowers.  I put a Shepard’s pole and hung suet within a few feet of the porch so we have a wonderful view.  I’ve been able to snap photos of several species (is that what you call them?) of birds.  The one I can’t seem to catch is the humming birds and we have several that come to visit.  Oh well in due time.

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I’ll be posting more of them in future posts I’m sure and especially the humming birds when I get them.  I gotta run it is time for a back rub.

Thank you for stopping by.  Stay safe and keep gardening, bird watching and enjoying life.

God bless.

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LIBRARY

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I’m an avid reader and I love books; all kind of books—- fiction, non-fiction and even poetry.  I credit this to my older sister who (according to her stories) would prop me up beside her before I was old enough to sit alone and read to me.  As I got older I do recall her reading to me and my other sister loved poetry so she shared some of her favorite poems. I was so very blessed to have such loving older siblings. I’m glad they instilled that love for the written word in me. I have tried to pass it on to my two sons and I believe I’m a success in that area; both my boys love to read.  I’ve even gotten my husband absorbed in good novels.

After my sons grew up they would give me gift cards to books stores for most of the holidays and special occasions.  I asked them to stop because it was a waste of their hard-earned money. Does that mean I didn’t use the cards?  Absolutely not.  But I would buy books, read them then pass them on to others.  I explained to my boys that I just as soon get my reading material from the local library.  I love the library; it is one of my most treasured places.  When we’d move to a new town for my husband’s work one of the first places I’d locate was the library.

In the library there are so many worlds within our world.  You can travel, in your mind, to so many places and discover other people and their cultures.  You can teach yourself almost anything you want to do if you are able to read because the library is crammed with information and help manuals.

Oh yes, it is true that one can do and find almost anything via computer today and I think that is wonderful.  But to me there is nothing to compare to feeling the hard copy of a book in your hands and flipping those pages as you read.  I do have my computer and Nook and I do read that way as well.  Like I said I love to read and feel I am so blessed to be able to do so.

But as we argue the convenience of computers one can also find public computers at the library to use so… there is no reason not to visit the library close to you and check out what they have to offer.  You just might be surprised and wish you had discovered this place years ago.

Thanks for stopping by…. shhhh I’ll just close quietly and get back to my novel.  God bless.

 

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QUIET VISITOR

     This morning I was working out in my back yard.  I suppose some would say garden because I do have flowers and plants out there.  I’ll admit “I’m a plant collector.”  When I see a plant I like I get it knowing I’ll find somewhere in my yard to put it.  My poor husband just shakes his head when he sees me lugging home something new.  Anyway, back to what I meant to tell you.  I was working away transplanting  some beautiful red, rose and white geraniums from the pint size pots they came in to bigger nice pots with plenty of room to grow.  I think geraniums are so pretty and since these were marked down like 75%  of course I had to buy them.  I turned from my planting table and there was this beautiful white bird; some kind of crane,  running its long beak down in the ground and coming up with earthworms; helping himself to my natural aerators.

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I said “Welcome” and turned back to my work  and my quiet visitor continued with his searching and eating.  He was a polite fellow only getting what he could eat then he went on his merry way with a full tummy.

     I decided to give you a quick glimse of another part of my yard….. a teaser for another post.

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     Until next time I’ll be busy tending to my plants and I hope you have something that you enjoy doing.  Thank you for stopping by and please come back soon.

God Bless.

MAGNIFICENT

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I have been trying for years to snap a photo of a Sand Crane and the other day I got lucky.  I was in a parking lot and this fellow walked right up to my car window.  Usually they travel around in pairs and once in a while they will have one of their young with them.  But this old man was all alone; makes you wonder what happened to his mate.  Maybe a car hit her.  I could believe that since they cross on a busy street and never hurry.  They will have traffic backed up while they stroll leisurely across.  I’m glad people do stop for them because they are magnificent creatures.  We are blessed to be able to observe them.  Do they just have one mate for life?  I have no idea but it is worth checking out.

Thanks for stopping by please come back soon.  God bless

FOG

     Yesterday morning the fog was so thick in our area that you could almost slice it with a knife.  Okay… okay I’m exaggerating, maybe… a little, but the fog was thick.  It was pretty to me.  Of course I didn’t have to drive in it.  I like almost all kinds of weather except bad storms and there is even beauty in that.  God has a purpose and reason for everything and He controls the weather.  Like anything else in our lives we can look for the good or expect the evil; I prefer the good.  No I would not like fog every day nor would I want rain every day.  I’m just thankful that I don’t control it one way or another.

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  I’m trying to decide what I want to plant in my spring garden.  It isn’t an easy choice since I have limited space.  I just always pray that God supplies me with enough to share.  And He does.  I guess I’m greedy because I want to try everything.  Some of the things I plant make it and some don’t.  In my opinion that is just part of being a gardener or farmer; taking chances.  This past fall was the first time I tried to grow cauliflower and it is coming along fine.  I’m sort of proud of it but I believe I will have to wait until next fall to plant it again since we have some very hot summer days which start early in Florida.

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     Wouldn’t it be nice to have five or ten acres to grow whatever you wanted?  Ahhhh… but it is only a dream.  At my age I probably would not be able to keep up with that much land.  I will just be thankful for what I have and that I am able to work it.  We are sort of planning to add two more 8×4 foot raised beds which will double my space so that’s good.  I’m thinking maybe I’ll give okra a try.

     Thank you for stopping by and until next time I will be pouring over seed catalogs and dreaming of a bountiful harvest.  God bless.

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW

I’ve been so proud of my garden this fall.  Our collards, mustard, Brussel sprouts and broccoli are all doing or did fine. We got more tomatoes than usual; they’re small but delicious.  So I really shouldn’t complain but my eggplants are a different story.

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     The plants themselves look good and they bloom but absolutely no fruit!  I tried pollinating them with a q-tip and small brush but that didn’t do one ounce of good.  What could I be doing wrong?  My sister said maybe I had two male plants but what do I know.  How would one tell?

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     Anyway… I told them if they didn’t do something soon I am going to pull them up, feed them to the chickens and try again in the spring.

     I’m really looking forward to a spring garden and I’ve been busy trying to decide what to plant.  I know I need to rotate and not plant the same thing in the same place.  I love looking through the seed catalogs.  Billy made me two raised beds last spring and I think we will add a couple more this year.  I need to start getting them ready so I can plant in February.

     Thank you for stopping by and until next time “Happy Gardening.”  God bless.