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1/28/2012 05:56:00 AM


Still sleepy in Alabama.

I had a pretty nice harvest last autumn. Lots of lovely tomatoes and basil. The kids and I were cooking up a storm. It was nice to have tomatoes right off the vine. We enjoyed it all immensely.

We were looking forward to planting this spring, but as the wind blows, we won't be able to do so. Sadly, we're just not going to make it here. Like so many others, we're displaced and unable to find work. Even knowing people isn't helping me get anywhere. It is just so frustrating.

I do have a job, just not a well paying one. I know, I know, I should be thankful and I am. I still have a car. However, I can't do anything but pay for the car. I don't work full time. After months of struggling and trying not to get so far behind my credit is damaged, it appears we're looking at another move.

Several friends of mine are going through this very thing. Moving from one place to another where you know someone and maybe, just maybe, you'll get something. The temp agencies here are actually closing. It is kinda bad.

I do so hope that perhaps I can get a work at home gig. I know a couple of folks that are doing it and they love it. With another impending move to where my family is located in Louisiana, I will give it a try. I just can't work from home where I am, a three year old prevents it. So I'm going to try again.

Near my dad, gardening won't even be a problem. He lives on five acres and has a garden every year and he is very much looking forward to us coming because he wants a garden buddy. And he is dying to work out an aquaculture system with me. We've talked about it before and if I end up moving down there (I've set a March deadline, no full time job by then, we're moving to another area to try again), we're going to do it.

Not to mention, I inadvertently set my deadline to parallel the serious garden starting down there. I'll be moving from zone 7b to 6b. Not too much of a difference, only a slight difference in first and last frost, but those couple of weeks can make all the difference.

With luck, after we're settled, I'll be able to blog regularly again. I do so miss it.

8/20/2011 12:34:00 AM

Sleepy in Alabama

Well I really did it this time. We picked it up, packed it in, and moved it. To Huntsville, Alabama. My husband has family here and his mom has been trying to get us down here for years. I had a good job so it just wasn't in the cards. Now that my job has moved away and the job after it couldn't support us, we decided now is as good a time as any. We made it right before the new school year started here and we're adjusting. Most of my garden was mobile so it wasn't much of a sad day to leave the few plants behind that we couldn't bring with us. The neighbors will tend to them and harvest. I actually harvested our first batch of potatoes today and we'll be eating those with dinner tomorrow.

The one big unfortunate thing is that our dog died June 26th. Majere will be missed terribly and the entire family was inconsolable for more than two weeks. The kids look forward to when we will have another dog but they are following my line of thinking: right now just isn't the time. We've scarcely broken the habits that we built with him and even now as I write this, my heart hurts.

Moving on (before I start crying). I haven't posted in a good long while due to the massive hours I had to work and full time school and family. I'm looking for work but still working hard at school. We are optimistic and things seem to be going our way at the moment which is more than I can say for a lot of folks at the moment. My husband's grandmother has some land and was very enthusiastic when she learned that I garden. We're planning some big things for next year. There is a lot of work to be done before we're ready to start any type of garden on her two acres and we're 30 minutes away. We're headed down there this weekend to spend some time.

With this move, we have a renewed sense of purpose. Our goals are laid out and we know exactly what we want to do. More importantly, we know we will be able to make it happen here. We've been checking into local gardeners, suppliers of rabbits, chickens, and quail and it all looks a lot better than it was in Tennessee. There seems to be more resources here and more like minded folks closer to us. The only hump is the job. We just have to get them. My husband has already had one interview and the man had already hired his nephew so it wasn't a turn down because of anything but that one little fact.

So with that, my update is complete. We're alive, we're living in Alabama, and we're looking forward to making all of our dreams come true.

11/07/2010 09:04:00 PM


I have not posted since June, not without good reason, but still, I should not neglect what I have going on here. With the loss of my old job and then the subsequent gain of a new one which always promises 50 hours or more a week including weekends... and school.. and I squeeze family in there sometimes, too. House and home have pretty much been placed on a back burner. I do have some small projects going on right now, but it is truly nothing to blog about.

Aside from bringing in my frost sensitive dwarf trees for the winter, I have nothing major to report. I have gone about my normal business of herb gathering and drying and watching as my pumpkins sprawl across the raised bed blooming but producing nothing this year. They are still blooming, even after the light frost, but they have not produced a single pumpkin this year, which is strange for all seven plants. I haven't had time to really stop and consider why this has occurred, but it is something I will be filing away in the back of my mind to look up in a spare moment.

I certainly hope everyone got out of their garden what they expected this past season and I also hope that any of you doing any winter gardening also get what you expect.

This is not an official closing of the blog, but I am going to be scarce. I'm writing more research papers than are in actual existence and with the holiday season so close, I'm watching my hours at work go up steadily. You can imagine where this scenario is going.  My new job is nothing like my old one so I can't work on these things from work anymore. It's a home only kind of thing and I'm like never home. Except on weekends. Weekends are reserved for catching up on school work I neglected during the week because sleep seemed like a better idea or I just really wanted to hang with the kids. Bloging is on hold for the most part. In those moments that I have more time and I have something to really blog about, I'll be here.

Enough whining, how about that thing I really wanted to talk about?

I found this page while I was digging around looking for some info on zone 9 for a friend. It is a rather handy dandy Landscape Plant Selector that gives a surprising amount of options for trying to find the perfect plant for whatever project you're doing.  I played with it for a few minutes and found that it was really helpful. The pictures could be larger or could stand to have an enlarge option, but other than that, I'm liking what I'm seeing.

6/02/2010 07:20:00 PM

Blooms Abound

My yard has been alight with blooms. Chrysanthemums are nice and purple and blue after the yellow daffodils finally gave in to the end of their flowering season. The azaleas were gorgeous and the honeysuckle has been very nice, although, I'm missing the sweet smell that has clouded the area now that the blooms have finally given up. The tiger lilies up the street are profusely blooming and I'm going to miss them, too, when they are gone.

My cucmbers are also blooming. While my father, who is much further south than I, has been harvesting squash and cabbage like mad over the past week (all planted on Good Friday, you know), I have been patiently waiting for my garden to really take off. The broccoli is nice and large and I'm going to see something happen with that very soon, I think. And all this rain has really set my garden into motion. I have onions peeking out from their little corner and getting larger all the time. I expect to be harvesting them in a month of so and I'm excited for it. 

I feel so behind with all of these folks that are harvesting out of their gardens right now when I could scarcely get started until mid-April. Our last average frost date is April 15th and while I started my seeds well before that, the cool evenings we experienced around mid to late April and lasting into the first couple of weeks of May, stunted my efforts after I transplanted. I don't dare get anything planted before the 15th. The last few major snow storms this area has seen have been late April storms that blanketed us with feet an feet of snow and ice.

While I had an excellent mortality rate with my plants this year, only losing two and those to the cat, I'm pleased that our modest garden is thriving. But I'm still jealous of those that are getting much more out of theirs right now than I am.  I didn't want the entire bed covered with plants at the beginning. It seemed too overwhelming for the kids to have anything going on that would be that busy. They are perfectly happy with our several plants and are looking forward to when I get pumpkins in the mix later this month.

I did finally get my shamrock bulbs planted. I know I'm late but now that I have some time on my hands, I'm experimenting. I've never grown shamrocks before and I'm very much looking forward to seeing them.

Like everything in the world, life is so uncertain these days. I was hard pressed to spend the money to put a bed in with the lay off hanging over our heads. Disheartening. But I planted anyway in hopes that I could at least get the kids that experience.They have enjoyed helping to take care of the pots of herbs. We snipped some garlic chives and I made a garlic chive butter sauce for smashed new potatoes.  One of their first direct experiences with taking out of the garden, cleaning, and then making immediately into dinner.  Both of them were glowing with pleasure when they told their father that they had, just that day, gone out and harvested some of the chives in the meal.

It has been an exciting time. We have broken through and really started and finished some of the long list of chores around the house. The amount of useless stuff is shrinking. We are in a better position now than we have ever been and neither of us are working. Instead of having a room of boxes of memories that just take up space, we have part of a closet. Instead of an overwhelming amount of junk the kids wanted to keep from school, we have convinced them that it is ok to let some of it go instead of having it piled everywhere and taking up valuable space in chest of drawers.

I have finally sat down and started going through the piles and piles of crafting magazines a girlfriend of mine gave me and have been scanning off what I want out of them and the rest are going to the used book store to see if we can sell them for credit for other books we want. I've been avoiding this for some time because it meant that I would actually have to organize the craft armoire that has been in such disarray since we moved in last October. But I finally decided that I needed that space for things that I couldn't let go of, like the pictures of the kids and the ribbons they have won and their baby books from what seems like yesterday. 

It has been an interesting month. And I am almost happy with the results. We don't *need* to be pack rats. My husband has been carrying around an old server that hasn't worked in years in the hopes that it would magically start working again one day. He realized when going through the box that he had no idea where the power cable to the things was hiding so out it went. We are in a large enough house that it can accommodate all of the things we need with precious room to spare and that is a nice thing. I hated being so cluttered into the last house we lived in. No room to put a desk because the rooms were too small and every inch of space was covered with furniture. And if it wasn't there was a box dutifully standing by never being unpacked because there was no place for it. So sad.

But now we're moving right along and the massive amounts of craps has dwindled to almost no crap at all.

5/31/2010 09:11:00 PM

Homemade Alcohol

I got a wild hair to start making my own wine not too long ago and so I researched and read and went down to the not so local home brew store and bought my basic equipment.  I decided to start with apple and then went on to white grape cherry and white grape pomegrante. All turned out very well, I am proud to say.

Then my husband found out about a meadery that was a little out of town but an easy drive so we headed down there.  The man was happy to give us a taste of all types of mead. Dry, semi-sweet and sweet, melomel and metheglin and a few others.  He gave us some tips on making mead and so we bought some honey and some wonderful honey pecan jelly and headed home to start out batch.

We got our single gallon of mead started and it is fermenting nicely.  We've nearly finished the mead we purchased that day and mores the pity because we, and all of our friends that have had it, have thoroughly enjoyed it.

I'm very much looking forward to this new batch!

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