Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Sunflower, Pumpkin and Watermelon Growth

The temperatures are going to be well over 100 today.  Yesterday afternoon we took the time to give everything a good watering with the heat on it's way.  We have not had a nice rain in weeks and with the heat I knew our garden would need the extra moisture.  The little monster helped as we drenched everything.  Despite the lack of rain, everything is getting huge.  Our sunflowers are close to blooming, watermelons are make vines and blooms, and the pumpkins are just plain massive.  We had one lone zinnia bloom despite the heat. 

This little one had just unfolded. Of course the little guy loved it since it is red.  Behind this little zinnia are most of our sunflowers.  The shorter ones in the picture were winter sowed and the larger were directly sowed into the spot they are now in.  There is a huge difference.  The direct sowed flowers were placed in the ground well over a month after the shorter ones.  We had a little a couple of winter sowed sunflowers that were cut down by cutworms and then a few others that were over taken by ants.  The ants love our sunflowers.  We are still fighting them off from making huge mounds around the roots system of each flower.  Anyone else have this ant problem? The flowers are well over five foot tall now and are holding their own pretty well now.  As smaller plants the ants made the ground too soft for the flowers to stand. Since we lost a few of our winter sowed flowers we added the direct sowed ones thinking they would be a little behind.  They were at first, but then made a huge comeback.

A few or our Mammoths.  The ones in the back are half the size as the front direct sowed flowers.

I can not complain about our pumpkins and watermelons.  They have taken off with long runners growing inches each day and new blooms popping up to match the new growth.  We have not had any problems at all.  They have been very easy, except for the massive weeding that we need to catch up on again.  They are in full sun, watered lightly every day and weeded when needed. (These are photos from yesterday clearly in need of weeding.) 

Crimson watermelon leaves
A couple of the many Jack-O-Lantern blooms. Sorry about the weeds.  They will have to wait until temps get below 100 again.
Ten foot of pumpkin vines and still growing.
A huge mound of pumpkin leaves! Most of them are around eight inches long.
A cute little weed (or I am guessing it is a weed) growing near the massive pumpkins. The tiny little flowers are too cute and only the size of an eraser at the end of a pencil.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Lake Greeson

We are back to the land of WiFi after a nice little break from communication.  The little monster loved all of the fishing.  He hated to sleep at night because he might miss a catch.  Other than him and my brother complaining about food and fishing, it was a nice, remote little trip.  Slightly hot, but not near as bad as last year. We may have not had internet access, but we did have air conditioning. The greatest invention ever made.

 There were a few more campers than last year.  Including a very large family with a naked little boy running around every morning.  Even with the large family next to us, it was very quiet. There were loads of birds around the water.  We found a couple of huge raccoons along with a cute little deer running up a hill on a small island.  The little guy found a few tiny little turtles and a little water snake of some kind. 

The last night there we had a marathon of Ice Age movies.  Other than that, we stayed on the water from six in the morning to right after dark.  We came off of the water to eat and nap during the hottest part of the day. My poor brother ended up with a nice sun burn on his back.  A back that sees sunlight maybe every three years or so.  It was bad, but that is what happens when you do not listen to your older sister.  Maybe one day he will figure out that I am actually on his side and want to prevent things like this from occurring to him. I doubt he will ever figure that out.  He has been ignoring me for 27 years.  I do not think that will change any time soon.

The little monster is rested up after a few days at home with rest.  I still need more rest.  Maybe tonight I can catch up.  The yard is mowed, clothes are unpacked, washed and put away with everything else we loaded up for our trip.  Lake Greeson is amazing if you are looking for great fishing, a little down time, or to play in clear water. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dragonflies II

Here are a few more dragonflies before I head off to the land of no wifi. I love the green head on the blue body.  It was hard to get a few good pictures since they were very active at the time.  Hopefully I will come back from our trip with a few new pictures to share.  Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Short Walk

Yesterday afternoon we went on a short walk around the pond with our Bloodhound Lucy.  She went for a little swim while we watered our pumpkins, watermelons and sunflowers. She has been an amazing dog.  She loves kids and has only ever been mad one time.  She grew tired of our yorkie trying to eat her food so she snapped at him.  Other than that one time, she does not bark or growl.  She howls and moans.  Her favorite activity is hide and seek with any kid.  She is a big 100 pound kid and is even afraid of our little pumpkin patch.

 The heat has increased all of the growing with the pumpkins leading the pack.  They are huge, developing runners with flowers.  Soon little pumpkins will begin to form and grow. We pulled a few weeds to make a better path for them to spread.  Their curly, fuzzy vines are becoming stronger and stronger to support the growth of tiny little pumpkins.  We placed a few rocks painted with glow-in-the dark paint next to the center of each plant where the main root system is.  This will provide a deep root watering spot as the plants becomes larger and harder to tell where the original root system is. 

We ended the walk right before sunset with lots of high clouds in the sky. All of the plants seemed happy with their garden over looking the water. Everything is growing so fast.  Soon we will have our first tomato and pepper.  The wait is almost over for fresh veggies.  We walked home to settle in for family movie night. Soon the weather will be extremely hot and will test the strength of our little plants.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


A walk through the woods gave me a few surprise wildflowers. The summer heat has produced blooms everywhere as well as an little rabbits running around. All of the colors were so bright. I am not sure what most of these are, but they are everywhere.  I ended the walk with a little bit of a shock.  I found something in the bird house that was a little odd.  The birdhouse is on a pole around 15 feet tall.  It was full of babies last month.  Now it is full of something a little different. A snake had climbed all the way up, made a little home and waited a few days until it was time to shed his skin.  We never saw the snake.  He has been hiding around in the same area for weeks only leaving a little evidence of his presence. 

The hot weather is making all of the plants happy.  My little monster is not in the best of moods.  He has been fighting an earache for the past few days.  To top it off the Dr. said said not swimming for seven days.  So I reluctantly put up the sprinkler for use later on in the summer.  We loaded up on movies and things to bake for the next week.  early in the mornings or late in the afternoon we will go out to water our plants and watch the birds.  So far, he has been as happy as a little guy with an earache can be.  It is slowly getting better for him.  Hopefully it will be gone n time for our trip next week.  Of course it is to a lake.  Not just any lake. A lake without cell receptions or wifi for miles. Completely off. My little monster will not care as long as their is water and okra he will be happy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sunset and Calla Lilies

We had an amazing sunset over the pond this weekend.   I captured a few photos while we were waiting for our ducks to come down from the trees to feed.  After watering all of the veggies down there, we came home to the first purple calla lilies opening their blooms.  They are doing very well in their container. 

I placed three bulbs in the container earlier this springs along with a few day lilies.  The day lilies usually will not bloom the year you plant them, but they are doing their best to grow with the calla lilies.  I am super excited since this is the first calla lily I have had in years.  I can not wait for them to open up and show all of their color.  I think they need a few other friends, so I am searching for a few to plant this fall.  Then, store them in the garage so they will bloom sooner next year.  Seeing them opening up was the perfect way to follow a nice sunset.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sugar Cookies

Here is our basic sugar cookie recipe.  We have added M&Ms, cinnamon, peppermint and all sorts of things to change it up a little. Do not add all at the same time.  Pick one add-on and stick with it.  Just mix it into the batter or drop a few pieces of candy on top of your cookies before popping them into the oven.  Come up with you own add-in and let us know how it went! Have fun with  it and enjoy!

2 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
2 sticks (1 cup) of melted butter
1 1/2cup of sugar
1 egg
a drop or two of vanilla
around 4 tablespoons of whole milk (enough to make a nice cookie dough)
To add a little color, mix in a few drops of your choice of food coloring with the milk before adding.

Mix everything up well.  I start with all of the dry ingredients, mixing them well before adding egg, milk, butter and vanilla extract.  You can roll out and cut into cute little shapes or just spoon drops onto a cookie sheet. Add a few sprinkles, colored sugar crystals, plain sugar or nothing at all. Bake at 325 until done. Every oven is different, but usually no more than ten minutes. After they have cooled, add a little cake icing if that is more to your taste.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


The dragonflies were out if full force after a weekend full of rain.  I picked up the camera and tried to get a few shots.  It took a lot of waiting.  These little guys did not want to stay still for very long.  Some shots turned out pretty good and others, not so much.