Category Archives: Arkansas

Yesterday’s Harvest

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August 12, 2017 · 5:55 pm

Foy is Still Working

This is Foy Brown driving the tractor up and over the edge of the civilized part of our back yard yesterday. He told us he would be back this morning, and my husband said he would help him air up a low tire on the tractor before starting. He’s out there working in the hot as I type, trying to finish up our fire break today.

Up on top of a ridge line, we don’t have to worry about floods – flash or otherwise. We don’t have hurricanes here, or storm surges from the ocean. We do have to worry about lightning, tornadoes, high wind, and wild fires.

We do all we can to protect ourselves from lightning strikes. One year we lost our whole entertainment center plus a couple of appliances due to a lightning strike nearby. We’ve since built in some better protection.

Wild fires are the next most likely threat. About 7 years ago we hired a nice man to run his bulldozer over things to create a break. He died, and we hadn’t been able to find anyone who had equipment or interest in helping us redo the break until now.

Our view will be opened up, which is a truly enjoyable thing. The peace of mind that we’ve lowered our risks a bit in the event of a wild fire is beyond price.  When Foy is finished, I’ll follow up his good efforts with the weed killer we got recently. It’s a concentrate, and we have a good 3 gallon sprayer to use. Foy did mention he saw a copperhead in the rocks – so I’ll be sure to wear boots and pay attention.

Amber has been upset that she lost her good, high grass for taking care of business; but with 8 acres, we think she can probably find several other good spots…

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Progress on the Fire Break?

Our good “man-for-all-sorts-of-difficult-jobs” Foy Brown came over at 8:30 this morning, tractor part in hand. He had to order it from Kansas City and it took all week for it to arrive.

His tractor looks similar to this one. It also has an 8 foot wide brush hog attachment on the back.

At the beginning of last week he brush hogged our side yard, around the greenhouse and over the place we need to construct the ham radio tower. He started brush hogging a fire break for us in the back, but broke a hydraulic part. He and my husband went all over Greenwood, and then Fort Smith, trying to find a replacement, but were unable to. So Foy ordered it.

He’s out in the back now, trying to install the part and get the tractor going.

His wife, Judy, was sitting in the car when I came out. I invited her in for coffee, but she had her little dog, the newspaper, and seemed quite content. She said she would stay until she heard the tractor going – after making sure Foy has his bottle of water, hat, etc.

Hopefully he can get the tractor going and get the fire break done today. It’s too hot to be spending days outside around here. We’ll watch to make sure he takes breaks and is all right.

Fingers crossed he can get the tractor going!

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Tomato Harvest 7-18 – 2017

Well, I pruned the tomatoes in the nook planter, taking out a LOT of particularly the plant on the left side of the planter. Then I moved to the 8 foot brick planter to the east of the house where the other tomato plants are, pruning them. I got pretty ruthless, because I want all the nutrients and energy going to the parts of the plants that might actually produce.

The plants don’t look pretty now, but it looks like they’re responding to the pruning, fertilizer and Seven I put on them about a week ago.

Here is today’s harvest. We’re really pleased with our crop this year. We’ve been oohing and ahhhing at lunch and dinner, eating a BUNCH of sliced ripe tomatoes at every meal except for breakfast. We particularly enjoy giving people we like bags of tomatoes, since we have more than we can eat. (I now know how to can, but I hate to give any of them up when I can eat them fresh off the vine.)

Our friends Laufrain and Dave (our friends and bowling buddies) were telling us last night how pretty the tomatoes were and how good they tasted. :0)

We also gave some to our driller and brush hog master, Foy, and his wife, Judy.

Who can ask for more from a bit of work to grow them?

Sheer luxury!!!

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Mid Summer Tomatoes

This was a harvest of a few days ago. I harvested again yesterday, but I didn’t get a picture of them.

Each year I’m learning that I don’t know anything about growing tomatoes.

It’s basically a matter of luck. Sometimes I lose the plants because of wonky weather. Other times tomato caterpillars eat them. Sometimes they just die for no reason I can think of. Sometimes things start out great and then ‘something happens’ cutting the season really short.

This year we’ve been lucky so far. My husband and I decided that if  ‘something happens’ and this is the end of our crop for the year, we’ve had a good year. We’ve had delicious tomatoes to enjoy with lunches and dinners, plus more that we could give to some of our friends. To our idea, it doesn’t get any better than this.

  • I learned this year that I’m not supposed to let any leaves of the plants touch the ground. I think cutting off the lower branches helps in disease control.
  • I also learned from my friend, Laufrain, to find suckers. Before the season is over – when my greenhouse will stay some reasonable temperature and not cook me and my plants, I’ll try to get the suckers to grow. Maybe I can have tomatoes in the fall!

A giant came and sat in the middle of my two tomato plants in the nook planter beside the porch. I can see no other reason that there was a huge depression suddenly in the middle of the plants and things were turning yellow.

I decided that I needed to prune all the dead and dying parts off. What was left I fertilized and then sprinkled with Sevin. Since I was harvesting tomatoes yesterday from these plants, and there are more trying to ripen, I’m hoping that my actions yesterday will save the plants and keep them producing. Fingers crossed.

 

This is the nook planter. As you can see, I had to prune a LOT of the plant on the left.  This is the best I know to do for the poor plants that were looking good only a week ago!

 

These are the tomato plants in the 8 foot brick planter to the east of the house. If you look carefully, you can see the greenhouse in the background. :0)

I’ll prune these plants tonight. They’re not looking bad, as the nook plants were, but they have leaves on the ground and have limbs hanging all over the place.

I’m learning a lot of what NOT to do again each year. This year, though, I’m beginning to learn more of what TO do!

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Lucky

NMgnCP.com

We had several impressive rain storms yesterday, into the evening, and overnight. Our greenhouse is still standing. We just had a leak on the back porch. People in the Rye Hill area of Fort Smith, AR weren’t so lucky.

The adjuster came early this morning to check us out. Our roof is fine, thank goodness. There is some hail damage on the wind turbines, but no problem with that. After careful looking inside and on the roof, the adjuster said he thinks that some FlexSeal – or similar product – sprayed heavily along the seam where the main roof meets the roof of the porch will stop the leak.  The damage inside isn’t much and we may just ignore it.

The poor adjuster has a long day ahead of him. He had 14 calls to make today. He said he would probably be busy with the calls they got last night for the next couple of months.  At least he has job security…

 

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Good, Rainy Morning!

Richard Parker via Daily Mail

It’s a gloriously rainy morning here in Greenwood, Arkansas! It has been really hot lately, so today is a welcomed reprieve from what may be a record summer. The forecast is for storms off and on all day and into the evening, with some of them being possibly severe. I can do without the ‘severe,’ but welcome the water and the cooler temperatures.

This will be a good test of the solidity of our new greenhouse, too. We couldn’t figure out a way to really protect it from gusty winds. It has nice, heavy corner posts with the foundation boards screwed into their angle iron. The ribs of the greenhouse have two clamp thingies screwed into the foundation board on each end. The greenhouse cover ends are rolled up with lengths of board screwed into the foundation – but no guy wires, nothing really from end to end. If the winds are robust and gusty enough, my beautiful greenhouse will be history. :0(

I’m amazed we still have Internet right now. The skies are really dark. I just visited Amber on the porch and the rain is really coming down hard. I sat with her for several minutes while she fought with her squeaky purple and pink pig, running around, trying to shake it and break its neck. The fact that she wasn’t even phasing it didn’t seem to bother her. :0)  I’m happy that she doesn’t seem to mind storms, and am hoping she’ll react the same way with the coming fireworks. We’re planning to sit on the deck and enjoy the show that our valley neighbors put on each year.

I hope you’re enjoying the weather where you are today.

 

 

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Tomato Plants From Suckers – Take 1

These two tomatoes were ready to be harvested this morning. We have one harvested a couple of days ago, so we’ll feast on sliced tomatoes tonight!

Yesterday I tried to plant suckers in order to grow new tomato plants.

“Tomato suckers, or side shoots, are the growth that appears in the crotch between the stem and a branch. (See photo above.) If left to grow, they will become another main stem with branches, flowers, fruit and more suckers of their own.”

I carefully gathered several suckers, went to my greenhouse where I had pots of Mel’s Mix ready, moistened the bottom of each sucker in water and then stuck it in rooting hormone  (shaking off the excess) and put the suckers in the pots. I then watered the pots. It was really hot in the greenhouse so I left the thermostat-controlled exhaust fan on.

 

This is what the thermometer in the greenhouse showed this morning, although it didn’t feel that bad. The exhaust fan is set to start and run when the temperature inside the greenhouse is 90 degrees F. or higher. It was off. The outside temperature is 77 right now.

 

As you can see, Trial 1 was a failure.  I chose and cut the suckers carefully. The fact that I planted in the heat of the day, rather than in the morning or right before dark may have been a factor. I read the directions on the rooting hormone and followed them carefully, so I don’t think that’s the problem. The fact that the thermometer is reading so high vs the exhaust fan being off may be a factor. I may bring the thermometer in and see if it’s working correctly. *

*It’s now about 45 minutes later. I brought the thermometer inside and my husband shook it. It has red dye now in the bottom of the package. Apparently, the temperature in the greenhouse blew its top off. We’ll hunt for a different style today while we’re out.

On a happier note – I harvested the first of the experiment to try to grow celery from the bottoms cut off stalks bought at the store.

 

 

I cut off the bottom of the stalks of celery I bought at the store and put each in a glass of water. These need to grow a bit more before they’re ready to be taken out to the garden and planted. (If you look carefully, you can see that in the glass that’s second from the left, I’ve put the end of a head of lettuce in a glass, just for giggles.)

 

The celery plants are bushy, rather than looking like what you get at the store. I cut the largest stalks, leaving the smaller ones to hopefully grow.

 

There is a LOT of greenery on each stalk. I washed everything, then cut off the stalks into usable pieces, washed them again, and then took the bowl of cut celery to my husband in the living room where we each tried one. Oddly enough, they taste like celery! :0)

I’m like a kid at Christmas. After several tries and several failures, I’m actually growing edible celery! Woo HOOOO!

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And How Does Our Garden Grow?

Huffington Post

 

This is one of the celery plants in my garden that I started from the end of a stalk I bought at the store. I’m going to cut some of the stalks today and see if they taste good.

 

This is one of two spaghetti squash vines I have growing right now. I grew this from a seed I saved from a squash I bought at the store. It’s a bit larger than a softball now.

 

We have lots of green tomatoes, and this one ripening one. It should be ready to bring in in a couple of days.

 

 

Here are two celery plants that have been growing in water in my kitchen. These are ready to be planted in the garden.

 

Can tomatoes be ‘cute?’ If so, I think THESE are. These are grape tomatoes and this is today’s harvest. It may be awhile before I have enough for a salad….

And finally, this is the first thing I’ll do in my new greenhouse – try to grow tomato plants from suckers.

A ‘sucker’ is a sprout from the juncture of two branches. If you look carefully at this picture, you can find the juncture of the tall vertical branch on the right side of the picture and the horizontal branch going out to the left at the bottom of the picture. The ‘sucker’ is the smaller branch with leaves growing right out of the juncture.

 

In the next few days I’ll get some glasses in the greenhouse so I can put the suckers in the water and see if they’ll sprout. Fingers crossed!

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Too Darned Hot!

Dumb Photos

It’s supposed to get to 95 degrees today and the humidity is 64%. According to my heat index calculator, that’s 117 degrees F. Too darned hot!

I want to work in my new greenhouse, trying to get it organized reasonably, and I also need to cut down what we call, “Weed Trees” that line up across the back of our yard and cut off our view.  We’re going to Lunch Bunch very soon, but after that I’ll work in short spurts, coming in to enjoy the air conditioning, drink lots of water, etc.

This will be at least a 2-shampoo and shower day…

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1st Tomato Harvest

Yesterday the first tomatoes were ripe enough to pick. I saw a couple that will be ready in a few days, too. We feel rich!

This is a wonderful time of the year for us. We LOVE going out to test the tomatoes to see if any more are ready to come in and be devoured.

We ate three of these with our dinner last night and may finish up this first harvest this evening. I guess that people who have grown up having gardens know all the veggies and fruit that homegrown tastes so much better than what you can buy at the store, but the only one I personally know about is tomatoes.

I wish you were here so I could share with you

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

“Love is the Flower…”

“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.” – John Lennon

 

This nice bunch of lilies is almost finished for the year. It looks like a lily bouquet to me, and I love the rich color.

 

Last year, once the summer was in full swing, I sprinkled a bunch of zinnia seeds in the planters. Not many of them came up, so I was really surprised to see volunteers all around the planters and across the front yard!

 

I don’t know what this plant is, but it’s perennial and it seems to really like it in this planter.

 

Phlox and periwinkles.

 

Two colors of impatiens, plus phlox about to bloom and iris.

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

 

 

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Tomato Plants

Huffington Post

One of my husband’s and my favorite things in the world is home grown, red, ripe, sliced tomatoes with a meal. No matter what else we try to grow, tomatoes are the main thing.

We built a raised bed, square foot garden for our other veggies (though I AM trying some grape tomatoes in two of the squares this year), but we moved our tomato plants to the east side of the house. We have a brick planter in what we call “The Nook” beside the porch at the end of the house, plus an eight foot brick planter on the east end of the house.

 

This is the 8 foot planter. We have six plants here. We planted two plants every two weeks.

 

This is “The Nook”. There are only two plants here, planted two weeks apart. As you can see, we have really large plants that are difficult to keep supported.

 

Here is a closeup  of some of our green tomatoes.

 

And here are more.

 

And HERE is the first ripening tomato! Whooopeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Encouragement, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Onion Harvest

The last storm made all of the tops of my onions break and bend over. They looked awful, so I went ahead and harvested them. THEN – not having a clue what to do to them to get them like the ones we buy in the store, I went to my “Square Foot Gardening Book” by Mel Bartholomew to find out.

He said to find an old window screen or chicken wire fencing to put the onions on that allowed a bunch of air circulation so they could fully dry in the sun.

I didn’t have either of those things handy, but the side of our trailer had a nice grating stuff on it, so I put the onions on there. Happily, it’s not supposed to rain here until Tuesday, giving them several days to dry. Then I can store them either in net bags or a large bucket of peat moss until they’re all used up!

He also pointed out that I COULD have simply cut off the broken tops, allowing them to stay where they were in the garden to keep growing. That’s good to know for next time.

 

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How Does My Garden Grow?

simply u photography

I just spent an hour and a half in my raised bed square foot vegetable garden. The fact that I can work in it without having to bend over a lot, and can plant, weed, harvest, and pull – a ll at about chest level  – is really, really nice. That said, I’m still old and I still get really hot working in the sun. :0)

We had a really odd combination of a cooler than usual spring with lots and lots and LOTS of rain and not much sun followed by blazing sun and 90 degree temperatures. This has resulted in my lettuce bolting, my spinach doing the same (both shooting up to about 4 feet in height and going to seed on the top.) The only thing to do with the lettuce at this point is save the little bit that I can and pull the rest of the plants. At the beginning, my plants were looking really good. Even with the best growing medium and supplements, square foot gardening, etc., some years your plants simply don’t do as well as you would hope.

The last storm also made the tops of my onions bend over and start to yellow. I looked at things today and decided to go ahead and harvest them. I pulled them all out, cut off the tops, and left them in a few piles on the planter while I came in to rest.  I’ll read up on how to dry them for storage.  I have 4 of the six planters cleaned up, pulled up, or pruned. I’ll try to finish in another session out there today.

It looks as if I’ll actually get at least a small spaghetti squash or two! I have a long vine with blossoms and two actual squash bulbs. I spread it out, allowing it to go where it will and do whatever it wants. I’ll take a pic later.

My celery plants are still growing, but they don’t look a thing like a bunch of celery you would buy in the store. I have no clue what I’m doing, but the plants look great! :0)

Our tomato plants on the opposite end of the house are looking good and we have lots of small green tomatoes now. We’re keeping all appendages crossed that we have a good year for red, ripe, sliced tomatoes at any meal we like…

I’m hoping we’ll get the greenhouse finished soon and ready for me to start seed for my fall plants. It’ll be such fun to try to grow plants to transplant out into the garden at the proper time. Again, I have a LOT of reading to do as to when to start the seeds in order to have them ready for the fall.

This spring I’ve learned a lot about what NOT to do next time. If I live long enough, one of these times I’ll know what I’m doing!

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Changes, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Too Darned Hot

It’s not officially summer yet, but our temperature right now is 93 degrees F. – much too hot to do a lot of work outside as we had planned.

We’ve decided to rest up this afternoon, and then dash outside when the sun starts to go down. I’ll use the riding lawn mower and my husband will get what I can’t with the self-propelled mower and we’ll get the lawn reasonably under control again.

We have a big light on the corner of the shop that we can turn on later so that I can at least do SOMETHING in my garden. I need to pull out the lettuce plants that have bolted, see what’s what otherwise, and plant one celery plant.

We also want to put up the last of the framework on the greenhouse so we’ll be ready to install the film over the greenhouse, hopefully starting early tomorrow.

We just went out onto the porch to play with Amber, and it’s lethally hot out there. Amber doesn’t seem to mind it, and she is in the shade with plenty of water. I’ll also take her for a walk in a bit and see if she wants to get into her kiddie pool. (I may join her!)

I hope the weather is nice where you are, and that you’re having a wonderful day.

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And the Building of the Greenhouse Officially Begins!

It might not look like much to you, but this is beautiful, as far as we’re concerned.

Our good dirt and driveway guy, Eric, came over with his tractor today and smoothed our really bumpy driveway and then proceeded to clear land for the greenhouse my husband and I are going to build.  It’s to the east of our house, on the extra 2 acre strip we bought to add to our land several years ago. It’s the only halfway level spot we have on our almost 8 acres of land…

The cleared space we need is supposed to be 15 feet x 15 feet in order for us to build a 12 foot x 14 foot greenhouse. The first step is to drill and then pound in the corner spikes. My husband cut 2 foot pieces of pipe, then we got big, heavy angle iron to weld onto the spikes, making corner posts to which we’ll attach the treated wood to make the perimeter of the greenhouse.

This is no small step. We had to use explosives in order to be able to dig our basement, put in our septic system, and prepare for the swimming pool we never built 30 years ago. We have a cement drill that we’ll use to drill holes down as far as possible. Then we’ll use a sledge-hammer to pound the spikes with angle iron into the ground.

I’ll take pics as we do this.

I’m really excited to have the plot ready to attack!

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“The Earth Laughs in Flowers” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t know the name of this group of burgundy lilies, but we’re really happy to see it each year. All the buds open and it’s like a huge bouquet.

 

Here it is from a different angle.

 

We’ve had so much rain this spring that a cactus in the wild part of our place is blooming!

 

We have a pot of these impatiens on either side of our front door.

 

This is one of a trio of brick planters that divide the driveway from our front lawn.

 

This lone sunflower is blooming between the house and the shop. The bloom is opening more each day.

 

We love these yellow lilies!

 

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Extremes are Pounding My Garden

My poor square foot garden is reacting to the cool weather, then hot, then too much rain, then the cycle all over again that we’ve been having over the past several weeks.

 

This is my square foot garden, minus the tomato plants we have on the opposite end of the house. We have six 4’x4′ planters at about chest level inside a fence and reinforced around the bottom by chicken wire. As you can see, my lettuce is starting to bolt.

For those of you who are beginners, as I am, ‘bolting’ lettuce is bad. It means the plants shoot way up high and start to go to seed. Usually this happens when the weather gets too hot.

 

When this happens, the leaves start to get bitter-tasting. I’m going to harvest as much as possible during the coming days, but a lot of work has gone to waste. :0(  This is the red leaf lettuce.

 

And here is the Romaine.

 

My Georgia sweet onions seem to be doing well.

 

My celery plants look healthy, but nothing like what you would buy at the store. I have no clue what to expect here, but I’m having fun trying.

 

More celery.

 

I’m trying to get the spaghetti squash plant I grew from seed to spread out as much as it likes. It’s blooming, but again, I have no clue whether I’ll actually get a spaghetti squash or just a lot of leaves and blooms.

I still have some spinach, but it doesn’t like the hot weather, either.

My tomato plants on the other side of the house are still looking pretty good. I’m hopeful we’ll start getting ripening tomatoes soon.

Each year I feel like a complete beginner again. Every year I’ve had a square foot garden, the results have been completely different. Each time I feel I’ve learned something, Mother Nature laughs at me.

I love the process of planning, planting, and hoping, though. The greenhouse we’re building will hopefully help me do some laughing myself! (The progress of the greenhouse is slow because the first step is clearing some land. Our weather has not been cooperating, so we keep having to move it to another week. This forecast shows you what we’re dealing with.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Harvest May 24, 2017

I’m still mainly doing cleanup from our recent storms, but I got a nice batch of spinach today.

 

Our weather has turned really warm and humid (except for today) and the lettuce is starting to bolt. I’m hoping I can harvest a lot more before the plants are done until I plant more for the fall garden.  This is red leaf lettuce.

 

Romaine lettuce.

My husband wants me to plant iceberg lettuce. We don’t get the plants in this area for some reason. When we get our greenhouse finished, I’ll plan on trying to start some iceberg lettuce seeds for the fall garden.

Meanwhile, we have some delicious, fresh-from-the-garden goodies for a big salad tonight.

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New Green Tomatoes!

QuartoKnows

I’m hoping we’ll be like this cute little boy soon, picking fresh, ripe tomatoes off the vines to slice for a meal!

 

It’s kind of like treasure hunting now. You don’t see the tomatoes until you get up close, and sometimes you have to search a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

I worked out in the square foot garden for about an hour yesterday, trying to undo the neglect due to too much rain, then my husband’s cataract surgeries, and then the new puppy. I’m basically down to tomatoes, onions, two kinds of lettuce, some spinach, some celery, and one spaghetti squash plant I grew from seed in the kitchen. I’ll try to get pics of the garden tomorrow. I’ve been using a push weed-whacker, trying to go around the outside of the garden today. It’s hard work for an old lady. I ran into a tough something-or-other, snapping off the whacking cords. My good husband put some new ones on, so when the sun is a bit lower, I’ll do another hitch out there.

I hope your day is good.

 

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Top Notch Care

“Happy Heart” – Pinterest

My husband and I have been super lucky to live in a place and time when we can get such good health care. We live in Greenwood, Arkansas. We are older than dirt and are covered by Humana.

If you’re in the area, an absolutely wonderful family physician is Charles Jackson, M.D. at Bailey Clinic in Greenwood, a member of the Cooper Clinic/Mercy Hospital network.  We don’t like doctors as a rule, but we both feel we won the lottery when we found him. He takes good care of us.

When I developed cataracts in 2009, Dr. Jackson recommended I go to Dr. Christopher Greer, D.O. at the Cooper Center for Better Vision in Fort Smith, AR.  He removed my cataracts and I was very happy. I was pretty shocked when Dr. Greer personally called me the night of my first surgery, asking how I was and telling he would see me the next morning. He did this with the 2nd eye, as well.

My husband needed cataract surgery recently. We of course wanted Dr. Greer. My husband’s 2nd surgery was on the 16th, and he reports his vision is improving daily. Again, Dr. Greer called the night of the surgeries to be sure my husband was doing well. We cannot recommend Dr. Greer, and his partner, Dr. Renner, highly enough.

Our surgeries were performed at the Outpatient Clinic at Mercy Hospital. The whole surgical staff provides an orderly, competent, and compassionate experience. We were amazed to receive a Thank You card from the surgical staff, signed by all the people involved with us! We’re sending one back to THEM tomorrow, saying, “It is WE who should be thanking YOU. Thank you so much for your competent, compassionate care.”

We’re lucky that there has been so much progress in medicine since we were born. The things we have had are now treated routinely with so much less recovery time than ever before.

We are very grateful, indeed.

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Encouragement, kindness, opportunities, taking care of yourself

Meet “Sedona”

I told you awhile back that we lost one of our three Rio Samba rose bushes. We went to the local nursery to get a replacement to find that of the 15 plants they had gotten in, none was left. We walked around the variety they had, both deciding we liked this one. It’s called, “Sedona.”

 

It started its first bloom today, the buds opening quickly this morning. It’s a nice contrast to the yellow and coral Rio Samba and we hope it’s happy with us.

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Harvest May 8, 2017

Families Online

Cold temperatures and nearly torrential rains for over a week followed by intense sunshine wreaked havoc in my square foot garden. I spent an hour weeding, pruning, and harvesting today, and another hour cleaning up what I harvested. I’ll probably do one more session out there before the day is gone.

Just at the wrong time for the broccoli and cauliflower. I found a bit of harvest-able broccoli, but the cauliflower was granular-looking and dry. The rest of the main broccoli plants had bolted, so I had to cut those off and hope for some more shoots off the main plants.

 

The romaine lettuce really surged, showing me that next time I plant this, I’ll only have one plant per square. When they touch another plant, the outside leaves get yucky and croak. I have a lot of pruning to do to get these plants happy again.

The spinach went nuts, as well. I harvested a bunch today, cleaned it, and froze it.

The red leaf lettuce plants look like small BUSHES now. I’ll tackle them tomorrow. I harvested the rest of the radishes and will start another two squares of seeds soon.

I’ll need to try to either get up earlier and get right out to the garden, or plan to work out there right before sundown. The sun is really intense and this old lady gets more than enough in an hour’s time.

I feel bad when the garden isn’t at its best. It’ll probably take another day or two before it is under control again. My goal will be to have it done, plus the weed whacking of the yard finished, before the rain comes again Thursday.

 

 

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2nd Annual Greenwood AR ArtFest on the Walking Trail

Greenwood ArtFest

 

After running some errands yesterday, my husband and I took a few minutes to see the 2nd Annual Greenwood ArtFest. It was on the walking trail, part of which goes behind two bank, the court-house, some restaurants, and more on the south side of the square.

The city has created a walking trail that now goes almost all the way around the main part of the city. Not only are there nice sidewalks, there are benches every so often so you can stop and rest. There are trees, birds, squirrels, and flowers, too, so it’s a nice feast for the eyes as well as a great place to get good exercise.

There were lots of artists. Each had a tent and displayed their artwork. The only thing that could have been better was that the wind might not have been quite so energetic.

I saw several artist friends.  I got to hug necks and visit a bit. My husband and I enjoyed the variety of artwork being displayed. Some teenagers were working on string art, and had some for sale. There were several artists displaying original paintings. There were artists who made jewelry. Some were showing prints of their work. One artist specialized in leather and wood. One lady did 3-D carvings in horizontal cuts of  tree wood, with the ring of the tree being the ‘frame.’ One of my friends was showing some of her hand-painted gourds, some decorated bottles, her original Fort Smith AR Civil War paintings, and more.

I was delighted to see so many talented folks in one place.

I’m going to see if I can make some small  ‘people and critters’  out of screws, nuts, bolts, and small scraps – with the idea that I might participate next year. I’m excited to dive in and see what I can come up with! :0)

 

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Tomatoes 5/5/2017

Since the rains came and the sun started shining, the tomatoes have really grown. I spent some time today tying up branches, trying to get them to climb the trellises my husband made. This is the smaller tomato plant in what we call “The Nook” beside the porch and behind the house.

 

This is the larger of the two nook tomato plants, planted about two weeks before the smaller one.

 

Here are the two together.

 

We have six more tomato plants in the brick planter we also converted to square foot garden plants, with Mel’s Mix. We bought these at three different times, again trying to expand the season and spread out when the tomatoes ripen a bit.

 

You can really see the difference between the plants here.

Finally, I just planted two grape tomato plants in the main garden a week or so ago. I’ll take pics of those when I start repairing what the rains did to the plants out there tomorrow.

My mouth is already watering! I saw some sweet yellow blooms here and there today…

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Sunshine!

HD Walpapers Rocks

The sun has come out to play today! Wheeeeeee! We had almost forgotten what the sun looked like here in Arkansas. Some of our counties have received over 1 FOOT of rain in the last couple of weeks.  Thankfully, though we are susceptible to hail, high wind, and tornadoes, floods are not a problem on top of our ridge line.

Now that our errands are finished for the day, I’m looking forward to getting out to our garden. The raised bed garden with Mel’s Mix is designed to drain well, but with so MUCH water, cool temperatures, and almost no sunshine, I’ll probably be spending several days working out there to get the plants happy again.

I’ll take pics when I see what’s what.

In the meantime, I wish YOU a nice, sunshiny day, too!

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The First Hummingbird is Spotted Today!

All About Birds

This isn’t THE hummingbird we saw this morning, but it is the kind we see most often around here – A ‘Rufous,’ I believe it’s called.

We were eating breakfast when the sweet hummer came in for a quick drink. He was gone so fast my husband didn’t get a chance to see him.  It was only 56 degrees F. at the time, so he wasn’t even thinking of playing in our new hummingbird bird bath, but I hope he at least looked at it and will consider it the next time he comes.

My friend, Carla, assured me that hummingbirds weren’t due here until the 14th, so obviously this little guy didn’t get the memo. I’m glad we had fresh nectar for him so he could tank up.

Have you seen hummingbirds yet? Do you think they actually will enjoy a birdbath, or was someone just playing with us when we saw a picture of a gazillion of them playing in the water on Facebook?

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Tornado Warnings Expired

science – HowStuffWorks

We’ve had a very interesting late evening here in Greenwood, Arkansas.  We were watching TV and our weather alert started making all kinds of noise in the office. I discovered we were under a tornado warning – not watch – until 11:58 pm.

I’ve told you before that my husband and I are complete opposites. I tend to get nervous when ‘tornado warning,’ ‘Fort Smith,’ and ‘Greenwood’ are all mentioned at the same time by the weather alert thingie. My husband scoffs and wants to go outside on the deck and watch the storm come in. We’ve learned to compromise over the years. I try not to freak out. He tries not to make fun of me. We take care of our animals and listen to the local TV station and stay alert until the danger – or at least most of it – passes.

The warnings have been cancelled. Whew. We had lots of lightning. We haven’t had any rain yet, but I expect a lot of it over night. The TV guys were talking about two areas of rotation reasonably close to us. One seemed to touch down in a rural area in southeastern Oklahoma, right over the state line from us. It was moving in a northeast direction, and the cone of possible travel seemed to skirt past us to the west. Then they added rotation in the Fort Smith area. I don’t think anything happened in Fort Smith, other than hail. That was happening in Oklahoma, too. In fact, they showed a piece of hail that had a measuring tape beside it – measuring 4 inches long!

We’re still under a flash flood warning through Sunday, with 5 to 8 inches of rain forecast by Sunday. That’s a LOT of rain. We have several rivers and creeks that go through the area, and a lot of those won’t crest until Monday or so.

We’ll just keep all appendages crossed that everyone comes through this weekend all right.

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Rain, Rain…

Izismile.com

 

Friday: Potentially severe storms along the warm front after dark; Hail primary threat; tornadoes possible.

WEATHER ALERT DAY SATURDAYExtensive Flash Flooding 5-8″ of rain likely.

Sunday: Rain ends, cooler. River flooding remains possible.

_________

SO – we may need a boat before this is over. We live on top of a ridge line, so we don’t have to worry about flooding in the house or the shop. We may have a lot of flooding in Greenwood and Fort Smith, though, with Arkansas River flooding, plus flooding from lots of other smaller rivers throughout the state. Spring is usually rainy, but this is a little much.  Our biggest danger up here is tornadoes. I’ve lived in Oklahoma and Arkansas (aka ‘Tornado Alley’) for most of my life and I’ve never actually seen a tornado. I’ll be delighted if this remains true the rest of my life.

The saddest thing is that the worst day for the rain is supposed to be tomorrow, when the 30th annual car show is scheduled on Greenwood’s square. It’s a fun event, with lots of people coming from all around to show the great work they’ve done on their cars, with some of the cars from the 1920s. They provide a fun day for lots of people, and then give a check to the city to use for community projects. I’m hoping that either the forecasters have misread their maps, or that the car show can be rescheduled.

Meanwhile, all has been planted and will appreciate the rain (I hope!) I’m a bit worried that my garden plants will get hailed on again. All appendages crossed that we’ll ONLY get the rain…

 

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Flowers – Part II

I showed you pictures of the new plants I planted on our deck. I took some pics a couple of days ago of the flowers I just planted in the rest of the yard, plus a couple of others I wanted to share with you. The planting is all finished now, with the exception of nestling some hummingbird flowers seedlings into the deck pots –

My husband’s clematis. This year they’re really giving us a nice show.

 

On one side of the front portch, we have fuchsia impatiens,  neon orange impatiens, phlox, and some iris. We have an evergreen bush on the other side of the porch in the same kind of tall planter, the fuchsia impatiens, some phlox, etc.

 

I did this mosaic gazing ball a couple of years ago. This pot is on one side of our driveway. I planted some periwinkles around the edge of the pot.

 

One of four gerbera daisies.

 

Lavender stripy petunias.

 

‘violas’ or what I call bright happy pansy type flowers.

 

Periwinkles in our emu planters, plus phlox and periwinkles in the pot at the bottom of the pic.

 

This pot is on the other side of the driveway from the one above.

 

The ‘thing’ at the top of this pic is an old computer. The birds like to build nests inside. The flowers are fuchsia purslane/yubi/portalaca, and then we have phlox and periwinkles in the square planter.

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