Busy Times

It’s been a whirlwind 2 weeks to say the least. With the party last week and then commitments this week, I don’t know if I’ve even had time to breath! Hah! The girls are doing great though and have been enjoying alot of fun with cousins (my sister was in town), friends and summertime fun. They got to go horseback riding on Weds. and I swear Xiola is obsessed now. She was such a natural on the horse too, no fear at all! My friend said she can come out anytime and ride. T will take care of her and teach her all the proper ways to do it. Lola really loved it too but was more interested in exploring the property with her friend..hah. Xi just didn’t want to leave the horse.

After the morning of riding, I took the girls and their other friend to the Hoppin’ House, which is an indoor jumpy house playground. They jumped for over 2 hours and were exhausted by the time it was all said and done. Both crashed right after dinner and didn’t move until the next morning. It was hard to capture pictures of them there as they were running all over. Lola immediately found friends of course and was buried so deep in the jumpy houses that all I got were a few of her back..haha!

My nephew has been hanging out with us this weekend. He’s 15 and so very sweet. He just moved here to live with my brother full time. His mom is in New Orleans. We are so excited to have him close again. He’s been helping J do maintenance on the skate ramp and will help him resurface it as well. He’s also great with the girls and helps me around here. I might just keep him..shhh! And J decided to cut his hair! It was past his shoulder blades when wet, now it’s up to his neck. He looks good!

The chickens decided it was time to thin the pumpkins…you can insert a growl from me here. I had to clean up the bed and then work on the stronger ones that are still hanging on. I am battling borers and am hoping they don’t win. I was able to get alot of the stems covered with good dirt and then fertilized with Rocket Fuel. The cantaloupe vine is doing well as are the pepper plants, nothing is setting though as the temps are just too high. I’m trying to keep everything alive until the Fall in hopes that they start pumping out fruit..so we’ll see. My tomatoes are doing just okay. The plants themselves are healthy and I’ve been pruning for Fall. My bush tomato is pumping out fruit but it’s so hot that it’s taking forever to ripen. We did manage to get 3 good size tomatoes that we just finished eating today however..yum! Jalapenos are growing beautifully, but no flowers. The plants are very pretty however.

I planted more Zinnia, Cosmos and Mexican Sunflowers from seed in the veggie bed yesterday. That bed will turn over into a new flower bed and then the veggies will be grown in the raised beds and the Back 40. I did manage to get the second raised bed built by myself. Let’s just say I’m not a carpenter and have never built anything from scratch alone, so it’s not the prettiest bed but will work just fine. I hesitate to put pictures up just yet though. Hah!

The front yard is looking great and so far the drip is working like a charm. We are going to tweak a couple things but nothing major. Everything is looking happy so far, better than when I was hand watering and I know we are using alot less water.

So that’s a bit of the news. This afternoon we are going to my brother’s and swimming with the kids. Making it an early night. I have one more week off from my child care work and so am going to find things for the kids to do this week. Then starting on the 10th it’s back with my extra kids and then the 24th its full time again. The summer is actually going by fast and I’m really looking forward to cooler Fall weather.

Hope you all are well! I want to send a huge hug to my sister Carol at Happy High Heels. Just letting her know I’m thinking of her today!

Peace!

Xi going down a HUGE slide at the Hoppin’ House. This one was her favorite. Notice her scared face, she loves to be scared. Hah!:


After Xi’s ride was over she didn’t want to get off the horse, so she stayed on her while the horse refreshed himself with food and water:


Xi and her new-found love. She eventually wanted the reins and actually rode with T just walking alongside and Xi controlling the horse:




Climbing up for the big ride alone:


At first she wanted T riding with her:


Lola and T’s daughter, R riding together:


Xi up on the horse for the first time:


Lola having fun:



Waiting her turn:



What do you do with all the leftover cups from a party? Make a tower of course! The girls spent one afternoon for hours just playing with these cups…makes you think about all the money that can be saved from buying toys..hah!:


My girls being happy:


And finally, J with his new shorter hair…he isn’t one for pictures so I don’t have any good ones of his face and him smiling..gotta love the man though!:

One Down, Three To Go

We finished one of the boxes for the raised beds we are working on. It was so hot out, all we had energy for was one but we’ll finish a second one later this week and then the other two in another couple weeks. I had been wanting raised beds for awhile, so this feels like a great start! You can see in the pictures how dry it is, and rocky. Nothing really grows in that area except maybe some persistant weeds, and even they have packed up and moved North. I will be able to put everything on drip irrigation in this area (front beds get it first though, thanks to my in-laws’ help!). I’ve always wanted a bed that I could dedicate to just starts, so one of the four beds will be for that purpose. The other three will house vegetables mainly, I’m sure I’ll tuck in a few flowers as well – for the pollinators of course.

We left some tall rebar to string for trellis’. We realized we should have left the corner rebar tall too in order to make a hoop house for the winter (I want to try to grow as year round as possible), so the other three boxes will have that feature. We used 8 foot long landscape timber and made the boxes 8′ x 4′. Plenty big but still easy to work with. I’ll lay the cardboard down early in the day and then we’ll start our layers. We are planning on doing this in the lasagna tradition, but also will bring in top soil so we can get started with our seeds next month.

The girls watched the progress while sitting in the shade with ice cold bottles of water. They’d last about 15 minutes a stretch and then have to go back inside. J looked at the temperature gauge on the back porch and it was registering 112 in the sun! So it was hot and really zapped alot of our energy. Swinging a sledge hammer in the heat takes alot out of a person! But we feel good getting this started and feel like we have finally begun the transformation of our backyard. We have quite a bit of land to overhaul back there for a regular neighborhood lot. We have lots of good, healthy oaks and then some landscaping was done by the previous owners, but not alot. We have big dreams that will take us a long time to make reality, but the first step is taken in the form of a garden box.

Hope your weekend is cool and everything you could have wanted for you and your family. Peace!

And so it begins:







The finished box…now for the dirt!