Saturday, June 11, 2016

Beans and Zucchini

Above are the green beans we planted this spring. These are huge bush bean plants. We've never grown such large ones and boy! are they producing the beans, I've given away several gallon bags of beans and also am going to can some. We planted 50 plants in two beds.

Its been a hot few weeks, most days are in the 100s but so far the beans have been fine. I go out every day to harvest.

We have one zucchini plant and its producing too. I made some zucchini relish again. I made the same recipe last year and it was so good! I hope this year will be the same.

If you'd like to make some, its fairly easy and I plan on making another batch soon. Great on hot dogs and hamburgers.  Just click Zucchini Relish for the recipe I used. It does have to sit around a week at least before using. You process it in a water bath canner for 30 minutes. I don't use the 6 cups of sugar that the recipe calls for but use Splenda instead. The Splenda holds up well in this recipe.

No tomatoes yet, we are counting the days and checking the plants daily.With our heat, it shouldn't be too long. The plants are loaded with green ones right now.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Old Desk

My husband is so wonderful with woodworking. Our son brought this old desk  home and I thought it would be useful inside our front door. However, the drop down cabinet was broken and the shelf inside wasn't fitting right. It was also scratched badly on the outside. 

We have a ton and a half of DVDs, and I thought the bottom would be great for the overflow. 

He took it out to the garage and started working on it. He said whoever made it didnt do a good job, that the bottom inside shelf was measured incorrectly hence the  drop down wouldn't fit right. He replaced the bottom shelf and put new hinges and a new catch on the door.  Plus he sanded the entire desk down and painted it. 

What a difference!

It looks 100% better and so useful with the DVDs

I tried to arrange them according to subject but you know how that goes with an active family. But at least they will be able to go through  them easily.. This is just a small sample of the ones we have. I went through them and have  taken some out for our garage sale. I still have about another 100 to go through!

What do you think of his handiwork? I think he did a wonderful job, turning something that should go with the trash to a useful item. 

Of course, I have to hang some of my stitchery above it!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Garden News

I thought you may like to see our raised bed garden. Its doing fine so far, the tomatoes are growing like crazy with lots of flowers so we're hoping for a good crop.

 The zucchini plant has tiny squash coming. I have to check it every day as they tend to get too big overnight or so it seems.

 These are tomato plants, they were so tiny when we planted them.

Our peach and nectarine tree, beyond is the new Valencia orange. its still small as we planted it last year. No lawn anymore due to the drought. Now the water district has lifted some of the restrictions, I don't think we're going to try to grow grass with the dogs, it would be impossible at this point. I'd love to get artificial turf but it would cost a fortune. For now, we're just keeping it fairly weed free.

That's about all for today. I cooked a big pot of chicken vegetable noodle soup yesterday and then froze some for the future. I already have some white beans and ham frozen, Next I think I'll cook a big pot of pinto beans and freeze them too. Its good to have things tucked away. The beans will be ready for chili. I'm freezing them in quart jars so it will be easy to just take one out for us two. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Friday

I just listed two more of the floral cards, this is get well card done with orange roses. These really pop and my photo doesn't do it justice. I've had a wonderful time stitching these and I  do hope others like them.

The second card is a birthday one. Always nice to send or give someone a unique card.

On this one, I embellished it with some burlap flowers with a little bling. Pink and copper flowers.
You can find these in my Etsy shop at Sweet Home Stitchery

We've been busy and our garden is doing really well. We have some baby zucchini coming and the carrots are coming up. All the tomato plants are getting huge and have flowers so we're  hoping for some tomatoes soon.
Our weather has been on the cool side for Southern California. In the 60s most days and we've had alot of wind, up to 40 mph. at times. It seems like all the dry leaves from last fall have been blown in to our front yard and it seemed strange to be racking leaves in April. Many dry branches have been blown down from the trees too. Jayden and I made a game of it, picking them all up. we filled the dumpster with leaves and branches, so next week will be another one of working on the front lawn. 
Lots of weeds and bare patches to work on. Thankfully its not a large area.
Our yard is shared with the neighbor and our lot is like pie slice. Narrow in the front and large in the back. Our neighbor is a single mom and has asked us to take care of the shared lawn.

Our locksmith business which in the past has been great, is very slow right now. We haven't had but maybe two jobs this month. So we're trying to come up with some ways to supplement our social security. My embroidery is one of those, plus Alan has been selling things on Ebay. Right now he's selling mailbox locks, the post office is no longer putting new locks in the communal mailboxes. They also have a certain type they approve which Alan is selling. You normally can't find these at the big box stores.  Here is his listings if you know anyone who needs a mail box lock. Proe_designer
The link for my shop is above under the card photo. Thanks so much as we struggle every month, it seems to get the bills paid and food on the table. Times are tough. God supplies our needs.

And finally, a little fun...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

April Giveaway

I decided to go ahead and start the April Giveaway...

I mentioned this card in my previous post so decided to go ahead and choose it for April. I know someone will love it. To enter, just go to my facebook page here..and comment under the giveaway post at the top of the page. If you'd like a second chance, please share the giveaway on Facebook.

Now if you're not a fan of Facebook, I will enter you here if you will leave a comment. The giveaway will end on April 30th with me doing a random number generator search. Also if you enter here, give
 me some way to be able to contact you if you're the winner.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday Musings

I went to Michaels the other day and decided to try to glam up my stitched cards. This is the first and I'm rather pleased with the results. Its not in the shop yet, I'm debating on using it as my April giveaway.

Its raining now so no more yard work for a few days. The rain has been so good for the newly planted tomatoes and the green beans are almost all up and flourishing! California sure needs the rain and I hope it will keep the fire danger down this spring.Its a warm rain so no worries about frost.

Here are a few funny photos to finish the post...hope everyone has a happy weekend.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Our garden

Spring has officially been called for us and we've been really busy adding, cultivating and working in our yard.
We went to our local nursery and got a nice new fruit tree. Its a Superior Plum and we both hope its a good one.

Alan dug a huge hole and we planted it the other day.

As you can see, no more lawn but its a work in progress. The tree is doing well and we're both hopeful it will be a good fit with the other fruit trees in the yard. We have  peach, nectarine, fig and Valencia orange trees.

We also planted our raised beds with green beans, summer squash and tomatoes. This year we're just planting what from experience, we know does well for us. I can hardly wait to bite into a nice ripe homegrown tomato.  Our grandson, Jayden helped! I'm so blest to be able to pass on the love of gardening with him. My grandfather did the same for me.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Fig Tree

Yesterday, I was looking out of our side living room window and noticed the fig tree was leafing out. The color of the new leaves is so striking, or at least I think so. My favorite color is green and these leaves just pop, what a pretty color!

Every branch has leaves and also some very early figs. Hard to believe they come out at the same time. Fig trees don't have flowers, the figs just appear. Rather amazing, really.

We've actually got some rain and all the lakes in the area are full to overflowing. From what I've read lately, Northern California lakes are overflowing also so perhaps the worst of the drought is over, at least for the time being. We are still in a Stage 4 water alert though.

Alan and I pulled weeds yesterday and cleaned up the yard after the rains. With rain comes weeds!

               Thought I'd share a few funnies I found. Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Giveaway and A Naughty Puppy

I just started a March giveaway on my Facebook page, Sweet Home Stitchery. I'm giving away this cute owl card, I love the way the owls look at each other. This would be perfect for a shower or an engagement party, as well as anyone who loves owls.

So please head over to the page and put an entry in to win this card. Hand stitched cards are unique and make nice little gifts to send to a special person. The rules are simple, just like to get one entry and share to get two entries. Please comment like and shared so I will have an easier time to keep track of the entries.

Its getting warmer here now and all the fruit trees are in bloom. The little orange tree that the park people planted last year is covered in buds so we will soon be smelling the sweet smell of orange blossoms.

I'm not sure what we're going to do about our vegetable gardening this year with the new puppy. She gets into the raised beds and digs like crazy. Although we have put low fencing around the beds, she still manages to get in them. She also plays with plants and has dug up some of our strawberry plants.
Does anyone out there have any ideas on how to keep her out of them? I hate to tie her up all day!
She has plenty of toys and chew bones to play with as well as two other dogs but I guess she still gets bored.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday Musings

Today is another warm day here, in the 80s and sunny. The solar panels are cranking out energy which is a good thing.

The sumac tree in our yard is blooming! Tiny yellow flowers cover it and the bees are sure busy.

We no longer that a green lawn in the back due to the drought. The water district has recommended cutting watering outside by 70%. The front yard is tiny and shared with a neighbor so we do water it but only once a week or so. I plan on planting natural grasses and drought resistant plants in the future as funds become available here in the backyard. The African sumac tree doesn't mind the drought and loves the heat of the summers. It gives us needed shade too.

We've been getting seed catalogs, but haven't ordered anything yet. Its still early but with this unseasonable heat spell, we would sure like to start. The raised beds look so empty.

The fruit trees are starting to bloom and I hope we don't get a cold snap. Its happened before in the past and ruined the peaches and nectarines.

 As I mentioned yesterday, Cora was a gifted writer. Her sister posted one of Cora's many poems and I am sharing it here.

                              Whispers of Grace

Grace opens closet doors and reaches far
As far as it must take to find me there,
Hiding, scared, and fearing all that hurts,
But Grace embraces, whispers words of care.

Grace see the soiled dress, so ripped and frayed,
Stained, and far beyond a needle and a thread,
But Grace redresses me in robes of white,
And whispers, This is all you need instead.

Grace sees the dying embers of my dreams,
Ashes of bridges I have burned,
But Grace with sweetest breath fans life anew
And turns all my mistakes to lessons learned.

Grace sees my feet, as I would start to stray,
Leaving paths that lead to good and right,
Grace picks me up, and points me in the way
And places in my hand a guiding light.

I listen to the voices in my soul
Not Good Enough is knocking at my door,
Unloved and Left Alone would stay too long,
But Grace, in whispers, says, I love you more.

Grace rebuilds the bridges I once burned,
Leading back to Him who loves me so,
How can such love be mine, I humbly cry,
Grace whispers, And how much, you'll never know!

So loud the voices, chasing from behind!
Words that tear and rip my soul apart!
So quiet, soft, a whispered breath of Grace,
And all is calm again within my hear!
--Cora Eelman

Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday Posting, Giveaway Winner and Promotion of a Wonderful Friend

The giveaway drawing was yesterday and Patti Caldwell Tappel won. Congratulations, Patti. The tags will go out tomorrow all the way to Missouri. My grandfather was from Missouri, Carrolton, MO. My grandmother was born right across the border in Ottumwa, Ia. Beautiful country with rich history.

I will be having a March giveaway soon so please check back, either here or on FB. Please be a follower on my FB page, Sweet Home Stitchery, 

I didn't do much this weekend, some yard and house work. Valentines is not a big holiday for us. I've always thought it should be celebrated in a different way as the Saint was a strong Christian martyr who died for his faith. Its always good of course to let others know how we love them. That should be done every day!

I logged on to Facebook this morning and found out my dear friend, Cora Eelman passed away early this morning. She fought the good fight with cancer and is now  in the arms of Jesus. She never gave up and was a beautiful soul who is now at peace. Please pray for her sister who was very close to her.
Cora has a lovely blog, Hidden Riches in Secret Places.
I hope the blog is kept up as she wrote lovely poems and had great faith. It should stand as a testimony of a life well lived.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

My Giveaway

Hope you're having a nice Sunday. A big storm is coming in here so we're preparing for alot of strong wind and rain. They even predict a tornado or two, although I find that hard to believe. We've had a mild winter so far, some rain but as always not enough.

I'm having a giveaway on my  Sweet Home Stitchery facebook page and invite you to sign up. I made these cute spring floral tags to give away. I'd love to send them out to the winner. They're entirely hand stitched and padded with warm and natural batting. These are fun to use, tied to a bouquet, a vase, a lamp, hung on a cabinet or door knob, etc. Plus they make great bookmarks! So I hope you'll click on the link above and sign up by leaving a comment. I like to make things simple.

I've been filling my Etsy shop with new things and loved favorites. I haven't listed this card yet, but will soon.

                                                        This cute little golden yorkie

Plus I just finished another card,
it would be nice for Valentines, don't you think?

Anyway, that's about all for now. We've been trying to walk every day and are up to over 2 miles a day. I thought we were doing good until I chatted with my brother who told me he runs 10 miles every day on the beach. Then again, he's 6 years younger than me. He's on Facebook and shares many beautiful photos of Hawaii and "his" island of Oahu.

Friday, January 22, 2016

January in the Homestead

I've been busy trying to get my little Etsy shop restocked after the holidays. I got a nice sale and sold out of several cards so am working on restocking. This little Matryoska Doll card is the latest, I listed it today.

                       I also got another Shih Tzu puppy is in the shop too, he is a favorite.

            You might wonder where I take the photos, the vintage radio is my favorite location!

                                          and yes, it does work. Quite well, in fact. We bought it from a retired gentleman who refurbishes vintage radios with new parts. They live again!

Our weather is warm right now, in the 70s most days but we are getting rain occasionally. Everyone here hopes for more, of course, with our drought. The water district has cut our outdoor water usage 70%!.
We covered our little new orange tree with shade cloth and it seems to be doing well, in spite of some freezing nights. Alan talked to a landscaper who suggested we use the shade cloth as plastic would get too  hot with our warmer days.
Of course, like many of you, we're getting our seed catalogs in. Such fun to look at all the beautiful photos and seed selections!

The new puppy has grown and doing well. Bella is now around 5 months old and full of energy. The older dogs have accepted her and she's one of the pack now. Kingston who is the elder is her big brother and plays with her. Jackson the rat terrier, also a senior is the Alpha dog and Bella follows him around like a shadow. He's teaching her his ways.

                                                          She's like a miniature pit bull.

Jayden our grandson is now over 4 years old and getting ready for school. Hard to believe!

Here he is holding a fish he and his dad caught at one of our local lakes. I believe this is a sun fish. Yes, Southern California does have lakes. Most of them are man made but we do have one here that is natural, that's Lake Henshaw.
That's about all for today. I hope you will visit my Etsy shop. Our locksmith business hasn't been very busy so my sales help us buy food and other necessities.