Thursday, June 8, 2017

Learning to grow microgreens



A microgreen is a green that is between a sprout and a full grown green or plant.  The tiny stalks are tender and full of nutrients.  Some say between 5 and 40 % more nutrients than a full grown plant or salad green.  With a sprout you eat the seed pod and the sprout.  With a microgreen you eat the stem and leaves.


I decided I wanted to learn to grow microgreens because where I live the season for growing greens is very short or they must be grown in the winter.  I like salads more in the summer than winter so I needed a way to get them without buying salad greens all summer.  I get plenty of tomatoes and cucumbers and so on but I needed a way to grow the greens.  I watched several you tube videos and read about growing microgreens online.  I decided the best approach was to start small, so I bought a few of these clear containers that go under potted plants at the Dollar Tree @ 4/$1.00.  I poked holes in the bottom and filled with organic potting soil.  I then  spread alfalfa seeds thickly over the soil and wet it down real good.  I then covered it with a damp cloth and kept it damp by misting it twice a day.  On day two when it looked like most of the seeds had sprouted I removed the cover which by this time I had been using a plate.  I put the greens in the window sill so they could get their chlorophyll or what ever it is called. 

This is day four.  I have a feeling that the alfalfa greens are going to be a smaller green.  They have the cotyledon leaves right now.  As soon as they get the first set of true leaves it will be ready to harvest.  I have ordered more seeds to try this with.  I have beet, pea dun, sunflower and kale seeds coming.  I will eventually try to have a variety of microgreens growing to make a more colorful salad. 


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tasty squash dish

Yesterday I made a really good squash dish.  I used zucchini and yellow squash and tomatoes.  I sliced the squash and quartered the tomatoes and spread them on a parchment paper lined pan.  I sprinkled minced garlic over and sprinkled seasoned salt and Italian seasoning over them.  I then squirted olive oil around on them.  I baked these at 350 for 15 minutes.  Then I sprinkled parmesan cheese over top and baked for another 15 minutes.  It sure was good.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hope you had a happy Mothers Day

My mothers day was very nice.  I heard from all five of my daughters and I called my mother and mother in law.  My husband even called my mother.  Then my niece and her husband called.  It was a very nice day.

Hannah was home and brought a friend along and they cooked stir fry, Mexican rice, guacamole, Pico sauce, and lemonade.  It was so very good. 

Hannah had started they day by weed eating the entire yard.  I had mowed yesterday so now the yard looks very nice.  After she did they I started the water on the lawn.  We usually get a fair amount of rain and seldom have to water but occasionally we do and this is one of those times.

I continue to read via skype with Sammy and J'tihya Monday through Thursday.  First they read their assigned story to me and then sometimes I ask them about the story and then I read a chapter to them.  With Sammy I am reading Hank the cow dog and with J'tihya we just finished The Secret Garden and will start Little Women this week.  I already have bought the Little house on the prairie set so that will be up next.  I really enjoy reading with these kids.  It helps them in their reading and keeps me connected to them.

Well its Sammy's day to read so I will close this for now.  May everyone who reads this have a blessed day, filled with health and happiness.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The garden looks good so far

So far, my garden looks good.  We've gotten a few cherry tomatoes to eat, a couple of green peppers, a few jalapenos, some cilantro, onion tops and basil.  I'm really hoping for a good tomato year because I have NO home canned tomatoes left.  I need to restock.

Its my first time growing herbs so its a learning experience.  The basil is beautiful.  I have been drying it but a friend said I should freeze it instead so the next batch I pick I will freeze and see which way I like it best.

I have been trying to spend a little time in the garden each morning before it gets too hot.  That is hard to do because it gets hot pretty early here.  Its 8:30 am right now and its already 77 degrees out.

I have been trying to eat healthier so this week I made zucchini spaghetti.  It was really good.  I think I like it better than spaghetti pasta because it has a good flavor and doesn't sit heavy in my stomach.
I used nutritional yeast and shredded cheese on top along with a few sprigs of basil from my garden.

I also bought a spaghetti squash which I will cook this weekend and eat with the meat sauce.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sprucing up the kitchen with the pioneer woman

I just love the pioneer woman's stuff.  The other day I was in Walmart and noticed her table cloths.  I decided to buy one for each table and an extra one to make curtains out of.  I also bought a 4 pack of her kitchen towels.  Here is the result.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My lemonade wasnt so sweet.

The adventures of being me. 
As many of you know I gave myself a challenge of getting rid of 40 bags of stuff in 40 days.  I didnt last the whole 40 days but I got rid of way more than 40 bags.
While I was cleaning my pantry I came across a 2 quart jar of (sugar)  I tasted it and everything, I thought.  So trying to consolidate things I poured the (sugar) into my sugar canister that holds 10 pounds of sugar.
A few days later I made up some sugar water for the hummingbirds but they never came to drink.
Hummm
Today I made a gallon of pink lemonade to take to club.  I proudly served my pink lemonade to my friends.  One friend took a sip and said wow, thats tart.  I thought, thats strange, I put a little more than 2 cups of sugar in that.  It should be sweet enough.  Another friend asked if it was real sugar and I said of course.  I dont use that fake stuff.  Well once everyone was served I sat down and grabbed my glass and took a big swig.  Blech.  It was salty.  How could that be?  So everyone else tried theirs and they all said yuck, ick.  blah blah blah.  One friend said are you sure you didnt put salt in instead of sugar?  I said of course not, I got it out of my sugar container.  Then it hit me.  I had poured in two quarts of salt into my sugar container. 
No wonder the hummingbirds didnt come.  LOL
Then we had role call and we were suppose to answer with our worst cookig mistake.  We sure got a good laugh out of that one.  
Oh my

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fancy baby afghans

I am working on the third fancy baby afghan in the same pattern.  Its the hardest pattern I've ever made.  It's quite pretty but sure is complicated.  Of course by the third one I'm getting the hang of it.  I will tell you that when I finish the last blue one I will put away my crochet hooks for a while.  I have concentrated on these afghans because I am on a time frame.  But I am longing to get back to the sewing machine.
Here is the first afghan I made with this pattern.


I think its just as pretty on the reverse side as it is the front.  It is suppose to have a ribbon threaded through the pink part just inside of the ruffle, but I am going to let the customer pick out her own ribbon and place it there.
Here is the first blue afghan completed.  Again the customer will add her own ribbon.

This is what the main body of the afghan looks like, here I am nearly done with that part.
I am almost done with the second blue afghan.  I started the gray last night so just a few more evenings and it will be done. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Productive Saturday

This has been a busy and productive Saturday at our house.

First Jeff and I finished the drip irrigation system in the garden.


Then, Jeff and I worked on attaching the lattice that we had just had tacked to the deck in a permanent manner.  Its not done but we got a good start on it.


Meanwhile, Hannah was busy building a new step platform to replace the little steps coming out of the deck on one side.  They were too small and hard to navigate.  She did a real good job.





Sandy was so proud of Hannah, she just had to give her a kiss.  Another job well done.







Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Non GMO, organic, heritage seeds and plants.

Seedsnow.com
They are having a sale right now 20% off.  Free shipping on orders over $30.00 and only $3.95 on orders less than $30.00

I placed an order today.  I have been hunting non GMO. organic, heritage/heirloom seeds and I believe I have found a source.  If they grow in my area I will be one happy girl.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Missionary update

Bush Beat BlogF


FROM "BUSH BUNNY BRENDA"
DATE: MARCH 18, 2017






GOVERNMENT VISITORS THRILLED WITH OUR PROGRAM

On Tuesday, 5 officials representing the Departments of Health, Social Services, Administration, Justice, and Public Works (building inspectors) walked from house to house, visiting our families and seeing first-hand what our program is all about.  They were very happy to know that our children are be given a good education complete with proper school books that your Love Gifts provided, as well as having top notch care by our foster mothers. 

Our 4 babies impressed them all with their recovery from a malnourished state.  We were blessed by their visit, as it was great to get to know these people, and show them all we do to help the orphans and abandoned children of Balama.

SURPRISE!  GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIPS ONE OF OUR ORPHANS TO PROFESSIONAL TRAINING SCHOOL


Fatima Jorge, 15, in the 8th grade, received a full scholarship to one of the finest professional training schools in Chimoio, Mozambique. 

  Equal to a student going to a Jr. College while still in high school.
We were all taken by surprise at noon today when we got the call.  It means a whirlwind of activity for Capena and I as he must organize many documents this week so Fatima is eligible to leave by next weekend.
Fatima gets to choose her study courses, so we will have to “fill you in” once she arrives and gets settled in.
This is a truly wonderful opportunity for this VERY INTELLIGENT young lady.  It is a 2 or 3 year school depending on what major she chooses.
God is moving! Fatima will be missed, but we plan to organize her a cell phone so she can call home.  Since she will know NO ONE at the school, we want her to be able to call us when she needs to hear a familiar voice.
The only cost is her transport, and we plan for Pastor Fred to escort her by bus on this 2 day journey to the school.
Balama is her home, and we expect to have her return to us during the major holidays.


HOUSE CONSTRUCTION MOVING ALONG WELL


THE BRICK WALLS ARE UP AND THE OUTSIDE CEMENT FINISH IS BEING APPLIED THIS WEEK.

  The roof extension will be added next week, as we took this opportunity to expand this house by adding a 4 meter (12 foot) wide bedroom. 
Still have to mount the doors and windows, as well as build a kitchen and new “outhouse” (longdrop) and bathing area, but know we hope to have it all finished well before the end of April.  This house will serve each of our families as a “temporary” residences while we renovate each home that needs a MAKE OVER.

ALL 5 HOUSES WE PLAN TO BUILD THIS YEAR HAVE BEEN SPONSORED, AND FOR THAT WE ARE TRULY GRATEFUL!

Blessings,
Bush Bunny Brenda Lange
And the Balama Staff








Sunday, March 19, 2017

Drip irrigation system for the raised bed and molasses tubs

For the last few years we have steadily added on to our raised bed gardens.  Some buckets, some molasses tubs and some cinder block raised beds.  Here in south Texas the gardens have to be watered daily.  We had been using soaker hoses on timers but it just wasn't working well.  The hoses further down the line didn't get enough water and the plants suffered.  This year we decided to install pvc pipe drip systems on timers. 

This is the front area.  Its very simple, with pretty much just straight runs.  We started with this to get the hang of it.  It was so simple to put together we went ahead and started on the back garden.  We had originally thought to use hose from spigot to the garden but I thought it would be better if we went pvc all the way.  No kinks.

When we got the front done, Sandy inspected it and said good job.
This is a shot of the back garden before we installed the drip system.

This is what it looks like at the spigot.  A few turns to get it going the right direction.
Another before shot.
The system is about 80% complete.  Since we didn't use hose for the beginning we ran out of PVC pipe.  I figure 3 or 4 more pipes and I can complete the system.

Each set of beds has a shut off valve.  I can adjust the flow of water here as well as at the spigot or turn a bed completely off.  I still have both raised beds to plant as well as 4 of the tubs so it worked out great for now.  I will get the system completed in the next few days and get the rest of the garden planted as well.  I plan to plant lots of tomatoes in the hopes of a good year and that I will have plenty to can.  I have had to buy store bought canned tomatoes. 


Beach Reach News story

This was from a couple of years ago but Hannah said its pretty much how it was.  Anything you can imagine was happening.

The beach reachers were always in teams of at least two and if they went out anywhere they had to have a guy with them.  It seemed sexist at first but was soon apparent that having a guy with them was a very good idea. 



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Working on the garden

We got the fence put back up around the raised bed garden and got it about 1/3 of the way planted.

I am going to plant extra tomatoes this year and pray I will get enough to can.  I am out of home canned tomatoes and there is just nothing like home canned tomatoes.




Beach Reach for Hannah

Hannah went to beach reach this year with the Baptist Student Ministries.   She had great stories to tell and stepped out of her comfort zone a few times as well.  It wasn't all work and no play they did have a couple of hours one day that they got to spend at the beach. 
I'm really proud of Hannah and her heart for the lord.
I had originally written that Hannah went to beach reach for the second year but I was wrong.  She did go to Port Isabel last fall but it was for a community outreach project.  OOPS


This is the group that came from Kingsville College.  Texas A &M


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Do you blog?

     I am interested in reading others blogs and I was wondering if any of my readers have a blog.  If so I would love to read it.  I know a couple of you have blogs but leave a comment anyway and I will do a post with your blogs listed.
     It will help us get to know each other better.

     Also, is there anything you want to know?  Anything you want me to blog about?  Let me know and I will see what I can do.

Have a great week.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Buckwheat hull pillow

Buckwheat hull pillow?  That sure sounds strange.  I have one and I sleep on it and I really like it.
Here is how it all came about.

I have an Amish friend who has a botanical mail order business.  I'll post his address in a bit.  His name is Simon.

I frequent Simons establishment quite often because I like to buy my herbs and spices in bulk and his are priced much cheaper than anywhere else I have found.  Plus I get to pick his brain when I have an issue and if I go pick it up I don't have to pay postage.

Anyway, one day we were talking and I said something about night sweats and he recommended a buckwheat hull pillow.  He said his wife sleeps on one because she is very hot blooded.  He said about four pounds of buckwheat hulls would make a small pillow but big enough to work just fine.  I ordered the buckwheat hulls and when they came in I made myself a pillow.  Its probably about 18 inches square.  I used muslin and made a simple pillow.  I also use a regular pillow case and just fold it over.

I have been using my pillow for at least 6 months and am quite pleased with it.  The research I have done says that it should last about 10 years.  Quite a bit longer than a conventional pillow.

This is what buckwheat hulls look like.



The hulls are loose but when you lay your head on them they stay in that shape.  They allow air flow so you never have to turn the pillow to the cool side.  They repel dust mites which is a great thing and they are cheap and natural.
I like my buckwheat hull pillow and recommend them to anyone who sleeps hot or lives in a hot climate.

If you would like to send for a bulk herb and spice catalog here is my friends address.  Remember that ordering things this way takes time because nothing is computerized.  He doesn't take credit cards.  Most people send him a blank check and when your order is finished he will fill it out including the postage and send you a bill telling you how much he made the check out for.  That seems very scary in our world but that's how he does business.  Another way is to send him a money order but you must be careful to make sure you send enough money.  He says many time people don't send the correct amount and so he sends out their order but they rarely seem to send him the monies still owed.  My niece just sends a blank check.

South Texas Botanicals
4156 Gaitan Lane
Beeville, Texas  78102

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

40/40 update

     I am on day 8 of my 40/40 challenge and I think I am going to make it.   Maybe not last all 40 days but I am sure I will hit the 40 bag mark soon.
     I am already up to 24 bags and I haven't even done my project for today.  I am only counting the bags of things I am taking to the rummage sale.  I have not factored in the bags of stuff I have just taken straight to the trash can.

Creating less waste

     I have recently come across blogs and stories about people who are trying to live a waste free or less wasteful life.  I was intrigued.  I wondered if that was something I could do. I have already cut way back on paper towels, Kleenex and even toilet paper by using a bidet and cloth wipes I make from old t-shirts.  I am pretty sure that I would never be able to live a waste free life but could I at least cut down on the amount of waste I create? 

     Yesterday I decided to make a few washable bags to take with me to the grocery store to see how much I could buy without using the disposable plastic bags on the roll.  I made 4 cloth bags with shoe string ties from materials I had on hand.  After all, if I go and buy more stuff to make stuff to waste less stuff it makes no sense, at least to me.  Anyway, I took my reusable shopping bags and the cloth bags with me when I went shopping.

     I figure by using the cloths bags I saved getting 6 plastic bags.  I even used the cloth bag to buy to bulk rolls.  The checker just looked in the bag and rang up two rolls.

     In the produce department I used the bags on jalapeno peppers, avocados, and tomatoes.  I shopped at the vegetable stand and the grocery store where I save getting two plastic bags to haul the vegetable in the plastic bags.  In other words I bought 4 items at two stores thereby not getting 6 plastic bags.  I know its not much but take that times several shopping trips a month times 12 it could really add up.

     I looked around while I was in the produce aisle and realized that I could buy carrots separately and save .11 cents a pound, just by putting them in a bag myself.  Wow

     I think next time I shop at the deli I will take along jars in a cooler to see if they will slice the meat and cheese and put them right into the jars and save the packaging on them.  They can put their packaging label on the top.  I will let you know how that goes.
     I will be making more of the cloth produce and bread bags to use on my shopping trips.  I am just one person, but I can do a little.

     Do you have any tips on living a less wasteful life?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I was out of pocket for a while

I've just returned from spending almost three weeks in Kansas.  A while back they had a horrible ice storm and were even declared a disaster area.  I got there about 3 weeks into the clean up and it was still quite a mess.  I can just imagine how bad it was at first.

While I was there my family worked like beavers cutting limbs down and hauling them to the burn site which was only a mile away from moms place.  They worked tirelessly.  I cant work as hard as those young people so I watched the children.  They said that helped a lot.

We have been working to get the farm back in good shape.  When my step dad got sick it sort of fell into disrepair.  But my family has been working very hard to change that.

A few of us have partnered and gotten a few calves to raise for meat.  We started out with six but are down to four.  The first one died of who knows what but the second died while I was there by being attacked by three pit bull dogs.  Needless to say we were not too happy about that.  Those dogs should not be running loose destroying livestock.  I was pretty ticked.  My dogs alerted us to the fact that those dogs were in the corral with the calves.  Even calves are expensive now day so it was a big loss in investment.

Jeff has been working out of town helping get a new gas plant up and running.  Its good money because he works long hours but I miss him when he is gone.

He bought me a new computer and I am using it today for the first time.  I have a lot to learn with it.  Windows ten and all.  Ugh.

I'm still plugging away at my 40/40.  Getting rid of a bag of stuff a day for forty days.  I think its something I need to do five days a week for a couple of years, lol.  How does a person collect so much stuff?

I have decided that I am going to try really hard to not buy things.  I have plenty of things and I don't need to buy any more things.  I'm trying to simplify my life not add more crap to it.

I also decided that anything I drink cannot have calories or artificial sweeteners except my hot tea at night, I can put honey in it.  It silly to drink soda pop and waste so many empty calories.  So that means I will be drinking only tea and water  now.  I like unsweet tea, which is just tea anyway so that's a good thing.

Why do they call tea. unsweet tea and sweet tea anyway?  Shouldn't it be tea and sweet tea?  That's how I've always referred to it but here in south Texas even the dispensers say sweet and unsweet.  That's just another thing that makes me go hummm?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Learning Math

I saw this idea on Facebook and made one of these math helper games up this morning.
                      I will replace the cardboard piece with a craft stick as soon as I can find mine.
                                  This seems like a fun way to learn addition and subtraction.


To use, just have the child place the correct clothes pins on the cardboard or craft stick for the addition or subtraction problem you give them.
This math tool can easily be stored in a zip lock bag.
I printed the numbers on both sides of the clothespin to save time when setting up.
 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

40 bags in 40 days

Starting tomorrow, I am doing a challenge. I'm going to try my best to declutter for the next 40 days. A bag a day. It's perfect timing because our extension unit is having a rummage sale at the Mathis public library in April 8th. I'll be killing two birds with one stone or a whole flock of birds with forty bags. 
I've challenged my husband to do this in the sheds. 
Anyone else want to do this challenge with me? It can be big bags or small bags. Anything you do is a step in the right direction. You can post before and after pictures on my page. 
Let's do this.

I emptied 8 of these little bins and put labels on some I'm keeping.  I'm also organizing so I will be able to find things easier.

 
I got a jump on this and went ahead and started today because I have a meeting tomorrow morning.  If I accidently do more than 40 bags it sure wont be a bad thing.
 
 

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017