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23 Oct

The bulk harvest of my cantaloupe, recipe due to an unexpected frost and vine kill. By far the best cantaloupe I have ever had!

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Updates on the “Farm” and Garden

24 Sep

Look at our new addition: Chicks! Someday we are gonna have our own eggs!

2012-09-24 17.12.00

And fruit from the garden.


Lydia examining the cantaloupe.


Lydia tasting the cantaloupe.


Lydia confirming the goodness of the cantaloupe.


By far, capsule it was the best cantaloupe that we have ever had!

Yard work and Cinnamon rolls

25 Aug

Jordan decided to tackle the part of the yard that I couldn’t quite get to, right in front of the garden. Due to his allergies, he wore a face mask to help keep him from getting overwhelmed.



It was so nice to hear the weed wacker just chop down the weeds under its ruthless power. Buwahahhaa…




So, knowing he was hard at work, I decided to try to make him a nice hearty breakfast (usually it turns into a brunch) so that it would be satisfying when he came in. I decided to make Cinnamon rolls from the Copy Cat cookbook “top secret Recipes” for the Cinnabon Cinnamon rolls. The dough.


Here are some mangoes that were chopped up.


Some Nectarines (you gotta have your varieties in fruit).


I love doing this! The brown sugar for the cinnamon rolls. (I love how the sugar keeps the shape of the container it came out from.)


Haha! And even the measurement indentation. Just in case I forgot, right?


The filling mixture .


As I had made a double batch, I decided to try to sweeten the filling on one of the batches with honey, instead of sugar. This one was the normal one, with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.


This one was honey and butter mixed together. It spread fairly good, but was kind of soupy.


Jordan and Lydia shelling garlic.


Lydia is such a good helper!


Okay, here are some preliminary results. These are ready for baking. These are the ones done with honey.


The two on the far left are ones done with sugar. Big difference in looks.


Here are the ones done with sugar, fully baked.


Here are the ones done with honey, fully baked. Note the HUGE difference in looks!


Covered with the sweet topping, there isn’t much difference in looks any more, but there was a bit of a flavor difference. Overall, my personal preference is the one made with sugar! Naturally, Jordan liked the ones done with honey.


We had quite a few leftover, so I think I shall be freezing them for a later time. Enjoy!

What a day!

21 Aug

Today was a very intense sort of day, from the time I woke up. Where shall I start? Oh yes, when I woke up!

I woke up with a dry, fuzzy feeling in my mouth, and as I went to explore what was going on, I experienced a very nasty flavor, and discovered I had an insect of some kind in my mouth. (I guess I was sleeping with my mouth open or something.) I got it out and threw it, and later found out that what I threw was a moth. Gross! Needless to say, I brushed ALL of my mouth that morning, not just my teeth. That flavor was so nasty! Never eat moths. Nutritious or not, they don’t taste good. I have no idea why lizards like them. Gross!

Then, later that morning, while on the phone with one of my friends from Florida, I was out walking the sidewalk with Lydia, keeping an eye on her so that she didn’t get into trouble, when I nearly stepped on the hugest, biggest, nastiest most disgusting grasshopper that I have ever seen!!!!!! I think I left out a few adjectives there.


Yes, this black, green and yellow…THING was sitting on my sidewalk. *shudder* I found out it was called a horselubber Grasshopper. (Or the people down here call it a Mexican General Grasshopper). So Gross!

So after coming back to normality (somewhat, as one can after having woken up with a moth in their mouth, and nearly stepping on the biggest grasshopper in existence), I went to go hang the laundry on the line, and stopped short in my tracks when I saw THIS hanging on my wall!!!


A bat! C’mon, seriously! As if I didn’t have enough to contend with, I have to worry about BATS hanging around my house. Gah!

After hanging the laundry on the line (and giving the bat a wide berth on the way back), I went to go calm myself in the garden. I am excited to say that I have a few watermelon plants growing.


My other melons are coming along nicely.


Two more.


The plant they are growing on.


I have more volunteer plants coming up. I don’t know what they are yet, but this is starting to get fun. Who knows what else will pop up out of my garden!


A Garden visitor and visiting a garden

2 Aug

I saw this flower outside of my garden, and decided it needed to be captured in digital form. 😀


And then discovered that I had a garden visitor: a desert tortoise. I was concerned that he was stuck and wouldn’t be able to get out, but when I came back later he had disappeared. No issues there!


I told Jordan about it later, and he was very surprised. He said he had never seen a wild desert tortoise in all his years of living in Arizona.

Then later in the day, I went to go help a friend of mine (Sharon) pick her green beans. She has a beautiful garden so I brought my camera along. 😀

Here is an heirloom variety of corn growing behind her tomato plants. The corn was probably a good 10′-12′ tall!


I think this was the carrot going to seed. Looks like Queen Ann’s lace to me!


More tomatoes. You can see the green tomatoes hiding inside the foliage.


Under the shade that is set up are lettuces. They are being protected from the heat, as lettuces really don’t like heat very well. They enjoy frosty weather. To the right of the picture is a large strawberry patch, and behind the lettuces on the fence are the beans that we were going to be picking.


A good look at the strawberry patch.


Look at how luscious and green that this garden is. They have it on a drip system, but for those of you not used to desert views…this garden is gorgeous.


While Sharon and I were working on the beans, Lydia and Sharon’s children were playing together. They were following her around.


I’m very inspired to make sure to grow a good garden next year! I need to plan ahead what I want growing and focus on making it work! Sharon says that during the summer, the only produce that she needs to buy is bananas. Wow…that’s amazing!

Lydia helping with the yardwork

1 Aug

Lydia loves helping me whenever there is water involved! I was doing weed pulling in the front yard and I gave her the hose to have fun.


She decided that there was watering needed by the garage door. Such a serious expression! lol


What the weeds look like near the front door, and what they had looked like in the front garden bed.


What it looked like after I got done.


I found a plant growing in my garden! Yay! We are undecided what it is at the moment. It is a gourd, and I’m thinking perhaps cantaloupe!


Lydia is very conscientious of making sure that the garden gate is closed!


Garden pt 6, breakfast, puppies and frogs!

28 Jul

I love Saturday morning inspirations! Jordan and Austin are putting up my gate!

Trying to figure out how to make it work.

Lydia took her chair out there to watch them, but then she ended up back in the house. They ended up moving the gate from the North end of the garden to the South end of the garden, as that is where the path had been to the garden.

Putting up the fence, and making sure it was placed in the trench dug for it, to keep the wild animals from digging under and getting into the garden.

When the guys work so hard like that, I like to give them a good breakfast/brunch. I made omelet type eggs, on a Lavash bread from Trader Joes. Almost like a breakfast burrito. I had veggies to go in it, and I whipped up cream to go with the fruit that I had cut up, and lots and lots of bacon (Jordan’s favorite!)

Here is Lydia getting a kick out of playing with the little puppy that Grandpa Phillips bought for her back in May while we were in Florida. She loves that thing!

The last shot of the day…it had rained, and we found two toads sitting on our porch, staring into the house as though they were silently willing us to let them into the house.

Sorry boys, Nothin’ doing!

The Garden Pt 5

6 Jun

Here I have added manure, view bonemeal and Sodium Phosphate into the garden beds and have turned the soil.

I know it looks very dry, but I soaked the beds to get the nutrients to blend better.

Just a step closer to planting!

The Garden pt.4

5 Jun

So I tried to get my  own planet-going-across-the-sun shot. Here’s the sun, but I think I was a little late for the planet. :p

I’ve been working on trying to help get the garden fence up and going. Here is a picture of my latest: Digging little holes for the posts and filling them with water to soften the ground to be able to pound the poles in.

Here is a line of a few of my holes. They are about 5 feet apart.

Later when the boys got home from work, I pleaded for a few minutes of work in the garden, doing the MANual labor part. (heh…I think there is a reason why it is called MANual labor.) Austin took to pounding the poles in…

…While Jordan dug out the ant poison and started spreading it around on the large ant piles around the house.

Lydia pulled out her little spade and was doing her part in the garden. (looks like she was attacked by a pen! lol)

Slowly but surely, the garden is coming together!

The garden (and yardwork) pt.3 – And company

2 Jun

Finally a free Saturday! Jordan decided to make a few measurements and such to get my garden going. Austin decided to take a brak and hung out with us so I put them both to work. lol Just kidding. Here Lydia is helping them figure out dimensions.

For those of you unfamilliar with such a tool, this is a post digger (I think lol).

This view is taken from the garden. The bedroom window is the master bedroom. That is the back of the house.

My tree trimmimg job.

Before and after raking  pictures.

Around on the west side of the house.

Lydia taking a break.

The back of the house.

btw…there are just 2 doors in the back. The door in the top picture (closest to the right) is the same door in the bottom picture (on the left hand side).

More tree trimming pictures. Demonstration 0picture of an untrimmed tree and of a trimmed tree.

Then later Jordan invited Steve and Esther Hyde over for dinner. They brought the two youngest, Adam and Lincoln. I had had a chocolate lasagna recipe that I was wanting to make, so I decided to go ahead and put it all together. It was supposedly a copy cat recipe of Olive Garden’s Chocolate Lasagna, but it didn’t taste ANYTHING like the real deal. I halved the cake recipe part, and here is what I ended up with.

Yeah, still a 4 layer cake! And the icing was WAY sweet! I need to find some better buttercream recipes to play with.

I do like the chocolate chips though. 😀

It was set to be a nice evening. We had pizza that the Hydes brought, and chocolate cake.

And…unexpected company.

Austin had noticed a mouse earlier in the day. The mouse came to visit at dinner. We were eating and talking about the mouse, when Steve looked over and casually remarked “oh, there he is.”

Commence shrieking and fainting and climbing up on chairs.

Okay, not really.

The mouse scooted under the refrigerator, and so the men all joined hunt.

Austin (leading the charge) started bringing out everything he could to get to the mouse.

Boxes, glue traps…

…Poles, etc. This must be a male dominated sport.

Most of us returned to dinner to finish. Meanwhile, Austin chased the mouse from the refrigerator to the stove, and managed to capture it after it headed back  to the refrigerator and out again. He trapped it in a box, and took it outside where he disposed of it with a good African tribal death…death by the metal pole pounding.


We all enjoyed the chocolate cake.

Poor Squeaky.


Not really.