my mini-garden [winter edition]

Y'all I don't know if that's necessarily the correct terminology for what I have planted, but I planted garlic yesterday!!  Yay me!  I planted some garlic in pots last year but then my cat, kitten, totally thought that would be just the perfect litter box!  I was so so angry!  But, whatever, that was last year.  This year, after such success with my late-summer mini garden I decided to plant two large cloves of garlic that I had!  For the past couple of weeks I have been kind of working the ground to try and get it good and mixed up and prepared for whatever I decided to plant next.  Obviously that ended up being garlic, haha.  

This past week I decided to finally plant a few rows of garlic.  Mainly because I want to.  But also because it is another way to practice growing something!  So I began peeling the clove to get to all the individual cloves.  I am unsure of the right words so this is what we are going with. :]  Anyways, it did not take very long and I got about four small rows out of the two cloves (bulbs, maybe?) that I had.  IMG_2458
It's kind of hard to tell because they just look like white dots, but that's the cloves I planted!

I am excited to see them grow and I really cannot wait to cook with them.  I found this picture of braided garlic and I would like to try and braid what I have.  I don't know if I planted enough to do a large braid but small ones will do as well!  I found this picture on Pinterest and thought it looked neat :]



Garlic Braid

Doesn't that look so neat?  I would love to hang that in my kitchen or in the chicken coop I'm gonna have!

Well y'all, I gotta run!  Thank you for stopping by! 



I've been daydreaming a lot today.  it is so nice to have dreams, don't you think?  I believe it began w/an early morning trip by the farmer'smarket and then i ordered some plans to build a new chicken coop so now I'm dreaming about farm life again.  I really should have gotten a degree in agriculture or something :)  I also went to lunch with Jessica and that really does not help any!  We get to talking about all our interests and we just keep getting more and more excited.

I am very excited about my chicken coop plans!  They were created by Heather Bullard and I actually discovered this coop through the blog Happy Days Farm

will do a fall garden of sorts along with a bigger herb garden!  A lot of my herbs are in my fancy pot stand that Kevin got me for Christmas but i believe that they will flourish if I plant them in the ground!

I feel like I have  to do list that changes daily.  It's a little shameful but I know I have so much in my house that I don't even use or sometimes even remember I have.  I really want to clear out my extra room.  I feel like if I do that, a lot of my distractions will go down.  You know, like when you have so much to do you just don't do anything? haha. that's where I'm at a little bit.

Kevin has helped me out with this distraction a little bit this week!  He has done the dishes for me this past week! :)  now, I really enjoy washing dishes, but they're kind of like laundry, the never really end.  I love that he does things like that especialy since then I have more time to spend with him!

Is anyone else daydreaming these days?

watering plants {thoughts}

I've gotten into a new routine of watering plants in the morning after my run and it is such a lovely time to do so! I began this just last week because honestly, my plants were looking pretty pitiful. As I was watering them this morning, I was looking at these plants that were such a pretty green that just a week ago were this brown-green color. This is not the first time that this has happened and every time I am amazed at what a little water and sun can do.
It got me to thinking of how awesome my God is and how he shows us examples of his love for us everywhere! To me, when I begin thinking about how everything works together and I see how everything he created is perfect. All of His creation is modeled after His perfect relationship with the church. Just as my plants thrived under a little bit of water and daily attention, so do we when we receive linking water from Christ. Jesus told the woman at the well 'But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall logive him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.' John 4:14.
Just as plants need water daily, God provides us with everlasting water! God is so amazing how He works out every detail of His creation, no matter how seemingly minute,

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an herbal love affair {mint}

One of my favorite herbs to grow and take care of is my mint! Mint is so cooling and refreshing to make drinks with.  I have a few varieties of mint: sweet mint, peppermint, and chocolate mint.  

Here is what my mint looked like the first week of March


These are two separate plants and I was so excited I couldn't stand it!  Here is their progress a few weeks later, the end of March.

A little more grown but still not enough!  I was dying.  I could just taste the mint tea and mojitos I would drink!  I did some moving around with my plants at the beginning of May including repotting some and combining some others.  So now, my mint pots look like this:


It was so full and beautiful.  I clipped a lot of the leaves this past weekend to make a jar of mint simple syrup, a pitcher of mint flavored lemonade, and a few mojitos.  I use the mint simple syrup to sweeten everything.  It was so great!  I also have a lot of peppermint growing, I think I will use that on my chickens.  I saw a blog post on how to freeze the peppermint in water to give a treat to chickens. IMG_0555

This is my peppermint in my pallet herb garden.  More on that later!

Mint Simple Syrup
Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, handful of mint leaves
 in a sauce pan over the stove, mix together the water and sugar. bring to a boil.  turn heat off and continue to stir the water and sugar letting it dissolve.  add your mint leaves and allow to steep for an hour.  Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.  Use as a sweetener with drinks.


an herbal love affair {basil}

So after venturing into purchasing other plants, I still have not found any that I love more than my herbs.  I haven’t even planted my garden yet even though I keep saying I am going to!  But it is still so cold! It is May and yet it is still 40 degrees in the morning when I wake up.  Do I even still live in south Mississippi?  I mean, I can’t remember when I have ever had to wear a jacket in south Mississippi in May.  Anyways.  My herbs.  I’m so in love.  I mean, I’m not an expert in the least bit, but I am continually learning.  First off, my basil is doing a hundred times better since I moved it to its own, bigger pot.  I grew a basil plant last year and have kept it alive all through the winter but it was seriously struggling in its itty bitty six inch pot.  I began to look at it to see if there was anything I could do for it and for some reason I had the thought of pulling the plant out of the dirt it was in.  Well when I began to pull it up, I discovered that underneath the top soil was basically this muddy/wet sand substance!  I don’t know how this came about, but that’s what happened to it.  Before I discovered that mess, I had already purchased another basil plant, which I planted in a galvanized tub with oregano and cilantro.  I found out that it did not like being planted there.  It was not doing well at all either after a few weeks.  I thought I had allowed for enough room and sunlight to get to it but maybe I didn’t.  As for now I have joined these two sickly plants that were not doing well into one larger pot and even after one day I could tell an improvement.  Hopefully I can make some basil tea with the leaves soon.  I am no expert in herbs so I have no idea when the right and perfect time to prune is. Probably right now! Ha ha.  For basil tea I use my sweet basil.  Which is the basil I have been talking about.  But I also have another type of basil called cinnamon basil.  I don’t really know what to do with it yet.  I mean, it smells yummy and is both cinnamon and basil which seems like a good combination.  The leaves taste kind of like licorice and I don’t know if I really like that or not.  I think it is time to prune it.  It is growing but very slow and I have read several articles about beginner’s mistakes and that is not pruning.  It definitely goes against what I want, I mean, to get your plant to grow more, you have to cut it back?  That is the craziest sounding thing ever!  But it works. So I just grit my teeth and go for it lol.  On my cinnamon basil, some of the stems are this deep purple and some of them are green.  I don’t know what it means that they are purple but usually those are the ones I cut and then try to propogate. 

I have several more herbs I could ramble on about, but I think I will save those for another day!

Basil Tea
Ingredients: - a pitcher of freshly brewed tea (I like my tea sweet, but hey, it’s up to you!)
                      - 5-10 basil leaves

Instructions: Add your basil leaves to the tea as soon as it is finished brewing.  Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour for it to infuse the flavor.  You can then remove your leaves or leave them in depending on how strong of flavoring you want!  Pour into a glass and enjoy your yummy basil tea :)

*I do have pictures of my herbs! I have figured out that my internet connection is too slow to upload pictures. Luckily I have a nice place I can go to get all this taken care of!

finally friday.

although I say it's finally friday, the day of the week does not mean much to me since I do not work.  my weeks actually go by when Kevin leaves for work.  which is monday night.  anyways...this has been a pretty long week.  sunday night at about nine fifteen I got a phone call from Kevin that he had his hand closed in a door and broke his fingers!  His parents and I drove to his dock and picked him up and then took him to the hospital.  I have some pictures but do not have them transferred to my computer yet.  It is pretty bad and it will be about six weeks for his recovery.  

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this is a preview of what i have been doing the past couple of weeks!  I have not liked our front yard because it really has not been taken care of besides just being mowed.  I really wanted to begin dressing it up this spring and began with the front bed, and that led into this wonderful brick path!  i'm totally in love with it now that it is finished.  I can't wait for the bed to begin sprouting it's beautifulness.  I have also been working on a garden that I need to begin planting this week or next.  It needs to be soon no matter what! this is my first year to plant a garden and I am very excited but at the same time I am hoping to not be overwhelmed.  currently I have a lot, a lot of herbs and I do not want to be overwhelmed by how many I have and just give up on them.  Because I really love them. I love the idea of cooking with fresh herbs and plants.   IMG_0350IMG_0421 IMG_1178

so that's it for now!  byeeee

i should have gone to sleep when i was sleepy.

Disclaimer: I wrote this last night when I couldn't sleep.

#1 - Yep.  and now it is 11:30 and I cannot sleep.  So instead of laying in bed and being frustrated that I cannot get to sleep, I threw in the towel and got up.  Now I have eaten 6 pizza rolls, drank a ginormous glass of water, and am now watching the 3rd season of Big Bang and updating my apps on my lovely iphone while writing this.  and by writing, I mean physically with pen to paper.  Some time during high school, my classmates progressed from hand writing their rought drafts of their papers to typing the rought drafts.  yeah...that never happened with me.  I always have the need to hand write everything I do before I type it.  I just need to see it in front of me, on paper first. 

*for the record, I do not want to be awake at night.  I like to sleep when it is dark out and be awake and productive when it is daylight out.

#2 - I had something else I was going to put here, but I cannot remember what.  Oh well, I just ate a delicious cupcake.

#3 - I added to my herb collection today!  I got some peppermint, some chocolate mint, and a cayanne pepper plant.  Hooray!  Why does the earth tempt me so?  i'm so in love with everything plants.  I cannot get enough.  I also got a garden rake. So I can now finish cleaning up my garden a little more before I get my wonderful brother-in-law to come disc up the land a little bit more so I can plant in two weeks! I heard from my f-i-l that his dad said to always plant at Easter.  So the time is near!

#4 - I also acquired a flat of succulents today.  And as of today I am planning to split them with Jessica, but she has not gotten them yet so we'll see how that goes ;) Just kidding jessica!  I have always admired succulents, but only from the standpoint of just looking at them.  I had never considered planting them because a) you don't cook with them & b) they are sorta expensive at Wal-Mart.  Unfortunately Wal-Mart is the only place around here that has garden stuff.  Well, besides Barrett's, but I always feel so intimidated to go there.  Pretty much because I don't know what I'm doing and they're gonna think I'm a nut case when I go in there and tell them what I want and it doesn't make sense, but I don't know that.  Ha ha. anyways...chasing rabbits here.  I am excited about my succulents and would like to find something neat to do with them (thanks Pinterest).  So far, most of the projects I have liked will require a lot of these little bitty plants.  Oh, well.  I'm sure I will figure it out!


current obsession.

ok. I have a confession to make: I'm in love! Like, obsessively in love.  As in I was up past midnight last night thinking of it.  Who is this new love of my life you may be wondering? The name of my obsession is mint, basil, lavender, chives, lettuce, and strawberries!  My obsession began last year when I bought an herb starter kit from Lowe's.  It came with five herbs to start as seeds and grow.  I can't remember all of what I had, but I dos till have a pot of basil and a pot of chives.  The other three plants died.  I was not very good at taking care of these little plants, mainly because I had no idea what I was doing.  Sometime during the summer, I discovered a wonderful little mint plant at the grocery store and thus my love affair with mint began!  I had wonderful dreams of mint tea and mojitos for the rest of my life, all from this tiny little mint plant.  Then it died.  Fortunately, I realized this was not my fault when I noticed these little bugs had taken over my plant.  Sadness.  So I worked hard at keeping my basil and chives alive for the winter and now it is the very beginnings of spring and I'm feeling that itch.  This year, I vowed, would be different.  I planned to devote my time and my love to theses lovely plants and get them to thrive!  So after, some research and reading of mistakes most beginners make, I did something that I knew was right but at the same time it felt so wrong.  I gathered all my little herb plants and began to prune them. The basil, the lavender, and the mint! Oh the wonderful refreshing smell and taste of the mint is my favorite.  This is proof of my love for them.  Last year, as I was growing them, I didn't think I should prune them like I had always read.  I wanted them to just grow and get big and flourish.  To a beginner, cutting them seems like a big step backwards.  I read on what to do with the herbs once I clipped them and found many uses I could do. I could dry them and use them later on. Or I could hang them in bunches as aromatic decorations.  Then I stumbled upon this little article on Pinterest about how herbs can be beneficial to chickens.  I knew then what I would do.  I have a good friend who has several pet chickens and when they are laying eggs, guess what I get!  You got it, fresh eggs.  I love these wonderful things.  There is no comparison to these eggs.  I can't get enough!  So I took my small bounty of clippings that I got from my plants and laid them in a strip of burlap ribbon, rolled it up, and tied it with some twine.  Then I took this little herb bundle to my friend to lay out for her chickens!  One thing I am looking forward to about growing things is the giving.  It is the giving back to others and knowing you're giving an awesome tasting treat!  So while I understand that it is important to prune your herbs, it was so nervewracking for me to do so!  But, I sure am glad that I was brave enough to do it because my plants are flourishing even better than before!  I don't understand it, but hey I'm not complaining!  I've got to run, but I will keep you updated as this season progresses!