Thursday, June 9, 2011

Just a Bit of Randomness ~ Welcome to My Life

Did I ever tell you gals how much I appreciate you all? Really I do! You all hold a place in my heart!

Thank you for participating in my summer giveaway! And thank you so much for all of your great ideas for future posts! It's great to have some direction in what my readers are interested in reading about! I wrote all of your ideas on sticky notes and they're posted inside my computer armoire waiting for God to give me the inspiration to write about them!

I'm still planting. I bought and potted some herbs for my mom a few days ago. Oregano, sweet basil and flat-leaf parsley. I have more than enough for her to get from my herb garden, but now she'll have her own on her back deck for easy access when she gets the itch to cook with them!

Speaking of cooking with herbs, here's a really easy, yummy way to use your chives and dill. Cut some potatoes up and layer them on foil. Sprinkle them with some olive oil, sea salt, and garlic powder. Top that off with some freshly cut chives and dill. Bunch the foil up around the potatoes and place on grill.

Grill until the potatoes are tender (probably took 1/2 hour or so.) This was so yummy and so easy to make! I served it with grilled BBQ'd chicken and homemade coleslaw (in which I also added a bunch of fresh dill; I LOVE dill) and it made for a great summery dinner!

Here's a peek at our garden (or at least as much as I could get in the camera frame.) I still have watermelons that we started from seed that I need to try to squeeze in here. Not sure if they'll fit or not. Unfortunately, it's been really hot and we haven't had much rain here so I've been having to water the garden every couple of days. Some of our plants are looking a little scorched. :(

I also got our cherry tomatoes planted in pots and put those on our back deck. We got our first red one last night which Lily stated was very yummy. I also moved our basil back there and it's doing so much better than when it was on our side, covered deck. I had heard that basil loves the heat so keep that in mind and keep it in a sunny place! Another little tidbit, basil and tomato are great "soil-mates". They supposedly grow better and have better flavor when planted next to one another.

I planted the sunflower plants that the kids and I started from seed. I put two rows in next to our old dog kennel so that I can tie them up when they start getting bigger. The rabbits have already been dining on some of them (as well as on our beans in our garden which we had to replant the other night) so I'm hoping that at least some of them survive. I'd really like to have enough to be able to roast them and I'd also like to have enough to hang out for the birds to enjoy. This is my first experience growing sunflowers so it's very experimental (as is most of my gardening!)

And that leads me to a bit of encouragment for you all. If you're feeling intimidated by gardening, don't! Just try it! Get your hands into that dirt and experiment! You'll eventually figure out what works best in your area and in your soil. And it also helps to have a couple of books on hand or use the internet to do a little research! Don't let lack of knowledge or experience hold you back from growing your own food!

Any if you don't have the yard to grow a garden in, then get your little tooshie to the store and buy some pots. Fill those pots up with veggies and herbs and grow them on your porch. There's no rule that says you have to have a big garden in your backyard. Sure that's wonderful and a huge blessing that I enjoy, but it's also wonderful to be willing to work with the area you have! Don't let lack of yard hinder you from gardening.

And oh, baby! I've been enjoying some of this wonderful summer fruit! It's been too long...

We've been enjoying bike riding. It's so nice that all of our kids are now able to ride independently. We ride along the river at our local Rails-to-Trails. It's such a nice, shady ride. And it's flat which really is helpful when you're riding with young children. Do you all have Rails-to-Trails in your area or is that just a PA thing? In case you don't know what it is, the trails are old railroad lines that the government has repurposed into walking/bike trails. It's such a nice commodity to have nearby!

My kids are big flower-pickers! I always seem to have either a handful or pocketful of flowers when we're outside...

We took a ride down to the creek on Monday. Want a great, free, fun activity for your kids this summer? Do you have a creek nearby? Utilize it! My parents (who live right next door) have an inground pool, but my kids have just as much, if not more, fun in the creek!

My sister has one of those big, multiple-passenger quad thingies (can't remember what they're called) and so we all jumped in and rode down to the creek.

This is my cousin's son with Ian and I, who informed me on our way down that he was my fourth son since he had been at our house every day for the last five days since he had finished school. I informed him that he was my fourth child (I only have two sons), my third honorary-adopted son. I love this kid! Him and Ian are such close buddies, and I really do enjoy having him around! He lives next door so I foresee him and Ian spending a lot of time together this summer!

I just absolutely love the area we live in. I grew up here, and I used to find it just ordinary. There was a time in my life when I desired to move away and experience something different. I used to wish that I lived in a suburban subdivision. And although there is absolutely nothing wrong with suburban subdivisions, I am so over that phase of my life and so grateful for my country-living life! It's really beautiful out here. Something I tend to overlook until I really force myself to slow down and look around. We really are blessed! (And I have really grown to appreciate living out in the "boonies!")

Here are some pics from our creek time...

And do you remember that old playhouse we confiscated from my sister-in-law's property? Oh, boy was she in a sorry state!

Well, here she is in all her girly glory...

Well, I'm off to start the day!

Have a blessed Thursday!


Just Another Day In Paradise said...

Oh, Im so envious of your huge garden! LOVE it.
Summer fun has begun for you!
I have never heard of rails to trails, but it sounds great!

Becky said...

Your garden looks wonderful! I have such a black thumb, there is no way I could ever grow anything worth eating.

It looks like you guys are having a fun summer so far! I've always envied country life. I'll just live vicariously through you!


Gary and Tina Bell said...


Just when I think "this is your best post yet" there you go again. I am always so inspired when I read your posts. I also live in the country and some day I will have a garden. Sounds like maybe I should get started with the pots.
Thanks for be an encourager.


April said...

You have encouraged me to grow my own fresh herbs too. Think I may try it next spring! Had a blast at the creek. Can't wait to do it again.

Anonymous said...

Loved your recipe for grilled potatoes with chives and dill...going to try it this week! Since you like dill I have a fabulous dill bread recipe I'll send to you...that is if you don't already have one! LOL :o) It is delicious!