Thursday, May 29, 2014

Landscaping: Broken Vessel

When we moved here there were several terra cotta pots that were left behind. One in particular was very large and I was very happy to see it still in the front yard after closing because it was big enough to put a tree in. It is also very heavy empty, much less when filled with dirt.
Over the last few years I have planted it with a few things, but it has been difficult to keep anything living in it. Eventually my rambunctious children have ended up breaking a large part out of the front of it and for a while it sat near the front door. I hated to throw it away even with the big chunk broken out of it. There has to be some way to re-purpose it.

Recently I saw a picture of what could be done and I was so excited. I created my own version and will be adding to it over time as pots become available. But for now this is what I've come up with this...It is difficult to see from the photo, but it is a layered planting. I would have liked to see more layers, but didn't want to actually break usable pots...even though the thought crossed my mind.
So my thoughts are that it will be-like so many other things here-an ever changing, growing project. The thought of a fairy village with houses is a really fun idea. Or plants gradually cascading from one pot into another would also be eye catching. It sounds like I will need to start finding broken vessels...anyone have extra old terra cotta lying around that they don't want anymore?

How do you re-purpose your old pots?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Farm and Garden: Our Daily Eggs

Monday, May 26, 2014

Landscaping: Little Changes

Even a few little changes to landscaping can help. Every year we try to make small changes with perennial plants and in many cases native plants and edibles that will continue to come back year after year so that eventually we will have a beautiful, sustainable yard that brings us joy without the back breaking work or expenses that some landscapes require.

This year Evelyn and I came across several different plants to add to our landscaping collection.

Zebrina Mallow. It is a biennial which means it will reseed and come back the following year. It is an old flower that is always popular in the cottage gardens and English gardens. It will make a very striking background border plant along our front wall. Because it reseeds profusely, we will have to watch that it doesn't become invasive. It is an edible plant, leaves can be used in salads and cooked like many other green leafy plants, and flowers can be used as an edible decoration, but it is a mallow, and also has the slimy texture that this plant species is noted for.

We have a rather large front brick wall that is very bare. These will be a great plant to hide the wall and bring some color into our front yard. They are supposed to grow up to five feet tall.This year we only bought tw I am looking forward to seeing how they fit in over the next couple of years. For Mother's Day, Nathan and I put this found metal piece in the ground for a trellis. I'm not sure yet what will be put there, but something ...

We also picked up some Coral Bells and Hostas  for the area just inside of the brick wall. It has been bare for far too long and really needed to have something to brighten up this area and make it more welcoming...I think the brick wall needs a good scrub too, but I don't think that will happen this year.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cub Scout Camp...Take Two

Oh the Joy!
Take two, because that is how many Matt got to take this year. Jacob has finally made it! This year has been  strongly anticipated for several years now. Jacob has begged and begged to be big enough to go to summer camp and be big enough to be a cub scout like his brothers.
The smile on his face through the truck window was just so cute as they drove away to begin a new adventure and new chapter in his life.

I have to point out the style this guys has...not many people can pull off an outfit like this one. Plaid pants and a uniform shirt...classic.

Our Chief Safety Officer
making sure things are
done right
Noah is a veteran this year beginning his first year as a Webelos I. This year begins his journey as a transitional scout learning to become a Boy Scout and become more independent. He has grown so much this year. He now has his whittling chip and uses a knife correctly and safely, and is beginning to show some leadership skills...and proudly I have to share how well he did this morning. He escorted a fellow scout up the isle in Church as part of the observance of Memorial Day and led the Pledge of Allegiance in a packed mass; he did a wonderful job and was loud enough to be heard without a microphone.

Did I mention that TWO of my children are going to Cub Scout Camp!!! I may actually be able to get some things done around the house...but I think that the quiet that will happen will be eerie...because it has only been an hour and it is very quiet here...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Farm and Garden:Spring Garden Pictures

Herb Area: Mint, Wild Violets, and a
giant plantain that nature provided.
Everything is growing well so far this year. As an experiment over the last few years we have been trying to grow our garden in a couple of ways. One I am trying to grow it as more of a companion garden with a mixture of plants as edible ground cover, the larger plants dispersed between and tall vining plants trellised behind.
Many Mini Strawberries
Also, we have been intermingling the plants, herbs, and flowers in an effort to keep pests at bay. So far it seems to be working pretty well. It's not perfect, and it is quite messy looking at times, and difficult to navigate right now, but I am hoping that eventually as time goes by and the garden area matures, we will have things more workable with paths that allow easier access.My hope is to eventually create a landscape that is actually beautiful and functional and edible. The most difficult thing is trying to decide which plants to keep where they are and which to move or get rid of. Tree placement/removal has proven the most difficult task because although the the tree cover is wonderful it affects the kinds of things we can grow and the yields we get from the plants that we have.
A day in the Strawberry Patch
 We ate our first pea pods in a salad this week. Some of our salad also came from the garden. We were able to pick baby kale, lettuce, endive, the peas, and some strawberries.
The herbs are wonderful this year and we are beginning to actually use some of it this year. The mint has taken over the box it was planted in and the kids and I have been enjoying mint water and just eating the leaves out of the garden as a little snack...although I'm not sure I would actually call it a snack.
Garden Flower
There is also lots of lamb's was a gift. I'm not exactly sure what you do with it, I guess it will require a little study. It is really pretty and looks like it will flower this year.

Garden Helper
We planted lots of cucumber plants this week and they has a bit of a rough start because of the sudden cold snap we had this past's odd for this time of year, but very welcome because it will be sweltering before we are ready.

The tomatoes are coming along well and we are anticipating having lots of lovely tomatoes this year with lots of variety...reds some pinks, some yellows, and this year we are trying a zebra striped yellow/green variety, just because it looked neat.

There are also peppers, squash, watermelon, a little spinach, and eggplants. We will probably squeeze in more as the season goes along.

So how does your garden grow?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Camping with the family

We went camping this weekend...all of us. What began as an impromptu Cub Scout overnight trip turned into the first outing for the Zerangue Clan as a whole.

 It has been a very long time since this has happened, well actually, it has never happened since we have had baby number five...and the thought of going with all of our kids did make me a little nervous, but it was only an overnight trip very close to home and we need to start somewhere, right?

It was a nice trip, but you can't imagine how much gear and stuff has to be brought just for an overnight trip when little kids are involved we packed the back of our van and the back of the truck, even so, it ended up being fun and we will do it again soon, but for a while we will be taking short trips close to home, just in case...

I'd say that overall the trip was a success. No one fell in the fire, no one got lost on the hike and we came home with everyone safe and sound.
 There were a few technical difficulties...most of it having to do with huge amounts of rain during the early morning hours It wet most of our gear, our firewood, and our tents. This changed our breakfast plans from eggs, and bacon, to bagels and cream cheese and doughnuts, thank goodness thinking of a backup for breakfast, and for the camp stove we were still able to make coffee and hot chocolate on a cold, wet, morning even without the ability to make a fire. The inclement weather almost canceled the rest of our day that included a hike, but instead only delayed it a bit.
As we debated on what to do-continue wit our plans, or pack up and call it done the weather began to get brighter and warmer, we gathered up our gear and our nerve and continued with our plans and drove to our  hiking trail and had a lovely walk through the woods and got to study a few plants and learn a little about the forest structure in our area.

 At the end of our trip Jacob starts yelling, "An eagle! I see an eagle!" And I'm thinking oh, yeah, okay...we all start looking up and sure enough, there is a huge nest up in a tree and some shadowy figures...the male Bald eagle steps out on a limb to say hello.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Gutsy Chewy Review

Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet Blogger. I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my Blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, or the manufacturer.

Yes, we all do it from time to time, some of us more than others. Overindulge in a meal...just one more bite you say, and then I will save the rest for later before you know it there is only one bite left and you wish you had saved room for dessert. Or maybe its a forbidden food, you know the one that leaves your tummy twisted in knots...but it is so good that you just can't help but try it again hoping that this time your tummy will say yippee instead of ugh! Now you have to deal with that tight, bloated, Queasy, Uneasy, Refluxy Feeling®...

So what next? Tums, or one of the multitude of other antacids? Yes, you could go there, but have you read the labels, do you wish that there was something else out there that fit better into your lifestyle? Something maybe that wasn't chemical laden and you can't read or understand the ingredients. Gutsy Chewy may be the answer. 

Cool Facts About Gutsy Chewy

This all natural supplements are an American born American made product invented by gastroenterologist and dentist, Dr. Doug Haghighi

Gutsy Chewy supplements are safe, gluten free, vegan, and lactose free.

These supplements contain a proprietary blend of apple cider vinegar powder, licorice extract and papaya extract(GiGs®...GiGs® has been shown to be effective in treating GutBurn and GutBloat.

Xylitol is used as an added benefit in the formulation for aid in oral health

The supplements also contain calcium and magnesium to help fortify the body and help add important, necessary minerals.

Gutsy Chewy comes in two flavors: Wild Berry and Citrus

Gutsy Chewy comes in a handy 8-pack tube that is convenient to pack for on the go.

The retail price for Gutsy Chewy ranges from $15.99(2 tubes) to $79.99(12 tube value pack) +$4.99 Shipping.
My Thoughts on Gutsy Chewy

Gutsy Chewy works, which is very important. Unlike a lot of the huge bottles of antacids that you can buy at the store, and take all day long like candy. After taking one, within 10 minutes there is a noticeable difference within 20 minutes there were no ill feelings at all.

Gutsy Chewy is all natural. That is awesome. The ingredient list is short. Not only does it help sooth upset bloaty, refluxy feelings fast, it has added calcium, magnesium, and xylitol, which are all there as added benefits to you.

Gutsy Chewy comes in two flavors, Citrus and Wildberry. Personally I prefer the Citurs flavor. The wildberry just seemed too sweet which was a little more difficult for me to eat when my stomach wasn't feeling well.

Beyond flavor, Gutsy Chewy was a little odd the first time I tried it, but it has grown on me. As you chew it has a bit of a chalky texture, which goes away pretty fast then it becomes a little fizzy which I thought was kind of fun. So overall they are not bad.

Gutsy Chewy is all natural and has healthy ingredients, that help to promote health. It adds minerals to you body that help you feel better. It uses xylitol for added oral health and can be used as a daily supplement to help oral and digestive health if you choose. They come in little tubes that are handy for carrying around with you. After trying them I would have to say that I definitely recommend them and will definitely be following this company in the future for future products. 

To learn more or to try Gutsy Chewy yourself, you can find them at the following online locations:

*Disclaimer:  Always check with your physician before starting any supplement product and specifically Gutsy Products. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your healthcare professional prior to use if you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medication or have a medical condition. This product contains papaya and should not be used by people with a latex allergy. Keep out of reach of children. - See more at: