Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pepper Comparisons

Here are 3 peppers I grow, and an orange one we bought from June.  From the top, a sheepnose pimento, a garden sunshine bell, and a sweet chocolate.  The marker is there for scale, and because we always seem to have markers lying around.  The pimentos are fabulous for fresh eating.  I haven't actually tried the chocolate one yet.  The garden sunshines work well in salsa and fajitas.

Below are my Bulgarian peppers.  As you can see, they are starting to turn red!

I have 5 or 6 plants of these.  I can't wait to try these.  

Today, I'm canning salsa.  Although I'm getting enough tomatoes now from my garden to eat, I still don't have enough to can, so we bought canning tomatoes from June for $1 a pound.  A great deal for organic tomatoes!  I'm making the Ball Salsa today, since I have plenty of fresh peppers, and we bought onions at the farmer's market as well.  Yum!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

All Dressed Up

A while back, I posted the picture of Lydia's dress for my brother's wedding.  Now I have the boys' outfits:

I think they look very handsome.  This was just a quick, make-sure-it-all-fits wearing, so I didn't adjust Elijah's suspenders, but I will make sure his pants are lower for the actual wedding.  They are pretty excited, especially since they will match their baby cousin at the wedding.  

Monday, August 18, 2014


I'm glad I grew lots of peppers this year.  We are starting to get red ones now:

They are tasty and beautiful.  The Bulgarian peppers aren't red yet, but they are huge and healthy.  Tomatoes are stating to turn red, but not very many.  They are still waiting for the heat, and I think this week will make the tomatoes happy in that regard.  Maybe I'll get to can some salsa next weekend.  I did have enough tomatoes last week to make a small batch of fresh salsa, which I devoured.  I even had enough cilantro left for it, before it all bolted.

In adoption news, we got our homestudy update!  Now I send it off to USCIS to get our approval to adopt internationally extended for another year.  We are very happy and relieved to have those papers ready for filing so our paperwork remains up-to-date.

And I have to leave you with a cutie picture:

We had a busy but great weekend visiting family and a whirlwind of wedding shower and birthdays to celebrate.  This little man had an ear infection and a cold, but he really is a trouper and stayed happy for us to love on him. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Elijah's First Race

Today, Elijah completed his first middle school cross country race.  It was a scrimmage for the 4 middle schools in the county.

He wanted me to write "Boy did he need a shower!" and it is true.  We had a nice downpour during the race that left everyone soaked and the runners muddy.  

And I forgot to post Malachi at his Raingutter Regatta:

And, of course, Lydia was shouting, "Take a picture of me!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cantaloupe Frustration

I think I've mentioned how much I love cantaloupes.  When I was in high school, I described happiness as "a sweet treat on a hot summer day, like cantaloupe".  I really meant it.  My creative writing teacher thought I was original and, well, creative because I described cantaloupe in ways that normal kids described popsicles or ice cream, but in all honesty, I really delight in ripe, perfect cantaloupes, perferably from the area I where I was raised.
 So every summer, I try to get my hands on those orange globes, and usually I manage to grow a few that taste pretty good.  This year, I was excited to have four growing in the garden.  Unfortunately, something (deer?  raccoon?) also was excited that I had cantaloupes growing.  It ate three of them, plus the pumpkin.  Large bites out of the top of the not-even-close-to-ripe melons look like disater to me.  I do have one small cantaloupe left, and I covered it with newspaper to try to keep the animal away, but honestly, I don't know what that will do as far as it ripening correctly.  And the darn animal may well find it anyway.  The big garden has had so many challenges this year, but this pretty well just tops it off for me.  I'm making new plans for next year's gardens, completely different than ever before.  Maybe things will turn out better for me.

Some of my plants look quite healthy, though, including the lemon melons on the front porch.  Nathaniel specifically requested that I grow these for him, but I didn't want them cross-pollenating with the cantaloupes, so I have them in a big pot on the front porch (see above).   The peppers are also doing well, including these sweet chocolate ones:

We've eaten a few of the golden sunshine peppers while they were green, but it takes forever for the peppers to change color, so we plan on waiting for the color change on most of them.  Still, there are lots of peppers, so we should have a good harvest of them.  Also on the positive side is that we have tons of tomatoes, although most are still green, waiting for the summer heat to come back and make them red.  We have gotten a few ripe ones, though, and they are delicious.  Also, the golden crescent beans are both prolific and delicious, so we will plant more of those next year.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Book Review - With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

I received this book on Friday afternoon, and I had finished reading it by evening.  I couldn't put it down.  This historical novel is set in Washington D.C. in the late 1800s, and the main character, Kate, is a young working-class widow.  She gets a surprise notice from an old schoolmate of hers, Dr. Trevor Kendall, offering her an exciting yet challenging job in his tuberculosis ward.  I was enthralled by the detail of life in this time frame, and the author did an excellent job researching this book.  The characters were skillfully created.  Kate is fiery, stubborn, smart, and determined.  Trevor at first seems cold and detatched, but as Kate works with him, she discovers many surprises about his character.  Both of the characters show growth in a realistic way.  Their romance is well written, too, as is the suspense over who is trying to destroy Dr. Kendall's reputation.  There are several secondary characters that lend more depth to the book as well, including Kate's younger brother and several inhabitants of her parents' boarding house.  I highly recommend this book.

I received this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for the purpose of a review, but all opinions are my own.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Red Bandana Dress

The last time I was in town, Mamaw gave me quite a bit of fabric.  There were several cute pieces, but this one was my favorite, and I knew it would make a really cute dress for Lydia.

I had some plain red leftover from a shirt I made for Malachi years ago, so it worked perfectly for the sleeves and ruffle.

Lydia loves it.  She proved that it's a great dress by twirling for me: