Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Feels Like Summer!

Hello!!  I am back from a mini vacay in Palm Springs.  My husband was in Cabo San Lucas on his annual fishing trip with the men folk, and I went with the ladies of the family to enjoy a few days in Palm Springs.  It was delightful.  Perfect weather, a beautiful pool, great company, and an all around good time.
Yes, Summer is here.
 This morning when I was watering my garden, I was just astounded at all of the pumpkins growing!  I have only planted pumpkins once before, and they didn't ever get past the leaf stage.  These have taken off like wild fire!!    I counted at least three dozen on the vines, and there could very well be more.
You need a lot of space for pumpkins to grow well.  I made a hill on the side of the house, just outside the gate to the yard.  It is opposite the garden, but is actually in the front.  Up against the garage sort of.  This is how it looks walking to the garden from the back patio area.
 Garden shed to left, and gate to the front on the right.

There is a concrete pad on the side of the house, next to the garage, and this is where I planted the pumpkins.  It gets full sun, and seems to be a perfect place for them.  We had a gigantic bouganvillia there for the 20 years we have lived in this house, but had it removed last year.  I leveled the area, and intend to move the whole fence up about 50 feet to utilize this entire space for my garden.  Hopefully by next  Spring.
I have watermelons planted inside a drawer planter, and had a couple seeds leftover so I stuck them in this mound along with the pumpkins.  They are growing, but are dwarfed by the vines of the pumpkins
The blooms are just gorgeous on these vines!!
See the pumpkin starting there?
The garden is bursting all over.  Barely any room at all to walk between boxes, and I am constantly trimming away the elephant ear shaped leaves of the zucchini and yellow squash so that I can walk by.

I think I will have a good amount of cucumbers too.  They are coming in nicely.

I have enormous cabbages.  They are revealing their tightly curled leaves, and soon the completed cabbage heads will be nestled in amongst the outer leaves, ready to be picked.
I am going to have broccoli coming out of my ears!!!
The plants are huge, and they are now beginning to form the florets. 
My corn stalks are taller than me, with silky strands spraying out the tops, like a firecracker.

I have many clusters of tomatoes on the vines, but none are near picking just yet.
The cantaloupe are fanning out, climbing this way, and that.  Loaded with their sunny yellow flowers that will soon be nubby balls of sweetness.  Nothing better for breakfast than a melon right off the vine!
I have a box of watermelons planted in my stacked drawers.  These will meander out of the box, and up onto the fence, and along the ground as well.
 I have grown melons before, and boy were they good!!!  I hope these will be too!
The peppers, green beans, sweet peas, lettuce, spinach, basil, cilantro, cabbage, arugula and broccoli are all stretching out as far as they can go, creating lush and full boxes.

I love to snack on these succulent strawberries, sweet and warm by the early sun.
I took this picture from the chicken coop and run area.
Looking up above the chicken coop and run, I could see that there are still many avocados to be picked.  I need to do that.  Last night I wanted a ripe avocado, and there was not a one to be found in the kitchen.
Gardening, for me, is medicinal.  It feeds my soul.  I love to work outside.  I love to come out here first thing in the morning, and see what new surprise I have.  Not just in the vegetable garden, but in the yards too.  My nasturtiums that I planted from seed have been showing off their brilliant jewel shades.  But gol darn it, my chickens love to eat them!!!
Look at all of the nibbling that has been going on there!!  I try to remember to put a little something up there to block the girls from getting to them.  They like to venture out onto the back yard grass when the sun heads down.
I spend a good deal of my time out here on the patio off the house.  Having put up that dropcloth shade curtain has made all the difference in the world.   And putting this comfy chaise out here, has become the most sought after spot of all.
I made that quilt for my son Drew when he was about 10 years old.  His room was done in a patriotic Americana theme.  And it looked so nice across the end of his bed.  He has drug it in and out with him as he has come and gone, and both he and the quilt are here again.  So I made some repairs to the binding and put it out on the patio to cozy up with.
My old Wellies have been repurposed.  I guess I am becoming like my Great Aunts Emma and Ella.  They saved every container, every jar, everything!  
I often take my lunch break right here on the patio, with a favorite magazine to read.
Back when Walmart still sold fabric, I bought this bird fabric there, along with several matching panels.  I made this table topper, and did the borders and back in a Sunbrella fabric made for outdoors.  I have even used it as a throw rug in the house.  I just wash it up and dry it on the line, and it keeps looking brand new, now 5 years going.  Walmart used to sell some bangup good deals on fabrics.  I have even bought one or two, or more, entire bolts!!!  I bought my living room curtain fabric there.  ONE dollar a yard!  Crazy!!
In the summer, we often eat our dinner out here too.  Last night I grilled up some burgers on my Lodge Cast Iron Grill pan.  Greg usually bbq's them, but he came home from Cabo with an aching back, so I grilled them for him.  I also grilled some of my young yellow squash.  Just brushed them with a bit of olive oil, and then sprinkled them will sea salt.  Stuck them down on the grill pan on the bias for those nice carmelized grill marks.
Mmmmm, mmm..mmmmmm!!!  Everything tastes good on a red Fiesta Ware plate!!! When we moved Nana last week, I came home with the last of her Fiesta Ware collection.  I plan to add to it!!
 The days are growing longer, and warmer!  I went over to test the temperature of the pool today.  Greg put the solar cover on it before he left for Mexico.  It is "perfect swimming" degrees!!!  Think I will go for a dip!
I am considering running away for a few days.  If I can get someone to feed the farm and water the crops!  I don't ever mean to make it appear that my life is perfect.  It certainly is not.  Is there such a thing?  I have hurts and disappointments just like anyone else.  I usually find that when I am in a difficult place, I spend my time working with my hands.  It calms me.  There have been some bumps in our life here recently.  Nothing that won't eventually smooth out.  But I have felt a bit like running away.  So if I am absent from blogging for a bit, I am most probably up in Big Bear, high in the mountains, where I feel peace and calm.  Some folks go shopping.  I go to Big Bear.  Or work in the yard.  
Have a good rest of your week.  I leave you with this thought, a quote I love.
"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all"
XO  Kris


Pammy Sue said...

Hi there, Kris Darlin'! I have thought about you quite often lately and worried about you. Glad you were able to get away to Palm Springs for a few days! I wish I had your pool in my backyard so badly! I would be out there a lot. I love an evening swim the most, or just lying in a lounge float looking at the clouds and day-dreaming. I've been quite upset lately about family issues (new grandbaby girl I found out about through Facebook -- how terrible that I didn't even get a call. Nothing on Mother's Day either. It's so sucky. I'm just no help in cheering you up, am I? Maybe there's some comfort in knowing you are not alone in not having a perfect life behind the scenes. I know it helps me in some strange way to hear that others have heartache too and still manage to have a happy life. Jeez..I should have emailed instead of rambling on here. Hope you get to go to Big Bear and relax and enjoy yourself.

Gloria Baker said...

Hi dear Kris, I think you really enjoy all the seasons and I love it!
and these pictures of early summer look amazing, I loveyour zucchinis and the strawberry omy is beautiful!
Did you see my raspberry jam? is so quick!
huggs and hope you have a nice time!

by Teresa said...

Kris.. your garden is just amazing! I love how you've carved out space for all your crops. I also wish I had a pool and a sunnier place to live, but I make do with my crazy jungle of green. I know how it is to blog and share your happy thoughts, but we also have sadness - none of us makes it through life all rainbows and sunshine. I'm here for you if you need me.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Deb~in~Denver said...

Kris, you need a farm! Your gardens are amazing! Our neighbor started his pumpkins in his greenhouse and they are now taking over his backyard.
So glad you had a girls get-away. Sounds like it was good for the soul.
As you know, none of us has a "perfect" life, we all have real lives which include hurts and heartaches. You have lots of love and support. I have the porch ready for some sittin' and sippin'. Let me know when you're ready for that iced tea and banana pudding. I am SO happy to hear you will be spending some time in BB, it will be good for you.
Love you, my friend.

Tammy said...

Been missing you on here. Thinking of you. Hope you get to relax. <3

Betsy said...

I, too, have been missing you here in blogland. Your garden is absolutely gorgeous. It is funny how we share the happiness with each other but not much of the sadness. It does appear to others as life is a "bed of roses" even when it isn't. We do all have hurts and disappointments in life. I'm so happy that I can talk it over with God-and I have the lake like you have Big Beat. I'll be praying for you my friend.

Dawn said...

I can't believe how well your garden is doing. It look marvelous. I just planted everything on Sunday here. Love seeing your things grow:)

Debbie said...

Good morning Kris! Goodness you have a full farm there! I LOVE it for you. Your garden is just thriving! And you always think of such inventive and creative ways to accomplish what you want. You have mentioned a couple of times that you have had some bumpy roads recently, and I am sorry to hear that. But your right, no one has leads the perfect life. There really is no such thing of course. But I like to think of these "bumps" in our roads as seasons that will eventually change, and in the meantime can bring about growth and a necessary dependence on God. I will pray that your road calms down soon, and that you will experience His peace in the midst of your most recent stormy season. Wish we could sit and talk sometime Kris. I have a feeling we could encourage each other as we travel down life's roads. ENJOY any trips to Big Bear you might take! Nothing like that place to calm your soul. HUGS

Holly said...

Hi Sugar Plum. You've been on my mind so much lately. I think you and I should meet up in Palm Springs sometime. It's only about 4 hours from me. Your garden looks amazing. We don't have much left, the summer heat is doing a number already. We do have tomatoes galore and we pick at least 12 a day, I should be making and freezing salsa right now. I miss you and would love to see you, You have a place to run to if you feel like coming to Phoenix. The door is always open, Diet Coke is on tap, and the pool awaits. Love ya.

Karen L. Bates said...

Wow, your garden is amazing! It is growing so fast! Gardening does sooth the soul, I am happy you have that outlet. Being in the woods does that for me too. No one has a perfect life but with the garden and the pool you have....well, I think that's pretty darn good! Of course, it goes without saying...and all your wonderful blogging friends.

Sarah said...

Your garden is fabulous! It's finally warm enough here to plant. It'll be all plants this year and no seeds because of how late of a start we're getting. Frost advisory just last week! Gosh! I know the peace you mention when you're out doing things in the yard or creating something. I'm happy that you'll be able to take the time you need to take a deep breath and find your balance again. Always thinking of you and your special family.

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Oh Kris I share your running away feelings except I want to take Dean for long back rubs. I never see him lately he is either working or traveling for work. Your garden is amazing. I have no tomatoes yet this year. We have been cloudy and overcast half the day for weeks so I don't know if that is why. Lots of blossoms and no maters. Ugh. Cukes I have been picking daily. I am with you on the blog break too. After this month I think I am taking a break. Not sure there is much left to talk about. We seem to be at the same blogging place.

Pam said...

I am sure seeing the bounty in your garden has to help you smile. How satisfying that must be!

Go zen out in Big Bear - you deserve a break. I hope the bumps in the road smooth out soon! xoxo

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

I can't believe how well your garden is doing and how far ahead of us you are. We are still just getting things into the ground around here. Adorable Wellies too. I would have done the same. Now about finding Fiesta Ware....always a favorite. Just like vintage Pyrex. Older is better, right. OK, go relax by the pool and stick an extra toe in for me they need it after a double jazz and then a 15 mile ride this morning. Glad to have that all done by noon.
Hugs and thanks so much for your kind words, Kate

Anonymous said...

You may not be perfect but you are a huge inspiration for me. I started my garden this year because just reading about yours made me feel relaxed, imagine how I feel when my fingers are actually in the dirt! I so appreciate you sharing a part of your life with someone you dont even know but it is very much appreciated. Thank you Kris! amyjgj (instagram)
PS. I will post some pictures tonight on instagram so you can see the monster you helped create! Everything is growing like crazy :)

Mereknits said...

Kris, I am so glad you got away for some fun and sun with the ladies. I think we all feel like running away some time, I am happy you have a place that clams you, Big Bear sounds about perfect. I am glad you bury your hands in the dirt and grow the things you love, you have a lovely family and you are growing love there, too. We all have issues, no one has a perfect time of it, even if that is what they portray on their blogs. Check in when you can and find pece on your porch, in your garden, in your pool and in Big Bear. We will all be here when you come back..
Sending you a hug,

priscilla said...

Can you pick me up on your way out of town :)
Your garden looks amazing ! You are going to have such a bumper crop ( of everything!) ! I love the patriotic quilt ! I advertised for many years in Country Sampler magazine ,when I had my business ..I haven't looked at one for a couple years !
I will be waiting for you :)

Jill said...

Everything in your garden looks so wonderful Kris! I agree it can really be calming in the garden, hope everything is ok and not too serious in your life. I certainly understand wanting to get away for awhile. There r days I wish I could :). Hope you have a lovely weekend!


Patty said...

I love when you show us your luscious garden, Kris. I feel like I spent an afternoon with you just now!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh I hope things smooth out for you soon, Kris...and I do understand that feeling of wanting to take off for awhile! I am living vicariously through your wonderful garden...I think it feeds the soul, too...and our yard is much too shady for a garden now. Loved seeing yours!!

Grammy Staffy said...

Hugs from Alaska

NanaNor's said...

Hey Kris, So glad you had a special getaway when your hubby was away. Didn't he hurt his back last year(or the year before)while in Cabo? Your garden amazes me-California is so far ahead of how we are here-in fact, all plants are about a month behind due to our weird spring snows. My girls have just gotten their plants in.
Hope you have a fantastic weekend and hope you are able to relax.
Hugs, Noreen

TACIStudio said...

He'll dear friend Kris. Your garden is just amazing and as your garden has wonderful fruits so will your life...don't let the bumps slow you down, but make them just be a push up and ahead....and if you need a friend ..." Just call my name and I'll be there " :)

Lindz said...

Your garden is absolutely AMAZING!!! I wish I had that talent....I kill anything and everything I try to grow!! :(