29 May 2016

Papa and Grandson


We celebrated Papa's birthday today with swimming, grilling, and chilling.  This is a dream of a week with our kids here with us and celebrating this young man's graduation from High School in just a few days.  He is amazing and our first born grandchild.  God is so good and we are so blessed.  We are so proud of him!  Blessings, Pamie G.

28 May 2016

More Woodworking lessons....

My sweet hubby instructed me on the Miter Saw again today and also I learned how to use a Jig Saw.  It was a blast.  Since Hubby is not able to help very much, I can do everything if he tells me how and then he can use his one arm to help a little.  This is really helping to keep his spirits up during Occupational Therapy.  Thank you Lord for his doctors and The Center for the Intrepid.  It is a long road but we are climbing!  Our oldest son will be here this weekend to help him with some cabinets.  We are so blessed to have him help us out.  He is busy with four children and we know his time is precious! 

Remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free.

God Bless....Pamie G.











26 May 2016

Be my Guest....


I teach Machine Embroidery classes for a good friend's quilt shop in Schertz.  This month was monogramming towels and the ladies had a ball monogramming their master bedroom towels and also towels for friends.  I always do a bonus technique and showed them "Embossing" on Guest Towels.  It is a fabulous technique.  You can purchase this design at:

http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/Products.aspx?Catalog=Emblibrary&ProductID=D5986

There are many other kinds there as well and Embroidery Library is my favorite company to purchase designs from!

Have a happy sewing day!  God Bless, Pamie G.



24 May 2016

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Husband!

Hubby woke up singing Beatles' song "When I'm 64"....what a happy, awesome and fabulous husband, Father, Brother, Papa and everything he is to everyone.  Our DIL posted the you tube and said she has been singing it all day....so cute!  Love that girl!  This man is amazing and the love of my life!  We love having you as the head of our precious family.  God is so good!!  I made his favorite Vietnamese Noodle Bowl dish with pork and shrimp wontons.  We are so lucky to have him getting better each day from his accident and we have The Center For The Intrepid to thank for that.  We will celebrate with the kids and grands this weekend with a cookout and cake and ice cream.  Happy Birthday Sweetheart!  I love you!






21 May 2016

Grandson, graduation and Jazz Band concert

This past week has been a very busy week for grandchildren.  Concerts, awards, etc.  Our Grandson, Michael, is graduating from high school in two weeks and will attend college in the Fall.  We attended his final Jazz Concert last night and we both had tears in our eyes when he stepped up to the mike for his solo pieces.  We have watched this young man grow from birth to now and he is a wonderful young man.  His parents are pretty darn good too and we are very proud of them! 

We salute you Michael....and wish you the very best in your endeavors!!


20 May 2016

Big Lots -- Decorating on a Budget



I change out my master bedroom curtains a couple times a year.  In saying or doing that, it is not cost effective to buy really expensive drapes or valances.  I have found a diamond in the rough at BIG LOTS.  I bought each of these three valances for $6 each.  They did not have a rod pocket small enough to fit the rods on my wall so I measured the rod, added 1/4" and measured two inches above the bottom seam of the wide rod pocket and sewed a new rod pocket seam.  I love the look of clean straight lines and the new Silver Marlin paint is beautiful in my master bedroom.  Decorating on a budget is the only way to go!  Happy Decorating and God Bless!  Pamie G.

18 May 2016

Citrus Growing and Review on The Natural Gardener in Austin, Texas

On Tuesday, neighbor friends and gardeners alike, set out to The Natural Gardener nursery in Austin, Texas.  What a delight this nursery was and it was amazing how well taken care of it is, ample staff working and able to answer all our questions.  We also attended a FREE Citrus Class given by Jeff Farris, whom is also an employee, master gardener and a fabulous speaker. 

I was especially interested in Fairy Gardening and you will not find another nursery that is so well stocked with Fairy Gardening ideas, etc.  Two thumbs up for mini gardening and I am sure my granddaughters will get a kick out of our new Fairy Garden!

A huge surprise was the Nursery allows pets and humans alike and you can actually bring your lunch and picnic in the gardens!  There are actual "real" gardens  planted all through out the nursery!

Citrus Gardening class really gave me a whole new look at properly growing citrus in pots as well as in the ground.  Two major things I learned was this:
1/  You can never over fertilize a citrus tree! 1 cup per month for the first year, 2 cups for the second year each month and a whopping 4 cups in year 3 and after.  Always a good nitrogen and as far as NPK....skip the P and K in fertilizers!  (I am headed out this morning to fertilize four citrus trees, hope I have enough!!!
2/  As far as cold weather, Citrus NEVER like it, use foam tubing from the plumbing department to protect it as well as tiny NON LED lights wrapped around the tree giving it an extra ten degrees to protect it from the cold freezing temps.

Kudos to The Natural Gardener in Austin....I just wish you were closer!!

Happy Gardening and God Bless!!  Pamie G.

Here is the link to the Nursery where you can find the address and it's calendar!

http://www.naturalgardeneraustin.com/event-calendar.html

A+ for this Nursery


16 May 2016

TOPIARY FUN

to·pi·ar·y
[ˈtōpēˌerē]

NOUN

the art or practice of clipping shrubs or trees into ornamental shapes.
  • shrubs or trees clipped into ornamental shapes:
    "a cottage surrounded by topiary and flowers"

I have been studying Topiary for a couple of months.  I just finished reading James Cramer's Seasons at Seven Gates Farm.   James Cramer is an avid Topiary artist and in this book he gives instructions on how to "topiary" a Myrtle Shrub.  So I found one at a nursery and followed his instructions.  I am so excited and hope I have the patience it takes to enjoy this old art form. 

According to Wikipedia, Topiary began here:

European topiary dates from Roman times. Pliny's Natural History and the epigram writer Martial both credit Cnaeus Matius Calvinus, in the circle of Julius Caesar, with introducing the first topiary to Roman gardens, and Pliny the Younger describes in a letter the elaborate figures of animals, inscriptions, cyphers and obelisks in clipped greens at his Tuscan villa (Epistle vi, to Apollinaris). Within the atrium of a Roman house or villa, a place that had formerly been quite plain, the art of the topiarius produced a miniature landscape (topos) which might employ the art of stunting trees, also mentioned, disapprovingly, by Pliny (Historia Naturalis xii.6).

I will update this as the topiaries grow!  I was able to get four branch cuttings from the shrub and followed instructions on the initial center branch of the tree.

Happy Gardening and God Bless!  Pamie G.


James Cramer's Topiary Trees from Seven Gates Farms book


My first Topiary

Try your hand at this old art!!





11 May 2016

Peaches everywhere....

My neighbor and I cleaned my peaches off the trees on Tuesday.  We had so much fun laughing and holding on to each other to keep from falling!  I would say in total I got a harvest of about 500 peaches from two trees this year.  That is not bad for only the third year.  We were blessed with chill hours low enough to get them ready before the heat sets in!  I made my chicken squash casserole for dinner for my neighbors and had it ready when they arrived back home from Houston and their Father's funeral.  For dessert I tried a new recipe with Peaches of course; Upside Down Peach Cake. 
Now all the peaches sit on my counter.  It is going to be a "putting up" and jam making day at Hill Country Retreat.  God Bless, Pamie G.






09 May 2016

Lt. Dan...Forrest Gump....Gary Sinise Foundation

We were delighted to get to see Lt. Dan (Gary Sinise) this past week at Brooke Army Medical Center.  This man has a heart of gold and is so very humble.  He played wheel chair basketball with the wounded warriors and put a concert for all of us to enjoy!  We were honored to be there among great Warriors.  We are so very grateful for Gary and his organization.  He and his crew bring great joy to our Wounded Warriors and our Military.  God Bless you Gary!









Jolly Green Giant....


Jolly Green Giant farms here....this is what happens when a zucchini in my garden is hidden from view!

08 May 2016

Growing Varieties of Tomatoes - Featuring Juliet

This year I decided to grow various types of tomatoes so I can make salsa for our family and give as gifts to friends.  I researched various types and came up with a pretty good selection including determinate and indeterminate cultivars. 

What is Determinate and Indeterminate Tomatoes?  (taken from HOUZZ)

Determinate varieties of tomatoes, also called "bush" tomatoes, are varieties that are bred to grow to a compact height (approx. 4 feet).
They stop growing when fruit sets on the terminal or top bud, ripen all their crop at or near the same time (usually over a 2 week period), and then die.
They may require a limited amount of caging and/or staking for support, should NOT be pruned or "suckered" as it severely reduces the crop, and will perform relatively well in a container (minimum size of 5-6 gallon).

Indeterminate varieties of tomatoes are also called "vining" tomatoes. They will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost and can reach heights of up to 10 feet although 6 feet is considered the norm. They will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the growing season.
They require substantial caging and/or staking for support and pruning and the removal of suckers is practiced by many but is not mandatory. The need for it and advisability of doing it varies from region to region. Experiment and see which works best for you. Because of the need for substantial support and the size of the plants, indeterminate varieties are not usually recommended as container plants.

JULIET --


http://www.growgardentomatoes.com/juliet-tomato.html

It is amazing how tall and spread out Indeterminate Tomato Plants are.....I am prepared for ten feet, so bring it on!!

Today was my first harvest in the tomato gardens.  The books were right about Juliet, they come off the vine almost perfect....I will have a salad for dinner and add the two I picked and report later!!

Happy Harvesting and God Bless!  Pamie G.


Mother's Day 2016

I love that Mother's Day (and Father's Day too) to our kids does not come just once a year.   We are always put first and foremost and we are always taken care of whenever needed and they are always there for us in their own way even with their families.  I love you all so very much!  Thank you for being great kids and great parents!

My Mother was a kind and gentle soul and the one thing she always taught us (six of us) was that we don't need patting on our backs or reassuring constantly that we are doing well.  Sure we were always told we were but we were always confident in that we were fabulous kids without constant reassurance.  I am so glad that we were raised that way in the short time our sweet Mama was alive.   I love that our Mother left behind six strong children that can stand on our own.  We miss you sweet precious Mama.  I know that you are our guardian angel!


Our sons have brilliant minds and I am always enamored at the knowledge they have and how successful they are in their lives!  Our youngest decided to fund an awesome project for Mother's Day for me.  They have utilized this company before and it is amazing.  If funded (looks like it will be), I will be receiving a second production in May 2017 of this product.  See for yourself how amazing and the possibilities are endless!!  Thank you son.....you are so bright and you should be among these entrepreneurs!!    I love that you know me well enough to know this is something that I would love to have!!  I can hardly wait!!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1094489804/formbox-a-desktop-vacuum-former-that-makes-beautif?ref=email


Happy Mother's Day to all those Men and Women out there...I promise someone always notices!

God Bless, Pamie G.

06 May 2016

Peach Cobbler for my neighbors....

I have the best neighbors who have been here for us thru out Don's recovery.  I thanked them all yesterday by picking peaches in my backyard and made each of them this recipe for Peach Cobbler:

6 peaches peeled, sliced, sprinkled with lemon juice
melt 3/4 stick of butter in small pan in oven 350 degrees until melted
mix 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 cup of milk and a teaspoon of Pampered Chef's Cinnamon Blend spice.
place peaches in pan, pour mix over peaches and do not stir, sprinkle with PC Cinnamon Blend and bake on 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

I purchased 6 (2 each package) cake pans at the $ store for $1 each so my neighbors did not have to return the dishes.  It was enjoyed by all but most of all they are appreciated by my family.

Happy Sharing....God Bless!  Pamie G.






03 May 2016

Building your own Farm Table

Wood working is something I really never had any interest in.  Sure, there are many things I would love to have built, i.e., pallet rebirths, etc.  However, with my hubby recuperating at home, the small woodworking honey do list that my husband has hidden somewhere is coming alive.  He is teaching me woodworking.  So far, I have learned how to use many tools and a fabulous miter saw.  We are setting up our new garage which has a bar on one side and a gardening/potting room on the front and a tool room with cabinets in the back portion for my husband. 

I have been studying antique potting rooms for years and it is finally coming to fruition on our property.  I have finished the wall for my sinks, soil table, etc. and now the room divider will be my farm table.  It was so awesome to build and with an awesome teacher, I accomplished exactly what I wanted and used reclaimed barn wood from my old garden! We are making a bench for my grandchildren to sit on while they join me in our seeding adventures!    You can do it....just try!!





I also made steps to go down to the Pergola area since we had the hot tub moved to our son's house.