We are still in the first year in our new house and are still encountering new things as we go. As the saying goes, there is a season for everything. And that includes Saw Palmetto Berries! Where we live, about 7 of our 10 acres are covered in Palmettos. They are super invasive and take a lot of work to get rid of (I’m told). But right now, the benefits of having Palmettos are significant. Did you know that the berries are in high demand for pharmaceutical companies? I just learned this recently. Saw Palmetto Berries are beneficial for prostate health and as a hair loss treatment. Local places will buy berries at a couple dollars per pound!
Since moving to the farm, we have had visitors from many different types of animals. Turtles are one of our favorite visitors. Sometimes they come and sun themselves by the pond or go for a swim. Sometimes we find them walking through the yard and we follow them for a while to see what adventures they are going to have. One thing we enjoy is watching turtles eat. They are very fast and ambitious eaters! But today as we were leaving for church, we heard the squeals from three sweet little girls, followed by, “A little turtle!” loudly shouted. Because we have such large turtles in our area, I was assuming this little guy was maybe box turtle size….but no! I’ve never seen such a teeny tiny turtle before!
It’s planting time! I have been looking forward to this for such a long time. Every time I worked in my old tiny raised gardens. Every time I went to the grocery store to buy expensive, organic produce. Every time I drove 40 minutes to pick up produce from the coop…I thought about it. And dreamed about it. I can’t wait to have my garden abundantly producing what my family eats. Last week we began our planting. Our garden is about 15 feet x 100 feet. It took a while to get it ready to plant (and it would’ve been longer if not for the help of a friend with a tiller!).
I am thankful for so many things. So many in fact, that I thought I’d make a list. There are just so many things that I want to note, although I’ll never capture them all. Continue reading
The hot weather is here, so we have been looking for things to do that won’t be too crazy hot. Of course we swim. And swim. And swim. And when the sun has kissed our skin enough and our fingers and toes are extra pruney, we try to find other ways to occupy ourselves while still staying cool. Inside, self-directed play takes up most of their non-swimming time, but every now and then they venture away from the world of magic and princesses and weddings and measuring cups and look for something else to do. That is when they come searching for this Mama to help them come up with something crafty to occupy their hands and minds. And since I aim to please, I have many ideas just waiting for the opportunity to come alive for these sweet ladies.
Last week, we began weaving mats out of grasses. Fortunately, long meadow grasses seam to be everywhere. They got their scissors and cut what they needed to make their mats.
“Jack Frost came, Mama!” Laelia called excitedly, jumping up and down and waving her arms as she called to me. He did visit. He left his beautiful etchings outside on the grass and plants and car windows. Inside we felt the cool air, so I of course, snuggled into bed even more, trying to get away from the cold. When I finally threw the covers back, I found my three sweet girls enjoying the “frost” on the windows. There was no actual frost on the windows, but they were quite steamy. Later we went out to see Mr. Frost’s artwork on our lawn. It was a perfect match for what they love so much–art. Anything artistic. At all. From the moment they wake up in the morning until the moment they go to sleep they are thinking about drawing and coloring and artistic wonderment, with a side of make believe and imagination. Continue reading
Winter is officially here. Even in Sunny Florida we notice the little changes Old Man Winter brings. Our big changes come in January and February when we have to dress a little warmer. Right now we are still able to go outside in flip flops. But we welcome him and his fairies just the same.
In Florida, we don’t have Christmas tree farms (that I know of). You can get some pre-cut trees, but you can’t chop them down yourself. When I was a kid we only cut them down ourselves. And it was such a fun tradition. We’d drive out to a tree farm about 40 minutes away, trudge up and down hills in the cold and sometimes snowy weather, looking for the perfect tree. We’d look and look and find some great trees, and when we finally found the tree, my dad would get down on the ground and saw that perfect tree at the base while we held it up top so it didn’t fall on him. Then we’d carry the tree back to our car and strap it to the top (although there were a few years in there when my dad had a truck and he’d toss it in the bed). After that we’d go into the barn at the tree farm. They had hot chocolate there. Usually we got to get a cup of hot chocolate and we’d be so cold that we’d drink it too fast, and would of course, scald our mouths with it. But it seemed worth it.
As I am from Maryland, I have seen many Canadian Geese in my day–usually flying in their V or, still with their gaggle, eating, drinking, and splashing somewhere fun. However, on our recent trip to the north, we drove by a farm where I saw a hillside covered in geese, who were probably stopping off to fill their bellies to tide them over while on their journey farther South. I had to share this moment with you.
I will tell you that my most favorite meal is Thanksgiving dinner. Yummy yum yum! I love it and all the leftovers that come along with it. I love mixing it all together and creating fun things like hot open-faced turkey sandwiches smothered with gravy. Which brings me right where I love to be frequently…gravy. You can never have too much gravy. Ever. Absolutely delish! Continue reading