I miss you all!! We have been so busy this year I can’t even believe it. I feel like our lives have been bouncing off walls with all the new things we are experimenting with and new journey’s we are embarking on or are in the midst of. But what is life without growth right?
We tried something new with our gardens this year and I’m happy to say that they have worked! We have had more tomatoes, more peppers, and more herbs this time around. They say third time’s the charm. This is our third year with a raised bed. Instead of using chicken manure, we used cow manure. It was locally made and has worked really well. We also added compost, mixing locally bought and our own. Ours has been slow going, but we’re praying by next season we’ll be able to dump the entire bucket in the garden versus buying compost. Now if only I can stop the neighborhood four footed thieves from eating them that’d be greattt! I’ve started drying sage to make smudge/scent sticks. I happen to love the smell. The sage went nuts this year and it is turning into a bush. I don’t know what to do with it all! Our pantry storage already has 4 pint jars full of dried sage. It takes up over two feet of raised bed space. It is the first year we planted sage and so far I am loving it. It doesn’t seem to take a lot of work which is fine by me. The mint is okay, the plant is still very small. The Oregano popped up again from what we planted last year. So that was a nice surprise! The jalapenos and spicy bell peppers are taking their time, but I know it is due to the excessive heat. Hoping they will take off in the Fall when the weather cools a bit.
We added two Hibiscus trees. We have a Red Presidential and Pink Hibiscus. They are young, but absolutely gorgeous. They are planted in 20″ clay pots and filled with rocks on the bottom for drainage and a mix of compost and peat moss. Despite the heat, they too have done well. I can tell when the temperature drops because they bless us with blooms. I cannot wait until the calyxes are mature enough to pick and dry for tea. That was the main reason we got them. I have an herbal tea addiction so I am always trying to plant my own herbs or flowers to dry.
The Texas summer heat was brutal in July! It was almost two weeks of 100-112 and the sun gave no mercy. Amazon has UV Block sun shades and we ended up getting a 12′ x 12′ x 12′ and a 9’10” x 9’10” x 9’10” shade and used bungee cords to secure to our fence. It was probably the best purchase we have made in a long time. It kept the sun from baring down on the plants, while still allowing light through. I was so worried they’d fry. Surprisingly, they didn’t. They made it and with little burning.
I’ve done some canning although didn’t do as much as planned, but there is still time. I canned about 35 jars of my grandmother’s spaghetti sauce and chicken stock this past weekend along with pickled jalapenos, pickled eggs, lacto fermented carrots, and bottled fermented Jun Tea. I’m looking forward to the end of summer farmers markets to get a great deal on produce to can for veggies. It has been so hot here it has been hard to plant and keep anything alive.
Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal came back this year to have more babies! They visited last year and built a nest within our rose bush. I was sitting outside one day and noticed Mr. Cardinal was lingering. All of a sudden, Mrs. Cardinal swooped across the yard into the rose bush. Then left. Then came back. I decided to be nosey and investigate to find she was building another nest. Mr. Cardinal was standing watch as she meticulously built over the period of a day. She was busy! A few days later, we had 4 little eggs. It took about two weeks before they hatched. I think I was more excited than she was. It was such an amazing experience to watch their patterns and see the progress.
We also had a little visitor briefly. I walked out the front door one day and saw this little guy sitting waiting for mama. He was adorable! I believe he is a Robin. What do you think?
Sadly, we took down our wood brick rocket stove that we made a while back as well as moved the compost bin. We’ve been preparing for additions to our family through the journey of adoption. Between classes, cleaning, organizing, building, decluttering, I haven’t dedicated much time to ongoing projects and blogging. Which has been the reason I’ve been MIA for so long. With that said, there are many, many more posts coming! We will have more mouths to feed, more veggies and herbs to plant, more canning, and much more frugalness. We are so excited and I cannot wait to share it all with you. After all, this is my life.
The Life of a Frugal Wife!