01.29.19 Introducing our new blog theme “BECAUSE HE LIVES”

We started writing this blog years ago under a different name, Dora and the Explorers.  There will be no more posts about Roy and I traveling with Dora since Dora moved to California.  That move lead to a change in the site’s name and the look.

Please click the “FOLLOW” link on the right if you’d like to receive an email whenever a new blog is posted!

In this new blog we will focus on our life in Louisiana, about living a Christian life, updates as my dementia progresses, along with some Wild and Wacky posts from time to time.

Because this new blog is about our future life, I thought a good bit about how that should be expressed in the blog’s new name.

The new theme is BECAUSE HE LIVES….. I can face tomorrow!

Some of you will know what that means and some will not. If you do Praise God!  If you do not I hope you will read and learn!

As I was thinking about the new name, the thought that stood out in my mind is that I don’t know what my future holds.  Whatever it holds, I know my future is in God’s hands because I am a Christian.

After Christ died on the cross, He was buried and rose from the dead so, HE LIVES.  Because of this I have the reassurance of Christ walking by me through every storm and joy that comes our way.  Therefore I can face anything that the future brings.

BECAUSE HE LIVES I can face tomorrow is the first two lines of the chorus in the amazing song written by Bill and Gloria Gather in 1993. I will share an audio version of the song and the lyrics below.

Back in the mid 1990s I was in a particularly dark place in my life.  One Sunday during that time in our Worship Service we sang a new song called Because He Lives.  My attention was immediately grabbed by the first verse.

God sent his son, they called him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives

When we got to the chorus I felt something come over me that couldn’t be ignored.

Because He Lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He Lives
All fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just Because He Lives

When we sang the second verse it hit me hard because it talked about the calm assurance that this child can face uncertain days Because He Lives.  During this dark time my main concern was  the well being of my children. I felt like God was talking straight to my heart giving me the assurance I needed.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain day Because He Lives

I had to sit down I was so overcome with that amazing assurance from God.

And then one day I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know he reigns

Oh how I needed to be reminded of this guarantee for true Christians who get to live with God in Heaven for all of eternity!

This song reminded me that Christ came to earth for the purpose of giving Christians the assurance that we are able to face tomorrow, with all of the uncertainty that it brings. God holds the future right in his hands and makes life worth living for all who trust in him.

I shared with my mother why that song grabbed my heart so much.  After that time whenever we sang Because He Lives we’d look at each other and hold hands while we sang.  It became our favorite song. Since she passed away, whenever we sing it I think of Mama and how Great our God is!

Here is a You Tube video of the song with the lyrics included.  I hope it will speak to you as it did and always will to me.

Songwriters: Gloria Gaither / William J. Gaither

Because He Lives lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

There is a much newer version of Because He Lives.  It’s a beautiful song but the original speaks to my heart with such comfort.

I look forward to sharing fun, meaningful and even silly moments with ya’ll.  When I am having a great brain day my favorite thing to do is to write.  When I’m not, well I just don’t write.  It takes me much longer to put together a post now but I push through it since I know it’s good for me.
Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

07.16.19 Grandpa’s Hands

My grandfathers both died before I was born so I didn’t know either of them.  However, my sons were blessed to have one of their grandfather, Vivian Traylor, as part of their lives when they were young men. He was such a wise, gentle, Godly man.  When reading this I could imagine him sitting with one of my sons and having this conversation.  How I wish we had more time with him but God was ready for him to go home.  We’ll see him again one day and what a beautiful day that will be!
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Grandpa’s Hands

Grandpa, some ninety plus years old, sat feebly and crooked on the patio bench. He didn’t move and just sat there with his head down, staring at his hands. When I sat down beside him, he didn’t acknowledge my presence.

The longer I sat, I wondered if he was okay. Finally, not really wanting to disturb him, but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked, “Are you okay, Grandpa?”

He raised his head and looked at me and smiled.

“Yes, I’m fine,” he said in a clear strong voice. “Thank you for asking,”

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, Grandpa,” I explained to him, “But you were just sitting here staring at your hands, and I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong.”

“Have you ever looked at your hands?” he asked in his shaking voice, . . . “I mean really looked at your hands?”

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands, as I tried to figure out the point he was trying to make.

Grandpa smiled and related this story to me:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have and how they have served you well throughout your years. My hands, though wrinkled, shriveled, and weak, have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out to grab and embrace life’s opportunities and adversities.

They braced and caught me when as a toddler when I had continued to fall upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and pulled clothes over my back. As a child, my mother had taught me to fold these hands in prayer.

They tied my first shoes when I was young and pulled on my boots when I found my first job. Then later they held my rifle while they wiped my tears away when I left your grandmother to go off to war to defend our country.

They have been dirty, scraped raw, swollen, and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. With one finger decorated with a wedding band, they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote the letters home and walked your mother down the isle. And they trembled and shook when I had to buried my parents and later your grandmother. Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friend’s leg.

They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook their fingers in a fist when some people called me an extremist for flying the American flag on my home. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, and dried and raw.

And to this day when not much of anything else of me really works well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of the life I’ve had to live.

But more importantly, it will be these hands that God will reach out to and take when He soon leads me home. And with these hands, He will lift me to His side, and there I will use these hands to touch the face of His son.”

Since hearing his words, I have never looked at my hands the same way again. But I remember when God later reached out and took my grandpa’s hands and led him home.

Now when my hands are hurt or sore, or when I stroke the face of my children and wife, I think of grandpa’s words of gentle, loving wisdom to take nothing for granted . . . even these hands.

Author Unknown

07.14.19 Chauvin Produce Company – Things they are a changing

Things, they are a changing in the garden!

This week I harvested our entire crop of potatoes.  See the picture below. It was not the large basket full of potatoes I hoped for.  But it will provide us with maybe 4 meals of potatoes so that’s good. Once the plants above the ground died off you’re supposed to wait two to three weeks and then dig them up.  I did that and didn’t get the big crop of larger potatoes I wanted.  There is no peaking under the soil to see what’s going on so they all got dug up and that’s that! If anyone reading this knows I did something drastically wrong, please let me know!

I cooked all of the really small ones and made homemade mashed potatoes for dinner.  It was accompanied by pork chops cooked in a sauce in the crockpot.  Also smothered okra from the garden.  For those who don’t know.  Smothered okra is ground meat, onions (etc.) and cooked okra. One of Roy’s mother’s recipe that he loves!

I chose four of these potatoes to be our seed potatoes for the next crop.  I’ve read about planting potatoes in sand and pine straw.  Once the seed potatoes sprout we’ll be trying out that option of potato growing down in the sandy soil by the pond.  I’ve been raking up pine straw by the pond getting ready for that next experiment with growing potatoes.

These are the chopped okra that I made the smothered okra with.  This was two days’ worth of picked okra.  Okra growing is neat because every two to three days each okra plant has an okra pod ready to pick.  Once you see them start, within four days they are ready to pick!

This is the mashed potato made with potatoes from the garden. The okra in the smothered okra came from the garden.

The whole garden has gone through a thinning out process.  Removing the small, crowding plants to make room for expansion of the healthier remaining plants.  This is what it looks like now.

The 20 original tomato bushes have grown tall with many branches.  They all had to be tied up which makes the plants look scrawny which in a way they are.  These have been the scrawniest, lots of branches and tallest tomato plants ever. They have produced a tremendous amount of cherry tomatoes and a reasonable amount of large tomatoes.  Once Roy added lime to the soil the “blossom rot” stopped.  For a while, I picked the larger tomatoes when they first started turning so the “blossom rot” wouldn’t take hold.  Now I don’t have to pick until they are completely ripe without any “blossom rot”!!!   It looks like the tomato bushes are stopping their production and when they do that we will pull them up.  We will then refresh the nutrients in those two rows and plant cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts that we are now growing from seed. You may remember we tried to grow broccoli and cauliflower this spring and it got so infested with bugs that we pulled them up.  We are hopeful that this fall crop will be different.  We will be checking them very often to make sure that doesn’t happen.  They will also be planted farther apart which we hope helps! We have Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower seeds planted in individual cups and under the grow lights right now.  It will take them around a month to get ready for transplanting outside which should work well with when the tomatoes plants look like they will be ready to come out. When I checked these today several of the brussels sprouts and broccoli have sprouted!

All of the potatoes were dug up and we’ll plant the next potato crop down by the pond so the first row in the garden was open!  Instead of growing tomatoes from seed, this time we purchased 7 small Creole Tomato bushes and Roy proceeded to get them planted for our Fall tomato crop. For the spring crop next year, we purchased Creole Tomato seeds and will get those seeds planted early in 2020.

Our cantaloupe vine has finally produced a cantaloupe.  It was about the size of a baseball a few days ago when the picture was taken.    

One of the changes in the garden is that all of the original corn stalks have produced all they were going to and the stalks began dying like they were supposed to.  I pulled them all up and a few days later planted few new Kandy Korn corn seeds we got from the Feed and Seed in Hammond.  They have all sprouted and some are almost a foot high already.  The seeds were not all planted at the same time which explains the difference in corn stalk height.

The bell pepper plants have been thinned out. Those plants not having any blooms or new bell peppers were pulled up giving more space for the remaining ones to expand.  Each remaining plant has multiple tiny to medium size bell peppers growing!  Six bell peppers were ready to be picked this morning!

These are all of the bell peppers that were blanched and have been frozen today to be stuffed later and enjoyed!. Yes, that is a red bell pepper in the pot.  After it was picked it turned red which is something they do sometimes!

The artichoke plant is still growing but no artichoke yet!

The okra plants are doing really well.  They were thinned out last week like the bell peppers and original tomatoe plants were.  The gardenhad gotten so congested that I couldn’t make it through each row to pick or maintain the vegetables.  Every 2 to 4 days an okra pod is ready to pick on each plant.

There are multiple pods forming at the top of each plant which means we’ll have okra ready to pick for quite a while.

This is an eggplant plant which is one of the plants very congested.  There were not any that should be pulled up but I was able to prune lots of lower leaves which helped.  The lavender flowers may be hard to see on all of the plants but they are all over the plants.  Those flowers are potential eggplants which means their second crop is in the making. One of the several actual eggplants on the bushes.

All of the sweet potato blooms were cut off and a lot of the vine cut back.  This was done in preparation for the vine to die down. The sweet potatoes are getting ready to be dug up.  The original vine was so thick and tall that it wasn’t allowing the sun to get to the other vegetables growing next to it.  After trimming this back I could see a couple of nice sweet potatoes showing through the soil!!!

This was our harvest this morning. Beautiful tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, bell pepper and some of our yellow onions.  The yellow onions were not as big as they could be but the sprouts out of the ground had fallen over which is supposed to mean they are ready.  They were not ready but they did have the yellow paper like skin on them before I cleaned them. Even though they are small I will chop them up to use in cooking soon!  There are several more yellow onions still planted.

Our fig trees are full of figs but they haven’t started turning brownish purple which means they are ripe.  One is turning a tiny bit and we are hoping for the rest to ripen soon.  A dear friend of ours let us go over to her house where her figs are plentiful and lots were ready to pick.  Thank you, Donna and Chuck, for sharing those little gems of deliciousness with us!

Thanks for following our efforts to grow some vegetables. We’re changing now to the Fall Crop time so this is an ongoing Chauvin Produce Company garden.

Oh, and we had Hurricane Barry come through here as I wrote this.  We are happy that it didn’t turn out to be much of a storm for us.  Other areas including New Orleans flooded.  Homes and vehicles were lost in other parts of Louisiana and in Mississippi but we’re fine. Thanks to those who checked on us!

 

 

 

 

07.08.19 Lunch with Girlfriends, By Kathy O’Malley

This piece by Kathy O’Malley made me smile, laugh and shake my head!  Hope you enjoy it!

Lunch with Girlfriends
By Kathy O’Malley

I recently ate at a restaurant where a table of girlfriends of a certain age were having a wonderful time, and came home and wrote this. You may recognize somebody, maybe yourself . . .

Elaine’s vertigo has never been worse
Kay can’t recall where she left her purse
Rhonda’s about to replace her knees
Linda’s breathing is tinged with a wheeze

Donna’s left boob has a troublesome lump
Diane’s on her third trip to take a dump
Lorraine’s husband can’t remember a thing
Nine years a widow, Marge still wears her ring

Marlene is dealing with another UTI
Sally’s giving a hearing aid another try
Marie has decided she can’t drive at night
Sharon still wears clothes two sizes too tight

They’ve been through divorces and babies and wakes
They do for each other whatever it takes
They’ve already buried Marcia and Kate
And truthfully, Lizzie’s not looking so great

So whenever they can, they get out to eat
Open bottles of wine and forget their sore feet
There’s laughing and crying and letting down guards
And when the bill comes, there’s ten credit cards

So here’s to the waiters who keep orders straight
And to the places that let lunches run three hours late
And here’s to the girlfriends, those near and those far
Here’s to the girlfriends, you know who you are

By Kathy O’Malley

07.06.19 Happy Birthday to our son Chip Matthew Chauvin!

Happy Birthday to our son Chip Matthew Chauvin who was born on this day in 1981 at 8:56 pm a healthy boy of 8 pounds born to a young dad of 30 and mother of 26.. Today is Chip’s 38th birthday.

Chip, you’ve made us proud, you’ve made us quite crazy😉, and we love you now more than ever! We celebrated his birthday on July 4th complete with fireworks!

Here’s some pictures of Chip throughout the years.

 

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Have a great and special day Chip! Love you, Mom and Dad!

07.04.19 Some fun stuff for the 4th of July

Just wait till the end of this one!

A woman and man got into a car accident. Both of their cars were badly damaged, but amazingly neither of them were hurt.

After they crawled out of the wreckage, the woman said: “Wow, look at our cars – there’s nothing left! Thank God we are all right. This must be a sign from Him that we should be friends and not try to pin the blame on each other.”

joke, car crash, whiskey

The man replied: “Oh yes, I agree with you completely.”

The woman pointed to a bottle on the ground and said: “Here’s another miracle. Somehow this bottle of whisky from my back seat didn’t break. Surely God wants us to drink it and celebrate our good fortune.”

Then she handed the bottle to the man. The man nodded his head in agreement, opened it, and drank about a third of the bottle to calm his nerves. He then handed it back to the woman. The woman took the bottle, immediately put the cap back on, and handed it back to the man.

The man asked: “Aren’t you having any?”

joke, car crash, whiskey
The woman replied: “No. I think I’ll just wait for the police – I’ll let them decide whose fault it is.”

BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN GOD’S AMAZING WORLD

WINDING ROCKS IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

THE SNOW TRAIN IN WERNIGERODE, GERMANY

TAKACHIHO GORGE IN MIYAZAKI, JAPAN

SECRET FALLS IN NORTH CAROLINA

CENTRAL PARK AND NEW YORK CITY

SHE WROTE TO TECH SUPPORT ABOUT HER HUSBAND. THIS WAS THEIR EPIC REPLY, by Josh Starling

We’ve all needed advice at some point or another about relationships. And for good reason. They’re often hard to keep fresh!

Well, the young woman who submitted the tech support message below (about her relationship to her husband) presumably did it as a joke… but then she got a reply was way too good to keep to herself.

The tech support people’s love advice was hilarious and genius!

As a wise person once said, “You can only control your efforts, not the outcome.” This letter reminds us to always make a fun effort at pursuing your significant other!


The query:

Dear Tech Support,

’Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slowdown in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as: Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as: NBA 5.0, NFL 3.0 and Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and House cleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.
What can I do?

Signed,
Desperate

The response (that came weeks later out of the blue):

Dear Desperate,

“First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system. Please enter command: I thought you loved me.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)In addition, please, do not attempt to re-install the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend: Cooking 3.0.Good Luck!’

Good Luck!

THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

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Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s published randomly

07.02.19 TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH, FROM THE SKY!

Our church, Trinity Baptist Church, recently broke ground and poured the foundation for our new Trinity Family Life Center.  After church Sunday when most everyone was gone, Roy and his spiffy Drone (Zelda) took to the air to capture aerial photos of the new building’s foundation and the rest of the church buildings, softball field and property.  As construction proceeds, we hope to share more aerial photos with ya’ll!

Sanctuary, parking lot to the right and parsonage to the left

Sanctuary in front by the road (Pumpkin Center Road), Education Building in the back and Youth Building, the smaller building next to that

The foundation for our Family Life Center!  It’s in the back of our Education Building and Youth Building.  The Family Life Center will be a two story, over 9000 square foot building.

Zelda zoomed higher! The small building to the right of the foundation is the concession stand for our softball field. Lots of good memories there for the Chauvin family!

and higher and higher!

The softball field at the back of the church property.  Both our sons played a lot of softball games back there. Lots of other church events have been held at the softball field.

A few of our favorite folks were a little leary of the humming Zelda taking their picture but they managed to smile so their picture could be taken! Thanks, Ms. Louise, Johnnie, Spot, and Leanna!

And Zelda Zoooooms down!

That’s it for now.  Thanks Roy (and Zelda) for these terriffic photos! As construction proceeds we’ll try to get more pictures and share!

Ya’ll have a very blessed week!

06.28.19 WE NEED WASHING

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A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Wal-Mart….

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, ‘Mom let’s run through the rain,’ she said.

‘What?’ Mom asked.

‘Let’s run through the rain!’ She repeated.

‘No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,’ Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated: ‘Mom, let’s run through the rain..’

‘We’ll get soaked if we do,’ Mom said.

‘No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,’ the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

‘This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?’

‘Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘ If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything! ‘ ‘

The entire crowd stopped dead silent.. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain.. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

‘Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,’ Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories…

So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN.

by Anonymous

06.27.19 Chauvin Produce Update – It is Harvest Time!

Read on to find out what this is about!

The vegetable plants are as big as they need to get and they re all producing.  We are now harvesting daily!

Instead of showing the garden itself, I’ll share some photos of the harvest and a couple of the garden! We’ve been dealing with hungry little insects and bugs and spraying and spraying the plants

Every morning I go out to the garden and harvest whatever is ready.  Maintaining the garden and picking the vegetables have turned out to be difficult because my back gets inflamed within a minute of starting to bend over.  The rows seemed to be well spaced before the vegetable bushes grew to full size.  Now we feel they are too close together which is something we’ll change in future gardens.

 

 

Our corn has produced 12 corn on the cobs. They are so delicious!!! As time has passed the quality of the corn has gotten better and better.

When each corn stalk produced one and sometimes two corn cobs they started naturally withering and dying.  We’ve pulled up around 10 stalks so far.  There are around 5 stalks remaining.  New corn seeds were planted where there is available space and the next crop of corn has sprouted.  The picture below looks pitiful but they are doing what they are supposed to.  I cut the top half off when they need to come up out of the ground so Roy knows which ones to pull up.

These are where there were originally beautiful potato bushes.

Now, most are gone which is what they are supposed to do.  The potatoes growing under the ground take what they need from the plants above ground until there is nothing left of the bush.  The almost nothing you see below means things are going right!  They need to be in the ground a while longer before they can be harvested.  

Cucumbers are being harvested every day and they are big cucumbers.

I pickled four jars full a couple of weeks ago. Once we started eating them we realized I shouldn’t have pickled these really big ones since their skin is tougher.  I’ll be pickling the cucumbers while they are smaller from now on.  

We’ve been enjoying garden fresh tomato and cucumber salads every day. The lettuce in this picture also came from the garden!  I think this is the part of our vegetable garden adventure we are enjoying the most! We grew these from seeds, isn’t that cool!

At least a dozen usable bell peppers have been picked.  A few nonusable bell peppers were picked, the bad spots cut out and then the remainder chopped up to use for seasoning in my cooking. Three nice eggplants were picked so far.  Several eggplants are hanging on their bushes getting bigger every day.

I stuffed 12 bell peppers with ground meat, rice, garlic, onions, bell pepper, etc.  They were frozen in groups of three. 

This is the pot of eggplant that is being smothered with ground meat and seasoning.  We were able to make two large casseroles of smothered eggplant.  One casserole we’ve already eaten and it was delicious! The other is in the freezer. It looks totally different when the eggplant is cooked and smothered down!

The number of tomatoes in the bowl below are being picked every day.  We’ve either popped them in our mouth to enjoy or put them in a salad.

We pick about the amount of okra shown below every day.  We’ve picked around 40 okras so far. They are all being chopped up and frozen.  When we get a big enough bag we will fix smothered okra.

Our bigger tomatoes are just now starting to turn red.  Some of the bigger tomatoes have developed “blossom rot” which comes from a deficiency of calcium in the soil.  Roy researched it and found that lime needed to be added to the soil so he bought a 40 pound bag and treated the soil of the tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplants since those last two can be affected by blossom rot.

The okra plant makes this beautiful flower as it is growing.  You can see behind the flower in the picture are several budding okras.

Our one and only artichoke plant is doing well.  No artichokes yet but it’s a neat plant to watch it grow! 

The first of our green onion crop has been harvested and chopped using it in our cooking.

Now for the fruit

Our eight blueberry bushes were moved this year so we didn’t anticipate much of a crop and that’s what we got.  We let Madisyn pick the three blueberries and she shared them with me!

Our watermelon vines have one watermelon that is growing every day.  First is a close up of the 4-inch watermelon and second is the vine the watermelon is growing on.

In the garden down by the pond the watermelon vine is finally growing and flowering.

The cantaloupe in that same area is blooming really.  I am hopeful there will be fruit growing on each within the next week.

The fig trees are growing really well and figs are all over the trees.

The garlic and yellow onions are still growing and aren’t ready yet to harvest.

Our militon vines are having an issue with yellowing and dying leaves.  While those yellowing leaves dry up and fall off, lots of new green growth is blooming all over the vines. We researched this whil the yellowing occured and learned that the new green leaves may start growing so we are happy to see that happen/ Militon plants don’t start blooming and producing until around August or September so we’ll see how they do then!

The sweet potatoes are still a big bunch of vines that haven’t shown any sign of being ready to go away so we can dig up the sweet potatoes.  If these sweet potatoes do well and we decide to do it again we will NOT plant it in the middle of a garden.  The vines are so long and even though we let them go up and down a fine, they still take over a lot of area in the garden.  The big bunch of leaves on the right are the sweet potato vines.

Different types of inspects and bugs have attacked the plants in different ways. We’ve purchased three different types of insect sprays to wipe out these bugs that love the plants.  With the vegetable plants close together it is difficult to spray the whole plant. Lots of lessons are being learned so that’s good!

After I finished writing this yesterday I was in the garden and found 3 eggplants on the ground that had fallen off the bushes and had a bad spot on them.  Between that and the spots on a few bell peppers recently I decided to pick all the eggplants and bell peppers that were almost the right size to pick to avoid the possibility of a bad spot on them.  This morning I did that and here’s what I picked.  This mornings harvest included picking some smaller cucumbers that are better suited for pickling than the larger ones were. It only takes a couple of days for these cucumbers to grow from the small size to the large!

That’s it for now on our Spring 2019 gardening adventure!