04.16.19 Passing Out, Soggy Brain, Easter picnic preparation, Painted Cross Rocks, Easter church music, Roy’s eye surgery on Thursday

Oh my, could the title above be any longer!  I started off writing about passing out and then lots of other things started pouring out in my writing so here it is!

Saturday before last I ate a good breakfast, three homemade blueberry muffins, water, and coffee.  I went outside to plant more of my precious little sprouting vegetables in the main garden.  I was sitting on a small stool so there would be no bending over and mostly so I wouldn’t resort to sitting my but in the dirt while planting.  I began feeling lightheaded but since I was just sitting I figured it wouldn’t get worse. It did.  I went to get my phone out of my pocket to call for Roy and had difficulty doing that.  I got it out and called Roy.  He didn’t answer.

I called again and heard him come out of the house saying he was on the phone with someone about $2000 being charged to our credit card fraudulently. I dropped the phone and things are foggy after that.  I heard through the fog that he told the phone caller we had a medical emergency and he’d have to call them back. I don’t remember how but I know he got me to a nearby chair and he put a cold towel over my head.

Roy later told me that while sitting sprawled out in the chair I passed out with my eyes rolling back in my head and that lasted a while. The eye rolling back thing happened when I had to be rushed to the hospital two years ago because of a bleeding ulcer. Both times this scared Roy a lot. I don’t remember getting inside but I know that I stayed in bed for a long time that day.  Roy took my blood pressure and it was low for me at 90/50.

I take blood pressure medicine, Avapro 300 mg once a day.  I’ve taken it for 20 to 25 years and it always keeps my blood pressure at 120/80 which I have always been very happy about.   This was the first time ever that I can remember that it has been low.  Because every time I go to any doctor or hospital my blood pressure is always perfect I never attribute feeling bad to low blood pressure so it’s never been taken at that time, before Saturday.

Sunday I still felt bad but not nearly like Saturday.  My blood pressure was more normal each time Roy took it.  I never thought to stop taking my blood pressure medicine, duh………….

I love, love, love this song!

Roy “allowed” me to go outside in the garden for no more than 30 minutes at a time and then had to stay in bed or on the sofa for a while after that.  He helped me more than usual with the gardening and it allowed me to get more done with less effort.  He’s kinda good like that!  He knows I usually prefer to handle it all myself but he pitched in when needed.  All of the remaining vegetables were planted and today they are all so happy and growing beautifully.

Last Monday when I contacted my doctor he said for me to stop taking the blood pressure medicine for two days, drink 6-8 glasses of water and take my blood sugar and blood pressure often.  Being the brilliant lady with dementia that I am, I took my blood pressure medicine Monday and Tuesday because I forgot I wasn’t supposed to.

Anyway, I made a sign on fluorescent pink paper that said to not take my blood pressure medicine so on Wednesday and Thursday I didn’t take it.  My blood pressure has been fairly normal both days.

This medical event sent my dementia into a tailspin.  Last Wednesday I was, however, able to have a nice visit with our pastor, Bro. Avery, down by the pond and I was thankful for that. Later I realized I bounced all around in our conversation and told him things he may not have wanted to know (!) but he didn’t run off which I appreciated!

The last few days I’ve worked in the yard pulling weeds and moving some vines from one location where they are plentiful to another location that needs them, planted carrot seeds, pulled weeds and lots of other things outside. As long as I keep it under an hour I seem to be okay and don’t see any signs of possible passing out!

On one of the dementia facebook groups I am a member of I asked if others with dementia had issues with passing out from low blood pressure when they’d never had that before.  All those that responded said yes and that it was caused by a change in their brain that made the blood pressure medicine not work in the correct manner any longer.  Time will tell if this is a new brain thing for me or if it is something different.  It’s been normal every day so for now being off my blood pressure medicine seems to be the thing to do!

We are having our daughter in law Misty’s family over for a picnic on Easter next Sunday and we are really looking forward to getting to visit with them.  I’ve stuffed candies into plastic eggs for an Easter egg hunt and just finished wrapping the utensils in Easter napkins with homemade decorated paper napkin holders. I love having family visit and also love these events because I do special cleaning so they don’t think we live like slobs!!

I gave to several of the kiddos at church one of my painted rocks that have 1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 Given painted on a cross.  I asked them to hide them to help share with others about Jesus.

On Sunday our adult choir at church sang a beautiful Easter Cantata titled Jesus, Only King Forever.  I always love hearing them sing and especially Easter and Christmas music.

Roy’s eye surgery to remove the spidery floater is back on and will be this Thursday, the 18th in Baton Rouge at 9 am. Please pray for him and his doctor, Dr. Robert Mason.

We’ve had some magnificently beautiful cool sunny days here in Louisiana recently.  So thankful for a God that provides us with days like this!

Ya’ll have a blessed Holy Week!

 

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04.02.19 Chauvin Produce Company and Rock Painting

Okay, so the garden is doing some odd things and I’ve made mistakes. Some things are going really well and I’m learning! Again, not a blog post everyone will want to read but here it is! I just read it through one last time and it really is not tantilizing!

I wrote about my rock painting at the bottom so if you’re interested in that and not the gardening, skip to it!

At first I plated three garlic cloves inside with their papery shell on them and they sprouted, then transplanted them outside where they are growing well.  Then I  planted several cloves directly into the garden outside without the papery shell on them.  After a couple of weeks wondering why the second batch wasn’t sprouting I decided to watch a video about growing garlic.  I’ve watched several videos about growing garlic before but somewhere along the way my brain threw away what I learned and went with some alternative. Two of the peeled cloves are now sprouting so we’ll see how this goes as time goes on.  Garlic is a long growing plant and won’t be ready until early fall so stay tuned.

The rest of the other vegetable seeds that have sprouted were going through the hardening process I mentioned in the last post.  Roy feels like they aren’t as big as they should be at this point considering the seeds were planted two months ago. These include the cherry tomatoes, big tomatoes, bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, okra, chives.

We found a four shelf hard plastic shelving unit at the local junk yard on Highway 16 and purchased some very low cost LED plant growing lights.  Roy put it all together and its now in the “rock painting” room where the grow light is programmed to come on at 6 am and go off at 10 pm every day.  That was just a few days ago so we don’t know yet how that will go.  I planted two cherry tomato and two big tomato plants from the “rock painting” room into the garden today to see how they will do there compared to staying inside under the growing light.

Three of the five cantaloupe sprouts growing down by the pond died.  I bought another cantaloupe, scooped the seeds out and dried them for several days. Last week I put all of them in the three plantless  mounds.  We’ll see how that goes! There is a 4 x 20 patch behind the blueberries that I’m thinking of experimenting by sprinkling more of the cantaloupe seeds there under the leaves.

After the last two nights of 39 degrees its all beautiful warmer temperatures ahead.

Sweet potatoes are doing really well but the vines are not quite at the point where they can be split from the sweet potato yet.  I did some research and since they can be put out in the garden as they are now I did it to day! Three have nice vines and a couple have tiny vines but they all went out.  Lots of mulch put around the tender sweet potatoes.

Bell peppers are doing really well but like the sweet potato they could go outside so I put four bell peppers (of the 20 total plants) out in the main garden to see how they do there. It’s a risk but I have exhausted my supply of patience waiting! The rest are patiently waiting under the growing light.

Lettuce, chives, broccoli, cauliflower were struggling and I’m hopeful the grow light will help them get to where they can go back outside for hardening.

The five original watermelon sprouts planted down by the pond are doing well and look very healthy.  The seeds I planted down there last week are beginning to sprout.

A bunny or something ate the tops off of most of the brussells sprouts.  The tiny brussells sprouts are still there and I’m going to leave the plants there to see if the sprouts grow bigger without the leaves.

The yellow onions planted in the main garden and the pond garden are all sprouting.

All of the corn seeds have sprouted and are between two to six inches high now!

All of the original potato plants are very healthy and growing well.  The second batch of potatoes that were planted a couple of weeks ago are not coming through the soil yet so I don’t know how they will do.

I piled pine straw on top of the militons and cucumbers and they are growing well now.  Only one of the five militons hasn’t sprouted yet but the others are doing really well and are attaching themselves to the fence Roy built.  About half of the cucumber seeds I planted are sprouting.  They are not tall enough to reach the fence yet.

I piled pine straw on top of the garlic, yellow onion, white potatoes, corn and four tomato plants that were just planted this week. It should help especially when the summer heat starts here in Louisiana and the ground gets dry easily.

The peanuts along the fence near the front road are all growing and have a few leaves already.  The peanuts down by the pond are not growing yet. One has sprouted but more should soon.

I have had a bad chest congestion and coughing for the last few days.  Roy was sick with it before me. Tried my best to say in bed and I succeeded a bit.  I want it to go away, doesn’t everyone when they are sick! I’ve been rock painting since I can just sit still while painting.  I have a bunch ready to go out and a bunch more on the work table getting ready for Easter.

The ones that are ready. The big blue M&M rock was hidden today in Kentwood.  I love the M&M rocks with a chunk taking out. They are quirky and I do a few large and small from time to time.

This is a new phrase I’ve started writing on my rocks. I think that saying will make anyone who reads it think about God for a minute which is the whole idea.  The second are a bunch that are ready to out.  If ya’ll want to contribute some 3 to 6 word evangelistic or just cute phrases that would inspire or make someone happy please send them to me as a comment.  I especially like the ones with words that have letter that can be colored in.

The ones being worked on are below.  These cross rocks will have 1 Cross+3 Nails = 4 Given  written across the front of the cross.  A bunch more gold rocks will have “HE IS RISEN” painted across the front.

I started the Rosie Rocks Facebook group almost one year ago and we now have 73 members.  That means around 60 of my rocks that were found, the finder joined the group and posted a photo.  If you’d like to join or see the rocks that have their pictures posted check Rosie Rocks out at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1707652262651874/https://www.facebook.com/groups/1707652262651874/  I’d say that photos of about 1 out of every 50 rocks hidden wind up on the facebook group. I would LOVE for all to be posted but at least I know that most all are found and hopefully they put a smile on the finders face and meant something to their heart!

Ya’ll have a blessed week!

 

 

03.12.19 Chauvin Produce Company update – sticks, sticks and more sticks

Progress is being made in the garden.  A little bit at a time.

This update is long and not all that interesting 🙂 I wrote it to help me keep track of how the garden is progressing and to look back on how this years garden was grown when planning the next garden.  If you want to learn with us as we experiment with this spring’s garden read on!! If not, feel free to go outside and walk around a while enjoying God’s beautiful world instead of reading on!

The three beautifully sprouting militon plants were planted in the garden on Thursday, March 7th. These lived on top of the refrigerator until they started sprouting and then they lived outside for the last couple of weeks except for the freeze nights. After just a few days in the ground they have already sent out their little feelers and curled along the wire!  You see a little bit of the militon is sticking out above the ground.  That’s how it is suppose to be for them to grow right.  The end where the roots grow down and the vine grows up is below ground and the other end above ground.  Two newer militons that haven’t sprouted joined the first three in the ground on Saturday, March 9th. All five militons are planted along the wire Roy put up to give the militons and cucumbers a place to grow up.

The cucumber seeds have not done well, unlike how well they did last year.  With only 3 seeds sprouting I decided to plant 10 seeds directly in the garden on Saturday, March 9th along the same fence the militons are growing on. It looks like only sticks are growing there right now!

The potatoes that have been growing outside in a large container were planted in the garden on Thursday as well.  They sprouted and have been growing well outside in a pot, being moved inside when it froze. Two more potatoes are now cut in pieces with two eyes each waiting to sprout more and the outside hardening before going in the ground.

Half of one row is now planted with garlic and the other end with yellow onions. The three garlic I started inside have sprouted well and were planted in the garden on Thursday, March 7th.  Several more garlic cloves were planted directly in the garden on Thursday to see how that works compared to starting them inside and moving them outside when they sprout.

One yellow onion set (tiny onions) was planted inside and sprouted really well.  12 yellow onion sets were planted directly into the main garden. Ten sets were planted in a big pot a week ago and are still there.  18 sets were planted in an egg carton two weeks ago and were transplanted (with good roots growing) in the pond garden.  There are probably 40 onion sets left unplanted.  Those will be planted during the summer.

My efforts starting corn inside were pretty much a failure.  Only one did well and was planted in the garden on Thursday.  Around 20 corn seeds were planted directly in the garden on Thursday.  More research showed that starting inside is not a good idea so now I know for future gardens.

Here’s the garden with potatoes, garlic, onion sets, corn seeds, militons and cucumber seeds planted.

Sprouted watermelon (Jubilee) plants and cantaloupe plants (from our own seeds) were planted into the garden down by the pond on Thursday, March 7th.  Watermelon seeds of a different variety, Allsweet, were planted in the ground in a straight line in the pond garden.

The three sweet potatoes were cut with two eyes on each piece.  They were planted in an aluminum pan and were growing well in the pantry and have started to make leaves.  It will be a while before the splits are ready to be removed and planted in the ground but for now they have joined the rest of the other plants outside of the pantry!

The brussels sprout plants were dug up from last year and were planted last week in the pond garden are doing well in the ground.  When I planted them I saw tiny little brussels forming along the stalk.

Between 12 and 20 peanuts were planted near the Brussels sprouts last week but nothing is sprouting yet. 10 peanuts were planted in the flower garden along the fence near the front of our property.  Peanuts don’t require much care so I am planting them wherever there is an open space! This looks like pretty much just a bunch of popsicle sticks but there really are some small plants there!

The seed plantings that are not ready to plant outside are spending a couple of hours outside each day hardening them.  They are in a protected environment inside the kitchen which is drastically different than outside conditions.  Spending a bit more time each day outside in the elements help prepare them for when they live outside all the time.  I didn’t do any of that last year.  The seeds were planted in their little individual spaces and lived outside the whole time. Today is day 3 of their hardening process.

The seed plantings going through hardening right now are the bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, big tomatoes, okra, green onions, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli.  All of them have 3 or more leaves on them and just need the hardening.

The beautiful leaves sprouting on our two fig trees froze earlier this week but there are new ones sprouting out already!  The eight blueberry bushes are all sprouting new leaves and blueberries.  Some bushes more than others, but they all seem to have survived the big transplant last year!

While gardening is a very fulfilling experience it has frustrated my brain this week. I thought I had some safety net things in place to help me remember what’s planted where. However, I planted some seeds in two containers and before I could make markers to identify what they were I forgot what I planted.  Didn’t even stay in my brain 10 minutes.  I had to dig them up to figure it out.  I have several small pots with cucumber markers in then that I don’t really know if there are seeds in there. Nothing is sprouting yet so there probably is just dirt but I’ll give it a bit longer hoping I did actually plant seeds in them.

My sweet honey Roy saw I needed more popsicle sticks for identifying plants as I’ve used all I had (sorry Madisyn, they use to be yours in your craft box!) He went to the store and bought me over 100 large wooden (popsicle like) sticks so I could write on both sides what the plant is to put one next to each one as I plant them.  There are now popsicle sticks all over the gardens.  Last year I painted rocks with the names of each vegetable.  Because I don’t remember what a plant is without seeing it’s name I painted a second one for each vegetable this year to put one at each end of the row.

I am finding that while I’ve done a lot of research about all of the vegetables I don’t remember most of it.  I made a spreadsheet with lots of the information to help me with that. But I have to remember to update the spreadsheet for it to be helpful, I haven’t updated it in a month.

I need some help figuring out where to plant things in the garden down by the pond and Roy helps me with that.  Seems like that should be something I’d never need any help with but I do every step I take with it.  He sits with me (I’m sitting in the dirt, he’s sitting in a chair) down by the pond and it gives me a great comfort. I also have a fear of snakes living under the storage building so Roy is also there to protect me from what he calls “sneaky snake!”

In this picture I am moving sprouting onion sets from the egg carton I started them in. They are now in the pond garden where I am hopeful they grow into full size yellow onions.  Had to shake my head when I saw what an old biddy I look like in the picture but that’s me when I’m crawling around in the dirt!  I require a shower and clean clothes every time I do that!

Well that’s it for gardening by the Chauvin’s this week.  More will be transferred to the garden next couple of weeks, I hope.  Today the high temperature was 80.  We had a delightful visit at our house with my sister Harriett and brother in law George and I got to show her all my gardening efforts!

Ya’ll have a blessed week!

 

02.28.19 Chauvin Produce Company Update – Hey HONEY let’s stop at the junk yard!

Monday we had some errands to run around Amite and Hammond.  I told Roy I’d like to find a metal table to use outside to have a place for repotting plants, etc.  He said he previously saw a glass and metal table at the junk yard. It’s a big yard with junk in it! They sell whatever people give them! As we were driving down Highway 16 towards downtown Amite we passed by there and stopped.  I love stopping there to see what they have for sale.

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I looked at the round glass and metal table but it just didn’t ring my happy bells. We saw a rectangular glass outside table with metal trim and legs.  We both agreed not only could it be a gardening table but we can use it for when company comes to eat and visit! We need to get an umbrella to go through the hole in the middle of the table for shade. I’ll take a used one if anyone wants to give us one!!!  We settled on a great price with the young lady at the junk yard and Roy figured out how to strap it to the top of our truck bed cover to bring it home.  A nice policeman followed us home I guess to make sure the table didn’t fall off and cause an accident.

I cleaned the table this morning and the next phase of gardening began.  Most all of my little vegetable and fruit seeds have grown big enough plants to transfer them to bigger pots. That took a long time but I got to know them all really well.  I’ve always talked to my plants even before having dementia.  They respond well, so if you haven’t tried it start talking to yours!  It will be a while until these tiny plants are ready to go in the garden but we now have a kitchen floor full of pots. It was not sunny today but spending hours outside was such a blessing!

These pictures above were taken before the table got full and I finally realized that sitting down in a chair made the whole process easier…………… duh!

The brussells sprouts plants from last year have been replanted down by the pond. There are seven of them and when I took them out of the container they were in I saw tiny brussells sprouts growing!  We’ll see how that turns out!

Both fig trees are blooming!

All of the eight transplanted blueberry bushes are blooming and one even has a few blueberries on it already!!

I also planted 5 more peanut plants down there.  I planted 6 last week in the front of the garden along the fence.  I just planted the 5 peanuts and 7 brussells sprouts and after an active day I am pooped out.  I’ll plant more peanuts tomorrow.  The soil down there with what Roy added and tilled is beautiful and so easy to work with, it’s just the bending and digging that’s rough!  Thanks again honey for my second garden!

I have mirliton vines and potatoes ready to plant.  Next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we will have freezing temperatures at night.  Once that is past I’ll begin planting those in the garden. The watermelon, cantaloupe seeds have nice size plants now and will be planted down by the pond then.  The cucumbers will also be ready for the garden and will be planted on the same end that the mirliton vines will be on growing up the fence Roy constructed!

Not ours but a mirliton vine with mirlitons on it. That’s what I’m striving for!

This is what a mirliton vine and mirlitons look like.  Roy’s mama always had one and we enjoyed many of her stuffed mirlitons!

Roy created rows in the garden last week.  It’s beginning to take shape. It’s only growing a couple of weeds right now but soon it will be filled with lots of vegetables.

Ya’ll have a blessed weekend!

 

2.24.19 Decorating the walls at Casa de Chauvin

Sometimes I really miss all the adventures we’ve had while living on the road in Dora, our motor home.

Since moving into our sticks and bricks home (that’s what motor home folks call their house), the walls are kinda empty except for televisions and a couple of pieces of decoration.

Roy recently came up with a great idea to decorate the walls.  We’re going to take some of our favorite photos from our travels and have them printed on canvas!  The five years on the road were filled with many adventures and we always want to remember them.

I started going through all our travel photos to pick out some fo the ones we love the most from the first photos from 2012 up to the time we stopped traveling last year. What I’m finding, while going through all of these blog posts, is that they are bringing back so many special, heart happy memories. I noticed that our smiles in the photos are such genuinely happy smiles coming from the joy in our hearts seeing all of the amazing things our country has from coast to coast.  God gave us the gift of travel and adventure at a time He knew we most needed it.

I finished that process recently and have picked out 371 photos!  We’d have to add many rooms to our house to have enough walls to hang all those.  I can see this is going to be a huge endeavor to narrow it down to our 10 (at most) favorites.

We didn’t know how these canvas prints would come out.  We first had Easy Canvas Prints make a recent family photo into a canvas print for both of our son’s families for Christmas.  We loved how those came out and our son’s families loved them as well. Using a two for one discount they offered the price was very reasonable.

We looked at several different companies to price having a three part canvas print made from a photo I took while standing on the bridge across Niagara Falls that goes from America to Canada.  This is the original photo.Canvas Campus is who we ordered our three part photo of Niagara Falls wall art from. They offered a free 8″ x 8″ canvas print with any purchase of $99 or more.  Our order was exactly $99 so we sent them the photo below of Roy and I when we went to Colorado the first time and toured the Colorado Rockies stadium.  We got to sit in the dugout and another visitor took this photo where I’m calling down to the bull pen for a relief pitcher! The Niagara Falls split picture is made up of three 30″ high x 20″ wide canvases. It is now hung up on the wall over our sofa.

We love it there! We have such great memories of Niagara Falls and our time on the Maid of the Mist that this is perfect for our living room.  You can see the Maid of the Mist in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Here’s the Coors Field photo on canvas.

l am thankful that God allowed us to experience all of those memories and we are so happy to have been able to share a lot of them with you on Dora and the Explorers!

Next we’ll order three separate canvas prints of three different views of the Grand Canyon.  That will go in our bedroom over the bed.  I plan to have several canvases around the house that are not three part but we thought this was a good place to start so we could see if we like it, and we do!

If you are interested in having your photos put on canvas I’d recommend shopping around.  They all seem to have different specials at different times.  Some of the companies have way higher shipping prices than others.  We were pleased with the final work of both Easy Canvas Prints and Canvas Campus.  The Niagara Falls canvases came in laid out wrong the first time but the company came through sending us the correct prints the second time at no cost and in a very fast manner.

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

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02.12.19 Chauvin Produce Company – Getting the Gardens Ready

It would be oh so nice for gardening to just be dumping some dirt out, making rows, planting some seeds and watching them grow!  But OH NO that is not how it is!

Our venture into gardening vegetables in the fall was a learning experience.  This year we are going the extra mile in every step along the way.

When I say “we” I mostly mean Roy.  I’m usually along for the ride helping make decisions, or doing some of the grunt work or supervising! For over a week we’ve been spending large chunks of most days on getting the garden ready to accept the plants when the seeds, the mirlitons, potatoes, garlic and sweet potatoes are ready to plant.

Again, our friends Chuck and Donna loaned us their tiller and our very gracious neighbor Daniel loaned us his trailer to pick up the tiller, dirt, and other items.  We used the tiller last year to prepare the blueberry beds and the small garden in the back yard.  This year Roy expanded the garden from 8′ x 16′ to 16′ x 16′.  We also prepared an area down by the pond where crawling fruit like watermelon and cantaloupe can grow.

I’ve tried to document with pictures all we’ve done and will try to identify what’s going on in each picture below.  I’m already thinking this may become a two part post because I’ve identified over 50 pics I want to share.  We’ll see.

The cool weather recently has allowed us to work for hours on end without being drained like the heat does.  We were worn slap out and our joints/muscles screamed at us after a few hours and overnight but we’re still standing and I have to think it was a healthy week of working out, at the very least.

Nothing is ever easy.  After Roy dug up all the grass where the garden expansion was he had to locate the electrical wire he laid down there last year to run electricity to our storage building. We couldn’t find pictures that showed exactly where it was so he dug until he found it.  The tiller would rip up the wire at the level it was, so after finding it he dug much deeper and relaid the line.  This was a full day’s project after the two days he spent digging up the grass.

We shopped for more frame lumber to go around the expansion portion of the garden and the rebar to make it all stable and stay in place. Here’s Roy working on putting it all together.

When we bought the boards and rebar we also bought five fence posts to create the fencing for my cucumbers and merlitons to grow all around.  Last years flimsy structure that cucumbers grew one was pitiful.  This one will withstand a hurricane!

The original gardens dirt/compost/peatmoss and the new gardens just dirt was tilled.  Over the course of this week I’d say Roy tilled both gardens entirely 10 different times.

One day last week Roy and I visited three different dirt pit locations to see, price and decide which dirt was best for us.  We chose a place called Zemurray Pit a few miles from here.  The guy running the place was very helpful and worked with us to get the best dirt before the rains came.

The next day Roy went to Lowe’s to buy the Peat Moss and Cow manure/compost, pick up the tiller and came home to till all that in. After the first tilling four huge bags of peat moss were added, I kicked it apart, raked it in several directions, Roy tilled it and I raked it one last time.

Here’s the bags of cow manure/compost that Roy added and I raked it out.  Roy tilled all of the peat moss and manure into the dirt. He tilled for a couple of hours before calling it a day.

He got up at 7:30 am the next morning (I know alot of ya’ll are at work then!) and went to get a huge load of dirt from Zemurray Pit.  He brought that home and tilled that into the stuff he tilled the day before. I got up when he came home and had worked for an hour and a day full of fun began for me.  What’s seen on the trailer below is what was left after he put half of the dirt in the garden with the nutrients and tilled it. 

Here’s the finished product.  One 16′ x 16′  vegetable garden that will withstand earthquakes, hurricanes and who knows whatelse!   Between doing research, shopping, and labor I estimate 30 hours went into this.  Certainly not the simple garden that the garden looks like! It’s amazing what all goes into it!

Here’s the view from the garden of what I call “down by the pond.”  The second garden that is down there isn’t as structured as this but many hours of work went into it also.

On our way down there looking back up the hill to the first garden.

Here’s where we tried out growing watermelons and cantaloupe last year.  There are some weeds that I knew would only get worse if I didn’t dig them up, so I did. Two hours later I was finished and Roy brought down the hill the remaining dirt.  At one point I crawled on top of the dirt to throw out onto the ground chunks of dirt.  It helped break them up to get ready to be tilled. Look at all my grey hair.  Can’t wait for the blonde stuff to go away so it will all be grey!

This is just the dirt raked out.  There are several inches of sand underneath the dirt. After church yesterday we went to Home Depot and picked up more Peat Moss for this garden area and several larger peat pots to move the seeded vegetables into when they get bigger, before they are ready to move outside. .

Here it is after Roy tilled the sand, dirt and peat moss together.

Roy handed me the shovel and sent me off to the front of the storage building to dig up sand that washed down the hill and settled there over time.  Roy rescued me and took over the digging going much deeper than I did.  He got several wheelbarrows of sand from that spot and dumped it behind the storage building for the garden. 

It was tilled before the dirt was added, after the dirt was added and after the peat moss was added.  I thought Roy was going to stop at that point but oh no, he kept on.

A lot of the dirt mixture behind the shed was shoveled into around 15 wheelbarrow loads and moved up the hill.  It is a steep hill and very difficult to get up with a wheelbarrow.  My honey did it though and about every couple of loads he’d rake the dirt over a large area next to the house we’ve been working on to get grass to grow for a while.  I have to admit I worried he’d pass out or die at this point.  I asked what I could do to help but he kept saying no.  He did rest often which is probably what saved my honey from something bad happening.

This is the area he dumped the dirt and spread it out before calling it a day and making a campfire near where Dora use to live so we could enjoy the beautiful weather outside after dark yesterday.  The soil mixture that he left behind the storage building is plenty for me to grow the second garden watermelon, cantaloupes, peanuts and maybe a couple of tomato plants there.

Some of the non seed plants we are helping sprout are our potatoes, garlic, mirlitons , sweet potatoes and Brussels sprout plants dug up from last years crop. Southerners know what mirlitons are and how absolutely wonderful the dishes they are cooked in are.  When our crop starts producing I’ll share some of the ways we cook it down here in the south!

We purchased three seed sweet potatoes.  They are cut up with either two eyes on them or the end for sprouting vines that are pretty.  Lots of people grow the vines in their garden just for the leaves, not the sweet potatoes! I’ve learned a lot about the difference between potatoes and sweet potatoes.  They are in no way related and grow in very different ways.  When the vines get to a certain point they are removed from the sweet potato since they don’t need it anymore.  They’ve grown roots by then and the vine with its roots are planted in the garden to grow more sweet potatoes.

The larger peat pots are in the picture below.  Our kitchen has turned into a plant sprouting place.  You can see the sprouts coming up really well in the other two pictures.  We’ve already decided that next years seeds will be planted in the little Jiffy pucks which are the little things in the smaller container in the second picture.

The only thing that isn’t planted for sprouting somewhere are the 100 yellow onion bulbs.  Those produce quickly and can wait a bit longer before being planted and can go directly into the ground.

Roy and I love the time we’ve spent on the road sitting around campfires visiting and enjoying the warmth of the fire.  We have some old wood we’ve wanted to burn for a while so Roy did that yesterday after it got dark.  Chip even came over to join us and got to have some dad/son bonding time when mama went to bed!

This garden project is wonderful for my brain because I am always doing research to find out something about growing some plant.  I don’t remember a lot for very long so I document it to go back to when the information is needed. That brings us current on the Chauvin Produce Company. Looks like I fit it into one post!

We are resting, catching up on things like this and a bit of being lazy today! Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

02.08.19 The Ten Commandments of Gumbo

Gumbo is one of the most beloved entrees here in the great state of Louisiana. People come from around the world to taste this amazing soupy concoction of rouxy goodness.

But don’t dare mess up any of the golden rules of a good gumbo. There are right and very wrong ways to make, serve and eat gumbo.

I, myself, break a couple of the commandments but I dare not say in public which ones…..

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GUMBO

I Thou Shalt Never Use Tomatoes
If we’ve learned anything from the Disney folks, it’s this. Any cooyon with half a brain knows “Making Gumbo 101” contains this golden rule — it’s roux-based and not tomato-based! Tomatoes are for things like spaghetti sauce.

II Thou Shalt Not Use Un-Cajun Sausage
Sausage in your gumbo can only come from authorized vendors. Brands like Savoie’s, Richard’s or any name ending in “eaux” and you good, bebe!

III Thou Shalt Not Use Store-Bought Roux
Don’t even entertain this thought. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some that are just fine…if you paresseux comme ca! This a movement that needs to start immediately. Don’t be lazy, stand by the stove and stir that flour and oil patiently until it’s a perfect brown.

IV Thou Shalt Always Use a Bowl
There is always that one person who “just can’t stand all that juice” and will insist on making them a plate of rice covered with gumbo. That’s not gumbo bruh, that’s rice and gravy!

V Thou Shalt Only Use a Wooden Spoon
I guarantee you that gumbo knows what’s stirring it. It has feelings too you know! There’s only one kind of spoon that can enter a gumbo pot, and that’s a wooden one.

VI Thou Shalt Adhere to the ‘Gumbo-to-Rice’ Ratio
Two parts gumbo, one part rice. It’s simple math. You don’t want it runny and you don’t want it ricey. (Yeah, I don’t know what “ricey” is either, but you comprende, oui?!)

VII Thou Shalt Always Keep Filé In Ya Cabinet
Don’t make me fill my bowl with rice then add all that chicken and sausage goodness, plop some potato salad next to it and then find out you out of filé. Oh, we gonna fight, yeah!

VIII Thou Shalt Not Mix Chicken & Sausage with Seafood
Chicken and sausage gumbo = mais yeah cher! Seafood gumbo = pie-yow comme ca! Chicken and Sausage + Seafood = that don’t go together, no! Stop that. Leave that separate please.

IX Thou Shalt Never Tell People Where the Potato Salad Goes
It’s an age-old question: Should the potato salad go straight in the bowl or in a bowl of its own? That’s a personal choice. It’s like politics, leave that discussion out of the kitchen.

X Thou Shalt Always Stir Your Gumbo Counter-Clockwise to scare off de Hurricanes

Just a little Cajun gumbo humor to start your weekend off right!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

01.31.19 Sunshine, Food and Family

What a wonderful time we had this past sunshiny Sunday afternoon with our family.  A lot has been happening in our families life not leaving much time for to just sit a spell and visit.

We got to do that Sunday with our son Chip, his wife Misty, their niece Haylee, and Chip’s friend Trey who he calls his son, so I think that makes Trey our grandson!   We ate bowls of chili and got to visit.  Here’s Misty, Chip, Trey and Haylee.  All of these photos are clickable to enlarge.

We went down by our pond where we had a nice long visit while Haylee and Trey road around the pond in our paddle boat.

Haylee is pretty good at catching fish with her hand.  This pic shows her holding a piece of bread tempting the fish to jump up to get it!

I love it when Roy brings his new drone out and takes videos and photos.

This is the screen on his ipad he uses to show what the drone sees.  These are some photos Roy took with his drone Sunday afternoon.

In the photo below,our house is on the left.  I absolutely love seeing our area from so high up! 

Having Chip, Misty and those two young people around was fun.  The weather was beautiful and the fellowship was even better!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

 

01.21.19 Our Superhero Swooped In!

We are not the superheros. I just remembered we had this photo and it made me smile so I’m sharing!

Monday, January 21, 2019 – You know how sometimes you have a friend that you haven’t seen in forever and you need something from them?  You contact them and being the special person they are they don’t hang up, even though it’s been forever since you talked last, and now you’re calling needing something!

Well, not only do they not hang up but they end up doing way more than you asked for.  Just cause they are that kind of person!

Our friend that just did this is John S. known by most as Chip S.  No, our Chip Chauvin was not named after him but he is the person named Chip that we got the idea from.  Chip is our son’s real name but Chip is John’s nickname.

Long, long ago before we had our sons I worked as a legal secretary for Chip at a law firm in New Orleans.  I’m not really sure how I came to work there but I remember eating a lot of Charles Chips there and him playing the guitar.  I again worked for him at a different law firm a couple of years later.  I believe it was during that time that Chip started writing a novel.  I was blessed to be the one who typed what he wrote during that time. We even went to Oak Alley Plantation one time to gather information for the novel.

We went our separate way but Chip sent us his family’s Christmas photo card each year so I got to watch his two sons grow up that way.  Maybe every five years or so we’d contact each other and then there was Facebook.  He continued to sporadically write his novel and now 40 plus years later he’s finished and it is being published!  The story line changed drastically over the years but the part I typed is still somewhere in there!  I’ve read parts of it and I think it’s great.  When it’s published and I get to read it I will be sharing about it here!

When we began communicating with the family that Dora is going to California to live with they sent us an agreement to consider that they entered into with someone else whose RV notes they took over.  We reached out to Chip to just review it.  We wound up having in depth conversations about various options he pointed out that we had with Dora.  He made important phone calls on our behalf and really helped us see much more than what we were focused on.  He listened to all our thoughts and concerns and explained so many things to us that helped us make our final decision. I’d rather not explain it all here but he once again proved why we will always be friends.  He didn’t lead us to make any specific decision, he just informed us so we could make a good decision.

He just finalized the agreement we will sign with the couple from California.  It is perfect for this unusual situation and I believe protects us and the other couple very well. Through this process I’ve felt so comforted to know that this Superhero attorney was on our side and had our best interest at heart.

Thanks Chip, from the bottom of our heart for your advice, support, guidance.  Anyone looking for an attorney superhero let me know and I’ll give you his contact information.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!