08.26.19 Chauvin Produce Company – In Transition to the Fall Garden

Gardening is difficult when the weather is as hot has it has been.  The high today was in the high 70s so right after church today I spent several hours crawling around and working in our main vegetable garden. Pulling weeds has been difficult because the garden was so full. All weeds and dead leaves are now gone!  They will come back though! 😦  Many of the vegetables really needed tying up higher to the tall stakes and that was done today. Dirt gets washed away exposing the roots as time goes on so each plant got a fresh mound of dirt over the roots.

A lot has changed since I wrote last and we are transitioning to the Fall garden now.

While I worked in the garden Roy spent the whole afternoon assembling a square picnic table for family and friend gatherings.

My husband doesn’t do anything half way.  He could have assembled the picnic table and bench and walked away.  But these concrete squares are to go under each corners legs so it doesn’t sink into the ground and get uneven.  I’m already planning how to make that area down by the pond into something pretty where we’ll like to visit! It’s pretty far from the house but has a beautiful view of the pond!

Now to the garden. One thing we’ve learned is that we are either really not good at growing watermelons or the locations we’ve planted them in is no good.  We’ve had at least a dozen watermelons start to grow on the vines.  All but three withered up and died.   Two of the three are little and round, about two week old watermelons.  One got fairly large before we discovered it had been either eaten into or somehow went bad.  We’ve both agreed this may not be something we grow again next year.  After cutting off the bad part of the fairly large one, it was quite delicious.  I think we’ll get about three bowls full of watermelon from that one. I’ll leave the vines growing just in case a miracle happens and we get another nice size one!

We are proud that we grow okra really well.  Every day I cut at least one nice size okra from each plant.  Now that new branches are growing from near the bottom and okra are growing from there we have maybe 3 okra pods to pick from each plant.  I’ve shared okra, frozen sliced okra, cooked smothered okra, pickled okra, and boiled okra.  Every way I’ve fixed them has turned out great. The top of the okra plants are now around 7 feet tall.  I have to bend them over a lot to reach the top to snip off the okra pods!  Two of the plants have grown all the okra they are going to grow so I’ve cut them down to just above where the new bottom branches are growing. My smothered okra recipe will be included in the next blog post.

These tall scrawney okra plants are great producers.  You can see the yellow flower at the top and a flower near the bottom on the same plant where the new crop have started.

This one small okra plant is a different variety I tried this year from seed.  It’s the only seed of that variety that actually turned into a plant. It took longer to start producing but about a month ago it started producing an okra pod each day. These are some of the lower branches that are now producing okra.A pot of smothered okra and a pot of fresh potatoes

Bell peppers are another vegetable we grow well.  I’ve stuffed dozens of bell peppers. I also chopped up a lot of bell peppers and froze them.   I don’t know if it is our soil or the type of bell pepper seeds we grew we’ve grown but they don’t seem to get as big as the ones in the grocery.  They are however very tender and quite delicious! They are still producing quite a few in what I call their second season. This is a vegetable we will grow again. My stuffed bell pepper recipe will be included in the next blog post.

All of the sweet potatoes have been dug up.  The first batch stayed in the house for two weeks and then the storage shed for two weeks after digging them up.  They are now ready to cook.  Their shape is not always like the ones in the grocery. However, I’ve watched several videos about growing sweet potatoes and have found that other people have funky shaped sweet potatoes in their home gardens just like mine are. The second batch lived inside for a couple of weeks and have just been placed in the storage shed for the next two weeks.  I’ll let ya’ll know how the first batch of sweet potatoes tastes when they are cooked.  We’ve agreed we won’t be growing sweet potatoes anymore.  A lot of work and a lot of space for not many results.

This is the first batch that are ready to cook.

The second batch that will be ready after spending a couple of weeks in the warmth of the storage shed.  Aren’t they the weirdest shape things!?Our cucumbers are still producing. We’ve picked around 60 decent sized cucumbers so far. About a dozen cucumbers were yellowish in color as they grew.  They were delicious even though the cucumbers were yellow-skinned.  I’ve planted seeds three times since this planting season started.  The vines are sometimes strong and sometimes weak.  I learned I’m not great at pickling the cucumbers.  They get very soft though they taste okay.  I’ve fixed them a couple of different ways.  It’s a lot of work for something that doesn’t turn out great.

Roy’s new creole tomato plants are all producing at least one, some more.  Can’t wait for one to get ripe and taste it!

The original two rows of tomatoes are down to one plant! That one plant has one tomato on it and when that ripens we’ll pull it up.

The two rows above where those tomatoes grew will be planted with the cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprout plants that are almost ready to go in the garden.

The corn seeds planted about a month ago are growing well and most all have corn on them.

+The mirliton vines have been difficult to grow.  They do not make millions until August but so far we have no militon vegetables on the vines.  While the vines right now look okay and strong, during their growth they’ve been weak and then strong and then weak looking.  We were really hoping this would go well since we both love stuffed mirlitons and have such fond memories of Roy’s mom growing them in their garden.

Our fig trees are really weird.  These are a few of the figs still on the tree.  They are all still green.  Sometimes one will ripen and something eats part of it right away.  Most of them haven’t gotten anywhere near ripe. They have received a good soaking every day so we don’t know if something is wrong or if they are just late producers! 

The yellow onion crop was pretty small and the onions themselves were small.  I planted 100 yellow onion sets (tiny onions) and this is about half of what it produced. The largest ones are about tennis ball size.

We’re using the green tops of the onions on our baked potatoes tonight!

Our eggplants have done well.  The first group produced nice sized eggplants.  The second group produced mostly small ones.  Once they got about baseball size they fell off the bush.  If I didn’t get them off the ground the same day they rotted quickly.  The smothered eggplant casseroles turned out very tasty.  My smothered eggplant recipe will be included in the next blog post.

I love mangos and want to try growing them.  I found a video showing how to do that and am trying it!  The picture below shows the bottom half of a 2 liter bottle. The two baggies contain two different mango seeds.  I’ve always thought the seed was what was inside the mango that had lots of hair on it.  Come to find out that the actual seed is inside of that hairy thing.  The video said to gently dig out the seed and wrap it in a wet towel, then put it inside a zip lock bag for ten days.  At the end of the ten days you remove the papertowel wrapped seed from the baggy.  It is suppose to have a nice root growing on it.  You then add rocks and dirt to the empty bottle and plant the seed in it.  As the plant grows you put it in a larger container about every year.  Who knows if this will go well but it is too easy not to try!

The photo below shows the seeds wrapped up and the bottle cut in half. Here is a link to the video that taught me how to do this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV_J1ihtia8

The artichoke plant has not produced an artichoke but is still living so we’ll see how that does! If it’s not dead, it still has potential!

We’ve had so much rain, that continues this week that the garden has often been overflowing with water.  The seedlings are ready to plant but I’m waiting until the flood is over!

The fall garden will include cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, bell pepper, eggplants and okra. We’ll get a break in our gardening once we have our first freeze here.  I don’t know which vegetables can withstand the freeze but we have very few hours each year where the temperature is below freezing.

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

 

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08.20.19 Flowers, flowers, flowers at the Chauvins!

We have so many pretty flowers around our property on Rohner Road in Amite.  A while back I took a few pictures of plants blooming their prettiest and have included them with the more recent ones taken today. The majority of our flowers were transplanted from our home in Hammond when we moved here.  This year many of those plants were divided and planted in different locations around our property.

Look at the butterfly buzzing around this lantana plant   We have six oak trees on one side of our property.  I transplanted creeping daisy vines and vinca vines around each tree. I hope to improve each of the oak tree flower beds next year. This group of oak trees had a Hosta plant added to the group.  Our renters had a beautiful one and allowed me to take a clipping which I’m growing here now. The hammock is hanging from two oak trees with new creeping plants and lilies around each of them.  The new chimes make this a wonderful place to rest! This tree is one of the two the hammock is hanging from.  There is a lot of shade here so all the flowers planted around there are taking a while to grow.  There were a dozen or so lilies blooming here earlier in the year. They’ve been cut back and will bloom again next spring! Our eight blueberry bushes previously lived here.  They were dug up about a year ago and are planted along side the house.  Planted where the blueberries were are two azalea bushes and two lantana bushes plus lots of the creeping daisies.  The two silver urns have strawberry plants in them.   Lots of medium size rocks painted with several states name on them outline this new garden space.Roy’s grape vines are doing okay but have not begun to produce anything.  This is where all of the creeping daisies and vinca vines came from.  I cover the creeping daisies and vinca vines with pine straw every winter. They come through the pine straw as they start to grow every year and wind up like this.  My friend Pam Smith gave me the creeping daisies years ago and they are one of my favorite plants. The lantana and azalea bushes were dug up from along the fence.  Since we don’t live next to this anymore I wanted to have something pretty to look at our of my bedroom window so those plants were moved to where I just showed you.  These ferns were being smothered by the creeping daisies in the garden above so they are now living next to the concrete patio and are starting to grow nicely.The lilies alongside the concrete patio. They were so crowded that a lot of them were transplanted to other places on the property.  Still a lot remaining to bloom next year.

Flowers and Lillies are growing at the base of both mailboxes.    The Lillies have been cut back for the winter.  It takes a while for the vinca vines to take off but they are starting to show up real well.

Earlier in the summer creeping daisies and vinca vines were planted around the septic tank covers.  The first picture was after a month of growth.  The second was taken today about 2 months later.

The blueberry bushes are flourishing in their new location with more sunlight!

This is at the base of our huge pine tree by the road.  In a couple of years, the little flowering vines, plants, and lilies will make a beautiful welcome to those coming to visit.    The rose bushes and camellias are growing bigger and get cut back when needed so they fit within their designated area.  I’d like to expand the area they are in so they can grow more. Roy’s kind of in charge of the work to do that so we’ll see if that wish of mine comes true! Last fall these adagio bushes were cut back as much as we could.  The first photo is after they started coming back.  The second photo is today.  I don’t think these two bushes could be any prettier.

While we traveled out west we collected cactus from a couple of places and are enjoying the beautiful flowers that the bigger cacti grow.  The smaller ones in the blue bowl are soft cacti and make a yellow flower when they bloom.      The varigated liriope was one of this years transplants.  From one big bunch elsewhere I got six transplants!  The red bush roses are doing really well.

A sweet friend, Ellen, gave us a daisy plant for Easter.  Once the daisies stopped blooming it was planted in the garden and is starting to spread out.  Can’t wait to see the daisies there next year!  So that’s the flowers around our property. Writing this helps me know next year what’s going to grow in each place since several of them die back in the winter.  I don’t remember well and this helps me.  I hope you enjoy it as well! If anyone loves the creeping daisies plant and wants some, let me know.  I obviously have enough to share!

I hope to share next time how our vegetable and fruit gardens are doing. Evert thing is in a period of transition but is still doing really well!

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

 

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08.07.19 The Peanut Butter Story, Author Unknown

 

This is a true story. It is a story of God and His Faithfulness in ALL things.

And now – THE PEANUT BUTTER STORY

During a season of my life when I was a single mother and struggling financially, one of my daughters came and asked what might seem like a simple request. She said, “It’s been a while since we’ve had any peanut butter. Could we get some?” I told her I’d see what I could do about that and she went off to bed.

Well, I remember laying on the couch and crying like a baby because I knew there was no money to buy peanut butter with. I had a good old fashioned pity party. I cried out to God and told Him how unfair it was that my children had to do without such a simple request over circumstances that were not their fault. I told Him I felt ashamed to question Him and complain when we certainly had not gone hungry. Many friends and church family had been faithful to help us. God had shown His faithfulness time and time again.

I told Him it surely would be nice to be able to go to the store and get not only our needs but also a few “wants”, like peanut butter! I cried myself to sleep feeling like a failure as a mother. (The peanut butter was just the straw that pushed me over the edge of much financial stress)

The next morning I got up to go run the Meals on Wheels route that I worked that summer. I took one of the girls with me every day so I would have some special time with the daughter who went for that day. The same one went with me that day who had asked about the peanut butter.

We got to one of the houses and the sweet little lady who lived there asked if I could wait a minute after we had given her the meal. She went into her house and came back with a can in her hands. She then preceded to say “I went yesterday to get my commodities and they had this can of peanut butter in my box. Well, I don’t buy peanut butter because it gives me “the gas”. I love it but it sure doesn’t love me! Well, I kept thinking about this can of peanut butter in my cabinet last night and I got up and ate a spoon full. Let me tell you – that spoon full of peanut butter kept me up all night! When I got up this morning, I thought, I’ve got to get that stuff out of my house! Then I thought about you and your little girls coming by here every day. I don’t want to offend you by offering you an opened can with a spoon mark in it, but I figured kids all love peanut butter. Would you mind having this can of peanut butter?”

I’m sure she wondered why I was crying before she could even finish her question! Absolutely, we would love to have such a precious gift! In that moment it was more valuable than a can full of gold! Sure, a can of gold would have bought a house full of groceries, but not the lesson my children and I learned that day and that we have never forgotten.

God does hear our prayers, He hears our heart cries. He hears a little girl say “can we get some peanut butter” when there’s no money to buy it.

That little lady could have given us a loaf of bread or a bag of potatoes. But it would not have been the miracle that God wanted us to have. It would have been appreciated but not something that I would remember so vividly 20 years later.

My God is an awesome God and He cares about me personally. He cares about you too. Bring your needs and your concerns to Him. He will show you how big, and loving, and able He is.

I’ve just always felt bad that the poor little lady had “the gas” all night to get our miracle to us!

  • Author Unknown

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08.04.19 My name is Rosalyn

A friend I’ve known for about 30 years asked me this morning if my name was RO-SA-LYN or RAH-ZA-LYN.   I won’t reveal his name so he doesn’t get bombarded with hate mail!

Ages ago people not knowing how to pronounce my name didn’t bother me.  You know why?  My mama would correct anyone who called me RAH-ZA-LYN.

Like she did, I’ll tell you my story.  My grandmother’s name was Rosa.  I called her Mimi but her given name was Rosa.  Mama and Daddy named me after her so Rosa is the first part of my name.  Hence, Rosa-lyn.

I still don’t usually correct people, even though mama is not around to take care of that.  I just don’t care but when someone I’ve known half my life doesn’t know how to pronounce my name I thought it might be more widespread than just him.

Practice with me:

RO-SA-LYN     not RAH-ZA-LYN

RO-SA-LYN     not RAH-ZA-LYN

RO-SA-LYN     not RAH-ZA-LYN

RO-SA-LYN    not RAH-ZA-LYN

No, you are not being punished and you do not have to write line after line of “I will not mispronounce ROSALYN’S name again”

Rosalyn Chauvin (pronounced as RO-SA-LYN SHOW-VAN) signing off for today!

Help me now!  Call me Rosa-lyn show-van

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07.29.19 All because you gave a boy a baseball

If you know our family you know that our life revolved around baseball for many years.  Sometimes we still get to see our son and grandchildren play.  This story rang so true when I first read it.  My friends, family and strangers who follow our blog, if your child plays baseball I think you’ll read this with a smile and will see yourself or them in some part of the story.

THIS IS SO TRUE…

If you give a boy a baseball, he will want a bat to go with it.

You’ll buy him the best bat you can find, and then he will probably want a bucket of balls and a glove and some cleats too.

Then, he will probably spend hours begging you to go out in the yard to play with him, even though you may want to sit on the couch and watch tv. He will insist. And his insistence will win.

And when a boy gets a jersey, he will need pants and socks and a belt to go with it. And a TEAM…..

And then life as you know it will end.

There will be no more lazy weekends watching tv. You will see more sunrises than you ever thought possible. Every spare minute of your time will be spent hauling buckets and bags and stinky cleats and crazy boys all over tarnation for hours to practice for a game. THE GAME.

And your house will be a mess. And your car will be dirty. All because you gave a boy a baseball.

Your weekends will be spent freezing or burning to death on a fold up chair. And his weekends will be spent gaining confidence and friends, and learning new skills and having fun and getting dirty. So dirty in fact that you will have to learn how to do laundry in a whole new way, like maybe at a carwash using the pressure washer.

And you will be there the day he hits his first home run, first strikeout, and his first double play. And he will make you SO proud.  The other moms will congratulate you. But you feel weird saying thank you because it’s not you at bat or on the mound. It’s everything him. He did this.

And right before your eyes, your little boy will be transformed from the baby who spun around with his head on the bat, (because he loves attention), into a pitcher. Because he loves attention still.

When you give a boy a baseball , you give him more than just a ball. You give him a sport, and a talent, and hope, and dreams, and friends, a new family, a place to learn about life, room to grow as a person where he can push his limits, and bravery, and courage and LIFE, and memories. And he will have ALL of these things, simply because you gave a boy a baseball.

Because you gave a boy a baseball, you too will develop new/lifelong friendships, developed solely from the same passion for the game and love of your team. You will root together. And spew PG-13 things out of your mouths together. Because you gave a boy a baseball.

Then one day, many years from today….he will be in his room and a baseball will roll out from an old dusty batbag underneath his bed. And he will pick it up and realize instantly that when you gave that boy a baseball, you also gave him a childhood that he would never forget. And then he will hug you, and your eyes may leak – because you realize that everything YOU gave up along the way…..was worth it!

All because you gave a boy a baseball ⚾️ …….

This was found on Facebook and the author is unknown.

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07.27.19 TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH – FROM THE SKY! PART 2

We were very happy today when we pulled up at church for our Senior Luncheon to see the frame of our new Family Life Building looming large behind the youth building!

First a big thanks to Derek and Koree and anyone else that made the luncheon really wonderful.  The food, devotion and fellowship as always were wonderful.  I got to visit with several people that I don’t normally get to visit.  I heard talk of a possible Senior’s road trip to see The Ark during Spring Break next year.  My ears really perked up and I truly hope Roy and I can make that bus ride with them!

Here’s a photo update of the Trinity Family Life Building currently under construction. The yellow arrow  in the first photo below points out the new building.

First some photos I took from the ground at different angles.

 

The hole that is in the floor is where an elevator will live!  Here’s Roy’s drone in the air taking some photos!

Now the cooler pictures taken by Roy and his Drone.

If Trinity folks would like to have any of these photos, just right click and select Save Image As to save it on your computer.

Ya’ll have a Blessed Weekend!

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07.23.19 It’s all about your ATTITUDE, never give up no matter how hard it geets, author unknown

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At age 5 his father died.

At age 16 he quit school.

At age 17 he had already lost four jobs.

At age 18 he got married.

Between ages 18 and 22, he was a railroad conductor and failed.

He joined the army and washed out there.

He applied for law school, he was rejected.

He became an insurance sales man and failed again.

At age 19 he became a father.

At age 20 his wife left him and took their baby daughter.

He became a cook and dishwasher in a small cafe.

He failed in an attempt to kidnap his own daughter, and eventually he convinced his wife to return home.

At age 65 he retired.

On the 1st day of retirement he received a check from the Government for $105.

He felt that the Government was saying that he couldn’t provide for himself.

He decided to commit suicide, life wasn’t worth living anymore; he had failed so much.

He sat under a tree writing his will, but instead, he wrote what he would have accomplished with his life. He realized there was much more that he hadn’t yet done. There was one thing he could do better than anyone he knew. And that was how to cook.

So he borrowed $87 against his check and bought and fried up some chicken using his recipe, and went door to door to sell them to his neighbors in Kentucky.

Remember, at age 65 he was ready to commit suicide.

But at age 88 Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Empire was a billionaire.

Moral of the story: It’s never too late to start all over.

MOST IMPORTANLY, IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR ATTITUDE. NEVER GIVE UP NO MATTER HOW HARD IT GETS.

You have what it takes to be successful. Go for it and make a difference.

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