Dollar Store Craft – Garden Gazing Ball

I thought this would be a fun project to try and to add a little bit of sparkle to one of my gardens! It is a quick and easy project that you can change up by using different coloured glass beads from the dollar store!

NOTE: I decided while I was making it that I’m going to take apart a solar garden light to go under the ball to make it pop even more!

I took the picture with just a battery operated votive candle to show it lit up.

All you need to make this project is a few bags of the glass beads from the dollar store, the kind that is flat on one side, a glass “fish bowl” also from the dollar store, your glue gun and then some type of sealer.

To make the gazing ball, I turned the fish bowl upside down and started to glue the glass beads to the exterior, making sure to cover all of it, leaving only tiny spaces.

I filled in all the spaces but the glass beads with glue from my glue gun as a sort of “grout” to hold it all together and then gave the whole thing a coat or two of sealer.

See I told you it was easy…. now you have a sparkly gazing ball for the garden that looks beautiful, even when the sun hits it during the day!

Sandie

A Day of Yard Work

Phew! Yesterday was a busy day working in the yard.

I started off just planning to put up all of my hummingbird feeders (all 10 of them lol), but it evolved into me getting all of my garden ornaments out and then having a burn. I needed to burn all the branches I gathered from around the yard the other day. And there was a lot!

All the feeders are up and we’ve had a lot of hummingbirds checking them out. Different species too. There’s a beautiful black one with red and yellow on it’s neck, another is a deep emerald green! I love hummingbirds! These are just the ones in the back.

And Chris did a great job cutting the lawn. Better him than me lol… it takes almost 2 hours to do front and back!

And we picked a spot to dig up the grass to make a bigger vegetable garden! I’m very excited! My granddaughter is old enough now that she will be able to eat the veggies I grow!

Sandie

Start of Gardening Season 2019

I spent some time yesterday doing some yard work. We had a rough, windy winter and our trees bore the brunt of it. There were branches, big and small, scattered all through the yard… some fairly big, some tiny… but they still needed to be collected so the lawn tractor doesn’t have to deal with them.

I filled the little trailer for the lawn tractor to overfilling lol… it was a lot of work but it just means we are getting closer and closer to gardening season.

I am trying to think of a different way to have my veggie garden this year. The felt portable pots worked fairly well last year but they have disintegrated over the winter. Right now I am weighing my options!

While I was out there I decided to take some pictures. My lilac bushes are so close to blooming…. my favourite flowers! I absolutely love the smell of lilac… so much that I have found cleaning products that smell just like them!

Here is a picture of my lilac starting to bloom.

Right now my Forsythia is in full bloom. The yellow flowers are always a nice bright reminder that Spring has arrived… albeit a wet and sometimes cold Spring lol!

Leroy, our Redbone Coonhound decided behind the Forsythia was the perfect place to hide from the big scary lawn tractor lol… he doesn’t like the sound of it!

My Tiger Lilies are starting to sprout up in all the gardens. I took this picture in the front yard of them starting to come up around the old tractor we have as garden “art!”

This last picture is just one I took when I was sitting on the lawn tractor taking a break, enjoying the beautiful day we had… well, most of yesterday and milder weather!

Welcome Spring!!!

Sandie

Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Since I had another rather large zucchini from my garden…. I swear someone slipped the zucchini some steroids when I wasn’t paying attention…. I thought I would make Chris and Dillon some Chocolate Zucchini bread.  Chris told me he loves chocolate zucchini but when I asked him if he had tasted it before, he said no?  Lol, how did he know he loved it if he hadn’t even tasted it?  I’m baffled lol.

You can also add chocolate chips or nuts or raisins, whatever you like to this recipe, but I left it just plain and very chocolatey for this batch!

I sent some to work with him in his lunch can and got two thumbs up from him and “the kids at school on recess” lol.  First they were going to give me grief about the fact it wasn’t buttered (like they do with banana bread lol), but the thought of putting butter on something chocolate just doesn’t seem right.  Either way, the bread was well received… good thing this recipe makes two loaves!!!

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Sandie

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Green Tomato Relish

I ended up with a whole big bowl of green tomatoes in my garden that I knew with the cold weather fast approaching were not going to ripen.  I didn’t want to just toss them over the fence for the cows, that seemed a waste of the fact I was actually able to grow vegetables this year.  I decided to try an old recipe I had for a Green Tomato Relish.

The smell of relish cooking is delicious…. it could taste awful but it sure makes the house smell nice. I only ended up getting 5 jars of this relish but it is still better than having wasted them!

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Sandie

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Feta Cheese, Cinnamon and Honey

Somehow I ended up with butternut squash plants when I purchased my vegetable plants in the spring.  I honestly had no idea what they were because the little tag was missing.  I decided to plant them anyway and see what, if anything, they would grow into.  Low and behold, I managed to grow a couple of squash…. well, it was actually more than a few but I had run over part of the plant with the riding lawn tractor and destroyed a few other that had started 😦

While I personally don’t like squash of any kind, I still thought I would give it another try in case my tastes had changed… they haven’t… but surprisingly the one person I didn’t think would even try it, let alone eat all of it (Dillon) cleaned his plate lol!

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Sandie

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Zucchini Relish

With having those gigantic zucchini from my garden I was struggling with what I wanted to make with them.  My mother-in-law suggested zucchini relish because she loves it…. so that’s what I made!  When I grated those zucchini it was hard to believe that I ended up with 16 cups of zucchini!!!  I only needed 12 cups for my recipe, so I am trying to decide now if I want to freeze what’s left over for another day or make something else.

In some places, zucchini relish is considered a “hot dog” relish.  I’m not sure why but I just call mine by the very bland “Zucchini Relish.”

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Sandie

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Garden Update

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I just had to share my giant zucchini!!!  (I took a picture of them beside some bananas to give a size gauge!)

Chris came in the house the other day and said he had just seen the biggest zucchini he had ever seen.  I figured someone at work had brought one in or something, I certainly didn’t expect that he saw it in MY garden lol.  I went outside to check and sure enough, there was a rather large zucchini in my garden…. not only that…. there were two of them!  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  They really were big.

I brought them inside and “displayed” them on my kitchen table lol.  I was very proud of the fact that I actually grew them.  Then it came time to decide what I was going to do with them now that I grew them lol. They would sure make a lot of zucchini bread but I decided that this weekend I am going to make some zucchini relish with them for our Christmas preserves baskets!!!  I will post the recipe once I have made it…. but for now I will leave you in awe of my (fluke) gardening skills!

And here are my zucchini with some of the tomatoes I have been picking from my tomato plants!

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Sandie

I “Pickled” my Beets – Re: Garden Update

This does not in any shape or form resemble a recipe but I still wanted to share one of the joys of being able to grow some veggies in my little gardens! I didn’t have many beets, probably about a dozen in total but when I think beets, I think pickled beets or in the winter…. plain old boiled beets with melted butter on them.

Considering we are going through ANOTHER heat wave it was definitely going to be pickled!

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I boiled the beets. I brought them to a boil and let them simmer for about 30 – 45 minutes until softened. Next I peeled them. Once cool, beets are usually very easy to peel. The skin generally will “rub” off in large pieces.

Then it was time to slice them. The thickness is up to you. I generally slice mine to about 1/4″ thickness.

I placed them in a large plastic container, with a lid…. I knew I wasn’t going to actually “can” these because they don’t last long enough so the plastic container was perfect.

I put 3 whole cloves in the bottom of the container and then poured a mixture of vinegar and water over top to cover the beets. Again, this comes down to personal preference. While I prefer my to be very vinegary, Chris does not so I compromise. I use a 50/50 ration, give or take. If it doesn’t smell like there is enough vinegar I add more.

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And that’s it. I put the lid on the container and put them in the fridge to chill until we are ready to pig out! No science involved here, just personal preference and a bit of time!

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Sandie

Garden Update

I can’t remember what number “Garden Update” I am on but I really wanted to share the mini bounty I picked from the garden yesterday morning along with a progress report on some of the other things I’m growing!

This is what was ready to be picked! Some little red potatoes, cherry tomatoes and some beets. The beets I might “pickle” for later!

Last week I trimmed back most of the excess leaves on the big tomato plants in the hopes all the tomatoes will ripen faster. It seems to be helping. I was so worried I was doing it wrong and I was just going to kill the plant!

I have my first baby green pepper! It’s about 2 inches across and growing.

And here are my watermelons. I was very specific about calling them watermelons… according to Dillon I can’t keep asking people to come check out my melons lol 😳

I only have 4 of them so far but considering they were just an experiment I am quite impressed with myself lol!

As you can see, black thumb notwithstanding, I am actually managing to grow some veggies for my family and I to eat!

I have already started planning my “Garden Expansion” for next year 😮

Sandie