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(click on the pics for much bigger, better views.)I did chronicle with photos most of my spring garden planting and that on going  growing season of 2015 before we lost the camera. Odd, someone actually came into our house while we weren’t looking and all they wanted was that stupid camera! Or, we misplaced the thing-hard to figure.( for folks who want to know how I plant my garden, the entire process is in this link: https://franque23.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/garden-shoveling-a-pictorial-anthology/ )

Anyway…what a year 2015 was-and to be clear, I do know today is February 8th, 2016. Thing is, living in Florida and growing food means I experience two different years: a calendar year along with everyone else, and a growing, living year. February is when the growing year really starts to turn over in Florida. This is the time the garden earth is turned and the soil is prepared for a new spring garden. I usually have my seeds planted no later than March 1st, and remain ready at all times to cover the new growth with mulch if it gets way cold in March as sometimes is the case. Why plant by March first? This gets most of my spring crops in by mid May, early June, just ahead of the major bug push in Florida.

Seems i hit the full moon just right and the seeds sprouted fast

Seems we hit the full moon just right and the seeds sprouted fast early March, 2015.

I’d collected bags of leaves from the roadsides as people left them out for the trash man to pick up.

This, picking up the neighbor's throw out leaves, is a good ,quick way to have mulch on hand--a bit of lime will help off-set the acidity of the oak leaves

This, picking up the neighbor’s thrown out leaves is a good, quick way to have mulch on hand–a bit of lime will help off-set the acidity of the oak leaves

The Old Man's Beard tree in our front lawn said spring had sprung.

The Old Man’s Beard tree in our front lawn said spring had sprung.

The pineapples had made it through the winter and gave us a number of nice sized fruits…

There is nothing like a fresh, actually ripened pineapple

There is nothing like a fresh, actually ripened pineapple(they take two years to fruit.)

The pineapples tasted so good I decided to make a pineapple garden in the back by our pool…I dug for two days

theses weeds are actually a type of radish.

Theses weeds are actually a type of radish. (May)

I already have about 12 pineapple growing in all stages around the yard. I simply cut the tops off and plant them every time I buy one. But I wanted more….

I went to a local  food store- Wards- and caught them on a day they were coring pineapple for sale in the back of the building. They gave me a box of thirty pineapple tops to plant for free! Sweet!!! (Anyone can do this.)

planted and ready to grow....for here on out, but for weeding, it just takes a spritz of water now and then to help them along.

Planted and ready to grow….from here on out, but for weeding, it just takes a spritz of water now and then to help the plants along.( a one year old plant is seen on the far left)

Meanwhile, the garden kept growing….

Sure fresh food is the point, but the flowering process for garden plants is a beautiful thing to watch.

Sure fresh food is the point, but the flowering process for garden plants is a beautiful thing to watch.(Squash flower-spring)

The crops came in around May 15th, ahead of the bugs and it was time to pick.

I found my local crop workers( Grand kids) and got them working....

I found my local crop workers( Grand kids) and got them working….

Dang we picked piles-

Dang, we picked piles-Shadow, -our dog- supervised the work.(He loves to eat green beans off the plants so I often ‘garnish’ his wagging.)

Food—-without any sprays-I hand kill bugs-…I use one 10-10-10 pound bag per year, spread out evenly over a 30 X 40 foot garden…the rest is mulch break down and  compost from our daily living.  After ten years of gardening in this same spot, I have one zillion worms in the soil.

the yeild for the spring garden was 22 pounds of green beans

The yield for the spring garden was 22 pounds of green beans; 15 pounds of peppers; three months worth of asparagus green beans; 21  pounds of tomatoes; a trifle of sweet corn; some squash, lots of egg-plant, cucumbers and radishes, too. The fall garden pitched in tons of  collard greens; lettuce-three varieties, more green beans, spices, and, for the first time,,,carrots…..

but we also grew these asparagus, or yard long bean in place of poles this year and I'm quite pleased with teh amount of food they gave and the taste(plus, the climb, so you don't have to bend to harvest.)

We grew these asparagus, or yard long beans, in place of poles this year and I’m quite pleased with the amount of food they gave and the taste(plus, they climb, so you don’t have to bend to harvest as you do bush beans.)

 picking the asparagus green bean--I highly recommend these

Picking the asparagus green bean–I highly recommend these(pickin’ all spring, into summer and Fall)

The crops kept coming as the lemon trees ripened.

The crops kept coming as the lemon trees  and basil ripened.

the peppers, and tomatoes were great--tomatoes , to me, are the biggest reward for gardening, and the toughest to get a harvest form--cherries are much easier than big boys, etc...but we got those ,too.

The peppers, and tomatoes were great–tomatoes , to me, are the biggest reward for gardening, and the toughest to get a harvest from–cherries are much easier than big boys, etc…but we got those ,too.(June)

sage is a wonderful plant to see

Sage is a wonderful plant to see-(Fall)

When the Chinese Honey’s(citrus) start to come in Nov. 1st–it’s all hands and mouths on deck!

my crew is ready

My crew is ready

378 (2)

The Chinese Honey trees are very cold hardy and can tolerate 18 degrees for up to ten hours with no problem once well established…The fruit is seeded, but the sweetest Mandarin type you can find.

Chinese honeys--it's important to note, the picker will reach up and pull the fruit, but also tear off the very top of the fruit,leaving you few days to eat that,,,so somehow hand picking when possilb eis best.

Chinese Honey–it’s important to note, the picker will reach up and pull the fruit, but also tear off the very top of the fruit, leaving you only a few days to eat that fruit,,,so somehow hand picking using a clipper when possible is best.(Nov. 15th)

Because I got lucky, the citrus trees I planted happen to ripen from Nov 1st thru the end of March….,nice, huh? I inherited the Chinese Honey, early ripening, planted the seedless navels-blood oranges- they ripen Dec-Jan,,, and then planted my dad’s favorite Valencia-ripens Jan thru March. In the middle of it, I planted a Mineola Tangelo since I went to Mineola high school-that ripens Nov-Dec. In the end,,,we are lucky this year to have a huge crop, though much different from last years 1500 orange yield. This year, maybe 1000, and the red navels are for the most part not good—I suspect we had a too hot of a Nov.and Dec for them.

A Hard freeze warning found me out til 12:30 Pm picking 450 oranges just in case they wouldn't make it thru the cold.

A Hard freeze warning found me out til 12:30 PM picking 450 oranges just in case they wouldn’t make it thru the cold.(Dec. 2015)

hundreds picked, hundreds still hanging on the trees.

I picked hundreds with many  hundreds more still hanging on the trees.

I brought one hundred int ot work and gave several hundred to my grand kids--they are, after all, the reason for it all

I brought one hundred into work and gave several hundred to my grand kids–they are, after all, the reason for it all-(Nice crop of grapefruit this year, too.)

All the while, the peppers kept peppering.

Yes...you get the idea,,,,

Yes…you get the idea,,,,(Summer-fall)

Anyway,,,you can reach me thru this glob,-blog-, for advice, encouragement, or to call me names…cheers… grow Gainesville. That should be the name of this town…

Peace, and it’s just about time to plant, again. We’ll be enjoying citrus until late March. Yum.

Franque23

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2015 has been a great year around our house. Kids growing; garden sowing. Not a hurricane in sight!

the pool is a playground-Isaiah makes the catch!

The pool is a playground-Isaiah makes the catch!

We learned early on that Shadow, our Catahoula Leopard, is quite a swimmer. Thing is, when I first carried him in the pool he swam to the pool’s edge for his life. When I saw his speed I began to wonder what we had on our hands. Checking his toes revealed our dog was actually a duck of sorts. Those webs between his toes go waaay up to his nails…But this is not to say Shadow took to the pool or lake water early on in his life-yeah, no, he spent almost a year running around the pool’s perimeter while we tried to coax him into the refreshing water.

He made me promise to never carry him into the water again-----so we had to wait.

He made me promise to never carry him into the water again—–so we had to wait.

Things changed after his first trip up to Lake Bonaparte when he gingerly stepped into the water and swam by his own volition for the first time.

Now, at two, Shadow is a swimming maniac, and no-can-stop jumper, a splashing and a I can swim even faster dog face day in day out.

11898527_10206768409784439_1652164817715985908_n

We noticed that his brown eyes turn blue(look blue) when he stands by the pool. This has to be due to some sort of strange under coating in his eye cause sometimes the camera flash has the same effect on his brown eyes. The Catahoula breed does sport blue eyes often, and sometimes one brown and one blue eye or, as in Shadow’s case, two brown eyes.  Shadow cleared ten feet through the air off our dock during his second year up at the lake.

"I'm absolutely ready to swim...."

“I’m absolutely ready to swim….”

especially up at the lake!

especially up at the lake!

Last year, the fifty-ish steps and  cliff up at the lake created a wonderland of sheer joy for this ready to go puppy. And there’s nothing like chasing squirrels.

Okay, so I love everything about our Catahoula Leopard, Shadow-I’ve made that plain enough over several blogs I call globs about him on this site. But there’s another question dog owners might wonder about. Just how much do dogs love us? The answer is amazing.

A recent study finds Dogs love their owners as much as people love people… the key is measuring the oxytocin level in the dogs’s blood stream when they are with those they love…Here’s the result of the study:

“A general breakdown, according to Zak is that we produce 15 to 25 percent oxytocin when we have a pleasant interaction with a stranger; 25 to 50 percent when we’re engaging with someone we know; and if we release 50 percent or more, it’s in response to someone we really love like a child or spouse.

During Zak’s experiment, dogs, on average, produced 57.2 percent.

“So your dog really loves you … a lot,” Zak said. “But what makes this so amazing is that the oxytocin they produced is for another species, not their own. The fact that this is cross species is really freakin’ crazy/cool. Their brains are telling them that they love us.”

Here’ the link-a-dink for reading further on this amazing study….http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cat-vs-dog-who-loves-humans-more_us_56af85a4e4b077d4fe8ed1ed?ref=yfp

I’ve had cats over the years that I’ve thought very special-a part of the family. Everyone knows a cat may be aloof at times and cuddly on other occasions but this study draws a line in the sand between cats and dogs.  The study’s findings break down a cat’s oxytocin level when they interact with humans. The finding? A cat’s affection for their humans can’t hold a candle to a dog’s love for Mankind. But I still think our miniature cats are super to have, hold and love. That’s just me.

The children are counting on us, and don't even know it.

I’m interested to know how other animals rate on the basis of this study-it could go on and on, and be so much fun to know.

Franque23

 

 

 


The gloves are coming off. Republicans, Democrats will box it out. Those caught in the middle will be streaking to make their points and dishing political Memes left and right.

SEE? Sans clothes and ready to box it out

SEE? Two boxers sans clothing ready to fight.

Me? My New Year’s resolution is to read strictly memes to see if my head will explode.

Shadow will guide me through this nightmare.

Shadow will guide me through this nightmare.

Should all Memes come with warning labels? memes-on-facebook1

Thought for the day-

I realize right off wiht my own children that using leashes was a bad idea since one day they'd use them on me.....see? Ya gotta think ahead.

Chairs should definitely come with warning labels

fat_guy_fail_06

Personally, I don’t mind the memes and prefer FB to watching the evening news.meme At least on FB about 1/2 of the posts are uplifting soul cure-alls, cute animals snuggling or playing, plus funny, stupid, flat out odd statements or thought provoking mind warping facts while 90% of the TV news is about, well, heads exploding in one way or another. The news is just another take on South Park’s killing Kenny routine written in a variety of ways so the deaths take place around the globe in every imaginable way, but oh so real. Or, the news is a hodgepodge of fear mongering.

Fear is an act of Life

Fear is an act of Life, in a way a self-contained death.

So I was wondering why so many Americans have high blood pressure and hypertension?

Anyway, my wife is a blog-glob looking to happen with feet. Really, I might as well re-name this blog site as, “Dale says….” Anyway, her New Year’s resolution rolled across her lips at the top of the New Year:  “I will eat more chocolate!”

Yes, more chocolate!

Yes, more chocolate!

See, eating more chocolate seems totally wrong for a New Year resolution, but I can’t find the rules about these resolutions written down anywhere. I just always assumed resolutions had to be about stuff a person wouldn’t keep doing, or be about something  a person could do better.  Eating chocolate? At least she didn’t pick eating more licorice- THAT would be impossible-she’d never make it.

My wife mused about some of her fellow employees right after announcing her New Year’s commitment. It seems some were upset about the prospect of having to take mental exams to buy guns so they ran out and bought a bunch before those exams could become law. “What?” My wife proclaimed. “Are my friends worried about passing mental exams?”

I could’ve answered my wife, hashed out a long laundry list of, “Well, actually…”, but it turned out remaining quiet until the dog farted was my best plan of action.

So yeah–it’s an election year and all the praying in the world will not change this fact. Does the suicide rate in America increase during election years? Curious.  There should be a law allowing voters to charge candidates with airing brain draining commercials. It turns out, most of America’s mental disorders can be traced back to political advertising. All of us have seen wayyyy too many political ads, and many Americans are brain dead-the sole reason zombies don’t and won’t attack the U.S.

Okay, it’s a nude year since everyone will find a way to claim that one candidate or another is wearing no clothes! Here’s an idea,,,,Americans should spend the entire year dressed funny, ya know, like WalMart shoppers*. to expose the lies, misdirection, slippery tongues and the BS our candidates will be spewing over the next 12 months. The politicians wear no clothes, why should we bother to look decent?

Nice

Nice

To get it over with, for my New Year I make the following observations. Oranges to apples is not a bad thing-variation is nice, but the two don’t mix well in drinks unless you use way too much vodka. memes-what-you-think-it-memes-princess-bride

So, yeah, it’s an election year and the gloves will come off. Those of differing opinions will press hard to make their points through conversation; some friendships will be lost and others made. The political climate will run hot and heavy throughout the year, and for me that’s just cheeky!

? Whether or not you vote, the debate will shine through one zillion polls and forecasts.

? Whether or not you vote, the debate will shine through one zillion polls and forecasts full of if’s, and’s, and butts-not to mention, Memes…

Cheers, and good luck this year. My 2016 resolution is to watch more weather forecasts.

Franque23

*I couldn’t help myselfFunny-Walmart-Meme

 


I was just talking to Shadow about Time the other night. I'm not sure he got it.....

I was just talking to Shadow about Time the other night. I’m not sure he got it…..

This link below is so full of mind-blowing,( http://safeshare.tv/w/ntjwDrwEwh) shredding, bending, warping, splatifying, grinding, lumpy, hard to grasp or imagine, stupefying zingers of  facts that ,well, I had to get it off to you. Anything else I might write can wait, maybe forever. But, I do have questions…..

But after watching the link below--I'm not sure I have any ideas...

But after watching the link below–I’m not sure I have any ideas…

Once a computer contains more knowledge than all of mankind put together, will that computer then be able to explain what Time is, what the universe is or could be, and correct my spelling mistakes before I make them?

Obviously, this Camel has seen the link....

Obviously, this Camel has seen the link….

You really should watch this….you don’t need the sound-just music playing- but the info is way far out…. http://safeshare.tv/w/ntjwDrwEwh Franque23


My New Year’s foolslution this year was to re-gain my six-pack. So, I went out and started buying them, but they turned into a keg-belly, not a ripped torso. Odd. It seemed the more I tried the worse it got!

My self image was growing.....

My self-image was growing…..

Thing is, I’d wrestled most of my earlier years, beginning in second grade with my first official match in sixth and then on through high school.  I was flexible then, muscular for my age and quite successful at the sport( my entire lifetime record was 62ish wins and 2 losses). I had a six-pack then, and I’d never drank a single one! Go figure.

Being young has it's advantages....

Being young has it’s advantages….(Not me pictured.then or now..)

It’s April, and I’ve officially started to do yoga again daily, kicking in leg lifts and fifty stair push-ups as well. Who’d want to start in January!?!?! Ha! Anyway, it’s a start-moving from round to fit, maybe. I play Lisa Lynn Harp music as I workout every morning-love that music- but I have to say this repetitive tune thing I have going on drives my wife nuts, and now my dog scoots up the stairs to escape the morning barrage of lets feel good music, too.  Let’s face it, Shadow’s in shape at 1 and 1/2, and he’d rather be listening to squirrels chomping up in his jaws than me huffing on a mat.

But it’s all good, and since there’s ten thousand things I’d like to recommend, doing Yoga is one of them.

This is me leading a yoga session up at our Lake House-about four years ago.....sigh.

This is me leading a yoga session up at our Lake House-about four years ago…..sigh.

I started yoga in earnest at age 55 and did it nearly daily for seven years. The routine made me feel ten years younger and much stronger than the 54-year-old me I’d been when I started. Do yourself a favor-start any yoga routine that suits your fancy and stick with it to see what happens.

Random note(and picture):

Idea! It's a miracle I survived......

Idea! It’s a miracle I survived……

Robin and I would be first out in the water at Alexander Springs back in 1970ish.  Not sure, but it seemd Gators were sleeping with their faces pointed toward the spring until we disturbed them-they'd swim on down river....

Robin(my cousin) and I would be first out in the water at Alexander Springs* back in 1970ish. Not sure, but it seemed the Gators we often swam over were sleeping with their faces pointed toward the spring until we disturbed them-they’d swim on down river….I never felt in danger–hahahah…..So there are also disadvantages to being young.

So why did I ever stop doing yoga? Well,  one-off day easily leads to the next, and what once was time to do the routine becomes time to do other stuff. Plus, there’s ice cream, cakes, chips, crackers, spreads, jams, barbecue, not soda fountains, parties and those six-packs.

Not soda bars....

Not soda fountains….

It's really very simple-a person can work out or pass out....and then dream he's working out!!!! Wowowowo/.

It’s really very simple-a person can work out or pass out….and then dream he’s working out!!!! Wowowowo/.

In fact, when you compare the few things yoga does for a person-makes them strong, more fit, happier, thinner-to all the other reasons not to do yoga, well, it’s a no-brainer. Did I mention Football season and beer? And ice-cream cakes….the choice is simple.

I'm thinkin' this guy watched a few too many games.....

I’m thinkin’ this guy watched a few too many games…..

Find some simple stretches you like doing, and remember to hold your positions for 30 seconds. Don’t worry about how far down your hands go, or knees bend, just do what you can. Bend don’t break, that’s the rule. Quickly, the body regains its elasticity and a person becomes more flexible.

I spent Saturday at Alexander Springs snorkeling at my favorite Florida spring.

Ah--Alexander Springs....I'd like my cousins, etc. to one day see this place.

Ah–Alexander Springs….I’d like my cousins, and readers to one day see this place.

But I completely missed this! Jeez/Geeez...

But I completely missed this! Jeez/Ge’ez…

It was crowded, being Easter Weekend, but I couldn’t help notice one well chiseled young man who walked into the water up to his waist. He stopped, turned to face the beach head and started cupping water in both hands and pouring the water over his head and, yes, letting the water drip down across his six-pack. “What an a-hole,” I thought. It was as if he was anointing his body with water for all to see.”Show off,” I scoffed.

Now, if I can only get to look like that guy! Many think I’ve already 1/2 of his routine down with only one body to go.

They say every successful endeavor starts with a workable plan...I be alone and must think-

They say every successful endeavor starts with a workable plan…I must be alone; I have to think-

Cheers and Beers, and yoga, too. Good luck. And really , I might not have started this whole thing again if my sister hadn’t noted during her recent visit that I looked like a half-dead, soggy donut of a snail. So go out and challenge someone(should be someone you know)-do them the favor. And no, I am not a snail. My sister’s so off:-)

Franque23-

* I wrote about this spring before—-please enjoy!https://franque23.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/heart-pine/

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

Shadow is watching "TV"...there's something on!

Shadow is watching “TV”…there’s something on!(click on the pic for larger view.)

Shadow will run out our door as many times as there are squirrels on our feeder. That’s one of his jobs, to chase those darn squirrels* away. Usually, those rascals are up a distant pine tree j-u-s-t before Shadow gets to them. Thing is, the one time he actually caught up with a squirrel, and had him dead to right running full speed, all he did was smell the squirrel’s butt as they ran together…what’s up with that?

Today’s TV channel isn’t playing squirrels. Finches have come to town!

To my surprise, the finches had landed!

To my surprise, the finches have landed!

I love these little guys, the gold finch, and a few years ago I had as many as sixty at one time around our feeders! Then last year, I had none-only the house finch, or scarlet finch as some call them, seem to stay year round. It turns out, finches have disrupted migratory patterns, and often don’t return to exactly the same place they’d been the year before. It stays shockingly fun when they do arrive in bunches-yellow darting dots of color zing, zoom, here and there with a chatter clatter that can be heard a block away…

What's up with all these birds? We had a long talk.

What’s up with all these birds? Shadow and I had a long talk.

This is my dog’s best look of consternation-the straight out ears, tight lips, raised eye brows and slightly tilted head. We watched the flickering, flying, bright yellow birds for an hour. It was quite a show.

We went outside ot investigate, and loved seeing the flock zoom to nearby trees...

We went outside to investigate, and loved seeing the flock zoom to nearby trees…(looks like my pine apples made it through the winter-1/2 year old plant in foreground right.)

It seemed to take about ten minutes for the gold finches to return after we’d cleared the yard. I read that often 25 to 100 finches will visit a feeder during one day, so we may being seeing different birds from time to time and just not know it.

I'd picked up this yellow rose form Lowe's , the same day the gold finch arrived.

I’d picked up this yellow rose from Lowe’s the same day the gold finch arrived.(Oh look-it’s another pine apple.)

I wonder if the color of the roses attracted the gold finch to our nearby feeder–same colors flock together? I think birds must pay strict attention to the color of things in their environment.

You can see our neighborhood trees think it's spring-the new, leaves, all in their soft green, fresh looking color

You can see the neighborhood trees think it’s spring-the new leaves, all in their soft green, fresh looking color-

It’s a peaceful, beautiful day in Gainesville, Florida.

In this hustling, bustling word, it's great to find time to relax.

In this hustling, bustling world, it’s great to find time to relax.

Even Shadow had to smile about these wonderful birds, their tweeting filling our ears with tingling sounds of joy.

Shadow's happy face!

Shadow’s happy face!

Cheers to you!

Franque23 *don’t miss the great children’s book- Those Darn Squirrels….(http://www.amazon.com/Those-Darn-Squirrels-Adam-Rubin/dp/0547576811)

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

Dear God, be thy man or woman-I’m so over that-please hear my cry over the broccoli picking-it’s gotten completely out of hand, or in my hand depending upon how you look at it.

I need help---

I need help—

I need your help to keep me from picking, picking, picking last years crop of Broccoli so that they may flower, and be done with completely. And thank you for the African coffee, too.

this is the start of the problem

this is the start of the problem

But the Broccoli plants look so healthy, it’s hard to allow them to pass. But this is not to say I’d like our neighbors to pick this crop-those people you could shoot before they shoot themselves IF that is what’s to happen, or IF they intend on picking my last broccoli-that’s your call.

I don't want to keep picking

I don’t want to keep picking

Surely, you know these plants need to flower as this is within the design of the earthly paradise. Thing is, now hear me out, please, I’m not complaining, but merely stating that I’ve a buddy who loves broccoli, who watches me closely so that he knows when I approach the broccoli, and he wants me to pick it…and allow him to eat all that I pick.

but someone keeps leaning on me

but someone keeps leaning on me-and he has big teeth!

Or , sitting on me…….

There's so much to be thankful for....

There’s so much to be thankful for….

Of course, I’m thankful for,well. everything, even the neighbors (on a good day.)

The front yard looks ready for spring

The front yard looks ready for spring

The birds, trees, bushes, flowers, everything is so wonderful-even those broccoli flowers.

(Random post…..)

Daley

Daley, my wife, flowering back in 1982

A few Chinese Honey's still hang from far above

A few Chinese Honey’s still hang from far above.

Some blessing get away, especially these Chinese honeys that basically are ridiculously high in the air–What? Am I supposed to be a Giraffe? Just asking…..

The Valencia still has fifty or more getting sweeter by the day

The Valencia still has fifty or more getting sweeter by the day

Thank you for the Valencia’s that are not ten thousand feet above ground.

And, for the back yard pool area where there’s always time for us to rest…..and take in the wonder of it all.

Out red Camellia still blooms

Our red Camellia still blooms

I’ve decided to sit in this chair until the broccoli blooms-thank you for that wisdom. Over and out-Amen.

Franque23, may let the broccoli flower.b

And oh, PS….I know I should know what these are since I planted them only a week ago…but my mind does get weary, and if you ask me, they look a bit like Broccoli, though why then would I have planted them in such a clump? Please let someone, like from the Gainesville growing group, tell me what they are…..

I forget?

I forget?

and one last thingy- Thank you for the first bush bean sprout….

peek-a-boo!

peek-a-boo!

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

I raked off the winter cover-not too many weeds to pull-at first....Shadow knows a job is at hand.

I raked off the winter cover-not too many weeds to pull-at first….Shadow knows a job is at hand.

I’ll use the wood stalks seen here above Shadow as climbers for pole beans and tomatoes–they’re from our indigenous jasmine that grows 14 feet high a year during summer, and then dies off in the winter.

These are the only two tools I'll use to plant this garden-my dad's 65 plus year old , American made rake and shovel.

These are the only two tools I’ll use to plant this garden-my dad’s 65 plus year old , American made rake and shovel.(Broccoli in background is from fall planting, and still yielding.

Being thirty-five is sooo different from being 65. I was always in such a hurry back then-“No time to play kids, I’ve got to garden!” Now, Shadow makes a game out of shoveling, raking and, yes, it screws me up, but this is so joyful!

He's gonna get that rake if it's the last thing.....

He’s gonna get that rake if it’s the last thing…..

Whew! First time through the garden--all the top weeds have been pulled

Whew! First time through the garden–all the top weeds have been pulled

I timed the process-It has taken about 1 and 1/2 hours to get to this point…..

The soil's been turned once by shovel, and now the bags of top soil /composed are laid out

The soil’s been turned once by shovel, and now the bags of top soil /compost are laid out

Turning the garden over shovel-by-shovel is laborious… It took about two more hours to get this part done. (3 1/2 hours total to this point)There’s a rhythm to that task though, and it gives me time to think about the beauty of our world as I go. Red Tailed Hawks circle above; Sand Hill cranes fly by: I listen to their calls and the soft sound of my shovel turning the earth over.

You might wonder-why not a tiller? It would do the trick, but also it would be loud, and heavy-not me at all, and I think I’d lose my spiritual connection to the earth that the old-timey method of hand shoveling brings to mind.

AND-there’s this. A tiller would chop up the weeds I’ve missed during the first weeding-those underneath the ground as well.This first shoveling helps me unearth the problematic roots (Florida Betony)….How many roots?  Here’s the collection and their weight after this first shoveling.

25.6 pounds of Florida Betony root pulled i none shoveling---they'd be about 3 times that much if allowed  to grow through spring.

25.6 pounds of Florida Betony root pulled in one shoveling—they’d be about 3 times that much if allowed to grow through spring.

Next, I shovel the rows, quickly flipping earth into raised lines—this took another 30 minutes.(4 hours total now)

The rows are ready

The rows are ready- I once asked my squash and zucchini seeds and they said they like rows as well as they like mounds.

I hitch my shovel under my arm and pretend I'm a plow horse as I drag it over the rows to flatten their tops.

I hitch my shovel under my arm and pretend I’m a plow horse as I drag it over the rows to flatten their tops. I sometimes neigh, if I know the neighbors aren’t listening-that could be bad.

It took ten minutes to flatten the tops of all the rows

It took ten minutes to flatten the tops of all the rows-Whoa boy!

All my victory garden needs now is seed holes, seeds, sun and water….

I use the top of my shovel to make the seed holes.

I use the top of my shovel to make the seed holes.

The holes take about ten minutes to make--but dropping seeds in takes another 30 minutes, at least.

The holes take about ten minutes to make–but dropping seeds in takes another 30 minutes, at least.

There’s more to do,( It’s taken about 5 hours so far) but for now I’ll wait for the plants to sprout, and then use mulch neighbors from all around have conveniently raked and bagged and put along the roadside for my taking!(actually for the garbage pick-up.) The mulch will go between the rows, and I’ll use about 30 bags I manage to find curbside over the next two months.-Stop, load those bags into my car whenever I see them, and drive away….

Thank You for raking....

Thank You for raking….

There’s more garden fun coming—-stay tuned and enjoy your time outside, growing food.

In all, by the time I first got the tools out, did the deed, and then cleaned up and showered off, it was about 7 hours later when I sat down and smiled….

Franque23

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

(click on pictures to make them larger.)

No, the country didn’t land in our lap, our daughter and family flew in from Johannesburg, South Africa to help pick and eat our oranges.  My daughter has been picking oranges all her life, starting with my dad’s trees in Satellite Beach, Florida. She’s an absolute pickin’ pro, and when she heard about our crop this year, she had to come( She may have had one or two more reasons for making he two-day flight.) About that orange crop in our yard this year! Boom! Smash, whoa-what a doozy, who could count all of them? Well, me-almost down to the last orange-those are still left to pick.

We've picked over 1200 oranges form our property since Nov. 1st*

We’ve picked over 1200 oranges from our property since Nov. 1st* This tree has about 200 more on it, the Valencia will ripen now through February …

We have so many oranges, I’ve started throwing them for Shadow to chase instead of using tennis balls—it’s all good!

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits bye

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits by.

Then, I fling an orange and wait for its return.

At first, I didn't think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything....

At first, I didn’t think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything….the oranges are fine to use after double tasking as balls

Speaking of eating, like I said, Kelly and her family came to eat.

The plane flight was worth it

The plane flight was worth it—-her daughter didn’t fall far from the tree! She’s not letting go of that orange.

But, it wasn’t all about eating oranges. Reading was a foot!

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning....

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning….Shadow, however, only wanted to watch his ‘T.V.’

Fun Times in Bookville...

Fun Times in Bookville…

Of the 1200 hundred we’ve picked so far, only about 55 have gone to waste, thanks to our daughter’s families appetites, our neighbors, church groups and workmates got bunches, too. Heck, even our doctors got oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

So it was an orange you glad to see me kinda of Holiday this year. Next season-who knows?!?! It’s mostly all in the weather.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit form Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit from Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It’s such a joy to see family, and to grow food, too.  See one another whenever you can, and plant those trees and seeds as well.

Cheers from Florida! Franque23

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

It’s said that the rainbow is God’s promise to us that it won’t rain again too badly ever again.

a sign that we are in the clear

a sign that we are in the clear

Thing is, he gave us another sign, too. That sign is called snow.

favorite picture of number two daughter

favorite picture of number two daughter standing in God’s second sign….( taken at Natural Bridge, New York.)

Yeah, that’s right. The white covered trees, snow-covered roofs and crystal white ground is a clear message sent to us from above. It’s God’s way of putting out a white flag, covering areas of the earth with the flag of surrender, as in give up on this place. He begs us each year with a blanket of freezing white to heed his warning and go forth, go to the light, and prosper. But do we listen? It’s no accident that the word snow has the word “no” inside it.

I did have fun building snow men.....

I did have fun building snow men…..

Few know that the word snow stands for, “Sweet Jesus, no one will live here.” This is because the original, S.J.N.O.W. L.H., group, back in bazillion BC , or twelve years ago, received the message but didn’t listen. Not that they were Hebrews, but doesn’t this sound familiar? I mean, we have a whole book about those gifted with knowledge who didn’t listen. Anyway, this S.J.N.O.W.L.H. group went forward into the land of snow and froze their gonads off. Soon, the entire race perished-no off spring, (no surprise here).All that was left of the entire disobedient race was a simple fragmented wall etching that read ** S.N.O.W.** What I’m thinking is that snow is frozen water, and people are made up of over 50% water! Hello, which half of you would you like to freeze off today? See? None of this I’m gonna live in a frozen tundra makes sense. Plus, who the hell shovels a driveway and then goes to work?  No. Me? I go back to bed-‘Honey the driveway is clear’.

A friends house up  in Northern New State near our Lake house.....

A friend’s house up in Northern New State. Sometimes, I think people up North haven’t noticed that it’s cold?

Fact: the word slosh first came into our vernacular once brain surgery became an item.  It was then, when surgeons, and scientists like Frankincense,(not the weird-o Frankenstein-geez, that’d be lame) where opening a frozen northern person’s left and right brain lobe that a pizza delivery boy said, “Wow, what would you call that? Slosh?” The term stuck on through sleet and snow and objections from the House of Representatives. In the end, snow days aren’t worth loosing appendages. It beats me why people would stay in a place that God has already plainly marked a no unzip your fly zone, throw in the towel cause the water lines are rock solid frozen zone, and a look out, that roof might collapse catastrophic set. I wonder as much as the Hebrew’s wandered about all of this-but at least that lost tribe was in a desert, so they had it good.

our home up north.....but a summer home.

our home up north. (Lake Bonaparte) ….but a summer home.

There’s  a reason they call a joke a snow job. You know what? Come to think of it, I agree with you Northern shoveling people-why sell your homes? Why leave your snow plow behind and buy cheaper homes down south were your heating bills won’t matter and your back won’t hurt? There are so many puddles down here, and that dang ocean nearby is full of water.

Having a terrible time down here....it might rain tomorrow!

Having a terrible time down here….it might rain tomorrow!

Plus, our empty roads are such a sleeper. You’ve got it good. Free ice, too! You know what they say; numb toes still add up to ten if you have them! Cheers. Franque23 is cold at fifty degrees-who’d like that?

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

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