My First Cucumbers, YUMMY!

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I have never grown cucumbers before and I have to scratch my head and wonder why? Oh my goodness, home-grown cucumbers are so amazing I have no idea why I have never planted them before. For some reason I always chose zucchini or yellow squash to grow and I’m not bashing them but my hubby has never liked zucchini or squash so I end up making zucchini bread and I bake the squash despite his lack of enthusiasm. When I cut into this cucumber the sweet, juicy flavor was unlike any I’ve had before! It’s like home-grown tomatoes, they just taste so much better than buying from the store, so strange but it’s so TRUE!!

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I LOVE these babies so much that I cut up the whole cucumber and put it in my salad. Haha, I had more cucumber than salad but it was so delicious I had to have a salad the next day and of course consume another cucumber. The skin is not very thick on my cucumbers which is fine by me, as it makes it that much tastier. I’ve been seeing and reading a lot about other gardens and all the produce they are producing its just amazing as my garden is so tiny but it’s a start. I am such a busy Mom, Grandma, supervisor, horse owner, dog owner, kitty owner and small garden maintainer, not to mention the house work I need to do (it’s pretty easy to neglect the kitchen floor) also working on crochet projects, did I tell you I’m really busy? Yup, now I’m repeating myself! And I love sharing and writing and that takes time too! 😀

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Here is one pumpkin that has taken off and I had planted white and orange seed pumpkins. I think this is going to be a white pumpkin. I also discovered that in my zealous trying to be a good pumpkin/cucumber mom I’ve been over watering! Oh dear, I’ve had a few pumpkins get all mushy and fall off the vine and upon reading this is caused by too much watering or flooding. Oops, so I’ve backed off and am trying to just water every day by wetting the soil and like counting to 10 and making myself stop. Haha, it’s been so darn hot that I’ve been standing there flooding my garden! 😀

I’m getting some weeds and a bit of grass growing around my pumpkins that I’m leaving for groundcover to help keep moisture in since I waited to long to mulch. At this point I just want to get one or two pumpkins full-grown if possible. And I’ve gotten six cucumbers, yes only six, remember I’ve got a teeny tiny garden and I can see more cucumbers growing on the vine so I may get more before the vines all shrivel up and die. We scared away the gopher for now, hopefully he’ll stay away to complete this growing cycle. It’s all good experience. I’d rather learn by trial and error on a tiny garden than invest a whole bunch of money and time on a huge endeavor only to screw it up and have most of my crops drop dead! Haha, I’m not doing too bad considering!

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AND I’VE GOT TOMATOES GROWING! I feel like a little kid, look what I did Ma! I grew a tomato!! You have to realise or if you haven’t noticed yet I get REALLY EXCITED over little triumphs. I want to thank all the blogs I have read on gardening and thank you all for sharing your stories, photos, tips and encouragements. You all as I sit and stare and read about these beautiful gardens are why I try to do some container gardening. I have to think small as my land where I live is not conducive to a large garden area. And I live in the stinkin desert, so it makes growing much of anything a bit of a challenge! But I try!  ❤ ❤ ❤

I thought I’d close with my honeysuckle bush which is absolutely LOVING all my watering! It has so many blooms ready to bloom I just love it and the smell is AMAZING! There are a million buds and I took a close up of the tiny flower but boy does it smell good. I wish I could share the honeysuckle smell, but suffice it to say that I am doing a bit better with my plants but then they are a bit more forgiving. I have plans on two containers that I will plant probably this weekend some fall veggies. Since I’m planting from seed it’s not costing much but my time, so I squeeze in time in my garden which is soothing and relaxing. I love being outside!

Crazy teeny tiny gardener,

-Diana

Surprise! Baby is born, a filly and My Horses Too….

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Hi world! I am two days old and my name is Aphrodite! I am a surprise because my Mom whose name is Athena was rescued and they didn’t know I was living in my Mom waiting to pop into this world unannounced! ❤ ❤ ❤

WHAT? it’s not the first time this has happened nor will it be the last I’m sure of that. We have a new boarder at our barn and I can’t remember the exact month but it’s only been maybe 3 or 4 months that Athena moved in and she was a bit under weight and pregnant but with her slim build no one realised she was in foal. We all have noticed that she was finally putting on some weight, well, that was the foal getting bigger but we are all happy that the mare living at our barn was getting well fed and had a new owner. The owner is as surprised as we all are as she had no idea the mare was in foal. We are all so happy both Mom and baby are healthy and happy!! Here are some more photos, and some are a tiny bit blurry because like most babies she just doesn’t stand still, so ADORABLE!  😀

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Mom is a running quarter horse, (half quarter horse, half thoroughbred) and is a big mare. The filly is gregarious, so full of life. What is it about baby animals that light up your heart? You just want to be with them and watch them explore this new place, to see the world through a childs eye or a baby filly’s eyes is just so much FUN! And she is so soft, just like velvet and you want to watch her antics. It was hard to leave the barn today! Haha…. I wish I could own a ranch and then breed a few horses, just to be able to have fun with them and watch them grow. I know a thing or two about training them too. I know like all animals they will grow up. I could have a little breeding business and sell the offspring. Oh I am just daydreaming because I doubt this will ever happen, but we all have to have dreams, right?  I think so…..

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I was planning on writing about my horses this weekend and share my photos as always when I just had to share our new little addition to our barn! So here are my two grooming each other in the arena as they LOVE to do each time I turn them out together. I call Chloe’s name and she is so sweet looking at me so I snapped the photo above! I will share a few more of them grooming each other. They just love each others company, so awesome. ❤

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You scratch me and I will scratch you! DEAL!! Haha!

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I’m so happy that I can give them this time together. It’s as close as they can get to being like nature intended. Where we live we do not have giant pastures for them to be turned out and be together and graze the day away. They are all stabled and so I think this interaction is so important for their well-being and I am so thankful these two get a long so well together and really, really enjoy each others company! I feel truly blessed to have my two horses and that they have just as important relationship with each other as I have with them. I am definitely part of their herd, and I love and enjoy every minute I can spend with them. The best therapy in the whole wide world! My HORSES!! ❤

Crazy horse love,

-Diana

Up close Garden Stills

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I don’t have a fancy camera but I absolutely LOVE photography.  Growing up my father was an avid photography and had some really nice cameras with many different lenses including the top of the line zoom lens. It was so fun using his fancy camera back in the day. Then you had to get the film developed. I actually took a photography class in high school and learned how to develop film. We just used black and white as I am sure that was easy to teach us young high school students. It amazes me what we can do at a snap of a finger today! I just point and click and even though my Samsung Galaxy S9+ may not be a super duper fancy camera it fills my needs and is super easy to use. I actually need to look into this camera more and see all that it can do as I may not be using it to its full capabilities, I just haven’t had the time to read and learn about all its camera features. Suffice it to say, I just got as close as I could for this fun Sunday Stills photo challenge!

Above is a close up photo of my honeysuckle bush. It is loving all my watering and is getting a million blooms and is smelling AMAZING!  ❤

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I keep mentioning my beautiful tea rose in my garden writings and right now it is the only rose-bush blooming. It’s just loving life right now and so I can’t help myself but to photograph all its beautiful foliage.  I got as close as I could to this pink rose without it getting too blurry! ❤

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I have to include a very up close photo of a healthy pumpkin that the gopher has not eaten (yet) and am hoping he keeps on growing, grow baby pumpkin grow!! Mr. gopher has hopefully fled and is living elsewhere.  For those of you following my blog I had written about the demise of a bunch of my pumpkin and cucumber plants which Mr. gopher found and was getting fat enjoying their roots. I have about half my ground garden still growing and even harvested a few cucumbers which is my next photo!  😀

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These are my very fat cucumbers. I’m not sure why they are so short and fat as they are supposed to be thin and about 6 inches in length.  I actually wasn’t sure how long to leave on the vine but it just felt right to harvest them today and I know my plants will hopefully grow some more. If that doesn’t happen that’s okay, this is all for fun and of course I would love to be able to eat and enjoy my grown veggies. I think this will do fine.  This Sunday Stills photo challenge was a lot of FUN!  I hope you all enjoyed my stills and I hope you think about sharing too!

Sunday Fun!

-Diana

R.I.P Baby Pumpkin…..

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I made a discovery yesterday after struggling this last week with my pumpkin and cucumber garden. I kept watering and watering and watching the leaves droop like they were thirsty. I looked and looked and could see many ants, a large amount of them, teeny tiny ants, I believe they are Argentina ants and so I thought they must be hurting my garden and so I went and purchased some safe ant/insect dust for my garden and before I applied the dust I finally got a good look at the ROOT of my problem! Something is EATING MY GARDEN!! The roots are gone on many plants.  😦

As I watered I found a deep dark hole in the ground, grrr… a gopher or gophers. We have lots of gophers, but since we let our grass die out for many reasons, but mostly the bad droughts we were having here the gophers have mostly moved on to other houses in our neighborhood. But clearly they are not far away! I lost 4 good pumpkin plants and 2 cucumber plants. Oh my heart is heavy as I watch my garden die an untimely death. I feel like I’m planting and spending my time in my tiny garden to feed the creatures that make their home in the Earth. Sigh……

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I took this photo of the better side and you can see what I had to pull out, all dead. I still have a healthy amount if I can keep the gophers at bay or hope they are caught (my hubby is the gopher catcher) or they move on as we set the traps in their holes. I will have to keep a vigilant eye out for the holes. Unfortunately I don’t have enough other vegetation for the gophers to eat so they are dining nicely on my fresh green garden! So I had to gather up my thoughts about all this as I felt very sad and frustrated. I clearly can live without seeing a mature pumpkin, and I am getting cucumbers that I will harvest this weekend so I will be able to sample some cucumbers soon. AND I still have my tomatoes in my container!  🙂

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SO I told myself not to be too sad and to focus on a new crop of veggies, a small crop that I am going to plant in my 2 containers I bought that are gopher proof! I will take a photo once I get them planted, but I feel I need to realize that gardening is not always easy and it has its perils. I am thinking we use to have bunny rabbits come in through the fence and dine on our grass when it was fresh and green. No more grass so no more bunnies. There are ground squirrels in our area but none on my street or at my house, so very thankful. And we have no deer to worry about so other than the bugs and insects these darn gophers are my headache! Here is a photo below of a good pumpkin still alive that if I’m lucky may grow up. I have more than one vine left, so maybe I’ll get 3 or 4 pumpkins. I’d love to get at least one so that I can give it to my granddaughter for Halloween.  ❤

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As I am out in my garden I have about 8 rose plants and only one is blooming right now. It’s a beautiful tea rose that is loving my attention and so it puts a huge smile on face. Its colors so beautiful. I won’t give up, I just won’t and I know the containers will be much easier to maintain. I have grown pumpkins here before when we first moved here around 13 years ago and they grew fine with no gopher interference. But I had a ton of vegetation on my property so either the gophers weren’t around? or they prefered something else.  They have eaten at the roots of one of our small palm trees, it is pretty much dead and a nice hole near that tree. Life with rodents and wildlife sure can be challenging. Do you have many challenges in your gardens? I’d love to hear from you, and thank you for reading my plight. I have to laugh, as I’d rather laugh than cry. I know I’ll survive but I can tell you I have been spending EVERY DAY in my garden grooming it and loving it with all my heart! ❤

Silly me,

Diana

Keeping Up, One Day at a Time!

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Have you ever felt so busy that you wonder how can I keep up? I feel this way often and just when I feel like I’ve caught up, I’m actually behind! My sweet hubby bought me these beautiful flowers, so colorful with this wonderful card which has such great advice. One day at a time, one step at a time….. Let’s take a deep breath and say it again. One day at a time, one step at a time. We can do this, we should not let our crazy busy lives spiral out of control. It may be you do not have this problem, but there are many of us that our plate is so full its overflowing. So full we do not know how we do all that we do, and this is what I’ll be writing about today. MY BUSY LIFE! CRAZY, FULL, FUN, SATISFYING most days, and I will say I feel blessed, even though I also want to say Whoa, let’s slow down just a little bit please! 😀

I work full-time at a Veterinary laboratory on the night shift. I have been working night shift for some 35 years, and even though I had a couple of breaks from night shift work I actually prefer the shift and being the supervisor of my department at the lab this shift works best. As many who have read my blogs know, I own 2 horses and working night shift has enabled me to be able to see and take care of my horses on a daily basis. I sleep in the late afternoons into the evenings and so I feel like I do get some of my sleep at night, its just early evening and not all night. But it does make for a crazy schedule and the pressure of being the supervisor rears its ugly head when things go awry and so I need to remember to take one day at a time. I have been working on some projects at work that has pulled my crew together as we join forces in keeping the department running smoothly and more accurately we are all working hard to do better at our jobs. I don’t want to get into the details as I’m sure this can all get a bit boring, suffice it to say that I feel personally that the affects of my broken arm from last September bled into my work or lack of it and so I had to take the bull by the horns and get serious and get things in line. I feel very confident at work now, things are all going in the right direction!

But for all my hard work I then get to enjoy these incredible animals!!

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Zack is so fun to ride and I wish I had more time to ride him! Something that I find hard to fit into my busy schedule. I did have time the other day and he is so FUN to ride English in the arena. He has such a great trot, a nice gate that when riding English its a great workout for me as I post along doing figure eights with him and moving on and off the rail. I canter sometimes, but I rather trot and he moves out well and I know it is a nice work out for him as well. I tell myself on any given week, I am going to ride him twice or three times this week…. sigh…. I am lucky to ride him once a week. One day at a time… Oh well, he is retired and I do get him out every day for a turn out but riding is not as regular. We are doing okay with that I think and his weight looks good and I think his muscle tone is okay too. He makes me smile! ❤

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I also fit into my schedule babysitting my grand daughter Alice! Oh my how she melts my heart and she just loves grandma’s horses and with the help of my girlfriend Sally, we went riding the other day and my girlfriend took this photo of Alice and I on my horse Chloe! I have had Chloe since she was 2 years old and she is turning 14 years old this year. Chloe and I can read each others thoughts, maybe not word for word but darn near close to it as we have such a close bond, for any horse lover out there it is incredible. Chloe absolutely loves people and especially children. She is so patient and kind and we had so much fun just walking around the arena on this day. These are my favorite days, a true blessing to be able to enjoy my horses with my friends and family. I have to work hard for what I have but it is worth all my efforts and I take full advantage of my morning hours with my ponies. ❤ ❤ ❤

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And I have managed to fit in gardening. I love being outside and it thrills me to see it grow, but this heat can be daunting. I have to tell myself one day at a time…. I probably didn’t feed my garden as well as I should have so we will see what grows, but I also have some containers and am planning on planting more and I will manage to squeeze in watering and enjoying watching my garden grow! I also spend time crocheting and I have made many crochet animals, Star Wars characters (my favorite!) and many more items. Scarfs, small purses and I’m working on a shawl. I’ve made baby blankets and baby dresses, the list goes on and on…. I also have done a ton of cross-stitch but have not done that in some years prefering crochet as the projects are completed much faster!!

Lastly, I am trying to find time to blog!! I so enjoy writing, AND I would love to write more but I do find it hard to find the time! Oh my, I can’t imagine writing every day. I would want it to be readable and enjoyable and so here I am hoping you are enjoying my busy day. I am getting really tired as it is my day off and I’ve been up all night last night. I use to take naps during the day, but as I’ve grown older I seem to be able to stay up but it’s getting late in the evening so I will turn in soon. I know some of you may not be that busy and I’m rather envious of you, but those of you that have an overflowing plate will relate and so I hope you all can take – One Day At A Time – and enjoy that day fully!! 😀

Love, Di-

Pumpkins and Cucumbers!

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My garden is growing and I am so excited! I didn’t do very much to prepare for my tiny garden and it is surprising me and to think if I had prepared better or a bigger plot the bounty I could grow, I am thinking more about expanding my garden going into fall. It is more inspiring and I am enjoying gardening more than I imagined! I’ve always enjoyed gardening but have thought I can’t fit it into my busy schedule but amazingly it hasn’t been that difficult to squeeze in the time to garden. I’m getting behind on weeding but we are currently in a heat wave and so weeding my garden will have to wait. It’s all I can do is to be outside long enough to water, and I’m having to water at least twice a day and may water three times a day if needed.  I have to share a few more photos and I definitely have a white pumpkin growing, I planted seeds of both white and orange pumpkins.  🙂

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I also have cucumbers growing and I hope the pumpkins don’t over power the cucumbers but they are holding their own.  I’ve seen some very tiny cucumbers and will see how well they grow. This heat which I’ve mentioned already is horrible, but its a little cooler today and we now have cloud cover and we are experiencing some thunder and lightning. Very monsoonal weather, and even though its 106 degrees right now the plants don’t look withered like they did yesterday. I may water a little later one more time as this heat will stay for a few more days. Crazy summer heat! YIKES!

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My tomatoes are coming along and getting taller and the heat isn’t bothering them as much which I’m thankful for and the plant on the right of this photo is blueberry. I wanted to move the blueberry to another container but I think I’ll leave it for now and decide later.  These photos are from the last week, and every day I go out to water the vines on the pumpkins and cucumbers get longer and longer. I’m having to guide them a bit but it is so cool to see them grow.  I get so excited over the little things in life and watching something grow from seed is amazing. Here is a photo of the seed sprouts!

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Isn’t that just so cool when you compare and see how huge the plants have gotten! Some of the pumpkin leaves are GIANT! Haha, so darn fun. I’m really hoping for some nice looking pumpkins! and some tasty cucumbers!! If you don’t garden, try a container garden and if you are lucky and have lots of room and have a great big garden I envy you as gardening and its yields are very rewarding. Thank you for visiting and reading my blog. I so enjoy sharing and hope you are enjoying my tiny garden too!  ❤

-Diana