My Weekly Smile; April 29, 2020

Welcome to my weekly smile!

I have a lot to smile about as this week is half over and last week I was so busy I was not able to write my weekly smile. So this weeks smile will include what I was working on last week. It has been a whirlwind of events as my girlfriend and I have moved our horses to a new stable in our horse town in Norco, CA. While we were preparing the stalls at the new stables we needed some shade cloth that we put up in front of the stalls to help shade and keep our shavings from blowing away when it gets windy. While at Lowe’s I decided to buy some plants/veggie starts to plant in my containers. I am so happy I finally was able to get my tiny garden planted, so I have two things to SMILE about this week! YAY! 😀 😀 😀

My veggies if they survive and the bunnies don’t jump in and eat them!
Pretty flowering perennial’s in another container!
My third container I put a Calla lily and Iris. I will split them up as I have a fourth container if it gets too crowded for them.
My tea rose, so beautiful!

I Love to garden partly because I am outdoors and I am a neophyte learning as I go with gardening and just try the best I can and sometimes I have a green thumb, and sometimes not so much. I try to fit so much into my busy schedule – working full-time – owning two horses and dogs, cats a house to clean – oh my, I am getting tired thinking about it all! Then I add gardening which takes care and some love or it will not do well. It so makes me smile when I go out and see the flowers bloom and/or the tomatoes grow! I will keep you posted now and again on how my tiny garden grows!

They are enjoying a turn out at the new ranch!
My girlfriends horse Gracie and behind her Miss Chloe walking around and checking things out!
Zack enjoying his new digs!

We were able to spend as many days as we needed to fix up the new stalls at the new ranch. We moved some railroad ties to the front of the stall with some shade cloth to help keep the shavings on the ground from blowing through the pipes and out into the aisle or another stall. We will still lose some shavings probably but this will help keep a lot in our stalls. We get winds here that are very strong called the Santa Ana Winds! So it was worth all the work we put in and am grateful the stalls were empty so we could work on them. We moved a week early after putting in our 30 day notice where we were, mostly because my girlfriend and I were able to take extra days off of work. (We are essential workers in the medical field).

We moved because my girlfriend really needed more shade for her horse as she has aged, she has some sun sensitivities and with my two horses I should be able to save a few dollars. I wanted to help her out and this place is a nice place and sometimes it is just nice to change it up! I Love the stables I was at, there are always pros and cons at any facility and I will not go into all of that here. I think sometimes a change is needed, enough said on that subject! We now need to give the horses time to settle in and they are doing just that! ❤

Miss Chloe is such a good girl and I am so blessed to have her, love her so much!

Thank you for visiting my smile and I hope you are all doing well. I am so enjoying my tiny garden and my horses as they get acclimated. I like how they can look out over their stalls at this new place! The old place is nice but the pens have a link fencing that they can’t look out over the doors or fencing. It’s just a nice change and they can even scratch each others back if they wanted too. I hope you all have a great rest of your week!

Happy Gardening Cowgirl!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share: It’s June 1st!

My roses LOVE the cool weather! Summer is almost here….

It is afternoon and I don’t have a photo of tea only coffee. So I decided to share my rose photo instead! I know rather random but it sure puts a smile on my face as I have some ice tea with some kettle corn as my afternoon snack. What are you doing this weekend? Would you like some ice coffee? tea? hot or cold? Weekend coffee share is to share what we are doing on our weekend, to share with friends old and new. I so enjoy sharing, my photos are all rather random as I don’t have a theme this weekend. I have been busy, so my photos show all that I have been doing these last few days! 😀

I am at the end of my walk up to my house. This is the side view as we live on a corner, our driveway leads to one street and our address is the other street along the front of the house!

I try and walk at least twice a week, I should walk more often but walk a fair amount at work and at the stables. It has been very gloomy in the mornings, the temps in the 50’s which is great walking weather! I wish I walked today, this is my walk from yesterday. The sun has not come out until noon this last week which is A-okay with me as the summer heat I know is right around the corner. I was scheduled with 2 days off in a row. The next photos are all the things I have been working on the last few days on my days off. I felt very productive, what do you do on your days off?

My daughter’s guinea pigs, time to clean their cage! So they are out getting some exercise, or maybe just eating! Haha! Love them! ❤
I have been working on these crochet zoo animals! I am almost done, there is still some detail work to finish up on the Hippo. They aren’t difficult but it has taken me awhile to get them done!
My days off include trail riding! These beautiful purple Jacaranda trees are in full bloom!
I know I’ve shared these blooms before, but they are going crazy! Pomegranate trees at the stables with TONS of blooms!

I have been wanting to try and start a garden but I had so much trouble last year that I haven’t gotten up the energy to give it another try and I probably should have put my energy into it because this year I think our weather would be so good for gardening. This time last year we were battling heat. It was a very hot year last year and even though I know I would still have to water a lot, the cooler weather I think is kinder to growing plants. I know it isn’t too late if I investigate and find what is good to start growing this time of year. I also could buy some starters instead of starting from seed. Hmm… just writing about this is making me think I will give it a try and grow just a little garden. I had gopher problems last year, but I could just stick with my containers. Okay, I think I’ve convinced myself, thanks for listening or reading my ramblings! Haha, writing is so cathartic, I hope I’m not boring!

I found the trick to photograph her sticking her tongue out! Feed her a treat, stand back to take a photo and here you go! Haha, She’s adorable!

I sure am enjoying sharing my tea with you today! I also did some house work, laundry, you know all the usual stuff. Its funny, I am so busy and since I have the horses and my family is busy with their responsibilities we do not plan on very many outings. I did when my kids were young children but since my grown children live in far away places I just plan my outings there, visiting in their towns or cities. So in two weeks I will be driving to Arizona to see my son and family, so excited as I can’t wait to see my granddaughter!! Since I trail ride so much and am outdoors with my horses, my other relaxing outlet is my crochet projects. What do you do to relax? I use to read but have been really bad about reading. I blame that on my horses! ❤ ❤ ❤

Feeling relaxed, weekend FUN,

-Diana

Roses are blooming!

This rose has the most AMAZING rose smell! I LOVE IT! ❤

I have a small garden in my front yard with a few rose bushes that are LOVING all the rain and I am getting some blooms. I can’t believe it is almost Spring and I absolutely LOVE the smell of roses. I find it amazing how smells can evoke memories as these beautiful roses remind me of my youth. This blog is all about roses! 😀

A rose bud, so fat and cute! ❤
This is so beautiful as the bud opens so dark in color, fading with the flower below as it ages on the vine!

Nature just amazes me with all it’s beauty. I have a handful of rose bushes that are all different, the variegated colors above are just gorgeous. I love being outside and seeing what the day brings and what is new in the world. There are a lot of fun things to observe. I wish I got my camera out yesterday at the stables as I observed a wild finch as it flew and perched itself on the fence and I thought what funny whiskers – haha – it’s beak was full of horse hair as it was gathering this for its nest! Darn, it would have been a great photo!!

Such a big rose, so compact in the middle! This is my favorite smelling rose.

I cheated and the first rose is the same rose as the last, but I tried a super close shot opposed to farther away. My favorite is the super close up shot, with my second being the rose that is light yellow with a pink fringe! I like the rose bud too, heck, I love them all. I just had to share my roses today as they put a giant smile on my face and I can’t wait until the sun returns. We will have some rain tonight and we have just seen the sun a little bit here and there the last week or so. It is to warm up this week and I am SO EXCITED! 😀 😀 😀

Can’t wait for SPRING, can’t wait to garden!

-Diana ❤

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

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

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

My Tiny Garden is Growing Fast!

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I can’t believe how the pumpkins and cucumbers are taking off! They were started from seed and with little work they are flourishing. I am having a great time tending to my garden and I am able to water the roses in my garden which have been neglected through the years. It turns out roses need a lot of water, and so in watering them I’m rewarded with wonderful blooms, the roses are so very beautiful! Here are more photos of my tiny veggie garden, and a photo or two of my tea rose blooming. 😀

We have plans on a draught resistant front yard. You can see a blank slate beyond these roses where there was nice grass which over the years has died out. For now, we have palm trees, some rose bushes, and a few other plants growing near the house. And of course my tiny veggie garden. If I do well, I may expand it and do more. Hmm… maybe I will look into some winter veggies to grow. That would be fun too. I’ve never grown through the winter ending in the fall and then beginning again the next spring. I’m so enjoying gardening, I forgot how it makes you feel being outdoors, so alive puts a huge smile on my face and in my heart and getting down in the dirt and enjoying the sunshine or the weather what ever it may be on a given day!

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In this small container are my peas, bell peppers and my tomatoes. The peas and tomatoes are coming along but the bell peppers are slow and if they don’t grow, that’s okay, it is still fun to see everything sprout. I’m not giving up yet on the bell pepper’s, but they are growing very slowly right now. I also have a blueberry plant which I will be re-potting in its own container maybe with more blueberries. I haven’t decided yet, but this container I think is too small for the blueberry plant.

I’ve grown pumpkins and a lot of squash before. I’ve never grown cucumbers but figured they are similar. My men in my family are not fond of squash or zucchini so that’s why I chose the cucumber. And who doesn’t love pumpkins! I know my granddaughter will enjoy the pumpkins and I planted seeds that will grow white and orange pumpkins, can’t wait to see what we grow!! These photos are from last weekend and I took another photo today, three days later and you can see the pumpkins are growing, the vines are getting longer each day.  I have been watching and reading others with their gardens and it’s so much fun to see all the wonderful photos, I hope you enjoy my tiny garden! Thanks for visiting! ❤

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My Tiny Garden is Growing

 

I feel like a little kid watching my garden grow! This veggie garden is really small but I think will be really big once it matures and the veggies start to emerge. The photo on the right is from a week ago, and the one on the left is from yesterday and my how fast my pumpkins and cucumbers are growing. My granddaughter is having fun watching nature’s work too. I can’t wait to show her the cucumbers and pumpkins, tomatoes and bell peppers. Snap peas and blueberries! The herbs are not exciting but are getting bigger each day too. She won’t understand the herbs, but the others will be fun. I planted multi-color bell peppers and am hoping for an assortment of colors! AND the pumpkins seeds are both orange and white pumpkins, I can’t wait to see all the COLORS!! 😀

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The snap peas are going CRAZY! Look at all that green, all from seeds! I am easily amazed if you can’t tell and right next to the snap peas on the left are my bell peppers finally showing up! I’m trying not to over water, and want to make sure I water enough. We’ve had a mild spring here in Southern Cali so I’m grateful for that this year as some years it’s just hot, hot and more hot. But these seedlings have had a great start and warmer weather is on its way!  😉

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These herbs are coming along. You have to remember I live inland about 40 miles from the Pacific Ocean which is basically desert or desert like as it gets hot in the summers. I’m about an hour and a half from Palm Springs, now that’s the desert. AND it gets super hot there almost always 10 to 20 degrees hotter than my location. So growing anything here requires lots and lots of water because we just don’t get much precipitation as the weeks roll by. BUT the last month as I planted we have had a lot of cloud cover, dewy nights with lots of precipitation exceptional for this area. We call this kind of weather June gloom as it can be cloudy and overcast throughout the mornings with the fog and clouds rolling in from the coast which is usually in June, it came a month early. I’m far enough inland that it usually burns off and warms up and can get hot. But has been so nice and cool, I have been relishing the weather this last month of May. I wonder if it will be a hot June? I’m praying for a mild summer, one can wish!  ❤

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Crazy Busy This Month of May

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I am trying to take in everything in this month of May.  I am enjoying babysitting my granddaughter as my son is finishing his last semester of college. It’s been a bit of long road for him but the end is in sight! So exciting, he graduates in a month. And we just celebrated my other son’s graduation from college this last weekend! We are a very busy family, that is for sure and how I keep up is a wonder to me sometimes, and then I try to squeeze more things in each day.  I’m also proud of my daughter who will be graduating this summer with her Master’s degree, busy as bees this family…..

As I have been babysitting each day, I’ve been brought outside as little Alice LOVES the outdoors. She also loves animals so we get to spend more time with not only my horses but our dogs and we have a kitty cat too. My front yard has suffered greatly by drought conditions where we live and once the weeds took hold we stopped watering our lawn. Some day we will address where the lawn once was, so it’s just a big dirt area. I had probably close to 20 rose bushes but many have died, and so I’m down to about 8 with 3 not looking too good and the other 5 are doing great. I’m able to water them so much more now that the little one and I go outside every day, funny how I was not doing this when I wasn’t babysitting. I need to continue when the babysitting schedule changes.

So the rose bushes I am watering are really blooming and looking great! I just love the smell of roses, and eventually we will replant and redo our front yard, but at least I am able to salvage some of the plants before they all died. The very front of the house has a nice bunch of plants that get shade and enough water that even neglected have stayed nice. I also have a bunch of palm trees that of course do great with little water.

What I have been wanting to do for years is plant a vegetable garden and so I thought it would be fun to try growing some in a container, partly because we do have gophers that I’m sure once they figured out something new is growing will help themselves. But I really wanted to grow some pumpkins and either squash or cucumbers, I settled with cucumbers and these two are in the ground as their vines get so long I didn’t want to even try to grow them in a container. I’ve grown pumpkins once before at this house over 10 years ago, and they did fine with little bother by gophers so I think I’ll be okay.

This is only one side of my container garden with the one plant being a blueberry that I bought already started. I’ve planted the rest with seeds and they are just starting to sprout! In the container is snap peas, bell peppers, tomatoes and the blueberries. The two photos on the right are not very pretty but are sprouts of cucumber and pumpkins in less than a week!! So exciting to see these sprout, the cucumbers are going crazy!! I’m going to have to pull out some of them once they get bigger because there are so many sprouting there will be too much competition with the soil and I’ll have too many plants, ha ha! I’m having so much FUN watching these seedlings grow!

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My daughter bought me this little container for herbs and I have sprouts!! The dill is the tallest with basil and oregano right behind. I’m not sure about parsley, but hopefully it will peek through the soil soon. I forgot how fun it is to grow veggies and herbs! Now I need to get cooking once I get something on the vines or plants!  😀

I’m going to share a few more rose photos, as they are just so beautiful! I hope you all are enjoying May, I can’t believe there is only one week left of this month. It’s been what we call June gloom here in California with a lot of overcast cloudy days this month. But we here all love it since once summer arrives it will be hot, but we all say, it’s a dry heat! LOL – Let me know what you are growing, do you have a veggie garden? I’ve read some blogs about some pretty big gardens, so fun to see them grow. I’m keeping it small this year so as not to get to overwhelmed. I’m so surprised I got something in the ground, I surprise myself sometimes! Ha! Life is full, busy but good.  ❤

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