Worms, Worms, Worms!


I am so excited to announce that we have grandworms and are expecting more soon! Yes, yes I know that I am weird and probably need therapy, but I am super excited! Our compost is doing great! We poured it all out and went through it Saturday to make sure that our worms had not outgrown their home.

That my friends, is an egg!
That my friends, is an egg!

There were a bunch of these in there!

It's a girl! Just kidding They are hermaphrodites. lol
It’s a girl! Just kidding They are hermaphrodites. lol

There were only a few of these at the moment.

This one does nothing but eat apparently.
This one does nothing but eat apparently.

Seriously it is super easy to keep these guys.

And here is the lot of them.
And here is the lot of them.

All is well on the compost front. Check out the color of that dirt. It’s super fertile. When our plants need food we will sprinkle this natural miracle grow and keep on truckin’. Have a great day!

A Bed Of Flowers


So yea I’m trying to see if I have a green thumb or a black thumb. Matt and I moved into our present house in May last year and were so exhausted from working, going to school, and getting the house fixed up to be moved into that we neglected an already neglected flower bed. Whew! That was a mouth full huh?

Anyway, I made a mistake and didn’t take before pics. Shame on me huh? This poor flower bed that someone had loved at one time or another had been neglected for God only knows how long. The idea was to get out there and just weed it. Ummm… think again Shalah! I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

First off we noticed that a rather large colony of ants had moved in. Had to get rid of them.  Once we did the deed we then started to pull up the weeds that had gathered around the bulbs. We then noticed that…well the bulbs were sitting on top of the dirt. The dirt that the colony had used for their fortress was on the other side of the bed. There was also a concrete fence thing that I had ran over twice with the lawn mower the year before because it had sunk so far down in the dirt that I couldn’t see where it began and where it ended. I looked at Matt and he looked at me. We both rolled our eyes. I said, “We are going to have to dig this whole thing up aren’t we”. With a crooked smile he said, “Yep sure are.”

So we started to gently dig around the roots of our bulbs. And dig some more. And more. Before we knew it we had a 5 gallon bucket full of bulbs! Once again I did not take a lot of pics. I have one of the bulbs though:

Huge right?
Huge right?

Seriously these bulbs were huge though! They had been there awhile I could tell. Many of them had several knobs on them to be separated and planted. We have given some away to 4 people and still have an abundance of these mystery bulbs. You see I’m not really sure what kind of flower these suckers produce. I think they are bearded irises but I really don’t know.  So for now they will be dubbed ‘Mystery Bulbs’.  (Thanks for that lovely title Brandi Heath.)

Like this one
Like this one

If so then I am super excited! I seem to remember a purple flower popping up last year…I have been told by a student of mine (Rebecca Gerrard) that they bloom in June. So we shall see. Either way I am excited to see them!

Ok back to the digging. Once we had all of the bulbs extracted, we could work a little faster. We pulled up the fencing and raked up the rest of the weeds. Oh by the way, ever wonder why it’s so hard to kill a brier bush? Check this guy out:

Holy Moly!
Holy Moly!

 

 

Yea that’s why. That thing is huge and that’s only part of it! Here is the other part:

 

Wozer!
Wowzer!

 

After all of that, the bed was clean. But it was more a a hole than a bed. We went to ACE Hardware and bought potting soil that has fertilizer in it and red mulch. Did I mention there was a rose bush in the middle of the flower bed? It was getting the life choked out of it by all of those bulbs. I’m not a huge fan of roses honestly but I seem to remember these were little ones and very pretty so why not? Anyway, we filled in the hole  with the soil and made it a sort of raised flower bed. Then planted some of the bulbs back around the edges. I didn’t want to choke out the rose bush. I had also been given some new bulbs by Rebecca so I planted them too. I think they are daffodils.

After planting them we spread the red mulch over the bed and then watered the new, revitalized flower bed:

Flower Bed

 

Once again no pics but I had 3 adorable little helpers that day. Alex, Ava, and Jackson Gale. My niece and nephews. Much better huh? I promise to do better with photos. 🙂

I’ve Got Worms!


Yep you read it right…I’ve got worms! Not the kind you are thinking of, but these guys:

Hey there little buddy!
Hey there little buddy!

Those folks are Red Wigglers or more affectionately called “Reds” at least by the guy at Bass Pro Shop. These guys are great for composting all of your organic trash and biodegradable things. They break it down by eating all the time. The result: Wonderful food for flowers, veggies, herbs…anything green. Yea I know that it all comes from their poop and pee and maybe that’s a little gross but…if it makes my food happy enough to feeds me later why not?

So Matt and I went to Bass Pro Shop and bought 60 fishing ‘Wigglers” for our compost pile. Here is what we used for ours:

A 25 gallon plastic tub with a top to keep all the rain and sunshine out (they are kind of like vampires…they hate the sunlight!)

Top soil (cheap cause I’m cheap)

Organic trash (banana peels, tops of carrots…you know everything you don’t actually eat but is actually eatable.)

Red Wigglers

We wanted to start small that’s why we chose only a 25 Gallon plastic tub.  But you can go as big as you want! First we drilled some holes all the way around the lip of the container so that they can breathe. Then we drilled two small holes at the bottom edge. Why you ask? Well they also produce this amazing juice. Yuck right? But wait! Not so fast. This stuff is awesome to water your plants with! Seriously they love it! Matt built a cool little table for my compost bin to sit on so that I could place a 5 gallon paint bucket under the holes to catch this great stuff. Once we drilled our holes we put the top soil in. Then the worms. Then the trash. Now, I have read some articles that say you can add some meat and bones to your compost. I have no intention of doing that however. Worms totally prefer rotted veggies and fruits to rotting flesh and bone.  Another thing to remember is keep the dirt moist! It keeps your worms very happy. 🙂 But don’t over water them! For instance, the dirt we bought was already wet so we didn’t add any water to it until today almost a week later. Even then we only sprayed it lightly. How much to feed them? Welllllll that depends on how many worms. I’ve read that they eat their body weight and sometimes more in food. So if you have a pound of worms then they will eat a pound of food a day.  Just keep an eye on how quickly they make the food disappear. If it starts to stink stop putting food in there! Give them a chance to eat what they already have. Yea learned that already. :/

As far as how many worms to get goes…I have no idea! 60 seemed a good start. They reproduce…umm…a lot! So 60 will soon turn into many many more. Who wants to go fishin’ eh?

Anyway I’ve been told that once a month you need to pour all of your dirt and worms onto some sort of smooth surface like a large piece of ply wood or sheet of metal. The best time is when the sun is high because it causes your worms to go to the middle of the pile where its the darkest. The purpose of this is to harvest their poop. Ew! I lost ya didn’t I? Once again this stuff is great for your plants! Once you separate the poop from the dirt (I’ve heard that you can tell the difference once it dries a little) Then you go after your worms. Time to weigh them all to make sure that your bin isn’t getting too populated. What to do with the extra worms? Take ’em fishin’!

Beautiful!
Beautiful!

Also be sure to keep your compost in the shade and consider moving it into a shed or garage on the really hot days. Remember worms like it dark, cool, and plenty of food. Also don’t worry about them leaving their new home. As long as there is plenty of food, water, and dirt they will stay put!

 

Do you have a compost pile? How did it go? Please comment!

Living The Simple Kind Of Life


Ok so by now you all have discovered that I like to do it myself right? I want so much to live as simply as I can. At the risk of sounding 90 years old may I say that all of these new fangled gadgets and gizmos are great for emergencies but…all day everyday? (As I use my computer right? Ha!) It’s rather sad really. I remember a much simpler time when if you were not home you had an answering machine that took messages and the person on the other end had to wait for you to call back. It was a lot less stressful wasn’t it? We would play outside until dark and used our imaginations. Ahhh to go back…

Anyway all that to say this…we planted a garden…again. We honestly haven’t had all that much success in the past because…erm…life is busy. This year however WILL be different! It has to be! If for no other reason then I just said it has to be!

So last Saturday was beautiful here in middle GA! We stayed outside for most of the day drinking up the sunshine ad getting our garden started. We had put in a raised garden bed last year but while in the process of moving all of our plants died. 😦 So this year we used it again.

First we put this great stuff called Black Kow  from Lowe’s on top of the old soil:

Black Cow

Then we put the cheapest potting soil with fertilizer in on top of that. Then Black Kow, then potting soil.  This will revitalize the old soil and nourish our veggies.Then we planted the seeds directly into the dirt.  No plants this time. We have always just planted the plant so I’m a little nervous about this. Weird huh? Seeds are supposed to just grow right?

So here is what it looks like so far:

Pretty cool huh?
Pretty cool huh?

As you can see I marked each square with what looks like a wooden paint stirrer. Actually it’s left over slats from some crates we made at Christmas, but that’s neither here nor there. We planted cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, beets, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and onions. Yep that all fit in that tiny garden. By the way it’s 4ftX4ft raised garden.  I am super excited and I really want it to work this time! I also plan to plant a small hanging herb garden. I will keep you updated on that one!

I will post more pics when they pop up!

 

Do you have a garden? Do you have a green thumb? Do you have some great do’s and don’ts? Please leave a comment and share!

The Plan


 

2014-03-08 18.06.00

Alert: It’s about to get real and looooooong!

Hello all. I hope that your New  year is going great! Mine is! Have you set new years resolutions yet? Don’t lie you know you have! LOL. I think we all have to tell the truth. Mine were more like a continuation of the ones from last year. I wanted to get healthier, get more organized, and stop wasting time. So far I have done all of those. Of course they still need to be worked on right? All of them are never ending.

Hubby and I are in the middle of our third week back in the gym and I already feel so much better. Sure the scale has not moved much but my stress levels and energy has definitely improved! I am working on the app Couch to 5K and Matt is doing his own thing. We are also doing the 30 day Plank challenge and are up to a min and a half! Not to impressive but hey when I started I could barely do 20 seconds so booya! We are both happy so far. 🙂

Now that you are sort of caught up on our lives (not that it is all that) there are a few things I would like to share with you. Matt and I had been going through fertility treatments again in 2014. Things seemed good and my body was doing what it was supposed to. But still no baby. Being that our attitude has been better and we are a bit more mature this time around, we are OK. That being said I was ready to give up completely. Meaning forever. Part of me was at peace with that. A big part. Not Matt though. He was not ready to give up. My heart was so bruised and heavy. On the one side it’s MY body darn it!The meds had started to take it’s toll on me and I was so tired of going and going and going. But on the other side this is also my husband’s life we were talking about. So I was torn. I prayed for a solution and one came.  I walked into the bedroom and told Matt that I wanted to take a break from fertility and start again in January. He heaved a sigh of relief and agreed. We both felt a huge weight lift off of our shoulders. This was in October. I wanted to enjoy the holidays crazy free!

Have you ever needed a straight answer from God? I did. I prayed and prayed that God would just let me know if it was going to happen in my life or not so that I could just plan. I’m a planner what can I say? I hate the inability to know the future. I don’t like surprises. It was with this mind set that around the Christmas break I broke down and just cried out in frustration. My patient love sat there and seemed to listen without any kind of emotion. As if to say “I’ve seen this before it’ll be over in a moment!” Men, have you ever felt that way? Of course you have!

A month or so prior to this, Matt and I had sat down to take a look at our plan. We had an opportunity come to our attention that I am not at liberty to discuss and it was going to rock our world if it came to pass. We were not ready for this. But on the other hand…is it God? Matt kept saying, “But it’s not in our plan. We had a plan.” OUR plan. That’s what I kept hearing. So I left the room and wrote this:

Simple, yes I know.
Simple, yes I know.

I gave it to him and told him that when he was ready to face that OUR plan may not be THE plan to tear this up and I would know. Cheesy I know! But effective.

So on this day of my break down after crying and being angry my sweet silent husband got up without a word and walked out of the room. He came back carrying that paper. He looked at me and said that he realized something and that the Lord had been speaking to him. I stared in shock. He never does this! He had suddenly realized that he and I had been so caught up in our own wants, demands, and heart that we had forgotten something vital…God’s heart. I was so ashamed. He was right. So guess what he did next?

HE TORE IT UP!
HE TORE IT UP!

That’s right. We do not have a plan. Yikes right? Actually, not so much. Peace settled over both of us. Matt said the way he figured it we don’t have control over our lives anyway. We gave that to God. So why not give him this too? Simple right?

So I felt good about it. But after a few days doubt started to creep back in. Hey I’m human too ya know. I wasn’t rethinking anything but one day as I was headed to choir practice I looked up into the sky and saw the most beautiful sunset. I was moved to happy tears. I suddenly realized that I had not let go completely. I prayed and gave it to God right there. ALL of it. All of my fear, anxiety, anger, selfishness, and I told Him that I was ready to see His heart and to know it.

The next morning I came to work refreshed and renewed. I was listening to praise and worship on Pandora and humming a long when I got a knock on the door. I opened it up and it was a senior from the previous semester looking for a teacher. I teach Cosmetology at CGTC by the way. So we exchanged hellos and how are yous. I had not ever had an extended conversation with this young lady before. She didn’t know my story. She looked at me with a huge smile and said, “You look great! Everything that you are talking to God about right now is about to come to pass. It’s coming!” What the what? WOW!

Moral of this looooong story is when you let go and seek after GOD’S heart, He answers.

 

 

Blue Winter


Merry Christmas Eve all! My husband and I have been busy getting all of our Christmas goodies make and put into their respective tins. It has become our tradition to do these things on Christmas Eve and I have to say it is my favorite time of the whole year. But I had to take time out to make a Christmas Eve outfit right?

It's a Grandma dress!
It’s a Grandma dress!

This one is perfect our Christmas Eve service tonight! Wanna know why? Well folks I have to tell ya…GA sux this time of year sometimes. It’s not a white Christmas Eve it’s a blue one! It has rained for two days here and instead of getting cold it has gotten warmer! What the heck?! So this one is perfect because it’s blue and the fabric is light and airy. Which helps on a GA muggy day. :/

Oh well time to make the best of it. First I laid it folded flat, creased down the middle, and back. Then I made an angled chop down the skirt.

Chop Chop!
Chop Chop!

Then I used a rolled hem in white to finish my raw edges, threw on a belt, necklace, leggings, and boots! The end result?

Blue Winter 3

A very easy , interesting, and different refash for my  Christmas Eve. Have a Merry one all!

The Vintage Hipster


Merry Christmas week all! This time of year just makes me happy. The sights, smells, laughter, anticipation…It’s all so wonderful, wouldn’t you agree? Check out this number:

...

I was taken by the pretty vintage top but the bottom? I suppose the colors go fairly well together but the bottom has no shape and the whole thing is just very blah wouldn’t you say?

So I got to work taking the bottom off with my seam ripper.  Also if you will look closely at the above photo you will see that the cuffs of the sleeves have elastic in them. I promptly removed the elastic. This dress is 100% Polyester so it wrinkled badly where I took the elastic out. The first thing I did was  iron them.

No we have spoken before of my long torso and comfort length. This top was wayyyyyy to short! What to do? Well it so happened that I had a black tank top that had been given to me that had a little problem…

Yipes!
Yipes!

Now I know that I could have fixed this little problem pretty easily but why? This tank top fit well but was also too short. I hated wearing it where it might be seen riding up my freakish torso! Hmph! So I chopped the top, just under the straps, off. Then pinned it with right sides together to my new top:

Pin it!
Pin it!

If you are going to try this make sure that you pin the seams of both tops together first. Then pin the rest of it.  Now you are ready to sew.

I have some exciting news for you…Christmas came early for this girl!

EEEEKKKK!!!!
EEEEKKKK!!!!

Yes you are seeing correctly! That is my brand new Serger!!! I have wanted one for a long time and my husband bought it for me for Christmas! Let me tell ya I love it! It makes my work so much prettier and easier to accomplish. Ok back to the refash… So I took my pinned tops and used the Serger to attach. Both fabrics are a bit stretchy so I made sure to stretch it slightly so that the finished product would gather a bit at the waist. Then I used a rolled hem with my new baby to finish the raw edges of the sleeves:

Check that out!I love this!! So pretty. Ok here is the finished project:

Me likes.
Me likes.

So originally I was going to make this a top but it turned into a cute little dress. Adding the leggings and boots just set it off. Vintage with a touch of modern day hipster.

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