Saturday, July 16, 2011

Catch Up! Part Two

A couple of things I forgot to include yesterday regarding the trip to Okinawa's Orchid Botanical Garden........the name of the place!  
  Tropical Dream Center  
And of course, I could not forget to add this picture....can you find my son?

Where's Waldo?

As  you enter this huge complex, they have all these great looking animal structures made out of flowers....check them out!

We also went to Omoro Arboretum which is an example of a traditional Okinawan village. There were so many interesting things to experience here!Two of my personal favorites were;
the traditional Okinawa singing and dancing shows with the colorful traditional outfits and.....

 the fun that my grandson and I had painting our own ceramic Shiisaa, which is a lion-dog statue that is an Okinawan charm against evil. These statues, big and small, can be seen all over the island, they are located on the roof of just about every house, to ward off any evil coming to the house.

More pictures from Okinawa in the next post, back to the home front.........

Our 14 year old dog and my constant companion, Blue, really missed us while we were gone so he really stuck like glue to me as I work in the garden, only to keep a watchful eye on me if we were separated by a fence.

The girls are really enjoying the extending daylight hours and are doing a great job laying eggs for my customers, once daylight savings was upon us, they really went crazy with the egg production!

 The promise of lots of fruit this year happened at this time also........

 The Geraniums started to bloom.........

 As did the weeds! Notice the Jack Rabbit, who thanks to Blue, do not bother my garden as much as I feared they would. Good job Blue!

Stay tuned.... I am trying to catch up as fast I can. I have some great pictures of Maggie's Garden to show you thanks to my 14 year old grandson who is fast becoming a talented photographer and some funny mystery stories to tell.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Catch Up! ~Okinawa Trip~ ~April/May Garden~ Part One

I will try to catch up since I am soooo far behind on posting news and new pictures.........

Our trip to Okinawa was wonderful to say the least. The 2 weeks we were there just flew by and I found myself wanting to stay longer, a lot longer. This is unusual for me since I tend to like being home and in my garden a lot.
Needless to say, being with my son, daughter-in-law, and our 2 grand kids were the highlight of the trip, you can tell that by these great pictures, which by the way, I took hundreds of pictures with my new camera. Here are just some of the my favorites of my Okinawa-based family.

My D-in-L is the greatest, not only did we invade her new home for 2 weeks (they moved in the first couple of days we were there), she made sure that we went to see some of the most beautiful places in Okinawa, especially the gardens. How I love to see gardens! We even drug the husbands to a couple of the beautiful gardens.
We went to see the Orchids in the Botanical Gardens. Words and pictures cannot express the beauty. Our Orchids here are pitiful compared to the size and variety in Okinawa.

The rest of the Botanical Gardens was just as breathtaking.

These Lily pads were huge! The larger ones were over 3 feet in diameter!
My silly family doing what they do best!

As if it could not get any prettier, we climbed this very tall tower to see these amazing views of the surrounding area.

I will post more pictures of our trip to Okinawa later on, the gardens were amazing, the people were friendly and happy, and there is so much history on this Island. I cannot wait to go back!

On the home front, I had lots to do when we arrived home.....

We had lots of rain, which is a good thing, but some very cold days which are not a good thing for my starts that I took a chance on planting early. The beets came up and the tender tops were destroyed by the rain/cold. The spinach came up nicely only to be eaten by the dozens of black birds that thought I had started this early garden just for them.
The starts in my new greenhouse are doing wonderful! I just love my greenhouse!
My Irises came up and looked great! I love cutting these and putting them in the house, a promise of good things to come!

Last year a pair of Quail nested in my raised veggie garden area in some weeds that I did not pull out. I had forgotten about them until I went into the garden to pull weeds. They had gotten out of control while we were gone on our trip. Imagine my surprise (and hers) when I came nose-to-beak with Mama Quail sitting on her nest hidden in my clump of tall weeds! I backed away as soon as I could but she jumped off and ran away. Papa Quail sat up in the nearby Pine tree and scolded me loudly.

Papa Quail continued to try to distract me from the nest, allowing me to run to get my camera and walk up within 15 feet of him. Can you see him on our fence ? Anyway, that's what I get for not pulling the weeds BEFORE we left on our I had a raised veggie box dedicated to 15 pretty Quail eggs and their parents!

*Update* I am happy to report that all the eggs hatched and the new family has moved to live under my Bottle Brush Hedge. I now can reclaim my veggie box to plant more goodies!

Come back tomorrow for my next post of more pictures/stories on our trip and what happened in Maggie's Garden for the months of April/May AND June/July!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Time For Our Trip!

Given that our pasture is way too empty, this trip could not come at a better time!

We have been anxiously waiting for this time to come! We are going to Okinawa for 2 weeks to visit our son, daughter in law, and 2 adorable grand kids. This will be a great adventure I am sure!

Now, I am the type of person who does not like to fly, so I am nervous about such a long trip but cannot wait to get there to see my family.

I will take lots of pictures and try to post them while we are there. I hear that the gardens there are so beautiful. Of course, most pictures will be of the grand babies I am sure!

I have been rushing around the garden since it stopped raining  to get my spring veggie garden in before we leave. Besides having lots and lots of starts in the greenhouse, I direct planted several veggies outside. It is a crap shoot for sure........if we have a late frost while we are gone, they will be damaged, yet if I wait until we get home, I will be way behind on my planting and harvest time. Since I have new paying clients for veggie/fruit/egg boxes starting in May ( YAY!!!!!!) I had no choice.
 We will see what happens! And of course, nervous about relying on automatic drip for new seedlings. I am very fortunate to have a dear friend who takes care of all our animals and will make sure everything is watered correctly while we are gone. we go!      Sayonara!!!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Well, I was going to title my next blog.... " And then it was 83 " because we had rainy cold weather and then BAM! it was 83 degrees and beautiful.....but I will continue with that subject in another post after I share something very important to me.

Dusty, my sweet horse died Wednesday. I am heartbroken to say the least. She was my "cowgirl pardner" , confidant, best friend besides my husband. She taught me to try new things outside my comfort zone, to take chances, to relax and just be in the moment. When we went for a trail ride, she always had to be up front, move out fast. I had to keep my mind in the moment, to always listen, and just enjoy her and the surroundings.
I was blessed to have her at home instead of boarding her. With that came responsibility, twice a day, no matter what, I had to go out there to feed her. I was ALWAYS rewarded with a loud whinny telling me she was glad to see me and hurry up with the feed.
She loved me. She always wanted to be as close as she could get to me, to lower her head to my chest, to follow me around in the pasture, she would even leave her food to follow me and give me her "hug" on my chest. It has become unbearable to go out back and look at a empty paddock and pasture.
I miss her terribly. I swore I heard her whinny today when I ventured out to water.

I know time will heal me but I will always miss my Dusty. Thank you for being my friend and loving me so much. You were the best pony a girl could ever want.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rain, Rain, And More Rain! Part 3

Yes, it is still raining.....and thunderstorms.......and hailing.......and 50 mph winds!

My poor greenhouse. After a horrible night of heavy rain and gusty wind that sounded like a train coming through the house, I discovered that almost half the panels of my greenhouse are ripped off and thrown all over our property. Luckily, they were not too damaged and could be reinstalled on the greenhouse frame.Incredibly, all my starts and plants inside were not damaged at all!!
I was too upset and it was raining too hard to take pictures of the damaged greenhouse. Hubby and I straightened the frame, replaced the panels, and the greenhouse looked great AGAIN.....

I say again because the greenhouse had another bad experience about a month ago, this time my sweet horse Dusty was the cause. It seems that when she was in the same pasture as the greenhouse, she got the great idea that the greenhouse would make a wonderful scratching post for her itchy hide. I did take a picture of that damage, take a look!

Hubby and I straightened the frame and panels to make it look as good as new.

My poor little greenhouse!

The weather forecast is for more rain this weekend and then a full week of sun, I cannot wait!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rain, Rain, And More Rain! Part 2

Well.....we have been getting rain for oh, about 5 days straight and the forecast calls for more rain all next week. In fact, they are forecasting over 3" of rain in the next 2 days.
The weather is so crazy that Santa Rosa had a tornado touch down at a landscape company and destroyed some buildings. Luckily, no one was hurt! We don't have tornadoes in Northern California!

This morning we had a big hail storm also. I am ready for Spring which will be here officially tomorrow.
This is a picture of our view from our kitchen window today with all the rain we have had the past couple of days. Can you see the pair of Geese enjoying the pond?

This is the same view last year in May.

So...I guess I should remember with all this rain will come lots of wild flowers and green grass for the horses to nap in and for us to enjoy.

Yesterday we bought a used second refrigerator for the garage to house all the eggs I have been getting lately. The rain seems to not stop the girls from doing their job!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Girls

The wet weather has not dampened the girls spirit and dedication to their job, laying eggs! As if on cue, March 1st started the explosion of egg production. It has been interesting to find the eggs and check out all the different sizes and colors. As of today, I am up to 3 dozen a day! Yikes! I said I wanted eggs, well, I got em!

Previously, I have been able to sell all my eggs just by word of mouth.These eggs sell themselves, once someone tastes one of these eggs with their rich flavor, they never want to buy the grocery store eggs. Now I am going to have to do a little marketing. In the meantime, I am looking for a good used refrigerator to house all these eggs so that I can have room in our refrigerator.

They come in all different hues of brown, green, and blue. They are beautiful! No dye is needed, just stamp or paint flowers, stripes, polka dots, stars, etc on these eggs and you are ready for the Easter bunny.

These are pictures of some of the girls. They too come in all different colors and sizes also. They are very pretty and each one of them has their very own distinct personality.

Update: Almost 2 inches of rain today!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rain, Rain, And More Rain!

2 steps forward, 1 step back......seems that is the theme when it applies to my progress with Maggie's Garden including this blog. But, looking at the glass half full, I am progressing. Just not at my speed!

The rain, the source of all good things, is in abundance this Winter. So I am trying not to complain, but....we have 120% of "average" for this year, March usually only gives us a storm or two, and yet everyday for the last two weeks and looking ahead two weeks, calls for rain, lots of it. Ok, I am complaining. I am tired of mucking around in the mud to feed Dusty and the chickens. I am tired of planning to plant only to postpone due to rain or too wet soil........I just have to remember that in a couple of months I will be complaining about the dry, hard soil and the heat.....

The good news. The greenhouse has provided me with warmth and dry conditions to start seedlings, lots of them, and to protect my existing plants from the frost which will not go away for a month or longer.It is amazing how warm it is in the greenhouse, even when it is cold and rainy outside. Everyday, I go into the greenhouse to peek at the seedlings in their trays. They are popping up so fast! It is so exciting to see them growing bigger by the day. I have to water almost daily in the greenhouse now.

Since I have not posted to my blog in awhile, I will soon post some pictures and stories about what has happened since the end of January at Maggie's Garden. Stay tuned for some funny stories, it never is boring around here with a dog, a horse, and 65 chickens providing entertainment while I am waiting for the sun to peek through the rain clouds.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of Emma and I  enjoying the veggie garden a couple of years ago.

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