Thursday, June 26, 2014

1 Samuel 9-11; 13; 15-17

DAVID'S COURAGE! Let's read this week

Here is this weeks Old Testament Reading assignment 1 Samuel 9-11; 13; 15-17 and a video to go along with it.  I'll try to get the newsletter finished asap.  It's been a busy week. 

Aquaponics Growth

 Aquaponics Bell Pepper has arrived and looks pretty good if I do say so myself. 
 This Cherry tomato plant is from last years garden. In fact I didn't even plant this seed, it reseeded itself and came up in one of my garden beds.  My husband mentioned putting it in the grow beds so I added it to see what would happen  and now I have cherry tomatoes in my grow beds.  LOVE IT!  
 This is one of those Chinese 5 Peppers I can tell because of the purple buds.  It has struggled though.  This was a very week plant in the beginning and I didn't know if it would make it so I thought by putting it in the aquaponics system it might have a better chance.  It still doesn't look strong but It has blooms so something is going right.  :)
 Greek Basil.  I hate cutting beautiful plants but I know it must be done.  

 It's a tomato  But don't ask me what kind.  I pulled a silly mistake and forgot to mark down what I was planting where in my aquaponics system.  It could be a beefsteak?  It could be a homestead?  Not sure so we will wait and see. 
Oh look another tomato!  Yay.  I'm ready for a home grown tomato there is nothing in the world like it. 

Garden update

The garden is growing well.  Take a look for yourself. 
Kale is such a pretty plant.  especially if the bugs leave it alone.  LOL  I should really pick it to keep it from going to see. But it's so pretty. 
The green beans have blooms and I'm so excited to have fresh green beans for dinner.  :)
Spaghetti squash is really starting to look good.  It's starting to climb the arch.  I've never grown spaghetti squash before and I'm really excited about this one.  Looks like it's going to bloom soon too.
I started these late but they do have such pretty flowers on them.  I am trying to put them in a cage.  I saw on Pinterest that you could contain them but using a tomato cage.  I have to admit I'm wondering how but I'm willing to try it.  So we will see.  
 This is my favorite pepper plant.  Again it is a first.  It is suppose to be a Chinese 5 pepper and so it is not only suppose to be HOT but it should be very colorful as well.  The purple blooms and dark stems and leaves are already so very pretty.  
Jalapenos are looking good. 

 Yay finally a bell pepper! 
 And yep I'm almost positive this will be the most beautiful Anaheim pepper.  I can't wait to stuff it and bake it and enjoy it flavor.  YUMMMY!
The cucumber is starting to climb.  Haven't seen any blooms yet but it's taking off up it's trellis.  Man I need to trim around this garden bed. HaHa.  
 Tomatoes and Marigolds.  They have a very good relationship. 
On Saturday I noticed this little asparagus and was so excited to see another shoot of it.  That was 6 days ago.  Look at the photo below that I took this morning?  I'm touching the same shoot that 6 days ago was only about 2 inches tall. I'm so surprised it grew that fast.  I love it.  Another first for me.  I tried to start this from seed last year and it did okay but lost it over the extremely cold winter we had.  It was in a pot.  It didn't survive.  Oh well thank goodness for 2nd chances. 
Morning Glories and other flowers seem to be doing okay. Can't wait to see their color.  I have a feeling I'm going to dread winter when it gets here.  :((

Bees Please!!

So I got started with Bees last year and had a blast learning and watching them.  I didn't get any honey but I still enjoyed it.  However, the winter was so long and very cold and the bees didn't make it.  I was really torn whether to try again or just move on with all that I have going on.  Well, an opportunity arose for me to get a couple more hives started and so I dove back into it head first.  I've had the bees for a little over a month now and already have emergency queen cells on one of the frames.  This is one of those moments where I doubt my knowledge a bit but I will press on and continue to research and hope for the best.  :)  After attending to my hives this morning I decided to take a helper (my youngest daughter) back out with me and take some pix.  I have a wonderful friend who I met last year and he helped me set up my first hive and helped me split the hive into two.  And so I'm hoping by taking pix he can help me decide if I should let nature take it's course or if I should intervene. 

Okay here is a breakdown of what you are looking at...the above photo shows the top view of the frames.  Each hive body(the actual box) hold 10 frames (where the comb is held)
This i what a frame holds.  :)  My brave daughter was a little worried but she hung in there and held the frames for me so I could take some pix. 

This frame has 5 emergency queen cells on it.  4 of which are already capped.  Okay what does that mean?  Basically what happens is every hive has only 1 queen and if that queen gets sick or died for any reason the worker bees (also female) will start making a larger cell in the frame that they will feed and make into a new queen.  When they close it off the process is complete and the queen egg just has to grow.  Now some of you might be thinking, if there is only 1 queen per hive why are there 5 queen cells????????   Well I think they might do this as a back up plan,  their survival depends on the queen so they over do it to make sure they provide what is needed.  However if all of the queens make it out then we have a few things to think about.......One the strongest might take out the others (this is what I'm hoping for).  If one queen hatches before the others she will go around and destroy the other cells and all that is in them.  My fear is they will split and I might loose part of my hive.  :(  I would not be happy about this. 

Here are some closer looks at the comb. 
By looking at this photo you can see the queen cell is very large.  You also see that there is a drone (male) cell right next to it I know its a drone cell because its domed up, if it was a worker bee cell then it would be flat on top.  In the photo you will see that there are many small bees those are the worker bees (female) and one larger bee with big eyes that is a drone (male)  The drones one purpose in the hive is to mate the queen.  Once they've mated the queen they die.  What a life right?  But that is their purpose.  You can see some baby larvae in the cells at the bottom of the pix.  The queen hasn't been gone too long for sure.  Those larvae are a few days old.  You can also see a couple cells with honey in them as well.

  They are a bit blurry but in this photo you can see how flat most of the cells are.  When you look at the frames they are mostly filled with these flat cells which is good.  It takes way more workers to make the hive run than it does drones.  This is another close up of one more of the queen cells. 
Now here is a good look at a pretty healthy hive.   Things you could observe from this frame.  There are a very good amount of capped brood (worker bee cells closed off)  And a good amount of capped drone cells.  Also near the bottom you will notice there are 4 more queen cells.  On a normal day these queen cells would alert me that the hive is outgrowing its hive and they are preparing to swarm which means the hive is crowded and they are wishing to split the hive sending a new queen off with a lot of workers.  I know the difference between the queen cells because of their placement.  When they are built in the middle of the frame they are considered emergency queen cells and you know the queen is sick or dead, and when the queen cells are built on the bottom of the frame you know they are crowded and are seeking for more space.  When you hear of people finding a swarm of bees in their yard this is why.  They only leave their home permanently for this reason.    This is why I'm a bit concerned because I'm not sure what to expect,  will they get two new queens and split the hive or will the strongest queen wipe out the others.  eeeek.  I don't like having to make these decisions.  I think I will take it upon myself and get ride of these 4 queen cells.  And let the others kill each other off.  :)  I'll keep you posted.
  I do love bee keeping.  I'm having so much fun learning and watching these bees.  Hope you have learned somethings and maybe even inspired to start an adventure like this of you own. 

Here is me at the end.  Today I didn't get stung but those bees were a little angry toward the end of my exploration of their hive.  HaHa  They stayed around my hat for a long time making sure I knew they were a bit ticked off. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Toadstool Tables

My wonderful son made my Toadstools and they are now in my dream garden!  4 of them.  One for each of my children.  What ever will I do when I have to start having him make one for each grandchild.  LOL  I have a while to think about that.  At least 5 years hopefully a little longer.  haha I'm not going to push for that one.
This last picture is the view from my swing!!!!!  Love my Garden!   I think I should start watching for a gnome to sit under my toadstools.  LOL  


Okay so I'm going to brag for a little while here.  Have I ever mentioned how EXTREMELY WONDERFUL the men in my life are?  Especially those who live under the same roof as myself?  Well, in case you have not noticed I am going to once again brag on those 3 handsome, strong, and talented guys.
This week my husband  came home with a trailer full of scrap material from the jobs he has been doing in the Kimberling City/Lampe area.    As we are unloading this scrap material he tells me some of it will work for a few more of my garden beds.  ;)  Yay, the asparagus might just have a permanent home now.  And those sunflowers that have been growing in my greenhouse might find a place as well.  So this morning I wake up and my husband is already outside working hard on my garden and flower beds.  LOVE THIS MAN.  I also need to back up a week.  I have had two beds for a while with no square foot garden mix in them due to not having time to run and get the 50 cyd bag of mix I wanted.  So last week with his little Toyota truck he took me to Springfield to get my mix.  The little truck had a hard time with that load, but we got those beds filled and had extra that we filled a flower bed up with and we were able to rob it of a little bit today for the new beds he made.  What a GREAT provider and husband he is.  Now lets go a little further and I'm going to say that he is also a great father.  His example spills over to our boys twenty fold.  So on our date last night (we took our boys with us) I was telling them how I would love to have a little toad stool table and chairs in my garden.  I looked them up on amazing and was shocked to see people wanting $300-$900 for a  little toad stool table and chair set.  My oldest said mom we could build some.  Well, I thought yeah we could but that's more stuff that will have to be built and there is never enough time to get everything done we would like to do.  ;o).  So I let the thought go.  Well this morning my oldest son gets out of bed and heads to the shop.  Later I pass the shop and he was working on something!  I ask him what he was building and he said, "TOAD STOOLS"  LOL   Will I ever be deserving of all they do for me.....  Probably not!  Last story.  My younger son is pretty strong, well both my boys are but my younger really tries hard to be strong, and so I had the bolt cutters out trying to cut through a cattle panel in my greenhouse and I could not for the life of me get the cutters to even scratch the metal. I was trying to cut it above my head and feeling very wimpy.  So I called to my son and he comes to my rescue without a seconds hesitation, and cuts through the metal.  I'm so grateful for all their strength and talent.  I'm grateful my daughters have BIG brothers and a Loving dad to look up to for protection and guidance.  I always wished I had a big brother growing up. And when I think of how blessed I am with my husband and 2 sons my heart fills with Love and gratitude.  Here are some pix of them being amazing!!!!!

This is the little flower bed he built me.  More pix later of my daughters and I planting flowers.  :)))))
I was working in the garden one day and I look over at the swing and Dad had sit down.  What happens when dad sits down?  This happens...The kids gather around him for fun chats and laughter.  They love this man and his laughter, (SO DO I!!!). 
They caught me taking pix so they chose to pose for this one!!!!  Gotta love their humor.  

And lastly a shout out to my beautiful daughters for helping me plant flowers this morning in the new flower beds.  Love when we work together to build and make our property beautiful.  Grateful the Lord saw fit to bless me my life with my these girls.  


A party spot in the grape vines. What would their parents say?!!

So I'm out in my garden this morning and I notice my grape vine had been used as a smorgasbord to some naughty bugs!  They have parked themselves on public property and are not only making out..., but destroying public property as well.   LOL   have no fear I have some seven dust near.  Fly away home you naughty bugs this area is patrolled.  Hurry before I charge you with indecent exposure, defacing public property, stealing food, and littering!!!YUCK.  

 This is some spaghetti squash that my mother in law gave me.  It's looking good and starting to climb the trellis. 

The garden is growing beautifully I added the onions in between the jalapeno and Chinese 5 color peppers and they seemed to start improving.  The little purple bloom is one of the Chinese 5 color peppers.  :)  Isn't it pretty.  The leaves are a deep color with a purple tint.  Very pretty.  Hopefully yummy and hot too. 
 I put these cages around the zucchini squash thinking it might help keep them more contained but I'm beginning to doubt it.  I just can't imagine how it will work although other people have said they have done it.  I think maybe my cages are toooooooooo small. 
 Got cages for my tomatoes.  I did want those colorful cages, however as many as I needed my husband went for the cheaper less colorful plain cages.  :)
 This was suppose to be an anaheim pepper but I'm not sure that's what it is.  It just doesn't look very pointy.  lol  We shall soon see. 

 These tomatoes still look so scrawny!  :o(  Praying they will perk up and become beautiful with some fish poo. 

The tomatoes in this bed are looking