Thursday, August 29, 2013


Yes......I picked three baby pumpkins from my garden today!!!!! They have not completely turned orange yet....but they will. The weather has been crazy so I went ahead and picked them early. They should be ripe in a week or so. The plan has been to make pumpkin bread with my granddaughter when they are ready. You may be wondering why I am so excited about three little ol' pumpkins...well......the story goes like this. Last year my granddaughter planted a seed in her pre-school class and then when it was big enough she planted it in my garden. It did get one little pumpkin but it fell off. We both were very sad about I was determined to get the girl a pumpkin this year. We planted five plants...I researched how to grow pumpkins on line and found out they needed to be pollenated at least 5-6 times each. The suggestion I took to heart was to plant a lot of flowers around the plants. I did just that! California poppies, marigolds, sunflowers, and pansies surrounded them and the bumble bees were buzzing and buzzing landing on the pumpkin blooms. Hooray....for our pumpkins!!!!

Pumpkin bloom...buzzing bee.

Buzzing bee.

You can see two of the pumpkins in this photo.

All three cute little pumpkins!

Maggie's cute little pumpkins finally got ripe. We chopped them up 
and made pumpkin muffins with them!

Steaming the pumpkin.

Yummy pumpkin muffins!


I gathered my peppers from my garden then I got my canner ready and I was off!!! I made Jam...spicy...yummy...sweet hot jam!!!

I am making more...this batch was spicy...but not enough for me!! Second batch is almost done...processing right now! I added lime juice and I also added four habanero peppers!!! YUM!! My taste test was smokn' hot and full of flavor from the lime juice!!! Shhhhh.....don't tell anyone my secret ingredient!!!

Here it is!! Hot hot spicy sweet jam!!! You can't see the beautiful green
shade it has...see pic below.

Love the color of it! No artificial coloring...just the natural color from the peppers!!

Monday, August 12, 2013


My sunflowers went crazy while I was gone!! They are beautiful! Look at those clouds as well!!!!!!

Farmer At Heart!!

Yes....I am a farmer. My daddy and all of my ancestors were farmers. It is in my blood!! While I was on my road trip my garden was kept alive by my husband who says he can kill an artificial plant!! He did the best that he could. At least he did give it a drink every now and then. I worked for over two hours pulling weeds and trimming back some of my plants. I have enough produce to set up my own road side stand. Mary would stop at it for sure!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


We checked out of our Hotel..had breakfast...then..."On the road again." We passed up so many fruit stands but stopped at many as well! Mary wanted watermelons and watermelons she got! I flipped a U'ie when we saw a sign that read, "HOME GROWN WATERMELONS ~ left. So we went left. The road took us way deep into a neighborhood that had a table under a big giant tree piled with watermelons. A young boy around twelve met us at our car. We asked him if he grew the melons and he said that his whole family did. Mary got out and walked over to look. I followed them out to a huge field covered in watermelon vines and a pumpkin patch. He helped her find a good one. We had so much fun!!

One of the seven fruit stands we stopped at on our road trip. Mary was a very
Mary out in the watermelon patch.
Ken showing Mary how to pick the perfect watermelon.
Mary picking and dusting off the dirt from the one she chose.
The picnic table with watermelons.


We made another left on that road and it led us back to a winery. We did a little wine tasting and find out the history of the winery. There was also a Monastery on the property. The stones are over 800 years more here:  What an amazing sight to see.

Inside the wine tasting room. They preserved the railroad tracks
when they built the winery. They run right through the building.

Acres of walnut trees are also on the property.

Directing My Path

Mary and I had a wonderful time visiting friends in the Sacramento area on Tuesday. We all did some shopping and then had a nice dinner together. They were delightful hosts for our overnight stay. In the morning Vince cooked us up a scrumptious breakfast before we hit the road. Our plans were to go to a little cute old town and then come back, jump on the I-5 and head North but our plans changed a bit. Mary and I both felt that we should get on some back roads and see some scenery instead. Well…we did go to the cutest town and did some shopping as well as some window shopping and then we had lunch at Sweetie Pie's. We both had huge omelets with a huge pile of country potatoes which would have been plenty….then the waitress showed up with the toast. Two slices of freshly baked, TEXAS size walnut cinnamon with a slab of butter on top! Wow! …and YUM!  Mouth watering! We sat on the patio and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. We then headed over highway 49 which put us out where some old mining camps were back in the day. We took photos and watched people pan for gold. Back in the car and taking roads here and there…a true ROAD TRIP!! Signs and signs passing us by..PEACHES..WATERMELONS..NUTS…Mary loves fruit stands and we both wanted to get some peaches to make some jam. As we zoomed past one after another I finally just stopped at one that had an old woman standing next to a small table piled with peaches. As we were getting out of the car we could clearly see she had worked hard in her life and she was tired. Her hands were calloused and cracked telling me she had worked hard in her life. This is why we came this way…this woman needed us to stop…she needed us to care…she needed us to buy her peaches. She shared her pain of losing her family within the last five years. She lost her husband, son and mother. I could feel her pain. We bought almost all of her peaches. When I handed her a bit more than she asked she held my hand tightly and with teary eyes told me how badly she needed it and thanked me. I believe that God puts in us the direction we should go so when we end up on the other side of town it is for a reason. We might not understand the reason at first but it will become clearer as time plays out. IT WAS ALREADY PLANNED.

Sweetie Pies
Giant slices of freshly baked walnut cinnamon bread.
Old globe lights all over downtown.

Panning for gold. We didn't actually do this but it was fun to watch for a while.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


This morning we packed up the car early and hit the road. I was very excited to see my niece whom I haven't seen in about five years. On the way we just had to stop at a produce stand. People were ripping through ears of corn and thumping watermelons. Dust filled the air as people hit the dirt road when they pulled in. I loved this site...out in the middle of no where....sunflower fields on one side....and rows and rows of pistachio trees on the other. I could have just stayed there all day. I enjoyed taking photos of the many kinds of fruits and veggies.


We met my niece at a local restaurant for breakfast. She was a delight!! After eating and visiting we followed her to see the church she goes to and while we were there she played the piano for us and we sang a worship song together "Take Me Into The Holy of Holies. "  The walls are decorated with her cross-stitch artwork that have Bible verses on them. We then followed her to a store downtown to look at her husbands jewelry he makes. Then over to his work place to say hi. We finally made it to her cute duplex. We visited and she showed us a few scrapbooks of her wedding and life. We had a wonderful time. I miss her already.


Sweet potatoes.

Peaches and nectarines.

Red grapes.

Red chili peppers.

Bins of pistachio nuts.
Fields of sunflowers!

My nieces cross-stitch artwork. One sits on the organ and the other on 
the piano in her church.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Today was the most amazing day. I think, between Mary and I, we took around 400 photos at the Botanical gardens, redwoods, beaches as well as the gardens at our motel.  As we rode the Skunk train into the redwoods we were entertained by a guitarist singing lyrics that all had something to do with trains.  It was very relaxing as we slowly moved through the woods. We spent some time out in the open air car for a bit enjoying the sunshine and breeze. We then drove down to the harbor and had the most amazing cod lunch. We sat at a window seat and watched the boats coming in. Several fishing boats came by and held up their catch for the day! We joined other customers in the restaurant cheering and giving them thumbs up!! We visited the Botanical took photo after photo....we could have stayed all day snapping photos there. We then went to the beach....we had to climb down the it was pretty rocky. We didn't find as much glass as I thought we would but it was high tide and there was hardly any beach to walk on let alone to comb. We enjoyed the refreshing air and the smell of the ocean. Here are a few photos from today that I think everyone will enjoy...I sure enjoyed taking them!

The Skunk Train.

Original seats.
Our entertainment.
Succulents at the Botanical Gardens.

Fishing boat passing by our restaurant showing off their catch for the day.

Some of the rocks on the coast. Gorgeous.