Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm in LOVE with Luffas!

Every year I try to grow something "different" in the garden. This year I tried my hand at growing Luffa...and I am in LOVE!

Luffa are technically gourds and can be eaten while young and tender.  They say they taste like squash.  I'm not in them for the food value, I want them for scrubbing.  Scrubbing dishes, cars, people, anything that cannot tolerate steel wool.  I also hope to include them in some handmade Christmas gifts this year.

Growing luffa is really easy but you must have two things, a long growing season and support.  I planted two seeds underneath a huge trellis that Kyle built for me.  They outgrew the trellis in a week and have now taken over the side of my house!  One thing that just happened to work out beautifully was planting sunflower seeds next to them.  As the mammoth sunflowers grew to the height of the roof, the luffa vines were just getting started.  By the time the sunflowers had thick, sturdy stalks the luffa found them and grew right to the top.

Now the sunflower is spent, head harvested for seeds, and the stalk remains a strong support for the new luffa growing.  Yeah, it looks like crap on the side of the house, but up close it's beautifully awesome!

They've even taken over my bathroom window.  But with at least six more growing in that spot, I'm not taking the vines down any time soon!

I recommend drying the luffa right on the vine.  The green skin becomes a dried up brown color and if you shake the fruit you can hear the seeds rattle inside.  Once thoroughly dried, they were very easy to peel.  

Our luffas are super soft and smell like freshly mown hay.  I know that we will be growing these for many seasons to come.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The fall garden

It's time to rip up the summer garden because my fall seeds have come in!  This week my goal is to get the weed patch I call a garden cleared and composted so that it will be ready for these seedlings in 6-8 weeks.  Hopefully by then we'll start having some cooler temperatures, too.

That's what I love about gardening, 
it's so easy just to start all over!

I got these gorgeous heirloom, non-GMO seeds from
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.

Friday, August 17, 2012

My next big project

I snagged all Kyle's old baseball jerseys one day and decided he needed them sewn into a quilt (thank you, Pintrest!).  
More to come on this project soon, 
I am stupid excited over it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One more baseball post then I'm done, I promise!

On Monday night, the Sugarland Skeeters recognized our boys before their game at Constellation Field.

They let the guys on the field a good thirty minutes before the game started.  Kyle really took everything in, I think he loves the Skeeters more than he loves the Astros!
It was fun to watch the boys who started out all lined up against the fence.  Slowly, they gravitated as a group to touch the grass, talk to some players, and joke around with Moe the mascot.

The night was "a buzz" for the Wharton All Stars!
(pun intended)

Then finally it was time to take the field with the Skeeters...
And to use the words of a young man who doesn't say very much...
"It was VERY cool!"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gettin' my groove back!

So we spent six days in Arkansas,
threw a birthday party for my son's 18th birthday the next day,
then I worked three back-to-back 12 hr. shifts.

Y'all, I was tired!

I did absolutely nothing on Monday but laundry and nap, 
but it seems that I've gotten my second wind today!
I planned and prepared EIGHT freezer meals for the crockpot...

thank you Pinterest!

 These meals worked out to be a little less than ten bucks per meal and it only took me an hour to prepare all eight of them.

Directions are written right on the bags.  All Doug or the boys have to do is take a bag from the freezer, drop the frozen "brick" into the crock pot, set it on low and forget it!  And I get to come home to a home cooked meal on the days that I's a win-win!

Our busy day meal stash includes:
2 packs Asian meatballs
2 packs pepper steak
chicken fajitas
shredded beef burritos
Italian beef sandwiches
chicken curry

Check out this Pinterest link for more crock pot 
freezer cooking recipes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Ryan!

My first born turned eighteen this week. 


I am now the mother of an adult child.

I think I may need to go lay down for a bit...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

We came, we saw, we conquered...almost!

So proud of our Wharton All Stars!  They competed in the Southwest Regional Tournament and came in third, the last Texas team to still stand.  And even though they didn't make it to the World Series, I think they are pretty proud of their accomplishment!

I know we are!

Truly, by a miracle, we were ALL able to make the trip to Arkansas.

The players stayed with "host families" while in Arkansas.  That meant we didn't have to worry about washing uniforms, making it to practice on time, or feeding them.  The host families were a blessing to us, especially ours!  Mr. Bob is a rock star in our eyes and we are so thankful for his hospitality and generosity!

 Kyle turned 15 while we were there and I know he made some awesome memories.  On the long drive home he told me, "I know we were there to play ball, but that was kind of in the background.  I had the best time with my friends and traveling to some place new!"

My heart swells for that boy!

We stayed in a hotel for the six days we were there.
John Paul and Daniel thought they died and went to Heaven.

 Swimming, hot tubs, waffles for breakfast every morning, having someone else make your bed...

and eating popcorn in bed while watching TV~
Danny told me, "This is the LIFE!"

Our family doesn't do yearly vacations, but I think we'll count this trip as one.  We got to see some of the beauty of the Ozarks, meet some wonderful people, and watch some great baseball games.  Some really good memories were made this last week, thank you Mountain Home for treating us so well!