Riverbend Ramblings

~Riverbend Ramblings~
The days are long, but the years are short.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009
Hark, I hear a robin calling! List, the wind is from the south! And the orchard-bloom is falling Sweet as kisses on the mouth. In the dreamy vale of beeches Fair and faint is woven mist, And the river's orient reaches Are the palest amethyst. Every limpid brook is singing Of the lure of April days; Every piney glen is ringing With the maddest roundelays. Come and let us seek together Springtime lore of daffodils, Giving to the golden weather Greeting on the sun-warm hills. - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Spring Song

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Our 14th Wedding Anniversary


"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it:  if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.”                ~Song of Solomon 8:7 KJV


Monday, March 23, 2009
Square Foot Gardening- Part 2

**If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.**

Once the grids are in place you're all set to start planting. If you live in a cold climate, you might want to start your seeds indoors and plant them after the last threat of freeze has passed.

Do an online search for gardening in your particular state, something like “Florida garden planting guide.” No matter what part of the country you live in you’ll be able to get a good idea of what to plant and when to plant it. You could also skip the research part and just look on the back of the seed packages at the garden center. The handy little map will tell you when to plant in your neck of the woods. Remember, we’re trying to keep this simple. :)IMG_1617_edited-1 Once you have done your research you are ready to purchase your seeds or seedlings. Since it’s been in the 80’s here for a few weeks now, I decided to go the least expensive route and just take the seeds straight from the package and put them into the soil instead of purchasing plants. Most garden centers carry the same brands of seeds. However, you may want to shop around for the best price. I paid $1.25 for a package of seeds and saw the exact same package at another store for $1.65. For the most part I’ve found seeds to be cheapest at W*al-Ma*rt and L*owe’s. The local mom-and-pop garden center had the highest prices for the same brand of seeds. I try to patronize local merchants when possible, but I went the least expensive route when purchasing my seeds. IMG_1608_edited-1

Next, I planned the box grids by drawing rough sketches of the boxes and writing the name of what I wanted to plant in each square. I also wrote the estimated number of days until harvest so that I will have a better idea of when things will be ready to pick. That’s important for me to know since I’m going to continue to plant and harvest a variety of goodies all the way through late fall. I'm planting mostly fruits and veggies with a few flowers around the border of the boxes. IMG_1619_edited-1

Now the fun part—planting those seeds! A pencil works great for poking holes in the soil.IMG_1607_edited-1 IMG_1611_edited-1 You need just a pinch of seeds for each hole. That means two or three seeds- not a handful! You won't use very many seeds with a SFG. Just seal them in a bag and put them in the freezer until you're ready to plant with them again later in the season or next year. IMG_1610_edited-1

Little hands are just the right size for dropping the seeds down into the holes. Her knees don't get as sore from squatting down so much either. :)Once the squares have been planted, just wet them down each day and let nature do its thing. IMG_1583_edited-2 In no time at all you’ll begin to see the fruit of your labor. There's no weeding or fertilizing required. Organic gardening doesn't get any easier than this.IMG_1593_edited-2 Ta-da! IMG_1587_edited-2


If you plant a Square Foot Garden this year let me know; I’d love to read about it. We could even start our own little SFG club!


Friday, March 20, 2009
Square Foot Gardening- Part 1
One of my favorite things about the time we lived in Georgia was the bountiful supply of garden-fresh fruits and vegetables given to us by our church family. My freezer stayed fully stocked, and I rarely had to purchase any produce at the store. Each spring I would toss around the idea of starting my own garden, but there really wasn't a good spot for one in our yard. Last summer after we moved back to Florida I longed for those Georgia veggies! With the amount of food our family consumes it makes sense for us to grow our own food. This year I decided to plant a garden, but not your traditional one. We don't have the acreage or horsepower to have a huge plot, so I decided to try raised beds instead. I purchased All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Your local library may have a copy. This book is the very best one-stop reference for planting a square foot garden (SFG). It's easy to read with simple step-by-step instructions and lots of color photos that show you exactly what to do. You don't have to have a big yard either. Square Foot Gardening works great with a small patio or deck area. Even a small SFG will yield more than you would imagine. You can use a box as small as 2' x 2'. There is no end to the options you have with this method. A SFG is very easy to plan. I picked out an area in our back yard that gets plenty of sun and has a water source. You don't need very many materials. My hubby came up with enough scrap wood to construct two 4' x 4' SFG boxes and assembled them for me. One of them was made using 1" x 6" boards and the with 2" x 8" boards. One box has a plywood bottom and the other has a weed-proof liner. We'll never have to worry about weeds! I didn't get any pictures of the construction process, but you can still get the idea from the finished product.Instead of using backyard soil like you would for a traditional single row garden I used the magic mixture recommended by Mel. It requires three ingredients: blended compost, peat moss, and vermiculite. I went to a few different garden supply stores to find a variety of compost materials. The vermiculite was hard to find and close to $20 for a large bag. You may have to call around to find it.Mel recommends using a variety of compost materials, so I mixed those together first. I just dumped the bags of compost out on a tarp and rolled the pile around until it was thoroughly mixed. Next, I added the peat moss and vermiculite to the compost and then filled the boxes. After the boxes were filled we nailed the boards for the grid on top. Now each box has 16 squares neatly marked off, and in my next post we'll get to the fun part--planting! ***Part 2***


Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Thankful Thoughts
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. ~Psalm 31:24 KJV
I am gaining strength each day, praise the Lord! The pain has lessened, and the healing has begun. I have been a good little girl and have been taking it easy. Many helpers have been making that possible. :) The quietness around the house has allowed me time for reflection in the midst of resting. Instead of asking, "Why me again, Lord?" I'm just thanking Him. ~~For prompt attention from the hospital staff. ~~For my favorite doctor, who just happened to be on call and was at the hospital went I arrived. He knows my medical history well and assisted in my previous surgery. I felt such peace as soon as he walked in my hospital room. ~~For medical technology that allows a surgeon to do so much. ~~For the prayers lifted on my behalf by so many. ~~For phone calls, emails, and cards of encouragement. ~~For meals provided by church families. ~~For my mother who gladly takes care of laundry, cooking, and grandchildren. ~~For a friend who came and cleaned my house today. ~~For my loving husband who is such a rock and someone I can depend on in the good times and the bad times. I cannot imagine what I would do without him! ~~For my Saviour who holds me in the palm of His hand.


Friday, March 13, 2009
Home from the hospital
That's where I've been the last couple of days. Wednesday afternoon I started having some stomach pains that intensified as the evening went on. By the time I got home from church I was in tears. I knew from past experience that the pain was an indicator of a serious problem. First thing Thursday morning I was able to get in to see a doctor. He sent me straight to the ER. To make a long story short, scar tissue from an emergency surgery five years had caused some major complications, and I had to have surgery Thursday afternoon. I am home already, praise the Lord! That in itself is such a blessing! I am extremely worn out and in quite a bit of pain, so I don't expect to be on the computer much for at least a couple of days. I just wanted to give a quick update since several of you have heard I was in the hospital. Please keep me in your prayers as I recover.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009
How I spent my birthday
This year for my birthday our family went to the Florida Strawberry Festival. I remember going quite a few times when I was growing up. My hubby, a Florida native, had never been! I was so excited that he and the kids would get to enjoy it with me. The weather was perfect, the festival grounds weren't crowded, and the atmosphere was as pleasant as could be.
A nice man passing by asked if we would like him to take a picture of our family. I was so glad to get a shot of all of us together. That rarely happens since I'm usually the one with the camera!
A replica cracker village was hosted by some local craftsmen.
Mickey was glad that his legs are finally long enough to reach the pedals on the bumper cars.
Bookworm and Curly Girl did their best to keep away from their brother.
Of course, you can't have a Strawberry Festival without the best-ever strawberry shortcake!
This was my favorite part of the festival as a kid, and it's still my favorite--the pig races!
Lil' Nut enjoyed her ride on the giant slide, but for a few seconds up at the top she had a look of terror on her face. ;)
I took some pictures in the exhibit hall that I'll share later in the week. Some of the crafts were just amazing!

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Monday, March 09, 2009
The Simple Woman's Daybook~ 3.09.09
FOR TODAY~ March 9, 2009...
Outside my window...the sun is up and the birds are scavenging for some food. I am thinking...that it is much harder to get up in the morning with this time change. Grrrr! I am thankful for...a fun weekend with my family. From the learning rooms...phonics and fun books. From the kitchen...haven't decided yet. I am wearing...a blue skirt, green tank top, and a blue and green jacket. I am creating...a list of things that need to be accomplished this week. I am reading...in my Bible: Deuteronomy; just for fun: All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. I am hoping...that my mom's important meeting has a good outcome. I am hearing...birds tweeting. Around the house...vacuuming, laundry, ironing, and a major tidy in the pantry. One of my favorite things...the smell of freshly cut grass. A few plans for the rest of the week...lessons with Lil' Nut, a trip to the library, make a planning sheet for our Mother/Daughter luncheon in May, and start working on the garden. Here is picture thought I am sharing...
me and my kiddos enjoying my birthday
Thank you for reading my Daybook! You can read more entries at The Simple Woman.


Friday, March 06, 2009
On this date in history...
I was born. Thirty-three years ago to be exact. Thanks, Mom, for going through all that pain and weight gain to bring me into the world, and thanks for treating me to lunch yesterday, too. :) My day started off with some of my favorite things. When I entered the kitchen this morning I spotted my favorite doughnuts. Well, almost favorite. We're Krispy Kreme deprived around here. I also enjoyed a relaxing bubble bath. Now I'm heading out the door to go on a very special outing with my family. I've been hinting for months about somewhere I wanted to go, so the kids will play hookey from school this afternoon and we'll all go celebrate my birthday together at this special place. Pictures will follow! :)


Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Here's proof for all of my friends up north that spring really is on the way. My azaleas are blooming again! We've experienced a bit of a cold snap here this week, but with the sun shining and flower buds beginning to open who can complain? :) I have spent the last couple of days working on little projects around the house. It feels so good to complete things that I've been putting off! Little touches here and there in a room can make such a difference. I'm looking forward to our mid-week service this evening. It is such a blessing to fellowship with my church family, sing a few hymns, pray for those with special needs, and hear a message from God's written word. I'll leave you with a verse someone shared with me today:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 KJV

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Monday, March 02, 2009
The Simple Woman's Daybook~ 3.2.09
FOR TODAY~ March 2, 2009...
Outside my window...it's sunny and cool. I am thinking...about what a blessing it is to serve Jesus. I am thankful for...the funds that our church's radio station raised during its annual Restoreathon. From the learning rooms...we're finishing up The Snowy Day and our snow theme. Today's cold weather should make it a little bit more interesting. From the kitchen...cereal, a pink grapefruit, and a cup of English breakfast tea. I am wearing...a black skirt, a burgundy sweater, and my warm slippers. I am creating...a shopping list and menu for the week. I am reading...in my Bible: Psalms; just for fun: Creating a Beautiful Home by Alexandra Stoddard. I am hoping...that my hubby quickly gets over whatever he came down with yesterday. I'm also hoping that he doesn't share it with the rest of us. I am hearing...the radio and the dogs barking. Around the house...vacuuming, laundry, and dusting downstairs. One of my favorite things...watching the steam rise from the pond early in the morning. A few plans for the rest of the week...lessons with Lil' Nut, grocery shopping, a trip to the library, baking, a ladies' fellowship, and gardening research. Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Bookworm...always reading.:)
Thank you for reading my Daybook! You can read more entries at The Simple Woman.