Thursday, June 15, 2017

Signing Off

Truth be told, I've been putting this post off for... about 3 weeks. Although it's time, it's been difficult to go through with my decision. 

I'm signing off. 


One can't predict the twists and turns that are going to happen along the way in life. One twist my life has taken this year is I've decided to write a book. Another is I've lost some passion for food blogging. I'm not saying I'm going to be gone forever, but I will be gone for an indefinite amount of time. Until the book is done I've decided and I just don't know how long that will be. A month, 2 months, 6 months, a year... who knows? All I know is this is best choice for me now, especially with it being summer. Between the garden, the yard, the house, my book, family and friends, I don't have time to devote to blogging like I used to. And time it does take.

I'm actually ok with this. For the last month, I've gotten up every morning and actively avoided the Internet. I think I feel guilty for not posting and it just makes me avoid going online all together. I knew once I wrote the final post I could breathe easier, yet words remained elusive. No longer. 

Buuuuuut... in true Jessica fashion, I'll send you out on a bang! With lots of pictures! 😁

The landscaping is really taking off this year!

All the plants we planted last year are doing so πŸ’ͺ🏻 Well, minus a couple of grasses you can't see, but I think we're going to replace those.

It's been a weird garden year, although everything started out so well. I'm just trying to go with the flow.

Usually my herb garden is the bounty of the garden, but I'm having trouble with it this year. Most years I simply throw seed down and watch it flourish. I got lots of parsley, chamomile, and basil that way last year. This year I barely had any chamomile sprout, it was very disappointing. Parsley was slow to start but seems to be taking off and same with the basil. But it's been like pulling teeth, I swear. I've got 3 kinds all growing together here- purple, lemon, and Genovese.

The lettuce, spinach, and carrot beds grew like gangbusters. A little too quickly in fact, my spinach bolted in a matter of days. I used most of the lettuce and spinach in things like the hubby's juice and for salads and sandwiches, then I cleared everything out that'd gone to seed.

It's been a year of ups and downs with the tomatoes. First, the seedlings came up and looked perfect. Then, they were ready to be moved to the garden way too early. After suffering transplant shock and having to be covered from a frost and high winds for a couple days, they came out looking amazing! They all grew to be beautifully green and bushy... but then they all came down with blight. All of them! Ugh! I spent a week working them, carefully cutting the diseased leaves off and coating them with fungicide. Pretty soon, they all looked like Charlie Brown Christmas trees. Now, I'm leaving them to nature. Some of them look like they might recover, but the others? I might be getting rid of the plants and planting flowers. 

And they were starting to look so good 😞

Getting over the tomatoes has been hard. Really hard. I've been a funk for about a week. I don't do well with failure. I'm just trying to focus on the all the good stuff going on in the garden.

Like having beautiful, delicious strawberries already!

And finally finding a good spot to grow cilantro 😎

I planted these cucumbers on my trellis on a whim. We'll see how it does.

Every single green bean I planted came up, I think that was a first for me. I've got pole beans growing with my zucchini and everything in this bed is still looking pretty good.

Last year I planted my pepper plants in the same raised bed as my tomatoes and they didn't compete so well. I can count the peppers I harvested on one hand. This year I simply have potted peppers and they are doing 100% better than last year's. 

I've got lots of little blossoms on all of them.

3 hives= Lots of silly bees in the hummingbird feeders πŸ˜‹

Look how long that tongue is! Amazing!

Pollen coated legs.

The vertical hang to drink water.

That first photo of the post is actually a hoverfly on one of my wild flowers, and this picture has two in the flower. I thought they were little bees at first but a quick search of the net revealed they're bee-like flies. They pollinate and eat aphids, so I leave em' alone. 

One of my baskets this year is a fuchsia plant. They are one of my favorite flowers, plus they remind me of childhood as my mom always seemed to have a fuchsia somewhere in our yard. 

The hyssop is starting to grow flowers. The bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love this plant in the summer, and then the finches love to eat the seed pods in the fall. Definitely a good one for attracting wildlife.

And speaking of hummingbirds! They returned on April 16 this year, 6 days earlier than last year but one day later than the year before that.

I love watching them sit on the tomato cages. You can see where I've had to butcher this poor plant.

Another one sitting on the tomato cage.

In flight.

Feeding. With a bee in the air!

There was a standoff between this downy woodpecker and a female red-bellied woodpecker.

The red-belly won πŸ˜ƒ

One of my little froggy friends who hangs out on the house. He's been here for the last couple of weeks.

My lizard hunters hunting their prey πŸ˜‚

They never seem to catch one 😜

Since I never got around to posting the recipe for the German Chocolate Cake Brownies (sorry guys), here's the link to the recipe I used:

The only change I made from her recipe was to make the brownies thinner. I still used a 9 x 13 pan, I just didn't beat the box of brownie mix for very long. Not the required 50 strokes, that's for sure. I made them cake-like for one batch, but the both the hubby and I preferred them thinner and chewier. Almost like a fudge. 

So, that's all folks! I appreciate each and every one of you who has reached out to me, whether it be by comment, or shawl, or package of wild rice delivered to my mailbox. The connections I've made blogging are some of the nicest people in the world, I couldn't say more great things about them. I'm going to leave the blog up, simply because it's like my own personal recipe book and I use it that way πŸ˜ƒ

Till we meet again friends!


  1. hey girlie! I totally understand and I'll miss ya. Hope to see you around my community page and I'm crossing my fingers for you as you write a very successful book!

    1. Thanks Kellie! I'm crossing my fingers too! Best of luck in the future as you recover, I'm so glad you're ok! πŸ˜„

  2. Dear Jessica ~ I'm going to miss you also. But I hear you, I'm not into blogging like I was, but do still enjoy it.

    All of your garden beds look great and your hummers are neat to see.

    I pray for you to have peace and joy as you write your book. Enjoy the whole process. One day you'll be writing us to say it is in print.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thank you FlowerLady, I'm going to miss you too! Thank you so much for all your comments and especially for that beautiful shawl! Best for luck in the future! πŸ˜ƒ

  3. I hear ya! With us evaluating our time management, I fear I will be needing to stop away more than I already have.

    Our garden is sooo very disappointing this year. I can't even tell you on here, how disappointing it is. Mother Nature is definitely not on our side. On the plus side, I may have the need to visit more farmers markets this year :)

    Keep us updated on your book! And hope to see you around.

    1. I keep telling myself that about the tomatoes Kris. So what if they all die? I can buy my tomatoes at the farmers market and everything will be ok. It's hard to get over that disappointment though. The hubby and I are actually thinking about building a green house next year! With the unpredictable weather in the future, I think I'm going to need more protection from the wind and snap cold fronts. I hope it happens!

      Best of luck in the future Kris, thank you so much for everything!😁

  4. Well I will certainly miss you, but totally understand. From the other side is seems like this blog stuff would be easy but it's a LOT of work and definitely draining! Best wishes and I'm sure we'll cross paths again!

    1. I will miss you too Carlee! It is funny that more you learn about blogging and the more proficient you become, the more time it takes and yes, it can be draining!

      Best of luck in the future Carlee πŸ˜„

  5. I just came here to check on you and found this post. I'm a horrible blogger friend for taking so long to check in and I apologize for that. Life has been hectic and with my brain fog I frequently forget things or I think I did them when I did not.

    I wish you well with your book and I hope you have a fantastic Summer my friend. I can't wait to read your book when it is finished! I'll continue to miss you but I know you are doing what is right for you. Be blessed and big HUGS!!!!


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