Sunday, April 29, 2012

Picnic at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

Last night we invited a few friends and had a picnic down at Noxubee. It was super fun. We love to look at the beautiful scenery and all the wildlife. Like this snowy egret...
Oh wait, look at that picture again, do you see anything else of interest there? Let me get a little closer for you...
 How about a little closer.....
 Now I have to admit that for this next picture I didn't walk any closer, I just used the zoom on my camera.
 But that was me, Ethan had other ideas... 
He was planning on walking right up to it and touching its tail, but there was a professional nature photographer who had come all the way out there just to get a picture of a gator and she asked Ethan not to do anything that might scare it away. I'm awefully glad she was there!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Beautiful Garden is a Work of Heart

I've been looking into container gardening for a Relief Society activity that I've been planning, and it just really got me itching to grow something despite my limited amount of space. Then, as if I didn't have the gardening itch bad enough, I was lucky enough to win the book "Gardening When it Counts" from a give-away on one of the blogs I follow. I've been reading that book and it's been so fascinating that I honestly have a hard time putting it down. I never knew how much I didn't know about gardening! After checking with the landlords to make sure I understood their policy on gardening in our apartment complex I hit the stores and rounded up a pile of stuff to get me started.
I already said that I've been doing a lot of reading online about container gardening, and it's been really interesting. I realized that for some reason I've always thought that a garden's most important role was to provide enough produce to store for the winter when fresh produce was harder/pricier to come by, as well as to provide fresh produce for your table during the summer. I was trying to figure out how to get all the things I felt I needed to grow into the tiny amount of space I had when I read an interesting article about growing produce with the idea of cutting down on your grocery bill as your first priority, and then any extra food that you could save for the winter is just a bonus. It seems so obvious that I've been wondering if I'm the only one who was thinking about it all backwards. Why use up my limited (and therefore valuable) space growing potatoes, when for about as much money as it would take me to grow them I can buy them at the grocery store. What if instead of potatoes I plant basil, which is EXPENSIVE to buy fresh at the store and will save me tons of money to have growing just outside my door. (Okay, so I don't normally buy fresh herbs, but they taste so yummy I've always wished I could justify it.) I decided to choose what to plant based more on what would be most cost effective than on what would last us all winter or preserve the best. Now of course I have to take into consideration what things we'll actually eat and what will grow well here, but I tried to choose things that will help cut down our food budget. I'm really not sure how well all these things are going to grow here, but I decided it was worth a try. So here we've got some bell peppers and some cherry tomatoes...
Here is an idea I saw on pinterest. We'll see if it works. Now that I've put it all together I'm not convinced that there's enough soil for the plants to really thrive, but we'll see. This may end up being one of pintrosity's more expensive submissions. The website says you can even grow mini tomatoes in here, but I'm just not convinced. I've got two varieties of strawberries, green onions, sweet basil, oregano, and flat leaf parsley. I've only filled every-other pocket so that as the plants get bigger they don't smother each other. As you can see this is hanging on the stair rails that go up to the apartment above ours. I've got the bottom row of pockets (which I left empty) folded so it's laying flat on the ground, and I've got repurposed milk jugs full of water sitting on the fabric to (hopefully) keep it from flapping around in the wind.
Last, but not least, I used this information to develop a plan to grow peas, summer squash, and cucumbers, despite the fact that peas need something to climb and squash and cukes are large sprawling plants. I started by running strong twine through the drainage holes in the bottom of my planters before filling them with soil, then I tied the top of the strings to the stair rail. I will have to spend some time (maybe even every day) training my plants up the strings, but according to everything I read the plants should still thrive growing this way. I'm a little worried about having a tall enough area for the vines to grow up, but if I moved them further up the stair rail then they didn't get enough sun. I'll just have to deal with that problem when I get there. Also growing in the large pots with my cukes and squash, I've got carrot seeds planted. We'll see what happens!
I'm so excited to see how all my little plants do. I really wanted to grow some New Mexico style green chili, I would've been willing to dedicate a lot of space to that, but the only chili plants or seeds I was able to find were for extra hot chilies and I DO NOT do hot. Maybe someone from NM will see this, take pity on me, and send me a packet of seeds, then my garden will be complete.

Friday, April 6, 2012

We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ...

As a member of, the LDS church's website to reach out to those seeking to understand the "Mormons", I received this email and thought I'd pass it on to any of you who haven't read it yet. I don't know how many will see this before Easter's over, but I figure it's worth posting anyways.

Easter Advertising Campaign - April 6-8, 2012
Dear Profile Owner,

The Church is launching a three-day advertising campaign this weekend in conjunction with Easter. The campaign will take place on YouTube and Facebook. The focus is to help those not of our faith understand that we believe in and follow Jesus Christ. The campaign features members of the Church sharing their beliefs about the Savior.

Short advertisements will be shown on YouTube on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 6-8). We anticipate the ads will be viewed a minimum of 15 million times. The advertising will link to a specially designed page that has been created where visitors can share why Jesus Christ is important to them, learn more about our beliefs in the Savior, download the Bible videos app, or order a free Bible (U.S. and Canada only).

Visitors to the Facebook page will also be encouraged to share their feelings about Jesus Christ. It is hoped that thousands of Church members and nonmembers will express their testimonies of Jesus Christ during the Easter weekend.

Church members are invited to be involved with the campaign in several ways:
1. Tell family and friends about the campaign and encourage them to tell their family and friends. Encourage family and friends to participate on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday by visiting or
2. Encourage family and friends to look for the YouTube ads and visit
3. On Friday, Saturday, or Sunday Church members are encouraged to visit and share their feelings about Jesus Christ.

Note that the page will not be "live" until early Friday morning.

We believe this will be a unique opportunity for Church members to engage in conversations with those not of our faith about the importance of Jesus Christ in the lives of God's children.
Media Division,
Missionary Department

Okay, so there you go. Go visit the websites and spread the word. We are known as Mormons, but we are primarily Christians. Help the world understand what we believe and stand for.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Playing the Game

My sister Carolyn over at Carolyn's Cozy Corner tagged me in a game forever ago and has probably given up hope of my ever following up with it. I just had other things planned to blog about and it took me a while to get around to it. So here we go!

Here are the rules of the game:

1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of you and 11 things about your life
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them
5. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them
It's true, I'm willing to put my son in a garbage can for the perfect picture...
Okay, now to think of 10 more things about me...
-I am my parents most accident prone child, having had to get more stitches than any of their other children. This includes staples on my head and stitches on my bum (don't let your children slide down an old splintery board, it doesn't yield fun results)
-I have visited 25 of the states, so I'm half way to having seen them all.
-I used to be able to locate more than 30 of the 88 constellations in the night sky, and even tell you the names of the prominent stars located in them. I'm a little rusty right now though, so I'm not sure how many I could do.
-Until this week my favorite ice cream was Blue Bunny's Peanut Butter Panic, but it may have been supplanted by their White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie ice cream. I may have to go get some of the PB Panic just for comparison...
- I don't like Pringles
-I took ballet lessons for a couple of years.
-I have waded in the Pacific Ocean and in the Gulf of Mexico, but I've never seen the Atlantic (which I suppose technically includes the GoM, but oh well).
-I didn't get my driver's licence until I was 18. Driving scared me more than you can possibly imagine. I still hate driving in large cities or at night, but other than that it's not too bad now.
-I had braces on my teeth for three years, and part of that time I had a palette expander. If you don't know what that is, first count your lucky stars, then imagine a medieval torture device installed in the roof of your mouth.
-I can use my toes like fingers. Just this morning I picked a bobby pin up off the floor using only my toes. I have typed whole emails using my toes, and have even tied some one's shoe with my toes. And I can pinch REALLY hard with my toes, so don't think that just cause you're out of my arm's reach that you're safe :)
Okay, here's the questions Carolyn made for me. I haven't looked at them yet, so hopefully I haven't already answered any of them with my list of stuff about me.

1.  How is your dream kitchen decorated?
I actually have been thinking about this one lately. I've always loved the combination of blue and white, and thought that I would decorate my kitchen using delft tiles as an inspiration, but now I'm just not sure. I think I'd still do blue and white, but with a more modern kind of design (don't ask for anything more specific, I still don't know exactly what I want) and with some bright yellow thrown in.

2.  If you had to be born in a different decade/time when would you be born and why?
I've always loved to read about the 1800's, specifically around the time of the American Civil War. I'd love to see the great plantation homes as they were then, and then go north and see the World Fair in Chicago. I am pretty fond of my modern conveniences though, they would be hard to give up.

3.   What is your most cherished possession?
My family. I know it's not a possession in the traditional sense of the word, but they are what I cherish most. I'm sitting here looking around at all my things and trying to pick one that I'd be devastated to lose, and I honestly can't think of anything here that I feel that strongly about. I'd be sad to lose some of my things but mostly because I'm too poor to buy new ones, not because I'm attached to the old ones.

4. If you could go back in time and meet one famous person who would you meet and why?
That's a tough one. Maybe George Washington, because he was awesome. Or Abraham Lincoln, same reason. Or my great grandparents, because more than half of them were dead before I was born and it would be neat to get to know them.

5. Least favorite household chore.
Washing dishes or cleaning my room.

6.Favorite vacation you have been on: When, where, and why was it your favorite?
I'm not good at picking favorites. Are we talking about my favorite road trip? Are we talking about my favorite camping trip? Are we talking about my favorite family reunion? The times I spent in Oregon with my cousin Jessica when I was 14 or 15 were a blast. Our recent trip to the Gulf of Mexico was AWESOME. Our family reunion when I was a kid to Mammoth Lakes, CA is a great memory. Our road trip to Nauvoo, IL for the temple open house was SOOOOOO cool! How does one pick?

7. How do you eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup?
I just bite into it and savor every moment of it. I prefer the holiday editions (easter egg, halloween pumpkin, christmas tree, etc...), they seem to have more PB in them.

8.Favorite band/singer when you were 16 years old.
Again, I have trouble with favorites. To listen to while working on school, Jim Brickman. To listen to while working on a sewing or other type of project, Josh Groban or Glenn Miller. To dance to, anything country that was fun and fast, or anything you could swing to.

9.If you were given $500,000 how would you spend it?
I would pay for a nice vacation for my parents and in-laws. Next I'd buy some new clothes. Then I'd use whatever was left to buy a house for Ethan and I. It wouldn't have to be a huge house, just as long as it was ours.

10. Weirdest name for a pet that you/your family has had? We had a cow named Puppy. I wanted my own dog for a REALLY long time and begged and begged my parents for one for as long as I can remember. They tried getting me a rabbit, which bit and scratched whenever I tried to cuddle it, and then eventually broke its back and had to be destroyed. They got cats, but they had to be outside pets and I'm just not a big cat person. They got a Guinea Pig (who also had a weird name; Hershey), but who wants to cuddle with something that stinky and noisy and with such sharp teeth? One day Dad came home from work and said, "Get in the truck Diedre, we're going to go get your Puppy." Unfortunately for him, mom had already told me what was up, but I played along and got in the truck. We went to my Grandpa's winter pastures for his ranch, and picked up a little calf who was only a few days old and who's mom had died right after having her. Dad decreed that its name was Puppy, we threw it in the back of the truck and drove home. It was really cute. It drank a bottle, would play tag, would stand outside our bedroom window and call for us to come out and play, figured out how to open the front door and would try to come inside with us, and even chewed on everything just like a Puppy would, but it just wasn't a puppy. (Don't worry, I eventually got my puppy, so the story ended fairly happily.)

11.  What are 5 things you like about yourself?
-I like my eyes.
-I like that I can cook yummy things and am not afraid to try new recipes (if only they always turned out yummy).
-I like how I can use my toes like fingers.
-I like that I'm pretty hard to make mad.
-I like that I like to play the piano (that wasn't always true, but I like that it is now).

Okay, so I'm going to be really naughty and not do the last two steps in the game instructions. I've used up all of my creative juices coming up with everything already here and don't want to make 11 new questions and then have to find people to answer them who haven't already done this. Maybe someday I'll revisit this post and finish playing the game.