Category Archives: garden

Finally! I Have Some Veggies


This summer I stepped out on that limb and planted tomatoes and stuff. The past few years have been an effort in futility when it came to gardening. If the weather didn’t fry our plants in the scorching heat, the deer decimated the scrumptious, tender leaves of young plants. If a plant managed to make it past those disasters, the rabbits or turtles took their toll on the low hanging fruit.

This year is the best summer in years!

This is our one row of beans (because I was too wary to invest more beans and time into a gamble).


My ingenious hubby came up with this design to keep the deer out. This and some coyote urine keeps our garden off the deer radar. As a result, along with plentiful rain, we have a bumper crop of green beans!



These plants are still putting blooms on too… more beans.


I’ve picked at least ten pounds of beans from this little row!! I’m amazed.

We have a couple of cantaloupes and lots of gorgeous cucumbers!



Not to mention tomatoes…


… and awesome peppers…


I took these pictures a couple weeks ago. The plants are even more proliferative now.

We have had beans with potatoes every weekend for the past three weeks. The tomatoes have made into outstanding spaghetti sauce as well as spanish rice seasoning. (I should post the recipes, me thinks.)

Thanks for sharing in our small slice of productivity and my little piece of heaven.


Homecoming 2012


This post is so late in coming, considering the date of Homecoming was in October. So many varied interruptions poked at me this piece never made it to the world. Never the less, this will see the light of day today.

This post is really for my daughter. It is about my daughter. Truly, it is almost nothing but my daughter.

When you get a look at these pictures you too will understand why it features … my daughter.

I am new to most girly things, being the mother of first three boys and lastly, of a girl. When I was sixteen, I was a tom-boy struggling to be feminine and getting very little help from my mother. As wonderful a person as she is, my mom was not the girly-girl most mothers are. I tend to lean toward her practical and stoic outlook of femininity.

My beautiful daughter, on the other hand, intuitively knows the requirements needed to accomplish the epitome of femininity. She dragged me to all the right places until we found the perfect dress.


After which we found the most stunning pair of shoes.


Hers are the pair on the far left. Studded with rhinestones. This picture does nothing to enhance the wonderful sparkly nature of those heels.

The whole experience swept me away in exuberance. I love shopping and shopping for shiny things is just that much more fun.

Then she found a hair stylist close to home to do her hair. It turned out beautifully.


And then there are more shots of just the girl…




So sorry. She’s my kid and this moment will never be here again.

Then of course we have the young man who is her “date”. We met up with him and his buddies where I also met his very nice mother. We are ever the protective parents, so we have to know everyone who touches our child.


He is a gentleman and made my girl feel elegant. Way to roll Keith!


And…. even more important than the guy… All the girls!!


Aren’t they all so pretty!!


These are the males to the females. All of them are so grown up and they clean up pretty darned well.


One new friend added here.


Had to include this one too.


And I had to get my mug in there with my lovely daughter.


This was so much fun taking the pictures – practice taking head shots and all sorts of people shots and making use of the light in these lovely settings.

This is my little piece of heaven today.


Garvan Woodland Gardens


This weekend we enjoyed the beauty that is truly Arkansas. We walked through Garvan Gardens on a glorious spring day.

Before nature, we had to make a stop at the go carts.

This was a whole family affair. Even our ever loving Cooper got to enjoy the scenery.

This place has numerous waterfalls of all sizes.

So picturesque and peaceful.

See what I mean.

Azaleas are in bloom and with them the butterflies.

Just another breathtaking sight. I like the little girl there too.

A young family was good enough to take all our pictures together. I rarely get in the shot, you know.

This just makes me wonder where it will lead. My mind goes off in tangents with sights like this.

Another intriguing view with the same girl. Hmmm. She is just so captivating.

A girl and her dog. How did that get in there?

The boy and his girl. So peaceful in the shadow of those trees.

Even Cooper was pooped. That was a lot of walking for those stubby little legs.

That was how we spent our Saturday in my little piece of heaven. I’d love to hear how you spent yours.


Late Season Bounty


This year has seen the most inordinate growing seasons of all time. Our summer was a long three months of intense, scorching heat, little rain and record highs. The results of which yielded nothing from my tomato garden but a few measly pieces of fruit and a lot of wilting green leaves. Blooms on the plants died off in the heat, ergo no tomatoes. It is what I call ‘fried flowers’. Not until the rains came in August did the plants show any signs of flourishing.

I must also mention we are plagued with a small herd of deer from the neighboring woods. They have found our garden a cornucopia of snacks. This year, discouraged from the decimation we endured last year, I planted only tomatoes. When the plants were still very small, before the deer could nibble them to death, our son made large wire cages to place around the plants. It is due to those cages we are now blessed with tomatoes. Yay kiddo!! The idea was my husband’s. It has been said he is a man before his time. He is truly quietly brilliant.

Well those plants just needed a little water to get them going. In October those plants are still growing out the top of the cages.

I have never had plants grow to this height. They have a shovelful of horse manure at the bottom of the hole. I tell you, manure makes the difference.

There are a bunch of tomatoes on those vines. Granted, I don’t cut off the sucker rods at all on these plants, but they aren’t stunted in the least.

But now we are well into the fall season. Leaves are red and brown and the trees are almost bare. As you see, the pasture grass is its own shade of done. Bermuda goes dormant under 80 degrees.

This doesn’t deter those tomatoes in the least, though. A couple frosty mornings scorched the upper-most vines, but still these sturdy plants endure!

There are a few brown leaves here, but that doesn’t diminish the size or the number of the fruit.

There is some frost damage but….

Check out these tomatoes! They are ripening on the vine. To me this is a huge accomplishment in gardening. This fall the weather is still mild… mildly warm. Temps in the 70s and 80s at the peak of the day. This allows the garden to finish its growing season. Remarkable.

If you look carefully, those broken ends on the stems are where the deer took liberties. They can only reach the pieces hanging out, thankfully, leaving the bulk of the plant to flourish inside the wire.

With giddy smugness, we enjoy fresh tomatoes despite the summer and the animals. The summer I thought would be a total loss is turning out to be stupendous.

Let me know how your growing season is this year. I love the out-doors and gardening is pure joy for me.

Thanks for visiting my little piece of heaven.


Bertie the Hummingbird


I have a friend I’d like you all to meet. He disappeared from the farm for a short while, but has returned when the lady in charge filled the water feeder with a fresh batch of sugar-water. Originally I thought the heat presented a deterrent, but it wasn’t all that, it was just me not taking care of the details.

This is Bertie. He hangs around. I mean he really hangs around. He finds the wire of my flower-pot a perfect perch for hanging out.

The basket wire is in close proximity to the feeder. It’s an easy flutter to flit from the feeder to the wire and the wire to the feeder.

I think he sits here so he can keep an eye on that feeder.

He hovers…

…and sips.

And then he flits…

Bertie takes a good look at me. Amazingly I don’t freak him out too much. The camera is enough to undo any tiny creature.

He spends a loooot of time in the air.

He also samples from every hole in the feeder. He gives me a good look at his back.

And that is the newest piece of heaven from my little piece of heaven. This feeder hangs in front of the window from which I sit and write half the time. It offers me such a happy diversion. I just wanted to share it with you.


Hummingbird Adventures


Living in the country, we are not alone out here. Aside from all the animals we brought here, our farm is home to numerous indigenous …. things. We have turtles and snakes. Bob Whites make nests in the tall grass. Martins nested in the tree house until the tornado knocked it over and a few hummingbirds have started frequenting my flower pots and the hummingbird feeder.

I have had fly-bys of the hummingbird variety over the years, but no permanent visitors until this year. This year I hung out a hummingbird feeder. I love to watch them. They flit and flout and hover and zip and they are hard to capture with the camera. They each have their own personalities and distinctive coloring.

I have been stalking my feeder to catch them in motion, but with the insane heat around here, they have been scarce. Me thinks they prefer plain water to sugared water. I can’t blame them.

This fellow finally settled on the nearby fence. I wanted to show how small he is. Petite and strong.

You should be able to see the lovely green sheen on his back. Here we have a look at his throat, which is different. The upper section of his throat appears dark here, but….

There is a brilliant red color under his bill. It glares at you in the sunlight. It amazes me.

Here we have it again. Shiny red!

How can such a tiny creature carry so much clout? Both in appearance and drive. Believe me, if you’ve never watched these little fellows forage and defend their territory.

He is about to take flight.

He is all glittering green with that flash of read. What better way to celebrate the summer than with a fusion of natural color in a tiny package?

This is my little piece of heaven for today.


New Babies of the Kitten Variety


We have all sorts of animals at our house. And to add to the variety, they are an assortment of ages.

We have a few litters of kittens!

They are so darling too. There is only so much a body can say about kittens. Pictures say a thousand words.


This mama found a nice cozy spot in the hay.

I had reeeeaach in there to grab hold of these darlins.

I like searching out those little eyes in the dark.

There they are!

Then there is this mama, who casually keeps the tiny creatures in the tall grass.

She is so laid back out there. I would be afraid a fox or something would pose a threat to her kittens. Not Bella. She nestles herself in amongst the grass and weeds and won’t be bothered about the predatory world around her.

Those kittens look pretty darned comfortable. Not a care in the world. They are scrumptious too. I could eat them up!

We cannot forget the newest addition to our family. I mean he really is a family member.

He is the king of it all too. Gotta love that ole Cooper.

This all a wonderful slice of my piece of heaven.




Where are we in this year of 2011?

The weather in my neck of the woods has been a roller-coaster of weather anomalies. Just a bit over a week ago we were buried in six inches of the white stuff and two days ago we were in short sleeves marveling at the warmth. Today…. today I have a second set of sweats over my legs because the temperature dipped into the thirties again.

I know, I know. It is still early in the season, don’t get carried away. But who can help it with such warm temps? On top of that, the uncontrollable urge to spring clean has jumped me and I battle fitting it into my schedule.

Right now we just marvel at how full the pond is….

As we in the country look forward to the warm season, we gauge the ability of a farm to weather the approaching season by water and productivity levels… all dependent on water availability. We don’t produce hay on our little niche of the world, but we do require water from the ground for human and animal consumption. Water tables are very important to those of us dependent on wells.

For the past six months the water table has been fairly low. Not dangerously, but enough that we watch and wait for rain.

If you will take a gander at this picture of the pond, disregard our friendly Blue Heron. You will see a two foot wide strip of mud along the bank of this little body of water. Above that is a swath of green where grass has taken hold in the absence of water. Our fall did not bring the expected amounts of rain, thus lowering the water table some what.

Well, all that changed when snow blows into our fair state and deposits record amounts in our back yard.

Voila! A full pond.

The water hugs the bank with a foot of growing room. Spring will surely drop that much on us.

Of course all this talk of spring means the garden needs to be tilled up and planted soon. C-Man pulled the dead grass from the area last weekend and plans a full-fledged assault this weekend. He also has plans for deer deterrent. Lets hope it works. We were visited by SEVEN does the other evening. They know where their bread is buttered.

That is all from my little piece of heaven.




Winter progresses in Arkansas. Just a few days ago we experienced spring-like weather in our neck of the woods. Misty moisture hung heavy in the air, the day remaining gray and warm. The weather change threw everyone’s climate clock off kilter, and I’m not talking solely about people either.

Our little place is marauded regularly by the local deer population and Sunday is no different.

First they ease in from the wooded side…..

…sniffing out the territory, checking us out….

Next thing you know, more show up.

We are looking at a snippet of five does total. The diminished light and camera setting, not to mention their natural camouflage, makes it hard to get them all on film.

So they just ease across the open space. No cares in the world.

They keep coming… Until they locate the garden area. Of course they hunt the garden. Great source of food, you know.

And they blend in to the coloring you can hardly see them.

This means the spring planting will have to be protected! They are on the hunt for my plants and we haven’t even planted yet. Of course they are fooled by the warm weather, but it warns us to be prepared.

All of you in deer populated territories, be prepared. They will eat it all before you can get a leaf out of the dirt.

Just as word of warning from my little piece of heaven.

That is all.


Fall Flowers and Such


Finally! The has receded and fall is definitely falling.

With the cooler temperatures, the foliage changes are evident. Aside from more red and yellows in the trees, we have a new set of flowers blooming in the pastures. Yes, I know they aren’t regular flowers. I am reminded they are all weeds. But weeds produce wonderful vibrant colors and they make me happy.

I tend to lean toward all those peaceful, placid, quiet moments in life.

Today is no different, I’m afraid. I can’t help it. All these little things draw me in and capture my attention. I’m such a sucker for tranquility. That could very well be the reason I live where I do. No busy traffic or hectic schedules.

For those of you who have that sort of day, I dedicate this post to you.

It may appear as a bunch of weeds, but that is only on the surface.

I love these purple flowers.

The flowers team with all kinds of butterflies and flying bugs. The activity among these tiny blooms is amazing.

Soooo… that is another little piece of my heaven and I am so privileged to share it with you.