Saturday, February 18, 2017

Gardening in Florida

The Sweetwater Daughter, Grandboy and I spent last weekend visiting my mom and brother in Florida last week.
Mom has the sweetest little cottage in New Port Richey.

My brother lives just down the street in another little cottage.

 Our trip was fun.....The Grandboy loved going barefoot and hanging out with "swingin'" GreatGrandma...

This post is actually not a travelogue....
It is all about the way that my brother gardens.

This is what a lot of yards in Florida look like in the winter.....

Keeping grass green is pretty difficult....

This is the front yard of Mom's cottage!

My brother is the force behind all of this gorgeousness!
He subscribes to an interesting philosophy of permaculture.
What is might ask?
"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."

Jim is an "urban farmer".  He grows over 300 different varieties of vegetables.  He uses NO pesticides and lets nature take it's course.
He takes his harvest to the local Farmer's Markets and vends to restaurants in the area.
This is no "hobby" garden.  It is a full time job. Just like any farmer, he is tied to his acreage and dependent on the whims of the Florida climate. 

Pictures of all this goodness really tell the story the best!

Isn't this just amazing?
Doesn't it make you want to eat your vegetables?

If you are interested in learning more about permaculture, here are some links.

What is Permaculture? | Permaculture Institute

Permaculture Principles 

Difference Between Organic Gardening and Permaculture



What could be a more perfect spot for some serious "Gecko Hunting" by the Sweetwater Grandboy!

Alas....we are once more home in the frozen lands...
Those cute little toes are now encased in boots.... 

And...we can only dream of getting out in the garden!

Have A Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Finding Enchantment First Installment

The first month of 2017 has passed.

Regardless of your political views, there is plenty of disenchantment surrounding us.

I challenged myself to find enchantment in a disenchanted world this year.

I discovered that it wasn't so hard to do this.
I discovered it is just taking the time to look for those enchanting moments and things and RECOGNIZE them.

Here are a few things that enchanted me in February! 

Spending days with our Sweetwater Grandboy has to top the list! 
This Grandma is constantly enchanted by watching him grow and change.
When I figured out that when he walks in the door and says "BOK", what he really means is "I'm BACK".  Truly enchanting!

Disclaimer...I didn't get to keep the real copyso this is a facsimile!
Speaking of Grands.....there will be another Sweetwater Grandbaby arriving in June!

How enchanting to see the first 'photo shoot" of this precious one!

For years....we have struggled with the faucet on our kitchen sink.  It looked great.....but was such a pain.  The metal hose that pulled out always got stuck under the plumbing under the sink which meant that you had to pull really hard to use it....arghhhh!

We were watching one of those home renovation shows on TV and  spied the perfect solution for a new faucet!

Mr. S went on a mission to find a similar one.

A couple trips to the home improvement store....
An hour of plumbing....

And we have a fully functioning wonderful new faucet.

We put up with something that we used a hundred times a day.  Now that frustration has turned to enchantment.

 just ended a part-time long term substitute job in my old school.  It was an assignment to work with children identified as Gifted and Talented.  I found enchantment within the walls of the classroom.  I found enchantment using my teaching skills to engage these beautiful minds.


I am glad to be back to being "retired" once again.....

But how fun to hear a 3rd grader tell me he was going to "be ironic" when he did his poster.....


delighting in helping 5th graders explore excel as they learned how to create automated examples of exponential growth.

BTW....teaching math to these exceptional kids really had me doing my own "homework"!  Don't tell.....but sometimes I had to ask Mr. S to explain something to me!!

 I am quite enchanted by the mantel decor I came up with for this awkward decorating time of the year.  The white Haeger pottery and candlesticks are a nice bright spot.
I am also continually enchanted by the new wall color in this room .  I call it "Weimeraner Greige".

So there you have it.....some of the enchanting things in my corner of the world.  Hope you are finding your own enchantments as a counterbalance in your life.

Have A Great Day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Trick To Make Really Tiny Bows

Chances are....
If you are a regular Sweetwater Style reader, you know that this is one philosophy heartily agree with!

I have posted a bunch of times with tutorials for making pretty bows and thrifty sources for wired ribbon.  If you want to check it is the link:  BOW TUTORIAL POST CLICK HERE TO READ IT!

I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about making bows.
Oh foolish me!
I have to admit that tying tiny bows with skinny ribbon has always been a bit of a challenge.
Then I came upon this clever trick for this "terrible" problem!
Are you ready? use a fork!
I went out and looked at lots of tutorials.  This is the one that I liked the best.
The photos and directions are very clear.

I spent some time trying this out.
I am always a bit challenged by "puzzle directions" but this was pretty simple.

I have lots of ribbon.....
I wonder what I can stick bows on!
Any ideas?

Have a wonderful day!
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