fire pit

Refreshing Summer Drinks

1 cucumber, sliced

1 lemon sliced

1 lime sliced

1/4 c chia seeds (optional)

Optional herbs I use mint with citrus or basil with berries. Just press to help release the oils contained in the leaves before adding to your favorite. Lavender lemonade is really good as well.

4 liters tonic or sparkling water

I love this style as it fits in the refrigerator door.

68 Ounces Glass Pitcher with Lid, Hot/Cold Water Carafe, Juice Jar and Iced Tea Pitcher by Purefold

I like this as it fits in the refrigerator door.

Mix all ingredients together in large gallon pitcher. Stir let sit several hours to infuse flavors. Add more tonic or sparkling water if needed. Serve over ice for a crisp, refreshing, and long hydrating summer cooler. The cucumber gives a fresh crisp flavor to citrus infused flavors. The optional chia seeds will soak up and release fluids as they digest. You can vary this recipe by adding different fruits. I like kiwifruit and honeydew melon as well as the cucumber. Intresting fact cucumber is already 70% water so adding some slices as editable garnish is a great way to add to the hydration in your glass.

Estilo 2 gallon Glass Single Mason Jar Beverage Drink Dispenser With Leak Free Spigot, Clear by Estilo

Bonus tip: If you forgot to chill the wine or taking it onto the patio, keep some grapes in the freezer. Green or red can then be added to your glass to keep it cool, without watering it down like regular ice.

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Mary, Mary, how does your garden grow?

That was the nursery rhyme from childhood.  While my mother’s name is Mary, we’re open to new ideas. Do you plant a garden to enjoy all summer long?   While flowers are an obvious choice as a beautiful display around your home. When temperatures rise we often find more reasons to spend time outside,  so flowers are admired by many.
One of the other choices here is a kitchen garden.  Many professional chefs grow  lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, potatoes, and don’t forget the herbs.  If you want to save some cash this summer, grow your own organic veggies and herbs.  We love vegetables so spending  $60-$80 a month at the farmers market is not unusual.  Imagine you could save $60 a month for let’s say 5 months. That really starts to add up. Save for a fun day for the kids.  Or back to school supplies. How about a really long term goal like Christmas savings.

This year we’re going to try a new concept shared on Pinterest.  The herbs are moving to the railing on the front porch.  Containers will be joining these, we started a pineapple in one.  We think a couple small fruit trees.  I saw a blueberry bush, raspberry bush, and limes, strawberries, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, blackberries. They are available in what they call dwarf trees, perfect for containers. On the front porch gives easy access when the fruit comes in, and manage in off season.  The  concept we’re looking to try is called hay bale gardening.  

Not only does it raise plants up off the ground according to a little research this is better and faster than fertilizers.  Planting directly in the bale only requires water any a little potting soil.  Best news hay bales will decompose to enrich the soil in 1-2  years.

We also plan to move delicate vegetables or fruits into a green house to combat critters like birds, squirrels, and  possibly an armadillo that keeps digging holes in the yard.  Pergelas are beyond my ability.  Maybe I can talk my brother into building a simple one.  We have some grape vines that I want tobe encourage to the top of the trellis.  I understand most can be made from reclaimed wooden pallets.
Along with getting rid of wooden gazebo, we hope to create both a seating area with wood burning fire pit, and dining area partly covered with a sunshade.  A permanent fire pit is on the list as well.
Lavender, mint, and lemongrass are must haves by the porches front and back to keep mosquitoes away. I also want to try the shiny penny in water.  Hopefully this will keep them away from me. I enjoy the outdoors, as long as it’s not making a meal out of me!  I would love to get both a dry rivetbed, and fountain with pool to help with drainage form our yard.  All of these ideas are great fun for children and make great projects to do together.  What are you planting in your?  Any suggestions to turn my thumb green again? I hope along with hurricane preparations we can have it done in time for summer with family and friends.

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