Simple beauties

The apple trees have started to bloom with their soft pinkish-white buds, a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. The bees are hovering around the blooming avocado and there are tiny flower buds readying to flower on the peaches and other stone fruits. Even a few of the strawberries are blooming and, peeking underneath the green growth, are a few red, ripe strawberries.

The patch of blueberries are covered with white blue buds. Yes, the low chill blueberries still live!  I think we finally found the ideal spot for them. If they continue to grow well, Jules is thinking of getting a few more to fill in the area along the north side of the house. This north facing bed already contains oca (edible tubers), semi dwarf anna apples, fo ti vine, mints, sorrel, pepino dulce, sweet woodruff, rose apple and elderberries.

It’s been a mild winter to say the least, only a few freezing nights and rainy days.   We all wonder what the lack of freeze days will do to certain crops that require a certain amount of chill hours. So much for investing in protective row covers this year.

Show Me the Fruit

Every year (well, we try) different types or varieties of plants. A few have done well and thrived; others haven’t faired well at all .Then there are those plants that are growing well, but have not produced any fruit.   They are the ones that give us the most

For instance, we have a few chilean guava bushes growing in the front yard. We started with a few bushes that we bought from a local nursery. These plants are easily propagated and we have since added a few more of these exotic fruits into the yard.    The 3 ft high plants are healthy, green and are thriving and yet still have not produced fruit, let alone a flower.   After three years, how long does one give a plant to finally produce? Many articles report that chilean guavas have a delicious flavor with a taste much like strawberry. It would be nice to finally taste one… perhaps this year… there is always hope.

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To finish the shed, last week, we stopped at one of our favorite spots in Pasadena– the renovation salvage store a few blocks away, run by Habitat for Humanity.   Jules spotted two louvered doors for the shed and we also picked up a window – all for under $40.   Love it when we get such deals, and keep “junk” out of the landfill isanother plus!

Rough Week

The last week in January was a stressful one for the family. If you are wondering how certain projects are doing, unfortunately, things have pretty much slowed to a crawl.

It started Sunday morning after the film screening event (on Jan 21) when we found that someone had taken the solar lantern that City of Pasadena had on their table for light.   We felt responsible for this unfortunate incident and considered it our duty to pay for the cost of the lantern ($150) if the lantern wasn’t returned. Fortunately, on Wednesday after a second email was sent out asking for the return of the lantern, we got a call saying that the lantern would be returned.   Whoohoo   All’s well that ends well…

On Wednesday afternoon we got a call and email from the editor of the Natural Home & Garden magazine, asking that we go over the article (before it goes to print) that was written about our homestead. We were quite shocked to read how inaccurate the article was and had to, in less than 24 hours, correct an article that was written by someone else.   So instead of working on projects around the homestead, we spent a whole morning and afternoon going over the article and how to best correct it. It is one thing to write an article yourself. Correcting someone else’s writing (when you are not expecting to) without re-writing it in your own words is quite another. BTW: the article is to appear in the March/April issue of Natural Home & Garden Magazine.

On Friday (told you it was a rough week) morning, we found out that our pathtofreedom.com domain name was set to expire that day (1/27)!!! We just couldn’t believe it because we had called a month in advance   to renew it. Also, just to be safe, we called again about two weeks ago to make sure. Both times they said pathtofreedom.com will be renewed on 1/26 and we should get an email confirmation. When we didn’t, we basically freaked out, thinking we may have lost 6 years of work, just like that. Later in the morning, we did finally renew it for 9 more years. That was fun!

Topping everything off, we were (are) dealing with some unpleasant family issues involving relatives. Due to it being a particularly stressful week, Jules got very sick and is still recovering. Jordanne hasn’t been feeling that great either.

So, as you can see, progress on certain projects have been suspended while the family recovers. On hold are the compost toilet, roofing the shed, deck, roof, cob oven repair, moving the kiwi, planting tomatoes, building trellises, grey water installation and more. (Oh, yeah did I mentioned the dreaded “T” word — taxes!)

Dumb and Dumber?

Evidence that the human race is getting stupid

A new report reveals that children today struggle with questions they could have answered 30 years ago, says Sian Griffiths

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Katrina victims living in dark, eerie New Orleans

For the handful of people living in hurricane-ravaged homes in the city’s most devastated sections, life in dark, desolate silence, with no neighbors to be found, can be unnerving.

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  1. Kathie says:

    Saying a few prayers that this week will be better for you and for quick healings.

  2. Anais says:


    Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.