2017-06 – Green beans, Wild Lettuce, and Our First Farmers Market Day!


So, it’s decided. The bees have to go. :'( I’m so sad, but we can always try again in a few years.
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Bug learned to make crepes from a professional chef! I love Girl Scouts!
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We went and saw Wonder Woman. Pretty awesome flick!

My teenager is already 19!!! What’s happening?? It’s too fast!

We’ve got tons of wild lettuce growing natively. I can’t wait to start selling it!

We sneaked out for a date night at the Melting Pot since they had a great Veteran’s discount. πŸ™‚
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We also put in almost 200 green bean seeds for a type of bean that’s not grown anymore. Mamaw wanted that particular kind of bean so we’re bringing it back. πŸ™‚
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Our okra is slow but steady. The kiwi plants are looking great!
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I kept yelling that the lawnmower is NOT a 4-wheeler! Heck, we HAVE a 4-wheeler that noone uses so it’s up for sale on Craigslist! lol Bug had a BLAST driving herself around the property, though. lol
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Our first Farmers Market day! I had an awful migraine but with enough medication and my Cefaly, I survived.
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Happy Father’s Day to the most amazing father in my life, my beloved husband!

Happy Anniversary!!!! Busy weekend. Kevin did most of the work since I’m still in pretty rough shape. We visited family, went shopping for a tiny farming supplies trip at Lowe’s. Then relaxed a bit and played video games while watching reruns of MacGyver. Nice dinner at our favorite diner. Kevin built the green bean trellis because the beans are already getting huge. And then he put in the wild lettuce drying rack system from scrap wood and twine so we can harvest the wild lettuce since they’re finally flowering and ready to harvest. πŸ™‚ We put in more peppermint. And Kevin’s excited that I’m back to officially being a church genealogist and he wants me to start opening it up so we can do genealogy right away! lol He’s so hooked, I love it!
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Lots of wild lettuce already hung and drying! πŸ™‚
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Bug had a Girl Scout trip at the Ijams Nature Center. She loved it, but I only the one pic. We were having too much fun!
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2017-05 – “Farming smells like poop!”


Brandi Cox So, Kevin came up with the blog title of the month. It’s amazing. We’ll get there in the story.

Let’s see…

We’ve been reading about this stuff called “Wild lettuce”. (Ok, so, KEVIN is reading about it and telling me since my brain can’t make sense of the words these days.) We were able to find a seed source and we’re planning on planting an entire raised bed. It’s supposed to be good for migraines. It’s a natural painkiller. Interesting. If it’s not addictive and doesn’t make me fuzzy in the brain I’ll give it a shot.

ACK! The Dark Tower movie trailers and posters are out! I’m so excited! I can’t wait!!!

The Great Appalachian Homesteading Conference! Learning already and I hear CHICKENS!!!!! We did the classes: permaculture herbs, mushrooms, soil blocks, the panel, Starry’s Q & A, solar, pigs, and seed saving. So much info! Lots to share!IMG 20170506 093047IMG 20170506 131913

Date night! Kevin and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2

So…..I snuck a couple of pics of the spontaneous reading. A little later Bug came up to me and said, “You were RIGHT, Mommy! Reading IS fun!”
The most amazing victories come in small moments. πŸ™‚ Secret cheering!IMG 20170512 111144IMG 20170512 112322

Ah, the life! Mother’s Day. Breakfast in bed, sleeping in, peace and quiet. Oh, wait, reality just kicked in…
My better half got me three more fruit trees (replacing the last dead tree…a Stella Cherry, adding an Olive and a Fig!) and we planted them last night! The smoker is started with chicken for tonight! Farming plans after church! I told the kiddos that all I wanted for Mother’s Day is help on the farm! πŸ™‚ THIS is the life! πŸ™‚

We were outside all day after church. πŸ™‚ I feel better than I have in days. They say “rest” on the Sabbath but sometimes I wonder if sunlight, touching nature, and being out in God’s beautiful creation as a family is better. πŸ™‚ I wish I’d thought to get pics of the kids doing manual labor but we were working so hard to get as much done as possible.IMG 20170513 190115IMG 20170513 190209

GOOOOOOOOOOOOD Morning, Tennessee!
My better half said I have to get up and start farming already. It’s way too early in the morning for this farming thing! Lol! But, I have to take advantage of my few good days when I have them. πŸ™‚

So,have you ever wanted something REALLY badly and then GOT it….and then panicked??
Our farm has been invited to get a permanent (for this year) booth at the largest, most elite, most difficult to get into Farmer’s Market in East TN…in our first year applying!! ACK! *panicking and scrambling to get ready to head to market in just a couple of weeks!!!!*
It’ll all work out, I’m certain of it! πŸ™‚ It’s meant to be! πŸ™‚ Ok, back to farming before I have to head out on errands. Wowza!

AND I got certified by Homegrown by Heroes!!! πŸ™‚ 12339110 10206175642764121 5802558431807278656 OHBH - White BackHomegrown By Heroes

It’s over 97 degrees again today. Unacceptable! Something had to go!
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And we switched to Google’s Project Fi! I guess we’ll test it out and see what we think. πŸ™‚

Bug was excited with her fancy new Daisy vest. We already got the Brownie vest for August but she wanted to show off her petals! πŸ™‚ IMG 20170517 184143

We had a lovely visit from this Blue Jay this morning. He inspected every box in our raised beds. I asked Bug if the farmer’s market people sent a blue jay to inspect our farm. She gave me “the look” and said, “You’re crazy, Mommy!”IMG 20170519 104145IMG 20170519 104229

Our application for Certified Naturally Grown has been accepted! Now just to wait for our inspection and we should be all set! πŸ™‚

Kevin got a load of woodchips but the entire woodchip mountain is GONE! ACK!

Farm tour/walkabout.
We’ve got GRAPES! The orchard looks great! The okra patch isn’t started yet. The raspberries have been so tasty! The raised beds are looking great. We opted to do the annuals as short beds this year for cost savings and later they’ll be built up. Our soda bottle cloches are working amazingly! Nearly 100% germination in those suckers! We have a sea of wild lettuce growing! We finished wood chipping the berries, tomatoes, and peppers. Now to work on the herbs again since weeds are coming up through the chips already. lol!

We went to see King Arthur with the whole fam!

After my VA appointment, I had the bright idea to swing by the mushroom factory for free stump grind. I drove there during the tornado watch today (I had no idea there was a watch until later) but by the time I arrived everything was letting up. I gently laid the tarp inside the bed of Kevin’s pickup. The loader began dropping stump grind into the bed. I watched as the entire truck sank about a foot and I jumped back. He continued. The truck sank again and I panicked. I told him to stop. It was only about half a truck load! I limped the truck onto the highway and gently got up to speed. I decided to stop at the first truck stop to weigh in on the scales and see how badly I’d overloaded his toy. Only by about 500lbs. YIKES! I got home and waited for him to arrive. We began prepping to unload and he got the first whiff. About halfway through his grumbling and complaining, I said, “Oh, shoosh! It’s the smell of farming!” Kevin replied, “Farming smells like POOP!!!!” And that, my dear reader, is how the perfect blog post title came to be!

We went to the Farmer’s Market again Saturday to check out the competition.
After we got home, Bug said there was a “pineapple” in the grapes. HUH???
We had another swarm. So, that precipitated a frantic rush to get suited up to capture the swarm. We re-hived it, expanded the hive, drilled ventilation holes and hoped for the best. Kevin got stung once on the forehead through the veil. UGH! His face is already swelling up so we got some Benadryl into him quickly.

We went over and helped a friend build a pretty cool keyhole garden bed and compost bin out of pallets in her back yard.
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And this is our lovely new okra patch. The entire thing is okra. LOL!
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Kevin and I were working on the new bed for green beans when he got stung twice, that’s 3 times in 24 hours! The stings are getting worse each time. We had to go to urgent care for a steroid shot and prescription. πŸ™ We are starting to think the bees might have to go. We’ll think about it.


2017-04 – Bee swarms and kidney stones!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailBrandi Cox

So, we had our first bee swarm. And then our second and third and then our fourth! YIKES!

We frantically scrambled to pick up a new brood box. I ran to Rural King while Kevin ran to Lowe’s to pick up tyvek paint suits (our discount bee suits). Everything went great! Kevin got one little miss stuck in his beard and she got him while I was trying to gently comb her out. But, that was the only sting!
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We decided to make cheese. And by “we” I mean “I” decided randomly, spontaneously one day that I wanted to make cheese. “Let’s make CHEESE!” K: “aye, aye, aye, this is going to be interesting.”

He hates when I take his picture! We had some interesting results. Apparently our whey was too acidic so we only got 2 tiny balls of mozzarella. Next time we’ll know what to do!

Our usual farm walkabout. Our new hive is visible. We’ve woodchipped the grapes and partially woodchipped the raspberries and kiwis. We had to move the kiwis in here because there was NO room for them in front any longer! Our mint is rebounding like crazy. Our tropical container garden is all coming back! Almost everything seems to have survived the drought. Only 5 trees (out of 23) are dead and need replacing.

Random bee swarm while we went out to the grocery store. It was gone before we could get another beekeeper to capture it. We don’t have room for more hives! πŸ™

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Munchie says my boots are un-aMOOsing. Awwwwwwwww! Jen called them my UDDERly aMOOsing COW-loshes! πŸ™‚

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6am. An unacceptable time to be conscious. It will take a while to get used to my better half’s new day shift schedule. Watching the clock until he leaves so I can sneak back to bed. Lol!

I must have subconsciously been jealous of Kevin and his 2 carat “gem” he found on Thanksgiving day. I’ve now found my own and shall begin “excavating” my own precious stone. (Translation: Kidney stones suck. Evidence (below) of the stone’s damage scared the heck out of me just now. But they finally gave me something for the pain….nearly five hours later.) Blarg.

Days and days of pain meds later….

Watching JAG on Amazon Prime, only ever having seen bits and pieces of episodes over the years. 1st episode: a plane gets shot at by SAMs when flying over Sarajevo. Yay, ugh, bad memories. 2nd episode: Negan is weps. ACK! Stupid WD for ruining him for me. 3rd episode: 2 mins in. wow. Who knew JAG would be so triggering. lol! If I wasn’t so dizzy I’d go find something else to do. lol

2 hours sleep, then Kevin wakes up for work.
2 more hours sleep, then Bug makes that sound that wakes every mother from a dead sleep…gagging.
Nearly 1 hour of vomiting later and we’re headed to her new pediatrician (we just met him/them, too…..did they get her sick??? Lol!). Kinda nice having peds a couple of blocks from the house. Much better than the numerous urgent care offices. Turns out it’s Strep! UGH!

Woulda been nicer to get more than 4 hours sleep, though. Lol! I got distracted last night and suddenly it was 0230. Blarg. I guess that happens after you’ve spent nearly a week in bed with a kidney stone and then suddenly come off the pain meds. Useless for pain but forced me to sleep for days on end.

And so ends the pretty nasty month of April with it’s migraines, kidney stones, and strep! Hopefully, in May we can get back on track!


2013-03 – Spring is here?


Brandi Cox Spring is here?

K: During a zombie apocalypse zombies will still take over this house.
B: Nuh-UH! Zombies eat brains! They’ll skip right past this house! πŸ˜›
K: Awwwwwwwww! πŸ™
I love us! I love this man!

We got creative and whipped up some ThriveLife Peanut Butter. I just reused a bouillon cube jar for a small batch to see what we thought. It’s awesome! We’re going through peanut butter like crazy now!
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I’ve got a few more knitting projects going on.
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I got creative and put all of my yarn in a milkcrate with the ends threaded through the grates to make it easier to change yarns for the shawl. lol

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I love calla lillies. What I didn’t realize is that from one spot in the house, you can actually see almost too many of them. lol

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I’ve got some amazing things around here. These are huge wall stickers, colored to be windows showing gorgeous beach scenes. These are going in my cruise line office.
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I looked out the window, and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the (peach, nectarines, pear, and plum trees)!
(Winter) had brought me such a nice surprise,
Blossoms popping right before my eyes.
I could take an armful and make a treat,
A popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.
It wasn’t really so, but it seemed to be
Popcorn popping on the (various fruit tree).
What’s even more hilarious is that our apricot tree is the only one not budding/almost budding. Lol! Me thinks the drought may haps killt it. Blarg!
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Kevin sleeps with the fishes!
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One person in the gang with migraine= “I’ll pop meds and tough it out”
Two+ people in the gang with migraines= oh thank goodness! I can stay in my cold, dark cave with my ice packs, Cefaly, and meds while curled in the fetal position with MOISTure leaking from my eyeballs and asking myself why I continue to let myself live such a painful existence and then begin considering the merits of barbaric procedures such as icepick lobotomies and drilling holes in my skull to let the demons out. ….or maybe that’s just me.
Crazy? I was crazy once…they locked me in a padded room. I died there. They buried me. Grass grew from my nose. Worms ate my eyes. Worms drive me crazy. Crazy? I was crazy once……..
I’d laugh but my brain hurts. Owie! :'( But have I mentioned my brain hurts? Lol!

While sweeping the basement I found a random nut without its bolt.
Me: (pointing with my toe) Kevin, pick it up and put it away.
Me: uh…..too late! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I found a nice, working dishwasher on Craigslist for $20. We picked it up tonight to put it into our basement kitchen. The farming/canning kitchen is coming together nicely!
The first load of dishes is done, just need to put them away and keep going. It’ll be nice to get the farming kitchen finally done-done.

Then it’s just the pile of stuff for the yard sale to deal with. πŸ™‚ ahhhhhhhhhh. (I wish the weather had held out today for us to do wood chips again but no such luck. Blarg.”
The second kitchen is for canning, ThriveLife, and seedlings. IMG 20170314 150237
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I also pulled my sewing machine out of storage. I’ve only had it for AGES but never even cracked open the tape on the box. lol

Bug decided she was ready to remove the training wheels.
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I’m starting a new blanket. This yarn stuff helps with the panic attacks, so I end up taking it with me everywhere. If I’m not at home, I’m usually face deep in my crochet/knitting so I don’t freak out. πŸ™‚
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So…..we thought we had free wood chips today. Nope, the truck broke right as they were ready to drop the chips. Awww. πŸ™ The driver said he’d try to come right back as soon as it’s fixed.

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What’s better than a migraine? A migraine topped with the cold or flu. Yay for 102+ fevers. Lol! I’ve been in a Nyquil daze off and on for two days. I really wanna go play in my wood chips (they finally came back and delivered them.

We now have TWO mountains of wood chips! Lol! They came and dropped another truck full before 0730! Lots of work! Hopefully I can help out this week without overdoing it. I’m pretty weak but the fever finally broke (again).

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Spoiled grey!
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Look how beautiful!
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There’s this super cute guy that I like! I asked him out on a date and he said yes. πŸ™‚ Yay! We’re going to dinner and a movie tonight after we tuck in the kiddo. Bug says I’m ridiculous and that I can’t date someone I’m married to! Psh, what does she know? Lol! Although now she keeps calling him “this cute guy”.


2017-02 – Having a bit of winter during our summer


Brandi Cox We’re having a bit of winter during this non-scheduled summer. πŸ™‚ We’re varying from the 80s to the teens and back again. It’s getting a bit old. lol

First things first. We’ve got a preliminary plan for the boxes.

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So, uh, they closed school due to everyone being sick. Very strange! For almost a whole week. That’s insane! I’m so glad Bug is homeschooled now and we don’t get these “superbugs”. lol.

EEK! I need to build a bat house! I needs a bat house for my plantses. πŸ™‚

I got a bit carried away with the Pinterest thing. Ugh, they make these things addictive! https://www.pinterest.com/brandircox/

I’ve also dragged the family out to The Rural King to see all of the AWESOME stuff they have! They had chickens and pigs and rabbits and……..it’s my new favorite store! The first time we went they had a couple of chicken coops but now they have a new one that we like better! πŸ™‚ Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can look into buying a coop! πŸ™‚

In the meantime……..This happened.
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During this little “winter” we’re doing I’m using my time wisely to take up knitting, crocheting, and sewing. I did all of that nonsense when I was a kid but it helps keep me busy during panic attacks, etc.

Beautiful Blue Crocheted Scalloped Scarf

Knit School Spirit Scarf Red & Cream/White

So much more is being added when I sit down to take photos, etc. πŸ™‚

Bug is getting in on the knitting also!
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I don’t have NEARLY enough yarn! But, it’s slowly becoming a respectable quantity. lol
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Zaycon Fresh chicken is AMAZING!

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As usual, my helper is running away from the camera.
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The trees are blossoming….in February. And we wonder why people call it climate change. lol

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Strangely enough our parsley still hasn’t died off and our chives are rebounding. Nothing except the pineapple sage really “died off” this year. lol

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