Cha, Cha …Changes!

Thank God for the young people because in them is our hope. And they are getting it.

Bla Bla Bla... Act Now!

Image: Inside Climate News,

Plant any land you have with flowers, trees and food.

Little Old Red-Haired Girl

The main goal for Ms. SpoolTeacher is to take care of her Little Old Red-Haired Senior Girl and make sure she is as happy as can be….Take care of little Doggies changes we must all make

Changes. They begin with us. We have the power to change the world. Want the beautiful things in life; relationships, nature and love of all things living. Forget about wealth other than the wealth of a wonderful friend and what it means to share time peacefully with them.

Or the beauty in petting behind the ear of a beloved animal and the pleasure they assure you with their eyes. They are grateful for your care.

They know they depend on you. They may wish they had more control and maybe even thumbs. But they know you have them and they submit to waiting on the love you will deliver.  And Gertis The Mertis Too For the birds Ahhh Little Old Red-Haired Senior Girl Little Old Red-Haired Senior Girl Plant Food Ms. SpoolTeacher’s favorite tomato, Black Krim…

Ms. SpoolTeacher's favorite tomato

Seed Savers Exchange is a go to place for these seeds. Click picture to go right to them.

Change the paradigm. Change yourself. Plant food. Live slow. Hang out your washed clothes in the sun. Love animals. Love each other.

We can do it. We have to take away the power of things that are bigger than we are. If everybody does it, just Imagine….



Imagine knowing your baby will be secure for life?

Imagine knowing your baby will be secure for life?

“Imagine you are being born and society tells you ‘Welcome, you will be cared for, and asks you what you want to do with your life, what is your calling? Imagine that feeling, that’s a whole different atmosphere “ – Daniel Straub, Co-founder, Basic Income Initiative

Switzerland may start paying every adult (whether they work or not) a salary of over $2000 per month, based on the idea that their citizens will have more time to devote to things they are intrinsically interested in, instead of spending the majority of their time worrying about how they are going to survive, as many individuals with entry level positions find it hard to meet their needs. The income initiative promises every Swiss citizen a living wage , so they can always survive without basic financial worry.

Read the article here to consider pros and cons.

Ms. SpoolTeacher has always thought that as citizens, we own the commons. That means that the resources in the ground, air, water, nature, etc. belong to the people who inhabit the land.

Inhabitants of the land, the commons

Inhabitants of the land, the commons

She doesn’t believe that Corporations own them. She knows that it takes capital, small “c”, to make these resources viable for the citizens and that those engaged in making that happen deserve a “living wage” and their expenses paid for doing it.

Corporate Feudalism: The End of Nation States

“Corporate Feudalism: The End of Nation States”. Click picture to read the post by Steve Lovelace

She believes that any investment in research and development is an expense and should be funded by “the commons” who will benefit by the progress. If the commons won’t be benefited, it shouldn’t be being done. Period. If it does harm to the commons, it shouldn’t be being done. Period.

She doesn’t believe that those managing resources as profit making Capitalists should recover money for the investments that “the commons” provided initially; i.e., monies our government has already funded for research and development that is done before profit making Capitalist do what they do. You know, like all the work our government did to bring the internet into viability for Silicon Valley to further improve and develop. And that those same profit making Capitalists owe the commons a portion of the wealth they extract from the commons. It is, after all, our resources that they are given the privilege of “harvesting”.

The whole world is askew. There seem to be two basic camps of thinking…

Precision Nutrition. Click image to read post

two camps of thinking image courtesy of Precision Nutrition. Click image to read post (about food)

Will the chocolate cake be put to the Right use on the Left, or will the Right leave the Left with no chocolate cake at all? The cupcake is pink, so it must be of no use at all or maybe, just maybe Left on it’s own, the pink cupcake has all the Right ingredients after all. Right or Left, Left or Right? Maybe we should be thinking Pink?

Ms. SpoolTeacher believes with her whole heart that all new parents want the best possible for their babies. They don’t want their babies to spend their lives worrying in excess or unnecessarily. The right kind of stress is a good thing. Being in a chronic state of stress with survival worry is not.

They want their children to be free to grow into the beings God intends for them to be.

Well, the most important thing is that we all have food. So let’s quit worrying about all that other stuff and get out there and at least 1% of us plant some food.

White House garden

White House garden: Image courtesy of One Green Generation. (click image to read post at )

This looks like a pretty good plan, don't you think?

This looks like a pretty good plan, don’t you think?

And live a little more simply, and want a little less in material goods, and start wanting more for each other?

Are you planting this year? Are you helping someone else plant? Are you buying from someone who grows in your community?

That’s where imagining a better future starts. At least Ms. SpoolTeacher thinks it is.

Imagine. Just imagine.

What to Eat Don’t Eat

Eat Don't Eat on FacebookMs. SpoolTeacher has started a page on Facebook, Eat Don’t Eat, where she hopes to coagulate all the tornado of advice being whirled at us for what to Eat Don’t Eat? That is the question.

Check it out and give her your 2 sense! (yes she meant to spell it that way).

She has been doing her level best to produce her very own organic food, (formerly known as food) because she lives in an organic food desert.

And being in a literal desert poses lots of great challenges.

Aside from that confusion and continual learning curve, she is very often confused as to what to Eat Don’t Eat in the first place and therefore, what to plant. But she has pretty much concluded that if it can be grown, it should be eaten, save poisonous things and strictly ornamentals. So very many conflicting “facts” and figures.

The two videos at the bottom of this post she found lately. They seem to sum up the gist of it all very well and she encourages you to have a look see. They are great and informative short enough videos. They are also posted on the Eat Don’t Eat page on Facebook.

permaculture gardeningShe very much wants to garden Permaculturally, but she knows that it will be a very gradual process and is willing to go the distance. She found this lady who has some awesome things to say about it. This was the first of her posts Ms. SpoolTeacher read and will continue to stalk her for advice: “Why Permaculture Inspires and Motivates Me”

She also found this video of a man in Quebec, Canada who has it all together: Miracle Farms, a 5-acre commercial permaculture orchard in Southern Quebec…

Twenty years ago, Stefan Sobkowiak bought a commercial apple orchard with the intention of converting it to an organic orchard. He did just that, but eventually understood the limitations of the organic model originating from monoculture. He then decided to tear out most of the trees and replant in a way that would maximize biodiversity and yield while minimizing maintenance. Inspired by permaculture principles, the orchard now counts over 100 cultivars of apples, plus several types of plums, pears, cherries, and countless other fruits and vegetables.

Don’t miss this “miracle” of nature (oxymoron?) Nature is in itself a miracle, don’t ya think?

He likes to share his abundance with the insects and animals, (as well as his customers), because they did a lot of the work to accomplish this awesome feat; “They’re working day and night to take care of your orchard for you.”

“Problem with these plums is that you can never eat just one”, he says.

Ms. SpoolTeacher knows that problem well…  Period of Stagnation Period of Stagnation

What’s wrong with what we eat? – MARK BITTMAN

How to live to be 100+ – Dan Buettner
And here’s a great one of how mushrooms are going to save the world. Awesome video. Awesome. Talk about permanent culture…

and if all that doesn’t blow your mind, what about this… “tomato tree”. Is it possible? Is it a perennial tomato? Is there such a thing?tomato tree How could it possibly grow this much in one season?

Leave your 2 sense/cents in the comments below if you will. This SpoolTeacher wants to know. And be sure to visit and like Eat Don’t Eat on Facebook, if you will please. Thank you. (Happy Face)

Thanks Giving


“No Christmas until after Thanksgiving”, is a common refrain when the stores first start putting the displays out even as they put up fall and Halloween. But at the first signs of chill, we all start anticipating our family gatherings for Thanksgiving and soon thereafter, Christmas. The first chills after a nice long hot summer make us all want to blanket up and start the fireplaces.

Ms. SpoolTeacher is trying to make her way “off the grid” so she can accomplish her goals to live simply, live with less, make do with the least of things and have more time, not exchanging her labor for money but using her labor to effect the changes in the world she hopes to see. At the least she wants to make the changes in her own life that will reflect the values she holds, organic food grown by herself, time spent studying things that will broaden her perspective, studying nutrition and health so as to avoid the pharmaceutical fiasco, spending time loving other people and building relationships, sewing, caring for her animals, keeping her own house up.

Little Red-Haired Girl and Gertis The Mertis TurtleSo instead of running expensive utilities for heat, she just piles on more clothes. She has done this now for several years, and it is doable. A little uncomfortable, but doable.

She resents that prices keep going up on everything. Especially insurances.

She thought lately about dumping cars and getting her bicycle in gear to make her rounds about town for the essentials of her life…

But, just yesterday, one of her elder clients who hires her for housekeeping, had gotten so ill he was taken to emergency for what turned out to be pneumonia, again. He had called her up to make his bed with new sheets. When she first saw him he was grizzly with an unshaven face and mussy hair. He was laboring to breath. She patted him on his skinny little arm and said, “You feel so bad, you haven’t even shaved?” To which he replied, very slowly and labored, “I feel so bad, I couldn’t even take a shower.”

Levon HelmHe’s a handsome man, looks a little like one of her favorite actors/musicians of all time, Levon Helm but with much whiter hair.

While she was scuttling about making the bed, another friend came in and together they decided that he should go to emergency hospital. She finished her chore and left just ahead of the two of them.

It wasn’t much later that Mr. Frail Client called her, “I hate to ask you to do this, but I’m waiting for them to give me a shower. Could you bring up a pair of shorts and a T-shirt?

“Of course”, she responded. He gave her detailed descriptions of where to find and what to bring. She would need her car for that.

She no sooner got home from doing that when he called and said, “I’m sorry to bother you again, but I should have thought, I will need a pair of pajama bottoms too.”

Well, she would get one thing to him and he would think of two or three other things he had forgotten… brush, deodorant, razor; steak in the fridge that needed to be cut and frozen for when he came home; sleeping pills and more shorts and T’s for the days he anticipated staying.

She must have made five or six trips. “I’ll catch up with you for money when I get home, is that okay?”

“Of course”, she said as she thought of how she gets to be too friendly with her clients and hates to even charge them for things she does for the love of them. But she knows they love her also and want to keep her going and handy and wouldn’t think of not paying her.

But she sure did need her car for all that. So the insurance that she just changed, probably two months ago because of rate changes, has gone up now too. She sure would like to dump it. She hates (strong word but accurate), hates, hates insurance. It’s a racket and completely unfair to consumers. She thinks regulations aren’t strict enough. She’s assured by seemingly everyone that “that is Capitalism at work”. Where’s the competition if the only competition is a tiny discount to get one moved over and then two months later they raise it to “allowable increases” at the first opportunity? Maybe she'll get a Harley and ride off into the sunset

Well, she will get rid of car (or maybe she’ll get a Harley and ride off into the sunset with Old Harley-Davidson-Riding Boyfriend) as soon as she can find the right things to make with her abundance of resources (of which she wants to rid herself) and is able to sell them on Etsy or at a fair or some such way.

And she wants to write a book. Those are all things she can do without a car.

Car is dying anyway and that would require more labor for wages and a trap she could never get out of if she started that cycle again.

She marches on.

So she is giving thanks for all the things she does have that make it possible for her to keep on living the life of which she has become accustomed; off the grid, simple. Great friends, Old Harley-Davidson-Riding Boyfriend, (who came to visit lately and took her for a day of fun), family, pets and God.

Thank you God for everything.

Thanks Giving. It’s a good practice to keep everyday, don’t ya think?

Hot Pink, Fairy Zinnias and Christmas Candy Bar Stockings

Red Gingham

For the love of anything red gingham or Red Gingham Calms Her Like Yoga

It hadn’t turned cold yet. Ms. SpoolTeacher wanted to go out and do some work to make her summer liter-strewn yard look a little more presentable for the clients who show up for mending and alterations.

As often she does, she grabbed whatever “felt” good to her at the moment to wear.

She happened to have on a pair of hot pink tights she’d cut the feet off of (because she can’t stand the pressure of anything bearing on her toes or her feet feeling confined). She had been to church that morning and had started out to wear an ensemble that they accented. She had decided not to wear that outfit, had put long pants on instead and didn’t want to bother to take the pink tights off so wore them under the pants. She didn’t bother to take them off when she got home either so just pulled the red gingham overalls over them. She had on a hot pink long-sleeved T-shirt as well. When her friend showed up later he exclaimed, “Woah, wow…shades of Marilyn Manson, I mean Monroe!”.

Red Gingham bombshell kinds of thingsShe took it as a compliment and went on raking.

She had already previously corralled things into heaps of decaying debris for compost but was letting leaves dry so they would more easily fall from the branches and stems.

Gertis The Mertis Turtle Branches, sticks and debris Branches, sticks and debris, Compost debrisThis day Gertis the Mertis Turtle was helping as much as she could, (following Ms. SpoolTeacher around keeping her company).

She got finished with as much as she could do for that day. Now she needs to turn the compost heaps and add the debris she has corralled and shaken, stomped, rubbed off the branches and stems to what already exists and hope it’s ready for next spring. Leaves haven’t fallen quite yet, so there will be much more to add as fall continues. Most of what she corralled this day was from a giant branch that had fallen from a tree. It fell on the patio roof and was still attached at the crotch til friend came with chainsaw and finished “felling” it. Now she will need to hand saw the bigger branches into firewood size pieces. She has a chainsaw, but likes the exercise and the lack of noise and not using fossil fuel. Simplicity. Doing with the least of things. Minimalism.

Vintage Christmas Stocking Pattern

The last she mentioned in her Gingerbread-aholic post, she was on her way to making some Christmas “candy bar” Stockings. Well, she’s been working on them and isn’t so sure she’s gonna bother to go very far. Sewing is a very laborious task and very hard to ask for enough to make the time spent pay for itself. She’s been ironing the bugs out to start; making a pattern she likes, getting it sized right and curves that please her eyes, testing techniques for adding embellishments and finishing treatments (hiding seams, raw edges and such).

ss.christmascandybarstockings 022ss.christmascandybarstockings 025Fronts and backs. Size about seven inches long, just enough for a large candy bar.

Which one do you like the best?

She found a vintage item on Etsy and used it as a “model” to sketch her idea.

Vintage Christmas Stocking PatternIt’s a lot more work than she thought and she’s not sure she likes the results. The one from her childhood mentioned in last post was felt, seamed on the outside with pinked edges and glued on glitter in her initial. But she wants so to find a good use for all her millions of fabric sample swatches from Designer days of old.

Her favorite thing is to be out in the sun, digging in the dirt. Maybe she’ll take her sewing outside…maybe not.

Hot Pink Fairy Sister Zinnia

The Hot Pink Zinnia that volunteered in her back yard she thinks was a seed her Fairy Sister flew over from the front yard to under her clothes line and planted to remind her that she isn’t so far away after all. (Her sister passed not long ago). It’s still there after all the ones in the front have expired! Hot pink was her favorite color!

Hot Pink Fairy Zinnias. She loves zinnias. Wasn’t that sweet of her sister to do?

Fall Here. Not to be Eeyore-ish! fall here. that's a lie. monsoon season.That’s a lie. This was taken during Monsoon Season…??? (Sporadic throughout summers here).

Raining sometimes just over your house (and only your house) like a cartoon image…

picture link: Click on picture for source

“I don’t know what I’m gonna do.”, did he actually say that or is that just how Ms. SpoolTeacher remembers it? She got lots and lots and lots of rain this Monsoon Season. She couldn’t catch it all.

Not that that would make one sad. You know Eeyore, though, he seems to like to be sad. Maybe he just needs a little more lovin than most?

Nufty rain water retrieval system gardening

Above is her nifty rainwater retrieval system.

She used everything she could find that didn’t have a hole in it…

Some eventually did. Have holes. Now they are leaf/debris collectors or something to wash something out in and drain on its own without having to turn it over….

Fall Here at Ms. SpoolTeacher's house

Fall Here at Ms. SpoolTeacher’s house

Fall is coming-back-inside (as much as one might dread it).

Even more than spring, it is a time to make home livable so that the cold, sometimes dull days of winter don’t leave you feeling Eeyore-ish.

(It’s time to relearn how to use a camera.) (inside)(or try to get a new one).

Period of Stagnation

There’s one more little Cantaloupe hanging on the vine. This little one was perfect. Tiny, but deliciously sweet and juicy. Ms. SpoolTeacher is saving the seeds!

She’s trying to get to planting clover that she can turn into the soil for nutrition later…Time, it’s such a thief. 005

Fall is the shadow of the house falling farther and farther into the raised bed..the marigolds still hang on and look so, so…Orange!

The one last little Cantaloupe dangling (way back about in the middle), actually resting on a stake on the wire mesh fencing it grew up on to.

She did pretty good getting after the weeds and everything she could into compost heaps..or strewn about where she hopes they will “volunteer” next year… 006

Zinnias. She loves Zinnias. 004. succulents. frost. evacuated

And all the succulents and tenders are creeping closer and closer to the places they can be evacuated in to should a frost appear to threaten.

Little Red-Haired Girl

It all goes by so fast.

Not to be Eeyore-ish!

Eat Don't Eat on Facebook

Ms. SpoolTeacher has started a page on Facebook, Eat Don’t Eat

where she hopes to coagulate all the tornado of advice being whirled at us for what to Eat Don’t Eat? That is the question.

Check it out and give her your 2 sense! (yes she meant to spell it that way).

Happy Face!

Nick of Time

Pumpkin HarvestMs. SpoolTeacher got on the internet and typed in “when to harvest pumpkins“.

And just in the nick of time. The first pumpkin to appear at the beginning of the growing season was the first one she cut off, (sawed), and a worm slunk quickly back into the hole that it had bored (is that the right way to use that word?). Born?

“Oh no! Not after so much work and waiting.”

Not to worry. It was the only one and it had only affected the stem. The other five showed no signs of invasion by the enemy.

She grew the pumpkins for the puppies. She mixes some into their chow to give them less caloric filler-upper and the added benefits. And if it isn’t holiday season, a big can of pumpkin is $4.

Pumpkin for the PuppiesLittle Red-Haired Girl loves, loves, loves to eat, eat, eat and always knows exactly what time of the day it is…breakfast, cookie dookie time or dinner. Gertis The Mertis Turtle has picked up the habit since she has come along to live with them and knows the clock like LRHG now.

Some little cold nose comes along to nudge her leg or wiggle their whole body (LRHG) at the appropriate times, right on cue.

After searching “how to preserve/can pumpkin“, she is disappointed. She has concluded that she will cook and serve them as needed and they will last as long as they last, apparently approximately 2-3 months if “cured” properly.

“Gardening for food security is becoming a full time job”, she thinks. She wishes.

Pumpkin developingShe didn’t have a very good growing season. She thinks it just got too hot, too soon this year.
Maybe better luck next year. Maybe she’ll be back in California!

Dreams can come true.


And speaking of the mouse, she had to DuckDuckGo “how to catch a mouse without killing it” today, because there is one living with her and the girls (LRHG/GTMT) aren’t doing a thing about it. They say, “That’s a job for a cat, and we don’t want one of those either.”

Apparently they like peanut butter (mice-we already know about the girls and peanut butter-did someone say “cookie dookie time”?).

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Apartment Therapy

Back off boogaloo
(Picture from Apartment Therapy. Click pic to link)

She’s not collecting rain water in her kitchen, but you might think so. She has mouse traps (buckets perched where they might like to go/fall into, with peanut butter lures).
Pumpkin is a funny looking word, don’t ya think?

Period of Stagnation

Things are growing and greening, (and blending in to the brown)  but it hasn’t been the best of seasons. None of the twelve or so tomato plants have set. They are big, robust and lush, but It seems that they may have been started too late and hit the dog days of the Arizona summer before the blooms arrived, making the pollen nonviable?

Ms. SpoolTeacher grew everything from organic, heirloom seeds (some from last years crop) and some organic hybrid too. It was a challenge to get them moving along in her cold, cold winter house. She set up lamps and did what she could, but it took a good part of the “after the last frost” period to get them further along and hardened off. They should have then been planted. After the last frost. Maybe next year.

The Arizona desert where she lives is too hot or too cold. Goldilocks frustrations.

It’s very tempting to want to move back to California where you can grow anything, as long as you improve the soil. The climate is delicious to growing things. But there are troubles everywhere. Challenges rather.

ss.gardeninghoer 007

Cantaloupe maturing

One big cantaloupe seems successful and several small ones are trying to move along. And there is a field of them in the back where she raked out the compost earlier in the season and moved it to the raised bed. Some stragglers decided to grow as they were strewn…

ss.gardeninghoer 017

They probably won’t progress fully, but she’s letting them have their fun. She thinned them out a little as they were bunched on top of each other.

She has put wire fencing all around her patio hoping to grow something up it to cool the area during summer and maybe insulate it some in the winter. She tried the cucumbers this summer just to see where they might like to grow. They’re behind schedule too as the sunlight is not enough hours in a day. The other side would have been better but the ground was hard as rock from having had asphalt there, so it will need a raised bed.

Next year too.

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Baby cucumber

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Baby cucumbers

It’s a learning curve and even if the production is not what was hoped for, the education will serve for next year and there will be plenty of material for the compost piles.

This is the period where things get a little out-of-control and start looking scraggly. Weeds way ahead of the weed-puller-outer (her), tools and implements are un-corraled, weed grass needs mowing and the mower isn’t up to snuff….

And there is other work to be done. Work that nets an income.

ss.gardeninghoer 004

Beets progressing

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Pumpkin sprawl

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Pumpkin developing

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Pumpkin baby

She took the bird netting off the plum tree and took the rest of the plums off the tree. They were dropping to the ground and each morning she would have a few for/before breakfast as she checked things and pulled a few weeds…and scooped poop .

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They are little, but every bit delicious. The tree has been leaning with the wind and now she will set a stake and try to cinch it back. She has waited until after the stress of fruiting. Next year she hopes the compost from this year will help them become plumper.

It really is a lot of work, trying to create your own food security. Rewarding and healthful in all ways. The work and the food. It’s a lifestyle decision as much as anything. Work for wages and pay for food, or work to subsist. 

Subsistence seems to be her preference. It’s freedom. And she would like to join Vandana Shiva in the commitment she (Ms. Shiva) has as “a member of the International Organization for a Participatory Society.[5]”

For her (Ms. SpoolTeacher) that means “Occupy” your own back yard. She thinks the world would be a better place if everybody did it.

She can dream. She’s entitled to dream.

ss.gardeninghoer 002

Blending in to the Brown


Soft Rain

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Patiently waiting is hard when vulnerable plant life stands in the balance of whether to use a hose or wait for wonderful rain from the heavens.

Ms. SpoolTeacher went around yesterday and gave little doses of hose water to the most vulnerable of vulnerables, because she could feel the rain was coming.

Question, “Would it be a deluge or a continual steady stream of soft soaking, nitrogen-laced luscious liquid droplets? ”

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Little Red-Haired Girl traipsed all around the “compound” with her late in the afternoon the next day while the soft rain, continued from the night before, to wet them both; going in and out of raised beds and mounded dirt, visiting the garden, pulling weeds, putting them in the compost piles, and admiring the wonderful work of nature.

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A couple of weeks ago or so, Ms. ST had raked this stretch of dirt that LRHG is standing on and had strewn handfuls of last year’s harvested zinnia seeds from one end to the other. She hoped some would take. Last year she had an array of beauties in the raised bed, but this year it was too crowded. What she didn’t realize was how much the birds would love them. But some sprouted anyway and now LRHG and Gertis The Mertis Turtle just put their little footprints all among them, trodding right over them if they please. Some still survive. (Ms. ST has tripped over a couple herself, she must admit).

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(Last year above ^. This year below.)

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(^ the beginning stage and some zinnias volunteered anyway ^)

…and she wanted marigolds near the tomatoes for a change..

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(^ One lone ^ ^ Bush Bean  struggling out of many lost, maybe room for some Brussels Sprouts?)

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(^ Carrots sneaking in between)

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(^ Cantaloupe she thought she’d try to grow up instead of all over??? Will it work?)

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(^ Baby Beets)    (^^ And possibly more space for some Brussels Sprouts.)

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(^ Her nifty rain water retrieval system, aren’t you jealous?)

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(^ More baby beets and protection from the run-off rain, and the cucumbers with their mouse protective wire trashcan collars on, and another squash squished in she’s trying to make grow up not out!)gardening.2013 135

More nifty rain water retrieval…gardening.2013 141

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And then there is the other side ….. ‘maters, ‘maters, ‘maters!

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(^…and some Pumpkins for the puppies)

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“Okay, I’m bored and isn’t it time for a cookie? Can we go in now?”

“Okay, (newly roughly shaved) Little Red-Haired-Girl. Let’s go get a Cookie.”