Kathy547's blog

Posted on Jul 19, 2022 5:36 AM

I haven't been here in awhile & thought I would post some pictures from my camera roll๐Ÿ˜ƒ.

Here's pics of the yard. Trying to mow with a push mower & never get it all. And miss one week & the areas that did get mowed before are almost too tall & thick! A guy is supposed to come give an estimate on bushhogging & mowing but if he's come by, I haven't seen him. This is someone my son went to school with & my son has offered to pay for it so maybe they've talked. I'm a bit leery now because I apparently ran over a wasp nest the last time I mowed. I got stung twice on the thigh & once on the thumb. Thank God I live in the country with only one neighbor across the road (& their house sits back from the road), & there wasn't any traffic right then. Because I stripped down right there & then๐Ÿ˜‚. Once I was armed with a can of wasp spray I went back out in the general area but couldn't see where any wasps were.
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When my dog was killed years ago I said no more animals. My heart was broken & I just couldn't take on another pet. I didn't want to take on another pet. But people would dump animals either down the road from the house or I would pass by one & couldn't just leave it. Then my daughter left (without my permission so dumped) 2 dogs, one of which had been left behind by a former roommate. I don't know why I thought the female was spayed. But she wasn't๐Ÿ˜ฃ. She was a husky so I put her in the only place we had that was enclosed, which was the old chicken coop. Well, the little corgi/corgi mix someone had dumped down the road got in there Angry D'Oh! . Not too long after the puppies were weaned, that same neighbor killed her by hitting her with his car. We managed to find homes for all but the last 3, 2 boys & 1 girl. The girl got sick & then really bad almost over night so I planned a vet trip the next day. She died & one of the others, the puny boy, started getting sick. It was parvo so the vet gave each puppy medicine & he got over it. The pup without parvo is the picture I have of my missing dog. So I kept saying no more animals but then my husband picked up a puppy & then someone dumped a kitten & someone dumped a puppy. So we were at 4 dogs & a cat. Then a few weeks ago I picked up an abandoned kitten in the rain. None of the shelters or rescues have room so now we have a kitten๐Ÿ˜ญbut I just couldn't leave her. All of our animals have been spayed or neutered, & as soon as she's old enough, she will be too.

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๐Ÿ’Huckleberry, Farkleberry, Service berry, or Wild Blueberry?๐Ÿ’
Posted on May 20, 2022 7:44 AM

๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ’I posted this in the 'Plant ID' forum but am posting here as well because I also included links I want to be able to find. If my photos don't load from being pasted, I'll load them in a reply.๐Ÿ’๐ŸŒฟ

We have lived here 25 years & there's always been these shrubs/small trees on the property. A few days ago I decided to eat a few of the berries to see what they tasted like ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Thinking . I guess I just assumed I would be able to tell if they were poisonous Crossing Fingers! Whistling . I'm not that fond of blueberries & that's what these tasted like. I continued working in the yard for awhile & then when I went inside, I took a piece with berries inside to show my husband. I had told him stories of picking huckleberries for my grandma when I was a kid but I couldn't remember what they tasted like or what the bush looked like. As he's telling me how dumb it was for me to eat something unknown, he's putting unknown berries in his mouth D'Oh! Shrug! . Good news! Neither of us have had any issues or died Hurray! .

But we still don't know what this bush is. I took a piece with leaves & berries to my county extension but their agent was transferred & they don't have another agent yet. They did give me names & numbers for the next county, & after talking on the phone & emailing pictures, I have not heard back yet. I don't want to waste my time picking them if I can't eat them.

Links I've come across while trying to find out what I have:

This is from my extension office.

From the North Carolina extension.



Because besides wanting to make things for humans, I would love to make dog treats.

All of this, & I still have no clue what these are! If I make jelly or a pie, I would really like to know what it is. Not sure "some kind of wild berry" is going to go over well.

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This shrub/small tree is growing a few inches from a pine tree (right of picture) & I guess that's why it's growing like it is.
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These are what people have said it could be:
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Screenshots from various books. I've included book names & authors on pics for proper credit.
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DIY Garden Journal
Posted on Mar 31, 2022 9:02 AM


I started putting together a garden journal without realizing that I was putting together a garden journal. It started with me printing copies of magazine articles & pages from books, or writing things down in notebooks. However, there was no organization with it & finding anything in a timely manner was impossible. I know a lot of people will save things on their computer or in their phone but I much prefer a hard copy to look at whenever & wherever I am. Besides, cell & internet service is not great in rural areas. We lose power if it rains hard, the wind blows, or a truck driver farts going down the road so I knew I needed a non-digital option. I looked at buying a journal but none were exactly like I wanted. I then did a search for a DIY garden journal & hit the jackpot. We all but stopped gardening for several years so my journal was put away in storage but now I'm getting it out, cleaning it up & adding & removing stuff. I thought this would be a great time to tell people how I did mine.

There are several reasons to keep a garden journal. Its a great way to keep all your gardening & plant stuff in one place. Your journal can reflect YOUR interests & as those interests change, so can your journal. You can just have a houseplant journal. Or your journal can include edibles like vegetables or fruit trees. It can include homesteading & farm topics such as chickens or canning. You can print out internet articles & put in your journal, put pictures you've taken of plants & gardens, literally anything you want.


๐ŸŒปA 3 ring binder
Best time to buy is when stores put school supplies on sale.
๐ŸŒปTab dividers/inserts
You'll need one for each topic/subject. Don't forget you'll need one for each month if you are also doing a monthly calendar.
๐ŸŒปGraph/grid paper/plain computer paper
This is for drawing designs, layout, taping photos too.
๐ŸŒปPocket pages or a zippered pencil pouch
This is for keeping things like receipts, plant tags, article clippings, etc.
๐ŸŒปColored pencils or something to write with
๐ŸŒปA 3 hole punch


๐ŸŒทHOUSEPLANTS - could also have individual types or varieties (cacti, pothos, etc.)
๐ŸŒทVEGETABLES - could break it down into kinds, especially if you have different varieties
๐ŸŒทSOIL & COMPOST - this could be where you put things like copies of soil testing reports
๐ŸŒทHOME MAINTENANCE - maybe have copies of renter's/homeowner's insurance, records of improvements or repairs
๐ŸŒทTOOLS - this could be for warranties, purchase receipts, or repair receipts
๐ŸŒทSEED SOWING/WINTER SOWING - tracking when & what, diy seed packets
๐ŸŒทPESTS & DISEASES - pics of what they look like, what their damage looks like, tips & hints, what worked & What didn't
๐ŸŒทJANUARY - DECEMBER if you'll be doing monthly calendars. These are good to put swap deadlines, in person swap dates, & other garden-related events. You could also track things like 1st frost, last frost, amount of rainfall. What's blooming, things like equipment maintainence, etc.

Anytime I find something in a magazine, book, or on the internet that I want to save or remember, I'll either make copies at the library or take a screenshot with my phone & print it out at a later date.These are then put in the appropriate spot in the journal.

There are two places you can get information on nearly anything garden related. One is your local library. Most libraries carry a wide selection of gardening books & some will even have some related to your specific area. Many will have magazines & DVD's on a variety of topics for you to check out. Another place to get reliable garden-related information is at your extension office. Extension offices have tons of handouts & things you can print out from their website.

Here is a little general information on extension offices. There is also a link where you should be able to find your state's extension; however, some of them (like Arkansas) are wrong or have a broken link, so I am going to include states & links to their cooperative extensions.

๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’Here are the 50 state's & links to their cooperative extensions:




























































๐Ÿ“ŒNOTE: Always make sure you have a "clean" (no writing or marks) copy of pages you may need more of at a later date, such as a monthly calendar. Keep these in the front or back of your journal so you always have it handy.๐Ÿ“Œ

๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ Here are some calculators to help you figure out how much soil amendments you'll need:






๐Ÿ“ŒNOTE: The above links are all on this site. You can find them by clicking on those 3 lines at the top, then clicking on "Useful Tools".

You can get a soil test through your extension office. You can also do it yourself using a mason jar:

To grow vegetables you will need to know your average frost dates. You can find this information out by putting in your zip code & it will give you your averages.

๐Ÿ“Œ Blank monthly calendar to print (remember you'll want 12 for the year plus 1 for later copies):

๐Ÿ“Œ This site has tons of interesting articles on gardening & homesteading. It's where I got a couple of the chore lists.

๐Ÿ“Œ Printable journal pages:

๐Ÿ“Œ This site has a chart that tells you how many vegetables you should plant per person (seems kinda low on some) but you at least have a general idea. They also have a chart for the recommended preservation methods for some fruits & vegetables. There's even a pantry & a frozen inventory, a harvest log, & a seed saving log.


Your houseplant journal could include:

๐ŸŒฑ Plant varieties
๐ŸŒฑ A watering schedule
๐ŸŒฑ A fertilizing schedule
๐ŸŒฑ What's Propping (propagation)
๐ŸŒฑ Pests & Diseases - what they look like, what their damage looks like, what works to get rid of them

This site has links to download a plant care checklist, as well as an observation sheet to track growth:

๐Ÿ’ซ๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿ’ซ I hope this has been informative & helpful to anyone thinking of starting their own garden journal.

Here's the supplies needed:
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Here are some of the pages from the links I've included. These are just to give ideas of what you could include.

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Repost from a Facebook post...being good stewards of animals
Posted on Mar 5, 2022 8:58 PM

{{{COPIED & PASTED from a post I made back in 2019}}}

I wrote this after doing a little studying on animals & what the Bible says about how we should treat them. I don't care if anyone reads it or not but I cite Biblical passages where God's message is clear in how He expects animals to be treated. As a whole, according to God's will, we are not complying with our responsibility to His creations of earth & animals & each other. If we were, there would be no starving animals, no dumped animals, no need for shelters or rescues.
Most of us, when asked are we a good person would most likely say yes. But are we? One of the hallmarks of being a good person is being a good steward. In fact, God asks this of us from the very beginning. In the book of Genesis, God made man & woman. But before He made us, He made all the animals in the water & the ones who fly in the sky & all the ones on land. From the very beginning of time, God asked us to be good stewards. The dictionary meaning for stewardship is: (1) the position & duties of a steward, a person who acts as the surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an estate, etc. (2) the responsible overseeing & protection of something considered worth caring for & preserving. Go back & read that second definition againโ€ฆ.the responsible overseeing & protection of something considered worth caring for & preserving. There are many ways we are called to be good stewards: the caring of our children, elderly, sick & poor; the preserving of earth & our natural resources; the preserving of history & historical artifacts. All are important & require more study, but the purpose here is on animals & being good stewards to them. I will mainly be talking about pets but this goes for ALL animals.

Genesis 1:24-26: (24) And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, & the wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. (25) God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, & all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. (26) Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea & the birds in the sky, over the livestock & all the wild animals, & over all the creatures that move along the ground." In the study Bible that I have, The Jeremiah Study Bible, the explanation of these verses is this: As God's image-bearers, humans are symbols of Himself in the world. This is evidenced when people put their faith in Jesus: their spiritual nature changes so that it mirrors His. The Lord also affirms it here by allowing humans to rule over nature & delegating them as earth's stewards.

Genesis 9: (1) Then God blessed Noah & his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful & increase in number & fill the earth. (2) The fear & dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, & on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, & on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. (3) Everything that lives & moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. *Here, God is allowing humans to eat "everything that lives & moves" instead of just plants. (4) "But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in itโ€ฆ.

Here is a quote from a 2017 article at newsadvance.com/archives/striving-tobe-god-stewards-of-the-animals-in-our/article_fo83b8fe-4262-11e7-966d-eb4cde7a21bb.html

"The United Kingdom developed a set of principles in 1965 to cover the welfare of livestock. These Five Freedoms, since adopted by some animal welfare groups, mandate:
*Freedom from hunger & thirst
*Freedom from discomfort
*Freedom from pain, injury or disease
*Freedom to express normal behavior
*Freedom from fear & distress

"The law falls short in serving animals well when compared to the Five Freedoms. All of us should care about this because a society that treats animals humanely historically treats its most vulnerable human citizens better too. The first recorded case of child abuse in the United States had a happy ending because of laws meant to protect animals from mistreatment. The promises of the Five Freedoms should be the guiding light for anyone who takes in companion animals. The challenge is nudging guardians to do the right thing if they aren't already. It comes down to the Golden Rule. People should treat animals the way they want to be treated. Food & shelter are just the beginning of a good life."

Job 12:7-10 (7) "But ask the animals, & they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, & they will tell you; (8) or speak to the earth, & it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. (9) Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? (10) In his hand is the life of every creature & the breath of all mankind.


has this explanation for Job 12: The animals know God, & are known by God. The love of an animal is unconditional, something that reflects God. God treats people, created lower than Himself, with amazing love & tender compassion. Mankind is created higher than the animals. Your tender loving kindness toward people & animals is a reflection of how God has treated you. You are reflecting His image when you care for people & animals, thus displaying His qualities. God is very clear you are to reflect him in all of your ways.

The definition of stewardship is: the activity of protecting & being responsible for something. Biblical stewardship teaches that human beings are created by the same God who created the entire universe & everything in it. When you look after the earth you are caring for God's creations, & God charged the Christian steward with this responsibility. In obedience to this calling we are worshiping our Creator. You were created to be stewards of everything on the earth. Stewardship isn't just simply for you to serve others; it is to righteously rule over the things God created. He is letting you borrow & rule over the earth, animalsโ€ฆโ€ฆ.

From an August 1998 article at https://www.sciencedirect.com/...

"Since animals can neither obtain nor sustain rights for themselves they depend upon humans for their welfare. Stewardship involves responsibility FOR something & also responsibility TO someone. This can mean responsibility to God, or for those without religious beliefs, responsibility to future generations. Veterinarians act as stewards, responsible for treating animals & responsible to the owners. They also have responsibilities to society. Different societies have different expectations of their veterinarians but veterinarians are well placed to support human stewardship for animal welfare."

Here is a really good article everyone should read:

Jesus said in Luke 12:6,7 (6) "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. (7) Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." God cares for us & knows everything about us, even things we don't know ourselves, like the number of hairs on our heads. Yet God also cares for His creations, right down to the most ordinary of birds.

Exodus 23:4,5 (4) "If you come across your enemy's ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. (5) If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it."

Deuteronomy 22:1-4 (1) If you see your fellow Israelite's ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. (2) If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you & keep it until they come looking for it. Then, give it back. (3) Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. (4) If you see your fellow Israelite's donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet.

Proverbs 12:10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.

Proverbs 12:14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, & the work of their hands brings them reward.

Proverbs 27:23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds,โ€ฆ..

Being a good steward towards animals means being a responsible pet owner. It means thinking about the animal & it's needs BEFORE you ever get it. It means spaying & neutering. It means being kind. It means not dumping your dog or cat because of any & every excuse. We don't dump our kids or our elderly parents so why would you think its ok to just dump a dog or cat? If we were the good stewards we purport to be on Sunday morning in the church pew, we would not have shelters & rescues overcrowded & underfunded. We wouldn't have abandoned animals, dumped animals, unwanted litters, dog fighting rings, the list is almost endless. Shame on each & every one of us because, as a whole, we are not good stewards. #goodsteward #goodstewardsofanimals #responsiblepetowner

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Taming the neglected garden spot
Posted on Feb 11, 2022 10:13 PM

I posted this in the Vegetables & Fruit forum but am posting here as well. This way I can hopefully track what progress I make & what worked or didn't work.
For years we had a vegetable garden. At the time, we were both younger & healthier, & finding someone with a tractor to come bushhog, disk, & till was easier. Then it got harder to have time to work on the garden or harvest before vegetables rotted. It became harder to find people to come out with a tractor so we bought a tiller....Which broke down & we couldn't find anyone who would come pick it up, work on it, & then bring it back. My husband had back surgery & then had all sorts of health issues. He's now on oxygen so I do all the outside stuff. Until our riding mower broke down I could keep the 4 & 1/2 acres mowed. Like with the tiller, finding someone who could come pick the mower up proved to be really hard. So I had to switch to the push mower & since it took forever to get it done around my work schedule & the weather, sometimes I couldn't get the whole property. And then the push mower broke๐Ÿ˜ญ. I found someone who said they would come pick my mowers up & being them back once they were finished. But then they told me they couldn't after all. FINALLY, my uncle - 70 years old & in poor health - took them & worked on the push mower (still has the riding). During this time, the old garden area became horribly overgrown. There were trees that grew unnoticed for years, briars, weeds, & grass.

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I have been slowly reclaiming the garden area, cutting down the grass, cutting down the saplings & smaller trees.

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It's hard to tell but there is barbed wire going around three sides. However, its sagged in most places & has decades worth of pine needles & leaves weighing it down in places. I am clearing from what was previously cleared to the fence, which is about 6 feet wide.

I've been making burn piles because that was the only clear place I had for all the limbs, cut grass, etc. I decided to make lots of small piles instead of 1 or 2 really big piles. I remember as a kid my grandparents burning off their garden & yard, & thought I could do that. By the time I mowed, the grass was so tall that I had to take what I could up & throw on a burn pile. But I left a lot Dow. Now that grass might be too hard on my push mower. So I decided to burn it. I only do a small area at a time, when there's no wind & as my schedule allows so it's taking some time.

Once I've burned a large enough area & allowed it to cool, I plan to lay cardboard down & wet the cardboard as in lasagna method. From what I've read, I will then need to add things like chopped leaves, grass clippings, & compost on top of the cardboard. Can I plant seeds on top of this, maybe sprinkle soil over the seeds? Or will this be too soon & the cardboard stop roots?

I would love to salvage the barbed wire & use it along with new fencing but I'm not sure I can. As I said, it's weighed down & hard to handle. There is a better fence on the 4th side but something's dug a place under it & it looks like deer can easily jump it. Years ago we had the stuff for an electric fence but we no longer have electricity at the old shed nearby.

For now, my plans are to keep the deer & rabbits away as I can until I can get someone to help me with a fence (which will most likely be another year). I've been researching methods when you don't have a fence. I like the idea of a living fence of something like cactus (husband says no) or pampas grass but since it's a wooded area all around I'm not sure anything would grow. The idea is to plant things critters won't walk through Or can't see over.

I've got 2 dogs that have to be tethered if they're outside plus 2 more that can roam around because they don't chase cars. I've been tying them out at the edge & sometimes inside the area so they can mark their territory. My neighbor down the road swore by the tuna cans she placed throughout her intended garden. They were beer drinkers & the rule was any visitor had to go do their business in those tuna cans. They always had guys over drinking beer so.....

I know some people swear by things like soap & some people say it doesn't work. I'm going to try it anyway. I've read it has to be Irish Springs & I've read it can only be Ivory. So I'm getting one of each & putting them at opposite corners. I've also heard to tie plastic grocery bags or aluminum pie pans. I think because they will move unexpectedly & make a slight noise & it startled deer. I've also read to use things like wind socks, spinners, & cheap Windchimes. I think I will use all of these things at the outer edges. I'm also thinking about getting a cheap beach ball & putting reflectors on it to look like eyes so critters think it's a predator. I've also read to use Milorganite in the garden to deter deer. I had some years ago but don't remember if deer stayed away from it or not.

I have seen several YouTube videos using fishing line & will also be using that.

I am hoping these help until I can redo the fence.

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