***MONDAY’S MOTIVATION***

A single photo to sum up my week and help me stay motivated for the week to come. Please feel free to add a link to what motivated you through the week in the comments section below. Happy Monday. Stay positive!

MM

Monday’s Motivation and My Daddy

I missed Monday’s Motivation. I had bigger fish to fry. My hero, my daddy, is in the hospital. We found out after a long scary weekend in the hospital and a major surgery, he has cancer. This isn’t my first rodeo with the dreaded “C,” I lost my first husband to it 8 years ago. My motivation this week doesn’t come in the form of a picture, but words.

I am motivated by hope. I never lose sight of hope, even in dark moments. When you have hope, you cannot help but see the sunlight pouring in. Good is always around if you are willing to look.

I am motivated by friends, The outpouring of love from our friends and family has been an amazing blessing. Our friends hold us when we cry, feed us when we are hungry, and support us when we cannot support ourselves.

I am motivated by love. Words cannot describe the love my sweet husband gives to my family and me. His selfless acts of love are incredible. Watching my mother care for my father in the most loving way has been bitterly beautiful. They have been married for 37 years. I pray that Nick and I will be that in love in another 30 years. Their love is endless, powerful, and beautiful.

I am motivated by faith. Faith comes in so many forms. I hold my faith in the power of love and knowing there is something greater than us all holding this big, beautiful world together.

As clich√© as it may be, I truly believe what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I am thankful for the strength I have been given, no matter how I have received it. As long as we keep our hope, friends, love and faith strong, we cannot fail.

image

Bits and Pieces

Oh what a wonderful time of year! Everything is in bloom, the sun warms my body, and most time spent with loved ones is outdoors. Right now I am sitting outside by the garden sipping iced coffee. The air is thick and damp. A storm is rolling in and the leaves on our plants are turning up to the sky ready for a drink. I love every part of this season. We have had a nice mix of sun and rain lately and our veggies are proof that it has been the perfect balance.

image (2)

 

We’ve been eating so many peaches lately. They are Nick’s favorite fruit! Here we made a skillet granola. I put a little coconut oil in a cast iron skillet, then added rolled oats, millet, sesame seeds, pecans, a little sea salt, cinnamon and honey. I tossed the mixture in the skillet until it was no longer moist and started to clump. I popped it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down, then served it in a bowl with fresh peaches and milk.

image

This past weekend, we integrated our two little flocks. Everyone seems to be getting along. This picture is of the first time they hung out together.

image_1 (2)

Patty pan! I am so excited about these squash. They are adorable and the flowers are HUGE!

image_1

All the girls hanging out together. I can’t wait to have more.

image_2 (2)

Such a lovely squash blossom!

image_2

We released beneficial bugs this week; nematodes, green laced wings, and lady beetles. This is Nick releasing the lady bugs on one of our tomato plants that has aphids.

image_3 (2)

Here is our first yellow crookneck of the season. I can’t wait to make a tart with these. Squash tarts are one of our favorite summer suppers.

image_3

I think this is lamb’s quarter. Does anyone know for sure? We really want to use it if it is!

image_4 (2)

Green Zebra tomatoes are coming on strong.

image_4

We can’t wait to taste these blackberries! We planted a bunch last year, but didn’t get any fruit. This year is looking promising!

image_5 (2)

Here is a big, beautiful Brandywine. This one is destined for a BLT.

image_5

I love how full everything is. Our potatoes are looking huge. We are hoping to have new potatoes for the CSA this weekend. Fingers crossed!

image_6 (2)

This is a Tolli’s Italian Pepper (and the tip of my finger heehee). These will be bright red and sweet.

image_6

The pole beans are climbing higher everyday! I swear I think we could sit and watch them grow!

image_7 (2)

I just can’t get over how pretty the flowers are on the eggplant. I’m excited to see the fruit!

image_7

Our basil is really filling out. We tried some for the first time this year over the weekend. Nothing tastes more like summer than basil. We love to make lemonade. We make simple syrup with fresh basil and mix 2 cups of lemon juice with about 1.5 to 2 cups of the simple syrup and 4 cups of cold water. It is delicious and you can use whatever herbs you have in garden, not just basil! Our favorites are rosemary, lavender,  thyme, and basil.

image_8 (2)

Little jalapenos. These will be so good with sugar baby melons later this summer.

image_8

We harvested carrots for last weekend’s CSA. I think they were the tastiest we’ve grown so far.

image_9 (2)

The sunflowers will be here before you know it!

image_9

We bought so much straw this weekend. We met a man in our neighborhood who had it for really cheap, so we stocked up.

image_10 (2)

SOOOOON!

image_10

The 3 babies are almost as big as our largest chicken. Lookout ladies!

image_11

Nick and I both love Sungolds. We always snack on them while we work, so they never make it in the house. We planted extra this year.

image_12

We hope the lemon cucumbers are as prolific as they were last year.

image_13

It looks like we will have more chard for the CSA this weekend.

image_14

These are Hot Banana Peppers. It always cracks me up when the tiniest plant has the most fruit.

image_15

The Indigo Rose tomatoes remind me of grapes.

image_16

These are Royal Burgundy Beans. They have purple pods they turn green when immersed in hot water.

image_17

Provider bush beans.

image_18

We just trimmed this lettuce mix to the ground about 2 weeks ago.

image_19

 

Every evening we go out to the squash field and remove all the squash bug eggs. Hopefully all the love they are receiving will pay off!

 

Hope your garden is going well!

Love, Nicole and Nick