Armed With Duct Tape

…'cause duct tape fixes everything!

How Does Your Garden Grow September 28, 2012

Filed under: Garden — swedblue @ 9:06 pm
Tags: , ,

This summer, I was gang ho on growing my own vegetables, so I got the seeds, soil, compost and garden divider.

All excited to see growth! Grow my garden, grow!

I was SO happy to see my faithful watering was bringing up sprouts all over the place in my little garden.  I just knew that I was going to get great things out of this little garden of mine…

…then we went on vacation…

…and July struck….

…and a colony of ants invaded…

I lost most of my plants.  The watermelon plants only grew to about 4-5 inches long-they produced a couple of melons about a golf ball in size before they split.  The cucumber plants flowered, then got eaten by the ants.  My bean plants grew-but never flowered.  And my 2 carrots-rotted out at the top.  My basil is doing well, and I have been able to pick a lot off of it.

Another cantaloupe is growing…but the rest is so sad

I have great hopes for my pumpkin plants…and lovin the basil

All in all, my garden was a failure.  I know why…the barrier I used between the top soil and the ground.  It didn’t allow for the roots to get deep and tap into the moisture below.

A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law posted what they have done in their garden.  It is based of a film called Back to Eden.  I sat down and watched most of it-I still have about 30 minutes to go.  The last part of the film is about other Back to Eden Gardens around the country.  I really liked what I heard, and thought if anywhere was going to prove what this guy says about the wood chips helping to retain water and crops growing even in drought-it would be here in Texas.

I knew I wanted to get most of the back yard used for a garden and get the soil ready for next spring.  I started looking up tree trimming companies, but had not yet started to call them yet.

Today, when I was coming home from grocery shopping, there were tree trimmers trimming trees along the alley for the utilities.  They just happened to be right next to our house, so I asked one of the guys what they were going to do with their chips.  Then I asked if they could dump their load in my yard, so I could get a start on my own Back to Eden Garden.  I cleared things away, mowed my back yard to start laying down the chips this weekend.

About 4 hours later…this appeared in my driveway.

The hill of wood chips.

Ah…already dreaming of the beautiful plants that are going to be planted in my gardens!

If you want to learn more about Back to Eden gardening, head over to and check out their web page.  If you have time, watch the movie-it is about 1 hour 30 min long, but worth it.  Check back every so often as I document my own experience in my garden!


Indiana Jones Has Nothing on Me… September 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 2:35 pm

It is 5 Minute Friday and I am hanging out with LisaJo and the circle of bloggers who take 5 minutes of their blogging day to write. To find out more about it go here.

Five Minute Friday

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt: wide

“You want me to do WHAT?”, I asked as I looked down into the depths of the ravine.

I am not good with heights…scratch that..I hate heights.  And here I am in the middle of the Amazon, over looking a wide ravine.  If I am to get to where I need to be by sunset, I have to cross this.

“Faith,” I say to myself, “hmm, does it take more faith to just step out into nothing like Indiana Jones or take the first step on this bridge?”

Yep, I am a movie buff, and that scene from I.J. is playing through my head right now, only difference between him and I (other than that fabulously cool hat and whip) is he is holding the holy grail-I’m not.  I’m just an ordinary missionary headed to my next assignment, but if I am to get there-I have to cross this black hole!

My guide looks at me as if to say-come on lady I can do this with my eyes closed…move it.  Spurred out of my Indiana Jones daydream, I take the first step.  I’m not on that swaying bridge yet, but I am closer.

“Oh, why does this have to be so wide, God?  Give me snakes, bugs, God-forbid those humongous spiders along the trail, anything but this.  I can’t do it God.”

My stomach has stopped inching up my throat-if it is possible it is flying at maximum warp to the top of the my mouth.  Ugh.

“Come on.  You can do this,” I say to myself.
I know others have gone over this bridge for decades.  My co-worker who has been in this region for 20 years, crosses this bridge every month.  Never once have they fallen over or a board collapsed beneath them.  Okay,deep breath- “You got me God, right?”

Next step, I feel the movement of the bridge-the sway as weight is put upon it.  One foot at a time, I slow maneuver my way across.  The gentle breeze pulls at my hair and encircles me, like God’s gentle touch of encouragement.

“See, my child,” I hear Him whisper.  “Nothing is out of my control.  You can do this.”

I have no idea what that ravine looked like from that bridge.  People say it is the most breath-taking view you will ever see.  How I managed to get across it with my eyes firmly shut tight, I’ll never know.  Thankfully, I am in the village for a few months and don’t have to go over that thing again for a while. And just maybe… maybe next time, I’ll chance a glance around.

I have to admit this came into my head as I was getting Lil’ Bit down for a nap.  Not the whole thing, but the beginning.  For those who know me, you may be thinking to yourself…I don’t remember Beth ever being in the Amazon…or a missionary for the fact.  You are right.  This is entirely a work of fiction (except the heights and spider part). Who knows, maybe I’ll make this into a cool story someday.


One coffee cup at a time… September 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 4:14 pm

Last year for my birthday, I finally got a Keurig coffee machine.  I was in heaven!   I loved all the choices of coffee I could get and I didn’t have to make a whole pot of coffee.  Then I realized…how much I was spending on the k-cups.  This is going to be an expensive habit, I thought to myself.  So, I started doing some research.

I came across a bunch of different options.  I found one that I thought would work.  After reading the reviews, I got 2 of them.

Aren’t they pretty.  I like that I have one that is ready for use every morning.  Knowing that I am 1. saving money every time I make coffee is a great perk (he..hee). 2. I am reducing the amount of waste that goes out.  They are easy to clean out, especially if you let the coffee grounds dry.   These have been my lifesaver this past year! If you are looking for a budget friendly way to get your coffee kick-you should try these out!

Ekobrew Cup, Refillable Cup for Keurig
K-cup Brewers, Brown, 1-Count


Depth of Field September 14, 2012

Filed under: faith,Five minute Friday — swedblue @ 1:48 pm

It is 5 Minute Friday and I am hanging out with LisaJo and the circle of bloggers who take 5 minutes of their blogging day to write. To find out more about it go here.

Five Minute Friday

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt: focus


Depth of field:

…when a subject is more focus than its surroundings.


I’ll admit it.  I have lost focus.  I have focused in on one thing (and very badly too) to the detriment of things around me.  I have allowed myself to get caught up in the online realm, instead of real life-mine. It is so easy to get wrapped up in what others think is cool.  I keep looking like a peeping tom at all the neat things I see people post.  I enjoy keeping up with what my friends post on facebook.

It grabs my attention so that the important things go out of focus.  I claim I don’t have time, however, if I turned off the TV, logged of facebook and pinterest, I would have time.  Time to really focus my life- that focus which should be on God and becoming more like Jesus Christ.

The boys could use more of my focus- taking the time to dig into books, play with toys and do art.

I think that really soon here, I will be taking a on-line fast of the time and focus suckers in my life.  It will really help me focus on other things, I have let slide.  That time digging deeper into the Word, I can get up earlier and spend 30 minutes studying and praying. Instead of dreaming of a clean house- I can close my laptop and actually clean it (wow-there is an idea)! The clothes that need to be folded and put away- I can teach Pete to help me fold and put them away.

Changing my focus to the blessings I have in front of me, will help me be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend.



Thankful Thursday…a look back September 13, 2012

Filed under: thankful thursday — swedblue @ 11:58 am

I have been using my other computer, to do some design work. One of the best things is seeing all of Pete’s baby  pictures.  I love seeing them.  Here are some of my favs.

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It was Our Choice September 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 11:45 am

I woke up this morning around 4:40am and looked over and saw Lil’ Bit sharing his daddy’s pillow.  I knew he was in bed with us, as I brought him into bed around 1 am.  There are nights that instinctively I know are going to be good or bad.  Last night, was going to be a bad one. Lil’ Bit barely ate anything solid yesterday, so it was going to be a night of feedings.  After the second waking an hour after the first was my cue to bring him to bed, where he could eat without waking me up.  To me there is nothing so sweet as to see our boys cuddling up to their father.

Who can resist those beautiful blue eyes?

What started out as necessity of getting some sleep, ended up with Lil’ Bit sleeping with us from 5 months till he was 1 year old.  While Josh and I both knew we want Lil’ Bit to sleep in his own bed, there was no rush to get him out of our bed.  He has now been in a room with his brother for over a month now.  Just like last night, he has bad nights where he is waking up every hour after 12am, but we also have a lot of good nights where he only wakes up 2-3 time a night.

Yes, I would love to have him sleep all night, but until he is weaned, I doubt that will happen anytime soon. Pete was 18 months old when he weaned (and about that old, when he started sleeping through the night).  It is my choice to continue to nurse my children after they are 1, and I know from experience that it means not having a full night of sleep.

God has been gracious to me, but providing His strength on the days I feel that I can’t go on.

He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind. ~Isa 40:29-31


Sufficient Grace September 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 5:45 pm

It is 5 Minute Friday! To find out more about it go here.

Five Minute Friday

I have to admit…I cheated a little today on this.  I read the prompt earlier and it has been going through my mind.

Prompt- Grace


When I first was thinking of grace. The verse, His Grace is sufficent for you came to mind.  I thought, nah, a lot of people will be writing on that verse.  Since then, I have seen or heard that verse multiple times from various places.  Ok, Beth…why have we heard that verse so much today.

What is God trying to say to me about His grace being sufficient?  what have I put in my life to replace that grace or add to that grace? I don’t know the answer that one yet.  I have to think about it.  I can’t show grace or receive it if I don’t allow God’s grace to cover me.

Then I thought what is grace? I sometimes say that I am graceful when I am clumsy. I see the grace my husband offers the boys that I don’t always show.  I show grace to my son on the third or fourth chance, praying that he will understand what is going on.  People show grace to me when I don’t always keep my word or when I make a mistake.  It is that kindness I don’t deserve.  It is the kindness I show to others when I don’t think they deserve it.