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I can not tell you how long I have wanted a little fruit orchard.  The idea of growing baskets of apples and pears, peaches and cherries makes my heart go pitter-pat.  Wanting to provide these three little people with the healthiest food possible does not just mean veggies to me.  When the Super Awesome Husband said we could clear out a little area in the woods for a mini orchard I was over the moon.  I knew I wanted to set it up Back to Eden film style using wood chips and grow everything organically, but I was kind of stumped as to how to deal with pests and disease and how to best attract and keep pollinators.

About a week after we put down buy amoxicillin online next day delivery I was reminded of a documentary I had wanted to watch by a fellow gardener.  (Thanks Brad, if you’re reading)!!!  Once again the timing was perfect.  The film was beautiful and I was overwhelmed by the possibilities.  I watched it three times over the next four days.  Obsess much???  🙂  It was exactly what I was looking for, and meshed perfectly with the method I was using.  Can’t really ask for more than that!

The documentary is called The Permaculture Orchard:  Beyond Organic.  I had an idea of what permaculture was prior to watching the film, but I had no clue what it looked like in action or just how much there was to it.  If you don’t know what permaculture is, (and WordPress clearly doesn’t since it is giving me the red underlines of idiocy every time I type it) in the simplest terms it just means working with, rather than against nature in a sustainable manner.  They used the term in Back to Eden, but before then I had never heard of it.  No chemical pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides always gets my attention.  🙂

This would probably be a more exciting post in the spring when I could fill it with pictures of flowers and pretty herbs, but since I am starting to implement this now, and we just talked about starting the orchard, I thought I’d go ahead and share.  We’ll be doing tons more in the spring, so I promise you’ll get all those pretty pictures.  So I KNOW 😉 you are just dying to know what I’ve done so far.  My order of garlic (Music variety) that I placed in the spring just came in, and I went to my local farm stand and bought another bulb of the yummy garlic we’ve been enjoying from them.  I’m planting a full bulb’s worth of cloves of each of those in various places around my trees.  Yummy for us, but will help to ward off animals and insects.  I also got my hands on some Egyptian Walking Onions that I am going to plant out there as well, for the same reason as the garlic.  It’s a neat little plant that I’ve wanted to try since last fall.  The longer I garden, the more interested I become in finding as many perennial (comes back every year) or self re-planting (I believe I have warned you I make up words and terms all the time, so don’t write to me about self re-planting 🙂 ) plants that can help me create a wonderful, sustainable garden with less effort and money on my part.

I divided up some of my chives and oregano that were really out of control growing too well in my window box and needed to be pulled out to give them some space.  Some of my strawberry runners that had rooted in the wrong places got dug up and also put out there.  I found some Yarrow, Salvia and Echinacea (coneflower) neglected and unloved on a clearance cart at the nursery.  They aren’t pretty now, but they should come back beautifully next year, and the bees and butterflies will love them.

Diversity is very important in permaculture.  Mono crops are causing so many problems with disease and pests.  Our little orchard already has many different varieties of apple trees, but will also have peach, pear, mulberry, fig, plum, cherry, crab apple and paw paw.  I know choosing varieties of trees has been a struggle of mine, and I have done tons of reading and taken lots of suggestions.  I am going to add a page to the blog buy amoxicillin online canada with a list of all of the varieties of trees and plants in the orchard for you all to use as a reference.  It’ll be an ongoing process, and I’ll update it with pros and cons and opinions regarding growth and fruit production and taste as time goes on.  Hopefully it will be helpful for some of you with your decisions when you plant.

Much, much more on this to come.  If you would like to watch the film, I am going to attach the trailer right below, or you can order and watch buy amoxicillin online uk  (This post does NOT contain any affiliate links.  I am not being compensated for sharing this film in any way.  The same applies to the Back to Eden film.  I just find them both wonderful and am using their methods in my gardens and want to share).

The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic

Have a great week everyone!!

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Our Facebook page recently went over 500 fans!  I was so excited and so grateful to hit this milestone.  I can’t even begin to thank you all enough, but I can give one lucky fan a super fun prize.  🙂

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One winner will receive a gift package that includes:

~A Back to Eden film DVD.  It is a beautiful documentary detailing a simple, natural gardening method that models nature.  It’s what I use in my garden and little orchard.  The results are nutrient dense food with very little weeding or watering.  The method and film are amazing.  (Even if you don’t win, you can watch it free on the where to buy amoxil film website).

 

~Five packets of seeds from buy amoxil uk.  These were some of my very favorite varieties I grew in my garden this year.  buy amoxil usa, can you buy amoxil over counter, buy amoxicillin, buy amoxicillin 500mg canada, and buy amoxicillin 500mg for tooth infection.  I’m also going to throw in some seeds that I saved from my monster marigold plant that grew in my garden this season.  It was so huge and gorgeous.  Hopefully these will be some of your favorite varieties next year.

~A jar of my favorite bath salts that I made in buy amoxicillin online usa post.  It’s total bath bliss.  🙂

The rules are simple.  The giveaway will run until 11:59 p.m. EST September 24, 2014.  Winner will be chosen and notified the following day.  You can earn up to five chances to win.  You may not enter more than once under each category, and I will check to make sure you followed the rules.  I don’t like cheaters.  😉  You must be 18 to enter and live in the continental U.S..  (Sorry international peeps.  Maybe next time I can swing it).  You must provide a valid email address when you submit your comment so that I can contact you.  (This doesn’t post with your comment, so don’t worry about privacy).  The winner will have 48 hours after I send them an email to reply with their mailing address.  If I don’t hear from the winner in that time, I will choose another winner.  Winner will be chosen at random.

How to Enter (You may earn one entry for each item below.  Do just one, or all five.  It’s totally up to you).

1.  Comment on this post below telling me what was your favorite thing you grew in your garden this year.  If you weren’t able to garden, then tell me what your favorite homegrown fruit or veggie is.  Maybe you can help me choose some new varieties to try next year.  This comment earns you one entry.

2.  Subscribe to this blog by entering your email address into the field on the right.  You will receive an email every time I post so you never miss anything new.  I promise no spam.  Comment below letting me know you’ve subscribed and you get another entry.

3.  “Like” Walking Softly Upon the Earth on Facebook buy amoxicillin online, come back and comment below telling me you’re a fan.  Already liked my page?  Just tell me you are already a fan.  I’m not going to leave you out!  🙂  Earns you one entry.

4.  Follow me on Pinterest buy amoxil online, come back and comment below telling me you’re following.  If you are already following me on Pinterest you get another entry by telling me you are already following.  I love me some Pinterest.

5.  If you are on Twitter, you can follow me buy amoxil and comment below for another entry.  I am embarrassed by my lack of Twitter knowledge, so forgive me if I fumble as I learn.  🙂

That’s it.  Good luck!!!!

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Sorry.  Sometimes when thinking of a blog post title I’m overcome with cheesiness.  I can’t help it.  I type the first stupid thing that jumps into my head and there’s no changing it, no coming up with a replacement, no tweaking it and making it better.  It’s like it’s super-glued to the screen and can not be removed.  My SEO scores are always ridiculously low because I don’t title posts properly and I can literally hear readers’ eyes rolling as they see the titles pop up.  If I were to write a book one day, it would never get picked up by a publisher due to whatever stupid title I chose for it.  I accept this flaw in myself and hope you still read my posts after you’re done rolling your eyes.  🙂

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So we’ve had multiple crews from a tree removal service for the power company in our neighborhood for months now trimming the trees around our power lines.  I left my address with no less than three of them begging them for a load or two of wood chips so that we could put a covering on the area in our woods (behind the garden) that we cleared this spring to make room for a little mini orchard.  Nothing happened.  My Super Awesome Husband talked to a crew one day and we got a huge load the very next day.  I was soooo excited.

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Then we got another load.  WOWEE!!  This is great, I thought.  Exactly what we wanted!!

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Then I came home to a third pile.  Well, okay.  Now we can maybe mulch a nice path along the fence so I can easily walk back to the orchard.  By the time I came home to pile #4 I was starting to get concerned about all of the work involved in moving the chips.  #5?  They can’t possibly dump any more.  That load needed to be shoveled and swept from the road.  There is NO more room.  WHAT must the neighbors be thinking???  #6  #@&#@  @#%&@@!!!  Why are they still doing this?  #7 I got home with the kids and stared at the mountain and laughed.  It was beyond absurd at this point.

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That last photo?  Not all of it.  They put some in the woods off to the left.  There was no way possible for me to move it all with shovel and wheelbarrow like I had two years ago when I started Back to Eden gardening.  We had to borrow a bobcat.  I even got a visit from the HOA office at this point.  “Good morning.  Is, uh, this all yours?  We’ve had a few complaints from your neighbors.”  Nice.  Gotta love HOAs.  Luckily the bobcat was in the yard waiting for the weekend at this point, so I just gestured in that direction.  I had to eventually put a sign in our yard so that they wouldn’t bring us any more.

I’m off topic again.  Another flaw.  I write the way I think.  Welcome to my head.  Scary, isn’t it?  🙂  Back to Eden gardening.  Quite possibly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to watch this film.  It’s free to view online, so you have no excuse whatsoever not to watch it yourself buy liquid amoxicillin for dogs.  You can also purchase a copy if you aren’t able to watch it online, or if you’re like me and want watch it over and over.  When you are done watching it five times, you’ll still want more, so I totally recommend the garden tour videos and interviews with Paul that are done by L2Survive on YouTube.  You can find those buy amoxicillin online paypal.  If you fall completely in love with the idea and want to try it yourself, I am a member of an awesome group on Facebook that you can request to join buy amoxicillin online overnight shipping.  Gardeners rock!

The method is sooooo simple.  It just models nature.  If you look in a forest, the ground is never bare.  It is always covered with composting leaves, needles, plants and fallen trees.  With this method you never, ever till (this makes someone in my house VERY happy), you just cover.  If you are planting over weeds or grass you lay down a layer of newspaper, then compost (if you are planting right away) then wood chips.  We are not talking bagged mulch or bark, but chipped branches of trees that are mostly leaves and needles.  That is a very basic rundown.  Watch the film to get all of the reasoning and see the results.  For me it has meant very little weeding, hardly any watering, beautiful, healthy plants and delicious veggies.  I can’t say enough wonderful things about it.

We used cardboard along the path we made to the orchard to block the weeds.  We won’t be planting here, so I don’t have to worry about how long it takes to break down.  All I wanted cleared was the area the cardboard is laying on, so I could walk back without having to walk down the road.  The Super Awesome Husband cleared extra space to the left and I was THRILLED to have that extra room for some blueberry bushes and raspberry canes.

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You can see little patches of weeds here and there, so they got a little cardboard treatment too.

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Then the wood chip moving began.

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Thank heavens for my Super Awesome Husband and this little machine.

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I even got in on the action!  When I wasn’t worried I’d run over one of my little trees or terrified I’d hit a big one, this was FUN!!  🙂

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“Someone” had a moment of non-super-awesomeness and bent my little fig tree over.  Hopefully it will be okay.

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The path looks fantastic!!  And look at all that extra space!!  Woo Hoo!!

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I have a lot of raking to do to smooth the piles a bit, but I was done being attacked by a bazillion chiggers, so that will save for a day this fall when the cold weather has killed the little demons.  “Some” people are tired of my whining, but here we are five days later and I am still itching like a maniac with the pox.  I don’t recommend it.

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For the record, that’s a LOT of freakin’ wood chips people.

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My magical little orchard at the edge of the forest.  I’m so excited for the gifts it will provide.

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Gardening really is a lesson in faith and hope and patience.  You have to believe that all the work you do will lead to great reward, you must hope that everything goes well and that you’ve done all that you need, and you must wait patiently while the little trees sink their roots deep and bear fruit, or for the tiny seed to grow and flower.

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Sweet, Sweet Summertime!

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What is it about time that makes the summer go by so super quickly?  Time seems to go so fast now anyway, but summer flashes by at light speed.  It’s crazy!  It breaks my heart to think about the kiddos going back to school next week, but I will have more blogging time if there is an upside.

Gardening this time of year mostly means a little weeding and a lot of picking.  We have also started seeds for our fall garden under grow lights in the basement.  I want to do some canning soooo badly, but I haven’t been able to get a whole bunch of tomatoes ripe at the same time yet.  We have had several dinners with marinara sauce from scratch though.  There’s nothing quite like it.  🙂

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The Super Awesome Husband looks at our haul every day, shakes his head and asks what happened to the good ‘ole red tomatoes.  Hee hee!  I have some of those too, but honest to goodness people, the colors and flavors of the others are incredible!  And purple peppers?  Heck yeah!  🙂

See??  I have red.  (Or it’s actually pink, but shhhh don’t tell him)! 😉 😉   Problem is, the stupid squirrels and birds like them too.  UGH!!!  I think what bothers me even more than the fact that they steal my tomatoes, is that they leave half of them to rot on the ground.  If you little jerks are going to rob my garden, at least eat every.single.delicious.nutritious.bite!!!!  Don’t waste half of it.  OR there are plenty of little ones, so leave my huge slicers ALONE!!!!  Sorry.  Deep breath.  I can’t stand waste or tomato thieves.  🙂

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Can’t have tomatoes without fresh basil.  Mmmmmmm.  I’m getting hungry now.  My favorite meal in the summer is sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  Never gets old.

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Tomatoes and basil are meant to be together.  They are fabulous companion plants.  Many of my tomato plants in the garden (like this one), and all of my tomatoes in pots have basil growing around them.  They are supposed to make the tomatoes taste even better when grown together.  Plus, it makes it super easy to pick your maters and grab a handful of basil to put on top.  🙂

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See!  I told you I could grow carrots once I got them sprouted!!  It’s a jungle in there!!

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Beets!!!  So far (fingers crossed) the evil mole/vole duo hasn’t cleaned out the beet patch.  This guy has a hot date with my juicer in his future.  Yummy!

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I really hate the flavor of black licorice.  The Back to Eden film got me curious about fennel though.  Paul swore it was sweet and delicious and everyone seemed to love it.  Then I found a Bronze Fennel plant at our local farm stand and couldn’t resist how pretty it was.

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Now I can’t walk out to the garden without breaking off a little sprig and eating it.  The flavor is amazing!!  I could probably sit and eat the whole plant.  I don’t know if they all taste this way, or if it’s my rich, Back to Eden soil.  You HAVE to try some!

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Still only a couple of honeybees this summer.  I can’t wait to keep some bees one day.  Until then, we’ll have to rely on the little baby bumblebees.

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My daughter’s Scarlett Runner Beans.  We love the flowers!

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So I’ve been meaning to share with you some of my favorite gardening books.  I LOVE to read.  Though I don’t have a lot of time for it right now, these books keep me happy all winter while I can only dream about my little garden.

The Heirloom Life Gardener

The Gardener’s A to Z Guide to Growing Organic Food

The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self Sufficiency

Mini Farming:  Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

And because I am OBSESSED with getting chickens:

Homemade Living:  Keeping Chickens

I promise you will be hearing more about my chicken obsession.  😉  Lots more….

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DISCLOSURE:  This post may contain affiliate links, and I may receive compensation for sharing products and information on this site.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting Walking Softly Upon the Earth!  See buy amoxil online australia page for full site Disclosure.

Walking on Eggshells

eggshells title image

Let’s chat a little about reducing waste and building soil.  These things are so very important!  We began going green here several years ago when we started recycling.  We began with mixed recyclables, and then a year or two after that I started keeping a box for paper recycling.  We were truly amazed at how much those two things cut down on our trash.  It was a wonderful feeling knowing I had cut our contribution to the landfill by about half.  It always made me sad seeing bag after bag and box after box of garbage after Christmas morning, so this year I made the decision to go through all of the wrapping and packaging and separate the paper as well as the recyclable plastic.  I was thrilled to find we were left with only half a bag of actual trash after this.  I’m happier when I’m doing my best for my children and our beautiful planet.

Two years ago we bought a compost bin.  (This one actually: Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler, Black, 80-Gallon)  Once again our trash can filled even more slowly, and you just can’t beat free compost for your garden.  It always seemed like such a complicated thing that I didn’t think we could keep up with, but it’s really not a big deal at all.  When it is time to empty our bin next month, we’ll go through some steps to making great compost.

If you have a garden I hope you are not throwing away your eggshells. Please tell me you’re not!  If you are, start saving them now!  When we started out we were throwing our eggshells into the compost.  I knew they were good for it and would add lots of awesome calcium to the soil eventually.  I then read more and more about ways to use eggshells more directly, so I began to rinse them out and place them back in the carton.  When we use the whole dozen, I bake them to dry them out and kill any bacteria.  You can either bake them on your lowest oven temperature for a couple of hours or pop them in the oven after baking something and let it sit in there as the oven cools.  Once they’ve cooled, grind those bad boys up.  You can just crush them into small pieces but it will take quite a while for them to break down and really be beneficial to your plants.  I bought a mortar and pestle and set the kids to work.

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It occupies them for a while, and they get to work on their arm muscles.  😉

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When they are very fine to powder texture we dump them into a storage container.

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I do a few different things with these now.  When I put my tomato plants in the ground at the beginning of the season I have a whole “cocktail” I add to the dug hole before adding the plant.  They get some Epsom Salt, an aspirin, rock dust, organic fertilizer (Fish emulsion or worm castings are wonderful) and a scoop of the ground eggshells.  If you have ever had a problem with blossom end rot, adding ground eggshells or bone meal at the time of planting, before your little tomato plants are even thinking about fruiting, is a wonderful preventative.  I also add them to the areas where I plant my squash and zucchinis since I’ve had trouble with blossom end rot with them as well.

Ground eggshells also help to ward off slugs.  I don’t know about your garden, but mine is a slug magnet in the spring, so I need all the help I can get protecting the plants.  I make a ring around the ground at the base of the little plants with the ground shells and, for the most part, the slugs won’t cross the shells because sharp edges cut their soft bodies.  It’s not perfect, but it is a HUGE help.

Since the pictures of eggshells aren’t overly exciting, I thought I’d add a few that I took this week of a couple of our dragonflies.  We have TONS of these guys flying around the yard lately and the kids and I just love them.

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Sometimes they sit and pose for me for as long as I would like, but this week they were a little too busy and kept flying off after a few seconds.

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I love the blue ones.

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My daughter looked at this and asked if the patterns on dragonfly wings are all different, like fingerprints.  I LOVE when my kids come up with really awesome questions.  🙂  Of course, it also ruins the mom knows everything card.  😀

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I am amazed by their eyes.  It’s probably the photographer in me obsessing over eyes, but W.O.W.!!!

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Summer is going way too fast!  I hope you are enjoying every second of yours!!!

DISCLOSURE:  This post may contain affiliate links, and I may receive compensation for sharing products and information on this site.  These links help support this site, and do not cost you extra to use.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  See buy amoxil online australia page for full site Disclosure.  Thank you for supporting Walking Softly Upon the Earth!!  🙂

Chasing Away the Crickets

Sorry for the crickets this past week. Summer vacation started for the kidlets, so we’ve been busy living it up with trips to the beach and park and hitting up their favorite playgrounds. And yes, there has been ice cream involved. We take summer vacation very seriously in this house. 🙂

The kids totally freaked out this week when these guys made their return:

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I had no clue until very recently that our friends on the west coast do not have fireflies.  It’s one of those things I take for granted seeing every summer and I just assumed that everyone had them.  I can’t imagine summer without the kids running around catching these magical little guys.

I have a bunch of really cool posts in the works, but instead of making you wait while I finished them up, I thought we’d see how things were going in the garden.

Remember the sad state of affairs my marigold window box was in? Well, I spread out the few marigolds that sprouted and added some nasturtium seeds to fill it in and it’s not looking half bad now. Way less sad.

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The kids and I were so excited to find a few Sweet Pea Currant tomatoes and Sun Gold Cherry tomatoes ripe this week. Sooooo tasty!! It just doesn’t get better than homegrown tomatoes!  If I HAD to choose just one thing to grow in my garden, it would probably be tomatoes.  Now ask me what kind of tomato and I would have a problem.  You need one for every color of the rainbow, right?!?!  🙂

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Purple Beauty Pepper. It’s teeny tiny, but we don’t judge. 🙂  I can’t figure out who is chomping on her leaves.  I suspect a Hornworm, but haven’t found one yet and they are usually very easy to spot.  It’s a mystery.

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Rosita has finally gotten over her transplant shock and her unfortunate run in with a slug. She really liked the compost tea I gave her, but what lady doesn’t like her tea? 🙂

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I am loving the ground cherries. They form little lanterns like tomatillos.  If you are new I’ll tell you now, I love the out of ordinary when it comes to my garden. I pick a lot of my seeds based on unusual colors and I love stumbling across something I’ve never seen in the grocery store before.

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My Sweet Pea’s lavender. She loves it like I do.

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Garlic scapes I think. I planted all soft neck garlic though, so I’m not completely sure. Hmmmm…..

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I may have a new garden obsession. Borage. It is so, so, so pretty!! I killed it all last year before I saw any blooms. (It’s a learning experience people)! 🙂 The plants in front of my strawberries are all way ahead of the ones by the tomatoes and are now blooming. Take a look and I bet you’ll be planting some seeds yourself.

IMG_9346 IMG_9352 IMG_9344 I’m so in love with this shot.  The fuzzy leaves and stems make it look like a watercolor painting.  I may have to print this one for the wall. IMG_9340 cropped IMG_9338  IMG_9316 IMG_9311  IMG_9321  IMG_9347 IMG_9355

See, I told you I was obsessed!!!  I get so excited when something I’ve planted from seed grows and flourishes.  If you have always purchased plants to plant in your garden, you HAVE to try growing at least one thing from seed this year.  It’s nothing short of a miracle to put this little, tiny seed in the ground, and a few weeks later get this. ^^^

This week will be packed with fun posts.  I promise not to stay away this long again.  Happy Summer everyone!!

Listen to the Whispers

I can’t even begin to stress enough that, in order to have a healthy, productive garden, you must listen!  You must listen to others with more experience, and you must listen to your plants.  They whisper, they don’t yell, so you have to listen very carefully.  (Well, except for maybe when they are being eaten alive by slugs, because I swear they scream then.  Or maybe I’m just hearing myself.  Man I hate those slimy pigs!  Ugh).

It is so very important to hear what they are telling you.  If they are yellow and sad looking they may need a little feeding or, when you look closer, you might find they are sick.  They may also be telling you that you have chosen the wrong spot for them.  Just because you think they would look pretty in a certain spot doesn’t mean that is where they will flourish.  Take, for example, my spinach.  I thought it would grow beautifully in my vertical gutter garden.  It’s doing okay.

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But on the end next to the deck, where it is fairly shaded, look how much better this plant is growing.  If I hadn’t slowed down and listened, I might have missed them telling me it’s too hot and sunny in this spot.

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As for my carrot experiment using vermiculite?  I think it’s safe to say it was a success.  Look at all the carrot babies!!

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Aren’t they cute??

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Guess who is planting with vermiculite next year?  Yep.  This girl!  So glad I listened.

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Want to see what else is happening in the garden right now?  We had a carrot top survive the winter in the compost and sprout months ago with the tomatoes and lettuce head.  Carrots are one of those plants that only go to seed their second year.  We’ve left it in this spot hoping that we might get some seeds to collect.  Look at what’s happening!  It’s getting ready to bloom!!

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Someone else decided to grow from the compost too.  I have no clue what this is.  Cucumber?  Squash?  Pumpkin?  No idea.  It will be fun to watch and find out though.

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I absolutely adore sweet peas.  I tried growing them for years, while my thumb was still pretty black, and never kept them alive long enough to bloom.  I think now that my thumb is a pale shade of green I might give them a try this fall or next year.  There is just something special about the swirly twirly little arms and beautiful, sweet flowers.  This is my second season with snap peas, and they are so pretty (and yummy) too!  Not quite the same, but the tasty treats they supply more than makes up for the lack of color and fragrance.

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The kids flipped over these last year.  I wish we had gotten tons more planted.  Maybe next year…

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This folks, is our cute little garden toad.  The kids have decided to call him “Croaker.”  The pup-sicle tried to eat him last night.  Well, maybe he was just chasing with the silly little hopping creature that was in his yard, but I swooped in to the rescue anyway.  No toad eating allowed here.

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Our yard is full of dragonflies right now too.  I love the green ones the most, I think, but this one is awfully pretty too.  I had one of the green ones sit and pose for me a couple of years ago, while I took pictures til my heart’s content.  I’ll have to dig those out for you sometime.

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I’ve been working so hard to get everything in the ground that I haven’t checked on the other plants in a while.  I was pretty darn excited to see this:

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and this:

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Are you kidding me?!?!  Baby grapes???  🙂

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Almost missed the blossoms on the ground cherries.  This is my first time trying these, and I am so excited to taste them and see what they are all about.  Sometimes you read the description on a packet of seeds and just have to have them.  Or is that just me??  🙂

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Grape Jellybean tomatoes.  I’ll take them over candy jellybeans any day!  They are my Little Dude’s absolute favorite.

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Chamomile flowers.  These all reseeded on their own.  I really need to learn how to make my own chamomile tea.  I grew them last year just because they were pretty, but I am a big tea drinker, so I shouldn’t just let them go to the compost bin when they are done.

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The radishes need pulling.  They are so fun to grow.  I just need to find something yummy to do with them now.  The only way I have ever eaten radishes is in salads.  There has to be something else to do with them, right?

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They are just busting out!

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Sungold tomatoes on the way!

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Baby Round Zucchini were one of my favorites last year.

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I am so looking forward to Saturday.  The kids’ last day of school is Friday, and this will be our first soccer-free weekend in months.  There will be lots of playing in the garden and just hanging out with the family.  I hope your weekend is wonderful and all of you Dads have a great Father’s Day!

What’s up Doc?

Well, I can tell you what’s not up, and it wouldn’t make Bugs happy.  The carrots dang it.  I’ve gotten pretty good at growing a few different things, but carrots are not one of them.  Actually, I take that back, once they’ve sprouted I do a pretty good job.  It’s the germination that’s tricky.  I think it took me three tries last year to get some sprouts, and I’ve been failing big time this year.  See?  Nothin’.

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Nada.

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Zippy.

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So with gardening, nothing beats experience.  I have read a TON of gardening books, and while I have learned a lot from them and enjoyed them immensely, I’ve learned more by doing and also by listening to veteran gardeners.  I was recently told by a gardener to try covering my seeds with vermiculite instead of soil.  Carrot seeds need to stay consistently moist to germinate.  If they dry out you get a lotta nothin’.  So guess what I went out and bought?

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Since it has rained the past two days, and the ground is really damp and it’s nice and cool for the next few days, I headed down to the garden for some quick carrot planting.

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Those seeds are so dang tiny!  I just sprinkled them in a line-ish and didn’t get too crazy trying to space or keep them perfectly straight.  Finally,  the vermiculite got spread over top.

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My little carrot corner.  Hopefully….

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I’ll let you know how this little experiment goes.  It would be awesome if I have found the trick to growing carrots at last!  Were you wondering about the broken pot?  It’s our garden toad house.  The marigolds grow up around it and keep it cool and hidden.  At least they do when the slugs don’t eat them all gone.  I have a couple left who have pulled through and more in the greenhouse that are about ready to go out and face those slimy pigs.  May the force be with them!

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Did you get to spend a lot of time in the garden over the holiday weekend?  My little Sweet Pea joined me out there and we spent hours and hours trying to get our garden caught up.  With the never-ending winter and then craziness that is our lives in the spring, we were so far behind.  We planted all but 6 of our tomatoes, all the peppers and some cucumbers.  It’s coming along nicely now.

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The nasturtiums are popping up.  I love them so much that I’ve planted a bunch more than last year.

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I can’t wait to see them blooming with the Borage in front of the tomato plants.

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The Kale is so happy it rained and cooled down.

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I thought something was making a meal of my green beans, but come to find out, we have leaf cutter bees.  The plants will not be eaten and will survive and we’ll have some much needed pollinators.  Win.  Win.

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I really, really, really hate spiders, but this garden spider was pretty cool looking and I thought my little Monster man would like to see it later.  As long as she eats some bad bugs and stays (far, far) out of my way, we’ll get along just fine.

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Grow babies GROW!  Can’t wait!!!!  🙂

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Anyone can plant straight rows

I figure I owe you a good, photo-packed post after the long ramble that was my last one.  Let’s take a walk in the garden, shall we?

The beans have popped up and are so pretty.  I’ve planted all of the bush beans, but still need to fix the supports for the pole beans and get them in.  The way I see it, anyone can plant in perfectly straight rows, so why would I want to do that?  I’m so awesome I even manage to plant crooked rows when using a length of twine as a guide.  So I don’t do that anymore.  🙂  I’m going for the wild, natural look.  Ha!

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It’s squash ba-by!  Woo Hoo!!  If you’re wondering what the heck the cage is for, it’s a little “basket” we made to save the main root and stem from the mole/vole invasion that occurred last year.  I had the biggest, most beautiful squash and zucchini plants, until one by one they died.  I’d pick them up and find the root missing and a big ‘ole hole under the dying plant.  It was so sad.  The micro-destroyers took out a lot of my garden, as a matter-of-fact.  It’s war this year!

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Poor Rosita!  She’s not too thrilled with life outdoors quite yet.  A slug fell for her and nibbled her pretty leaves before I caught him.  I’m hoping she’ll find happiness soon and start sinking her roots deep.

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Tomatoes are going in.  Things just got real people.

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Some romaine in the garlic patch.  See what I mean?  Straight rows are totally for amateurs.  (Woo Hoo!  I spelled it right the first time!!!  I’m a TERRIBLE speller and was sure that nasty red you’re-wrong-you-stupid-idiot line would appear under amateurs as soon as I hit the space bar.  Nope.  I’m rockstar awesome today!  Dang.  Is it rock star then?  Crap).

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How in the heck did I get a head of Speckles Butterhead Lettuce growing out of the compost pile?  The tomatoes I understand, because a ton of tomatoes made the compost bin after the rotten scoundrel squirrels took bites out of them.  But the lettuce?  No clue.  It’s lookin’ good though.  I see a yummy salad in my future.

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So I dug up a bunch of wild blackberries and raspberries and put them in the garden last year.  I know.  I know.  You’re not supposed to do that.  You’re supposed to buy the good, reliable ones if you want fruit.  I ran out of garden cash, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I didn’t get any berries, so yeah, I told you so is appropriate.  If I get a lot of nothin’ this year I’ll be doing a lot of painful pulling and digging to get rid of them.  There are tons of flowers…

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Strawberries are going strong.  We’ve only been able to pick one so far, but look at all the berries they are cranking out!

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I wish I could have captured just how juicy this was.  In “Back to Eden” they mention and show how water-filled Paul’s fruits and vegetables are.  I won’t have anything like his for quite some time, but if this is any indication, wow!

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Happy Dance!  Happy Dance!  We have baby peaches!

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Yep.  I dug up some dandelions, potted them up and am taking care of them.  I need to find a bigger pot and put them all in it soon too.  Their roots are CRAZY!!  Why?  We have bunnies, so I’m not only trying to grow healthy fruits and vegetables for my family, but for a couple of cute, fuzzy bunnies as well.

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The only thing making me more excited than baby peaches and tons of strawberries about to ripen?  THIS:

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While we are peeking into the greenhouse, here is some fennel, bronze fennel, pineapple sage, ground cherries and other assorted goodies waiting to go in the ground.  My daughter also asked if we could save a few of the volunteer tomatoes from the compost pile, so we dug up 3 and are going to see what we get.

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Super awesome husband got the gutters up in the greenhouse.  🙂  I need to get something planted in them now!

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This is the pup-sicle.  He was hanging out waiting for me to finish so he could go back inside.  I thought I’d introduce you, but he wouldn’t look at me.  This is the look I got after asking him if he wanted a cookie.  Love the curled lip and “huh?!?!?!  What did you say???” expression.  So everybody, this is Echo, the seriously spoiled pup-sicle.  Eater of carrots and apples and see-saws.  He doesn’t believe in straight rows either.  🙂

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