Growing Fruit Trees From seeds

I am sharing this blog for those of you who wanted to know how to sprout seeds from fruit since this is getting to be a good time to do it. Remember to not try to use a seed from a peach, apricot, nectarine or plum you buy in the store, the zone will not be right for your area and chances you will waste your time. Pick a fruit from a tree in your area and simply follow the directions below. Sprout a hand full of your seeds and share with your friends. Just be patient, it takes about 6 weeks or longer for the seeds to go through the cooling process in the refrigerator, but watch them and one day a big white root that looks like a tooth will pop out  and then is the time to put the seed in a small pot of soil. After a short time, a little green sprout will push up out of the dirt and you have your tree growing.

Beautiful Loring peaches from a tree that was started with a seed from a neighbors tree. They do not need to be grafted. The seedlings from peach, apricot and nectarine trees produce fruit same as the mother tree,  If some fruit is left on the ground, the next spring you will see little seedlings coming up. Those can also be replanted and will grow into nice trees.

Loring peaches  from Anna's orchard. She gathered these for me this morning. The tree is 6 years old and loaded~

Loring peaches from Anna’s orchard. She gathered these for me this morning. The tree is 6 years old and loaded~

Here are the apricot seeds that I sprouted two years ago. I ended up with about 60 trees which I gave away. Now I am starting another batch.

Using seeds from a native tree in your area to grow a peach or apricot tree. (no store bought fruit)

Using seeds from a native tree in your area to grow a peach or apricot tree. (no store bought fruit) All of the kernels resemble almonds~

1. Save seed from a good native tree,
2. Remove little kernel inside the outer hard seed with a hammer, don’t damage it.
3 Wrap kernels in a wet paper towel and put in refrigerator for 6 to 10 weeks, until a little root starts to pop out. (be very patient) This cooling period is necessary.

I liked to use plastic shower caps, those are easy and can be reused for later batches

I liked to use plastic shower caps, those are easy and can be reused for later batches

4. Plant kernels in small buckets filled with potting soil, cover with plastic bags. Set on a warm porch and check often to keep moist but not too wet. When green sprouts pop up, set in a place with morning and late afternoon sun.
5. After about 3 months or more transplant into gal. size buckets.
6. I keep them for a year before I give them away so they will have a good start. I still have Indian peach seeds that started from my daddy’s trees 50 years ago. I have Indian, Loring, Princess, and seeds from the FLDS orchard, chilling in the refrigerator. They will be ready to plant in another few weeks.

 

Some of the seedlings three days after they sprout. They grow fast.

Some of the seedlings three days after they sprout. They grow fast.

After they are about a foot tall, re-pot them into gallon size buckets. I like to keep them for about year in buckets, they are easier to take care of as they grow. When they are three feet tall, you can plant them in the ground. If you wait until December or January, they will be dormant and will have lost their leaves, that is a good time. Then in a few weeks when the weather warms up, they will put on new leaves and flourish.

When planting in the ground, dig a hole about t feet across and no deeper than the depth of the bucket. You want it at the same depth as it was planted in the bucket.

When planting in the ground, dig a hole about two feet across and no deeper than the depth of the bucket. You want it at the same depth as it was planted in the bucket.

Uganda

Bicycles (next to walking) are probably the most popular method of transportation in all of Africa and you see pictures of several people sharing a ride.This was a recent get together when lots of people came to study the scriptures and have a great meal of Ugali, greens, potatoes and goat meat stew.

I wonder how they know which bicycle is theirs.

I wonder how they know which bicycle is theirs.

Someone sent me pictures and here are a couple more  that I especially liked.

Some deep thinking~

Some deep thinking~

Four children with their ta ta.

Four children with their ta ta.

Another mission trip is planned for this summer, and there will be five going this time, three of the original group and also two new ones. They will be visiting the new farm on the Nile River near Jinja where work has been going on for the past two months on buildings there. The craftsmen are amazing workers with few tools and mostly hand made bricks and mortar.

another view

Most buildings have metal roofs but one has a beautiful grass roof in keeping with the African style.

Rock work on dormitory

Rock work on dormitory

Honeymoon house, garage laundry and work shop, and dormitory

Honeymoon house, garage laundry, work shop, and dormitory

Grass roof on this cottage took several days to complete. It will last for years with only occasional upkeep.

Grass roof on this cottage took several days to complete. It will last for years with only occasional upkeep.

After their stay at the farm, the  group will then go to Soroti for mission work with John and Elizabeth. A highlight of this trip will be waiting for them in Soroti, Miss Gavirella~

Gavirella eating mango30125774_10213034090779659_1815298565_o

I am pretty well running out of new stuff for my blog so I have decided to just post something ever so often when things happen to write about. I appreciate all those of you who enjoy it and even check it out on a daily basis. Special thank you to my friends Al and Pat, Dan, Austin, Linda, Ann and Sharon. I even get a phone call early in the morning if I fail to get one up ((to be sure I am OK). You are welcome to go back to the older ones you haven’t seen. I started this over five years ago. Everyone should keep a journal of some kind. It makes you realize you have been living a busy life. That is good!  Check back often~

Miss Piggy and Kermit

she looked pretty happy with him today, it was either lavishing him with kisses or throwing him across the room

When I bought Miss Piggy and Kermit in 1977, she was a hand puppet. She had a big vinyl hollow head, (no body) and the famous elbow length lavender gloves with matching dress.  I had planned from the start to make her into a doll. I made her a soft body, she felt cuddly and nice to hold.

it was fun making the shoes, they were pretty tall wedges.

 

I carved some platform wedge sandals and added satin straps. (They are in style now) Then I made her a long formal satin evening jacket.

A girl likes some bling

Of course she needed jewels so she had  several stands of pearls, a pearl and gold filigree broach and a tiara for her hair.

here he is in his tux, his character seemed to be a happy go lucky guy

 

 

Kermit was just a green frog so I made him a Tuxedo with a pleated shirt, pearl buttons and a cummerbund. I knew it would be what Miss Piggy would want. These two characters have lived at my house, and lived in Sonora, then San Angelo and finally are back with me. (They were Christmas presents that we passed back and forth). They are both in perfect shape, even after 41 years.  We watched the Muppet Shows on TV for several years~ Miss Piggy and Kermit were our favorite characters. I loved those shows. Jim Henson, the famous puppeteer who created the Muppets died in 1990 at age 53.

Cameras I Have Loved

This camera took great pictures but you had know how to adjust the settings. It used film that cost to have developed

I have always liked cameras, my first one was in college, it was a Kodak Pony 135. This was in the early 1950’s and it made good pictures. It used film so I had to be selective and not just shoot everything I saw, it could get expensive. It had a big flash gun, a bar with a shinny reflector and it used bulbs. No fun to carry around for snap shots.

I used this one for 10 years, it was heavy. It made great pictures but they were expensive to develop and you didn’t know if you got the shot until later~

When Dan and I married, he had a nice Cannon .35mm with a light meter and flash. It made great pictures but again the film had to be developed. (the worst camera I ever knew of was the Kodak Instamatic, that and the Polaroid,  they took horrible pictures, I never had either of those) 

Sony made good pictures on floppy discs so was inexpensive to use. You could check each shot on the screen as you went along.

Then came the great digital cameras! Shoot all day, view them on the computer, find the best ones and print them. I could run them through Adobe Photoshop and fix any minor flaws~(trimming fat hips, flattening bulging stomachs, softening bags and sags).

The Minolta was my first fine digital camera, a hand-me-down~ it made excellent portraits and snapshots

The Canon EOS makes the best portraits, it was another hand me down gift~

My first digitals I had were high end models, someone gave me their Minolta and later a Cannon EOS.  I have a bounce flash that shoots the flash on the ceiling, it  lightens the room and doesn’t flatten the face like  a ‘straight on flash’. It leaves all the nice shading and features on a face. These are truly fine portrait cameras. 

A nice little  camera fits right into my hand, it is a comfortable one to hold. Great pictures~

This is the last camera I will ever need, it makes excellent pictures, is the smallest of all, and easiest to use.

I bought the neat looking Canon PowerShot A540 and have loved it. Then the little Cannon PowerShot 300 HS came out and this may be my last camera ever. I don’t think this one can be beat. It is very small 2″X3″ and flat. It seldom needs to flash, it makes perfect pictures in low light. I have used it for most of my blog pictures.  I enjoy setting up for the blog pictures every day. Sometimes  I cook, take the pictures and then find someone to give the food to. I don’t need a pound of pralines~ Anyway, taking pictures is a great hobby in itself.

my sweet loving little Missy, all she ever needed was to be close~

I like pictures of my dogs most of all~ 

Belgium waffles

Minolta DSC

Homemade waffles from scratch, a fast and delicious treat for once in a while occasions. I like mine with  fresh fruit and then enough butter and  syrup to the point of almost getting sick~

Around 50 years ago Mack and Danell were visiting one evening and we told them to stay and I would make waffles. I had made apricot preserves and that always goes good with waffles. I got the waffle maker down from the top shelf of the pantry and heated it up while I mixed the batter. Bacon frying, everyone getting ready for a treat ~ then I opened the lid on waffle maker and there was this green, calcified, decomposed old waffle~ left in there from months ago.  (OK, who’s  first~)    Note: you can use waffle batter to make pancakes, I saved the day.

Belgium Waffles
1 c buttermilk
4 eggs
1/2 c melted butter
2 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
beat buttermilk, eggs and butter together in mixing bowl
Sift dry ingredients together
Add to buttermilk mixture and blend
Pour about 1 cup of batter into hot waffle iron that has been sprayed with Pam
Bake until golden.  (this makes about 5 waffles or 4 servings of pancakes)

Merry Christmas

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and every where, Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is Born! The Eagle Rescue Center Orphanage.

This was five years ago, our Merry Christmas from Kenya. We finally got here, it was a long trip. Worth it! I was amazed how beautiful it was, I have never seen anything so pretty. Huge trees, huge mountains and everything was green even though this was the dry season. Beautiful people too. On this Christmas Day, it was hard to realize it was Christmas, Kitale had no lights and decorations in town, no Christmas Carols, it was just like any other day. I realized when we were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the children that this was our Christmas dinner. It was one of the most memorable times of all for me.

A Christmas To Remember

Another of one of those most memorable Christmas’  was in the early 1940s. I was eight, Tricia was nine and Nancy was four. Mother always made things extra special for us.  When it was time for Santa to come, we ran across the street to get Granddad and Grandmother Christian, it took them a while to get their coats on and check the stoves and turn off the lights. Santa Clause always left our surprise sitting there under the tree unwrapped. When we walked in it was dancing and squealing time. The first thing I saw was a tricycle he had left for Nancy. I didn’t see a new doll or anything else, just the wrapped packages that had been there all week. Mother was smiling and happy and Daddy was too. We started opening our gifts, the usual new pajamas, a book, a game, a card with a dollar in it, and soon every gift had been opened . Nancy was already on her big new tricycle so we were pushing her around the room. (I was ashamed to be feeling SO disappointed) Mother made some hot chocolate with marshmallows and we were stacking our gifts up in their own neat little piles. Then Daddy said ‘Wait, there is a card up in the tree!” He handed it to Tricia and she read it, “look in the front bedroom”.

(I had to color a B&W picture to show). The tires were a small problem, they had to be aired up every time we rode it, no paved streets back then. It didn’t stop us though. Once I decided to really fill  the tires so they would stay up longer, I went to Pete Bryant’s Station, rode home, went in the house and in a little while, heard “POP!”

We opened the door and there it was! A beautiful, wonderful, bright blue bicycle. Tricia and I cried and hugged each other and yelled and danced like never before. We just couldn’t believe we had a bicycle. I can feel the thrill as I write this. The next morning was cold and windy and neither of us knew how to ride, we both got pretty skinned up but by the end of the day, we had learned. The bicycle had belonged to our Aunt Maxine and been stored in the rafters of Granddad’s garage. Mother took it and completely refinished and restored it like new. New paint, saddle seat, handlebar grips and the tires had been patched and were holding air. Because of the war, bicycles were not something you could buy or new tires either. What a wonderful Christmas, and there have been many of them, but nothing ever compared to this one and the blue bicycle! Oh, we did have a most precious mother~

Kenya East Africa

Five years ago, I was packed and ready to leave for this trip to Africa. I had waited two years until the time was right and it was my turn to go. It is one of the things that I will remember as the top of my list of lifetime memories.

This is the garden in the yard of ZZ's house. It was surrounded by lantanna hedges that were 15 feet high. Monkeys in the trees but I didn't see any birds. Beautiful place

This is the garden in the yard of ZZ’s house. It was surrounded by lantanna hedges that were 15 feet high. Monkeys in the trees but I didn’t see any birds. Beautiful place

I never knew much about Africa. I had it pictured as a country with a parched and dry landscape as far as you could see, and maybe one old gnarled, water starved tree with an elephant kicking up dust. In the last year, I have learned it is not that way at all. I have enjoyed seeing hundreds of pictures of Kenya with it’s lush and beautiful green countryside. It is on the equator but the elevation is 7,000 feet so it is cool, green and wet. There are small gardens everywhere with maize, tomatoes, greens and all kinds of fruits growing. The city of Kitale is in the eastern part of Kenya and has a golf course, modern hotels, large banks, supermarkets and then the unique market places on the streets that sell all kinds of produce. It is much like parts of Mexico.  My heart has been over there with someone I love very much. She is my sweet ZZ and home for two months while she renews her visa. This is the good time!

Scarecrows

here she is in her last stages, she held up for years, guarding the garden and entertaining the deer

This is Miss Lilla, our scarecrow. She guarded our garden for many years, as you can see, she was just about finished. She had a sister Sarah who took care of the garden at the river. She faired much better, she went to the barn in the winter time. They were both life size dolls who wore size 8 clothes. Several times they got new outfits but the shoes held up for all those years. Miss Lilla’s arms would swing in the wind and when my neighbor drove down the road, she said she always waved back. It made me sad when I finally put them to rest, I felt like I was loosing an old friend. One of these days I will start over and make a new one, they were sculptured out of flesh colored sheer nylon fabric, with real wigs and stuffed with plastic bags filled with newspaper. It worked. The deer stayed out of the garden for a short time, until they caught on~

High Fashion Doll

her dress is peach velvet and organza, she has petty coats and pantaloons, Billy and I always enjoyed doing projects together~

This is a fashion doll or dresser doll. Billy had a catalog of china dolls, painted or unpainted, you could just buy heads, hands and feet and make your own doll.  We both ordered something. Mine was just the parts, unpainted and there was a pattern for the body.  

when you are working with a doll you get to know them, by the time you are done, you have bonded~

I used my oil paints to paint her features and hair color like I wanted. It was fun putting her together and then making her dress. This doll is over 40 years old. When I was a little girl, there was a lady who lived across the street from my grandparent’s in San Angelo. Her name was Mrs. Bellings and I got to go to her house often. She had a beautiful fashion doll in her bedroom on the night table and  I never got tired of looking at it. She didn’t have any children but had a niece and we played together. ‘Nancy Ruth’ told me that her aunt said someday that doll would be hers. (I have a feeling that everything her aunt owned was going to be hers). Anyway, when Billy showed me her catalog, I was excited to make a doll and tried to copy the one Mrs. Bellings had, as I remembered it.  It took a while to make her, she had pantaloons, petty coats, and the dress had handmade roses. What a fun project, I enjoyed doing things with Billy, we had a lot in common, we both liked handwork.  And I certainly remember Mrs. Bellings, she was a petite woman with red hair, and a sweet voice, her husband was a happy man who always sat in his big chair and was bald headed. I hope Nancy Ruth got that beautiful doll.

Christmas Picture

The three of us on our way to church. Elizabeth was six years old.

The three of us on our way to church. Elizabeth was six years old.

 Another re-run from five years ago. I was packing my bags, getting ready to go half way around the world to spend Christmas with ZZ in Kenya. I was beyond happy! I never get tired of Christmas stories and remembering exciting times.

I bought this tree at Hobby Lobby and it was easy to put up and decorate, I was even able to get it back in the big box . I never imagined  I could settle for an artificial tree, I liked it though

I bought this tree at Hobby Lobby and it was easy to put up and decorate, I was even able to get it back in the big box . I never imagined I could settle for an artificial tree, I liked it though

Our family has almost always been able to be together for Christmas, it goes  on for  a week or more, some of it here and some in San Angelo. Our times together were always a special blessing for me and Dan. There was a lot of visiting, eating great meals and music. This picture is one someone took just as we were leaving for church one morning and I didn’t see it until everyone had gone home and later I had the film developed. Most of our pictures were on video and I enjoyed watching those and reliving the fun of our Christmas but this is the one I liked the most. ZZ stayed with us another week or two after the others went home, that is when we got down to serious fun. Then I would load her up with Little Sweet, Spook and Blue Boy and we would head out for New Mexico.

Thank you Lord Jesus for being in our lives. Merry Christmas to all~

Deviled Eggs

this is a popular dish at pot-lucks, usually several people bring them and everyone likes them. I make them to keep in the refrigerator to enjoy for several days. These today are from a dinner at Debbie’s not long ago.

Living in a small town in West Texas, we will use any excuse to have  get-togethers. The church is a big part of our lives and we like to have pot luck dinners often. Everything is homemade and delicious. There are always wonderful vegetables dishes, can you imagine five different kinds of squash dishes~beautiful salads, and always hot rolls. We usually have a smoked brisket from HEB and that is the only thing bought-and-brought, the rest of the meal is built around this. The dessert table will have everything from cherry cheese cake, to pies and cobblers, and cookies, everyone brings their favorite recipe. ( the Women of the Church published a cookbook a few years ago ‘Passed and Present 1903-2003′. First Presbyterian Church of Eldorado, Texas) The dinning tables are covered with linen cloths and there will be a beautiful centerpiece on each table. We make dinners for family funerals, or when the kids graduate from school, Thanksgiving and Christmas, then dinners for no special reason. There are big hamburger picnics at ‘Church on the Waters’ at Clear Creek on the Powell Ranch to end the summer. (sometime a baptism too) When it is announced that we are having a pot luck luncheon, I get my ire up, it is not a luncheon, it is a full fledged dinner. Eldorado has the finest cooks in the world, we celebrate every occasion with our very best. And as always “Thank You Lord for our church family”.

Today I have a simple recipe for deviled eggs, you will find them at every dinner. They are one of the most popular dishes.
Deviled Eggs
Hard boil 6 or 8 eggs. It is best to use eggs after you have had
them for a couple of weeks, too fresh eggs are hard to peel.
Cover eggs with cold water and bring to a good rolling boil, then 
put the lid on pan, turn off burner and let the eggs sit in the hot
water for about 15 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water to cool.
In the meantime, you can  chop  pickles and onions, mix in with
mayonnaise, mustard and seasoning.
2 T finely chopped sweet pickles
3 T chopped onions
4 T mayonnaise
2 T mustard
small pinch of celery seeds
pinch of salt
Crack eggs and remove shell, cut in halves (if you cut them slowly with a sharp knife, they won’t tear)
Mash the yolks on a plate with a fork until they are smooth.
Add everything together and load each egg with this stuffing. Be generous, even if you end up with a coupe of extra egg whites, it needs to be full and don’t smooth the tops.
You can sprinkle a tiny bit of paprika on top~