Sunday, September 2, 2018

Enjoying Panama City Beach, Florida

It has been a beautiful green Summertime here in Tallahassee.  We have had more rain than any time I can ever remember and we are still having gully-washers each afternoon, which are always associated with intense lightning and thunder.  

Schools began in our area a couple of weeks ago.  After checking to see that all of the grandkids were comfortably in a good routine in their individual schools we decided it would be a wonderful time to take off to Panama City Beach for a couple of days.

We were fortunate the rain did not follow us to Panama City Beach.  As you can see in the below photo on the day we arrived it was a completely beautiful day looking out over the Gulf of Mexico.


We like to stay at the Long Beach Resort, which has lots of windows 
where we can enjoy beautiful views of the beach and of the Gulf waters.
The below photo shows a section of kitchen, dining and living room all in one room.


And in the below photo we see the colorful bedroom which also has windows all across the back 
wall of the room,  providing a stunning view of the beach and water below.

If you would like to know more about Long Beach Resort you can click on the site below:



Panama City Beach has so many wonderful restaurants.  When we go to Panama City one of the fun things to do is choosing one of these great restaurants.  During this visit, we did not go to Captain Anderson's Restaurant, but we have gone there in the past and it is amazing.  They also have a fish market and gift shop.  As you can see in the photo below Captain Anderson's also offers boat cruises for guests to enjoy.

If you would like to know more about this restaurant you can click on the link below.



The first evening we were visiting the beach we decided to go to a restaurant that is located next to Captain Anderson's restaurant.  As you can see in the below photo it is called "The Grand Marlin."


If you would like to see more about this restaurant you can click on the link below:



We enjoyed this very nice seafood restaurant.  I snapped a photo of our "crab claw" appetizer, but we were enjoying our meal so much I forgot to take photos of the rest of our delicious dinner.


If you ever visit the Panama City Beach area here are a couple more of our favorite seafood restaurants.

http://www.shuckums.com/#/karaoke.html

http://bayoubills.com/menu/1948793

After our dinner at the charming Grand Marlin restaurant, we walked along the
pier to see some of the many fishing boats that were docked in this marina.



We later visited the very popular Pier Park section of Panama City Beach.  Across from the Park, there is a very long pier that extends way out into the Gulf as seen in the photo below.


As the day was coming to an end, we enjoyed the walk all the way to the end of the pier on this beautiful evening with the soft breezes blowing across the waters of the Gulf.

As you can see there were lots of folks out enjoying the evening.


Looking back toward the shoreline we see the last bit of sunlight
highlighting the huge clouds in the sky.


Everyone was enjoying watching this cute young dolphin swimming down below the pier.  He seemed to be enjoying himself.   As he swam down and under and up again, he appeared to be saying "hello" to everyone up on the pier.


As you can see in the photo below it was a beautiful evening with the peaceful blue waters and the lovely pink sky.  Lots of folks were on the pier to watch the sunset.  I brought my camera in hopes of being able to see the sunset before it went down into the clouds.  

So far so good ...

There it goes down, down

down


and down!

I love the soft glowing pinks and blues in the sky as we see the twilight of another lovely day.


We turned around from watching the sunset and saw this beautiful surprise
on the opposite side of the pier, as we looked back toward the shoreline ...



Could you ask for a more beautiful evening?



Looking down at the beach the next day,  it was about as beautiful as a day could possibly be.  The turquoise water was so calm that there was not even a wave at the shoreline.


And look who came for a visit.  He flew right up on the patio railing as
if he was stopping by to say "hello."


I was so hoping this little visitor would not fly away when I went inside to get my camera.  I quickly returned and he was still there, and even posed for the camera as you can see below.


And as seen below the sun is setting on another beautiful day.

I'm reminded of our Girl Scout days when we would all sing at the end of the day around the campfire:

“Day is done, Gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hill,
From the sky.
All is well, Safely rest,
God is nigh.”


Thinking of you and wishing you a Happy Labor Day weekend wherever you may be.




Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Growing Sweet Corn In The Garden

Hello Everyone.  I hope you are doing well these days and that you are having a good week.  Is Summer galloping along for you like it has been for us?  Hard to believe our local schools begin for the next school year in just one week.  We have enjoyed this summer with family, cook-outs, traveling and also working in my garden.

Our front yard filled with the green of Summertime.

And lots of summer green in the back yard looking down the hill.

  If you walk down the patio steps and turn to
the left, and walk down the lane we arrive at the vegetable garden.





Each year my husband takes the tractor and plows the garden getting ready for vegetable seed planting. Then in a week or so he plows again making sure the soil is tilled and ready for planting.  A couple of years ago he brought in a truckload of mushroom compost and then re-plowed in order to mix the compost thoroughly in with the soil.  Mushroom compost in our area is used for enriching the soil.

In the below photo you can see the very tall fence my husband designed in order to prevent the deer from getting into the garden.  Unfortunately, it does not keep the raccoons out.  I will share with you later on what we did to discourage all the other critters from getting in the garden.




Years ago I planted gladiolus bulbs in each corner of the garden.
The below photo shows one of the surviving plants blooming on the garden gate.



We are blessed to have a wonderful gardening store right in the heart of our downtown area.   This wonderful seed and feed store is what remains of the days when so many folks in our area had a farm or a garden and raised livestock.  Folks can still buy food for their horses, cattle, goats, chickens, dogs and rabbits.

They can also buy seeds to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs.  There are many other items available at this 100 year old store such as galvanized wash tubs and hand tools.

On our way into the store we pass by garden sprinklers, fertilizer spreaders, and pots for planting.



What I love about visiting here is you feel like you are stepping back in time by the timeless charm of this old building. 

As you enter you can see the wooden floors of this old store.  I have a feeling they are the original floors from when this store was first constructed back in 1915.  There was a big celebration a couple of years ago when Gramlings turned 100 years old.

In this photo you see the seed packets on each side of the entrance to the store.



And in the bottom photo we see more seeds to choose from located toward the back of the store.
This is where I come to find the seeds for my garden each year.





Below we see a view to the side of the entrance to Gramlings.   You can see the old tin roof.
It looks like it could be the original tin used on this old building.



My main reason for visiting is to find the "Sweet Corn" seeds that I LOVE to grow.  I usually find all the other seeds for the rest of the garden as well.  And, they also have a large selection of vegetable plants located in an outside section.

As you can see from the photo below you can purchase just a few 
seeds for your home garden or enough to plant acres.



There are many pecan trees growing in our area.  I thought it was
interesting to see this "Pecan Picker" available here also.



After purchasing sweet corn seeds from Gramlings,  I prepared the garden and planted six rows of the sweet corn seeds with the rows being about 20 feet long each.  In the below photo we see the rows of corn beginning to come up nicely.  The recommended spacing for the corn rows is about 36 inches apart.


Instructions say to plant corn seeds about 12 inches apart.  Looks like these seeds were planted a little closer than the instructions indicated.  They recommend thinning plants if too close together.  I did not do that this year, but really should because then there is room for each plant to adequately grow and pollinate.


There are other seeds planted in the garden as well.  There are
green beans, cucumbers, okra, squash and sunflower seeds.


Just as the sweet corn was coming up nicely we had a huge rain storm associated with strong winds.
As you can see all of the rows of corn were blown over almost flat on the ground.



My husband and I got busy and staked the corn back up as best as we could  We took heavy string and pulled the stalks of corn back up with support from the string tied to metal stakes on each end of each row as seen in the below photo.  By the next day the sunshine had helped the corn straighten up even more.

My husband reminded me we had a grocery store not too far away from us that sold delicious sweet corn.  I do know that, BUT,  to me it is the greatest pleasure placing that seed in the ground and watching the miracles happen even if it is a lot of work.


The below photo shows what the corn stalks look like when the pollination process is about to begin.  All of those little seed-like things open and spill pollen down over the corn that is beginning to grow.


As I understand the process each one of those white tassels
must be pollinated for the corn to grow completely.


We have had so much rain in our area I am sure the pollination process was not complete.


Each year the pesky raccoons find their way into the corn patch and help themselves.  This year I
happened to find a product at Walmart that looked like it was worth a try.




If you could take a whiff of this Repels-All you would immediately understand how it works.  The ingredients are eggs, garlic and some other bad smelling ingredients.  The smell itself is enough to keep anything out of the garden.  It just smells awful, but apparently is not harmful to plants or critters.



My husband found the spray shown in the below photo.  It too is a deterrent
for all the critters including raccoons because it smells so bad.



So of all things this year the critters did not get the corn as it ripened. However, due to all the rain the corn was not completely pollinated and the whole corn cob did not fill in completely.


They say that when the corn tassels at the top turn brown it is time to pick the corn.
So I got busy and picked every one I could find.


Since all of the corn tassels apparently had not completely pollinated the entire cob did not fill in.
As you can see, only about one-third of the cob filled in with corn kernels.

Someone told me you can drop the corn in boiling water for one minute and then
it is ready to go into the freezer to be cooked at different times.



So even though the corn did not turn out perfect,  at least this year the varmints did not pick it before we could.    The little corn cobs are now all frozen in the freezer waiting to be enjoyed.  I do wonder how the farmers are so successful growing the beautiful corn we see in the grocery store .... More power to them!



I do hope you are enjoying this lovely Summertime.  Wishing 
you many blessings wherever you may be.