The Anticlimactic Apple and Other Stories

After all our waiting and patience and hope for being able to pick our one beautiful apple off the tree, it fell.  It fell right off the doggone tree like the other one.  This particular kind of apple was described as late to ripen, so we thought it wouldn’t be ready to pick from the tree until October.  So, when we walked by the tree and did not see our coveted apple, we were sad.  We found it – a little banged up from the fall, and brought it in the house.  The apple was put in a place of honor, which was coincidentally high enough to avoid any unfortunate tasting events.  


By the time we trimmed off the bad spots, we had five little slices.  They were really good little slices – sweet and crispy.  Maybe next year, we’ll double our crop and have four apples.

In other news, as promised, Mr. Fifty Shades began a new project.  Last year, he laid outdoor carpeting on our screened in porch.  It looked really great…for a few months – until the first rain and snow occurred and boots and doggie paws put a real hurt on that carpet.  Then, one day Sage heard some tweets coming from below the carpet.  The sound drove her into a tizzy and she began to dig with all her heart to get to the tweets (little birds building a nest).  So, in addition to dirty carpet, there was also a hole in the middle of it.  We decided to install vinyl plank flooring.  

It is so easy to do!  Really a cinch.

First, you tear out the old carpet.  Sorry – no pictures, but you are not missing much.

Then, you put down Hardieboard.  20150902_192240


Next, you tape all the edges and make chalk lines so you know where to put the planks.


You start installing the planks, but decide that you need to put down another type of backing to support the planks. So you remove all the planks you’ve placed and put down the orange backing.  Then, when things still aren’t working right, you figure out the installation instructions have it backwards, which is what is causing the problem.  

So – you tear it out again and start over. 

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See how easy?  

When you get done, sit back, admire, and have a coffee break with your best buddy.


We have noticed that this flooring has a peculiar design flaw.  Within minutes of cleaning, doggie paw prints occur. Hmmm….

As you can see, from the picture above, we still have lots of tomatoes.  We’ve experimented with another way to preserve them – dehydrating.

Here are six trays of small paste tomatoes.


Six hours later…


The flavor is really intense.  We put them in the freezer and will pull them out for soups and stews throughout the year.

Next week, we are looking forward to fall weather – with low’s in the 40’s and 50’s.

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team




Optimism and Realism

I think that anyone who plants a garden must be an optimist at heart.  To plant little seeds and expect them to grow into fruits and vegetables – it seems impossible – and yet, we plant them and watch what happens.  Here are recent photos of some of the seeds we’ve planted and nurtured that we are looking forward to eating in a month or two:

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Red Okra


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Yukon Gold White Potatoes (our niece helped us put these in the ground last month and they are looking great!)

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Peas (Calico Crowders and Big Red Rippers)

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Tomatoes (we’ve planted nine different kinds this year)

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Yellow Squash

Optimism will only go so far, though…and that is when a dose of realism is necessary.  For example,

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Sweet Potatoes

…these sweet potatoes were planted after onion seeds failed to emerge.  The sweet potatoes are looking great (hey – sure hope they don’t taste like onions!).

We spend a lot of time just walking around our garden area, staring intently at the individual plants as if that might help them to grow faster.  We’ll let you know if it does.

In addition to the garden, Mr. Fifty Shades is making headway on the deck project which started out as a small deck outside our back door and will eventually be almost the width of the house.

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Original part of the deck

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Extended deck, attached to original

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More deck infrastructure

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Until next time….

Optimistically Yours,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres!




Fog and Sun

A few days ago, it looked like this…

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So – yesterday, when we walked out and it looked like this…

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 We did this..  

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And, then we got to work on this…


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North deck project

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North deck project

I helped to drill in some screws and as a result please add approximately 52.5 hours more to the estimated completion date of the project.