Pick a Pepper, Beck

After a few months of Arizona sunshine and daily water, our veggies are ready to eat.  For the past several mornings Jim has been treating us to his special scrambled egg concoctions, and…well…every day has been different.Yesterday’s entree was my favorite, so far. ( I say, so far because today’s breakfast is still in production.)

Yesterday we had leftover steak, peperonchini, chopped garlic and shredded mozzarella cheese melted on top. ( MMMM, yummy smells coming my way!)  Today’s fare is — mmmade (chewing) with our fresh Anaheim peppers — just picked! 

The eggs are almost as fresh as the peppers, by the way…our hens made them yesterday.

After a brief protest, Jim is now a fan of our 8 hens.  I’ll bet you can guess why?                                                                                                                     He even has a favorite hen.  Her name is Poor Little Matilda; “Poor,” because Jim felt sorry for her when she was “welcomed”  picked on, by the flock.

That’s Jim for ya —  always looking out for the underchick!

I’m calling this morning’s scrumptious recipe:

Jim and Matilda’s Fresh Anaheim Pepper Eggs: 

4.75 Fresh eggs (he spilled a little)

1 Medium Anaheim pepper, chopped (Jim used 1/2 green 1/2 ripe for color)

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

Some leftover steak, chopped

A few slices of golden, Greek peperoncini (optional) Jim likes spicy.

A sprinkling of shredded mozzarella cheese

Sea salt and fresh pepper

As you can clearly see, 3.75 of the eggs ended up on Jim’s plate. (That’s okay, Jim you’ve got a busy day ahead.)

For me, the best part of this morning’s breakfast was that all I needed to do was pick a pepper, clean-up and compost the eggshells.

{For more interesting stories about growing things to eat,  visit here: }

Step into Our Garden; Peek into Our Lives

Step into our garden.

There are places to relax, enjoy company, grow beautiful flowers, vegetables, herbs, trees and grass.

In our garden everything slows to the pace of a dove building her nest…

… chickens lay eggs for breakfast

…and little feet run through sprinklers.

Our garden is a home for school and for weddings, pets, grilling steak, and reading novels.

This is our garden, the fruit of our passion, our art and our business.
















Growing Spaces in New Places

I’ve been seeking ways to add edibles to our landscape.  Last year we added a pot garden to an unused space at the back of our patio where we grew herbs, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and peppers.  Jim linked the pots into our garden drip irrigation line to help with the watering chore, because in the summer our pots need a timely, daily drink.

This week I decided to use several fifteen gallon pots that were leftover from planting trees for clients to expand our growing space.  But I don’t like ugly black pots on the patio.  So I let my frugal wheels turn in their typical Better-Homes-and-Gardens-kind of-fashion, with a Mother Earth twist.

Put a shovel, dirt and some green in front of me and I can easily make something  pretty; fabric? – not so easy.  But I faced the task with stubborn, frugal courage. Armed with a staple gun, scissors and string, I was able to dress my pots in coarse and thrifty burlap gowns. It was a daunting and painful task, bending over my workspace in the hot sun, wrestling with my vase-shaped dress-forms.  I have a few puncture wounds to prove my courageous tangle with pot-dressing.

In the end, however, it was worth the effort and the pain.

I have expanded our ability to produce herbs and veggies in a space that was previously underdeveloped.  This year, we are growing three varieties of tomato:  Early Girl, Sweet 100, and Cherry.  We are growing three kinds of pepper: Jalapeño, Anaheim, and Golden California Wonder. I am trying Sugar Ann Snap Peas, using dried yucca stalks for support.  We also have a crop of lettuce, reddish, spinach, garlic, and Swiss chard, as well as several kinds of herbs: mint, rosemary, lemon balm, basil, cilantro, parsley and chive.

A few pots still host flowers, like our lush, red geranium, because flowers sprinkle the landscape with color.  And the marigolds I tucked in with our veggies also help to ward off bugs.

Living behind a 30 foot span of tall, white Oleanders, we have a flock of healthy hens who add to our landscape and our food-scape in several ways.  Yesterday, while planting my new “burlappy” pots, I let some of them out to play with me.  The chickens benefit from the new pot garden, too.  I use herbs in their nest boxes and feed them clippings and spent flowers. And, pretty girls that they are, they like to pose for the camera.

I am looking forward to the crops that our new pot garden will produce.  And in the meantime, I am enjoying the beautiful array of shapes and colors that decorate our patio.  I hope you consider squeezing a pot or two, or more, into your corner of the world.

Happy Growing!











Here are a few highlights of what my word of the year: STEP, and my project of the year: 365 photos have produced.

…interesting photos

… eggs to share with others

…making art and onions from stuff I used to throw away

…enjoying my oldest hobby

…developing our Facebook page

…combining new enterprises with the tried and true

…viewing life from the eyes of a 3yr old

…looking at things in new ways through the lens of a camera

…remembering to give credit to God for the MANY and varied blessings in my life

…boring and/or delighting my peeps with photos of  eggs

…sneaking pics of Jim

…learning about some of the “old ways”

… like, making bone broth and preserving herbs

…decorating the chicken’s house

…catching rainbows with  grandchildren, while making fond memories.

Last evening I told Jim that I don’t deserve to be having so much FUN…

It’s true, I don’t deserve anything —  every perfect gift that comes to me from God is a blessing …not a reward.

What a JOY life is when  taking steps with God, enjoying his creation…

… and playing with his children!



Going the Distance, Backward

Hold on, just a minute!  Before you throw that orange peel, onion skin or dryer lint in the trash…or the vacuum dust, or the eggshells, the bbq ash, or the spaghetti sauce jar — does it belong there?  Are you sure?  I have learned the answer is often NO!

I used to throw all these items into a plastic bag, together with all the other “useless” stuff I needed to discard — to keep things clean and orderly — and so does most of our society!  In fact, that is one reason we live longer than the previous generation. We throw trash away and keep things clean.  We go to the store and get new stuff.Right?Yes, right!  That’s because most of us grew up that way. My generation had everything we needed and most of what we wanted.  Until recently, when we discovered the truth expressed by the word UN-sustainable.  (No, I am not writing on a political theme, here; at least I don’t think I am.)

It’s simply that I’ve rediscovered a few of the old ways.  I started to toss kitchen scraps into a container under the sink, instead of stuffing it down the disposal. Dryer lint is collected in a rescued container that sits on top of our dryer; and all of these items are turned into food (compost) for my garden and Kelly’s garden as well.

Look what I’m doing with toilet paper rolls today.

Newspapers now go to a recycle bin, along with cardboard, office paper, soup cans, and plastic containers of all kinds. Glass!…I’m having a lot of trouble throwing away glass.

A few weeks ago, I was rinsing out one of three Classico spaghetti sauce jars after a big family dinner, when I noticed that the manufacturer had gone to the trouble to mark the jar in 4 ounce increments!  Can you think of other uses for this jar? (above) I can.  When I told Rachel, she said, “Great, I use 4 a week, you may have them.”  Four a week, I’m not sure I am able to re-purpose 208 of these!  Many could end up in the recycle bin to be made into more glass.  Who knows, though?  I might just learn to can this year and use them all!

I now tuck lettuce into the flower bed.

Since we began to make compost, and recycle, we have significantly reduced our trash. We used to take out one or two tall kitchen bags daily; now it might only be a weekly thing.   I jam plastic shopping bags into a pretty tote in our car trunk and drop them off monthly in one of many recycle bins available at most stores that use them.  Want to see our trunk?

I’m taking these magazines to the used bookstore to trade for great books.

There is a real opportunity in trash.  Making use of stuff we used to throw away is the new, new!  People are re-discovering the old ways of making use of what is available to supply what is needed.  Some people are turning trash into beautiful objects, others are turning it into new business ventures.  The old English proverb, “Waste not, want not” has endured for a reason.  The stuff that meets our need is all around us.  At least that is what I’m discovering as I learn how to waste less.

My word of the year is “STEP”…I’m taking some more steps backward to see what else I find.  Will you join me?

Check out a few of these links to see what I’m talking about.  We Upcycle , Thrifty and Chic,Homework, today’s assignment: be inspired!    But before you go…take a look at what I did with old calendars and fabric.

I just HAD to  fit my new passion into this post.  Raising hens, now 7 is such a joy.  Oh and guess what they give me back?

Photo ops!

Now go check out what some other people are doing. And have an eggcelent time!


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Jim’s Landscape Service, LLC is a locally owned and operated business offering residential and commercial landscape maintenance services, irrigation service, lawn and plant services, storm damage repairs, and landscape lighting. The mission of Jim’s Landscape Service, LLC is to provide quality landscape services to the Tucson community with excellence, integrity, and respect. We provide commercial and residential landscape services for homeowners, real estate and investment property landscape maintenance, winter home property maintenance and homeowners association community property maintenance. Jim’s Landscape Service, LLC serves the Northwest Tucson, Marana, and Oro Valley areas