A Brand New Gardener

Ponderings of My Predicaments The Great Yellow Jacket Escape

So as I said in my earlier post today, this year I am a brand new gardener!  Most of my friends have gardened way before the age I am now, but I never had anyone teach me when I was growing up.  My mom gardened a little but just as her answer to her teaching me how to can, she’d say, “I don’t have the patience to teach you.”  That was that.

However, with all the rising prices and all the discussions of the pesticides being sprayed on our produce and things being added to our food, (in addition to trying to avoid as many processed foods as I can). Check out how they are adding a coating called Apeel to a lot of the produce to make it look better. There are a lot of foods in the US that are banned from other countries!

I decided to try to grow as many of our own vegetables and fruit as I could.  I kept it small this year as I’m still learning.  I want to try a few different things next year and increase the size of the garden.

I started out by setting up some racks and grow lights in my dining room (that will change to probably the basement next year for sure…what a mess!), some plant heat mats for some of the and started seeds.  I watered and babied and hardened off those things for two and a half months till the last frost date arrived and they were ready to go outside. They were my little green babies 🙂

I didn’t think I would be able to garden the normal way with my bad knees and bad back.  However, after thinking a lot about it and putting my thinking cap on, I came up with an idea that I thought just might work.

I went to Menards and bought about 24 concrete blocks and took them home (in my mini van…yeah, that was interesting 🙂 )  Then I went back out and found some skids behind a garden center they were getting rid of and brought those home (again…an interesting activity, but hey, they were free).  I fit five of them in my van and took them home.  Then I went out and got five more on my way to pick up my son at school.

So after setting the skids up on the cement blocks (see picture below) I had a “platform” for containers to garden on.  This is the result to date:

elevated container garden

It works great because the skids have the open places between the slats and it lets water drain well after watering. (The right side has a cement block that’s cockeyed, but nothing is wrong with it.  I just bumped it with the lawn mower the other day 🙂 )

I also went to TSC and bought four 8-foot cattle panels and…yep, you guessed it -brought them home in my van  (again…that was fun but I did it) and some t-posts.  I turned those into two arch trellises (with the instructions from a YouTube video and another here) by myself (something really difficult to do by yourself, but I’m thankful for these videos. I’ll have to bend occasionally for these tomato plants, but as they grow up the trellis I won’t have to.

I have my indeterminate tomatoes, some cucumbers, and a few other things growing next to it and they are just starting to climb the trellis:

Cattle Panel Arch Trellises

I’m on a new weight loss journey, so all that work led to all that sweat which led to a lot of burned calories 🙂

I’ll hopefully get a few more bags of soil mix to top off some of the tomato plan pots, and there are a few that need transplanted to bigger pots so they have more room to grow.

I’ve spent HOURS and HOURS on YouTube learning how to garden. I have a LOT of gardening playlists categorized to find the videos easily.  YouTube is the widow’s friend 🙂


July 2024 Scripture Writing Plan -Freedom and Liberty

Hello everyone 🙂

This has been a super busy spring and beginning of summer here at my house.  I started my very first garden ever and have been busy out there getting it set up. It’s a container garden sat up on raised skids to work best with my bad knees and back (I’ll post about that here shortly).

I also began my weight loss efforts in great earnest (more about that to come).  The gardening work has been a great help in burning calories! 🙂

This month’s Scripture writing plan is a revisit of the one from July 2022.  I think it best that here in the states as we celebrate our Independence Day where we revere freedom and liberty (which we seem to be losing more and more each day…)  that we would do best to be reminded that only in CHRIST are we truly liberated and free!  Liberated from the curse of sin and death.  Liberated to be one with Christ and grow in Him daily!

I wish you all (no matter what part of the world you may be viewing this from) a very lovely Independence Day!


I’m so thankful that so many of you are enjoying and spiritually benefiting from these monthly scripture writing plans! I love putting them together for you knowing that you find them useful and uplifting! Use these passages to write out the scriptures and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Click on the image below to pull up the full-sized PDF file for printing –>

July 2024 Scripture Writing Plan HEADER

I usually print these out on 28 pound white paper (or 32 pound paper is even better) and just stick them right into my planner or journal. The heavier the paper, the less chance it will tear out of your binder or planner by accident and helps resist bleeding or ghosting from your pens or markers. It helps the page turn easier too.

For planner stickers, etc:  If you choose to print these out on full-size (letter) sticker paperI use these here. They’re priced great and you can write on them easily. They are good enough quality for my needs. If you want a top-quality sticker paper look for these or clear vinyl ones here. (Though not all pens or markers will write well on the clear ones). If you don’t want to use sticker paper, you can print them on card stock or regular printer paper and glue them down. Honestly, the sticker paper is the most economical  way, however for everyday planning stickers. Regardless of the type.

Going through a lot of ink printing out planner stickers? Do like I did and enlist in the HP Instant Ink program! I’ve saved so much money on ink since I did several years ago. They have different plans, but the one I’m in is the plan that lets me print up to 300 pages worth of ink for just over $11 per month. That’s regardless of the amount of ink on the page.  I love printing out pictures on photo paper.  I fit 4 4×6-inch photos on one sheet of photo paper.  Imagine the amount of photos you can print at four pages per one page and the cost is the same for a full page of photo ink as it is for one dot.  It goes by the page, not the amount of ink!  You can choose lesser pages for a lower rate, but I do a lot of printing between coupons, planner stickers and other things. Click on the image here to check it out! –>

HP Instant Ink