Garden Update and Progress 

Hey blog people! It’s been a bit since I posted but you know… Real life… So I thought I would give a little update on the garden and progress here in our new home.

I’ve always had good luck with growing tomatoes. Which is a very nice treat because I happen to love tomatoes as does my dear hubby. I have five different kinds of heirloom tomatoes growing right now and all of them have given at least some fruit so far. More to come! Way more.

The cucumbers turned yellow… Which I think maybe is supposed to happen… I’m guessing they might be a special kind of cucumber… This was my first try with them and I will be planting more in the shade next time with something to grow into.


My melon seeds took off and are growing all over the place. I planted cantaloupe, honeydew, and I believe there is a watermelon somewhere… We will find out. Lots of flowers so far!


Corn and beans did well here. Peas did not. Each pea plant that survived gave me one pea pod filled with the whimiest peas I’ve ever seen. I think they got too much sun. Gonna plant more soon. The beans did great and are delicious. Still making beans. Corn is coming along. The bottom corn is regular heirloom sweet corn the top is rainbow corn from last Halloween. Excited to see what we get from these.


Here is my pumpkin plant which has made dozens of flowers and keeps getting bigger. I’m praying for at least a couple before Halloween so I can carve them with my kid friends. If not I’ll just have to buy some.


The Aloe Vera that I brought from Washington almost died but it seems to be acclimatizing now. At first they turned black and shriveled up. Now they are perky and green again. Yay! I love Aloe.

Some of the herbs survived the scorching temps and sunshine. A little parsley, basil, dill, mustard, savory, tiny bit of oregano and lots of chives. I’ll be planting more as soon as we stop hitting 100 degrees. Herbs don’t like that. I also look forward to doing more inside once I finish painting, decorating, and organizing the home.


Don’t worry I watered these peppers right after I took this picture. I realized they were thirsty. A few tiny buds are forming. Looking forward to them.


And lastly here are the cats on their first days in the yard respectively. Sir Charles earned his first because he is a good cat. He went out yesterday and loves it. Princess Boo kitty came out this morning and feels the same. I hadn’t let them out since we moved from Olympia (years ago now) because I was afraid if they left the yard they would get hurt or lost. I told them here that as long as they stay in the yard we are good. The first time one gets the wise idea to jump the fence that will be the end of outside privileges. Sometimes I feel like the cat jailer but at least they aren’t pancakes…

Anyways hope everyone is having a beautiful day. Thanks for reading! God Bless you all and keep you in his heart no matter what for ever and ever in Jesus Name! 💙

-Dominique Barrentine

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Californian Flowers Walking Dog in the Sunshine

Walking Oy in the sunshine is one of my new favorite things. I recently started trading artist cards so I needed to walk down to the mailbox. So I leashed up my little Chihuahua and we went for a nice walk. Just because it’s nearly 100 degrees outside we aren’t going to stop having fun. So we enjoyed a leisurely pace and saw some lovely Oleanders along the way. I have one happy little hot dog now! 
White, Red and Pink Oleander seems to be constantly blooming around here. It has always been one of my favorite flowers. I find the delicate beauty mixed with its toxic nature to be balanced well. Even when the lovely blooms fade these delicious (or not so) green foliage is pretty to look at year round. Just don’t let your kids or pets eat it and you should be fine! 

-Dominique Barrentine

Ps: if you like emotional stories about strong creative females check out the book, “White Oleander,” one of my all time favorites. 

Herbs to brew into Immune Boosting tea


We all feel a little ill every now and then. Often times we get sick from “germs” which are bacteria, viruses, and other particulates floating around us all the time. Depending on your exposure and how well your unique immune system is working will determine whether or not you get sick. Some people have better immune systems then others. 


Most people know there are ways to boost your immune system. Plan ahead when you know exposesure is likely, such as when teaching children or traveling. It is a good idea to improve immunity. Some people take flu shots (introducing the germ into the system) others use vitamins or powdered products targeted at raising your immune system. You probably think of vitamin C first…


Vitamin C is an excellent immune booster and helps with many functions in our bodies. It is important that we always get lots of this vitamin through eating things like fresh fruit and vegetables where they are most easily digested. When we consume the food raw it contains the most nutrition and unlike supplements it is %100 natural. Fruit and vegetables are so very important. 


There are other ways to get natural vitmins as well, such as herbal teas. I love brewing my own teas with herbs I collect specificly as a medicine cabinet. My cupboard has many immune boosting herbs that I mix together when I’m feeling under the weather. 


Here is a short list of the herbs I’m going to use now. I think I might be a little sick so I’ll make some tea! 

  • Parsley Leaf
  • Raspberry Leaf
  • Dandelion Leaf
  • Red Clover Flower
  • Nettle Leaf
  • Hibiscus Flower
  • Lemon Balm

Also try marshmallow root, dandelion root, parsley root, and slippery elm if you have already have a sore throat. 

Any of these herbs can be used alone or in combination with the others for a Super Vitamin C boost from nature. Personally I’m going to take a pinch of each, put it into a strainer, pour boiling water over and cover for five minutes. Then I like to taste the brew. If it tastes too strong or bitter I add a generous SQUEEEEze of agave or local honey (which helps cure allergies, especially pollen) to sweeten to taste. 


Now rest + tea = healthy

So I’m going to drink this and take a nap… Maybe even a bath with those rose petals left over from my anniversary. Nothing calms me better then a warm bath. Remember stress reduces the immune system and the whole body’s ability to function properly. 

I hope this helps someone looking to use more herbs in their life. Enjoy this natural remedy for general health. I’m not a doctor, of course this isn’t medical advise, but Thank God for the Plants and Animals ❤️🐸🌱🍊🌿🐝💤

-Dominique Barrentine