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

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

Progress on the Moving Process Washington to California 


So things are coming along quite well. Not to say there haven’t been bumps along the way, there has been. Today our house in Washington closed, officially. Yay!

Packing is nearly done and we now have a U-Haul until Sunday. I’m hoping this week we will be attending church in Fairfield at Liberty Church for a second time. I really enjoyed the sermon and worship last time we went. The spirit was in the house.


Unfortunately I pinched a nerve in my neck but it seems to be healing some. Ouchy. What bad timing I always seem to have?! Perhaps it’s just stress. So I try to take a deep breath and slow down my heart.

Perhaps I’ll go draw some more. That always helps. I’ve been taking a bath everyday too since I hurt my neck. The warm water soothes the tension. Taking care of yourself is a very important part of moving!


I’ve made significant progress in the editing stage of my book. As far as spelling and grammar goes I do believe I am nearly there. I have sent out a few copies to friends and family for test reading already as well. The best word I could use to describe it is, “intense.” Looking forward I hope to receive some feedback on my work.


I captured this sequence over the course of my orchids bloom life. I love watching the circle of life unfolding before my eyes. If cared for properly this plant will continue to send up spikes of blooms for many years to come. I hope she survives the move. If they do all the plants will love the extra sunshine!

My neighbor guy gave me these beautiful lilacs. They smell so fragrantly! Maybe I will put a few flowers in my bath. I gifted him these bright sunny daffodils in return. I took pictures over the course of the bloom opening.

 Overall I have many mixed feelings about moving. As much as I’m scared and anxious I am also excited. It will be interesting to see what the next stage in life will bring. I pray to “Make new friends but keep the old ones. One is silver and the other is gold.” Also I pray that God will watch after us on our journey. I am so emotional today but I’m sure everything will be ok. Thankfully my hubby understands me so well, otherwise he might have decided to leave without me! Haha. Anyways, here is to new adventures! 🍸

-Dominique Barrentine

Barrentinedominique@gmail.com

Random Update on my Colorful Primroses 

  
I don’t know if you remember how small these plants were when I first got them but they sure have grown since then. These have been wonderful flowers and I plan on getting more but I will leave these primroses for the new owners of our house as a gift. So when the new owners of our house move in they will have beautiful primroses on the patios. 

   
    
 
-Dominique Barrentine 

The condition of my house plants

Recently I have been very worried about the condition of my house plants. Especially with the move coming up, I was concerned that some of them might not make it. I was right. After one of my house plants died recently I decided to do a full inspection; perhaps I could save some lives.

My wandering Jew appeared very weak last week when I took its pictures and wrote a blog post on it. Originally it lived on the windowsill in the living room. But while we staged the house all of the house plants went into the laundry room. My husband once joked about how the laundry room was where plants go to die. Somehow he was right, it seems like since last summer every time I put a plant in the laundry room it died, especially green healthy leafy plants.

Last year when I grew tomatoes and various other plants in my laundry room we had an outbreak of spider mites. Upon further inspection I noticed not only spider mites but some kind of small caterpillars had taken residence in my wandering Jew. Oy vey! I was going to have to try to eradicate this pesky little buggy once and for all.

I quickly got to work pulling all of the plants out of the laundry room. I started with my spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum. She had given birth to a baby plant!  

Check out that adorable little ariel plant hanging on. Mama is ready for a new pot too! These plants were gifted to me from my Mama Niki. Thanks for the gift that just keeps giving. My wandering Jew is also made from cuttings of your plant just last year! 

These plants are so hearty and they grow so fast. The mama spider plant wants a bigger pot. After cutting off the baby (scroll down.) I gave the mother plant a deep soaking. The water helps soften the roots for re potting. 

  
Next I pulled her out of the confining little blue pot. I could tell she was ready because the roots were coming out of the hole in the bottom. Once I got her out you can see she was root locked so badly that she couldn’t grow any more. That is why she made a baby! 

  
Nice root structure lady! I loosened up the roots some, very delicately separating some of the larger ones. I realized this plant wasn’t just one plant but a few more babies had formed beside the mother and grown up along beside her. Check it out! 

  
If I wanted to separate these into three different plants I could. But with the move I think it would be best to save that for another day. Instead I plant her in a nice green pot with fresh potting soil. I left a good lip to protect her in the car during our move to California in a few weeks. 

  
  
Her new pot looks great with the leaves. Here she is back on the little table with water, fresh soil, light and love. That’s what makes plants grow! 

  
Aww little baby spider plant. It was just barely big enough to be cut and planted. I feel like the plant midwife. 

  
Cut the “umbilical cord” as I like to call it, as close to the Mama as possible. Some people cut in other places this is just how I did it. A segment of the stem should always be left on. 

  
If you look carefully at this photo you can see the ariel rootlets. I cut mine between my ring finger and my middle finger. Planting those under the soil will develop quickly into the baby plants first real roots! 

  
Now for the bad news, the wandering Jew got slashed. She was so infested with spider mites I decided I had to cut out the majority of the plant. Upon visual inspection there were so many little bugs that are almost invisible to the naked eye, living on the leaves. Every leaf that had a spider or caterpillar on it, or even an injury for them to hide in, got cut off of the plant. I am sorry to say the wandering Jew is much smaller now. Pray that it lives!

  
This plant will be watched carefully for the next two weeks for any sign of bugs. If it is still infected by the time we move I will be forced to put it out of its misery. I also took a few cuttings from it and put them in water on the windowsill. I am hoping to start a new plant. Who knows maybe they will all live?

  
The rest of the plants seem to be safe for now. I brought them all out of the laundry room and placed them around the house. They seem to be doing much better. I’m sure the cactuses and the aloe Vera will be happy in California. 

  
Here are my baby orchids along with the baby spider plant on the windowsill above the sink in the kitchen. I’m surprised I haven’t killed any of them.

  
I have two other surviving orchids, and two bamboo plants. One of which the largest bamboo plant I got from my brother. The orchid in the pink pot was the very first orchid I ever received. I’m shocked it’s not dead. 

  
On the contrary it seems to be doing quite well. I must get my green thumb from my father, thanks dad.

  
 
I also have two little Christmas cactuses. When they are in full bloom one has red flowers and the other has got pink flowers. The hot pink one even has a couple buds on it now. 
  

Last but not least are my aloe vera. I started this aloe vera in the apartment Alan and I shared when we first started dating. It was only one tiny little piece of a thing and now look at it! I have taking out numerous babies and given them to all sorts of people and they just do this. The aloe vera that keeps multiplying!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my plant collection. Please feel free to leave your comments below, or email me directly at Barrentinedominique@gmail.com 

-Dominique Barrentine 

My “Wandering Jew” 

This is my “Wandering Jew,” otherwise known as Tradescantia fluminensis, or small leaf spider plant.  

 
It seems to be stressed out about the move, and fairly tired of the dark gloomy days of the Pacific Northwest. The leaves are showing some serious damage. 

   
 I’m not sure exactly what is going on. I think these dead spots will be pruned out today. Then after the move I will propagate this mama plant into babies. 

I just read an excellent blog post about where this plant got its name.

 Plants are the Strangest People Blogspot

Not only does the author tell this hilarious (but totally fictional) story of Jesus cursing some Jewish  fellow to wander the earth until Chists return, but she also adds fun facts about this much beloved house plant. 

I would love to get some different varieties of this plant at some point. Looking at pictures I dedided the next one is going to be a Tradescantia Zebrina which has purple leaves and flowers more frequently. My little green Tradescantia has yet to bloom but believe it or not this plant is less than a year old!

The “Wandering Jew” is a hearty and fast growing houseplant. So far it seems very difficult to kill. I do think it will survive the trip nicely. 

I can only bring my house plants and 1 rose in the truck to California. They don’t allow outside plants with native soils and bugs for fear of contaminating the nation’s farmlands. Most of our food comes from California. I would hate to accidentally introduce apple maggots or something wild. 

I would love to hear your comments on the Tradescantia Flueminensis. Do you like the name “Wandering Jew?” Would you prefer a different variety? If you have one of these plants I’d love to see pictures. What varieties do you have? And does anyone know exactly what is going on with these leaves?  

 
-Dominique Barrentine