In the garden-January is a messy month.

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Okay, my garden is a mess and not a little mess either. This month has had moments of cold(Arizona cold that is) and at the beginning of the month everything was wet from the rain we got for Christmas. In Arizona it’s always a nice change when we get rain, but we are so spoiled here that after two or three days of what we think is cold, we start complaining.

I still have broken things in my garden to clean up. I don’t even know how this got broken. My mother-in-law pointed it out to me one day when she was in my back garden area. I just scooted it together and said I will get to it later. That was on Christmas day. Since then I have been too busy trying to finish our Master bedroom remake we started before December.Between that and Christmas we just haven’t been out in the garden much. Plus, off and on we have been having rainy days so it’s a bit grey out there.

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So what does a garden in Phoenix Arizona look like during January, well, not so great. At least our garden doesn’t because we have to do everything ourselves.If you come here on vacation during January and stay at one of our city resorts then you will see beautiful gardens every morning. We don’t live in a resort though, although my husband would disagree because when he steps outside he always smiles and says “We live in a resort, how did this happen” and I always laugh because he really doesn’t see the negative things in our yard, only all that life. Let me tell you something about having chickens, those little critters are messy creatures. To be honest I don’t see the mess as much as others either until someone points it out. Just wanted to share with you all that we are human here too and things all around us are not Instagram ready. I, like everyone else, does not live in a magazine.

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Here’s how it works in January with our garden. With the cold weather in the evenings, we have to bring everything in. Then when the sun is up, we take everything out for some sun therapy. And once the sun starts going down , we bring them back in. We could leave everything outside covered in sheets but we do a combination of both. Not all of our plants need to be covered when it gets cold but some do. At the moment we are not having any freezing nights but we do get them.

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Our Arizona room is a tad bit crowded when this happens. Plus, it is getting filled with items my husband finds at an auction he discovered here in the city. He was having so much fun that he had to take a break for awhile, not that we are getting too crowded, yet that is, but it was going to happen if he didn’t take a break. See that copper sink in the photo below, well my husband bought it at the auction for $26. He said it’s for the adobe he wants to build someday. Copper sinks are not cheap, even here in Arizona where we have access to lots of copper.

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Our baby chicks got huge and fast.

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My husband won this little chicken house at the auction for $10, which seems to be his price limit. I think he is just as surprised as me when he actually gets the item for the highest he will bid.

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We move our chickens around so we can use the area they used to live in as a garden. Chickens make great soil. This photo of our chicken house already needs a good cleaning after a few days. We move it around the yard to different locations. 

It was brand new in the box. They said there was a piece missing but it turned out to have an extra piece instead. This is an Amazon (returned item) auction that my husband is getting these screaming deals from. Normally these cute little chicken houses run around $170-$200. It is so funny to me when he comes home from the auction with a box of who knows what and then he puts it together to show me the treasures he has found. Now the little chicks are inside there until we transfer them to the larger coop.


The other chickens are doing okay. They have a much bigger coop and they also go out during the day to roam around.

My son and husband have started hydroponics to grow their tomatoes. Tomatoes are the hardest things to grow here and that is why they decided to try growing them inside this way.

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We got one little lemon on one of our trees. We are still waiting for our other fruit trees. We need to figure out where we are going to plant them. That will be a challenge. I will let you all know how that turns out in our update for February. Some crazy rules we have to follow when it comes to seeds, we can’t sell seeds unless we can prove they are not copyrighted…someone, anyone, please explain how you prove where a seed came from, seriously?, this is getting out of control. A little sarcasm here but I guess a good way to tell if a seed has a copyright is to see if you get a second generation from their seeds and if and when it doesn’t grow…well there you have it, a seed that produces a plant that no longer produces again, that just tells me that there are some mad scientists out there creating some pretty freaky things so it must be one of those copyrighted seeds. Anyway, paranoia or not, just start collecting local seeds from your area that produce. Share those seeds and plants with your neighbors and friends. Encourage others to add more life to this planet.Even if you live in a big city, buy a pot and grow something.

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We lost some plants, but that is January after all. It is rough in a desert climate.

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The lettuce and tomato plants are starting to come up in the tubes my son made and planted.

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One day out in the garden with pallets we picked up around the city, my son finished up this years heart gifts. Pretty wooden crosses that his dad help him make when he was on Winter break from college. A week late on the handmade gifts but we still got them. All our hand made gifts were a week late this year, except my yearly ornaments.

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I still haven’t fixed the bird feeder, and you can also add the birdhouse to our list of unfinished items. In the Winter it is not only cold out there early in the mornings but the pollution here in the city has been up and down, going from being bad to REALLY bad. Anyone with breathing problems like asthma, needs to stay indoors during pollution advisory days.

I made some rosemary/mint foot soak this month from some rosemary and mint we always have growing in our garden, then I added some dried Jasmine from the garden to some pour and melt goats milk soap. Some of the soap I gave out for Christmas. These are some fun DIY’s I will hopefully post sometime in the future. My husband and son make Olive oil soap but that uses lye and it takes awhile to cure once made. I have watched them do it but I haven’t done any that way myself yet, we all need to make some later and experiment with different recipes as well. I think that would be so fun, but first I have to get that bedroom finished. We are even inviting our neighbors over to make soap with us because they want to learn that process. You know that old saying about teaching a man to fish, well, looks like we all will be fishing together. Everyone has some skill to pass on and teach one another with. The neighbor we will be making soap with makes some of the best tamales I have ever eaten, they are so yummy. Maybe we will make soap and tamales.



We also got an apple press from the auction. My husband paid $10 for it. So once again we have something new to add to our home. It did have a small part missing but my husband was able to get that piece from the manufacture.

Then our dollar store in our neighborhood was having a deal on apples the same week my husband got this. Only $1 for a 10 lb. bag of apples. We bought 8 bags since there was no limit. No one else was buying them in the store. The store employees kept announcing this special deal over the intercom but no one was buying them, so sad, apples are yummy. This newest auction item cost $1200.00 brand new unless that ad was some fake ad sort of thing, man I am getting paranoid with all the lies out there. At least this is what we saw it normally listed for. Up north at Our Little Red House there are so many apple trees that there are even some that are out in the wild.

Our goals for the garden for the upcoming month are-


Update and organize the chicken coop

Seal and repaint large wooden pots.

Prepare for our Spring garden some more, we have started on some things.

De-clutter in the garden

Repaint the wooden bench and seal.

Finish that birdhouse.

Glue the feeder back together.

Throw away that broken pot…maybe I should do that now.

So that’s it for our garden updates. Happy gardening everyone.

27 Comments Add yours

  1. JOY journal says:

    A lemon! 🙂 Soon enough, we’ll have crocuses. And, in wild places, there will be a dandelion-like plant called colt’s foot. Sure signs that winter won’t last forever.

    1. I need to look those plants up, I am terrible at names. I am slowly learning though. I saw some Easter items in the grocery store today. It was around the Valentine’s items, in front of the plastic organizers for Christmas ornaments.


  2. Dandelion B says:

    What a steal for your chicken house! When we adopted our bunny she was a baby so we housed her in a large guniea cage while we hunted for a used cage or something we could flip into a pen. Near the end of the day one sat we decided to do one more garage sale around the corner from home as we drove home from garage sailing. As we got out we saw a large bunny looked brand new,it was! Prepared to pay up to 50 for it we almsot hit the floor when the young couple said $10, we just need it gone we got the wrong kind of cage for guniea pigs and their feet get stuck in the grid. Guess what the grid is totally removable and we dont even use it with the bunny… we didnt know that when we got it but am glad because i cant imagine its comfy on lil bunny feet either and ours uses a litter box so no need for the grid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always love getting a good deal We needed a new aquarium light but I had to buy a new filter for our 60 gallon acrylic tank and that was expensive enough (over $100) so we passed on the light because it was about $70. Then my husband discovered that auction and there was an aquarium light listed. He put in his bid of $10 and actually won it. The LED light has different settings on it. You can set it to a thunderstorm, cloudy day, moonlight, and sunny. This is an Amazon auction so everything is new, just returned items or items that have damage to their boxes. It is starting to get more expensive now though on some items because word is getting around. I even emailed my cousin and told her about it and she is already winning and bidding on items. I love bunnies, that are so sweet. I had some when I was a little girl. I also had a guinea pig named Twinky. I also had a turtle.


      1. Dandelion B says:

        Weve had cats dogs chickens (as kid) turtles lizards rats fish bunnies gunieas birds and hammies lol. Rats ate cutest and so intelligent. I bet we dnt have the amazon auction!.i just orderd an aquarium light from thete for 20 it goes right in the tank LED too..i wanted the one with the settigns and remote haha but not for 50$

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh my gosh, I love our science teachers rat, when I was a little girl. Sometimes he would lend him out to go home with his best students and the more gentle type of students. I loved that rat, she was so smart. She was black and white, like a mini cow. I had mice, frogs, fish, turtle, guineas pigs, hamsters, rabbits, dogs, cats, horses, goat, one pig (that was sad though what my mom did) a peacock, lizard, and a pet sparrow I rescued when it fell from it’s nest during a bad storm. The sparrow made all the neighbors freak out when it would fly down from the trees and land on my head or arm and hand. Baby was her name and she was very attached to me and when some people in my family would get too close to me she would fly up in their faces to attack them. I have a blurry photo of her somewhere that I took with my 110 camera.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dandelion B says:

        Awww we tried to save a baby sparrow when it fell from the nest it seemed ok for a few days but died.i think we kept it too warm maybe 😦 i forgot about the toads we had. Our youngest 2 caught them in the pond at our summer home and we built a terrarium for them they lived long time. I had 2 rats bonnie and clyde we had to seperate them as they breed like bunnies and as a teen i had no idea lol. Bonnie was an escape artist but shed always go back to her pen after tooting round the house..i worried she’d get hurt but she was just fine. My 80 something yr old then nana loved them too shed hand feed them and hold them.all the time.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That is such a cute story. My daughter had a hamster that would get out of it’s cage at night and roam around the house but it would always go back to it’s cage before we got up. One time I went to get a drink of water early in the morning before the sun was up and when I looked down my daughter’s hamster ran across my feet. I almost had a heart attack.


      5. Dandelion B says:

        My sons lizard got out once.when the kids left the lid up. We looked even say over a month we feared it got out somehow. One day my oldest screams mom there is a mouse it my closet! A light went off in my head as i ran up to find rexy in the corner. Unfortunately he went to long without food and heat he passed a few days later, i was so upset we have never had a lizard since. He was a Uromastyx..vegetarian and cutest little guy he was orange

        Liked by 1 person

      6. So sad when we loose our pets, they are family too. I lost my lizard too. Lizard know how to get out I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s so nice that you can pretty much plant all year round out there. Almost anyhow. I like watching that show about the goat farm, Weed ‘Em and Weep and she describes what they plant and how they use it. They essentially support themselves, eating very little processed foods and supporting themselves with their garden, their goats and their chickens and local farmers.

    I love all the stuff your husband picks up at the auction and finds ways to use. That’s ingenious!

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    1. He is so funny, he picked up an antenna for $1 last week. He also found a brand new headboard at the auction for $5. We are redoing and organizing our master bedroom. The other day he said someone was selling a goat and he was trying to figure out where we would put it if he got it. He never got the goat. I guess we could pack up and move the chickens and goats (if we did get some) to Our Little Red House full time while our grown kids finish out their degrees here in the city staying in the city…we will see. We have baby quail now because a farmer gave him some eggs that really were fertile. One morning I woke up to get some water and I heard the tiniest little chirp then I looked down and saw the tiniest little bird. I was the only one home at the time and by the time everyone got home there were ten of them. They are so tiny and super fast. My husband was so excited. Quail eggs are suppose to be better for us. I will have to check out that doc on the goats, sometimes my husband and I joke with people that we are so boring because we actually enjoy watching documentaries.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my gosh, I think I have seen this before but they had a pond put in their backyard. I might be getting two families mixed up. I think this family is out here. I have a second cousin who lives in that area. It might be Gilbert or Laveen. If it is Laveen we know a couple people out there. I will have to ask my husband if he knows about this show. Our farmer friend out in Laveen Arizona has apricot, peach, pomegranate, lemon and pecan trees everywhere. Our kids have picked fruit and pecans at different times out there and then we went home and made yummy dishes with them. Now he has problems with people stealing all his fruit because he isn’t home all the time. They strip the trees. He also has horses that our kids have ridden. It is very close to the mountain I grew up on and he takes his horses out on the trails by the mountains. There are petroglyphs everywhere all over the mountain. I remember being a little girl taking our horse out to explore around the mountain as well. When there is a full moon the desert glows at night and there are nocturnal animals everywhere. I think this family is here in Arizona. I will have to ask my husband if he knows this show. Thanks for the link. I watched the intro and I already know I will love watching more. We want goats as well. The episode I watched had goats jumping all around their pond pool, it was so cute. If that is the same family that is, again, I can’t remember.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They are from Arizona and they have a pond. They are outside Phoenix, according to her web site. She started the farm to help her with some health issues and it sort of went crazy from there with a lot of their money being made from YouTube and their blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is so funny, how small the world actually is. My husband said he does know this family, not personally but he has run into them when he goes to garden events with our son. We all kind of buy from the same supplies I guess, that is so cool. My husband was telling me about the family and said I would really like them. I love their pond pool. Sometimes my husband wants to turn our pool into a place to grow fish that we can eat.

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      4. The world is smaller than we realize!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Camie says:

    What a sweet chicken coop! Even messy your garden is delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Camie, it is really cute. Reminds me of a dollhouse.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tanya says:

    It’s so strange how I work to take such nice photos and then I see someone post a really blurry picture and it has over 100 likes. I’m so tired of people following blogs for no reason and liking posts left and right for no reason. Like do people really like what their looking at and enjoying that blog for real? Ugh I need a break from wordpress!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it can get frustrating trying to keep up with it all. I used to worry about that and wonder how to get people to visit the site and then I decided I would just use it for fun and whatever happens…happens. I use it like dairy of sorts I guess, or practice putting instructions out on DIY projects. I don’t know how some people get hundreds of likes. My daughter who is into social media says some people buy followers, so maybe they buy likes too. Also some people are online all the time on different sites always promoting to get more visitors. Also they have apps she says to post different times of the day. I don’t have a cell phone (adult kids do) so wordpress is the only thing I do right now. You take beautiful photos, keep sharing them, even if you make one person happy (and t with some people it is just themselves) it is all good.


  6. I think your garden looks like it is suppose to hahaha. Some of the “perfect” ones I see online I think they have to be “touched up”. I almost fell out when you said $10 for that coop. TEN DOLLARS??? That was a blessing for sure. AND for the press WOW. It is so good to see the chicks. I remember when they were itty bitty things, and yes they make the best soil for planting with. My sister use to have commercial chicken houses and we used their poop to fertilize and the neighbouring farmers would come and trade just about anything for it too because, well, it makes the best fertilizer out there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know that about chickens until my husband told me what he was doing one day when he said it is time to move the chicken coop. My husband and I were talking about how when we need things the most they show up and within our budget too, God’s gifts we call them. If something doesn’t show up then it wasn’t meant to be and we have to learn something from it. We have baby quail now that I will be sharing photos of in my next post coming up. I hope you and your husband are doing well and are happy in your new home. It can be hard living in a city.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a great share and testimony of your faith in God and His rewards to you and your family for that faith 🙂 A baby quail!! That will be a fun post to read, and I am sure there will be adorable pictures too. What a treat! I bet it is so cute. We are adjusting. He drug me out to look at cars today. We left mine back home, so we’d have something to drive when we are there. BUT I would love nothing better than never leaving the house, soooooo he sees that me not having a vehicle helps enable that and wants me out more. Hahaha. The roads here are crazy! Back home there is one road in and one road out. Here there are so many lanes, overpasses, Sheeew deep breath 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have a cousin in Oklahoma and she will never drive here in our city and I don’t blame her. In her town she only has one intersection with a light. I laughed when she told me that because here in Phoenix there is so much, it’s a huge city. We live close to the downtown area and the light rail so we always have that mess to deal with. I am a home body too. I love our city breaks when we are up north in the woods where everything is quiet. We live right next to a huge hospital here in the city so we hear helicopters and sirens all the time. It does help when something comes up like emergencies to be less then a 100 ft away from a hospital, we can walk to it. Oh and yes, we are all so thankful for the many gifts from God everyday. Everyday my kids come home safe and sound is a gift to my husband and I. Everyday there is always something we all can be thankful for.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. JoAnn says:

    Here in Florida we are spoiled also. We complain when it gets cold for too many days in a row, which is pretty much anything under about 65.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So funny when that happens, it isn’t even that cold. We handle the heat better though.

      Liked by 1 person

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