To Google or not to Google …

When I need to know something, especially in a hurry, I just Google it.  I really like to use Google when I get one of those broadcast messages that tell me about missionaries who are about to be beheaded or a child with some dreaded disease who won’t survive if I don’t forward the message to 245 people in the next 7 minutes. You know the one’s I mean? There are websites which can tell you whether a message is a hoax or not. But the messages aren’t my problem – well, they are, but not in this blog.

If I need to look for and organic remedy for aphids on my cabbages or how deep to plant runner beans, I go straight to Google, or even better Pinterest. I love Pinterest. I love the pictures and the way you can save them and organize them and I can even share them with my friends.  I get completely carried away at times and imagine all the wonderful crafts I could do and things I can make. Old car tyres (tires in American) get recycled into garden ornaments and furniture. Pieces of scrap metal become wonderfully bright giant flowers which would make my garden look absolutely fabulous…etc…etc…etc.

I like dreaming. No! I love dreaming.


Something that is evident though, is that when I Google something, I am on my own. My phone or my computer and me. I don’t have to involve the people around me at all. Before all this technology I would be asking my family for advice, or I would have gone to someone who I knew to be knowledgeable on the subject I needed help on.  Then, of course, there was the library. I used to love the library.  The adventures which were locked up in all the books that lined the shelves were just waiting for me. Unfortunately because I live in a very small town the library doesn’t often get new books. Except that buying book is expensive, they take up so much space, so I bought a Kindle. Not a fancy one with backlights, just a basic one. It’s just so amazing to be able to have a lot of book at my fingertips. Granted, most of the one’s I want to read I have to buy, but I have them forever and I can reread them whenever I want. I can take all my books with me on holiday!!


Mealies coming along nicely



The Handyman (aka my husband) mounded the potatoes for me. I must say that he’s a really efficient worker, and I didn’t even need to pay him. All I had to do was pull up the weeds faster than he could dig which resulted in a pretty good workout. We found a couple of tiny potatoes so I have proof that there will actually be a crop.


Patty Pan Squash have started flowering

Sorry, I’m rambling. What I want to say is that because of technology we don’t communicate with people as much as we used to. I don’t ask my neighbor when the best time is to plant mealies and what kind of peas work well in this area. If I have a problem with caterpillars or eelworms I don’t ask my friend, I just Google. So is Google causing me to be antisocial? Or is Google saving me a lot of time on the mundane issues and allowing me to spend time socializing with my friends and talking about issues that really matter? Who am I fooling? Google does solve my problems quickly, and allows me to get lost in another adventure with my Kindle!


I have been busy in my garden and it has expanded to almost double it’s original size.  I have sowed beetroot and carrot seeds which have come up beautifully.  My mealies are about half a metre high and I’ve transplanted four different varieties of tomatoes so far.  I also have patty pan squash and spanspek (sweet melon) that are growing.  I found some discarded shelving that I have put up as trellises.  I want to see if they will grow vertically instead of horizontally so that they take up less space.  I even have some footlong beans and Chinese cabbage seeds that have germinated.  An Asian friend asked me to plant them so that we can share the harvest. Last week I discovered and unidentified growing object which had disappeared the next day. I googled it and found that it is a fungus called Mutinis elegans also known as elegant stinkhorn, the headless stinkhorn or the devil’s dipstick!  An orange spongy finger-sized object who’s visit was fortunately short lived.




Patty pan quash that need weeding!


Chinese Cabbage making an appearance






I wrote in one of my previous blogs that I planted some apple pips.  I now have two apple “treelings”. They are too small to be called trees but they are growing quickly.  Apparently it takes five to eight years for and apple tree to bear but I’m very patient.  I can visualize sitting in the shade of the apple trees having a cup of tea with a friend.  I put stakes in next to the cherry tomatoes but they aren’t exactly strong enough so the branches flop all over the place and I keep cutting strips of plastic from shopping bags to tie them up.  They have started bearing and it’s a competition between me and the birds to see who can eat the most tomatoes!


The bigger one of the two apple trees.


I got a kitten from my friend during the week. She is adorable and I am calling her Princess Camille. She’s such a diva, pretending to be very offended if you pick her up, but settling down so quickly once she is in your arms. The first day she really missed her mother but now she has settled down and claimed our house as her own.


Princess Camille. The photo isn’t exactly in focus, but she wouldn’t stop moving around!


While I was picking her up and having a cup of coffee with my friend the conversation turned to the state of affairs in our country.  Nobody can deny that the situation in South Africa is not ideal.  I am full of hope for a better future, possibly because it’s in my nature to have a glass that is half full.  At times overflowing; I suspect those are the “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” times.  Be that as it may, she said that each one of us must create their own paradise because we can’t expect things to come to us.  As I was thinking about it I thought of the verse in Isaiah that speaks about a tabernacle which will be a refuge.  Then I came upon this verse:

Isaiah 32: 2

A man will be as a hiding place from the wind,

And a cover from the tempest,

As rivers of water in a dry place,

As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.


That is what we should be. To our spouses and children we should be a safe place.  They must feel safe with us, loved and nurtured.  To our friends we should be like the rivers of water in a dry place.  A place where their souls can be nourished.  To the stranger we should ne like the shadow of a rock in a weary land.  Just being in our presence should give people peace.  That is what Jesus was to people when He was on earth, and He said that we would be like Him. (1 John 3:2)  We could surely be doing many things worse than trying to emulate Jesus.  I am NOT suggesting we try to do it in the flesh or in our own strength.

Live your life, dream your dreams, be yourself.  The more we are going to be ourselves, the true, authentic version that God intended us to be, the more peace we will have and the less harsh we will be on ourselves.  I read somewhere that if you are operating in your function things will be minimum effort and maximum productivity. I don’t know where this paragraph came from, but I am leaving it here.  Have a fabulous week!


I wrote about Spinach and Clover a while ago, and how clover wasn’t growing around the spinach, and it wasn’t.  My theory was that something in the spinach stopped the clover from growing near them.  Well, it rained again and I had a brand new crop of weeds, and my theory is busted!  There is clover growing right next to and around the spinach.


There’s the proof!!

As I’m watching my nice little theory float out of the window, it seems to me that very often we think we know the answers.  We have the proof and we can solve the problems life throws at us.  Until our theories as busted and everything we thought was a certain way isn’t anymore.  Our very foundations are shaken because things that we took for granted or built our lives around fall apart.  It could be because of illness, financial crisis or emotional issues.  There is always something that won’t work the way we planned it to.  That’s when our faith gets tested.  What do we really and truly believe in and stand on.  Do we have foundations that are strong enough not to crack?  Because human beings are really very fragile we can’t rely on our own strength and intellect to sort out every crisis that’s going to come our way.  I believe in God.  I believe that He sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ to die for me so that I can have eternal life.  I also know that when things go crashing down around me, He will be the one I can rely on. The only one.  I am not perfect and I can panic and doubt with the best of them, but when push comes to shove, I know where my faith lies.

Anyway, I have killed some weeds (organically) by using a mixture of vinegar, salt and dishwashing liquid.  I got someone to dig over the section of ground next to the piece I’ve already planted on.  I allowed the weeds to grow and last week I decided they were really flourishing, but they hadn’t produced seed yet.  I waited for a warm day and sprayed them quite early.  By the middle of the day they had stared to wilt and by the end of the day the leaves were already turning yellow.  I removed a strip of weeds from the edge of that patch and dug it over again.  I divided it into 6 sections and make little mounds that I planted mealies (maize) on.  I’m going to plant beans around them so that they can climb up the mealie stalks and then I’m going to plant squash around them to keep the soil cool and free from weeds.  I read that the indigenous people in America did it that way and called them the Three Sisters.  So we’ll see if it works in Africa too.


I had some very over ripe bananas that I dropped into holes that I dug between the mounds the mealies are planted on.  This is where I’m going to plant the squash seeds.

The other thing I’m really excited about is the apple seed that germinated.  I can envision the beautiful tree full of lovely apples. I also sowed some nasturtium seeds next to my cabbages.  Hopefully they are going to attract the bugs that would normally attack the cabbages. Like a decoy.


My apple seed

This week I’ll try and get rid of the rest of the weeds and see if I can get some beetroot and carrot seeds sown.  Have faith and keep smiling!