My cosmetology business is in the process of closing. We have replaced it with another constructive endeavor. The idea to grow our own food and flowers was primarily mine, but the overall design of the garden was done by mom who has been schooled in civil engineering. The design was passed off to two crews who built the porch/patio and xeriscaped the land. We have yet to plant the tomatoes, yellow squash, and milkweed. This is simply my way of maintaining a documentary of our progress for friends and family or others whom might be interested in what has transpired. These images are amateur and via an iPhone. A select few are simply art app images created while I was on medical LOA (iOrnament, Figuromo, pottery, etc.). If you'd like to see some real pottery click the underlined text. Mom and I spent a day working on some at a pottery shop. I made a cup and she made a bowl. I'm thinking of drilling holes in the bottom of mine, putting it in the garden, and planting something inside. The owner asked me to do a matching plate for her for Halloween. I do need a little improvement on coloring within the lines though!
Our garden has been battling some pest control issues; aphids, mealy bugs, and/or stink bug nymphs. The crepe myrtles sometimes have to counter act powdery mildew it seems. A couple of plants were lost along the way. I attempted instead to transplant some items into our pots. We lost our cucumbers this summer in this fashion, but we also fully understand this as acceptable. It will allow the soil to lay fallow for a little while before the next planting season begins. These pictures are all primarily April through September 2017 thus far. So we've made it through triple digit summer heat and other obstacles. Our main point or focus is that we are not using chemical herbicides, pesticides, and/or fungicides from certain companies. The seeds planted have been organic or heirloom that we choose as has been the soil. We also do our own composting. Everyone has to start somewhere in trying to be a wiser custodian. Mom and I fully understand the need in some people's eyes for complete gardening transparency between the words natural, organic, etc.
We have had a few furry and aviary friends visit besides butterflies and bumble/honey bees. A rabbit lived under the shed as well as a trio of screech owls spent time here. The owls when not in the house(s) built for them or out on nocturnal hunts usually sat on the fence while I would water in the garden or slept/perched in the kitchen rafters and took naps. Other average run of the mill birds and squirrels come by as well. Hummingbirds pass through, but much of the animals I can't capture well on my iPhone it seems yet. I get blurry or grainy shots. Thus far this remains a sort of nature photography juncture. Our neighbor's trees tend to make our garden a little messy with leaves, acorns, and other debris. We get inundated with catkins also in the Yin Yang area. The cedar trees are nicknamed "Shaggy" because they keep dropping bark. Since most of it will break down we usually rake it in and let it do it's thing. Periodic weed pulling also occurs or I have tried the vinegar, salt, soap, and water method to spray and dry them out. It smells odd for a little while, but usually helps. Porch meals are the best though.
The photos of some of the lavender were supposed to show a bumble bee, but if you don't know where to look you will miss it. The same is true for the image that appears like nothing more than a grainy shot of a fence. There is a grasshopper blending in trying to camouflage itself. The shake is a chunky monkey (chocolate, banana, and peanut butter) utilizing some of our carrot tops/greens. My attempts at adding them to a salad after cooking them in olive oil with garlic and onion did not seem to work to my taste buds as well as they do hidden in my shakes. I also found a ladybug that made itself welcome in my bedroom despite the screens over the windows. If many of our local birds were not skiddish I'd have photos of them all hovering about the bird baths trying to get a drink and washed up. I've seen birds stand surrounding the entire bath taking turns or swarms in the tree waiting and every morning I have to add more clean water. The hummingbird is so fast I simply can't quite master a video or photo. Oh, and we get magic mushrooms also; don't ask! If there is just enough rain it's mushroom-palooza and fairy rings. The aloe I've used for my right eye also when I got a stye which I have not had one of those in years/ages.
Oh, and the photo everyone finds "creepy" that I've kept of the huge spiders/tarantulas in the pot. While on medical LOA we had eight of those after a storm (4 in each pot on the left/right side of the front door). Another night on my way home one crawled up the front door and dropped at my feet. One managed to make it's way into the formal dining room. New seeds were purchased this year for the wildflowers so next year we will see some different zinnias and other assorted wildflower selections. My wish list is a camera better than the iPhone so I can take less blurry shots up close. We also plan to build more areas for growing so we can plant without stressing seeds and plants out. Especially since I did get pie pumpkin seeds recently. Many plants seem to still want to grow close together despite where I try to sow them. I'm researching other ways of using my carrot tops/greens and broccoli greens also despite the fact that some claim it's not healthy or even wise to consume. I plan to try the cucumbers again. And yes Hurricane Harvey did skirt our area, but overall we mostly had a lot of extraneous tree branches or leaves that invaded. Still could stand to improve more! I'm trying my best to not let too much of my personal views or opinions ruin what is here, but there are areas in life that get me a little testy from time to time. Despite the many "I" references in here this is a group effort whereby I would like to see us able to grow other vegetables and/or possibly taking up some fruit (maybe berries). Mom and I did discuss canning or sourcing to use some of the herbs for skin or body care. The gardening I hoped to accomplish would not have been possible without my parents supporting this after discussing the close of my business, medical LOA, and other factors. It's made us thankful to come home or be home having nature around us again.
Mom and I plan to take some classes soon also so we can ask a few questions. The pest control issue for me has been a continuous battle sporadic wise that I'd like assistance with learning about so I don't have any infestation of certain insects that are malefic to my garden.
Essentially we are growing:
● Perennial Plants (assorted)
● Lettuce (Green, Gourmet, Leaf, and Romaine)
● Bell Peppers
● Broccoli and Romanesco
● Yukon Gold Potatoes
● Borage and Echinacea
● Rosemary, Thyme, and Parsley
● Lavender and Aloe Vera
● Apple Mint and Lemon Balm
● Greek Oregano
● Opal and Siam Basil
● Cactus and Succulents
● Cat Oat Grass and Catmint/Catnip
Renee L. Reeves with Darren and Lynn Pellecchia
Click any thumbnail to view below and it will open the image in a new browser tab. This is a very large image gallery documenting the start of this project. Eventually I may clean this up and/or reduce the selection of images dramatically.
Quicktime iMovie Butterfly/Bee and Garden Compilations:
For those complaining about our having such an assortment and large gallery of flowers I would like to explain. As always the underlined text is a link you can click for more information. The goal was to also attract pollinators to our garden so pollen and nectar rich flowers would be necessary with no poisons to ensure they remain happy and healthy in their home as it's been known there has been a decline or colony collapse occurring per some resources. The milkweed is a goal for butterfly larva, but also is popular with bees. Pollinators need a proper shelter also for increasing their population in a local area. Violas have been considered as well as a remembrance to my great grandmother who helped raise me as it reflects her name (Viola Sophia). A garden should care more than just about the human portion of the equation and encompass in my views the goal of the entire ecosystem as is possible within one's means. If you do not like how we've presently designed or set up there are always other gardens for you to look at, support, or frequent. Mom and I happen to be very thankful for the various bees and butterflies as well as the hummingbird that keeps visiting our corner of various flowering plant selections. In fact the mosquitos are what drives me insane because they eat me like a blood bank.
If you have a negative attitude towards my/our efforts please check in with the emotional baggage claim before you take a trip and land a flight here. You can either build another up through positivity, proactive feedback that can be employed towards improvement, and bolstering confidence or tear them down through unnecessary adversity in all forms. I actually like that it looks a bit wild and/or prairie like in the one corner. It's also wonderful when we eat in the house and look out or from my bedroom on the second level. When I moved here we were one of the only houses. I had a great view, but now to look out my window it's just urban sprawl and concrete jungles which is less attractive. Something had to give! I do not want to just live around cement and high rise buildings with all the artificial lighting and what not. While I personally would like the idea of a sponsored hive possibly I know my family does not since in all honesty we do seem to have quite a lot of pollinators that hang here routinely already. I even have one specific bumble bee that will hover near me and watch me intently. The music in this video is Kevin MacLeod's Oddities (With a Creation), Ripples, Far East Inspired (Ishikari Lore), Far East Inspired (Cambodian Odyssey), For Originz, (Light) Somewhere Sunny, and Finding Movement. I apologize greatly that the second video has an issue with shaking and blur in some areas.
Renee is much more than her careers in retail and cosmetology as an esthetician. Time was spent prior in medical malpractice, personal injury, and employment law as administrative support and receptionist. Other experience was in the insurance and freelance web design fields and blogging. Partnerships were made with PR for cosmetic companies to test items before they were released to the public and with a fellow beauty aficionado in Ireland for skincare/makeup articles and advice. Resume is listed on Indeed, but other social media at present has been completely abandoned. Personal interests include astrology/astronomy, analytical psychology, organic gardening, art, music, health/wellness, visual novels (the most recentone I am playingthrough), and Asian or Eastern culture studies. The DBA was simply a nickname bequeathed upon me by a doctor a long time ago who made note that my name has 6 E's in it and dubbed me thus The "E" Girl.
Another factor in closing my business was the supposed healthcare being affordable. I'm not passing blame in any way, however, $400 a month and a $2000 deductible via the insurance industry and government is not sustainable nor is being dropped from your insurer and placed on county insurance that exceeds the above premium and deductible. The Artemis organic body/skincare has a shelf life and is being disposed of, but the Eye Kandy mineral eye shadows and glitters will likely be donated to a beauty school we partnered with. Present focus has been diverted to home and family given our collective health situations presently.
The care and death of a terminally ill family member, inheritance, and need to do home improvements is perhaps at the forefront of goals now outside of other responsibilities in life. Success and failure are not always determined by external realities. It seems it's merely a byproduct of how you individually perceive life as well. Too often I am learning a game is played via psychological, sociological, and behavioral propaganda or pressure that is creating at times superiority/inferiority complexes, cognitive dissonance, delusion, etc.
I personally don't like being flamed, trolled, or harassed by anyone not even telemarketers and solicitors so if anyone wants to leave a comment you may do so at my older email address of email@example.com. I keep an eye on my inbox and junk folders or block unwanted communications. I no longer want my face plastered on the internet or my information listed as I did before given certain annoyances that seem to come with it. I'm not anti-social or reclusive, but I do expect a bit of respect from society with regards to being a member of any community online or otherwise. Also the last decade of my life has completely changed me inside and out so I'm not the person you may have known previously at all. I personally blame it on my introversion and constant need for independence from others at various periods in life.
Outside of my parents most of my family is in Chicago and New York; some live in California and a few other states. I inherited much of my maternal family records through the loss of my grandfather who is a WW II Veteran including birth, marriage, and death or cemetery plot information, furniture, overseas and war mementos, photos going back to pre Civil War USA of my family who immigrated from Germany and Denmark, and my great grandmother's high school year book prior to the Great Depression. My step father's family immigrated from Sicily and in high school we climbed to the crown of the Statue of Liberty as well as took a reading of their name off the wall at Ellis Island. I've had penpals from England, Germany, and Korea over the years. I received two from Korea which was also to help them learn English better. Underlined text is links below. Forgive me if I've made a typographical or proofreading error. I do try to correct these.
The emoticons are from here. This page last updated September 18, 2017.