Lake Okeechobee Ties Record Low Level

Fox News Live, this morning reported about the Lake Okeechobbee water level, drought, fires, alligators, and upcoming hurricane season. Last week it made ABC News with this story. A few weeks ago, it made MSNBC headlines. It's gotten pretty bad.

I am used to posting daily photos of my South Florida garden. But, since the drought and subsequent water restrictions, my garden has suffered greatly and I don't even want to post anymore. The two snakes in my small garden are fiesty and scare me out of the garden twice a week. They never used to bother me...I never even saw them.

I installed a drip irrigation system that has an automatic timer. Unfortunately, the battery died while I was out of state last week. Six days of no rain and no water killed nearly all of my vegetables. Some of them may bounce back. We'll see.

Pictures are coming soon....and I promise to get in a better mood soon.


Green Thumb Sunday - Sunflower has bloomed

The sunflower has bloomed! I don't know why it bloomed so early though. The seeds are both from a sunflower my Dad grew last year, so you'd think all the plants would be the same height and would bloom at the same time. I guess not. You can see the basil in the strawberry pot by the front door. It's doing very good. It requires water every two days which is not allowed under the current water restrictions, but I sneak it water whenever it looks droopy. All the other plants you see have been getting watered three times per week. They have been doing great in my opinion. We'll see how they look in another month after having only two drinks per week. I bet the New Guinea impatiens next to the basil will be the first to go.

Green Thumb Sunday

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Flavorful Organic Habanero Hot Sauce Recipe - fresh from the garden

I found something to do with all those chilies from the garden. I made a flavorful hot sauce. It is delicious! I took lots of pictures and will do a HOW TO later tonight.

I even entered the recipe into a salsa contest. Check it out here (bakespace.com) and vote if you think it's good. Thanks to Ruth for inspiring me to do this and Michelle for urging me to enter it to bakespace.

Here's the recipe:


  • 18 habanero peppers
  • 10 green jalapeno peppers
  • 20 red jalapeno peppers
  • whole head of garlic
  • 6 carrots (shredded finely)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • juice of two limes
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • seasoning to taste (thyme/cilantro)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar


In food processor, mince onion and garlic with olive oil. Sauté in a pan for 5 minutes on medium heat, making sure not to let the garlic get too brown.

Add shredded carrot and cook for another 8 minutes. Increase heat to high, add seasonings, and water and cook for another 2 minutes on high. Take mixture off heat and allow to cool a bit.

Combine peppers, lime juice, and salt & pepper in a food processor and mince.

Now, combine both mixtures in food processor, add vinegar, and pulse. If desired, add another ¼ cup water.

Note: because these peppers are not cooked, the sauce is probably too hot for the average person. I recommend not using the seeds; this will cut down on the heat, but not the flavor.


Tighter Water Restrictions - Phase 2

Florida is in the middle of one of the worst droughts ever recorded! Recent
rainfall barely made a dent in the multi-year shortfall happening all across the
state, and the start of the rainy season is typically not until late in May... -

So, my lawn is going to get even worse. Again, I don't love the restrictions, but I comply. So should my neighbors. I have decided to begin turning them in for water abuse. I'm just over this.

One of them has had their sprinklers on at high noon each day. Everyone knows not to water at high noon. A few people are watering daily before sunrise...trying to be sneaky about it.

Then today, my next door neighbor (and normally good guy) had his mobile car wash guy come and spend a few hours wash/wax his car. He can pay a guy to wash his car and because it's a car wash business, it's legal. If I wash my car, 12 ft. away in my driveway, I'm violating the water restrictions.

So once again, here is the official snitch phone number(s) and the official Phase 2 Rules from the South FL. Water Mgmt. District.

Tomato Leaf Curl...Re-thought.

Just over a month ago, I thought this plant contracted leaf curl. I still kinda think so. But if it has leaf curl, it wouldn't have all these tomatoes. I'm confused now. I did find a website, I forget where now, that said a few types of tomatoes have leaves that always look like they have leaf curl. Maybe this is one of them. By the way, this is an indeterminate variety of the classic better boy.
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What is Etsy?

Etsy is kind of like ebay, but things are for sale, not up for auction. And everything is handmade. So, basically, it's a place where crafters can sell their stuff to other crafters or anyone else. My shop is here.

CopelandChristmas.com is up & running!

One of my other websites is finally up and running. Check it out.

Habanero Pepper Plant with Peppers

My habanero plant is doing really well! I don't know what to do with these peppers. The only things I make with habaneros are salsa and chili. I have too many habaneros though...what else can I make?

This plant has been producing peppers since December 2006 with just one short barron period of about two weeks. This is a great plant to experiment with (at least in S. Florida where I am). I have it hooked up to the drip irrigation system, so it gets regular water right at the crown and it's never had any bugs. Well, the leaves get bugs, but who cares. Nothing dares to eat the pepper itself.

Notice how well the green beans are doing. I have no idea what their deal is. They were doing fine for a month; now they are quite dead.

Avocado Rate of Growth

How fast does an avocado tree grow? Well, this picture indicates how much new growth occurred in just under one month. This young tree started life as a seed from an avocado I bought at the grocery store back in October 2006. Instead of throwing out the seed, I shoved some toothpicks in it and watched it sprout. I pinched the top quarter inch off the top about a month and a half ago and within two weeks it sprouted two little nubs (shown in the upper right of the second picture). Less than one month later, the two nubs grew into two long stalks that are now about 12 inches each!

More Wildflower Mysteries

Well, I finally found my camera cord; it was lost for a good two weeks. Now, I'm up and running again. Anyway, this is absolutely my favorite color. It's close to periwinkle, but has slightly more red tones than periwinkle. This is just another flower that was included in the pack of wildflowers I planted a few months ago. By the way, alan and christa, according to the packet of seeds, those pretty green flowers were not zinnias. I've never grown zinnias, so I have no idea what they are. Then again, more than once, I've come across a mis-marked plant. I'm sure we all have.


I was tagged

I got tagged by Ruth! She was tagged by Mauigirl. Here's my answers.

1. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? I want to be famous
2. Are you a spiritual person? I don't go to church, but probably should
3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you? bug repellant, a firestarter, fresh water
4. What's your favorite childhood memory? coming downstairs to see a simly lit christmas tree with presents overflowing from under the tree
5. Is this your first meme? yes


Pet Peeves - Blog Tag Torture

To get things started, I'm tagging the following 5 bloggers. For instructions, read down a few paragraphs where it says Here's What You Do. Don't forget to tag any 5 other bloggers.

Misti over at Oceanic Wilderness
Ruth over at RuthJen
Mr. Brown Thumb
Thingfish23 over at tamingoftheband-aid


Pet Peeves - Blog Tag Torture

The other day, I botched a word so badly that I don't know how I ever passed a college entrance exam. I learned that the common garden plant with brightly colored flowers is called an impatien and that I've been calling it an impatient for my whole life. [how many of you had to re-read that sentence?]

This reminded me of how much I hate people who pronounce the S at the end of Illinois. Or how about those people who think there is an X in especially? I hate them too. Perhaps my all time most hated group of people think there is an S at the end of the word all. "Alls you have to do is turn the..."

Yes, I said hate. In reality, I probably don't hate them, but don't these people sound stupid when they say these things? If they were to write an email would they type a-l-l-s? Of course not...so why do they say it? And don't you learn the states and capitals in 3rd grade or something?...then again in 4th, 5th, 6th, and high school geography?

Now, off my rant and back on topic.
I think these little gems are called pet peeves. I don't quite know what to do with this topic, but it's a hot one for me.

Do I start a meme? Do I play blog tag and subject my blaudience to this blorture? Do I look for a related carnival? Decision: I think I'll tag other bloggers.

Now, the next question is, do I keep it garden specific? Decision: I don't think so, but share em if you got em.

Here's What You Do
If you're tagged, make a new blog entry with the below intro and your top 5 pet peeves. Then, tag someone else. Be sure to leave me a comment at my
original post so I can add yours to the list.

Title: My Pet Peeves -
Blog Tag Torture
This really gets me going. The girl over at
Danielles Garden posted her top 5 pet peeves the other day and invited other bloggers to share in her rant. So here are mine.

My Pet Peeves - Blog Tag Torture

top 5 from daniellecopeland
1. people think there is an S at the end of the word all
2. people who put 30 stuffed animals in their rear car window
3. people who think there is an X in especially
4. guys who flip up the collar of their usually hot pink shirt
5. people who pronounce the S at the end of Illinois

top 5 from ruth
1. Captchas - Those word and letter verification images
2. The fact that what I see in my Preview post never looks the same when I've Published
3. SPAM mail
4. Public Transport - try getting from A to B around here though ...especially on a Sunday!
5. Phoning companies and being left hanging on the phone listening to music with an interjecting voice telling me "all of their lines are busy but please hold and we will answer you as soon as we can".........

top 5 from michelle
1. Rude people. I deliver *stellar* customer service as part of my job. It is really not necessary for you to call and rip me a new one if you have a problem. Seriously, just state the nature of your call, and let me fix it. That's just part of what I do. That's really why you called anyway. And I *love* sending people away happy. If you have so much pent up frustration that you feel you must punch someone or something, or you feel the need to threaten me, please, go to the gym. You'll look and feel better for it. Really. And other's won't judge you so harshly for making a complete idiot out of yourself in front of them.
2. Rude people. Road rage is a very dangerous and aggressive thing. Just how much testosterone does it take to shake your fist and yell and make obscene gestures at a 5 foot tall woman driving a bug? Seriously, don't you have any big-boy friends to take your frustrations out with? Does your huge silver Dodge truck with a hemi make you some sort of icon? Come on, I am following a truck carrying a large magnolia tree, he is following 20 cars, they are following a school bus full of children. It is rush hour and EVERYONE is going the speed limit. Do you REALLY think I can drive faster?? Should I just drive up on the truck with the magnolia tree? Do you really think he'll go faster if I do? Come On!! And honking at me, do you think that helps? Sheesh!
3. Rude people. I just spent $$$ (for me anyway) on a new camera. Once I got it home, I realized I had a question about the software that came with it. You were very interested in making a sale in your store. So, when I call back with a question, a very short, very simple question, I guess it irks me just a little that you ask me if I can call back tomorrow when you're not so busy. WTH? Again, I deliver *stellar* customer service as part of my job, could you not answer a 5 second question? You already have my money!
4. Rude people. It really isn't necessary to berate someone simply because they're different than you and you can. We are ALL different. Believe it or not, not everyone knows absolutely everything about everything. Not even you. And believe it or not, not everyone agrees with everything you say. Really.
5. Rude people. Please do not take credit for my work/ideas/finds. We all work hard. We could all stand to share. And I know I don't mind sharing, but really, please don't take credit for the work I do. Give credit where credit is due. If someone does a great job, tell them! If someone has a great idea, acknowledge it! If someone has a great service or product, spread the word! But please, don't try to pass it off as your own.

Years of Being Impatient

Well, my poor little impatiens have suffered through years of being called impatient. I had no idea they are called impatiens, without the t.

If this wasn't bad enough, I (the resident gardener) had to learn this tidbit from my husband, the one who tried to garnish the garlic bread with ivy and a tomato plant. I even have two varieties of this pretty little plant in my garden.

Saying impatient is like pronouncing the S at the end of Illinois, one of my top pet peeves.

hmmm... gardening pet peeves. Sounds like a good topic for a post or maybe I could try starting one of those things where people tag other people. Now, I need to go google this, to find out what it's called. I wonder if it would catch on. More coming soon...


Green Thumb Sunday - Key Lime

Here's the first key lime from the new tree. It went rather well with Patrone. Infact, so well I had three wedges.
Green Thumb Sunday

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Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


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