Ask Mavis – Pesky Gophers, Weck Canning jars, Dumb Kale and More

ask mavis butterfield

ask mavis butterfield
It’s that time again. You ask, and I pretend to know things and answer your burning questions. It really is so much fun to open my inbox and see the wide variety of questions you guys have. Reminds me that my readers are so diverse and pretty dang awesome. So keep those questions coming and I’ll keep racking my brain for answers.

But first, if you are looking for the best sun hat on the planet,  Mrs. HB and I both have Sloggers Wide Brimmed Sun Hats {SPF 50+} and use them all summer long.
growing lettuce in winterHi Mavis, Thank you so much for sharing your tips, ideas, and adventures – I love reading your site! I am very keen on starting a garden with my son, but I have many little dilemmas: gopher/vole dilemmas, to be precise. They seem to be everywhere here! Do you have any suggestions as to how to keep the critters from chewing up my garden without me having to spend a fortune?

~Stacie from Colorado

I can’t be of much help here because we’ve never had any issues with gophers. I found a little info on handy dandy WikiHow:

Trap them. Use the gopher traps and place it in the tunnels of an active gopher mound. Dig into the mound and place the trap crossways into the tunnel, then cover the area with a sheet of black plastic or burlap so that no light shines into the hole. It also helps to use latex gloves or rub the trap with fresh rosemary so that it doesn’t smell of human scent.

Poison them. Poison baits such as strychnine are very dangerous. Always read all labels and instructions. Be very careful when handling, keep away from children. Wash your hands very thoroughly after handling. This method is not recommended if there is a chance that another animal (such as a pet) could eat the gopher after it is poisoned. If your pet eats a poisoned gopher, it will be poisoned too.

Drown them. Use a garden hose to flood the gopher tunnel with water. Be ready to kill the gopher with a shovel if he quickly pops out of the ground to avoid drowning. This method works about half of the time, but always creates a muddy mess.

Annie's Annuals and Perennials CaliforniaI have a question. I live in drought stricken Southern California (Los Angeles). We have stopped watering our front lawn and are letting it slowly die. And yes, it is slowly dying because we have a very mature evergreen tree in our front yard that puts most of the yard in shade, most of the day. Instead of brown grass, I was wondering if there are any drought tolerant perennials? Hopefully something that has a little bit of color. Thanks.

~Annie H.

So many perennials, so little time. Here are a few of my favorites: Golden Marguerite, Yucca, Purple Coneflower, Sunflower, Daylilies, Lavender, Globe Thistle, Orange Coneflower, Goldenrod and Thyme. Hopefully that helps bring a little life and prettiness to your drought stricken area.
canning raspberry jam in weck jarsWhere did you get those weck canning jars? Can you do a post about where to get them and how to use them?

~Molly

Lucky for you, Molly, I recently did a post all about Weck Canning Jars and How to Use Them. I love them! Let me know if you give them a shot and how you like them.

mavis-butterfield-kale (1)Not a question but… Mavis thought you might find this article on Kale interesting.

Read it. Loved it. It just confirms what I’ve always known. Kale is for the birds {or maybe not even for them, cause they might get sick, too!}. Thanks for sharing!

Have an AWESOME weekend!

~Mavis

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Free Kindle Books, Dan Post, Tony Lama Boots, Skittles, $5 Magazines, Recipes and More

elucidation

elucidationWord of the Day: Elucidation Definition: Explanation Used in a sentence: That statement calls for elucidation.

lucy the puggle dog

Well hello there… It’s friday. And it’s going to be like 95 degrees here in the Pacific Northwest today. Booo! Am I the only one who misses temps in the 70’s? I mean the high temperatures are great for the garden, but I’m melting here people. MELTING.

What’s the weather like in YOUR neck of the woods? I may want to come and visit. Ha!

Have a great weekend everyone, and stay safe.

Mavis

*This deal post will be updated throughout the day so be sure and check back for deals. 

harry potter hogwarts collection

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day – 61% Off “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Collection”

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

amazon-subscribe-and-save14

Amazon Subscribe and Save Deals

CaptureThis summer Amazon is running a Capture Their Love of Reading contest with a prize pack for the winner that includes all things Kindle for the whole family. Entering is simple: Head over HERE and share a picture of your child reading. That’s it. Easy peasy way to enter to win a pack of Kindles, an Amazon Fire TV, Fire Phone and more.

8 Tips for Building Good Credit While in CollegeI realize most students are focusing on classes and their social lives in college and not their credit score. But with the 8 Tips for Building Good Credit While in College, they can do both! Find more great tips for any student on my College Life Pinterest Board.

Collapsible Storage Boxes Bra Underwear Closet Organizer Drawer Divider

Amazon has the 4 Piece MIU COLOR Collapsible Storage Boxes Bra Underwear Closet Organizers on sale for $16.99 and they ship FREE with Amazon Prime. 

down alternative comforter

Got a King bed? Amazon has the Clara Clark White Goose Down Alternative Comforter Duvet, King/California King on sale for just $32. Saweeeet!

Dan Post, Tony Lama boots

Today Zulily is offering Dan Post, Tony Lama Boots & More on sale with savings up to 55% off. Giddy up! New to Zulily? Go HERE to Sign Up. Then HERE to get the deals.

bank of american free muesum pass

If you have a Bank of America debit/credit card, you can score FREE admission into over 100 museums this weekend as part of their Museum on Us program.

This awesome program allows Bank of America card holders to gain free admission into any participating museum during the first full weekend of every month. How cool is that? Don’t forget to bring your photo ID along with your Bank of America card to gain free admission.

Go HERE to see if your local museum is on the list!

Farmers-Breakfast-Skillet-with-Sausage-and-Eggs1

I imagine this hearty Farmer’s Breakfast Skillet w/ Sausage and Eggs is what all farmers eat each morning. Hence the name. But modern day farmers probably have fresh cut berries with almond milk. Who knows! Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later. Find more breakfast recipes on my Breakfast Pinterest Board.

Columbia Dandini Ravine ShirtREI Outlet Deal of the Day – Columbia Dandini Ravine Shirt $34.73 {was $90} REI Members: Earn a $20 Bonus Card when you spend $100 or more. July 21 – August 2. Not a member? Join HERE.

Transcend 16GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card

Amazon has the Transcend 16GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card on sale for just $6.99!!

paint sprayers

The Home Depot Deal of the Day – UP TO 30% OFF SELECT PAINT SPRAYERS & STEAMERS

amazon add on items

Amazon Add on Items

*These are all Amazon Add-on Items and they will ship with qualifying orders over $25 and are eligible for free shipping on $25 orders with Amazon Prime {or will ship FREE on $35 orders without Prime}. 

Green Horse Hopper, Pump Included

Wahooo! Amazon has the Green Horse Hopper, {Pump Included} on sale for $19.40. Be the birthday hero with this one. 😉 

disney store

The DisneyStore.com is having a Buy 1 Plush AND Get 1 for $1 Sale. Prices at just $4.99 {reg. $19.95}. Grab them while you can.

crazy 8 jean sale

Today only grab Crazy8 Jeans for just $8.88.

school supply deals

School Supply Deals

magazine sale

Amazon is having a $5 Magazine Sale. Grab ’em while you can!!!

Find More $5.00 Magazines

Zaycon-ground-beef-event

Zaycon Fresh is now taking orders for their upcoming events. Below are their offerings and prices in my area.Go HERE to find out if this deal is available in your area.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.89/lb $75.60/case
  • Fresh Ground Beef, Lean {93/7} – 40 lbs $3.99/lb | $159.60/case
  • Frozen Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillets 25lbs
  • Frozen Premium Alaskan Cod $5.49/lb $137.25/case
  • All Beef Hot Dogs $3.29/lb 10 lbs $32.90/case
  • Polish Kielbasa Sausages $2.79/lb 10 lbs  $27.90/case
  • Meaty Back Ribs $3.99/lb | $143.64/case
  • Bacon-Wrapped Pork Fillet $3.79/lb  36 lbs 136.44/case
  • Pork Sausage Links $2.79 ln 20 lbs $55.80/case
  • USDA Choice or Higher Chuck Roast $5.79/lb  $208.44/case
  • USDA Choice or Higher Patio Steaks $6.49/lb  $214.17/case
  • Smoked Pulled Pork – 20lbs $4.49/lb  $89.80/case

Check out the post on how we process so much Zaycon meat at one time.

planters peanutsCheck out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

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Returning My Coat to REI, My Hot Date, and a Filthy Penny

rei 1 year refund policy

rei winter coat rips and tears

The HH took the day off from work yesterday and lucky for him, it was my day to run errands and so I let home chauffeur me around. 😉

After reading the comments about my coat problem on Facebook, I decided to give REI a call about my coat. Even though I no longer had my receipt, I have been an REI member for over 10 years so they were able to look up my purchase history.  I explained about the seams ripping apart and the customer service rep basically told me there was no way of her knowing if it was a manufacture defect over the phone and that my best option would be to bring the coat in and have customer service take a look at it. rei 1 year refund policy

Well look at that. REI decided my 2 year old coat WAS a manufacture defect and refunded me the price I paid for the coat back in February of 2013. I would have never thought to do this without so many of your prompting me to try. So thank you.

lucky penny

I spy with my little eye… a lucky penny.

HH: DO NOT PICK THAT UP.

Mavis: Why not?

HH: You don’t know where’s it been.

Mavis: Well I know where it’s going… IN MY POCKET.jersey mike subs

Jersey Mike’s Subs. That’s where the HH took me for our hot lunch date yesterday.

The sandwich {and atmosphere, was just okay}. If I had to do it over again I would have pocketed the money and just suggested we head home to make grilled cheese sandwiches. But when your husband is trying to be romantic and take you on a date, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

lucy puggle dogLucy survived her trip to the vet. Did I tell you Lucy the trouble puggle has been kicked out of every nail parlor in town? Yep, it’s true. Turns out she hates having people touch her feet {I don’t blame her} and our AWESOME vet is the only option left. She wouldn’t walk in on her own so the HH had to carry her in.

That’s high maintenance suburbia for you.

~Mavis

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Tour Of Johnny’s Seeds in Albion, Maine

johnnys research farm

This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts about her recent trip to Johnny’s Seed Company in Albion, Maine. She typically posts about her garden over on the east coast, but she’s changing things up a bit today.

johnnys seeds farm
Imagine the ultimate garden. Big, straight rows of multicolored vegetable and flowers in a myriad of colors. The grass between the plots is thick, lush and mowed perfectly.

tractors
The winding dirt road goes from the front road to the back plot past tractors, (I would have to line my tractors up too).
johnnys farm maine pictures

Fields.
johnnys see company greenhouse maine
Greenhouses.

johnnys seed company maine pond tour

A pond.

beehives maine

And trees and beehives galore.

johnnys trial gardens maine
This folks was not heaven, but the Johnny’s Selected Seed Trial Gardens in a teensy, tiny, modest town of Albion, Maine.

johnnys seeds maine greenhouse photo tour

The HH and I, while on a kid-free vacation (whoot-whoot), scooted off one cloudy day to tour the gardens. I knew their farm was going to be beautiful, but I grossly underestimated what we actually saw.

Although we followed our trusty gps all the way to their doorstep as there were no signs along the way, they clearly get their share of visitors. The self-guided tour began with a four page visitor’s guide we picked up at the front door. Among the reasonable rules of not picking anything from the garden we were also not allowed in the greenhouses due to risk of contamination. (Which was a total bummer because I love a good greenhouse and these greenhouses were Pinterest perfect. The floors swept, the pots lined up and evenly spaced, my OCD heart gave a little leap of joy at the mere sight.)

deer fence maineThen we let ourselves in the ten foot high fence gate and began our stroll through heaven… eeer I mean the immaculate gardens, began. (This fence must be at least 9′ high and it circles the farm. Deer are high jumpers and I would assume moose would be a threat also.)johnnys maine seed company

True there was no-one to answer questions, and boy did I have a lot. For example, there were MANY rows of Bee Forage. Is that to support the farm or bees in a general health way, or were they experimenting with different varieties? Or both? Inquiring minds (mainly mine) were so curious!

There were a dozen or two people in the field taking copious notes as they inspected and weeded their way through a plot and I honestly wouldn’t have wanted to interrupt them.

johnnys test gardens maineI did learn quite a bit from the visitor’s guide though. One of the most interesting things was the sheer scope of the work they do. Simply spending an entire decade breeding a new variety that would not only capture the interest of the home gardener but make that same variety taste good, look good and perform in many climates seems to be a tall order and yet they’ve been doing just that since 1973.

There is a company timeline of accomplishments at the back of the visitor’s guide. Did you know the company is 100% employee owned? How cool is that?

germinate licence plate maine

We saw this in the parking lot on the way out – Ha!

That just about says it all. I couldn’t be more impressed with this company.

~Heather

johnnys research farm

Johnny’s farm is located on Foss Hill Road in Albion, Maine, a farming community approximately 10 miles east of Waterville, Maine.

Johnny’s trial fields are open to guests for self-guided tours from July through September. The farm is open daily, Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 4 PM.

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Free Kindle Books, Pancakes, Bed in a Bag, Backpacks, Hoka One One Shoes and More

Rowenta Focus Steam Iron

cynosureWord of the Day: Cynosure Definition: Center of attraction or interest Used in a sentence: The Skater was the cynosure of all eyes because of the grace with which he moved about.

coat repair

Remember the other day when I told you about my favorite coat that won’t stop ripping? Well yesterday I put on my second favorite coat to make breakfast and what do you know… that one ripped too. This time in the very front of the coat. I fixed it though. It’s not pretty, but I can still wear it. Moral of the story; if you want to be toasty warm because your husband takes the day off and insists on jacking up the AC… grab a blanket, not a puffy coat made of parachute material.

Live long and prosper,

Mavis

*This deal post will be updated throughout the day so be sure and check back for deals. 

Rowenta Focus Steam IronAmazon Gold Box Deal of the Day – 50% Off a Rowenta Focus Steam Iron with 400-Hole Stainless Steel Soleplate.

ironman watch

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day – $18.99 Timex Ironman Watches

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

amazon subscribe and save deals

Amazon Subscribe and Save Deals

CaptureThis summer Amazon is running a Capture Their Love of Reading contest with a prize pack for the winner that includes all things Kindle for the whole family. Entering is simple: Head over HERE and share a picture of your child reading. That’s it. Easy peasy way to enter to win a pack of Kindles, an Amazon Fire TV, Fire Phone and more.

DIY Emergency Car Kit Ideas for College StudentsSending The Girl off to school with this DIY Emergency Car Kit for College Students gave me so much peace of mind! Knowing she had some supplies in case she needed them helped this momma sleep at night! Find more great tips for any student on my College Life Pinterest Board.

bed in a bag

AmazonBasics 7-Piece Bed-In-A-Bag are on sale for $48.99 shipped!

driscolls berries

Enter to Win Driscoll’s #pictureperfectplate contest and you could win a Nikon DSLR Camera or a year supply of berries.

paint by number kits

Looking for a calming activity for you or the kids? Dimensions Needlecrafts has oodles of paint by number kits available for as low as $6.74.

hoka one one dealsIf you’ve been waiting for a FANTASTIC Deal on Hoka One One Running Shoes The Clymb has them on sale today for $83.98 shipped. Plus you can score an extra $10 off your first purchase of $25 when you sign up through this link. According to my daughter these shoes are the coolest thing ever!

best buy deals of the day

Best Buy Deal of the Day – Dell – Inspiron 15.6″ Laptop – AMD A6-Series – 4GB Memory – 500GB Hard Drive  $229 shipped {was $279}. The HP – x3000 Wireless Optical Mouse is on sale for $7.99 shipped as well.

easy-pasta-salad-recipes1This Pasta Salad w/ Green Beans, Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers packs a powerful flavor punch. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later. Find more green bean recipes on my Beans Pinterest Board.

Granite Gear Boundry Backpack

REI Outlet Deal of the Day – Granite Gear Boundry Backpack $24.73

rei deals

Sweet Deals I found in the REI Outlet 70% off Clearance Sale

REI Members: Earn a $20 Bonus Card when you spend $100 or more. July 21 – August 2. Not a member? Join HERE.

Play-Doh Numbers Letters N Fun Art Toy

Amazon has the Play-Doh Numbers Letters N Fun Art Toy on sale for $6.89 and ships FREE with Amazon Prime. 

gymboree sale

Today only take an extra 30% off Markdowns at Gymboree for a combined savings up to 70% off.

magazine sale

Amazon is having a $5 Magazine Sale. Grab ’em while you can!!!

Find More $5.00 Magazines

toms sale

Thru August 2nd, 2015 you can save up to $20 with the TOMS Back to School Sale.  Get $5 off $50, $15 off $100 and $20 off $150 purchase when you use code BTSTIME at checkout. FREE SHIPPING on orders $25 or more.

shower caddy

Looking for a great gift for a college student? Amazon has the 8 pocket, Mesh Shower Caddy on sale for $5.99 shipped! *Great reviews!!

amazon audible

Amazon Prime special offer: Get a 3-month free trial to Audible

Right now Amazon Prime members can get a 3-month FREE trial for Audible!!! {I like to listen to audiobooks while I garden.} With over 150,000 titles to choose from you’d be CRAZY to pass up this freebie. Listen with the FREE Audible app on your smartphone or tablet. Yee-Haw!

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Super Delicious Blueberry Muffins

Super Delicious Blueberry Muffins

Super Delicious Blueberry Muffins

My friend Jane is at is again with her crazy good recipes. I had a bunch of blueberries I needed to use up, so I turned to her awesome recipes for help. She delivered. Again. These muffins are out of this world good {and you know how I love me a good muffin!}.

gathering blueberriesIngredients

1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/8 cup sugar
3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions

Cream the butter, eggs and sugar together with a mixer. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside. Add vanilla to the milk. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to butter mixture, mixing to combine {do not over mix!}. Fold in blueberries. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Thy-Hand-Hath-Provided-Recipe-Book
If you love this recipe, you’ll love all the rest of Jane’s recipe found in her delicious cookbook: Thy Hand Hath Provided Cookbook. It’s simply AWESOME! She even has it on Amazon as an eBook!

Looking for those cute tulip muffin liners? Find them HERE.

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Bring on the Fall Crops… My Freezer is All Cleaned Out and Ready to Go!

cleaning out freezer

cleaning out freezerYesterday I harvested another round of zucchini from the garden. This time around I’ve decided to make Francisco’s zucchini bread out of those green beauties.

But first, I needed to make room in the chest freezer in our garage.

freezer storage

I try and clean out and defrost the freezer about twice a year. Once towards the end of summer, and once again in the early spring so I can see what we still have left produce wise. This helps me to know what I need to preserve more of during the summer months.freeze cheesecake godiva chocolate

At our old house we had 2 freezers in the garage {we bought them at Costco several years ago}. Our garden was pretty big and somehow by the end of each summer both freezers were both stuffed to capacity.

freezer mealsWe sold our second freezer last fall before we moved. And I’m so glad we did. Because really, with The Girl off to college here in another month, and Monkey Boy working full time until he enrolls in trade school {we wanted him to work for a year in his particular field first to make sure he really likes it before shelling out big bucks for tuition} we just have no need for two chest freezers anymore.

cleaning out freezer

That being said….

I looks like I’m going to need to hurry and use up some of this food. Clearly, eating the chocolate cheesecake will be priority number one. Then, I’ll tackle the freezer meals. Who knows, maybe I’ll even hunt down a shrimp recipe and cook up the 2 pounds of shrimp the HH brought home last summer. Do you know of any good shrimp recipes {I don’t like shrimp} so I can get rid of it once and for all?

~Mavis

P.S. Are you ready for fall? When was the last time YOU cleaned out your freezer?

 

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McDonald’s Sales Continue to Decline

McDonalds Struggles as People Choose Healthier OptionsAccording to CNN, McDonald’s reported a “10% drop in quarterly sales and earnings per share” this past week.  Are we really surprised?  With all the healthy take out food available in grocery stores these days it’s really no big surprise.  McDonald’s tried the breakfast all day thing, providing calories for all of their items, but what they haven’t tried is making their menu healthier overall.  I’m not really sure what they aren’t getting?

While I for one could go without every eating at McDonald’s, for 10 million and 52 reasons unknown to me, my son LOVES McDonalds. Maybe it’s because he was deprived in his youth…maybe it’s because it tastes great to him while it slowly rots his insides?  Who knows.  Now that he has a job, though, he gets to spend his paycheck however he pleases.  And, he usually pleases to spend at least part of his paycheck on the processed craaaaap.

>What’s the appeal? A quick meal, convenience, price?  What do you think McDonald’s target demographic is?  People looking to stretch their dollar?  Mom’s in need of an outing?  Over-scheduled families looking for a quick and affordable way to feed the entire brood on their way to practice/lessons/etc.?  I am just guessing…who do you think they are trying to cater to?  Whoever it is, do you think McDonald’s would lose that clientele if they increased the nutritional value a smidge a ton?  Would the increase in traffic make up for the lost customers who were looking for a CHEAP meal?

Just as a conversation starter, what would you do if you were the CEO of McDonald’s?  How would you increase sales?
~Mavis

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