When Life Hands You Lemons….


Hello, friends! As I hear the constant banging and pounding of renovation in the new year,  I thought I’d show you what’s been going on here at our casa. We moved in a few months ago and immediately started renovating the kitchen. After months of noise and dust, the kitchen is (mostly) completed. Here’s the before:


As you can see we had lots of white paint and pale cabinets. Here’s what it looks like now!

Now we’ve got grey-beige walls with espresso and grey cabinets, and white and silver quartz. I still like my pops of red and I now have a Darth Vader toaster from my dad and skulls from Dale! Much more my style!

Anyway, now we are working on the great room fireplace and the flooring on the main level. More pics to follow upon completion of those areas!

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What I really wanted to talk to you about today is something that is super exciting to me. I started growing a lemon tree on my patio in the late spring of last year. I have always wanted to have orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime trees but never thought I could actually grow them in Indiana. My significant other and I were at our local garden store and found a Meyer lemon tree. I was doubtful it would survive, but Dale said that he thought it would do well and that we should try it. Since he has the ultimate green thumb I decided to believe him, and we purchased it. We put it on the patio at our old house, and I lovingly cared for it all spring, summer and fall.

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When we moved to our forever home in October the weather had just started to turn cool, and the lemon tree had to come inside. By then it had many little, green lemons on it. We put it in a sunny place and I hoped for the best. I got busy with moving in and renovations (nightmare!), and we had to cover the lemon tree many times, along with all my other herbs and plants, to protect them from debris and paint. I kept watering it and really kind of forgot about it with so many other things going on.

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Imagine my surprise last week when I walked past my little lemon tree and saw that the tiny, baby green lemons had turned into big green lemons, and a few of them were now yellow. It had taken them so long to turn yellow I thought maybe it was never going to happen. My little lemon tree had other ideas though and now I’ve got four or five yellow ones, with more on the way.  It’s actually a great analogy for life, never give up on anything in life because more progress could be happening that you can’t even see.

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We wanted to do something delicious with our first lemons so I decided to make homemade lemonade. I don’t really like lemonade because I think it’s too sweet, but Dale said he had made not-too-sweet lemonade at his grandmother’s farm when he was younger, so I decided to let him go for it.

Dale’s Grandmother’s Lemonade

  • Two lemons, juiced (we used my juicer but you can squeeze the lemons if you don’t have one)
  • Four glasses of water (regular drinking glass sized)
  • 4 teaspoons of honey (we used wild flower honey, but we really would’ve like to use lavender or some other cool flavor of honey but we didn’t have any!)

First, you juice the lemons and then add the lemon juice with the water. Next, you add the honey and shake to combine. We put it in a bottle and shook it up. We added a few ice cubes to get it cold and then poured into glasses. We would’ve added mint for a garnish if we had any, but we will be growing some this summer to remedy that.

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That’s it, and it was AMAZING! it was absolutely the best lemonade I’ve ever had and it was good for you too, not like the processed stuff you buy from the store. I now love lemonade, well at least this version, and it’s a wonderful, healthy drink. The lemons are full of vitamin C (178% of the daily value), which helps fight infection. they contain flavonoid glycosides called esperetin and naringenin which provide radical free-radical zapping activity. Lemons are also a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron and magnesium. They’re an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, copper, folate, and potassium. The citric acid in lemons aids in digestion and helps to dissolve kidney stones, and the ascorbic acid is a natural antioxidant.

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It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s healthy and it’s delicious. What more could you want? Growing your own lemons allows you to make lemonade whenever you want, and it will help you to live a life of vitality- with Valerie!



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