Saturday, June 19, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow

Every time I go out to the garden I mumble the nursery rhyme Mary, Mary, quite contrary.........
The garden is doing great. We've been eating squash (freezing some too), and cucumbers.
Today started the green bean freezing process. 1/3 of the patch yielded almost 4# of beans. All cleaned, snapped and vac packed and in the freezer. I have a large cucumber salad in the fridge waiting for dinner tonight.
Here's how the garden has jumped up in just 1 month.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Additions To The Family

A couple of weeks ago a man brought my husband a shoe box. Inside was a bird and the man had no idea what to do with it. Seems he found it out in his driveway. Hubby brings it home since he knows me and the kids are into doing "rescues". Lo and behold, this is what we found when the lid came off.
 Her name is Speckles and she's quite tame as you can see by her sitting on my finger.
Nothing would do, the kids decided she was lonely and needed a cage mate. So here is Budgie. He's not tame yet, but we are working on him.

I had never imagined we would have birds as pets, but what the heck, we've had just about everything else. I draw the line at snakes and spiders - ain't happening.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm Baaaaaaaacccccccccckkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Been a while. Real life intruded. Too much going on and not enough hours in the day.
Once Spring started Springing, all hands were on deck to get the garden ready, work on new fencing, just pretty much a good bit of work to clean up the winter mess.
Add in unexpected things going on and well, the blog was the last thing on my mind.
The garden is in - and doing great. I grew everything from seed except the peppers and 1 odd tomato and a basil plant. It's about 33x31. All new fencing. In it are heirloom Arkansas Traveler, Brandywine and Yellow Pear tomato - the odd ball is an heirloom Stripey I wanted to try.  I also have managed to save 3 Italian Grape cherry tomato plants that I grew from seed. They are in a huge bucket on the porch where I can baby them.
Yellow summer squash, 2 kinds of cukes, Okra, Sugar Snap peas,  3 kinds of bush beans, Dill, Parsley, Basil, and in another bed sunflowers.

The whole garden
 Plums - need to do some serious thinning

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

RIP Poppy and Other News

Sad note here - on the evening of March 20, we noticed my little Poppers was not walking right. She was a wild little thing that never would allow us to hold her. That night I held her and we "communed" a bit and she squeaked at me and went to sleep. She knew she was loved even if she was of "da debbil".

I'm almost finished getting the kids enrolled into a new "school". It's a Virtual Charter School for SC students, and is tailor made for kids like mine. The enrollment process has been a bear but I finally got the last of the paperwork submitted and now all we have to wait on is testing dates for placement. The great part of this school is it allows us to continue home schooling yet the kids have all the advantages and benefits of public school. We are all pretty excited about it.

My son has found "employment" of sorts. He wants an XBox Elite and I told him he had to earn it so he's been doing just that. Cutting grass, doing odd jobs here and there, he's really giving it his all.
My daughter wants a WII and the same rule applies. It's tougher for her to earn money since she is only 12 but we're working on it.

The grand plans for the mini-farm are not panning out as expected. We ran into many snags - weather being the main one. The trees still need to come down. We did finish fencing off the lower section so the goat can roam freely without doing any more destruction. She's done a number on the yard. My son hasn't helped matters since he has discovered the joys of go-carting in the woods and all. The garden is not in yet. I'm growing the plants from seed and most are ready for transplant but the ground isn't ready. The pool is still covered - no clue when we can get to that. Too many pans in the fire.

We had a hail storm on March 28. Pretty much came out of nowhere. Quarter sized hail.

The Circus came to town. Courtesy of my BIL. He's a Ring Master and also does other things contractually. We do the circus carny routine once a year. If I never smell elephant again it will be too soon.
The ponies feeding their bellies and awaiting saddling for the rides.

Long shot of one of the elephants getting a bath before the show. There's Peter taking care of the ponies.

Goofing around after the show. 1 guess as to who the Ring Master is.

Check back because I'll be adding some photo's.

Monday, February 1, 2010


If you look at the cedar shavings, they are probably 1/2 inch or smaller in size. The hut she is in is about 2 1/2 inches wide. Your average corn kernel is bigger than she can hold. This gal is teeny tiny and mean as a hornet sprayed with water. Sadly, she will never be a "hand" hamster. But boy she does have the good life. She loves baby fresh spinach, fresh carrot slivers, and cheddar cheese.

White Stuff


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's A New Year

I have neglected my musings here for about a month. Time flies when you are up to your neck in baking and holiday readying. I did more baking this year for the holidays than I have in probably 5 or 6 years. I think it's because I had a captive kitchen crew - they knew if they wanted goodies they had to help.

We were all covered in flour by the time we finished up that night. It had finally progressed to a flour battle.

But, the cookies were scrumdilyiscious.

Christmas was a flurry of paper and "Wow ! You listened!!!". I kept a small notebook at my computer that I wrote down ideas all year long that the kids asked for. They didn't get hardly any of what they wanted but what they got was exactly what they had hoped for. Another notch in my belt.

The biggest thing that happened on Christmas day was my 14 year old son was taught how to shave for the first time. He was really getting to be a wooly bear. So one of his gifts included a snazzy razor and Daddy taught him all the rules and regulations. Once he got past playing with the shaving creme it was down to business....

Looks like Daddy could use a shave as well.

My husband gave me a wonderful gift - my Poppy. She's a Dwarf Russian Hamster. 5 months old. Quite wild but she's getting used to me as each day passes. She doesn't go for blood with her choppers anymore so that's a good sign.

She was housed temporarily in a very old hamster cage. We have set her up in a 10 gal aquarium now and her favorite thing to do is tunnel. Dwarf hamsters are not your average climbers so the old cage just wasn't suitable for her. Now she has scurry room and is much happier. Now to teach the cats that she is not the snack de'jour.

We've pretty much bedded down for the winter. The green house is limping along. It's a good project and a great learning experience. We've harvested a good many cucumbers and the tomato plants are loaded with fruit but the ripening is so slow going. I'm focusing now on planning out the Spring Garden and starting seeds for it. The greenhouse experiment will definately be expanded next fall - we have learned quite a lot even if it's trial by fire.

The weather changed so fast for us that we did not get all the trees down that we had intended to. We have enough down to open up the back area to more sunlight but not enough to proceed with our shed building plans. Perhaps that will happen closer to spring. Right now we are having what we Southerners call an Arctic Blast - nights in the teens and days in the 30's. Not conducive to working outside if you are not acclimated to it. Thankfully, we have a delivery of pre-split wood coming tomorrow - yes we had to purchase wood as we have run out of suitable wood after 12 years here. We don't yet own a vehicle that can transport wood so we had to pay for it to be delivered - won't happen again, I can assure you. What we have coming should last the winter for us. Using the fireplace to assist in the heating saves us a ton on the electric bill. We once entertained the idea of buying land and homesteading in Montana. Uhhhh NO! The last week or so has convinced me that we are quite content right where we are (for now).

Monday, December 28, 2009

T'Was 2 Days After Christmas

And all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse.
"This simply will not do", my husband remarked.
So off in the van he dashed to PetsMart.
He raced through the streets where the drivers were wonky
and arriving back home he handed me

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas On The Cheap

I read this on another site and thought it was a very good lesson to learn and think about.

It's said that you can never have to many friends, but Christmas was just a week away and I had five people left to shop for on my Christmas list and only three dollars to my name. How do you tell you mother, brother, and three friends that you can only spend sixty cent on each of them?
"Let's set a price limit on our gifts this year," I suggested to my best friend, Joanie.
"That's a good idea," Joanie agreed. "How about nothing over five dollars?"
"How about nothing over sixty cents?" I felt like the biggest cheapskate in the world.
"I guess this is where I'm supposed to say it's not the gift, it's the thought that counts," Joanie smiled. "But don't blame me if all you get is a stick of gum!"
It is almost impossible to buy anything for under sixty cents, so it was going to have to be very small gifts with very big thoughts. I'd never spent so much time or effort trying to come up with the right gift for the right person. Finally, Christmas day arrived, and I was worried how people would feel about my "cheap" gifts.
I gave my mother a scented candle with a note that said, "You are the brightest light in my life." Shoe almost cried when she read the note.
I gave my brother a wooden ruler. On the back of it I'd painted. "No brother in the world could measure up to you." He gave me a bag of sugar and had written on i t "You're sweet." He'd never said anything like that to me before.
For Joanie, I painted an old pair of shoes gold and stuck flowers in them with a note that said, "No one could ever fill your shoes." She gave me a feather and a Band Aid. She said I always tickled her funny bone and made her laugh until her sides ached.
To my other two friends, I gave one a paper fan and wrote on it, "I'm your biggest fan." To the other, I gave a calculator that cost one dollar and I painted a message on the back, "You can always count on me." They gave me a rusty horseshoe for luck and a bundle of sticks tied with a red ribbon because "friends stick together."
I don't remember all the other gifts that I got from people last Christmas, but I remember every one of the "cheap" gifts.
My brother thinks I am sweet. My mother knows she is the most important person in my life. Joanie thinks I'm funny and I made her laugh, which is important because her dad moved away last year and she misses him and is sad sometimes.
I was worried I wouldn't have enough money for Christmas gift, but I gave to five people and still had twenty cents left over. We all still talk about our "cheap" gifts and how much fun it was to come up with a gift that cost pennies but told someone how we really felt about them. On my bookshelf, I still have a bag of sugar, a feather, a horseshoe, and a bundle of sticks. . . and they are priceless