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Monday, June 29, 2009

A Couple of Boxes

Indulge me okay.
I thought it was hilarious.
My girls entertaining themselves while mom and dad were working.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A New Adventure!

A few weeks ago I was invited to write on Homemakers Who Work. I was a little taken aback because although I have the working part down cold, the homemaking part is a struggle for me. I am not organized, I do not have it all together, and my house is a mess more often than not. Now that I am working less I hope to improve! See my introduction there today.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

Another busy weekend has flown past, but in a good way. Full of things I am proud of. Mom is feeling better and may return home tomorrow! Lizzy had a nice 7th birthday party with her friends (I got lost picking a girl up, and nearly ran out of gasoline but made it on time -mostly!). Both girls showed at a local 4H show-Lizzy in a lead line class and Erin in a walk-trot class. They both did their best and had fun. It still floors me to see them up on this 18 hand horse with such confidence.
My novice garden is going well! We hilled potatoes-they are starting blossoms. I finished the pea trellis (sticks and strings leading to the perimeter fence) I am seeing that it may have been a bad idea to plant so close to the edge-I am in mortal combat with quack grass in these areas. But the edges seem to be protected from something which is making my turnip greens look like fine green lace. The turnips planted in front of the peas-along the weedy perimeter fence look great-the plants in middle beds are full of holes. Hmmm, habitat or beneficial bugs? My pepper plants also look like they want to die, they have turned a yellow green color and the lower leaves have a grayish tracing in the leaf away from the 'veins', the new leaves do not have the grey so I believe that is just the old leaves getting burned from all the sun. I fertilized them lightly and watered heavily, hoping that will get them back to a normal-not death bed-color green. I also removed the milk jug cloches from half the group. They were only transplanted 1 week ago.
The carrots did not germinate well-i think they were too dry, so the bed I take spinach out of will get more carrots. I am in love with the garden! I just wish I lived where I gardened-or gardened where I lived :)
I have been thinking about this having a foot in two different lifestyles and it kinda sucks. I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to play with this homesteading lifestyle (thanks for sharing your farm Dad), but being between is not much fun. I am anxious to see if our house will sell. I am anxious to start work on our own place instead of 'playing' on someone else's place -even though it is shared with such abandon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Close Call

I came very close to failing someone who is important to me.

My mother called me yesterday morning to say she wasn't feeling well enough to watch the girls. She thought she had overdone it in the yard; her ribs, lat and shoulder muscles hurt when she took a deep breath. But then she also said that she was having chills and sweats. She was going to see if her regular physician was available and if not take herself to the walk-in. Did she need help? No. -stubborn old lady :} I jumped into the shower running over the options-take the girls with me to work, call the other grandma, husband takes a half day. My initial reaction was very self centered-how will I deal with my babysitter not being available? It did NOT even occur to me that I should help her. But-didn't she seem a little fuzzy on the phone? Didn't she have a history of NOT asking for help? (runs in the family!)

I did pull my head out of my ass long enough to make arrangements for the girls AND myself. Took Mom to the walk-in and got her settled in at the ICU for potential bacterial pneumonia and sepsis. It's too soon to know for sure, but I think she is going to be okay.

When I think about what a close call yesterday morning was I get chills. My frenetic self-centered life came very close to hurting someone I love.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Taste of the 'Good Life'

We are three days into our first four day 'weekend' at the camper. Our camper sits in the woods near the rear of my father's 40 acre farmette. My garden is finally looking less like a patch of dirt. The potatoes have taken off, the pole beans are up and the peas are begging for a trellis. I finally planted the peppers and tomatoes which have been adorning my deck for so long! Tom and I planted a 40x60 (?) foot patch of peas and oats yesterday in the hopes that we can use them for chicken feed-either scythe and store them or turn the girls loose in the patch. My girls were riding their bikes everywhere! We were all very tired little campers last night!

The laying hens are back to full production: 8 eggs/day from the 9 leghorns and 19 eggs/day from the 25-ish banties. They were improving within 4 days of moving them into more spacious quarters.
Tom and I have been able to sell eggs to co-workers. We can't market them as organic because of their feed (Purina-Layena) but I think they are better than commercial organic!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


This is not a coherent post-just a series of thoughts-jumbles and fragments.

Chickens are better--the leghorns are alone in the 'palace' and beginning to increase egg production-9 hens and 1 rooster -this weekend we were up to 5 eggs/day from that group. now that my 'summer schedule' is starting i would really like to move them 2x daily-they really love the clover and mustard. The banties however are another story... there are 20 (ish) of them and 1 rooster and they were giving us maybe a dozen eggs/day last weekend it was 1 egg/day. ONE. They are in a 1/4 or 1/3 acre fenced orchard with free choice feed. I will send my chicks in there to see if they have found an alternate laying spot-or look for evidence of egg eating.

For some reason my anxiety level is through the roof. Everything sets me off. I was actually thinking about drugs (the Rx kind!!) to help me get things back under control but that's not the way to go. Ive been reading a book called SPARK and it details the connections between exercise and the brain. This book is filled with proof after proof that our brains NEED exercise to function optimally. Did you know that exercise can grow stem cells--create NEW brain cells. And low grade chronic stress actually makes you stupid --as in lose IQ points, as in can't remember new things. This book is NOT riveting reading -it is full of growth factors and study findings but even though it puts me to sleep I will read and probably re-read it. The way to get me out of my cycle of stress= paralyzed into no action= more stress-- is to move! I have started the walk/jog thing in the mornings again and it is BETTER than drugs!

The bunnies were weaned last week and mom bred back. We have 3 nice sized babies and 1 little guy. He/she is less than 1/2 the size with a very fluffy-fuzzy coat; he also drinks alot of water. He is very bright and active though-always the first to look for handouts! We will probably let them go to 10 or 12 weeks of age.

The girls are done with school today and my 4 day 'weekends' start this week. I have decided to just hire a handyman type person to finish the projects we need to do to get 'for sale' sign in front of house. We have the money right now just no time--or more acurately the time we have is not being spent in town -we are actually trying to have some fun and relax.

happy summer -maybe we will break into the high 60's this week!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Silver Parrot Designs

I found this at Rural Rose's site. A contest! And the prize is beads! Click on the post title to go to the silver parrot blog site. I am not a serious beader, but last Christmas I made beaded gifts for my female friends and family. Like so many things; I could totally loose myself in the creation process-totally relaxing, even meditative but I just didn't have/make time to be really good. I'm just a dabbler.
I have promised Ruth i would forward a hefty 'finder's fee' of beads to her, I really don't need a huge inventory of supplies-just something to get the juices flowing again! Kris

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Queen Elizabeth and 'Cluckingham' Palace

This is my 6 year old daughter Elizabeth (Lizzy), in front of our first attempt at a chicken tractor. I say first attempt because this is all new to us and what crazy person (me!!) expects the first attempt to turn out perfectly or even adequately?! These chickens are at my Dad's place 30 miles away, the site of future home (keeping fingers crossed!). The laying flock needed a summer home while their coop was borrowed by the Cornish cross meat birds. Tom and I had read Joe Salatin's Pastured Poultry book and were excited to try it out. We made some modifications and ended up with something with a smaller square foot footprint, but taller and heavier (Tom can pull it, but us less gifted mortals have to use the garden tractor to move it!). It currently houses one rooster 9 leghorns and approx 20 bantams. They have been in there for 1 week and egg production has dropped off alot. The production of the chickens left behind in the orchard has also dropped. I think they are all stressed. I know next to nothing about chickens, but now my real education begins. I will keep you all posted as to what we figure out.