Saturday, May 2, 2009

April 22, 2009 ~ Michael's New Project


This morning dawned so beautifully. We had strawberries that were left over from strawberry shortcake. So I made crepes for us for breakfast.

I made up this recipe, spur of the moment, and really liked it:

Faith's Bright Morning Crepes

4 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend and pour a small amount quickly into hot, buttered skillet, to about 8" around.
Makes about 6 eight-inch crepes.
Fill with fruit, top with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and more fruit.

We decided to take the older chicks out of the house and put them down in the chicken house. YAY!

Getting a field full of buttercups again.

Our full garden area, turned over and waiting to be tilled.

We have decided to make building a greenhouse by fall a project. If we go at it a little at a time through the spring and summer, we are hoping it will be ready in time to plant fall and winter crops. It will be tough with the money, but if you wait to start until you can afford it, it won't happen. A little at a time will get us there.

First step we've got to dismantle it and set it square and straight, as the ground shifted over the last few years it was put in.

Here are how the hoops are fastened to the base boards.

And the main cross beam that runs down the top center will be held on by these types of clamps.

We took the pipes up, cleaned them, sorted and organized, and now we have a plan. We'll get to dismantling as soon as we can fit in a few hours.

Now up to Michael's New Project. He is so conscientious. He heard me talk about the scrub trees covering the back hill and how out of control they were now. So he decided to go sharpen the ax one day and he left. He didn't tell me what he was going to do. But he came back and said that his plan was to take out 10 or more trees per day until the hill is cleared.

This was his third or fourth day, and I went up with him.

Then it was time to do another project we'd missed getting to for a few weeks. Michael cut up some PVC pipe.

Then we buried it by the pool deck so hold our umbrellas that kept falling over last year.

Sunny umbrellas make you smile.



April 19, 2009 ~ Some Good News and Some Bad News


The good news is - We got our first load of great composting materials.


The bad news is that we don't have a working truck to haul it in, and we expected it in bags...


Still, I thought it was mildly amusing that I showed up at church with a bunch of grass in the back of my car. LOL

It was to rain that night, so we had to get it offloaded after we got home late that night and before the rain soggied up the field, making it too wet to drive in.

We added a little earth, a little manure, and a little rain that night to get it cooking.



April 18, 2009 ~ Pretty, Happy Things.


Getting ready for the party today brought my mind to things that make me feel good when I look at them.

The color didn't come out well, this is a really lovely apple green gingham.

A few of my favorite things,



April 17, 2009 ~ Cakes, Smoothies, Morning Light


This morning I pulled out of the freezer an ice cream cake I'd made a week before. It was fun to make, cake on the top, ice cream on the bottom. I made an absolutely delicious cream cheese frosting for the top, and enjoyed the spring feel to it.


Michael got a banana-pineapple smoothie for the first part of his breakfast.


And we welcomed the warmer morning weather back again. Straightening up the house and cooking today, for a party tomorrow afternoon and evening.


I think green is completely "IN".



April 16, 2009 ~ Finishing the Compost Bin


The second course was more difficult than the first. We had to hold the bent pieces of tin up in the air while we drilled and tied them securely. One more pair of hands would have cut our time in half. But we did it, through sheer determination and hard-headedness.

We finally realized the drill bit was too dull. We were basically ramming the spinning bit through by force and then when we were drilling two pieces at a time, the first piece's "donut hole' as it were prevented us from even getting to the second piece.

We gave up and mostly began hammering a spike through instead. That was much quicker.


It's very sturdy and I'm really pleased. The compost materials will go in the largest bin, on the right end, then be pitched successively to the left, until we have finished compost.

I took a little time to photograph some little flowers we don't notice very often in our busyness.


All things bright and beautiful,
The Lord God made them all.



April 15, 2009 ~ Building the Compost Bin


We had thought of several places to put the compost bins. This being one of them. The plan was to build something pretty large, and they don't tend to be the most beautiful part of your landscape, unless you have gobs of money to spend on frilly things like lath and decorative bushes.

While I made up my mind on where to build them, Michael made up his mind to do something about our wandering trampoline. Every time it gets windy we find it in a new spot. Dreading waking up one day to find it through the fence and on a neighbor's property, Michael chose to move it back and anchor it with some stakes and, yes, baling wire! He did a GREAT job!

Ginny. Always curious. This is a good thing, really. If and when we get the time to train her to ride, she will have a wide array of things she has investigated and found to not have monsters, hence, less shying.

I decided to place it against the old goat enclosure.

We put the horses into the goat pen so they'd not be a curious nuisance...

We bent the first course of tin sheets from our dismantling scraps on the hill. We found the best way was to hammer down the ridges at the point of the necessary bend, stand on it, so your shoe edges provide a turning line from edge to edge, then bend carefully. Next, we began to drive in the posts.

Then we drilled holes through the tin and tightly wrapped them against the posts with baling wire.

Looking forward to a rottin' time,



April 14, 2009 ~ Simple Things


I loved the dewdrops on these brussel sprout seedlings.


Taking time to notice the little things,



April 13, 2009 ~ Trimming the Rooster and Other Party Games


Another list of things to do on the farm today. We started it out by taking a walk to check on things.

Here is the tool shed. Several years ago I bought the fabric under the stones, 4 inches of pebble, and planted these evergreens. They are finally really taking off. They had more water last year and that made them much happier.

The strawberries are beginning to come out of hibernation. We planted one June bearer, and three types of ever bearers, or daylight neutrals. Looks like only 3 or so of nearly 200 are not going to make it.

Here is our blackberry row. A few weeks ago we went down and tied up the straying canes and long vines, as well as putting a shovel full of horse biscuits on each one. They've not had a lot of care in the last few years, so it remains to be seen how well they'll do this year.

Here are the bush cherries. I've got two kinds here. One is Nanking, and the other is... I can't remember. LOL But the ones on the far side have already bloomed and have small fruits set. You can see the ever-widening sink holes in the foreground, just beyond part of the vineyard.

I built this kiwi arbor out of our cedar trees for posts, then lumber for the tops and vinyl lath for the sides. It's not going to last long. I was rather hoping the kiwi vines would grow into it, become unified and strengthen the structure. It's possible I was deluding myself. However, 4 of 6 kiwi vines did not make it and I have yet to grow any of those luscious little fruits. The Hardy Kiwi is small and smooth, sweet and easy to pocket or pop into your mouth. Different than the fuzzy, tropical kiwis you see in the grocery store. I am looking forward to success with this fruit one day.

We have to catch the rooster who is brutalizing the hens. Only three hens for him, and that's too much rooster for such a small flock. So we are going to trim his wing and shoo him out of the barnyard until the hens get some feathers back and we hopefully have more to him to divvy up his attention on. Trimming the first few feather tips from one wing (It doesn't hurt, it's like hair.) will cause the bird to fly in circles, rather than expertly directing himself over the fence.

To that end, we have fashioned a chicken catcher. A hanger, bent to catch the rooster's foot as he runs past. Sometimes it works, and sometimes you just have to dive for them. We ended up diving on top of a large cone of chicken wire fencing we laid in the corner. He is a smart rooster.

Also, while we are down there, we will need to pick up the battery underneath the bin and recharge it. The electric fence charger is on the post.

Turn off the charger, undo the negative first, then the positive.

Got him! He's a fine looking specimen! The bird's not bad either. ;)

The wing before trimming...

And after...


Our round pen for training the horses, needed repair so badly that it was no longer usable and we had to take the sides down, leaving only the posts. We hadn't had a lot of time for training lately, but it was nice to have.


Bless you!


Tree house is still looking pretty good.


And after a morning of work, we set off for an afternoon of birthday party and game night with friends.

A well balanced day.