Monday, June 28, 2010

What I Look Like...

...six weeks before my third baby is due


What do you think...am I growing a boy or a girl?





More Hay Than We Know What To Do With

This barn is getting quite full. I believe we can stack about 7,000 square bales into this barn. With all of the rain we've received this year, our hay crop is growing really well. So well, in fact, that we're having a hard time keeping up with it. By the time one field is cut, raked, and baled, another field is ready to go. This means long days on the farm.

Tom is driving our bale wagon back from the field with a full load of hay.

We have so much hay we've overflowed into the new barn. Here is the first stack to ever be placed in the new barn.

This new barn was built last fall for equipment and extra hay storage. Tom and his dad have been working busily to weld the backstop you can see at the far end. This will keep from falling backwards when the bale wagon drops the stack of hay. Up next? Lots and lots of tin all over the main two rain-ward sides.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Checking on the Chickens

Riley is peeking in to check on the peepers.


Pictures through chicken wire are hard to take. But here's a look from the outside in.

This is what the coop looks like from the front door.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pickles!!!

Is there anything better than bread 'n butter pickles from your own garden? I catch my boys (the tall one too) at random times of the day standing with the fridge open with a fork in their hand and vinegar dripping down their chins.

Recipe:
1 lb. pickling cucumbers, slice 1/4"
1 small white onion rings, sliced 1/4"
2 c. white wine vinegar (any vinegar will do)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. kosher salt
1 tsp. celery seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 bay leaves

Place sliced cucumbers and onions in a heat proof bowl. Bring other ingredients to a boil until sugar and salt are dissolved. Quickly pour over cucumber/onion mixture and let sit. When the bowl contents have reached room temperature, pour into quart size canning jar and place in fridge. Easy and yummy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lazy Afternoons

When it's hot outside and the naps are finished, we typically play on the front porch for a while.

Abram likes to swing



And most days the boys wear their bathing suits and we set up the slip n slide


Bugs

There is nothing this boy is afraid of touching. If I see a garden pest and am...well...nervous about it...I'll call Riley, my exterminator, over and he'll gladly pick the bug off of my plants and dispose of it.

This was one cool caterpillar. BUT, even beautiful-looking bugs must get off of my carrots.

Wonder what kind of butterfly this one will make? Does anyone know?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Little Tomato

We had an abundance of little red cherry tomatoes on our porch this summer. As soon as they started turning bright red, Abram was drawn to them. He crawled up onto the bench and started snacking.

He loves tomatoes...just like his Grandma!

Peek-A-Boo!

Abram thought Papa was building a huge playhouse for him before the chickens moved in their new home. He loved to crawl inside and explore. Now that the chickens have moved in, he and Riley don't go inside but they get to stand outside and peek in the windows.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Faith Like Potatoes

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen."
Hebrews 11:1


Growing potatoes is a lot like faith. You plant seeds and you watch the plants grow but you don't really know what is under the dirt until the time is right and you dig everything up. It was like a big surprise on Christmas morning!

Our harvest was about 10 pounds of the best yummiest yukon golds we've ever tasted!
We'll definitely keep potatoes on the "Must Grow" list.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Garden

We expanded our ground and quadrupled our growing space this year. We're growing tomatoes, cucumbers, butternut squash, summer squash, zucchini, onions, watermelons, cantaloupe, green beans, sweet corn, sweet bell peppers, ichiban eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, snap peas, lettuce, radishes, tomatillos, spinach, potatoes, jalapenos, serrano peppers, carrots, and mammoth sunflowers.

Chris and Tom made these cucumber/ butternut squash trellises from cattle panels found at our local feed store. It was Chris' first welding experience and I'd have to say he did quite well.

Two cabbages harvested and turned into jars and jars of sauerkraut.

We have 15 tomato plants. We'll get scores and scores of the red fleshy fruit this summer. I'm ready for another round of canning diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, marinara (chalk full with our own basil, oregano, thyme), salsa, and pizza sauce.

Every garden needs the weeds to be pulled. The raised bed in the bottom right of the picture held our potato plants. Pictures of that yummy harvest to follow soon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Goodbye to the Puppies

We said goodbye to our last two puppies. All of them were sold and placed into good homes from San Antonio. We placed an online ad in the San Antonio Express newspaper and within five days, they were all gone.


We all bonded with these cute black pups. In a way, it was sad to see them go. But knowing they're in good homes makes it all bearable.

Riley definitely misses the puppies as he played with them every day. They all would follow him around the farm, flopping their big ears, and pouncing on him when he'd lay in the grass.


Abram liked them a lot too.

But he wasn't so sure of their licking.

One last goodbye

Within minutes of this picture being taken, the family drove up our driveway and we wheeled them their new puppies in this wagon. They wanted to take all three cuties home but we apologized and kindly let them know...the one in the back of the wagon was NOT for sale.

Almost Done

Here's a couple more pictures of the "Chez Poulet"

The roof is on and Tom is installing the nesting boxes.

Here are the nesting boxes made by Chris and Tom.

Looking inside the front door towards the back.

Nesting boxes are in and now the side wall needs a hinged door so Riley can collect the eggs.

A couple more finishing touches and the chicks can move in. What a relief after they've been "cooped" up in their tiny brooder box. More pictures will be posted when it is finished.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Goodbye To Old Friends

Sad to say goodbye to these faithful friends. They finally gave out and the soles have disintegrated. I've had them 11 years. They've been to Africa and back three times. They have climbed mountains and waded in streams. They've doubled as running shoes and (in their day) were dressy enough to wear to a fancy dinner. They were my favorite go-to shoes...always secretly wishing I were wearing these if other shoes were on my feet.

It's a sad, sad day around here....

Dansko Retirement Day.

We will miss you 'ol faithful.

Cleaning Up The Tree

One of the perks of farm life is the heavy duty equipment which just makes life so much easier. When an enormous Oak falls down...what do we do?

We bring in two big tractors and get to work.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Big Storm

Yesterday our dog pin area looked like this...
(excuse the older photo taken in early April when the new concrete was going in)


This morning it looks like this.

And this.

And this.

Wow. We had a big storm blow in with 75 mile an hour winds and it took this majestic oak right out. Yikes!