Saturday, May 31, 2008
Just the other afternoon my kids were outside playing in the water hose sliding down the hill on a piece of plastic. One of my wet children ran into the house to tell me that somebody was sitting in the front yard waiting to talk to me. This seems to be a habit in our neck of the woods. In Kentucky when I was growing up, if I wanted to talk to a neighbor I would go to the front door and knock. I know this is a novel idea and a lot to expect from folks. Here the neighbors sit in your front yard in their car or on their 4 wheeler waiting for you to come out. My house tends to be loud and I often times don't even look out in the front yard unless my children are playing out there. Our English Mastiff doesn't even know that people are waiting probably because she is piled up in our bed asleep! I went outside wondering how long these neighbors had been sitting in my front yard in their truck. The man just wanted to let me know that our bees had swarmed and I should go do something about it. I told him I would promptly call my husband home from work because I didn't do bees!! Apparently one of our older hives hatched out an extra queen and everybody knows you can't have 2 queens together so one was booted out of the hive with her cronies. By the time Michael got home to deal with HIS bee issue, the swarm had left. Michael had the boys get the supers ready to go on the hives today. They don't do bees either so they were less than willing to don a bee suit and go put the supers on for him. With a grin, he suggested I do it. I reminded him that I helped move the bees once and that was the only time I ever intended to do ANYTHING with them. Some time today as long as the weather cooperates, he will get in the hives take a look around and add the supers for the bees to make honey.
I have been busy planting in our garden area. That is a chore I am more than willing to do! Here is one of two tables of plants that I have left to plant. I am down to needing a bed for my Rutgers Tomatoes and a bed for watermelon and cantaloupe. My cabbage and broccoli are still producing so I can't use those beds just yet. I will be forced to plant my last remaining items in our row garden if we don't get a few more beds soon. I did pick peas and till the plants under this week. I used that bed for our pepper plants so at least I got the peppers in the ground.
It is finally warming up here. We have had an unusually cool spring. I woke up to the sweetest sound last night. I heard the sound of water droplets plunking on the roof. It rained for awhile and I went to sleep thanking the Lord for sending His provision.
grace and peace,
Friday, May 30, 2008
We were hoping for twins somewhere along the way, but we haven't had any as of yet. I love the ambiance that the sheep bring to our farm. Their sounds are so sweet. I have been waking up to the bleating of sheep instead of an alarm clock the last few weeks. It is a much nicer way to start my day.
grace and peace,
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I also made Chicken Salad. I discovered just how good chicken salad is on homemade sourdough bread. I have included my Chicken Salad recipe below. It is full of chunks of chicken, toasted almonds, and grapes. This is a summertime favorite for a picnic or a baby shower. It can be served on homemade bread, croissants, or crackers. I got the recipe from a tea room in Ky. that was closing. This was their signature dish and they served it with croissants. I hope you enjoy!
7 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup diced celery (very small)
1 large bunch quartered seedless red grapes
1 cup toasted almonds
5 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups Real Mayonnaise
Combine lemon juice, mayo, salt, ground pepper, and dried mustard. Cream until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and toss well.
This recipe makes a large batch. I have cut it in half before and it works well.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Then make these...
First go to that dreaded grocery store because you can't grow these sweet delights in the backyard garden! Buy some large pretzel rods, a package of caramels, and a Tablespoon Evaporated Milk. You will also need to stop in the baking aisle and purchase Heath Toffee chips, Mini Chocolate Chips, and Colored Sprinkles.
Melt the caramels in a pan on medium heat. Stir to keep from scorching. Add 1 Tablespoon Evaporated Milk while melting the caramels. Cut pretzels in half lengthwise using a bread knife. (I made a small slit and then broke them in half. This worked well).
Dip the pretzels in the caramel about halfway. Roll the pretzels in the chocolate chips, heath chips, and colored sprinkles. Place on a rack to dry. (I used my cooling rack and I stuck the ends in the holes. This was great)!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Michael keeps great records so he was eager to check the weight of the new lambs. He has caught each new baby and weighed them with the help of our little man. You see we do not have a true farm scale and we didn't want to purchase one at this time. Michael took the bathroom scale to the shop and had Seth weigh each lamb. The last one that was born weighed 9 pounds. We have 3 girls and 3 boys to date.
By the way, if you look closely at the picture Seth is wearing his Thomas the Tank snow boots. You may be wondering why he is wearing snow boots after Memorial Day. I am sure there is some fashion rule that he is violating. Well for whatever reason his snow boots are his most treasured clothing item. He has deemed them to be his work boots. Every time his daddy puts on his work boots, Seth runs to get his. We are concerned that he will be wearing them to the swimming pool!
grace and peace,
Monday, May 26, 2008
My husband served almost a full 12 years in the United States Navy. We got married the week after he finished boot camp so I was along for his adventure. We both have learned so many things from Michael's military time. I could write a book about being a Navy wife and all the things that the Lord and the Navy taught me during that time. ( I learned the true meaning of "hurry up and wait" as well as "improvise, adapt, and overcome")! Along the way, the Lord brought many great people into our lives. The above picture shows one of those men. The man was an officer stationed on the submarine with Michael. A friendship was formed. (Michael and our oldest son Matthew ended up going on this man's first date with the woman who would later become his wife). Several years and children later, we were living in Florida and Michael received a phone call. It was this man on the other end. We had not heard from him since we left Virginia. He had called to let Michael know that he had given his heart to the Lord and Michael had a direct influence on his decision. He knew that Michael loved the Lord and he also loved me and his children. It spoke to this man's heart and he wanted Michael to know. It has been 7 years since that phone call and I finally got to meet his wife and children. Two years ago Michael received another phone call and this man explained that his wife and children were traveling from Texas to Virginia to visit family. He didn't want them to stay in a hotel because he felt it was unsafe so he was lining up Navy people along the way to let them stay with overnight. We were on the route so I was able to meet her and the 3 boys. We had such a great few days. This story is just one example of how Navy guys still count on each other even after their time of service is completed.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Today will find me in the kitchen making Strawberry Jam once again. I will make 6 more batches which should have me at a total of 36 pints of strawberry jam. If I make my kids and husband ration the jam, that should be enough to get us through until next strawberry season.
I will also be overseeing my oldest son with the tiller in the garden beds. I have 3 beds to prepare in order to plant. I NEED them to plant in. This year I am 3 beds short from last year at this time. We have donated one bed for strawberries, one bed for cabbage, and one bed for broccoli. The cabbage and broccoli are still going strong so I can't use those beds to plant in for a bit longer. I may actually plant some things out in our row garden. Michael wants me to plant pole beans around our corn stalks. His point is that they are true companion plants. The corn takes nitrogen out of the soil and green beans put it back in. (Leave it up to a chemist nuclear man to think in these terms). Now here is my practical idea....I want to plant pole beans in a straight line growing up a cattle panel. The picker (that's me) walks up a nice and tidy straight line and picks beans growing up a nice NON ITCHY cattle panel. I will let you know how we resolve this issue!
If there is time today, I would like to do some cleaning. I always like my house clean to start the weekend. I also know there is reality and sometimes reality says that there is always tomorrow to clean the house!!!
grace and peace,
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Since we like to do this....
My favorite grocery cart is this...
grace and peace,
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I went back to the garden and started picking cabbage and broccoli. I noticed one sheep was acting really strange. Michael was already in the pasture by this point. We could actually see her stomach contracting. I suggested he take her some ice chips... he just rolled his eyes at me.
Don't you think she looks like she would have appreciated ice chips???
Shortly there after a lamb was born. It took about 5 minutes for it to get up and moving. I was concerned that maybe there was a problem.
She did finally get up and start moving about. We were hoping for twins, but we will take a little girl baby with great joy!
Here is one happy sheep farmer. I think he picked a great day to work from the home office!! The real funny part of this whole story is Michael was bound and determined that we were going to be ahead of the game. You see, we are usually late with many things that we do...not because we are poor managers, but often times time and money are problems. This time he was going to make sure that he purchased his things that was needed for the new lambs well before they came. He had just got off the phone with Tractor Supply and he was getting ready to buy the stuff TODAY. When I came in, I told him he missed the boat again....he now was the proud owner of a baby lamb!!!
Today I have to get back out to the raised beds and pick. I have broccoli galore to cut. I also have several heads of cabbage to cut. We have had tons of wind the last few days. This is very unusual for us in May. It has broken several of my plants. I have lost about half of our yellow squash and zucchini plants to the wind. I plan on planting a few more of those out in the row garden. I don't want to have them in the raised beds taking up space later in the summer. Something ate the half bed of Roma tomato plants that I planted the other day. I think it was the neighbor's guineas. I love the neighbor's guineas because they spend a lot of time in our yard eating bugs. I will overlook the lost plants and replant today. I still have many tomato plants left to go into the ground. As soon as it warms up a bit, I also have an entire bed of pepper plants to put out in a raised bed. It just has been cooler than usual, but I am not complaining!
grace and peace,
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
He laughed and he played until his eyes crossed...
His older brother was usually the boss!
He loved to hunt and shoot him some guns...He was known to be found fishing under the sun.He was a child that wasn't afraid to work...And he was always willing to hold the little squirt!Then one day the little boy grew... He turned into a fine young man that was so true.
He still had the smile that lit up the room...
And we knew that one day he would be some body's groom.
But for today we are so thankful...That he still is young and keeps our hearts and hands full!!!
Monday, May 19, 2008
Here is the picture of Jacob hitting the walk off double that won the ball game to advance us into the championship game!
grace and peace,