Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Garden Progress in May

This month we began to enjoy garden produce. The lettuce beds are brimming with spinach and radishes. We had quite a good haul of lettuce until the guineas figured out how yummy it was.
green leaf lettuce, nibbled on.

radishes, and romaine - eaten a bit!

The rest of the garden is in various stages of germination and sprouting. The potatoes are going great, but I don't have pics yet... still a bit of weeding to do.


red onions

green beans




my chokecherry tree fertilizers

I'm so glad we pruned them!

aside from the Iris...

this Allium is almost 4' tall

roses, ready to burst at any moment

Related Posts:
Spring has Sprung
Pruning GrapesEarly April 2012 Spring Garden: Cabbage, Broccoli, Dill, and Radishes2012 Garden, Part one: Cold Frames, lettuce, and potatoes

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May Joy Dare Week 4

Counting my blessings #174-201

holy experience

May 21 - 3 gifts found in little people.

  • Tyler's first baseball game
  • Emma's second softball game
  • Mayda and Wyatt cheering for their siblings
Tyler, just before a ball struck him in the knee. OUCH!

May 22 - 3 gifts that made you laugh

  • My son singing "This Little Light of Mine" as the lights came on at the ball-field, right after an adult made a crude remark.
  • my silly chickens needing put to bed by hand
  • my husband :)

May 23 - Three gifts found in community (Ok, 4. It was a long day)

  • spending the wee hours at the ER with my grandma, and getting good care to see her safely home and in bed by 4am
  • living in the same town as my sister-in-law and being able to help with kids in a pinch
  • a hidden community of prayer warriors for a friend's health battle
  • a community of homeschoolers, enjoying a local art exhibit

May 24 - a gift in a plate, a pot, and a package

  • a plate of grilled steak
  • A pot of good potato corn chowder 
  • A package of birthday surprise sent off in the mail.

May 25 - 3 gifts hard giving thanks for

  • grandma falling again, but thankful she wasn't badly hurt
  • surprise guests, who are gracious about my mess
  • not being enough, in myself alone, but knowing He is made strong through my weakness 

May 26 - a gift worn, white, whispered

  • worn, a new sweater
  • white, the marble marker where my grandpa's memory rests
  • whispered, grief and "I love you" at a graveside moment 

May 27 - 3 gifts found in church

  • Scripture revealed anew as we open it together, 
  • again, 
  • and again... never old.

May 28 - 3 gifts in today's work

May 29 - gifts at 8am, 12pm, 8pm

  • 8 am, Ben doing my morning chores for me
  • 12 pm, an unexpected call from my mom
  • 8 pm - enjoying perfect weather for a ballgame, while a rain-cloud in the distance makes the BEST sunset.

Related posts:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Chicks' New Play-Yard

At 5 weeks old, the Cornish chicks are pretty well feathered out. I find that they aren't as smart or as quick as the layer type chicks, but they can be trained to do just about anything for food.

Bunched up at night to sleep.
When they arrived in the box all 100 fit into a 2' x 3' square, and the brooder felt enormous at 6'x12'. Soon they outgrew that, so we put the layer chicks (25 of them, plus 15 Cornish chicks a week younger) in the brooder. We gave the Cornish chicks full range of one wing of the barn, and they certainly love the space, except at night when they bunch up. 

But the whole purpose of raising our own meat chickens was to get healthier meat. So while I'm thrilled about the non-medicated feed my local grain supplier mixed up for us, we still wanted these little guys to get out, forage, and enjoy fresh air. This week they were finally feathered out enough, and the weather has been plenty warm for them, to enjoy getting out-doors in the daytime. 

So Ben built them a sweet pen off the wing of the barn, and we opened the "hog-door" the first morning with the feeders outside and waited for them to run out. 

No. Way. This was new and scary! They wouldn't go out, even though in the mornings they are "starving". So we set them out by hand, all 100 of them. That night we set them back in through the door as well. 

The second morning they knew the food was waiting outside and as soon as we opened the door, they rushed out. We only had to help about 30 out the door. That night about a third went in on their own, and we had 2/3 to put in by hand. 

The third day we were predicted to have record high heat, and we worried that the sun would be too much for them ( I can cool the barn with fans).  So we didn't want to put them out... but this time they rushed the barn door as we went in with feed and some escaped. They ran around the corner to their pen, trying to get through the fence to get in! They knew where the food should be. Silly birds. 

Today was cooler and they enjoyed going in and out of the barn from the hog door, enjoying the safety of their pen, and the comfort under the chokecherry tree. Now if only I could train them to all go in at night, like the laying hens do. Until then, I shall continue to tuck in my baby birds one at a time, by hand. :)


Here are a couple fun pictures of the new laying hens:

Rhode Island Red

a Dominique

Monday, May 21, 2012

Home-Made Granola

Granola Recipe - from Not Just Beans cookbook, my FAVORITE cookbook!

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup veg. oil
5 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup dry milk
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup raisins

Mix sugar, oil, and honey in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Combine dry ingredients in a large cake pan. Pour syrup over dry mixture and mix well. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool in pan, then add raisins and stir. Store in an airtight container.


Other Recipe Posts:

Sweet and Saltines
Cabbage Burgers
Two Chili Recipes (scroll to end of post)
Easy Overnight Yogurt
Using Dry BeansCuban Bread
Home-Made Chicken Broth

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May Joy Dare Week 3

This week on the path to life-long gratitude, I didn't stick with the list of gifts to look for. But this week was so full of blessings, it was easy to find at least three a day. :)

May 15: 3 gifts God has placed in me:
#147 life abundant,
#148 joy overflowing,
#149 peace beyond understanding. Praise him!
#150 Emma's first softball game, a win! 21 to 9. So proud of my girl

May 16:
#151 free time when a game as cancelled. 
#152 a field trip I thought we would miss, we were able to attend. The kids had a great time at the Wildcat hills
#153 a frozen-food delivery man who knows I love bomb-pops and brought us some. :)

May 17: 
#154 a bill mostly paid. 
#155 visits with grandma and all the extra grandparents we "adopt" at the nursing home. Wyatt now talks about getting "new grandmas" :) I LOVE that my kids love the elderly. 
#156 showing up at the nursing home just in time for karaoke. Watching my girls jump right in and sing "this little light of mine" with the microphone and a crowd of elderly fans.
#157 singing Patsy Cline with my grandma. 
#158 my silly broody hen

May 18: 
#159 a Friday with my hubby. 
#160 a LOT accomplished in the yard. The chickens now have a new play-yard. (picture post soon!)
#161 getting to visit with a friend. Sharing the blessings of children, gardening, and homeschooling.
May 19: 

#162 Free Park and Fish Day
#163 catching lots of fish with other home school families at the lake. Our first successful 4-H outing for our new club. 

#164 an impromptu lunch date with friends, sharing the abundance of fish and garden fresh salad
#165 a retirement party for a friend, celebrating 34 years of dedication. Working as unto the Lord.  
#166 a brisk hike in the hills.
#167 my sister graduating from Bible school

May 20
#168 The chickens enjoying their new yard, even if we did have to coax them into it, one at a time... all 100 of them.
#169 A wonderful Sunday school class. The Word of God breathing life into us.
#170 a visit from a neighbor who lived in our farmhouse as a young boy in the 1950's Telling stories of coal furnaces, barn parties, and showing us which was his old bedroom. I LOVE hearing about my sweet old house.
#171 Another visit to grandma, for Chapel services, and to hem up her slacks. 
#172 Seeing a young friend who was having a birthday and getting to hug her.
#173 feeling good and old, knowing I had taught that young lady in Sunday school once upon a time.

holy experience

Joy Dare from A Holy Experience:

May Joy Dare Week 1
May Joy Dare Week 2

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Senior" Prom

When I moved to this area 14 years ago, one main reason I came here was to get to know my grandparents better. Both of my folks were from this area, and both of their parents were here close by. So, I lived with mom's parents while I went to college the first year. Then I got a house of my own, until I married Ben soon after graduation. But even though I was now enjoying a family of my own, I still really enjoyed being involved with my grandparents several days a week... something I only dreamed of while growing up.

Grandma B and me
Shortly after our first son was born, mom's folks moved to the assisted living, and a whole new role in my life began. Advocating for the health and well being of an elderly family member is a whole new world of complicated issues, financial choices, and medical perils. Grandma E referred to me as her doula. That made my heart happy. 

I now know much more about congestive heart issues, joint replacements (hips and knees), Parkinson's disease, blood pressure, depression, and Alzheimer's than  I had ever deemed possible. I also know that involved families and loving caregivers can make ALL the difference in the world. 

Mom's folks knew and loved on my children until their passing in 2003 and 2009. Ben's Great-Grandmother turned 100 this year, and he also has one grandma and one grandpa living. We are SO blessed! 

Prov. 16:31 "Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained in a righteous life."

My dad's parents moved here in 2006 and we have enjoyed them just as thoroughly. When my dad's father passed away in 2011, I was left with only one grandma of my own to love and cherish, and we certainly do! 

This week was the Senior Prom at the facility where she lives. Grandma B has been campaigning since last prom... that she might be voted the queen of this year's prom. After being resident of the month in February, she was certain she had cinched the deal. And she did! It was a wonderful evening of food and dancing (Yes, she got me to dance with her!), and Grandma B was the "Belle of the Ball"!

being crowned

King and Queen of the Prom!

the kids LOVED her cape and crown

Related posts:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One Month Old - Fryer chicks update

One month old on the left, and one week younger on the right.

The Cornish Chicks are one month old today. They have been on the fryer feed (pellets) for about a week now, and have gone through about 3 bags of it so far. Before that, they were on un-medicated chick starter/grower, mostly because it came in "crumbles" and they couldn't eat big pellets yet. I have a set of chicks that is exactly one week younger, and they are still on the crumbles. Hopefully everyone (except the layer chicks) will be off crumbles by the end of the week.

Don't forget, here they were about 10 days ago:

chick on right is 19 days old (other is 7 days younger)
and the week before that:

chick on the left is 12 days old (other is 7 days younger)   

Related Posts:


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