Monday, January 26, 2015

Harvest Monday 1.26.15

It's Harvest Monday again.

All my harvests this week were greens and broccoli that went to flower. Because it went to flowering I gave it to my feathered friends. They REALLY enjoyed it. Luckily for them there was enough for each of them to have a small head. Unfortunately for me it means I still haven't harvested any for the table.

So I will show you what is left of my sweet potato harvest. I gave a few away to a friend with diabetes, and a few to a neighbor for making slops of her own, ate a couple fresh and now I have set these out for 'curing' in the garage. Of course here the whole curing thing isn't very effective, but it helps me to keep out of the stash a few weeks so at least some of the sugars can be converted. ;-)

Turned out to be close to 20 pounds that are left. I'm happy with that. It's rather exceptional considering I'm robbing the plants throughout the summer as I need them.

Here are Baby and Swayze  after enjoying their treats from the garden... I'm really happy with the decision to keep this hen. She may be a golden but her coloring is fantastic and 50% of the female offspring will be silvers because the drake is a silver. It may be a couple years before we would be able to keep any of the babies, but I will probably let her raise a clutch in late summer if she decides to set. I will try to time it just right and order a few pullets to put under her when the ducklings hatch.


That's it. Sorry - I know my ducks aren't necessarily 'harvest' material, but I am getting an egg a day from this beauty, so I suppose it does count to a degree.

Enjoy your week. I'm counting on company soon so I'll be cleaning up the tall beds and trying to get them back in order.

See you soon!

Barbie~

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

24 weeks.

Baby turned 24 weeks just the other day.

She's really turned into a stunning Golden Welsh Harlequin.

She's not longer dependent on me, and now prefers the exclusive company of Patrick. I feel somewhat bad that she is the only hen for him, but for now it needs to stay this way. I'm on the look out for a  young Muscovy hen to keep with them, and I"d even consider a Hinny (mix of muscovy hen and mallard derived drake) as they will lay eggs and while they would not be viable, I'm not looking to expand my flock either. 

So low and behold on the day that she turned 24 weeks... Guess what I found?


Her first egg. The next day I found two more! I'm very happy about this new development as the chickens are 3 years old now and the two of them barely scrape up 5 or 6 eggs a week these days. 

I have noticed the texture of the shell is a bit silkier and the bloom is much more - well... uh - lets say thicker. You can see that even after washing these eggs (No, I don't wash them all) that some of it remains. It's kind of an unappetizing color, but that certainly won't stop me.

So, some time this week I'll be posting about their flavor and maybe even a comparison. I've heard that duck eggs are far superior for baking but eating straight it seems is personal preference.
We'll see!

See you soon!


Barbie~


Monday, January 5, 2015

Harvest Monday 1.5.15

It's 2015 now, and this is the first Harvest Monday of the year!

The last few weeks have been super busy here. I'm sure it's been busy for everyone but here the last 2 weeks of the year are crunch time. Time to fill the freezer with red meat and the pantry as well. I keep finding some good pickings out in the garden and keeping up is not even possible. So for now "m playing catch up and will get ahead again sometime in February when I start preparing for tomatoes and warm weather veggies.

This weeks harvest from the garden:



Loads of greens and some citrus.

We harvested 2 gallons of pecans. Meager pickings compared to years past. Enough for a few pecan pies and really, what more could I ask for? Also pulled the sweet potato bed up. I harvested an additional 4 gallons worth of them. Weight wise I have no idea, but my 5 gallon pail was almost filled to the top. That of course feels great after pulling what I wanted out of the bed all summer it's a pretty nice haul.

Unfortunately sweet potatoes don't cure well here so they don't get nearly as sweet. However, the good to that bad news is that they make truly fantastic chips. My mandolin and I will be good friends the next 2-3 months./ :-)


See you soon!
 Barbie~

Friday, January 2, 2015

Reality



We have managed to fill the freezer and the pantry so that's awesome.

Sure hope it rained while we were gone or my garden will be toasty by now.

See you soon!

BarbieSo we are packing up tonight and the kids are wound up. They won't go to sleep no matter the bribe or punishment. I understand. It's the opposite of the Disney effect. Instead of not being able to sleep because we are excited to go we can't settle down because we want to stay.

It's not like we haven't spent more time here in the last 6 weeks than we have at home. No internet. Barely a phone signal (and never when you actually want to call someone) no cable. This place is obsolete. It's wonderful. When the news comes on at home it's about triple homicides and beheadings, bank robberies and school shootings. Here? Someone's house got broken into and instead of letting the robbers get away they went after them. They called to cops and the thieves were apprehended. Talk about a change of pace. Not that every single thing that happens here is good. A big part of this small community passed away this past week. It was not that the man wasn't elderly. It's that he was such a big part of this area.

So tomorrow it's back to reality. Back to using a dishwasher and 300 channels with nothing on TV. Back to leaving for work before dawn and coming home after dark.

But also back to taking care of ducks and chickens, cats and kiddos. That's the part I like. Sure wish I could find a way to combine these two and find my happy place.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Harvest Monday....

It's Tuesday, So it seems a little late. Yet again.
This time it's my email not getting my pics from my cell phone I sent. But, then again it's always something. Isn't it?

This weeks harvest has been wonderful. All the citrus I can eat. All the pomegranates...
and some pictures!






Just look at those lovely fruits! In addition to what you see the girls had a birthday party that included the fun of plucking your own fruit to take home... too bad I wasn't aware of this until after the fact. Don't get me wrong I';m glad the kids are sharing and then neighbors all brought something healthy home instead of candy. It's just now the trees are bare and it will be a while before they are ready to harvest again.

First fall frost was due this week. So I dug up all the larger sweet potatoes even though the plants were still blooming profusely. Unfortunately tonight it's not just a frost and any chance of the bed producing anything other then the ones I didn't find yet are slim. I might get another 3 or 4 pounds if I'm lucky. Considering I harvest here and there throughout the year I can't complain.


The fall garden is finally starting to look like a garden again.
Still has a way to go but it makes me happy seeing green again!



Off to Alabama again this week. I can not wait to unplug and unwind. Also get to play with my new box blade. :-) Ah, the little things.

See you soon!

Barbie~




Friday, November 7, 2014

Guilt

So, I'm sitting here at work and eating some fresh arils.
They've become quite the rage at work, my homegrown pomegranates that is. I get requests for them daily, but only bring one in a week to share. I like them and the kids like them too much to share too many of them. We've had a good crop but we are down to the last few on the tree now.

So, anyway. I'm looking at these sweet drops of jewel-toned goodness and my brain starts ticking. It's saying to me... You know you should have shown them on harvest Monday. Should have shown off all the lemons that are cluttering your counter too. Don't forget the lettuce. What about all the things that have kept you away? Don't you feel guilty that you haven't posted in a while?

Well, yes conscience. Thanks a lot for reminding me. I didn't feel guilty until now. I've been too busy to feel guilty, remember?

So now here I am. I will show you a few of the things that have kept me busy lately.
First I had these
I turned them into these:
Yum. Carrot, persimmon raisin muffins with orange fluff icing... Oh heavenly.
Then we did this



Not that we don't have a pool at home. But a pool with spitting fish? TOTALLY AWESOME. I wasn't brave enough that night. LOL But the girls had a blast
 And we all did this... we are MUCH higher than it looks - about 20 ft off the ground.

We saw ginormous turtle poop.










I played with hair.








I got this.....



We did this... (OH so cool!)

Oh- and we met this! Him, her? 

We prepared for a certain someone(S plural) Birthday

And had fun opening gifts.
We marveled at things, and had cotton candy.
Used to call it candied cotton. WHY do they have to grow up?
Met some penguins, and Julian and a few more of the crew, too



Got brave and one of us rode our first roller coaster ever! It may possibly be the first one I ever rode, too! (Aww, sweet)
And all of that leads me to this. I didn't buy my girls a birthday present this year. Mean mom, I know.

I decided that this was the perfect year to teach the kids how sometimes handmade gifts are better than a toy from the store. Of course I really wanted this lesson to sink in - so I went BIG - I built them a see saw.


building the base


sanding all the corners so my kiddos don't get splinters in the hands OR their bums...

Hauled all into the back yard (With help from the big kids friends)
Put it together and... VIOLA!


Turns out I really am a mean mom though. The girls have done nothing but complain all week that they didn't get to use their present much because it's dark when we get home.

I feel their pain. I really do. What I wouldn't do to have more time to spend with them. 

All in all I've been gone for a whole lot of really good reasons. :-)

See you soon!

Barbie~



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Harvest Monday?

Yup. I know. I blew it. Again. I keep forgetting to post my Harvests on Monday. Not like i haven't been doing this long enough to know by now. So. I guess today it's Harvest Tuesday! Wahooo!!!

We've been extremely busy around the house lately. Not just with harvests but lots of other things too. I havne't posted much the last few weeks and soon enough you'll find out why.

Meanwhile - The harvests right now are centered around my fruit trees. Persimmon and Pomegranates are the majority of what I am bringing in, but citrus and figs are also hitting the table pretty regularly as well...





My fruits are generally no spray. These pomegranates are no exception. Because I don't spray the outside rind of them gets speckled, and a bit ugly. But on the inside the arils are nice, plump and perfectly wonderful. These 6 below made nearly a gallon of arils. They are heading to the juicer tomorrow. :-) I can't wait for breakfast.


The persimmons turned into persimmon cake... This was better the 3rd day. It started out a little dry, but ended up nice and moist, a real treat!



OH! I nearly forgot. Also being harvested once again - EGGS! I'm SO incredibly happy about this. I had to break down and BUY eggs the last 2 months. Whats up with that? LOL.


That's it for my wonderful harvests. I know I had a few more that I didn't get pictures of, but my poor memory can't manage to keep track any more. I'm off to do some weeding!

See you soon!

Barbie~



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The projects...

Thought I would throw out an update on the projects that are going on around the house. It's starting to wind down. Even though there are always more projects just waiting for our attention we are about done. For a while anyway. There is still so much I want to do, but now that these few things are being addressed it's no longer on a need basis. That means that most of the rest of the projects will wait until we've paid off these and saved enough to move on again.

The master bath is finally complete. You saw the new shower...
It felt really great to get this finished and we couldn't be happier with the results. We have more room, it looks nicer and NO MORE MOLD> bonus! ;-)

Well, the week after this was finished I went ahead with the demolition of existing contractor grade cabinet and mirror The cabinet would have been fine had we decided to leave it, but since we started this project my Mother gifted me (Merry early Christmas and Happy Birthday, too!) with a beautiful vanity cabinet. It had it's own challenges, but we'll get to that.


Demolition is normally somewhat cathartic for me. Destroying something in the hopes of bigger and better things? That's neat.
But int he case of a 7' mirror? Its not cathartic at all.
It's nerve wracking. It's all encompassing. It's nail biting. It's.... SO GLAD we didn't break that mirror!

It took an entire day and a lot of  sweat and a few tears. Luckily no blood.
So after all that we finally got ready to put in the new cabinet. Guess what? It didn't fit int he same spot. Not only was it a different size, but the bottom had feet on it that raised it off the ground. It meant even if it had been the same size we would have needed to do something with the floor.  The tile only ran up to where the old cabinet was. This is fairly typical of construction. It's do it the easiest way, not do it the best way. Boo!

So, I set out on a hunt for our tile. I found enough tile that I was able to tile the front of this area. I also managed to piece together enough that it looks correct unless you actually stick your head under there. I threw some extra grout in where there should have been a few slivers of tile at the very back, and we called it good.
I painted and patched and in went the cabinet.

All in all had been over 6 weeks and getting back a functional bathroom was HIGH on my priority list. I still had to deal with plumbing, cabinets, mirrors and lights. So one night I decided to mess with getting the sinks functional and we spent hours plumbing and re-plumbing. We still had issues. So, for the second time we had to cal out a plumber. I was willing to pay the additional fee to have him come out off hours and he was happy it was something 'so easy.' So easy took a couple hours but was essentially just parts that are specialized fittings due to the type of faucets that we chose. So moral of the story here? Get your fixtures at a big box store. When you buy online and such you run the risk of getting items that require a plumber to put them in. The plumber said we could have bought all new plumbing and it still wouldn't have worked. Those stores simply don't carry this type of part. (JOY!) 

So, lesson learned. The following weekend we put in medicine cabinet/mirrors. The towel rack, a storage cabinet (Not shown in picture) the toilet paper holder. (Who would have thought I'd be so happy about that!?) Cleaned up all the mess, caulked in the tile and baseboards and called it good.

The finished product?

It makes me so happy. This picture doesn't give justice to the colors and the lighting. It's something I've dreamed about for years now. What a difference!
This wasn't bad, but what we have now is customized to suit us. I of course had to immediately start messing with other things. One project done means another is ready to start. Doesn't it?

Woah. What happened to my color? It' snot loading right for some reason. This is a very fresh, light airy color, and I swear it doesn't clash with the teal curtains like it does here. Oh well. You get the idea. I painted this room and hung new curtain rod/drapes/pictures. There are more pictures but I think I'll hold off posting until I figure out the color problem.

So there you have it. This weekend I will finish purging the kids rooms, the loft, my room and clean up the guest room. It's managed to get Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations strewn about in an effort to find things for the kids projects.

See you soon!

Barbie~