Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day at Mom's

Today was Mom's shopping day.  Every week  I pick Mom up and we do her grocery shopping.  Some days we pick up meds at the drug store, do banking, or whatever needs to be done.  It was so much nicer out than yesterday and we spent some time in the garden and just sitting on the porch talking.  She's 82 now.
For the first time she brought up the subject of selling her house.  She doesn't really want to leave but anytime things need maintenance or replaced she gets so stressed out.  We can't always get her things done quickly and she has a hard time with that.  I would love to get her closer to us and in an apartment.
Did a walk around the garden when I got home and a little watering but nothing more to do.  I'll have cucumbers (Boston Pickling) in a week or two.  We love the bread and butter pickles.
Not much else on the agenda today but cooking dinner.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chicken Invasion!

I love the chickens.  Even just watching them, but in a free range situation they can cause damage.  This is the first growing season in ages that I have had time to really work the garden.  Next year will surely be better because I've taken care of my home (inside) issues with the exception of some projects and can now direct my attention to the outdoors.

Anyhow, the girls found my raised beds the day after we first let them out of the barn.  They can't help but peck and scratch everywhere they go and so all I have down there are the cukes that are on a fence and the acorn squash that I had put a section of chicken wire over.  I could have planted it earlier but I want to harvest it later and get it into storage.  Carrots too.

Today I'm making cages to fit over the beds.  Even though hubby is making the run for the chickens I can use these wire cages to put plastic over and extend the growing season both in spring and fall.  I'm cutting the bottom out of plastic gallon milk cartons and will use them in the spring to cover my plants inside the plastic covered cages.  Straw stuffed in around the cartons will provide added insulation.  I have this in mind for the early tomatoes called, "Stupice".  They tolerate some cooler temps.

This day has gone so fast.  The cat spent sunday and monday night in the animal hospital for a bad reaction to flea and tick repellent.  She had seizures.  Almost $900.00 it cost.  They said if we didn't get her treated she could be left with severe tremors for the rest of her life and some cats die.  This is the first time we had to do anything like this and would not have been able to if we didn't have a charge card.  It was heartbreaking seeing her in those seizures. I picked her up today.

Well, I need to get dinner started.   

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Proverbs 27:23
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

Last June I spoke with my boss about reducing my hours from 60 per week to about 30.  I told her I needed more time to manage my home and family.  She agreed to give me a school bus run and move me to the garage that is closest to my home, less than 10 minutes away.  So, for the last school year I have been driving a school bus 25 hours a week.

This allowed me time to begin to pretty much purge my house of most unnecessary clutter; clean areas of neglect; plan storage solutions and organization.  It's overwelming what can happen in a home that's being heavily lived in but only lightly managed.  This job is far from finished because I do have vision for it.  However, I have made some seriously good changes.

Now that I have the summer off I have actually had time to envision what I need the end result to be and devise small project plans for many areas of the house and land.  Some of these small projects should have been done many years ago (like the bathroom closet that still has old wallpaper from when it was a hall coat closet with makeshift flimsy shelves) and for whatever reason didn't get finished.  Then there's major things like renovating the kitchen.

Anyway, it is summer now and our attention is directed to the outdoors.  We were recently gifted 21 chickens.  Four adults (two are roosters) and seventeen 2-1/2 month old chicks.  One of the adults is a very good brooding hen.  As I contemplate what sort of future business I can conduct from home, I suppose one source of income will be the selling of chickens and eggs.  Small scale of course since our property is under one acre and a couple of miniature goats are in our future.

Our old coop, what I call our chicken barn, is future housing for the goats so we are building a new "coop" and run.  Recently I found a guy on youtube that has been a homesteader for 30 years and has given up some time to post informative and creative tips, projects, procedures for many things on the homestead. This link is to a structure that can be made into a greenhouse, chicken run, shed, and can be built for many other uses.

He also created a misting system for the greenhouse:

So, on Thursday while I was spending time with the Lord, I felt I needed direction.  Like, where do I go from here kind of direction!  Proverbs 27:23 - 27 is where He took me.  Instantly I had peace about what we're doing and where we're headed.  Further study on this verse 23 led me into Bible study on money management.  Being on top of what you owe, earn, own and spend.  It's short and sweet but to the point, just the way I like things :)   I'll share that soon.  I know that no matter what comes our way, we are in God's Will and that's all that matters.

I need a new camera card and battery which I can't afford right now, but when I can upload pictures I will. I'm about to harvest my first zucchini.  The first plants I grew didn't survive because it was too cold to plant out this year.  I had to start over.  My early tomatoes got some frost and growth was stunted but I did start to harvest a few.  I'm really watching for the plum tomatoes because I will can as many as possible.  We use so many.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I seem to document the garden much better on paper in my journal.  But I will do a basic run down of where I am on this day, July 5, 2014.

  1. We began the season with rain gutter gardening.  Several plum tomato plants, Prudens heirloom tomatoes, Ping tung long eggplant, Pablano Ancho peppers, Jupiter green pepper.
  2. I grew Dinosaur kale for daughter and started a few for me rather late.  They are planted in a grow box.
  3. We have been harvesting snow peas for 2 weeks now out of window boxes that husband built.  Very large.
  4. Also have 4 zucchini plants in same set of boxes.
  5. About 8 lettuce leaf basils in (8)  4" containers to be transplanted at later date.
  6. Butter Crunch lettuce in 18" round pot.
  7. Bee Balm needing transplanted in gutter garden for bee attraction.
  8. Very cute frogs are living in the pond and make delightful sounds.
  9. Cucumbers (Boston Pickling) in raised beds.
  10. Huge pot of parsley on deck.
  11. Small pot rosemary on deck.
  12. Pot of swiss chard needing transplanted in raised bed.
  13. Masai beans need planted as well as beets
  14. Sowed winter acorn squash seed but no germination yet.  
  15. Fennel has not germinated yet either.
I plan to weave a fence out of the wild and wonderful wisteria.