Twenty Eighteen Garden

This year’s garden is getting off to a slow start.  A veeeeerrrryyy slow start.  sigh.

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It’s the middle of June and the rows in our garden are just beginning to fill out and actually look like a garden and not just a patch of dirt in the yard.

We have been attending our local Farmer’s Market for over a month now and we have nothing to offer except eggs, jams & jellies and various handmade goods I’ve made over the years and haven’t sold yet.  To fill out our table and attract some customers CountryBoy has started making from-scratch Cinnamon Buns.  And, let me tell ya… he has perfected the recipe and boy-oh-boy are they yummy!

A few of the other vendors have started to pick some things from their gardens for the market but it’s been slim-pickins so far for everyone.  We’re all hoping to be able to offer more produce for the customers that stop by the market in the next couple of weeks.

I plan on putting up (or canning) enough of our yield to get us through the winter and the rest we will take to the market to sell.

What’s in the garden this year?  Red and white onions, sunflowers, lima beans, pinto beans, green beans, green peppers, sweet banana peppers, jalapeños, beets, okra, yellow squash, potatoes, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and basil.  The asparagus has already been harvested and eaten!

So far, it appears the garden may be successful again this year but it’s still early so we can only hope and pray that it continues to grow and do well and, that the coons, bunnies and deer don’t get it before we do!

That statement makes me stop and think about our ancestors who lived before grocery stores were common.  (Although, sadly, the majority of items that are within modern grocery stores really is not food.  I could definitely get on a soapbox right now but I won’t.  I will simply leave you with the thought that if there is a list of ingredients then, more than likely, it’s not really food.  Real food will not have a list of ingredients.  If an item does have a list of ingredients then, more than likely, it has been processed in some fashion where much of the nutrients have been taken away leaving a by-product, or non-food, which becomes a foreign matter when ingested leaving our bodies the job of trying to eliminate it.  Our bodies were designed to eliminate foreign matter but it can only eliminate so much and in today’s preservative and chemical-filled ‘everything’ the foreign matter adds up quickly.  (This includes the chemicals we put ON our bodies as well.  Remember your skin is the largest organ in your body so whatever you put on it gets absorbed into your system.)  What happens to the foreign matter that remains in our bodies?  The result is various chronic illnesses depending upon the individuals genetic makeup.  OK, stepping off the soapbox now but, please, my friends, be aware of what you are eating.  Do your own research for your bodies sake.  And a quick rule-of-thumb to keep it simple if this is all new to you – if you can’t pronounce it you probably shouldn’t eat it or wear it!)  Anyhoo, gardens were seen at every home and were necessary in order to survive.  If one’s garden did not do well that year then food for the family would be limited and possibly even scarce.  Realizing that makes me very grateful that I have the option to shop for produce year-round at the grocery store or a produce stand if our garden does not do well.  Gone are the days of a family going hungry because their garden does not do well, thank goodness!  Now, I do realize there are hungry families today due to various reasons and we should all do our part to see they have something to eat whether it’s taking them a meal or two, giving them a gift card to a grocery store or maybe even teaching them how to start a garden of their own, even if it’s a few vegetable plants in containers.  Love thy neighbor as thyself and help one another.

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The past week I’ve enjoyed the Tiger Lily’s showing off their vibrant orange colors…

Today I even brought a few in the house to enjoy.

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If you’re wondering how the baby boys are doing they are doing great!  Here they are enjoying some front porch time with us and meeting the big boys.

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And after a bout of roughhousing and play time, here they are taking an afternoon nap in LizzieBelle’s bed…

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They could care less that it’s pink.  Sweet silly boys!

 

 

 

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Projects, Additions & Jobs

I have been wanting to write a blog post for over a week now but this time of year has us working, some days, from sunup to sometimes after sundown.  There’s just always something that needs to be done and lemme tell ya… I sleep good at night after such long days of work and with either Stress Away and Lavender or Peace & Calming & Tangerine in our bedroom diffuser.  Aaahhh!

Here’s a few of the things we’ve worked on the past few weeks…  cleaning up a fan we took down when we moved in and had stored in the tack room in the barn

It’s amazing how dirty stuff gets!

It’s that time of year when the ‘ol farmhouse can get quite hot some days especially when it’s in the nineties outside.  (No central heat or air for those of you just tuning in!)  We thought we moved away from that kind of hot weather when we moved out of Florida!  Thankfully the ninety degree days are few rather than A-L-L summer long.  We have learned to open the windows at night and let the coolness of the night come in and then close them when the sun comes up.  Thankfully, the house stays fairly cool with that method and having ceiling fans helps to circulate the cool air keeping the house comfortable.  Since we already had this fan just sitting around getting filthy we decided to put it in the living room since it was bigger than the one we had in there.

I spent some time with a bucket of water, a capful of Thieves Household Cleaner (it’s an all-purpose plant-based cleaner from Young Living.  And, it smells awesome!) and a rag and got to work on cleaning three years worth of dirt and cobwebs off the fan and blades.

I took it all apart, cleaned it inside and out, peeled the apple stickers off the blade tips and did a light sanding on them.  I was going to freshen the blades up with a coat of white paint but as I sanded I decided that I like the  distressed look so I decided against painting them which meant that my part of this project was done.  Now it was CountryBoy’s turn…

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He spent a morning while I was at work doing some fan-swapping.

He took the existing, smaller ceiling fan down and installed the newly-cleaned larger fan.  Then he took the ceiling fan in the second guest room down and put the former living room fan in there because it was larger than the existing fan in the guest room.  THEN, he took that very small fan and put it in the bathroom where there was only a light.  Are you keeping up with the fan swap?  Ha, ha!  It will be nice to have the fan in there on hot days.  Nothing like a hot bathroom on a hot day and you start sweating as you towel off from a cold shower!

Another project CountryBoy got done was hooking up my rain barrels…

We brought these rain barrels from Florida when we moved here.  We have used them in different setups to collect rain water to water our plants.  When we decided to enclose the side porch to use as a greenhouse I wanted to have one of the barrels inside the greenhouse and hooked up to the other one outside the greenhouse where it would collect rain water off the roof, fill up then overflow into the one in the greenhouse.  If that one fills up there is an overflow hose that leads back outside.

The hand pump was purchased in Florida with the intent to hook it up to our well.  That didn’t happen so we brought it to Kentucky in the hopes that one day we could put it use.

We got a good rain last night that filled the outside barrel and about half of the greenhouse barrel.  I am tickled pink to have this project done and functional and I’m even MORE tickled that we are making use of stuff we already have!

Here’s a view of the enclosed side porch that is now our greenhouse…

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Bit by bit we are finishing it and getting it functional.

Another project we started is enclosing what we refer to as the cistern-room…

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This is what we found when we tore the siding off.  oi.

It looks a lot different now but this project will take a while as we figure out the best solutions for this space and as the funds allow.  Our goal is to have it enclosed before the harshest part of winter.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Speaking of funds, I have taken on another part time job to help with some of the unexpected house-damage projects.  Tomorrow morning I start work at our local newspaper.  I saw a Facebook post about the position and knew it was right up my alley… graphic design, typing, writing, photography, computer skills.  I am looking forward to using these skills again and am fortunate to have found another job working with more great people!

My last bit of news is introducing the newest members to the farm, Amos & Andy…

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At last Friday’s Farmer’s Market some teenage girls came wandering up holding some kittens.  They were trying to find homes for a litter of kittens that were in their barn.

At first CountryBoy shook his head but lemme tell ya… he has a thing for black kitties.  He didn’t care for cats until, one day, a long time ago, a black kitten clung to his screen door meowing profusely.  He peeled it off and told him to be on its way.  The kitty came back, climbed the screen and meowed profusely.  This happened three or four times until CountryBoy decided to take him in.  He named him Chuck.  Ever since then he has been a sucker for black kitties.

We lost our two black cats last year so here we are sitting at the market and the teenagers are showing everyone the kitties.  Finally, CountryBoy asked to hold the black one.  He held him for a bit then handed him back.  As the teenagers walked by one more time they asked him again if he wanted the black kitty.  We asked about any males and they said they had two black males.

Meanwhile, I’m watching all this wondering how it was going to turn out.

He held one of them one more time and then said yes, we’ll take it.  I said nothing but grinned.  Meanwhile, the kitty was restless and seemed anxious.  I was trying to hold it and calm it down and I said it’s missing its siblings and should probably have a playmate.  So now we have two black, six week old kitties!

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They certainly keep each other occupied.

LizzieBelle was so excited and tried to play with them…

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They don’t quite understand how she plays so now she thinks they’re more of a nuisance, ha!

They are super cuddly, love to wrestle and love attention.

Now you’re somewhat caught up with the happenings ’round here.

Till next time friends!

 

 

Coop Reveal and Move In Day

It’s been a whirlwind of a Memorial Weekend but on Saturday the new chicken coop was ready for occupancy.

At the time of my last blog post (you can refresh your memory HERE) there was a gaping hole in the ceiling.  While I was at work the next day, CountryBoy installed the wire fencing over the hole and on top of the open stall wall…

We did this to allow more light into the coop and to help with ventilation.  He had also started installing a floor…

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Hi LizzieBelle – the photo bomber!

That was a complete surprise to me but using rafters (from a loft that was never finished) from the other side of the barn and some salvaged wood he decided that by adding a floor it would help keep the coop drier, make it easier to clean, and keep critters from digging and getting into the coop which could be devastating for the chickens and for me as well.  The floor ended up taking quite a bit of time but it was definitely worth the effort in the long run.

Friday morning we finished the floor in time to get cleaned up and head to the Farmer’s Market.

I had to work for a few hours on Saturday so CountryBoy finished up the nest boxes, added the roosts and cut a door in the back of the barn that leads directly into the paddock.  Here’s a before and after…

The photos are not at the same angle but you get the picture of where the door is.

After I got home we started the process of moving the gate.  I was on guard duty while CountryBoy moved the hinges.  Chickens can be so nosy!

Before we could move the gate, though, we had to relocate the girls that were in the old nest boxes to the new nest boxes.  Here’s a girl that needed to be relocated…

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She’s actually in the corner of the old coop where she thought was a perfectly fine place to lay an egg on the ground.  tsk, tsk.  She looks like she’s in time out!

You should have heard all the squawking and fussing going on during the relocation process!  To say that chickens aren’t real thrilled with change would be an understatement.  Here are a few of the girls in the new nest boxes after relocation…

We did have to recapture a few escapees but we finally managed to get the gate moved to the back of the barn and set in place.

It didn’t take the girls long to find their water and food which helped settle them down a little…

They spent the rest of the day checking out their new digs…

When nightfall approached we wanted to be nearby to assist/encourage/calm the girls down as they tried to figure out where they were to go for the night.  We turned the light on in the coop to encourage them but, again, mayhem because of change.

While we waited for them to go in the coop and settle down we burned a pile of scrap wood that had been piled up in the paddock for almost three years…

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Of course, more had been added to the pile during coop construction but when CountryBoy asked me why I was taking a picture of it and I told him it was because I was ecstatic that the scrap wood pile eyesore would be finally gone.  He laughed and said that he had a lot more scrap wood and he’d be making another pile soon.  Sure enough, that pile is back today, dadgummit.

As we sat in the paddock and watched the fire the chickens were squawking and fussing and carrying on as they tried to figure out their new sleeping arrangement and determine who would sleep where…

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They eventually settled down (somewhat) so when the fire died down we turned their light off and called it a night.

It took a little longer to get the new coop finished but, thankfully, we did not have any more mishaps with any of the girls roosting in the rafters.  Whew!

After church yesterday we went to a nearby campground to hang out with some friends (adopted family actually).  CountryBoy did some fishing while I read (and listened to the friendly fish-bantering of biggest fish, smallest fish, no fish, etc., ha!), we played our favorite card game, Nertz (an extremely fast-paced game of Solitaire) with the teenagers and then we pigged out.  Unfortunately, we had to eat and run as it was already after 9:00 and getting dark.  Thankfully, all the girls were in the coop by the time we got home to close and lock their door.

I found out this morning that I did not have to go in to work today so we decided to tackle the center of the barn.  There were lots of things that needed to be relocated such as the previously mentioned scrap wood from the coop project that is now piled up in the paddock waiting to be burned, sigh, as well as four tires that have been there since we moved in, the feed cans, the chickens’ grow out cage, the old PVC feeders, an old door, etc.

Once all that was relocated we used the tractor with the blade attachment to level out the center aisle.  (There were craters throughout where the chickens took a dust bath.)  We had to open the gate so I stood guard again while CountryBoy graded the ground.  After we raked and got it the way we wanted it we threw some hay down to hopefully help keep the mud down to a minimum.  (It gets awful wet in there after a good rain.)

Here’s how it looks now…

SOOOO much nicer!

As we were working in the barn today we noticed that the girls seemed to be more settled and content with the new arrangement.  There was not the usual fussing and general noise-making like they used to do.  I also think FuzzyFoot is happy because now he can easily keep track of his girls.

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I finally managed to get a decent shot of CottonTop…

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The poor girl can’t see anything or anyone coming from behind her!  She’s actually the one that started the whole ‘roosting in the rafters’ saga.  We would consistently carry her into the coop each night until she figured out that if she went higher up the rafters we couldn’t reach her.  Several of the other young girls decided they wanted to do the same and that’s how we ended up with 13 of them roosting in the rafters every night.  sigh.

Well, not anymore!  We are really pleased with the new setup and I think the girls are liking it more and more each day.  Total monies spent on the new coop?  Zero!  We are liking that even more!

 

 

Reclaiming the Barn, Part 2

As I headed to the barn this morning to let the chickens out I grabbed my camera and took a shot of the morning mist in the mountain across the street…

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There’s just something about a misty mountain that I love.  I don’t think I will ever tire of seeing it.

Once the coop door was open the mayhem began…

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Chickens running everywhere – to the nest boxes, out to the paddock and stopping for some scratch and feed on their way and the whole time they are chatting up a storm!

I headed back to the house for some coffee.  It was a perfect morning to have coffee on the front porch with CountryBoy.  And LizzieBelle, and Creamsicle, and Greyfus.

Speaking of Greyfus, he had a wild hair this morning and was feeling pretty good…

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This photo is deceiving as he looks calm and relaxed while hiding in the ivy but in actuality he was flicking his tail had a wild look in his eye.  Then he tore off the porch at who knows what.  Silly boy!

After our morning coffee CountryBoy whipped up a delicious farm breakfast before he headed out to the barn to start closing in the stall that will become the future chicken coop.  If you missed yesterday’s blog post about our reclaiming the barn project you can catch up HERE.

While he was gathering the necessary tools and searching for salvaged pieces to use I did some housework and got part of tonight’s supper going… black beans – my nemesis.  More on that later…

Here’s the stall we are closing in and turning into the chicken coop…

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By the time I got out to the barn CountryBoy had already finished closing in one side of the stall/coop using the wood he cut away from the equipment shed/barn and had most of the rafters set in place.  It was a good thing this project was on the agenda today as CountryBoy informed me (when I finally got out to help him) that we had lost a chicken from what looked like a predator.  Sadly, it was the girl I snapped a photo of yesterday – the frustrated girl waiting on a nest box.  We’re assuming it was a raccoon since something got into the feed cans recently.  Coons are crafty about getting into containers and they can climb anything.  We sealed the lids of the feed cans and were hoping they wouldn’t find the girls roosting in the rafters.

It seems when there are animals on the farm that not only is it our responsibility to take care of the animals but now we have taken on the job of always trying to outsmart varmints or maybe even the animals themselves.  This is our predicament at the moment.  sigh.

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Anyhow… several trips up and down the ladder with each and every board was quite tedious and painful with his bad knees.  I was able to help a little bit with sending the scrap pieces of plywood up to him to be nailed down…

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By mid afternoon all the plywood was in place and the knees were shot so it was time to quit.

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The opening will be covered with wire fencing to allow light to come in and to help with ventilation.  Although we wanted to get it done today there was just too much work left to do before it would be ready to be occupied.  Hopefully in another day or two it will be ready and we can move the gate and shoo the girls out to the paddock.  That will be a fun (or maybe interesting is a better word) night showing them into their new coop!  And, hopefully, there will be no more rafter roosting girls falling prey to a predator before we can get it done.

Now back to my nemesis… beans.  As some of you know (but most probably do not) beans and I don’t always get along.  Now, not in the way I’m SURE you’re probably thinking right now, ha!  I mean as to cooking them (grin).  I seem to have the hardest time getting dried beans to actually cook.  I always follow the directions on the package but they never cook in the time it says they should cook.  There have been times when supper has been quite late as we waited for whatever beans were on the menu to get soft.  sigh.

Well, I decided to get the beans going first thing today and if they got done before supper I would turn them off and simply reheat them.  Well, back and forth from the barn to the house checking the beans.  The allotted cooking time had come and gone and my beans STILL weren’t done.  ugh.  I decided to put a lid on them and after another hour or so they were finally showing signs of being done.  Will wonders never cease?!

I’ve been hankering for some beans and rice so that’s what we had.  I decided to do my version of a dish we used to get at TropiGrille (a restaurant in Florida we occasionally frequented) that had rice, your choice of black or red beans, your choice of grilled chicken or steak and then the toppings of your choice at the condiment bar.  We usually got diced onions and salsa.  Well, after starting the beans I discovered we didn’t have any more chicken in the freezer so it was a meatless meal.

While the rice cooked I chopped up some onions as well as what was left in the jar of jalapeño stuffed green olives (yum!) and I opened a jar of salsa I canned last summer…

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YUM!  This was actually my SECOND bowl.  I had devoured most of my first bowl before I thought to take a picture…

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It was SO good.  For me to eat TWO bowls of it you know it had to be good because I never go for seconds.  On anything.  Of course, I WAS hungry so maybe that’s why!

Reclaiming the Barn

As are the majority of barns around here ours was an old tobacco barn.

Since tobacco is not grown on the farm anymore several stalls were added in the barn as the previous owner had various animals over the years.

When we started losing chickens to a predator we decided to turn one of the enclosed stalls/rooms into the chicken coop.  You can read about it HERE.

Well, after almost two years of the chickens roaming the barn CountryBoy decided it was time to reclaim the barn for our use and for the day when we have other animals.

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See, most of the youngest girls have decided that they would rather roost way up in the rafters rather than in the coop.

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What that means is that they are unprotected from night time predators that may wander into the barn AND… while they are roosting up there they are pooping on everything down below.  Ew!  What a mess!

The plan is to enclose one of the open stalls at the back of the barn, cut a doorway in the backside of the barn that will open directly into the paddock and move the gate to the back of the barn.  This should stop the chickens from getting into the barn at all which should stop the young’uns from roosting in the rafters at night and pooping on everything down below.  sigh.

Our repurposed nest boxes are in another stall so they will have to be relocated or rebuilt in the new coop as well.

I’d love to be able to find an antique set of nest boxes but the few that I have come across have been a tad pricy for our wallets (if you know what I mean!).  Isn’t it funny how old, used, worn out, dented or chippy items are more expensive than new nowadays?!

As I was taking the above photos this girl proceeded to show me what she thought about having to wait for a nest box…

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She eventually turned around but let me know she was not happy and she didn’t appreciate me documenting her frustration by snapping a photo!

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She’s one of our youngest girls and lays beautiful green eggs.

This guy…

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ol’ FuzzyFoot, has his hands, er feet, full trying to keep up with 33 girls.  He gave up a long time ago trying to get the  young’uns to roost in the coop at night.  Poor fella!

I think reclaiming the barn is a good idea and will give us more useable space to store items we salvage for future projects and the barn will be ready for whatever future animals we add to the farm.

Another part of his reclaiming the barn project is the space next to the barn.  We were storing some old wood flooring, various barn wood, scrap wood and lots of junk.  He also kept the tractor in there during the winter months and the old mower we use for the paddock.

We decided it would make a good equipment shed but the current setup required moving one thing to get to another.  It needed to be more open and accessible to be used as an equipment shed so he cut some openings in the side…

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The center support poles also needed attention as they were rotting away…

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While I have been at work he has been working hard to replace the rotten sections, re-stacking the wood we want to keep, sorting through the junk and getting it all organized. Talk about a job!

Today he graded the ground and was able to get the tractor attachments inside before the rain started…

We will use the wood that he cut away to enclose the stall that will become the new chicken coop making for a very thrifty barn reclaiming project.  Monies spent so far?  ZERO!  Just a lotta blood, sweat and tears.  OK, a little blood, a lotta sweat and, thankfully, no tears.  Ya can’t beat that!

 

 

 

Market Season is Here

It’s Farmer’s Market season!

This time of year, as you’re out and about, you may start seeing signs around your town advertising a local farmer’s market.  Our little county-wide market officially opened a couple of weeks ago and we were set up there with our farm fresh brown and green country eggs, some jams & jellies and several of my craft items.

Market days are busy for the vendors.  I never realized the work and effort a vendor puts in to their product and booth until we started participating in our local farmer’s market.  Things to consider such as table display, signage, pricing, loading tables & chairs, having change for larger bills, bags, and let’s not forget about packing up and loading and unloading the product! Whether it’s a craft show, farmer’s market or any other type of temporary venue, there is a lot of thought and work involved prior to the event just to hopefully appeal to potential buyers.

Since we don’t have any produce to sell yet (due to a late frost) I decided, at the last minute last week, to make a few cutesy things for one’s kitchen…

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Bar mop towels!  I dusted off my embroidery machine and whipped out nine of these little towels each with a different kitchen-themed design.  (I think they’re adorable and if they don’t sell… oh well, ha!)

We only sold one dozen eggs last week but that’s OK because we had a great time visiting with fellow vendors and talking with the market-goers.  It’s always a fun time!  Each week more and more people will find out the market is open for the season and it will get busier.

If there is a local market near you I encourage you to check it out.  You will meet some wonderful people and you will be helping support your local farmers.

In other news, this girl right here…

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our sweet LizzieBelle (staring intently at something in the garden), gave us quite the scare Saturday morning.

She woke up with a swollen neck, didn’t want any breakfast and made a horrible hollering sound any time we tried to pet her or check her out to see what was wrong.

She let me carry her down the stairs but we could tell she was in pain but, from what, we  had no idea.  And, of course, it’s Saturday.  I googled her symptoms and read that with a sudden onset of a swollen neck to seek immediate help from a veterinarian.

As soon as I thought someone might be in the vet’s office I called and got the answering machine.  I hung up and called another local vet and, thankfully, they were having a rabies clinic that day which is why they were in the office.  They graciously said to bring her in.  (I am SO grateful they were working that Saturday.  They took such good care of LizzieBelle and were very reasonable.)

CountryBoy was in the middle of cooking breakfast but he turned the burner off and out the door we went with our sweet but hurting little girl.  I was some upset and nervous hoping it wouldn’t be bad news.

We were seen right away and after a thorough exam it was determined that LizzieBelle had, somehow, pulled a muscle and strained her neck.  I have no idea how or when she could have done that but after a laser treatment on her neck she was already looking more at ease.  We went home with a few pain pills and muscle relaxers for her.  After three doses she is feeling better, eating and back to her old self.  I’m definitely going to keep an eye on her, though, in case it flares up again.  That girl sure did scare her humans!

Days Like Today

It’s days like today that remind me why we chose to find and move to a farm in Kentucky and attempt to live a simpler life.

(Notice I didn’t say easier; I said simpler.  There certainly is a difference as the homesteading lifestyle actually entails lots of hard work but it’s fulfilling and rewarding leaving very little time for many modern-day frivolities and conveniences (which usually wind up stressing me out, ha!) and that’s OK with us.)

Beautiful days like today where I can hang the clothes on the line to dry and listen to the birds sing their song while doing so..

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When CountryBoy can jump on the tractor to bush-hog the ‘lower 40’ keeping the farm looking good…

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To go from one project to the next without being in a hurry…

(Leftover jute string was used to make this miniature modern plant hanger and leftover scrap wood was used to make a recessed bowl stand for the cat’s food.  Greyfus insists on raking food out of the bowl wasting a lot of food and enticing the ants to find it.)

And things like gathering two dozen eggs; taking a few minutes here and there to catch up with friends and family on Facebook; and getting to do one of our favorite things…

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relaxing on the front porch, watching the birds and soaking in the peacefulness of our little piece of property…

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Yes, it’s days like today that remind us that no matter what may come our way, good or bad, we are living our dream and we are thankful we are able to do so.

What kind of day is rewarding and/or memorable to you?

Two Walls Get a Face Lift

I’m sitting on the front porch this evening after a long, productive day.

Last night I had made up my mind to finally tackle the only two drywall walls downstairs today.  I have procrastinated long enough.  After all, three years is long enough, right?!

I dreaded getting started on them because I knew it would be a lot of work.  Lots of prep work and then several coats of paint to get good coverage.

Here’s one of the walls before I painted…

This wall is in our dining room and took most of the morning to prep.  It’s hard to tell in the photos but this wall was not appealing especially in a dining room.

There was a wallpaper border at the top of the wall that I had removed some time ago but did not take the time, then, to remove the remaining paste.  I spent a good amount of time this morning scrubbing and removing the paste and then giving the wall a thorough washing.

There were holes in the wall below the electrical box when we moved in that we repaired with new drywall.  The repair was done three years ago and the drywall was still bare!

Last, but not least, was scrubbing the baseboards and putting down some painters tape.

Here are the after photos…

It looks much the same except the hunter green baseboards are now a crisp white, the drywall patches are concealed and it just looks fresh and clean. The electrical box needs  to dry completely then I’ll paint another coat (or two) to help hide it and I am still deciding what to hang on the wall.

The other drywall wall that needed some TLC was the stair wall which is across from the fireplace.

Here’s a before photo…

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This is our winter setup.  We basically live in this spot directly in front of the fireplace during the winter months so I move our chairs here.

There is very little natural light in this area so I wanted everything to be white to help brighten the space.

I scrubbed the wall, the hunter green baseboards and the hunter green side of the stairs then painted it all.

Here is an after photo with our custom table CountryBoy purchased in Arkansas a long time ago now in front of the fireplace…

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It’s amazing what a fresh coat of white paint will do!

LizzieBelle is, apparently, not impressed and heading up the stairs to her other bed!

There are still tons of hunter green baseboard to tackle but that’s another day. or days.

After cleaning up the paint mess I walked around the farm and took a few more flower photos…

The yellow irises are beginning to open up and I just had to get another shot of the purple iris.  I have no idea what the white powder puff flowers are but they’re pretty cool.

While I was meandering, CountryBoy was raking up some fresh cut grass for the chicken coop…

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He stayed busy today working on the mower, mowing the paddock, bush hogging and tons of other stuff.  You’da thought I had the vacuum cleaner going all day.  He disappears quick when I pull that thing out of the closet, ha!  But, it was a gorgeous and perfect day to be working outside and that’s what he did.

Another few items that got a face lift today were some Ball jars that we were given some time ago.  Last summer I pulled out the fairly clean ones to sterilize and use immediately and I left the others in the box because they were really dirty and I wasn’t sure it was worth my time to clean them up…

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The other day I happened to pick a few of them up and noticed the Ball logo was that of the years 1923-1933 and from 1933-1962.  I have a good collection of blue Ball jars from those eras but was thrilled to find some clear Ball jars from those same eras.

They are currently on our bathroom counter soaking in some vinegar water with baking soda…

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Can you see the two different logos?  The middle jar does not have a line under the Ball name and is the jar from 1923-1933.  The others are from 1933-1962.  I plan on using these for cut flowers or storage.  Now to dig through the other jars and see what’s there!

 

 

A Much Anticipated Time of Year

After a long, cold, wet winter we are finally enjoying some beautiful warm Spring weather during the days and cool, crisp nights here in Kentucky.  Nights without frost so you know what that means?  It’s time to get the garden tilled and planted!

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CountryBoy borrowed a friends tractor and tiller which made short work of getting the ground ready.  (He also fixed our washed-out road while he had the tractor making good use of the bucket on the front.)

Once that was done he staked out the rows…

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and we spent a couple of days planting seeds and several of the plants we started in the greenhouse.

Planted so far are corn, potatoes, okra, cucumbers, several types of tomatoes, lima beans, pinto beans, green beans, brussels sprouts, squash, onions, and sunflowers.

Still to plant are green peppers, cayenne peppers, sweet banana peppers, beets, more squash and brussels sprouts, and more tomatoes once they are big enough to transplant. We will direct sow watermelon in the next couple of days.

I am thankful for my greenhouse that we recently added on the side porch.  It is accessible from the mudroom and does a great job of creating a hothouse effect.  A few more small projects and it will be completely finished.

A few days after we finished planting we had a nourishing rain that gave the seeds and plants a good start.  When the rain quit I meandered around the farm with my camera looking for spring flowers.  Here’s what I found…

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The passionflower vines are coming back and are climbing their way up the arbor leading onto our front porch.

The purple irises are beginning to open up…

such beauty…

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After reveling in their beauty I meandered over to the sour cherry trees…

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We may just get some sour cherries this year which we’ll make into jam (or maybe I’ll crush up a few and put into some Kombucha!).

From there I wandered over to the asparagus bed…

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YIKES!  Here is where I had a squirrel moment… I thought after the good rain we had that the weeds would pull up rather easy so I set my camera down and started pulling.  These weeds were not going anywhere without a fight.  Well no weed is going to get the better of me so I trotted off to the greenhouse to get some backup.  My hand shovel could barely break through the thick weeds but I did find some asparagus…

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YUM!  This is our third year since it has been planted so we are free to harvest it this year.  CountryBoy has picked several already and, boy, are they yummy sautéed in some butter, balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with some salt and pepper.  Good stuff!

As I was pulling the weeds I came across some poison ivy.  Oi!  Since CountryBoy can almost just look at it and break out in a rash I started yanking and pulling on it trying to remove it from the root so that it wouldn’t come back.  I got all of it except for a thick root which we’ll pour either some white vinegar or the salt water from homemade ice cream on it or both.  (Good excuse to churn some ice cream!)

When I came in I scrubbed and showered and thought I was good-to-go but the following day I woke up in the middle of the night with a burning, itchy arm.  I now have a rash on my face, both arms, chest and stomach.  sigh.  Apparently, I too, am now allergic to poison ivy.  This too, shall pass.  I’m just thankful for warm weather and for being able to help get the garden planted.

Have you got anything planted in a garden or containers?

The Perfect Day

If I had to summarize the day in one word I would have to use the word perfect.

It was a beautiful, warm day.

I did not have to go to work.

I got to do some rearranging and organizing.

I did some sewing and laundry.  (Yes, I love laundry!  It was only one load but, hey, it still counts!)

I went for a hike up our hillside taking photos and looking for morel mushrooms.

I visited with my great-niece who stopped by as I was coming back from my hike.

I took an extremely hot-bath with epsom salts and Young Living’s PanAway (which is great for sore muscles.)

I spent some time on the front porch chatting with CountryBoy and am still on the porch trying to blog without getting distracted by the birds flocking to the feeder for their evening snack before their bedtime.

The day was spent doing lots of things that I enjoy making it the perfect day.

Here’s how it started…

After our morning coffee in front of the fireplace CountryBoy went fishing before the winds kicked up this afternoon.  While he was away, I decided to switch our dining tables around.  We have a handmade, one-of-a-kind octagon table CountryBoy bought from a gentleman in Arkansas that we love and we have a tiled farmhouse table that we also love that we bought at a thrift store when living in Florida.

We spend our days in a tiny space in front of the fireplace during the winter months and, until recently, the white farmhouse table occupied that space until I decided to move two chairs in front of the fireplace because they were much more comfortable than the dining chairs.  In so doing, I simply moved the white table to the edge of the living room because the octagon wood table was in the dining room.

I decided that the white table needed to go in the dining room because it was better suited for company and it matched the white and natural wood pieces I have in there.

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Once the table was in place I set out to hem a curtain for work…

The most time consuming part was the prep work – pressing it enough to get it to lay flat, pinning, measuring, then cutting and measuring again for the hem.  The actual sewing part was lickety-split.

I also acquired a sweet little table cloth from work that had several holes in it…

So sad!  I was told I could have it and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  I cut off the section with the holes and hemmed the raw edge that was left then I washed and dried it.  As you saw in the farmhouse table photo I am using it as a runner.  It goes perfectly in our dining room.  I am so happy I was able to salvage this sweet little tablecloth.  Here’s a close-up shot of it…

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Not too long after Countryboy came home LizzieBelle and I headed out for our hike.  I walked down the path that runs along the side of the barn and chickens’ paddock…

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and came out to the secondary paddock adjacent to the chickens’ paddock.  This paddock is not currently fenced in (I don’t know what happened to the fencing, it was gone when we moved in) but many of the metal posts are still there.

I decided to walk to the creek’s edge to show you a different view of the barn…

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This is the backside and the green roof beyond the barn is the farmhouse.

Here’s another view from the peninsula our creek forms…

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Can you see the barn?  It’s camouflaged pretty well.  Come summer you won’t be able to see it at all from this viewpoint.

From there, LizzieBelle and I headed up the mountain…

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She ended up not being in the mood for an adventure and eventually headed back to the house.  She was quite funny though… I kept encouraging her to come on; she would look at me, take a few steps and then turn around and look longingly towards the house.  This continued halfway up the mountain until I finally told her she could go on back to the house.  She didn’t have to be told twice and she was gone!  Phfftt, I guess I’m on my own.

I continued to meander up the mountain and tried to snap a few photos of the beautiful terrain and look for shrooms.  I did not find any morel mushroom nor did the photos I took do the mountainside justice.  I did find some tiny flowers emerging from the forest floor that was a joy to see after such a long winter…

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The rest of the day flew by.  It was wonderful to be able to do so many things I enjoy doing all in a single, lovely day and, as soon as I press the ‘Publish’ button I am calling it the end of my perfect day.

Till next time my friends!