Monday, June 28, 2010

Just Because...

Over the weekend a monkey came to visit, a Pygmy Marmoset to be exact.
And a boy with a silly face and a dog who wears pants.
And we were also visited by the first little break dancing kicks of this pregnancy. My favorite part of pregnancy has officially arrived!! The part where I feel exceptionally great most of the time and when I feel little baby arms and legs bouncing around in my tummy. All the wiggling and dancing of a babe in utero reminds me constantly of the awesomeness that is life. And I  noticed this today...
That's unmistakeably a baby bump, much larger than I was expecting it to be, but totally wonderful.

And just for me, a self portrait today, because I can, though it is not a very good one.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Raspberry love

The black raspberries are ripening, they have been all week. Today I finally got my butt out and started picking.

Sadly the storm last Friday dropped a rather large cherry tree on my largest patch and cut their harvest by more than a half.
But that's ok because I found two new small patches that have HUGE berries on them. I am a happy lady. We trudges along our entire property border  picking and playing and hunting bugs for a little over an hour this morning. We only brought in about a pint maybe a little more, but we had a lot of fun. It has been raining, practically nonstop, around here and the pasture is full of puddles and mini ponds. The ducks really love it and so did the boys today. There was much stomping and splashing and when we came in we had a bucket of berries, boots sloshing with water, and to very happy and very tired, soaked boys.
And yes all that water on the deck came from the soggy bottom boys. Their boots were literally slopping out water on the walk back to the house from the pasture. It was so fun.

We immediately, after dumping boots and undressing and redressing, sat down for a treat. My MIL brought us some shortcake shells earlier this week and I thought of the perfect application for them, since our strawberry harvest was wiped out by the deer, I still despise you Bambi.

We place one shell per bowl, topped with a generous helping of vanilla yogurt, and then topped that with a handful of fresh black raspberries. It was absolutely delicious. I may have also dusted the boys treats with powdered sugar, but I can't be sure...
I enjoyed mine without the powdered sugar, more raspberries, and a delicious cup of coffee. (Coffee and I are testing our relationship to see if we are ready to be friends again. Things look promising.) It has been a very good morning.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Storms, again.

Watermelon has claimed this blanket basket as her nest.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dreaming of the future.

I don't know if anyone will care, but I had a funny dream last night and I want to share it.

The year was 2018 and Mr. T and I had 5 children. We had 3 boys and 2 girls. We also had milk goats and sheep and had expanded our homestead by 10 acres. There was a big wind turbine on our south end that gave us the ability to live off the grid and provide electricity for our neighbors. It was pretty great, but all I could focus on after I woke up, was the kids.

Our youngest child in the dream was 5, this would mean we would have 3 children in the next 3 years to keep up with the dream in real life. For some, this would be a joy, for me this is a terrifying prospect, it would be wonderful, but it is not exactly what I am looking for.

I was pretty excited about the goats, sheep, and wind turbine though...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day and some other info too

I was musing to myself on this beautiful Sunday morning as Mr. T sleeps in, it is Father's Day after all, and the hum of the generator working so hard allows my boys to not watch the episode of "Max and Ruby" that is on thanks to said generator.

Sidebar, we are without power, have been since Friday at around 5pm when a wicked storm went through. 90+mph winds were recorded locally, a neighbor just up the road actually lost their roof, very scary and sad. We were very lucky, no major damage to our home, just a messed up garage door, a toppled and broken new duck house, that was still in progress and parts were free we have just lost the labor which stinks, and our wooden love seat glider cartwheeled about 50 feet and now just isn't quite the same though it is in one piece.

After vacuuming the duck pasture, yes vacuuming with a shop vac, in the debris trail I think I got nearly all of the broken glass from the 1 window that shattered. Really I think that was pretty good, there are 4 windows and we only lost 1, could have been so much worse. Yesterday they quoted our electricity reconnect time at 9 am Sunday, today, but I think it will be more like Monday evening, if not later.  There are still limbs on the lines on our property and it is that way in all our surrounding counties. I think it will be a while.

Anyway, that is what has lead up to today and that is the sound of my morning, the hum of the generator and the ruckus of the boys tusseling, I am sure there is a faint sound of Mr. T snoring in there somewhere too. Back to my origional reason for posting, Father's Day.

6 years ago on this very day Mr. T found out he was going to be a father for the first time, and now we are expecting our 3rd child. He works so hard to be a provider, good father and spouse and we thank him for it.  Happy Father's Day Mr. T we love you very much. Have a steak an a beer and relax, oh and if you want you can cut the grass today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Adventures in yardwork

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I cut our lawn all by myself. That's right, I grew up with a giant yard yet yesterday was the first time I drove the riding mower all by myself and cut the yard. I used to be scared of the mower and the topography of our yard. Not anymore, well mostly not. The bit up by the road on the 60 degree angle I will still be leaving for Mr. T to do. I am just not comfortable with that, it is too scary to have to hold on to the tractor, lean almost completely sideways, and watch the road for hazards.

But the rest of the yard, even with ALL the things to cut around and move, was kind of a blast. Our yard is about an acre, and then the pasture is an additional acre and half, I did not cut the pasture, there are WAY too many holes and soft spots. If Mr. T wants to get the mower stuck or break it, that is his deal, I will NOT be mowing the pasture till we have a real tractor that can handle it.

So I only cut the yard. It took just under 3 hours, was very messy, and sometimes very hot, luckily the sun was behind clouds most of the day, and was very loud. BUT I think I will take this chore over, at least as long as I am able to this season.

Why? you ask, it is a dirty, loud, hot, sweaty CHORE!? Honestly. It was all those things, but it was also almost 3 hours to MYSELF. Three hours, in the sun, outdoors, with just me and my thoughts, and I got to cut fun patterns into the yard. I mean, yes it was work, but it was MY work and mine alone, for those three hours. I think this could be very good for me. Mommies new quiet time... And I get to mock Mr. T for his loathing of the chore, so for me it is a win win.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


So the strawberries have started ripening, I am pulling about a pint a day of juicy sweet-tart beauties off my mere 24 plant patch daily. All spring I battled with the rabbits and deer to get keep any leaves on the plants. The strawberry patch is on the most northeast corner of our property, in the old garden with the rhubarb and asparagus, and right off a field that teams with critters every evening and morning. We didnt get so far as to move the perennial veggies and fruits this year, but we have a plan for some raised beds in the front where we wont have to worry about yearly tilling damaging roots.

Anyway, back to Darn Bambi. I finally, about a month ago, found something that worked. It is gross, but effective. Turns out both critters are not fond of people pee. Yes, you read that right human urine turns them off.

SO I have had Mr.T go out and pee around the perimeter of the patch, at least 8 feet away from the plants, every 3 or 4 days, and yes it has worked marvelously. It is a bit of a strange request I will admit that, but it is an effective and DARE I say organic? pest deterrent. All but 3 of my plants came back to thrive and produce beautiful and large fruit. That is, however, till today. With all the rain we have had lately Mr. T hasn't been able to keep the invisible fence up to par. As was apparent this morning I went out to pick deliciousness and found over half my rows ransacked. Leaves gone, berries eaten or trampled. I know this is not the work of rascalie rabbits because the bites are straight across not angled. There are also several deer footie prints strewn through the strawberry patch.

Poop. I figure my very shortlived strawberry harvest is about to come to a close for this year. This tells me that maybe the dog needs to spend the night out in the strawberry patch occasionally or maybe we just need to get the raised bed in the front of the house built so they arent so far away from supervision. Either way, you may have beaten me THIS time Bambi, but next year YOU WILL NOT BE SO LUCKY. Oh and Bambi's, please feel free to come back anytime after dawn and before dusk during hunting season, we would LOVE to have you for dinner.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Yes. 45. That is the number of birds we currently have. Yeah. In March we had just 12 birds, but NOW in June we have grow to the ridiculous total of 45.

I hadn't even thought of the total till Mr. T brought it up while we were doing yard work over the weekend. We were taking a break and he sat next to me and said " you know we have like 40 birds out there, right" as he nodded his head to the pasture. I responded with a "...well yeah, but we are only gonna keep 4 geese, and like 16 ducks, so really there are only like 20 out there. The rest will be dinner..." I wasn't about to tell him that his "like 40"  is actually 45.

In the 1 and 1/2 acre pasture they really don't look like that many, at least to me, there is still sooooo much space. And the 10 Muscovy ducklings are only 6 weeks old so they are still pretty little, they don't even count. Everyone is grazing and our feed costs are currently NOTHING... I can find a million ways to rationalize having so many birds.

Ok lets get real. Here's the breakdown. 20, yes 20 Ancona ducks, 16 Muscovy ducks, 5 American Buff goslings, and 4 Embden Goslings. Of the Ancona we will keep probably 10 or so, maybe as little as 6. I haven't decided yet and the Muscovy we will only keep the girls of the recent hatch, I think it will end up around 8 muscovy total. And I think we only have one American Buff girl, but if we happen to have two we will keep 4 and have two breeding pair. That makes 22, which is still alot, but much more acceptable. All the others, all 23, will be sent to freezer camp, which is their intended purpose anyway. I still think it is funny that we have 45.

If we hadn't lost two goslings to failure to thrive, 1 duckling to the fox, had 3 culls this spring with sick ducks and then the countless ducklings that either didn't live through hatch or mysteriously disappeared when Godzilla was too close, we could easily have 60+ birds right now. Thankfully I did not let every broody sit on every clutch they wanted, I would easily be at the 100+ mark. So really 45 birds isn't so long as we aren't feeding them anyway.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Daddy is way better at making tire swings..."

Daddy is surely the better constructor, I can admit this.

If you remember my sad, but functional and MUCH loved, tire swing of last summer.You can read about it HERE. 

Many fun hours have been had on that swing, don’t get me wrong, it does have its drawbacks. The vertical tire requires much more pushing and swings less time all by it’s self, the rope, which was a recycled broken tow rope, is stretching and I fear starting to splinter as well, and the tire is now mere inches off the ground, and frankly the swing is just to darn close to the tree trunk to be truly safe for our rambunctious children to play safely on.

Then Mr. T gets motivated yesterday, out of the blue. He gets motivated to use his ruined giant truck tire, that has been sitting on the walk in front of the house for…well almost a year, to make the swing we all wanted last summer. We even saved the best limb in the best tree in the yard for a swing. Just a few hours of very short work, an old tire, some cable we had laying around for who knows what reason, and a stout rope with a clasp to attach the swing to the tree (this way not twisting of the cable can occur and no little fingers can be severed) we have a beautiful horizontal tire swing.

It is perfect. The children love it and I do as well. And Daddy has proven, once again, his construction projects are always better than Mommies. Mommy can make something that will do for the time being, but once Daddy gets his butt in gear he makes something truly marvelous and sturdy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I have a confession.

We watched "Nanny McPhee" yesterday. All in all I like the film, the boys loved it, especially the dancing donkey, but the part I cannot get out of my head is the children's bedroom. If you have seen this film you know what I am talking about when I say it is PERFECT! OK, you may not agree that it is the perfect child's room but you have to agree it is pretty and unusual.

One large loft room with iron twin beds linning up and down BOTH sides of the room. Handmade afghans and quilts, each very different, adorn each of the beds. It is just my ideal dream of a childrens room. Maybe not 7 beds...but I do really like the way they all looked and hope to attain some symblence of that style in our childrens room. Simple, comfortable, playful, and childlike.

Now to find iron beds...