Friday, May 27, 2011

Because MOOOSTACHES are the coolest...and so are shark goggles.

"Mama, I need a MOOOSTACHE today."

 RAT says, "Me EBIL, a scnientist. Me gonna blow stuff up! then go swimmin' in the ocean!" 


Thrift store goodness

I love when I find awesomeness cheaply. My weekly trip to the thrift store turned up some goodness today, ps, I dont always go IN every week, but I do drop things off every week, today just happened to be a go in kinda day.
It was a VERY successful trip. I picked up 3 baskets, a lovely green glass pitcher, RAT picked out a pink umbrella (and has been asking if it is raining yet? since we got home), AND the piece of the day, the adorable white bench, for $5 none the less! I would love about 6 more just like it...just sayin.
He is SO pleased with his umbrella.

I cannot wait to use this.

I have already filled this beauty with my newly un-mussed yarn stash and current crocheting and knitting projects.

For yet undetermined destinations, but will store something somewhere
I love it when I have a hunch something special is waiting for us and there REALLY is when we get there. Total trip, $8

A task 5 years in the making...

Who says I'm a procrastinator?
I do.
I, typically, loath tedious tasks, no matter how necessary. Patience and even temper are not my strong suits, though I can say they are sturdier than they once were. Because of the impending summer heat and the bizarre severe weather this week I started an unimaginably tedious and infuriating task. Cleaning up and going through my workroom in the basement.

This lead me to the most troublesome, yet freakishly rewarding, task yet.
I  began sorting through this massive jumbled mess of yarn, and latch hook pieces, and ribbon, and friendship bracelets, and a few wire flowers for good measure.

MAT mussed up this wad 'O' madness when he was 18 MONTHS old in my workroom in our other house. Yes, you read that right MAT, not RAT who is pictured with the mess and yes it is almost as big as he is. My OLDEST child who is 6 did this when he was a toddler. It has traveled from the old house, to storage, to this house and it is now time to do the deed.

Yes, I HAVE been avoiding this particular task since 2006, thanks for doing the math with me. It was going to be done sooner or later. Because of my magnetic baby this week, the weather being what it has been, and not being able to do the outdoor tasks that are calling, this was a very productive way to spend...about 9 hours.

It took a very long time untangling. But I vowed before I began to not lose my temper OR cut ANYTHING. I would become zen like my Grandma Virginia did when I once watched her untangle my mothers sewing box thread ball. If you don't know what one looks like, one, I hate you for having that much control over your sewing box, and two you must have NEVER seen a functioning in use sewing box in a home with children.
It took hours and hours and hours, but in the end Grandmother had usable thread and the sewing box was organized. My sewing box currently looks a hot mess, but I do NOT have that kind of zen skill yet...I honestly do not think I ever will. If I would just tuck in the thread ends onto the spool when switching thread, this wouldn't be an issue, but who has time for that.
Anyway, back to the yarn ball. After many hours and helpers. Watermelon was a BIG help, ok she was obnoxious, but she could have been SO much worse. I had a neat decently sized pile of yarn balls and one giant pile of ruined yarn, fuzz, wire flowers and a pile of friendship bracelets and a pile of ribbon.
 And it was very good. Now to force myself to do some knitting and crocheting to use up all my little bits...Granny Square quilt anyone?

To do

RAT and DOT and I went out for some errands this morning.

To DO for today:
1)Pop in at feed store and place inevitable order for duck starter feed. All 4 of my Muscovy girls are now sitting.
2)Stop by the dairy down the road and pick up as many bales of straw as the tahoe will hold with us in it.(the answer to that is 4 bales.) AND put them down in the bare spots of the garden, reserving 1/4 bale for Uncle Nate.
3)Pick up a couple bags of topsoil to cover fast growing tire potatoes to keep them covered and thus productive.
4)Pop by the goodwill and see whats new and good, if anything. (I scored some Excellent finds today, see my next post for more)
5) Finish untangling yarn wad that MAT mussed up when he was 18 MONTHS old.  I started this earlier this week. What with all the lousy weather we have been in the basement, thus my workroom, for a few days. I couldn't stand the mess anymore so I started organizing and going through it, and I came upon this box of disaster.Yes, I HAVE been avoiding this particular task since 2006, thanks for noticing. It is something I can do with DOT in my lap and he is teething, so, he is attached to me this week.
6) Continue organizing basement and working on"heat escape cave". This is a room in the basement with a tiny tv (now with satellite thanks to my genius skills), mildly comfortable seating and other amenities that we can use on impossibly hot days this summer. As I  am not interested in running the AC ALL summer and wasting the money, when we have a whole level of the house, as large as the main level of our house,  that stays between 50 and 65 year round. 
7) Snuggle with the boys.
8) Make a plan for the rest of the weekend.

I am on the final 3. Its good to be nearly done before 2pm. Have a good one!

Friday, May 20, 2011

This Moment- A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember ( inspired by Soulemama)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Around the Homestead.

Back to the fun of production.

We started May with a bang. I made my first (EVER) batched of jam and Jelly.
                                             rhubarb jam boiling and being skimmed 

I started with rhubarb, well because we, somehow, have 5 hills this season. So the abundance abounds and I cannot stand the thought of wasting it. It is delicious by the way, we have frozen bags and bags and I am considering canning some compote too. I also made dandelion jelly, because, you know me, abundance and all that.
                                     It is surprisingly delicious. Here is the recipe I used.

About half the garden is planted.

<--The peas are thriving as is the swiss chard, broccoli, kale, onions, spinach, strawberries, onions, rhubarb, and asparagus.

I found some yarrow growing wild in the pasture. According  to companion planting resources it is supposed to be very beneficial to loads of things in the garden, and the flowers are pretty and the foliage is cute.

I am trying to grow potatoes in tires this year. This is particularly unnerving for me as it is also my first time growing potatoes. But anyone who has driven by our home knows we have an abundance of old tires, some were left here by the previous owners, and 4 or 5 have piled up from Mr. T's truck, so we might as well give it a shot.

All in all I am very happy with the garden start this season. And those raised beds I told you about are to the right of the garden, on the other site of the drive.--->

We have other excitement going on too. It is spring so we have babies on that just sounds misleading, on the homestead does too... in the pasture. Anyway, our goose who started on a clutch of 13, was down to 5 eggs till last week. One hatched. One. It is 4 days later and she is still sitting on the other 4 eggs. The little guy is going out with his Daddy's, yes both ganders are helping take care of the little guy. I am giving Mildred 2 more days then I am kicking her off the nest. I am super sad that the little guy is all by himself but this way he gets to stay with his parents. If more had hatched I would have taken them all away and raised them myself, but a single baby would be very sad and lonely.

Surprise, we have a stubborn Muscovy hen who will do nothing but be broody, so she is sitting on 5 Ancona eggs. She is a right nasty little lady, but I suppose I would be too if I sat in a box all day staring at the wall and some annoying lady came in and messed with me 4 times a day. Rousting me out of my bed, forcing me to eat and drink and bath.

OH and I dont think you all have met our newest motley crew.

These are the birthday chickens that MAT and I picked up this year. There were 10 originally, but one died and one became dinner. They are LOADS of fun to watch and listen to. I think I like chickens, I am sure Mr. T will not like this, but I can like a bird and not have to have 40 of them, surely I can.

In other news DOT has started eating. He has tried rice cereal and he enjoyed it...and the other boys enjoyed watching him enjoy it. They were just tickled that he can eat, and that most of what goes in comes right back out.

I am just in shock that he is old enough to BE eating real foods. Didn't I JUST have him yesterday? Anyway. 

Things are blooming, growing, and beautiful around here. 

There is a song that goes with this swinging, it goes "twinkle star, twinkle star, TWINKLE STAR, WHERE YOU ARE, twinkly star, where you are..." 
This was a good day.

A decade of hair. Years 2003-2007

This year I turned 21, cut back my hours at school, and got a job. So the hair had to go a "natural" color for some years, and apparently took very few photos.

 I was blessed with SO many excellent roommates over the years, Steph was one of the very best.

And then we got engaged

And then Mr. T and I moved in together, and then like a minute later, we got pregnant with MAT.

This was a very good year.I had a baby, this was MAT's baby shower...(Also shaved my head for the first time)

We got married.

And I dyed my hair black for the first time. (there was also an orange and black mohawk in this year, but I have no clear photos of it)

I started 2006 with a plan...a plan to let my hair grow for a specific purpose.

I still colored it, but I didn't cut it.

And then one day when it had grown long enough, I called my friend Melissa.

And over she came to make me look fabulous. For hours and hours, she sat, and combed and ratted my hair in tiny sections, for hours, because she is awesome.

And then in the wee hours of the morning. I had dreadlocks.

And it was good.


And then in the fall of 2007, whilst very pregnant, I noticed they were no longer locking. I attributed that to hormonal changes from being pregnant with RAT. Some womens hair goes stick straight, or limp while pregnant, my hair would no longer lock, no matter what I tried. I feared I would have to shave my head to lose my locks...ok not really feared, I had done it before, but I didn't really want to shave my head. So began the research.

After lots of research, a half gallon of super duper detangler conditioner, locating a heavy duty fine toothed metal comb, and a WONDERFUL husband who agreed to do the work, we embarked on the week long (potential disaster) of combing out my ratted matted mess of dread-locked hair. Seriously it took a week and there were no guarantees.
After hours of combing a day for 6 days.

After all the work, time, pain, and patience, I had a head of destroyed, but long unlocked hair. And it was good. I left it alone for many months after this, it was too damaged for me to play much with.

Thus ends years 2003- 2007.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The reclaimed wood raised beds ( yes I am FINALLY posting pictures)

You may recall me mentioning the wonderful reclaimed wood raised bed boxes that Mr. T made me last fall, if you dont it doesn't matter. But here they are! finally, sorry it took so long, I've been busy. A friend of ours mentioned they were removing their old deck and wondered what to do with the refuse. They were thinking call for a dumpster, but I suggested they should call us. We drove down and picked it up. It sat for months, we picked it up in 2009 if that tells you anything, but then last fall Mr. T decided to build things. And off we went.

The farthest one contains asparagus and petunias, supposedly they are helped by each other. The middle one contains strawberries, spinach, and onions, we are all about companion planting this year. The box on the end contains the most successful rhubarb planting of my life. And the closest bed again contains strawberries, spinach, and onions.

Here is a close up of our spinach and strawberries. We harvested a handful of baby leaves today for lunch, yummy.

Mr. T also built me some boxes for my wee blueberries, mostly so we wouldn't run them over with the mower. I paired them with pansies, no real reason other than I think they look pretty.

They looked so bare last week.

There you have it. things are growing, being planted, and worked on around here. I am not avoiding you, I'm working here.

I hope things are growing well where you are!

One more reason my kids rule.

"Mom, today is gonna be AWWWWESOME. I'm gonna get to school, do a worksheet, they are gonna take attendance and then... BOOM, go to the zoo. Just 2 things then BOOM the zoo! How cool is that?!"-MAT

Very cool bud, very cool. One lucky Mama, right here.