Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Little Clouds

One of my fondest memories from childhood was watching Bob Ross on PBS paint happy little clouds. I don't really know why this is such a fond memory but he was always so positive in his thinking and I guess it left a mark on me.  I'm assuming we would watch Bob Ross because my sister Jen was really into painting for a while but honestly, I don't remember.  Anyways, if you were a Bob Ross fan too...this video is for you.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Best of Summer

Its that time of year...harvest time.  I picked a bunch of sweet corn the other night so it was time to freeze some for winter.
This is why I planted a 2nd round of corn-so when a drought destroys the first batch, we still get some sweet corn goodness!

The chickens didn't want to miss out

We tried to put this roll of wire beside me to keep the chickens out, but they dove right in the middle of it, trying to get at the corn.

I told AJ not to tease the chickens

and this hen showed him why

I wish you could see her face better in the picture.  She's looking at me like, 'did you see him teasing me like that?'

Those silly birds were attacking us on all sides

who said chickens are dumb, this one snuck around the back of the swing to get a taste

all from our garden

I roasted some of the corn on the grill for supper-AJ was in heaven as it reminded him of how they cook corn in Ethiopia.

The rest of the corn we blanched for the freezer.  How good it will be to have corn on the cob in winter!

The girls enjoyed the leftover cobs

They've also enjoyed pecking around the piles of free mulch I've acquired the last few weekends thanks to the city of Lexington-check out your local city's website to see if they offer free mulch from the yard waste and storm debris their waste management department process.

Chloe planted carrots and we've actually harvested a few

The reward from our girls...nothing like farm homestead fresh eggs!

A Homestead Breakfast

The girls asked for eggs yesterday morning and decided they wanted all the fixin's (onions, peppers, tomatoes) with it and to do it by themselves!  One of the goals of any good homesteading girl is to provide meals from the surplus of the homestead.  As you can see, we accomplished that goal. missed

Stirring and chopping intently


The girls enjoyed it so much, they did again this morning for breakfast.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Today's Harvest

Minus the carrot I ate straight from the garden this morning.  I know, its not much, but I grew it so I'm pretty proud of it.  We have tons of tomatoes that are so close to being ready and I think a bunch of peppers will be ready at the same time, which means SALSA!

The most exciting garden news today is that we've had a nice gentle rain all day!  Free water!  YAY!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Garden Update

The garden has been struggling thanks to the Drought of 2012.  Two weeks ago, we had a wind storm (with no rain) that knocked over half the corn as well.  We have gotten a few meals though but the chickens are reaping most of the harvest. 
Essie & Chloe were so proud of shucking the corn ALL BY THEMSELVES.  They actually did a very good job getting all the silk off.  Meemaw would be proud!

The bees are loving my sunflowers.  Probably because they are the only flowers around. Everything else has died due to the drought.

And then there were 3: I lost my last brown hen on Sunday.  Raccoon this time. sweet friends Charley and Jackie Neal of Palisades Point Farm, brought me 2 Red Comet pullets this week. They are pretty skiddish still but learning quickly that my voice = snack time

Had to throw in some more sunflower pictures because they are the only pretty things around the homestead right now. 

Chicken in the Sunflower
(you know, like Gorillas in the Mist)

 More bees

I had another little surprise this afternoon.  I heard the tell-tale squawking of a chicken that laid an egg and when I opened the nesting box, there were 2 eggs.  Looks like Big Red Hen #2 has started laying.
Sidenote: I'm refusing to name anymore chickens because every time I name one, they die. 

Our Little Fish

I took these videos of my niece Shelby while on vacation in NY.  My sister Jen is terrible at updating her blog so I thought I'd post them and she can link to it.  (Sorry, to call you out Jen, but you know its the truth)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Vacation: Part Three

To break up the long trip home we headed over to Washington, DC, to show the kids our nation's capital.  Some friends were gracious enough to let us stay at their place so we could spend a full day there on Friday (even though it was to be 102 degrees that day).  On the way south from New York, we stopped by Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to visit the Civil War battlefield there.  (It was a quick stop - not enough to spend a lot of time experiencing all there is to see, but we did it anyway as a sort of exploring for a future trip after our kids have a little more of a foundation for the history of the place.)

Our kids can't pass a cannon without wanting to pose for a picture.

This monument was built by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to honor its native son, Abraham Lincoln, at the spot of his famous Gettysburg Address.

Statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee at the Virginia Memorial on the battlefield

View of the battlefield from the observation tower

View from Little Round Top at sunset

Exploring Little Round Top

 Monument to the 91st Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment on Little Round Top

Two exhausted little girls tucked in for bed

Our first stop of the day in Washington, DC, was 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Approaching the White House

The White House

The kids weren't too disappointed that President "Obana" didn't come out to greet us.

Statue of Andrew Jackson

The U.S. Treasury building

Dad and Essie head toward Washington Monument

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

One of Dad's favorite spots in Washington - the World War II Memorial

These uniformed servicemen were awaiting an upcoming ceremony, standing in the shadows to avoid the heat.  (It would be 102 by mid-afternoon.)

The kids pose at the Kentucky column of the World War II Memorial

View of the Washington Monument from the World War II Memorial

We found these duck relaxing in one of the pools at the memorial.  (Notice the gold stars reflecting in the water.)

We brave 100-degree heat to visit the nation's capital, and most of the Mall was fenced off and under construction.  They even drained the reflecting pool!

Vietnam Memorial

The Vietnam Memorial Wall

Lincoln Memorial

The kids pose with old Abe

The Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial.  (There was at least enough water left at the bottom of the pool to reflect the monument.)

The kids and MLK

Washington Monument from across the Tidal Basin

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

TJ himself

Posing with Dad's favorite president

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
(The kids watched "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" the day before to give them a little connection point for the visit.)

Dad helps Essie peek into the command module from the Apollo 11 mission.

 Lindburgh's Spirit of St. Louis

Getting ready to explore the interior of an old passenger plane

P51 Mustang from World War II

Posing with Orville and Wilbur - The Wright Brothers

Chloe is checking to see if there's a face on the other side of that cardboard cutout boy.  (There wasn't.)

The Wright Brothers' plane

The girls check out some rockets

Astronaut suit

Last stop of the day - the U.S. Capitol
(This was as close as we got.  Too much walking and too much heat.)

 The girls were happy to head back down to the Metro station.

Waiting for a train change in the Metro station.  Our kids became quite the little experts at using the Metro.

Well, that's about it for our family summer vacation.  1700 miles and six states in six days.  You know what they say about needing a vacation after your vacation...