Friday, May 28, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

If your flying to a destination this weekend for a little holiday magic, just remember, the skies are getting crowded.
Fly safe everyone and safe home!

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all............

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The sound of things popping up......

Flowers and vegetables are popping up everywhere around the homestead and I for one am very grateful for each and every last one of them.
The roses fill my kitchen with their lovely soft scent and make me stop for a moment in my passing to appreciate their beauty.

My yarrow plant is huge this year. The top of the fence rail is 4 1/2 feet. I can't wait to see all the lovely blossoms she will put forth so I can harvest and dry. See, you can talk to plants. They obviously are listening.

The Black Beauty zucchini's are popping their little leaves through. Come July I'll be wondering what to do with all the dark green fruits and reminding myself not to plant so many next season. I've frozen zucchini, but, I don't like how mushy it becomes, even if I bake it in one of my zucchini quiches. The texture just gets too odd for me.
Good thing I have some veggie loving friends!

The lettuce and spinach have been producing far beyond my expectations. I have savoured every bite I've harvested!

The Blue Lake and Royal Burgandy bush beans have started to come out to say hello and remind me it won't be long before they will grace my table also. I ask, can you really ever have too many string beans?

No, do not adjust your monitor. Here's a very crooked shot of the turnips (in need of desperate grooming) and the cabbage and broccoli. I was late with my cole crops and I'm hoping we don't get too hot too quick and they bolt. I guess I'll find out, huh?

The little fig tree has new growth and I'm glad to see this. I've never grown figs. I know nada about figs. By coincidence, Thomas over at A Growing Tradition just had a post about figs and where to look for help in growing them in containers. Thanks Thomas! Your timing couldn't have been better.

And now, just for a grin, I bring you a flying spider. Not really - she was spinning a line in mid-air and thought it was kinda cool. What can I say - I'm easily entertained....

The hubsters and I will have a full weekend to catch up here around the homestead. I still have things to plant, beds to weed, and we will be mulching the raised garden paths. That will probably eat up most of the weekend, but, we'll manage to get over to some friends near beautiful Harper's Ferry, West Virginia for some food on the grill and of course, music. We'll be sitting in their backyard playing tunes and watching the sun go down over the mountain. It will remind me to stop and breathe for a moment and be thankful to be surrounded by such lovely views and lovely friends.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blog award and how to spend a rainy Sunday....

Lots to catch up on with the what has been going on around the little homestead, but first, I wanted to catch up by first saying I was nominated for a blog award from Randy over at The Chicken Boys!
One of the conditions and trivia parts of accepting the award is to tell you 10 things about myself and 5 things I dislike. So, here goes nothing!
1. I've just cut all my long hair off after 10 years of it being past my shoulder blades.
2. I can't start a fire in the woodstove without smoking the whole house up.
3. I'm afraid of bears.
4. I was an avid hiker and backpacker through my twenties.
5. Golden Retriever's are my favorite breed of dog. Please don't tell my Shelties.
6. I have two degrees, which I use neither for my line of work.
7. I used to be an avid photographer and could develop my own film and make my own prints. I was revolutionized by point and shoot photography and auto focus cameras.
8. I have driven a school bus for a job.
9. I play multiple instruments. Degree of competency is debatable.
10. I'm 5'2"

And now the 5 things I dislike:
1. The sound of someone crying, especially a child.
2. An animal in distress
3. Clutter
4. Judgemental people
5. Noise
< /div>
Well, there you go! Thanks Randy for the nomination.
I'm supposed to pass this along to 10 other bloggers, but, since I don't know folks take on things such as this, I'll just say, you're all beautiful bloggers and leave it at that.
Yesterday the hubsters and I totally relaxed around the ol' homestead and had some us time which I might add was well deserved. Between work, band gigs, gardens, dogs - pick something - May has been a hectic month! Because of the rain yesterday it kept us out of the yard and in the house with a quick run to our home improvement store the only sidetrack of the day.
In the morning, the hubsters kindly fixed breakfast from our fresh eggs and bacon from Green Akeys, a local farm who raises grass fed pork, beef, lamb, and chicken and runs a CSA and egg share. While hubsters was laboring over the hot stove, I decided to work on a tune I was writing for a fellow blogger, author, and first time farm owner, Jenna Woginrich. I had started on the tune a few weeks back, even had the name for the tune but have been to busy to settle down and get to creating. Well, as the house filled with the smoky scent of bacon, I finished that tune and quickly put it down on my digital recorder so I wouldn't lose it. Now, all I have to do is record it and figure out how in the hell to put it here in blogger so I can share it with her and you! (on a side note - I spent a couple of hours last night with tutorials on how to embed music on you blog without results of any mp3 embedments anywhere!) So, I had a very productive morning even though I was being lazy!
Late afternoon brought a quick break in the rain so I could go harvest some lettuce and spinach for our salad at dinner, which once again the kind hubsters did the honors of cooking. He put the beef on the grill and the result was the most perfect piece of beef I think I've ever had. And let me tell you, I've had some beef! Once again, this was from our friends over at Green Akeys. This was our first piece of beef from them that we grilled and it was mouth watering! I've been eating grass fed products for the last few years and I have to say, the flavor of their beef was superb! I am one lucky duck to have available to me such quality meats!
I should have taken a picture of the set table. The colorful variety of salad greens and the perfectly cooked piece of beef out did the centerpiece of roses I had cut earlier in the day by a mile. When we sat down to the table to eat, I said to the hubsters that our dinner was beautiful.
Not only was it a treat to the eye, it was a treat to the palate. It didn't hurt that it was all local and all natural either!
After dinner, a glass of merlot helped washed everything down whilst listening to some great music. A perfect way to end the weekend, wouldn't you say?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

Take time to get outside this weekend....

whether you're an early bird.....

or a night owl. Mother Nature provides entertainment and beauty for all.

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all...............

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ding dong...

was the sound of my doorbell at 6:30 this morning. Hmmm, someone's using the front door - that's the first clue we don't know them. Everyone we know comes to the back door.
Quick check of my clothing status - all good - tee shirt and jammy pants. Hubsters - not so good. That's all I say about that and the fact that clothing status resolved who would go to the door.
I reluctantly sat my coffee down, turned off the Weather channel and went to the door only to see through the side lights a County Sheriff. Great. He must have seen my last post about the poor state of my plant or my yard or my hair. Nope, wrong on all accounts - phew!
Seems some of the locals were out having a bit of fun last night and decided to annihilate most of the mailboxes in a rather large area of the county. Some boxes only had the doors damaged, some were bashed in but still standing, and a few of us lucky ones had total death.
So, guess what we get to add to our list of things to do?
I'm still trying to figure out why the Sheriff needed my full name and date of birth. Am I a suspect?
What I want to know is why my "fool proof" alarm system was not doing its duty...
I have three Shelties. Need I say more?
They must have been the most quiet mailbox bashers in history.

Monday, May 17, 2010

If I had a magic wand.....

If I had her little wand, I would.....

wave it over this poor little plant and it would magically be re- potted and happy,

wave it over the rest of the peat pots that still need to be transplanted,

wave it in the air and make the wheelbarrows full of yard waste roll themselves to the compost bin then neatly put themselves away,

and, with one big swoop of the wand, it would cut my grass, finish weeding and mulching the perennial beds, put the hoses away, plant the rest of my warm season veg in my gardens, and then....
pour me a beer.
It's fun to escape reality every now and then and just dream.
Uh oh, dreamus interruptus.... the work phone just rang.
Gotta get back at it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

First and last....

The last asparagus of the season...

The first spinach and lettuce from the garden...

It was a simply scrumptious meal.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

It looks to be a wonderful weekend here in the Mid-Atlantic area.
My lavender is happy and still slowly growing...

The blueberries are plumping up nicely...

The Iris is having a good laugh...

The lupines are showing off...

And, no, you're not seeing something from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is just one of my poppies grinning 'cause it's Friday and going to be a lovely weekend to boot.
What are your plans for the weekend? Do you have Mother Nature on your side and can get out and about or will you be snuggling inside with a book, good music, and a great glass of wine?
Either way is a winner.
Have a peaceful weekend, y'all........

*I'll be catching up on the activities here at the homestead hopefully early next week. Life has been busy and damn inconvenient and has had the audacity of getting in the way of the fun stuff*

Friday, May 7, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

Hey now - remember if you take Mom out this weekend at least let it be a place where she won't have to wear her wellies.

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all............

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The new garden so far and chicken gone bald.....

Not a whole lot going on in the gardens to date, but, I thought I'd give y'all a peak at what's popping so far. This weekend is a big planting weekend for me. It's still a little before our frost date of May 15th here, but, Mother's Day weekend has been when most of my warm season veg gets put in.
Above are my peas just starting to poke their heads through the earth to reach for the trellis. On the right hand side I will plant cucumbers for pickling. While both of these grow, I will continue to sow lettuce underneath them. The lettuce will receive morning sun for the most part and then will be shaded by the growing vines in the hot afternoon sun. I'm hoping this will allow me to extend my lettuce season, especially since it's the largest amount of a vegetable that we eat.

Here I have some transplanted Flashy Troutback and Five Star mix lettuce. They will be fully ready to harvest in another couple of weeks. In the meantime, I am harvesting some lettuce still in the peat pots I started indoors in my lettuce table experiment.

Bloomsdale spinach transplants. They are struggling, but, still holding their own. I've never had great success with spinach which is a crying shame because it's also a big favorite here in our household.

The onions and shallots are doing just grand. Here I've planted Stuttgarter yellow, Red Baron red (duh!), and a french shallot whose name I can't recall at the moment.
I've also planted Bandit leeks which are limping along, turnips, beets, cabbage, broccoli, two new varieties of strawberries, and my utmost favorite carrots in the world - Nantes. They are all doing just fine. I just need to get straw down in the beds to help mulch all of it.

Now, in the words of the folks at Monty Python - for something completely different.
Two of my white rocks are getting quite bald on the tops of their heads near the combs. I've noticed a lot of fighting between the hens lately, but, I'm not quite sure why. I know the hens constantly need to remind each other of the "pecking" order, but, these girls are just over a year old and I'd figured they would have established this by now with the occasional quarrel.
I did a little online research and it seems that a vitamin deficiency could be the cause as well as boredom. I've also seen that crowded conditions could cause extreme picking on one another.
I have to rule out crowding, because the hens have plenty of room, plus, I do get them out in the yard to free range as much as possible.
So, this keeps bringing me back to the first two possibilities - vitamin deficiency and/or boredom.
Here's were I would like some help from the more experienced chicken crowd - that is, if you would like to pitch in and give some!
How in the world can you tell if a chicken is lacking a certain vitamin? The feed I'm giving them is supposedly balanced, plus they get all the good table scraps, grass, bugs, and whatever they can scratch up to eat. I'm also mixing in ground oyster shell to help with calcium levels.
So, what do y'all think? Vitamins or boredom? I'd love to figure this out so they stop trying to cannibalize each other.. I'm saving that for me in a couple of years :-)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Something to look forward to.....

They'll be here before you know it, making our taste buds explode and satiate our minds.
Looking forward to the first provocative bite.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Foto's of the Fae...

The festival was a blast!
Everyone had a great time even though it was hotter than the hades...
The Scottish group Albannach had everyone gyrating with their primal drumming.
Great music, great food, good fun, good cause, and a near zero waste festival.
We came home tired, but, happy puppies!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hot faerie frolics....

The beginning of the day and the wings are spread wide and ready for a day of music, faeries, and whatever other creatures that may roam the farm.

It was 89 degrees today. The weary band mates make their way across the bridge to the next destination for playing tunes. I almost hate to brag about the joys of being a folk musician, but, I have to let you know we found a spot in the shade under a lovely tree - right behind the spot-o-pots! Ha! Take that Joan Baez!

We finally couldn't take the heat anymore and with me starting to have signs of heat exhaustion, we packed up around 5pm and headed for home. It was an hour short of close time, but, I didn't want to get really sick.

How this young girl didn't fall over from the heat surprises me, but, she has youth on her side.

Back again tomorrow with wicked heat and thunderstorms in the forecast. At least they would break the heat for a while...
Now I'm off to rest and recoop for tomorrow.
I didn't have much time to shoot pics today. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to take a few and share with everyone.