Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Slowing Down (Occasionally)

It is so easy to get caught up in all of the work that must be done around a farm...
and before you know it, days pass and all you have done is work.

I am a worker bee by nature, so I have become very intentional about taking
breaks and spending a little time here and there with the animals.
Not only is it good for me, but I have found over the years that the more time
I spend with all of our animals,
the more trusting they are of me.

Yesterday, after finishing the gazebo landscaping,

I headed up to the chicken houses to gather eggs.
When finished, I sat down outside the fence and just took a break
to enjoy the sights, the sounds, the smells of the farm.

I felt a cool breeze as it caressed my shoulder...
something I might have missed if I had not intentionally slowed down for a bit.

I watched the comical chicken antics 

as I sat there with Sammy, who chose to nap.

The chicks that hatched April 1st are all grown up now.

This lovely batch of hens will start laying eggs by Summer's end.

Of course, seeing me pause for a while made the turkeys come over to investigate.
They were quite taken with my red toenail polish!

In case you were wondering if turkeys have ears....

see the hole above Tom's eye?
That's his ear.

Yesterday morning, I ran this batch of bracelets...

to our local Arts Council Gallery.

They had emailed me last week asking if I might want to sell my bracelets in their gallery shop.
I am also going to make them a few of these leather and bead wrap bracelets...

So, you see...if I don't make myself slow down...
I just find more to do!

This quote by Hunter S. Thompson just about sums up my philosophy on life:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

Monday, July 21, 2014

Works In Progress

Happy Monday to you!!
I hope your weekend was perfectly lovely.
Ours was a "stay at home and get a whole lot done" kind of weekend.

Hubbs got the roto-tiller out and started a flower bed around the gazebo.
I spent a good deal of time cleaning out the grass clumps and starting the planting.

I have much more to plant in this bed before I am finished...and then I will mulch with 
tanbark to finish it off.

We harvested 9 heads of cabbage and shredded them for sauerkraut.

It's amazing that those nine heads only filled this crock ⅓ full.
A dinner plate turned upside down with a pitcher of water will serve as a weight
to keep the cabbage submerged beneath the juices.

Through the process of fermentation, in about 8 weeks the end result will be a
crock of sauerkraut.

"smushing the salted cabbage to draw the juices out"
Making sauerkraut is so very easy, I am amazed that not everyone does it!

We harvested plums and veggies...and picked another 12 pints of blueberries and froze them.

I am happy to report that we have had a major breakthrough with Tom and Chuck.
We no longer have to perform the nightly ritual of marching the turkeys to bed.
No, Tom and Chuck finally gotten in the habit and now they return to the barn
each night at dusk.

They march right through the barn and out the back door...
past the donkeys...

behind their house...

and straight into their pen.  What good boys!

It's only taken about 5 years for them to be trained!


Dr. Becky saw a bear on our land a few evenings ago...
a really BIG black bear.

She was out trimming the grass around the jumps on her cross-country course
that she built between our outdoor arena and the "100 Acre Wood"...

when all of a sudden she looked up and saw Mr. Bear between her last jump and the woods.

Apparently, he looked right at her and then lumbered off back into the woods.

Hubbs and I took a gator ride through the woods last evening
trying to catch a glimpse of Mr. Bear...but we had no luck.
I am bound and determined to get a bear picture to show you...
and not one with my terrible bear drawings on, either!

Friday, July 18, 2014

My World In A Droplet

Several weeks ago I spent a Saturday morning at an auction.
It was the Saturday that I found that great railroad baggage cart.

You might also remember that I bought 48 crystal chandelier teardrops.
And, at that time I said that I had a plan for those teardrops.

Yesterday, perhaps the most gloriously beautiful summer day thus far,
gave me the opportunity to put my plan into action.

You see, a couple of months ago I ordered a gazebo for the farm.
It will serve as a wedding "chapel" of sorts for Amanda's wedding next summer.
Yesterday that gazebo was delivered.

Situated next to the garden, it looks over a beautiful lawn that stretches from the garden
to the indoor arena. 

This area is home to the grape arbor, the swing, and the perennial garden.

As for the crystal rain drops...
they are now decorating the gazebo...

and 48 tiny droplets reflect the world around them...

my world in a droplet...

beauty, condensed...

Magical, indeed, I think!

The bride-to-be is quite pleased...as are her tiny droplet twins!

Even the dogs gave their stamp of approval...

Anything that provides some afternoon shade for napping is just fine by them!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Price of Freedom

Yesterday was Annie's first day off leash since her surgery.

She has done quite well...but was really eager to get a little more activity.

We stopped to say hi to Ginger 

and MaryAnn.

Annie was content to visit from the other side of the fence.

Piggies can be just a little scary to youngsters like Annie.

He first day of freedom ended with a woodsy adventure by Oakley's side.
As luck would have it...
that adventure ended nose to nose with a skunk!

Needless to say, everyone ended the day with a bath.
Once again, the no-fail skunk kit came in mighty handy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Want To Join Me For A Marathon Weeding?

And so the drizzly, cloudy days continue.
I spent yesterday in the garden doing what I call a "marathon weeding"...
only taking a break to eat a little lunch and feed the herd/flock.

I filled the back of the gator twice with the weeds I pulled.

Of course I had a hitchhiker...

and a few more friends stopped by to say hi....

"Wanna rub my belly?"

Now, that's a happy kitty!

Never, in the history of this garden has there been so many weeds.
Before weeding all my aisles looked like this....

After weeding...

Much better!
I am about a third of the way through this job and hope to have it done by the end of the week.

Last week I had posted a photo of orange coneflowers...

A lover of Echinacea, I have tried to acquire as many colors of coneflowers as possible.
Planted around the vegetable garden are...



 and green.

Do you know of any colors that I might be missing?
If you do, I will most definitely search for that color!

I wanted to show you my pumpkin patch.
This little garden has been so successful, we are thinking of enlarging it next year!

The cabbage is about ready to be turned into sauerkraut.

I see corn on the cob in the very near future.

And the zinnias... enough for bouquets every day.

Lots of sunny sunflowers will feed the birds this autumn.

And the main attraction... pumpkin babies....growing and maturing by the day.

I can hardly wait to harvest our own pumpkins for fall decorating.

Every time I look, I find more.

All kinds....

all sizes!

I also used a little drizzle time to straighten up the greenhouse.
Nothing is growing in here right now,
so it is time to get organized for next winter's planting.

I added a shelf on the far wall to hold trays and pots.

One thing is for sure...
I never run out of things that need to be done!


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