Friday, October 26, 2007

Quick Updates

Just a quick update on the farm and family!

Nicholas lost his first TOP tooth and he looks just too cute!!!

The trench in front of the chicken coop and barn is nearly dug and the first section is overflowing with water....we will break the dam and watch it flow, hopefully tomorrow.

Firefly is in heat. She will be in heat every 3 weeks until January. I'm glad to know I can tell when I need to get her to a buck!

I just ordered 50....yes, I said chicks and they will arrive next Friday, November 2nd.
5 months from now we'll be able to double our egg sales!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beautiful day!

I couldn't have asked for a better day except one small thing, that my sweet hubby could have shared it with us. It was bright and beautiful! I'm thinking it was maybe 70, slight breeze and bright sun. The colors are just gorgeous. We hit the park after running some errands and I took some pictures of color, kids and "monkeys". Charissa just recently started gymnastics and is showing off her abilities while Kelsey "hangs" along.

We then headed home where I toted camera about the property a bit before getting to work on the digging. I just love fall color against a bright sky. It is so crisp.

I did begin some work on the trench we started last week. I just had to post this picture. When we dug last week we saw lots of clay deep down and knew this was part of the drainage problem. But what I found today was, to me, astounding. Look here at the TOP layer, after the first 1/2 inch of dirt....the densest clay I've ever seen. TOP layer! This just happens to be, by far, the muddiest area. Now I know why.

I just happened to get this cute little picture of our goats. Firefly, mamma, is behind Butter, who is not so much a baby any longer. She is near ready to breed. December is the month we'll breed if all goes well. They'll kid in May.
And now my favorite story. Way back in August during the Kitsap Fair we visited the area called "Farmer for a day". This is a fun area where kids can take part in make-believe farming activities. They roped a "horse", drove tractors, milked "cows", dug up potatoes (real ones), and picked "apples" from wooden trees (Joseph LOVED this and spent all his time here) and washed clothes in a wash tub with a wash board. Charissa LOVED this! She spent a long time scrubbing clothes and hanging them to dry. Yesterday I found a pair of wet jeans(kid jeans) tucked away in a bag and it appeared as if they had been there for quite awhile as they kind of stunk. So I put them in a wash tub of VERY mild bleach water to try and kill the mildew smell (I am very sensitive to this smell and cannot stand it.) and salvage them. Charissa saw them sitting there and decided she was the one who needed to scrub them. She dug around the cupboards to try and find something that might work as a wash board. When she couldn't find something satisfactory she wrote on my shopping list "wash bord". She scrubbed those jeans though squeezing the water in and through them then rinsing them and hanging them in the bathroom. The whole time she is lamenting about not being able to grow up in "the olden days", she changed into dress and covered her head. LOL! She then asked if she could do more laundry. So we put the wash tub in the bath tub (less of a mess) and she pulled out about 5 articles of her clothing. She scrubbed to her hearts content. We hung them in the bathroom on the rod with promises of her doing her own laundry the next day. I had recently decided the girls would do their own laundry (in hopes they'd be more careful about what went in the laundry pile) and so Tuesday was Charissa's laundry day. So this morning she pulled her BIG pile of laundry into the bathroom, readied her wash tub and began. She got about half way through the pile when she kind of ran out of time. We rinsed and went to hang them out on the clothesline. The pictures below of of Charissa appreciating the Quotidian Mysteries of life. I can only pray it holds and she will always have this appreciation.

Addendum: We are wanting a real washboard. If anyone has one laying around in their attics or garages, etc. and wouldn't mind parting with it, let me know. The girls would be so EXCITED!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The day of October 18th, 2007

The day started rainy and cool. As the clouds moved away the wind began to whip. At about 2pm I went out to watch as the maple trees began to lose all of their leaves along with those really cool "helicopter" seeds. It's one thing to throw a "helicopter" seed into the air and watch it spin down to the ground but it is yet an entirely new experience to stand and watch while hundreds of them come spinning down at you from the tops of the trees. The first picture below doesn't do it justice but you get the idea of how many were spinning down at me. It was so cool. We didn't dare go too near the forest as we many times heard branches crack and fall to the ground. One even made it's way down to the goats and they braved it to go eat the pine needles.
(Be sure to click on pics to enlarge) The power went out just as I was getting ready to put a pot of chicken soup on the stove. I was thankful that the menu was soup so that I could get a fire going in the wood stove to cook upon. We had chicken and rice soup that Charissa decided to add broken up spaghetti noodles too. It was quite delicious, although could have used some more seasoning as I didn't attempt to saute those before adding the broth and whatnot.
Here are the children enjoying their dinner. It's amazing what they'll eat when the lights are out. Usually I serve salad AND bread or biscuits with soup to bribe them to eat the soup, but tonight it was JUST soup. And they all gobbled it up, there wasn't even enough left for dad's lunch.

These are just some fun candle pictures I enjoyed taking. If you look closely you'll see Nicholas in the 2nd one.

Here is my little Charissa. This is how you'll often find her when she is tired or cranky. She looks quite contemplative and peaceful here so I'm guessing she's tired not cranky. I like this picture as it captures her well.

The one above is just one I took of Mina during the day. She did that cute little puppy thing where they cock their head when they hear a funny noise.

And I just love this picture of the boys. Joseph on the left and Nicholas on the right. They are growing up too quickly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fall on the farm

One day this past week we woke to a cool, foggy day. The dew was everywhere and what it did to the landscape of spiders was amazing. The dew drew them out. Popping out right before our eyes, what we didn't see the day before now was glistening on every pine bough, tree limb, needle and leaf. It was truly amazing. I feel blessed to have captured some of it on my camera.
I cannot believe how well they turned out. Be sure to click on the pictures to see them closer.

The one above is a close up and the one below, I hope, gives perspective to how tiny that little web is. It was so amazing.

With fall we have harvest. As Mr. Paradosis spoke about yesterday, apple pie, we indeed harvested the apples yesterday. I love this picture of Charissa picking apples.

And we did bake an apple pie, probably the second one in all my life, but the first with my own apples. I didn't have white flour or even WW pastry flour so I had to use my 100% hard whole wheat and it turned out surprisingly well. The crust was denser and quite flavorful.
It probably wasn't "as good as grandma's", but how can I compete.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Just thought I'd post some pictures and whatnot.

Not too much to say. Same old stuff.

We did go to the farm tours which was really a fun time. But I forgot my camera. We loved the dairy farm and the cattle ranch!!! Some of the other farms had some great activities for the kids like pumpkin decorating and straw crawls (digging in straw to find treats). There was also a hay ride which was fun. And it didn't even rain!!!
Here are some fun pictures.

This is what I saw in the WEST this morning as the sun rose in the east. It was so beautiful and only lasted about 10 minutes. The clouds in the lower right corner where very thunderous looking in person.

This is our little Mina. She is so full of energy and fun to watch.
Below, she is playing with Kelsey. It was so cute how she'd reach out for Kelsey's nose.

This is a funky egg we recently found in our coop.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Magic Wand Anyone?

Well, it appears as if summer is completely gone and autumn for that matter. I feel like winter jumped from the sky 3 months too early! All of my projects I talked about earlier seem to be stalled due to the constant rain and cool temps.
In all honesty I think I've completely given up on getting a new coop in "before winter". Hah! Winter is here. No, really, there is just way too much to do. I did start it last Saturday, there was a break in the weather and I got the floor nearly done but then the weather turned which seems to have turned my optimism as well. Despite the fact that my chickens only gave me 8 eggs yesterday (it is so disappointing) I just cannot see how I have time to build a coop right now. I really am disappointed about not being able to sell eggs right now...there are some who say they won't buy store eggs anymore (it's so nice to hear). Anyway, if you buy eggs from us and read this, we won't be selling eggs except maybe 2-3 dozen a week ( and they are claimed).
One of the reasons I've set the coop on hold is that because of all the rain we are getting the goat yard and the coop run seems to have turned into complete mud pits. Worse then normal. So I have decided it is priority to dig a french drain across their yards to help with this. The area of the goat yard and chicken run has HORRIBLE drainage and we knew we'd have to do this eventually. But it is so bad right now that I cannot imagine going through the entire winter with mud this deep. Sooooo, the next few sunny days (if there are any) I'll be digging a trench!
The puppy is adjusting well and is so fun to play with. She sleeps in a kennel on the front porch and last night she "slept through the night". (As James said, "Who needs a human baby when you have a puppy." ) We fed and ran her at 10pm and she slept till 5am, which is when I had been waking to anyway and taking her out. She seems to get the elimination part quite well, in the grass most of the time. She loves to bother Killick. A name? We haven't voted yet, but I'm pretty much stuck on Mina....short for Wilhelmina which means protection/protector.

This coming Saturday we are going to a Harvest Festival in Sequim. A very different kind of harvest festival than I have ever been to and I am very much looking forward to it. There are 8 farms that will be on tour, 8 different kinds of farms (dairy, beef cattle, vegetable, flower, and more). At each farm there will be opportunity to learn about that particular farm, there will be activities for children, food, and even some music at some. Then in the evening (I do not believe we'll get to stay for this but it is SO COOL) there will be a potluck at one place along with an old fashion barn dance!!! I can't wait!!!

We will be insulating the cabin today and tomorrow! We have guests (they aren't really "guests" anymore) and it is COLD so we will try and get the insulation complete.

Thanks for visiting and reading my blog. Have a great day!!!