Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Girlies!

Today may be Halloween, but it's also my twinkies birthday. Today they are six years old and they are celebrating with their classmates at school. Cookies were brought in because I just couldn't imagine piling on another giant pile of sugar (frosting and cake) on top of the already laden backpack and satchels of the kids today. Besides, I figure the teachers had enough to deal with. I sent in stickers for each kid, too. That way I don't have to feel bad that they didn't get the expected cupcake - and I get the added bonus of getting those stickers out of my house! (WIN, Win!)

Their birthday party was a thing of miracles this year. In all of my parenting years (soon to be 14) I have never let the kids have an early birthday party. This year? Something told me it was time. So, I did. I am SO GLAD that I did! I mentioned that we were going to see Winter the dolphin, right? We sure did!

Beading/craft activities

Turtle skeleton

Exploring the touch tanks

Holding Winter's Tail!!!

After a long day we decided to cross the causeway over tot he beach and wind up the day with the perfect sunset. The kids played on the beach while I took a few pictures with my camera. That's how I got my new header. They weren't being necessarily cooperative I just told them that we weren't done and they couldn't play until I got a decent shot. So I got my shot, and then they were off like bullets!

But, I'm so, SO SO SO SO glad that we had their birthday party early, because this week? This last week has been a little hectic. Poor little Annah ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, and Kate's whole arm in a cast...

Thankfully everyone is feeling better now and things are getting back to normal. Well, as normal as we are anyway. ;-)

Now we are scheduling appointments for follow-ups and trying to find ways to unstink casts... YUCK. Looking forward to Thanksgiving unplugged in Alabama and trying to figure out what the next step is in the garden. We have a LOT of projects going on considering everything else, and I'm desperately seeking a little help around the house. (I have NO idea where to look for truly dependable persons)

Be back soon.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Harvest Monday 10.29.12

It's Harvest Monday. The last Monday in October and I figured I had better report before I don't have one for October. So I'm linking into Daphne's Dandelions. Thanks Daphne for always being such a wonderful hostess!

I'm getting 18-21 eggs a week. The girls are my faithful companions when I am out and about doing yard chores. Always there to keep me company and always giving me good food to eat as well. Now that the days are cooler they are truly enjoying the time in the yard and not always seeking shelter in the shade for the majority of the day.

 Instead they tend to do this:
 They stay underfoot and hang right with me. Mostly a good thing, but right now we have a LOT of big projects going on. A lot of other things going on, too. But the yard itself is really transforming. Seems no place is safe from the reaches of the gardener these days.

The other harvest besides eggs? Roselle! LOVE this stuff. It's so very good for you. 1/2 pound so far, but the bush is absolutely loaded to the hilt and just waiting for me again. Seems each time I get a few more of the little wonders. The chickens like it too.

The plump tartness just waits to burst and I'm wondering if they like just making the calyx pop or if they actually enjoy eating them?

I guess I'll never really know because I don't give them many. They only get the ones I drop on the way into the house whenever I forget to bring a bowl with me. This time I remembered the bowl, and to take a picture. This is what I harvest every other day when I get to them before the darned squirrels.

Mulberries are in full swing as well but this year I am not harvesting them for us other ten for fresh eating. We are far too busy with other things to worry about that tree and those berries. The chickens have had to majority of the berries and the kids of course when they climb it and wash them off with the hose.

After the most recent trip to Alabama we found out we have the largest bumper crop of pecans to date so we are trying hard to eat up the rest of last years stash. Thanks to our vacuum sealer the nuts are still wonderfully fresh. So far we already have 3) 5gallon buckets filled to the brim and the season hasn't even started yet! We have decided to sell enough to have them processed for us so that our kitchen doesn't turn into pecan central for 2 months again. I'll only need to whittle through to ensure that any extra pieces of shell are taken out  and then vacuum seal them. Should take less than a week and hopefully only a long weekend or two this time.

Renovations, illnesses, and new chicken projects going on so be sure to check back.

See ya soon!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Not literally. It's finally turned the corner from monsoons and we have officially entered the dry season.

But when it rains - it pours.

It is POURING!!!

This last 10 days have been a real whirl wind! We had a certain dolphin to visit....

We had a HUGE cookie and lemonade sale in front of the house... The girls made $17!!!! They decided to go get a stuffed Eeyore and a fancy smancy pumpkin at the pumpkin patch - but I didn't get any pictures of that because as luck would have it between selling cookies and getting the pumpkins we had school.
There is a little boy at school Katie likes to play with. Apparently a little too much. When I picked her up on that day her hand looked like this:
And we heard the tale of how the fence makes a cool sound when you run down it (chain link) dwapdwapdwap....but when Parker is running along, too and your hand gets caught....

So the next day her pediatrician took xrays and sent her home looking like this:

And if I didn't know better, I'd think she had something to say about that! Well, she did have something to say about it, but not what it looks like! We spent the next few days that way but I got a phone call form the hospital when he sent the films and indeed, it is broken. Monday we were to go back to All Children's. We got completely lost but when we got found, and spent a few hours at the Orthopaedic surgeons office (no thankfully no surgery) This is how we left....

Looks miserable, right? Well, pretty much. Poor kiddo can't even write, play on the playground, no P.E., no nothing!  So to cheer her up I got her some chocolate, fed it to her  and let her play on my computer...

NOW she's feeling a bit better. Still can't even feed herself but for already cut up things. *sigh* On top of ALL THIS her sister is sick, too. and the same day that she gets the cast the little booboo got diagnosed with pneumonia.

So, yeah. Life is hectic to say the least and it's POURING. (Figuratively)

Hope it's mediocre and rising where you are. Fair weather to you all.

See you soon 'cause I just know the sun is gonna peak around those clouds!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Quiet and Projects

Sorry it's been quiet. This is the time of year it gets introspective around here. Lots of birthdays including a little Angels. It makes it hard to concentrate and get things down. On top of that I have a little on with a broken hand. My life continues to get busier instead of calmer. (YEAH!)

But I wanted to come back and show you the other projects that have been going on around the house.
While we waited for the heat outside to back off a little and the rains to slow. (They have, FINALLY!) We concentrated for a few weeks on inside projects. One of the big ones that drives my Honey nuts is organizing the playroom and the master bedroom closets. While we were on a role the twinkie dinks bedroom closet also got a makeover.
Now because I"m not a gluten for punishment I don't have any before pictures. But, I do have after shots!!! :-D

The playroom closet now has several areas dedicated to both the little kids and the BIG kids, too!
Big kids stuff up on the top shelves here games with small parts  - and the little kids have their games lower, and a mirror for dressing up. The wall opposite this there are hangers for their necklaces and things....
So of course they can spend time admiring themselves as they change over accessories over and over again. Not that they do that constantly. *Ahem* Behind that you get a peek of the boxes that are on the shelf system. This might be my favorite part of the room. It's the easiest way for the kids to clean up after themselves and also the easiest for them to set to rights again.

Each tub has it's own special contents but in a pinch as long as it's picked up... LOL.
rounding the corner brings us back to the original shelf system. on the floor is the dress up container for all their hats, dresses and other assorted goodies. Now, if I could only get the rest of the playroom as organized...

The other closets?
The master...

And the girls closet. Having the two of them share one it really needed it!!!

Now, as soon as I get the feeder finished for the chickens, the waterer, too I'll show them off. Right now I'm waiting on the next call from the Dr's nurse about what to do with Kate's cast. It's almost 1pm on Friday so if I don't hear soon I'll be heading to Urgent care. I can't see her going the whole weekend without it when it's already been since Wednesday and she is still complaining about the pain. :-(

Be back soon.


Thursday, October 4, 2012


I know I"m not really swift on the uptake around here. But, I've been mentioning a lot of projects that have been taking up my time.

This is one of the major ones:
Winter the dolphin is something of a legend to my kids. They've adored her for years. We watch her on the webcam on the way to school, we drive by her on the way to the beach. Her birthday is the same month as my girls, too. So this year they decided that they wanted to have their birthday with Winter.
Turned out this was not one of my smarter things I've ever done. It's expensive. It's hard to plan. Especially with 2 kids birthdays in 2 different classrooms... I can't very well invite 2 entire classrooms full of kids after all.
My children want to buy Winter a birthday present. Sweet, huh? Until you see the price tag of some of the things she needs. I think we'll stick to more basic necessities. Things that are needs rather than wants. LOL. Scrub brushes for the pool? Check! That is easier and cheaper than a giant unsinkable float for her. Not as fun for the kids though. *sigh*

Anyway. This party may be the death of me. The cake is impossible. I can't find a dolphin to go on top and none of the local bakeries (Publix, Walmart - I live in the boonies people) will bake me a specialty cake. I'm capable of making a dolphin mind you, but they don't want a dolphin... they want WINTER, jumping out of the cake. LOL. A small request of course. The other request is that they want a castle. So My brain ticks away and comes up with a sand castle at the shore and the silly dolphin jumping with joy in the ocean. Should be simple enough, but now I've got less than a week and still can't find a dolphin to do the jumping. AHHHHH!
But I have a plan. Always a plan. I'm just not sure what the plan is yet.
Oh yes I do. Blind them with something else. Have Nemo cake on stand by!
See? Plan.
So Last year Pink everything. This year Blue. Go figure. Stay tuned as the blue goes big. Bet it? Big Blue? Ahahha. I crack myself up.


I have seedlings!!!

O. M. G.... I have seedlings! Last night after a few days of drizzly weather. (OK what days haven't been drizzly this year here?) It turns out I had a few (20 or so) seedlings pop up in that section where the hens went to town!

YAHOOO! Of course there is no telling what all is in there. I know that 2 beans made it out of 45. But, that does not surprise me. They would have snarfled any of those that they found. Large seeds like beans are easily discernible and after all, just who wouldn't eat a bean laying around? I know I would. Beans are yummy. But beyond the 2 beans there is absolutely no telling what is left out there. I'll just have to let it all grow and know that it's a mixed bag. None of it is poisonous so that is a bonus. Marigolds are the only thing not edible and of course they are usually easily distinct at an early age. Everything else is related to either a mustard or chard so it will be difficult to tell until I go to sample each plant. Only the ones that get any color will give me a sign of what type of chard they are. LOL.

I'm just thrilled that anything at all came up. I will give it another few days and then see about planting in a few seeds to fill in the blank spots. Nematode resistant. MUST keep that in mind. Lest I fill the bed again with a feast for the stinking microscopic cretons.

Maybe the fall won't be a complete disaster?

'Till next time!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Gardening - Harvest Monday?

This 'Harvest Monday' is for the birds. Literally. I harvested the remaining peanuts. They were useless for human consumption. So they were given to the chickens. And, whatever else is hanging around my yard. Actually I know what is hanging around my yard... and I'm not happy about that - but it's a WHOLE other post.

The soil when I pulled the peanuts was ever so deceiving. Tons of earthworms and their egg sacs. Amazingly black soil. It's hard to believe that much nematode damage came from that beautiful earth. :-(

So I did what any good gardener would do. I selected a few nematode resistant (and repellent) varieties to plant there and I SOWED. Mustard, Chard, Marigolds, Brassicas.

And, THEY unsowed. They, as in my cherished egg giving hens. So I resowed and covered with a fine mulch, fenced in with a little garden fence and went about my way. Later that day they were about a foot down in that same soil... A.G.A.I.N.

Sometimes they are like a gang. Here they come.

Raring to go. (Straight to my garden bed)

The next time I laid the soil down I put down 5 tomato cages, 2 garden fences, one flat and one standing, a few stakes, and watered it all in WITHOUT resowing, just praying that some of the seeds still remained in there.

Guess what?

STUPID FREAKING.... Ah, I mean Campbell, my lovely little beaked faced lady was all in there digging again. The black one here in the middle. Aptly named she is the trouble maker.

I'm afraid they have an addiction to earthworms. When the soil is cool and the earthworms are that plentiful they just can't get enough. They are creatures of habit and they have a worm habit. A bad one.

So I'm hitting the Google to find ways to keep them out and the truthful bloggers don't give me much hope. :-(
 I had intentions of raising the sides of my raised beds again. They have sunk by about 4-6 inches already over the last few years so what better time to do it than now? But, of course doing it quickly was NOT my intentions. Grrr... Meanwhile I'm looking at constructing a crude chicken wire cage for each section as I plant it.

All I know is this part of chicken keeping is stinking. Love the fluff butts, but this is highly annoying. 

The plans I had for actually putting them to work in my garden and having them caged there for a few days at a time to till and fertilize? HA! With the HOA I'm too terrified to leave them that close to the sidewalk all the time for fear of losing them to a complaint. Instead I chase them out of the good and newly planted parts and have to defend it tooth and nail. Figures.

More of the good stuff will come soon. Their fertilizer is making compost. That's always good for the garden. :-)

'Till next time!