Saturday, March 28, 2009

Licorice Mint

Mitchell and I spent the day together as we were in Abilene at an auto auction. Mitchell is now the proud owner of a 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue with 134,000 miles. The car is in good shape and will certainly last him for the next few years. It cost all of $500! We have some minor things to do to make it better, but it was a pretty good purchase for a first car.

But the big deal for the day was that we finally tried out the new taste we knew would sweep the nation - licorice-mint. To get this unique taste you chew up a mint Lifesaver with a piece of licorice twist and you get licorice-mint. In theory, you get licorice-mint. In reality the two tastes are so strong they cancel each other out. We tried different sequencing and different amounts of one and the other, but the elusive and highly anticipated taste just wasn't to be. Instead, we went through a bunch of licorice and mint and never really got to enjoy the licorice or the mint. Perhaps Altoids and licorice twist is the answer.

At least we got a car.

Roger

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Garden Pictures and More

I went and checked on the garden today to see how much it worse it would look in daylight. I was pleasantly surprised. We had little seedlings sprouting up still in spite of the chickens bathing in the dirt. Looks like we may get some carrots and lettuce and beans. Strawberries were completely torn out of the ground, but they didn't look like they were gonna grow anyway. Since this isn't really where I want to have a strawberry patch, I only bought a package of strawberry "bulbs" and tried to plant those. They were just the roots. Nothing seems to be happening with them. And since the chickens tore them out of the ground, I could see that I was right. Nothing was growing at all. But I stuck them back in the ground to try again. We'll see.

Anyway, I took some pictures. And when I went to load them I found some others we never shared.
This first ones are from February. See the ditch along side the house? We've had that for over a year. But in late February, Roger finished the part of the project that needed the ditch to be there. He has filled it in. It went around 3 sides of the house and there were several along the 4th side. It has to do with the earth tube project which is going to be our heating/cooling system. And someday we'll get that blogged about. Anyway, the bridge to get in and out of the house is no longer needed. The pipes have been laid and covered with dirt. And sometime soon we should be getting a porch. This is all very exciting!!
Next is the sugar cube/donut castle. This was a school project with assistance from the preschoolers and toddlers.Here's a pic of the garden tractor.This is a close up of the raspberry bush. Roger's got this cool watering system set up. There's a bucket beside each plant with a tube and some sort of a drip spout so that the plant gets watered.


And finally some pictures of our orchard. I couldn't get all the trees in one picture because even though they are still small, they had to be planted far apart, right? But there's another row that looks much like this one. Then I also wanted to share the peach blossoms and a pic from under the apple tree.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Garden Mishap

I have a really great helper around here. He does so much for me. If I need a job done outside, I can just mention it and this great kid volunteers to do it.

Today I needed to get out of the house and I still needed to water the chickens and the garden. So I asked my helper and he readily agreed. Then there was a problem with the sprayer on the end of the hose. But he managed to get the job done anyway.

Unfortunately, he forgot to shut the door to the "garden tractor" and the chickens got in. I think he's apologized about 20 times and made no excuses. He just said, "I'm so sorry. I guess I was just careless." So I'm not mad. I'm just very disappointed.

Much of the garden looked like it had been a very enjoyable dirt bath for the chickens. It was quite a mess.

But we have it put back together and there are a few things that, in the dark, appeared to be okay. We'll check it out tomorrow.

On the bright side, it's still so early in the season we should be able to replant and still do lots of gardening this year. And that mistake will not be made by that child again. He's too sarmt for that. :-)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Covering Up

This title seemed to fit several things on my mind this evening.

I just finished tucking Ezra in. It's 11:00 pm. We didn't have much of a schedule before, but after Daylight Savings we have none. Anyway, he happily laid down in his bed and let me cover him up with his blanket. It's cold enough now that we have to all stay as covered as possible.

And even though I knew the cold was coming, I didn't cover up my new garden. It's planted in a chicken tractor so I could have just covered it up with some clear plastic tarp and had a little greenhouse. But the rain is good for the plants so I took my chances. As far as I know we never got a full freeze, but close--33 or 34 I believe. Not being much of a gardener, I have no idea if that will be a problem or not. But we'll see. Then again, if nothing grows, I won't really know WHAT I did wrong, will I?

It's cold today, but we had temps in the 80's and 90's last week. It got us started talking about summer clothes and swimsuits. I realized that we have very few hand me downs for Gloria for this season and size. Claire has 2 older sisters with very different taste so she usually gets 2 full wardrobes handed down to her. There's usually enough stuff left over after she outgrows it that we can scrounge together a few decent things for Joy. Claire is full of life and the clothes show it. But after Joy, there's pretty much nothing left. So we took little Gloria shopping the other day. First thing I realized is that little girls are supposed to dress in skimpy clothes nowadays. The shorts are all too short and the only other option we could find was mini skirts. Sure, they have shorts sewn in, but do we really want to teach our little girls to dress like this? What will we expect later when they try to dress skimpier than when they were little girls? So we marched on over to the boys department and bought her some denim and khaki shorts. Same price, same size, but much more length. Then we went back to the girls department and picked out some nice girly shirts. I'm thinking about trying this trick for myself if I can find some nice drawstring shorts in the men's department.

And swimsuits! Ugh! It's VERY difficult to shop for swimsuits regardless, but when you have skinny girls who don't want bikinis and don't want headcoverings and swimpants, you're out of luck. There's this attitude that if you are skinny you want to show off your body. Well, that isn't necessarily true. Covering up isn't self conciousness, it's modesty and it's a good thing. But if you search for modest swimwear you find head to toe swimwear and that's not what we want either.

We're considering two options right now. Sewing our own, or buying the most modest tankini tops we can find and then getting boy's swim trunks to match. Why not? Why is it that boys get to just romp and play without thinking about their clothes, while girls have to yank and tug to try to keep their body covered? They make a lot of floral patterns on swim trunks anyway!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Our webpage is gone now

We've pretty much given up on trying to sell our stuff. We were no longer using our webpage, so I cancelled it. But if you live nearby and need/want something, feel free to contact us. If we have surplus, we'll be glad to sell/barter with you. Like right now we have an egg surplus. I'd love to find someone I could trade with. I'll share my eggs with you, you share your homegrown tomatoes, homemade bread, or babysitting services with me. ;-) I'm sure we could work something out.

But I also wanted to mention Little Clay People. We were letting Faith use space on our website to sell her Little Clay People. That site is gone now. If you are interested, you can just comment here and she'll be glad to get in touch with you I'm sure.

Sorry we haven't blogged much, but we've been busy. Roger's been working hard and is just about done with the earth tube project. I'll have to get him to explain that one. But we're hoping it's gonna be a bit cooler in our house this summer.

I've been trying to get a garden started. I've got it planted and we're just waiting now to see if anything grows. I used one of the chicken tractors that was no longer housing chickens. We put raised bed gardens in the sides of that with an aisle down the middle. I've marked a grid with string and we're experimenting with square foot gardening. Hopefully something will grow for us this year. I pray over the plants and seeds every time I water. I haven't had a successful garden in about 15 years so I need help from the Guy who created the plants in the first place!

Melissa

PS To order Little Clay People or for more information you can contact Faith at LittleClayPeopleByFaith@gmail.com. If you'd like to see her work you can go here to see what our contest winner received.