Archive for August, 2010

Two out of Three Kids Agree!!

I’m so proud right now!!  For years and years and years I’ve tried growing green beans and peas.   Every year they would undoubtedly fail but try, try again I did!  This year my green beans took off & I have a crop!  At first I thought I’d only get a few and that was enough of a victory for me.  Then they kept on budding and growing.  We picked the first time about two weeks ago and I had enough for one meal.  After eating canned, store bought green beans these were honey to our taste buds.  Even two out of three kids agreed, mom’s beans were much better than those ugly, gross green things she shoves down our throats! Willis has been a picky eater since he was two…the doctor said it’d be a phase he’d grow out of…I guess I forgot to ask when!

On Friday, little Pudder and I headed out to the 93 degree/113 heat index weather and picked again – before you judge, at the time I had no idea it was really that hot.  I’m starting to wonder if my iron counts are depleting again or maybe the Magic FarmHouse has given me a delightful power to endure heat.   Pudder didn’t seem to mind and wasn’t hurt in anyway and the little trip to the garden resulted in some cherished memories.

It was a rewarding experience as we began to pick.  The moments quickly turned entertaining as Pudder, asserted himself and decided he would be mama’s helper.  I was picking beans from one side of the row and he started picking leaves.  To change position and reach beans on each side, I straddled the row.  All of a sudden I was stopped in my path as he ran in front of me, lifted his leg and attempted to walk with the row between his legs.  The plants are about half his height so this was amusing to say the least.

Noticing the process wasn’t very effective I began picking the beans and making him a pile next to the row – my subtle way of giving him something to do.  To my surprise he left his position which looked similar to a cowboy riding an over-sized bull and began picking up the beans, taking them to the bucket and dumping them in.  Score!!

These are fun times!  We finished the row and took our loot inside.  I’m estimating a total of 3 quarts give or take a few.  I LOVE to eat raw green beans…I know I’m a weirdo!  It’s times like this that I should be called a Backwards Mama! LOL!

It’s sad to see how fast the summer is coming to an end.  Even so, I love this time of year.  It’s a time when you can harvest the seeds you’ve sowed and worked so hard to nurture throughout the spring and summer.  Or, fall, I just planted my pumpkins, zucchini and cucumbers about two weeks ago but that’s another story for another day.

Now, where did my salsa recipe go??  The tomatoes are going to be next….

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Wordless Wednesday

Here’s how it works….I give you a photo, you give leave me a caption in comments.  Have fun!!


Reality Strikes

For the benefit of my kids I try to keep track of the day and date.  Usually the day of the week more than the date.  The weekend is when Daddy is home so the days of the week are important.

Today reality hit like a lightening bolt.  This is the last week at home with my kids before school starts.  My mom called and asked if they could spend the night during the week before school starts.  I said “Sure!”  And, as any mom would, I brought out my calendar that I briefly look at once or twice a week (sorry FlyLady!)  That’s when it hit.  We leave for State Fair a week from tomorrow.  It’s our annual workcation at the Illinois State Fair where we show our beautiful Jerseys! The choices for a sleepover with Grandma were bleak but we’ve managed to set a date.

And, now I’m sitting here in shock, reviewing all of the goals I had set for our summer.  Where did the time go?  I wanted to paint the shed, finish painting the porch, paint the bathroom, sand and paint our welcome fence, sanding and re-staining a new/re-used dining room table, sew curtains for the kitchen, canning, taking the kids to the pool on a regular basis – I BOMBED on that one.

I managed to get the kids to swim lessons every morning for two weeks, we took a day trip to the St. Louis Zoo, Pickle went to Cub Scout camp & several weeks of baseball, Willis went to VBS.  But none of my other goals were accomplished.  I wonder why??  Oh, that’s right, I have three kids who are boys and Mount Washmore waiting at the steps of my mudroom.  That’s Life!

I need to plan something special for this week…off to look for ideas.

Happy Tuesday!


Our First Heat Related Fatality

Like much of the country, we’ve been under a heat advisory off and on for several weeks.  Yesterday, the heat index topped out at 108.    Around noon I drove the mower down to the sheds to check on water levels.  The chickens are panting and walking around with their wings open but everyone was alive and well.  I went around the fence checking for weeds that might be grounding out the electric fence.  I stopped once and pulled a few then headed to the house.  Just in that short amount of time, without any physical exertion, my clothes could have be wrung out and the sweat poured into a tall glass.

When I went down in the evening I started as usual by first feeding the steers their milk buckets.  While they slurp their supper I walk fast to get their feed ready.  As I started to get the feed out I noticed one of the chickens laying in front of the nesting boxes. When it’s hot they tend to dig themselves a little hole in the ground and sit with their breasts in the dirt in an effort to to cool off – although in front of the boxes was an unusual place.  Without a clear view I was uncertain of what was going on and had a bad feeling about things.  At that point, with all the milk devoured,  the calves were attacking me.  I got them under control so I could enter the chicken side of the shed.  Instead of laying breast down the chicken was on it’s side and dead.  I picked it up and managed to get myself out of the pen before being mugged.  It was one of my hubby’s grandma’s birds so it was probably fairly old.  I’m just glad it wasn’t a young one!

I brought it out of the shed and started to walk out of the pen when Willis saw it.  Here was the conversation…

Willis: What are you doing with that chicken mom?

Me: Well, honey, it died so I need to get it out of the shed.

Willis exclaims with joy:  Oh, good, can we eat it now??

Such a sensitive child…NOT.

Try to stay cool where ever you all are located & drink plenty of water!


Wordless Wednesdays

I’m going to try and start a few theme days…starting today, Wednesdays are Wordless Wednesdays.  I’ll post a picture.  Be creative and think of a title, then leave as a comment.


Mulberry Wine vs. Raccoons: The Cons and then the Pros of Mulberry Trees

If you’ve read the recent raccoons posts  (With A Hotdog Stick, A Huntin’ I Will Go,   The Saga Continues – There Are Hardly Words, Raccoon Update…), you know that we’ve recently been having raccoon problems.

Last weekend we attended our NWTF’s (National Wild Turkey Federation’s JAKES Day.  (JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship)  The kids get to do all kinds of activities when assist them learning about hunting and fishing (I’ll have another post on that topic later).  One of the ‘stations’ is discussing poaching and safety with a  Conservation Officer.   When Q&A time came around, I asked what our options might be for getting rid of these raccoons (who our living under our neighbors deck).   He said remove the food source?!  I tend to dislike using this particular slang word but “Really??”

Con #1:  Cutting down our 5 Mulberry Trees would mean no more Mulberry Wine.  Which isn’t good because my hubby has become famous for his wines.  One of the most popular is the Mulberry.

Con#2: Three of the trees provide shade for the pasture.

Con #3: Two of the trees are the older two boys’ favorite climbing trees.

Con #4: The ducks love to eat the mulberries, especially when they are swimming in their pool which is located under one of the trees.

Pro #1: Fortunately, we collected our berries when they first came on back in early June.  Part of the problem is that it was a fantastic crop this year.  Finally, almost two months later, the berries are beginning to thin out – hopefully, eliminating part of their food source.

Pro #2: We later found out that if the ‘coons are that much of a problem our county allows us to apply for a nuisance permit….I’ll have to remember that for next year.

Pro #3: The kids keep their tree and shade for the pasture. ;0)

Glad we’ve got that all figured out now!  Stay tuned for more wine making posts! (our blueberries came in yesterday)