7 February 2013

Still Ordering Garden Seeds

imagesI said I was cutting back on pumpkins this year and while that may be technically true I also ordered a gourd and a different squash, grey surprisingly. I was going to say that instead of unusual pumpkins I decided to try growing my own flowers but I guess I have to say as well as.

I thought it would save money this year if we started our own Petunias and the like instead of buying started plants, I’m staying home with the Goblin and saving money is a priority. I was flipping through the catalogs totally baffled by the selection of beautiful magenta colored Wave Petunias, so I called my mom. While I suppose that’s what most daughters might do I had better reason. As a professional plant waterer she added to her credentials by working in a green house a couple of summers ago, besides she’s my mom she knows every thing. The conversation was quickly side tracked by good smelling heirloom petunias.

We both sat at our respective computers as we talked googleing flowers. We found many reminiscent of her child hood, years and years ago, that were scented unlike modern varieties and reseeded themselves. I was sold. The descriptions were quaint and sounded charming. I was enchanted by promises of “heavenly clouds of fragrant flowers”. Another had seeds from a plant found growing in an abandoned farmstead. One particularly frilly variety was only available from a supplier in England.They all quote adds from catalogs published in the eighteen hundreds.

I ordered a sweet pea because it has been sold commercially since 1724. I have a hard time imagining that, I don’t know why. Selling flowers isn’t a new thing. I found (but didn’t buy) violets that were sold as a promising cash crop at a time when they were fashionable to wear in a button hole.

I also indulged my self with some Johnny Jump Up’s, other wise known as Violas. They promise that this cheery, fully edible flower will become semi invasive filling my flower beds with it’s colorful blooms.

5 February 2013

A Good Week for Horses

And it’s still early. So far this week, all two days of it, I got to move calves on Coyote and I worked Nevel! Life is good.

Some of the calves in the feed lot were off to the sale barn. So bare back in a, well in a bridle for once he gets a little excited working cattle, we helped bring them in. He works so nice in the alleyways and his encouraging nips are better than any hot shot.

Today during nap time I snuck out with my faithful baby monitor in hand. To many times this winter I have thought about working Nevel but decided it would be a wasted effort. I kept telling myself that I would get him worked once and then he would sit for a month or two. If I had just messed with him every time I thought that he would have been worked about once a week.

Today, in forty degree weather, I brought him in. We went through the basic paces. picked up his feet and banged on them. I’m not pregnant any more, I’m going to start trimming my horses feet again dang it, and I want them to be well behaved. Sacked him out a little, asked him to move his feet and step away from pressure he was great. He acted as though I had worked him yesterday instead of, wow when was that, I hope some time since July.

30 January 2013

An Afternoon With Ava

The Goblin Child has gotten to spend most of the day today with two of her cousins. One more than both but she really enjoys it either way. I tried to get Ava to write something for me but she refused and then we ran out of time. Maybe tomorrow.


29 January 2013

Ordering Seeds

It’s almost that time. This is getting to be more excitement than I can handle. Not spring, although that is exciting it’s a little ways off. It’s time to replenish our seed supply. We sit down with the over abundance of catalogs and the carefully ordered seeds to see what is needed. My obsessive compulsive husband has the seeds neatly stored in alphabetical order and a carefully compiled list of what was planted last year. Going down the list we see what is missing and what we want to try different.

thumbnail.aspHe enjoys (I think) humoring me with a new unusual type of pumpkin each year. Last year I went with Jarrahdale, my beautiful grey pumpkins and2012-10-16 14.06.22 a big flattened dark orange pumpkin whose name I can not remember right now. I loved them both. This year I really went out on a limb and chose the Connecticut Field pumpkin. It’s an heirloom variety predating 1700 and said to have been grown by the pilgrims. And it’s a plain old orange pumpkin, not flat, not warty just plain old jack-o-lantern type.

Every thing else was pretty basic. The usual beans, beets, carrots, corn and so on. Last years watermelons were incredible and huge. There was so much cantaloupe that half of it rotted in the field. My expert gardener husband doesn’t even like cantaloupe but he plants lots for the rest of us to enjoy. We tried a new type of sweet corn last year it is supposed to be the sweetest of all. Unfortunately someone decided to be born about the time it was ready and we didn’t get to eat any of it. This year we hope not to have any interruptions of that sort.

It is always so much fun to pour through the seed catalogs trying to decide on the best and/or most interesting varieties to try.

26 January 2013

Now for a Moment of Cuteness

I haven’t gotten any of the things I want to write about written and the kid is so dang cute. She hasn’t done anything overly exciting and I’m trying not to write about her pooping adventures. Not even about the loud diaper exploding one during prayer at church. We are sitting in a new place at church now surrounded by different people, it seemed prudent.


She is still growing like a weed almost eleven pounds a month ago at her last doctors appointment. So she is probably close to twelve now. Her favorite things to do are sit and stand, with some help of course. She drools like a rabid dog and goes after every thing with her mouth wide open trying to bite.

I only meant to chose a couple of pictures with her looking all cute but she is just so cute I had to limit myself. These are just a few of the outfits people have gotten her.

22 January 2013

Cleaning House

Spring is coming, surely it is just around the corner. If it’s not I really don’t want to know. I can’t wait for warmer weather, gardening, planting flowers and taking Elly for her first horse ride. So in anticipation of this joyous event we took advantage of a warm January day to clean the house. It was long over due, we haven’t touched it since fall. To tell the truth it was developing a quite unpleasant smell. Things were laying about rotting and mice had been all through it.

What house did you think I meant?

16 January 2013

Back to Work

I am back to feeding the calves this week. Over Christmas break My multi-talented husband who is the preferred assistant did the honors. Then half of the calves were gone so it wasn’t worth making my mother-in-law baby sit. More calves have arrived and so I am back to work. I missed it strangely enough. I was thinking about that as I broke ice in the tanks in four degree weather. My fingers and toes were numb with cold as water splashed onto my clothes and face freezing instantly on contact while the rest of me sweated. My arms ached until I thought I wouldn’t be able to lift the bar one more time and I was so happy to be getting some exercise. Or I was thinking that until I broke through the ice and whacked my self on the head with the solid metal bar. Then I just thought owww.

That proved to be some what of a theme for the day.

After feeding we put out new lick tubs out for the cows. Against my better judgement I hoped onto the payloaders bucket with the lick tubs where I clung for dear life during a bouncy ride to the pasture. This seems like a very bad idea to me but every one else does it so I figure it must be alright. I survived the trip out and he sat the bucket down to unload the first tub. I put my back into the unloading attempting to rest a couple hundred pounds of molasses and mineral to the ground. Rocking the tub to its side to roll it out I smashed my fingers between them. Back onto the bucket for a ride to the next unloading spot I looked down to see my dog hunting rabbits between the loader and the wheels. I yelled at her and she ran around to find me as the payloader rumbled forward. She seemed destined to join Zip. Finally she gave up and ran off after other prey.

It was a short trip to our next destination. Having determined that this was the perfect spot for the next tub my father-in-law promptly tipped the bucket successfully unloading me if not the tub. I stumbled back a few steps stopping to look up at him as he continued to tip the bucket. He looked back at me and then at a spot over my head. Looking surprised he stopped the movement of the loader. I looked up to see what was there. Maybe two inches over my head hung the point of the grapple. I think that would have hurt worse than the metal bar.ย  My formerly much loved husband informed me that he usually just hangs on to the support arm for the grapple and stays in the bucket for this exciting ride. I don’t think I care to try it.

Having no other options I rode back in the bucket. From now on I am not giving into peerย  pressure. That was my last ride in the bucket. I suppose that makes us even for the whole calf roping thing earlier.

15 January 2013

Microgreens, 2

Well our experiment was mostly a success. Both the sprouts and the micro greens were delicious.

The sprouts were from a premixed bag expressly for the purpose of growing as sprouts. The bag was a little old and not all the seeds sprouted. The ones that did sprouted at different times. In the future I think we will buy individual seed types and most importantly not put near as many in the jar. They doubled in size with one night of soaking and were crammed in tight once they began to grow.

We didn’t try them in sandwiches with hummus or tomato and miricele whip. We didn’t try elaborate grilled cheeses either. We did add them to salads though and they were delicious. I am also rather pleased that we have not died of botulism, always a good thing.

The micro greens worked quite well. Using seeds we had on hand that hadn’t worked very well in the garden, we planted two rows of radish a row of spinach and two rows of lettuce. The spinach didn’t come up. The lettuce is so small it is difficult to harvest. The radish though was beautiful. I tried pulling it root and all first but found the washing nearly impossible. Cuttingย  the steam with scissors worked much easier. I am going to try pulling the lettuce next time they were to short to cut but maybe they will wash easier than the radish.

The radish greens tasted like radish. They added a nice kick and I didn’t worry as much about food poisoning. We ate them on pizza and in salads. I didn’t try the mushroom and micro-green omelet Martha suggested, hopefully next time.

In the future I wouldn’t start the greens and sprouts at the same time. It was difficult getting every thing used up. We still have greens left which is nice, I don’t feel as rushed to get them used up right away. All in all it was very nice to have fresh home grown greens in January. We will definitely be doing this again.

14 January 2013

The Wreck

I was glad we hadn’t waited around to watch them pulling it out.ย  Unfortunately there hasn’t been one word about it on the news which at least tells us that the driver was okay. We didn’t stop to ask the cops holding traffic, they were looking decidedly less than cheerful by afternoon.

As hard as we looked we couldn’t see anywhere that the fence had been broken which leaves us to believe that the semi cleared it. It would have been some thing to see when it happened. A flying semi leaping gracefully into the air. Yeah, it’s good that we weren’t there.