Friday, June 29, 2018

June 29, 2018

Busy times.  The garden is in full swing.  We have already picked and processed some Roma beans.  Of course the planting has continued with the okra and sweet potatoes being the last additions.  Cucumbers are coming in, and tomatoes will be coming shortly.  We have picked blueberries both our at our place and at our neighbors (Thanks Don and Carol!)  Fruit is continuing to ripen on the trees, and it looks like it will be a banner year for food production.  I can't wait to see a picture of the pantry and freezer at the end of harvest season!

This year has been another good year for hops production.  My husband harvested the Chinook hops cones (which he already experimented with in Brown Ale, and it made the best beer ever!)  He put the cones to work right away in a new batch of beer.  The picture is of the Columbus hops which are a little behind the Chinook.  One comment he has gotten was.  "This is just what you always hope to find in a beer, but haven't."  The chickens and cows love the leftover grain.

The maintenance around the house and farm continues.  Our latest project is the maintenance on the flat bed trailer.  We are getting to know our newest tool, the angle grinder, with both wire brushes and clean and strip disks.  That trailer needed work badly.  It was in need of work when it was given to us (what a blessing), but we put it off until now.  We are planning to paint the trailer a light gray to blend in with the rest of the equipment when sitting around here at the farm.Now that I mention that, it has got me started thinking about painting our tractor the same color, as it is starting to get some rust on it.  I could never understand this "shabby chic" phase, as to me, it means you have not done the maintenance required to make things last. . .

We are having some problems with our Cornish Cross chickens.   This is the first time we have tried them and they are apparently having some problems with heat exhaustion.  My husband came up with the idea of moving the cattle shade structure over the chicken tractor (since the cattle are not using it much as they have a metal carport to get under until we finish closing it in for hay storage).  We have also gathered ideas and used them from other people such as given them electrolytes from Jill at Prairie Homestead, putting containers of frozen water in their water, etc.  It seems to have slowed down the loss until we can process them in a week.

Inside the house, I needed a couple of extra seats in the living room, and fortuitously, our youngest daughter has found an apartment that has enough space that she has asked for her piano.  I had in my head some rolling stools that look like they are from the Hollywood Regency period and bought two vintage office chairs to created them.  As I was removing the seat so I could use the chrome bases to create the stools, I noticed that they were made in the old fashioned way - easy to reupholster and replace parts.  As we had an old bonded leather office chair upstairs that was coming apart, it became our newest office chair.  The base to the old office chair did not fit exactly, but my genius husband just added some new holes in the base so it would connect to the metal strips in the bottom of the chair.

We have also tried car camping recently and hiking.  The idea was we wanted our beds to be off of the ground, and not have to worry about rainy weather, as well as not having to worry about towing anything so we could use our Toyota Rav4 and save money on gas.  We constructed a few things to add to our comfort, such as a screen for the back and one side window (basically made out of some leftover window screen).  These worked quite well.  We also constructed a chuck wagon for our kitchen out of a thrift store cabinet that we bought for $2 and a broken piano bench we bought for $.50, and used a cutting board for the door that will double as a cutting board, a tray for eating inside the car in case of rain, and a door for the chuck wagon.  Love it!  Everything worked well except we are going to have to tweak the mattress part for more comfortable sleeping.  Our current cot mattresses did not do the job.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 10, 2018

I was determined to have a Japanese lantern by the frog pond near our gardens, but would not spend the hundreds of dollars it would cost, so with a lot of sweat equity and about $8, I have my lantern. I have a rock pillar for it to go on that was dug out from the basement project. I used the book Creating with Concrete by Sherri Warner Hunter (you can find it here), then watched some videos, used some leftover pots, and a bowl and platter I bought from the thrift store, and a $6 bag of mortar mix with some leftover fence parts (for inside strength) and some leftover foam insulation.I am having too much fun!  I finished it up with a rasp to smooth out the edges.  This one was from John's grandfather.

My idea of a "hybrid" lunch. One night we ate out at a seafood restaurant (as chief cook, I need a break sometimes), so the next day, my husband's lunch was a fish sandwich made with homemade bread and homemade thousand island dressing, and some butterfly cookies I had made for the children's sermon on Sunday. He took some homemade pumpkin muffins for his "on the go" breakfast (made with pumpkins we canned from the garden), and some coffee in his cup. Do you start your daily meal planning with leftovers?

Sherri Powell's photo.Sherri Powell's photo.
My big jobs lately have been maintenance, finish sanding and painting porch furniture and lanterns in preparation for an annual gathering at our house.

I worked on a mini project l to make hair combs that match my jewelry so I can wear them to church. While I was doing that, I used some leftover crystals to "save" some of my favorite shoes. All the metal decorations were falling off, so I figured if I randomly placed some crystals, the random metal decorations that were still left would look more like they were designed that way.

I redid the front kitchen garden, getting rid of excess volunteer plants, rearranging some, and got some additions to add some well placed color to look nice.  I did some "shopping" around the yard with my shovel, moving up some Stella D'oro daylillies, and some Stokesia from another bed.

Now you see it
Now you don't
I needed place to put my phone book (near the phone), the church directory, and various seed catalogs that come in the mail that someone hates to part with and they don't really look good stacked on my end table. This is a magazine rack for a bathroom that was a little over $17. I wanted it to look good in case it showed. In case you are wondering, that is the surround sound speaker above it.

Today is my day to provide flowers for the church. The Lord and my yard provided. . .