Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Our hens have been doing really well.  We only have 7 now, 4 barred rocks and 3 reds.

Their feathers are growing back in from where the rooster was too attentive.  We took our eggs up to Nathaniel's parents, and while we were gone, all of the eggs were collected by our friends who care for the animals.  So, when Nathaniel decided to make 3 chocolate flourless tortes (2 for work, 1 for us), he needed 18 eggs.  Luckily, the hens had laid exactly that many since we had been home.  He made the cakes last night, so for the first time in a long time, we have no eggs in the fridge.  That will change when I send the kids out to collect today's eggs, though.

And just look at our beautiful cantaloupes!  There are 4 growing, all the Amish heirloom type.  I did plant a French "true" cantaloupe, and it has blooms but no fruit yet.  The honeydew plants took a great deal of nibbling from rabbits and/or deer, so they just have blooms right now and are quite small.  I don't know if we will get any fruit from those or not.

Monday, July 28, 2014


We just got back from a trip to visit Nathaniel's parents.  While we were up north, we headed to Michigan for a day to check out the dunes and play on the beach.  The kids LOVED the beach, so even though the water is ice-cold, they had tons of fun making sandcastles.  Malachi spent quite a bit of time in the water showing how he can swim, too.  It never ceases to amaze me that my boy who's always cold doesn't hestiate to play in cold water.
Here is the view from the bottom, where Lydia stayed with her grandparents and cousin Max while Nathaniel, the boys, my sister-in-law, and I climbed to the top.  After climbing, I was really glad that Lydia didn't want to climb it; it would have been really hard to help her up!

Nathaniel on the way up.

Here are the boys on the top, with a nice view of Lake Michigan.

We did it!  The adults only climbed once, but the boys ran up it twice.  Of course, they don't sink in the sand as much as we did!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Garden Bounty?

The garden has been slow going this year, with the hard winter, late spring, and cooler weather the last two weeks.  I've loved the nice weather, but my tomato plants haven't.  I was talking to some of the farmers at the market, and they explained that it's not the sunshine but the actual heat that tomatoes need to turn red.  That would explain why I've got loads of green tomatoes, but until today none even looked like they would think about changing color.  It got hot yesterday, and it's heating up again today, so it looks like I'll have tomatoes ripe by the end of the week.
Other produce is doing ok.  Here are my first gathering of Golden Crescent Beans:

There aren't very many ripe right now, but lots of small ones are growing, so I plan to have more soon.  We also harvested 2 zucchini, which quickly became chocolate zucchini bread. The zucchini plants are looking diseased, though, so I sprayed them with milk and water and am hoping for the best.  The herbs are looking good, especially the basil:

I have another pot of basil, too.  I made some yummy pesto, which we ate on sandwiches and in a nice "green eggs" quiche.  I also have fresh oregano, parsley, dill, cilantro, and sage, although I haven't done much with those.  I kept hoping for tomatoes or tomatillos to be ready at the same time as the cilantro, but it doesn't look like that will work out, as the cilantro is ready to bolt.  Maybe I'll plant more and get lucky.  We did eat a couple of small green peppers on Nathaniel's awesome shish kebobs Sunday.  And I have 3 cantaloupes growing nicely!!!  Also, the pumpkin plants are growing, with one tiny pumpkin so far.  We also have some tiny cucumbers, so that will make Elijah particularly happy.  My Bulgarian peppers look great, long and green, but I imagine it will be a while before they turn red, and I want to try them "right" so we are impatiently waiting.  

Originally, I had hoped to have tons of food from the garden by now.  That obviously didn't work out so well, but we are getting some, and we have been able to supplement with some from our garden club school garden, where we picked a cabbage, peppers, zucchini, and 3 carrots yesterday.  I am really thankful that we don't have to rely on only what we can produce, because pickings would be pretty slim around here this year!

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I realize it's been a while since I wrote, but it's been an insanely busy week for me.  I'm working on updating our homestudy and also doing some other paperwork for the adoption (which has me going to Frankfort tomorrow for apostilles).  And did I mention that it is Bible school week?  And swimming lessons?  And new adoption paperwork needs to be done today?  So, I'll be back soon, but right now I'm a bit frazzled.   On the plus side, our social worker just left and now our homestudy stuff is nearing completion.  Hopefully.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

In the Garden...

things are starting to ripen, slowly but surely.  I was worried about the broccoli, since it usually has produced and been done by now, but I double-checked the package that the seeds came in, and this variety does take longer to grow.  The plants are huge and healthy, and now:

Success!  The kids especially love fresh broccoli, so I'm happy that we will have some to harvest soon.

The peppers are starting to grow.  There are several with blooms and tiny peppers growing.  And the picture on the right is my Sultan's Golden Crescent beans, which are much more vigorous than expected.  Next year, I'll have to have more support for those.  A few are starting to ripen, so I'm excited to try them.

And here is Lydia showing a little preview of the dress she'll wear in my brother's wedding.  The flower girl dresses arrived today.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shaker Village

Yesterday, we headed to Shaker Village.  Nathaniel and the kids had never been there, and I only went about 16 years ago, so we decided to take a day trip.  The weather was beautiful, and there was no crowd, so it went really well!

This is Lydia working the lathe.  It is foot-powered, and her little foot is on the bar making the lathe turn.

After Shaker Village, we had to stop by the Osage Orange tree in Harrodsburg.  It's just the most perfect tree to play on!

And lastly, when we got home Malachi harvested his cabbage.  It grew so well that I think we'll plant a few cabbages in the garden next year.

Friday, July 4, 2014


Yesterday, the weather was beautiful and the zoo stayed open late, so we spent the evening at the zoo:

This morning, it was again our turn to work in the school garden.  The kids were delighted so see that the corn is taller than them (and me)!

4th of July Shirt - Tribute to Grandmommy

A few months ago, my mom gave me Grandmommy's old gardening shirt.  Now, Grandmommy was tiny, so there's no way I could have worn the shirt even if it wasn't torn in a couple of places, so I've been thinking about ways to re-use it.  Today, I had an inspiration: 4th of July shirt. 

First, I ironed embroidery-weight heat n bond to the back of one sleeve that I clipped from the shirt and laid out flat.  Then, I traced stars on it:

I decided to use them around the neckline, and I like the way it turned out.

Right now, they are just stitched on. I haven't decided if I want to keep them this way and let the edges fray over time or if I will whip stitch the edges (which would take me forever!).  Either way, I'm very happy with how this shirt came out.  It's trendy right now to call making something out of an old shirt or fabric "upcycling", but Grandmommy grew up during the depression, so to her it would just be common sense.