Friday, September 30, 2016

September Harvest Totals

The September harvest wasn't as good as I'd hoped, and again, it was heavy on eggs and cucumbers.  Here are the numbers:

Beans, crescent: 11 cups
Carrots: 2
Cucumbers, white: 59
Cucumbers, Russian pickling: 26
Eggs: 199
Pumpkins: 2 (plus 1 for the chickens)
Tomatillos: 1.25 lbs
Tomatoes (full-sized): 14
Zucchini: 1
Plus cherry tomatoes and herbs (dill, basil, parsley, mint, sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme)

The cucumbers and beans are very close to done.  The tomatillos plants, however, are loaded, and I hope to can some tomatillo salsa in a couple of weeks.  There will be a few more tomatoes.  The peas I planted for fall have sprouted, and some of the radishes.  There are always carrots growing, but some caterpillars have been eating the greens on many of them.  I'm looking forward to harvesting a bit more this fall, and I'm already planning for next year.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Finally Fall

It's finally feeling like fall around here.  It's been rainy this week, but the temperature has felt wonderful.  Gyunay was excited to wear a jacket to school this morning.

I realized that I haven't mentioned the meat birds lately.  It turns out that one of the meat birds isn't a meat bird.
Can you guess which one?  It was pretty obvious really early on.

I call them my Jabba birds, after Jabba the Hut.  The kids love that.  As for the non-meat bird, we hope it will be a hen and will eventually integrate in with the other flock.  We did lose 3 meat birds to a possum attack, but we fixed the problem.  So now we have 7 meat birds.  I think Nathaniel will harvest 2 this weekend and the rest next weekend.

And Gyunay saw me come inside with the camera, so here's a cutie shot:

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pumpkins & Superheroes

I've harvested 2 nice pumpkins from my garden, plus a third that the chickens got to eat.  (It slipped from the vine a bit underripe.)  The smaller one is prettier:

But I'm sure that both will be delicious!  

We were able to take a quick trip out of town yesterday for my nephew's birthday.  Can you guess the theme?

My kids were naturally very excited to dress up, although Elijah's Captain America costume is really too small for him now.  He's deciding what to choose for a replacement.  Everyone had a great time, but we were all worn out last night!  I thought for sure that the littler kids would sleep in a little, but of course Lydia was up at 6 (a half hour before she normally wakes).  Gyunay made it til 7, his usual time.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Birthday Weekend

We had a great time with family this past weekend.  We had a big get-together for my dad's 60th birthday.  Unfortunately, I took very few photos, and most I did take were like this, where not everyone is looking:
It is a good shot of Malachi, though.

One fun moment was when Gyunay decided to help with cleanup by helping my aunt vacuum the room.  This child was terrified of the vacuum for a year, and at home he still stays far away while I vacuum the rug, so I was quite shocked to see him diligently vacuum the entire gathering room.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Book Review - The Raven by Mike Nappa

I loved this book.  It is action-packed, and full of characters that continue to intrigue.  This is the second book in the series, and I read the first, Annabel Lee, but I think this one is a stand-alone novel.  I do advise reading Annabel Lee first, just because it's so good also.  Main characters Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill are back, and the new character, The Raven, is a welcome addition.  I really enjoyed this character.  He was well-developed, and I enjoyed learning more about him as the story progressed.  Both his story and Mama Bliss's story unfolded throughout the book to great effect.  The lines between "bad guys" and "good guys" are often blurred.  This book is suspenseful, and I didn't want to put it down at any point.  I highly recommend this book, and I can't wait for the next one in the Coffey & Hill series.

I received this book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Gyunay's Room

I've been pretty busy lately switching around the bedrooms.  I finally got all of Malachi and Elijah's stuff out of Gyunay's room.  It looks huge right now.  (OK, not huge, because it is a small room, but it does seem so much bigger.)

I moved the toy kitchen into his room, which thrills both him and Lydia.  They play in it a lot, and in the playroom it tends to get shoved to the side to make room for art projects, blocks, trains, etc.

And lastly, I hung Gyunay's icon:

We bought it in a park in Bulgaria on our first trip.  It has hung above his crib since before he came home.  Now it's in his new room.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Book Review - This Road We Traveled by Jane Kirkpatrick

Product DetailsThis Road We Traveled, by Jane Kirkpatrick, is a wonderfully told story of a family's journey on the Oregon Trail.  The main character, Tabitha Moffat Brown, is a widow in her sixties who joins her own wagon to the wagon train that is carrying her family west.  This novel is based on real characters, and their journey from Missouri to Oregon in the 1840s.  It is well-researched, and well-written.  Most of all, it is a story of family and of the ways we can all have purpose in life.  Many of the characters are memorable, and I enjoyed watching them develop throughout the novel.  There are plenty of trials along the way, which is to be expected on any story about the Oregon Trail.  The story flows well, and I didn't want to stop reading.  I read and liked another book by this author (The Memory Weaver), but I think this book is even better.  I enjoyed this book very much, and I highly recommend it.

I received this book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Chickens, Moles, and New Quarters

It was hard to get a picture of Lightning eating her mole.  She was quick to run away, and she was eager to eat it alone.

The other chickens were busy eating the watermelon rinds, but Lightning was quite happy in the corner.  When I realized what she had, I ran for my camera.  I've known that chickens can kill rodents and eat them, but I've never actually seen it.

The mole is on the ground to her left.  She did manage to devour it away from the other chickens.

The meat chickens are really enjoying their new quarters.  We made a new "first yard" and still have it closed off from the coop, so the hens and rooster can't get to the chicks.

These two are hard to photograph together.  They keep looking away!   

All of the kids had fun playing with the chicks in their new yard.  The chicks seem very happy to have space to roam around.  They spent 2 weeks in our garage pen, but they have definitely outgrown it.