Saturday, May 18, 2019

Been Workin' on the Rail Road

We love our history center.  Today, they were celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike being hammered in, connecting the country from coast to coast by rail road.

Gyunay can really hammer!  He was enjoying it.

Lydia's been pretty good with a hammer for a while, so she had a slightly bigger/heavier one for her turn.

They also got to use the printing press.  It's always a hit.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Garden Arch

I've been wanting a heavy-duty trellis arch for the garden, so this weekend, Nathaniel assembled one for me out of 2 cattle panels, with some assistance from Malachi.
He bent two cattle panels and secured them to the ground with several tent stakes.  Then, he zip-tied the two panels together.

I've already planted cucumbers, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, tatume zucchini, and cantaloupes along both sides.  I'm very excited to have this vertical space.

Also, Gyunay had his last soccer game of the season:

He really enjoyed soccer, so we will probably sign him up again in the fall.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Malachi's Confirmation

Malachi was confirmed last night.  Elijah was his sponsor, so I got a picture of the two of them together.  

Our Archbishop was sick, and our priest is recovering from surgery, so we had a last-minute substitution of a priest from a neighboring parish.  We were glad he could step in.  Normally, the Archbishop does all of the Confirmation Masses in the diocese, so I doubt that the priest had actually presided over one before.  
Malachi chose St. Maximilian Kolbe as his patron saint.   Each kid says their saint's name during the Mass, and I think he was the only one who chose St. Maximilian Kolbe. I heard a bunch of St. Sebastians, several Joan of Arcs, a couple of Cecilias, Lucy, Jose, Juan, Elizabeth, Mary Magdalene, Francis, Stephen, Phillip, Teresa, and Peter.  I couldn't hear everyone's, and there were around 40 kids getting confirmed, so I'm sure I missed a few.  I'm always interested in which saints the kids are picking. 

Friday, May 10, 2019


We are starting to see some real growth around here.  First up, the chicks:
They have eaten most of the clover I had planted in their yard.  They are fully feathered now, and I haven't used the heat lamp all week.  

Also, the gardens are growing.  Look at the strawberries:

And this tomatillo is already blooming.  That is really unusual, as tomatillos usually are slower to grow than my tomatoes, and those are not anywhere near the flower stage (except for a couple of cherry tomato plants).

Last up on this garden tour is the treehouse garden, one of my newest areas.  The larger (taller) plant in the foreground is one of the blueberries.  The green all around are arugula and baby bok choy.  The yellow flowers are some of the bok choy.

This garden is doing very well now.  It has 4 blueberry plants, a couple of cantaloupes, 2 sugar baby watermelons, a few bush cucumbers, one tomatillo, one pecan tree, one rhubarb, one tatume zuchini, and the arugula and bok choy, as well as some carrots.  I did put up some netting to keep deer at bay.  I've been lucky so far that they haven't been nibbling, but we have so many deer here that it's unrealistic to think that will last for long.  

Monday, May 6, 2019

Saturday, May 4, 2019


I've been to Churchill Downs before, several times.  We've taken the kids on a weekend afternoon, bet on a couple of races, and enjoyed some time in the nearly-deserted stands.  This week is not like that.

I can only imagine how crazy it was today for the actual Derby.  
That white pole in the background is the finish line.  We had a great view for the races.  I didn't win any.  Actually, if there was an award for picking the losing horse, I would have done quite well, but it was still a good time.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April Harvest Totals

This is hopefully the last slim month.  The gardens are growing, and I hope we get some real harvests in May.

Arugula - 2 cups
Bok Choy - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 147

Monday, April 29, 2019


I've been trying to grow fruit for years.  I've had no success from fruit trees, but look:
This is such a beautiful sight!  The tree looks very healthy, and it is covered in little plums for the first time ever.  I'm hopeful....

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Gardening 2019

I've been pretty busy in the gardens lately, in between the rains.  As usual, I'm trying to grow more vegetables than I have room for. 
This picture turned out pretty blurry.  It's the old treehouse site, which now has 1 pecan tree, 1 dwarf mulberry, 4 blueberry bushes, 1 rhubarb crown (also shown up close below), 2 hills of cantaloupes, and lots of bok choy and arugula.

These pretty tulips are just getting started.  My early tulips are done, but we have new ones starting to blossom.  You can barely make out the bluebells in the background, which are also blooming now.

This is part of the hugelkultur, which is covered in pea plants but also has loads of arugula, some tomatoes, sunflowers, pumpkins, cabbages, and maybe some sweet potatoes if that late snow didn't kill all of them.

This is one of the two square foot gardens.  This one has mostly kholrabi, but also some radishes and peas.

I planted potatoes in grow bags.  This one is Irish Cobbler, and it is the best looking right now, but the others are also growing well.  I need to add more soil to this one.  I planted three different kinds of potatoes this year.  The others are Kennebec and Red Pontiac.  All of the seed potatoes came from our local Feed and Seed store, which is convenient as well as inexpensive.

I just transplanted the tomatillos outside.  I grew them from seed, and as you can see, they are very healthy plants.  I've got loads of tomatoes in the ground, too, but some of them aren't looking as healthy.  I started them much earlier than usual, and I think they were needing to get into the ground.  I am hoping they look better in a week or so.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Chick Update

The chicks are getting bigger.  They're not in the super-cute fluff ball stage anymore.  

I've opened the side of their pen so they can explore the whole little yard.

They've been enjoying the freedom, but then they scuttle back under the heat lamp.

In this picture, the ISA Brown is on the left, with a Turken behind her.  The other two are Sapphire Gems.

Monday, April 22, 2019


I hope everyone had a blessed Easter!  I made everyone take pictures after Mass, before they all looked too disheveled!

I fixed a leg of lamb, and it turned out very well.  Nathaniel's parents and a friend joined us for dinner.  The weather was perfect, so the kids got to hunt eggs outside.  

Friday, April 12, 2019


Spring has really arrived here now, and it's beautiful.  Some of the tulips just opened today:
There are also white, yellow, orange, and red ones just opening up.

Of course, with spring often the storms come.  We had a quick but strong storm this morning, and the power was out for about 6 hours.  Our little chicks need to be kept warm, so I put them in a box and brought them inside.  It was at least 10 degrees warmer in the house, so they resided in the living room until the power came back on:

All ten seem to be just fine, though, and now they are all back in their (much) bigger pen outside under their heat lamp.  
I've been puttering around in the gardens.  I've moved some cool weather crops outside, like cabbages and kholrabi.  I keep wanting to get everything in the ground, but we are still a couple of weeks away from our last frost date, so I'm trying to control myself.  I have moved a couple of warmer crops outside, but they are "extras", so if it does get too cold, it won't matter so much if they die, but if it doesn't get too cold, they should get a head start on growing faster.  We'll see.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

All Aboard!

We had one more adventure planned for spring break week - a train ride!  We traveled to New Haven, KY to ride the train.
They have a little museum, and several old train cars around the grounds. Then, of course, there was the actual train ride:

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Spring Break Adventures

We had a fun spring break, with lots of little adventures.  Here we are at the St. Louis zoo.  Unfortunately, Gyunay is half-hidden behind Lydia.

Gyunay enjoyed riding on Elijah's shoulders through parts of the zoo.  

We visited Nathaniel's sister for a couple of days.  In addition to the zoo, we got to attend Mass at the Cathedral:

It is so beautiful, and the mosaics inside are breathtaking.  We came back to go through it again, when Mass wasn't being celebrated.

We also celebrated a couple of birthdays.  This little lady turned 10!

And Elijah is 16 now.  We also spent some time with my nieces and nephews.  

Gyunay got sick one day, so there are no pictures of him with the baby.   He recovered fast, though, and was back to playing the next day.

And then we came home and got chicks:

The gray puff balls are Sapphire Gems, and the black one is a Turken.  We have 10 little chicks: 3 Turkens, 6 Sapphire Gems, and 1 Isa Brown.  I'm sure more pictures will be forthcoming as the kids play with them.