Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My babies are growing up.

Mr. Frizzle has discovered girls. Too bad he hasn't exactly discovered the secret to wooing them. They still think he is yucky and has cooties. Because of this, he resorts to chasing them. He's a bantam, so he's half their size, but he's persistent!

Here he is trying to convince the girls he found some tasty food so they'll come out from under the deck.

When that didn't work, he went back to chasing. He better watch out though. The girls are getting sick of him and starting to fight back!

He's now been re-named Rico Suave.

Monday, July 27, 2009


My dad brought me some boxes of old stuff of mine he's kept for the past few years (and he also brought me something else that's pretty darned awesome, but I need to take better pictures of it, so I'll show you later), and I had fun looking through the stuff. There was a box of old trophies from when I showed sheep in 4-H, a box of old books I'd read as a kid, and a box of stuffed animals I used to play with. It's really neat to look back at the stuff I had and remember how young I was. I can still picture that stuff as if it was in my room and I was back living at home.

I also found a folder with a picture in it.

Want a closer look?

That's me, Aunt Linda, and Becky. Aunt Linda is my dad's sister. I can remember going to stay with her in the summers when we were little. We always had a great time! I am guessing I was probably 7 or 8 when we stayed, and I felt so grown up! I remember riding around in her car listening to Paula Abdul. How cool were we?! To this day every time I hear a Paula song I think of Aunt Linda! I remember watching the movies Pollyanna and Sleeping Beauty. Ooh, and she'd take us to the Waterside mall. We went to the fudge place and watched them work the fudge on the marble slab. I loved that! And there was a toy store with a HUGE stuffed horse in the window. I dreamed of owning that horse. I think it was something crazy like $1,000. Or maybe it was $100. Probably that. When I was that little, $100 seemed like $1,000. Once, Aunt Linda said we were going to TGIF at Waterside. I remember thinking we were going to see TV stars in a parade like Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey from Full House and others from the TGIF tv line-up. Imagine my disappointment to find it was not anything involving tv cast members. Haha!

Once, Becky got the hiccups and Aunt Linda gave her a spoonful of sugar. I pretended to get the hiccups too just so I could have some sugar! We had so much fun visiting! Aunt Linda would tell us about her friend Pat with tons of cats! I can't remember exactly how many she had, but it seemed like a lot!

And this is weird. I read the Stephanie Plum series from Janet Evanovich (great books!). Every time Stephanie talks about her apartment, I picture Aunt Linda's old apartment! I'm not sure why, but I do.

Thanks, Aunt Linda!! We had so much fun visiting you!

Look at this face. I was a pretty cute kid if I do say so myself! I couldn't find a year on the picture, but I'm guessing I was 2 or 3? Mom, any ideas?

And here's Becky. Look at all that hair!

Those ruffly collars must have been pretty popular. Eat your heart out, Paula.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cheap Entertainment

I decided not to do the craft show yesterday. Friday night I was stressing because I hadn't had time to get everything done, and I still had lots to do to get everything ready, so I decided not to go. I did bring the kids to the show yesterday though. After going there, I'm very glad I didn't decide to sell there. I also didn't realize until I got there that it went from 9am-5pm. That's way too long to sit in an unairconditioned building trying to sell stuff. Plus, most of the crafts there were a little to "crafty", know what I mean? Like my sister and I would say, they were "creative." :-) I think my stuff would have kinda stood out because not many people know what felting is. I try to explain it, but I still mostly get a blank stare. Haha. I'll just finish up the stuff I started making and list it on Etsy.

Why is it so hard to get 2 kids to pose for a picture? This picture was the best out of about 6 or 7 taken. First the sun was in their eyes, then they weren't looking, then Kylee had her hand over her eyes. Man oh man. I'm glad I'm not a childrens' photographer.

I did manage to snap a picture of Kylee's hair. I used the flower clips from the wedding. Cute!

Remember Slip N Slides? We picked one up at Wal-Mart for about $10. It was so hot yesterday so we set it up for the kids. Devin got the hang of it right away!

Kylee was a little more timid. She'd run up to it and then stop and lay down on it and scoot to the end.

It was so hot I almost tried it myself. The label on the box said not for people over 12 yrs, and you know how much I like to follow rules, so I didn't. ;-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It was pandelerium*.

What luck! I got a call on my cell phone just as I was about to sit down and eat lunch. The chicks came in! I scarfed down lunch and headed out the door.

I brought the chickens home and got ready to put them in the pen I'd set up for them last night.

This is forshadowing. There are things in this picture that will cause trouble.

This is how the chicks come packed. See the toe peeking out?

I opened the box to find all the chicks packed in pretty tightly. The company I ordered from (and most others) have a minimum order of 25 chicks. That's to make it easier on the chicks for shipping. When they're packed in, they keep each other warm and relatively safe. There wasn't much extra room for them to bounce around.

The chicks need to be taught how to eat and drink since they don't have a real mom to show them. I dipped all their beaks in their water when I unpack them. I also dip their beaks in the feed, or I'll tap the feed with my finger, which causes them to all run over and see what's up. That's the chicky dinner bell.

One of these is not like the others...

This is the mystery chick they sent. With every 25 chick order, they send along a free mystery chick. It's probably a rooster. I think they just send whatever leftover chick they have to get rid of them. He's cute!

They are pretty feisty. They shipped yesterday, so they weren't in transit long!

So what was the trouble, you ask? I'll tell you! After I'd unpacked about 10 chicks, they started running all around their pen. They figured out pretty darn quickly that they could scoot right through the fencing of their pen. Oops! I had forgotten that the last chicks were already several weeks old when they moved to this pen, so they couldn't fit anymore. These little broiler chicks thought it was great fun to venture out into the big world of the garage. The first chick ran out and saw Scooter. Scooter is pretty gentle with the animals, so I wasn't too worried about that. Did you also notice in that picture that there were some older chickens in the garage? That's the rogue gang I've mentioned before. Cogburn is included in that gang. He saw the chicks and started bullying them! He was pecking their heads and trying to fling them. Darn it! Did you also notice that I'd tied Elmer to the outside of the pen? Well, it wasn't long before a brave chick ventured out on that side to pay a visit to Elmer. Well, I don't trust Elmer one bit when it comes to the chickens. He's just too young and doesn't yet know that those are animals that deserve respect at our place. Those are not chicken nuggets or chew toys! I started yelling for him to stay, and quickly got up and got him tied outside while I got things under control. In the meantime, Cogburn is still playing peck-the-chick. I rushed back in and shooed the big chickens outside. Finally I'd gotten everyone out but Scooter and the chicks. I managed to find some extra pieces of trim from the house, so I used those to block the bottom of the pen. I'll have to get something a little more sturdy to use for the next few weeks. The good thing is that the chicks grow very fast, so soon they will be too big to escape.

Hard to believe that they'll be ready for the freezer in 8 weeks, isn't it?

After we got the chicks settled, we had a photo shoot.

My two handsome boys. Aren't they cute?

*Remember Jeff Foxworthy's pandelerium skit?

Busy Bee

Sorry I haven't been blogging much. I've been crafting every night trying to get something together for the craft show on Saturday! My order of 25 meat chicks should be in any day now. Their area is all set up and ready to go. Hopefully I'll get a call from the post office when I'm at work so I can have an excuse to leave work. ;-) The garden is still ahead of me. Squash production has slowed slightly. Some of the small squashes are starting to rot on the plant. Any thoughts on that? I've seen a tiny bit of evidence of powdery mildew starting in, but it's on a different plant than the rotting fruit. I picked a bunch of green beans last night, but I wasn't up to picking the yellow beans. I'll try to get to those tonight.

I'd been hoping to avoid spraying any chemicals in the garden this year, but it appears I might have to get some liquid Sevin. I have seen lots of larvae of Mexican Bean Beetles on my yellow wax beans, and they just crossed over to my green beans. Also, my Swiss Chard looks more like swiss cheese thanks to an invasion of blister beetles. My coworker said she burns up the crop with a blow torch (she's an organic veggie farmer) but I'm not quite ready to give up on the crop yet. I'll try a good spraying of liquid Sevin and see how that does.

I still desperately need to trellis the gourds and lima beans, but I just haven't had the time. Why is it that there's never enough time to get done what you want to get done? I feel like I'm always playing catch up! Hopefully after the craft show this weekend I can really get some things done. Sorry, no pics in this post. I'll post some pictures soon!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's only been a week.

Six days, really. It's hard to believe things can change so much in a measly 6 days! I guess when you see something every day, it's harder to notice the changes. I'll show you what's changed in the yard and garden since we left for vacation.

The birds were kind enough to plant these sunflowers for us. They now greet us with their bright, happy faces when we go up and down the deck steps.

The sunflowers that were accidently planted when I spread mulch are finally blooming! They're small, but they really are so cute!

Ok, ready for the big changes? It's amazing to look back at what the garden looked like about a month ago, on June 16th. Look how piddly everything was. Ready?

The tomatoes desperately need re-stringing. They're full of green tomatoes. I can't wait for that first red one of the season....pure heaven.

The lima beans are also in need of some sort of support. I could only find the pole limas when I bought the seeds. Usually I prefer the bush type, because then I don't have to trellis them.

Holy cow. What is this mess? When I left, there were 3 distinct rows here. There was a clear row of gourds on the left, winter squash in the middle, and summer squash on the right. Now it's all one huge mass of gourd/squash explosion. Something needs to be done about this. I need to somehow trellis those gourds.

Oh hi, Tucker! It's good to see you too! Thanks for keeping watch over the yard while we were gone!

I managed to do something with the cukes before we left, so they're not going too crazy. I used the huge tomato cages from previous years to keep them contained.

Look how massive those squash plants are.

The beans are doing nicely! David and I picked a basket full of the yellow wax beans (right side) last night. We're going to be swimming in beans soon!

The corn is doing better than I ever expected!

The ears are developing nicely. I'm crossing my fingers for a nice harvest.

The second crop of corn has grown at least a foot since we left, I swear.

I tilled this little strip for wildflower and other flower seeds before we left. You can't really tell from this picture, but there are tons of little seedlings popping up all through it! I think it'll look really pretty when they bloom!

The watermelons and pumpkins are growing great also. I think I'll ignore the wire grass and pretend it doesn't exist. That sounds like more fun than trying to weed it.

I planted this little patch with various flower seeds because I had a little extra space. I forget what all I planted, but I see lots of cosmos and zinnias and sunflowers.

The gourds are amazing! I think baby gourds are the cutest freaking thing.

These are big....already small orange sized.

Remember the strip of flowers I planted in front of the garage? Check it out now!

Don't mind the jack in the above picture. I was too lazy to move it.

The nasturtiums are blooming like crazy! I'm glad I got such a mix of flower colors in the seeds I planted. I wonder what the kids would do if I put the blossoms in a salad?

The flowers are so pretty. I think I'll plant a few more seeds to fill in some bare spots. The chickens have been eating my cosmos and bachelor buttons, the little rats.

And what a surprise! There were two bushes in the back yard that I thought at first were crepe myrtles. Turns out they're Rose of Sharons! Beautiful!

We have a purple bush.

And a white bush.

I'll update you on the chickens tomorrow. And I'll post some pictures from our camping trip! We all had a blast!
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