Saturday, June 21, 2014

Another fun, run day!

It was a beautiful morning for a run!  This time, it was a bigger team.  We named ourselves The Gimp Squad due to the various injuries many of us have.  Justine screen printed shirts for us all and we were ready to Run or Dye!
See, we're all white, shiny and clean!

The team consisted of my three children and myself,  Justine's fiance (James), his two brothers and their mom.  A good time was had by all!  In this particular race, you run (or walk, or skip, or generally be silly) through the 5k course where there are 'dye stations' where you are pelted with cornstarch based dye powder.  

James and his little brother wheelbarrow their way through the orange station.

 A kiss in the pink!

 At the finish line.  


 Karl (now he's 14!!) doing the rock star look!

 Ian (now 17!)
 Me!  Not sure how to act in front of the camera!

James, my future son-in-law.

After a bit more playing in the dye and dancing, this was the final effect!

Poor Vernon missed the fun.  He has two articles due on Monday morning so it is a work weekend for him.    That, and he's not really into this sort of thing...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A lovely, busy week

It has been a wonderful week, full of fun and family and all kinds or goodness!

Justine and I had a girls weekend.  Friday night we wandered into town to attend ArtsFest, a free music and art festival.  We got to see the Indigo Girls in concert.
 Sorry, it isn't the best photo but there is only so much you can do with a phone!
Saturday morning we went to Mount Vernon to attend the Chocolate Stroll.  We did the 5k race.
 I placed second in my age category!  But before you get too excited, there were only three in my age category!

And here is my darling daughter and I, enjoying some time together.

And finally, in honor of my birthday, Justine made a fabulous cake!

I hope you all had a wonderful week as well!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

If that's the case, you should all love me!  I know, I've been gone a long time.  But it's been a busy, busy time.  I made a trip to Philadelphia to pick up Justine and move her home for the summer.  Then, she and her fiance drove back out to go apartment hunting (they found one they absolutely LOVE!).

The garden is in and the continual battle with weeds has begun.  But things are looking good.  We had a late frost that nipped a few of the tomatoes, even though we covered them- but I only had to replace one so I'm not complaining too much.

We're working to re-stain the deck and pergola but the weather hasn't been cooperating with us as we need a 4 day stretch with no rain in the forecast.  Otherwise, outside stuff has been slowly progressing although we hope to finish out last patio this summer while Justine and J are still home. Also on the work menu for the summer is painting the basement rec room.  But that may have to wait until Justine moves out.
She and James have been organizing for their move to Pennsylvania.  They've been collecting all of those things you need for your first apartment so we essentially have about half of an apartment stashed away in our basement at the moment.  We've been anticipating this move for quite a while and have been purchasing and obtaining things like pots and pans, towels, dishes, sheets, etc when they are on sale or otherwise great deals- for probably the last year and a half.   And neither one is so picky that they mind hand-me down stuff so they are doing well on scrounging furniture from here and there.

I shall try again to be more consistent with posting here.  Maybe I just need to set a schedule for myself...  MAYBE then I'd be better at getting a post up every now and then.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy Day!!

Spring has sprung!  The peas and potatoes are up, some trees are starting to bloom and we got good news today!

V does NOT have lymphoma!  Woo Hoo!!!  They are still trying to figure out exactly what he DOES have- most likely something bacterial, but it is not cancer.  I have never been so glad that he has an infection!

It will take a few more days for them to finish the culture and figure out how to treat it.  But, for now, we are celebrating.

Champagne and strawberries all around!

and maybe I can finally get a decent night of sleep....

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Another weekend come and gone

And once again, I'm tired.  Yesterday was a beautiful day but I didn't get as much accomplished as I would have liked.  K14 and I loaded up the tiller and headed into town to till up our friend Jim's garden patch.  With the rain in the forecast, we knew that it was now or not for several weeks.  But it's done and he is a happy camper.  Now I just need to supply him with a few tomatoes and peppers and he'll be set.  I was also distracted by other friends stopping by to get eggs and seedlings. It was great to see them and chat for a while but it put me behind.  Although, the quart of canned fatali peppers definitely makes up for anything.  We're OUT of hot peppers!  Unheard of, I know!  So this will see us through until the garden starts producing.
When we got home, I got the rest of my early garden planted.  My little romanesco, broccoli and cabbage seedlings went out and we got them mulched with straw and covered with the row covers.  Whew!  After loading the tiller in and out of the van several times and planting 36 little plants, my back is tired.
But, my lettuce I planted in the front of the pea planters is up and I'm hoping the peas will follow soon. We had fresh spinach salads from the greenhouse last night and tonight we had fettucini with nettle pesto.  Mmmm.....   I'm gonna have to harvest more nettles and get them in the freezer since they are quickly becoming a favorite here, whether in pasta, risotto or pesto.   Maybe tomorrow afternoon if it's not raining.
Tomorrow morning, we need to be at the hospital by 6am for V's biopsy.  That's an early start to the day.  But, good thing is that he is the first procedure of the day so he doesn't have to wait all day without eating.  And we should be home by noon.  Time enough to get a few things done while V sleeps.

In news that's more fun:  I16 and I have been running together.  He makes a great running partner, although I'm slowing him down.  Justine turned us onto this great running app for our phones.  It's called "Zombies, Run!"  It is a voiceover over your own music that takes you through running intervals by having you run from zombies.  Along the way you pick up things that help your community.  There is also an online component that's kind of like a game.  The 5k trainer is great.  It starts you as a non-runner and has you walk and only do 15 second running drills for the first week.  Even I can run for 15 seconds- even after the inactivity of this winter.   Anyway, it makes it fun and is just that extra bit of motivation I need.  We got out for a run this afternoon before the storms hit.
The storms were pretty violent.  Not as bad as some places but we had 60+ mph winds, heavy rain (about 2 inches in approximately half an hour!) and pea sized hail.  And it's supposed to keep raining all week.  Oh, well... we need rain, we're still behind and I can tell by the water quality from the well that the water table is low.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stick a fork in me....

I'm Done!

I'm a tired but happy camper.  The day has been glorious and I've been busy outside all day.  Many, many things have been accomplished!  We worked in teams.  I16 and I were a pair.  Between 4 loads of laundry and dishes we planted potatoes and onions, cleaned out the chicken coop, pulled last year's vines from the pergola and worked on our new raised beds by the barn.  I'm going the cheater method with these.

We got two inexpensive window well casings ( I think they were less than $10 each) that are 3 feet wide, 12 inches tall and about 16 inches at the widest part.  They have been placed by the barn foundation ( I still need to secure them better) and partially filled with dirt.  We hung a section of a livestock panel on the side of the barn and once the wells are filled I'll plant my peas and let them vine up the west side of the barn.  I'm really hoping that I can manage to keep the rabbits out of them this way.  I've never had luck with peas out here because of the #%*^ rabbits.  This may not be the most elegant solution but it works for me- at lest I hope it works.

V and K14 were our other team.  They worked to remove two trees that have blown over this winter. One was lying right on top of the raspberry patch on the hill so I definitely wanted that one gone.  The other just fell last weekend and was at the bottom of the hill below the garden.  V was quite crafty and used the chainsaw to carve the last 8 feet of trunk into a bench.  I haven't made it down there yet with the camera.
They also moved a stack of old wooden fence posts so they could get to the fence panels underneath (so they could put up the section for my raised beds).

All in all a good day.  Now I'm tired and sore.  My back has done more today than it has in a while.

And I finally have homesteady things to post about here.  Hurrah!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Yeah... I've been away for a long time

I know, I know... I promised to be better at posting here.  But life has gotten in the way and I've had a lot on my plate recently.
Justine is in the midst of transferring colleges and apartment hunting with her fiance.  I cringe at that thought but then take a step back and tell myself that V and I were the same age when we moved in together.... sigh....
The boys are doing well.  I16 has been doing college prep stuff like taking the ACT and looking for a job.
V has been busy with work but what has consumed my brain recently is a health scare that he is currently going through.  A while ago, he discovered a lump under his chin.  This has been felt by several doctors, none of whom got very excited about it.  But, he persevered in getting it checked out.  A few weeks ago, he had a CT scan which revealed that it is in his lymph nodes and that there are 4 nodes involved. The report came back that it is suggestive for lymphoma.
So, next step- a fine needle biopsy.   This had good news and bad news.  Good news: it showed that this growth is not a metastasis from somewhere else in his body. Bad news: it didn't rule out lymphoma.  The doc gives him a 50/50 chance of it being lymphoma (although by his expression and other things he said, I think that may have been generous) The other alternative is some sort of bizarre infection (viral, bacterial or fungal).  But the fact that it has been there for almost a year with no other signs of infection makes me worry.
Next step- a surgical biopsy to get a larger chunk to test.  Sadly, this isn't scheduled until the 28th of April and we'll have to wait a week for results.  I honestly think the not knowing is the worst part.  Give me a diagnosis and I can figure out how to cope with it.
So, I'll try to be better (again!!)
Now that it is spring I'll try to post some new photos of some 'improvements' I'm planning this year on the yard and garden.