Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Triple H kind of day

HAZY, HOT and HUMID.  That sums up our weather. But I'm NOT going to complain!  We ended up getting about 0.75 inches of much needed rain last night.  We had no major damage from the winds that have plagued so many other areas.  We have power and air conditioning in this awful weather.  So, I am grateful.
We still, however, could use some more rain.  This rain brings us to approximately an inch of rain for the entire month of June.  We average about 4.5 inches for the month so you can see how dry it has been.  Hopefully the weather pattern has shifted a bit and the storm tracks will normalize a bit.
Three tomato plants were blown over but only one sustained any real damage and that's only a few broken branches, nothing major.  The peppers looked pretty windblown last evening but seem to have righted themselves today.  Of course, now the weeds that were already out there seem to have exploded- as has the lawn.
Work today wasn't too bad and now I've got 4 days off.  Let's see what I can get accomplished.

UPDATE:  I talked to my mother who managed to get hold of my sister in the D.C. area.  They are without power but are all well.  They have trees down in the neighborhood and have been informed that it could be a week or more before they have power again.  But at least they and my nephew and niece are all fine.
I'm sending cooling thoughts for all out east without power in this heat.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A little wet and IDC

It's raining!!  Woo Hoo!!!  We had as severe storm barreling toward us only to suddenly veer to the north.  I'm not complaining about missing the severe part but I'll miss the inch of rain they got with it. But at least it is raining now.  So far we've had about 0.2 inches and we've got a couple more heavier cells coming toward us. So maybe I won't have to water the garden tomorrow.  Our temps continue in the mid to upper 90's and the extended forecast (10 days out) continues to call for temperatures right about there.  It would be more bearable if it at least cooled down at night but when you get up at 5:30 am and it's already 78 degrees with 70% humidity you really have to force yourself to go outside. Yesterday, the heat index (combo of heat and humidity) reached 117 degrees.  Blah!
But, it's Friday.  Time for my Independence Days Challenge update.
Plant something- some more chamomile and some flat leaf parsley- mine died :(  that I picked up at 50% off at the garden center.  I still need to get my blackberries into the ground but the thought of digging holes in bone dry soil in 100 degree weather isn't really appealing to me...  Don't know why?!
Harvest something- Broccoli, kale, chard, kohlrabi, onions, eggs, a few herbs.
Preserve something- not a thing.
Waste not-The usual recycling.  We've been reusing as much lumber and siding as possible in the construction project
Want not- not much here either
Eat the food- fresh steamed broccoli,  eggs- lots of eggs!  some stuff from the freezer.  I made waffles over the weekend that everyone devoured.  Maybe I'll have to make some more during my time off.
Build community food systems- a few eggs out of the house with one of Justine's friends but that's about it.  I didn't even get to the farmer's market.
Skill up- nada

Oooooo.... big flash of lightning and a crash of thunder- that next storm cell must be coming.  I've got to go watch it rain- it's such a novelty!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dust and sweat

That's what we've got here. It is HOT and DRY!  We officially hit 99F this afternoon although our thermometer hit 100.  And it is still dry, dry, dry.  I finally broke down and pulled out the sprinkler last night to water the potatoes and beans.  And this evening I deployed the gallon jug watering system on the vining plants.  Rain barrels don't do any good if you've got no rain.
And the hot weather is forecast to continue.  Tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter than today.  I clipped an old sheet to the side of the chicken run to provide them some more shade than they've got and we put an extra waterer in there for them as well.
I still haven't managed to get the new blackberry bushes into the ground.  And I don't think I'll be up for digging holes when the heat index is over 110.  So, they have been moved into the shade under the deck to keep them from drying out too quickly until it cools down enough that I can plant them.  I've still got three days of work this week at the hospital (I'm working Saturday) but then I've got 4 days off.      Sunday is Sunday, Monday is my day off, Tuesday will be my comp day for Saturday and Wednesday is the holiday.  I'm hoping that the weather cools off at least a little so I can get out into the garden to weed, at least a couple of mornings since the weeds are getting big again.
This weekend is the Jazz Festival downtown.  V and I were talking about going down for a while on Saturday evening after I get off of work but we'll see what the weather is doing.  I'm not too thrilled to go sit on a blanket in the middle of a closed off street if it is too hot, even to listen to free concerts.  I've been there before when it's blisteringly hot and the streets just cook you.  So, hopefully it will cool down a little.  We'll see.

I hope you are all staying cool out there.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


V has been hard at work and OH, MY! What a difference!  He's not quite finished. He still has some siding and trim bits to put up and the interior still need drywall.  But a few before and after photos...

Before.  Of course, it's a different season.   This is a photo taken before we closed on the house.  You can see the backdoor and the little porch where the north door was.
After!  Slightly different angle as well.  I'll have to try to replicate the angle sometime.  But the deck definitely changes the look.
And another before photo:
Before:  The northwest corner of the house where the addition connects onto the main house.  This is the door we replaced.  We had already repaired water damage along the roof line but there was still lots of water damage here.
After!  Along the house (between the existing pavers and the big window) is the space where we will be planting the shade garden.  Even though it is on the west side of the house the big hackberry tree provides so much shade that there is moss growing back here.  From the end of the pavers back toward where the barrels are sitting will be a patio.  To the north of this (left of the photo and out of sight) is the  rose arbor leading to the goth garden.    But I'm loving how this space is coming together.  I love the way the secondary retaining wall turned out under the stairs. We used left over retaining wall blocks and finished it off with concrete rubble 'blocks'.
And this afternoon we had a few visitors:

A little toad almost blends in with the dusty, dry dirt.
And an Indigo Bunting rests on the line.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekend photos

A few photos of the busy weekend!
The deck certainly changes the view of the house!
Work begins on the North wall of the addition.  The door is being removed and replaced with a window.
As you can see, this was originally a window and someone replaced it with the door (badly installed!). So we are actually restoring this to the way it was.
 Framing goes in- this is no longer a door!
The window opening takes shape.
My discount blackberries will probably need watered tomorrow.  We had a thunderstorm roll through about 6 am. The lightning flashed and the thunder rolled. Sadly, we got a disappointing 0.08 inches of rain.  sigh....
The lineup of ferns.  Justine and I made a run to the grocery store today since she had friends over this afternoon.  I noticed that they had just marked down all the garden center stuff to 50% off!  So, of course, I had to look.  I picked up two new ferns since we'll soon be able to work on the shade garden.
I also picked up this quite healthy looking forsythia bush for $8.  It is about 3 feet tall!
I picked up this hydrangea last week, when the garden center stuff was only 25% off.  I think it's lovely.  And there weren't any left so good thing I got it when I did.
As well as this one.  I've never actually owned a hydrangea before.  But they will go into that northwest corner where the shade garden will be.  Both of these are types that if we change the pH of the soil they will change color.
The herb spiral is filling out.  You can also see that we need to mow.  The grass hasn't grown much with the dry weather but the clover is going wild.
And the window is in!  This is just a temporary installation.  It will come back out tomorrow. The siding can't be removed until the deck is gone and with the deck there, there has been so much water damage to the siding (and the deck itself and the underlying sheathing) that the project was bigger than could be completed in a single day.  Tomorrow, V will need to go pick up three new sheets of siding panels to replace the damaged ones and then he and the children will finish the wall.  The next few days look to be great weather for something like this but toward the end of the week we are forecast to have temps into the 100's so V wants to get this finished while it is still cool (it was near 90 today! but tomorrow is forecast only into the low 80's)
This will be another long week.  We've got no forecast rain in sight and with hot, hot, hot temps I'll have to water the garden.  I'm now looking at a 6 day stretch of work at the hospital so I'll not have lots of time at home.  I was hoping to get my fall broccoli started today but it didn't happen.  Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A little of this...

A little of that...
It has been a pretty laid back day today.  V worked to pull off part of the old drywall off in the addition.  He stopped for the day. He can't remove any more drywall because all the barrels are full and he can't start reframing for the new window until the stairs are removed outside, the siding off and the old door removed.  And late in the afternoon is not the time to start something like that. So we're on hold. If the weather holds he'll probably tackle some of the siding tomorrow. It looks like the weather for the next few days is pretty favorable for that kind of work.
We were hoping for rain today.  In fact, the radar showed that it was raining here.  HA!  we had a few sprinkles but that was it.  Of course that lovely rain front that we watched all day moving toward us fizzled before it got here.  I knew I should have washed the car this morning!
I15 is off at a movie this afternoon... with a girl!  It seems the lad is growing up....
After I dropped him off, I went to the farm store to pick up some more chicken feed (I got an extra bag since they were having a sale) but then I was lured in by the end of the season sale at a garden center. I did manage to show some restraint.  But I did end up with 4 one gallon pots blackberry bushes.  Mmm...  now to figure out where to plant them.  I also got a couple of ferns since we will soon be landscaping that northwest corner between the house and the addition.  It is pretty shady back in there since the big hackberry tree blocks most of the sun  And I love ferns.  I have distinct memories of crawling around in the ferns at my parent's when I was little.  It was like there were tunnels in there.
Oh, and I almost forgot.  Nancy at Little Homestead in Boise is celebrating her one year blogiversary with a giveaway.  Check it out! She is giving away a lovely gift basket.  Of course, I almost hate to tell you.  The more people who enter the less chance I've got to win....
Ah, of to do laundry...

Independence Days- week 20?

I'm finally going to try to post this on Friday like I should- or at least close.  This has been a crazy-busy week with ups and downs.  Our 'rain' of Wednesday night netted us less than 0.1 inches. sigh...  Everything is looking stressed.  I was out in the garden this evening and noticed that even my coneflowers, St John's Wort and oregano in the pollinators garden are wilted.  So, I hauled out the hose and gave them a good drink along with the vining plants and my pathetic green beans.
But it is Friday and that means an IDC update.
Plant something- nothing this week that I can think about.  I'll be starting my fall crop of broccoli soon but haven't yet.
Harvest something- Broccoli, onions, kale, chard, a few herbs and eggs (44 this week)
Preserve something- nothing this week.
Waste not- The usual, plus, we used salvaged wood from the packing crates from the kitchen countertops last spring to frame the new window.  We also are using some usable bits of the old siding that we saved when we did the South wall of the addition to replace rotted bits.
Want not-   In food storage or preparedness- nothing except couple of boxes of dried macaroni for the pantry.
Eat the food- fresh broccoli, kale chips, meat and veggies from the freezer.
Build Community food systems- while not mine to claim- Justine is working this evening at the Tuscan Moon- the restaurant where my nephew has recently been made head chef. He called her and asked her if she was serious about her family reunion offer to fill in- because he had an open shift busing tables this evening. So, she is supporting a local restaurant.
Skill up- Except for learning more by watching V frame- not a thing.

Now, it's late, it's been a busy week. I've gotta get some sleep because I think we're starting to rip out old drywall on the north wall of the addition this weekend.  Oh, what fun we have!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A little link love

A friend of mine sent me this link today.  I thought I'd share.  After all the crap in the news lately, it is nice to finally see something good.  I hope it brightens your day as much as it did mine.  (I'll confess- I even got a little teary)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Summer!

It is the Summer Solstice today.  Welcome Summer!  Even though it feels like you have been here for a while.  Our temps are back into the low 90's today (that's 33 C) and it has remained windy for the past several days.  The combination of heat and wind has been brutal on the garden and on my fairly recently planted lilacs.  I went out and gave the bushes a good drink as well as all my hanging baskets.  We're forecast to (hopefully) get some rain this evening.  Maybe I'll run out and water the garden some just to help insure that it will rain.
I was back at work (my paying job) today and boy, it was busy! And being shorted staffed, it doesn't show signs of letting up for the next month or so. I'm definitely earning my paycheck.
V took a break from wall reconstruction today (outside stuff is done but insulation and drywall is not) to do some work for his paying job.  Of course, being self employed has it's bonuses, he can structure his day how he wants, but there are still deadlines to meet for his clients.
Now, I'll leave you with a few photos of summer here:
 A deer grazes in the wetland- which isn't very wet this year.
 A raccoon tumbles out of the willow trees.
 Franz Joseph- our Hungarian Wax replacement for Eric the jalapeno is blooming
 Even though we only had a brief shower last week, we had a lovely rainbow.
 Strawberry jam glows in the sunlight
 The catbird is singing on the line.
And the evenings are made for sitting on the deck and enjoying life.

Have a blessed summer!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What a difference a day makes

Whew!  What a busy time!  Of course, V has had the brunt of the hard work and I am just the helper, holder and gofur.  But a lot has been accomplished.  Behold!
 On Sunday afternoon, V worked to remove the old drywall from the library room in the addition.  The tiny bit of old insulation was removed along with the mouse nests in the wall (Eww!)
 Finished with interior demolition, we stopped for the night.
 You can see why we wanted to replace this window.  It is fogged and parts of the frame are water damaged and rotting.
Of course, this morning, removing the siding to begin the rest of the work for installing the new window unveiled more problems.  Evidently, according to one of the old owners, cutting corners was common.  They pieced thing together from scraps rather than use a solid piece.  There were gaps in the sheathing which allowed the mice to move freely from the attic into the walls.  sigh...
And we seem to have picked the hottest, windiest day of the year to rip a hole in the side of the house!  We had both a heat advisory and a wind advisory for the day.
Framing for the new window going in. V had to do quite a bit of work on the wall, both inside and out.
But the new window is installed.  It provides so, so much more light.  Next we will work on the North wall but not until we get the garbage barrels emptied!  Tomorrow will see the siding going back up, the inside outlet and outdoor floodlights re-wired and maybe some insulation in the wall.
The outside will look so much nicer when the siding gets up again but the window will be fabulous.  The window is on the West side of the house.  In the winter, the extra light will be wonderful and we've got the big hackberry tree that shades the house in the summer.
Now, it's time to relax after a hard day.  Tomorrow brings more.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Independence Days- catching up.

I realized that I haven't done an Independence Days update for a few weeks.  Life has been a bit hectic and I keep forgetting about it.  Not that we haven't been productive and working toward our goals but, sheesh, I'd like it to slow down a bit!  Of course, I say that but I'm loving every minute of it!
Here goes the update. I think I'm about 2 weeks behind so I'm going to try to remember what has happened in the past two weeks.
Plant something- hmm, replanted my vining crops (melons, luffa and winter squash), fennel, dill and some more summer savory.  I can't quite remember when I planted my bush beans and scarlet runners.  They are just now coming up- I think it's been too dry for them.  I finally started watering them and they've come up.  But I'm still waiting for my melons to emerge.
Harvest something- eggs (lots and lots of eggs!), kale, the first kohlrabi, chard, lettuce, a very few strawberries that I was able to beat the chipmunks to and the very first raspberry of the year!  I think I'm going to cut the first head of broccoli for dinner tonight.
Preserve something- made jam: strawberry and strawberry-kiwi.
Waste not- the usual recycling, composting and scraps to the chickens.
Want not- got some more ear corn from Dad for the chickens
Eat the food- eggs, salads, eating from the freezer as much as we can.
Build community food systems- took some eggs to work and worked a Craigslist swap- eggs for empty egg cartons.  Not that I really needed any more egg cartons but I needed to get rid of some eggs and I figured that maybe I could line up a new customer.
Skill up- not much- I've been cruising on auto-pilot.

See, I've been busy at home.  Plus work has been exceptionally busy and with family reunion thrown in last weekend I feel like I've been flying.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


After a LOOOONG, stressful day at work today, I made some more strawberry jam tonight before dinner.  Just plain strawberry jam this time- nothing fancy.   I know a few people had asked about the strawberry-kiwi recipe I made on Thursday.  It was really just something I made up on the spot.  I've had strawberry-kiwi blends of other things that were really tasty so I thought I'd try it.  All I did was substitute one cup of diced kiwi for a cup of the strawberries in my recipe.  It really isn't that noticeable but I think it makes it a tiny bit more tart.
I use the jam recipe from the booklet I got at our local Amish bulk food store.  I have been buying my pectin in bulk there, so it's kind of hard to translate if you're using the boxed kind.  Basically, it's 5 cups of stemmed, cut and crushed strawberries and half a cup of pectin.  Stir constantly and bring to a rolling boil for a full minute then add 7 cups of sugar, keep stirring and bring to a rolling boil for another minute.  Then put it into sterilized jars and seal with hot lids and rings. (this makes about 8 cups of jam)   I'm probably bad that I do the old fashioned processing (invert the jar for 5 minutes then turn it back right side up and wait for it to seal) rather than the hot water bath that the USDA recommends.  But my grandmother and my mother did it this way and I've never had problems with the old way- so that's what I do.
The elderberries are blooming like mad along the fenceline so maybe this year I'll finally try to steal some from the birds and make some jelly later this summer. That's something I've never done- but we've got a large patch on the fence line by the road and lots just over the fence along the creek by the neighbor's hay field (and it's hay again this year- hurrah!).  And no, I'm not ashamed to climb the fence and take the neighbor's elderberries.  They grow like weeds around here.

And it's raining!  Hurrah!  Last night we had a shower roll through- we got less than 0.05 inches.  But it clouded up and started raining early this evening. When I went out to close the chicken coop we had just over 0.3 inches and it was still raining... A lovely, gentle rain.  The nasty storms passed South of us, which is just fine by me, even though they probably got more rain than we did.  I was a bit disheartened that yesterday morning on the local news they were showing the drought intensity map for our area.  sigh.... we're nearly 3 inches behind in rainfall this spring.  This rain will help a little but not much.  I'm worried about our well-  our well isn't very deep (only about 85 feet) and we've been noticing that as the dry weather continues our water quality is dropping.  We're getting much more iron and calcium in the water.  The water, even with the softener cycling regularly- is leaving calcium spots on things.  I was worried my lids wouldn't seal on my jam jars just because of the calcium deposit from having them in hot water to soften the seal. And when the water tastes like blood because of all the iron you know it's bad.  I worry that if this dry weather continues that our well will run dry.  We don't really want to have to afford to have a new well drilled.  I'm not sure if we could make that happen if necessary.

Tomorrow we start replacing the West window in the addition.  We are replacing the rotting old window with one much larger and more energy efficient.  While we're at it , we will be removing all the old drywall from that exterior wall, insulating and putting up new.  Later, we will replace the door on the North side of the addition with a large window as well. We have found that we never use that door and think we will like the additional light of a large window much better than this windowless door that we don't use.  I think this is one of the last demolition projects we've got planned.  When we finally get that door replaced, we will remove the rotting stairs that are there and I can work on the shade garden that will be in that Northwest corner between the main house and the addition.  Currently that area is a huge mess of weeds. but we have blocks to put in a patio off the new deck stairs and I picked up a pair of lovely hydrangea bushes (on discount at the 'end of the season' sale) that will go in back there along with some ferns and a few other shade tolerant plants.  That area gets a bit of sun around mid day but between house shade in the morning and tree shade in the afternoon it's pretty dark.
But, now, because it's getting late and we've got many, many tasks ahead tomorrow I'm going to sign off.  I don't have to head back to work until Wednesday (I'm taking my comp from working today on Tuesday rather than Friday) so hopefully I can get a few things accomplished besides helping with a new window.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First jam of the year

 Strawberry/Kiwi Jam
After work today, V and I stopped at the grocery store.  Two stores nearby each other are both having decent sales on fruit this week.  So we got a few pounds of strawberries (at $.99/lb) and some kiwis (6 for $1.19) that became jam after dinner.  Let me just say that it is delicious!
And I wasn't too careful when skimming the foam.  I mean, we need a decent amount for taste testing, right?  5 jars will now go into the pantry for future breakfasts.  Justine has asked if we can make some plain strawberry as well.  Hmm, the sale goes through Saturday, we may need to make another run to the store for more strawberries.  We can go through quite a bit of jam so I'm sure it won't go to waste.  And I'm sure Justine wouldn't object to taking a jar to school with her.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This and That

While things have been busy, I don't really feel like I've got much to write about.
The garden is growing but not much to report.  The tomatoes seem to have grown about a foot over the weekend while I was gone and are blooming like mad.  The peppers are blooming and I've finally got little broccoli heads forming in the plants.  I replanted most of my vining crops due to a germination failure.  I'm not sure if it has been too hot and dry or if there is something else going on.  The one thing that germinated well, amazingly enough, was the ancient zucchini seed I planted.  This is seed left over from 2008 or 2009- the little round ones- and every single seed I planted came up.  The new stuff- Long Island Cheese Squash- had only one seed germinate.  The new luffa seed had nothing.  I also planted two kinds of melons from last years seeds and got no germination there either. I planted bush beans and scarlet runners (saved from last year) about a week and a half ago, so far I've got 2 beans up.  sigh...
This evening V is off at the Coralville Public Library.  He is the featured speaker/ local author at a summer reading program for teens.  Show and tell with ghost stories is always fun.  He will also be participating in the Iowa City Book Festival in mid-July.  At least he no longer has law suit stuff hanging over his head so he isn't afraid to appear in public and talk about his book.  I guess I never explained that whole situation- it wasn't something we talked about until it was wrapped up.  Another local author who has written extensively about the Black Angel accused V of plagarism because V presented the same historical facts in the same order as he did (duh- I thought facts are facts and history is usually presented in chronological order!).  He went so far as to involve a lawyer and make numerous legal threats.  It was all unfounded and V was vindicated but it was still an expensive, stressful process that really turned V off promoting his book.  This guy seems to think that he owns the facts surrounding this story and, I hear, has taken legal action against others who have written about the angel.  Actually it strikes me as pretty sad that he seems to have so little else to hold onto.
I'm hoping for some sewing time soon.  I'd like to finish Justine's quilt before she goes off to school.  And I've got a shirt that I cut out that I'd like to be able to wear this summer sometime.
V and the children finally got the pool set up yesterday.  Of course, it now presents a water hazard for the frisbee field.  Just another challenge.
Back to gardening stuff, the raspberries are starting to ripen.  The strawberries were a bust. A late frost got most of the blossoms and the few we did get were small due to lack of rain.  That and I was fighting a losing battle with chipmunks over the ripening berries.  But, I noticed in the grocery ad today that there is a big strawberry sale this week so I'm hoping to pick up some to make some jam.  One store is also having kiwis at a decent price so I'm thinking strawberry/kiwi jam.  Mmmm... I'd much prefer being able to make it from my own produce but this has been such a bad year that it's not going to happen. Maybe next year.  Even with purchasing the ingredients it is still a cost saver and I much prefer homemade to store-bought jam anyday.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Catching up (photo heavy)

Things have been hectic recently.  Life, garden and family have conspired to keep me from posting.  But I thought I'd try to play catch up.  As I mentioned briefly last post, we spent the weekend at my parent's. All my siblings and all but one nephew and a niece and her husband were able to make it at some point during the weekend.
Here are some photo highlights:
We started the weekend Friday night at my brother's house with a barbeque while people arrived from all over the country. The weather was almost perfect.
Saturday, we reconvened at my parent's home.
We had show and tell.  Dad gave a demonstration and tutorial on his gas to propane conversion on the riding mower.
Games were played and there was much laughter.
In the evening, we all went out to dinner at the old school.  This is the original school (built in 1927) where Dad and all 4 of us children went to school.  Dad graduated from here and we went to school K-6 after the school district consolidated and this became only an elementary school.
We had an Italian dinner that my brother won as at auction last year at the Mennonite Relief sale.
The food was fabulous and prepared and served by ladies my sisters and I went to school with.
The building was purchased in the early '90's by a gentleman and his wife and they have been slowly remodeling and converting it to other uses.  We had dinner in their living room which was my former 5th grade classroom.  They have done a fabulous job on the parts that have been remodeled.
They even used some of the slate from the classroom blackboards as countertops in the kitchen.
After dinner, we got the tour.  The building now houses, not only their living quarters but another rental apartment, a preschool, a law office and an athletic club.
The old cafeteria is now the weight room. Above is the kitchen and lunch counter.  The room seems so, so much smaller than I remember it as a child.
 We also got to see some of the parts that haven't been remodeled yet.  Above is my 4th grade classroom.  The one with the REALLY COOL fire escape.
 The fire escape slide from the third floor.  I remember getting to go down this during a fire drill- it was AWESOME!!
After dinner, we all collapsed into a food coma because we had eaten so much.
Sunday, brought more fun and exploration.  My brother brought his geiger counter and the nephews had fun checking out the uranium vase.
The yellow green color in the vase is due to the use of uranium in the glass.  And, yes, it is radioactive.  Fortunately, you would have to sit it with in your lap for an extended period of time for it to be a problem.
One of my nieces was there with her husband.  This was his first trip to the midwest so we took him out exploring on the farm.  Crawling around in the barn we made many discoveries.
We spied baby swallows up in the rafters.  I love how its eyes seem to glow.
We made it home safely last evening and collapsed. V had baked birthday brownies for me since he didn't think we would appreciate cake after all the food we had been having all weekend.
Today after dinner, we decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and V declared "mandatory outdoor frolic time".

 The sand riding arena makes a fabulous venue for a mean frisbee battle.
But sometimes a search is necessary in the creek when a frisbee goes over the fence.
Now, after a busy weekend, a long day at work and an hour of frisbee, I'm tired.
But, I think I'm finally caught up- at least with family stuff.  I've still got garden updates and other stuff to report on but hopefully now life will slow down a bit so I can catch my breath.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Back from a wild weekend

We spent the weekend at the home farm with my parents and family.  All my siblings and most of the nieces and nephews were able to be there for the weekend.  Sadly, V didn't go as he was feeling ill all day  Saturday and wasn't up for it.  Not only did we celebrate all getting together but Friday was the birthday of one of my nephews and today was my birthday.  What a better way to turn 50 than surrounded by family.
More later.  Sleeping on a hide-a-bed right under a chiming clock all night was not very restful and I've got a full 6 day work week ahead of me.
But here's the whole crew.