randomness

Here are just some random pictures I had on my camera.

Match-match!

Match-match!

Tommy bought a box of old cell phones at a yard sale. He plans to use the parts for his arduino. He's kind of a techy geek, like that. All the kids were fascinated looking at "old-fashioned" flip phones :)

Tommy bought a box of old cell phones at a yard sale. He plans to use the parts for his arduino. He’s kind of a techy geek, like that. All the kids were fascinated looking at “old-fashioned” flip phones :)

Farm fun!

Farm fun!

Melts my heart, how sweet they are.

Melts my heart, how sweet they are.

A favorite yard sale treasure...toot toot!

A favorite yard sale treasure…toot toot!

Gettin' so big!

Gettin’ so big!

Every farm needs a princess in pink boots!

Every farm needs a princess in pink boots!

Our Staycation

IMG_5715Farm life is wonderful, but it doesn’t lend itself to frequent vacations. Good thing we are only about 30 minutes from Land Between the Lakes and all that has to offer.IMG_5934 We convinced Jeremie to leave all the work behind and come away with us for a long weekend! IMG_5703Honestly, it wasn’t all play and no work because he had to come back home every morning to feed the animals. IMG_5911But it was great to focus on connecting with the kids for a few days. We love to camp and this was a beautiful time of year to go. IMG_6064We had rain one night and the following morning, but everyone stayed dry.The tent only started to leak after everyone was awake for the day. IMG_6040Jeremie says that everything we did at the campground we could have done at home. But the kids and I felt that is was more fun to be in a different environment, without feeling the weight of what we “should be doing”. IMG_5954There was lots of fishing and rock throwing. Swimming, even though it was chilly.

This is what I do, who I am. Yes, my arms are almost always, literally, full.

This is what I do, who I am. Yes, my arms are almost always, literally, full.

Volleyball and swinging. Fires and s’mores.IMG_5883 Benjamin caught himself on fire. All the kids had huge torches made out of beeswax and cloth. But it was a simple spark from the campfire that landed on his polyester pant leg that caught fire. IMG_6225The excitement never ends around here :) IMG_6271

Have you figured out how to get more than 24 hours in a day yet?

Neither have I, but if someone knows, please share.

We have been very busy around here the last few days.

I had friends visit for a few hours on Friday afternoon.

My dog strangled itself to death on the run line on Friday evening.

On Saturday I was gone half the day in murray at a lamb showing class with charlotte and the young kids. Then we went to lowes to get supplies.

Then we started building bunkbeds and lofts for the boys room. We got it finished this evening. Well finished enough for now. We have sleeping spots for 4 boys. 1 computer desk area under Jimmy’s bed that Tommy will use for programming his robots. Jimmy has a drawing table up in his loft bed. Jack has a curtain to hide  behind in his bottom bunk. Benjamin wants some shelving in his bunk. And I have a lego building area yet to build. Need to find a storage spot for all the Mashoonga sticks. Tommy was a huge help.

My computer has been crashing on and off for quite some time. I think I finally figured it out. I sure hope so, I have a lot to do before I leave on Wednesday.

Thankfully we had two new baby calves born on Sunday evening, helped us forget about the dog. They were so soft, it would be hard to imagine without having touched them.

We have to milk our Jersey cow now some because the new calf does not drink enough to empty her. So that is twice a day.

Then I spent an hour this evening running around with one of my new south poll momma cows trying to squirt her engorged teat to get the milk out of it so that it would be small enough that the new calf would be able to nurse it. She tried to kick me every time I squeezed it. I finally got the milk clot milked out after about 5 miles of jogging(it seemed that long) with her avoiding her hoof. Then she finally stood still while I was doing it until she moved over slightly into the electric fence and we both got zapped. Then I had to get her to calm down again so I could finish. After it was back to a normal size I was resting and watching the new calf nurse and she nursed all 4 teats. So I knew I had fixed it. Otherwise she would have gotten mastitis in that quarter and probably never would have been able to produce in that quarter again in her life.  Then I looked at my shirt and realized I was full of manure. Charlotte watched the whole episode. I am sure she was thoroughly amused.

I got a hair cut tonight.

Now that I am cleaned up it is time to engineer. I will hopefully finish before 3am.

But I think I got my computer fixed. So far it seems like I may have a bad set of DIMMs. I will find out if it crashes anymore tonight if I have it solved.

Then wake up and put in a full day of engineering tomorrow.I also have to set up 8 days worth of mob grazing that is easy for someone else to move my cows while I am gone.

Wednesday we have an 8 hour drive to Naperville, IL for the ICHE homeschooling convention. Saturday night or Sunday we will drive back home the 8 hours. Then Monday we have to drive about 5.5 hours to knoxville, TN for Mia and Katie’s state livestock competition that they qualified for which is all day Tuesday.  Then Wednesday we drive back the 5.5 hours to home. Then I have to catch back up on the engineering and chores that I will now be behind on.

Garden update Mid-May

It has been an exceptionally cool spring with lots of rain. The wood chips are still working out great, except that I would love more.

Our first zucchini!

Our first zucchini!

Strong tomatoes ready to climb the arbor

Strong tomatoes ready to climb the arbor

Snow Peas

Snow Peas, with volunteer zinnias all around!

Candy Onions

Candy Onions

Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts

Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts. Just out of the picture was a white cabbage moth who insists on laying detestable eggs on my leaves.

Red Sails

Red Sails

Calico crowder southern peas

Calico crowder southern peas

Beets, carrots, drunken woman lettuce

Beets, carrots, drunken woman lettuce

Jade beans

Jade beans

Scarlett and Lacinato kale

Scarlett and Lacinato kale

Corn, just making an appearance.

Corn, just making an appearance.

Been busy harvesting lots of greens! Chard, Kale and Bok choy and Tastoi

Been busy harvesting lots of greens! Chard, Kale and Bok choy and Tastoi

2 Tablespoonfuls to be taken at Bedtime

Or so Josephine rabbit recommends. Peter Rabbit enjoyed a nice cup of chamomile tea after his daring escapades in Mr. McGregor’s garden, remember? IMG_20160511_155627153This stand of chamomile is ready to be harvested and dried for teas and soaps. To do so, simply pluck the flower heads off and spread out in a hot, dry place. After they are dry, crush the heads and save in an airtight jar. At the end of the season, the entire plant can be used. But the heads are the most flavorful. Chamomile is useful for so many things. Dried and crushed it makes a lovey herb sachet. It also makes a tasty tea. Weak chamomile tea sprayed on plants in the greenhouse ward off the dreaded damping off disease. I add it to soap because it helps heal eczema. Sprinkle some dried or fresh flowers in a warm bath and feel your tension ease away!IMG_20160511_155411945 Chamomile is useful in treating irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, skin rashes, colic, muscular cramps, heartburn, nausea and so much more. It is an easy herb to grow. These were volunteer plants from last year. It smells so sweet and looks so cheerful growing in the garden. Makes me happy!

IMG_5368Delicious berries! May is one of my favorite months because it’s strawberry season! This year picking was pleasantly cool, no bugs, overcast skies, loads of ripe, red berries and fun family times. IMG_5377The Berry Farm in Fulton, KY is run by a delightful family. We picnic with friends there every year. We take time to feed the catfish in their pond. We feast on the most sweet sun-warmed berries. Now there’s lots of jam to be made! IMG_5381

Visitors

It’s been many years since I got to spend a Mother’s Day with my mom. So what a special treat it was that she was able to visit us over Mother’s Day weekend! My mother has overlooked a plethora of my faults. She always takes a genuine interest in my life and loves her little grands to pieces. They love to write her and my dad letters and watch excitedly for a response in the mail. Every major event in our lives does not seem to be complete without writing or telling my parents about it. It was a beautiful, sunny weekend and my mom and I enjoyed cruising around the city-wide garage sales. My dad and the boys enjoyed kayaking down the river and got in some fishing time. We all enjoyed touring Fort Donelson. My dad has a way of bringing history to life and telling us interesting little tidbits about the events. We love Tennessee, but really miss these special people!7ECF7666-92F2-416A-8FC0-22381C99112B