It seems like this year the garden is looking better and we are a little more on top of things than the past couple of years. We didn’t do much planning. I think I overwhelmed myself with the planning in the past. We decided to reduce what we planted and to not make much of a plan as to where things would go until we were ready to plant. That seemed to work for us. I also think having the chickens in the gardens all winter and into the spring really kept the weeds down. We’ve also been getting leaf mulch collected by the city at Gypsy Hill park and mulching, mulching, mulching. I’ve also relaxed a little about what I have to get done in the garden. I generally spend at least a couple of hours a day puttering around, cleaning up and weeding. Yes, a much more relaxed approach is better. I think I was trying too hard before.
I know I’ve shared this room before. It has gone through several transformations since we moved here 3 years ago. I think I shared the new metal shelving we put in earlier this spring on the left side of the room. You can see it in the photo at the top of this post (left background). We call it the kitchen nook. Above, is the right side where I recently added the book filled cradle, black wicker chair ( found roadside), quilt topped table and the leaf green painted stool and chair pad. It’s a cozy little nook and I love how the sunlight streams in late in the afternoon.
Today’s harvest – 3 beets and 3 carrots.
A volunteer calendula.
From garden to table in less than an hour. I simply sliced the beets and carrots into a little water, butter and grated fresh ginger and simmered until tender. Very tasty with slowly braised beef brisket.
I always forget the before photo!
Here is our newly organized kitchen nook. We purchased two metal shelves (OMAR) from IKEA.
Before, this table was on the other side of the nook and it was piled high with stuff. Now it just has our seeds and seed catalogs. Time to start planning. Though part of the plan this year is to not spend so much time planning!
Next year we will store our harvested butternut and sweet potatoes here. We’ll keep the window shade down.
When we keep the quilt hanging at the doorway it keeps the nook very cool and the kitchen relatively warm. A couple weeks ago I measured the temperature in the nook at 50 degrees – 20 degrees less than the kitchen.
A Super Moon (whatever that is!) in November. Too bad the street light is there.
Can you see the icicle on the elm tree? It is the sap from the tree. We had a quick and steep drop in temperature the night before.
Dave was bothered by the absence of globes on the dining room chandelier. Me, not so much. The weekend after Thanksgiving he said let’s go to The Antique Factory and see if we can find some. I was very doubtful we’d find what we needed. Couldn’t believe he found some right away and they were 50% off! It does look much better with the globes.
Many photos of our Christmas Day hike in nearby Montgomery Hall Park.
The dogs had a great time being off leash. Not many people about.
We had a new visitor over Christmas weekend. A black and white kitten. I’m surprised our 3 cats didn’t chase it away. Hope we can find a new home for it. We certainly don’t need another cat.
More Christmas cheer.
More time for quilting in the winter. I’m basting my ocean waves quilt.
A couple days ago it was near 60 so Dave got out the chain saw and shredder and Damian and I helped him take down and shred some of the trees growing into the meadow…
and around the spring house. It seems to be some sort of invasive that keeps spreading into our native meadow.
Our daughters’ friend, Soupy, built these stairs for our tool shed. We are doing an hour exchange for her. Dave is doing computer work for her and I’m doing some mending.
Another photo of kitty. Uh, oh! We are all getting too comfortable!
I picked this room as my sewing room because it had this wall of closets. Originally, they had shelves inside them. I quickly realized that the storage space at the top was too high up for me. Even with a ladder I didn’t feel comfortable – the boxes were heavy and I was having to reach up over my head. The shelving didn’t work at all for my fabric, etc. so we took those out soon after we moved in a little over two years ago. Every once in a while I would mention to Dave that if he was in the mood for a deconstruction project he could take down these closets. The time came a couple weeks ago. I’m glad I thought to take the photo above after he spent a Sunday afternoon dismantling. The space on the right had a twin closet to the one on the left of the photo.
Everything gone and we could tell right away that it was the right thing to do. The room felt so much bigger and more light come from the east facing window.
Above and below – the same wall freshly painted.
This room was an apple green. This moonlight white sure brightens it up and is much better for letting my colorful fabrics take center stage. The inset shelves will soon be full of things – baskets of fabric, projects, magazines and other miscellaneous quilting supplies. I’m waiting until they are not just dry to the touch but cured. I’ve learned the hard way not to put things of any weight on a newly painted surface.
I don’t have as much time to quilt here with all the house and garden chores, but I still find it relaxing and fun. I’m still learning how to garden – quilting is a much more comfortable endeavor for me.
Thanks, Dave, for all the hard work. I love it!
My last catch up post…for now anyway –
Last Wednesday, the day we got home from the family reunion, we found these two little ones with EmmyLou. We had moved her to the brooder before we left knowing it was about time.
Here she is keeping her two little ones warm on a chilly, for chicks, afternoon.
Bonnie and her brood
The ducks have a new pool.
Dave started taking down the closets in my sewing room on Sunday afternoon…
and finished on Monday. So much more light and room. Prep and maybe painting are on the agenda this weekend.
Dolly and her four chicks. Wait! What happened to the yellow one?!?! Turning black! I guess no different than a person with brown hair who was blonde as a baby.
I think the reason I want to post all these past photos is that we had four chick hatches this year.
The second hatch was May 23rd. Dolly, the head hen, hatched 4 chicks. One yellow and three black. The yellow one is very interesting. None of the chicks we received in the mail last summer were yellow. I guess it is a recessive trait.
I discovered this shrub growing in the corner of the porch is deutzia. I read in Michael Weishan’s The New Traditional Garden that this was a favorite around the turn of the 20th century.
Love the combination of purple irises and red poppies.
Just wanted to document where our irises are planted. They are very pretty and I’m not typically into irises.
Gave the hyssop a haircut.
The four chicks. They are about a week old in this photo.
Blooming chamomile and sage
Spinach from our garden.
Dolly and her chicks. This brood hatched May 23rd.
I love this hydrangea.
After a long rainy spell we are now in a long dry spell. The impatiens perked up after some watering.
Can’t remember what this is called. The leaf color is interesting and it is getting set to bloom.
Gave the sage and chamomile a trim today. I also harvested some elderberry blooms.
Today’s harvest of beets and shallots.
We tried to move Bonnie and her eggs to the brooder box last night but she wasn’t having it. We were trying to move her because our nesting boxes are high off the ground and would not be safe for wandering chicks. I knew Bonnie became broody about the same time of our second hatch on the 23rd of May so it was about time for Bonnie’s to start hatching. We waited so long because the brooder has been occupied by Dolly and her brood for the past couple of weeks. I checked in on Bonnie throughout the day. Late in the afternoon I wasn’t surprised to see this chick. I checked around and found three more. I moved them all including some unhatched eggs to the brooder. Fortunately, they all settled in very quickly. This little one was peeping away. I put some grass and starter feed near the nest and Bonnie started clucking or whatever that sweet noise is that they make to let their chicks know there’s food. I showed the chick where to find water and offered some to Bonnie, too. They both ate and drank heartily.
On the left are the chicks that were born in April. Dolly and her brood are in the coop. Now that the brooder isn’t available to them I put a milk crate with hay on top of the brooder in hopes that they would settle down in it.
I put some treats out to encourage them. I left for about an hour and when I came back Dolly and the three dark chicks were high up on a roost with Leo the rooster. They yellow chick was running about on the ground peeping away. I caught it and put it under Dolly. Hopefully, it will stay there throughout the night. Poor thing just learned how to fly into the brooder. Come to think of it the first brood of chicks were climbing/flying up to the roost much earlier that this second brood. I guess the yellow chick was holding them back. It’s light color and problem flying could cause problems later on – like being targeted by a predator.
I have photos from late May and early June still to post but I thought I’d post these photos on the day they were taken!
Len loves warmth. As I type this he is on his bed whining because he wants to be covered up. There is a vent to our bedroom above the wood stove. One night he heard me get up and go to the bathroom and started to whine. Of course, I could hear him too because of the vent so I went downstairs and covered him up and tucked him in. Yes, he likes to have the blanket tucked in around him. I have to admit it was cold that night. Fortunately, he hasn’t done it in the middle of the night again. Crazy beagle!
Our calendar was open this past weekend so Dave asked what I wanted done. He didn’t have to ask twice! There were a few things and he ended up going with painting the kitchen walls. There is more I want to do in the kitchen and this is a great start. Just having one coat of white over the beige really brightens it up. There is good light in this kitchen and though the big window over the sink is a northern exposure there is light coming in from the west from the back door and the window in what I call the kitchen nook.
One of the first things we did when we moved in was take down the awful ceiling light. There was a problem with the lights I ordered and even just having a bulb as a light source until the new light arrived was an improvement over what was there. See before photo at the end of this post. I got these retro looking light from Barn Light Electric. I love the red stems and stripes on the globes.
Dave painted the nook earlier this year.
Here is a photo we took from before we moved in. See that awful ceiling light and how this whole kitchen other than the appliances and countertop was beige. The biggest wall space is on the wall perpendicular to the fridge – on the right of this photo. There was a lot of patching to do on this wall and we had taken down that old electric heater on the wall close to the ceiling. You can barely see it in the above photo. Under it was old green paint and some old wallpaper. I looked at that for over a year! So nice to have it freshened up.
In the future I’d like to have a range – cooktop and oven together. It is nice having two ovens at holiday time but I think a warming oven would suffice. I want to move the range to an outside wall so we can vent cooking odors to the outside. I’d also like a farmhouse sink – one big one. While I’ve gotten used to the double sink I don’t like it. My wish would be to use the same cabinetry but reconfigure it. I don’t know if this is possible. When I have the money for the reno I’ll start asking around. I’d prefer a smaller island on wheels. This one is a little too big and too close to the fridge.
I know why there aren’t many farm blogs out there. Farmers are too busy!
Above is a photo of some berries on a tree in our front yard. I’ve yet to identify the tree. I thought maybe a hawthorne but I’m not so sure. The birds love this tree in the winter.
This is the wall cabinet I painted recently. We hung it in our dining room and I’m storing boxes of tea inside it.
I’m recording what I did here not because you are so interested but so I can reference it in the future.
I applied 2 coats of Annie Sloan Old White on the outside and 1 coat inside. Then I did a Coco wash to the outside and a coat of Duck Egg. The coat of Duck Egg was very rough and uneven – thick here and thin there. Then I sanded with 400 grit paper on the edges, trim and hardware. Then I used Annie Sloan’s 2 step Craqueleur finish. At first I thought maybe I’d put it on too thin because I wasn’t getting much cracking and then I realized I really liked the subtle cracking. I finished with a coat of dark wax (the crackle doesn’t show up until the dark wax is applied). Do not cut the dark wax with the clear like I usually do. You want the full strength dark wax to show up the crackle. Then apply a coat of clear wax. It will pick up some of the dark wax so don’t fret if the dark wax looks to dark initially. The coat of clear wax will remove some of it.
I’m in love with this latch.
I got this cabinet off craigslist a few years ago. I’m so happy to have finally have it painted and in use. I’m having trouble adding an old photo of it. It appears to me to be a fairly old cabinet that was redone with a honey oak finish that was so popular in the 1980’s and 90’s.
The makings of a beef stew. The parsnip is from our garden.
I almost forgot to mention I helped with chicken processing at the farm where my daughter works. Two very sweet young people – Kelly and Gabe – were wonderful teachers and very patient with me. I had a chance to do every step – the kill, dunking the bird in hot water to loosen the feathers, pluck (with the help of an electric plucker and we also had to do some by hand) and eviscerate. I really felt like a farmer today. While I was a little nervous in my stomach as I walked to the killing cone holding the roosters upside down by their feet, I really felt nonplussed by the rest of it and I felt good about being part of the food production process instead of just a consumer.