Friday, October 24, 2014

We Are Wood Wealthy

We've had both of our wood sheds full of wood for some time now, but there were still some 8' lengths back in the wood working area that Papa Pea wanted to get cut and under cover.

But where to put the wood when both sheds were full?  Thinker that he is, he came up with the idea of using the metal stakes and high sides we mounted on our flat bed trailer when we had a contract to deliver bundles of firewood to one of the state parks in our area.

Truly-duly, they worked out pretty darn slick as a makeshift wood shed to hold the very last of the wood.  Now we'll cover the top with a tarp, and the wood will be fine there until whenever we need it.

It's been a long time since our back wood working area has not had some wood stacked on it.  We've cleaned it up except for the couple of inches of sawdust still on the ground which we'll rake up and save for use in the garden.

Did I mention we just heard from the logger from whom we ordered more wood?  Yep, he's due to deliver another load sometime within the week.  Guess we'd better get busy gathering that sawdust.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Busy Week, To Say the Least

The beginning of this week started off with having three delightful little munchkins come to visit.

The nearly four year old and her nearly year old twin brother and sister who Chicken Mama cares for spent the day with us on Monday.

I now know for sure that I'm not smart enough to stay ahead of Little Big Sister.  She's sweet and funny besides being very bright, and loves to help Papa Pea do chores.  When she found out he was going to feed the bees, she asked if she could go with.

Getting into her "bee suit."  Note the new "work" gloves very recently purchased for her by her mom and dad.

Off they go to the bee yard.

Getting her first up close and personal look at honey bees.  This was a very brave thing to do for a little gal who used to be afraid of house flies on the window sill.

Back in the house and doing a little artistic creating with colored pencils.  This child has the most beautiful, naturally streaked hair I've ever seen . . . hair coloring that most of us gals would pay big bucks to obtain!

Lunch time for the twins.  Little Man being his usual eager eater.

Little Lady is no slouch in the eating department either.  They both have healthy appetites.

Baby girl demonstrating it's important to stay hydrated!

Little Man loves to play with our French door between the kitchen and living room.  He also thinks it's fun to smoosh his little face up against the glass panes.

Unfortunately, this is what happens when you put your little foot under the same French door and then pull it toward you.

But in less than 60 seconds and some lovin' from Chicken Mama, it's all better! 

I think I've recovered from the activities on Monday, but Tuesday and Wednesday remained jam-packed also.  Busy, busy, busy but not nearly as much fun as Monday!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Still Enough Growing for a Garden Tour

Believe it or not (I can't), we've yet to have a hard frost.  Here's what's still growing in my raised beds.  (Tour of the field garden in the upcoming week.)

I have a cold frame over three of the raised beds.  Two of them are salad greens that I started in late summer hoping to stretch out our salad meals as far into the fall as I could.

This is the first one and has four kinds of lettuce and Swiss chard in it.

The next has some salad greens in it starting with baby kale closest in the picture, then arugula, Scarlett Frill and more Swiss chard.

My green pepper plants have lived under a cold frame all this cool, cool summer and are still there going strong.  I've harvested most of the peppers and made Stuffed Green Peppers that are in the freezer, but there are still many huge peppers on the plants.  This time of year they are sooo sweet that we've been crunching up a whole one raw every day.  They're almost addictive.

Isn't this kale beautiful?  I have another half bed of it in another raised bed, too.  The cool fall weather really does improve its flavor.  Past the kale in this bed are beets I'll harvest and store "fresh" in the root cellar.

Last but not least (or maybe it is least depending on how you look at it) is my one cherry tomato plant that survived this year.  Standing out in the open with no protection even now.  Sure!  Here it is past the middle of October and I'm FINALLY getting tomatoes that really do want to ripen . . . but don't stand much of a chance this time of year.  I've been picking the ones that have started to turn color, setting them on the counter inside where they do become a lovely red and . . . surprise, surprise, even have a nice flavor.

That's the raised bed garden report, folks.  Green tomatoes or not, I'm very, very grateful to still have the luscious salad greens we do.

Scarecrow Winner - Take Two!

I misinterpreted Mollie's comment on the scarecrow giveaway, and then didn't get (!) an e-mail she sent me (before the drawing) saying she didn't mean to be included in the drawing.  (Dang computer glitches.)

So, despite the fact that I announced Mollie as the winner last night, I needed to draw a new name this morning.  (Still with me?)

The name I drew as the really, truly, bona fide winner of the scarecrow giveaway is:

ANGELA (a8383)

So, Ms. Angela, if you would send me your mailing address, I will get a package off in the mail to you first of this coming week.

My, my.  Hope I have this all straight and goin' down the right road now.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Scarecrow Giveaway Winner!

I just now came in here to my desk and drew the winning name of the person who has volunteered to invite the smiley scarecrow doll into her home.

Here he is sitting on my messy desk and ready to go on to new adventures.

Mollie, your name was drawn so if you will send me your mailing address, I'll bundle Mr. Scarecrow up into a box and ship him off to you.

Thanks, everyone, for entering this giveaway . . . and helping me purge (!) our household of one more item.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Time Is Running Out . . .

Hey, all you readers!  The time for entering the drawing for Mr. Scarecrow (see post below) is running out.  You have only until about 9 p.m. tonight to place your name in the hat for a chance to win him.

He would make a chirky decoration in your house (or barn . . . maybe he'd like to keep the animals company!) this autumnal season.

Doesn't matter if you've never left me a comment before.  Don't be shy . . . go ahead and enter the giveaway!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Finding Buried "Treasures"

We've just ended our second (long) day of sorting, cleaning and reorganizing our big storage shed.  In some ways, it's like finding treasures that have been long forgotten, but we're also finding a lot of junk items that make us wonder why we've saved them for all these years.  (I don't suppose any of you can relate?)  In many ways, we're both feeling that having material possessions we aren't using is like an albatross around our necks; they all take up storage space and weigh us down mentally knowing they are there . . . perhaps feeling badly we aren't using them, while maybe someone else could.  So we are being ruthless (well, we're taking turns being ruthless while the other one waffles) in our sorting and deciding what we should keep and what would better be relocated . . . either to the junk pile, recycling or to someone we know who could use it.

Did we finish up the job today?  Nope.  Golly-gosh, I hope at the end of our third day at the task we will be done.

One big box that I sorted through today held decorations that my now-retired teacher husband used in his third grade classroom.

So how 'bout it?  Wouldn't one of you like to give this smiley scarecrow guy (he measures about 20" from tip to toe when seated) a new home?  I'm offering him as a giveaway on this post.  If you'd like him to travel from northern Minnesota to anywhere (Your home?  Your classroom?  Your child's room?) in the U.S., just say so in the comments section of this blog post and I'll enter your name in the hat for "adopting" him.  I'll end the entries when I shut off my computer this coming Friday night, October 17th, and post the name of the winner sometime Saturday.

I found some decorations for Valentine's Day and also for Easter, but I'll wait to post those as a giveaway closer to those holidays.

If I can find them in the storage shed then.

(Heck, no worry.  Everything will be so organized when we finish this undertaking that I'll know just exactly where everything is!  Uh-huh, sure.)

Friday, October 10, 2014

This Post Is Brought To You By Procrastination

I'll readily admit it.  I'm here at my computer writing this blog post in an effort to put off cleaning the bathroom.  However, I have just finished vacuuming and dusting so I deserve a short break, right?

We had our first touch of frost a couple of nights ago.  'Twasn't a true, hard, killing frost to put a stop to all green and growing things out there, but it did do a number on the pumpkin vines.

Sadness and woe, it looks as though I'll have two-tone pumpkins this year.  The south-facing sides of the big, ol' gourds have turned a bright orange, but the north and/or undersides are still very green.

I have been so craving some good apples this fall to make into applesauce, apple pie, apple cake, apple slices, caramel apples . . . well you get the idea.  I think I've been especially eager to obtain a supply of apples because we aren't going to get any from our trees this year.  I know apples must be plentiful somewhere, but I haven't heard of trees being bountiful anywhere in our huge county.

We've even been trying to line up some from an apple growing area in the next state over but nothing has been firmed up yet.  So imagine my delight when I found a friend had left half a box of lovely apples on our back porch a couple of afternoons ago.  Her sister had come for a visit from "down south" in our state and brought apples which she so kindly shared with us.

I made an apple pie as soon as I could and knew it was going to fulfill my immediate apple yearnings because I sampled a slice when preparing the pie and found the apples were firm and crisp, but juicy with a really, really good flavor.  I told hubby I am going to keep using them every day until the box is empty.  I shan't waste a one of them!

Our experiment drying/curing our onion crop in the cold frames over raised beds in the garden was a bust.  We left them there for a couple/few days but found they weren't drying one bit.  Of course, those days were overcast and cool . . . which didn't help matters.

So we trucked them into the garage where we set up the ping pong table, covered it with a couple layers of newspapers and laid the onions out there.  We've left the door open from the heated workshop to the main part of the garage where the onions are so there is some heat to help the curing process.  Also, we've put a rotating fan blowing over the onions to help with good air circulation.  It looks as though they are going to cure just fine.  (Makes for real challenges when playing ping pong right now though.)

Okay, now I'm feeling a tad bit guilty about fluffing off and not getting the bathroom spiffed up.  I need to get up and do what needs to be done.

Procrastination, get thee behind me . . . and push.