Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Around the Farm






July is a busy month around the farm... generally us Mainers feel like summer is quickly coming to a close when the 4th of July hits... which is absurd but that's how I've felt this summer.  We had a lovely weekend with family around the farm and at the lake; turns out I have 2 children who LOVE the water... Johnny sat on the shoreline and just splashed while Audrey played with cousins, swam with Dad, and started her career as a game fisher-woman by catching sunfish with her uncle and grandfather. 

At the homestead, though, Mr. Meanie is working his tail off finishing up the cedar shingle siding and building the back deck.  We are still up-in-the-air about what to do with the back deck; I would love to enclose the area with a fence to keep the humans in and the chickens out (boy, they sure love to poop).  I imagine this area to have some landscaping, a kitchen garden, and maybe some natural playthings for the kids... but we'll see.

The garden is growing! After some much needed rain last weekend everything is growing... weeds included!  I've pulled piles of weeds out of the garden and while some seeds didn't germinate (basil?) everything is looking great. I've set a goal to eat ALL OF THE LETTUCE from the garden, so we have had salads every night and I've just harvested all of the scapes to make pesto.  There's a huge pile of them so I will freeze them for winter, too, and think I can make a yummy scape butter to use on bread and when roasting chicken.

I am busy sewing... I am so close to finishing all of the customs from my shop. Just one more, very detailed custom left and then I will be free to sew for the Blueberry Festival where I will be a vendor.  I've sewn up a few dance outfits for Audrey too and while she looks quite fashionable I am not sure if she likes dance. Whenever I say, let's go to dance! she replies "NO DANCE!"... hmmm. We'll give it one more week and hopefully she'll fall in love or at least enjoy it a little.

I also made myself a "momma's night out"-fit" that I will wear for dinner and a show with a friend. We are both surprising ourselves with new outfits, I mashed up this pattern with this one, bought the fabric from here and here, and this literally took 30 minutes to sew. I will create an entire post about this later on.

And lastly we had Audrey's cousins down for the weekend. Aurelia turns 6 in a few days which is so hard to believe, but true!  We had a small birthday party for her and I made a cake, from scratch, which no one ate since it turns out that cake is passe... Oh well, they still had fun and I found out that I could eat an entire 2 layer cake in 5 days. The last day was difficult but I managed.  Anyway, we had a great time with the girls, they are all growing up so fast. And the kids had a fun time picking out fabric and I made them shirt dresses and leggings.


Happy Wednesday!

shelby g

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Froggy Has Arms!


The hilarious moment when you realize your kid may be weird (in a good way) happened to us last night at Audrey's first dance class.  The instructor asked what sound frogs make and Audrey blurted, "Froggy has arms!" and completely out of context seems like an odd fact... since yes, frogs have arms! But for real, our tadpoles are starting to sprout arms and legs and we have celebrated that all week!  So far we have one frog with arms and legs, a few with just legs, and some with tails still.  And our poor salamanders are not going to make it... i guess they proved to be too tasty a treat for the tadpoles.  



We have changed their water with nearby pond water, grown the size of their tank (although a fish tank would be better... anyone have one we can borrow?) and are feeding them a steady diet of boiled lettuce and spinach. All seems to be working... I really hope we an see this through and have full grown frogs to release into the wild by the end of the summer.  When I was a kid we would always find the frog eggs, but sadly, leave them out in the sun a bit too long.

Too that point, though, I think we have reached our maximum of small creatures to grow this summer.  The meatbirds are HUGE and still have 5-6 weeks left before the freezer, our pullets are adorable and growing, our ducklings are outside with the older pullets, and our laying hens are fenced in a run in order to consolidate their egg laying. So far we have found 2 nests of 18 eggs in random places... we'd much rather have the eggs fresh in nest boxes without the searching. We'd love for one of them to go off and sit on a clutch of eggs but again,... we'd have more little creatures to care for!

have a great day! We received some much needed rain and today will be a great day to weed.

shelby g

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June Yard Sale Finds


I don't get out and about as much as I would like for yardsaling but the kids and I were able to hit up a few this past weekend.  There was a yearly yardsale at one of our historic halls in the village; sometimes they don't receive any new donations and it is the same old chipped glassware as the previous year but this year they had some new stuff (and I have different interests).  I made out with a set of 6 vintage coffee mugs with gorgeous bird motifs on them, glass candlestick holders for barn thanksgiving, vinyl records for our growing record collection (but now I need to buy this to play them on!), and a cute milkglass vase.  I also picked up new glass light covers for our hallway lights. We picked out generic sconces and while they looked ok, they were too uniform for me.  I like the new ones better but now will always be on the lookout for inexpensive covers. 

And I found a chair! For $20 I picked up this beauty. It will need to be reupholstered in the future but for now it'll hold. The kids and dog love it plus it adds a little character to the house. We have purchased only generic furniture thus far, tan couch, brown rug, etc.  I am excited to start adding "charm" to the house. Obviously with two young children bringing the look of charm will take a while since for ever 3 items I bring into the house it is likely 2 will break.  I also picked up this ocean painting... it's not professional but kind of cute! 


Hope you have a great day!

shelbyg

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tadpoles

The best entertainment I can provide for our daughter while we run is critter collecting. Just recently we were able to gather up a salamander and a few tadpoles (and salamander babies... not sure what they are called?).  I love how excited she gets with these living treasures.

The wet, swampy, area in our field dried up this spring from lack of rain and although we were able to enjoy frogs peeping away I am pretty sure their efforts of attracting mates did not go very far without water for their offspring. Turns out that about a mile down the road the conditions remain perfect for frog development and we stumbled upon a small pool teeming with pollywog life. 

We now have 2 jars of tadpoles sitting on the kitchen counter. We feed them boiled lettuce and everyone seems to be doing well. I would like to find a small fishbowl for them since we'd love to see these turn into frogs. We'll see. We may just release them back into the wild and let nature do it's thing.


Have a great Friday!

shelby g

Monday, June 13, 2016

Pom-Poms


So I added pom poms to our bedroom curtains.  Yes, it seems like a silly idea but I was sucked into a pinterest vortex the other day and came across this. And then I went to look for pom pom curtains to purchase and thought that the price was a wee bit high for something I could do myself.  Although there are plenty of tutorials on pinterest I figured it out on my own (just sew the pom pom trim on one edge of the curtain. Hang curtain. Done.)  I really wish I had gone for bigger pom poms... I stink at online measuring.

Overall I love it!  Go! Add pom poms to your curtains! It's a MUST!

have a great day! I finished planting the garden just before it rained this weekend but now I have to sew up customs. I need to get them done!

shelby g

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Around the Farm




So much happening on the Farm this time of year. First off, inside the home, I am ORGANIZING! And it is going well. I feel like having children and their junk has helped me kick my hoarding tendencies (well, not with fabric or other sewing supplies... that's still in full swing!) but I have been cleaning out our closets, moving the kids clothes around and into their own rooms, and taking items to Good Will.  And I have also made more of an effort to clean on a schedule. It is not easy and I often slack off but overall I am falling into more of a cleaning routine so that we have a better balance in the home.

We've been enjoying the light that this time of year brings along with the fantastic smell of cut grass and lilacs.  These are the last lilacs of this season; it's hard to believe that the time has passed already. But lupines are starting to bloom and we have a ton on our hill so we'll fit a little lupine walk into our busy day today and bring more color into the house. 

The garden is almost planted, huzzah! Unfortunately the small tiller I borrowed didn't work so I have been hand digging the rows (as I had planned originally) and thus far have planted onions, lettuces, swiss chard, some herbs, potatoes, spinach, and gladiolas.  I still have about 3 rows left to plant and will get those completed by the weekend. And then it'll be time to go back through and weed! But the kids love being outside and the bugs haven't been too bad. On the list today is chicken coop cleaning, some gardening, lawn mowing and a little organization of the barn.  

Children's developmental milestones abound! Johnny can sit himself up almost completely and planks like a champ. He's almost figured out crawling too and can get around by scooting... so there is another reason to organize... keep small objects out of his grasp.

And Audrey is self-potty training. I knew she could do it on her own and have been frustrated by folks suggesting that I potty train her before she was developmentally ready. I am not really that kind of mom and would prefer it to be on her own terms. No more diapers for her in this household since she has long ago night trained herself. I never knew how freeing it would be for both of us... and she is very happy with her accomplishment.

Well I am off. I need to finish up a few customs and then begin the rest of my day! Enjoy the sun!

shelby g

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Chicken Shuffle



The Chicken Shuffle is the name to the new dance we invented here on the farm. Shuffle baby chicks from the post office to brooders in the basement. Feed and love for a few weeks and shuffle the meatbirds fatties to the smaller red coop outside. Continue to feed and love the laying hen chicks in the basement brooders until the outdoor meatbirds outgrow the red coop (about 2 weeks). Shuffle meat birds to chicken tractor and clean red coop. Shuffle laying hen chicks out to brooders and clean brooders in the basement. In the meantime attempt to move chicken tractor by yourself and then call in reinforcements...move every few days. Then in 2 weeks we'll shuffle new chicks and duckling into the basement brooders for round #3!

So far everyone is happy and healthy.  We still haven't decided exactly how we are going to butcher the meatbirds (29 of them... we had a recent loss) and had hoped to have them processed at a USDA approved facility about an hour away. I do need to call them, though.... That should really be more of a priority! 

Today for more gardening! So far the potatoes, lettuce, swiss chard, and spinach have been planted. It's slow going over here but we'll get it all in by this weekend!

shelby g