Tuesday, April 27, 2010

24 inches long . . .

Springtime comes and out come the fish! And OHHHHHH what fun fishing is. (for the children that is)

Along with some makeshift fishing poles, my brother brought out some actual fishing tackle and a couple of fishing poles. All the children have tried their hands at it and it seems to be a hit with all of them.

Tonight when I got home from school the older boys and Macy had just pulled out a 24 inch catfish. They are going to clean it and then eat it tomorrow for supper. I'm not sure if I will be trying it yet. It still gives me the YUKES.

Nolan's new color pencil holder design. I enjoy the natural materials used to make a creative storage place for the pencils they use when they draw. I think it might be an item that he could market on my Etsy site. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

so much room . . .

A view at sunset. There are some interesting plants that are covering the ground of the woods. I am excited to see what they turn into.

I hired my neighbor to mow the pastures for me so that the grass that is supposed to be growing now could see the sun. This is from the South end of what we call the Big Pasture. To give you some perspective of size, I walked along the fence row shown here, (from left to right in the picture-not long ways) and it was 180 yards wide. So that is almost two football fields in width! After it was mowed, it made the whole pasture seem so much larger. Funny thing as well . . . my neighbor came by tonight to pick up some money for mowing what he has done thus far. Since he barely knows me, I guess that is a good thing. I was unsure what he was going to charge me since most people out here don't talk about money until the job is done. I ended up paying him twice what I paid my landscaper I hired to mow my Rowland Heights house. Fathom that. Less than a quarter of an acre was half the price of mowing almost 26 acres! With prices like that, I 'll have him mow it monthly.

Ildi wanted me to build a fence to hide the "bullet" as I call it. Our 500 gallon propane tank is not necessarily an eye sore, but the fence sure does soften it a bit. :)

Since we have so much room, and plenty of storage space with barns, my brother has been bringing some items of his out to the farm to store. One such items is the canoe. The children are ecstatic about rowing out on the pond.

Amory has really been "designing" new ways to wear her hair up. She has developed a true artistic touch with wearing her hair in a bun.

Both the youngers are enjoying riding Lady now that she has calmed down. Since we didn't ride her over winter, she got pretty sassy and wouldn't want to listen to us the first few times out. On several occasions, the olders and I have had a hard time keeping her at bay. It's been fun reading how to train horses and then applying what we learn right then. It's a lot like child training. A whole bunch of common sense, and even more patience. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A couple of photo postings of some of the things one does when the weather is nice! We have been rotating Janey out into different pastures to get the greener grass, and Amory has taken the chance to ride Lady around the pond.

Friday, April 9, 2010

too many styles . . .

Did I mention that I love WARM weather! I think spending 21 years in California spoiled me a bit concerning the warmth from the sun. When the sun comes out, and it is warm here, it's like a breath of fresh air . . . an unexpected Christmas present . . . the taste of pasta after a nice glass of wine . . . OK, I'll stop with the analogies. It is WONDERFUL outside here when the sun is out though. Blue skies, clear, and the feeling that the warm weather of summer is only a few moments away. . . CAN'T WAIT! And the fact that everything here is now in FULL bloom and the promise of it staying this way is real convincing. And I am glad.

A few weeks ago I commissioned a relatively new artist to create a work of art for my home. Herrick, AKA Jax Hamlin, came up with this whimsical pen/ink and colored pencil drawing that now hangs proudly in my kitchen along side the other eclectic arrangement of French, Turkish, Australian, and American art. As an artist, I like TOO many styles and periods of art to be locked into decorating within one period of art history or style. Since the "Three French Hens" have some other French art pieces to "hang" with, they fit perfectly into my groupings of three on our back kitchen wall. Here's the closeup of the piece he made, and below is the spot where the hens occupy. If you are interested in obtaining a limited edition print of this original, please visit Jax Hamlin's Chicken Art site. If you do, you and me will be "same, same." :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

pushing it up . . .

Macy is all about the blooms that are happening here on the farm. She took this picture of one of the trees that are in bloom now. It sits behind the garage and is filled with beautiful, yellow, fuzzy buds!

Since I have been on break this week, and the weather has been EXCEPTIONALLY nice, the children and I have spent most of the day outside cleaning up the debris from the property getting it ready for planting. Nolan and I hauled some junk wood into a pile so I can burn it tomorrow. (I secretly like burning things) This is the area where we are having our garden this year. I cleared the front part and parked the chicken mobile on it so the chickens can start leveling the ground and fertilizing it for me. Next week I am moving them onto this area so they will spread the ashes around. Who needs to dig when you have 23 chickens who will scratch the earth up for you in a week.

This is our large make-shift, skid composting bin for this year. These pallets where littering the property so we decided to put them to use. I often think of my city days composting and laugh thinking how "loose" I've gotten with having things be "just so."

And then there are the farm skills we are learning along the way. When we got here, on the back side if the grain barn we found one of these 16 foot high, 400-500 pound doors that was off the track and laying on the ground. Since it was winter, we couldn't do anything about it until now, and decided to try our hands at putting it back on the track. :) After repairing the track, we first started by squat lifting it, like we were at the gym, and pushing it up while we inched backwards. The sheer weight of it almost killed us! So, we propped it up for the night using a post, and today got the improvised plan of using the ladder and the gator to push it up against the wall. We hooted when it worked! We muscled it up using a lever system and was able to secure it to the track and close the doors. I love it when things work like that.