Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Busy Time

First of all, I would like to thank Debbie at Happy Days and January and Steven from the Caffienated Globe for the The Versatile Blogger award. It is an honor that I have been double awarded :-).
The award comes with rules. Some of them are: I must tell 7 things about myself ; and I must pass along the award to other blogs which I have recently discovered and think are fantastic. I'm happy to
to do I go.
About Me.
1. I am a bit shy. Not one to small talk, I have trouble thinking of things to talk about. (OK. Not with everyone :-)
2. When I was little & there was a bad storm, I would always get my piggy bank (and my favorite doll) to take to the basement. I couldn't understand why Mom & Dad didn't take their money too. I was going to take care of everyone if our house blew away :-)
3. I never felt more loved when growing up than when I got hugs from my Grandma Prott, my Mom's mom. Unfortunately, she died when I was in second grade. My mom & dad weren't affectionate. After we quit getting bedtime kisses around 2nd grade, I didn't get a hug from either parent until I had my first born, Kristin. Of course, because of that, I am very affectionate with my kids.
4. I am picky about what Steve puts on the kitchen counter. Somehow, his lunch bag always seems to end up on my glass cutting board. Now this is a lunch bag that goes in the work van with him on jobs and it is pretty dirty on the bottom. No matter how many times I say it, it always ends up there. Of course I am always washing the cutting board.  I tell him he is lucky I am not a nag :-)
5. When the kids were little, I babysat. I was always looking for things to keep me busy while at home so I used to clean the stove with a toothpick. Wow! Not any more :-).
6. I love Minnesota! Our annual vacation up north is my favorite time. It is like home to me. We stay in the same cabin every year. Dread the day that the owners tell us they are selling the resort.
7. I want to be an accomplished bread maker & fiddle player some day.

There you have it. I had a hard time thinking of things to write. Debbie named three other blogs & January named fifteen. Sorry January, Debbie is who I am going to follow on that one.

1. Lisa at Lisa blogs about life in Ohio with her husband Chris. They have an acre of land & grow an awesome amount of fruits and veggies.

2. Julia & Suzi at They have giveaways, recipes & of course, aprons.

3. Deborah at and her adventures on 32 acres.

We have been so busy lately that I have a hard time keeping up with everyone's blogs. I do drop in & read but hardly ever have time to comment. Sorry. I know how I love it when I get comments.
Since the closing, we have settled in in our new place. It is close to work & small quarters. Nothing much to clean. Good thing, because I am working more now than ever. We are super busy at the shop. We hired my brother to help us too. He hasn't had work for a while, being a union plumber. He worked new construction which is non-existent around here.He has been a great help to us. My sister is still working for us one day a week so I can do all the running around I need to accomplish. I just got back from a quick trip to see Kristin, Tim & Jaelyn. Jaelyn is growing so fast. She is almost six months old.

Such a little ham and she is jabbering up a storm!

Last week, I took a quick trip to the farm to mow. Got there at noon. Mowed for a few hours. Weeded about an hour. Talked to the Amish neighbors, went to the food co-op & the laundry mat. Left at 8am the next morning. Whew! No wonder I am tired. I picked strawberries, garlic scapes. lettuce and radishes while I was there. The weeds have gotten out of control. There has been a lot of rain lately & the Amish neighbors (who I am paying to keep it weeded) haven't been
able to keep up with it. The garlic really needs to be weed-free in order to get it's final growth spurt in. Hopefully they aren't stunted by the weeds.

The potatoes are getting tall, but it is hard to tell because of the weeds. Blueberries are covered. Sorry birds!

This weekend we are leaving for vacation. I will be driving up to the farm Friday early in the day to mow and Steve & son Shane will join me in the evening. If the weather is nice, maybe a campfire & a few marshmallows. The next morning we are off to Minnesota.
Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Farm Stuff

Garlic Chives Blossom

The few days I spent at the farm between the weddings was spent mowing and planting the garden. We  had the drywaller come while we weren't there to do the ceiling. It looks really good (which is a relief) and saved us a lot of time.
Gardening update... neighbor Jim came over with his tractor & plowed two long furrows for potaoes. That saved me so much time. I planted Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, Rose Finn Fingerlings & German Butterball. Most of them are coming up already after a week and a half. Next came ten kinds of beans (Lazy Housewife, Calypso, Ireland Creek Annie, Hidatsa Shield, Hidatsa Red, Charlevoix Dark Red Kidney, Boston, Lina Ciscos Bird Egg, Fiskeby soybean , Envy soybean), Purple Top White Globe turnips, Lacinato kale, Silverbeet & Rainbow chard, radishes (French Breakfast), sunflowers, cilantro, beets (Detroit Red, Chioogia), zucchini (Black Beauty, Cocozelle Bush), cucumbers (Double Yield, Poona Kheera, Parade), pumpkins (Small Sugar, Young's Beauty, Dickenson) and squash (Jauneet Et Verde, Verte Et Blanc, Table Queen, Summer Crookneck, Waltham Butternut, Long Island Cheese).
Then & planted some flowers. Feverfew, Crane's Bill, Rudbeckia, Carpathian Harbell & Astilbe. That was all in one day. The next day I planted transplants. Peppers (Habernaro,
Sheeprose Pimento, Golden), tomatoes (Cherry Roma, Beam's Yellow Pear, Amish Paste), eggplant, leeks, brussels sprout, cabbage (green & red). One to the herbs of oregano, basil, chocolate mint, hyssop & plain & curly parsley.
This was all planted on half the garden space. The other half I planted in organic clovers (Cinnamon & yellow). I plan to leave this area dormant until we move up there. Clover will help bring nitrogen into the soil and hopefully keep the weeds out. After I broadcast the seed, I went over the soil with the golf cart to compact the seed so the birds wouldn't eat it all.

Clover is coming up.
I still had a few things left to plant before I left the next day, so I planted peppermint, Black-eyed Susan and ten Blue Spruce pine trees I received for joining The Arbor Day Foundation again. Oh, I also put down 5 bags of mulch in the flower border.
I was totally whipped after a hard day of mowing and two full days of planting. I left the next morning for home to start packing again. Can't wait to settle down again into a semi-calm state :-)
We were at the farm this past weekend (Memorial Day) and moved a lot of our stuff. After unloading the van & trailer, Steve started mowing & trimming and I went to work in the garden again.
Here is what I planted on Sunday...
Lettuce-Gold Rush, Slobolt, Barcarole, Jericho
Spinach-Monnopa, America
Carrot-Scarlet Nantes, Scarlet Keeper, Dragon
Two other squash-forgot to write them down :-)
Eggplant (3)
Onion sets-yellow, white & red (60 each)
Tomato transplants-Amish Paste, Hartman's Yellow Gooseberry
Pepper transplants-King of the North, Wenk's Yellow
Nasturtium-Black Velvet & Ladybird (edible flowers)
More mints-catmint & peppermint

I tried something different this year in the garden. I pla nted onions throughtout the garden & leeks bordering the one side of the garden by the potatoes. I am hoping that plants in the allium family will help keep away pests when mixed thoughout the garden.

The garlic is huge now. Should be getting scapes soon. After the garlic is harvested in July, I will be planting the fall crop of lettuces, etc. where the garlic was. The beans are all up too. Strawberries are getting started. A few ripe ones on the vines and there are a lot of blueberries on the bushes. We covered them with netting before we left for home so the birds won't be the ones enjoying them.


I am done ( I think) planting the garden. This coming weekend is the final move of excess stuff to the farm. The townhouse here will be empty and I will be cleaning it next Wednesday before the closing on Thursday. We are very lucky to have sold it when we did. Even though we lost a lot of money, it could be even worse. A short sale went on the market last week for $40,000 lower than what we got. It is a terrible time for real estate around here now. We are thankful we didn't end up paying the bank to get rid of it. An option if we wouldn't have sold it was to rent it out, but we didn't want to take the risk of a non-payer when we are on a lower income at the farm. That would hurt the budget.
So I have written enough and taken up an hour of packing time. Have to get busy now. Hope everyone is having a great spring!

                                              Garden is planted and beans are up.

Still here...

Where does the time go? We've been so busy lately, I seem to come to the end of the day with no brain cells left to blog.
On the house sale front...we finally got word that the buyer has his loan commitment as of last Friday. Banks are really slow to approve anything right now. He was pre-approved too. I was holding my breath until that phone call. We are set to close on the 10th of June. I should be packing up the garage right now but I have the urge to write. We took a van & trailer load to the farm this weekend and have only one weekend left to get the rest moved out. Not too much left, but enough to keep us busy.
 I wanted to let everyone know that we had two beautiful wedding events, first Amy (our daughter) & Rob on May 15th. It was perfect in every way. The sun came out as the ceremony was starting. Everyone had a great time & of course, the bride was beautiful. They had a band and Steve & I danced almost every dance. Fun! Here are a few picures.

Rob's sister officiated & did a great job.

Rob's niece Savanna.

Amy's best friend Lea.

Steve & Amy.

The happy couple!

The following weekend was my niece Kellie & Eric's wedding. It was another beautiful day for an outside wedding. It was in Chicago at Architectural Artifacts. It was fun to look around at all the antiques while we waited for the wedding to start & afterwards. Some pics...

My sister Cathy, mother of the bride & Eric's brother.

Niece Trisha, sister of the bride.

Great-niece Addy, flower girl.

Great-niece Noelle, flower girl.

The happy couple, Kellie & Eric.

Son Shane & Jaelyn.
Kristin, Tim & Jaelyn came up for both events. Jaelyn made her "debut" as most of the extended family hadn't seen her yet. She was a happy baby for both events. So we got to see her 3 weekends in a row (including the baptism the week before Amy's wedding.) I am having withdrawals :-(.

Here is a family photo from Kellie's wedding.

The day after.

In between the weddings, I made it to the farm for a few days to mow & put the garden in. I'll blog about farm stuff next post.