Thursday, June 19, 2014

Happenings around the Ranch

No, we don't live on a ranch, but we sometimes refer to our lil' place as the Skattebo Ranch.

The morning routine has been established.  I typically wake around 5:30-6:00 and enjoy blogging/FB time with a cup of coffee.  The girls get wakened at 7:00, and we leave for summer school at 7:45.  
The two youngest attend summer school from 8:00 - 4:00.  WHAT a full schedule for them!!!! Archery, weight training, touring our town on bikes, art, and then an afternoon of science, more art, outside games and swimming lessons.  Cassie participates in some weight and agility training every morning 8:00-9:00, while I spend some time in my old & new classroom; decluttering, cleaning, organizing, and moving.

By 9:30, Cassie and I are usually back at home, having a morning snack, before embarking on our task for the morning.   The garden has been claiming most of our time lately.

The last of the seeds have been planted..... (SO I THOUGHT!)

While just "taking a look at the corn," I started hoeing the weeds around the stalks seeing that we loaned our tiller out to a friend for a short time.  {{I really am looking forward to having it back -- parts of the garden are starting to look like a lawn!}}
The little bit of hoeing turned into a full-fledge TRANSPLANT operation of corn plants.  As typical, not all of the seeds sprouted.  In the end, nine rows (~30 yards ea) of corn were condensed into five.  The four emptied rows will be tilled up and replanted;  this will be the third (and final?) planting of corn for us this year.  On Monday, Cassie and I planted four more rows of corn for her "little" garden plot (yup, her rows were ~about 30 yards long, too).

But now---at least the corn rows are looking a bit more lush than before! :)  And we'll have more corn.  {{yeah, I'm sure I'll be revisiting this post come September, saying...IDIOT!  Didn't you realized how long it would take to harvest all of this corn???}}

I started "looking around" the corn at 10:00....
... I was quite surprised when I came inside for a quick lunch break and the clock read 1:30!  My stomach is usually a better timing device than that!  Truly!  11:30, and my stomach is typically moaning and groaning, "feed me.  feed me."

While eating my sandwich at the table, THIS GUY rolls into the driveway!  Oh boy.  More work :D

Short version:  last year, we ordered a load of wood because the price was right!  Over the crazy snowy winter, our neighbor was having difficulty getting wood shipped (something to do with loggers unable to get into the woods due to all the snow).  Our neighbor processes wood for selling to others, so he was hurting for some supply.   We had barely TOUCHED our load last Fall, but had plenty of processed wood to last the winter, so Paul and neighbor worked out a deal.  The neighbor could have his hand at the entire load from last summer, and when time came to order a spring/summer load, he would simply put our name on the order as well.

Today was the haul day. 
Not having been around logging all my life, I found it interesting to see how all of that wood gets unloaded.

What a little contraption!!!  And 45 minutes later... we was rolling right back out of the yard, emptied.

The chicks were all mesmerized by the noise of the unloader too.

Along the topic of chicks... Big Mama had been given one more day to decide if she was going to sit on the eggs we've been leaving in the nesting boxes.  But, she was still out wandering around with her hen friends.

With 19 eggs neatly organized in the nesting box, I decided to gather them up and play Mama Hen myself.  For those of you who have chickens -- do you find that all of your hens have a favorite box too?  ALL of our hens (mind you, we only have 4 right now) use the same nesting box.

The duck eggs led to zilcho babies :(, but I'm going to give this egg incubating one more try with chicken eggs.  I've been reading up a bit more on incubation -- I think part of the duck-egg zilchness was because we waited too long to get the eggs in the incubator.  These chicken eggs have been laid within the past week, so.... let's see if Steve and the girls have been getting along ;)

Like my little path along the floor taking me to the incubator (on the table) ??? ;)
SOON, Celtic Solstice... SOON you will get some work time.

Another animal we've been seeing around lately :)  I dare say that this is one of Paul's bees....

Parts of the garden are SLOOOOWLY starting to take shape...
Wittle-bitty carrots....

cucumbers... we have 12 plants this year.  The pantry is completely OUT of dill pickles!!!

... onto my tomatoes......
To let you all know:  I'm worried.
It's been cold.  
And wet.   
Here's a variety we produced from seeds we dried and saved from some heirloom tomatoes a neighbor gave us two years ago.  They will make BIG, BIG, full pound+ tomatoes.  We have three planted.

A new variety that I'm excited about:  Red Oxheart.  But, they are CERTAINLY taking their time to grow big and lush.  I hope it warms up soon to give these guys a boost!    We have 10 planted.
{{BTW, it's raining.  Again.}}

Another new variety this year:  Abe Lincolns.  Gah!  See how yellow those leaves are?!??!!?   These plants really need a break from all the water.  We have 8 of these planted.

There's more garden to show -- eventually.  Right now, it's really a bunch of brown dirt without a lot of green.  

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