Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Brace yourselves! I sewed! On a school night!

Do these blocks look familiar?  If you've been following Kevin's QOV Block drive, they certainly should :)  I contacted him a few days ago saying that I simply was not going to be able to get them into a top before sending them his way by June 1, but tonight.... I DID!  Holy moly!  I'm more surprised than anyone at this move ;)
So now, they have been sewn into a quilt top, pressed, bagged and packaged up already to hit the mail tomorrow.  His block drive has been an amazing success!  He's amazing, right???

And then there's the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014.  April's color was purple, and would you believe that I truly didn't have much of ANYTHING in purple!?!  Back during the first weekend of May, I was at a Math convention in the southern part of the state, so I hit up a JoAnn's fabrics on the way home to stock up on some purple FQs.  Once summer hits, you can bet that I'll get caught up on April's purple and May's green! :)

Paul received another few packages in the mail a couple of days ago.  Clearly, more beehive fixings -- I'm not exactly sure how the hives all work, but he attempted to educate me in some terminology and process.
He created more "supers" tonight in order to build up his current 4 hives to a next level.  I am to understand that the bees store the honey in higher parts of the hive, while they "brew" in the lower levels.   I don't get the whole process yet, but... I'm glad he does (and that he has a mentor walking him through this new hobby.)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Spring has Sprung! Garden 2014 underway!

I truly can't remember the last Memorial Weekend that consisted of THREE absolutely picture perfect days!  Friday evening was Graduation for our Class of 2014, however I ended up bowing out of the festivities;  (and yes... the guilt was almost getting the better of me!)
Instead, the girls and I tilled up and planted four rows worth of sweet corn.  I am not certain of the length of the rows -- 100 feet maybe? 
I also looked over my strawberry patch I had spent some time with last weekend.  It really sprouted at the end of the summer last year with loads and loads of daughter-runner plants.

The patch has been increased 3-fold!  Next year, I'm hoping these new rows will be growing nicely with some fresh runners so that in two years, we'll be able to have a substantial harvest.

The first lawn haircut happened on Saturday...

And the girls picked some 'flowers' for a graduation party Saturday afternoon.  Hannah is a neighbor about a mile down the road, so we ended up walking, enjoying the absolutely gorgeous weather!

Paul worked all day Saturday, and spent much of the morning on Sunday tilling up gardens for friends. But by early afternoon, he was home to start helping me set fencing and trellis for our own garden.  I don't mind planting most of it, but setting fencing and trellis isn't an easy task for me.  I need m'man! :)

The upper garden is back on rotation for potatoes, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, peppers and carrots, in addition to a few other small odds-n-ends (radishes, mixed salad lettuces, ...)
And y'all should be so proud of me!!!!!  I've LIMITED myself this year with the beans AND tomatoes!!!!  If all of the beans germinate, there will be about 50-55 plants (pole-beans on a trellis). Pa-lenty, right??
And as the picture shows, I have 17 tomato plants in the ground, safely protected by our infamous milk jug greenhouses.  The next couple of weeks are still touch-n-go, whether we'll get some low over-night temperatures.  The tomatoes are still quite small, too.
Potatoes, on the other hand, are back on full load with.... about 80 Lasoda Red and 56 Yukon Gold plants.  Hearty hearty hearty plants.  

Ummmm....ruh-roh folks!   More tomatoes are waiting !!!..... ;)

Both of these varieties are new to me this year.  These few stragglers will have a chance to grow some more before (possibly) finding a home in garden spot... somewhere!  15 more tomato plants.... you truly can never have too many tomatoes!

The lower garden is only partially planted.  Nine long rows of corn (100' each?), and a long row of peas.  The rest of the space is still being planned out by Paul once he arrives home from work tonight.  We have a variety of melons, squash, pumpkins, and other vine-y spreading plants.  Plus, I'm sure he's going to plant his broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages too.

We've increased the amount of berry bushes and fruit trees... I can't even keep track of what Paul is bringing home anymore.  Cherry trees, grape vines, a multitude of different arrangements of berry bushes.  All edible.  I can't wait to see this place in another 5-6 years!!!!

The goats enjoyed the fresh cut grass clippings on Saturday -- Candace tried her darndest to get Starz to sit still for a picture.  

And since these lil' gals enjoy all of our berry bushes too -- they simply need to stay penned up for much of the time.  They are allowed out on good behavior as long as they are monitored the ENTIRE time!  They ate away most of my deck flowers on Sunday!

Shadow man has also been enjoying some additional attention lately.  He ran away for the fourth time (usually about once a year around this time), but this time there was no call from any of our neighbors.  He went missing last Thursday.  Last Sunday evening, I was scrolling through FaceBook, and a friend happened to share the status of our local Humane Society.  And there was his lovely ol' picture!!!!  FB truly does have its purposes, right???
After school on Monday, we picked him up, and continued driving right to the local Vet to schedule a lil' surgery.  We're hoping his running tendencies will subside considering the myth (fact?) that males typically calm down after being neutered.  Surgery planned during the first week of summer vacation, June 13.

He wintered VERY well, so we've been out walking and running with him once (and sometimes even twice) a day.  He's seven, so he still has lots of life to go. 

My quilting endeavors have definitely been quiet, however I did get a pantograph done for my MIL's hand-embroidered quilt, meant for a friend of the family.  My crochet hook has been quite silent as well lately, but here-n-there I'm working on a lazy-wave afghan using some rich, earth-toned, fall, manly colors.

Despite having a late start to the track season, our Middle School girls team ended on a high note, bringing home the Conference Champions plaque on Thursday.  They put up 120.5 points, while 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place tallied up 79, 77.5, and 77 respectively.  It was quite the defeat, and they were super pumped!  Cassie came away with three 2nd place ribbons (Long Jump (13'0.5"), 400M (1:07) and the 100M.

So, with Memorial weekend behind us, and Spring FINALLY underway... many yards are strewn with dandelions.  Cassie borrowed my camera on a walk this AM and snapped a few lovely 'springy' pictures.  
I have come to appreciate dandelions a bit more, now that Paul has taken up Bee-keeping as a new past-time.  He's had them for a couple of weeks now, and I'll be certain to do some blogging on his new adventure!
Leaving you with a few of those pics from Cassie.....

Two more weeks (and a half-day Monday 5/9) -- and then..... time to de-stress and decompress.  My amazing coworker and friend who teaches HS math has decided to move his family back closer to his alma-mater, and is therefore leaving us at the end of the school year.  With much thought, I decided to request a transfer back to teaching solely HS math in his place, so... that transition will be hanging over my head as I head back in three months.  My first 6 years were in the HS (my past 10 in the MS).  I'm ready for the new transition back to the older ages :)  The HS hallway is filled with amazing staff!  I'm truly looking forward to it.

Alrighty--- 4 days, then 5 more days, and then half-of-a-day Monday.   I got this! :D

Happy Monday everyone.  I've missed all of you :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Missing" update

"Stake-out agent #012, please update your status."

"Roger that, base-10.  We remain staked out in an undisclosed quadrant.  The hotline tip has been confirmed, and we believe we are closing in on securing the safety of the 38-year old missing woman."

"Shall we send in the dog unit?"

"Negative on that, base-10.  Woman is being held hostage at the local school.  We will attempt contact with hostage, but fear this hostage situation will continue until June 9, which is when school releases for summer vacation."

"Confirmed #012.  We appreciate your update.  Keep us posted with further details."

"Will do, base-10.  We realize she has a family hoping for her safe return.  We will do our best to make that happen."