Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kids photography and more new chickens

There always seems to be a camera handy when the children get an urge to snap some pictures. A lot of them end up blurry or dark, but sometimes there are really good shots. I never know when I upload pictures what I may see.

Mary and Robbie are my primary picture takers. They love to snap shots of life around them...

Mary took my camera with them to the mountains over Labor Day and came back of wonderful pictures.

Today I uploaded pictures and found several from the past week around our house.

Those kittens seem to be their primary source of entertainment.

And, last but not least here are pictures of our two new hens that joined the flock yesterday. I believe them to be Australorps. They are only 9 months old and are HUGE.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Some Pictures and the Looming Winter

The other day I took my camera out and shot some pictures around the yard.

Here are some of the cats enjoying the beautiful weather we are having this week. After playing pounce & climb they find the sunny, soft spot to curl up for a nap.

My three new golden comet hens. They are coming out of molt and are just starting to lay eggs again. Their eggs are HUGE! We will be getting two nine-month-old  Black Stars in the next few days from a neighbor that needs to reduce her flock. That will give us nine hens of various ages...hopefully enough to keep us in eggs through the winter.

My garden was a great disappointment, but the one bright spot were my peppers. Here are cayenne, just beginning to turn red. These peppers are huge.

After months of beautiful greenery, the tomato plants are finally producing fruit. Will I get enough to make some sauce?? We will have to see.

That was it on the garden this year. I have new growth coming up for the fall/winter garden. Trying hard to keep the hens away from the little turnip seedlings. My beans and peas are looking strong, growing inches a day!

Checked out the long-range weather forecast for the area a few days ago. The Fall weather looks great for growing, which is good because the winter forecast is a harsh one for us. Cold and snowy through January & February. I don't know how much growing I will be able to do, except in the garage if this forecast proves true.

Since I am southerner I do not like driving in winter weather. I like to hunker down with the family and a fire in the fireplace until all the white stuff melts away. With that in mind I need to make sure we have supplies put away for this winter. We need to find a weekend to go out to the farm and collect firewood. I want to pick up a kerosene heater for the bedroom area. Been through power outages before and while the family areas stay warm with the fireplace, the bedrooms never warm up. I also want to make sure we have a full, spare propane tank on the grill.

Food-wise I still need to focus on flour, sugar, honey, and butter. With these raw ingredients I can make breads & pasta to fill out our meals. I recently picked up a booklet all about sourdough and am going to (hopefully) get a starter going for this winter. I am already planning on a lot of soups and stews, with bread. Easy, filling & cheap.



Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Fall is Coming

The temps are still warm and it isn't officially fall yet, but we can tell it is coming. My instincts are that of a squirrel, the days start getting shorter and I start thinking about our wood supply, canning and putting away food in the freezer. After several tough winters financially, having everything in place by November is very important to me.

Our summer garden was pitiful due to several reasons. It seems even more important to have a decent fall garden. With some luck and using cold frames I am hoping our greens will make it through the winter. With just greens, eggs, and flour as our basics we can have great starts for many winter meals. I have also planted turnips, partly for the greens and also to replace my small potato harvest.

After losing a few of our hens over the summer, we have brought home three more Golden Comets. This brings our flock back up to seven. My goal is enough eggs for our use and some to sell to help pay for the feed. After six months I don't think our family could ever go back to store eggs. 

This time of year kicks off the last rush of activity before winter quiet settles over us. Between our own home garden, the farm, picking up some extra work as a nanny and homeschooling it has been extra crazy. But crazy in a good way. DH took the children away for the long holiday weekend so they could spend some time in the mountains and I stayed home to try to catch up on things around the homestead. 

One of my preparations for the winter was to re-paint the kitchen. The old, stained white paint was depressing generally, and more so during the winter. I got this chore done this past weekend....

I spent months playing with different color combinations. I am really happy with the way this project turned out. Of course it makes the family room off the kitchen look that much grungier...


A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.