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Showing posts from July, 2021

Bad Boy Ducks Separated from the Flock

The three bad boy ducks named Big Duck, Cheese and Quackers have been terrorizing not only the girl ducks but also our gentle chickens.  In their ongoing mating rituals, they're getting amorous with any kind of feathered creature, whether duck or chicken, and are getting too rambunctious about it.  Egg mishaps have started to occur daily and the hens are looking haggard from being roughly handled and chased around the coop all day long.  The poor girls don't find the boys' attention flattering to say the least and they are just plain exhausted.  It has to stop. So we separated the naughty boy ducks from the rest of the flock.  All three bad boy ducks moved out of the chicken coop and into the garden.   I carried each bad boy out one by one.  They struggled furiously all the way, digging their toenails into my skin and trying to pull their wings up to flap them in my face, which wasn't much fun for me, either.  All three were soon sequestered there, but as I pushed their

Tour Our Summer Garden

Now that it's the middle of summer, I thought I'd take you on a tour of our garden.  This is a lovely stage in the garden because there are so many flowers blooming, whether it's early spring crops that have bolted or the abundance of vegetable flowers that soon yield to fruit.  Bumblebees, honey bees, wasps and other pollinators are hard at work and you can hear the buzzing as you lean down in a row.  There are also small birds flitting between the rows and hiding in the foliage.  Butterflies will occasionally flutter through and we've even seen a few dragonflies.  Deer munch around the perimeter and look longingly inside, but we shoo them away if they get too curious. I didn't plant very many flowers this year because I knew (based on previous experiences) there would be seeds in the ground from prior years.  It was interesting to see what came up where.  Borage has filled about a quarter of the garden where I hadn't planted anything.  The bees are loving the

Are Record Players Making a Comeback?

I've never owned a record player but have always wanted one, and upon seeing several models at Walmart the other day, it made me wonder - are record players making a comeback?  Wouldn't the vintage sound of a record player, particularly the static that is in the background of the music, add charm and character to the afternoon as I clean the house, or to the evening when we gather around the dinner table?  My birthday was coming up and so I asked my husband if he could buy me a record player.  We weren't able to find a vintage one at any of the area thrift stores, so we picked up a cute portable record player from Walmart for $44. The new portable Crosley record player that we bought came in multiple vintage-styled looks and colors.  Of course, I chose pink.  It fits so nicely in our living room, but I've also carried it around to other rooms such as the parlor and dining room.  All it requires is a plug-in. My daughter and I then headed out to buy some records from a t

Fun Around the Farm

Even though we've had a lot of chores and projects keeping us busy on the farm, we've found time to have a little fun, too.  I thought I'd share a few recent photos. A tradition for our family is participating in the neighborhood Independence Day parade.   This year, our daughter and her friends decorated the golf cart and joined the parade.  While waiting for the parade to start, Andrea visited us with Reggie the Miniature Horse, who is the star of the parade every year. We stopped work on painting the house and enjoyed sitting at the clubhouse while watching the parade go by. It was nice to rest for a bit before we returned home to finish painting. The pool is open and our daughter has spent a few hours making good use of it.  Her friends joined her a couple times as well.  We're looking forward to spending more time at the pool now that our house painting is finished. This family of deer live on our property.  Mama and two twin fawn can be seen every day, grazing and

Harvesting and Preserving Fava Beans

  This is the first year that we have ever grown fava beans.  We enjoyed watching the plants grow and observing their unique flowers in the spring.   We were also impressed with how the bean pods grew upside down on the stalk of the plant.  It appeared at first that we would have an abundant harvest based on how large the bean pods looked. The other day, we realized it was time to harvest the fava beans, as the beans had grown 6-8 inches long and the plant foliage was starting to dry out and die back.  Although we had only planted one row about 20 feet in length, I really thought there would be a lot of beans and a great harvest. However, once we picked all of the beans off the plants, the entire harvest filled only one grocery bag.  Then, once we had shelled the beans, we noticed that amount dwindled to about 4 cups of shelled beans.  Finally, once we had blanched the beans and removed their outer protective layer, we were down to just 3 cups of beans. It was definitely a surprise to

Finished Painting Our Vintage House Yellow

  Yay, we are finished painting!  The exterior of our house is now a cheerful yellow with a crisp white trim.  The dormers were probably the hardest part of the house to paint.  The roof is pitched pretty steep along the front, which meant that to paint the dormers we had to sit on the roof while holding onto the boom lift so we didn't fall off!  It was also excessively hot up there during the recent heat wave.  But we got out there regardless of the hot weather and got it done.   Every muscle in my body is aching.  My hands and arms hurt the most from gripping the sander and the paint brush for eight days in a row.  I don't want to hold another paint brush for a long, long time. Now that the painting is done, we have moved on to other projects including harvesting and preserving cherries, blueberries, garlic, peas, broccoli, fava beans and all kinds of other things from our garden.  We also need to check on the bees.  Blackberries are flowering and so we are hoping the bees ha

Attacked by Bees While Painting ~ Massive Paper Wasp Nests in Attic Vents!

Could this be 10 years worth of paper wasp nests built up in our attic vent? Every shelf in this vent had wasp nests like the one you see above. We had sprayed the nests two nights ago with Hot Shot Wasp and Hornet Killer, and then yesterday evening, thinking they were all dead, we went up together in the boom lift ready to begin scraping and sanding this side of the house.  My husband used his scraper to start removing the nests from the vent. Yikes!!!!! An angry swarm of bees came charging out of there, circling us and stinging him.  I don't know how I escaped their wrath, but luckily I did as we quickly maneuvered the lift back down.   After tending to the wound, we went back up in the lift with another big can of Hot Shot. We sprayed a whole bunch more in there, and then waited until the next morning to make another attempt to clean the vent out. That next morning, we also brought a can of Hot Shot up in the lift with us, just in case.  I held the Hot Shot spray while my husban