Thursday, June 28, 2012

Freezing corn

I am freezing corn today.

And experimenting with posting from my iPod.

Well, now that I am on the computer I can see that I can't manage to put the pictures in the right spot with the iPod Touch.  With the Touch, it just loaded them on to a horizontal strip at the bottom in apparently random order, which is showing up here vertically, but still in random order.  And there's the whole issue of typing on a teeny tiny faux keyboard.  The title and one sentence was about all I could do before I was worn out with it (the constant wrong letters, deletes, backtracking to correct).  Proper touch typing skills are so NOT an advantage these days.

Some corn freezing directions:  shuck, blanch in boiling water for about 3 minutes, cool, cut kernels off, freeze.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Painted Gourds

Remember this, when I posted about painting the pages of my May calendar with paint that I was using to paint some gourds that I had grown in past years?  In the picture above, the gourds -- along with May -- were a work in progress.  I ultimately finished the gourds, and had them hanging in my kitchen for several weeks, but I finally moved them out to the backyard (motivated by our screen porch clean up/fix up, along with confining the chickens to the back part of the yard, thus allowing us to reclaim the back deck and the backyard.

This is the view from just outside the screen porch.

Then from our deck, that wraps around the screen porch and holds our hot tub.

The branch you see on the ground fell from a storm from that big tree a couple of weeks ago -- it actually landed on the deck between the hot tub and a side of screen porch.

Here is the view looking towards the screen porch.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Coop!!

I ordered the new coop off of Amazon, and now it is here!

The UPS guy was VERY curious about what it was -- but not curious enough to help me haul it around to the back door/garage area.  So this is what I have by the front door -- a large heavy box, with labels all over it saying "team lift" and "needs two to lift!"

I don't think we can take through the side to around back.

That leaves taking it back down the front walk, along the sidewalk and back up the driveway.

Stay tuned for further chicken adventures.

Linking to Home and Garden Thursday

Monday, June 18, 2012

A pendant from Violette

Violette is the author of this book, which I have had for a couple of years.  She lives in British Columbia in a purple house with chartreuse trim and a big dragonfly sculpture stuck on the house, along with many other magical decorations and colors in her yard and her home.  The book had pictures of her magic cottage and art car in the back, so I had to track down her blog and have enjoyed reading it and watching her You Tube videos and tutorials ever since.

I recently won a giveaway on her blog and had this envelope show up in my mail!

Inside were a set of Thank You note cards and a pendant of her design, with her characteristic juicy colorfulness.

She allowed me to choose, so I chose this cupcake girl pendant -- she has lots of stuff in/on her head -- much like me.

And words to live by on the back.  The blog world is really magical, where you can connect with creative people whose works and lives you admire and actually enter into their world a bit and have them enter yours.  Thank you, Violette.  And I really really REALLY love your purple house with the dragonfly!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Salads from the Garden

I fixed two yummy main dish salads for dinner tonight.

One is a salad of couscous, cooked with thinly sliced quarters of yellow squash, black olives, and red onion slivers.  After it cooled I added cooked salad shrimp and dressed it with a fennel-mint vinaigrette (2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, juice of 2 lemons, 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil, a tablespoon or two each of chopped fresh fennel leaves and fresh mint leaves, salt and pepper.

The other salad consists of sliced japanese eggplants, mushrooms, thinly slice delicata squash (a winter squash, but picked early so you can eat the rind), and red onion, all marinated in 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of olive oil, minced garlic to taste, sliced fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper -- then grilled until cooked through, cooled and mixed with additional basil along with cubed fresh mozzarella.  I served them on a bed of lettuce on our plates.  All of the herbs, lettuce, and eggplant were from my garden.  The yellow squash and delicata squash were from our CSA share.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

There's been a Coup!

A chicken Coup!  Yep, there's a new queen of the roost -- a shake-up in the pecking order.

My friend and CSA provider found a source of chickens out in her neck of the woods and she brought me 3 laying hens to the Germantown farmers' market this morning where I pick up my CSA share.  They are a black Austrolorp, a Buff Orpington, and a Rhode Island Red (which I have named Chickamauga, Chickahominy, and Chicken Noodle).  We put them in the coop and they immediately took over the prime real estate -- exercising dominion over the food, water and nesting boxes.

My 3 old girls are hanging out downstairs and defending their turf -- they get the cool dirt and dust bath area.

This afternoon Gwynno and Pomegranate made their way upstairs to the nesting area and huddled together and laid 2 eggs, while Chickamauga camped out on the other side of the nesting area and gave me the first egg from the new bunch.  After the egg laying they all glowered at one another and G and P decamped back downstairs.  There's no fussing as long as everyone keeps their distance.

My poor coop is so decrepit -- bits and pieces falling off, doors rotting.  It has served well for 14 years for our rabbit and for the past 6 years, the chickens.  I've ordered a new coop from Amazon and it should arrive sometime next week, when I can take some time to paint and assemble it.

linking to Sunny Simple SundayTuesday Garden Party

Friday, June 15, 2012

June Calendar Challenge

Boy am I late to the party!  I've been playing this year with the 366 Calendar Challenge at The Kathryn Wheel and I kind of fell behind this month.  I really don't know how everybody keeps up the blogging thing while actually keeping up with real life -- maybe if my blog was connected with a business or products or something I would be more diligent and more motivated to work regularly on it.  Now that it's summer and my garden and the outdoors calls to me -- not to mention trip to the beach, hosting the grandchildren during a housing crisis, dealing with 2 dogs, planning and implementing our homeschool graduation of #3 daughter and getting ready to launch her off to college in the fall, getting ready to go to orientation at said college, catching up on the house and garden chores during the interim times -- well, it just goes on and on.  Come down times I just want to sit and read a book -- not play on the computer.

Anyways, all this and more caused me to be quite late in creating my June pages and even later posting about them!  Without further ado, here is May all filled in (kind of -- vacation and then grandkids as soon as we got back made it all a blur).

In the latter weeks I just kind of took to journaling all around the days about how overwhelmed I was, rather than filling out each day.

And here is June:

We have been painting the exterior of the house and fixing up our screen porch, and the days are cut from paint chips of colors I was considering for the outside of the screen porch -- which is semi circular and on the back of the house (we are going with a lime/chartreuse kind of color).

Come check out all the other entries for the 366 Calendar Challenge at the The Kathryn Wheel!  I hope I won't be so tardy next month, and I'm hoping I get back in the swing of regular posts.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Berries Berries Every Day

Berries berries every day hip hip hip hooray!  (a twist on a scene from the book "Caddie Woodlawn").

This is what I've been harvesting every morning since we got back from the beach last Saturday.  Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and peaches -- all ready for harvest at the same time!  It's been challenging to get out there and spend close to an hour picking the berries early in the morning to beat both the birds and the heat -- we had record high temps (in the mid 90's) last week (seems like we are always having record heat these days!), and keeping an eye on the two grandkids (age 3 and 4), who are still here with us.

In case you need a better look at those peaches.  This is the first year I have been able to harvest peaches.  It seems like most of the crop, and the best ones at that, are actually hanging into other people's back yards.  I hope they appreciate them!

That's about all I have to share this week.  I have lots of vacation pictures still to share and talk about -- but  with the grandkids here, my time -- and energy -- is limited, and we are getting ready for Hannah's graduation Open House next Saturday.  With the grandkids here, a lot of my plans for it are not going to be able to happen I think, and for my sanity I will have to follow KISS (keep it simple . . .) principles.  Last report from their mother is she might could get them tomorrow . . . or Monday . . . or Tuesday . . . or Wednesday at the latest, unless it's Thursday . . . .

linked to Farmgirl FridayTuesday Garden Party