Friday, August 10, 2007

Spaghetti Squash Anyone??

We have harvested our crop of spaghetti squash. It is sitting on the front porch. Just help yourself! I cut it in half, lengthwise and microwave it until the skin is fork tender. It takes about 10 or 12 minutes. Then after removing the seeds, just drag a fork through itand pile it on your plate and it looks just like spaghetti. I make our usual meat sauce and with garlic bread, we have a tasty supper. It is a lot like spaghetti taste wise too. We have plenty so help yourself!

We got our first pullet egg this week. It was small, but they get larger as the hen matures. We have eleven pullets, (young hens, just starting to lay) so should start to see more eggs any day now. they are all Golden Comets and lay a large brown egg.

E informed me last evening that the second crop of sweet corn is ready to pick, so we will be freezing sweet corn tonight, I guess. Good eating in the wintertime! We have frozen 24 pints already. The tomatoes have just started ripening. We have had enough to eat but not to can or freeze yet.

This week has been rather ho-hum. Nothing new under the sun around here.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It's Been A Long Time !

First time meeting, beginning of a fun day, with a new friend. Doesn't she look good? She also has lost some pounds, as we cheered each other on, in our efforts to lose weight.

Touring the lake, E and his sister, chatting. The dog enjoys the boat too!

Fishing from the paddle boat, but they didn't even get a bite!

The Bloomington Speedway Races!

Trimming up a log, cut from downed tree tops.

I'm snaking logs up the hill, to unload them on to the pile at the top, in the photo.

E is helping E (grandson) to put on the horses' fly masks. He helped with the horses each morning, putting hay out in piles, for their breakfast too.

Feeding the chickens. The first thing he wanted to do as soon as he got up in the mornings, he asked "is it time to feed the chickens yet"?

Walking back to the truck, after seeing the pickup truck mud contest, and eating an elephant ear pastry. (they are the reason for going to the fair, right? Oh, I love those things) No, they aren't on my eating plan! But I had one anyway!

Cutting the hay with the haybine. The hay was very thin this year. The weather was not cooperative for a good hay yield.

The new tractor before we unloaded it, when we got it home. Found out it didn't have any brakes too! E and grandson E fixed that little problem though.

Where to begin this update! Summer is just so busy!

This is the first time that we have had to deal with Daylight Saving Time! I hate it!! Our state just this spring joined the rest of the country in this insanity! We always let our chickens out for about an hour just before dark. They love to get out and eat bugs, and young grass, etc. It makes for happy chickens! But by the time we get our feeding done in the evenings now, it is often 9:30 or 10:00 before we get back into the house!! And that doesn't leave time for the much else, including my computer time. It is Sunday morning, and I will try to catch up a little, though nothing much has been going on around here. And by the way, I want to see some more updating going on. How about it L and R ?? Get busy on yours too!!

We have decided to cut and bale our own hay this year. Our horses are not out on the pasture, but in a dry lot, so we have about 7 or 8 acres we can cut for hay. We have tried to depend on others to cut it for us in the last several years. The result has not been very successful. They either cut it several weeks past its prime, bale it wet, do a very sloppy job of baling (big round bales that fall apart). It just hasn't worked well for us. So we decided to do it our self. E has been wanting to upsize our tractor for a long time. He and his dad spent many months looking for a bigger tractor, that was in good working order, and reasonably priced. He searched the internet (it had to be within driving distance to pick it up) farming newspapers, and word of mouth. His dad found the one up near where he lives. He checked it out, told E, he went to check it out, they drove it, poked it and prodded it, run it again, then drove it some more, talked to the owner, then examined it even more! Finally they were satisfied that with some fairly minor repairs, a bit of grease here and there, a new tractor seat, a couple of new gaugesn and a pair of used fenders, that it was what we needed and bought it. So now our small tractor is for sale.

We didn't get it ready in time to use for the first cutting of hay, but will use it later this year, when the hay is ready to cut again.

We had our grandson for the weekend for the first time about 3 weeks ago. He will be 7 years old in a couple of months. We took him to the County Fair, to see pickup trucks participate in a mud contest. He liked that. But he especially liked helping do things around the farm. He helped E work on the new tractor. He loved going out and gathering the eggs each day. He would hear one of the hens cackling and would ask to go and see if she laid an egg yet! He helped to feed the horses, and put on their mesh fly masks. He brought his bicycle, and was a busy little boy all weekend. He rode one of the horses and said he had fun and wanted to come and do it again! He lives and hour and a half north of us, in the city. I'm sure we will do it again. It was neat having a kid around here. We had to put ourselves in a childs frame of mind, to think of ways to do the things we do around the farm that are interesting and safe for a child to help with. Something that we just do automatically. Hmmm.

One of our local farmers, 80 years young, has had his 40 acres of woods, logged this summer. The company that is cutting the logs, has left the tree tops all over the place in the woods. E stopped and asked if he could cut the tops up for fire wood and was told go ahead, that the farmer would be glad to get them out of the way! So...E and I have been going on Saturdays, when it is dry enough, (it is up a steep hill, and down into the gullies, and revines) to snake out the logs that are left in the tree tops that the loggers left. We took the small tractor and we leave it at the farmers place, when we are not cutting fire wood. E cuts all the branches off and hooks the logs to the tractor with a chain, and I snake them up the hill to an open area, where we can cut them into firewood to fit the stove. It is a hot and sweaty job, but when it is 24 degrees outside, we will be so glad that we did this! Right now, it is a job I don't enjoy!

All the employees (at E's job) were given tickes to the Bloomington Speedway Races a few weeks ago. One of the fellow employees was driving a car in one of the races. Even though he didn't win any of the races, (I think he was fourth in one of them) we had a lot of fun. I didn't know watching a bunch of cars racing around a dirt track could be so much fun! I really enjoyed that evening!

I have been digging up an area next to the house that was full of grass, and and a previous owner had layered with large gravel. I got it all cleaned up, dug the yellow clay up and used a rototiller on it and then mixed in a few loads of old rotted horse manure that had composted into black lovely rich earth. I planted several perennials and a couple of hostas, and few summer annuals. I don't expect much this summer as the summer is half over, but next year, they should be really nice, if they manage to live through the winter. I am thinking they will have a better chance if they are mulched this winter, so will probably cover the bed with leaves once it freezes, probably in December. It gets sunshine only about 5 or 6 hours, but that is the best that I can do, with all the trees around the house and yard.

Last weekend, on my birthday, we were invited to E's sister and BIL's home. They have a home in a community that is on a small private lake. E and his sister took the paddle boat out and fished a while (unsuccessfully, it was too hot and muggy). Later in the afternoon they took us all (E's dad and wife were there also) out on the bigger boat. We toured the lake and just enjoyed the wind in our faces. I loved it.
Last week, I had the opportunity to meet a blog friend. She and her family were on vacation and visited Nashville, Brown Co. Indiana. I took the day off from work and we spent a few hours, shopping, visiting and getting to know each other. I enjoyed our visit and getting to meet her and her family. I hope son and husband weren't too bored while we shopped!
There is nothing out of the ordinary going on around here. I am doing the usual summer stuff. I canned 40 quarts of green beans. We will have some good eatin' this winter!