Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Week Later!

I can not believe a week has passed since I last posted. My time does fly. It has been an eventful week.

We were able to pull some frames to extract honey. They are waiting on us in the basement. Hubby put some empty supers in the garage and forgot it. Yesterday there were honey bees everywhere in there. Funny thing is I went in there twice and looked around and they ignored me.

A friend gave us some Silkie chickens. They have three chicks. They are such beautiful birds. When I find the camera I will take their picture. They have been laying an egg a day. I took one of the eggs yesterday. I could swear the hen was saying, "Put it back, Put it back!" She was not happy with me.

My broody hen is stubborn. We have now removed all nest boxes and so she turned over one of the water containers and made her nest in there. I am going to have to separate her I was waiting for warmer weather.

I planted on Monday even with the rain. The beans I planted have already sprouted. I planted three tomato plants that were purchased with the ones I planted on May 1st. I just did not have the room then. They have perked up and are growing. Hubby tried tomatoes from seed I finally got those in the ground. We are have the battle of the bugs. I have slugs, pill bugs, ants, and lots of others that come and go. I am trying not to use anything that is not natural but I may have to give in to save the plants. The herbs I planted to combat some of the bugs have started to spring up. Hubby said I will spend the rest of the summer trying to stop the herbs from taking over. Lovely!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Broody Hens!

I guess it is a female spring thing. Four of the hens were trying to squeeze into one box. One of the hens has been broody for a few days. I had to research what to do. What I read made me decide I needed a cage to separate the hens. I was all geared up to build two cages and use one on the dog kennels that is open bottomed. Then I read to try blocking the nest if that does not work use the cage. I have not handled our chickens and was a little fearful as I had read that they will be more aggressive if broody.

I went to get one of the hens and the rooster decided to come at me. I looked at him and said, "NO" in my mother voice. He scampered. Our roosters are not aggressive but I was nervous. The hens which are use to being held did not resist at all. They would just take turns trying to get back in the box. So we will see how that goes.

I decided to plant herbs that fight bugs in my beds yesterday. I was trying to wait until the almanac says to plant but could not. It is suppose to rain on the 24th according to the almanac and the weather channel. On a side not the almanac has been closer than the weather channel when predicting weather. If there is a break in the weather I will be planting more beans and tomatoes. In the back bed where I planted marigolds next to the tomatoes something ate the marigolds. Luckily whatever it is does not eat tomato plants. I do believe it is a critter as I have found the red wild strawberries in the beds. The marigolds in the front are growing better than the tomatoes. They even have buds.

I planted basil near the tomatoes I read they give flavor to the tomatoes. I planted regular basil in one bed, lime basil in another and lemon basil in another. I planted oregano near the cucumbers where I planted 8 only three came up. I will plant more cucumbers. I planted thyme and dill in the back beds for the cabbage and broccoli. I have been adding coffee grinds as well as I read bugs do not like caffeine. Luckily I do like my caffeine and have a pot of grinds every morning. I guess it is a female spring thing. Four of the hens were trying to squeeze into one box. One of the hens has been broody for a few days. I had to research what to do. What I read made me decide I needed a cage to separate the hens. I was all geared up to build two cages and use one on the dog kennels that is open bottomed. Then I read to try blocking the nest if that does not work use the cage. I have not handled our chickens and was a little fearful as I had read that they will be more aggressive if broody.

I went to get one of the hens and the rooster decided to come at me. I looked at him and said, "NO" in my mother voice. He scampered. Our roosters are not aggressive but I was nervous. The hens which are use to being held did not resist at all. They would just take turns trying to get back in the box. So we will see how that goes.

I decided to plant herbs that fight bugs in my beds yesterday. I was trying to wait until the almanac says to plant but could not. It is suppose to rain on the 24th according to the almanac and the weather channel. On a side not the almanac has been closer than the weather channel when predicting weather. If there is a break in the weather I will be planting more beans and tomatoes. In the back bed where I planted marigolds next to the tomatoes something ate the marigolds. Luckily whatever it is does not eat tomato plants. I do believe it is a critter as I have found the red wild strawberries in the beds. The marigolds in the front are growing better than the tomatoes. They even have buds.

I planted basil near the tomatoes I read they give flavor to the tomatoes. I planted regular basil in one bed, lime basil in another and lemon basil in another. I planted oregano near the cucumbers where I planted 8 only three came up. I will plant more cucumbers. I planted thyme and dill in the back beds for the cabbage and broccoli. I have been adding coffee grinds as well as I read bugs do not like caffeine. Luckily I do like my caffeine and have a pot of grinds every morning.

We spent the day doing school. Then my son decided to juice the case of oranges we have. I still need to clean the kitchen.


It is fun to find seashells in the garden!
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Monday, May 18, 2009

After the rain!

We have had rain and storms off and on since last Thursday today is Monday. I am so glad I read the Farmers Almanac before buying seed. I would have bought drought resistant. I had to dump out my container plants several times over the weekend they were full of water and drowning my plants especially the strawberries. My son was playing out in the rain with a neighbor and they had puddles in the yard up to their knees.


The spinach was pelted to the ground breaking the stems. Very sad looking. The raspberries are blooming.




The wax beans in the back are growing well.
The other picture is the cloeme someone gave me. Hubby says it looks like something illegal.
The tomato plants in the back are growing well about 4 inches taller than the ones in front wonder if they will be more or less fruitful than the ones in front. We are writing our observations and guesses down for science. More Strawberries!


The eggplant in back is growing well. It was covered in splashed up dirt. The beans in front are growing well these were planted from seed May 1, 2009. I planted marigolds by the tomatoes from starters given to me they are growing faster the the tomatoes.










The root bed needs to be thinned. I am leaving that up to hubby. The picture of the front was to compare to earlier pictures to see how well growing. The plants are turning yellow I think it is too much rain we will see.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sharing

Acts 4:32[ The Believers Share Their Possessions ] All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

That scripture came to mind as I was thinking of someone who was very generous with me yesterday. She gave me starters of marigolds, hummingbird vine, cleome (I had to look it up to know what is it) and about 25 irises in various colors. I felt like I had been given a pot of gold. I am new to gardening and drilled the poor woman to death with questions. She was happy to share her knowledge with me. This is someone who had posted the offering on freecycle.

I came home eager to plant which I did all but the irises. They were planted right away and dinner prep was pushed back. I was giddy planting these and sorry I did not have time to plant them all. Gardeners I have found are eager to share their hobby. I have had conversations with complete strangers in the seed aisle at a store, or from them seeing what is in my cart or hand at checkout. Gardening is an easy conversation starter.

This of course got me thinking about sharing about God. I will start a conversation with I am really enjoying gardening. I do not think to start a conversation with I am really enjoying reading my Bible. I like the safe ground, God is always calling me to walk near the cliff or completely jump off. These thoughts are forming while I type. I never thought I would share personal thoughts on public forum.

I want to be a generous person but focus on I have nothing to give. Yet I have the most precious gift of all to share the truth of God's Word, His love for me and them, and His plan of salvation.
When I started this blog it was to be gardening, chickens, and beekeeping yet I feel compelled to share what God is doing for me each and every day.

He has created wonderful flowers, fruits and vegetables for me to plant and tend getting a glimpse of how he might feel watching his creations grow each day. Watching the chickens enjoy a pile of leaves thrown in the pen. I think how he loves us enjoying his creation of the ocean or sunset. Watching the bees I know he has a plan to use someone like me in my weakness because by all accounts the bee should not be able to fly. He can take a little and make a lot if you look at the little amounts of pollen that go into the hive and make lots of honey. That my little bit with the little bit of others that are doing God's will will amount to alot and that I need my fellow workers.

Wow all that from a gift of flowers from a stranger. I was just going to post it is raining here and the garden is growing well. I have some strawberries ripening and the raspberries are blooming.
Time to do reading with my son.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Great Devotional

The garden is doing great! I have a lot to blog about. However this past week found us under attack about homeschooling. I believe I am under attack because I have devoted myself to being more dedicated to following God's word and plan for me. So no surprise that an old enemy has cropped up and attacked what I love most my family I am trying to remember that my anger needs to be at Satan not the person who is being used at his tool. Luckily, I have many who have offered prayers up and will continue to pray for us. It is funny how this was the devotional from Alpha Omega Publishing this morning it is so how I feel most of the time. I hope this helps if you are a homeschooler who has days that bring more than can "humanly" be done.

Following is from Alapha Omega Publishing -Nothing More to GiveMonday / May 11, 2009"It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect" (Psalm 18:32).Do you ever wake up and feel like you have nothing left to give as a homeschooling parent? During one quiet morning as I looked out the kitchen window, I felt exhausted physically, financially, and emotionally. I just wanted my house to be clean, but as I looked around the house, each task I had accomplished seemed to have been replaced by ten others. Laundry, dishes, and dirt seemed to be everywhere. Added to this overwhelming burden was a mountain of schoolwork waiting to be graded and lessons needing to be planned. I felt depleted to the point of despair and prayed, "Lord, I'm so tired. Will I ever finish all this work?"
Are you interested in a printed version of this devotional? Then check out the new Daily Focus devotional book, perfect for your own Bible study or as a gift. Order your copy today!The struggle to find strength for the battle is nothing new. We can quit homeschooling, but if countless other Christians have remained steadfast through their difficult times, we can too. Clearly, believing the old saying, "When life gets tough, the tough get going," isn't the answer. As Christian homeschooling parents, we already know we don't have the ability to conjure up strength on our own. The strength lies in our attitude toward God and acknowledging our dependency on Him. Like Paul, we must learn "for when I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10b). Like a little child strengthened by his parents to lift objects much too heavy for himself, we can rediscover God's strength to move mountains of housework, schoolwork, or whatever comes our way.If you are experiencing homeschool burnout and finding yourself shutting down, God is waiting for you. Your all-powerful and loving heavenly Father has the strength you need to face today, tomorrow, and even eternity. Stop thinking about what you can't do. Start depending on God and find out what you can do through Him today. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).Lord, homeschooling is impossible without You. Show me how to cling to You and lift me above the weight of each day's tasks. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dog Fishing

Here is a new sport. My son and friends got bamboo stakes from the garden. Then they duct taped a string to it. Then you take a dog treat and tie it to the end. Then you cast and see if you catch a dog fish. The dogs loved the attention.

I love little boys when they play using their imagination and create things. I have better pictures but do not have permission of the other "fisher boys" to put their pictures on my blog.




I could not resist the picture of the roosters. One of the roosters later escaped when my daughter went to gather the eggs. Luckily he did not jump the fence where the dogs are. Maybe they were full from the earlier bait.







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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The quiet before the storm.

It is a quiet morning here. The weekend was crazy. A fabulous women's retreat on faith. My children's homeschool celebration with a play.

While at the women's retreat there was a downpour with reports of hail in our area. All I could think about was the seeds I had planted that morning in sandy soil and wondering if they had been washed to the top. The first thing I did when I got home was check the garden. Only one seed was showing. I hope the others were still underground. I guess this will work further on my character. I always want the answers now! I know God is has been trying to train me for years to wait on Him. Waiting to see if we get results from our planting is hard.

The good news my wax beans and spinach have sprouted they were planted April 30th. At least I think they are wax beans I have never seen them at this stage. The root boxes that hubby planted are a sea of green sprouts but I have no idea what is what. Maybe we figure it out this weekend when he will be home during the day. The transplanted tomatoes, eggplants, strawberries, and bell pepper seem to be doing well. We will see which soil combo they like. One strawberry plant has three berries forming.

Something is eating my broccoli and it is not growing as well as expected. The lettuce does not seem to like all the rain we are getting. There is rain and storms in the forecast for most of the week. Oh my marigolds are sprouting too!

I told my hubby and kids what I want for Mother's Day is more mulch. My youngest son was shocked "you want dirt for Mother's Day". He is determined to get something else.

It is funny the dirt we got from the lake is sprouting "sea" shells. We have found several and with the rain more are coming to the surface.

I have been checking the garden everyday. I love being able to see the progress.

The bees are out this morning. I think another hive is building to swarm I have some ideas on what to do to avoid-After looking on web and looking at our bee book. However it involves messing the with hive itself so now I have to wait that word again for hubby to be able to do the physical work. He is working a part time evening job for me to be able to be home more.

Last night I gathered eight eggs from the coop. We got 6 on Sunday. They really liked the wild strawberry leaves I put in there last night. One the roosters keep coming over to me which caused the other rooster to come over and chase him into the enclosure. They did this several times. They are such fun to watch.

This post will not include pictures because my daughter has the camera somewhere. I am hesitate to post pictures of the kids on the blog however they have them on my space. I just have not had time to take the pics. It is nice that most of the planting is in ground and just has to grow now.

Today is baseball if not rained out. I guess it is time to get busy on the housework.

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