Wednesday, July 29, 2009

~ ~ Canning Time ~ ~

I was really busy last week , canning , cleaning , cooking and looking after the critters and the grandkids. I started early everyday and I was to exhausted to blog at the end of the day. It was a very busy week and I'm glad it's over. On Monday of last week , I put up 14 qts of canned tomatoes , Tuesday ~ My Mom and I made and canned 20 qts of vegetable soup , Wednesday I froze corn and canned 7 qts of potatoes. Thursday I had 2 of the Grands all day , so kinda took the day off and enjoyed them , but I did freeze some more corn that morning. Friday I was back to canning and put up 21 qts of green beans , plus I decorated a birthday banner for my neighbor , whom was hosting a Birthday party for her friend that was turning 100 Sunday. Wow ~ 100 years old , now that's a reason to celebrate .

Curious J came Saturday morning and stayed until Sunday afternoon. He helped gather eggs and look after the 2 guinea keets. The keets are doing good and starting to get their feathers , they'll be going home with Curious J when they're old enough. We played Go Fish Saturday night and first thing Sunday morning (LOL) , he loves to play card games. Sunday was my day of rest , my girls and the grandkids came over , we enjoyed a day by the pool and celebrated my son-in-law's birthday.

Monday I had to mulch some late cucumbers and squash I planted a few weeks ago , then I cleaned the chicken coop and worked on the compost heap. As I was finishing up outside , I noticed that the broody guinea hen was off her nest getting water and food , so I decided to take a few eggs from her nest and put them under Mya. I took 10 eggs from the nest and placed them under Mya , she has been broody for a couple of weeks now , so I'm hoping she'll raise a few guinea keets. I've read that people had more success with hens hatching the eggs and raising the young keets , so I'm going to give it a try. I'm expecting the eggs to start hatching this week , so today I'm going to get a brooder box set-up , I plan to take the keets when Momma guinea brings them out. I hate to take them away , but I know they won't survive very long if I don't and I'd love to have more guineas around.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping , did some stocking up for me and my Mom. Glad that's done , hope I don't have to make another grocery run for at least a month. Dh usually picks up milk and other items we need in between. So , that's why I haven't blogged in awhile , still have a busy week ahead of me , but it won't be quite as hectic. Hope everyone is doing well , plan to visit blogs this afternoon and catch up on the happenings in blogland.

~ Harvest Blessings ~

Monday, July 20, 2009

....... And then there were 2

Saturday morning I went out to feed the chickens and guineas , when I got to the holding pen I saw 1 of the keets outside the pen with Poppa. I picked it up and put it back in the pen with it's Mom , then I noticed they were all gone except for the one I had just put back. I looked around for awhile before spotting another keet under a log. I put it back in the pen , but decided later to take it to the house because it was cold , slightly damp and seemed weak. I looked for the other 2 keets , but couldn't find them. I let the Momma Guinea out of the holding pen , I thought if they were out there in the grass or under a log they would come to her. I went back out later to check on them , I never found the other 2 and while I was out there I saw a hawk flying over the neighbors house. I decided to take the other keet to the house too , they're safe and doing well now.
~ Blessings ~

Thursday, July 16, 2009

~ Other Happenings around the Homestead ~

My Mom and I canned 14 qts of peaches Tuesday , she bought a bushel from a local man who sells produce. They'll be yummy this winter.

Mya has been broody since the weekend , I took the five guinea eggs that were left in the nest and placed them under her. I didn't think they would hatch , they felt cold to the touch but yesterday morning when I went out to feed the chickens I found a dead keet in the nesting box , apparently the keet hatched , but wandered out from under her and got cold. I was going to try and break her broodiness , but decided I would let her set just in case something happens to the other guinea that is sitting on a nest. I might be able to put the eggs under Mya and let her hatch them. I'm expecting her eggs to hatch about the 28th of this month.

This little guy was sitting on the hummingbird feeder , not sure if he was exploring or looking for a sugar fix (LOL).

A friend of a friend passed along this swing set to us , the Grands are enjoying it. Curious J calls it
" His Playground " (LOL). That's Little Froggy swinging , he looks just like his brother (Curious J ) , except their eyes are different and Curious J's hair was lighter at that age . The black cat is " Buddy " , he's the elder of the animals around here. I think he was keeping an eye on Little Froggy (LOL).
~ ~ Many Blessings ~ ~

~ In Memory of Jazzy the Bunny ~

~ May your Soul Rest in Peace ~
( Remember this Scene )
~ Little Froggy trying to feed Jazzy a stick (LOL) ~

Yesterday , this is what I found when I went to feed the bunny. We've got a predator , it tore a hole in the wire bottom cage and pulled our bunny out of it's small house. The Grandkids will miss that bunny , they went out there to pet and feed it , everytime they were here. She was a very loved bunny.

~ Blessings ~

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's a keet , keet , keet , keet !

~ The Proud Parents ~

~ Under Mommas Tail Feathers ~

~ Proud Poppa on Guard ~

~ Poppa Peeping In ~

~ 4 Little Keets ~

Dh spent the weekend building a holding pen for momma guinea and the young keets. I thought we had 28 days , but later read it could be between 26-28 days. I was expecting them to hatch around the 13th. Saturday evening when I went to check on her , I found a small keet had drown in her water bowl. We left her on the nest Sunday , Dh needed to finish the holding pen. Monday I slid the pen up near the log and pulled the board out that was in front of her. She jumped out and I got a glimpse of the nest , there was another dead keet and about 5 eggs that had not hatched , I wonder what happened to the other eggs. I saw 1 live keet , peeping out from the grass. The momma guinea went back to the nest after about 10 minutes , I waited to dusk to put some logs between the holding pen and the nest. Yesterday morning when I went to check on her she was in the holding pen with 4 baby keets. I hope to keep them there for a couple of weeks. The Proud Poppa has been guarding them during the day , he stays close by , he tried to intimidate me a couple of times , but I just stomped at him and he backed off , now he doesn't pay me much attention . I 've got to get some plywood or something to cover the cage at night , we have a predator ..... more about that tomorrow.
~ Homestead Blessings ~

Monday, July 13, 2009

~ Little Miss Sunshine ~

....... Turns 2 !!!

Yesterday was my niece's 2nd birthday , her Mom and Dad hosted a party for her. The kids had a wonderful time jumping in the bounce house , eating hot dogs , homemade ice cream and Barney birthday cake.
My sister-in-law asked me to make a flower centerpiece , since I didn't have any flowers blooming at this time , I gathered some wild herbs. I used Wild Carrot/Queen Anne's Lace , Daisy Flea bane , Self Heal and another purple flower that I've yet to i.d. , they're arranged in a recycled bean can. I added some purple raffia type ribbon through-out the herbs , added a recycled sparkly thing and some yellow textured yarn to make the bow. It looked pretty good , although the wild herb/flowers didn't look so great , it's been so dry , everything is wilting and dying. It's raining today and I'm so Thankful ! Hope your weekend was great and full of family fun !
~ Blessings ~

Saturday, July 11, 2009

~ Wild Herb Harvest ~

~ Prunella vulgaris ~


Self Heal or Heal All

~ Plantain and Red Clover ~
~ Self Heal ~

I've been gathering wild herbs this week , plantain , red clover and self heal. Self heal ( Prunella vulgaris ) is a new herb I've discovered this year , it grows along the edge of the woods here. I'm very impressed with it's medicinal properties , definitely adding this one to my medicine chest. Click here to read more about this great herb .

I started a blog about wild herbs last year , but didn't keep it updated , so I closed it. I've opened it again to help me with my studies , if you're interested in learning about wild herbs , click here ~ ~ , you can also find it listed on my sidebar under Herbal Blogs.

~ Herbal Blessings ~


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

~ Nana's Kitchen ~

I've been busy this week , on Monday I made six ~ 1/2 pints of blackberry jelly. The blackberries didn't bare well this year , so this is the only batch I'll be making.

Curious J and I are making rosemary flavored red wine vinegar , his dad loves it , so I'll be sending a bottle home with them.

~ Yesterday's small harvest from the garden ~

I added some dried moss , cayenne peppers and rosemary to my garlic braid I made last week. It looks so much better although it's still a little lopsided .....

it now hangs in the kitchen with a new wall hanging my sister-in-law gave me last week ( love it ) and a thrift store oil painting of an old barn I found a few years ago. I hope to have a barn like that one day !


Open 24 Hours ~ Nana's Kitchen
...... Where Memories are Made
and Grandkids are Spoiled ........

I was under the shed yesterday cleaning some garlic and the girls decided I needed their help .............

This is Fern standing in front of the garlic , right before she decided to jump up on my shoulder ................ wonder if she's a parrot in disguise (LOL).

I did get the garlic cleaned , sliced and laid out to dry on an old window screen ( the pic only shows one side ). I plan to make garlic powder , if it dries out well. This is tedious work , so I hope it is worth the trouble , my fingers are sore from peeling so much garlic.

~~ Garlic Blessings ~~

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

~ How the Garden Grows ~

We finally got a little rain Sunday night , it's been very dry for the last couple of weeks. The garden wasn't looking so great , hopefully it will be revived now.
The guinea are doing a great job with pest control , they're keeping those pesty Japanese beetles under control. I love watching them walk down the rows , pecking them off the plants , they're wonderful organic pest control. Our sweet yellow corn is starting to develop ears , the rain should really help that process along.

Our cucumbers are bearing , but they're tasting a little bitter , due to no rain. Next year I hope to have a better irrigation plan in place or at least add clay pot irrigation to the cucumbers , squash and tomatoes.

The Tommy Toe tomatoes are starting to ripen , we're still waiting on the Roma and the larger tomatoes to ripen.

This is the first time we've grown popcorn , it's doing really well , look at those ears ....... I'm excited about the popcorn.

The zucchini are growing well this year too , last year my zucchini squash didn't do well at all.

So that's how the garden grows , you never know from one year to the next how it will turn out , but I feel Blessed by whatever it provides.

~ Garden Blessings ~


Monday, July 06, 2009

~ Our 4th of July Weekend ~

Our 4 Th of July celebration was good , hope yours was too. We had a cook-out , grilled BBQ chicken , stuffed mashed potatoes , tossed salad , green beans and baked beans ....... yum , it was so gooood. My son-in-law put on a fireworks show , it was beautiful , but I forgot to take pics. The kids all enjoyed the pool , the adults just enjoyed conversation.
Curious J spent alot of time here last week since he was out of pre-school for the week. Friday morning I let him use my camera to take photos , he took photos of the hens , thought I would share his first try at taking photos , he really did well. So all the photos of the hens were taken by him except for the 1st photo and the last two. The 1st pic was taken by me , it shows the grapevine wreaths I made last year and a little wall hanging with 2 hens saying " Friends to the very End " it hangs on the side of the chicken coop.

Jolene aka Arlene (Curious J always calls her Arlene)


Mya in the nesting box.

Breakfast Time

The old long chicken tray feeder came from my Grandparents farm.

Looking for greens !

Mya taking a dust bath.

We've got another guinea hen sitting on a nest , she's nesting under some steel near DH's garage. We only had 5 guinea come to roost Friday night , so I thought we might have another one on a nest , Saturday morning she was at the coop with the others waiting to be fed. I didn't have time to watch her Saturday because I was getting everything ready for the cook-out , but I found her nest yesterday.
~ Homestead Blessings ~

Saturday, July 04, 2009