Monday, August 31, 2009

~ * ~ Weekend Happenings ~ * ~

~ To the Moon ~
~ Strawberry Cake ~

The weekend was busy , on Friday I did grocery shopping , glad that's out of the way . Saturday , Curious J spent the day with us , he wasn't feeling well though. He did get to feeling well enough to create something , he informed me that " we always made something when he stayed with me ". I asked him what he wanted to make and he said a " Rocket " , so I gathered up a paper towel tube , some corrugated cardboard , glue , paint and brushes and we got busy making a rocket ship. As we were working on the rocket , he told me about using his glue stick at school last week , he said they made a rainbow fish. He started kindergarten last Thursday , my daughter brought Little Froggy to the house before she took him to school the first day. I went out to the car to wish him well on his first day , he was seating in his booster seat and had his pencil box out looking at everything in it. He was excited about starting school and told me what was in his pencil box , he was really thrilled about the glue stick and the bottle of Elmer's glue.

We celebrated my Mom's birthday yesterday with a 50's party , she loves the 50's era. I made a poodle skirt doll cake for her , it's not professional , but cute enough and she enjoyed it. She broke out the record player (remember those) and we danced to Fats Domino and Elvis. It was a busy weekend , but enjoyable all the same. Hope your weekend was filled with fun.

~ Family Blessings ~
JoyceAnn





Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our Garden has a Sense of Humor

We've found potato rocks ............................. they really look like a potato and ...................this


potato brought me a laugh , look at these Cheeks ............


and the ------------ , complete with pimples (LOL) !



And I found half of a potato rock , it looks like it's monogrammed with an "A" and guess what , our last name begins with an "A".



So see , our garden really does have a sense of humor : )
Have you found any of nature's humor in your garden ?



~ Garden Blessings ~
JoyceAnn

Monday, August 24, 2009

~~ Curious J & Little Froggy Spend the Night ~~


~ Late Cucumbers and Squash ~

Curious J and Little Froggy spent Saturday night with us. I didn't get a chance to take many photos , they're a handful together. We enjoyed homemade pizza , ice cream and pillow fights this past weekend , they wore this Nana out . Little Froggy loves to play with the garden veggies , I have to keep a close eye on my tomatoes or they'll become balls (LOL). In the pic above he's giving an old squash that I was going to throw out , a bus ride : )

The harvest continues , I canned 7 qts and 4 pts of mild salsa , also canned 6 qts and 1 pt of spaghetti sauce for my Mom last week. I didn't think my tomatoes were going to produce much , but they've decided to show out , so now I have a 1/2 bushel that I've got to preserve tomorrow. I may try making ketchup or maybe more spaghetti sauce. I've got late cucumbers coming in too , I planted them in front of hubby's garage so I could keep them watered , but they've did well without watering , we've been getting rain every week since I planted them. They're so sweet and delicious !


~ Many Blessings ~

JoyceAnn




Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

~ And the Harvest Continues ~




I'm still busy preserving the harvest , last week we canned a few jars of applesauce , with apples a friend had sent to me and my sil. I'm teaching her how to can , her applesauce is thin and I made mine chunky , I like it with bits of apple chunks.We're planning to get more apples this week , her bf's Grandmother has apple trees and they no longer preserve them. We plan to make more applesauce , a few jars of jelly and I want to dry some apple slices with cinnamon.

I made 6 ~ 1/2 pints of peach jelly , but it didn't set , so I tried to redo it using the sure-gell method , the test jar did well. But , when I did the whole batch it didn't. I'm debating on trying it again , not sure if I should. Anyone else ever tried a 3rd time (LOL) , I don't give up easily.

Saturday I canned 14 qts of potatoes , still have small ones I need to can sometime this week. But the tomatoes have finally started ripening , I have quite a few of those I need to do something with. I'll probably make more salsa , we never seem to have enough salsa. The dried tomatoes turned out well , so I'll be drying somemore tomatoes too.

I've got to harvest the popcorn and still have garlic that needs cleaning , so much to do and never enough time it seems , but I keep at it , knowing it will get done and the pantry will be well stocked this winter. You just can't beat that homegrown goodness in a jar , except when it's fresh from the garden.



So , How's your harvest going ?

~ Harvest Blessings ~
JoyceAnn



Sunday, August 16, 2009

~ Sunday Blessing ~


Hope your Day is Blessed with
Many Peaceful Moments
~ Love and Hugs ~
JoyceAnn

Thursday, August 13, 2009

~ The Missing Guinea Keets ~



Monday , I finally caught the guinea off her nest and was able to take all the eggs and put them under the hen. There was another keet in the nest that had died , it had got out from under her.

Tuesday morning when I went to feed the hens and guineas , I found another keet had hatched under the hen , it had got out from under her too. It was cold , so I brought in the house and wrapped it up in a warm washcloth. I put it in the brooder with the other small keets. I wasn't sure if it would make it , but it did. So now I have 6 keets , the oldest two graduated out to the chicken coop Monday , they're in a larger box and have really grown in the last 3 days. Tuesday afternoon I went out to check on them and make sure they had water , I forgot to put the wire top back over their box , when I went to close up the coop for the night , they were gone. I searched the coop and couldn't find them , I didn't think they would stray to far away , but I wasn't dressed to search the weeds and outside of the coop in the dark. I went back to the house , put on jeans and boots , Dh said he would drive the truck down to the chicken coop , so we would have more light. One side of the chicken pen has tall weeds , for some reason , the chickens never go to that area. Dh found them nestled up in some straw under the tall weeds , he almost stepped on them. So it ended well , I'm thankful we found them , it was beginning to rain and Lily Belle ( the cat ) was sitting near the coop when I discovered they were missing , so it could have ended tragically , but thankfully it didn't.
~ Blessings ~
JoyceAnn

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tomato , Tomatoe , Tomatoes

~~ Drying Tomatoes ~~


~~ Almost Ready ~~


~~ Dried Tomatoes ~~


~~ Spaghetti Sauce Cooking ~~


~~ Spaghetti Sauce ~~

~~ Spicy Salsa ~~

Do you say tomato or tomatoe ? Around here it's been tomatoes lately , I must admit my tomatoes didn't do so well again this year. We had a very dry June and a cool July , the tomato vines grew beautifully , but the tomatoes are small , rot on the ends and cracking. But I have been saving what I can , I've also bought tomatoes from a local farm to make salsa and spaghetti sauce.



The Roma and Tommy Toe tomatoes have produced well , they're the plants I used clay pot irrigation with , next year I will use that method on all of the tomatoes. Our garden is to far away from the house to water with a hose and toting water is a pain , so clay pot irrigation will be the best solution. I only had to add water once a week or less if we had rain. I tried to leave the tops off if I knew it was going to rain so the clay pots would fill up.


I made spaghetti sauce for the first time this year , my SIL and I canned 17 quarts + 4 jars of tomato juice. I used the recipe from the Blue Book of Canning , but tweaked it quite a bit , so I guess you could say it 's my own recipe , that recipe was just a starting point. I hate those recipes that only make 3 qts , if I'm going to can spaghetti sauce or salsa , I want to make enough for a full canner . Anyway it turned out great and I 'll be making more next year.



I also canned 11 qts of salsa and 4 jars of tomato juice. We love spicy salsa around here , I'll probably make more soon. The small tomatoes coming off my vines , we're eating or dehydrating. This is the first time I've used my dehydrator and I started with the hardest thing to dry , tomatoes. But they seem to be drying well , it has taken longer than the book recommendation though.



BTW , spell check says tomato is the correct spelling (LOL).



~ Garden Blessings ~

JoyceAnn

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Guinea eggs are .............




hatching , Saturday 2 of the eggs I placed under the hen hatched. I removed the keets Sunday and put them in with the other 2 , so far they're doing fine. Sunday night I had another guinea that didn't show up to roost , so I thought we had another nest somewhere. Monday morning she was back with the rest of the gang to eat breakfast , but didn't come to roost that night. So Tuesday I tried to watch and see were she went , but she disappeared again when I wasn't looking. Later I decided to check on the other Guinea to see if she was o.k. , as I pulled back an old tire I had placed in front of her nest , I got a big surprise ........... there were 2 guinea sitting on the nest. I tried to get a pic , but the one in front jumped up and headed for the back exit , you can see the backside of her in the pic. The other guinea didn't move , I believe she was the one that had been sitting for so long , she is used to me checking on her everyday. As the pic shows the eggs are spilling out from under the guinea and you can see a baby keet in there too. There are so many eggs I think the Momma guinea called for help to keep the eggs and the baby keet warm. I always thought all the eggs would hatch at one time , but I'm learning that's not the way it happens , they hatch days apart. I'm marking my calendar to see how long the eggs keep hatching.

Update ..... I started this post yesterday , but didn't get to finish it , as I had the 3 youngest grands all day. I went to check on the guinea nest in the afternoon and the baby keet was dead. I plan to take all the eggs as soon as I catch her off the nest again and place them under the hen. It's so much easier to let the the hen hatch them and remove the baby keets from her.


~ Many Blessings ~

JoyceAnn

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Popcorn did well , but the corn .......







didn't fare so well. I didn't realize that popcorn would cross pollinate with corn , actually I thought about it when I planted it and was planning to read up about it , but forgot to. It did cross pollinate , most of the corn ears were small and didn't fill out well. I did manage to freeze about 60 descent sized ears.

I harvested a few ears of the Cherokee Long Ear popcorn to see how it did , it looks pretty good. I'm leaving most of it on the stalks to dry out , hope those garden critters leave it alone. Shadow has been confined to the dog lot each day , so he's not much help at chasing them away. He stole two guinea eggs from the nest and I'm afraid he'll upset their nesting. There were 4 deer out there in the garden yesterday , 1 buck , 2 does and a fawn. I didn't get a pic of the buck , he was over in what's left of the corn. I'm planning to let those small ears of corn dry out for the chickens , will need to figure out how to grind them up. I'll probably try the blender , anyone else ever tried to grind dry corn with a blender or is that a crazy idea (LOL)?
~ Garden Blessings ~
JoyceAnn

Monday, August 03, 2009

: ) It's Party Time ............



Yesterday was party time , Curious J turned 5 years old. I can't believe he's 5 already and will be starting school in a few weeks ..... my how quick time goes by. He wanted a police themed party this year , so we had the cutest policeman running around the yard with their little police hats. Last year he helped me make a fire truck cake , so this year he wanted to make a police themed cake. He loves to cook and make things , so making his cake was as much fun as the party itself. He helped mix the cake and bake it , I frosted it and let him place the decorations were he thought they should go. His Mom bought a police rescue vehicle that made siren sounds to place atop the cake , it really added to the ambiance of the party. The kids had a great time although it was cloudy and rainy , so they didn't go swimming or jump in the bounce house , but they did enjoy the swing set and tire swing for a little while.
~ Blessings to All ~
JoyceAnn