Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chickens first time outside and some flower planting



Today was the first day my chicks were let outside. We don't have the run done for them yet, or a chicken tractor, so I grabbed a safety yard I put around my fire place when the day care kids are here and put the chicks in it.

My husband, our youngest daughter (Lil' B) and our 3 and a half year old son (Lil' Man) dug up some worms for them and threw them in the yard, and the chicks were so funny to watch! One chick would grab it and take of running and the others would chase her down and try to grab it from her, and then it was an all out tug of war match with the poor worm. LOL!




I left the chicks outside for a couple hours, but I was on guard at all times with our cat getting closer and closer and our dog circling the play yard, I didn't want to take any chances. But all went well. I have happy chickens :)



The chicken that I was telling you all about that I believe is a Rooster was trying to crow when I was watching them, so I grabbed the camera and took a quick picture. *The first time I saw him do this I thought he was choking, and then it hit me... it was trying to crow!*




Lil' B and I also did some planting. We planted Sweet Peas in this flower container. I can't wait to see it in full bloom later this summer :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

The word of the week.....

"Sorry." From my 3 and a half year old son. If I had a dime for every time I was told that this week, I'd be able pay off our mortgage.

I walk into a flooded bathroom, "Sorry."

Food spilt on the floor, "Sorry."

The clean nicely folded laundry, now all over the floor in a big pile, "Sorry."

I'll walk into the house after being out of his sight for 1 minute and the first thing out of his mouth.... "Sorry."

I don't even have to say anything, he instantly says "Sorry."

And the way he says it....it melts me EVERY TIME! He sticks out his lip and drops his shoulders down and says it "Sooorrrry" in this adorable "I know your going to chew me out just get it out of the way, voice. (It's adorable.) And of course I soften and nicely try to correct him.

Golly he's good!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Saving money using last years seeds....


I was under the impression you had to buy new seeds every year. My mom and sister being such big time gardeners themselves told me that seeds usually last a couple to a few years. I planted some seeds from last year and they are coming along nicely. (Above is a pumpkin plant)

I'm going to do a better job of storing my seeds properly and I would love to get to where I am using heirloom seeds and saving seed myself. One baby step at a time ;)

I feel like I have SO MUCH to learn about "Homesteading" from animals to gardening to, well. . . . everything.

I know that every year it will get better!

I have learned that the word never, really doesn't mean never around here. When we first moved out here I said "I NEVER want pigs." Well now we are on a waiting list for piglets :)
I also remember telling my husband...."Don't worry babe, I NEVER plan on getting a goat." Well now I'm thinking I want to add it to my "Maybe in a year or two plan."

My poor husband. ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Companion Planting

My mom let me borrow a book that I am getting a lot of ideas from and I'm feeling better about planning my garden using companion planting. I don't feel like I'm going bonkers flipping through 10 sheets of articles that I printed from the Internet and trying to apply it to my garden grid.
So I'm still in planning mode, but it's a nice way to day dream into my future garden and pass the days away that are still a bit to cold and wet to plant anything.

Out of my 9 chicks I'm about 90% sure I have a rooster. Out of all 9 of them it's been the most friendliest chick. It happens to be the one I fell in love with from day one, because of it's easy going attitude. So if it turns out to be a Rooster, I'm okay with that as long as he stays mellow. I won't be keeping any aggressive roo's. Especially around my kids. I've already put the warning out there :)

I started a bunch of seeds in the house, and I have a bunch starting to pop up! Pumpkins, green peppers, cilantro, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach. My cool weather plants I will transplant probably on Mother's Day weekend, and my warmer weather loving plants I will wait until Memorial Day weekend.
It's still been dipping down to the 30's here at night.
But hopefully my starts will hang on nicely until put outside.

Anyways, I better get off of here and go feed and water my chickens.
Have a fantastic day everyone :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Planning


My amazing husband tilled the garden area yesterday. YAY!! So now I am in full swing of planning my garden space. This is my second year using this area for my garden, so I have a general idea of where I want to plant things, but I'm driving myself bonkers trying to figure out companion planting. I also want to utilize as much space as I can to over plant things. I want to do an insane amount on canning and preserving so I would rather have to much, than not enough. If my garden runneth over...I will gladly give to my neighbors. :)

My chick babies are changing daily. They are now becoming use to me and are letting me pet them. I have a few that try to escape the coop when I open the door, and they are becoming wise to my scare tactics...so hopefully they never try to make that escape mistake when the dog is around.



I love my chickens.



My window are filling up with seeds that I am starting. I don't have a greenhouse (yet) so I'm using what I can to get a jump start on my growing season.



When outside snapping pictures of the garden area and chickens, the cows were in the barn so I tried to snap a picture of Mable but our lovely dog Chloe :) chased them off. I guess she was having a hard time accepting she wasn't the center of attention. So again, I will try later.

~Renee

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our weekend

I had a fabulous weekend. We had a break in the weather so we were able to get outside and get a few things done.

Friday night I got the weekly grocery shopping done. Ahh, how nice it was to get it done and out of the way.

Saturday I spend the better part of the day doing house work and laundry.

First thing Sunday morning we were outside and doing some more Spring Clean up.

My husband pulled back the plastic off the garden area, so it could dry out. We hope to get it tilled this next weekend. *We will not be using plastic again. I am going to start looking into and researching a cover crop that we can plant during the winter months.



I finished fixing the one half of the chicken coop and moved the chick babies out there. They were running around and stretching their wings. I think they were feeling good about some space!
I started giving them a small amount of plain yogurt for a treat and they LOVE it. At first they weren't to sure. But now when they see me coming with it, they run to me!

My husband and our 3 year old son spent some time on the tractor clipping the front half of the field. It looks great.


I started a few more seeds. I started broccoli (our 9 year olds favorite vegetable), cauliflower, cilantro, Romain lettuce, acorn squash, pumpkins, spinach and more green peppers.

My hubby and I did some more planning and dreaming of what we want to accomplish this summer. We are going to start a list on paper. So we can see it and cross things off when accomplished. It so much fun to dream and set goals with him.

The best part of the weekend was my kids spending ALL DAY outside. They played ball, rode their bikes, dug in the dirt hunting for worms. They were always off on an adventure. At dinner time, my 3 year old son got up at the table and says, "Mama, after dinner, it okay we go back outside? I'm not done riding my scooter." :)

I love this country life.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Keeping in mind....

Sometimes I get scared. I am notorious for taking on way to much. Then when I am stretched to the max...emotional and physically, it hits me, I need to step back and make some changes. I'm in a change phase right now. But I get scared of the unknown. The "Well what if..." phrase keeps popping up. And honestly it knocks my confidence down.

My mind has been going crazy with ideas and thoughts of where I would like to be in a few years.

It takes work. I'm ready to work.

I found a Bible verse in a book that I fell in love with. I am going to hang it up where I can see it everyday and make it a part of my life.

~ Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands...so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. - 2 Thessalonians 3:11,12

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Random....

Yesterday afternoon I caught my chicks in a game of keep away with a pine shaving. I watched them chase each other around the brooder stealing this one pine shaving from each other. It was very entertaining! These chick babies are so much fun.
But I have to confess...every time I pick one up, I'm scared I'm going to kill it. I'm sure they are tougher than I think....but I read so much on how they just drop dead, I would hate to be the reason. I really need to get over it. My hubby looks at me and says..."Babe, it's a chicken." But I have to admit, I've fallen for those little fuzz butts.

Today on one of my many trips to go stare (closely) at my peat pots that I started seeds in a little over a week ago, I noticed I had one little parsley starting to pop up out of the soil. YAY! I was so excited! When my hubby arrived home from work I was so excited about my parsley I took him over to show him and noticed that the pot that I started my sweet basil in had a little green sprout. I screamed and clapped for joy! I truly wasn't expecting to see basil! I tried starting basil a few times last year and nothing sprouted. So I'm very excited to see basil sprouting this year.
*Did I mention I was excited?* :D

Tonight I tried my hand at making Homemade French Bread. It turned out so good! Thumbs up from the family. :)

Tomorrow I have a busy day of work ahead. I am praying for patience and guidance to make it a great day. I hope that you all have a great and blessed day also.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Feeling a bit more motivated

I don't know if it's been the weather, or what, but I've been feeling a bit down. I don't like feeling that way. Especially when you don't really know what the problem is, you just feel blah. But I think I'm on the uphill side of the blah's!

For the first time in a week I am feeling so good. It's beautiful outside today. I took the kids outside to play, looked through a seed catalog, baked some bread and even Chloe was soaking up some sun rays.



My seeds that I planted just over a week ago are sprouting! YAY!
So I have 3 cucumbers trying to come up, and 5 sunflowers that are doing great. I love seeing my plants come to life. :)





My little chick babies have been so much fun!
I have them set up in our old laundry closet, in a plastic tub. During the day I've been able to go check on them and watch them play. My absolute favorite part of having them so close is listening to them "talk". They have the sweetest little chirps. This last Saturday morning I woke up and laid in bed just listening to them chirp and sing. It brings me so much joy.



They are growing so fast that they are outgrowing their brooder :(

So my hubby and I have been fixing up their coop and some time this week I will have to put them out there. It's breaking my heart. It really is. But I'm sure they will enjoy being able to stretch their wings and run around.

Annabelle and Mable are doing great. Mable is growing like a weed! I will try and get a picture of her soon. The cows spend a lot of time in the back of the field now, so it's hard to catch them when they come up to the barn.

Well I better get off of here and get going on the rest of my chores. Have a good day everyone.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My First Chickens!

*Can you feel me beaming?!*

The kids and I have been counting down our Baby Chick Day for over a week now.
Well....
They are here!



Aren't they adorable?!
Now I feel like I'm Homesteading!

I had called the feed store almost 2 weeks ago and asked when their next shipment of Barred Rock chickens would be in, and they told me April 6th. So I arranged for my mom to go down and pick some up for me, because I had to work. She was happy to do so. :)

When I saw my mom pull in the driveway this morning, I jumped up and down (and of course squealed with excitement) and ran to open the door. As my mom grabbed the box you can hear them chirping....it was such a sweet sound. I took them out of the box and put them in their brooder. Ahhh, nice and warm :)

For the first couple hours I checked on them like a nervous new mother. "Are they breathing? Oh whew... she's just sleeping." I was driving my self crazy. :)

I'm so excited!



Happy Chick Day :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Homestead Happenings

On Saturday my Sister, the kids and I went to the Co-Op, and the Feed store and purchased chicken supplies for our chicks that we will be getting on Wednesday. (I'm so excited, I've been wanting chickens since we moved here in 2006.)
When we got home I helped my hubby clean up the shop. It looks so much nicer out there! I'm glad we spent an afternoon getting it cleaned up. I still have the upstairs to go through and organize, so hopefully I will get to it this next weekend.

On Sunday my little helper and I started some seeds.



We started~ green pepper plants, cucumbers, parsley, sweet basil, cosmos, and sunflowers. All but the green pepper plants are seeds that I had over from last year. So I'm hoping they germinate :)



That evening, my hubby and I walked around the barn and garden area, talking about what we would like to do this upcoming season. We have a HUGE to do list, and it keeps getting bigger by the day. *I'm always coming up with something new.* I'm excited for this year. It's going to be a great learning year and hopefully a productive one. :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Great start to my weekend

Today I called my sister in law and asked her if she wanted to go with me to a local wine tasting event this evening. She jumped right on the invitation :) In my line of work (child care) I don't get to dress up very often so I was all excited to put some nice clothes on and have a nice place to go.

Being a small town, you run into so many people you know that it turns into a fabulous social scene. The wine tasting was so casual and laid back, it was my type of atmosphere.

I actually found a red wine I like. I'm usually a white wine, whatevers on sale kind of girl, but I'm trying to broaden' my horizons. :)

My sister in law and I have an appetizer, with a glass of wine and enjoyed great conversation. Later we tried some locally made crackers from a very nice lady, whom I would be more than happy to buy from on a regular basis. Her crackers were so good! When I got home the kids and I had a cracker tasting, and both flavors passed with flying colors :)

Before we leave I grab a locally made, no preservatives added, half round of smoked brie cheese. *Can I just say, AMAZING* As we are leaving we get to talking to the cashier who happens to mention truffles.....so we slide over to the display case and start looking at her huge assortment of truffles, I end up buying one for me and one for my amazing husband. And off we go into the sunset, okay... rain, with a tummy full of appetizers, and good wine, and a bag full of taste bud rejoicing goodies.

I love buying local foods. I love supporting small local businesses. I love my home town. I really do. I'm surrounded by amazing people. It was a great way to start my weekend.