Posted on Leave a comment

There’s a chill in the air…

Remember in the movie Mary Poppins the wind changes directions and the chimney sweep starts singing “Winds in the east, mist coming in. / Like somethin’ is brewin’ and ’bout to begin. / Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, / But I feel what’s to happen all happened before.” That song is stuck in my head this morning.

Why you may ask? Because this morning it is windy and chilly here in northern Indiana. To the point that I’m wearing jeans and a hoodie to do the morning chores! It seems a little early for the first of September to be chilly, but I guess what’s to happen all happened before.

So with the change of temperature today my goals have changed a little. I’ll be planting a fall crop of lettuce, picking tomatoes and anything in the garden. This batch of tomatoes I’m going to sun dry for a nice addition to soups. Herbs need taken in as they are looking a little wild lately. So they will go in the dehydrator to be saved for later savored flavor.

A little tip if you can’t spare a canning jar to store your dried herbs in Dollar Tree stores sell airtight jars, wait for it… FOR A DOLLAR!

Today I am also going to inventory what we have stocked up and maybe make some dry soup mixes later this week. Another tip… dry soup mixes make excellent holiday gifts!

This change in the weather has me thinking about what to make for homemade gifts… I’m thinking about quick quilts or blankets, and dry soup mixes maybe a loaf of artisan bread…. Sounds very cozy doesn’t it?

Speaking of cozy check out my pen to paper pal who makes cozy items from natural, undyed, pure sheep wool! http://www.hookinsheep.ca She’s located in Canada and would love some American customers!!!

Well off to the garden, friends! Remember when the wind changes it’s all happened before… and live a simple life.

Posted on Leave a comment

Oh-M-G BEES!

Earlier in the warm season the neighbors discovered a honey bee hive in the walls of their summer kitchen. Hundreds of thousands of bees had made walls of honey for probably a hundred years. I’m surprised it wasn’t oozing out of the joists.

They called a northern Indiana bee association volunteer to come and remove the bees. By the name I assumed that they would move the swarm to another hive, but they did not. They killed the bees! I was astonished as bees are on the verge of extinction and we rely heavily on them for pollination which in turn produces food for us to eat.

13 bee facts you didn’t know

  • Bees have five eyes and six legs
  • Honey bees live in hives (or colonies). The members of the hive are divided into three types: Queen, Workers, and Drones.
  • There are more than 20,000 species of bees.
  • Bees can see all colors except red. That and their sense of smell help them find the flowers they need to collect pollen.
  • The average beehive can house around 50,000 bees.
  • Each bee has 170 odorant receptors, which means they have one serious sense of smell.
  • Worker bees go from one flower to another, collecting nectar. In one collection trip, a bee visits 50 to 100 flowers.
  • Carpenter bees create tunnels that usually look about one or two inches deep, but they can be up to 10 feet long.
  • The queen bee lays all of the eggs in a colony. At the height of the season, she may layover 2,500 eggs per day.
  • Honey bees are great flyers. They fly at a speed of around 25km per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second.
  • It takes 21 days for an egg to develop into an adult bee.
  • Honey bees pollinate more than 100 different crops in the U.S.
  • Over the past 15 years, colonies of bees have been disappearing, and the reason remains unknown. In some regions, up to 90% of bees have disappeared.

Amazing creatures aren’t they?

The buzz about bees for this blog topic is because we have a swarm of bees inhabiting the pig pen. Not the hundreds of thousands that the neighbors murdered, but a small gathering of bees. Whom “Honey”, ironically, likes to piss off by shaking the sunflower they are residing on.

I’m not worried about the bees per say until they bother someone. “Honey” seems to give two shakes about the buzzing things and really doesn’t mind them inhabiting the roof of his house either.

Minutes after taking this picture the swarm had tripled in size.

I called the northern Indiana bee association not knowing that was who the neighbor used as a contract killer, but quickly was informed of such.

I talked with a man named Rick who informed me of the following. At this point in the season removing a swarm of this size would do no good. The bees would not have enough time to create a hive before the impending weather change. Secondly he told me that these bees “shouldn’t” be aggressive as they have no Queen to protect. He’d sure be happy to come out and destroy them for us though… for seventy to one hundred dollars.

At this point in the conversation I am just completely baffled. You would think that this association would be geared more towards saving bees and not destroying them.

I’m dumbfounded really and truly. Maybe the decrease in the bee population has everything to do with us morons inhabiting the planet. Our pesticides we use to keep the crabgrass out of the sidewalk, the nuclear warfare can of Raid we use to deter ants and spiders all are killers of the one thing that will keep us from extinction. The bee. Not to mention if people have an unwanted swarm and they feel they are doing the right thing by calling the local bee association, but in turn end up murdering more bees that weren’t really even bothering anyone. We are all buffoons. Dumb dumbs. Cotton headed ninny muggins. Seriously.

When the swarm first showed up honestly I was excited! I consulted the great and powerful OZ we know as Pinterest to diy a bee box, how to get the bees in the box and all about making honey. All this and the powerful OZ crushed my dreams of a bee hive with the same explanation that the bee murderer gave me… rats!!!! I wanted to save the bees!!

I will however let them die a natural death rather than having them murdered. So remember when life sends you bees, save the bees, and live a simple life.

Posted on Leave a comment

On a back roads drive…

Today on this hot and humid Sunday I went out to explore the countryside, and I think I found it…

Nestled between fields or corn, the sun and overgrown grass… this may be the dump I’ve been dreaming of. Seven acres and this abandoned beauty.

I pictured the apple and peach orchard, the garden, the chickens and ducks running a muck, the pigs, the cows, and yes even the horse running wildly through the meadow.

I pictured a stately barn to house said critters, and a few more. The dogs were bathing in the sun, and there was a few more in my vision. I saw the boys riding four wheelers or dirt bikes around the countryside.

I pictured Rooster in bib overalls and myself in a flowing sundress drinking sweet tea on the porch simply watching the world spin.

Ah, it was quite a sight.

It may not be the house of our dreams as it is currently occupied by a family of raccoons, but a little sweat from the brow would solve all its issues. What draws me to yellow houses? My vision turned this into a White House with green shutters. A porch out front, and a large pasture to the side…. Perhaps I dream too much.

But perhaps maybe it’s good to day dream and live a simple life…

Posted on Leave a comment

Just Shootin’ Cans

Just a boy in the heat of the day shooting cans with a sling shot. How simple is this? There’s nothing wrong with it, he’s not harming the masses, he’s quite simply being a boy.

In the day and age of video games, and technology of all kinds being shoved down kids throats it pleased me that he asked to shoot cans with his sling shot. Our fathers and grandfathers grew up doing the like and look what great men they are.

I may idolize my father because I am his daughter but any many men are made like him anymore. I blame not shooting cans in the heat of a July night.

How many times to we push electrical devices at our kids when we don’t want to “deal” with their boredom? Many a child has been sat in a bouncy seat in front of Barney, Teletubbies, or Bob the Builder.

Back in the day we were sent outside to fend off our boredom. Ride your bike, go find bugs whatever just get out of my hair. My childhood was spent exploring the woods, and the creek behind the house. Add in the equation of my younger brother and needless to say it was never boring. My brother was very and is very accident prone.

Christmas Day circa 1980 something he got a Bug Foot RC truck… needless to say I watched it tumble down a revine Christmas Day in a fiery blaze of glory. End over end down the revine… and Big Foot was no more.

Ah, boy stuff.

Kids need to be kids, and not the sissy version of 2000s, 2010s or 2020s…

They need to shoot cans in the heat of a July night…. and live a simple life.

Posted on Leave a comment

A lazy day

After work we went to the big city to stock up on supplies… coffee, soaps for laundry and dishwasher, allergy medicine and other odds and ends.

After unloading said necessities rooster watered the garden and is now spraying the damn dandelions in the yard…

We’ve been sitting in the sun watching the ducks and chickens while sipping adult beverages. The ducks enjoyed a good bath from the hose, and Charlie was stealing the garden water….

Charlie and Rooster

Meanwhile I am thumbing through the latest from GRIT magazine. Considering making apple mead… a back up plan if the damn louffas don’t sprout I guess.

It’s a beautiful night. Warm. Dry, and just humid enough to make your hair frizz. Hashtag perfect night.

The chickens are enjoying the “duck hut” more than the ducks.. They’ve been laying eggs inside the hut and hanging out in the shade.

The birds are chirping, the breeze has slowed, and this lawn chair is pretty comfy.

Today at work I realized that I need to find some mint plants. Why? I’ve been making more Greek food and it seems mint is a staple item in every dish. Why didn’t I think of this before? Not that it’s catastrophic I never saw mint available at the local garden store, but my eyes are wide open and searching now!

The dogs are basking in the sunshine as well, and I’m worried this weekend my alabaster skin will still become lobster red even with sunscreen… it’s supposed to be 86 all weekend which makes a mental note for me to make sure to apply sunscreen to youngest every hour. He’s the ginger of the family I am sure you understand.

Grocery shopping for the week is done and this weekend I just need to make buns, Mayo, and egg bites for the week.

Mental note I need to call the local mom and pop grocery store about getting veggies from them for the pig. I hope to almost completely feed the piggy off of veggies and reduce feed costs considerably.

Today we were property shopping at work…. the shoe doesn’t fit yet if you know what I mean. I think it’s just day dreaming when work is slow. Acreage *sigh* what everyone should dream of rather than the 3000 square foot home on .26 acres. We want/need more land. Can you imaging how much food we could raise then??!!

I think we are a different breed of people…

Posted on Leave a comment

Signs of life

Aaaaahhhhh, the wonders of Mother Nature at her finest. Sprouting seeds emerging from the ground makes me soooooo happy!

The carrots are finally showing signs of life! I’m so excited because if you remember I’ve never grown carrots before.

Still impatiently waiting on the louffa to sprout. I’m honestly going to be pissed if once again they don’t sprout. My plan with them is to make Christmas gifts out of them but I can’t do that if they don’t grow!!!! Come on louffas don’t let me down!

The nasturtium and sunflowers are coming up great! I haven’t seen the green beans emerge yet… last night youngest and I planted black beans and lettuce. I love a good salad straight from the garden!

Last night oldest and Rooster made a new gate for the chicken run. Once again utilizing pallets and a bookcase the boys had for toys in the basement.

Posted on Leave a comment

Busy bees

We worked today on planting corn, cucumbers, watermelon, pumpkins, sunflowers and nasturtium. Meanwhile Rooster and oldest put in the gate and final post on the pig pen.

The plan of companion planting should provide us enough to feed the chickens, ducks, and supplement the pig. All of this cuts down on the cost of feed. Also it will get us through winter with precious veggies turned into salsa, spaghetti sauce, and so much more. All the extra scrap to the chickens and ducks makes their eggs taste amazing! Which leads to noodles and pierogies!!

I love gardening but this year with my back issues I’ve had to rely on Rooster and the boys to help out. They’ve done a stellar job!!

Tomorrow we are headed to Huntertown Gardens for more garden plants… tomato, jalapeño and herbs. Hopefully some seed potatoes! And in a few weeks sweet potatoes!! Praying for a bumper crop this year.

Planning on selling surplus at a local farmers market to raise more money for farm supplies. Maybe some meat birds…..

Posted on Leave a comment

Typically

When it comes to the garden I’m typically superstitious… potatoes need to be planted on Saint Paddy’s day with a healthy taste to pacify Mother Nature. Nothing else gets planted until Mother’s Day weekend to celebrate Mother Earth.

I say typically but don’t include this year. Typically I’d be chomping at the bit, but patiently awaiting Mother’s Day. This year cabin fever was pretty bad after Covid nonsense… so loofa gourds, green beans, carrots are in the ground along with zinnia and a nice hummingbird and butterfly mix. Oh, and the garlic I planted in the fall, but that one doesn’t count in my opinion.

Typically I have a Willy nilly garden planting method with if it fits it’ll grow. This year I am trying companion planting… we shall see how that boosts production and flavor. Everything I’ve read suggests companion planting boosts everything from flavor to bug fighting to production.

As things come in I’ll post pictures to see how it’s going.

For now it’s typically bed time. Oldest is watching tv too loud, rooster just went to bed and I’m soon to follow. Youngest was in bed by 815 after we read a chapter in one of his new books.

So good night world, I’m off to dream of the bumper crop garden! Wishes to you for the same weedless dreams.