Sunday, June 17, 2018

Here Comes the Heat...

This past week, we have had the most perfect weather we could ever have asked for!  Low humidity :) :) nice breezes, blue skies, sunshine and mild temps. I hung out lots of laundry and watched it blow in the breeze!

I wish we could have bottled it up and saved it, because tomorrow it's supposed to change...


We're all going to wish we could stay in front of these fans!

Stay cool if you can!


Monday, June 4, 2018

And Then It Rained...Again...

I'm sure there are many of you who are desperately in need of rain, and would be thrilled for a thunderstorm to roll through...but we are totally saturated here, and need some warm sunshine to dry out the fields!

Several weeks ago we had ten or eleven days straight of rain, and this weekend we just had another 4".

Some things are quite happy about it...


The grapes are flourishing...


The basil is quite happy, while the rosemary is tolerant but not thrilled...


The gerbera daisies have mixed feelings.  I have five pots sitting on this bench, and this one isn't very happy.  Too much water in the crown has caused the leaves to rot and fall off.  This one bloom, however, is persevering and trying desperately to open despite it's less than ideal circumstances...


The corn is struggling.  A lot of the corn came up nice, although it was pretty hesitant to poke through during that first week of rain.  Several areas were replanted, and that corn popped up quickly last week, just in time to lay underwater again.  This is mild.  Driving around in the area, some fields look like ponds.  There will be some permanent damage from too much moisture, and it will be interesting to see what kind of yields Lancaster County has this year.  Unlikely a repeat of last year's bumper crop!


The beans that were planted on Monday are starting to pop up...


Down to the garden...

The tomatoes seem really happy after a slow start.  So does the barley that sprouted from the straw I mulched with.  As soon as I can walk in there without sinking in, I'll have to do some weeding.


And...the verdict is in on the four-year-old seeds.

These are the green beans...


...and the limas are trying.  Really trying.  It could be the age of the seeds or all the rain, I'm not sure, but they're trying.


I sure wish I could send some of our moisture to those of you who need it!

Hoping for some sun!

**In regards to the question I asked on this post last week...that's a soybean planter in the pictures.  It's all folded up for transporting on the road, so it's a guess, really, for most people to know what was being planted!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Planting..

Something else got planted today...



What do you think it was?

Hint...the planter is folded up for transporting on the road, so you need to use your imagination!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Garden 2018...the Beginning...

My garden is planted about as late as it's ever been, this year!  A long week of rain and other "more important things" are my excuses!

Last evening I rototilled, and tonight I planted.

I planted a row of zinnias, a bed of sunflowers, and found two packs of seeds in my garden shed from 2014.  This is the year of experimentation...will they germinate or not?

This is my lima bean row, guarded fiercely by my two helpers.

One of these helpers is about to cause trouble.  Can you guess which one?


First, she tried to eat the lima beans as fast as I dropped them into the rows...


Then she found a piece of wood and decided to play keep away with her mother...


You can imagine the state of the garden when they were finished!

I found several volunteer dill plants growing along the edge of the garden, so I left them to grow...



My tomatoes have actually been planted for a couple of weeks.  I have blight in my soil, so each year I mulch heavily with straw, to keep the soil from splashing up onto the leaves when it rains.  I also spray them with liquid copper.  I hope they do ok this year, because I planted them, mulched them and then it began to rain, before I got them sprayed!


My cucumbers, Burpless #26, don't look too happy.  They didn't appreciate all the rain either, and turned a little yellow and sickly looking.  But now that we've had several days of sunshine, I see a blossom!  Fingers crossed!  My pickle shelf is getting empty...


And last but not least...

Totally unrelated, but located  next to my garden, are our two new additions...


Kari and Whitney are leghorn pullets, given to me by Kari's daughter Avalea.  She and her fellow classmates at our local CTC hatched them and raised them to eight weeks of age before finding them new homes.   Last evening I went inside to check on them and I found them huddled together in the nesting boxes.  Aren't they sweet?

They're still extremely shy, and they're not allowed out of the shed yet.  I want to protect them from hawks and other dangers as much as possible until they're bigger.  I've also reinforced the fence to keep out foxes and other predators.

Hopefully they'll be joined before too long by some other hens, to keep them company.  (and to keep us in eggs!!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

After The Rain...

I really want this post to be about after the rain...but the problem is, you see...it keeps on raining!!

Friday a week ago, most of corn went in the ground.  Saturday the rain began.  And Sunday. And Monday. I remember that Tuesday was just cloudy, and I regretted not getting the yard mowed. It rained again on Wednesday. And Thursday. Friday was finally nice enough to mow, (I could have baled the grass, it had grown so much!) and then it rained in the evening.  Saturday brought heavy rain all day, and finally, Sunday was nice, with only a brief shower. 

You get the picture.  We lost track of the measurements, but we must have had +-3" of rain in the past week. 

The corn was a concern.  However, as soon as the sun came out again, we saw this...


If you enlarge the picture, you'll see faint green rows running the length of the field.  Most of the corn germinated and came up, except for some low lying areas where the water either washed or couldn't get away in the saturated ground.  We're very thankful!

Now for the colorful part of the post...

Years ago, our neighbor Ruth grew and sold bearded iris.  She shared with us, and whenever I see them bloom, I think of her!







Their blooming season is short...we'll only enjoy them for a week or so...but I just love them!  When I walk past them to the calf hutches, their sweet scent is so pleasant!

Yesterday was perfect.  Just perfect...lots of blue sky, a gentle breeze and low humidity.

And today it rained again. 

Sigh.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Hallway...A Winter Project, Finally Finished!

Two months ago, I posted about a winter project that we were tackling.  You can read it here...

Our hallway project is finally finished!  That's a good thing, because spring is finally here and it's time to be outside!

I can't say thank you enough to my friend Bonnie, who blessed me by helping with the elbow grease...gave much wisdom...and encouraged stick-to-it-ness...that made the project not only lovely, but fun!  My sister Mary also helped with the painting!

In the previous post, I had pictures of the mess that tearing off wallpaper makes, and the clean, bare walls.  Here are a few more pictures.  I used Benjamin Moore White Dove on the trim.  The banister took forever to paint!  Here it is, showing the contrast between the old and new...



I'm leaving the top rail stained dark.  It just needs to be cleaned up a little...


Before...



...and after on one of the bedroom doors..


Here are a few with the final coat of paint.  I used Benjamin Moore Cedar Key on the walls...




I really like this one, because you can see the trim, the walls and the dark rail all in one picture.  I like the contrast!


After the painting was done, we ripped out the old wool, gold carpet.  We entertained thoughts of not re-covering the steps, but that thought only lasted for a few fleeting moments!  The edges were sharp, the steps were cold, noisy, and didn't meet the wood work tightly.  Another generation can uncover them if they want!



Finally, the carpet went in!  There were a few little snafus, and the steps aren't yet completely finished, but you get the picture!  It's always a little hard to see true colors unless you're there in person, but once again, you get the idea!  The carpet color is called Mushroom.  We had considered using a carpet with more color, but Bonnie suggested that a more neutral color would make it easy to decorate in any way that I wanted, and change it around for a lot less than changing the carpet!  Wisdom...


And now for decorating...

I wanted a round mirror for the top of the steps outside of the bathroom, and I found one!  It just about jumped out and bit me, literally!  I hung it a little low, so think I might make a long narrow wooden sign and hang it above the mirror.  I had found the green metal table at Ross a few years ago...


This is my reading nook at the east end of the hallway.  We already had the lamp and the chair, and I found inexpensive sheer curtains at Target that blow in the breeze, just like I had hoped!  I found the table at Home Goods for a good price.  It had some damage on it that was significant enough to warrant a big markdown, but not enough to compromise it structurally!  I just turned that corner to the wall.

I've only used this nook a time or two, but I anticipate getting much reading done here in the future!


This woolen lap robe belonged to my Grandpa Herr, who would have used it in the 1920's or before.  I think the railing is a great place to hang it, adding color to the hallway, and finding a way to display a family treasure.  It gets no direct sunlight here, so it shouldn't fade!


This transom window was found in the attic.  I cleaned it up, sanded it a little, and will add some metal hooks to it.  Hanging it horizontally in the hallway at the bottom of the steps to the kitchen will give us a place to hang light coats, etc.  Old farm houses never have enough closets, so this will be a great addition, and will keep with the farm house decor...


You never know what you might find in the attic!  We have some old window frames that have some potential as well!

So there you have it...a long overdue winter project that is finally...(as soon as the rest of the carpet for the steps comes) finished!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Happy Cows...

After what seemed like a winter that wouldn't go away, we aren't the only ones who are ready for spring!

The milking cows here at home have been out on pasture several days a week for about two weeks now.  The first morning we put them out, they kicked up their heels with glee! Seriously!

The past few nights have been warm enough that they're out over night as well. The downside is...tying them in their stalls in the early morning is a zoo!  Until they learn the routine, the young heifers are...let's just say they're  very "heifer like", and leave it at that!

Enough words..

Let's get to the pictures of the other farm, where we put the dry cows and heifers into the meadow last week.

First,  we had to get ready...

Jim wanted to give them a small section of the meadow for starters.  The Allis Chalmers D-17 has fence wire on a reel, so he brought it into the meadow...


He dropped fence posts, and I pounded them in.  Gloves are a necessity when handling fiberglass fence posts!


He wrapped the wire around the posts..


And then we tied bale rope on the wire to make it more visible...


Of course, in the middle of it all, I had to just sit down in the lush, green grass and marvel at how spring is actually here!  No matter how dreary or cold the winter, spring ALWAYS comes!

 And of course,  the cows were happy too!