Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Have a great 4th of July!

Why is my lovely garden assistant sporting a complete set of Mardi Gras beads?  Well, one she loves beads, two I was spring cleaning the cabin and found a stash.  I was cleaning because my friend Christina is coming to visit tomorrow.  We have been friends since high school.  She was  a foreign exchange student from Denmark.  Somehow we have managed to stay in touch for over 20 years (Yes, high school was over 20 years ago).  I am so excited to see her.  Needless to say I will not be posting anything for a bit while we are out gallivanting around.  I promise I will update you on our adventures when I return. 

I will leave you with a little show of what is starting to bloom.  Yes, believe your eyes these are starting.  My season is a tad behind everyone else. 

Well, I still have a few touch up things to do around the house and a strawberry pie to make.  I won't do too much as I am exhausted.  Tomorrow our students go on summer break.  I didn't feel like spending today sitting in a building with a bunch of antsy teenagers, so we hiked Harney Peak (a lovely 7 mile trot).  It worked they were tired and entertained, but it also backfired on me as my dogs are tired, both literally and figuratively.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Walk in the woods...

About once a month my husband and I take a walk around our property.  We are lucky enough to have 20 acres of forest.  I thought today I would take you on our walk.  The teacher in me is not going to identify the plants for you.  You need to do your homework or ask for help.  Put on your boots, it isn't an easy trip.  Of course I'm the looky loo my husband has to wait for.  I'm wandering around getting close ups of all the flowers and looking for wild strawberries.

 I call these my tiny dancers.  They are so delicate and beautiful.
Ok, this one is called mule's ear.

 What is this you ask?  It is sweet grass.  I highly recommend you plant some if you have a pond or bog.  It likes to keep its feet wet.   I started it last year thanks to my sister.  I grew enough to braid.  The Native Americans make braids and use them for smudges.  I put my braid on the window sill of our bedroom and when the wind blows the smell is so soothing.  I can't say enough how much I love this plant or how good it smells. 
 Our little pond.  Actually it is about 14 feet deep.  Next year, a windmill aerator and picnic table.  Oh don't forget the fish.  My dream is to go fishing here someday.
 Why did I take a photos of this dumpy old tree?  It is a wild apple tree!  It has seen better days.  We are trying to trim it slowly back into shape.  It bloomed like crazy this year.  I think it is good luck to have a wild apple tree on your property.

My husband built this beautiful gate.  He hand dug the holes for those two big posts.  I watched:)                                                                                                          I added a photo of the back of our cabin.  Yes, Mom and Dad the upstairs balcony still doesn't have a rail.  I promise I won't fall off.  Someday we will get the railing up.  I like that our cabin seems so small and cozy from the front and the back shows it's actual size.  Thanks for coming on the tour.  Hope you had fun.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My first salad...

 I had my first official salad from my greenhouse garden yesterday!  Somehow it just tasted better.  I am learning that a greenhouse is a garden on steroids.  Things are growing faster than I can keep up.  I'm made a trellis and just keep thinning.  This is becoming fun.  My sweetcorn will be knee high by the 4th of July, but hopefully it doesn't get much taller.  There is a roof you know.

One of my favorite bloggers, Negerigeletschtempoit, gave me my first award.  I so love reading about her adventures and her beautiful photos.  It means a lot to me that she sent me the award and the challenge of telling you 7 things about myself. 

1. I have worked at an alternative school, job corps, for 17 years.  First as a teacher and now I'm the mean old principal.  I love my job and I love my children.

2.  I have no children of my own.  After teaching 5,000 teenagers, I don't feel the need to have kids. 

3.  I wear a funny hat when I garden (Oh wait, you may have seen that.  That is only for the most recent bloggers who haven't seen some of my older posts.)

4.  I grew up on a ranch near an Indian Reservation.  I wouldn't have changed where I grew up for the world.  I had good parents who taught me about responsibility, hard work, and I learned about another culture.  Those experiences have made me very successful today.

5.  Back in the day not many cows could outsmart me on a horse.  No comment Dad!

6.  I met my wonderful loving husband when we both worked for the Forest Service.  I actually missed our first date, by locking myself out of the house.  Long story, it's a wonder he married me.  He can't say he didn't know what he was getting into.

7.  If necessity is the mother of invention I am the queen.  I can really Macgyver stuff in a pinch.

There seven amazing facts.  Now I would like to forward the award on to...

"What About Pie" I love Bonnie's stories.
"Button's Thoughts" I never know if I'm going to a farm sale or hearing a story about her journey.
"Life at the Little Red Farmhouse"  Kim gives great decorating tips, cares about her neighbors, and reminds me of life on the ranch.
"Life on Our Side of the Mountain" There is always something going on her at her haven.

I sure enjoy blogging and all of the really wonderful people I have met.  Thanks Negerigeletschtempoit for thinking of me. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Your guess is better than mine...

 Deer love strawberries.  What does that have to do with the photo of a strange moth?  Well, I put a net over my strawberry bed to keep the deer out.  This morning I found it can also keep a moth in.  I snapped some photos and then set him free.  For as stalwart as he looks, he was a bit of a panicky ninny when I let him go. 

I wanted to seem really smart and looked on the Internet  for hours trying to figure out what type of moth he was, so I could give you some fancy Latin name for him.  The jig is up; I have no clue what he is and I'm not so smart (or patient as I got sick of looking at moth photos).  In fact I am now a little overwhelmed by the number of bugs in this world.  Anyway I know there are people smarter and far more patient than I out there.  If you know what he is could you identify him for me.  He must be some type of Sphinx. 

I love the bottom photo.  He looks so tough.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Update on activities and some unusual lemonade...

This post is all about responding to questions and follow up on past posts.

First off, Vintage West asked me if those were bee hives in the back ground.  They are and the
bees are doing great.  The beekeeper was here and took some of the bees to other hives that didn't make it.  He lost two hives out of ten.  That is pretty good.  My hives were in wonderful shape.  I was right there and he showed me the baby bees and all sorts of cool stuff.  I forgot to take the camera.  Bummer, as it was interesting stuff.
                                                                                                                                                                                  The next follow up is my beautiful header photo.  I've had questions about my Apricot Beauty Tulips in that photo.  Not to be this year.  As I have mentioned I am tulip challenged.  My beautiful Apricot Beauties did not return for a second showing.  The bed still looks good, but not spectacular like last year.
My greenhouse update is very positive.  Can you say WOW.  I know, I know you are going to advise me to thin things out.  I did some serious thinning after this photo.  Pretty happy with my first attempt at vegetable gardening, but I am not counting my vegetables before they are harvested.  Something is bound to happen.

The garlic experiment seems to be going well.  I planted 1/2 the cloves this spring, as they were already sprouting.  The other half I put in the refrigerator for fall planting.  I put them in my chive and asparagus wheel.  I'm so excited, as I planted the asparagus from seed this spring and it came back.  Yahoo.  Anyway the garlic looks good.  I will check it out this fall.  See my happy raspberries in the back ground:) 
                                   My wild strawberries are blooming like crazy.  There is nothing that beats wild strawberry jam and it looks like this will be the year!  I have them planted in an old wash tub that didn't have a bottom.  I keep the runners pinched, so they will concentrate on making berries not babies.

My friend, Jody, asked me what this little beauty is.  It is a Fritillari Meleagris or commonly known as Guinea Hen flowers.  Some are white and some are checkered.  Only my checkered ones come back.  They are pretty reliable and one of my favorite flowers.                                                   

To wind things up, I, leave you with the last of my tulips, I'm working on some rhubarb wine, and will give you the recipe for an interesting twist to lemonade.  I was skeptical, but turns out I love it.  I have no idea where I got the recipe.  It seems like an odd combination, but turned out great.  I recommend giving it a try.

Farmer's  Lemonade

1 1/2 c. Lemon Juice
16 oz. strawberries pureed
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. cream
6 c. water
lemon slices & ice

Stir lemon juice, sugar, and 1 c. water in a pitcher.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Add 5 c. water, strawberries and cream.  Sit on the porch and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Red/Yellow Bed up close...

I have very bad luck with tulips.  One year they are great, the next they are gone.  This year my red/yellow bed was stellar.  I decided to capture the moment, since it probably won't look that good again.  I have taken everything I've learned from other blogs, so hold on for an in depth tour of the red/yellow bed. 

I took photos in the morning.

I took photos in the afternoon.

                                                           I took photos from up high.

I took them from way down low. 
I looked at them crooked.

I looked at them straight.

In the end it didn't matter the angle, they all looked great.

I'm kind of like old mother squirrel.  Tired out after all of that picture taking.

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finally flowers!

I was beginning to wonder if I was ever able to post some flower photos from this year.  Well, finally here they are.

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop