Thursday, May 29, 2008

BQ wisdom at Silver Dollar City!

Well, this is the only way we eat marshmallows!!
I know we just bought about a ton of this stuff this summer already...
Go Henry, Go Henry!!! a man of my heart!!!
Well, wheres the bun???
These signs were posted at Silver Dollar City during their BQ season! Let their be BQ'ing!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Trying to be more GREEN!!!

Well, here it is folks, we are trying so hard to be more GREEN. We want to be more green for our world and so that we have a world to leave to our children and our childrens childen. We also hope that this will help teach our children to do the same for their world.

So, here is a list of what we are doing...
1. No more paper napkins at home (we made our own cloth napkins and wash them)
2. No more electric clothes dryer (as much as we possibly can)
3. Use less water (in shower, in toilets, and everywhere else)
4. Capture as much rain water as we can to reuse in the garden (or for animals)
5. Grow as much food as possible (fruit, veggies and even meat and eggs)
6. Try to fertilze with rabbit, chicken and other animal waste
7. Compost as much as possible and use in the garden
8. Drive the small car as much as possible insted of the durango
9. Waste less food, eat leftovers more
10. Use Freecycle as much as possible ( )
11. Do not purchase any single bottles of water, use reusable bottles insted
12. Switch all light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs
13. Keep thermostate higher in the summer, and lower in the winter
14. Use it 'till it is worn out, used up and other wise no longer usable (waste on want not)

So, here you have it, our small list of things we are working hard to do (or not do) so that we may be "more green" for our planet.

What are you doing???

Monday, May 26, 2008

Our wild flowers

We planted a small section of our "lawn" with wild flower seeds and this is some of the results...they are really just starting, but they are beautiful.
Every shade, color and size.
This is one of my favorites...just perfect.
Can't wait to see the end results.
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Growing Comfrey...beautiful and useful

This is a huge bumble bee out on some of our comfrey plants. They are so amazing to watch that I had to snap this pic of them at work. They were going from one plant to the next just pollinating all the way.
Here is a close up of the blooms on the comfrey that are just starting out. They bloom the most beautiful spikes that have purple flowers on them. Just about everything loves them, from humming birds, to bumble bees, to the honey bee.

We have about 45 plants of comfrey planted and we use it to feed our rabbits, chickens and ducks. It seems to do double duty when it is so beautiful and useful, not only to us, but to wild life too.

We also sell our comfrey roots each spring and this year, we sold about 10 batches and got them all off in the mail without a hitch. If anyone is interested in comfrey, let us know.

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The garden is growing!

I love to grow different herbs to dry and use fresh here at home. This is a picture of some of my oregano. It is huge and looks like a little bush. It is a perennial and comes back each year. This one is about 3 years old now. I usually cut it back, and dry it on a dehydrator, then package it in food saver bags with the air removed. It is lovely.
The garden would not be the same without some wonderful sunflowers. My dd planted them this year and there are tons of them all over the place just getting started. We love to see them and let the birds enjoy them and it just wouldn't be garden season without them coming up in our garden.
I have a soft spot in my heart and stomach for potatoes. I love them, baked, fried, mashed, in salads, as a main dish, or side dish...just gotta have them. I decided to plant more this year than I have ever planted before. With all the rains this year (record amounts even) I thought I would lose a lot of them, but they are coming on strong since the sun has been out for a few days in a row. They look great and some have even started to bloom !!! Can't wait to have some new potatoes cooking, yum!
Well, we have some peas out too and this is little pic of some of the pretty blooms on some of them. I planted 2 different types and most of the blooms are white, but not this little batch...they are the most beautiful different shades of purple. We haven't had any peas as of yet, but we are hoping soon.
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Chamomile-from flower to tea- make your own today

I try to make some of our own tea around here and so far, one of the easiest to make is Chamomile. It is nice, soothing and can't be beat for mild taste and flavor. To get started making your own, first you must plant chamomile plants. You can do this from seed or from already started seedlings from your local nursery. Once I got mine started, they reseed themselves every year and there has been no need to replant. This is a pic of the actual plant. Not that the flower heads are small about the size of baby peas at the most. As your plants bloom with the flowers, then you go and pick all the millions of tiny little flower heads off your plants and keep them. They take a long time to collect so you need to do this over and over to collect enough. I do it about ever 2 or 3 days and dry it each day and keep adding it together to make a larger amount.
This is a picture of one small batch of the chamomile that I have picked, cleaned and have laying out on the dehydrator. You can use any type of dehydrator that you may have, or even put it in a very low oven (warm setting) or even with a pilot light on and let it dry out. It really doesn't' take to long because it is very small to begin with.
Once all the chamomile is dry, then I place it in a plastic baggy and keep adding to it every few days. It takes a while to collect and to actually accrue any amounts, but it does happen. Once I get about 1 cup of dried chamomile, then I place it in a food saver bag and remove the air, so that it will "save" for a long period of time, without losing any flavor. That is all it takes to make your own wonderful Chamomile tea, right from home.
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The Ducks are growing fast

Well, it was just weeks ago, when my five new ducks arrived and here they are, almost as big a full grown ducks. It is amazing how fast they actually grow. I have loved watching them grow, and quack and swim (in their kiddy pool).
They are snacking on "their special food" here...and quacking and going on all the while. I think the ducks are super and they will make a great addition to our other 2 ducks.
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Swarming Bees!

On our way through town this a.m. we hit a bee swarm (in the car). They hit our windows with many, many hard thunks.
We finally pulled over to watch them, and it was amazing. There were thousands of them, swarming around this building. They are a bit hard to see in the photos, but you can see the tiny black dots in them to get an idea.
They cam to rest on the underside of the roofing that is hanging over the side. It was very amazing to watch and see all these honey bees in action.
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Outdoor Cooking!

This is my husbands version of making flat bread. He has them on the gas grill, on a pizza stone, cooking up outside. They were delicious. We also cooked some chicken, porksteaks and some port tenderloin on a wood fire in the fire pit. Cooking outside in such wonderful weather is awesome and keeps the house cool too. We love it.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tasty Dinner

Check it out, we had a wonderful and delicious dinner the other night and I though I would share it with everyone.
Cullen made some oversize flour tortillas and on them we spread some mashed avacado (that I added a bit of lemon juice to) onto them. We took some lettus (from the garden) and some cherry tomatoes and added some vinegrette dressing and tossed, added it to the tortilla then added some chopped grilled chicken breast... YUM!!! The kids do not like avocados so simone used salsa on hers insted and kenny used sour cream...but they all turned out great!!!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Birds and Berries

This is a pic of some of the Orioles at one of our feeders. We have 3 of these feeders out and there are so many orioles that we have to fill them every 2 to 3 days. They are so beautiful.
These are a few pics of our gooseberries that are growing. The rain doesn't seem to be doing any harm to them cause they are full of berries and they are looking good.

We have just one gooseberry bush, but it has spread very well over the past couple of years and we are going to get at least a gallon or more berries from this one large bush.
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My super COUPON deals at Walmart

I had a great shopping/savings day at Walmart this week...The pic shows all that I purchased for $21.63...
Here is a complete list of what I purchased...

2 Boxes Kashi cookies at $2.50 each = $5.00
1 box of Barilla Pasta at $1.28
4 Boxes of LiveActive at $2.98 each= $11.92
7 Propel drinks at .50 each = $3.50
2 Sunday newspapers at $1.50 each = $3.00
4 ears yellow corn on cob at .25 each =$1.00
3 boxes Zantac at $4.46 each=$13.38
2 boxes Alevert at $7.87 each = $ 15.74
1 jar barilla sauce at $1.98
1 18 lb kit n kaboodle kat food at $9.12
Plus tax for a total of ................................. $74.37

Now for the coupons I used:
2 $2 off any Kashi product minus $4
1 Free Barilla Pasta minus $1.28
4 $3 off liveactive cereal minus $12
7 .50 off propel minus $3.50
3 $5 off zantac minus $15
2 $4 off alevert minus $8
1 Free barilla sauce minus $1.98
1 $6 Purina cat food check minus $6
for a new total of .............................................$21.63

for a savings of 71%

Now that is what I call saving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Friday, May 09, 2008

Meat Everywhere

We went to day and picked up our pork from the butcher. We had two whole hogs taken in to process. One hog was 202 lbs and the other was 200 lbs at live weight. Their dressed weighs were 145 lbs and 143 lbs for a total of 288 lbs of meat. This pork is nice, lean, and oh so delicious.

We ended up with:
27 packs of bacon
65 packs of ground pork
23 packs of ground sausage
1 huge whole ham
2 packs of baby back ribs
1 pork fillet
18 packs pork chops
7 packs pork steaks
2 packs heart/tongue
2 packs heart
4 packs spare ribs
2 packs ham hocks
2 packs neck bones
2 very large bags of lard

Our End cost was ONLY $1.40 PER POUND!!!!!!!!!! OH my gosh this is so, so super!!! Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 02, 2008

Quack, Quack, Quack

Our 5 baby ducks are growing so fast. We moved them outside this weekend, cause they are such mess makers. They have a "heated" house... which is a heat lamp in a very huge dog house. They have a fenced in run that is movable.

Here is a close up of them nesting in their warm house. Aren't they cute! There are only 5 of them. Posted by Picasa

Back in the Garden Again!!

We have been working on the garden again...between the rains and the freezing weather that is.

This is a pic of one of my raised beds that have green peas planted in it. We made some "natural" and "recycled" trellises for them out of some old branches that we trimmed off of some trees. The vertical ones have y tips and the horizontal ones lay in the y's. We just pushed them down into the ground one at a time and it worked out well for us.

This is my hard working husband, who is tilling more of our garden up. We planted peppers in this area today.
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Thumbs Down for Vermont Bean/Seed Co.

Well, folks, here is my "review" of the Vermont Bean/Seed co. along with photos. I will start by saying that
1. This was my first time ordering from this company
2. this is my opinion only
3. this could be an isolated incident
4. I was ticked off.
5. I will not be ordering from them in the future.
6. They did refund my money.

With all of that stated, I will tell you all what happened. We ordered our "live plants" among other things from the Vermont Bean/seed co. way back in December.

We received our "seeds" and such soon after with no problem and in good repair. Our live plants consisted of 2 orders of 16 tomatoes and 2 orders of 16 peppers. These were to arrive in the last 2 weeks of April.

When the live plants DID NOT arrive on the last day of April, I called the Vermont Bean/Seed Co. and asked where was my order... they told me my order had been shipped on FRIDAY, April 25, 2008. I called on April 30th after the mail had run and about closing time, so no package would be delivered that day. I asked if it was their policy to "mail packages out" on a Friday...just so they could sit around the post office an extra day...especially since these were live plants... well needless to say, I got the "well we don't usually have any problems" .... I explained, that there was obviously a problem since I had not received my plants and they had been in the mail for 6 days already and asked if they actually expected them to arrive in a live state................ ????????????????

Well, moving along, We received the "package" on May 1, which was a total of 7 days "in the mail"...
1.The box was practically crushed in (see looked way worse than the photo even shows, but you get the idea)
2.The box had no markings that showed it had live plants in it, that it was perishable, this side up or anything even like that.
3. The plants were tossed around like crazy, with many of them our of their containers, with their little roots right out in the air.
4.The tomatoes were mostly yellow and looked like they may have experienced some cold weather.
5. About half of the leaves had fallen off the peppers.
6. The plants are very tiny, thin, and flimsy...

I called to Vermont Bean/Seed Co. Complained...I was not happy about the product, the condition the product arrived, the way the product was shipped, and they amount of time it took to ship them.

They are supposed to refund my money and said it would take a few days to do this so I will wait and see.

But for almost $60 (for just the plants, not shipping or anything else, just the live plants) was totally absurd and ridicules what we received. I will NEVER order live plants from them again.
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