Sunday, June 19, 2011

farm update and an announcement

I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation.  It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse

yes, this is how i spend my time and how i feel when in the garden . . . amazed, joyous, proud and blessed. i couldn't be happier with how my garden is coming along. the only tragedies i've had are the muskmelon and watermelon plants which did not survive the cold and wet weather in may. i'm still cutting spinach and lettuce off the first 2 rows and the other 2 rows are coming along nicely. we should be able to pick cabbage in a week or two and the summer squash are starting to develop. mom and the grandkids each had a strawberry right out of the garden yesterday and reported they were yummy!!

we had our meat chicks -- cornish rock X breed -- slaughtered on wednesday morning. i was completely impressed with the amish farm we took them to; it was clean and orderly and exactly what i wanted. our meat chicks were a bit on the small side with only 2 being over 3 lbs. we will wait a bit longer to have the next batch slaughtered. i ordered 25 cornish rock Xs this time and they will be delivered to the post office around july 14th. i have some work to do to the barn to make 2 separate pens for them but it will be quick and easy work.

the hens are doing wonderful and loooove free ranging. we sadly lost one hen this week. we suspicion that a hawk flew down and took one away. there were no loose feathers and no evidence of any "foul play" and it was both puzzling and disconcerting. we're now only letting them out to range while we are out in the yard. so sad.

and now i have an announcement. i've decided to move in with my mom. i spend most of my non-working time there with the garden and the chicks and she enjoys the company and needs just a bit of watching over due to her health, especially her diabetes. i love being there in the country and playing out my desire to be a farm girl. so the question came down to why not. i think it will be a good move for both of us.

happy sunday to all of you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

woot woot!!

my sing a joyful song art print was included in this lovely treasury by lady lucy!!

numero uno!!

introducing rosie, jenna's #1 favorite hen!

my strawberries are ripening! can't wait to taste that first one!!

the first green pepper is forming on the vine!!!!

my hens are free ranging for the first time!! 
they loooove every minute of it and how fun it is for us to watch them.

the first of our meat chicks will be slaughtered this week

the first weigh in -- this one weighed 5.5 lbs.

first came mr. scarecrow

then mrs. scarecrow showed up to make sure the crows were properly
deterred from eating the strawberries!

Monday, June 13, 2011

i am smitten

softly quietly
whispers my name
caresses my face
warms my heart
slow dances my soul

like a long-last love
come to woo me
once again

i am smitten

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

lettuce eat good food

last evening i harvested the first lettuce and spinach from my garden. it was so yummy with red wine vinegar and olive oil drizzled on top. there's something quite rewarding from eating food you've grown yourself. tonight i'm going to mix up an organic pesticide recipe i found online to keep the worms off the cabbage and broccolli.

lettuce eat good food. lettuce give thanks for all the ways we are blessed.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

watching food grow

a few shots from the garden. that's my mom watching the food grow early one morning. it's amazing how much veggie plants can grow overnight. friday evening i planted a few more things -- pimento peppers, golden peppers, sage and greek oregano. i have 3 french lavender plants to plant as well but want to corral them so they don't spread all over the entire garden. i think i'll bury a plastic tub to plant them in. i'm very proud and happy with my garden. so looking forward to harvesting and eating all the goodies.

i'm working at the antique mall from noon to 5 today and then coming home to do some art. looks like another hot day in the making!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

vintage fork plant markers

 what fun i've been having in the art room!!! last summer i bought a big plastic butter tub full of vintage silverware. it's been sitting in my art room waiting for inspiration to strike. last week out of the blue i envisioned the forks holding little original pieces of mixed media art.

 the "canvas" for each of these is two pieces of vintage sheet music glued together. the art is made of acrylics, ink and pastels. i cut the words from a 1941 thesaurus of quotations. 

 i love how cute they look in my african violet pot. i have a couple of ideas for using the spoons in the set as well. not sure about the knives yet but i'm sure something will brew to the top of my creative brain.

 the forks don't match and are different sizes and patterns. fun!

i updated my shop with a few of these, some new originals and over 35 zines and art books!! 

as i destash all my art supplies, i'm thinking about moving my bedroom into this big room (the current art room) and moving my art area into the smaller bedroom where i currently sleep. i'm liking the idea of a cozy organized art space. we shall see!

Friday, June 3, 2011

pooped in the coop

 it was a gorgeous day here in indiana today! lower temps and humidity made it feel like june. lol above is me inside the chicken run wiring the top fencing to the sides. i was absolutely pooped when my niece kyley took this photo. but the good news is that we got it all done. so glad.

here is kyley on her first day of summer vaca. she was the best helper --  helped weed, hold wires in the coop and keep us all entertained with her funny talking and stories.

here ky is sweeping out the chicken coop. she volunteered to do this and insisted on doing it all by herself. i was very proud of her. unfortunately her day ended bad. she was throwing her softball up onto the roof and it rolled off and hit her in the eye. she had a huge knot and the beginning of a black shiner. at the end of the day i was pooped in the coop and she was popped in the eye. hee hee

Thursday, June 2, 2011

selling all my art zines and books!!!

as i continue my efforts to live simply and reduce my material possessions, i've decided to sell off the bulk of my large art zine and craft book library. starting tonight i'm listing them singly in my etsy shop. i have a large number of cloth paper scissors, somerset studio, artful blogging and a few odds and ends. plus i own a large number of craft books about mixed media, digital transferring, sewing, etc. it all must go! if you are interested i will make a deal to someone on lots in lieu of buying singles.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


the keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others. --william arthur ward--

noone can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. --doug horton--

have the courage to say no. have the courage to face the truth. do the right thing because it is right. these are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.  --w. clement stone--

a catless writer is almost inconceivable. it's a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys. --barbara holland--

sometimes i equate my life to a sticking typewriter key. it has to be hit over the head multiple times before it makes an impression. --julie king--

green acres is the place for me

despite the overwhelming amount of rain we've received my garden is looking great!  i am so proud of it. other than a tiny hobby garden i had in englewood about 10 years ago, it is the first garden i've had since i was 30. and i went BIG! i've planted strawberries, cabbage, broccoli, peppers, eggplant, banana peppers, roma tomatoes, better boy tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, onions, carrots, green beans, peas, sugar snap peas, mesclum, spinach, romaine lettuce, acorn squash, butternut squash, watermelon, muskmelon, thyme, parsley, basil, sage, rhubarb, sweet potatoes and red potatoes. whew! i've lost track of the number of hours i've spent planting, hoeing, spreading straw, weeding, rearranging, etc. i am having fun and it is THE BEST therapy around!! above is grandson ben checking out one of the summer squash plants.

the hens continue to grow and develop their personalities. they've mastered getting in and out of the coop via the ramps we made into the run. i love sitting in the shade and watching them peck around, squabble over worms and do their little chicken dances. lol we lost one of the meat chicks over the weekend due to the extreme heat. we now have fans blowing on them. gotta to protect all those chicken dinners!!

the sweet potato slips were slow to green up and grow but have really taken off this week. can't wait to start harvesting everything. a friend of my mom's was cleaning out her mom's basement and gave us a huge stash of canning jars. thrilled to get them!! i'm looking at a small used freezer today. i'll need one in order to hold all the chickens and frozen veggies i plan to put up.

so far the rabbits have stayed out of the garden but we've seen evidence of a deer walking thru. the big holes above are hoof prints and were placed there before i strung the lines for the sugar snap peas to grow on.

i continue to love this life i'm creating away from the stress and chaos of big city life and corporate work. as i drive from place to place in the countryside my eyes have started to search for a small hobby farm to rent. emphasis on small!!! all i need is a tiny house with a small barn or shed and a spot for a garden and the chicks. a pond would be nice and lots of shade trees. dream on, dream on -- in a good way!!!