Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things I have made.

I have finally gotten some projects finished around here and wanted to show them off. Please be gentle. This is my first major woodworking project. There are several blemishes, but I think it turned out pretty well. The drawer was a major Pain in the ass, so I opted to not do the second drawer and just leave it for large toy storage. See those cute fabric storage bins? I made those too! I plan to fill the whole storage unit with them. So it will look pretty awesome once I get those all done. I have a 4th cubby unit for the second side but it is currently being used for my fabric storage. These are modular and you can rearrange them however you like.
Got the plans from Ana White over at

Next is this bench. I already had the kids, the bench is the new item. Or should I say old item. The previous house owners left it here. It was a glider but was broken and very weathered. I took the glider part off and left it as a bench. Then I painted it with some left over white enamel in the garage. It was great because I wanted it distressed, and boy is it distressed. HA HA!! I left lots of wood grain and edges showing. It turned out great!!

Here is a side view where you can see the "distressed" parts on the sides and bottom pieces.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Crappy garden soil.

Well I guess I got my answer.

Massimo bought a soil testing kit and we tried it this weekend. The PH came back normal. Everything else is low to very low. Nice. So i went out with the store bought chemical fertilizer and gave all the veggies a dose. For long term we need to treat the whole garden. My parents have cattle so I am going to get lots of fertilizer from them. We are also working on a compost pile that hopefully we can spread all over the garden this fall/winter to mix in.

So this explains why my peppers are struggling for life. It explains why half my seeds never came up and why those that did are growing so slowly.

On a happy garden note, i got 25 lbs of organic tomatoes for $20 last weekend. I was super excited. I canned 7 jars of whole tomatoes. I also had a few left for eating and one jar that I just put in the fridge because my canner only holds 7. :)

Next on my list is to try to make some Fridge pickles. It is a great idea to use those extra cucumbers when you only have 3-4 at a time. When I get a large amount I might can some dill pickles, but for now we are only getting one or two a week.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grilled Pizza and Blueberry Jam.

Where have you been all my life Grilled Pizza? It was possibly the most fabulous pizza I have ever made. SO easy as well. You make the crust just like you would any pizza, only you cooked it on the BBQ Grill. I found it easiest to handle to make individual size crusts. You cook the dough browning it on each side. Then add toppings and put back on for about 10 mins until hot with the cheese melted. The results were a super crispy thin crust. How awesome! Homemade pizza without turning the oven on. Nice!!

We went and picked 6 lbs of blueberries last week. I made blueberry muffins, Blueberry Lemon Yogurt cake and Jelly. We also ate quite a bit fresh. I ended up with 3 pints of jelly. Now i am out of blueberries so I think we will go Sat. morning and pick more.

Monday, June 14, 2010


SO yeah. We got a new puppy today. We lost our dog Wickett a couple months ago and Gioia has been really wishing she had a dog to run and play with. After our second poop clean up of the day we were wondering if we made the right decision. Good thing God makes them cute, you fall in love with the darn things right away. No name yet. He is a boy, 8 weeks old. His mom is a Red Heeler mix. He has some sort of sheperd mix in him too I think. He is an animal shelter dog so who knows his fathers background? He is currently 9.5 lbs. For some reason he looks big in the face picture. He has some beautiful markings including his white strip on the forehead and a cream colored butt.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zoo day!

Today we decided to go to the Zoo. It turned out to be perfect weather. Cloudy but warm, breezy and not too hot. We have a friends of the Zoo pass, so we can go as often as we want. Today was really great. The kids were great. We had a lot of fun.

Our favorite thing this time was the Lorekeet exhibit. They are these super friendly and colorful birds. They feed them every hour on the hour. So we actually did this twice. The birds land all over everyone and drink nectar out of the cup.

Gioia has her eyes closed, but I thought it was still an ok picture.

Dominic looks really serious, but he did love it. He had two birds on him at one point.

And of course we had to ride the carousel about 3 or 4 times.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Chickens are growing and one new guy/gal.

Our littlest chickens are growing. Its been 2.5 weeks since we got them. I think they were really only about 6 weeks old when we got them, so they would now be 8. It makes more sense with their size.

We got a new guy or gal. His is a suspected Rooster, but could still be a hen. So for now his name is Otis (Barnyard movie reference) . If he turns out a girl the name will be Mama Oty (Princess and the Frog movie reference). The kids said we could then sing "Don't matter what you look like, Don't matter you got crazy hair." Otis is a frizzled Polish. If it isn't obvious, the frizzle gene is what makes his hair curl up and look all crazy. We think he is cool. He is still real skittish and runs from us. Hopefully he will chill out and be friendly.

Here is Mary or Francois. Marans are a French breed, so if he is a boy it is Francois. Mary will either be a Rooster or the Head Hen. She is Bossy! You can't tell in this picture, but she has a really fluffy butt. She has some sister on her!

Bunny - 8 Weeks. Bunny is the most adorable. Very gentle and calm. She is starting to get her cheek tufts. Look how much she has grown from the last time.

Foofy has changed the most for the good. She was kind of scraggly and dirty when we brought her home. She has fluffed up and grown a lot. Yes, there is purple dye on her hair. The others were pecking her (MARY!). So you are supposed to put coloring on the red pecked part so they don't keep pecking. I also used Tea Tree Oil on the other head feathers so they would be detered by both smell and taste if they tried it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

New quilt for me! Chocolate Stars

I am finally making a quilt for myself. I bought this fabric a while back and have been in love with it. I like it so much in fact that I couldn't make a quilt out of it until I found the perfect pattern. This is called Chocolate Stars. The top is finished now I just have to quilt it together. i hope to have it done some time this summer. It will look awesome on my bed. It displays the large patterns of my fabrics and it has lots of browns and pinks.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Memorial Day weekend

It was a huge success! We got some much stuff done. I can hardly believe it.

I am fighting the battle with the animals for my garden. I am determined to win. I will do even better next year, because our fence is up and I can take advantage of planting the first time around instead of the all replanting.

DH worked all day Saturday to get our fence up. We may have to add some chicken wire around the gate and the bottom of the fence to keep the rabbits out, but the main structure is up and will be for years to come. The garden plot is approximately 40x60. WHEW!! The big steel gate was laying down by the creek. It was not being used so we put it to good use. Its about an $80-100 dollar gate. That is reuse/recycle!

I got a trailer full of mulch for $35. I have re-mulched the yard landscaping beds. I mulched around the clubhouse and tree swing, they were both bare of grass and muddy. Under the clubhouse we plan to build a sand box.

Then Gioia and I pulled all the weeds around the Roses. I also was trimming some grass and cut through our internet line. So i didn't have internet until Monday. Good way to unplug and get some work done, huh? HA HA!! We got it all mulched there too.

Then last be certainly not least. We were going to kill some of our chickens. This has been the plan all along but I hadn't help do it since I was a kid. My mom came down and we got started. We did one of the biggest roosters, only to find out that he isn't that big after all. So they need to wait several more weeks. We also determined that they are eating too much grass and need to eat more feed. SO they are now not mobile in their coop any more. They are going to be stationary for the next few weeks for fattening up. On the up side, DH and I learned how to kill dress and clean them. It was really quite simple.