True Friends

horse eyes

Disco and Mysty

It is said it’s always easier to workout with a friend.  Friends help each other stay motivated and make the time pass faster.   I believe my horses feel the same way.  While I know they look forward to their “alone” time with their mom (yes, I truly believe that!!), I also know they like riding in a “herd”.

Horses are herd animals and that explains why I have to have 3 not just one.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!

Jackie riding  Bailey!!  Couldn’t leave him out of the post

 

It’s Official

bags

I have become a bag lady in my attempts to keep the mice and birds out of my garden!!!!

My garden was/is coming along nicely even though I lost a LOT of leaves of my plants to the mice.  My sunflowers were growing in nicely also around the edge and I have been watching the birds dive and grab the fresh tender plant that is starting.  So I am fighting back!!  I have never had a problem with mice in the past.  I was planting some new plants the other day and one ran right out and grabbed a bite of a bean plant!!  BAD!!!

You can see my garden started by seeds here

Here are some of the recent pictures.  You will see from the beginning of the container potatoes until these pictures from yesterday how quickly they have grown and filled up a 2 foot by 3 foot pot.  I am hoping for a good haul of potatoes trying this for the first time.

potatoes

container potatoes

cukes

pickle cucumbers, white & red onions, butternut squash

corn

Indian Corn

celery

Pumpkin, celery, peppers

The corn, zucchini, tomatoes, peas, beans, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries are all coming along also.

So far so good with the bags, windmills, and scarecrow.

 

Classic Macaroni Salad

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I have a few dishes that friends seem to really love and ask me to make for any get together we have.  Potato Salad, homemade Brownies and my Classic Macaroni Salad are always being requested.  Tonight I decided to make macaroni salad for dinner tomorrow night.  This salad goes with everything and screams summer in our house.

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**reminder you do not have to follow this to the letter.  Adjust the quantities of anything to your taste

One 16 oz box of pasta

1/4 cup finely diced onion

1/4 cup finely diced celery

2 -3 hard boiled eggs

1 cup salad dressing (I use Miracle Whip)

1/2 cup real Mayonnaise

Paprika

salt/pepper

Cook the pasta and rinse in cold water and drain

add the onion, celery, eggs and good sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Add the Mayo’s and mix well. Sprinkle with paprika. Refrigerate over night if possible or at least 4 hours.  Add more salad dressing before serving for a moister salad.  If you add more, sprinkle lightly again with the paprika before serving for a pretty look.

As a typical scene in our house I was multi task cooking.  I was making whole wheat white flour chocolate chip cookies and the pasta salad while the batches were baking.  This is what my kitchen looked like but the best was my daughter coming in asking me why I was chopping onions with cookie dough sitting next to me.  She thought I was creating a new cookie 🙂

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Shout Out Award

shout out award

Thanks so much Cristi G.  (Easy Being Mom) for the Shout Out Award.  I am happy you like my blog!!

Cristi’s blog is funny, insightful and a fun reminder of what it’s like having young children and starting out the next phase of life.

This award was created by Amanda (From One Crazy Life To Another) and is a wonderful way to acknowledge other bloggers whose work we enjoy and want to bring attention to so thank you Amanda.

I started my blog with the hopes of inspiring others to find a balance between the pioneering ways of our history and the world we currently live in.  Simplicity is key in my life and I try to keep that same simplicity with my blog sharing easy home cooked meals, gardening, farming and raising children.  Faith, family and fun are my three F words.

I have found so many wonderful blogs it’s hard to narrow down a few to pass this award on to but have chosen the blogs below for the award:

1)  Vittle Monster  His blog is all about food from different restaurants as well as a picture of the scenery of the area he is visiting.  He drew me in with his “cherpumple”  recipe and I look forward to his daily posts and pictures.

2)  Serious Thoughts Taken Not So Seriously   Kate’s blog is faith based and has wonderful examples and ideas of how to continue to grow in your faith as well as growing as a person.  She keeps the posts short and simple while driving home the main idea of the post.

3)  Of Kids and Cows  I love this blog because it cover’s the daily life of a generational dairy (cow) farming family living in our modern world and raising 3 small children.  Fun posts, great pictures and awesome recipes!!

4)  Horses Sweat, Ladies Perspire  This is a Facebook blog and one worth liking if you are on Facebook.  Her posts, stories, recipes and tales of the old south are full of history.  She keeps her page full of interesting daily posts.  I have made many of her recipes and thoroughly enjoy reading the stories passed down from generation to generation on her blog.

There are so many others I could keep going but hopefully you will see them on my site under blogs I follow and check some of the others out.

 

 

 

Waste not Want not

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That is something my Italian grandmother used to always say.  I heard it so many times it is a continual thought in my mind.  About 6 years ago a friend of ours was getting rid of his wicker furniture for a new set.  It was heavy duty and solid.  However it was badly faded.  Grandma’s words echoed through my head and I spoke up “if you decide to get rid of it, let us know”.  We got it a few days later.

I bought a spray paint for wicker furniture ($4.99 USD) that was very close in color to the original.  We then spray painted each piece and picked up some cushions from a great store by us (Pier One).  We have used it on our deck for the past 6 years.  I have touched it up every year and it’s perfect.  Waste not Want not!!

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touched up and drying

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Table before touch up

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After touch up and set up for the summer

Preparing the Gardens

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Chance getting another load of mulch

I like to use recycled newspapers for weed control in my garden.  It breaks down nicely and is easy to rip through to plant your plants in the soil.  My family has done this for generations.  There are always some who immediately say “well aren’t you poisoning yourself with the ink?”.  Years ago yes toxins were in printing ink. Now they are made with iron oxides and non toxic pigments.  Don’t believe me??  Do the research ( http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/chicago_gardener/2007/07/using-newspaper.html )  This is a great article to read to further prove my point.
While spreading the newspaper we then drop mulch (free from our town as they are always looking for people to take the branches they mulch after winter).  The mulch is all different types of wood and helps keep the moisture in the garden.  This is my secret for weed control.  I would much rather sit on the deck having a fresh lemonade and watch my vegetables grow rather than spend hours weeding.  This is not to say some weeding is not needed but definitely not the all day project it would be without the newspaper.

 

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It’s a 3 person job but worth it

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Dad helping spread the mulch

Today is a beautiful day finally and now that the garden is covered we will let it sit for a day and tomorrow I will start the seed planting in the garden.  Eventually our started plants will be put in there as well.  Bring on the summer 🙂
 

Gardening-starting from seed

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taken this morning 5-23

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planted 5-9-14

I love to start most of my plants by seed.  Actually this year the only things I bought were some strawberry plants and 3 orange pepper plants.  I start them in little containers as above and try to start certain things earlier than others.  Brussel Sprouts and pumpkins are a must to start early as they take much longer to grow and corn.  I will continue to let those grow and then I will plant some seeds right in the garden (when it’s dry enough) so the plantings are staggered and maturing at different times. I like to take my time when I get a good crop and can as much as possible.  There’s so much to do once harvesting starts and it makes it much easier when it’s staggered.

It’s also important to stagger your plantings or you will get a huge harvest all at one time.  No one can use and store 15 heads of lettuce at a time.  So I usually plant 6 seeds of lettuce (2 romaine, 2 buttercrisp, 2 boston) to start and then when those are almost to the point of harvesting I will usually start 3 of the same seeds as above and continue the process so we are eating fresh lettuce all summer and feeding our rabbits, goats, and chickens as well.

You can see I planted the seeds above on the 9th of May.  Today on the 23rd (14 days later) most of the plants are well started and tomorrow I may be knee deep in mud but I will be getting my newspapers spread and covered for weed control (cheap and extremely effective) and getting the seeds started of more corn, pumpkins, radishes, kale, beans, cucumbers and peas.  My carrots are being grown in containers as well as my potatoes. They are nicely started also.

It’s busy work but so satisfying knowing we are eating what we worked for!!

Fruit Salad

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This pinkish purple container holds our fruit salad.  I make a new batch every Friday afternoon from Memorial day until the end of October using fruits in season.  I try to mix it up a little each week adding different fruits.  It’s a great snack for the kids to quickly grab when they are busy playing or “starving” waiting on their next meal.  It’s also great to help keep them hydrated during the hot summer months (if we ever get them this year as today it was 55 degrees out). 

Today I made this pretty bowl and because it’s a holiday weekend and we had some neighbors for dinner, I made sure to pick up enough groceries to restock over the weekend.

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Keeping a pretty bowl like this filled will help kids (and others) make a wise food choice when looking for something to snack on.