We have our first little cucumber! We will have to wait a couple weeks before it is big enough to harvest and eat. We have hot, sunny weather in the forcast for the next week so it should have plenty of time to grow. I read that cucumber grows well next to oregano, so I planted it behind my oregano plant. Our peony bush is in bloom. It had several buds on it but Liam picked most of them so I only have a few flowers.
Our hen Tess has gone broody. This means that she wants to hatch eggs. Since roosters are illegal in the city we have two choices, we can buy her a wooden egg or we can find fertilized eggs for her. I went on to Craigslist and found a farmer who has fertilized eggs and today I picked them up, brought them home and put them under Tess. I marked the eggs with a sharpie so we know which ones are fertilized. I was so nervous, I forgot to take a picture of the eggs before I put them in for her. If all goes well, we will have baby chicks on June 16th. If they are roosters, we will have to find a new home for them. If they are hens they can stay. I took these photos of Liam and Galileo this morning. Liam is getting better and being gentle with the kitten, but he still has some room for growth.
We are in a spell of nice weather. Today is in the low 70's, but it is supposed to go into the 80's tommorow and stay there as far as the long range weather forcast is available. We took our homeschooling outside this morning. I took the chapter book we are reading now, Rascal, and read that to Christian while he colored in his tropical fish coloring book. David then brought out some wood and the two of them build a bird house. We let the chickens free range while we were out there. I got some great pictures of Boofy and Christian. Liam did various projects with mud while we were out there. We have some big plans in for the hen house. Check back tommorow, if we are able to pull everything together, we will have an announcement.
We have a friend who works with a woman who volunteers at the zoo working with the penguin on Mondays. We were invited to go visit her and get a behind the scenes visit to the penguin house. We got to pet and feed a penguin. We even got to see one of the baby penguins flap his wings for the first time. The boys enjoyed the up close and personal visit with the penguins. The zoo has a birds of prey show during the summers. Today was the first day of the show. Christian has loved watching this most of his life. The Turkey Vulture landed on the ground right in front of us instead of on his perch. Christian wanted to run up and see him. I had to work to get him to stay away. Turkey Vulture Barn Owl Bald Eagle
I picked up some heirloom tomato and basil plants from ads off Craigslist this weekend and finished planting the front garden. I also got the soaker hose and mulch down. In the back yard we saw the first corn plant popping up today.
Credits: Template for album from Hillary Heidelberg's May Jumbo Grab Bag at scrapbookgraphics Kits: Impressions of Friendship from scrapbookgraphics Femnz 3 Grab Bag by Flergs, MGL Scraps, Ziska, Ellie and Sugar Plum Paperie
I am making alphabet albums for the boys so I decided to do my blog post with a bit of an alphabet theme...
B is for Baklava which I made today, I also made spanokopita. We have to let the baklava sit for four hours before we try it. We will taste it after dinner. C is for Cat, Coffee and Computer, a few of my favorite things.
I took a couple of photos of Boofy yesterday. The two babies are still spending most of their time under the hen house. The are starting to pop out a bit.
We went down to Oaks Bottom did a little hike in the afternoon. Christian brought along a pad and colored pencils and sketched the a pod with tadpoles in it. These are a couple more photos of us during the hike. I took a photo of one of the baby pears on our tree. This is one of our compost bins. As you can see from the weeds hanging out, it is quite full.
This morning we went to a 4-H event south of Portland to learn more about 4-H and see if it is something Christian would like to do next year. We were at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds and there is a train museum next to the fairgrounds. Liam has been wanting to visit a caboose. I was going to take him to a different place east of town, but since we there anyhow, we took the boys to see the caboose. The museum was closed today. There are many peach farms in the area, so I have a feeling that we will be down there again in the summer. We enjoyed the 4-H event. The kids were showing chickens and rabbits. I loved angora rabbits as a child and when I saw them, the love was rekindled. They are just too cute. Since I am learning to knit, it would be fun to have a couple angora rabbits, then I could learn to spin yarn and knit things with. For the time being, I will work on learning to knit scarves and dream of doing more later.
We have a new kitten, Galileo. He looks an awful lot like Bronte did at the same age. The big difference is that Bronte screamed and meowed if we tried to hold her, Galileo meows and cries if I go too long without holding him. I really wanted a lap cat since Bronte and Luna and only affectionate when they want to be, which is not often. So far, it looks like I have one. We have a birdhouse right outside the front window. I have been wanting to get a photo a bird on the birdhouse. It is very hard since birds tend to fly away if there is too much movement, like my reaching for a camera. I was able to get this one today. I had a good week with Freecycle. I finally broke through my impass with knitting and am now officially working on a project. I wanted to get some more knitting needles and some crochet needles as well as some yarn. I put a request on freecycle and got a response. The lady gave me a bag full of needles and yarn. I am set for some starter projects. I also saw a posting from someone giving away empty egg cartons. We need more egg cartons so we can give eggs away when the chickens are laying at full force. I responded and drove out to Gladstone today and picked up a big bag of egg cartons. We are set for a while.
I found some carmels on top of the refridgerator this morning and decided to bake some carmelitas. The recipe title in the Better Homes and Garden Baking cookbook I use is different, but I know these bars by the name carmelitas because my friend Gloria used to bake them for camping trips. She would bring a tray along and once I got a taste of these little delights, I would spend most of the weekend following her around begging for more. They were quite addictive. They are also quite rich, I only had one bar today. I will probably want another one to sooth my nerves after the boys go to bed. One thing I dislike about making these is unwrapping the individual carmels. That it is why this is such a good recipe to make with kids. The boys can sit at the table and unwrap the candies while I mix the other ingredients. I let them each eat one carmel before they began unwrapping and one after to make sure they were not snacking when they should be working. They followed the rule. Here is the recipe... 1 cup butter 2 cups packed brown sugar 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla 1 tsp baking soda 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans 30 vanilla carmels 3 tbsp milk
In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar. Beau until well combined. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda. Beat mixture until combined. Beat or stir in the flour. Press two-thrids of rolled oats mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces and nuts. In a medium saucepan combine caramels and milk. Cook over low heat until caramels are melted. Drizzle caramel mixture over chocolate and nuts. Drop remaining one-third of the rolled oats mixture by teaspoons over the top Bake in a 350 oven for 22-25 minutes or until top is light brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack and cut into squares. Here is a layout I did with photos of the different flowers that have been in bloom in our yard this spring. Credits: Kit - Spring Awakening by Alana McCarthy, Template - Studio Hillary Playday free template
We worked in the back yard today. We built these teepee style trellis'. We have corn, squash, pumpkin and beans planted around them. I also put the soaker hose down and covered the whole thing with wood chips. The final act was putting up a chicken wire fence to keep the kids and chickens out for the summer. We have put a lot of work in preparing the soil for this garden, so I am looking forward to seeing how it does. The baby chicks also went out to the hen house today. They seem to be doing fine. The big girls have pecked on them a bit, but everyone seems to have gone to seperate places and appear to be calm.
Liam is doing better. He was up again at 3:00 with a bad cough, but it was not croup. I finally let him put in a DVD at 5:30 because I knew he would do better if he was sitting up. I have a very sore throat now. David is out getting a slurpee for me to see if that helps. We celebrated our 12th anniversery today. A friend watched the boys while David and I went out to lunch. The friend who watched them is the same person we started seeds with about six weeks ago, so we picked up many of our starts today. The above photo is our Spanish lavendar which we planted 7 or 8 years ago. David and I also went to a farmer's market today. I picked up basil and a cucumber plant. This is the cucumber plant. Here are that starts we picked up today. We have so much stuff. I will have plenty to plant and a lot to share with neighbors.
Liam had croup last night, so we are both running on very little sleep. That is why I took a picture of my coffee grinder. I don't even know if drinking coffee will help. I hope he sleeps better tonight. I did a long bike ride this morning so I hope that the calories burned make up for my sleep deprived munchies. Here is my April in Review Layout Credits: Project 365 Monthly Template by Hillary Heidelberg, Kit - Impressions of Friendship - scrapbookgraphics May Collab kit. Credits: Round that corner! template set by Hillary Heidelberg. Kit from Digi Files #4
I have been reading some bad things about plastics and boys so we decided to change over to stainless steel water bottles. I bought two at Costo last week and will buy two more next payday. We found the boy's marble toy in the garage today. They had fun playing with it for a couple of hours (layout tommorow). We are all feeling better. My eye is swollen and throat is a bit sore, but I was able to to Christian to Tae Kwon Do today. There were only two other kids in the class today, so I think that whatever we had is going around. Here are my week 17 & 18 week in review layouts... Credits: Project 365 Cluster Frames 1 & 2 & Forest Whispers by Lindsay Jane Designs