August is a Busy Month

August seems to be a busy month. We are trying to stay on top of the garden, picking produce and then putting it up. We got our first 3 early girl tomatoes. We have gotten a few grape tomatoes, but these were our first big eating tomatoes. Oh, they taste so good when they are fresh from the garden. We are still getting a few cucumbers, but the vines are dying off. The zucchini are totally gone. The yellow squash still has squash and lots of blooms. The patty pans are slow, but still growing well. I have all sorts of blooms on my birdhouse gourd plant. I have never grown them, but I am really excited and hope to be able to dry some and turn them into bird houses. The corn is just about ready. We are going to pick one today and test it.

We have picked green beans, but have still not picked all of the plants. We planted a row and a half and then another row for a second planting, but only about 1/4 of that row came up. We have not hit every plant once, and have already had a ton of green beans. I have 16 quarts canned, and have another batch all snapped and ready to go, that will probably be another 16 quarts. I am hoping for 40 quarts total. I have frozen them in all past years. Before we had a garden, I always bought frozen. My Mom bought frozen. However, I heard a little comment that set me to wondering. So, I asked Michael if I were not home and he went to the store to get green beans for him and Joshua to eat, would he buy canned or frozen. He thougth a minute and then said canned. He thinks that the frozen ones are a bit tougher. =) So, this year I am canning them.

The 2 top pictures are of last nights sky. It was gorgeous. The pinks were incredible. I had to run back in and get my camera. By the time I came out, some of the spots had already faded away.

The last picture is of Cookies-N-Cream. He was one of my triplet ram lambs, that Sunshine had. One was all brown (Chocolate), one was all white (Vanilla) and this guy is whitish with black spots all over, so we named him Cookies-N-Cream. They all stay laying down until I get out there to chore. Then they get up and start asking for their morning hay. We give them a bit of hay to offset all the fresh green grass they eat. It tends to keep them from having the scours.

Snowmen in August!!!

It is so hot, that I thought this joke might cool you off…

I read this joke yesterday. I have a weird sense of humor sometimes. This joke really cracked me up.

There are 2 snowmen in the yard. The one turns to the other and says… “Do you smell carrots?”

I am not sure why, but it really tickled my funny bone. Michael looked at me and smiled (I think more because he thinks I am a tart than he thought the joke was funny) and it did get a small chuckle out of Joshua. Below is another cartoon I have kept for a long time. It cracked me up as well. Then someone pointed out the rabbit probably had a HARE dryer! =)

Animals and Hot Weather

I always feel bad for the animals when it gets this hot. The goats have taken to laying out in the shade in their pasture. This gives them lots of breeze if there is any, yet no sun directly on them. The top 2 pictures are my 3 goats. Honeysuckle and Magnolia are in the top picture and Sun Rae is the next picture.

My sheep I really feel sorry for. Here they have a wool coat on in this heat. However, they lay in their shed and pant heavily. We put lots of fresh cool water and electrolytes in the water for them. When the first cool morning of fall comes, you will see them out there jumping and leaping around in the absolute joy of the day.

Here is one of the supposed garden friends. They get lots of insects, but I sure hate running into them when I am weeding or such.

Sunflowers and Baby Turkeys

I planted all sorts of sunflowers. Short ones, tall ones, all different colors. Well, so far they are all TALL. Joshua is either 6′ 1″ or 6′ 2″. Here he is in front of them, so you can see how tall they are. None of these have bloomed yet.

Our turkey poults arrived today. The post office called me first thing this morning. They said the mail carrier’s AC was broke and he did not want to take the poults in the truck with him. Joshua had not left yet, so he went and picked them up for me. They are in the brooder all snug. They are so much fun. They sing to you. When you put your hand in they come running to you instead of away from you. They really have personality.

Mom, Memories and Tears

Today, I am really missing my Mom. It is still so unbelievable that she won’t be back in this life. That I can’t pick up the phone and talk to her. That I won’t feel her soft skin. In the physical realm, death is so permanent. I was just thinking about something while I was washing up some dishes. I had a strong urge to call her up. Then I end up letting tears fall into my dishwater. I have these moments and God is faithful to pour in His grace to walk me through them. I am thankful that I had a great Mom. I am thankful that she loved the Lord and I WILL see her again one day. I am thankful that I got to talk to her for an hour the day before she died. I am thankful that I got the bacterial meningitis last August, as she was here every day for almost a week to help care for me. That is the last time I saw her alive.

I preach this really often now, but I cannot tell you enough times…. Call your Mom, Dad, loved ones. Tell them you love them. Get that recipe that is only in their head that you have always meant to get. Ask those questions about family history that will be lost when they go on. Take the time to mend the wrongs. Tell them why they are special to you. If they are on your nerves a bit, remember, that I would do almost anything for my Mom to bug me right now. You will honestly miss that.

I will try and be more upbeat in my next entry. I just wanted to share my heart.

The first picture above is my parents arriving at their 50th wedding anniversary party. I love this picture because it really shows their relationship. They were in love, loved one another and enjoyed being together.

The second picture is my son Joshua and my Mom. That was taken at least 7 years ago, probably more like 9 years ago.

The last picture is my Mom opening up the clock my Dad got her for their 50th. This is “My Mom”. This is her how she was in every day life. I love how she seems to look right at me.

Patty Pan Squash

Someone had asked that I post a picture of patty pan squash when we harvested it. Here in this basket are zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers and 2 patty pans. They are the round ones on top that look sort of like a flying saucer. They taste the same as the yellow squash, but I am told they keep their texture better if canned or cooked.

Newest Additions on the Farm

Well, we ended up getting pigs. We do them about once a year. They are so fun to watch. People think that pigs are so filthy. They are actually very clean animals. They go mess in the part of their area that is farthest from their food. If you give them a nice muddy spot, they will wallow in it. Pigs can’t sweat and this keeps them cool. They have already rooted up a large area. You see them doing a dance up against a tree to scratch an itch. One of them was standing over a log doing a nice little dance scratching his belly.

We also got one more jersey bull calf. This one is slightly larger than the other two. They are all the same age, but this one has been on a nursemaid cow, while the other 2 have had a bottle. The newest one, Texas T-Bone (because he is so big) has not enjoyed his new schedule. He is letting us and our neighbors know in a very loud way, that he wants to eat throughout the day, not just at certain times. We told our neighbors when they moved here (they bought 2 acres from us) that they will either realize they love a farm, or they never want to farm. They have been a real help with animals that get out, or an emergency butchering session, etc. The children in the picture above are 2 of the neighbor children.