Sunday, May 19, 2013

My favorite barn . . so far. . and a little teen social

This has to be my favorite barn fabric combination yet!  I just love how my sunflower block turned out.  Really, my photo does not do the colors justice, so you might have to wait until the quilt is done to get a better peek at this design.  As we move into summer gardening, finding time to sew is becoming challenging, but I'm very thankful that Lori gives us two weeks to complete the barns.
Last weekend another home school mom and I planned a Teen Social for the Jr./Sr. High students in our home school group.  The teens went to dinner at a local restaurant, onto bowling, and then to a very fun and yummy place called Ultimate Yogurt.  It was fun to watch them all get acquainted and interact.  Next year, we'll do this again, only the kids will be wearing more formal attire.  We just didn't have the time this year for everyone to go shopping.  Anne picked out and assembled her whole outfit with online shopping.  In my mind, that takes a lot talent to match colors.  She looked beautiful!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Our greenhouse

FINALLY!  The greenhouse is up and loaded full of plants.   Here in Northern California it is almost next to impossible to grow tomatoes, peppers, and basil because it just never gets warm enough.  The fog constantly keeps the temperatures in the 60's through the entire summer.   I am truly hoping that this greenhouse will give us the heat to grow these.  It is a lot smaller than I expected, but it will be a great edition to our gardening endeavors.  I think I may have gone overboard on the number of pepper and tomato plants.  I am thinking that 16 plants will look like a jungle in a few months.

Some of my tomato varieties are Sweet Baby Girl, Koralik, Brandywine, and  Juliet.  I ordered several of these from Territorial Seed Company as starters, rather than from seeds.  I have four Bell pepper plants, and one Anaheim and JalapeƱo pepper plant.

Don't you just love the water jug on the protruding bar that we couldn't figure out how to disguise so that no one would hit their head on it!  Now, I just need to get the kids to shut the door to keep the ladies out of there - they would just love to scratch and eat all of my plants.

Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What a great start to spring. . . .

I love this time of year.  When we drive anywhere the first thing my kids say is, "Look Momma, it's marshmallow season again."  I love to see the fields lined with all of the marshmallow bales of hay.  I almost want to gather them all up and jump from bale to bale.

We have officially been here in Northern California for three years now and I have never seen weather in May like we had last week. NEVER!  It was in the upper 60's for over a week and several days reached the 70's during the hottest parts of the day.  All I can say is it was amazing! 

So, if you are a kid and it's hot outside, what kind of experiment do you automatically want to attempt to try - yep, you guessed it - fry an egg on the sidewalk, but in our case it's more like fry and egg on the gravel driveway.  And, no, it did not fry, but the chickens and ducks really enjoyed the meal after the kids got bored waiting for the egg to cook.

Our Anne, turned 15 this last week with a wonderfully hand decorated (by her sister) cookie cake.  She was showered with many presents.  Thank heavens the clothes I picked out for her passed the can-I-say-incredibly- picky- teenager standard.  She looked rather cute in her new mint green polka-dotted baby doll shirt and leggings.

We spent the entire weekend putting in the garden.  The General Manager helped out by roto-tilling the entire right side of the garden which does not have any raised beds.  He finally was so exhausted with the hand-push roto-tiller that he just asked where the rows were going to be and only tilled those areas.  We have all of the same favorites from last year, in addition to some new varieties we are trying.  A friend of mine bought me the most beautiful tomato and pepper plants so just as soon as the greenhouse gets assembled I will have to post some more garden pictures. 

No, that is not the General Manager standing out in the middle there, but rather our scarecrow.  He actually worked last year to keep the birds out of the garden - I didn't think it could be done, but he was worth his weight in gold.

We have three new additions to our flock - meet Sarah (the red one on the left), Grant and Xavier.   They are a Red Production, Black Sex Link and Araucauna breed.   These three just happen to share the names of our second oldest daughter, her new husband and their little one which is due to be born next month.  I'm not sure how our family feels having our flock of chickens named after them, but sometimes I think it rather strange?

And for my fifth barn in the Quilty Barn Along - here it is.  The next set of barns will have brown roofs and windows.  Since Lori just put up the instructions for barn #6, I guess I better start pulling fabric.

Have a wonderful week!