Wednesday, November 28, 2007

sinus infection

we went to silver dollar city saturday and all i got was this lousy sinus infection. the kids touch everything whenever we go anywhere. if there is an illness they will ferret it out. i try my best to remind them that touching everything is a guaranteed way to get sick. they can't help themselves. i guess we need to stop going anywhere.

we had a blast at the amusement park. tabitha went on most of the rides with the kids. i hung out with toly. tabitha did try to take toly on the frog hopper ride. he loved it until they started the ride. he freaked out and the ride had to be promptly stopped. toly was very cute hanging out between my legs when mommy was off with the older kids.

i look forward to the new baby because that means toly comes over to the dark side. he's mine all mine. he's already a daddies boy. first words "da da." most used words "da da."

since i've been sick i have been watching movies. ratatouille is a great movie. care about what you eat was the message that i took away from it. something that we encourage around here. i gotta go lay back down.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

where the bodies are buried

before i put the bales around this it looked like a fresh grave

i finished the hot bed / cold frame today

it looks like it is going to work. planting will start tomorrow.

this is the little pile of wood that was from a single little tree that was down near the ravine. the sections were laying in the forest litter. i wanted to wait until the snakes were gone before i lugged them to the house. i'll burn this wood late winter.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


you guessed it... we're expecting the fourth and littlest o'melay. hooray we love babies.

other news
  • i closed up the eaves on the milking house and it's ready to paint.
  • i built a cold frame (* see photo below)
  • i planted the garlic and mulched it with leaves.
  • i started a hot bed cold frame

that's a sliding glass door window pane.

i need some bales of straw for the next step of my hot bed. i read a few websites and the back to basics book. all of them required digging too deep for my taste. so i am using the frost protected shallow foundation concept to alter my need to have a huge hole in my garden. i did dig a foot deep, down to sub soil. i then added twenty or so inches of fresh "HOT" manure into the hole. i'll surround it with straw bales, add eight or ten inches of top soil and top it with double pane glass.

as the manure breaks down the anabolic, exothermic reaction heats the hot frame from below. we plan to plant arugula and maybe a few other leafy greens. if all goes well we'll be "in salad" all winter.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

these rocks have fire in them

tristan is confined to use his shovel on muddy mountain. muddy mountain is not just one of the land marks in dora the explorer. we have our very own muddy mountain--the root cellar backfill. tristan has a full sized shovel of his very own. he, if given license, will dig up the entire yard. muddy mountain is an esthetically safe place to dig--it can't get any uglier. here in the ozarks flint is a regular type of rock. it breaks easily and the local native americans used it for tools. tristan dug up a large golden red piece and proceeded to smack it with the edge of the shovel. he brought the shards inside and proclaimed that they have fire in them. i explained that they were partially flint and that they would spark when struck with ferrous metal. home school lesson plan for the day.

these photos are tabitha's but i stole them--ykwim.

Monday, November 12, 2007

garlic & winter wheat / rye

i planted roughly twenty five pounds of garlic. the chickens promptly broke into the garden and scratched a mess of it up. the following morning i caught each of them and clipped the feathers on their wings. that after noon i had to chase several of the out of the garden. i traumatized each of them a bit. running them until exhaustion. i still need to shore up the defenses.

i also planted winter wheat in the remaining tilled area. winter wheat survives remarkably well here in southern missouri. last winter several hard freezes never even slowed it. i'm not sure what snow cover does to it but i imagine it just lies in wait until the sun can strike the blades. last year i also put raw manure in with the seed. that seemed to work out fine since that ended a very fertile area for spring planting.

i finally finished the back wall of the root cellar yesterday. i'll take photos today. i also insulated the water main that runs through the cellar against freezing. the front entrance is now my focus as time will allow.

the dark days of winter local challenge almost ensnared me. i opted out by default. i haven't had a moment to sit and write. the eat local challenge, although a worthy cause, hijacks my blog entries. in our defense, we eat local to our farm more than twice per week. last night tabitha made enchiladas. i almost exploded. the entire meal was local, chicken, cheese, sour cream, tortillas, and our very own green salsa. the tortillas were the only thing from off farm.

we are expecting rain today--hurray.

when i was at the freshly patronizing beer store, a funny thing happened to me. a woman looked at me and said "you're the farmer." i gave her the dumb look of a startled deer. then the woman behind the counter said "you're the farmer?" my expression remained frozen. they lept into a conversation about our farmstead describing the progress and intricacies of our animals like there had been a regularly scheduled program of conversation. it is weird to see your reflection in other peoples eyes. their lens seemed skewed to me but we're weird and i admit it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

there is too much to do

the new milk house is operational. all that is left to accomplish is the painting, trim and a few small details. tabitha has been milking in it for the past few days. adding milk-house construction to the fall chores has really made things crazy around here.

i finally started to close down the garden yesterday. i pulled cucumber and squash trellis. i tilled about half of the garden to get ready for garlic and winter wheat. we are expecting rain on monday. tristan and kassi helped. they were picking dry beans off the bean arch, picking up rocks and mounding the weeds into castles. today we'll get the garlic and plant it.

so much has happened. halloween was a grand success. the kids went to a birthday party, swimming and trick-or-treating. i had an amazing time trick-or-treating. the kids were too cute. tristan and kassi have been busy homeschooling. tristan has expressed an interest in math. he is doing simple addition and subtraction. tabitha had 13 dollars in three separate notes. a ten, a two and an one. tabitha asked tristan what was 10+2+1 tristan looked at his hands to count it out on his fingers. he stalled realizing that he has run out of appendages. then it happened the cutest thing ever. he dropped to his butt and yanked off his socks and promptly replied thirteen. i laughed and laughed.

i made a fire protection grate for around the wood stove. the kids are simply too rambunctious and the stove gets too hot to not have some form of protection. i made it out of recycled copper pipe and a horse panel.

the chickens are laying about ten eggs a day. rosie finally stopped pooping in the front yard. nimue is finally looking better. nina is becoming part of the family. the ducks are everywhere. the guineas are down to four from ten. speeding cars have taken their toll on them.

christmas is on the horizon and the kids have been pouring over toy catalogs. we, like always, have sworn off plastic toys. although wooden painted toys aren't really safe anymore. the kids don't need a bunch of creativity stealing theme toys anyway.

i made a firewood box for the front porch. it is in the queue to get painted next. the kids are going to do the painting after i prime it. it has casters on the bottom to make loading and cleaning easier. i look forward to firewood mess containment.
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