Sunday, July 30, 2006

panorama july 30 2006

here is our overdue panorama. the bean arch/arbor is getting some yellow leaves. the castor bean plants have huge leaves--some are over two feet across. one of our tomato trellis fell over during the last thunderstorm. we had to prop it back up and re-tie several plants back up. they all seem to have survived.

instructions on how to use the panorama link for the best possible experience are located at this previous post.

Friday, July 28, 2006


i had a half inch thick slice of this tomato on my cheese burger. it stuck out about three quarters of an inch all the way around. this is allegedly a brandy wine tomato but has a different leaf structure than all of our other brandy wine plants. it has performed better than all the others--we'll save some seeds from this one. we hope to re-populate our garden with this variety and cherokee purple next year.

these are exciting times at the omelay homestead. living off the garden and eating like kings. life is good.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

monkey boy

this is my monkey boy and "the reason that we moved here." i recall climbing so many trees as a boy and this is all i really ever wanted for my kids.

we took a stool sample to the large animal vet in ozark. nimue is fine. she just looks like a milking cow. compared to all of the the local beef cattle she seems skinny and unhealthy. she tested out perfect.

i have been working on a huge green house for a local guy. it had some storm damage and needed lots of help. we are installing a wood fired heater and an additional exhaust fan. the work i have done so far is. repair the main rear wall, re-install the main sliding door after fixing the slightly warped track, install new siding, cutting all the metal to the curve of the green house, pour a slab and piers for the 6,000 pound wood burning heater, i replaced the bent aluminum rafters and installed a structural beam above the proposed wood fired heater.

i have yet to install the heater on the slab and build the steel building around it. that will take a bit of effort since there are many facets like chimney, roof penetration and ventilation for the heating system.

on the home front i plant to install the new air-conditioner tomorrow. i have some more computer work to do for SLP. i need to bill them immediately.


Monday, July 24, 2006

panorama postponed

the yard is too junkie for a panorama. we just killed chickens and the mess, pallet temporary pen, buckets, and other random junk have taken over the yard and tabitha doesn't want to up-load the shots i took.

here is a photo of the root cellar progress. it is earth bag construction. last night tabitha helped and it went very fast holding and filling bags isn't a one man operation. my tube/filler idea won't work with recent rain compacted soil. i had to take a pick to the pile to just get a shovel to dig in. we did a half of a tier last night and hope to make it regular evening thing. the bags are covered to protect from the sunlight. they will last forever if kept from U.V. damage.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

why do i blog?

yesterday i was on the phone with my best friend matt. his dog mayday just left this ethereal plane and he made a tribute blog about her. it is a nice window into his soul. anyway, we were talking about blogging and that it is good therapy, ect...
putting feelings, ideas and accomplishments down in a public space is not really anything new but this vehicle "the blog" is such an easy (relatively) new development.
i believe that we, as this incarnation of the species, are struggling for community. sharing deeply with our compassionate community in the past was simply part of our family and village. within the past fifty years we have changed our expectations that each individual should be independent, self sufficient and not need anyone. this is affirmed but forcing our children to fledge by eighteen and then expecting them to not need the parents.
the blog is a great anonymous way to put "it" out there. the electronic community can judge (or not judge) they can feel compassion, pride, admiration, pity, you name it. mostly they just feel and hopefully during the course being entertained. i am not sure that it replaces the "village" of lore but it will due for now.
me personally, i use it for myself. the reason that i created this blog is for my parents. i wanted them to be able to see what we are up to. after installing a sitemeter and realizing through the geographical statistical information that they hardly ever visit my blog. i then imagined that my kids might care in some future about how they were raised, the care and thought that we put into them, finally, i came to grip with the idea that this was for me. matt said that it is for pablo, danielle and him. i must admit that one of the reasons that i have forced myself to update as frequently as i do is because of them. thanks guys.
anyway again, this has metamorphosed into a journal for me and all of you, but mostly for me. sometimes i wish i could protect some entries for my eyes only (this one would probably go there) but it is healthy for me that these things are "out there".

to be judged OR NOT

Saturday, July 22, 2006

pumpkin harvest

Tabitha standing amidst the squash holding her first pumpkin. that sunflower on the right is soooo tall.

Friday, July 21, 2006

heat and lethargy

the temperatures and humidity have made it difficult to accomplish anything. it takes so much effort to do the smallest task. i have been working on repairing a storm damaged greenhouse in the cooler morning and doing web design stuff in the afternoon. we hold up in the airconditioned bedroom, the kids bounce off the walls and i work on the computer. our wireless internet is spotty there so when it is available i use it for work related activities. i was planning on moving the wireless transmitter but we have decided that we need to air condition the entire house. tabitha cannot get regular household maintenance done with these high temperatures. triple digit temperatures should continue to be a threat for the next month and we'll get too far behind if we dont take immediate action. by action i mean purchasing a larger, more efficient air conditioner. the place we intend to install it will require opening a port in the wall. i don't relish that but it will be nice when done.
i'll take a bunch of photos tomorrow, kids, garden and homestead. toly has been kicking and spinning. he is really active like both kids have been. we spend many hours wonder what he'll be like. how will he be different and similar to the other kids? just fun entertainment dreamy baby stuff.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

in the hay

i spent the day in the hay. i have been working to get some bales of alfalfa for nimue. she likes it when she is being milked. we also give merlin a flake when we put him up from his mother for the afternoon and evening.

i was driving the tractor pulling a conditioner. mike was cutting conditioning and furrowing the hay and i'd follow with a second conditioner. this device further crimps the stalks and helps the hay dry more evenly. alfalfa is tricky to get put up in perfect condition. doing this second conditioning helps the process.

while i was working on the root cellar tabitha and the kids went to springfield. i pushed kassi on tristan's swing for a while before they left.

kassi is such a happy girl.

tristan loved dressing up in the kimono and pretending to make sushi for his friends. he loves sushi like his dad.
our bean arch also fell-in in a few places. i went down to the creek and cut some more local bamboo cane. the cow loved eating the stripped leaves. allegedly cane makes great forage for cattle it just grow slower than other grasses. the arch took both tabitha and i to bend, hold, tie and repair. it looks a little different but still very cool.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

oh my God

we got a new camera gifted to us. it is a canon elf sd 550. we have been making due with a camera that has a broken lcd screen with no way to change the flash or any other settings. it has been very frustrating and we were very concerned as to how we were going to take decent birth photos. during birth tabitha has always wants low light. i have been researching new cameras. what we might be able to scrimp and save to get before the birth. whew, the camera we were going to try to get is about three price brackets below this one. we have been so blessed and lucky. thank you--you know who you are.

tabitha squealed like a little girl and it almost sent her into early labor when we opened the first box.

one of the first photos tabitha took of me and the kids.

Monday, July 10, 2006

cucumber water

one of my favorite ways to have cucumbers is: on a hot day where iced tea just wouldn't do. you slice half a cucumber into a half gallon of iced water and that's all. drink the water and relish in the fresh glory of the best drink of water you have ever had.


the first time i had cucumber water was in calistoga during a full immersion mud bath. as i sat in the steambath after my mud bath and waiting for my massage there was a picture of water sitting on the tile. i was very thirsty. at this point i already had slices of cucumber over my eyes and thought that there was some kind of flavor leakage into my drink. then i realized what they had done. it was the most refreshing drink of water i had ever enjoyed to date.


i highly recommend a mud bath but better yet when you are really thirsty make a cucumber water you'll be surprised.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

animal census at the omelay homestead

here is a list of animals at the omelay homestead:
nimue the milking cow jersey (nim-ou-way)
merlin the calf son of nimue
sylvia the cat black polydactyl rumored to be her own aunt (aka: the mole killer)
laying chickens "the girls" eight silverlaced wyandottes
rooster, enrique too young to do his job yet, mostly he is a scared silverlaced wyandotte
rooster, romeo enrique's cohort in fear he was the "free chicken" blue andalusian
guineas adam and eve they live the garden of eden
georgina (horhina) the tree frog also lives in garden of eden
broiler chickens we are down to ten they are all named "dinner" smacking of lips immediately follows after using their name.
we'd like to get a puppy but we had a bad experience and are still in recovery.
tag you are it... please census your animals and link to your blog or as a comment. i'd love to see what every one else has.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

weekly panorama 7/7/6

the weekly panorama. the corn is over 11 feet tall. the tomatoes are huge and we expect a few for lunch tomorrow. they will be our first. we have cucumbers coming out of our ears. there might be a cucumbers for sale sign made tomorrow. the bean arch has kinda stopped blooming. i hope it starts again. we ate our chicken for dinner last night it was great. well worth the trouble. the evisceration, the daily moving of the chicken tractor, the expense and all the daily effort to feed and water them was well worth that first delicious meal. and we have twenty or so more meals like it.

farmstead photos too

these are our guineas. adam and eve because they live in the garden of eden

closer tristan, closer.


enrique and romeo--the coalition of the scared.

the great mole hunter. she was discovered with a decapitate mole and we praised her greatly.

isn't this hat the cutest thing ever?

or maybe from this angle?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

killin' time

eight of our larger cockerels have gone to chicken heaven. they dressed out at a minimum of nine pounds and look so tasty i can't wait for our first roast chicken dinner. it is always a learning experience when killing a grip of chickens. i sliced their neck on the last few and they seemed to bleed out better. i also tried a new method of cutting them open that leaves a self trussing piece of skin for the legs. we like most of our chicken left whole for roasting. i greatly dislike eviscerating them but is seems to be my job. we set up a whole station out in the front yard--outside the red fence. this way we could keep an eye on the kids, on the occasion they'd be outside, and still enforce the red fence barrier.
the kids were amazingly well behaved. we left them to their own devices for the better part of four hours. the children's library was strewn across the bathroom floor and that was about the most mischievous thing that occurred.
this afternoon we harvested about thirty pounds of garden produce; squash, beans, and cucumbers. it started to rain while we were in the bean arch. it was magical. tabitha is now making pickles, dill spears. i like a good dill pickle. she is going to add some of our fresh garlic. i am making a russian cucumber salad. i had a salad almost everyday my last trip to st. petersburg. it was during the white nights and summer harvest. i was there a month and i was awake most of the time. when the sun doesn't really set i don't feel like sleeping too much.
i dug a big hole for the chicken entrails, i put it next to the road on the other side of the wood pile hoping that the cars would scare any industrious varmets from digging it back up. digging a deep hole here i the ozarks is quite a feat. i use a five gallon bucket of water to loosen the clay and rocks from each other.
tristan is getting very excited for his birthday. it was really hard on him to watch kassi have hers, blow out the candles and open presents. we plan a trip to silver dollar city for his big day. the kids have gained the ability to argue. they seem to innately know which button will be the most effective at this moment. although, the kids love each other and are so cute and generally concerned about the others happiness. kassi was just crying and tristan said "kassi i'll make you happy" and ran to the other room and got her a surprise. it was just her pink ball but she seemed to perk up. everyday we agree that it is the best thing we can do for our child is to give them a sibling. kassi is so loved by both parents but the love that tristan and kassi share is deep beyond anything we as parents can understand. seeing the true empathy come pouring out of either child when the other is hurt is a sight to behold. it makes me choke-up every time.
our neighbor is celebrating the fourth in true ozark fashion. he spent his last three pay checks on fire works and has a strict regime of making sure at least one explosion occurs every three minutes. our cow hates him.

photos july 1

we are trying something new on this two and a half rows of beets. we have buried the soaker hose and have planted on either side of the hose in the "wet zone." we'll see how this turns out. i imagine it must be easier against U.V. damage on the hose.

these are some of our larger tomato plants. we tried to show, given me standing next to them, how tall they are. during this photo taken a few days ago they were seven and a half feet tall. now they are over eight feet tall. who would have thought that eight foot stakes wouldn't be tall enough?

this panorama is taken while i was standing on top of the most north-easterly rock ring. the camera is over twelve feet in the air. if you look closely you can see tabitha standing next to one of the tomato plants on the right side of the shot. she is busy inspecting her garden--killing all errant interloping insects.
the lady bugs are sticking around. i was just there at the wrong time of day. they hide in the shade during triple digit temperatures.
the bush beans that we just planted are going crazy.
i'm off to kill some chickens. we had three casualties we must do them all in. happy fourth of july.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

produce stand

we have been contemplating setting up a cucumber stand. the main concern is the perverts that are rampant here in these parts--we have had trouble in the past.


later that same summer during my youth, we brought our excessive bounty back to the city and sold it at a little produce stand in our front yard. it was our version of the lemonade stand. we didn't make much money but it was great fun none-the-less. i remember our neighbors really appreciating the fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. i'd sit there with my trusty salt shaker and sample the goods.
the following summer i made a cart to pull behind my moped out of wheel chair wheels. my produce stand was mobile but only local to the little village that we lived in. it was about three miles from where our garden was. people there weren't as receptive to the produce stand and the whole concept really didn't have the luster of the previous summer.


i have nostalgic idealistic memories of a produce stand and wish it possible here. we have an excess of cucumbers right now and would love to share our bounty. here is my idea for a sign.

Current vegetable "CUCUMBERS"

i finished repairing the stucco on the house. i also tore out an old single pane widow and patched that area too. getting the painting done is getting closer and closer. we were going to do it on the fourth but they are predicting rain.
weekly garden panorama will be very soon.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

ten thousand ladybugs

tabitha released over half of our ladybugs. donna gifted us with them hearing of our aphid plight. the first release went fairly well but by the end of the following day i couldn't see a single ladybug. tabitha released another mess last evening we'll see how many stick around today.
our fresh cucumbers are amazing. we had toast, fresh garlic mayonnaise, and sliced cucumber sandwiches for dinner last night. it might not seem like a meal, but it is. when i ate my first bite i said "this is the best cucumber i have ever had." now it is the best cucumber memory i have.


as a kid of eleven or twelve, the year before we moved to the country we grew a huge garden on the newly purchased land. the whole family would bale into my dads (previously my grandfathers) old ford truck. i loved that truck it had a style that is still unparalleled. my dad would have prepared several trash cans of water. with salt shakers in hand, off we would go. it was seventeen miles to the new school district and garden. the flies that lived there during the summer were rampant. the first few fly bites of the year swelled and ached. the garden was lush and plentiful. tomatoes, cucumbers and greenbeans were our main crops. now to put those saltshakers to use. i'd pick cucumbers scrape the green skin off with my teeth, salt them down and devour them. scraping the skin was a necessary evil to get to the goods. oh what a delight it was to bite into those juicy cucumbers. that is my first memory of picking fresh cucumbers from the vine and eating them on the spot.


the main difference between those and our cucumbers is the skin is not bitter. there is no need to remove it. it truly amazed me upon my first bite. they are a japanese style long cucumber that has no equal. this heirloom variety was chosen buy my lovely wife and flourishes here in the ozarks. tabitha has put so much thought into the varieties and type of plants we have grown it is really making all the difference.
well not all the difference all of her diligent gardening is what truly makes the difference.
we have a party to go to today--barbecue, pig roast, potluck. the host is an extremely talented bluegrass musician. allegedly there will be plethora of talented artists there.
photos to come...
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