Sunday, December 31, 2006

garden planning

the past few days i have had a bit of back pain so i haven't really done much physical labor. the thing that has really troubled my back is slinging toly--hence no reason to sit at the computer and blog. i did rototill the the upper half of the garden and plant winter wheat. the kids helped with the planting they love feeling helpful. i let them strew the seed around wherever they wanted. i mostly filled in the barren spots. some areas are extreemely heavily seeded. we bought a ton extra seed so there was no reason to ration the planting process. although, it will be interesting to see how things sprout.

tabitha and i went through the bakercreek seed catalog and sellected our purchase. our stategy is to only grow what we believe we can grow well--given last summers successes and failures. our current list of intended crops are as follows:
- tomatoes in earnest
-amish paste
-cherokee purple
-omar's lebanese
- tomatoes for the kids
- two or three cherry tomato plants variety to be decided at bakercreek festival
- beets
-detroit dark red (lots of them spring and fall plantings)
- cabbage
-early jersey wakefield (spring only)
- cucumbers
-japanese long (three short rows of successive plantings)
- beans (pole)
-rattlesnake pole (five seperate arches in a long row made from cattle panels)
- beans (soya - edamame)
- greens
-spinich (bloomsdale longstanding)
-swiss chard vulcan red (lots and lots of this stuff)
-basil genovese & the remaining thai seed from last year
-cilantro oaxaca
-shisho purple zi su
-italian parsley
- sunflowers
-autumn beauty
- pumpkin
-winter luxuary pie
- squash
-butternut - waltham
-summer - early prolific straightneck
- onions
-yellow of parma
-tropeana lunga
- okra
- hot pepper
-variety to be decided at bakercreek festival
- rhubarb

i am currently working on map and planting calendar. considerations that we are focusing on are:
- garden space and timeline useage.
- fall / winter hoop house placement.
- beets
- chard
- parsley
- rosemary
- arugula
-seed saving
-insects and diseases
-squash bugs (many measures to be attemped including hand picking)
-aphids (ladybugs and lacewings purchase)
-horned worms (gunieas in the spring)
-early blight (mulching early around plants to prevent splash-up)
-blister beetles (hand squish with gloves-on)
-cucumber beetles (hand pick & yellow sticky traps upsidedown)
-mulching and compost

we are getting excited about the garden, seed catalogs are arriving left and right. bakercreek is going to get most of our garden seed money this year. we will plant only heirloom varieties this and every year. genetically modified and hybred varities are on our taboo list. on high note, we are going to get a light picking of aspargus this year--now that is exciting.

our orchard will grow again this year except for the plum and pluot trees that died from some unknown peril. i'll post my garden map as soon as blogger beta gets it's head out of it's arse.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

fellow bloggers

i am in the midst of formulating a new years resolution. i have a question. would you, as a blog that i frequent (rather lurk-on), prefer i always comment on your blog (every entry that i read) regardless if it is inspired or not, or only get comments from me that i am compelled to write?

*every comment that i read
*as things are now

i personally like the feedback regardless how inspired it might be. although some blogs that i lurk-on are intimidating--being the perpetual one handed typist* (hence lower-case) and tragic speller.

*see first photo in this post to see why

Monday, December 25, 2006

picasa posting to new blogger sucks

tabith took this photo of me. sometimes toly cannot be consoled by any means other than a restaining him in a sling and bouncing on the yoga-birth-ball feaverishly.

this is the big pile of chat that i had delivered. i have been using it to fill bags for the walls of the root cellar. i did about twenty bags yesterday and back filled the area. about 4 pm on christmas eve i stumbled carrying one of the bags (roughly 150 pounds) and landed agianst the water main. it broke and started gushing water. i had to get in the car and jet to lowes to get the parts necessary to fix it. otherwise we'd have no water for christmas day.

the chickens are on restriction again. they have been very naughty. no eggs for us. freeloading chickens anyway...

toly is so strong and healthy and chubby. i like a chubby baby.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

tristan has fever

my poor boy is very sick. he has a fever and sore throat. we took him to get a throat culture yesterday. i have been grumpy as a result. last night i was awake with him more than a dozen times getting little sips of water, cleaning up vomit mess if he drank too fast, trying to coax him to take children's advil and generally trying to comfort him. he has always had terrible nightmares and has learned to take control of his nightmares and turn them into good dreams. last night he had night terrors and was too sick to consciously change them. he was screaming and flailing. i just held him and told him i was there and wouldn't let anything happen to him.

i have a special empathy for his plight since i too had night terrors as a child. he is so much further along than i ever was. it took me well into my twenty's before i got a handle on my nightmares and learned to take an active role in them.

yesterday afternoon i cut down four trees in the shaded pasture. three of them were black locust. they are also not native. i dislike them because they have huge thorns that grow up their trunks and seem to encourage poison ivy to grow up them. i hauled about six wheel barrow loads of cord wood up to the barnifactors pile--which is almost complete. he came by the other day and got the first cord of wood. that was the same day that the washer repair man came to show me how to un-clog our own washer. mike stopped in to see what all the excitement was and took the circus of visitors to the next level.

it has been raining here and we need it. soft wet ground makes it difficult to push a fully loaded wheel barrow up from the ravine. maybe by the weekend things will get a little less sloppy and i can finish hauling wood to the barnifactors pile. next in the queue is our wood for next winter. i plan to cut, split and stack the wood in little piles in the forest. then next fall i'll either barrow bobs tractor and trailer or solicit mike with his gear to help me get the few loads from the forest. this winter will be the true test of how easy it will be for me to get wood ready for next year.

tabitha got me the soundtrack to elizabeth town and we have been enjoying it. now we have to rent the movie again. some marketing genius figured out an excellent way to get even more money for their movie release.

tabitha looked up the word meme (rhymes with theme) and the results are interesting. so my snippet of cultural information that i'd like to exchange is: my favorite move that i saw this year was *walk the line*

what was your favorite new movie viewed in 2006?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

online shopping rant and kids photos

i had to make a new bookmark category titled "revenge". i allegedly bought a juicer and they haven't sent it. they haven't billed me either but i'm still mad. i was expecting it to be sent out already and be enjoying fresh organic carrot juice any moment. i tried calling the company for the past three days. i realize that only two if them are official business days. but, aren't retail businesses supposed to return their calls? the words rinky-dink and fly-by-night and trying to make off with my money keeps me poised to smite them.

***** picasa lost several entire posts ******

photos on their way.

Friday, December 15, 2006

hateful grudge

someone in the upper management of missouri forestry has a hateful grudge against cedar trees. i admit that they are invasive in the worst of introduced fashion. ben has asked me to cut cedars again this year for roaring river state park. i must decline because the drive is too far. if i stay overnight with the rest of the crew, then tabitha and the kids are lonely. i really liked cutting trees last year. i must have cut down several thousand cedars in the few weeks that we were on the job.

today i got a taste of what it was like last year. bob needed to clear a cedar grove to afford the forest the opportunity to regain health. his guineas will like the new clearing too. guineas are from the savannahs in africa i assume that they don't care for the closeness of the forest by his house. they spend their days in the neighbors expansive yard. i only fell fifty or so trees today and i am whooped. i'd do that much in an hour last year at roaring river. i did have to haul them to a big pile which is the real work. bob would drive his skid steer and crush down the pile occasionally. i enjoy felling trees. when i first started i was scared and didn't enjoy it. now i am fairly proficient and really enjoy myself.

things on my list for the weekend and beyond.. (h&b2 those two periods are for you)
-duct work in attic
-insulation in attic
-finish cutting wood for barnifactor
-start cutting wood for us for next winter
-work on barn
-finish birdhouse present
-start a few fires (too bad you aren't around for this matt)
-build stanchion
-get feed for nimue

the barnifactor (aka the guy who got us our little barn in trade for wood) came by the other day and was measuring his partial wood pile and was writing in a little pad of paper. hum, do you thing he might be anxious for his wood? i only have a third cord of wood left to go. i can do that in a few hours if given the chance.

i saved a few really great pieces of cedar today and plan to make a bed from some of them. i am off to design the bed in adobe illustrator.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

christmas letter


What a wild year we have lived. We have a new son, Anatoly Gustav Wren O’Melay (born 10.10.06). We live an enchanted life filled with hard work and all the fruits of it. The children are thriving, growing and learning. Our day is full of animals: a Jersey cow named Nimue (nim-oo-ay) and her calf Merlin, laying hens and roosters and many other chickens destined to become dinners, a new puppy named Rosie that we rescued from the shelter a few months ago, our cat Sylvia, and a whole garden full of food and bugs and spiders and dirt.

Most of Anatoly’s gestation was spent gardening, milking and canning tomatoes. He is a strong little guy who is rearing to go and become part of the pack. His birth, so easy and natural, was a glimpse into our future. His life so far has blended effortlessly into our own.

Kassiopeia (born 6.18.04) is two: she is tall and thin and wily. Her new baby brother is the center of her attentions as she grows into a little mama. Her favorite color is Pink: all things Pink, including Ponies and Princesses and Pirates (yes, pink pirates!).

Tristan (born 08.09.02) is 4: he is starting to read and write. His love for the computer and all things technology inspires him to learn. Recently he started a Tae-Kwon-Do class and excels in it. his competitive boyish nature is balanced easily by his compassion and empathy for his siblings.

Karl devotes his life to building this utopia for our family. His work now is akin to the job that was his passion in the city, and that feels right. There is plenty of time at home with the family. A barn and fences and a garden built from nothing are new projects over this past year. There is always more to come, which reminds us to live in the moment.

Tabitha found peace this year in the garden, meditating on growth, birth, death, and life in the shade of huge tomato vines. Anatoly grew inside while the fruits of her labor in the garden were ready to harvest. There has been lots of canning and freezing, saving for the winter of indoor baby-holding and knitting. Milking Nimue gives a pleasant rhythm to the days. The highlight of the year was of course the birth of Anatoly. He has been a sweet reward for the year’s work.

Everything that we ever dreamed of, as we moved blindly from the city, is slowly coming our way. Perhaps not as we planned it, not *when* we planned it. The fullness of life reveals itself through our hard work and dedication.

It is our dearest wish that our life here will build our children a strong foundation of respect for our earth and all its creatures.

Peace and Love,

The O’Melay Family

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

excellent photos

tristan, tabitha and toly had a little photo session today while kassi slept. better known as the "T" triumvirate. kassi and i aren't part of their little club.

rosie, tristan and toly are getting so big. tristan grew an inch within the last two months. toly has almost doubled his birth weight. rosie is just a huge dog and is getting bigger as i write.

tristan's hair is getting long. he likes it that way and we encourage his decisions. strangers here in the bible belt steeped in their regime of stereotyping the sexes annoy me with, "isn't she pretty." i had long hair as a kid also and remember people making similar mistakes. it never troubled me then--i wonder why it bothers me now?

my kassi angel-princess has been extraordinarily loving lately. i get the best hugs from her they make my heart ache. this micro-age, she reminds me of her mother. she has been feisty as ever.

Monday, December 11, 2006

word verification?

so it is up to you. the tiny portion of the blogsphere that comments on this site gets to decide whether i keep word verification (which i personally hate) or wait for your comment to be moderated (added by me). neither option is as good as no boundaries at all but iv'e had trouble in the past. during the interim while you all chime in i'll turn off all barriers and see if the blog spammers attack again. if not then i'll keep it easy until it becomes an issue (that is when your vote counts).

please vote for:

word verification (the lame askew cryptic code that needs to be deciphered and re-typed)


managed (delayed) posts

Sunday, December 10, 2006

meme, thanks phoebe

Almost Perfect- INFP

46% Extraversion, 60% Intuition, 46% Thinking, 46% Judging

So, you want to make the world a better place? Too bad it's never gonna happen.

Of all the types, you have to be one of the hardest to find fault in. You have a selfless and caring nature. You're a good listener and someone who wants to avoid conflict. You genuinely desire to do good.

Of course, these all add up to an incredibly overpowered conscience which makes you feel guilty and responsible when anything goes wrong. Of course, it MUST be your fault EVERYTIME.

Though you're constantly on a mission to find the truth, you have no use for hard facts and logic, which is a source of great confusion for those of us with brains. Despite this, in a losing argument, you're not above spouting off inaccurate fact after fact in an effort to protect your precious values.

You're most probably a perfectionist, which in this case, is a bad thing. Any group work is destined to fail because of your incredibly high standards.

Disregard what I said before. You're just easy to find fault in as everyone else!

Luckily, you're generally very hard on yourself, meaning I don't need to waste my precious time insulting you. Instead, just find all your own faults and insult yourself.


If you want to learn more about your personality type in a slightly less negative way, check out this.


The other personality types are as follows...

Loner - Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

Pushover - Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging

Criminal - Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

Borefest - Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging

Freak - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

Loser - Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

Crackpot - Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

Clown - Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

Sap - Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging

Commander - Extraverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

Do Gooder - Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging

Scumbag - Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

Busybody - Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

Prick - Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

Dictator - Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 48% on Extraversion
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 43% on Intuition
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 19% on Thinking
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 28% on Judging

Link: The Brutally Honest Personality Test written by UltimateMaster on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

barn roof update

Tom came over this morning to help put on the roof. He and I put on the second half of the rafters and started cutting the metal for the roof
John helped put up the metal.
things went fairly smoothly until...
I smashed my thumb...


we got a quite a bit accomplished. i cut and installed the north side rafters. tom and i put in the south side rafters and the nailers for the metal roof. john showed just in time to put up the metal roof and see me smash my thumb.

my neighbors are wonderful. i didn't ask either of them to help with the barn and they both insisted. they are great, giving and generally *there* for us. i have a difficult time accepting help so living here in the ozarks has been a learning experience. a person really does need help on occasion. this barn raising has been a perfect example of the kindness of neighbors and the brighter side of human nature.


tristan deeply engrossed in the computer

my wonderfully chubby baby boy. a breast fed baby that looks like this is a trophy for tabitha's mothering prowess.

picasa lost kassi's photo. she'll get her own post very soon.

Friday, December 08, 2006

web album

just a few photos over the past few days. regular programming will resume this evening.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

photos, photos and more photos

Mike was mowing leaves and his mower caught on fire. he was too far from the house to reach it with a hose so they just watched it burn.
me and Toly. he really likes to be in a sling. any other method of holding him is decidedly inferior

Tristan at his usual station. can you say technophile?
we wish you a merry christmas...... Posted by Picasa

tristan cuteing the camera up. this is a test post of picasa's photo-upload feature. this might work really well? the next few posts will really be the tell-tale. so far we really like the new picasa (photo management software from google). if i have a great success with it i'll let ya all know. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 04, 2006

leche del amor

for those of you who don't know, we have a milk cow. tabitha milks her daily. we get about two gallons of milk per day. this milk is heavy with cream. we at the pile of o'melays drink a ridiculous amount of milk per day. breakfast farina made with milk instead of water, multiple peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches with milk, bowls of cereal and many random glasses of milk throughout the day and at meals. tabitha and i both use lots of cream in our morning coffee and have butter production is in full swing. tabitha also makes different cheeses, spreadable, grate-able and the really melty kind.
our neighbor gets a few gallons per week and there is still plenty to clabbor for the chickens. on top of all that there is usually three to four gallons in the refrigerator at any given moment.

the chickens are really slacking off right now. last winter they didn't hardly slow down and now we might get three eggs per day. i am tempted to put a incandescent light in their coop to keep them warmer and trick them a bit. although, i don't really like to artificially stimulate anything so i struggle with this concept. we'll probably ride out this lean time and let them naturally produce what they will.

merlin is weaned and living up at grandpas. he is fully integrated into the mini herd there. we'll let him grow for several more months and then it'll be merlin burgers around...

the meat chickens are a grand success. tabitha puts one in the king-sized crock-pot with veggies and spices and we have a couple of meals from it. we then make a two and a half gallon pot of chicken-noodle-soup from the remaining meat and carcass. this equates to several lunches for the kids and usually a dinner during the week. the kids love-love-love this chicken soup. it is filled with healthy veggies and spices from the garden.

the canned tomato sauce usually makes for a couple more meals weekly and we usually try to make "karl's famous tofu" at least once per week. we also try to weekly have a butternut squash or sweet potato with some of the pork that grandpa raised. ground beef from the local cattle butcher and tacos from that are a big hit. the garden still has some beets and swiss chard we'll see how things fare after the snow melts this week.

just a post to document our diet. it'll be interesting to read it later and see how things have changed--or not

Saturday, December 02, 2006

snowy morning

tabitha getting ready to do chores.

tristan doing his yeti impersonation.

toly, need i say more?

kassi likes the snow almost as much as tristan.

trying to post with baby = lots of mistakes.
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