Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow?

This is our first spring on our farm and we are diving right in! We plowed (tilled? I don't know the difference!) our garden this weekend. We have the luxury of having a lot of space and a blank slate. Trying to determine which vegetables, plants, trees and flowers to grow is daunting! Where to start? Where should we put everything? How big should we make the vegetable garden? How big is manageable? So many questions!

Here's what we did

A few weeks ago we marked out our area. We used steaks and string, very high-tech I know! Scribs sprayed grass and weed killer on the inside of our fancy string square and we waited. After a few days, nothing happened! I was starting to think that it wasn't going to work. I'm impatient, can you tell? Then slowly, slowly the whole square started turning brown. Except where we missed. Oops!

Next came fertilizing, we laid some… whatever we had in the barn. We were told to use 16-16-16, but what we had on hand would work.

Spreading the compost was the next step. Holy Moly this was HARD work. It took me a week of nap times to get it done, probably close to 8 hours total. Shoveling the compost from the pile into the wheelbarrow, move it to the garden, dump and spread. Repeat nine thousand times. I used almost all the compost we had and it's a little light in spots, but once it all gets mixed in I think it'll be just fine!

This weekend we rented a Dingo to get everything mixed and tilled. Let me tell you, this thing is a beast! And it turned out of be a disaster on the first day. The ground was wet, the compost was went and the treads just dug in. I'm talking 8" deep dug in. We had such high hopes after watching videos about how well this guy worked. Its our fault for using it while it was wet, but when you rent it and it rains, what else are you going to do? There's no refund for bad weather. Day 2 the disaster continued. We tried for about 5 minutes, took 2 hours getting it unstuck and called it a day. If it hadn't been raining and we had nice dry ground I think it would have worked wonders!

As you can see, what a mess. A few hundred pounds of wet stuck mud, no wonder it sunk! 2 more hours of cleaning the mess and Scribs called someone from Craigslist. No more than $100, sounds good to me. Well worth it to not have to deal with this mess! I will say he did a great job and only charged us $75!

tilled garden

Back by the wheelbarrow is whats left of the compost dune. It was piled high from the wheelbarrow to the grass pile. I'll be moving whats left and planting strawberries in that space. Just above the tumbler in the picture is where the new compost pile will be.

Looks great, doesn't it? The freshly cut grass definitely helps! Am I the only one who finds cutting the grass relaxing and very satisfying?

Up next, making our rows, planting our plants and tending to our garden! I'm glad I'll have two little helpers!

Monday, March 30, 2015

We lost our little rooster

Our little Ragnar the Rooster died today. Little guy only made it 2 days with us. He was a tiny little Rhode Island Red. Smaller then the barred rock we brought home with him. I know it's part of life especially on the farm but I'm still a bit sad none the less. 

Little peepers update 2 weeks

My goodness I'm amazed how big they've grown in a week! They have little bum feathers! The little ladies are starting to act like chickens now. We added some sticks for them to roost on, and those ladies hopped right up like they've been doing it their whole lives. My goodness, they can fly! A few flap their wings and kind of run and jump and off they go! I'm so amazed and so are the kids!
RIR red sex links buff orpington cuckoo maran barred rock

Let's see this weeks round up the chicks have almost all their wing feathers and are growing bum feathers. They still have soft downy bodies.

They are roosting, some will sleep up there and others will sleep on the floor in the shavings.

The chicks do this funny stretch. I call them chicky-lunges. They stretch one wing and leg out and back and then do the other, usually followed by a poop.

RIR red sex links buff orpington cuckoo maran barred rock

We have a rooster! A tiny Rhode Island Red, with a big blue dot on his head. The other little black on is a Barred Rock (or Plymouth Rock). We didn't want Ragnar the Rooster to be lonely so we brought home Barred Simpson to be his little friend. Can you tell we like puny names?

RIR red sex links buff orpington cuckoo maran barred rock
I know they're going to lose their down soon and look pretty ugly for the next 2 weeks or so, I'm not looking forward to that! They have lost a lot of down even since these pictures were taken a few days ago. My goodness they are big! Wait till you see them Friday!

Here's a reminder of Week 1 (and when they were brand-new!)

Monday Motivation

This weekend was very productive! I have my the Under the Sea blanket blocking, I cleaned the chicken box, cut the grass, Scribs did a ton of work on the coop, and got some seeds started. I'm sure there is more that I'm forgetting.

I'm almost done my laundry room deep clean! I need to do a little more washing and vacuuming before I am ready to share. I'm cutting it a bit close, I know! That's my main project for the week, finishing that silly room. I'm looking forward to sharing!

Um… how is it already almost Easter? That means we've been living in Washington for a whole year. It went by really quickly!

Old farm truck

My favorite part of this picture is the tree in the bottom right corner, and the falling down fence that has since been replaced.

How was your weekend, I hope it was great!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

To Mandie and Rob on their wedding day

Today is my best friend's wedding and sadly I won't be there to share it with her because I'm a terrible friend. I'll be over at the pitty-party for one. Anyways, back to the point!

While everyone will be wishing you joy, happiness, love and a blissful future, there will be some bumps in the road. Let's be real. Scribs and I have been married for not quite a decade and here's a few things I've learned.

Communication is key, subtly dropping hints or being passive-aggressive doesn't work. Say what you need, mean what you say and stick to your word. Sometimes you need to get VERY specific. Had I learned this earlier I think life would have been much easier. "Scribs,  I need you to do XYZ while I do ABC."We had many arguments that could have easily been avoided.

I read somewhere that you're allowed to be mad at your spouse for 10 minutes a day. I think it's about right, sometimes I save my 10 minutes and am mad for an hour. This again, goes back to communication.

There's no I in Team but there is an I in Marriage. You're a team now and forever, both of your opinions and ideas matter, even if one of you is being an idiot! Admit your mistakes, don't drag up the past and respect each others feelings.

Make time for each other. A little goes a long way.

"Along with the sunshine there's gotta be a little rain sometime
When you take you gotta give so live and let live and let go"
-Rose Garden lyrics by Joe Smith

I hope you two continue to love and respect each other even when times are rough. You two have been through so much together and are deserving of joy and love. I'm so happy that the two of you have found your place together and have created such a beautiful, happy family. I hope you two have many years of endless joy and grow old together. Where ever you are headed in life, you are going together with half a football team in tow.

(more tips here)

Congratulations again on your wonderful day! I hope you cherish every moment and build many life-long memories today.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Photo Friday Last Friday of March!

All I come say is where did March go? We were so busy it just flew by!

Our Rhododendrons are ready to bloom any day now!

ready to bloom

They are not my favorite plant and I'm thinking about getting rid of them, we'll see! Thats a project for another year!

Any plans this weekend? Scribs is working and it's going to rain, looks like it'll be another weekend of puddle splashing and blanket forts!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Turning 30

I am now officially 30. Honestly, it doesn't seem like a big deal, at all.
A lot has happened in the last 10 years. Marriage, babies, farm, moving a billion times. 
I'm always excited to see what's next, chickens, maybe cows, kids growing up, maybe a vacation at some point!, growing my photography and knitting skills. I definitely need to carve out some time to myself. Prior to my birthday, I couldn't tell you the last time I had a hair cut, did something just for me or spent time alone. 

Scribs really did amazing with birthday planning this year! We are not making a big deal people. He scheduled a day a beauty (without me knowing!) I had a facial, massage and got my hair done. I also had some walking around time by myself, I even splurged and had coffee by myself! And for a late dinner we had chinese! It was a great day, I would have never planned it for myself and I'm so grateful Scribs did! I know he was in cahoots with some people. You know who you are!

What's to come in the next decade? Who knows?! I'm looking forward to it!

(Isn't this photo lovely? Special thanks to B. Marie over at Never Date A Writer check out her blog!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dining room redo: Project Code name Can of Worms.

It all started off with paint. easy-peasy. Then I couldn't get anything under the baseboards to prime and paint them. Simple let's take them off. Who knew baseboards were a lid of a can of worms. Prying those suckers off was a pain! There's about a million nails, nailed into God knows what! And then there's the gap into the abyss. Seriously, who builds a room with an exterior wall with a 2" gap between the floor and the wall and then puts a wind machine inside the walls.

red to grey paint

One of the boards cracked and broke in half, I put the pry-bar through the 1/4" dry wall in 1 spot. Again, who builds a room using quarter inch dry wall.
I primed the window frame. I don't know why but every time I prime with either a brush or roller it ends up being an uneven mess. After priming came sanding. That made and huge dusty mess but at least it's smooth.

To fix the baseboard I used wood glue and clamped it. The next day I used wood-filler, let it try, sanded, primed and painted. I can still tell it's cracked but only I can tell. 

Thank goodness I managed to get the baseboard fixed, filled and painting without any other problems. 
All the patching, priming, sanding, paining and touch-ups were uneventful, it just took forever!
I cleaned the light fixture, let me tell you it was disgusting.

I still need to do something with the light fixture. I hate it, there's nothing wrong with it. I just don't like it. I'd also like to replace the blinds with roman shades, curtains would be too much as they'd take up 2 of the 3 walls.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Motivation

This weekend, my goodness! Was… not good. It rained, the kids were grouchy and the garden. Let's just stick with it was not good. All my garden work last week has left my house a mess! This week I need to whip it into shape! The kitchen and the floors will be my focus this week, unfortunately my March cleaning has fell by the wayside. If we get more rain this week I'll need to get to work in there. I didn't get my windows cleaned… Again. I'm starting to sound like a broken record on this on!


What are you up to this week? Any Idea what these flowers are? They're tiny and pretty!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Photo Friday

Wednesday we had a beautiful sunrise and I just happened to pop outside with my phone to catch a second of it!

Photo Friday

This weekend we are getting our garden tilled, it feels we've been working on it forever! I can't wait to share the process! I will say it has been exhausting!

Any plans with weekend?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The chicks are here!

This weekend we went on a search for chicks. Who knew it would be so hard to find baby chicks? We went to 2 places in town, the first only had 6 Rhode Island Reds, and the farmers co-op we went to had none. None! I couldn't believe it! The co-op, however, told us to try another co-op. We went back to store number one, scooped up the 6 R.I.Rs and went on the hunt! We went to the other co-op and they had more! We ended up with 2 Red Sex Links, 2 Buff Orpingtons and 1 Cuckoo Maran (the black one), we ordered 2 Khaki Campbells ducks and a rooster. The rooster will be a surprise breed, we're hoping for a Jersey Giant or R.I.R since they are big!

In the few days we've had them, they have grown! They are hopping around, flapping their tiny feathery wings. They are still very down-y and soft with tiny feathers on their wings. 1 is starting to sprout feathers on her head. We've been calling her feather head. They're starting to get butt feathers too! I think that in less than a week they have doubled in size. I'm sure in a month these little ladies will be unrecognizable!

The kids are over the moon with these little guys. N's first word in the morning is "Chicks!" I'm surprised how gentle she is with them.

down to feathers

Buff Orpington

Rhode Island Red

Chickens 2 weeks

Buff Orpington Red Sex Links Rhode Island Red

We don't have any names yet! The rooster (that we don't have yet) already has a name picked out. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Counter top lemon trees currently coveting

I am very into these dwarf lemon trees. Don't they make these kitchens looks so bright and cheery? I'm in full-on garden purchasing mode, every impulse buy is being curbed right now. Perhaps in the fall, until them I'm going to sigh longingly at these mini-trees and pretend I can smell the lemons.

Do you have plants in your house? Any recommendations?

1 from Houzz
2 from Heirloom Philosophy
3 from Williams-Sonoma
4 from White Flower Farm

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Motivation

What a weekend we had! We went and picked up some chicks! I promise there will be more on the chickens really soon!

We had a lot of running around to do this weekend! Groceries, several trips to the hardware store, library, the kids of course needed to get outside! The never ending yard work! We had two juniper bushes under our big maple tree that we've been trying to get rid of. We are left with the ugly stumps. Have you ever tried to get rid of juniper bushes? Jeez Louise, what a night mare! Their roots are the devil. We picked up an ax at the hardware store, the handle literally broke in half after 4 swings. We're lucky the ax head didn't go flying! Needless to say that was trip number two to the hardware store. Lesson learned, next time buy Fiskars first and don't waste time!

This week I did get my washer and dryer cleaned! We had a few rainy days which were perfect days to clean. I still need to vacuum the dryer vent. There is some nasty lint and junk inside the actual machine that I'm not entirely sure how to remove. The vacuum doesn't reach inside, I tried taking the dryer apart at the access panel, no luck. Maybe I can suck it out from the outside. Any ideas?

This week I want to get the window in the laundry room clean, it's gross! I need to take the whole window and track out, give it a good scrub and unclog the drains in the track. The weather keeps changing every 5 minutes, I'm hoping to get a break and get it clean.

We are having our garden tilled this weekend, rain or shine. I need to get the compost spread so it gets worked into the soil. Scribs and I started Saturday during nap time. In an hour and a half we managed to cover a quarter of the area. Thats it. It's going to be a long process and I will be doing it this week in the rain. At least I don't need to go to the gym living on a farm!

spring is here

I hope this daffodil from my yard gives you hope that spring is coming! Hang in there East Coast!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Photo Friday

Friday already? Holy Moly and it's Friday the 13th, spooky!  We had a great week so far! I did some work towards getting our garden planted, we did some chicken coop work and did a whole lot of playing outside! I think the kids were outside more than they were inside. Just the way I like it!

This weekend it is supposed to rain, so I guess we'll have to do some inside games. We'll see. Honey was waiting patiently for the rain so we would go inside. She's so lazy!

Clouds rolling in
It's an iPhone photo, but sometimes that's all you've got!

I hope you have a lovely weekend and get outside!

Peep peep

We have chicks!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WIP Wednesday Under the Sea blanket


under the sea blanket

I'm on the last repeat. It's almost finished and I can't wait to get this off my needles! Technically I still have a full repeat to do, but I don't think I'll have enough of the cornflower blue yarn, or I might but it would be close. Instead of ordering one more skein I just decided to skip the last repeat, no one will know. Expect anyone who reads this, or ravelry and myself. I have one more light blue, one more dark blue wave, then the top bit and the rest of the border. I might be getting ahead of myself, but I think this will be the last WIP Wednesday with the Under the Sea Blanket! Fingers crossed!

I'm excited I have some baby knits to do next! I love knitting baby clothes and hats! That'll be next WIP Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March cleaning project

My laundry room is out of control! We have all of our coats and boots in there, the coat closet just doesn't work and we use the shelves for all kinds of storage.
Our hot water heater, furnace, washer and dryer all live in there. No options there! All of our recycling lives in there too. I'm going to move that to the barn and deck.

As much as I'd love to rip everything out and start from scratch it isn't in the budget, so I need to work with what I've got! 

Here's my disaster zone!

deep clean project

messy laundry room

The good news is we are low on most things that go on the shelves and I can wash and put away most of our winter accessories.

The window is disgusting. I need to take it apart, put in a new screen, clean to tracks, glass and frames. I would like to get some kind of blinds in there but thats not really my biggest concern right now.

I'm going to clean the washer and dryer again. The hot water heater is behind the brown door. It's scary in there! I don't want to, but I need to vacuum all the junk in there. I'm a bit afraid of what I may uncover!

I'm so motivated and actually excited to tackle this mess! I do laundry everyday and hate going in there.  
March is going to be busy and I'll be using a lot of elbow grease! Check back for the results at the end of the month! And of course don't forget January and February's clean up!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Motivation

moon over mountains

This weekend we had such nice weather! We had a beautiful full moon this week too! I'm surprised how cool this picture I took with my phone. Cool, huh? We spent a lot of time outside, we had friends over, the dog got a new rope ball and we got the wood for our chicken coop! I can't wait for Scribs to get it built! The kids got new shoes that they refuse to wear outside!

Last week I put in big dent in my March deep-cleaning project. I'm so pumped to keep working! I didn't get the gutters cleaned (oh well!). I did get caught up on all the laundry! For once the laundry hamper is empty, towels and sheets included!

This week I'd like to clean my washer and dryer, and clean the windows in the laundry room. That's it. Nothing crazy!

What are you up to this week? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Photo Friday part 4

I feel like I spent this whole week waiting. Waiting for deliveries, waiting for calls to be returned and waiting from the water company. Waiting, waiting, waiting and waiting.

Sunset Silhouette

This photo isn't new by any means but I sure do like it! I will never grow tired of the birds around here.

This weekend we're going to spend a whole lot of time outside, skype with the grandparents and try not to let day light savings kick out butts.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

celebrity crush

This is a bit random, but I was watching Conan and Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson was on. That guy is AMAZING! There is really nothing else to day! I watched Cosmos when it was on a while ago and was hooked! I love that he explains complex scientific concepts in a way that even kids can understand.   Whilst doing a bit of google-ing I came across this blog post that sums it up.


I'm curious, who is your celebrity crush?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday motivation!

Holy moly it's March! How did that happen?
This weekend was great! Scribs scheduled a day of relaxing got my birthday. The best present! The rest of the weekend we play outside, started some garden prep. I finally finished N's dresser. I just need to choose some hardware. Sunday we took a stroll down to the river and we saw the first flower in bloom. Spring is here! 

Last week I finished cutting the lawn, it only takes 2 and a half hours. At least I don't need to go to a gym living on a farm!

This week I'm going to do my regular chores, clean the gutters (ugh!), get started on my March deep-clean (more on that to come! I started yesterday and I'm super pumped!) and hopefully get some yard work done. It's going to be another beautiful week in the pacific northwest, we're going to spend some time outside!

old farm truck

My favorite, beautiful mountains! What are your goals for the week?