Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another Summer Over!

September is here, the garden has slowed a little bit, and Liam has started his sophomore year of high school!  

What a doofus but I love him!

We had our first wine tasting of the first batch of rhubarb wine!!!  It was awesome, if I do say so myself.  Better when chilled but even at room temperature it was great!  Second batch will be ready to be bottled in the next month.  The blackberry wine is coming along nicely, gorgeous color!!!  Just started a batch of plum wine also.

We have 2 new sheep to add to Shelley Hill Farm.  Daisy, in the background, and Captain, in the front.  Daisy is a  mix, not sure what breeds and Captain is a Cotswold with beautiful wool!!!!  They are about 2 years old.

And now for the "naked" pictures.  lol The sheep shearer came and cut their "hair" yesterday!  Daisy looks much cleaner and skinnier!

And Captain looks like a totally different sheep!!  He is grey underneath all the dark brown/tan wool he was wearing.  I did keep about half of Captain's fleece and will be cleaning it and hopefully having someone spin it into yarn for me to use!!!!  Excited!!!

We got the fall garden all planted.  Below is lettuce, green onions, kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts.

More carrots to overwinter.

Purple kohlrabi.  Excited to try this as we haven't grown this before!

Cabbage and turnips (haven't grown turnips either, so we will see how that goes).

And more cabbage!  Can't get enough as we are really enjoying the homemade sauerkraut!!!

This is how the arch (made with fencing and 2 PVC pipes) turned out for the lemon cucumbers!  It works great and makes it so much easier to pick them!

Sweet potatoes are growing great.  There are 2 rows and I am really excited to dig them up, but still need to wait a bit!

More cabbage.  What can I say, we love our cabbage!!!

Beets and Brussels sprouts.  Planted these were the peas were earlier.  Had to put hoops up with chicken netting as the 4 baby (not so much baby anymore) chicks that hatched out love to come and scratch around the fruit trees, which are to the left of this.

Only 1 of our cantaloupe plants survived and low and behold, there is actually 1 cantaloupe.  It is only about softball size, but if the weather stays like it has been, perhaps it will ripen.  Fingers crossed!!

The Asian pear tree load this year.  There were sooooooooo many that 3 branches actually broke from the weight of the fruit, darn it.  We plan on making a batch of wine (or 2), dehydrating some into chips, and perhaps making some Asian pear sauce.  Not going to can any this year as we have loads left from last year's bounty!!!

This is the take off the oldest pear tree this year.  These I will be canning.  We have 3 other pear trees that are only 1 year old and 1 tree had 2 pears on it, but Runner got to the fruit before we did, darn dog.  He's very good at "picking" his own fruits and vegetables to eat.  (not that we want him to, but what can you do?)

As I was typing this up, I was in the process of making yogurt with the milk heating on the stove.  Obviously my multitasking skills are not very good this morning as it boiled over, even though it was right in front of my face.  Managed to save it and it is now cooling back down to 115 in the sink of cold water.  This probably has something to do with the fact that I haven't finished my coffee yet, I am sure.

Kara is doing great in Spokane, getting ready to start her school year at Spokane Community College.    Aylia and Alex are doing great in Spokane also.  Aylia got a promotion at work and is now the Assistant Grocery Manager!!  Woop Woop!!  So proud of her!

Nik is just about ready to begin his last year of college at Western!  He says he's excited to get started.  He really enjoys school!!!  And does really well, getting good grades!  He is working part-time at Costco in Bellingham and really likes working there.

Liam finished his driver's ed course and passed and took his DOL driver's test and ............................... PASSED!!  So when 11/28/2014 rolls around, he can just go in and have his picture taken and pick up his license.  So remember the date above, and stay off the roads anytime after that, as Liam will be driving those very same roads.  hahahahahahaha!

I am just busy working, gardening, feeding/tending to animals and sleeping when I find the time!!  Robert is doing great, he is off scouting his hunting area today.  Wants to make sure that it's really where he wants to hunt and where set up camp, et cetera.  Yes, hunting season will soon be upon the household and I won't have Kara here to keep me company this year.  It will just be me and the dogs. I am sure I will find something to occupy my time!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Been a while!

It has been too long since I have updated the blog!!!  So sorry, got busy with work, kids and everything that goes along with it.  

Sad news on Shelley Hill Farm.  We had to put Gus, our Boer buck down.  He broke his front legs.  Really hard thing to do.  He was a great goat!  He did sire 2 sets of triplets before he broke his legs, and boy are they cuties!  RIP Gus!

Since the last blog, Aylia and Alex got married and Kara graduated from high school.  Below are some photos from both!

Yes, yes, I know, they are goofballs, but I love them all!!!!

Kara is right in the middle in the front in the picture above!  It was a great graduation ceremony!

Below, was the cake from her grad party!  Mom and I made her a sash that said Graduate on it!  Turned out fabulous, if I do say so myself!  

And here are Kara and Liam in their varsity uniforms.  Liam got to play in 4 varsity games this year.  Kara had a great varsity softball year.  They made it to the district playoffs and she hit her very first home run!!!!  

To change subjects completely, Runner is now fixed and this would him wearing his "cone of shame".  Hahahahaha.  At least he stays in the yard now!

Mr. Moo Moo is no more.  He was supposed to be a steer and turned out to be a bull!  After managing to escape one too many times, he is now the in freezer!  Great hamburger!

Below are garden tour videos, including new baby rabbits!  Enjoy!

Since that video above, another doe, Mrs. Silver, has had 3 babies and all are doing well!  So 9 new baby rabbits!

I believe this should be the year of the tomato!!!  Hoping for a big harvest so we can can tomatoes for the next 2 years! 

Hope you enjoyed the videos.  Sorry for not updating the blog til now!  

Liam starts driver's ed tomorrow, yikes!!!  haha  His baseball season with the Stars has gone well.  They have 2 tournaments left.  He has also played a couple games with the 18U Stars, as well.  

Since graduating, Kara has moved to Spokane to live with Aylia and Alex.  She will be attending Spokane Community College in the fall taking the EMT/Fire Sciences course.  After 2 years, she will transfer to Central to take the Paramedics course there, as she wants to be a paramedic.  

Have a good one!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On To October!

It was a great year for our Asian pear tree!  We picked lots and lots of Asian pears and canned them all!

We ended up with 119 pints of Asian pears!  Woohoo!

I just finished making jam with the strawberries, raspberries and blackberries from our yard!  Yummy!  Tried a new recipe without using boxed pectin, used granny smith apples instead with the fruit and honey for sweetener!  Turned out great!

We dehydrated all the carrots this year and the parsnips too!

These would be all the apples we got off our trees this year.  Made 2 pints of apple sauce!  And we got enough pears from our tree to make 17 pints of pears!

Kara's 17th birthday BBQ was awesome!  Had lots of friends and family over!  Can't believe she's 17!  Wow how time flies!

And we visited with Gma Shelley on Kara's birthday.

We have added to the farm again, with 3 new piggies.  They are a cross between Hereford and Berkshire.  Nice and long, so hopefully lots of bacon!  Mmmmm bacon!

We have 2 males and 1 female.  The males were not castrated when we got them and Rob, Liam, and I took on that "lovely" task, with Rob doing the "dirty" work.  lol  Liam and I were the "holders".  Usually, they are castrated at about 8 days old.  These were 11 weeks old, so a little bit harder to do, but the job got done and they healed up fine.

We have put them out by the chickens and they are doing a fabulous job of rooting up the big mound that was left from Rob moving stumps, and clumps and such.  Hopefully, they will take it all down and then we can smooth it out a little and plant some pasture grass.  Then we will move them to another area to do the same thing!

And we added a steer to the farm.  Mr. MooMoo, as I have dubbed him, is a Jersey/Holstein cross.  He has done a great job eating the grass we do have in the back 3 fenced acres.  We supplement him with pasture grass.  He runs with Gus and Marty.

In more family news, Liam's football season is going great.  I believe the freshman team is now 3-1.  One of the high school photographers snapped the photo below as Liam was carrying the ball!  I think he's scored something like 4 touchdowns so far.

Kara is having a great senior year.  She had her first senior photos taken for the yearbook, which came out fabulous!  This is her and Tanner, after Tanner got his hair cut!  What a cute pair!

And Aylia and Alex are now engaged!!!!!!  The photo below was taken at the dinner after Alex proposed!  They both look so happy!

Robert is elk hunting, black powder, right now and at the end of this week, Liam will be joining him for deer season.  Hopefully, Rob will get an elk and both will get a deer.  Liam drew a tag for elk also, which is later in November I believe.

The garden is winding down.  We have lots of sugar pumpkins and butternut squash that we are going to can this year instead of freeze.  Want to leave the freezer space for meat if possible.

We moved the treadmill and weights out to the garage to set up our own "Box" to workout.  Liam and Grandma Susan and I did our WOD (workout of the day) the other night and it was awesome!  We have added a rowing machine, a 45lb barbell with bumper plates.  Just need to get an iHome or something better to play music with than just the iPhone.  We will be adding a pull-up bar and hopefully a climbing rope down the road.  Found a great place in Everett that sells CrossFit equipment very reasonably priced, so don't have to pay for shipping!

That's about it for now.  All is well up at Shelley Hill Farm!