Saturday, July 26, 2014

Around The Homestead ~ Hollyhocks and Roses

Now that our peony’s have finished flowering the hollyhocks and old fashion roses have taken over the garden.  Hollyhocks are another of my favourite flower.  These are from seeds a dear friend gave me 10 years ago when we moved in here.  I sprinkled a large bag of seeds around our fence line and some came up.  They spread a bit every year.  The only ones that didn’t come back were the black hollyhocks.  I think they are so pretty!  I’ll try planting more of the black ones next year.  The roses in the photos were growing in another raised bed garden here when we moved in.  We transplanted them to the gardens along the fence line so I could use them as support for the long rambling branches.  It also helps to keep people and critters off your fence.  These roses have crazy thorns!



IMG_3227 IMG_3231 pink rose red roses on rail fence IMG_3239 One of our sweet garden helpers!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Not So Wordless Wednesday ~ Peony Flowers

These are some of the red and pink peony flowers that were blooming in my garden a little while ago.  Peony’s are one of my favourite flowers!  They would be second to lilac’s as my favourites.

Peony flower by the rail fence.

Peony flower. Peony flower. Peony flower.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rainbows And Gardens

It’s been a slow week so far around here.  There is a tummy bug going around the area and we’ve been fighting it on and off.  No one feels like doing much with that happing!  We have been blessed with a lot of rain this past few weeks.  Our garden season started off so dry we were worried about another drought year.  This past few weeks have turned that around and the wood chip mulch is also making a big difference.  It’s been a cool summer as well I do enjoy that but the gardens don’t.rainbow We were just sitting down for supper when the sun came out briefly.  We were lucky to see a pretty rainbow out the front of our home!  It’s the first we’ve seen this year.  The kids were sure excited.

Last week we replanted the pole beans for the 3rd time and planted peas with them.  I’m glad to say with all this rain they are up and doing well so far!  Our first two plantings this year didn’t come up.  I was starting to think it was bad seed.  Last year we grew yellow Kentucky pole beans and saved the seed from them.  So for our 3rd planting we used the old seed from last year and this one sprouted ok.  Very odd that the first 2 didn’t sprout, I’m not sure if it was to dry or what.  As far as I know this variety wasn’t a hybrid so should have produced fertile seed.  I wonder if it was accidentally crossed with something.

Hubby and I have been talking, we think we might have another early fall here.  We are seeing many of the signs that I noticed last summer, and it proved to be an early fall and hard and early winter to!  We’ve been having a heavy dew in the mornings.  This isn’t normal for our area until August.  Also the baby crickets started appearing in late June, normally it’s not until late July or early August they show up here.  Our potatoes are starting to turn yellow at the base of the plants already to.  Another sign is the birds are starting to flock.  We had a huge flock of black birds or starlings go over our house a few days ago.  My aunt and uncle have also noticed this at their home.  I do hope something changes and we have a nice warm long fall.  Our gardens need the extra time to produce well for us this year!

I’m still waiting on my laptop adapter to come in.  It’s been 2 weeks as of Thurs. that we ordered it at the computer shop.  I’m trying soooo hard to be patient but we were told it would take a few days not weeks to come in!

What’s the weather like in your area?  How is your garden doing?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Around The Homestead ~ Computer Woes, Book Sales, Gardens and More

I've been meaning to sit down and do a weekly happenings post for the past 2 weeks now. lol  It seems every time I go to sit down life gets busy.  It doesn't help that my laptop plug broke early last week. When this happened we went to Walmart to pick up a universal adapter kit.  It was suppose to work with HP laptops.  When we got home we found that none of the adapter ends would fit.  It seems that HP changed the style of plugs they use for the sleekbooks compared to the "normal" laptops.  My plug isn't the short style used by most laptops, it's narrower and goes into the laptop very deep.  I guess this is because the laptop is thinner.

So the next day hubby returned the kit to Walmart and went to the Source where we had bought the laptop just last summer.  We thought surly they would have the right adapter after all they are an electronics store!  Nope, they tried to sell us the same kit Walmart had. (sigh)  So after this we went to a computer store we've had good luck with before.  They knew what we needed and thought they had 3 different styles in stock.  They wanted us to bring the laptop in to try them.  So later in the day we did.  None fit!  They had to order one in and said it would take about 3 days.  That was last Thursday and I'm still waiting.  I hope it will be in this week.  They did try to solder my old plug so I could at least charge my laptop while waiting for the new one to arrive.  Unfortunately it was broken so bad it was hard to solder and it wouldn't charge.

At least I'm able to use hubby's little netbook when he doesn't need it for work.  It is a little frustrating though, as it's much slower then my laptop and the keyboard is so tiny!!

The week before my tablet also stopped taking a charge or so I thought.  Turns out that it wont charge through the power plug, but will charge with the USB plug.  It's slower that way but at least still usable!

Ok enough fussing about computers. LOL

This is half  of what we came home with.  The kids ran off with the rest!
The Friday before last we went to a huge book sale that I was looking forward to for some time.  We had a wonderful time, although the selection wasn't quite as large as last year.  It seems every other year is the bigger sale.  Still we came home with the back of the van piled with books and videos.  Each of the kids filled at least one bag for themselves.  It was so cute to see my oldest dd12 and dd6 dragging their bags around so full they could hardly carry them.  They are book lovers just like momma!  We came home with lots of new videos including the Sound of Music and Mary Poppins two videos I had been looking for.

With books I found a lot of Magic Tree House that I was hoping to find.  As well as more historical fiction that looks similar to the Little House s
eries.  Oh yes we also picked up new Little House books as ours are starting to where out!  Then some nice history and science books as well.  I also picked up a Beatrix Potter knitting book, good timing as we've been doing a Peter Rabbit unit study.  To many to really share all the good finds.  I need another book shelf. LOL!

Weather wise it's been a crazy week.  We had super hot weather getting close to 40 C with the humidity, then it dropped to 10 C!  Then back to the high temps. again.  The tomatoes are not liking the weather swings and are growing slowly.  Some of them are starting to flower now though.  We are still busying hauling in loads of wood chips for mulch and started covering the garden on the hill.  I replanted the zucchini and cucumbers there as the first planting didn't come up last week.  Some of the zucchini has started growing and the pumpkins are doing well to.

I've been working at getting my craft room cleaned out and ready to use.  I really haven't been in it much since last spring.  I was just to sick during my pregnancy to care about doing crafts.  Then with hubby renovating the house, it became a catch all room everything was put into.  At least I can see the floor and table now! LOL!!
I still have to clean and organize the shelves.  I really want to get some skirts sewn up soon for the girls and myself.

Now that summer is here we've slowed down on our school lessons.  We do lessons year round so we can take breaks when ever we need to, but take a slower pace in the summer.  We have been working on the FIAR unit study on Peter Rabbit.  The younger kids are also still working through Reading Kingdom and Science4Us.  Dd12 is also working on 2 weather studies.  She's using God's Design Weather and Water and a unit study/lapbook on tornadoes.  She's my weather buff!

Well I can hear the thunder starting outside so it's time to head off for now.  What have you been up to?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Our Family's Favorite Waffle Recipe

Our family's favorite waffle #recipe @homesteadmommy @homesteadacres

Sunday mornings our family loves to have a big brunch.  One of our kids favorite breakfast/brunch dishes is waffles.  They are filling and so easy to make.  This is the recipe our oldest daughter loves to make.  It easily feeds our crowd.

Waffle Recipe

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Beat eggs together, then mix in milk, oil, vanilla, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder, mix well.

Pour onto a well hot well oiled waffle iron.  Cook until nice and golden brown, this is about 3 minutes in our waffle maker.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Garden Update June 23

Weather wise this past few weeks have been a bit of a yo-yo.  We had very hot weather for a while, then the temperatures dropped down to where it was only 5C at night for a few days!  Then the heat and humidity came back.  The gardens are doing pretty good despite the cold weather, although the hot weather crops have slowed down their growth a bit.  We did get a good rain storm yesterday that gave us over an inch of rain!  Oh we needed that rain so bad.  It has been a dry spring overall.  These photos and video were taken earlier in the week before the rain.  Since the rain yesterday everything in the garden has really grown!

Potato plant in the main garden.

This is a potato plant from our main garden.  We had half of it weeded, until we had a little rain.  Then the crab grass and pig weed shot back up! IMG_2950

This is one of the potatoes we planted in the Back to Eden garden.  We found they took a little longer to come up, but they are doing very well!  I’m looking forward to seeing how the harvest will be with them.


The early cabbage is doing great! Lettuce The leaf lettuce is ready to harvest now!  We’ve started some more seeds to extend the harvest time through summer.

Bean plants The bean plants that hubby planted in the shade garden are doing the best out of all our beans this year.  They are doing so well I planted another row and a half of green bush beans here.

Shade garden planted with broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, beans, carrots and beats.

An overview of our shade garden.  This garden gets a little sun at the front of it very late in the day.  The majority of the garden is in full shade all day.  This plot is great for keeping cool crops growing all summer.

 Tomato plant

One of the tomato plants, they are growing slowly due to the colder temperatures we had.  Over all they are looking nice!

 Volunteer potato plant growing by the bean trellis.

Volunteer potato plant growing up by our bean trellis.  Garden by the barn planted with beans, radish and peanuts. The small garden patch behind our barn.  This had been planted with carrots earlier in the season.  Unfortunately little helpers didn’t plant them deep enough to get to the soil level so they didn’t come up.  We replanted it with 3 rows of bush beans, 1 row of radishes and 1 row of peanuts.  The bush beans and radishes are already up, but no sign of the peanuts.  The seed might have been to old.

Walnut tree found growing in the wood chip mulch.

Close up of walnut roots.

When I was weeding in the garden I pulled up what I thought was a weed.  It turned out to be a seedling walnut tree!  I guess the walnut must have been in the wood  mulch. lol  The kids thought it was really cool to see how the walnut cracked open to grow.

How is your garden growing?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Blogathon Weekend Wrap Up

Biannual Blogathon Bash 
Well the June Blogathon is over and although I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to work on things, I had a great time.

What I had planned to work on was:
  • Switch my share bar from ShareThis to Flair. 
  • Plan out a new posting scheduled. 
  • Write 2 or more posts to schedule for each of my blogs. 
  • Brainstorm new post ideas. 
  • Write a new about me page. 
  • Reorganize my sidebar. 
  • Make pinable images for older posts. 
  • Complete some mini challenges. 
Over the weekend I managed to switch my share bar from ShareThis to Flair.  So far I'm liking it better. I worked on my list of post ideas for this blog and my family history blog.
I set up TweetDeck again so I can better keep up with my Twitter accounts.  Then I set up my blog RSS to auto feed to my Homestead Acres Twitter account.  I haven't used this account much in the past, since my first Twitter account Homestead Mommy was my personal one and my catch all for posts.
I cleaned out my email inbox, oy that was a challenge in its self!  I did start working on some images to add to posts as well.  That will be a long project though!

I haven't decided what I'm doing with the blog comments yet.  Right now I'm using the default Blogger comments.  I like them ok except that they don't notify people when you respond to comments.  I'm also starting to get more spam.  That was one thing that was nice about WordPress it had great spam catching plugins!

I've been thinking about using Google+ comments.  I do use this on my family history blog and I like how they work.  The down side to Google+ comments is that you have to have a G+ account to leave a comment.  Also if you move your blog so the links change you lose your comments.  The same applies if you use their comment system and then turn it off your comments are gone.  The upside is it is wonderful for social sharing on G+ and you can tag other users easily.

I've also been looking at Disqus comments as well.  It allows for login with multiple social sites as well as name/email.  So it's more open to comments with a wider group.  It also notifies people when their comments are replied to.  The down side to Disqus is I've heard from a few people that they had trouble with spam posts and when they wanted to turn Disqus off there was issues migrating the comments back to Blogger.  I don't know if these are still current problems?

I also joined in 2 Blogathon Twitter chats and won  a prize, thank you!!  Then completed 2 mini challenges.

A huge thank you to +Kathleen Garber for hosting another great round of the +Biannual Blogathon Bash.

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