Saturday, July 23, 2011

Here they come!

There they go!

Sam's given the dirtbike a try twice before, but he was a little too apprehensive.  Not the right attitude for dirtbiking.  Today after watching Disney's Motocross he asked to give it a try and attacked it full force.  Warren and Sam rode around the house a dozen times before trying a bit longer ride to the mailbox.  It gets pretty hot in that helmet so they decided to take a break and ride again tomorrow when cooler weather is forecasted.

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Boundary Waters Year 3 - Mission Accomplished

My family is officially back together for the remainder of the summer.  And while I don't exactly miss them while they are away at their camps, I look forward to sitting down to a meal with the table full again.  Each one brings their own silliness and seriousness to the table which always makes for lively conversations.  When someone is missing it's a bit quieter.  And as was the case this past week, when two are missing it's a lot quieter.

Emily and Nick arrived home sometime in the 10 o'clock hour last night.  They brought that pile of gear with them, a couple of new hoodies, and enough stories to keep us laughing for many meals to come.  At 12:30am Warren and I finally said the stories will have to wait until tomorrow, WE ARE TIRED!  So far I've heard about waterfalls and fishing, border patrol helicopters and park rangers, teenagers who don't sleep and the river they slept in one night when it stormed fiercely, spoons played with tampons, sorting and NOT sorting trail mix, jerky flavors and banana chips.  I'm sure I'm missing something, but can you blame me?  I was in the middle of an allergy coma when all this talking was going on. 

Tune in next time for more pics and maybe a few stories.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday Samuel

Cars 2 coloring set from his sisters.

Reading his golden ticket which stated that he was going to see Cars 2 on the big screen later that day.

Tackle box tray from his big brother.

The coveted Darth Vader light saber from mom and dad.

He wanted a cranberry marsh cake which Warren and I made happen.  Mostly he wanted a pile of dirt made from crushed oreos.  We made that happen, too.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gardening Big and Small

After weeding one morning I sent Emily in for the camera so she could document that our corn was indeed knee high by the Fourth of July.  After reviewing the camera this was the best of what I had to choose from.  Granted none of these kiddos are giants but the corn is nice and tall and now this week it's starting to tassel out.  Hot, buttery corn on the cob is just around the corner.

Fresh homegrown lettuce.

And now for a few pictures of the BIG garden AKA cranberry marsh.  I had wanted to get some nice pictures of cranberry blossom but by the time I got around to it the blossom was on its way out.  This variety is called Stevens; they are a later variety meaning the blossom was still present along with just a few pinhead cranberries starting.  Cranberries were named after the Sandhill Crane because the blossom is thought to look somewhat like the head of a crane.  See how the pink petals turn upwards exposing the orange stamen.  That's the crane head and then the neck is represented by the delicate yet woody stem the blossom is hanging from.  It curves just like the long neck of the crane.

This variety known as Hy-Reds is an early variety.  The blossom is earlier and the berries set earlier.  See the difference.  The berries already have significant size for early July.  This variety can be harvested earlier as well spreading out the harvest season making it a little easier on the body and mind.  We plan on harvesting the Hyred beds in late September rather than mid October for the rest of the marsh.

Here's another macro image of the Hyreds with honeybee hives in the background (the white boxes).  We bring in over 60 hives of honeybees to pollinate the cranberry blossoms.  Cranberry pollen is heavy (relatively speaking) and therefore relying on wind pollination is not the best plan.  The bees come for about 3 weeks during peak bloom.  Our bees come from Minnesota but they stage them in Texas and California throughout the year.  Those bees get around, I tell ya.

This beautiful web and spider were spotted in one of my flower baskets.  I don't know the species because all my nature guides are still packed away from our May flooring project.  Slowly but surely I'm getting things put back together.  Isn't that extra zigzag of white fascinating?  If you know anything about this spider please share in the comments.
That's it for now.  We celebrated our Sam's 7th birthday on Sunday, sent Emily off to Bible Camp, started Totus Tuus and planned a late August mini vacation.  This week has been busy with all the normal stuff too.  Laundry, weeding, animals, marsh work, meals, phone calls... you know, the stuff that never goes away.  Hope you all are enjoying this mid-summer heat.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Tables Have Turned

Remember their pure cuteness in April?  After 9 weeks of feeding and watering and watering and watering those cute little fluff balls turned into this.....DINNER!

She's definitely gonna be a tender one.

Here's when the fun started.  Warren lifted the chicken tractor and out they came running nilly willy everywhere.  We do what we can to catch them.  Chase, net, coax, it's all fair game.  Sam was put on watch duty.  His job was to hold the tail gate up (it's heavy, he's 6) so the caught chickens didn't get out of the bed of the truck.

So much is happening in this picture.  Sam is trying to keep that rooster in.  See it trying to escape over his left shoulder.  Dad is trying to put another in and Nick is trying to free one from the net.  I didn't get many pictures because Warren gave me the look.  The one that said stop taking pictures for you blog and earn your keep little lady.
We grew the best chickens ever this year.  Once home from the chicken processor we weighed a few before bagging and the roosters were a bit over 7 lbs.  Perfect for our family of 7.
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Almost a Boat Ride....But Not Quite

It was June and the day had finally come to actually get the boat in the water.  A much anticipated day by the kids.  You see they were in the boat before Dad pulled it out of the garage.

We pulled it to the boat launch and backed it into the water.

I don't have a picture of Dad trying like h*** to start the motor, but as you can see things are not going as planned.  Then Dad confessed that the battery didn't take a real good charge and the batteries were from 2002 and 2003.  He continued to look things over for a while.  I think he was more disappointed than the rest of us.

And we waited.


And acted silly.

And then decided to head out to our swimming hole.  Dad and Emily are preparing for a race across and back. 

Joseph played in the sand while Dad and I figured out when the next trip to Fleet Farm would be.  I'm happy to report that since my blogging is a bit delayed these summer days, the batteries have been purchased, are fully charged and ready to go for this Fourth of July Weekend.
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