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Raised in a Barn…

Day-to-Day Life of a Country Mama

Hay Season Again

As frequently happens at the beginning of June, we were in the hay. I know this is usually the case because every year it seems like we end up hauling it on my parents anniversary. Our top hayfield’s first cutting yielded just over 200 square bales. We had a couple delays due to rain and a maintenance issue. Other than that it went pretty smoothly. I thought this would be the year I got to help rake, but the schedule didn’t work out where I could. Maybe next time! In a few more weeks, Papa will be cutting the bottom field and we will begin again. I’m looking forward to it.

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Corner Shelf

I was at it again. I just finished this corner shelf yesterday evening. It is close to four foot tall and 8 inches deep. I measured the tallest item we wanted to set on the floor underneath (the gas can) and spaced the shelves accordingly. I also made the right top shelf only half the length to make the power outlet for the washer easily accessible. It’s not the prettiest, but it should work good for what we need.

Sunburn Salve

It has been awhile since I got a true sunburn. Today, I made up for that by turning my back lobster-red while working at an event. I am taking this opportunity to try making my own aloe salve for it.

I harvested a bit of my aloe, squeezing the gel into a small container. I put a few drops of lavender essential oil in and stirred it. (Obviously the oil separates from the gel.) It seems like a pretty nice mix, but only time will tell how much it helps speed recovery. I’m glad I have plenty of aloe to spare!

Craziness

I apologize for falling off the map there for awhile. We have had pure craziness around here for about a month. We have gone through getting a separate garage put up for extra space, gardening work, and me developing new products for the market. Fostering a baby opossum, which survived, and a kitten, which didn’t. Work on a building for our congregation to begin meeting in on Papa’s recently purchased land. I have also started teaching my 7-year-old niece how to crochet and covering Facebook marketing for our market group because our lady over it is recovering from knee surgery. Oh, and we just wrapped up haying the top field. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

The craziness isn’t over yet, but I will try to carve out some time to post about what all has gone on and other recent events as they come. Thanks for sticking with me!

Grandma’s Roses

I have been so happy to see Grandma’s roses bloom. After pruning and transplanting almost too late, I was concerned if they would survive. I never thought about them blooming in addition to thriving. All three bushes are looking great. Something occurred to me as I was tending the garden this morning and I find it appropriate. I have roses from Grandma Tate. Lilies from Grandma Barnes. And they both bloom around Memorial Day.

Garden Update

We are looking pretty good in most of the garden. The green beans are about to put out their runners up the post. The sunflowers, corn and squash are coming right along too. I even have basil and more green beans sprouting up from my second planting.

I bought a new addition that I hope does well: two watermelon plants (above is one). They are called a bush sugar baby. They don’t sprawl out like a normal watermelon plant. I haven’t grown watermelon since I was a kid in 4-H so I’m really excited.

I haven’t been able to get anything to sprout in my tanks. These guys are so thick, I think they may be munching the seeds before they sprout. I know they usually eat decomposing wood, but it’s the only possibility I can find. I’m looking into natural methods of removal. I may have to just let the tanks rest and the bugs disperse before I can use them. I definitely will pay closer attention to bugs in my materials next time.

I hope y’all’s gardens are coming along too. We got a nice rain yesterday so at least I won’t have to water.

Birds of the Season

We have had so many birds gracing our yard this year even with our bird-hating blue heeler. We have our usual pair of blue birds nesting in our fence post. When I peeked in a couple weeks back, they had 4 beautiful eggs. I haven’t heard chirps of the babys yet, but I imagine it won’t be long. 

Our usual hummingbirds are back and seem to have spread the word. I have three feeders up. Last night, I think we had to have 10 or 12 buzzing from the Rose of Sharon bush to the feeders. As much as they frequent that bush, I sometimes wonder if any nest in it. It’s so big it would be hard to know! And it could probably nest several pairs at least. I may have to read up on their nesting habits this week…

We had three oriels visit us this year for the first time. As luck would have it, I had some fruit that I needed to toss so I put it out for them instead of composting it. They cleaned it right up! Two other yard visitors besides our standard sparrows have been goldfinches and indigo buntings. I hadn’t noticed goldfinches before. When I was talking to Papa, he said they are fans of dandelion seeds. Given the number we have, it’s no wonder they have taken notice of us. 

I hope you are all enjoying your local birds. It’s always nice to have them around. Even as I write this before daybreak, I’m enjoying listening to two whipperwills singing in the bottom. What a great season. 

Sourdough Start-over 

I ended up tossing my starter I tried to make last week. By Friday, it had a dried out layer on top. I think the kitchen was too cool for continual growth. And I know I forgot to stir it Thursday. This week, temperatures will be considerably warmer so I am trying again. Hopefully next week, I will have a more positive update on it than this one was!

Sourdough Starter 

I decided to finally try making sourdough bread so yesterday I stirred up my starter. I am using directions for it that I found in my grandma’s recipes. I mixed 2 cups warm water, 2 cups flour and one package of yeast. The directions say to leave it in a very warm place for 4 – 7 days and stir the mix once a day until it is bubbly and smells like yeast. Our kitchen isn’t exceptionally warm, but it is the warmest place in the house. As you can see in the photo, the mix is already looking good. I’m really looking forward to making bread for next week!

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