Raised in a Barn…

Day-to-Day Life of a Country Mama


May 2017

Blue Bird Update

The blue bird nest in the fence post that I wrote about awhile back is all a twitter. The eggs must have hatched a day or two ago. Now every 3-5 minutes it seems like, I can hear the chicks chattering as a parent feeds them. I love being able to hear them even while I’m working in the kitchen. It’s such a happy sound. I haven’t tried to sneak a photo because of how new they are. I may once they are older, but I’m not sure. I don’t want to disturb them. Either way, I’ll being keeping an ear out for them. 


Pineapple Trial

I am going to try growing a pineapple from a stalk. I fully admit that I am trying this because of a video on Facebook. 

I brought a stalk from a whole pineapple home from Travis’s folks with the promise that I would let everyone know if it works. I am really excited to be finally doing it. I pulled the leaves off at the base to about an inch and a half of bare stalk. I trimmed off about a half or 3/4 an inch. Now it looks like this:

Now, I’m supposed to let it dry 2-7 days before I set it in water to sprout roots. I believe I’ll let it go two days since it isn’t very big. I’ll keep y’all updated as I go!

Hail in the Garden

We weathered the storms in our area visiting at Travis’s folks. Everyone was talking about Saturday having the strongest of the storms. However, it was Friday night’s storms that caused ping pong ball sized hail to fall at our house. 

I won’t bore you with photos of every bit of damage, but I’ll tell you the highlights. Our redbud sapling is a bit tattered, but still standing. The raspberry vines took a beating, striping most all of the ripening berries. The green berries on a smaller bunch of vines were undeveloped enough to survive. 

My sunflowers seem to have taken the biggest hit. As you can see, only a couple in the picture above are still intact. The corn was still short and scattered enough to avoid the worse. Only one had a broken stalk. 

The tomatoes and beans were a little more protected. They all sustained light damage. Thankfully, I am waiting for the potato vines to die back so I am hoping damage to them won’t matter. As you can see below, the outer leaves of my two prettiest squash plants are torn up bad. The heart of the plants look okay. I am thinking of trimming the broken stems to try to discourage bug invasion. 

I don’t know what will bounce back from this shock and what will become susceptible to bugs. I will try to figure it out as we go. I do know it could have been a lot worse. The only signs of the hail at our house (other than the garden) were a few blown out window screens, one cracked window, and walnut leaves blown all around. I am very thankful for the Father’s protection. Time to get on with clean up!

End of the Week

I wanted to write a quick apology for the lack of posts this week. I realized this morning how few I have done. There hasn’t been much to write about. Savannah has been staying with Travis’s parents so I have been a little out of sorts. 

There should be more to write about in the coming week though. Berries are ripening, the garden is growing, and we will hopefully be in the hay before long. There is always so much to do, though it’s not always interesting enough for mentioning.…. I hope everyone has a great and safe weekend. And please remember that flooded rivers are not for floating or playing in. It’s better to cancel plans or change plans than to risk a life. 

Garden Update 

The couple of days that were partly sunny really helped the garden. The corn shot up another three inches at least. The sunflowers have probably grown more like five. Green beans and tomatoes are looking good too. 

This is the first squash bloom of the year. No sign of squash bugs yet. I’m watching them like a hawk. I’m also thinking I may go ahead and start spraying them with a peppermint oil mix just in case. I’m excited to see the little squash starting to take shape. 

The beans I replanted are sprouting. I put a little extra hay around them to mulch. I also decided to try the hair repellent idea I wrote about. We don’t have much deer come along the fence, but I want to see if it will work for rabbits and other smaller pests. One of my first bean sprouts looked like it might have been nibbled off. If that’s what happened, I figure any extra deterrent would be worth trying for this round. 

We have rain moving back in for a couple of days so I will still be off watering duty. This has been a very wet spring. I need to start keeping track of rainfall amounts. Anyway, I have a mountain of things to get done before bed so I best get on with it! 

Homemade Granola 

I finally made some! This may be a new staple of our kitchen now. It is a very simple and basic granola recipe I found on Pinterest. Here is the bare bones of the recipe. 

Preheat your oven at 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Toss 4 cups oats, 1 cup sliced almonds, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl to mix. Stir together 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and 1 egg white and add to oat mixture. Mix well and spread to an even layer in the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until nuts look lightly toasted. Let cool and store in an air-tight container. 

Now for mine, I didn’t add almonds so I based taking it out on when the oats looked toasted like when you are making apple betty. I also just used salted butter and held back on the added salt. 

I really like this granola. I am figuring on using it for everything from cereal to topping for yogurt or oatmeal. It will be really great for cold cereal as the girls get older because they can choose what nuts and/or fruit they want mixed with it each morning. I may have to start making it in larger batches though!

Thought Wrong 

Well, I can admit when I’m wrong. And that is exactly what I am when it comes to making apple juice. I thought I could find some way to use the fruit after boiling it for juice. The truth is there just isn’t enough flavor left. The leftover apple chunks don’t work for sauce or fruit leather, which is what I was hoping. So I’m putting the idea to rest. It was worth a shot, but some things just aren’t salvageable. 

Name That Flower

I am wondering if anyone knows what the name of this flower is. It’s left over from the few flowers my grandma had in the yard. I assume it’s some kind of lily from the looks of it. I’d like to learn more about it to make sure I know how to take care of it. I’d like to even let it multiply if possible. 

Greener Pasture 

Papa and I were talking about the cattle recently and I wanted to pass on something he said. I had never thought of it this way. 

He was talking about moving them to a different pasture and went on to explain why. He tries to move them every 7 – 10 days. I always assumed this had to do with grass growth and health. He explained that it is also for the health of the cattle. It decreases their chance of getting worms. Their manure doesn’t build up as much and they don’t graze over it as much. 

Through I grew up helping Grandpa with the cows, he didn’t explain the why behind what he did. Now, with helping Papa, I am learning a lot more than what I was able to with Grandpa. I really appreciate Papa taking the time to go over it. 

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