Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Little Telephone Game

Last night the girls troop discussed communication.  They had a blast playing telephone and with 15 or so girls they really got each message messed up quite a bit.  They also got to try their hand at telephone cans with strings.  They were all impressed with how they actually worked.  We then made a big telephone circle and had the girls send messages through the group using their can phones.  It was a blast.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rotational Grazing

We have just over 5 acres at our place.  Somewhere around four acres are pasture for cattle.  The pasture is split into two sections.  Our six heifers rotate every three weeks or so to allow half our land to rest and the grass to grow while they graze the other half.  This has been working so well for us that this week I took it to a new level.  Fusty, our guinea pig, now helps with the grazing.  She has a bottomless cage that I now rotate around our lilac bushes.  My husband hates mowing this area so Fusty can help.  She is about halfway around one bush now.  I also and seeing that this is quite a task for her so perhaps a herd of guinea pigs should be invested in to make this grazing a little more effective?  Alas we are a one guinea pig family so she will just have to try her hardest to keep up and eventually Brent will just have to mow to help her out.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Wonderful Cold Frame

My Wonderful  Cold Frame
My husband and daughters built and decorated this cold frame for me last spring.  I started lettuce in it then when the weather was a little warmer I moved it and put my tomato plants in it.  Last fall I planted carrots, onions, lettuce, parsnips, and Swiss Chard in it.  We just moved it over for the tomatoes again but check out the harvest that is ready to eat.  The Swiss Chard is a little small yet but the rest are ready for eating!  Now the tomatoes are quite happy acclimating to the unpredictable Montana spring weather.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fairy City in Montana

Mary Jane's Farmgirl Jubilee got me excited about fairy gardens.  In an earlier post I posted a few pictures of the plan but the weather was just too cold for the plants to get planted yet.  Mother's Day weekend I went out and bought the plants I needed to get started and today I got it all put together.  For the safety of the fairies I had to fence out the dog and children but I don't think the fairies will mind.  I sure hope that many fairies will come to live in our little garden.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Camper Overhaul is Done!

Today the final touches of the planned remodel of the camper were completed.  The curtains got hung and the place got cleaned up after all my work.  It is ready to head out on its first trip of the season.  We are thinking it will go out this weekend.  Somewhere close by so we can get Brent back for a track meet he is helping out.  Here are the pictures to show off.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Glamper update

In between Mother's Day festivities and plant shopping some glamping sewing managed to get done. I finished the last curtain and started on the tiebacks.  The girls and I slept out in the camper in the driveway last night.  The curtains were a great improvement. The girls slept in until 7:45am!  This new look is already paying off.  The windows that were missing curtains before this were the bunkbeds and the the main window over the dining table so the change in lighting for early morning was huge for the girls.  Not to mention the place looks so much better.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Camper to Glamper Update

How much paint can it take?  I thought a gallon would leave me plenty left over and I am starting to wonder if it will be enough.  About half of the trailer is painted with two coats and the other half has its first coat.  I took a break from painting for the last two days to work on the curtains.  I have sewn all but three curtains now.  I ran out of navy blue thread so until a have a few minutes to run to the store I am back to painting.  Brent came out and checked it out and helped me hang a new curtain/door for the girls to have a little privacy and decided it looked pretty good.  Initially when I asked if he minded if I redid the trailer his only request was that I didn't make it too girly.  So I went with greens and blues.  When the curtain fabric came home he decided he didn't like the green fabric as it looked to 70's.  Once they were up he seemed to like them better.

Although not as obvious I also have reworked the girls's closet to make it a little more kid friendly, made new washclothes/dishtowels, and cleaned out a storage area we don't use to give us another space to store things.  I also have to figure out some curtain tiebacks.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Farmgirl Jubilee Preparations

Today my daughter Kirsten and I started the fairy village in honor of the Farmgirl Jubilee.  We have had two fairy gardens from previous summers.  One made in a cracked birdbath top and one in a planter tray.  They both come inside for winters as Montana would not be kind to the small plants and the small fairy inhabitants of the gardens.  For this summer we are incorporating our smaller gardens into a larger flowerbed by the front door to better accommodate our growing fairy population.  Our fairies are so happy here that it seems they are always inviting more to come and stay.  This year we added some patio furniture and a new camper.  We have to wait a few more weeks to make the full shift to outside for the indoor plants and to buy some new plants to grow for our fairies.  We still have some hard frosts and one year it even snowed on May 7th.  It is hard not to start planting as the weather is so wonderful but I have made that mistake before so we will wait.

I also tried making my first key lime pie for the weekend.  I bought key lime juice and even made a meringue top.  The top fell quite a bit after cooling but hopefully it will taste good.  I also have planned a tea party for Saturday afternoon on the porch.  In honor of our tea party I sent tea to four farmgirls I have exchanged things with in the last year.  Below is a a picture of the pie before it fell.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Glamping up the Family Camper

  We have a 1987 Dutchman that our family has loved for the last few years.  We were going back and forth about keeping it or selling it and finally decided she would stay.  I then decided a face lift was in order.  The upholstery is in great shape but the walls are scraped up some and from 1987.  Some of the blinds have broken and one of the beds only works for storage.  Step one is the paint.  I picked "creamy cottage."  It is a beige/ off white color that compliments the upholstery as well as the new drape fabric that is waiting to be sewn.  I am currently a little over halfway through painting and ironing and measuring fabric tonight to start on the curtains.  The new color is great.  It brightens up the place and makes it look a little fresher.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Start of Summer Produce

About a month ago I started tomatoes and peppers in the house.  They are getting bigger everyday.  The grow lights are needing to be raised every few days and the plants are looking good.  Yesterday I started some cauliflower, melons, cucumbers, and restarted a few of the peppers that didn't seem to germinate from the last start.  This week I also planted onions and carrots out in the garden.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Little Repurposing

Three sheets are getting a new life as rag rugs for our camper today.  After tearing them into one inch strips and attaching them to each other I started crocheting it into two rugs.  The first is a flower shaped rug for the bathroom in the camper and the second is an oval for the kitchen area of the camper.  The main fabric was white flannel sheets with blue snowflakes on them.  The Flower also got some blue from a jersey sheet.  They will make a fun addition to the camper decor.

Brent thought I was a little insane when he saw a ball torn up sheets but was quite impressed with how fast a rug or two were made with the strips.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Painting with the girls

Today we had a fun day of painting ceramics.  The girls and I took Popi to a shop where you can pick out a ceramic something and paint it.  We get to pick them up next week all glazed and ready for fun. Kirsten picked out a cupcake shaped box.  Melanie picked out a cat statue and a bear statue.  Popi picked out the same cupcake design as Kirsten and I picked out a wine glass.  We had such fun.  I painted my glass purple on top and pink on the bottom.  Then I painted daisy like flowers in all different colors around it and connected them with a vine that then trailed down the stem to the bottom of the glass.   The final touches were a ladybug on the bottom of the stem and my farmgirl number.  I plan on using my glass whenever I am in a farmgirl mood and of course to celebrate the Farmgirl Jubliee.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A birthday for Melanie

Today we are celebrating Melanie's 8th birthday!  She requested a flower cake with purple spirals and lasagna made by Dad.  I decided to try a few more techniques with the cake decorating kit.  I also used two cake mixes so that half the cake would be chocolate and the other half would be yellow cake with almond flavoring.  This will qualify for another farmgirl merit badge.  The weather is rather gray with intermittent showers and a fair bit of wind so outside time is at a low.  Hopefully the kids will have fun running around the house.  For fun I got them all paddleball games to have a little competition. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Last week the weather was great and cleaning out the gardens was the plan for the week.  The cold is back so the work has moved indoors.  I have cleaned and organized two thirds of the house now.  How nice it feels to have everything clean and put away.  I even found time to finish my scrapbook of my Egypt trip from 7 years ago.

My best new project was using the crockpot to cook the Easter ham.  It took around 6 hours for a 10 pound ham.  I put brown sugar, pineapple juice and pineapple tidbits in the crockpot with the ham and sat back and watched.  I did have to remove some of the liquid once in awhile but otherwise we had a wonderful ham that was very transportable.

I also made a new half apron for myself to help lug around garden tools and eggs when needed.