Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's spring in South Carolina and that means snow one week

Frozen mud the next week

And ducks having sex the next week!

Today it is 80 degrees but Saturday night it is supposed to be 27!  
Of course all of the fruit trees are blooming and might be killed :-(

We have been traveling a lot (a wonderful month in Cuba) but we have managed to get a few things done around the farm.  I no longer have to climb concrete blocks to get in the house!

Our masons, Steve and James, did a fantastic job on the underpinning and the steps.

We are almost ready for landscaping and driveways.

Tom is glad to be finished with taxes and back working outside.  
He spent several days clearing and burning brush

Our milk lady has started milking goats so I made several kinds of 
goat cheese which were wonderful!

I am still enjoying the wonderful pantry Tom built for me.

We have added to our farm menagerie.  Three stray kittens from Craig's List.  They are all solid black and all boys.  We named them Boo, Scout, and Atticus before we knew they were all boys.  They are supposed to be barn cats catching mice, but they have made themselves at home everywhere on the farm.  They think Jasmine is their mother.  She's not so sure!

If it doesn't freeze and if Tom gets the lawn mower fixed, I will be spending the week-end mowing the grass for the first time this year.  Spring is a wonderful time to be out on our farm!

PS:  My Cuba photos can be found here:
as I finish editing them.

Friday, July 5, 2013

2013, So Far!

I know it's been awhile, but this has been a very busy year so far!!

The warm weather of December didn't last and we ended up with beautiful snows in January and February.

My geese and ducks had never seen snow before and kept hiking back and forth from the pond, trying to figure out what that cold, white stuff was.

We spent our 46th wedding anniversary at the Red Rocker Inn in Black Mountain, NC.

It's the perfect place for an anniversary and the champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries they provided made it even more perfect!

We drove back home along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

In March, we flew to Spain.

The reason for our trip was that our son, Tim, and his fiancee, Jess, got married in Gibraltar, following their hike of the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.

It was a beautiful wedding in a beautiful place and we all enjoyed watching the famous Barbary Macaques of Gibraltar. 

After the wedding, Tom and I took the ferry across to Tangier, one of our favorite places.

We stayed in the old Hotel Continental with its gorgeous rooms and tile work.

We spent several days just walking around the old Medina of Tangier.

Our old friend Jimmy still has a shop in the Hotel Continental where we found souvenirs for everybody.

After returning on the ferry to Spain, we spent several days traveling to the white hill towns of Andalusia...

and ended up at the posada in Toledo with its famous views.

Meanwhile, back at the farm...  We have added several pieces of furniture and lamps that we found on Craig's List.

I still enjoy spending time in my beautiful kitchen.

The biggest purchase from Criag's List has been Tom's newest toy.

He got it just time to use it to remove several cedar trees.  The cedars have Cedar Rust which infects and kills apple trees.  We will eventually have to get rid of all of the cedars on the farm.

The Kubota has also come in very handy in the garden!  Tilling made the soil so much easier to work with.

This year we planted 80 heirloom tomato plants, grown from seeds.

It took a year's worth of New York Times newspapers to mulch around each plant.

Tom had to make several more cages from concrete reinforcing wire.  It's a good thing he made them so big because our tomato plants are now 6 feet tall!

We're getting more vegetables than we can eat from the garden, all grown with no pesticides.  We do have to pick some bugs off and drown them in soapy water but most plants are bug-free.

We're getting wonderful blackberries, blueberries, figs and peaches from our orchard.  The trees are also loaded with pears and apples (those that are not suffering from Cedar Rust!)

On the remodeling front, Tom finished wiring the bedroom and sunroom.  Those two rooms are almost finished and it's a pleasure to sit in the sunroom and not see a dozen things that need to be done!

Tom finished painting the dining room for the third or fourth time!

We hired a contractor to build the small deck and steps down to the pond.  Tom told him if he did a good job, we would hire him to build our garage.  He will not be building the garage.

It looks fine but there are too many things that will have to be re-done.  We are calling this the Bell Deck because of the old dinner bell we put there.  Someday, it will have a rope so I can ring the bell from the kitchen.

We finished wallpapering the dining room and it looks really nice.

On the critter front, we are still getting lots of chicken, duck and goose eggs!

We added 17 new chickens and 15 new guineas to our menagerie.  Jasmine gets along fine with all of the birds.

The baby chicks grew up on the back deck but are now learning to roost in the chicken house.  The baby keets also grew up in the same pen on the deck but are now in the coop in the guinea house.  We should be set for birds for awhile!

One of the female geese has been trying to hatch eggs for almost two months.  One morning we found a black snake in her nest trying to swallow one of those huge goose eggs.  Tom caught the snake and took him far out into the woods to release him.

He did not catch and release the raccoon he found in the chicken coop!  When Tom went to put the chickens up one night, he cornered this big raccoon trying to attack our chickens.  The only handy weapon was an old Griswold cast iron skillet that I used to put corn in for the chickens.  It worked.

On the family front, our daughter Laura has started selling her purses and bags at the weekly farmer's market in Rock Hill.  She has been very busy!

We enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day with most of the family at an Italian restaurant in Waxhaw.

Sadie is growing fast and gets a little more used to that strange guy with the beard every time she visits.

Tim surprised us by driving up from Charleston.  He had Laura take his photo in Waxhaw where the final scene of "O Brother Where Art Thou" was filmed.

Back at the farm, the grandkids enjoyed the swing and animals.

Tom and I spend every morning and every afternoon sitting with the chickens and playing with the dog.  That's what we do best at the farm!

We've had plenty of rain this summer and it looks like the South Carolina drought is over.

Summer at the farm is a wonderful time of year!