Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

So we all have them. The "I didn'ts". You all know them, along with the "should we even bothers". It seems some days like the work is endless and the time is not. I could list in fine print on one wall all the I didn'ts. I'm still holding out hope for some to get done. As for the should we even bothers, it's a matter of trying to do something to see things sabotaged by people who don't care. I'm learning to let the things that didn't get done go, but the things that I fight, are too hard to fight, but we must keep going. Living in suburbia means that your neighbors are more interested in a half acre of pretty green grass, that is chemically treated, then they are at saving the bees. This is my biggest "should we even bother" because we have struggled to have a colony and keep them alive. I guess we should be grateful when the neighbors inform us that they are spraying, but please don't let the next question out of your mouth be "When do we get some honey?" So I have let it all go, and will keep moving on with what I can do, and count the blessings for what the universe gives.

I did manage to harvest more sage for holiday cooking along with a good amount of oregano. Shortly after harvesting the cold moved in and it seemed like I did what I needed just in time.

I also harvested a large amount of lemon balm and mint. These grow in five gallon buckets and have now died back to wait out winter.

With snow on the ground and it just being to darn cold for me to be outside working, I have taken out my long over do quilt to continue with. Here I have rough basted the top to the batting. I have had to gate myself off from the puppy to work, but he has to learn to let me work. 

I built the back over the weekend and I have it laid out. I will start rough basting the top and batting to the back in the up coming week. This has been two years in the making and I'm so hoping to get it ready for this winter. I need to decide just how to quilt it once it's basted. Maybe it will get done.

Hunter was too small back in April, when he joined our family, to remember what snow was, but this week he discovered the fun. Thank you Mother Nature for the best puppy entertainment ever. He had to sniff almost every inch of the back yard and it kept him busy for a couple of hours. His blue busy ball conveniently filled with snow when he rolled it and he would shake the snow out and cover himself. So much fun to watch. 

This was my favorite part. Who knew that snow could make a puppy tired. It did not last long. Maybe a twenty minute nap before he was out and at it again. The excitement coming when we have a full blown snow storm is almost too much to wait for. 

Hunter got a new job this week. He became supervisor to the elderly couple next door raking leaves. Besides barking at them, imitating them raking leaves by digging at what he could reach, and running back and forth along the fence, they were feeding him treats. He loves them so much, and they love him too, but I am grateful there is a fence between them. He is very strong and could hurt them without knowing it. The gentleman is 91 years of age and still going and his wife is 86. Some of this work was quite intentional so they could play with him. It makes me happy that he brings them some joy. Well that's what's been keeping us busy this past week. That and getting quotes for attic insulation, more upgrades, and new windows for the house. Getting her up to par will take time and money, but these things have to be done. We will get there. One job at a time. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and have a great week. Share your bounty and love.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

Winter is moving in this weekend, with the first predictions of snow, and I am not ready. Most of the yard is taken care of, and with the shed at least secured, we have been able to store materials, fire wood, gardening supplies, and yard ornaments in it. What a blessing to have it available. 

My herbs that I move indoors a month ago are enjoying the windows. Yesterday I harvested parsley. It was taking over the window and I now have it drying for future cooking. Later today I would like to see what I can get for oregano, lemon balm, mint, and sage before winter really gets here and I put them to bed.

I have collected all the dried zinnia seeds. This is a mixture of red, yellow, pink, and white that I will be packaging up soon. Things that can wait until I need to be inside, but I am excited to have a bounty for adding to the pollination garden next spring. 

I swapped out Halloween for Thanksgiving. I've always loved yellow ware bowls and I had two small ones that fit nicely into the cubbies. I've already cooked a turkey and have a nice breast to serve. Just the two of us and some simple sides. It is going to be relaxing and simple. I've been baking and preparing so our staycation week goes easy on me.

Once again I was gifted more vegetables. Even a couple of vegetables I've never tried before. I can only say that the beets were out of this world and I can't wait to grow some myself.

This post will end with Hunter. At nine months he is still full of puppy power and confusion, but he made it through Halloween. It helped not to have any trick or treaters. His treat was popcorn. He discovered thunder and lightening, but is not afraid of it. He only wanted to chase through the yard to figure out where it was coming from. I have considered changing my homestead title to "Mud Puppy Homestead", but it would make it all about Hunter and I'm not giving that up yet. We can only imagine what will happen this weekend when he discovers snow. That's some of what's been happening here at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and have an awesome week. Share your bounty and love. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

Getting the work done. Goodness it's been busy around here. The shelf rails are finally up and the brackets in position, the lumber is ordered and hopefully we'll have them stained and up by Thanksgiving week. 

We sat and looked at it and tied strings so we knew where we wanted the shelves to be. We had to work around Hunter's crate and a coffee table, but it didn't take long to feel comfortable with the result. We have room for books, plants, art, glass, pottery, and vintage items that have not yet been unpacked. We can't wait to feel more settled in this room and relax.

The biggest project this past week was the renovations on the shed. "Yard barn" is what it's been called. It was out with the old floor and doors. 

Groundhog damage repaired. and new floor installed. 

All work was done by CCH Lawn and Landscape, and here Chris is taking a minute to breath before starting on the doors, and checking his work. It's a nice solid floor and will give us many years of use.

Chris handcrafted the doors, matched the panelling perfectly, squared everything to fit well, and after a long day, but with beautiful weather, the yard barn is locked up and smiling with the new doors and floor. Now just paint and it'll be ready for winter. All this work was done to the highest quality and we felt that we got the job that they would have done on their own property. Now to get things organized in it so we can get to some serious gardening next spring, and not have to carry everything down and back. We are so happy with this result. 

To end this post with a dog note, Hunter got a new blanket yesterday. He's managed to chew one to pieces and with colder weather coming I got stitching salvaged denim together and made one to keep him warm. Not sure how much he needs though because he's always quite warm.

Hunter is always posing for pictures. He looks guilty here, but he's actually been allowed to sit with me in this chair for comforting. He just figured out that it's more comfortable without me and he can see out the window quite well to bark at squirrels. What a character he is. That's the news this week. Thank you for stopping by and reading about our adventures. Have a wonderful week, share your bounty and love, and keep smiling. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday.

The weather for the last week has been challenging for getting work done outside. Heavy rains for hours and mud up to your ankles. I need so much to clear a bed for my garlic, but it may be a few more days. While it rains I've been working on my seed inventory and saving what I can from my harvests. So far things look okay for spring. 

A nice hard frost moved in last night. Our neighbors had their lawn mowed, just as evening set in, and the shorter grass made it look like snow.

I spent a while yesterday getting my delicate plants inside and harvesting the beans and peppers that were as close to ready as they would be. I will now start pulling the plants and prepping for spring. Baby steps. I cut the zinnias and put the heads aside for more seeds, and saved this bouquet for some added indoor joy.

Work is slow on the shelves because of the extra help we get from Hunter. He's such a devil dog. He needs time with us outside to just play and run, but I'm hoping that he'll learn to be out much longer by himself. I work with him every day repeatedly to get him where he needs to be. The rails will be up for sure this weekend and then we'll decide the length and design for the shelves. From there it will be getting them cut and stained. I can't wait to finish unpacking. It's been a year and a half already and I'd like to see some of our holiday decorations out. 

Finally the stairway to the basement is getting a face lift. My daughter kept using the leftover paint in the tray, she used to paint the living room, to clean up the dark panelling. We have gray paint left too, so the steps will get done. I like it so much because now when the lights are on it's bright and safer for me. What else is there to do when the rain outside is so heavy. Keep building home equity of course.That's what's been going on this past week at the Town House Homestead. It doesn't seem like much, but oh it is. Thank you for stopping by and have a great week. Share your bounty and love.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

What a wonderfully productive, yet slower week and weekend we had. Ginger Bean, my dear Emily, came Saturday and dog sat while my daughter took me to a gallery showing, and we did a few errands. It was quite wonderful. Emily brought her freezer full of compostables and we got them in the bin too. While we were out she filled my crisper bin with fruit and veggies. I knew she brought a few items, but when I looked Sunday morning, this is what was there.

Lots to cook with this week and meals that can be shared. Also included was a head of garlic.

Bright and early Sunday morning I harvested oregano, parsley, bunch onions, chives, one more pepper, and some beans. What a bounty.

I also put some sage and oregano up to dry last week. I will need dry herbs for holiday cooking. 

The seeds from the squash will be saved and dried for my future garden, that is getting closer. If not I have some good compost going, and my buckets to keep container gardening.

I was most excited to harvest my sunflowers. I couldn't believe how large they got and most of them did a wonderful job at seed development. Only one performed less that the rest, but I was only supposed to have four sunflowers any way. I put four seed in pots to start. Only three came up in a week. I put a new seed in the fourth pot and to my surprise both seeds sprouted. The seed company said these don't transfer well, but I did it anyway. I think the result is awesome. I have seeds for my feathered friends this winter and maybe some for us, and a good selection to plant more next year.

We got a living room accent wall painted this past weekend. Yes, notice it's blocked off so that Hunter doesn't end up a black puppy with white paint. He's good at getting into mischief. We are so excited to be able to install wall shelves before the holidays. 

We had the most beautiful sunset Sunday night. My daughter captured it well. The ducks are a constant here because we have a neighbor who feeds them. Some evenings it's like watching a star wars battle, but this picture summed up the most wonderfully relaxing, but accomplishing weekend we've had in a while.

And to end on a mischievous Hunter note, yes he's a puppy, eight months old now and weighing in at at least forty five to fifty pounds. I turned my back to do a chore for a few minutes and one of the sofa pillows no longer exists. That was this mornings adventure with Hunter. I have nothing more to say. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week. Remember to share your bounty along with love. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

My first thoughts today are for the victims and families suffering in "our country" from the results of natural disasters and to the "human beings" who have lost their lives because of it. I can not alone send everything they need and I can not seem to rally many to even think of helping. My heart aches for the families that suffered fatalities in Las Vegas. My heart aches over the number of our citizens who are suffering from hunger and homelessness. This is America. This is a disgrace. We are brothers and sisters in this world. "All one." Do what you can even if it's on a small local level. Enough said.

I am learning to save seeds. I started this past year with some vegetables, but this week I saved some zinnia seeds. 

I also treated myself to other flower seeds. A percentage of the sales go to fund hurricane victims. I am cleaning my hanging baskets and planning a little more beautification of Ms. Beldon next spring. 

I was gifted a bag of "end of season" peppers yesterday and I know I can make some meals from them. This morning I harvested two more of my own peppers and a meals worth of green beans. 

I harvested almost all of my basil. I got four cups from my five plants and made three and a half more cups of walnut pesto. I gave one cup away to a co-worker of my daughter, that sent me some of his home grown garlic. I made a pesto and tomato pizza for us and froze the rest.

I had a large zucchini given to me and it yielded six cups of grated goodness. I made a zucchini quiche and zucchini ricotta muffins. So savory, and tasted incredible with our home made soup. 

Over night lows went down into the thirties so I brought my herbs inside. I am making homes for them so I have fresh herbs to cook with all winter.

My parsley found a home on my early Christmas gift. It's a vintage pole, plant hanger. My daughter gave it to me. She's taught herself to make macrame hangers, and has made me two now to hang my over abundance of plants. Below the parsley is a vintage planter with fresh oregano growing. 

We had a good rain storm one day last week. When the sun came out we saw this beautiful rainbow that left a wonderful feeling in our hearts. We can see the grass disappearing to grow gardens in the future, but in the time we've been here, our little patch of earth has done a lot developing. 

Today is national black dog day. Who knew? I'll close today with a picture of our little black dog who was neutered and micro chipped last week. He was so sick and we felt so bad. He lived nine days in his cone and hated every minute of it, but he hung in there. He has recovered well. This is not a cone of shame as many people called it, but a cone of responsibility. As pet owners we must be responsible even if it hurts us as much as it hurts them. We promised day after day that he'd get his revenge on that cone, and it took him three days to destroy it, and he had fun doing it. That's what's been happening at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by, and if my comments make you upset, and you think that I don't see all sides to problems, than feel free not to read, but please be loving to all.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

So, I can finally feel the growth of the suburban homestead we are trying to create. As our bodies mend from the injuries we have suffered from working so hard, it suddenly feels like it's coming together. It's been a long sixteen months, but WOW! The immediate roller coaster ride seems to be slowing down. 

The shed is getting a face lift. One side left to paint, and I can see that I need to clean around the spruce tree and mulch before winter. In the clean up I found boarders around the shed, and two sides have slate laid. The side still left to paint has a border with just soil and I am going to set Hosta's in there before winter. Then it will have the floor repaired and new doors. 

A motion sensor, solar light was installed and it is wonderful to know it works. Now it won't be complete darkness in the back yard and we'll be able to find that black puppy when he wanders off.

We had what we call a great harvest this week. We are grateful for any harvest we get no matter how big or small. We got a second harvest of lavender, plus one of my daughter's co-workers harvested hers, and gifted it to her. I got a few bunch onions, a large bunch of basil, more patty pan squash, and of course beans. 

I made myself a fabulous bunch onion and home grown pepper omelet for breakfast with my little harvest. Of course I cook with cast iron skillets, and eat off of vintage plates. Who doesn't? Well, not everyone, but we do here. 

The basil came inside because overnight temperatures fell a little low, so after I cut it back there was still plenty, and I put a good amount into a crock pot of home canned tomatoes, peppers, and a few other goodies and made sauce. We had cheese tortellini for dinner, and there's a quart ready for a small holiday lasagna, and eggplant Parmesan, put up in the freezer. The refrigerator vegetable bin is holding the rest and the lavender is vacuum sealed for holiday baking and crafts.

I'm falling in love with the bright colors the zinnia's are providing. I can't believe the different mixture that is growing, and the bees just love it. 

And, speaking of the bees, they have been an experience this summer. This past weekend they swarmed again. An inspection was done, and there was no indication that this was going to happen. A queen cell was removed to prevent the growth of a new queen, but oh well. This is the third time this summer they have swarmed. So many beekeepers around here say they have never seen their hives swarm, and I have seen five swarms this first year. Three we are sure were ours, one that was ours that left the tree, and one from who knows where that ended up in a neighbors tree. I may see this one fly away, but they have stayed put for a day and a half now. Now it's hope and pray that we can keep the hive stable through winter. 

This is an early Christmas gift from my daughter. It is three and a half pounds of white German hard neck garlic. I will plant a great bit of this and hope for a good harvest next spring, along with some scape's, and I will also ferment some for cooking and medicinal purposes. I will cook with some too.

As of this morning my fifth sunflower is ready to open. I am so excited to watch these grow. They are over eight feet tall and the heads are getting larger by the day. They add a splash of brightness to my day every time I look out my kitchen window. Who knows maybe next year there will be five times as many growing out there. 

I don't know how I can end my blog without another Hunter adventure, so here it is. Sunday morning I bought him a new "dog" ball. Yes, I am trying to get along with this busy, strong, and growing beast. He got the new ball because this week he decided that the soccer ball he was given just a few days earlier, and loved so much, tasted good too. I chased him around trying to make sure he didn't swallow it, and up to this moment in time, I'm not sure he didn't get some eaten. I was in tears because I can't run after him and no matter what I did he just ran faster thinking it was a game. I finally got him to run, without the ball, into the breezeway and shut the door behind him. I later went out to clean up the ball and locate several pieces, for his protection only, and tossed the soccer ball away. So far he hasn't missed the old ball and is having the time of his life chasing the "dog" ball around the yard. That's what's been going on here at the Town House Homestead this week, and thank you so much for stopping by. Stay safe out there and enjoy the end of warmer weather, and "pumpkin spice" if you indulge.