I did so good the first year of blogging keeping up with things and posting everyday. Lately though, I feel like I barely sit down and if I do, I don’t sit down with my computer. Then my computer got sick. I mean some kind of crazy virus that didn’t allow us to log in. My boys freaked out. I had no idea what to do. Thankfully my youngest Denton found what is called a FIXME STICK. It plugs into to your USB port and then cleans your computer. Again, thankfully, it worked! We can now log in and use the computer. So here is a little bit of an update about what has been going on.
So that pretty much gets us through the month of June. It’s been busy and I hope I have a chance to get back on here again before July is over, but if not, be well and enjoy the beauty that is all around you!
I am not sure how many of you noticed, but it rained about every other day in May. At least that is the way it felt to me! I talked to my super excellent neighbor who tilled my garden last year. He was happy to help out again. We set a date and it rained. So we set another date and it rained. We then set yet another date and it freaking poured. Seriously?!
Finally on the Tuesday after Memorial Day, I stopped by. He planned on heading out to his nieces house to till up her garden early that evening and would stop by on his way back into town. Perfect!!
I can’t even tell you how excited I am!
It takes him no time at all to till the whole thing twice, and when he is done the dirt is perfect for planting.
While he was working, I ran to yet another super excellent neighbors house to pick up my push mower. It wouldn’t start so I took it to see if he could get it running. Of course, he did and it runs better than it has in years. Thank goodness! Another one big enough to use it!
Once my neighbor was all finished to his satisfaction, I started planting right away.
Since it was getting later and about supper time, I finished in the garden by planting my Herb Garden in the wash tub Sister gave me for my birthday last year. I set it at the end of the strawberry patch.
Speaking of the Strawberry Patch. Holy growth again this year! This thing is crazy!
They are so tall and completely loaded! With a little sunshine and warmth, we will be picking daily! I did a little peeking around under all those leaves.
Won’t be long. I then had gotten a few plants and flowers that needed taken care of.
I didn’t get a lot of plants because I wasn’t sure where I was putting some of my containers. But these two I knew what I was doing. I have a few weeds to continue to get rid of for sure!
Then I walked over to clean up a corner I had planted with asparagus, rhubarb, and raspberries. I wasn’t even sure what was actually over there it was so over grown. My asparagus is still spindly and not spreading. I may look for a couple more plants. The rhubarb is growing perfectly. I picked some and weeded around them. The raspberries surprised me. A few years ago a friend of mine brought me over what looked like two sticks with roots. I thought what the heck I will dig a hole and put them in it. And look what we have now!
They are spreading too! Yeah! I would love to have to walk through my yard to pick raspberries instead of through the timber and weeds and bugs! (Although, I probably will still do all that, it’s one of my favorite things to do early in the morning with my sister)
I was feeling better about the chances of my garden that night!
So we left the grapes soaking, to remove any bugs or grass or whatever might be sticking to them. Once they have soaked for about an hour, I get a clean colander and bowl and take them off the stems and then rewash them.
Once that is done I start weighing them. The recipe calls for 3 pounds of grapes.
This bowl full is usually pretty close to 3 pounds. My scale shut off before I got the picture taken but once I have enough for one batch, I put them in my big pot.
Then you add 1/2 cup of water per 3 pounds of grapes. My pot holds 6 pounds at a time. Once they come to a boil, I turn them down and simmer them for about 10 minutes or until I think they are pretty mushy.
This is where we enter the Jelly Jam variation. Instead of putting the cooked down grapes into cheese clothe and letting the juice drip out and then squeezing the remaining little bit of juice out, I put the grapes into my tomato juicer spinny thing (yes I think that is the technical name of this contraption) I spin the grapes until all I am left with is skins and seed.
There isn’t much left and the juice is actually a little thicker and you get more out of them. I always put what I call the guts in another, smaller colander to drain again. As the guts sit a little extra juice drips off into the bowl beneath.
This I just pour into the juice container after I am done juicing all the grapes.
When I was done cooking down both bowls of grapes, I ended up with 26 cups of juice!! Each batch of Jelly Jam needs 4 cups of juice, so that means a little over 6 batches this year!
Take another break because I don’t have enough sugar for that! See you back here tomorrow!
Don’t forget we are just a few days from Opening Day at Eden Hills Pumpkin Patch! Teresa has all kinds of fun lined up just for you!
Mom called and the grapes at my Great Uncles are ready. So I grabbed my bowls and headed off. Grapes are pretty important around here. My kids only eat grape jelly jam. Yes jelly jam. We made up the word to explain what it is we make. Which I will explain to you.
He just has the vines in his back yard. They aren’t huge, but they sure produce!
As soon as you get close you can smell them! Of course I tried a few to make sure they were tasty again this year. Ok, I tried a bunch.
They are pretty close to perfect this year. Such a pretty little bunch.
We loaded up all of our bowls pretty quickly. We didn’t even come close to getting them all.
Once I got my two bowls home I filled them both with water to get the bugs and grass and what have you off. While they soak I was bust getting out what I would need for the next step, which would be cooking them down, but you can swing on back tomorrow for that! See you then.
Seems like I have been busy lately! The boys have been having tournament games each evening. So far Denton’s Peewee team has won 2 rounds and are now heading to the semi-finals. Landon’s team plays their 2nd round game tonight.
I have been working out in my garden lately. Sometimes I think I only grow a garden to raise treats for my goats. They love weeds. And I can grow some amazing weeds.
This year, after I planted my onions and potatoes, I tried doing them two different ways. The potatoes I mulched immediately. The onions I put preen down, then about a week later I tilled between the rows and put preen down again.
Definitely think I am going to use the preen a little more liberally in the future. I can’t even find my potatoes. Have about 5 weeds in my onions. I am going to keep on weeding a little each day. I am making pretty good progress and the goats are very happy with me!
I have been trying to retake this picture. They are not cooperating.
Chevy likes to try to eat the camera. Chrome likes to walk away from me. But at least you can see that Chevy has grown, grown a lot actually! I think he’s a real beauty and what an ornery little bugger.
He’s a little hip high right now, but that will even out eventually He is getting some little spots.
He’s got a great butt. Which I love a guy with a great butt 😉
JD is growing as well. I think he is happy that Blaze is back.
This is what they do. Hang out together. JD doesn’t beller as much now. I think he was lonely. But lonely for a certain friend.
We did have a little excitement this week. Remember I told you I was pretty sure Rio guinea pig was pregnant. Turns out, I was right. Very pregnant.
She had 3 on Tuesday. Madelyn called freaking out! She of course loves the babies. They are stinking cute.
She had quite the variety of colors. I am excited to see them grow. Always interesting watching how new mothers act with their new little ones. Such fun!
Went trucking the other day. Hauled 3 anhydrous tanks back and brought back 2. Then had to go get seed beans so Brother is all ready to plant the rye beans.
Had a little bit of a line. I did think it was kind of funny that all three of us were women.
All tied down and ready to go get feed additive for the calves.
Brother is making good progress on the rye bales. There is going to be a bunch! Which means…
At least the 3388 has air and a radio. I can do without the radio, but if it is going to be over 90 with high humidity I am pretty happy with air!!
Niece#2 and Madelyn came over to help weed Mom’s garden. They worked really hard and had it done in no time.
Big Nephew mowed while he waited on us. We have pretty good kids. Mom’s garden is looking really good. Which I should probably finish up here and tend to mine for a little bit!
Niece#5’s bottle calf. Madelyn loves her! I didn’t get pictures of it, but Brother had a calf that was a little down, so he showed me how to tube a calf and I did pretty good. My vet thought learning to tube a calf might help me learn to tube a goat eventually. I absolutely love that Brother is so patient in teaching me new things when it would be easier to just do it himself.
Our day once again ended at the ball park, watching storms go just to the east of us. The towns around got poured on and we got nothing. While rain would be ok for gardens, I would prefer it waited until Brother got everything baled. I hope you are having a wonderful week.