Friday, July 17, 2009

Autumn in July

The weather here in Iowa is feeling a lot more like September than July lately. The daytime high temperature today was 63, and overnight it is expected to drop into the upper 40's or low 50's. It seems as though summer has barely begun, but the crisp air and brisk breeze today reminded me that fall is not such a distant season.

I thought that I would take advantage of the cooler temps and get started on some canning. It is much better to fill the kitchen with pots of boiling water and steam when the outside temps are in the 60's rather than when they are, say, 90ish where they would normally be this time of year...otherwise it leads to an activity that my friend, Miss Effie, calls "nearly-naked canning" her defense there is no air conditioning in her house. I digress.
I am way behind on canning/freezing this year....but then again, the garden has been way behind too, and much of the produce is just starting to come in. Today I got 27 jars of strawberry jam finished for market...well, that is, whatever jars make it to market! Strawberry jam is kind of a favorite around here. I will make Blueberry next week. Hey, now just for fun, let's watch the Iowa corn grow, shall we? These pictures were taken 10 days apart. For this completely non-scientific experiment, you can look at the tower in the background to show just how wild and crazy the corn has grown. That, and the fact that the neighbor's house disappears.Another experiment that I am conducting...........
I have several hydrangea bushes that are growing quite nicely with their beautiful bunches of pink flowers....therein lies the problem. Our daughter is getting married on August 8th and decided LAST WEEK that she would like a hydrangea bouquet to hydrangeas. I am all about the blue hydrangeas. I love them. Problem is, we live in Iowa, we have fertile, alkaline soil to the max. Hydrangeas only turn blue in acidic soil. SOoooo, I have been adding aluminum sulfate, peat moss and an organic fertilizer that "will turn pink hydrangeas blue". Hmmm, so far I am not seeing anything, there are some new blossoms that will be opening before the wedding...I will keep you posted!Maybe I can talk her into some purple Cone Flowers instead...I have lots of those!
Lambies are growing too. Halley wanted to show you her new jewelery. We tagged all the lambs last weekend-my least favorite job ever, but it is done now until we have new lambs next year.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Just stuff

After a *gentle* urging from some of my readers, I decided that it was time I update this blog. There has been nothing terribly exciting going on, but I will give you a quick run down to get you caught up and let you know that we are all still alive and well.
Over the last few weeks we have had a lot of this..........
Then it got incredibly, unbearably, stifling hot. Of course Emma didn't mind the heat as long as she had her swimming pool...and her Jolly Ball.
Our grand-nephew Zach decided to accompany Emma for an afternoon swim...with all of his clothes on. In my opinion, this is how every child should spend their summer....splashing in a pool full of stinky farm dog, floating grass clippings and a slimy Jolly Ball....yeah, you might not want us to babysit for you.Since Mama Llama doesn't have her own pool, she had to do the next best thing to contend with the heat. Llamas like to have cool bellies and Mama would love to stand there all day having her belly sprayed.The air show always goes right over our farm every year in June. I am not a fan of aircraft of any kind, I hate to fly and I would never pay to go and watch the whole airshow....but boy do I love that big jet noise that the Blue Angels make when they fly over.....I'm not gonna lie...I think it's kinda hot.

The chicks are growing like crazy.
The Blue Cochins are starting to feather out.And who doesn't love a cute chicken bum? OK, maybe that's just me on that one...seriously though, look at that bum.The Mille Fleur Leghorn chicks are really changing. These are the most precocious chicks ever! They are only a few weeks old and already go over, under and through the chicken fencing, wandering out into the horse pasture alone. Out of the 10 chicks that I got, it looks like about half are cockerels....anyone need a roo???? Please???? Anyone??

Flowers are finally blooming. And we have seen the return of some good insects.....
And some very baaaad insects! The Japanese beetles are back and loving my flowers, although, since we are surrounded by cornfields this year, they are much less of a threat than the years that soybeans are planted around us. They are drawn to soybeans like a magnet and are happy to hop right on over into my gardens while they are at it.Some of the lambs have left for their new homes. Magnus was the first to go. He is really looking great and I am so happy with the way his horns are looking at this point. Strangely, his mother didn't seem very sad to see him go.....might have had something to do with those big horns and the fact that he was still trying to nurse......Ande is just feeling altogether neglected with all these lambs and chicks running around.
The big news though, is that after having his job eliminated January first, and being at home looking for gainful employment... for the past six months...Gary is finally back to work! Yay! YAY! YAY! I'm just sayin'....that's a lot of together time......oops, sorry honey, did I say that out loud?

Copyright info

Creative Commons License
The content of Crosswinds Farm blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.