Saturday, November 06, 2010

It's been awhile since my last post, I know.
In the interest of keeping my family life private - and my children protected - I have decided to close up shop on Chipmomk.

I will no longer be posting entries here.

For my family and friends - I plan to start up a new blog in the near future that is password protected. Will keep you posted, if I have your email address...

Friday, October 01, 2010

Yeah, this pretty much sums it up.....


Apparently, we have a wild persimmon tree. I'm not entirely sure what to DO with a wild persimmon, but they look quite lovely hanging from the branches right now.

And I suppose the good news is that with every wild fruit tree we discover, I have renewed hope that an orchard is a possibility on the farm. Still looking for a good wild crab tree and am surprised to have not found one, yet....

Every week there's something new to discover.

Maybe next week we can find an elusive paw-paw....

The guineas are slowly beginning to lay eggs. We got the guineas around mid-May, and by the end of September, a few eggs were beginning to appear. Problem is, they are appearing in the strangest places. A few, with odd shell, or rubbery shells, appeared under the perches in the guinea hutch, which seems reasonable enough, although it would appear that the guinea who "laid the egg" did so while still on the perch - score zero for maternal instincts. More eggs have appeared randomly in the tomato patch, one was found along the wall of the house and one over by the compost heap. The fact that these birds are able to reproduce at all is clearly a miracle.

A lovely young lady at our local farmers market sells guinea eggs and tells me they are tasty and nutritious. So, IF the guineas laid eggs and IF we could collect them, or IF they went broody and hatched them out, that would be neat, no?

Soooo, I made the guineas a little nesting box. I even put a golfball in one of the boxes, as I had read somewhere that this might give these dimwitted birds the notion that THIS, the NESTING BOX would be a good spot to put, oh, you know, anything one might have that looks vaguely spherical. And off-whitish.

The nesting box has been an utter failure. Although one guinea does appear to have hollowed out a wee spot to rest, directly UNDERNEATH the entire nesting box itself, no one appears to be using the boxes. No one. My next plan of attack is to cover the nesting box in some old juniper twigs and see if this sort of "camo" will encourage the birds to want to nest in the boxes. Stupid guineas.

In the meantime, on the other side of the coop, my chicken nesting boxes house sleepy chickens and as of yet, no eggs, either, but that's because the chickens are still a little too young. But by next month, I'm hoping we'll start to see some chicken eggs in my beautiful nesting boxes.(And, yes, I'm inordinately proud of the nesting boxes - it gave me a chance to learn how to use our new nail gun - FUN! While using up lots of old scraps of wood from our house reno! Free! Sort of...)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

We've had a busy weekend, took lots of pictures, but obviously all of those activities are superseded by the biggest event of all - ALL munchkins starting school at their NEW school!!! Whoot! Big C. has been attending school for a week, but the girls' first day was today, and they were crazy excited about the prospect. So, I shall leave pictures of the chickens,pictures of the White House visit, and pictures of our various other events to the side, and present you with this, the official back to school shot of the crew....

OK - everybody get in the car....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why do back-to-school photos always sport bad haircuts where my son is concerned? Nonetheless, I think he's pretty cute. He appeared very confident and happy on this, his first day of Kindergarten. I suppose at this juncture I am supposed to comment on how my baby has grown, and how quickly the time flew by, but really, this summer was LOOOOONNNG and hot and busy and crazy and, yes, we still haven't unpacked all the boxes since moving and so, when I stop to think about it, I think, yup, we're right where we're supposed to be.
"Real" school.
He's ready - I'm ready - and we are all hoping that the school year will be filled with wonderfulness.
Now to get the girls ready to start Pre-K next week......

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our trip to Canada was wonderful. We got to see Grene and Grandstan, we got to see Niagara Falls (because we were driving right by it on our way north, and what the heck, watching water fall over a cliff with 30 000 other people is always fun. Caden's hat flew right off his head and into the mists, so we even have a memorable incident!). We got to see Uncle Rob and Aunt Frannie (and stay in their luxurious home - it was awesome) and African Lion Safari (where we were attacked by an Angry Ostrich) and the Donkey Sanctuary (where we groomed donkeys and learned that they make A Lot of Noise). Also, buttertarts, Aero bars and maple cream cookies were highlighted.
'Twas a busy week!
Pictures of Canada.

We had friends come to visit for four days this week - all the way from NC!- and we kept very busy. We spent a day at Stribling Orchard, and managed to pick lots of peaches and lots and lots of apples (4 pecks!!!). The orchard itself is beautiful, on high rolling hills with a glorious view, and the apple trees were filled with fruit, which made picking easier for the shorter amongst us.

For lunch, we went to the Apple House in Linden, which not only serves FANTASTIC bbq, but also fries up the yummiest apple butter donut, rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Almost as good as the ones I used to buy at the Guelph Farmer's market, back in the day. Michelle and I agreed that, left alone with a dozen of those bad boys, they'd be ALL GONE in under 15 minutes. I would've taken a photo of them to share with you all, but there don't seem to be any left in the house. Num num num.

Caden demonstrates the handling of the "picking pole" on a peach tree.

Piper hangs out.

Quinn recommends an apple.

Group portrait.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

We've been busy bees here.
We've been attending an outdoor Arts and Crafts camp, which occurs every morning for three hours, in the absolutely craziest heat that this area has EVER had. This makes for some tired and cranky campers when I come to pick them up at noon. We are also preparing for the start of school - Big C. actually starts at the end of August! - and then there's all the fun things to do around here, which include this weird shot of us watching Dada mow the back yard with the brush hog. I think this was the "Day of the Thousand Angry Wasps". Dada seems to have a penchant for stirring up the wildlife when he mows.

We also picked three enormous pecks of peaches at a local orchard. And then we froze peaches, and canned some peaches, and made "Peach and Rum and Brown Sugar Jam", and peach crumble and sliced peaches with blueberries for dessert. The urchins love the picking and the preparing, and they seem to do a pretty good job at consuming, too.
For our next kitchen project, I'm hoping to find pears and apples to make sauces and crumbles to put up in the freezer. And by then it will be time to - brace yourselves - put chickens to rest in the freezer. Not sure if that will make a blog post or not.....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This weekend was one of record-breaking heat, and it really was unbearable outside. I felt so bad for the guineas and chicks in the coop that I let the grown-up guineas stay in the outdoor enclosure overnight, instead of shutting them inside (side benefit - less poo inside the hutch in the morning,so score one for me, the Chief-Poo-Remover-er). However, Big C. was absolutely determined to engage in a building project, and thus it was that we settled upon the creation of the sand box. So, I'd like to unveil our lovely new sand box - ta da!

The advantage of having your property completely littered with two year's accumulation of building material and miscellaneous building crap is that finding something to make a sand box out of is relatively easy. Walk out door. Look on ground. Assemble with nails or screws of your choice.

Which is why this particular sand box bears an eerie resemblance to the floor joists in our garage. And the sand, if one was very observant, is uncannily similar to the sand used in the grout between the bricks that cover our entire house. Free labor provided by Dada and a "found" reciprocating saw. We do own the hammer he used, though.

And here's an interesting side bar - that sunny patch of grass behind the kids in the sand box? That used to be the location of the dreaded 1960s trailer that was on the property when we first bought it. So Big C.'s project wins a star - not only for recycled content and environmental beautification, but also because now his sisters really think he's a hero. Turns out a sand box in the shade is a most lovely way to spend a hot sunny Sunday.