Sunday, August 30, 2009

As Summer Winds Down

It's hot outside today - well, as hot as it get in Alberta at the end of August - must be pushing 90 degrees. We have had very few nice days this summer either it's been cold and dry or extremely hot and dry, it's been hard on the garden and the flowers.
Considering half my garden didn't even come up I am surprised at how well the other half is producing. Last year I got almost 25 bags of frozen peas, this year I'll be lucky to get 8 or 10, the same with the yellow beans. The spinach didn't grow for a long time then it bolted and and turned yellow within a matter of days, so won't have any of that to freeze.
I didn't plant many carrots cause after 10 years of planting, weeding, freezing or canning carrots hubby finally tells me he doesn't like carrots..... WTH!!

The potatoes on the other hand are doing really well. I started digging potatoes yesterday and will probably get about 6 or 7 - 5 gallon pails full for the cold room. That will do the 2 of us till next spring. The onions too are doing well, I will have to dig them up, cure then in the green house and then hang them in sacks in the cold room too.

The rest of the farm work is coming to an end. The hay is cut, raked and baled and most of it is stacked in the bale yard. We still have green feed which is oats cut before they are completely ripe and baled for feed for the cattle. It is cut but needs to dry for a weeks or so before it can be baled - hopefully this weather will stay hot and dry till that is done.
Once the feed it finished and hauled home, we still have fencing to do. We have to build about 3/4 of a mile of 4 wire barbed wire fence across the pasture plus some minor fence building/repairing closer to home. Hubby does most of this type of work, but I sometimes drive the tractor or help pound the staples to keep the wire in place.

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of the cattle - first one is mama and her baby - she's a sweet little calf. If we keep any heifers (female calves) for replacement cows she will definitely be one.
Hubby running the tractor and baler

Finally some calves out in the pasture. The front two are twins even though they don't look the same or are even the same colour. Sadly when they were about 3 months old their mama died. We have no idea why, just found her dead laying in the bush. She might have eaten some poisonous weed or she might just have had a heart attack - some cows do. But they seem to be doing just fine.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The kitchen continues......

I decided I didn't like the light mint green I had painted the back splash boards or the hallway beside the kitchen, so I redid them. I tore out the pineboard, bought new ones and stained them. - to get this colour I first put on a coat of Danish Walnut and then a coat of Red Mahogany. Hubby says he likes this much better than the light green, good thing cause I'm getting tired of redoing it! I still have to put on a couple of coats of satin varethane so I can wipe it down.
I painted the hallway the same light mint green as the kitchen, that's when I decided I really didn't like that colour at all. I had painted my office an avacado green, so I mixed the last bit of that with the light green and repainted the hallway. It looks much better, it's not as dark as the office but makes the white trim stand out much better. I may repaint the kitchen (just the wall above the cupoboards and around the fridge with the same light avacado, but that will just have to wait a while, my gardening is getting behind.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Kitchen!

Not being of sound mind or that great a body either, I decided to redo some of my kitchen. I needed a project to keep my mind busy while I tried to quit smoking. Not one of my brightest ideas - yes, the kitchen needed doing, but maybe I should have given a little thought as to how much stress it was going to create in my life! Never the less it is done.

As you can see it was ceramic tile and although they did match the counter top they had never been installed properly and were falling off leaving large ugly spaces.

Around the top was a border of sunflowers - was being the operative word, half of it was gone leaving just the paper backing. The woman we bought the house from said she was in the process of redoing the kitchen, but had sold the house before she could finish. Like so many other things in this home, her projects were very poorly done just quick cover ups to make a sale. She said she had hired a contractor to do the work, turns out it was her uncle who had no prior experience and it shows!

Anyway I ripped off all the tiles, got rid of the border wall paper, washed and scrubbed every inch of the kitchen and installed pine bead boards. That took me 3 days and once that was done, much to hubby's horror I painted it all a light green.

It did clean it up nicely, but hubby was right I should have never painted the back splash. It should have stayed the natural pine and I should have covered it in a couple of coats of varethane so I could wash it easily.
So, as soon as I get the energy I'm going to rip it all out and start again!
The kitchen saga will contine............

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quitting Smoking!

I decided it is time to quit smoking (again). I have quit several times in the last 20 years, sometimes for as long as a year, sometimes as short as a day. The last time was in 2002 - that one lasted almost a year. I did well from November till the following September when my Mother died, followed closely by our dear old dog Archie in November and then my Mother-in-law at Christmas. It was too much, I went back to smoking.

That spring of 2003 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I said to my doctor, "I guess I should quit smoking again". He said, "No! It's much too stressful and you don't need more stress right now".

Six years later I'm thinking maybe it's time again. I could use the money (I'm saving for a trip to Kentucky, you know), I'm sick of the smell, it would be nice to be able to breath and smell again plus it's just plain STUPID to smoke.

Today is actually day 10 of the plan, I haven't had a puff since the morning of the 4th of August. Although I have nicotine gum, patches and lozenges in the house I haven't needed them. I have stocked up on hard candies, sunflower seeds, caramels, lots of fresh fruit and some jumbo drinking straws cut to the length of a cigarette to suck on or chew on while I'm on the computer.
The one place I thought I'd have a hard time was when I was on the computer, I literally drank coffee and chained smoked while sitting here. I have had to limit my time a little at first, but it's getting better already.

I also decided to keep my mind busy I needed a project, so rather than just put up wainscoting in the bedroom, I decided to redo the kitchen first! Trying to do this while quitting smoking was not one of my better ideas! But it is about half done, and I haven't had a ciggie but that old drinking straw has sure had a chomping a time or two. Hubby bless his heart has had the brains to stay out of my way and not give me any little tips on how to do what I'm doing.

I hope this is the last time, but you never know.