Shining in the sun
Morning after a rain
As I was walking outside today, I realized that I hadn’t walked through the garden just to look for awhile. So I went to take a look.
This year we have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, asparagus, herbs, and some lettuce. Everything seems to be doing very well!
We have some tomato blossoms…
…and some tomatoes!
Actually, quite a few tomatoes
Most of the asparagus looks like this
Lots of butterflies!
Busy bee in the thyme
Our parsley is about two feet tall now!
We have some cucumbers like this…
…some like this…
…and some with flowers! Another butterfly
I found this interesting cucumber blossom
And had to take many photos of it!
Look at all these little cucumbers!
I haven’t posted a good post lately. I really feel like it’s been very “touch and go.” No real substance. Just a quick write-up with no real feeling, and then photos or a recipe.
So. What have I been up to?
Placing our first Azure Standard order.
Using lots of coconut milk.
Having fun with friends.
Poor little Lucy puppy has been scratching like crazy, poor thing. And I had just given her flea medicine! So we took her to the vet yesterday, and he put her on some medicine. She seems to not be as itchy as she was, which makes me SO happy. I really don’t like it when she doesn’t feel good. My little puppy love.
The black flies/gnats have been bothering the chickens. They buzz all around the chickens, and especially bother their faces, making it hard for the chickens to breathe. If they get too bad, they can kill the chickens (we lost one a few years ago to them).
But there is an easy repellant: vanilla. So today I mixed up some vanilla and water in a spray bottle and went out to spray the chickens. (Sometimes I think it’s like putting perfume on the chickens. It is nice to have sweet-smelling chickens, though, so I try to dismiss that thought. :))
At first I had the spray bottle on mist, but once the chickens found out what I was doing and decided that they didn’t like it, and then they started running. So the mist no longer really worked. Then I had a great idea:
This almost immediately made it more fun – it could be related to a first-person shooter game, but better, because it’s real. It could be compared to a squirt gun fight – but better, because NO ONE SHOOTS BACK. So I didn’t get wet. And I wasn’t running that quickly (more fast-walking) behind that chickens to get close enough to squirt them. It turns out that if you pursue the chickens for long enough, they just run into the coop.
Now I have a whole bunch of chickens in a tight space to spray. Talk about efficient!
School has been going really well. I am loving it! I thought that learning some of the more technical stuff (like anatomy and physiology) was going to be difficult, but I am not finding it that difficult at all. The midwifery module that I am working on now is on caesarean sections and prevention.
I just finished reading Joel Salatin’s “Folks, This Ain’t Normal.” I liked it. It discussed how our culture, compared to history, really isn’t normal, from the food we eat to how we get entertainment.
I started working on the reading program from the library. It’s been going pretty quickly, since I do so much reading, especially for school. I am almost halfway done.
And I think that’s about it.
So what have you been doing?
Our last stop was 10 or so days near Charlottesville, Virginia (we were in Nellysford, specifically). This is the city where I was born, and we were able to be there over my 18th birthday, which was quite fun.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
*Important urgent update* I can’t remember everything we did and in what order it was done. We spent some days just chilling, so I will recap the highlights in the order I remember.
The first day (Thursday) we drove by the hospital building where I was born (the hospital has now moved), Dad’s old work building, and Mom and Dad’s old home. We also stopped by the home of some of our previous neighbors, and my first baby sitter. 🙂 We also did the necessary grocery shopping.
Friday was my birthday. I chose to spend it quietly at the rental, and not go anywhere. Dad and the younger children went in to town to get the car looked at, because the brakes were squeaking. (We were staying up on a mountain, which was a *little* rough on the car.) I opted to stay home. I believe I updated my “About” page. I painted my toenails a cute red. And I made some AWESOME grain-free chocolate chip cookies, a recipe that I had gotten from a good friend. They were so good, the batter even was good (one of my tests to see if a recipe will turn out). We made pizza for dinner, and I made this delicious grain-free pizza crust. LOVE it!
It had been a rather warm day, and we had had the windows open most of the afternoon. We also had the front door open, as there was a storm door. When we were just about done with dessert, Mom looked up and said, “Noah, was that you?”
Noah was loading a dish in the kitchen.
“Did you make that noise?”
Noah was peeking around the corner toward the front door. “No, it came from over there.”
Mom sent Drake over to look. Drake took a quick look. “Dad? You need to come over here.”
Dad quickly marched over to the door and slammed it. As the front door was glass, we could still see outside. Dad flicked on the outside light, and it revealed…
A good-sized black bear had smelled the cooking and had come around to see what was going on. He had opened the storm door (yes, you read that right) and was standing on the threshold, ready to come inside, but he hesitated and had turned around, which gave Dad time to shut the door. He stood up on his hind legs and put his paws on the glass. And pushed.
I must confess. I was pretty scared. Yes, my knees were knocking. So before you peg me as being brave, imagine me standing around the corner, knees knocking, asking if *just maybe* we should call the police.
We did call the police, but by the time the police came (they came quite quickly), the bear had left. While we were waiting for them to arrive, Mom noticed that the lights in the van were on. After asking everyone, it was ascertained that no one had left the door open. When the police came, they told us that it was the bear. The bear had opened two doors on our van, and had rifled through the whole thing.
There was dirt and pollen all in the car. On. Every. Chair.
There hadn’t been any food in there, but the bear had helped himself to a few Kleenex boxes, a water bottle, a cup, and the wipe container. He had put a few rips in the back seat of the car.
Sadly, I GOT NO PICTURES of the bear. But I did get photos of some of his damage.
One of the Kleenex boxes
Apparently he liked wipes
He didn’t get the top off 🙂
The next day we went to Monticello, which was quite interesting. It has beautiful views. Given, there are beautiful views EVERYWHERE in Virginia. But Monticello had beautiful views.
Heading to Monticello – Blue Ridge Mountains
A hallway that goes underneath Monticello. Monticello is built on a mountain (Monticello means Little Mountain), and things are built on levels as you go down the mountain. The roof of part of this hallway is the terrace that comes out of Monticello. Off to the right are the old slaves’ quarters (not down the hallway, but off to the right in the picture). It’s a rather interesting set-up. Anyways, down this hall is the wine cellar.
LOVE the blue sky!
Some local grape juice that we purchased. It taste like raisins. Very…interesting. I’d get the purple kind next time. 🙂
The next week Mom took us to Montpelier (Dad was working). Montpelier was my favorite of the three president’s homes that we visited. It was the least recreated, but it is just gorgeous. And the view. Oh the view. (You’ll see it below).
We stopped at a scenic overlook on the way to Montpelier. I believe this is looking toward Charlottesville.
Pansies at the Montpelier Welcome Center
The view from Montpelier’s front porch
If you look very carefully at the horizon, you can see the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are 20 miles away. B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.
Madison’s front door
In the gardens
Drake’s legs were sore, so he went to chill in the shade. Meiling joined him.
On the way home
Mom took Noah, Meiling, and I to Market Street in Charlottesville to walk around. It is blocked off so no cars are there. It is chock full of cute little shops.
Market Street – The Mole Hole was a neat little shop
Mom loves giraffes. 🙂
When my parents lived in Charlottesville, they visited this restaurant often. It was Sylvia’s Pizza then. Now it’s Vita Nova.
We stopped at this little gelato shop. It. Was. AWESOME!!!!
My ice cream. I had a chocolate sorbet and a dulce de leche ice cream. Oh my. The dulce de leche ice cream was SO VERY VERY good. I got one ice cream and one sorbet, so at least I was HALF good. 🙂
On the way home we stopped at a creek that ran along the side of the road, and I played with shutter speed.
On a walk with everyone
You’ve got to LOVE the view
King of the hill 🙂
This *officially* concludes all the posts about our trip. I’m really glad that it’s done now, as I have some exciting things to post! Well, I hope you enjoyed!
It snowed yesterday. It snowed, and snowed, and snowed.
Needless to say, the world is a rather white place today. My siblings and I went for a walk down to the creek. If you remember this post, I love the creek. I had never seen it in it’s snowy garb, so I was pleased to see it this way. I hope you enjoy!
Gettin’ over the log
A photographer’s been here 🙂
The photos that didn’t make the cut – for one reason or another. But I like some just as well as the one I chose. Tell me what you think, and which photo is your favorite. This week’s theme is horizontal lines.
(1) This one made it on 6 Lenses
(2) With my shadow
(3) I love barbed wire
This one and the next one don’t really fit the category, but I like them. 🙂
(4) This one and the next one don’t have the perfect focus, but I like them none the less (wow, what a schooling on what I like!)
So, which one(s) do you like?
I have had a bit of inspiration for a yummy breakfast dish, and on Sunday I finally had all the pieces together, so I made it. It consisted of a piece of warmed ham, sautéed spinach, and a poached egg, then
drizzled drenched with some hollandaise sauce. It was yummy! I might have to make one tomorrow for breakfast. We’ll see how much time I have…
Here is a link to the hollandaise sauce recipe I used. I think I halved it. This recipe is great, as it is made in a blender, and is so quick to throw together! Just what we all need – hollandaise sauce at the touch of a few buttons!
Now for the photos! (Yes, I *actually* remembered to take a picture of my food before I ate it all! I could have a serious gallery of empty plate photos if I took one each time I didn’t remember to take a picture before my food was gone.)
LOTS of hollandaise sauce!
The lovely colors
I took some photos on my walks today. I took my two youngest siblings on a walk first (on this walk I took my camera with my macro lens.) Then I went up to the pasture-behind-the-pond by myself, bringing normal lens. I also brought my hymnal and psalter. Yesterday I discovered that the pasture-behind-the-pond is an ideal spot to sing. It is so open and peaceful, it is a joy to lift up one’s voice there. You can hear it echo just a little, and you are secluded enough that you can sing at the top of your lungs and not be worried about anyone being too near.
I am hoping to start taking walks every day. I will try not to post too many photos of my walks here, but if it snows, you know there will have to be lots of photos! (I LOVE snow.)
So first, the photos of my walk with Meiling and Noah.
My favorite trees are the out-of-focus blob in the background 🙂
Who knew weeds could be so much fun?
An old grave – I am not sure, as the stone is very worn, but I think it said 1836.
Now the photos I took on my walk.
A girl needs her chocolate, right?
In my science book I was reading about astronomy, namely, the Milky Way galaxy. Now every time I read “Milky Way,” you know what I though of? Milky way candy bars, of course! (Why do I seem to have this special ability to wrap food into anything?!?) So, since my success with the Twix bars, I decided it would be fun to try to make Milky Way candy bars! I am hoping to make them tomorrow. Be sure to come back tomorrow evening – if I do make them, I will be sure to post pictures! Oh, and they will be grain-free, made with coconut sugar, and all that good stuff. 🙂 It should be SO FUN! (I am really excited, if you can’t tell! :))
Looking forward to some Milky Way bars,
P.S. Thank you for reading. 🙂
I know that I haven’t posted about Thanksgiving yet, but I’m not going to post about that today. I may or may not post about that in the future – we’ll just see. I don’t want to make any promises that I won’t end up keeping. 🙂
Today was just a normal day of school, of life.
I made an imitation Chipotle dinner tonight. I really wasn’t planning on making the whole thing a Chipotle imitation, but it sort of took on a life of its own, and I ended up making rice, beans, and salsa, in addition to the meat. It turned out wonderfully (if I do say so myself). Mom ended up running to the store this evening, so she picked up some Monterey Jack cheese. They use a blend of Jack and White Cheddar at Chipotle. I am a HUGE fan of their cheese, just to mention one thing. I have gotten the same thing every time I have gone to Chipotle – a Steak Burrito Bowl with brown rice (now that they offer that, I used to get white), black beans, mild salsa, and cheese. LOTS of cheese. I think one time I had an actual burrito. But I much prefer the burrito bowl. Let’s just get it out there now – I LOVE CHIPOTLE!
O.K., now that we have that covered, I can tell you what I made for dinner. I found this recipe for Carnitas* when I was looking for slow-cooker recipes for this month’s meal plan. I was really happy with how it turned out. The only change I made was to use significantly less cinnamon, but I will probably up it a little next time. Although I have only tasted the Carnita meat when my family members have extra, and I am not completely stuffed (I have never ordered it myself, as I have a thing about Chipotle’s steak), I thought it tasted a lot like Chipotle’s, and the beans and rice did, too. I just looked online for imitation recipes, and found quite a few. Everyone enjoyed it. The cheese was well liked by all (see above).
No pictures. I ate it too fast, before I remembered that I should snap a photo to share. 🙂
I have been reading an herb book lately (not that unusual), and in it the author discussed how great a walk is for you during the middle of the day, to take a break from desk work. I went for a walk today, and it was lovely. Today was a bit chilly. It was also gray, but I rather enjoyed both of these things. I like the cold, gray days. They always have a certain quiet beauty about them. I can’t explain it. There is just a quiet serenity in the days when they are cold and gray. They are not so shout-out-loud beautiful as the Spring days, with the colorful flowers popping their heads up everywhere. They are not so gorgeously beautiful as the Summer days, with the intense greens of the grass and trees, and the blues of the sky. Nor are they so gloriously beautiful as the Autumn days, with the trees dressed in their best outfits for the last party of the season, as it were. No, the cold, gray, quiet days of early fall and winter have a majestic, serene, quiet, calming, half-gentle, half-harsh beauty about them. I love gray days.
So I brought my camera on my walk with me. As I had my macro lens on the camera, and didn’t really feel like changing it, I thought it would be a good exercise to try to focus on little things, and to see how many textures and small things I could catch on my walk, instead of looking for the big things, the big picture. I wanted to zoom in, as it were, on the little beauties that were hiding on the path, things that would usually get overlooked.
Here are a few of my shots.
LOVE the moss
And the grass
Old barbed wire is so…country…
…and just plain wonderful!
Moss on a tree – not sure if I like this shot…
…or this shot better. What do you think? One or two?
Old rusty farm equipment
Thank you for reading today’s ramblings!
Love to you,
*Note: I have not explored this website, so I do not endorse everything on it. I just like this recipe. 🙂