Thursday, August 28, 2008

Farewell to another pet

Sadly, right after I finished the last post, we discovered that our oldest and most beloved fish, Princess Leia, had passed. He (yes, he) was a lovely large red betta fish, and he has now gone to rest with Alexander and Priscilla in the fish graveyard that Sophia established in the backyard.

Here he is in his glory days:


Here is another photo of him from earlier in the summer, and here is his first appearance on the blog.

This Week's Adventures

Yesterday we caught this little baby mouse in the backyard. The chickens were making a huge squawking fuss and chasing something around that they found in the grass and I thought at first that it was a cricket. When I realized it was a little mouse I grabbed a jar and caught it. The girls and I fed it some of the guinea pigs' food and then took it to the Great Plains Nature Center to set it free in the lovely tall grass prairie. This all seemed a little hypocritical since I killed what was almost certainly one of its' relatives in the garage a few days ago. We have mice...and I'm not looking forward to this winter when they all decide to move inside. Anyway, this one was very cute and we had a nice walk to set it free.



This is a cute little shot of Anna when she woke up yesterday and Margaret was showing her the mouse. She was sleepy and looked rather confused.



Today it's HOT again and Ellie spent some time cooling down in the backyard.



I'm starting to feel that longing for cool weather and fires again. I should probably be careful what I wish for. :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Dog-Bear

Ellie and I went for a walk to the playground yesterday and brought Maggie along. A dad with his little girl came along to play and the little girl (about 5) said "Daddy look, that lady has a pet bear!"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Chickens

video

They are now 2 months old. This was taken this morning, and the little voice in the background is Anna saying good morning to the cheeps.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kids

Eleanor's new skill. I've always said she was part monkey.


Anna really wanted to do it too but she needed some help.


Anna's yogurt mustache and beard.


That's it.

Food we grew

In taking stock of the productivity of our humble garden, I'm thinking back over the meals we've enjoyed from it. A few of the things I planted (spinach and onions) just did nothing, and since I don't know why, I'm thinking of skipping them next year. A few others (kale and swiss chard and lettuce and basil) just keep going and going and I'll definitely do them again. The tomatoes are finally ripening and we're loving them...I did 8 plants this year and I'd like to do a few more next year. Tony and I are hoping to put in a few more raised beds this fall so we can expand the garden and more easily rotate crops.

These were from the first potato pot I dug up. Three of the four pots did great, but in one of them all of the plants died and the potatoes turned to mush. I don't think it was disease, I suspect I over-watered them. I'm thinking of trying growing potatoes in straw next year, rather than in the pots.

We had the potatoes with some of the green cabbage. We still haven't harvested the red cabbage. Cabbage it turns out is fairly easy to grow, but next time I'll cover it with a floating row cover to keep the moths out and avoid problems with cabbage loopers.

I planted lots and lots of basil and we LOVE pesto, so that's a definite do-over.

Last week I roasted some of the tomatoes with some peppers we grew and made salsa. We have a big bowl of tomatoes and we're just snacking on them. I don't think it's possible to have too many tomatoes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We Like Oklahoma!

The middle girls (Sophie and Ellie) spent a week with Grandpa Jim and Grandma Jo last week. They had a great time and we enjoyed some unusual silence and peace around the house. We drove down over the weekend to pick them up and decided the great state of Oklahoma was looking particularly lovely. See:







We took a short detour off of I-35 and drove a few miles down historic Route 66 to get to a fun little rest stop called Pops, where they have hundreds of varieties of soda, a giant soda bottle sculpture that lights up at night (we hear), an enormous cantilevered awning structure, and walls that are very tempting to climb up, especially for little blond girls that can't read the "please do not climb the walls" sign.

Giant bottle sculpture:


Huge cantilever:


Jacobses going in:


Cool soda bottle display wall:


Jacobses inside:


Middle girl scale figures:


Little blond girl, thinking "I can climb right up that!":


Side view from far away:

Some More Backyard Photography (by Margaret)

Anna practices for the circus:

Another lovely sunflower shot:

The chickens are getting HUGE:

Just look at how this one towers over the house!


:)

Saturday, August 2, 2008