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our view

Monday, July 31, 2017

Preparing For The 3/5's Great Lakes Trip

Tim and I are getting ready for the 3/5's Great Lakes Trip that starts tomorrow.  We will be taking the Little Cabin On Wheels and heading north to Michigan and Wisconsin where we will spend two weeks traveling through.  We chose Michigan because we have not visited that state during our travels and Wisconsin will be family visits.  It is called the 3/5's Great Lakes trip because during our travels we will be visit 3 of the 5 Great Lakes; Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.  We spent some of yesterday and will spend all day today packing for the trip.  I will still be keeping up with this blog everyday but to follow along with us on our trip please follow my Travels With Ruth blog:  travelswithruth-ruth.blogspot.com.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Garden Time

The garden is slowly coming along and our harvesting is hit and miss.  As you know we have lost one pumpkin plant and two zucchini plants but we have also lost half of the corn, all of the green beans and the squash is getting iffy.  The culprits, well let's just say between the squash bugs, raccoons, and poor nutrients in the soil this year's garden is struggling along.  We have already been making plans for next year's garden and we know what we have to do to get rid of some pests.  George has a plan to get nutrients back in the soil so next year's garden should be a lot better.  As far as this year's garden we will appreciate all we get from it when we harvest.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dunkirk

We went to see the movie "Dunkirk" yesterday and not really knowing the story I had to closely follow the movie.  It was an amazing feat that the British people did to save their own and it showed the cruelty of war.  What amazed me was some of the protocols of war and the handling of the troops.  Seeing 400,000 men standing on a beach waiting for the boats to come rescue them all while the German planes fly over head dropping bombs and taking target practice with them showed the bravery and the will to survive these men had.  It was a powerful story and depicted in a way to show what these brave men endured to stop Germany.  It has given me even more respect for the men and women who are serving or have served in our Military.  Thank you!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Rest In Peace Pumpkins

We had an emotional day in the garden.  We had to say good bye to one of the pumpkins plants and it looks like we may be doing the same to our other one.  The culprit or murderer?  The squash bug!  This is the second year we have planted pumpkins and this is the second year we have been defeated by the squash bug.  The pumpkin plant that was removed yesterday had six pumpkins on it with four looking really good, one had already been eaten by some baby squash bugs and one that was still green and growing.  After much research we do now know how to treat the soil for next year and what we need to do battle with the squash bugs.  So, this is a warning to the squash bugs.  Be afraid...be very afraid because we will be hunting you and killing you to rid you from our garden.
For now, rest in peace Pumpkins!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Relish Is A Success

We taste tested both relishes yesterday and they were both delicious.  The dill pickle relish had a great dill flavor and is going to be very good on burgers, hot dogs, sausages and added to tuna salad.  The zucchini relish is the star of the relishes.  It is sweet and delicious and will be good on anything and everything.  It was good alone too.  Last year we were at a craft show in Gatlinburg and purchase some zucchini relish.  The recipe called to mix it with cream cheese which we did.  It was a great dip or spread for crackers.  We will be doing this with our relish this week end.  The zucchini relish was so good we are making more today.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Making Zucchini Relish

It was another first for Lisa and I.  We made Zucchini relish yesterday and we will know sometime today how it turned out.  I tried zucchini relish last year for the first time and it was good.  It was even better mixed up with cream cheese as a dip or spread on a cracker.  It was not hard at all and it basically followed the same process as when we made pickle relish on Monday.  If both relishes turn out to be good we will have a dilemma of what to make...relish or pickles.  Check back and see how the relishes, dill pickle and zucchini, tasted!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Making Pickle Relish

Making pickle relish is a completely different process then making pickles.  I was surprised on how different it was.  With pickles you pack the jars, make the brine and pour it into the jars, process, cool and that is it.  With relish you chop up the cucumbers, thanks to the food processor it made this part easy, place the chopped cucumber in a bowl with salt and turmeric, add water, cover and let it sit for two hours.  After two hours you rinse and then add other ingredients to a large pot along with the chopped cucumbers and cook on the stove.  After the pickle mixture is cooked it gets placed in jars then processed and cool.  Later today Lisa and I will test out our dill pickle relish.  Today, we will try something new again- zucchini relish.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Dirt Is Moving

George is making progress with getting the dirt moved dispite the fact that the backhoe that he rented has given him nothing but trouble.  Tim and George have had to do a lot of repairs to keep the backhoe going.  When calling the rental place they were of no help.  Luckily George has pretty much gotten what he wanted done but since he will be responsible if the backhoe breaks he has decided to quit using it before that happens and at the rate the backhoe is leaking fluids and tires going flat why take the chance.  The RV area has been beefed up with a lot more dirt and the pond is gone.  Also his driveway is bigger with a turn around spot.  A definate improvement!  Way to go George & Tim!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Slab Is Poured

The cement slab needed for the garage floor at George and Lisa's house was a three day project.  The first day a team came out and spent a couple of hours setting up the forms for the garage floor.  The next day, very early as promised, a big crew showed up and prepared the area and then the cement truck showed up and the slab was started.  It took two loads from the cement truck and about 6 hours work on pouring, smoothing and continual smoothing of the slab.  On the third day, again early, one guy came out and added cuts in the slab.  With that, the slab is almost ready to be built on.  It looks huge but when it is all done George and Lisa will have a great three car garage.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Happy Birthday Lisa!

Today is Lisa's Birthday and I want to take this opportunity to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY LISA!!!
There has been a lot going on around the farm these past few days and while George has the backhoe things around the farm will be busy.  However, there will be a break to celebrate Lisa's birthday today with dinner, dessert and presents.  First present today; not having to harvest!
Lisa, Tim and I are truly blessed to have you as our very good friend and we cherish our friendship so very much!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Backhoe Has Arrived

The backhoe arrive early yesterday morning and George went right to work.  He is filling in the pond that was created by his original digging a couple of years ago and making a cul de sac to make it easier to turn around down at his house.  He is also getting ready to build a three car garage.  He wanted to get as much done yesterday where the new garage is going because the cement truck showed up early this morning.  Things are happening at the farm.  Check back tomorrow for an update!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

In A Waiting Mode

Now that the two big projects are underway the prep work has been completed and now it is a waiting game.  The backhoe should arrive sometime this morning and the team coming out to pour concrete should also be here some time today.  If they all come at once this will be a busy place.  So we are in a waiting mode to see what happens next.  Meanwhile, Lisa will be busy prepping veggies (squash, green peppers and green beans) for freezing.  There is an abundance of yellow squash and she makes a squash casserole that I will share the recipe with you next week.  Maybe I can even get her zucchini lasagna recipe to share too.  She made it last night and it was delicious! Thanks for dinner Lisa!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Something New Is Going On

George and Tim are going to be busy for a little while.  Two major projects have or will begin in the next couple of days.  The first project is an ongoing one dealing with moving dirt and creating spaces.  Once the backhoe gets delivered George and Tim will be busy moving dirt and continuing to build up the RV spot at the top of the hill where Travis's place is.  If you remember that spot was created last fall but did not settle well.  After sitting all winter and spring it is ready for more dirt to build it up where it will then settle again for a while.
The second project is brand new and was just created over the week end.  George is expanding on his home building a two car garage.  To do so the existing deck, that has never really been used, needed to be removed along with the wood storage area.  Later today the emptyspace created will be poured with concrete for the pad of the garage then laborers will be here to stud the walls of the garage. 
So, as you can see there is a lot going on at the farm and that is not even mentioning the harvest that Lisa and I picked yesterday.  It is a busy, busy farm right now!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Visiting The Sunflower Fields

In Knoxville, TN there is an area of the city that has 331 acres devoted to wildlife development.  Each year the River Wildlife Management Area plants fields of sunflowers. The sunflowers are beneficial for attacting Mourning Doves, Gold Finches, Northern Cardinals, Indigo Buntings and other songbirds. It also attracts deer and turkeys.  When the sunflowers are in bloom they also attract thousands of visitors a day.  It is really something to see and to walk among the sunflowers towering over you is a cool feeling.  Lisa and I visited the fields for the first time last year but did not see all the fields.  Yesterday we went back to see the fields we missed.  Although we caught the sunflowers towards the end of their season we still loved walking all the fields and enjoying the sunflowers. The fields of sunflowers are still an awesome sight and seeing all the birds flying around and the bees pollinating the flowers is Amazing.  We will be back next year!

Monday, July 17, 2017

We Have Cucumbers

We have cucumbers which means one thing; there will be pickling!  We decided to let the garden go one more day before picking it and we are glad we did.  We were able to pick enough pickling cucumbers to be able to pickle.  Being pickle queens it means a lot to us.  We also got the first okra which all I can say is yuck!  The harvest was pretty good.  Unfortunately, we have raccoons so I will keep a raccoon counter, posted at the side, to keep track of what was trapped and released by the river. We are at five so far in our first week.  Look for pickles soon!

Look for the next chapter to the "Bowling Shoe Saga" later this week!  It will be a page turner!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Spider-man Homecoming

We went and saw Spider-Man Homecoming yesterday and it was good and the latest of the Marvel movies.  This younger Spider-Man was introduced in the latest Avengers movie and now, along with several other newer characters from that movie we get to know the story of Spider-Man.  This movie was good but a bit different from the other Spider-Man movies.  In the movie Tony Stark played a bigger role then expected but it helped the movie.  There is also a glimpse of what may come in the next Avengers movie.  If you are a fan of the Marvel movies then definitely go see this movie.  One side note with the audience yesterday that was so cute.  In the movie the work "porn" was said.  A little boy sitting behind us asked his mom what porn was.  She answered with corn, he said corn.  The other little boy sitting next to his brother said to his brother I though I heard porn and the father spoke up and said corn also.  Cute and the right way to handle it in my opinion.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Trying Hello Fresh

Tim and I tried Hello Fresh a new way of eating.  Hello Fresh is a mail order company that delivers fresh ingredients to your door to prepare dinner.  They call themselves the "farm-to-box" company that sends you fresh ingredients that inspire great meals.  You sign up and order the meals on line then you receive a box full of ingredients and easy to follow recipes to make the meals you chose.  I was fortunate enough to receive a free 3 night meal plan to try.  Once we received the box it is well packed, insulated and iced, to keep the ingredients fresh.  Each meal's ingredients are packaged separately except for the meat which is stored in a cooler area of the box.  UPS delivers the box to your door and the rest is up to you.  Our first meal was Carolina BBQ chicken with Mac& Cheese and green beans.  It was delicious, easy to fix - following the recipe, and I did not have to shop.  A three meal a week plan does run $59.95 a week so it is something that will not fit into our budget but if I could afford to I would subscribe for ease of meal planning, learning to cook new things and convenience.  If you get an opportunity to try this please do so.  Hello Fresh what a great way of eating fresh!

Friday, July 14, 2017

It Is Getting Better

The harvests are getting better.  Yesterday we harvested a couple of zucchini, some yellow squash, a cucumber, lots of green beans and tomatoes and a few green peppers.  It still isn't like our harvests last year but something is better than nothing.  We did lose the blueberries to either the birds or the deer. Either way, they are gone.  On the bright side the apple and peach trees are coming along nicely and this year we may have both apples and peaches!  So yes, the harvests are getting better!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Pickle Queens Are Back!

After an 11 month hiatus the Pickle Queens are back.  We had 5 pickling cucumbers to do something with so we decided to make Refrigerator dill pickles.  This was the first kind of pickling we had tried and now it is the way we start our pickling season making it three years in a row that we have done this method and it is very good and easy.  The process is simple: clean and slice the cucumbers, add some dill seed and minced garlic in the jar, add the cucumbers then make a brine and pour it into the jar.  Place the lids on the jars and place in the refrigerator.  24 hours later we have dill pickles.  We will test them out on Friday during our BBQ.  The Pickle Queens are back!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wow, What A Difference!

The pickle Queens are still on vacation but are ready to get busy once we have enough picking cucumbers to pickle.  We did cut down by a couple of plants but we think the bed that we planted in lost a lot of its nutrients so it is taking longer for the plants to get going.  There are a ton of flowers on the plants which should eventually turn into cucumbers.  I will post a comparison picture of last year's picking compared to this year's picking.  Wow, what a difference!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Bowling Shoes Saga

Who knew bowling shoes would be so hard to get here at the farm.  Lisa is finding out the hard way.  She ordered bowling shoes for Dick's Sporting Goods on line because they do not sell bowling shoes in their stores.  I did the same thing and got mine without an issue but this is not the case for Lisa.  The first pair cane but they were a size seven.  She contacted Dick's which had her returning the shoes to a store for a quicker refund.  While she was at the store they ordered a new pair for her.  Well yesterday her new shoes arrived...in a size seven again.  Lisa spent 90 minutes on the phone trying to correct this situation. The outcome: new shoes were ordered at a reduced price,  she received 1000 points on her rewards card and she still has to return the wrong shoes to the store.  Returning the shoes to the store would not be a big issue if the store was just down the street but here it is a 45 minute drive to Morristown.  So the saga continues and now we all get to wait and see if the correct shoes will be delivered or not!  Check back and see!

Monday, July 10, 2017

It's Raccoon Season!!!

First thing this morning I got a text from George with a picture of a raccoon in one of the trapping cages.  This means just one thing...it's Raccoon Season!  Now this is not a happy season for us because it means we are back to battling the raccoons for our corn.  Last year 40 rows of corn was planted but we only got 12-15 ears of corn.  The raccoons got the rest.  So we are at war again and we are hoping this year to have more.  Raccoons really are bandits.  One down and who knows how many to go!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The First Bountiful Harvest

Lisa and George picked the first bountiful harvest this year so far.  They picked more zucchini and yellow squash, cucumbers and the first batch of green beans.  We knew the beans were getting close to being picked but it was nice to see some that were ready.  We planted twice as many beans as last year so we are hoping that we get a lot.  The cucumbers are coming along but we are still not sure how much pickling we will actually do this year.  Once we get enough the "pickle queens" will be back in business.  Until then we may have to do something with yellow squash because that crop is doing very well.  Way to go Lisa and George on this harvest.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

An Easy DIY Decoration

Just before the 4th of July I came across a really easy project to do to decorate our 4th of July BBQ table.  Lisa helped and we made four decorative candle holders. We used 4 mason jars, we used the quart size, and purchased 4 small cloth U.S. Flags.  We also purchased some mod podge, colorful stones and some tealight candles.  We washed the jars and removed the flags from their rods.  We placed the flag in the middle of the jar then brushed a thin layer of mod podge over it and let it dry.  Once it was dried we put the stones in the bottom of the jar and placed a tealight on the stones and our easy DIY candle holder decoration was complete.  Try it!

Friday, July 7, 2017

We Have A Name

The puppy that found its way to the farm now has a name and a family.  Welcome Ajax, a six week old puppy that is flea ridden, needs to be de wormed and then needs to gain some weight.  The good thing is that Ajax is in good health otherwise and with clean up and loving Ajax is going to be great!  There was a decision that had to be made and that was who Ajax will belong to.  George & Lisa wanted him and so did Travis.  In the end Ajax is now Travis's dog and has two sisters now too; Nix and Gaia.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Farm Is Going To The Dogs

A little after 7:00 pm last night Travis had a visitor at his doorway,  A tiny puppy was sitting at his steps.  Now, we know none of the neighbors in the area have puppies so it was quite a surprise to see this puppy.  He is tiny, full of fleas and very hungry.  Travis took the puppy down to his parent's house, George and Lisa, and got the puppy cleaned up (after a flea bath) and fed.  The big question is what to do with the puppy or the bigger question is who gets the puppy? Will Travis keep the puppy or will George and Lisa keep the puppy?  I guess we will all have to wait and find out.  So check back tomorrow and see who the puppy will belong to.  Either way, welcome puppy to the farm.  That makes 5 dogs at the farm now so you see it really is going to the dogs!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What A Nice 4th

We had a nice 4th of July watching movies during the rainy parts and enjoying a great BBQ with friends.  Thanks Larry & Linda, George & Lisa, Travis and Tim for a great day.  Even though the weather was not cooperative we had a great time anyway.  Tim grilled steaks that were delicious and all the rest of the food was great.  It did rain on and off during the BBQ but we were inside anyway so all was good.  We could not go see the fireworks because of rain and a thunder storm so we did the next best thing watched them on TV.  Thanks PBS, Channel 10 & NBC for the fireworks. It was a great 4th!  Happy 241 years America!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th Of July

Happy 4th of July aka Independance Day.  It is hard to believe that 241 years ago today our country declared Independance from Britain.  Since then, the 4th of July has been a celebration for our great country.  We have had ups and downs but we are still country strong whenever someone or things attack us.  So on this July 4th appreciate what a great country we have and help it to remain home of the free and the brave!  Have a fun and safe 4th of July!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Trying To Celebrate The Fourth

Lisa and I have been trying to celebrate the 4th of July by sttending the activities in our local town of Parrottsville that held their July 4th celebration on the 1st.  We missed the parade by 10 minutes but to be fair we did not know what time the parade was going to be.  We went to attend the other festivities but it began to rain and we decided riding on hay bales in the rain was not going to be much fun.  Our BBQ got rained out and so did the fireworks.  So I guess Mother Nature was telling us no celebration this year which would make it three years in a row that we have missed it.  Well we will show you Mother Nature, we are having our own BBQ on the 4th and we will create our own fun with good friends, good food and whatever else we come up with.  Check back and see how we did!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Chore Day

Before relaxing on this pre 4th of July week end some chores have to be done and Tim was busy doing them.  He cut and weed whacked the yard, fixed the steps leading onto the deck, they were the RV steps that were relocated when we built the deck onto the RV, and then painted them.  They look great! Tim also put rock guards on the little cabin on wheels.  He is getting it prepared to take the longest trip we have taken in it.  An announcement on that trip will be coming in the future.  With all the chores done Tim can have a relaxing week end.  Everything looks great Tim and thank you!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rib Feast

Last night we were treated to homemade BBQ Ribs courtesy of our neighbor Cheryl.  It was a thank you for helping with her hay.  She made and grilled 6 racks of ribs for everyone.  I heard they were delicious.  I am not a rib person so I enjoyed a couple of hotdogs.  Along with the ribs Lisa cut up and baked some zucchini spears which were delicious and  I provided the baked beans because what is a BBQ without baked beans.  It was a good evening with good friends, good food and fun.  Thanks Cheryl for the ribs and to George and Lisa for hosting us all!
An added surprise today...I can post pictures again which means I can stay with blogger.com.  I did report the issues but never heard from blogger.  I am okay with it since it is now fixed.  Thanks blogger.com!