Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June Gloom

Good morning!  Summer is here, and so is our June Gloom!  I love this time of the summer though.  The mornings are perfect for gardening, and tending to the chores.  Cool, and overcast.   I love to come say hello to the girls first thing in the morning.
Little Ella isn't having a bad hair day.  She is a Polish hen.  She will only be about  half the size of the other girls, and her little hair do will set her apart from the gang.  She may be little, but boy is she feisty!!!  I like to keep their water feeders elevated so that they don't get it so dirty.  I keep one in the outer run, and one in the coop, as well as a couple of water dishes in the grove for their free ranging.
A Hen Huddle.
I have been going into the coop each morning, and nearly every day, I find one cracked soft shell aqua egg on the coop floor!  WHAT?  I am not sure who is doing it, because I have 4 hens that lay the aqua eggs.

I have googled the possible reasons, and I can't figure out why.  The coop is clean, with adequate air flow, and is not overcrowded.  They have clean feed and water daily, and enough roosting space, as well as more than one nest box.  They always lay in the ONE though anyway.  I am puzzled.  Anyone out there have an answer?
I usually go to the garden and break off a few greens for them. They love spinach!!
A feeding frenzy will take place, with each of them scrambling to get the most!!  Greedy little buggers!!
I am pleased as punch that there are no problems with the little ones being added to the coop.  I integrated them slowly, first bringing the chicklets out next to the coop, but in their own brooder.  Then into the run for a few hours daily, but keeping them separated by use of a large piece of plywood.  Then letting them all associate together under my supervision.  And finally, into the coop at night with the big girls, but letting them have their own enclosure for a week or son.  And now, they are all together, night and day, with no problems at all.  They even roost with Blue!  She has kind of been their adoptive Mother.
They now all eat the same feed, and share the feeders and water troughs.
My stroll through the garden this morning was nice.  Lots of changes daily.  I am finally getting some broccoli forming.
And some lovely stringless beans.
My cabbage heads are GINORMOUS!!
I have been noticing that there has been some munching taking place on the cabbage and broccoli leaves.
My garden is completely organic.  No sprays for bugs.  I have been so mad at this creature for defacing my propery!!  And there he is!!!  I got my shovel and knocked him down, and then tried to eliminate him, if you know what I mean!  I do not like these things!  They will eat your entire garden! 
My cantaloupe are going nuts.
I keep giving it things to climb and places to ramble.  Soon I will be eating fresh cantaloupe for breakfast.
The corn will be ready for 4th of July!!
The pumpkins have gone plum wild.  I have so many on the vines, with new ones developing every day!
Yesterday, Noah picked his pumpkin.  Soon I will let each of the kids, scratch their names into the skin of the pumpkin, and then they can watch their names grow with the pumpkin, every day, until Halloween.
Here is a peculiar one.  Errr, two.  It is twins.
I have to say, this pumpkin patch has been such fun to watch grow!!
Yesterday, I collected the "chicken fertilizer" from the coop, and proceeded to make three huge buckets of chicken poo tea.  I steep the tea in water, until it has dissolved, then pour it onto my garden plants, and flowers.  I treated the entire garden, and my impatiens, as well as every single rose bush, with my special tea.   I believe this method, in addition to composting yard and kitchen waste, and adding "chicken fertilizer" directly to the bin, are the primary reasons why I have so much success in the garden. 
I also removed my stackable composting bins down to the first layer, and removed, then added all of this compost rich earth to two raised pots in the front, and planted more pumpkins and cantaloupe.  I like to stagger my planting so that the produce continues to come in all summer long.
I have been covering up my nasturtiums to prevent the chickens from munching on them.  They are making a come back.
My cosmos and zinnias are about to bloom.
There is a huge bare spot though, because that is where my Duster Buster likes to lay while I am hanging out the wash.
When I was in Big Bear, on my thifting jaunt, I picked up this aqua Tupperware piece.
It is the same shade as the eggs my chickens lay.  I collect vintage Tupper, and use it all the time.
The little basket I got is holding some of my tea towel collection.  I seem to have a soft spot for cute kitchen towels too, and my drawers runneth over.  So some are in the basket for a quick grab.
Because I love all things yarn, I could not resist this darling watermelon slice for 25 cents.
This is what  I had for breakfast.  A fresh fruit and yogurt parfait.  Layered with homemade granola.
I dusted the top with some fresh ground nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon.  This is my favorite breakfast right now.   Ladies, use your real dishes.  And pretty cloth napkins.  Even when I sit down to eat alone, I do this.  It makes meals even better, and I'm worth it!  We do  use paper plates from time to time.  With Friday night pizza or large outdoor gatherings.  But typically, I am not a fan.  I like dishes, and real silverware.
Today, these fresh eggs will be used to make another Blueberry Lemon Cake.   And I will also be making another batch of granola.  Not with eggs, of course.
Take your camera out.  Go walk around and see what catches your eye.  I know you have seen this shot before several times here on my blog, but for some reason, this morning it looked especially striking with the red blooms against the chippy aqua chair.
Oh gosh, I guess I should have edited out the piece of plywood that is against the back gate to keep Ducey from slithering underneath on his belly to find mischief in the grove.
And then, just because, I snapped this from underneath the umbrella by the garden.
Oh yes, even in times of darkness, there is beauty.  Find it. Embrace it.  Share it.  Enjoy it!!!
XO  Kris


NanaNor's said...

Love this girl!! You shared my attitude or the attitude I always try to adopt. Love your chicks; you'll be getting so many eggs you won't know what to do! I talked to my girl awhile ago and she thought her labor was kicking in last night but then it stopped. She has a dr. appt this afternoon so I think they'll send her right to the hospital.
Glad you aren't impacted by the fires. Hope you have a nice sunny day sitting by the pool.
Hugs, Noreen

by Teresa said...

Hi Kris.. I love your upbeat spirit.. you're an inspiration! Do you give your chickens oyster shell? We always give them that with their grit and it helps harden the shells of the eggs. You get it at the feed store. LOVE your garden so much and that last shot is so colorful and artsy. I'm with you on using your real dishes.. me too! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Holly said...

What a great post! Everything in your garden looks amazing! Our cantaloupe vines are taking over too but I haven't seen any cantaloupe yet. Not even sure what to look for since it's our first year. Love the pretty towels. Since we've moved I left behind some really great thrift stores. We don't have too many close to us and I miss stopping in. Have a great day. Hope you're leg is healing. Been thinking about you. Love, Your Klutz Sister

priscilla said...

Love all your garden pics, Kris ! It is growing and growing ! I have read about the manure tea ..that must be a great boost to your plants :)
Have a great day !

Bethany said...

Just another day on the farm, eh?

I want to grow pumpkins just to write my name in them :)

Dawn said...

Wow your garden sure is thriving. Love the umbrella pic.

Betsy said...

Beautiful garden and beautiful attitude. I love all of your photos and agree sbout dishes and silverware. I use the 'real stuff' even here at the lake. It makes me happy.

Sinta Renee said...

Wow, your garden is amazing! And plentiful! Yum... and, I spy a cute little blue chair in one of those outdoor photos.

Deb~in~Denver said...

Love your pictures! The one of the aqua chair and geraniums is one of my favorites! Your chickens and your gardens have to keep you hopping! Oh, how I hate grasshoppers! We had so many of them last year, hope we don't get hit hard this year. Wet and cold here today. I, too, use the good dishes and silver "just because". They make every meal feel special. You're darn tootin', you're worth it!!


Grayseasailor said...

Hi Kris!

Welcome Home! [I know I am several days behind, but just caught up with your last posts :-] I enjoyed seeing the pictures of Nana's move and can so relate to the season of life you are sharing with her, since I just visited my 93 yr old MIL in Fremont, CA at a skilled nursing facility on Monday. She has rallied from a bout with pneumonia and may move back to assisted living in a week.

I am still with my oldest sister in Sonoma, CA after the death of her 90 yr. old husband who lived a long good life. We hope to drive down to Burbank tomorrow to visit our other sister over the weekend so I will be a lot closer to you than usual!

Your Big Bear Days posts, and your posts sharing your bountiful garden, and your current stitching have refreshed me...[except for your tumble into the pool...I am so glad you were not badly injured!!!]

Your last line of this post is so true and reminds me of the verse, "He has made every thing beautiful in His time:..."

Thanks for making the time to share the beauty around you with me :-) I will try to post something beautiful soon!


Melissa C said...

Boy o boy was this a full post! Your gardens look SO beautiful! I am so very jealous! I have yet to plant anything! It has been raining here for a few weeks and it is so very soft...kiddos are done with school here tomorrow and hope to get a garden in in the next week with them :) I love your pumpkins!!! and the vintage tupperware! O my! LOVE!!!

I would love to shop with you :)

Melissa C said...

oh and 1 more thing!

where did you get that sweet little chicken towel!???? I want one!

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Sweet Kris!

Looks like things on going well on your piece of earth! Your gardens look beautiful!

Sounds like your chickens are doing well also. When I got the soft shelled eggs I upped their feed with more crushed oyster shells. It's good calcium for stronger eggs. Have you ever used it? You can buy it at any feed store. Good stuff!

Have a wonderful summer my friend!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I am so happy for blue. She has her own family now. She always was a sweet heart. My polish is crazy too. Not sure that is good for me around here. It can fly over the run fence like nothing. If it crows it goes though so I am waiting to clip its wings.

Patty said...

You should enter the pic of the geraniums and chair in a photo contest - you would win! I love catching up with the girls and garden. You really know your stuff. Love reading your blog, Kris. xo Patty

Linda said...

You are the busiest person I know, Kris!!
Time for you to relax!!
Your garden looks awesome...gonna plant me some pumpkins this weekend at the cottage!!!
Love catching up with you...
Are you going to Big Bear this weekend??

Linda :o)

Kerri said...

Your garden is so FUN and I love all your little touches that make your house a home. I've never been a big yogurt fan, but lately I have been enjoying it with fruit...and one of these days I will try my hand at making granola!
Hope you are feeling better! Sitting under that colorful umbrella could probably cheer anyone up!

Copper Diem said...

Your garden looks amazing! Love the idea of scratching the names in the pumpkins!

Carol said...

Your garden is just bee-utiful!!

Linda said...

Wonderful post Kris! I love reading about your girls! I love these cool mornings and evenings too...perfect for gardening! I use bat guano and worm casting tea for my veggies...they seem to love it...and we have those nasty buggers in the yard too...our sweet Sydney used to catch them for the chickens eat them? Have a great day!!

Val said...

Your posts always make me happy!!!

Lynne said...

Good job Kris! I love this post! You have all my favorites growing in your garden, nasturtiums, cosmos, zinnias and red geraniums. Love your new little chicken too.

Hanne said...

wow everything in your garden is sure growing. Summer has come to Denmark too, I just love the warm wheather

Astri said...

You are lucky to have a garden in it's height of glory. Around here we have a contest to see if anyone can get a tomato by July 4th...not many succeed.

Geranium photo is so pretty - would not have noticed the plywood ;-). It's funny the things that show up in photos that I never noticed around before. I should take a photo before I clean the house and then one after and then clean and straighten again...what is it about photos???

Have lovely weekend Kris!