A Memorial Weekend…..

We spent the weekend remembering the most wonderful man that I have ever known…

My Dad

I’m going to brag for just a moment….

My Dad was such an amazing man!  He was truly one of a kind.  He touched so many people that even 3 years after his passing he is being remembered and honored for his service to his family, his country, his volunteer work and by the town where he and my Mother settled 35 years ago.

This wonderful man was selfless and never showy in his efforts to help others.  He did for others because it was right, pure and simple.  Because of this reason, (and a million other reasons) he is being honored this weekend.

How do you honor a true Patriot, a Vietnam veteran who almost lost his life fighting for his country but, as he would say, LUCKILY only lost a leg instead?  By installing a 60 ft flag pole that will proudly wave a 16×25 foot flag above the athletic fields of the town, that’s how!

My little Man, My niece and my Brother-in-law

Saluting…

My little guy and my Niece, the Marine…just like her Pepere.

(This beautiful flag pole and marker were the brain child and donation of a local credit union that Dad volunteered with.)

Oh my…would he ever be smiling to see this. ❤

~~~~

The very next day we set out on our 3rd annual family mystery trip that honors the memory of our Dad on the day of his passing.

When we were growing up my dad would find the really neat, unique places, plan a trip, write up clues for the destinations and off we would go. Our trips were a combination of kooky, off the wall places mixed in with historical and educational spots.  No matter what the destination was, it was always fun because he made it fun.

This year all 16 of us set out to Rhode Island to visit the Mansions of Newport and the Roger Williams Zoo where the kids got to feed the giraffes!  What an experience for them!

The Breakers, Newport

We finished the evening by setting off floating sky lanterns at the beach in remembrance of this amazing man who still, 3 years later touches so many.

Off they go, reaching the Heavens…each one with a special message . ❤

~~~

  I miss my Dad so much, but I see him every day in my kids, especially in my little man who had 3 precious year to drink in all that his Pepere did.

Thank you Dad, for all that you taught us, fought for us, shared with us, and for every ounce of love that you gave….

Until we meet again… 

Around the Farm…

I’m not exactly sure what qualifies one as a farm, but to me, it is a big white house and an even bigger red barn. But seeing as we aren’t quite there yet…I suppose 15 chickens and 4 pigs puts us in that category even without the barn. 🙂

Well..It’s been a while since my last update and since late April through May for us has 7 close family birthdays, a special memorial weekend for my Dad a wedding and much, much more…I’m trying to squish everything into a few posts.

So…here goes…

Just one of the spring tulips…

~Two of the ladies doing what they do…

~Feisty the pig…

~More of natures beauty…

~Red checking out the camera…

~Blue digging up the dirt…

~One of the tulips that made it past the chickens…

~Pinky taking a break…

~Wanting to eat the camera…

~Typical shoe wear ’round these parts…

~Getting a little drink…

The piggies are growing faster than I could have imagined and love to eat everything from twigs and bugs to scrambled eggs!  They love to scamper around and frolic when sprayed with cool water on a hot day.  We gave them some beach balls to play with and they love them!   They are tilling the soil for us faster than we could have imagined as well and we are discovering just how rocky that area is.  Looks like there is some major compost and soil that’s going to be needed to make that area into our giant garden for next year as we had planned.

Our chickens are happy and eating all of the bugs in the yard and the occasional flower or two.  I now know why farms don’t have typically have manicured flower beds.  Fresh mulch makes for great dust baths and they seem to enjoy themselves so much.

Oh well. 🙂

We are moving right along into spring and I am feeling a bit behind as we should have started our seedlings long ago. 😦  Perhaps it will just be easier to buy the seedlings this year and direct sow the rest.  *sigh*  Maybe next year.  This year is flying by so quickly.

Off to feed the piggies again….

They’re here!!!

We have planned, read, built and waited, and now they are here!

Our little piggies!!

We started with  a plan of one, but who wants a lonely depressed pig, so we opted for 2.  Well if we’re going to have 2, why not 3?  What’s one more mouth??  So 3 it was.  We ordered them in the fall from a local farmer.  As we got closer we wanted one more, why not?

 So phone call after phone call, we finally found another little to join our brood only a short hour and a half away.

There was a little squealing from the new boarders at the pig farmers and the kids found some new friends who homeschool too!

All in all a great day!  Everyone is getting along well.  The pigs could care less about the chickens and the chickens are like  bunch of old gossipy ladies, squawking around trying to figure these new things out.  They do like new pig food though. Bonus!

So, without further ado….

Checking out the new digs!

Rooting around already.

The ladies checking out their newest farm mates.

Making a place to nap.

Fresh fruit and vegetable scraps.

Rooting in the dirt AND eating…pig heaven!

Tired from all the activity.

Checking out the camera.

The happy 4!  Can you guess which one was the late addition?!?

So, there they are!  The newest additions to our growing family and we couldn’t be happier. 🙂

Tap, Tap, Tapping….

Our inaugural tree tapping happened this long weekend!

The days have been warm and the nights cool, so hey…tapping is going on early this year. 🙂  Local sugar shacks are already making maple syrup, so why shouldn’t we??

We came across a killer clearance sale at Lowes last year on their maple tree tapping kits so we jumped on it and now we have 9 buckets going, each holding 3 gallons.  It takes 10 gallons of sap to make 1 quart of syrup.  Its more the process and the experience that we are in search of, full well knowing that we aren’t going to line the shelves with maple syrup for the entire year.  The kids were really excited to help, they were out there, freezing their little buns off, in the 20 MPH winds helping hang the buckets and braving the woods.  I have to admit that I am a bit of a bug freak, particularly ticks so we don’t necessarily go gallivanting through the woods.  Although, truth be told I really wish we could gallivanting…  I’m getting there, slowly. 😉

Drip…Drip…Dripping our way to Maple Ice Cream!

Bubba helping Dad…

Haven’t figured out why these buckets are bright blue?!

Big Ol’ Sugar Maple!

We have 2 gorgeous old rock walls that line one side of the property…I think it may have been a road at one time.  This is one of the main reasons that we bought the house…we just loved the history of the land. ❤

I try to imagine all of the different kids through the years that must have played on these rocks…

Ahhhh….I can’t imagine looking out and not seeing trees!  We’ve done our time in the city and wouldn’t trade the scenery we have now…it’s mother nature at her best!

We’ll see if our cup runneth over with sap.. 😉

DIY Deodorant…..

This all came about 6 months ago when we began making soaps, scrubs, laundry soaps etc.  My hubby started in on me about my antiperspirant/deodorant and the aluminum that it contained.  I said that I was cool with going “crunchy” on quite a few things in my life but I was NOT going to give up deodorant and was NOT going to stink. 😉  I could tell he was concerned for my wellbeing so I said what all good wives say, if I do it, then YOU do it!

He agreed!

So my hunt for a homemade deodorant began.  I wasn’t looking for anything complicated because honestly, I didn’t think we’d make it more than once.  After all, there is a reason that there are so many commercial products on the market and the only experience that I had with a natural deodorant was with Tom’s of Maine and it felt like I slathered sticky honey under my arms when I used it. Ummm… no thanks!

So, I found a simple recipe and gave it a shot once my aluminum filled  tube was empty.  I have to admit that I panicked a bit because the very first time we used it was on an evening that the hubs and I had to work together, see in our other lives we are caterers which means fast paced, stressful, hot environments.  This particular night, we were producing a menu that in all rights should have had back up help, but we are crazy like that, so it was just us.   Any who, moral of the story is that the deodorant performed amazingly, so much so that the sniff test was in order…and passed!  Nothing, notta, zip, zilch in the smell category!

SOLD!!

 Ever since I have been making our deodorant.  It takes about 10 minutes and uses ingredients that I have lying around already.

This is a large batch because it is a recipe that I know works for us…you might want to start with a half batch to perfect your own recipe.

Recipe:

Makes 2+ small jars worth

1/2 cup arrowroot

1/2 cup Baking soda (get a trusted name like Bob’s Red Mill or Frontier)

Approximately 8-10 tablespoons of Coconut oil

Tea Tree oil (antibacterial properties)

Rosemary oil

Directions:  Put Arrowroot and baking soda in a bowl.  Add in the coconut oil and mix very well using a spatula to smoosh all of the ingredients together into a paste that will be similar to a loose cookie dough.  Add 6-8 drops of tea tree and 6 drops of rosemary oil.  If it is too loose, add more arrowroot. Too crumbly? Add more coconut oil.

** You can also do this in the food processor!! Way faster.  Just don’t pulse it for too long, you’ll have coconut oil soup. 😉

That’s it!  Put it into wide mouth jars and keep covered.

To apply, take out a dime sized (or smaller) amount.  Let it sit in your palm for a few seconds and it will begin to melt as coconut oil melts at 75 degrees.  Apply with your finger tips.   We did try using deodorant sticks, but actually prefer the jar method.  It’s less messy.

Tips:  Sometimes it burns a bit right after you shave, so wait 10-15 minutes until you apply right after shaving.

Use whatever you’d like for an oil to fragrance.

You can use cornstarch instead of arrowroot.

If it irritates, you can use more arrowroot and less baking soda.

Here we go…

Finally the first post and what a great time to post!  The sun is shining yet, it is cool and breezy.  The garden is giving it’s bounty daily including beautiful giant sunflowers, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers and green beans.  Let the freezing begin!  We are not experienced gardeners by any stretch of the imagination, but we learn a bit more every year.  I am hopeful that as we learn, our garden will grow bigger.  Our chickies had a run in with a hungry something this year and we lost 6 in one day. 😦  Sad, very sad but the remaining 6 hens and 2 guineas are getting along and laying eggs for us, so I cannot complain.

The Little Lady

My Dude

Soon we start our homeschooling adventure…I am both excited and scared.  If I screw this up, I don’t have 30 something other teachers to blame, just myself.  No pressure there. :-/  We will take it day by day with a plan in mind, but not carved in stone.  My babies will lead their learning.  My goal for them, to love learning as much as I do.  My love of learning didn’t come from schooling, it came from my dad, who made everything an adventure and a learning experience.  A born teacher, everything was an opportunity to learn.  I did not however realize until much later, that I was learning and that made it fun.   This is what I want for my children, to love to learn, without the negative connotation of school and desk learning that so many kids have today.  Fun, learning and life experiences are what I want my kids to get out of their education….Here we go!