Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pink Pumpkin Fundraiser

Nancy's Pumpkin Patch

I was so excited this year when I discovered a pumpkin that is pink skinned called a Porcelain Doll.  So I ordered me a packet and planted them.  Now that October is knocking on the door, I have beautiful pink pumpkins for sale and have teamed up with Breast Cancer Research Foundation to receive the proceeds of the pumpkin sale towards their ongoing research!  The monster patch took on more meaning at this decision and now I am ready to start raising money and awareness in a fun way!

 Will you help support my fundraising efforts?

 Pink Porcelain Doll growing to become a big pumpkin with great expectations.
The monster pumpkin patch outgrew its "fence" and took over the  whole yard!

The pumpkin patch even decided that irrigation pipes were no match for it and grew right over the top of them.

The first pink pumpkin harvest.  More remain in the patch getting their pink on.

Pink Porcelain Doll pumpkins on sale October 1, available until gone.  50% of sale proceeds will go to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

You can pick up your pink pumpkin every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Farm Bureau Financial Services office in Atwood, KS at 114 N. 4th St during regular business hours.  If you are not able to get to Atwood to buy a pink pumpkin, but still want to donate to my fundraising efforts, please follow this link (https://give.bcrfcure.org/fundraise?is_new=1&fcid=352965). 

Other pumpkins - sugar pie, lumiere and baby boo are also for sale.  Still waiting for the chocolate skinned Marquee de'Providence to get their chocolate on but they are working on it!  They will be available for sale once they turned.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer is SO BUSY!

I have been so busy this summer with so much going on.  My car had the equivalent of a stroke in early June and has been in the car hospital and car rehab since then, might get to come home to me later this month.  Waiting for the specialists to get done with their assessment and tests.

I have had big changes in my life and that has affected my ability to tend my garden and share stories with you all here.  In a nutshell, I work 2 part-time jobs that keep me away from home from Monday afternoon through Friday evenings.  The cats think I abandon them during the week and are amazed when they get fed at 11 p.m. at night before I crash in bed.

The gardens are doing great and so far have been spared from any hail damage, even though we had golf ball and grapefruit sized hail the weekend of Father's Day - my house took some damage but the gardens were spared - not sure how that worked out.

I have 4 garden plots this year.  3 are my house and 1 very special pumpkin patch is at my grandmother's farm.  The first plot is the asparagus and tomato patch.  A very small strip of garden that is most the asparagus patch but I worked it up so that the tomatoes could try out the soil.  None of the tomato plants are growing very good this year but they are producing tomatoes and we are picking them!

The East garden has green beans, roma tomatoes, chinese cucumbers, regular cucumber, pickler cucumbers and gadzukes in it.  I am trying the cucumber trellis idea this year.  With the help of a very patient and generous man I met, I have 2 chunks of cattle panel attached to the sides of the garden shed with the other end positioned over the cucumber rows.  The cucumbers are learning to climb the panels and let the cucumbers dangle down underneath.  Sometimes this actually is accomplished.  I am amazed when I find a 12-16 inch cucumber that is almost perfectly straight.  Sure makes finding them easier and picking them is pretty easy too.  The cucumbers are loaded with blooms so I think I am going to be buried in cucumbers for another month yet!
East Garden - Chinese Cucumbers, green beans and tomatoes

The West garden is the squash and pumpkin patch this year.  There are 3 varieties of pumpkins and 2 varieties of summer squash - yellow and zucchini.  Of course the zucchini and yellow squash plants are just going hog wild.  Growing so big and almost ready to crawl out through the fence.  I usually pick enough each time I go out to need the wagon. 

The west garden pumpkin patch, pales in comparison to the monster patch, but there are pumpkins in there and the baby boos (upper center) are growing and doing well.

On August 29th I picked all of the squash on the plants and then pulled the plants.  We have an abundance of squash (see below) that just cannot get eaten or picked in a timely manner and dad says he is tired of squash.  I have a casserole in the freezer still and some on the table that have yet to be made into mock apple crunch.  I think I have enough for 2 pans.  Guess that will be all I do for the winter treat.

 The last picking of squash.  Yes they are in the trunk of a car.  They are going to some cows and sheep in Phillips County.  I also found out that there is someone who would like a few zucchini - an Aunt Betty - so we will get her taken care of as well.  All 3 varieties are represented here.  Their vines pulled and laying in 4 heaping piles next to the gardens at home where they will be transferred to the burn tank in a few days.

The gadzukes are getting really good at hiding from me and usually I find them when they are almost too big to grill!  Sometimes the zucchini do that too and then they get made into mock apple pies or crunches!

(no i don't grow flip flops, but they get awful dirty when wore into the garden)

Squash abundance turns into the most delicious casseroles.  I have 3 recipes I love and try to make several of and freeze for future use.

The special pumpkin patch is down at Grandma's house.  Worked up 2 tiller width rows to plant in.  Located in what was for 50 years the chicken coop yard.  So 50 years of chicken poop has been resting here and now is feeding pink pumpkins, chocolate pumpkins and a few baby boos.  I swear the vines grow another 12 inches every night and the pumpkins double in size overnight as well.

Taken on or around the first week of August.

 I used to mow around the pumpkin patch, now I just walk around it and talk to the vines telling them how amazing they are and how I can't believe how much they grow all the time!

These next 3 pictures were taken only 2 weeks later and you can see how much the patch is growing in just that short of time!
Taking over the irrigation pipe, the posts you can barely see is the perimeter of the patch when planted!  Obviously I took the fence down!

Pink skinned pumpkins in honor of breast cancer awareness.  For Sale this year - $5 to $10 depending on their size and they are growing BIG!

In preparation for that wonderful month of October a few new purchases have been made to compete with the growing monster pumpkins.  Boots was nice enough to model one for me this morning and so I was able to capture a view from the back of the line up.

Here is what they look like from the front!  I found them all sad and lonely in Fort Collins, CO on a recent trip to the cabin.  So glad I was able to save them from a life of boring city streets and mean kids!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Miller Moth Murders

A gruesome tale that is relived every June on the farm.  This year seems to be especially horrific due to the shear numbers of invading miller moths that seem to make their way into every sliver of space between a door and the door jamb, the crack of the door in the car, and of course they have ninja powers that gets them into the house when you open the door.

The cats usually are very happy during this season because it gives them live prey to chase.  However even the cats seem to be overwhelmed by the shear number of miller moths.

Every morning I open the french door only to find a new layer of live moths tucked in around the door seal.  Of course, the mere act of opening the door releases the miller moth cloud out onto the deck and invariably some manage to do a 180 and end up in the house.  Flyswatters are strategically placed throughout the house to maximize the murder spree that ensues.  Smacked off the ceiling, walls, windows, curtains, around the night lights and even on the furniture.  No surface is safe from their dirty, nasty selves and once they are killed they leave a horrid mess behind of moth dust.

Usually after the killing season is over, all the curtains get a fresh run in the washing machine.  For the next 2 months or so I will be vacuuming up miller moth carcasses as they seem to fall behind everything.  The cats will find them and have a crunchy snack sometimes.  I guess they taste good enough to them.

This year there was even a swarm off the trees along the driveway as I drove home at night.  That was a bit freaky because it looked like a cloud just launched off the trees and you never knew if they were going to die when they hit the vehicle or if they would just attack it and slither into a crack for a better spot to spend the night.

Thankfully, it is now July 9 and they are no longer found in every crack and crevice.  I don't know where they move on to but all I can say is I am glad the unwanted guests are gone.  Now to clean up what they left behind and dispose of their dead relatives.

Halloween is just around the corner. . . .

As usual my brain has shifted into high gear as the haunting season is nearing.  Thanks to my crazy friends who find cool ideas for me and pass them on.  That leads me more ideas and then next thing you know I realize it is July and I only have 3 months to get this all ready.  So in the spirit of the season I am enlisting my friends and fans to help me.

PROJECT #1:  Milk Jug Ghosts
100 Glow sticks purchased, another 100 to be purchased. Now I need 200 milk jugs empty and with a ghostly face on them. Come on friends, help me out with this project. Be creative and give me some good ghosts for the Halloween House! 

What I would like you to do is as you empty a gallon milk jug, wash it out and then take a black marker and put a face on it! When you have that done, put it in my car or drop it by the Farm Bureau office when I am there. I will take them up until October 1.

 PROJECT #2:  Baby Boo Spiders
I am currently growing the bodies of these little cuties.  I hope to have about 100 and will need a few friends to help assemble them.  Mostly will need a hot glue gun operator (please send resume), pipe cleaner bender and insertion specialist (resume required) and eye ball insertion specialist (no medical degree necessary).  I think this will be an afternoon party project so if you are interested just send me a facebook message and I will let you know what Saturday or Sunday afternoon we are doing these.  But likely it will be October 12, wine will be served!

PROJECT #3:  Giving Yard Spider a Glow in the dark skin.
I have the glow in the dark paint so just need to get him moved out of the brome grass and sit down and paint him a fresh coat of paint.  I think he is going to live on the driveway somewhere this year.

PROJECT #4:  Construct the Haunted House picture wall
This one is going on the east deck so that visitors can have a Halloween photo of them visiting the Halloween House.  I am taking the inspiration from picture #1, creating it into picture #2 set up and picture #3 is similar to what the finished photo will look like.  So here is my thoughts on this one - OSB cut into the shape, 2 circle windows will be eye balls looking out (I have those actually already) and the people will be in the large arch opening in the bottom middle.  I might make a couple of long, slender holes on either side.  The stone look is going to be accomplished by spray foam and spray paint.  Spider webbing will be involved somehow.
Take this picture with all its creepy elements and build it into this below.

Notice that there are a couple holes cut out in the frames (see brick wall) those are where the people look out to get their picture taken like they did below.

As you can see, there are some serious plans being made to make the Halloween House even more fantastic than in years past.  So mark your calendars for October 19 from 2p-5p.  Come out and see all the crazy stuff I have come up with this year!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Foggy mornings

What does one do when it is wet and foggy in the morning?  I catch up on some much needed house work.

Doing the dishes, making me some breakfast was how I started out.  When I tried to turn on the light in the ceiling fan above the stove I discovered the light was burn out.  So that means I had to turn off the ceiling fat and figure out how to remove the globe cover.  When I turned off the fan I realized the fan needed to be cleaned.  So this set into motion the task of cleaning the fan blades.

1.  Mix water, soap and clorox in the ice cream bucket.
2.  Put sheet over stove.
3.  Grab paper towels.
4.  Wipe off excess dirt and cat hair from fan blades.
5.  Wash fan blades with soapy water and washcloth.
6.  Replace light bulb and cover.
7.  Turn on fan and enjoy a clean breeze.

Now on with the next project which is going to be the firewood corral.