Monday, May 23, 2022

Once Again

Well, hello there. I've been mulling over in my mind returning to the Garden Spot. I last posted in March 2021, and then just didn't. It seemed to me that the posts were become so repetitious, as things don't change much around here at the actual Garden Spot--we are just growing older and slower. 

I've not left blogging, nor have I fallen off the earth. I've posted consistently on Ann's Dollhouse Dreams where I chronicle my adventures in mini making. I also post day-to-day happenings on Instagram where a few of y Blogger friends hang out. 

But I think I'm back. I checked my settings only to find that this last year the spammers have had a heyday commenting. I just deleted a couple dozen of their comments waiting and turned on comment monitoring, which I hope helps.

We've kept a pretty low profile the last year--you know. A new, more guarded lifestyle, staying close to home. There's plenty to do around here.

It's hard to know just where to begin when I've been MIA for just over a year. Maybe in the garden. The only thing growing right now are two rows of onions and asparagus that has gone wild. We have had a very cold, windy, dry spring so we are behind with a lot of yard work.

I like to keep track of the the wildlife that wanders through the yard--nothing exotic like bears, mule deer, or elk--we're on the prairie, not in the mountains, but we do get an interesting variety of birds. This creature is watching us from the neighbor's garage roof. He'd been stalking our gold fish and I'm afraid that he caught one of our larger Koi cross goldfish. The blue Herons are common here, nesting in large rookeries along the river basins, but they have to  travel for food. My little goldfish make taste snack for their fledglings. 


We fooled him though by covering the pond with wire mess. Not a very aesthetic solution, but it keeps him from eating my fish.

Summer visitors have arrived, the Bullock's Orioles. They will feed on the cheapest grape jelly that we can find until their little families are raised. First 4 males arrived to check out the food supply and now we see a female and an immature male. 


The Lazuli Bunting stops to refuel on his way to his far northern USA and Canada nesting grounds. Actually the map that shows his range does not include Colorado, but we seem to see at least one male every summer. They come from as far the lower tip of Mexica, so he's got a ways to go. 


Pop turned 35 April 1st and now has the pasture to himself. We lost Sundance last May. He had fractured his pelvis 4 years ago and had a really tough summer and a hard winter. Putting him down was constantly in the back of our minds, but since he was Jennifer's horse it was her decision and she just couldn't bring herself to end his life. I told her that he would let her know when it was time and he did. Pop, now blind and maybe deaf too, gets around quite well, is sound and healthy. 

                       

                       

The boys were the headline of my last post along with this sweet kitten that was just a baby then. Heather took him and named him Early Gray, but Nathan called him Moaky. Well, little Moaky got sick a few weeks ago. Heather and Nathan took him to the Vet ER and didn't bring him home. He had a massive tumor wrapped around his heart and lungs. He was only 18 months old and a devastating loss for the 13 year old by who loved him--heck, for all of us.
                                                 

But Nathan has a new kitty. Yugi. He's a sweet boy, adopted from the local humane society. 


While Nathan turned 13 this spring, his brother Jacob, 19, (how can that be?) goes to community college where he studies accounting and works. 

The girls are busy too--into everything! While they still have their horses, they've added goats to their little farm. Ellie and Lily have meat goats that they are working with to so at the 4-H fair in August
  



Lucy decided to get milk goats. These two little cuties are still babies that she bottle feeds. She has big plans for them and their milk. She's learning how to make goat milk soap that she hopes to see. We've spent the last two Sundays making goat milk soap, using milk that her mother purchased from a nearby goat dairy. This is going to be a very interesting enterprise.


Mom helped her with the first batch, a lemon lavender fragrance. She's using lye based recipes, so she has to be very careful with the caustic ingredient. Her dad made her two molds out of clear lucite.


The soap will cure or saponify--the reaction between the triglycerides in the animal fats and sodium hydroxide or lye that combine to make soap--that's the over simplified explanation.  So here is the first batch. It'll cure for two weeks than we'll see what kind of soap Lucy made. 


Soap making is pretty simple process--mostly just adding ingredients including a variety of oils, lye, and milk the mixing it, and during into the molds. 


This first batch seemed pretty thick and heavy. She probably stirred it with the emulsifier too long. And it's a dark color than what they wanted because of the type of olive oil that they used.


But this batch yesterday made with a different recipe, a lighter olive oil,  and less stirring made a creamier mixture.


Lemon Poppy Seed bars. 


The girls still have their horses. Ellie is training Hank to run barrels, while Lucy is doing cow work and ranch events with Mariah. Lilly still rides, but not as much since she doesn't have her own horse. Oh. And the Pigs. I forgot the pigs. I haven't met them yet, but I hear that they are characters. One belongs to their neighbor where they live and one is Ellie's that she will show at fair.


And there you have it. Hopefully I can share more with the garden. It's cold this week and we may get some snow. Yes, I know. It's May. June is almost here and we have to protect our tender plants from the cold. I planted all of my hanging baskets, but they are on the patio to avoid freezing. Around here we just say, "It's Colorado." 

Well, it feels good to be back. 

Thanks for visiting. 

Have a great week. 





















2 comments:

  1. So very nice to catch up with you again. Lovely pigs!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's lovely to hear from you again, Ann! Your beautiful post is an interesting update on the life of your family.
    Things don't change much around here either (we too are growing older and slower :)) but I keep posting photos about home and garden. I have less time for fun things like blogging now but I hope this will not be forever.
    Happy spring days!

    ReplyDelete

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