We were greeted by the Queen herself as we entered the faire. The next people we saw were dressed as Garden Gnomes. I thought they were about the cutest couple at the faire. One thing you can't assume at a Ren. Faire is that everyone dressed in period garb is a worker or entertainer at the faire. I have no idea if this woman was working that day or just enjoyed dressing up and going as a spectator. But I thought her costume was great.Now this girl was working at the booth where we bought our food. I had to take her picture because she reminded me so much of my sister-in-law Amy. Seriously if she had acted any more like her, I would have asked her where my brother was hiding. Stage shows are the other big thing that you will see at the faire. Here are the Zucchini Brothers. Their act was that sort of seamless string of one liners that leaves your sides aching, and yet you can't really relay to anyone why or how they were so funny. They are a must see. The kids favorite was the puppeteer. He does it all on his own, including making his puppets himself. The last act we saw were the Rouge Blades. I had seen the end of their act at Derbyshire earlier this year and thought they were great. Seeing the whole act here was even better. I'm counting the days until next year when I hope Rob and I can go with friends without the children.
I love that word. It's just plain fun to say. HUZZAH!!! It's the Renaissance version of hooray. Too bad everyone looks at you like you're crazy if you use it outside of Renaissance Faire setting. (Right, Mike?) One of the things I feel needs to be a priority with the kids doing school at home is socialization. Not so much because I think they need to spend a lot of time in groups of kids, but because I think it's important to connect with their peers and have friends. I just think they need someone to talk to now and then that's not part of their immediate family. Last Friday we were lucky enough to be invited on a field trip with some other families from Connections Academy. We went to the Michigan Renaissance Festival for their Festival Friday. It's a toned down version of the festival to make it more family friendly. There was so much to see that I really don't feel like we were able to see it all. I can't wait to go back. I have more pictures to share throughout the week. The best part of it was not only did Jade get to meet the classmate she has been emailing the last few weeks, but I made a new friend as well. See, the need for socialization doesn't stop with the kids. We all need to connect with our peers from time to time.
I haven't said much about the recent issue of eggs and salmonella because I just didn't know where to start. There are so many things I feel are wrong with the big business egg industry.
Today one of my favorite bloggers published a post that says it all perfectly, in my opinion. So I will refer you to her over at Whispering Acres with her post Let's Talk About Eggs. Enjoy and consider your self well informed and able to make an educated decision about your egg buying.
Meg found this huge mushroom growing beside our house. There are actually two of them, but the other was half eaten. (Probably by the chickens.) The top is a good 6 inches at least in diameter and it's probably 8-10 inches tall. Does anyone know what kind of mushroom this is? Or where I might find out?
I'm sure it's been quite some time since I've posted about all the rabbits we have now. We are up to a grand total of 11. That's a lot of rabbits! I'll post about everyone soon. But for now I'd like to introduce our newest additions. A pair of Hotot rabbits (pronounced Hoe-Toe or OH-Toe).
The male is Sugar. He's as sweet as can be and only weighs 2 pounds 6 ounces. Yes, he's full grown. The usual weight for these rabbits is 2.5-3.5 pounds with 3 pounds being the maximum weight for show. But we don't show, so it doesn't matter to us how much they weigh.The female is Hello Bunny. She is a bit big for the breed at 3 pounds 14 ounces. But that's OK we love her anyhow. She is a very nice rabbit and will be good for the younger kids to handle. Megan has pretty well laid claim to Sugar. We all know that he is her rabbit. And that's OK with us as long as she continues to take good care of him. He seems to be OK with her too. She can do almost anything to him that she wants and he just lets her. Here she's practicing her 4H showmanship skills on him. These are about the best rabbits we've had so far for the younger two kids. Lil Puddin' Tater is pretty good too (our Netherland Dwarf), but he doesn't tolerate the kids for as long as Sugar does.
Last Sunday my neighbor had a birthday party for her son. At the party they had pony rides for all the kids. All the kids were so excited. Meg was a bit nervous at first, but she got over it. Now she wants her own pony. She's even willing to empty her piggy bank of the whole $30 in it to buy one herself. Jade has wanted a horse for quite some time now. Looking at her here, you would think she had ridden many times before. It's really only her second time. Braden picked the pony he wanted to ride as soon as he saw her. She was the pony for him and he would not even consider riding anyone else.
I almost never have my camera with me when I'm driving along and suddenly see something I'd like to take a picture of. The other day I was lucky enough to have my camera with me when I saw this rainbow.
I had almost forgotten. It's a web site that includes a search engine, surveys, special offers, polls and more. When you sign up and use these things you can earn points. Those points can then be used to obtain a number of different rewards.
I signed up quite some time ago. In the spring, I think, and then forgot about it. Even so, I have over 450 points. I plan to use these points to get gift cards to various retailers for my Christmas shopping.
If you are interested, click HERE and check it out.
If you aren't interested, please ignore my ramblings today. I'll be back tomorrow with something new.
I'm realizing how important it is to take a little time each day for me to just relax and center myself. It doesn't have to be an hour, sometimes just five minutes is enough. It can make all the difference in the tension of your day. I've also discovered that sometimes mom is the one who needs a "Time Out". That's OK too, so long as mom takes it. It's not the end of the world if school is off schedule by five minutes. What's important is remembering to keep your cool and that your children probably don't mean to be the most frustrating creatures on earth (next to their father, of course).
Mom time is up, the kids need help. See you tomorrow.
This is not the view we want from our front porch. It took a little work, but we got all three back in their pen. Actually, we spent too much time chasing them around the yard before realizing all we needed was a bucket of slop.
Our second week of Virtual School is well underway. The kids are still loving school, but would really like to get a little more sleep. We start by 8am so that we are done about mid afternoon. Well, Megan is done mid afternoon. Jade has been working until I make her quit around 4pm each day. She has a goal to finish 4th grade early and start 5th.
Megan had art yesterday. The lesson was on texture. We were to do rubbings of various things. In case you don't know what that is, you lay paper on a surface and then rub it with the side of a crayon. It's a fun way for a five year old to explore. This is just a small sampling of the things Meg found to do her rubbings on. She would have stayed out there all day if I had let her. She was fascinated that different wooden things had different textures. She was on a roll. She suddenly spied something across the yard she hadn't tried out yet. Doesn't she know I can't run that fast anymore? I guess holding on to things longer than we should does have it advantages.
Want to make a 3 year old boy happy? Tell him he can go play with the goats.Want to make the goats happy? Let the boy in the pasture. Cream Soda is the whitest one, Ginger Ale is right behind her and Leia is bringing up the rear. We have had Cream Soda and Ginger Ale for about three months. We've had Leia for a little more than a month.
We no longer have Teresa and Pixie. As much as I loved them, they weren't the calmest goats and I worried they would be too rough with the younger children. So we sold the whole herd and started over, so to speak. Cream Soda is a mix of Saanen, Alpine, Nubian and Boer. Eventually my goal is to breed her to a Boer buck to raise meat goats. Remember, our goal here is to be a sustainable homestead. At least to some degree.
While we still rely on commerce for a lot of what we consume, we do raise the bulk of our food. It's nice to know that even though we don't have to rely 100% on what we raise, we do raise enough variety to live fully off what we raise if we ever need to.
Ginger Ale (who is redder than the pictures show) is a mix of Saanen, Nubian and Boer. Although I suspect some Alpine in her line based on her coloring. She will be bred for milking. Her mother, who was Nubian, Saanen and Boer, was milking more than a gallon a day when I bought her. She will be bred to a spotted Nubian buck later this fall. I'm really hoping to get spotted kids.
Leia is full Nubian and gives great milk. She is very sweet and gentle. While she is the queen of the herd, I've never seen her be the least bit harsh with the other two goats. We still had Teresa when we got them and they were scared all the time because she was so mean to them. That was another deciding factor in selling her. She needed a home where they had a larger herd and more room.
Leia will be bred to Yancy, who was the Nubian buck we bred our Toggs to last year. He throws beautiful kids and a fairly high number of spots and doelings.
These are only a few of the muscovy ducks that we have here on the farm. We actually have in the neighborhood of 20 right now. They are everywhere! The females make this sweet sort of cooing sound similar to the sound a dove makes, but a little more shrill.
Now when it's just the five or so that are our breeding stock it's not so bad. Even when the ducklings are small and downy it's not so bad. But when they get to be full grown and poop everywhere, it is so bad.
I thought I would have a hard time sending them to be butchered. I'm over it. Now I'm just worried about freezer space.
What an awesome problem to have. I truly feel blessed to have more meat for my freezer than I have room for. I need remember to look at it that way instead of stressing about where I'm going to put it all.
Now back to the current duck situation. This is what I came home to last night after Jade's soccer game: I am not going to be the one to get up on the roof and clean the poop off!