The No-Work Garden

This was one of my sweet potato plants- back in June when they were first planted. I planted about 18 plants I think. They are back in the fenced yard with the dogs and chickens so I put up a little fence made of wood posts and netting to keep them out until they were big enough to fend for themselves. Then I sort of forgot about them.

This is my sweet potato garden today:

nice, huh?

If you look really closely you can see the plants....but mostly it's weeds. The fence fell long ago. The dogs and chickens have rolled and dug and played in it. The plants really didn't get very big. But we left them, hoping that more was going on under the soil. Yesterday, in a break in the 2 day rain we've had, Cale was poking around and saw a "huge" one poking out of the ground and he began to work on getting it out.

That one turned into about 6 pretty good sized ones. The 'huge' one he saw was actually really big. Bigger than any we've gotten at the store at least.

We had sweet potato biscuits for dinner, which we all love and hadn't had in a really long time.


Animals #39 and 40

Just in case I didn't have enough to take care of around here...

These 2 arrived here at their new home yesterday evening. They are Saanen goats, both females, and are a few months old. They haven't been around people too much so they are a bit skiddish, but we spent a good amount of time with them this afternoon and they are coming around.

I've wanted goats for a couple years now. I wanted ones to milk but wasn't sure when the best time to take on that responsibility would be. But over the past couple years my flower garden, as well as a spot in the front yard, has been taken over. With poison ivy.

All summer Paul wanted to spray it but I wouldn't let him go near it with chemicals. It was too close to my vegetable garden...and well, I just don't like chemicals. He did try a vinegar and salt mixture which did kill back some of it, but wasn't terribly effective. Paul can't go near poison ivy without breaking out terribly. I've pulled it bare handed before, but I assume one of these days I will get it....

My suggestion to cure the poison ivy problem? Goats.

So meet Bertie....

She's the more shy around people of the 2. Loves to eat. Seems to be the protector by the way she stomps and lowers her horns at the dogs when they get too close to the fence.

And Bella

She seems to be warming up a little quicker than Bertie. She'll come up and sniff, and occasionally let you pet her nose, when you stretch your hand out to her. She even started to cry and call when we went to leave the yard.

According to the farmer they both come from good milk lines, so maybe in a year or 2, we might attempt to breed them and use them for milk as well as weed eaters.


September 17, 2010

I think I posted a very similar post this time last year- about a day of field trips....we did that again this year. We started at the UT gardens while Paul was in class....

Then we stopped to drop off some bread I entered into the fair. Our hope was that we could stick around until it opened- and you know, get in for free- but no such luck. We had to unload in under 10 minutes. So since we had time to kill we went to the zoo....

We didn't do much....went to some of their favorites and played mostly. Then we went to the fair. I personally don't care for the carnival part of the fair. But I do enjoy the animals and exhibits. The boys also wanted to check out the youth show and junior bakers contest results.

Our first stop was the Kerr Building, where they had the Youth Show exhibits. You can see Rylan's hand picture below...

And Cale's Squash Frankenstein, which he entered for Holiday Decorations. He was so excited to see the ribbon hanging on it! (2nd place)

This is the drawing Cohen entered- none of their paintings or drawings placed- but they were okay with that...

Here's the Christmas ornament section....you can see Rylan's egg, the bottom of Cohen's green egg at the bottom center and the head of Cale's snowman in the center left. It was hard to see very well- but it looked like Rylan's had a 3rd place, Cale a 2nd and Cohen a 1st. We can't pick up those exhibits and ribbons until Monday after the fair is over....so we will find out then for sure.

They also found out the results of their cupcakes, brownies and cookies in the Junior Bakers competition.

Rylan received 2nd place in both is brownies and cookies

Cale received 2nd for his cookies and 4th for his brownies

And Cohen received 4th for his cookies.

They were all very excited! They put a lot of work into their baked goods, so I am very proud of them.
(and in case anyone was wondering....my bread placed 3rd)



We had a day of appointments yesterday. Friday night Cale climbed up his ladder and jumped into bed....he came out saying he hurt his mouth. He hit is pillow. I'm not so sure about the pillow part, but he did hurt his mouth. One of his bottom i-teeth was a little loose and it was bleeding. Seeing that Cale is a compulsive wiggler and refuses to leave it alone, by Saturday night it was fairly loose and sideways, hitting the tooth coming in behind it. So we took him into the dentist yesterday since this is a tooth that he shouldn't loose for another few years. They decided it needed to come out. So after some laughing gas and a little topical numbing paste they grabbed it. He took it well and was over it by the time we got home.

I also had a prenatal appointment yesterday afternoon. I had to do the glucose tolerance test, which I can't stand. I can't even drink a 10oz cup of juice in 5 min without feeling sick, let alone that sweet drink full of red dye.

But I am now 27 weeks....

She is still a girl

Still measuring about a week small.

And by the looks of it has the same nose her brothers do


18th Century Trade Faire

This weekend we went to the 18th Century Trade Faire at Fort Loudoun. We visit the fort all the time but have never actually gone to see any of the reenactments. It was raining buckets all morning but it started to stop a bit around noon so we headed out. Our first stop was the fiddle player...

He was really sleepy I think, said he'd be driving for 2 days straight, but he finally picked it up and played some fast ones. I've always loved the fiddle and wish I had learned to play, Rylan loves the music too. I am trying to talk him into learning.....

Then the boys played with some of the toys set out while we waited for the battle reenactment.

They really enjoyed the battle.

With all the gun fire

and cannon fire

and the fallen soldiers.

Then we went to see the Budabi Brothers. Rylan had seen them listed on the schedule and really wanted to see them.

Especially the juggling with knives part. They juggled with fire too....and were entertaining to watch and listen to.

The final show of the day was the Beggar Boys. Which was more fiddle and music playing. Rylan, Cale and Cohen all said this was their favorite. Lakin's was the fighting.

We also looked through the medical supplies, watched the bread being made and cooked in the clay oven. We got home just in time for the next round of storms to roll through.


Tennessee Valley Fair

This year Rylan, Cale and Cohen decided to enter a couple things into the Youth Show at the Tennessee Valley Fair. They chose categories like Christmas decorations, paintings, drawings and holiday decoration. They also entered into the confection category of the Junior Bakers. Cale and Rylan did brownies. Cohen and Cale did cupcakes and all 3 did cookies. I forgot to take pictures of some of their entries....hopefully I will get them back (the claim tickets went through the wash....) and can show them then.

Here is Cale's holiday decoration. It's a spaghetti squash Frankenstein. He LOVED it!

Rylan's drawing. This is the 3rd he's done of this type and I always love how they turn out.

Cohen's Christmas ornament....

Those were all due this past Wednesday. The confections are due tomorrow morning. So we baked today. ALL DAY. I lost count of how many times I washed my mixing bowl. They did a great job and I just over saw it all- and helped when needed.

Here are Rylan's rocky road brownies. We only need 6 for the entry....so we get to eat the rest. They are SO good.

Cale's Dulce de Leche brownies. We've been making dulce de leche in the crock pot recently and he loves it....

More of Cale's brownies. They are really good too.

Then they all did decorated cookies.

So they did sugar cookies with royal icing.

And of course lots of sprinkles. I couldn't talk them out of tons of sprinkles...

Then the cupcakes. They both did really well with the pastry bag...

Cohen's close up

Again, lots of sprinkles....
but they looked great and both were very happy with the finished product.

Cale's close up


Computer Troubles and Random Details

  • Our iMac has been having issues the past 3 weeks. It all started with an update gone bad. We took it to the Apple Store in Knoxville and the tech told us he'd seen at least 4 other machines with the same problem due to that update. Apparently it didn't work for our type of iMac. What is did do is corrupt the hard drive. We saved all files and rebooted the system. All was fine. For a week. Then it would load but the desktop was empty and I couldn't find access any files. Not a good thing on a Sunday night when I needed to print up the week's lessons. A failed attempt to reboot from the disk somehow restored it all. So this week it has had issues starting and we've had to restart a couple times in the morning before it would start up completely. As of Sunday morning it is gone. The hard drive is gone, fried, something. We can't even reboot from the disk. We are 2 days away from our 1 year warranty expiration. We have had no problems before this, they have great customer service, BUT it's a little frustrating that one of THEIR updates messed up our whole computer. Of course what worries me most is the fact that I am not positive all my pictures from the last year are backed up. At least half of them are online somewhere....
  • We've had a rather boring last few weeks. I've had my camera out twice I think. We did some fishing, did our school work- though nothing particularly fun and exciting, the boys are finishing up the items they plan to enter into the county fair this year....
  • This weekend we went 'camping'. As in it was spur of the moment and being labor day we figured all the real campgrounds were full, so we set up camp in the back yard. We roasted (fake)hotdogs and hamburgers wrapped in foil were throwing in the ashes. We had outgrown our 4 person tent-which we had been stuffing our family of 6 in for the past few years....but we found a 12 person tent at the store for a deep discount so for once Paul and I weren't squashed at the feet of 4 boys to sleep. It finally cooled off....so we woke up seeing our breath in the morning.
  • I am getting close to my 3rd trimester...how come 13 weeks sounds not too long but 3 months sounds SO long?