Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Peter and Linda visit us

Matt's Uncle Peter and Aunt Linda came up from Kona to see baby Audrey and to see the family. Saturday morning they took Courtney and I out to breakfast and then we met up with everyone at the zoo.

Sam was a little sleepy from having to wake up so early so Court let him relax with her on the chair.
This was our conversation at the Komodo Dragon exhibit:
Me: (Talking to another adult) "It's terrifying to me that these animals bite their prey and then follow them until they die from infection. How morbid."
Sam: (Overhearing)"No bite, wizard! NO BITE!"
This is their third Aprecio grand baby!
On Tuesday Peter and Linda came by our house to play with Sam and visit some more.

I talked them in to getting a few pictures taken :)
We love these two and already miss them. Thank you Peter and Linda for everything you do for us.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Matt and I took some sparklers home from a wedding we attended to show them to Sam. Nothing works like fire to get a grumpy kid smiling. (We think he's getting his molars. He has been a whiny little monster these last two days.)
Do boys ever grow out of pyromania? No, no they do not. Matt was just as intrigued.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"The best love to have..." love of life." - Jimi Hendrix

On Friday my parents took Sam and I to visit the grave site of rock and roll legend, Jimi Hendrix.

Sam, walking with Grandma and Bub through the cemetary.

My Dad's reflection.
 Lipstick marks from adoring fans.
 Sam, dreaming that someday he'll be half the guitarist that Jimi was :) Without the drugs....


Monday, September 05, 2011

Colton comes to visit

Colton, who served his mission with Matt, is a good friend of ours who shares the same love of animals and the outdoors as we do.

So we knew we had to take him out to Sequim to feed the animals at the game farm.

We took a ferry out over the Sound.

A seagull doing the Titanic pose...
...and Colton, doing the Titanic pose.

The Olympic Game Farm is a seriously fun experience. But let me tell you a few things before you make the trek.

First, check the Hood Canal Bridge schedule. We were stuck in traffic for a good hour. Good thing we were parked next to blackberry bushes. Yum.

Second, bring WHEAT bread loaves with you to feed to the animals. They never turn down a slice of bread.

Now, be prepared to see some really cute animals. I was about to walk out of there with a new Raccoon friend. How cute are they!?
If you are into photography, bring a wide angle lens. Otherwise all of your images will look something like this:
Be aware that the Bison are HUGE. I mean, seriously large animals. We are in an SUV and he was still towering over us.

The other thing to know about Bison is that they have very intrusive tongues. It also doesn't help that they are 2 feet long and super smelly.
All of the animals love bread. Even the Kodiak Bears. They will actually do tricks on command like wave and snarl.

Beware of the "Special Elk". She leaves flys and slobber behind on your car interior.
If you are anything like my husband and hate to get dirty, or if you are extremely allergic to cervidae saliva, bring rubber gloves.
None of the animals are schooled in manners. Know this. If you are out of bread, do not stop or slow down. The Yak will start chewing on your car if you don't feed them. I warned you.
If you are looking for nicer, less pushy animal, try the Fallow Deer. They are a little more timid that the other game. But the male deer will push away all the babies and females if he's hungry.
Don't expect much excitement out of your 2 year old if you have them drugged up on Tylenol. Sam was fighting a cold, so we gave him a dose and watched him zone out. Oh well.
Have fun! We sure did!

Daisy lays an egg

Yesterday our friend Colton, who is in town visiting (blog post to come on all of our adventures), noticed that Daisy was acting strange. He explained that her behavior could only mean one thing.

She was ready to pop out an egg.

While the other two girls pecked around the yard Daisy dug away in the coop creating a comfortable nest to lay in. She scratched and panted and struggled to get comfortable. As confused as she must have been, her instincts took over and she carved out a little place for her egg. 

A couple of hours later, Matt found her back in the yard and a little white egg in the newly built nest.

Congratulations Momma Daisy! We are going to celebrate by eating your accomplishment. But don't you worry. There are plenty more where that painfully came from!
Soon enough, Dotty and Doris will experience their chicken fate as well. I can't help but feel a little sorry for my girls since their "pullet-hood" is soon to be, well, scrambled.

Holly's garden notes

I am no pro. This is my first year of gardening but I have learned so much that I thought I should take notes so that I don't forget how to do it all again next year!
ROMA TOMATOESNext Year - 2 plants only. 4 plants took up way too much room and 2 plants gives plenty of fruit. Pinch off suckers from the start!

Use a stronger cage or build a trellis. Plant on the opposite side to keep it from shading the rest of the garden.

SWEET MILLIONS CHERRY TOMATOESNext year - Same notes as Roma's. These tomatoes are to die for! They are so sweet and so juicy. Must plant every year.

ROMAINE LETTUCEThis year - Matt didn't like the texture and I planted too much for our small family. Next year - Try another breed of lettuce. Simpsons? Butter? Cut back when the plants start to take over.

ROSEMARYThis year - 3 plants that are slow growing but strong and fragrant. Next year - Try planting in decorative pots or along fence line. Should do good outside of garden when a little more mature.

WALLA WALLA ONIONSNext year - Either protect with a "spine" or keep chickens away. 25% of my plants were trampled. Harvest when the size is right, usually around 150 days.

SUMMER SQUASHNext year - Fewer plants. These grow large and in charge. Plant on a hill to keep squash from sitting (rotting) in dirt. Keep chickens away. They tend to nibble on the veggies. Pull when approx 1ft long. Doing so will allow other veggies to grow.

ZUCCHININext year - Notes are the same as the squash. Used for "Zucchini Cake" that are delish.

CUCUMBERSThis year - Failed. Next year - Try a trellis or a vine guide.

CARROTSNext Year - Plant further apart and keep chickens away. They get trampled easily. Do not transport plants. Carrots become crooked and oddly shaped. Water dirt before harvesting to keep the root from breaking.

BUSH BEANS Next year - Keep plants protected from Chickens. My bushes were not able to grow because the leaves kept being eaten. Beans were good when harvested. Plant directly into garden.

SOY BEANSThis year - Failed. Next year - Keep protected from chickens.

SILVER ROSE GARLICNext year - Use a "spine" to protect plants. Tend to grow a little weak but bulb is still growing and strong. harvest late fall.

STRAWBERRIESNext year - Do not be fooled by their sweet disposition and good looks! Chickens love Strawberries! Keep protected from all angles. Trim back plant shoots.

BLUEBERRIESNext year - Another fruit that chickens love. Keep covered with netting at all times.

SPINACHNext year - Fewer rows and pull while leaves are still small. Freezing spinach works great for omelettes or cooked spinach.

BASILNext year - Plant in a pot and move through yard throughout the season to follow the sun. Needs more heat and light than the garden is able to provide.

LAVENDERNext year - Plant more! Very hardy and very fragrant. Need to learn how to trim it in the off season though.

DILLThis year - Killed during a transport. Next year - Try planting seeds in an herb garden.

BROCCOLINext year - Don't even bother. The plants are too big to protect from my hungry chickens who apparently, LOVE broccoli.

GRAPE VINENext year - Expect one or two grape bundles. Guide vine to desired shape over both sides of fence.

PUMPKINS This year - Didn't plant in time. Next year - Try planting them around the fence line. Should grow well there.

ARTICHOKE This year - Didn't have room. Next year - Try!
"Covered Wagon" with netting works great to keep chickens and other birds out. Copper slug tape works miracles. Keep it constant around the base of pots and garden bed.

Keep taller plants towards the grape vine section of the garden beds. This will keep them from shading other plants. (dill, tomatoes, squash, etc.)
Fertilize with "Chicken Poo-Tea." So gross, but so rich.
Start composting. Back corner of side yard? Find a inexpensive barrel composter.
Make a walkway to coop and garden using flagstone or bricks. Spay moss growth in between.
Marigolds are pointless and the chickens love to eat them. Bugs were not an issue without the flowers.
Start seeds on soaked paper towel, but be prepared to plant in 72 hours. Sprout you see is actually the root! Don't plant upside down.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Evergreen State Fair

We love fairs. And this year was especially exciting because Sam's age made him old enough to ride rides and enjoy the animals.

Sam's best friend Eli met us and the boys loved the rides.

Then we walked through the animal exhibits and admired the livestock.
These boys are inseparable.

Sam loved getting to touch the momma pig. She was due to have babies any minute!

These "pinks" were 10 days old :)

Sam chose the rabbit on the carousel.

Then, as we were heading out of the fairgrounds, we noticed the pony rides and Sam was happy to try it out. Ironically, he was given the pony named "Bullseye" so he was thrilled to ride the "Ho-sey".