Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Busy-ness

Today is Saturday, and yet Haylee insisted on doing school! She did, too...a whole day's worth. She's a day ahead of schedule over Hayden now, but they both were already 1 day ahead. We're supposed to start our new school year on Monday, but Hayden has done the 1st day and Haylee has done the 1st and 2nd day already. Gotta love that enthusiasm! That is one of the things I love best about the workboxes...each school assignment is always ready to go, so they can work ahead if they want to. This will be especially beneficial for Haylee since she tends to want to work on school even on the weekend. I like it when she is ahead of schedule, because it takes a little bit of the pressure off me during the week and gives me more focused time to spend with Hayden so we can finish up earlier in the day.

I spent about an hour outside in the backyard weeding my gardens. It's June 20th, and I have yet to put my plants out! I think I've missed the boat. I only have two starter plants...1 tomato and 1 pepper. The rest will have to start from seed. We'll see. I'm going to plant anyway, probably tomorrow. Both square foot gardens were overgrown with weeds, but one wasn't so bad because I'd weeded once already this spring. The other one had weeds about as tall as my waist! But it takes about half an hour each to weed them, even when they are that bad, because the soil is so moist and soft and loose that I can do all the weeding with just my hands, roots and all. Gotta love that. I'd never garden any other way. If you haven't tried square foot gardening, you should really give it a shot. I used landscaping timbers above the ground, laid weedblock in the bottom, and filled it with an organic soil mixture you mix yourself as outlined in the book. I did it years and years ago, and it's been so easy to maintain. I keep it organic by planting a border of marigolds in the squares along the perimeter. It creates a natural pest barrier because of their strong odor. I never have troubles with bugs eating my plants now.

I also have a Granny Smith apple tree in my yard. I'm hoping the ants don't attack the tree this year, 'cause it seems especially covered in fruit this year. They make a fabulous apple pie around early August. I might have to break down and have Steve put Seven Dust on it to keep the fruit from getting spoiled by the ants. We have a big problem with Carpenter ants here, as well as the regular ants. We even had a bout with fire-ants in our sandbox 2 summers ago! We had to abandon the sandbox last year because we were afraid the kids would get attacked again. They crawled all up in Hayden's shirt that summer and were stinging him. He was hysterical, running around the yard undressing and trying to get them off!

I am so glad to have the garden ready for planting tomorrow. I have just been so busy that I haven't gotten around to it. Isn't that always the way?

I took Suzie, our oldest dog, up to Petsmart for a flea bath. She was scratching like crazy. Now she's clean and fresh, but peeing/pooping all over the house. This is why she is an outside dog, but I have to keep her inside for 2 days until it's okay to apply the BioSpot flea preventative to her. Steve is treating the yard with flea killer right now. So by the time she goes back out tomorrow night, she should be well protected from re-infestation.

Angel, on the other hand, has been staying in the house ever since she had her spa treatment in May. She is so good in the house and can wait all day long and just go out to the bathroom once a day. She mainly lays around and sleeps all day! She's pretty tolerant of Holden messing with her, too, even though she is getting older, too. Suzie is 15 now, and Angel is 11. That's so hard to believe!

I baked a batch of Amish friendship bread today. I just had a slice...yum! We love that stuff. I keep the extra batches in the freezer and take them out when I'm ready to bake the loaves. Then when I get down to the last batch, I take it through the whole 10-day process to expand it into 4 more batches. You can make the starter yourself if you don't have the benefit of getting one from a friend. Then you can just follow the recipe after that. It will keep going indefinitely. I got my original batch from a friend in April 2008. I shipped it all over the place, even to Michigan to my mother-in-law, and she sent it all over her state to her friends, too. You can do all kinds of variations on the baking recipe, as well. The recipe I use is a little different from that, but very similar...no raisins or nuts, though.

Holden didn't get a nap at his usual time since Steve and I were both outside working on the yard. After he shared some friendship bread with me, he apparently climbed up on the couch, pulled down the blanket off the back of the sofa, and went to sleep right there in the corner of the couch sitting up. What a cutie! If I can find my camera, I'll snap a photo and post it later. He's such a sweetie-pie. :)