Friday, July 20, 2012

Rule #22: Summer can be hot, water slides are a great investment!

This is especially true when you have two children with summer-ish birthdays.  Since we like to have birthday parties at our home a water slide was a great option when having a bunch of kids over.  We can't believe our little Larkyn is four!!!  Four just seems so big.  She is just amazing and so much fun! She has been saying the funniest things.  Like when I ask her to help with clean up sometimes she says, "I'm on it, mommy" or "sure thing".  I just love that. She continues to do really well with Mckinley.  She just loves her and all little babies/toddlers for that matter.  Sometimes I do hear, "Mommy Mckinley is in my room and I don't want her to be." Ah, I think I will be hearing that a lot from both of them in the future.  Hopefully it will be more of the sharing and playing that they have begun to do.  It is so nice to see them playing with the little people or care bears together.  Mckinley has also taken to looking through books with Larkyn.  What makes us laugh the most is when they play in the castle tent.  Mckinley just launches herself up and through the window to peek out.  She thinks it is just so funny. Larkyn's Peppa Pig Party was a success and I think everyone had fun on the water slide and little slide pool.  I am also including some Fourth of July pictures.  Ah what a fun 5 days!  This was the last day (we didn't know that at the time) of our power being out since the big storm rolled through and left it's mark on our neighborhood. Luckily it was a great chance to see all the neighbors that were still around and how they were doing! I started this post before my trip to NC to see my brother's family and some neighbors that moved.  We had so much fun.  I will have to post those pictures soon, but wanted to add that when we came home Mckinley just took off with walking.  She took a few steps between us on the first, but now she is really practicing her new skill and letting go of things and just walking.
Father's Day 2012

Father's Day Breakfast

Father's Day Dinner



Swing time!

Going down

Peppa Pig Party

Lunch with Pig Ears

Going up

Coming Down

Mckinley's Turn

The Cake!

Fourth of July: Navy Girls

Add caption

Headed to the Parade

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rule #21: Watch your garden closely...Pests show their ugly faces around NOW (July)

So after loosing power for 5 days in conjunction with a heat wave, the garden was not a super happy place.  On a positive note, the tomatoes seem to be doing well.  After the "Deracho" storm our neighborhood was a huge mess.  Huge trees down on cars and houses and wrapped around electrical poles.  So we feel lucky with the minimal damage to the garden. Some peppers and parts of the tomatoes had to be propped back up, but all of the plants survived. We did have the generator going, but it was working hard to pump in some a/c for parts of the day so we didn't water as the water pump would need to be powered as well.
I am guessing the lack of water and my absence in the garden contributed to the webbing spider mites taking over the green beans.  My mature round of green beans were totally destroyed and my newer round were starting to go as well.  I yanked all the old ones and spayed some insecticidal soap on the young ones.  I need to get more though and really spray the undersides. Before the storm I was doing really well keeping an eye on the pests and crushing those little yellow caterpillars and eggs that usually get my green beans. Webbing spider mites are a new pest to me and I have read that if the plants also have less water they can be more susceptible to damage from the mites.  Boo. Hopefully my new round will survive.
The dreaded squash vine boror struck again this year.  I knew it was there, but I just didn't have time to deal with it until the past two nights. One of my four was beyond repair and totally wilted to I yanked that one. The other two got emergency surgery last night after the girls went to bed. One of the romanesca zucs is huge and I really wanted to save it.  I found 3 buggers in that one and four in the other romanesca that is smaller. There were 2 in the last crookneck. I then buried the stem under some good dirt and am hoping for the best. I would have taken pictures but I was just lucky to get out there and do something in the garden that I just didn't have the time or heart to get the camera out and document the process. In the past weeks I have been keeping an eye on the leaves and getting rid of any squash bug eggs that I find so they haven't been a problem yet. Saw a big guy on there last night though and will be spraying with a dish soap/ water combo tonight.
I don't know what this is but he didn't seem to be causing any real damage so I left him alone.

He was a wild looking thing!

Pre-Storm Haul

Funny when this happens

I also got to freeze my first ever Borlotti Beans!

Here are my babies. Let's hope this wasn't the last of them.
So there we have the two vegetables that were my focus this year devastated.  They have done better this year and I guess time will tell if they are truly destroyed. I even got to freeze a round of green beans! The zucs actually look good this morning. Fingers crossed.
On a more positive note I am looking forward to the lower temps this week to start my radicchio and endive for the winter garden (*smiles*).  I also roasted my beets and am going to pickle them tonight.  I did not get a chance to plant another round of them so I will try to do that this week also.  Good luck's a battlefield out there! I am adding some post-mortem pics of the Zuc!

Yucky Frass.

The remaining Zucs...16 hours Post-Op!

De-Bugged (Hopefully) and covered up

Another Post-Op

Last Post-Op


Pickling the Beets