Wednesday, June 23, 2010

LIving Off the Land . . .

This has to have been the coldest, wettest,
(with short, unexplained bursts of really warm days, just to tease and torture us)
longest spring that I have ever had the pleasure of living through (not!)
I guess our not-too terribly cold, hardly any snow winter had to have a downside, right?
Just when I was thinking the mild winter this year was a pleasant bonus earned by the two or three preceding winters of massive amounts of snow, starting in early November and not all gone til, say, April? 
Uh, no.

But anyway, now that I've gotten all my gripes about the weather out,

I am ready to celebrate the beauty that spring in north Idaho brings (finally)

I have a row of lilac and snowball bushes that separates my garden from my yard, and they are all in bloom!
(It's been a long time coming, because last year, we got a really cold snap just as the blossoms were about to burst, and it wiped out all of the blooms)

But who knew, 11 years ago when we planted them, that they'd be over 10 feet tall!
Yesterday, my hubby and I discovered that the lilac were completely full of:

Honey bees!
I mean, every lilac bloom/bunch had probably half a dozen on each. 
Here you can see only two for sure,
but they were thick on each and every bunch. 
And on each 10' bush - we have three of them - they were just as thick . . .

So, we got to thinking . . . we have 5 acres. 
We live in an area with lots of wide open fields where bees can collect pollen.
We have been trying to eat more natural and unprocessed foods,
and we think it's a good idea to actually use the land
for more than to just separate ourselves from our neighbors
(Not that we'd want to!)

As a child, my dad had several beehives and harvested the honey himself.
I can still recall the scent of the honey being cut off the comb

and the delicious flavor of it slathered on my mom's homemade whole wheat bread
Oh, what memories.
Thanks, Mom and Dad!
So this is what we are thinking of: 
Getting our own hives and harvesting the honey
for our food use/storage and maybe a lil' extra to sell.

This is really not a huge stretch for us. 
We garden, we have beef cattle,  calves, and chickens. 
We are "living off the land" already, at least for these few basic things,
so this is just another step in the progression. 

Never really thought I'd be a country girl.
But now that we're here
and it's all happening,
I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, thanks again, Mom and Dad,
 for raising me (with my brothers) the way you did.
It made me the person that I am,
and I know that living this way makes my hubby happy. 
It's all a win-win situation.

 all photos (other than the ones I obviously took) were found on Google Images....Thanks!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Tribute to My Dad...

A dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall
but instead picks you up,
brushes you off,
and lets you try again.
A dad is someone who
wants to keep you from making mistakes
but instead lets you find your own way,
even though his heart breaks in silence
when you get hurt.
A dad is someone who
holds you when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you fail...
- Unknown
The greatest thing a FATHER can do to his children, is to love their mother.
- Anjaneth Garcia Untalan

(My love for gardening came from my dad...)

I've loved one person unconditionally. He's the most caring, and generous, and charming and flat out the funniest guy I'll ever know...he's my father.
- NL

Friday, June 11, 2010

Goodbye, Kindergarten

Yesterday, my youngest son graduated from Kindergarten
My baby

His teacher is also retiring this year 
She has taught almost every one of our seven children 
Tanner has more energy in his little body
than all of my other energetic children,
all put together
I wonder if that had anything to do with her retiring so young?
She can't be much older than I am
No, wait 
I am kinda getting old

His best buddy, Tate

For some reason, this photo is almost like looking into the future about 12 years. 
I can totally see him rolling up his diploma
and using it for a horn, even then 
That is so his personality
I completely adore this boy

Our youngest.  Our baby.  Where has the time gone?
When your kids are first born,
you can never imagine how quickly this day will come
You'd think I'd be used to it by now 
After all, I've already had 3 children graduate from high school  
One is off to college this fall
The other two have kids of their own
To all the young mothers of children -
Treasure each day they are little 
Find something special about each day, for each child
One day soon, they will be leaving "the nest" 
Sometimes you are so ready for that to happen
Other times, not ready at all
On better days, you dread that day
On stressful days, you think you are ready to see them go!
But that's sad - it's a wasted day
Because, you never really will be ready
That day - it always comes too soon

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Backtracking a Little Here . . .

. . . to Prom night - Rachel and Conner . . .
(Don't let the hair scare you.  He is an awesome kid - with a great sense of humor about his hair!)
Wrestling match between my son Tanner (6 1/2 ) & my grandson Dillon (5)
I think these were taken on Mother's Day . . .

Not, this was not Halloween.  The kids all got out my big tubs of costumes, and this dinosaur costume is one that his daddy (Jake) wore back when he was Dillon's age.  Oh, memories!
(Dillon LOVES that tail!)

This is Dillon's little sister, Hannah

     A couple random cute photos of Tanner and Noelle . . . from a couple of months ago.  When we had that heat wave in February. . .
Silly girl!

Hangin' out at Tanner's bus stop . . .