I Love Freecycle!

Okay, this post is entirely to say how much I love Freecycle. Last week we went to a FREE yard sale, thanks to a post on freecycle letting us know about it. I got so much great stuff - mostly a ton of clothes for Trinity to grow into.

Then I saw this idea for repurposing an old papasan chair base on BHG.com. It reminded me of the fun play tents that Tia Karin hung from the trees in her yard when the family last gathered in Santa Cruz. The same day I posted a Wanted ad on our local freecycle group, another freecycler had posted one as an Offer. Perfect timing!

Of course, I had visions of piles of pillows and the girls and I lounging, reading books together. The girls prefer to go running through the sheets and wrap themselves up in them. They did have a stuffed animal convention one afternoon inside the tent. All in all, a great play place for no cost.
(editors note: we did end up having lovely lazy days reading in the tent)

I often longingly look at the beautiful playsets that it seems everyone I know has in their backyards these days. But those suckers are expensive and definitely not in our budget. But the girls love climbing all over the old pickup truck down by the barn. I started thinking, heck, it is a perfect base to add to and turn into a playset. So this week I was able to acquire a 10ft slide off Freecycle. A perfect fit! We have the start of our Redneck Playset. :)

My future plans are to use scrap wood and build a platform floor with railings to go on top of the cab. Also, I want to add a climbing wall and rope for climbing up into the bed of the pickup, and of course I have to figure out a way to rig up a tarp for shade. I posted a picture on Facebook and one of my friends suggested filling the bed with sand. A giant sand box to play in - excellent idea! I often see listings under the free section of craigslist for sand so I will be keeping an eye out for more.

 Garden update and other stuff

A quick update as I am actually in the middle of cooking dinner!
Here is a really green frog Daddy found out by the barn the other day.

Did you know the tops of corn were so colorful? No wonder the corn fields look so beautiful in the morning sunrise.

I was looking back at other pictures of the garden and it is so amazing to see how big everything is getting. Here Angelina was showing me that there was another zucchini. We are almost to the point of having to pawn them off on the neighbor...but I think a Mexican squash casserole tomorrow night for dinner and maybe some zucchini bread should get us caught back up.

That's our carrot bed in the front with tomatoes bed behind....zucchini on the right end.

We are finally seeing the beginning of watermelon, cucumbers, and green beans. And our New Mexico green chile is looking good!

Spaghetti squash growing up the trellis netting. I am planning on lots more of these next year.


And a last look at Randy the rooster. Randy is now in our freezer awaiting his turn in the dinner pot. :)

 Pics from our Days

Here are five shots I took on my morning jog one day this week. I have been getting up and jogging/walking to the end of our road and back - 1 1/2 mile roundtrip.

(this is the big dog down the road that normally is jumping all over me...don't know how I got a shot with it on the ground!)

One of our yard sale finds this week - a double sided art easel for $1.

I realized that I didn't get our beach pictures posted. This is from last Monday after David got the car fixed. This is about 15 minutes from our house. One cool benefit of the recession, there is no longer a snack bar being operated on site which means you can now bring your own food and drink to the beach - woo-hoo!

In case you are wondering, Trinity is wearing a suit with built in flotation - thus the odd shape under her t-shirt.

Grace and peace be with you!

 Ahhh, The Good Ol' Summertime!

Here are some pictures of our afternoon - it was a beautiful day here and the girls took advantage of it to get in some swing time on the tire swing. Here is Angelina waiting for her turn on the swing.

Woo-hoo! Finally a turn!

Trinity chewing on a tall grass - so countrified already!

This is our sunflower house project. These are the mammoth sunflowers that form the walls of the house. When they get taller, about 5-6 feet tall, they will be twined together at the tops to form a roof. I have planted smaller sunflowers in between to fill in the walls as well as morning glory which will vine all over and help fill in the sunflower house. On one side there is a doorway to get into the house. We are looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Into the garden. I told the girls they could pick the squash for me.

This is Angelina's first time being allowed to pick a squash. She's pretty excited. :)

And here it is!

The girls with their harvest.

I tried to get the girls to hold up the leaves so I could get a picture of our biggest spaghetti squash, but it is still hard to see. Can you spot it? We have four pretty decent size squash growing and many other little ones starting. Our acorn squash is growing really well too with one really big one and multiple others growing.

The girls in the garden. They are in front of our tomato bed and you can see the corn in the background.

Grace and peace be with you!

 More Country Fun

Well the verdict was that our volunteer flowers are hollyhocks. Aunt Cookie sent me a bunch of great links on how to make dolls out of hollyhocks. We called them our dancing fairy dolls and the girls had a grand time with them. I couldn't hardly get them to stop the dancing long enough for a picture.

Yesterday, we finally did the mosaic stepping stones that Grandma Mary had sent us 2 Christmas' ago. The girls were very excited about them. At first Trinity was trying to do the dragonfly pattern, but we had to switch gears and do a heart like Angelina's. The dragonfly was just a little too intricate a pattern for her. We'll get pictures of them when they are cleaned up and removed from the molds in a few days.

My neighbors were processing 15 of their chickens this morning. They graciously allowed me to participate so I could learn how. Our chickens are going to be processed as soon as we finish up the next bag of food. Between their age and only 5 laying hens, we are only getting 1 or 2 eggs a day. I took the girls with me and David even came over for the last round of chickens. I was a little worried about how the girls would do, but no worries. They thought it was really funny when the chicken bodies went flopping down the hillside after their heads were popped off, and Trinity was really into plucking the feathers off after they were scalded. We brought home a bucket full of legs and heads for our dog, Lucy. Here is Trinity showing them off. She has decided that processing chickens is fun. :)

This is me and the girls. Grandma Mary had made a comment about how I'm never in the pictures so I thought I should have David get one with me in it. :) He took several, and most were a disaster. This was the best one we got. Trinity was in the middle of talking unfortunately.

I ran out to catch the end of the Tea Party Rally in Des Moines - we went late with chicken processing and I pretty much missed the rally. On the way back I finally remembered to stop at the service station in Carlisle and pick up an old tire. I have been telling the girls for a long time that we would put up a tire swing. So, I have finally made good on my word.

Angelina is too little to sit in the tire and hold on, so she gets to ride top side.

Notice how chilly it was here for the fourth of July - I made Angelina put on a jacket because Trinity was complaining about being cold after she had been swinging. So crazy after living in Arizona!

Oh, btw, we got 2 chickens as a thank you for helping with the processing. We cooked one for dinner and it was MUCH better than the one we had previously. We must have just gotten a bad bird before.

Grace and peace be with you!