March 31, 2011


I started my spring ritual, adding aged horse manure to the gardens today. I wanted to see how much I could get done before it snowed. Yes, snow! 

I dream of owning a tractor someday, but for now it's five gallon buckets, a shovel, a pitchfork, the golf cart and ME, back and forth from the pile to the gardens.

This particular pile has been composting more than a year. It is well over four feet high, the minimum height a pile should be, to generate enough heat to decompose properly.
The pile is too big to turn by hand so it just decomposes on the spot over time. It has clumps here and there, and that's why it's called aged manure vs. composted manure. While it  still composts, it isn't turned over and over again like composted manure which dissolves into small particles. 
Some people don't like the looks of the clumps. But they are easily broken up with a shovel or rake, and if you bring them  to your nose it smells just like earth...glorious earth.
And boy, does it makes the garden grow. It IS garden gold!
 I filled up the buckets and dumped the aged manure in the front gardens, filled with flowers, herbs, strawberries and shrubs.
Did I mention I had some helpers
They are very good at spreading it all around.

We also have the manure from the chickens, ducks and rabbits that we keep in smaller compost piles and add to all our gardens. It's the best fertilizer.
                     Do you have garden gold? 

                                       happy day!

Linked to Farm Girl/Farm Friend Friday blog hop hosted by Verde Farm and Deborah Jean's Dandelion House

March 30, 2011


                        ~ racing ~

(Please feel free to join in One Word Wednesday, just leave your link in the comments).

                                               happy day!


Do you feel comfortable speaking to a group?  
What about talking about something you love, does it make a difference?

I decided to have *leadership* activities for the children in earth school, to encourage them to be in charge, to address the other children.  

The more you speak in front of others, the more natural and comfortable it will feel. . .  plus we all have something to give.

It wasn't mandatory to take part. Freedom and choice are huge parts of earth school, and no child would ever be made to do something he/she did not want to do. 
Encouraged ? Yes 
Made to? Never.

I asked the children if they would teach the other children how to do something or share something. It could be anything. They just stared at me blankly, perhaps thinking ..what? me teach? 

Think of something you love to do and share what you love ! 

That made all the difference!

When you share what you love, what you are passionate about, it becomes easier to speak in a group. The first few sentences might be wrought with trembling lips and a racing heart, but as you talk of your passion it all flows and your body calms down, and your love for the subject shines through.

Come and see what the children shared!

                   Finger Knitting  
She is quite adept at it and makes it look so easy.

Napkin Folding
He sets the table each night at home and loves to create with napkins.

Drawing a Humpback Whale.  
He draws alot, and especially loves to draw animals.

Uechi Karate. 
He is a white belt, blue bar and loves his class.

Lithuanian Words 
She is learning the language of her ancestors and was excited to share with others.

Slap Jack 
It's a fun card game he likes to play with others.

Along with modeling behavior, and giving our children freedom and choices as they grow, there are also *tools* we can give them to increase their confidence. . . like opportunities to share what they love!
                       happy day!

March 28, 2011


A quote for Monday. . .
"By suggestion and example
I believe children can be helped to hear the many voices about them.  Take Time to listen and talk about the voices of the earth and what they mean—the majestic voice of thunder, the winds, the sound of surf or flowing streams."  
~Rachel Carson

happy day!

March 27, 2011


This is Romeo. He is almost a year old.

He spends time looking out the window at the birds and squirrels . . . 

and daydreams about what it would be like to actually catch one.

He seeks out the best places to sleep. . .
                     choosing the sunshine . . .

or places that are cozy.

He even taught Juliet about sleeping in bowls.

Sometimes he forgets he has grown and falls asleep anyway.

He's not always perfect, but then again, who is?

And I don't have actual proof he was playing the x-box, but you never know.

He's a lovable cat. He sleeps most of the day, and romps through the house with Juliet, all night long.

 Sometimes he is awake in the day, especially if the house is full of children, but he chooses an out of reach spot to watch. Smart, smart kitty.

Check out others at the Photo Challenge 
at Chiana's blog,RAMATAZ

happy day!

March 25, 2011


It is often bath time, right below our kitchen window, and it's fun to peek .
Did you know that Ducks don't need to have a pond to swim in? 
  But they must have water to drink, water to preen their feathers, and water deep enough to submerge their whole bill. They need to clear their nostrils which can clog with feathers.

We moved the duck's tub near the garden for the winter months so it can receive the sunshine and be easily filled from the faucet.

They climb in the tub and start by swirling the water with their bill.
and kick with their feet to coat their whole body with water.

They preen their feathers . . .
here and there.

They flap their wings a few times to rinse.

Then they hop out and finish the rest out of the water.

They go over every inch of their body with their bill

They spread their wings . . . 
and preen all their feathers

The duck uses its bill to rub oil all over their feathers, to waterproof themselves. . .
 It comes from a gland in the base of its tail.
It's true *ducks don't get wet*. The water beads up and slides right off them. Perhaps that's why our ducks love being in the rain.

They finish up by scratching and finding any spots they missed

 Then they flap their wings a few times and they are done.

Just beautiful!
Do you know how to tell a boy from a girl? The boy has a soft *quack*, and has a tail feather that curls up at its hind end . Can you see it?
       Our ducks are boys. . . George and Gilligan.        

happy day!  

Linking up to Farm Friday . . . 

and Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop