Monday, February 21, 2011

For a long time... we've "been there and done that"

Before I had ever heard the Dervaes name ( in fact I had only heard about them about a year ago) urban homesteading(o.k. I guess I better put a big TM here) has been in my family's blood for quite a very long time.
My grandfather and grandmother were farmers in Idaho and in fact my grandfather was quite the envy of folks as they'd come to see his garden from miles around. He used to garden by the moon signs I was told. And my grandmother..I get my love of simpler living from her...she used to can loads of vegetables and had lots and lots of shelves full of canned items that they had grown stored in their basement. In fact my grandparents later moved to Washington and had a restaurant where they would serve such things as cantaloupe and watermelons to their customers(with a scoop of ice cream included)
  Then when my grandfather passed away my grandmother came to live with us, and the farming tradition didn't stop just because we lived in various towns/city limits. fact they kept on pretty steady all through my growing up years. We'd have things like home made bread and noodles. We even collectively planted gardens in our backyards. Granny would can vegetables and I'd sneak into the jars of home made butter pickles.
 One year my dad and I rescued 200 baby chickens from a alligator farm and  raised the chickens in our backyard. Giving some away for free to the local community and maintaining a flock for ourselves to gather eggs from, and for my granny to prepare chicken dinners with.

 Yes, even one time we lived on the main street of Arcadia, FL and had a flock of chickens free ranging  in our yard. And my granny and dad decided to cull a few of the chickens. Yep, they did so right in the heart of the city..set up their chicken butchering station on the side of the yard and we enjoyed chicken dinner later.
 I honestly can say..nope the Dervaes have nothing on us and our lifestyle. We had already "been there and done that" for quite some time.
 I am a 3rd generation urban farmer if you will.
I've had chickens and ducks in the heart of the city, and ever since I've been a wee girl I have had a heart for the land and for growing things.
In fact my home now qualifies for homestead exemption. If the government deems my property as a homestead then surely when I farm in the city limits that makes me an urban homesteader/farmer.(insert big TM mark here too...gosh that looks silly but I guess "they" say we have to do it, but TM is my initials anyhow so maybe I should trademark the TM..huh? yah I like the sounds of that..ha)
My grandmother and I 
 Well, yep..I've been there and done that for a long time now. And in fact  I'm still doing it. I have been proud of the sore muscles I have garnered just this week alone as I plant blueberry trees, planted radishes and lettuces, started seeds on my kitchen counter, sowed pea and bean seeds and more.
 Yes, its in my blood and has been for a very long time.
  ~The Garden Goose!~

Friday, February 18, 2011

Southeastern Youth Fair/High School Rodeo

Before the action began.
Overseeing the cows
The Anthem and a word of prayer start the events
This was the goat tying event. The competitors in this event were all girls. One girl managed to tie the goat in 11 seconds flat. This is done by running full speed on a horse, then jumping off the running horse, running full speed on foot to where the goat is staked in the middle of the arena, then proceeding to get the goat down on its back so that both the front legs and back legs can be tethered all together. No animals are hurt during this although it may look like it. They get up and run away just fine afterwards. 
Goat tying event
Calf tying event. Riders have to lasso the calf then jump down and proceed to do the same thing that is done in the goat event. Calf must be laying down and all legs tethered.

Tossing the hands out to the side like this signifies that your task is complete.
The calf that refused to be caught. It circled the arena several times before they managed to shoo this one into the proper area. It was a beautiful calf too. In fact the prettiest one of the evening. A beautiful white color. Folks behind me were saying.".that calf looks like a ghost nearly."

Hope you enjoyed the photos!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Inviting you...

To follow my new blog that features my children's photography at:

Thanks so much!
 I hope to feature not only my latest photo sessions, but also to highlight etsy artisans that create children's photo props. (hats, headbands, bloomers, dresses, scarves, etc.) And to also feature the occasional photography book review.

If you create things such as crocheted or knitted hats, or other lovely items that could serve as photo props for children's photography, do get in touch with me. I'd love to help promote your business, and to help each other via networking across blogland.

( p.s. If you've stopped by for the OWOH feature post/you'll find that just below, scroll down a wee bit ..thanks.)

a bit of rural love/in my area of Florida

Took a drive around close to my house with my hubby and my camera a few days ago. This is a little of what I saw. Enjoy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Year Round Tree

So, since we found one of those tall, slender trees at Lowe's this year for Christmas, we really liked the look of the tree and decided that we'd keep it out year round and decorate it for each season.

 Here it is decorated with paper hearts of all kinds, a heart garland, and a paper chain. Using things like paint color cards available from the hardware store..I simply picked out a hand full of bright pink and red colored paint sample cards and brought them home and cut heart shapes and used a hole punch in the top and a little bit of white crochet thread..wallah..easy- peasy Valentine tree decor... and free. The heart garland and other paper hearts were created by my  oldest daughter using a variety of left over scrap booking papers and glitter. Again easy-peasy and nearly free. There are a few bright red heart shaped glass Christmas ornaments  that we left on the tree also.

 Please don't look too closely at my messy book shelf..right now its holding a mish mash of knick knacks from our collections..Quarry Critters, a Spanish Flamenco dancer, and a bit of this and that. Some of which will be displayed up high along the ledge that surrounds the room..I just have to figure out yet which pieces will star in the "up high" place..smiles.
 Making a house a home takes time that's for sure, and a bit more time when the entire family wound up getting sick right at Christmas time a week after our moving in. Not fun, and a huge nuisance and set back on being able to get around to everything as quickly as I had wanted to.

This past week we worked on having a tree service and debris removal crew come in and help to clear our back yard of a huge rotten oak, and about 4 other oaks that were leaning, plus 3 palm trees from the front yard, and 2 great big debris piles that had been left in the  backyard by the previous owner(when I say me..these piles of debris required a backhoe and a huge dump truck type trailer to remove the debris). The yard looks so much better now having those areas cleared out. And with the huge rotten oak removed from next to our back patio we now have an area that we plan to use to put in several raised beds for gardening. We will test the soil throughout the yard this coming week and see what we need to do to make areas prosperous for growing edibles.

Thanks so much for stopping by. and yes, I'm a bit slow on getting photos posted here on what I've been doing throughout the house, but I hope that when I do share that it will be worth the wait. :0)
  Have a great evening!
  ~The Garden Goose!~