Saturday, July 19, 2014

4-H Fair

On a crisp, bright, comfortable late summer afternoon Beekeeper Daughter took me to the 4-H Fair.  We dined on lamb or turkey burgers, visited with dear friends and marveled at the growth of their children, ran into others with their grandchildren, and in general enjoyed a fresh wholesome evening.  We marveled at the beautiful animals and fowl, and admired the Master Gardeners' rose and vegetable gardens.

 These two roses were from the newly formed Rose Garden.
 Isn't this a nice way to grow cucumbers (or any climbing vegetables) ... it was a long V-shaped wire trellis for the vines to climb up both sides.  I want to try this next summer - maybe for squash.
 Some of the herbs - I was intrigued by the beautiful and unusual blooms of the borage.
 A long view of the herb gardens.
 No sign accompanied this stunning plant, and I am unclear what it is.  It is almost a double version of something ..... just eye-catching.  If anyone knows what this is, please let me know.  I'd like to plant this also.
So vibrant!

Now for some views of the rabbits and hilarious showy chickens!

 Yes, a box of tiny tiny little baby rabbits (called kits) ... asleep in their box with mama right beside the box.  Look at that one with his tiny feet in the air.  So cute!
 Soft as velvet - almost a live version of The Velveteen Rabbit!
 Wouldn't you love to read his mind???? What is he thinking.  "I am sooooo bored and tired of this place."

Moving on to the fowl - where all kinds of crowing and chicken squawking was occurring!!!!
 This one made me laugh right out loud!  Looked like a character Jim Henson would create for the Muppet's!

 More Muppet material!
Whooooheeee ... another funny little critter.

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A friend of ours raises sheep .... so off we trotted to the sheep barn.  The big sheep show was that evening, so they were being sheared..  groomed, bathed, and placed in special coverings to stay perfectly clean until the show.

 I imagine these sheep are somewhat embarrassed in this get-up!

Another friend has pigs ..... so onward to the swine barn!

Look at those feet!

We tore ourselves away and headed home .... good wholesome fun!



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Brick portion of house almost completed!

Holton House is almost completely bricked now.  The last sections are being placed on the house .... and the next stage will be cleaning of the brick.  They have done such a neat job, it almost doesn't look like it requires a great amount of work to clean it all.  Note the address 'marker' is now in place on the front corner.

These first three photos are of the front of the house.  As you can see, there is the area around the front door/little front porch and the section to the right of that remaining.
This above picture is of the back of the house.  The gable is above the great room.  Window to the right is the kitchen where the table will be ... and to the left is the master bedroom.
 More of the back of the house.

This picture is around the east side where a bathroom window is being placed.  The 'wrong' window was put in there first, and this is more of a 'frosted' window being put in today.

 The highest peak in the front of the house, just to the left of the front porch.
This is the screened porch - showing the window and the door from the kitchen to the porch .... that area is all bricked, as you can see.

More of the back porch (kitchen door to the far left in the photo).
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Now for a change of pace - the KY farmhouse has what is called a summer kitchen out behind the house, connected by a porch/breezeway type area.  The summer kitchen is where all the big big cooking projects (like multiple batches of fudge during the holidays) and also all the canning takes place. It is a perfect solution to keep the main house cooler and yet allow big projects that get messy and take a lot of room to get accomplished. Below are scenes of the canned food still remaining from last summer, shelves of jars awaiting this year's produce, and a little picture (second one down) of the breezeway area between the house and the summer kitchen.   Perched there on the table were two sun hats and some sun glasses.  I loved it.

A nice sized walk-in pantry is located in my new house, and I am eager to fill those shelves with good food, jars of honey, and my pretty containers of flour, sugar and tea!!!  These shelves in the photos above in the KY summer kitchen just fueled my enthusiasm for the new house.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wild things growing by the Kentucky wayside

Still wanting to share with you some of the things we saw on the roadside during our Kentucky weekend.  Deb, a kind neighbor and the owner of Al, Blacky, Buddy and Cici, pointed out vegetation and relayed some very interesting stories and folklore along the way.
 Paw-Paw trees.

I just really like Queen Anne's Lace.  I would even like to PLANT some in my flower gardens.  They are so pretty in bouquets with other flowers.  One of my memories of growing up is to pick Queen Anne's Lace, bring it home, and put it in a jar with food coloring ... then watch it change color.
 Trumpet vines - which are considered a rather invasive weed in this area ... but I understand in other parts of the country the Trumpet vine is sold as a 'good' plant!
 Wild black berries - they are beginning to ripen - give them another few days, though!
 May apple ......
 Wild sweet potato vines ....

The above-mentioned Blacky, Buddy and Cici.  What dog wouldn't love to dive into a natural spring-fed water hole!!!!

And a very interesting fossil rock - looks like an interesting critter there, huh?


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bricks on Holton House - and more of KY vacation

Mark Williams (of Williams Custom Art Builders) called to inform me that the masons were at the house ready to go with the bricks. He is the BEST builder ever - so thoughtful and kind.  He suggested if I wanted to do it, he was sure the masons would let me lay a brick myself!  That was an exciting prospect for me, so I typed up two Bible verses, signed and dated the sheet, and folded it and refolded it until the paper was the size to place in a tiny zip-top bag.  The masons placed the little bag into one of the holes in the brick; I explained it was Bible verses (which I then quoted for them) and they smiled a big smile as it went into the brick.  They showed me how to place a brick evenly and align it with the string going across.  Don't I have the most thoughtful and kind builder ever - and wasn't that a lovely thing for me to be able to do at Holton House?

I stopped by the house on the way home from church today to see how much brick they were able to lay by Saturday afternoon.   This is what greeted me today!

 Partially across the front......
 Around the entire east side ......
And across the entire back of the house!!!!!  They had also started (no photos, though) with the brick on the screened porch (on the west side).

Now for some additional photos of the week-end in KY last week ..... here is Mama Kitty enjoying a hug!  It looks like she is smiling!

This cat had a very gentle nature - sweet and loving.  If I did not already have a cat at home, I would have wanted to take her back with me.  
 A charming little pottery pitcher that is perched on the kitchen windowsill.
 The vibrant colored bottles lined up to catch the sun's rays.
A pottery bowl embracing the most delicious red cherries.  Every time we passed by that bowl, we popped another cherry in our mouths! (or at least I did) ....YUM.

Now for the squash recipe.  We indulged in a real bounty from the garden.  My favorite kind of food - vegetables and fruits - fresh, ripe, right from the garden.  This recipe utilized the summer squashes that were ripening outside the kitchen door.
Zucchini Bake with Feta and Thyme
(shared with me by my friend Cindy)

4 medium sized yellow or green summer squash or a mixture of colors, sliced lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch slices - about 8 cups of sliced squash
1 T Olive oil (or less depending upon the size of the pan)
1 T minced garlic
2 T fresh thyme leaves or 1 T dried thyme (less if you do not like thyme)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup light sour cream
1 cup crumbled feta not tightly packed
2 T parmesan cheese grated
1 T lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Wash and dry squash, then cut off both ends and discard the ends.  Cut squash lengthwise in half and then into half-moon slices about 1/4 inch thick.
Heat olive oil in large non-stick frying pan, add garlic and thyme leaves and saute about 45 seconds (just long enough to season the oil and not let the garlic brown.)  Add squash slices and saute about four minutes, turning a few times.  Squash should be barely starting to soften up.

While the squash cooks, break eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup and beat until the yolks and whites are combined.  Stir in sour cream, feta, parmesan and lemon juice.

Spray a 2 quart casserole with non-stick spray or olive oil.  Layer half the squash in the dish, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Remember that feta is salty so it won't need a lot of salt.  Pour over half the egg-feta mixture and use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it over the squash.  Repeat with another layer of squash and the rest of the feta egg mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling, slightly set, and top is lightly browned.  Serve hot.

This will keep in the fridge for a day or two.  We ate the left-overs the next day for lunch after enjoying the freshly baked squash the night before for dinner.  WONDERFUL.

Enjoy your day.  Blessings!