Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Break

Last week was Zoey's first official Spring Break--I can't believe my girl is almost done with her Kindergarten year! We had a pretty low key week, but met up with my brother, D, and parents for an outing to Carlsbad Caverns National Park on a weekend trip. The caverns were amazing! I hadn't been there in at least 17 years, so it was like looking at everything for the first time.

The trail is very well maintained, but a bit intense. I'm so proud of my girls for making the trek MOST of the way. Thanks Apple and D for letting them use your shoulders! Between my mom and I, I think we got some pretty good pictures (although I haven't seen hers yet!)

Here's D and Zoey posing--The caverns maintain a constant, cool 62 degrees year round. But let me tell you, we worked up a good sweat climbing some of the trails! On an interesting side note, there was an earthquake in Carlsbad while we were there, not huge, 4.3 on the Richter (?) scale. We actually didn't feel the earthquake itself because we were on a floating walk bridge over the Pecos River at the time, (Cue Mom, "Wow the water got choppy all of the sudden, didn't it?") But a tremor awoke me at 0430 the next morning. Weird.


I came home from work last week to my 5 year old exclaiming, "Mommy, one of the chickens laid a ball!" Well, here it is, our egg-ball. This came from one of my younger hens, so I'm assuming that even though she's laid some normal sized eggs, things are still 'getting started'. Gonna have to do a little research on that.

I wanted to crack the egg open to see if there's a complete mini egg inside, but Tom wants to save the shell. Guess I'm going to have to figure out how to blow the egg out of this tiny thing without marring the shell. I still laugh when I see it! One of the interesting things about raising chickens, I suppose.


Kenzie, the wonder dog! Actually, that was her name the first day we brought her home. Now that she's been a part of our family for almost 2 weeks, she's also affectionately referred to as Terror or Poop Machine. What on earth did Tom talk me into?
Kenzie is a 7 week old American Bull Terrier--also known as a Bully. Tom and I have talked about having one of these dogs since we first began dating...Well, a long time ago! She's a handful, but very loved (and spoiled, as you can see!) It's been a long time since we had a puppy, life is back to the times of having a newborn. Gotta love those 2am potty breaks.

Blowin' Away!

We are proud to announce that Spring has officially arrived in Hartland--and with it, our annual Springtime winds! As I sit and type this, I can hear a horrible howling and see our still bare pecan trees swaying violently in the wind. The past couple of days have been horrible, with wind so strong you can hardly stand up! The a dust cloud encompassing the entire valley, so much so that, at one point yesterday I couldn't see my neighbor's house. Thank the good Lord that none of us have allergies! (Knock on wood!) We know several people that are suffering right now...

The garden continues to grow! This pic is actually a couple of weeks old--now I have beautiful spring mix and bib lettuce, swiss chard, beets, and carrots flourishing! It's my plan this weekend to get my tomato and pepper plants into the ground. Well, if mother nature cooperates, that is. And then once they are in the low raised beds, it will be my mission to keep the dogs and chickens out!

Our chickens continue to amuse us on a daily basis. Since we only have 6 hens, we've really gotten to know each one's unique personality. Quarky, to say the least! Every morning that I'm off from work Cams and I let the gals out to wander the back yard and scratch, scratch away!

Here's a shot of one of two of our new apple tress, newly planted into the ground. They are a Honeycrisp and Prairie Spy apple, both antique varieties. I also have a Fuji apple, along with 4 peach trees and two pear. The new trees have sprouted beautiful, bright green leaves already, and the older trees are enjoying the warmed weather. The peach trees are covered in blossoms, and the pear trees aren't too far behind! Happy Spring everyone!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


It has been the inside joke here in Hartland, about my egg-less chicken adventure since we hatched the 4 little chickies last April (2 of which met an early end, the other 2 being roosters) I purchased 3 bantam chicks to add to my sad little flock and ALL 3 turned out to be roosters as well...We are now rooster free, and have a flock of 6 hens that came to live with us late in the summer of 2009. Four of them were too young to lay, and the other 2 were older hens but molting. And so Hartland was still egg-less. The days have warmed and finally one of my sweet Aracaunas gave us a surprise beautiful green egg!

Since that day, about a week and a half ago, "Flower" has inspired her comrades and each day we have been blessed with 3-4 homegrown eggs! The eggs are so much better tasting than store bought white eggs, even my 3 year old could tell a difference! I plan on selling extras that we can't keep up with--I already have people lined up from my work wanting to buy!

On the homefront

Spring is well on its way here in Hartland and we are so ready for it! The different tomato and pepper seedlings are several inches tall now and hopefully will be in the ground in about 3-4 weeks. Fingers crossed! Today, little C and I planted beets, Bib lettuce, Swiss chard and carrots into one of our raised beds for some early spring greens. This raised bed also holds our garlic, yellow and red onions, and Egyptian Walking onions planted late last year.

My wonderful hubbie just finished building me two new planting beds out of railroad ties over the weekend, they are both 3 x 16 ft. It's going to be a great addition to our family's gardening square footage, as well as beautifying our back yard. It was fun to involve our whole family in preparing the new beds, I love to see my girls with their hands in the dirt!

I recently ordered 2 new apple tree varieties to add to our little orchard. They are both antique varieties and will join the 4 peach, 1 apple, and 2 pear trees that we already have. All of our trees are young, but I'm hoping to see some fruit this season! Walking through them yesterday, I noticed that the peach trees are loaded with blossoms just about ready to make their debut. Anticipation! One other indulgence I'm expecting is a Meyer lemon tree that should arrive with the apple trees. It's my plan to plant the lemon in a large (hopefully movable) pot for the back patio. That way during the winter months I can bring the tree inside when we're expecting frosts. Our little homestead continues to grow and we are so grateful for God's plentiful blessings!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


We recently visited a hands-on science museum in Albuquerque called Explora. It was so much fun and geared for kids as young as Camryn (and probably younger!) to adults. The best part was that every display allowed you to play or interact with it. Fun!!! Zoey and Cams loved it! Here are just a few of the pictures that we took that afternoon. If you are in the Albuquerque area, I highly recommend spending a day at Explora--we can't wait to go back!