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This blog chronicles the adventures I share with my husband, daughter and son. It is also a place to share what I am learning as a homemaker, gardener, book lover and homeschooling mother. Welcome.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tcha-To-Ga trail

This past weekend found us hiking yet again, so this makes three weeks in a row that we've hiked. This is not a bad habit to have, really doesn't take that much time out of our day and we're all better for the exercise and fresh air.

We skip rocks, search for deer rubs, identify birds, sit lakeside while sipping a warm beverage, have conversations that I'm convinced wouldn't occur otherwise, and, this time, have a "dead" opossum in our path. I write "dead" because you really don't know with opossums if the death is real or fake, so we went off trail to get around him just in case. Now we have a "dead opossum on the trail" story which you couldn't experience  just anywhere. 

The trail we hiked, Tcha-To-Ga trail, was half the trail we hiked 2 weeks ago, Lone Jack Civl War trail. The 1.2 mile sign is misleading as we ended up closer to 3 miles, but sometimes we go off trail and not just because of "dead" opossums. We chose this half of the larger trail because it was a narrow, woodsy path and the other is a wider, gravel trail frequented by runners.

This trail is near the elk and buffalo enclosure at Lake Jacomo so we drove by and saw those mighty beasts. Jesse commented on how much meat he was seeing, Ella was appalled at that comment, but I had to agree that now when I see certain animals I wonder how much meat could be put in the freezer. This is the life of a hunter's wife!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

holiday hike


Over the holiday weekend we went on a hike at Watkins Mill State Park. Since we usually bike the paved lake trail it was a nice change of pace to walk allowing us to take in the views at a slower pace and enjoy the woods up close, rather than zooming by. 

We took a trail into the woods and found a camping area before unknown to us. It was quite cozy and would be a nice place to stay. We found a dried up pond (no picture) which allowed us to see trees, or what was left of them, where a beaver had gnawed them (second to last picture). After that it became something of a game to spot these gnawed trees on the rest of our walk around the lake, and we saw quite a few. It's amazing once you know what to look for in the woods what you'll actually see. 

The trail is just under 4 miles and with our extra tromping through the woods I'd say our total distance was closer to 5 miles. It was colder than our hike the week before, but we were bundled and this time I remembered to bring the coffee and tea with us. We are already on a roll with these cold weather hikes which makes me hope this will be more of a habit this season than a novelty as it has been in years past. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

monday quotations

expectations are the shackles 
that will not permit something to be 
what it actually is.
-craig d. lounsbrough-

in many instances, 
the failures of my greatest schemes 
ultimately lead to the fulfillment 
of my greatest successes.
therefore, God will allow 
our most cherished dreams to perish 
so that we might turn and seek out 
His most cherished plans.
-craig d. lounsbrough-

Saturday, November 19, 2016

lone jack civil war trail at lake jacomo

With Jesse having the week off for hunting, and a few extra days to spare from that activity we headed out on Friday to enjoy a local hike. We settled on a five-mile hike at Lake Jacomo called the Lone Jack Civil War Trail. We knew from past experience that the trails are not marked well at the lake but we did have an online map and the GPS on Jesse's phone worked so marked or not it didn't matter for our hike. The trail was basically in the shape of a figure eight and connected two smaller trails together. If you wanted a shorter hike you could choose one trail. I'm glad we did the entire five miles, though. It felt great to get out and move since this time of year is the beginning of being more sedentary. Five miles is a good trek so by the time we were done I was ready to be home and make coffee, but the time out with my family was refreshing since it's my favorite activity. We even brought along our dog, Arwen, which was her first on a trail in the woods. I'm not sure why we haven't brought her before since we've taken her to the park but having her with us made it that much more fun and we'll do it again. We even came across some bittersweet and brought some home as a "souvenir" since it makes such a beautiful wreath. I highly recommend this trail as long as you have a map and preferably GPS!

Friday, November 4, 2016

the october garden~"the end"~502


The October garden should really be called "The End."

About mid-month I decided I was done. So I harvested the final tomatoes and pulled all the plants. We had a huge pile of plants and brush and since we didn't need all that green for compost we hauled it away to Missouri Organic.

Our beautiful Sugar Maple tree in the front yard provides a bounty of leaves, so the above pile is the first round of mowing and bagging leaves that were hauled to the backyard and put on most of the garden beds.

A few Kale plants are still producing since we have not had a frost, so it's nice continuing to enjoy fresh salads. I will enjoy that for as long as it lasts and then buy the expensive big tub of greens at the store!

Last weekend I planted the garlic, so other than moving some garden structures to new locations my work in the vegetable garden beds is complete for the year.

The final listing of vegetables by pound is as follows:

211 lbs ~ Roma Tomatoes

95 lbs ~ Potatoes
60 lbs ~ Beefsteak Tomatoes
48 lbs ~ Blackberries
28 lbs ~ Carrots
10 lbs ~ Garlic

15 lbs ~ Squash

12 lbs ~ Watermelon

9 lbs ~ Onions
3 lbs ~ Golden Beets
3 lbs ~ Green Beans
3 lbs ~ Cherry Tomatoes

2 lbs ~ Lima Beans
1 lb ~ Cucumbers
1 lb ~ Sweet Peppers
1 lb ~ Tomatillo Tomatoes

502 pounds!

We are quite pleased with that number, of course. However, it would be nice if there could be a bit more of a balance in our numbers. Usually, lima beans, green beans, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers and cucumbers produce much more. Even though we haven't weighed our produce in the past, I don't have any of those items stored in the freezer, so that really is a disappointment. We of course enjoyed them fresh, which was wonderful, but I do like a bounty to enjoy in winter. And although we harvested 15 pounds of squash, I don't have any of that vegetable stored either, which means no squash soup unless I purchase it from the store. 

No gardening year is the same as the last or the next, so we'll just be diligent to plant wisely and hopefully harvest even more next year. It will be interesting to compare numbers since we don't have any plans to add more garden beds (although we always say that!), but I know I could have been more diligent to "baby" some plants that didn't produce well and I hope to adjust the beds to plant more potatoes and squash next year. 

For something that began as a little hobby, it's fun to see how it has supplied our home with such healthy goodness for our bodies.