Friday, June 18, 2010

The Week In Pictures

We always have interesting weeks around here and with 6 kids and a ton of critters, who's surprised?
I thought I would share some sights from the last few days here. Enjoy (or be scared).
This is Skipper the toad. he lives under the back deck somewhere and comes out every summer night. He has been around a couple of years now.
I suggested Devin build the kids a tree house so he decided to build a castle in the sky. Here he is with a friend lifting the floor joists up....way too high. (sigh)
This little doggie is Jill. She is the very new pet of my mom and dad. She likes to chew on Zeb's pacifiers.

This is Dolly, my mom's other dog. She has a mohawk and she is very sweet. She likes to stay the night and play with the bulldogs.

Speaking of bulldogs, this is Duke sleeping on the couch, which is strictly forbidden. I mean I do not allow any dogs on the couch, ever!

We have also discovered that Zelda can stick her tongue into her nose. How very talented.

Finally, this hive is looking like a hive that is considering a swarm. Tomorrow I will need to pull the honey supers off and go through the hive and see what is going on. It was very hot out today and they could just be cooling off, BUT that's alot of bees.
This was the week. I wonder what the weekend will bring.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This is my latest quilt creation. It is all ready for binding..which I fully intend to complete sometime this month. Whew!
I get like this every time I am pregnant. Why?????? I have started a kazillion sewing projects and am now under pressure to get them all finished before my due date. I think I do this because I know that after this little guy is here I will be through with projects for several months. So I bust my bootie beforehand. (sigh)
And the bees? Well, they are busy and I am almost ready to extract honey for the year. It has been very hot outside (it feels like July and August) so that requires the bee chores to be done early in the morning while it is still only in the 80's out. The hives look great though and I am now ordering more books on raising queens. Next year I hope to venture into that area. Of course it might interfere with my bon-bon eating but that's okay.
Bring it on........ or as Devin would say "grab it and growl!"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Just Say "NO!"

Here lately I have been really hating buying produce at the grocery store. In fact I have waiting for a day such as today when the season is here to grow my own.
Seriously, cucumbers are almost a dollar each at the store! Bell peppers are almost as much....NO WAY!
Well, for the next few months I can say ,"No thanks!" to the grocery store and YES! my garden.

The girls wanted to plant carrots this year and they were so happy to pull some up and eat'em today!

Lettuce, anyone? I have actually been harvesting this for a few weeks and it makes a terrific salad.

Now, these potatoes are another item the girls planted all by themselves. They are super easy to grow, super cheap, and tons of fun to harvest. Just pull'em up and grab the potatoes off. We actually got alot of potatoes from only 4 seed potatoes. Don't have a good spot for a garden? You can plant these in a large planter or a sand bucket even. Kids really enjoy them.

For goodness sakes, even Zeb helped us out! I am happy to have some FRESH cucumbers!!!!

Of course it was H-O-T outside today. I think it was 98 with a heat index of 100. Need I mention it was also H-U-M-I-D? We were not able to go work in the garden until 7:30 in the evening, but we loaded up and I must say that I think I need to get the canner ready. The tomato plants are loaded and will be ripening up in a week or so.
Summer at My Barefoot Farm. We are blessed.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Quick PIc

It has been a busy kind of week. Sorry that I only have a picture to share today.
Have a great weekend, ya'll!

Yep, the garden is growing well!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Dog and His Pie

Okay ya'll, first I want to say that my blog has multiple personalities and cannot decide how it wants to look. You might notice the template changing several times a day, and that is because I am really way too picky. End of story. Please hang in there while I search for the perfect template, hopefully within the next year:-)

Now I want to talk about my dog. Here he is as a new puppy.

 He was a sweet puppy and we got him from Devin's brother who breeds these American Bulldogs. His full name is Duke of Georgia, but we just call him Duke. I was so happy to get a BIG dog to help keep the varmints and coyotes off the farm.

This is Duke now,a year later. He is still a sweet and gentle dog (at 100lbs) but  sometimes he gets into trouble. An example was this week when Zeb threw his soccer ball into the front yard and I forgot to bring it back inside at dinner time.

Duke? What are you doing? Did you do something to that ball like chew it?
**Please note his submissive and innocent manner when questioned**
 Here he is trying to convince me that he was just hanging out and tasting the fresh green grass and the ball just happened to roll into his head.
Upon further inspection, however, I believe I have adequate evidence to the contrary. Poor ball.

Then there was my blueberry pie I baked for dessert, using the last of my blueberry stash from last year.
By the way, this is not my pie....the pie I baked. I could never post a picture of my homemade pies because the crust NEVER looks that perfect. I try and try and make the crust from scratch and it tastes great but NEVER, EVER has it looked like that. It seems simple enough. You know that scene in Snow White when she is singing and making dinner for the 7 dwarfs and she is making little pies? She makes it looks SO simple and yet even after watching her after all these years I cannot make the perfect pie. Okay, moving on....

Well, the other day we were all outside sitting on the front porch sipping sweet tea (that's what you do here in the South) when we heard a crash from inside.
We rushed in to find a busted pie dish and pie all over the floor. This picture is but a glimpse of the mess. I had to wipe down cabinets as well as the floor.
Well, Duke was the only one in the house and yet where was he? Hmmmm. OH! Over there across the kitchen and near the back door. I see him.
"Duke! What happened? Who did this? How did my pie end up all over the floor?"
Well I may not be Sherlock Holmes, but I can figure this one out. Duke, of course, denies any part in the pie crash. I wonder if a mirror would help?
Who knew that dogs liked blueberries? You learn something new everyday here, as well as clean up at least one mess too.

Till next time,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Here They Are

Last week I had 2 new packages of bees arrive from South Georgia so I thought I would share exactly how this is done. (At least how I do it) First off, they arrived at the post office just like this and the postmaster called me that morning so I could pick them up. I bring a spray bottle of sugar water and give them a good spray. It calms them, so they say. It also prevents them from being able to fly or sting while they are covered with sugary water.

This is what you see when you take the top off. It is a can that is filled with sugar water for the bees to consume on their trip. There are a few tiny holes punched in the bottom of the can. The wire looking thing on top of the can is actually the queen's cage. She's being held near the side of the can so that the bees will keep her warm and fed through her cage.

Next I pull the can out and the queen cage out as well. There were bees clinging all over her cage so I shook them off so I could look at her and see that she is alive and active. Each year queen breeders mark their queens with a universal color. This year the color is blue. It will make it easier to not only find her but to recall what year she was introduced to her hive. Ideally hives should be re-queened each year.
 Notice that one end of the cage is blocked with something white. It is a fondant candy. I take out a small cork on that end to expose this candy and the bees will eat the candy out so the queen can be released. This is a new queen for this bee package so by the time they release her they have started to accept her and will not kill her.
Now all is left is to spray the bees with sugar water to prevent them from flying off and then dump them into their new hive. Once they are in I place the queen cage in there so that the bees can reach her and then close the hive up.

New hives have lots of work to do in order to be prepared for winter so I will feed mine all summer with sugar water. This hive has a feeder on top. I also leave the open package at the front so any wandering bees from the package will find there way to their home. I check after 3 days to see if the queen is released and then again after a week to see if she is laying eggs.
This here is the inside of a honey box or super. This is honey that is almost ready to extract and eat!!!!!! Isn't it beautiful?
That is it! A very special thanks to my junior beekeepers, Indiana and Willow. They helped install my packages and had a great time helping me inspect a few more hives while we were out there.
Now, don't you want to get some bees of your own next year?

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Full Monty, Sort Of

Once upon a time there was a this gal, a very smart gal, who was very smart when it came to bees and children and making funnel cakes. Well, one day this gal tried to upload pictures on her blog, a blog about bees and children and funnel cakes, only to discover an error. An error with the blog template and program. She searched and researched for a way to fix the error but to no avail.

This made the gal pretty frustrated so she decided to eat half a container of Breyers Rocky Road ice cream and call it a day.

After several days and a few containers of ice cream she decided that only the Geek Squad or someone of equivalent computer knowledge could solve her computer issues. In an attempt to spare her sanity and rescue her ice cream stash the gal switched back to Blogger for her blogging needs.

Although she misses many elements of the Word press program she has found some aspects of Blogger that are just as nice and  seem to be more in line with her huge lack of HTML knowledge.

Now she can get back to sharing important tid bits of information with her internet family such as how the installation of new bee packages went or how fabulous the garden is growing. She is happy to be back, although she may be suffering a slight rocky road withdrawl.

Not all aspects of the new blog are in place, but she knows that her visiting friends and family will overlook the bareness and be so happy to see her again.

The moral of the story is this: When you find Breyers on sale at the store you should always buy twice as much as you think you should.

This is not as exciting as a full monty, of course, but this is all the drama I can drum up today.


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The Barefooters

Barefoot Farm was named so because of the fact that the children and my husband do not wear shoes 99.9% of the time. Honestly. I cannot lie about such a matter.
Another fact is that when you live here, not only are shoes optional but hair brushing is optional as well. At least that is what I tell myself each day when my kids walk around at noon with a "bed head."

Allow me to introduce the family:

 This is Journee, the oldest, and her dog named Zelda. Journee does most of the chores here that relate to the chickens and ducks. She is my favorite.

This fisher woman here is Quinn. She helps me out a bunch with the youngest and hopes to someday catch a bigger fish than the one pictured. She is my favorite.

 This girl is Indiana. She was named after our favorite movies and has grown to fit the name. She is sometimes called "firecracker" because she is very spirited. She's my favorite.

 Willow is my fourth girl and she is very sweet and motherly. She also has one dimple, on the right side of her face. That makes her special and my favorite.

 Rose is the youngest daughter. She likes to dance and has a very contagious laugh. She's also my favorite.

Yes, we had a boy. He is Zeb. He spends his days trying to throw things down the stairs and plug things into outlets. He's all boy and of course, my favorite.

Then there is the baby, Fletcher. Now we have 2 boys who get into everything, but we wouldn't have it any other way! Of course the baby is the whole family's favorite!

 This here is Devin, my husband and fellow bee keeper. The barefoot gene comes directly from him, as do the funny senses of humor. The jury is still out on where the lack of hair brushing gene is could possibly be from us both. He is also one of my favorites.

Photos of My Barefoot Farm

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