Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Difference Between Ducks/Geese vs Chickens

It is storming in Spokane today. Heavy rains. Good for the garden.
When ever it rains the flock splits into two groups.
The chickens hunker down under something sturdy.
The geese go for a swim.
The ducks look for worms.
The webbed gang loves the rain.

Wonderful rainy days. A welcomed refresher for the webbed footed gang.

Thanks for reading!

Garden Bounty

Our harvest today.

10 pounds of tomatoes, we have an additional 20 pounds sitting on our counter.
35 onions
20 garlic

We have some canning to do!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Camping at Priest Lake

This past weekend was my last weekend of freedom for a while. I started back at school on Monday.
So, we took the opportunity and went camping at Priest Lake in northern Idaho. It is a place we have been to a few times in the last two years, but never like this. We loaded up all of our gear into a 12ft aluminum boat. We traveled to the upper lake of the Priest Lakes. You have to boat through a 2-mile long thoroughfare to get there which is a no wake zone, so it takes a while. After we finally made it out of their we continued to four mile length of the upper lake to the northern most part where we made camp.
We made camp just a few feet from the water on a nice sandy beach.
Kelsi took this neat picture of the fire.
While we camp, we still try to eat like we do at home. Fresh ingredients and good food.
This pesto pasta was made from our homegrown basil.
Turned out pretty tasty too. Kelsi froze cubes of pesto in individual sized portions, so you can just add them to warm noodles.
Breakfast. Veggie scramble. Spinach, peppers, mushrooms, and onions with eggs from Halpern's Happy Hens.
Veggie pizza! With wild edibles!
BBQ whole corn, my personal favorite.
We also had to have some tomato juice, just to make sure we had enough veggies. With some spirits of course :) and cayenne and pepper too. 
We also found this giant huckleberry bush behind our camp site.
It was loaded!

It really got us excited for finding more wild edibles.
I tried my luck at catching some fresh lake trout. Ended up catching my share of perch and small bass. I didn't catch anything worth filling though.
We went on search of some hiking trails in the boat. On the way we found these. Wild chives, lakeside.
Picked picked enough to sauté and add to our pizza that night.
We found a nice mountain trail that followed a stream for a while before diverting into the mountain.

We found hundreds of huckleberry bushes up this trail. We were too late by a couple weeks for most of the bushes. However, in the shade we did find a good amount of bushes with berries still on them. 
We ended up with one small bags worth. The other two below it are from the last camping trip earlier this year. We found a huge patch. 

Now we have two picking locations that we know are loaded. We will return next year!

The girls had fun too. Khma basked in the sun.
Julies played in the mud.

Good trip. We look forward to harvesting more wild edibles in the future. So much fun!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We Have Mites. Updated with a solution to the problem 12/2/11

Gross, ugly, disgusting, nasty mites. Let me show you what I am talking about.

Perhaps, now you are thinking.. 'That's it? It's not so bad.'

Perhaps you need a more detailed photograph.


Those repulsive and foul creatures have infested my poor birdies.

I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Anywho, we lost little Myrtle yesterday and noticed that the coop was covered in those vomitous little creatures.

Poor little Myrtle. 

It was time for a little defensive action. Mike did some research and we decided to try putting garlic in their water to make the chickies less desirable to the little bastards, as well as, sprinkling some diatomaceous earth in their feathers, roosts, coop, and dust bathing areas.

I bought this at Aslin-Finch. It was pretty pricey, but since I am in a bind, I didn't mind.

The chickies have taken over this area in front of the living room window to use for their hygiene facilities. They dust bath here, and I am hoping they will dust themselves with this beautifully fine powder meant to kill those little jerks by cutting them up and drying them out. Take that, you stupid mites! BRING IT ON!

Update 12/2/11: 
The D-earth worked very well. 
All of the mites were gone in 2 weeks. 
We did two separate dustings, 7 days apart. 
There has been no sign of the mites since then. 

If anyone out there tells you that this stuff doesn't work, don't listen. There is no reason to use harsh chemicals on your hens when this works just as well. Just don't forget to wear a mask. The dust can irritate your lungs due to the sharp edges on the little dust particles.

We now use D-earth each time we clean out the coop as a preventative solution. has the best deal on D-earth. 20 bucks for 50pounds. 

Hope this helps those out there with the same problem. Feel free to comment and ask us questions about it.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Mike's little sister is expecting a little boy. When these opportunities arise, I have noticed that I take full advantage of these situations and go a bit sew crazy!

I have found that I love sewing. It find it really quite relaxing. Above is the little baby blanket that I made for little Asher James.

One of my favorite parts is picking out all the fabric. I love the cute skulls and crossbones with the peace signs. I had to include the little doggie bones!

I also made some burp clothes. These were SO freakin easy. 

Again, I used the skulls and crossbones. I just can't get enough of them! 

I bought Emily a little bag that I turned into a diaper bag. I had a bit of a hard time finding a changing pad to go into the bag. So, I decided to make one! Its pretty long and she should be able to use it for 1 or 2 years.

It folds up nicely and fits into the pocket of the bag that is suppose to house a laptop.

I had a really difficult time with these bibs. I used iron on vinyl and I dont think I will ever use that ever again. It was really hard to work with. The back is terrycloth and I was trying to make it so that she can just use the back of the bib to wipe off the tray or the child. I will do a few things differently next time.

Since I was the one throwing the shower, I made a little centerpiece for the table that she can take home and use in the baby's room. 


We have some baby stuff that we needed for our own house, because we plan on babysitting quite a bit. I bought a changing pad on craigslist for $3 and since it was just awful, I decided to make a cute cover for it.

I love that fabric.

Pardon the cork board on the wall. I am still working on the room. We bought this crib for $30 off of someone on criagslist and I used an old full sheet and pillow cases to make the crib sheet and skirt. I have a few little adjustments to make on the skirt.

I also made a nice neutral crib quilt. 

I tried to do everything for us in neutral colors, so that when a it is time for baby Halpern #1 we will still be able to use it.

I hope you enjoyed!