Saturday, May 25, 2013


You saw the flowers, here's the fire I was talkin' 'bout.

Farm flowers

I need to write a longer post. But while I'm grilling dinner and burning some wood, enjoy some of the flowers blooming at the farm.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Today, I turned this...

The 8 batteries, not my Yoga mat.

Into this....
Oh yeah, cold hard, check.

Two batteries that Ghon couldn't find core receipts for, the rest found and dug out of the workshop.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Pennies from heaven

I was looking back at old posts and realized that I never talked about my plans for my kitchen floor, and how you can help.

Yes, you can help me make my dream kitchen floor a reality. 

I want a penny floor.

A penny saved, a penny earned, right? 

See a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck, right?

I want a penny floor. Damn you, Pinterest! Of course it all started with a pin. I was amazed. Cautiously, I showed Ghon. I didn't think he was going to go for it. He looked, stared, then said, "OK."

SCORE! I get a penny floor!

I have a bank that I save only pennies in. It's Kermit, as in the frog. My mom made it for me for the Christmas before I turned five. Kermit, is stuffed to the top with pennies. I have a head start on the floor.
Now, when I see a penny, I do pick it up. I stick it in my pocket, bring it home, and put it in a new special penny box. When Cindy and I cleaned out the field, if we found a penny, we rejoiced! Finding 6 pennies in a folded, nasty carpet left to rot in the yard - totally worth it.

Just how bad has it gotten? I rarely carry cash. Ghon would always get upset with me when I would pay for something with cash - and use change. He would rather break a single for 6 cents than grab the change. I don't want to carry the change. That's even more weight in my already too heavy purse. But now? Oh, I think about how change will work to my advantage. $5.21 - best believe I am pitching in a quarter so I can get 4 pennies. I will not chip in two dimes and a penny. Hells no. I need that penny. I even consider breaking a single - so I have more change to turn into pennies.

Even worse? Jonathan decided to dump out his bank. I turned it into a learning activity/penny securing activity. He separated all his change and put all the pennies in a pile. We then counted, as high as we could, then Mommy counted even higher. And I traded him, silver coins for his brown ones. Then, I let him put them all in the special penny box. He thought it was awesome. So did I. When the kid gets a chance to count and sort and mommy gets pennies for the floor - it's a win-win situation.

The rough cost of the penny floor will be about $300. I need close to 30,000 pennies. That's more than Kermit holds. That's more than I can find in old carpet in the yard, or in the Wal-mart parking lot. I'd rather not just go to the bank and plunk down 15 twenty dollar bills and say "Pennies, please?" (although, that would be pretty funny.)

I'm trying to save them. Find them. Gather them. But I will buy them from friends. Seriously, if you have a penny collection, don't take them to the nearest Coinstar. I don't charge 6% like the bank. I pay straight up value. You bring me 100 pennies, and I'll give you a dollar. I'll even consider buying you a soda or something. While I will take penny donations, I'm not asking for them. I want to exchange paper for pennies.

So the next time you are about to step over a penny, or suck it up with the vacuum cleaner from you car cup holder, or heaven forbid, you start to just throw it down, remember me. When you see the "need a penny?" cup at the cash register, remember, Kim needs your penny. Hummingbird Farm needs your penny.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring at Hummingbird Farm

Ah, spring is really here. We spent Saturday at the VA State Chili Cookoff, so Sunday was farm day. The kids woke up in a fantastic mood, and Jonathan was a fabulous helper. I woke up with a bit of a migraine, so I am thankful the kids were amenable to watching a little TV in bed while I tried to sleep (something we've never done before) and that after a bit, Ghon got up and got them going. Once my head settled enough to allow me to become functional, we were off and running.

First stop, our friends Jill and Kevin's house. Jill asked me a few weeks ago if we'd be interested in a fridge for the house. Abso-freaking-lutley! We've been using a cooler at the farm for drinks and I'm done with buying ice for it. It was time for the house to get a beererator as Ghon calls it, or my preference, a drinkerator, as we do have some soda, water, and kids drinks in there. After we visited for a short bit, we loaded it up and took it to it's new home at Hummingbird Farm.

I can't be outside for 10 minutes when Ghon is mowing before my nose just starts running. Not that I have anyone fooled that I'm a lady, but all bets are off when there is grass being cut in a 5 mile radius. I'll use my sleeves, shirt waist band, and preferably, a napkin or paper towel (because a tissue just won't do). I take OTC allergy meds - and believe me, I know when I forget them. The next few weeks of outdoor work are going to be a challenge. I'll be spending more time wiping and blowing my nose than doing any work.

Spring - A Haiku

The green grass grows tall
Sharp blades manicure the field
Face faucet flows free

Flowers adorn trees
Yellow pollen fills the air
Choked by spring beauty

Locked in a bubble
When outside smells like Febreeze
No open windows

Ghon continued mowing while the kids and I grocery shopped for the week and liquid for the drinkerator. Once I stocked the fridge with what we had on hand and what I bought, it looked like this:

Thirsty? Want to make smores? I gotcha covered.

If you like Yuengling, Bud Light, or Flying Dog beer, Coke Zero, water or capri-sun you won't go thirsty when you visit. Since I don't like to store food or plates in the kitchen (it's still a dirty mess and has the occasional mouse come through), I'm storing my napkins, plates and plastic wear in the fridge. I got some lunchables and yogurt to keep on hand for the kids, as well as chicken and burgers for the freezer.  Next time dinner creeps up on us, we'll be prepared to grill. And thanks to Aunt Cindy, we have a summer's supply of ice pops, now frozen and ready to enjoy!

Once the drinkerator was stocked, I started a fire. Every chance I get, it's BURN BABY BURN! There is so much to get through. I was tired of hauling 6 buckets of water over after each burn, so Ghon and I picked up a 100ft hose and installed it. That way I know water is close while I'm burning. Makes me feel a little safer. It is a few feet short, but still does the job. We were able to burn a good bit yesterday, including a few big pieces.  Next burn, the rest of the pile should be burned and I can move to the wood pile Cindy and I made from our clean outs.

What, you don't burn furniture when you are done with it? Don't judge. You've seen the cards I've been dealt.

As the fire burned down, Ghon and I took a quick walk to check out the orchard. The trees are doing well so far. Hard to say if there will be any fruit though. We do have a pear and an apple tree in the chicken's run - and they are showing signs of fruit! Those were put in last year, so obviously they have a head start on the others.

Happy trees.

That was our Sunday. Mowing, shopping, chicken tending, stocking the fridge and relaxing at the farm. The hard work is quickly approaching. Need to enjoy the more relaxing tasks while we can.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Clear your calendars...

Demolition 2.0 is coming.
Ghon has finally called for a quote on concrete. It's not as expensive as he thought, which means we are "rolling."

A short to do list before we can get concrete.
  1. Finish building the chicken enclosure.
  2. Get the newest chickens and turkeys (yes, he bought turkeys) out of the mud room. (estimated time: 3 weeks)
  3. Get some buckets.
  4. Save some money.
  5. DEMO!

Three yards of concrete will accomplish the following:
  • Set the foundation for the stone fireplace.
  • Provide a footer to reset the floor joists in the living room, which will allow us to add the joists and put my freaking floor back in!
  • Create a pad to build our larger mudroom/laundry room/pantry on
To pour that pad, that means we have to demo the existing laundry room.

That little addition on the back of the house with the leaky roof and rotting walls, yep, that's what's coming down.
This does not mean the glorious new room will be built right away, but we don't want to deal with concrete. So we do it all at once. Fortunately, yes, there is a door from the main house to the existing room so we will not be door-less or have to install a door.

We are also considering painting the roof soon. And maybe, just maybe starting to paint the house. But not much of anything will be done this weekend, as we are going to be judging the ICS VA State Chili Cookoff.

So think about June - and if you want to come help us demo a weekend. Or be part of a bucket brigade to get concrete in the house. And if you know anything about laying concrete forms, please let us know!