Saturday, July 18, 2015

Lake Sinclair and July 4

We loaded up Wyatt, Jake, Ben, and our camper to head just northeast of Macon to Lake Sinclair right outside of Gray for the week of July 4. We spent 5-ish days enjoying the cool weather, tons of foods, family time, and most importantly—NO GNATS!


The boys spent most of their time fishing and jumping in the water.

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We did manage to get the pontoon boat out and do a little tubing. Wyatt kept yelling, “Go FASTER Pa!” The kids did good although Justin, Amanda, Wyatt, and I all ended up in the water.

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Mid-trip, we returned to Ashburn to celebrate my sweet baby Pax’s 1st birthday party. He had a good time until it came time to squish in his smash cake. He did NOT like that one bit!


Later that day, we headed back up to Lake Sinclair with one stop in Macon for newly-legal fireworks. Justin was going to go easy but we kinda got sucked in to the excitement.

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We had a low country boil that night (I had a leftover sandwich from lunch) and stayed up way too late talking. I did get some great little Pax snuggles since Suzi didn’t want to put him in the bed in the camper for fear of him falling off.

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We packed up and headed back home Sunday morning with three very tired boys in the back seat. Oh, you didn’t know that leopard blanket-covered lump was Jake?!?


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July Randomness

I stole this idea off of Pinterest. It is suggested to keep a freezer inventory to use a dry erase marker and tick marks for each item you have a lot of. When you remove an item from the freezer, just wipe off a mark. I like this system so far!
Wyatt got this old wagon from our cousin Gene’s lake house. It was pretty sturdy with big tires but the inside had rusted considerably. I took $10 worth of spray paint and less than an hour to give it a new life.
I bought a can of Rustoleum spray primer to hopefully inhibit the rust and gave it a good solid coat after scrubbing the big paint flakes off with a wire brush. This wasn’t a very meticulous job—I was just doing a little cosmetic sprucing up. I didn’t even bother removing the hardware and wheels on the underside—the bolts had all rusted completely. I just wrapped a Dollar Tree plastic tablecloth around the bottom to protect from overspray. So yes, the underside is still faded red/orange. I then gave it several coats of bright orange paint Wyatt picked out. It turns out it is OSHA-approved safety orange and this particular paint was designed for marking lines. It had a 15 minute dry time so I was able to get this project done very quickly.
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Wyatt loved that it was his favorite color and I liked the quick, cheap project that gave it a new look.
Our garden has been very nice to us. Unfortunately we planted the tomato plants way too close together so we didn’t efficiently harvest them this year. Next year we will do better.
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I bought some clip on lenses for my phone from Amazon and I really used the fish eye lens and wide angle lens a lot on my shrimp boat excursion. I was able to try out my macro lens on these baby snails in our flower beds. They are smaller than the tip of my pinky nail and you have to get really, really close for the lens to focus. Even still, it’s a little fuzzy but I like the look it gives. I always like to stop and focus on really small things including bugs and flowers so I think I will use this one a good bit in the future.
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Justin found a rattlesnake on the road a few miles from our house so he has been learning how to skin it out. He wants to maybe make a wall hanging or a belt for Wyatt. It grosses me out but I think it’s cool he wants to learn how to do new things all the time.
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We had a great time at our friends’ daughter Kincee’s birthday party at the Peach Palette in Perry (alliteration to the MAX!). Wyatt picked out an alligator and had a really great time painting it. I can’t wait to get it back after it’s been glazed and kiln fired.
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Finally, Justin had rescued this old two-man saw his Papa had painted in his house. When his Papa’s house burned, Justin asked for the saw and he has kept it for nearly 14 years. We got our friend Rachel, a talented local artist, to repaint it in the original style. It looks amazing in our dry kitchen over our kitchen tool pegboard frame! (Funny note: you should have seen Justin trying to climb in the car over the saw—we didn’t think it all the way through and had to put it in between the car seat and the doors. It was like something out of Final Destination.)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Chicken Update #4

Our flock recently grew by 4—we got four frizzle/sizzle chicks. The frizzle chicks are ones where their feathers flip outward instead of laying flat. The sizzles are silkie frizzles meaning they have the frizzled feathers and feathered legs. They are the most docile chicks we have ever had. I can’t wait to see them when they are full grown. Right now it looks like they are losing a good fight with South Georgia humidity!
The chickens are enjoying the bounty of our garden. Veggies that have bad spots on them and won’t be good for us to can go right into the coop. They love tomatoes and corn!
This is my favorite rooster—my top gun, my big boy, our blue maran. He definitely rules the roost. I hatched him and 12 others out from eggs in the incubator. Yes, I took a selfie with him. I hope that by picking them up they will be more sociable and less likely to peck us.
Excitingly, when I was in Savannah for work, Justin texted me and let me know that we got our very first egg from our chickens we hatched out in January. We have gotten one or two eggs a day. They should all start laying soon enough and then we will eventually make little love shacks to separate the roosters and hens of specific breeds to fertilize the eggs and hatch them out in our incubator.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

Dennis Kendrick, Justin’s and my former ag teacher and now Young Farmers coordinator, reached out to us about joining Turner County Young Farmers and getting involved. When I pointed out that I would hardly consider myself a farmer just because we have chickens and a garden, he disagreed and asked us to get involved anyway.

Justin has helped out with the local canning plant for several years now and we hope to increase the utilization of the facility. I also want to promote the facilities for my job in hopes that people with buy case quantities of produce when it’s in season and put it up, knowing they have fresh Georgia Grown produce year round.

We hosted a canning class that taught participants how to make spaghetti sauce on a large scale and put it up for the entire year. We had a blast and turned out 118 cans of fresh tomato sauce with ingredients grown within a 20 mile radius of us (with the exception of the 5 pound bag of Vidalia onions—another Georgia staple).

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Work lately

I have had a lot of fun with work lately. In addition to the shrimp boat excursion, I have visited peach farms, agritourism locations, local meat markets, checked out the beauty of Lake Lanier Islands Resort and their farm-to-table restaurant, and even learned about some new stuff at Calhoun Produce watching their shelling operation. I love my job and the people I get to work with each and every day!


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