Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bath Time

The weather is warm and everyone seems to want to be in the water!  ZB has nearly grown out of her little Rubbermaid bathtub - time to use the real thing, I think!

Our cute ducks are a few weeks old now, and love to have water play time!  Khaki Campbells are not the type of duck to need a pond, but they sure do enjoy splashing around.
The bad news about the ducks is that we are now down to only 2 :(  We've had two recent hawk attacks on the ducks.  We live across the street from a huge field, so there are naturally a lot of hawks, but now that they've seen our little baby bird buffet, we have a problem!  For now, the babies are confined to the enclosed run during the day.  They can free range a little at around dusk - the hawks don't seem to be out then.  The hawks also haven't bothered the chickens at all.  Hopefully the ducks will get big enough that the hawks won't mess with them - in the meantime, if any readers have any hawks deterring tips, I'm glad to hear them!

Waterpark ... again!

This was our third trip to a hotel waterpark, seems to be becoming a tradition - and we learn new things each time.  This trip, since we went in warm weather, we found out that the outdoor parks are also really fun, especially when you just need a break from the loud, chlorine-heavy indoor park.  We also learned not to eat at any of the hotel restaurants (who would've imagined that kids eat free really means 1 kids eats free while adult meals are double the price - and anyone over 11 is considered an adult? yikes!)
For Clay's 12th birthday, he'll actually be spending the week with his grandparents in Memphis.  So he decided to celebrate early by inviting a friend to Wilderness of the Smokies waterpark.  It is only 1-1/2 hrs away, in Pigeon Forge, TN.  I love that he encouraged Reed to invite a friend as well - that gave Reed a pal at the park, so he wouldn't be getting on Clay's nerves (a win-win, I thought).

This type of waterpark is only open to hotel guests, which makes it a little less chaotic than a regular park.  There were two outdoor parks and one indoor park - the outdoor areas has very similar things as the indoor, but it really was quieter because it was smaller, I guess.  Outdoors, the younger kids mostly stuck to the climbing structure, and the older kids played LOTS of basketball:

ZB had lots of fun in the baby area - it was very shallow, not many kids and no chance of getting sprayed with a watergun or a fountain spraying too high!

We were bummed to find out we couldn't bring in ZB's floatie that we had found for the trip - she was content to just play in it, though :)
The inside waterpark had the bigger slides, a wave rider for surfing and boogie boarding, and a wave pool, as well as the climbing structure and another baby area.

Whew!  We were exhausted at the end of the day!  A great thing about it being a hotel park is that you can relax in the hotel room after a long day of playing, and when you check out in the morning, you can keep playing in the waterpark the entire next day (we lasted until about 6 before heading home).
Clay is so excited to turn 12 ~ I'm really glad we got to celebrate here at home before his big trip!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A couple LEAF-y Pics

My camera was hidden away most of LEAF (not intentionally!) - but it was fabulous as always!  Great music like Taj Mahal singing the blues, The Wood Brothers jamming out and Seun Kuti with his West African beats.  I also went on a lovely Wild Edibles plant walk in the woods during the festival.  We camped with great friends who I was glad to get to know even better!  The weather stayed nice nearly every day - with the exception of Sunday, which made packing up camp pretty soggy!  I did grab a few pics when a friend and I, and our little ones were roaming around among the vendors and stopped to play with hula hoops (and ZB found a juggler to watch).  Sorry not more pics from the weekend - I'll try to do better this week.

I hope everyone had a beautiful Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Around Town ... and back home again

We had a really fun weekend - there were two festivals in downtown on Sunday.  One was called the Tiny Tykes festival which was cute and was for the under 5 crowd.  We met up with some of ZB's baby buddies there and played in sand, made music, toddled around and listened to a fun kids' musician.
"Here, let me help you with that"
ZB has to be where the action is!
Even if it's not the popular place to be:

Then we headed over to a much larger festival called "Big Love", a go-local kind of Asheville festival  - great music, drink, vendors, etc.  I gave the kids $5 each and told them not to go beyond the festival limits.  Reed can find his own way to break rules, though :)
Around the farm, there is much activity, per usual!  We got several new friends today!  These are Khaki Campbell ducks - they will be great egg-layers, and don't need a pond, though they do have fun in water, so thye'll get a kiddy pool when they're older.  For now they're a week old, and they are super cute (and super messy!)
It's a fun time of year to watch all the plants pop up - especially new ones (to us)... like sweet potato slips I'm starting in the kitchen...
We've grown garlic for years now, but B wanted to try a new variety, this one is classified as hardneck.  We usually grow softneck.  They had really neat scapes that grew out of the tops.  We had to cut them off, so the garlic underground can finish fattening up for harvest.  The scapes themselves are mighty tasty, though!

We're also getting all organized and packed up to go to our favorite local festival, LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival).  We'll camp there for 4 days, and ZB was just dying to lend a hand:

With her new-found ability to climb on tables, I'm not sure how much of a help it really was, but she's still darn cute :)  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


All projects have to start somewhere - even if it's a small start, it still feels good to see beginnings of progress.  The strawberries are producing a handful a day - this is from the off-shoots of our 1 plant last year that survived the move, so next year hopefully we'll have a basket-full a day!

 She says, "Stop taking my picture, mama!  Let me eat my berries in peace!"
This years starts are ready to be put in the ground, I believe...
The guys built a half-fence around the veggie garden.  We were thinking the hens only get into the garden from close to their coop, so we'd experiment with the fence only being on the side of their coop.  Well, it took them about 2 hours to figure it out... see them on the trellis next to the pink flowers?  They think they're hot stuff for sure.
We shooed 'em outta the garden, and look how big and pretty they're getting at 8 weeks!
Plums are starting to fatten up, too...
 I just turn my back for a second, and of course ZB's found mischief to get into :)
We're feeling good about the little farm beginnings, and yet have no time to dwell on them because a full-fledged toddler is emerging, and needing a "watchful eye" nearly always ;)  Love to all~

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