Archive for March, 2008


March 31, 2008

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  I have nice pictures taken before Easter of the girls in front of some of our spring blooms.   They are lost somewhere on this computer.  If only I knew where!  Artwork has been scanned in as well, but there is trouble with my program that I use to put them up as well.  As soon as these issues get resolved, I’ll update.

 On another note….today we made it to 20 weeks pregnant!  I have felt the baby move a bit, so I know it’s still alive.  I’ll see the midwife again next week.

 Oh, while I was typing, I got one of MaryEllen’s paintings to come up!  Let’s see if I can get some more.

Here is MaryEllen’s watercolor horse…


A Little Saint Confusion

March 14, 2008

Some of the feast days are being changed this year due to Holy Week.  As I read at someone else’s blog, the saints don’t mind so why should we? 

 Anyway, MaryEllen has really been looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day.  Today she asked, “Does St. Patrick bring us presents like St. Nicholas does?”   I told her he does not.  Her reply was, “Then what does he do?”  Then James chimed in, “He probably doesn’t care anymore because all people care about anymore is leprechauns.  Leprechauns have red or orange hair and a beard, kind of like Abe Lincoln.  Expect Abe Lincoln didn’t have red or orange hair.”   Then MaryEllen wanted to know if people really have red and orange hair.  You just gotta love kids’ thinking!

A Quick Note

March 12, 2008

The midwife came, although pretty late, but we heard a strong heartbeat and I’m measuring just right.  Thanks for the prayers.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

March 11, 2008

Here are a few pictures from Sunday afternoon.  MaryEllen wanted to wear her Christmas dress, so I let her.  We dressed Charlotte in her Christmas dress as well and dug out a maternity blouse that hardly ever gets worn.  Kevin is quite the sharp dresser and loves color.  He is our artist.  James was upset because he could not take a picture.  I don’t know where John was.  He always seems to miss the pictures lately. 


One more note…when this picture was taken I was officially 16 weeks and 7 days pregnant.


Today’s Snow

March 8, 2008

How exciting!  We were really expecting flurries like we always get, but we awoke to the most snow we have seen since living here in Tennessee.  The children got to sled on snow instead of grass for a change.   Joe went out and took video of them sledding.  Then they came in and made snow ice cream (thanks to Mr. Tolf who told them how.)  I hope the neighbors were not planning on sleeping in because the boys were out before 6 a.m.  Personally, I was looking forward to sleeping in, but with her brothers outside, Charlotte insisted that she go as well, so snow pants and boots had to be found.  Just before 7 a.m. it was still snowing, so I went (in my slippers) on the porch to take a few shots.

08-march-snow.jpg   (Oops, more picture problems.  I’ll put a few more up when I figure out what the problem is. 

The Seeds have Arrived

March 6, 2008

Now, may I ask you, what will we do with 12 varieties of winter squash and 6 varieties of pumpkins?  Did someone here go a little squash crazy?  Perhaps.  Did a book by the name of “The Compleat Squash” inspire someone here?  Maybe.  How about those lovely seed catalogs in the middle of winter?  Tempting. 

 Once again this year it was Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and The Seed Savers Exchange that got our business.  Those are the two catalogs that I pour over, especially the squash sections. 

 Most of these hardy winter squash like water.  Since the horses now occupy the field where our pumpkins used to grow we will be moving them to the lower pasture, in between the water house and the creek.  It is usually moist down there.  All will be well if the “creek don’t rise” (as they used to say in ole Virginny) and if there is not another record breaking drought.  Only time will tell. 

The varieties this year: 


Amish Pie, King of Mammoth (making it’s second appearance here at Ten Gates Farm), Rouge Vif D’Etampes (a.k.a. Cinderella, another for the 2nd year in a row), Howden for a second time, New England Sugar Pie, and once again, the infamous Winter Luxury Pie! 

Winter Squash:

This is the big one, folks.  There are many sizes, shapes and colors that I really hope will grow this year.  I will NOT be planting Tennessee Sweet Potatoes because they grew so well that we don’t care to see anymore for a while.    We WILL be growing once again Buttercup, Red Kuri, Butternut, and Delicata.  For the first time we will attempt to grow Jumbo Pink Banana, Kabocha (so very excited to see this variety is Baker Creek, new this year for them!), Blue Hubbard, Long of Naples, Kikuza, Black Futsu, Greek Sweet Red, and Table Queen Acorn.  That should keep me plenty busy until the baby arrives!

Hopefully later I will get a nice post with the pictures and history of these lovely squash.  Next step, planning where each variety will grow.  We are certainly looking forward to another growing season here. 

A Drive Across Southern Tennessee

March 3, 2008

We took a lovely drive today.  It was a picture-perfect day, except for the wind.  MaryEllen wanted to have a picnic, not on a table, but a real picnic with a blanket and everything.  So, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were prepared, chips & hummus packed, patchwork quilt in the van, we were ready.  Well, all except the where to go part.  I thought a drive across Rt. 64 might be a good start.  John was summoned to get the map out of the car.  I was looking towards Chattanooga (how does one spell the name of that choo-choo?) and there seemed to be several natural areas where one might hike.  Off we went, hoping there would be signs down the road.   We went through Fayetteville, and beyond.  The children and I had never been that far down Rt. 64 before.  They saw the sign for Tim’s Ford State Park, but with the wind today a lake with a dam just didn’t seem like a good place to have a picnic.  On we went and did wonderfully until we came to Winchester.  We went off the beaten Rt. 64 path to actually drive through the town.   Was it anything like Winchester, VA where we had spent so much time?  No.  It was a typical Tennessee town, complete with a fancy building in the middle of a square.   On we pressed.  Suddenly we wondered if we were on Rt. 64 anymore.  It seemed to me that we should have gotten to Interstate 24 by now.  There was a small, but neat looking town called Cowan.  Then we saw two brown signs that pointed the way to natural areas.  “Shall we turn there,”  I asked, “or go on to Chattanooga?”  The answer was a resounding “Chattanooga!”  The minute we passed the turn-off, we saw a green sign that said “Chattanooga 57.”   Aaaahhhh 57 miles!!!  We had already been in the car nearly 2 hours.  We then decided to turn around and go explore the natural areas.  In order to turn around, I turned down this road that had some really neat looking, quaint little restaurants.  Soon we were coming upon this architecture that was  like nothing out of the south!   Is this a college?  It must be.  We passed an actual cathedral.   Were we suddenly transported to Europe or some big city?  Well, it was the University of the South.  (cousin Laura, you have got to see this place!!!)  Of course John had heard of this place before, apparently they have a decent football team.  “You know if Tom Brady (or was it one of the Manning brothers?   John is in bed so I can’t ask him right now, but he knew who) had accepted the scholarship from this college that he was offered, he would not only have been the quarter back here, but also a baseball pitcher.”  How does the child remember these things?  Anyway, we did turn around and headed down the road for a natural bridge.  When we got to this secluded little parking spot, it was at the edge of a cliff and the path was pretty well down.  (And there was no bathrooms!)  So, we decided once again to turn around.  I looked on the map and thought I would head onto Interstate 24 and head away from Chattanooga, go to Tullahoma and end up back at Tim’s Ford State park anyway.  We stopped just before we got on the interstate to a McDonald’s to us the restroom.  When I went back to get Charlotte out of her seat I noticed that she looked red and had a fever.  That explains why she didn’t eat her crackers.  Truth being told, my cold was feeling worse instead of better as well.   After the potty break I looked at the map again and noticed a “Stone Fort State Archaeological Park” near Manchester and decided to head there.   We did that.  After entering the park we came to a fork in the road.  The choices were picnic area one way or fort and museum the other.  Everyone had snacked enough that they were not hungry so we went to the museum.  It turns out this place is an old American Indian ceremonial ground.   The little museum was quite nice and we went up top to see some of the sights.  We were on the Duck River and at one point the Big Duck and the Little Duck Rivers meet.  There was a mile and a quarter trail, but it was not recommended for strollers.  I was not going to have Charlotte walk all that way and I certainly couldn’t carry her either.  So, we loaded back into the van and headed for the picnic area.  When we pulled into the parking lot the children noticed swings and a slide so they were very excited.   I found a lovely spot to place the blanket and proceeded to blow away get the food ready.  The chips and hummus were the favorites today!  MaryEllen was so excited to get a real picnic and James exclaimed that it was the best picnic we ever took!   I promised the children that we would be back there again to walk the trail.  On the way home I found a hands on children’s museum in Tullahoma that is covered by our family pass so that is one more reason to go back.    Unfortunately, I did not take a single picture despite charging my camera battery all night long.  As for this lovely spring-like weather, well it is coming to an end.  The cold front is moving in tonight and our low for this evening is expected to be the high for tomorrow.  It is storming here as I type with a lot of wind to go with it.  But, we sure did enjoy this beautiful weather while it lasted.

What to do When…

March 2, 2008

…it is March 2nd and 75 degrees out side…

Play Ring Around the Rosy

ringrose1.jpg    ringrose2.jpg   ringrose3.jpg

 Climb the fences and play with the horses

02mar08fence.jpg     02mar08-horses.jpg

02mar08-frisky.jpg     02mar08-frisky-kevin.jpg