Thursday, March 31, 2011

Victory Gardens

Perhaps it is the anticipation of my own garden, but I have been fascinated with garden history lately.

Victory Gardens (or War Gardens) were first brought about during World War I where food shortages and the fear of escalating food prices brought people of all statures to come together and plant gardens.  During this time the efforts were so successful that the National War Garden Community estimated a produced crop valued at over $350 million.  And all of this was grown in back yards and vacant lots!

The second time communities came together and planted Victory Gardens was in the 1940's during World War II.  Because of transportation and labor shortages, people were again encouraged to plant gardens in the name of patriotism.  Anything to help the war effort.
Inspired by these stories - and tired of eating the same old stuff - I went in search of a cookbook with recipes focusing on the produce derived from the Victory Gardens.  Lo and behold, I found "The Victory Garden Cookbook" by Marian Morash.  A book filled with over 800 recipes, tips on how to grow that particular vegetable in your own garden, and picking the vegetable out at the market (in case you don't want to grow that vegetable.) 

As soon as the book arrived in the mail, I curled up on the couch and went through it page by page.  Each recipe I would say, "ooohhhh I'm going to make this" or "yum, this sounds good!"

From stuffed cabbage to pumpkin cranberry cookies, I drooled over each recipe.  Making menus of the recipes I find to serve.

So this weekend, I will venture out to the grocery store and purchase some items for our Victory Garden dinners (it's still too soon to plant my garden here, but I am looking forward to trying these recipes from freshly picked vegetables in the garden -- -- Hurry up Spring!!)

Here is one website I read if you are interested in reading more about Victory Gardens.  And here is another that has the history of farming from the 1920's to today.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

More Field Trip Pics

As I noted here, I have received more pictures of the field trip at Lone Mountain Ranch.  This field trip was still being talked about even after spring break; kids and parents would discuss how wonderful it was while I would be dropping Logan off. Glad it was such a hit!

Enjoy the pictures!!

Introductions & about LMR


Logan on "his" tractor

Everyone wanted a turn on Logan's tractor

AHAB coming to visit

Now all the horses coming to show off
Remember how Rocket was waiting for Logan?  JP getting him off the fence for Logan to lead
Another picture of Logan leading Rocket

Socializing while waiting for Logan to tie Rocket back up
The class playing in my yard at the end of the field trip

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Seeds Have Arrived

I was so excited to see the yellow padded envelope in my mailbox that I literally leapt for joy, clapping my hands!  In previous years, I haven't had much luck with my garden, but this year I'm starting a little earlier and changing things around (as you know from this blog posting.) 

What is awesome about these seeds though, is that they are heirloom seeds, they each have their own little history.  My very dear friend told me about Baker Creek Heriloom Seeds.  As soon as I received their seed catalog, I spent a good week, in every spare moment, pouring over the pages.  Reading where a tomato originated from or who grew it in his garden. 

Reading the history of the seeds alone is something.  For example: Love-In-The-Mist (top right hand corner of the picture) dates back to English gardens of the 1570's.  Knowing that I will be adding this tiny, delicate seed, who has been cultivated  with much care over the years to my little garden in New Mexico is...well, it's just amazing.

And my little guy here has a 3 x 6 garden plot all to himself. I let him go through my seed stash and he picked out some of what he wanted to grow (yellow plum tomatoes, orange baby carrots, calendula, pumpkins, butternut squash...)

Logan tending the gardens at school
And when Aslyn gets a little older, she and Logan can share the 3 x 6 garden plot or each have their own if that's how they want it.    

I am so anxious to see little plants popping out of the soil.  Now, if only the weather would clear up...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mounted Shooting Competition

Yesterday we packed up and headed out, but instead of going to Albuquerque, we went the opposite direction, to the Foundation Ranch in Edgewood. We came to watch the SASS - Single Action Shooting Society - compete against each other in a mounted shooting competition.

There are 5 red balloons and 5 white balloons. The riders ride in and shoot the white balloons first - the white balloons are in a U shaped pattern around the red balloons - then round a barrel, and head down a straight path as fast as they can and shoot the 5 red balloons.

 For every balloon missed it is a 5 second penalty off your time.

Uh oh...missed one.
 This was just a small competition amongst each other in the SASS group. There is a big Wild West show every June with vendors (at this one there wasn't even a water spout) and where people from all over the world come and watch. We were told that last year folks from Australia and Africa attended the event. Which I think would be really cool show to see!!

JP reading about single mounted shooting.
JP was looking at my pictures after we got home and laughed at the fact I had more of Logan and Aslyn (I didn't post all of them) than I did of the horse and riders...

What are they up too?

 Hey, I'm a Mom!  Of course I'll have more pictures of them!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I enjoy sewing, but have never fancied myself as an actual sewer.  It became a hobby between graduating college and job hunting; something to keep my mind and hands busy while anxiously waiting to hear back from potential employers. 

I never sat down with my grandmother or mom and learned how to sew, it was is a learning process.  I knew my grandmother on my dad's side sewed, but whenever I came to visit, we were so busy do other things (walking along the beach at Monterrey Bay, visiting the Aquarium, golfing, hiking in the hills behind her house, swimming, etc.) that we never sat down and had a lesson.

It's amazing how once the "word gets out", how large your sewing project list becomes.  Yesterday while I was working away in the office, Lydia (Danny's (one of our ranch hands) wife)) stopped by.  She had a bag full of jeans and a coat in her hands.  I asked her to sit down and we chatted away - I noticed Stan (the manager) got out of the office quickly! Anyway, the coat is Danny's and the zipper needs fixing.  The jeans are her son's and they need patching and since I sew....  You get where this is going. 

I said I would get to it but that I had some other projects ahead of hers, "no problem, Shelly whenever you get a chance!"  After she left, I turned back to my computer and started back where I left off.  However, my mind was not focused on what drug we gave cow 767 in May of 2009 for the flush.  So instead, I ventured over to word and made this list:
Shelly's Sewing Project List

1. Logan's Pillowcase
2. Sarah's 1/2 apron
3. Stan's curtains - 2 sets
4. Danny's jacket - new zipper
5. Joseph's pants - patch
6. Ireland sweatshirt - fix zipper
7. Logan's quilt - binding
8. 5 - zippered bags (one for each Montano grandchild)
9. Aslyn's quilt
10. JP's socks - darn
11.JP's shirt - trees
12. JP's shirt - stars
13. Madilyn's quilt
14. Mom's full apron
15. Sarah's full apron
16. Mom's quilt - queen size
17. Sarah's quilt - double bed
18. Apron for Logan - shark fabric
19. Shelly: 1/2 cooking apron
20. Shelly: full cooking apron or gardening apron?
21. Jessie/Chris quilt - queen size - colors?
22. Quilt for Savannah
23. Quilt for Lily
24. Quilt for Beth - Daisy's - size?
25. Quilt for Georgi/James - size?
26. County/State Fair - project to enter???
27. Market bag 

Whew!!  I feel like I'm forgetting something...

I don't know how long it will take me to get to all these projects, but I will get to them.  Since the weather is nicer, it's more difficult for me to sit down and sew, however I decided that if I take about an hour each night after I get the kids to bed to work on a project, I will slowly get this list widdled down.  Some of them I don't have to do but want to (such as entering something in the fair.)  And luckily others are pretty quick such as patching pants, darning socks, making pillowcases (which I'm actually almost done with) and zippers.  Oh, and those 5 little bags shouldn't take too long.  I got my first one complete in just a hour or so.  

I was going to make a list for the garden and yard, but am afraid too.  Maybe in a few days.  If I made it now, I might just get too overwhelmed!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Logan's Quilt

A package arrived several days ago addressed to Logan and Aslyn.  When we opened the box; this gorgeous quilt was all folded neatly tucked inside.

I showed the quilt to Logan, and he immediately became attached to it.

A quilt handmade with lots of love and care just for Logan!  Each of the 12 blocks is embroidered with a different farm picture,

I had hung the quilt up on Aslyn's dresser to snap pictures of it.  Soon Logan had his own little fort to play in.

When we went into my room for some reading and family movie time, Logan insisted that his quilt come too so he could wrap up in it.  It wasn't long before Aslyn had wiggled herself to it.

I think she's a bit attached as well.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Field Trip to LMR

On Friday, Lone Mountain Ranch had their very first group of kids come out for a field trip. Logan's preschool, Cibola House, came out - roughly 11 kids and 10 adults.

Having snack before setting off to tour the ranch.

After snack and bathroom breaks, we headed to the shop, working facility, jail, observatory, and since the kids requested to see horses, JP had locked them all up.  Boy were they putting on a show for the kids.  AHAB (our horse) was sticking his head out anywhere he could to smell the kids and get them to pet him.  Some kids ran along the fence line and the horses would "chase" them.  Separately, sat Rocket waiting for Logan...

Logan leading Rocket for his class to see.  Look at that smile!!

We attached a trailer to one of the trucks and set small hay bails along the edges for everyone to sit.  Our little hayride around brought us to the haybarn where all the kids got to see our huge hay bails, and the tractor we use to load them onto the trucks (several of the kids are into heavy machinery equipment and requested to see the ranch's and know what they do.)  We pulled out grain and gave handfuls to each kid to see and feel.  After they haybarn, onto the calving barn.  Everyone was so excited to see all the baby calves (there were 12 calves born - some only a day old.)

Calving Barn

From the calving barn, down to the sale arena and up to the bulls (big daddy cows) as the kids call them.  We were going to go see the farm as well, but the irrigation guy was out there working that day and we didn't want to disturb him.

I was so excited to have all these kids out here!  I made these cupcakes to pass out at lunch time.

After lunch and another bathroom break, everyone just kind of hung around and talked (two kids left - Emma and a little Japanese boy who is actually starting in May but came on the field trip.)  I was standing in my yard talking to a few parents and watching.

All the kids were in my yard playing.  Logan, Thora, and Aryn were taking turns pulling each other in the wagon, Eric loved Logan's excavator and spent his time driving it around and digging, Maizy and Natalie  (twin sisters) were arguing over whose turn it was on Logan's blue horse.  Josiah, Eloise, and Ella were all in my garden area with shovels, rakes, buckets and a few of Logan's toy diggers and loaders moving dirt around and digging holes.  You can just imagine how tickled pink I was with all of this!!!

When parents tried gathering their kids up to leave, there was much, "I don't want to go" and some pouting.  One Dad tried the, "Fine, I'll leave you here and you can stay all of Spring Break."  His daughter said, "OKAY!!"  

We received an e-mail from Miss Allison and Miss Debbie (the teachers) saying thank you and the two kids they drove in were saying "bye" to every cow, horse, tree, and rock on the way out.  Josiah told his mom that, "the longer we drove on the hayride the bigger the ranch got until it was HUGE."

It was settled that as long as one of our kids are at the preschool, there will be a field trip to Lone Mountain Ranch.

**Note: I didn't get to take as many pictures since I was answering questions and such.  I know the teachers and a few of the parents were snapping away so if I can, I'll try to get some of their pictures and post those.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fencing & Princess Pea

About a week ago I was dropping Logan off at his new time (his teachers were telling me how much Logan enjoyed circle time - where they do the weather, calendar, yoga, etc. - however when we dropped him off, it was just at the end of circle time and beginning of lunch.  So, they moved circle time a little later, and we began taking Logan a little earlier.)  Anyway, as we were walking through the gate, the whole class was sitting as a group in front of the door and their teacher was just beginning to give the class a fencing lesson.

I was pretty excited as this is something I've always wanted to learn.

There are several kids who are into trucks, tractors and all kinds of heavy machinery - hence the field trip that is happening out here on Friday.  And there are a group of kids who are into knights.  So, this lesson was to teach them all about sword fighting.  Miss Allison (in the picture above) used to compete in fencing.

Isn't he CUTE!!

And here is Miss Princess Pea...

You know why we call her that right?

Because, just a second before, while I was removing a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies from the oven, she was having a fit!  I wasn't paying attention to her and she was getting uncomfortable in the walker.  Until, I pulled out the camera...