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Author: Kansa Muse (page 1 of 139)

Step Back In Time In Hannibal, Missouri

You will recognize the name of Hannibal, Missouri if you are at least familiar with author Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain). This river community is best known as the childhood town of the author. Many of the settings of his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are inspired by this town and his youthful adventures. There are historical sites are associated the places depicted in his fiction. 

Most of the buildings under one museum and will give you a glimpse of the lives of the people he used as characters.

Huckleberry Finns Home

Boyhood Home of Sam and the whitewash fence.

Becky Thatcher’s Home

The Docks

A statue of Sam as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River

Picture of lighthouse in distance. Built for his 100th birthday.

Downtown. Very nice walk with nice businesses. It would also be a great place to see in the evening and enjoy the many food establishments.

Part of the museum tour was the interpretive center where you could view original Norman Rockwell paintings,  his white jacket, Oxford gown and the death mask of his son.

There were many things to see and do in the town and the outskirts making this a great place for a vacation.

Messy Garden for Wildlife

Fall is usually the time for cleanup. This year I am planning to do as much clean up as I normally do. This year I will leave more area messy to provide more food and cover in wildlife. I am leaving a messy garden in the following various ways..

  • Leaf messy. No raking will be done. Right now the maple is dropping leaves looking horrible to many of us gardeners. Most likely what will happen, like it did last year, is the leaves will be blown into the woodlot.

 

Maple leaves on grass

 

  •  Leave flower heads. I usually deadhead most of my flowers because it helps it create more flowers but this is the fall when flowering will slow down for most plants. 

    Planted pine trees and wild area. Large pyracantha bush provides winter food and shelter.

  •  Let the grass grow tall and go to seed. I will mow around the house but will let the areas farther away to grow tall and seed. I will most likely cut the grass around the trees planted to prevent them from getting shaded. It is important to note if you have too tall of grass close to your home you can encourage rodents and snake to enter.
  • Build a Brush Pile. I have two large brush piles on the property but plant to put on in the area I planted for quail and pheasant.
  • No Chemicals. I will use some chemicals in and around the beehives this year but the will be organic types to help control the varroa mite and hive beetles. Not doing so will likely result in the death of the hives.
  • Leave snags. I will do some cleanup but will leave a few snags to provide a home for many of the insects helpful for the environment
  • Cleanups. Any cleanup will be delayed until the first freeze to give time for the native insects to leave or find a safe place to overwinter.

Beatrice Eclipse Beatrice, NE

This was such a fun day in Beatrice at the Homestead National Monument. This is the film made by NASA there and Bill Nye.  It was so much fun.  The park service did such a great job.

 

Before, during and after I took some photos of the event, the site and a Petroglyph of the modern type someone did on my car.

 

Hot and Muggy Lately

DSC_0092

 

The weather has taken on a very hot face. It has been hovering around the 100 degree mark with lovely humidity. Not encouraging for outside work. This year becasue of many factors I do not have much of a garden. In fact I have only beans, potatoes and tomatoes planted. This month I am going to try hard on starting fall crops such as cabbage and root crops so I can get some fermented food ready for the winter. I am not having luck getting bulk vegetables and fruit to make some canned items for the winter. Looks like I am going to do some grocery shopping for some items this year. Such is life working full time.

I have been working with the donkeys and have been getting Coco to walk with a halter much better. I still have much more work to do to get her ready for a halter when she is three in 6 months or so. She looks nothing like the picture above and is almost the same size as her mother.

I have been really missing taking pictures lately. It is time for a short road trip.

Swarms and Flowers

 

 

 

Even with the best of prevention methods you will get a swarm. Earlier this year I had done a walkaway split to a hive to prevent it from swarming. Still a couple of weeks ago I walk outside only to find a swarm on a cedar tree next to the hive. We quickly set up another hive to put the swarm into. The swarm is doing well although it is not likely to build up enough this year to produce honey.  The property still has blooms all over blooming strong.

Wild Bird Area and Intro To Permaculture.

 

Fragrant Sumac with berries

 

 

I decided to complete a free permaculture class given by Oregon State University. It was a free class but you can really learn a lot about permaculture and what others are doing. I really leaned more from this class than two other class I learned locally. They also have online a class for peraculture and water. As soon as I get some time I will study that one. I need to begin plans to divert water from the barn to a catchment type of system.  With the  class you needed to do a 10/10/100 project. Participants are challenged to bring their course experience into the world with something of value within 10 days of the course, 10 hours of work and no more than $100 of the participants currency. So I finished my Quail/Pheasant food, shelter, travel and harsh weather area.  In this area Fragrant Sumac, sandhill plums and service berries were planted.  Because of previous experience with horrible weeds. I now plant in pockets leaving most of the grass undisturbed.  This provides cover for the area before the large shrubs take over and shade out most of the grass. The grass also will provide cover before the shrubs mature. 

 

Prairie Views Updated Plans

Some times change is needed. I needed to do three changes to my plan. First I needed to add the quail and pheasant nesting, food and protection area.  I also needed to update my pasture paradise plan. Lastly I had to the way water moves in the property. I need to make plans to better get the water to move to an area I could make a very small pond for the dry seasons.

 

Southern California Out and About

 

This weekend we flew out of Kansas City to spend a few days in Southern California to visit family and get some relaxation. Other than the traffic congestion we had beautiful weather and a wonderful time.  We took a couple of side trips. We took a few side trips to the beachwalk Pomanade, Solvang and Bennets Honey.



In Solvang we choose to meander through the pedestrian-friendly village to view the Danish architecture, large European style windmills and go into the many small shops, We found the knife shop he wanted to check out on one of the side streets very close to the main street of the little village.  At noon time we decided to eat a smorgaasbord and have frikadeller (meatballs),  herring, cold cuts of meat, cheese, pate and other Danish favorites for lunch. As we explored the  high-end boutiques, European imports and art galleries I searched for Thumbelina Needlework and found in one of the small side paths.  It is smaller that when it was on the main street but still has an array of needle crafts items. Our last stop was a bustling bakery with a wide choice of bakery items you can’t find at most bakeries anymore.  I decided on the bear claw which is puff pastry dough and almond filling.  If you are into wine tasting this place has many winery tasting stores.

 

Every trip to Ventura requires a walk along the beach and on the pier. This day as most days was filled with surfers. As almost always you have the fisherman on the pier catching count on catching Jacksmelt, mackerel, sand sharks, perch, a few types of croaker, stingray but many times the anglers catch halibut too.,

I discover this honey farm and decided to check it out with a short trip to the Fillmore area. This store had honey from many places including Hawaii and New Zealand at prices lower than I have every seen. They also carry local honey which is what I purchased. The Avocado and eucalyptus was great. The have a tasting area where you can taste all of the flavors they carry. I cant’t wait to go to the bee club tasting and bring these along with my honey.

 

 

Californians favorite fast food burger joint is In-N-Out_Burger. The lines at this one was crazy so we went to another in Oxnard.

A Four Square House: Decorating the Living Room/Parlor/Away Room

In the new houses unless it is very huge they have only a great room.  This is the room of social connection with the kitchen, diving and living space in one room. I older homes that were larger the areas for separate. You have a living room, dining, kitchen and family room. These may or may not be open to one another. My dining and living room which I can the Away Room are connected by an opening. The family room and kitchen are now open to each other but they used to have doors between the two. The living room and dining room are separate from the other rooms by doors and hallway.  Anyway we have finally  made the room usable for have guests.  still have my computer desk in this room.  Some of the items are antiques or items we have collected over the years. I took out about half of the books from my book cases to put some items of interest.

Still, we still have more things to do to complete this room. The front door is in really bad shape and the door to the family room needs to be painted or stained. I will most likely be painted white later. We already took an old oval picture my  grandfather painted to put over the faux fireplace.  I still want to put a stain glass over the one window. Most importantly the ceiling will have to be done since to old ceiling is cracking a coming off. We plan to encapsulate the popcorn and ceiling instead of tearing down to prevent breading possible asbestos or lead paint with ceiling-grade gypsum board or with cofered ceiling tiles. coffer ceiling were very popular in four squares.

 

Late April Showers Bring More Flowers

 

I took a walk around to see what flowers were growing and being visited by bees.  The dandelions were still in bloom in areas and quite popular. The onions I left over winter to go to seed were blooming. The bees really like onions.  As yo can see in the photo above some plants had more than one bee at a time.

 

 

The huge poppies were very popular with the bees.   These were here when we purchased the property in a planted around a worn out cement little pond or pool. I tired to transplant some last year without luck.  They are not in a good area in the lawn so we have to mow around them until they stopped blooming.  I tried before blooming but this year I will try after blooming to see if I can get some in a  back yard planter.

 

 

 

The saliva was very popular last year and now that it is blooming it is very popular with the bees. There are at least three bees on the flowers in this picture. I really like this plant since it is easy to grow and a perennial.

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