Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where Has the Summer Gone?

Well as you can see I have had only two posts this month. I wonder why summertime seems to get so busy for our family. So much happens, so little actual school happens, and so little time to record and blog about it. Definitely need to figure out how to blend it all.

I blame it partly on our Northwest weather. When it's cold, dreary, and raining outside...we hibernate inside. Nothing grows...minimal chores are's dark at 4:30 p.m. on the shortest of days...why there's a ton of time to spend indoors. Once the sun comes out, I like to garden...the kids play with the goat kids...time seems to slow down in some sense...but there seems to be less of it even though the sun shines long into the evening hours. I guess we're thoroughly enjoying ourselves, and it's hard for me to come inside to chronicle our lives.

Until I figure it out, however, I have determined to keep an online journal as you might have noticed from my last posting Daily Journal Entry. It has been updated every day and at least gives me a way to look back at the whirlwind summer we experience every year. I've also been posting our daily harvest over at our hobby farm site, Abernethy Creek Farm. So come take a look at what we've been up to. Perhaps summer is your time to relax or it is your time to catch up from the winter months. I'd love to hear how summer is unique to your family too.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Daily Journal Entry

There are some days that I just really wonder where the day has gone to. Lunch comes and goes, and then it's dinner, and before you know it, it's dark out. The cycle just keeps cycling. And because I don't feel that anything has gotten accomplished other than just "living", I've decided to keep a bit of a daily journal...just penciling in what I have been doing.

I know in my heart that a lot does get done obviously. Perhaps being able to go back over my notes will help me see that. It also may be an eye opener as to where I can become more efficient or lasso in some extra help from the kiddos. So if you're at all interested, I'll have a link on the left post column. You're welcome to poke around and see what's there.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pesky Fruit Flies

I'm not sure of how many folks I've met that enjoy insects of one type or another cohabiting in their homes with them. Flying or crawling...we just don't care for them.

The "bother factor" of some insects, such as flies for instance, depends on whether you live in proximity to livestock. Those who live in warmer climates I've heard have other nuisance bugs. But as long as we're bringing commercially grown produce into our homes to start the cycle, I think we've all had to battle with....fruit flies.

They seem to proliferate in the warmer weather. They're too small to swat...although I've been known to swing wildly at them with my battery-powered fly zapper. But that's info for another post entirely. If you keep your fruit covered, then it ripens too quickly. I don't like bananas kept in the refrigerator as it ups the ick factor with dark skins for my kids. I've even gone to keeping fruit in the garage to try to combat them. Never works. And when garden tomato season starts, they seem to have a hay day.

Until now. I opened a side kitchen cupboard door and reached for my white wine vinegar. Pulling out the bottle I realized that the lid was missing. Oh well, I figured. No harm. But what I saw inside was a revelation...floating fruit flies....dead of course...drowned. No, I did not go ahead and use that vinegar, but a light bulb did go on in my head.

As par for the course, I had probably left the bottle on the counter for a day or two waiting for the lid to show up before shelving it. I know fruit flies are attracted by scents such as very ripe fruit. Vinegar gives off a similar attractant as even sourdough starter does. The flies with their expert sense of smell entered the bottle through the pouring lid and never made their way out. The lid I believe will be the secret to my new fruit fly trap. Those perforated holes make it pretty difficult for them to escape.

So to test my new fruit fly trap, I set the same bottle out on the counter where I have the most trouble with fruit flies. By morning there was several trapped inside. A few swirls of the bottle washed them off of the sides and down into the vinegar to never fly again.

I'm going to use this as my plan A for the remainder of the year. Once the liquid in the bottle starts looking too "unattractive" with its drowned flies, I will probably pop off the plastic insert and try a piece of banana or something else tempting to see how that does too. While you are using a trap, you do have to remember to make a conscious effort to remove any other source of fruit that would be more tempting than the trap liquid though. No saving bananas for banana bread sometime later in the week. It won't work that way. But this way sure beats getting out the vacuum hose and trying to suck them up while they're flying through the air, doesn't it?

If you've found a way to combat fruit flies in your house, I'm all ears. Please comment.

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