Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Garden Harvest Part 4

I am continuing to join in the HSV Garden Challenge. Linkup is June 30th. You can find the rules here:

We are harvesting a few of our vegetables and making some great meals from them

Radishes, okay these were a bit small and out of 2 dozen planted I think we got 8:( Enough to add to our salad

Potatoes did extremely well. We have two huge bowl filled. If you are looking for a great summer recipe this is one of my family's favorite

Raspberries did excellent this year, I have gotten 2 bowl fulls this month:)

The carrots, broccoli and onions are still not quite ready for harvest

Carrots are still small but at least they are growing.

Spring onions almost ready

Broccoli, not sure about these, never grown them before. Are they suppose to look like this?

My daughter's flower garden is flourishing and she is thrilled that the poppies she planted from seed have flowered. Still waiting on the sunflowers

My daughter's poppy flowers!

We have 10 sunflower plants but they seem to be growing very slowly. But this is a picture of the largest one.

I think the flower garden needs to be thinned out a bit

What didn't work out --- our mushrooms! Not sure what we did wrong but we didn't get a single fungus:(

Last month I mentioned we were doing a experiment to see which would be better to rid our garden of snails and slugs. We used an organic an organic method -- egg shells on one section of our garden. On the other section of the garden we used a pesticide. We did this for one month in our garden. Our results our in, we prefer the organic method. While neither got rid of the snails or slugs 100% the egg shells did work for the larger slugs and snails. The problem I had with the pesticide was I had to keep adding it to the garden to keep up the snail/slug resistance. Where as the egg shells did not need to be replenished and did just as well as the pesticide and it was much cheaper:).

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Monday, 27 June 2011

Boy Scout Camp

This year we tried out the Boy Scout Day Camp. It is the first time I have done a camp for my children in over 3 years for various reasons. I know the woman who organized this camp and after talking with her, I thought it might be a safe environment in which to try another Day Camp. I volunteered to be an adult helper so I could be there for my children should it become too much for them. Although we did have to leave early one day, all in all, both kids did well and they got to try out some new skills.

Learning how to care for the US flag which included folding it properly and putting it on a flag pole and taking it down. Kids learned that the US flag should never touch the ground

Lots of sport activities in large and small groups.

Learning to tie knots

I learned that my children have no upper arm strength something for us to work on at home.

Sling shot practice, first time my kids have ever held a sling shot

BB gun practice, again first time my kids have ever held any type of gun. I don't even allow play guns in the house.

We weren't able to do archery because every time they brought out the bows and arrows it rained:(

Lots of team building activities. It should be noted that 6 and 7 year old really have no clue about team work, and it wasn't just my kid:)

Lots of learning activities. The kids learned about seeds, built a bird house, learned about the color wheel and so much more.

Camp lasted all week and the kids and I were totally exhausted. We had a lot of fun. While we still have some work to do with my youngest I thought it went well considering. Looking forward to next year.

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Friday, 24 June 2011

St. Mere Englise

Our next stop took us to a small French village called St Mere Eglise. On June 5 there was suppose to be an organized parachute jump. I was told over 300 paratroopers had descended on this tiny village to take part. Unfortunately due to rain, wind and clouds the event was canceled. The first time it had been canceled in 20 years. We arrived in St. Mere Eglise on June 7th and there were still many military personnel around as well as reenactors.

My children and I had read a story about an American Paratrooper who had been trapped on the church steeple in this small town and pretended to be dead for 2 hours before being captured by the Germans.

There is still a effigy of this paratrooper on the town's church steeple. Private John Steele story is remarkable and is also portrayed in the movie The Longest Day.

On the night of June 5 and the early morning of June 6, 1944 the US dropped hundreds of paratrooper behind German lines. In the village of St Mere Englise there is a museum that tells their stories.

Seeing the planes that some paratroopers were transported in; this is a C-47 (the military version of the workhorse DC-3 transport).

Going inside a glider and seeing just how thinly built they were and how bullets could easily pierce the skin. Many paratroopers died in these gliders.

This was something new we learned. Of all the books I have read with the children we did not know there were different color parachutes and that the color identified the job of the trooper. Even my husband and father didn't know this tidbit:).

Different colored parachutes hanging from the museum ceiling.

As with much of Normandy, it was very nice seeing the respect that the local French population still pays to the people who sacrificed their lives as part of the beginning of the liberation of Europe from Nazi control. Everywhere we visited there were flags, flowers, and memorials saluting the brave men who sacraficed so much to liberate France.

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I have always dreamed of being a nature photographer, so today I am sharing a few pictures I took on holiday. Happy Wednesday!!!

Flowers are my favorite to photograph!

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Monday, 20 June 2011

Point Du Hoc

Continuing our WWII tour of Normandy we made 2 trips to Point Du Hoc. Once on our own and once with a tour guide. This was a strategic defensive line set up by the Germans that the US 2nd Ranger Battalion needed to destroy in order to make the Omaha and Utah beach landings a success.

It was here where my family really got a sense of what it must have been like for both sides. The evidence of the bombing raids and the artillery is still there.

The steep hill side the Rangers had to climb up while under fire from the Germans.

The landscape, where bomb craters are everywhere from where US bombers dropped around 600 tons of bombs on the site two days before the assault!

Bomb craters left by the bombs the US dropped on the German defensive lines. They are huge and deep; several were easily 20 or 30 feet deep. There were hundreds of them in this very small area. The craters, however, did serve a purpose, as they provided cover for the attacking troops from enemy machine guns.

Damage to the concrete German sites.

The many different types of gunnery stations founds. Some you can see the bomb damage. Some were missing the guns others had replicas in them. The main objective for the Americans were 155mm guns that could have fired upon our forces landing on both Omaha and Utah beaches. When the Rangers reached the top, they discovered that the guns had been removed and replaced with tree trunks to look like guns on aerial photographs. However, as the Rangers moved inland, they discovered the actual guns and disabled them with thermite grenades.

Again we saw many military personal there as well as re-enactors. The first picture is 101st airborne re-enactors.

The memorial at the point, still covered with flowers left from the D-Day celebration and the cordon of for the dignitaries that were there on June 6th. I wasn't able to get up close to read the memorial.

The Rangers paid a high price to take Point du Hoc from the defending German forces. The guide told us that of the 225 Rangers who began the assault on 6 June, only 150 were alive just 45 minutes later. The next day, the American forces were down to only 90 troops who could still fight, after fierce counterattacks from the Germans. Running out of ammunition, their situation was precarious, but they were able to link up with American forces of the 29th Infantry Division (which had suffered horrendous losses itself on Omaha Beach on D-Day).

Seeing the devastation caused by the bombing and the fighting during the invasion was very moving, as I kept thinking of how terrifying it would have been for the German troops as the bombs rained down and also how terrifying for the American forces as they scaled the cliffs in the teeth of enemy resistance. This really was a stark reminder of the violent reality of war as opposed to the "glory" of war.

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