Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some more snow pictures

For my friends in the South you will enjoy these and be able to gloat as you go around in your shorts and flip flops. For my Northern friends you can sympathize as we continue to dig out. The weekend is supposed to bring sub-zero temperatures, Jim will be working on the few places left in the attic that need insulation. Now that he is home full time for a while he can tackle many of the jobs he could not get to before. I look forward to being able to paint and paper in several rooms by the Spring, yeah!! The picture shows him doing some clearing in the driveway. We had just had it plowed and then more snow arrived and along with the wind tried to fill it all in again. Charlie was helping Jim, we call him rocket man because he is so fast and just loves to run. We try to let him get at least one good run a day in, uses some of that energy and keeps him in shape. This is one happy puppy, see him smile!!

I took the picture of the bluejay the other day, I was looking out the window and he looked so pretty. This was the morning we woke up to a Winter Wonderland, everything was frosted

I love looking at the trees and bushes when this happens, looks beautiful and so quiet all you hear are the birds.

I wish everyone peace and tranquility, health and happiness in the new year. Happy New Year my friends, Barbara

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sunny Saturday

We only put up a small tree this year, but I thought it looked very happy. I covered it with all manner of light, some twinkle and some not so it is very bright. Have a great weekend and enjoy all your new Christmas loot. What a difference a day makes, woke this morning to a beautiful clear day. Still very cold, but pretty. You can see from the windows on the garage how the wind blew the snow around, the windows on the house are coated also on the East side.

The drive way was not as bad as we feared so Jim has gone to the "big" city to
pick up a few things. Made Charlie's day he loves to ride in the car more then most anything else.
I thought the trees looked so pretty with all the snow stuck on them. Molly had a great time running all over the place, she would still be out their if I had not gotten cold. The new boots I bought for the barn only have a light lining so cannot be in the snow for too long. To give you an idea as to the height of the drifts, behind Molly is one of our Pathfinders that Jim is going to work on. It is pretty much buried.

Best to you, Barbara

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Sending warm wishes for a wonderful Christmas day your way. All best wishes for a loving, prosperous New Year.

As the song says, The weather outside is frightful so I am glad we have no need to travel anywhere. Looks like it will be Monday or Tuesday before we will venture out.

We have had major amounts of snow, then sleet, snow, rain and now back to snow. I took these pictures this afternoon there were big fluffy snow flakes but could not really catch them. Pretty much of the day has been white out conditions with the snow and wind. With the rain the snow is very heavy so I made sure Jim only shoveled a small path for me to get through with my sled. With the onset of cold weather I now take 5 gallon buckets of hot water out to the animals twice a day. We purchased a new 16 gallon heated bucket for the goats, the two 5 gallon ones we had were just not enough. The chickens have their own heated water dispenser, so there is 3 gallons for them every couple of days and the cats have a heated water dish also. I am so pleased that our panels across the bottom of the door are working so well.

The chickens are now giving us 3 and 5 eggs a day. They are so funny, now stand by their door to be let out to play with the goats. They keep all the grain that the goats miss cleaned up. When you go out there the chickens are just clucking away, sound very peaceful.

Our day was quiet spent playing on the computer, eating and reading. I bought Jim a game for the Wii so that has kept him occupied. When he gets fed up with that then he is back to channel surfing. A none stressful day all around, even the dogs did not want to go out much.

Tomorrow if I can summon the energy I want to do some baking. I am practicing my cookie decorating, practice makes perfect. The big plus is we get to eat my mistakes,lol.

My big holiday fun will be going to the sales, I enjoy buying all kinds of pretty wrapping paper, bows, ribbons for half price. Will be heading to Hallmark to see what there is in the way of decorations, then will hope to find a new Department 56 piece to add to my collection. Jim always feels he should buy me something, but since I have so much I truly enjoy hitting the sales. Last year I bought some of the extra large ornaments for the outside tree. I am hoping next year we will be more organized and can decorate it, it has such a beautiful shape I think it will look beautiful.

Enjoy your holiday and being with friends and family.

Best to you, Barbara

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chickens on my head and goats on my toes!!!

There is never a dull moment with all the critters around, makes my days fun.
A couple of the chickens who are extra friendly have decided that not only will they ride the goats but humans are fair game also. Jim and I were standing in the coop discussing possible modifications when a chicken launched itself and landed on my head. We could not stop laughing and all the while the chicken is just clucking away.

Anything you are trying to do in the animal shed, the goats have to be part of. They are so curious, they want to stick their noses in, taste, in general get completely under foot. Of course my toes take a beating as they always seem to manage to tromp on me at some point.

Jim made a small trap door for the chickens to get in and out of the coop. I had just been opening the door a little bit and securing it with bungee cords. Welllll, the goats figured out how to get the bungees off and promptly ate the chicken feed, again!!!! Jim thought he had it all figured out, came in to get me to show me what he had done. We go out and look in the coop, no chickens in sight......... but guess who?? 7 of the goats were in there, shoo them out try and figure out how they got in. As we are standing there Milky Way gets down on her hands and knees and crawls through the door!!! So, back to the drawing board , Jim has to make the opening smaller. As you can see he had lots of supervision.
When you look at the size of the opening it is amazing to me that the goats could make it through, if I had not watched it happen I would never have believed it.

I found a surprise the other day, eggs!! Now I am finding one or two a day, good chickens!! The are getting so big and for the most part very tame.

I think this chicken is so pretty, still do not know what kind she is,lol.

This is my other mystery chicken, pretty isn't she?? Just do not know what kind. The one in the back is a Silver Laced Wyandotte, it is a real wacky chicken. Runs all around at top speed.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, ours was quiet. Jim was home from Wednesday night till Monday morning so we had some nice together time. I cooked ham and turkey so we had leftovers which I tend to enjoy more then the actual meal. Love turkey sandwiches with all the trimmings on them.

Best to all, Barbara

Monday, November 23, 2009

Link to growing potatoes in hay

Stasia shared the link to the site for growing potatoes in hay. You meet the nicest people in
Blogger Land. http://www.chirotoons.com/potatoes.html

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Potatoes in Hay

I received a question about growing potatoes in hay. If you google it I am sure there are many articles about it. I did nothing special and have talked to others who know of people who do it. I got the seed potatoes, mine were larger so I cut them into sections, you have to make sure there are several eyes on each piece. I just put the pieces on the grass probably about a foot apart, then I put a layer of hay over that. As the plants grow and poke up through you add another layer of hay. The directions I had said to have the pile eventually be a foot high, I never got mine that high,lol. I probably put about 3 layers of hay and then got busy with other things and sort of forgot about them. I believe I have mentioned it is hard for me to stay on task!!

This Fall as Jim and I were out walking around he asked how the potatoes did, my reply was "I don't know , I forgot about them" So they had gone with no extra watering or anything. We looked and I did not see any plant so thought they were dead. I got a rake and started pulling the hay back and there they were, little nests of potatoes. The red ones did the best and there was not much in the way of dirt on them. I mentioned to a friend of mine about doing this and she said her friend had grown hers that way for years. Now, the friend puts down a thin layer of hay first, so I may try that next spring. All in all a satisfactory way to plant. Hope this helps.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chickens, Goats and other stuff

So far we are having a fairly mild fall, more 60 degree days in October then September. Mostly we are running 10-15 degrees above normal. I am not complaining at all, today is sunny with a bit of a breeze.

Jim and I worked on winterizing the barn this weekend. Jim is so good, he listens to what I want and then tries to make it happen. I was trying to figure out how to block the breeze and still have some light in the barn. This is more an animal shed then a real barn, it has half doors with hinges that allow them to be swung up in the summer and down in the winter. Thing is that there is still that bottom half which allows the winter winds to whistle in. I came up with the idea of using some of the hog wire which is very heavy duty, covering it with plastic and then chicken wire to prevent the goats from tearing the plastic off. I think the goats got the reputation for eating strange stuff due to their habit of tasting everything. While you are working out there you have your jacket, pants, gloves all nibbled on. They have it all over cats when it comes to curiosity.

I am now letting the chickens run free during the day, I leave their door ajar so that they can come and go. I have to be careful not to leave it too open as the goats go in and eat the chicken's feed. The chickens have a new game, riding the goats, cracks me up.

When the first taste of cold weather hit I decided to dig up my herbs and try bringing them in. They were growing so nicely I thought "what the heck, give it a try". So far success. I have oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram all growing nicely. I have just planted some more basil in another planter. In the back you can see the Tarragon. I missed it the first time and it got frosted, does seem to be coming back. This is one of those nothing ventured nothing gained things. I also brought in one of my planter with Petunias and they are happily blooming away.
I also learned that those row covers work very well. When I was out digging things up I got pooped out, there was still a patch of Oregano, so I tossed the row cover over it. Several weeks later after snow, freezes etc I was out and happened to pull up the cover, lo and behold there sat the Oregano doing fine. I am very impressed and plant to buy more to cover the Spring crops. I am busy planning for next year's garden.

Last year I learned that yellow squash grows huge and can take over the garden. This year I planted the squash next to a fence and had success with it growing up the fence. This year I learned that Broccoli and Cauliflower also grow huge , who knew!! I have a hard time finding the words to describe how wonderful vegetables fresh from the garden taste. The stems on the broccoli are tender, not the woody stuff you get in the stores. So, I have staked out a whole new area so that the plants will have plenty of room to spread. I also will move the strawberries as they need more space.

I mentioned that I had read a hint on another blog about growing potatoes in hay, so I gave it a try. Anything that does not require me to dig is high on my list. The results were great, this is even with my forgetting about them and not giving them much in the way of care. We harvested about 20 pounds of nice red potatoes, and again the flavor of fresh is so wonderful. You rake back the hay and there is this little nest of potatoes of all sizes. I will be doing this again next year with more of a variety. There was so so luck with the onions, much of the garden really needed more sun and heat.

Making more progress in my attic craft/sewing/painting/office area. I am in the process of painting a couple of shirts as Christmas presents for a friend. This was the motivator for my latest spurt of organizing, I could not find the pictures or the shirts, yikes! So a day spent moving things around, found the shirts, pictures and much more. Makes me feel better when I can make some progress in the organizing department.

Wonderful to be back, I am busy doing catch up on everyone's blogs. Best to you all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cannot believe how much time has passed!!

When I saw the date on my last post I was amazed. I have thought about things to write but never sat myself down and made that post. I hope all has been well, we continue to bumble along with highs and lows. The Summer was the Summer that never was, I think I only turned the air on a day or two. My garden did not do as well as hoped due to cool temps and too much rain. Once again it was a learning experience so all is not lost.
Earlier today I was gathering up my pumpkins and was surprised that there were more then I had thought. They did fairly well, more heat would have resulted in larger and riper pumpkins, but I am happy that for the first time I actually had ones to pick!! The largest one on the right I was barely able to lift, was also hard to get my arms around it. Right behind is a pile of vines with the mini pumpkins I planted, they are so cute. As you can see many did not ripen, this was a problem for many growers, of course they grow hundreds,lol.

The goats continue to amuse and eat and eat. They are all healthy and active. Now that the soybeans have been harvested I can once again take them outside their pasture to roam in the woods. Once the soybeans were ripe they would head that way which was a huge no no!!

They started on the fields around the house yesterday morning and by the afternoon all was done. The machines they use are amazing, they had two or three harvesters and a couple of tractors
which follow along with the harvesters to load the grain. From there the tractors go to the semi's to off load the beans. Every time I see this I wonder what the original settlers would think to see this. How hard they had to work with their wooden plows and one horse or manpower to plow and scythes to harvest.

The Chickens thrive, no eggs yet but soon I am sure. I like my variety pack. Sorry this picture is a tad bleary no sure why. She has the pretties colors, what kind she is remains a mystery. I think the hatchery got some extra ones in by mistake. I ordered 10, but later realized that I had 12. Within a couple of days I lost two. The count is still not right as I have 3 Gold Stars, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 that looks like a pheasant as in the picture. There are 2 Black Australorp, 2 Buff Orpinton and 1 that is black with white you can see her in the picture. . They were busy eating the grain the goats spill.

Nice to be back, looking forward to catching up.
Best to you Barbara

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ah, looks like another pretty day!!

We had two beautiful days over the weekend, at last!!! Was sunny, moderate temperatures and a nice breeze and today looks like it will be super also.
On Friday night as Jim and I were walking around the yard we were suddenly enveloped in a cloud of Monarch butterflies. All Summer I have been moaning about the lack of bees and butterflies and here they were. Now as we watched the flew into the trees and proceeded to settle in for the night. This is the first time either of has seen a sight like this and both ran for the house and our cameras. Next morning they were gone on their way, leaving us with a beautiful memory. On Saturday our lone Hummingbird was joined by about 6 others. I enjoy watching their antics and listening to them peep and chatter. I spent some time snapping pictures, nothing spectacular but fun.

The bees are also back, here they are enjoying the obedient flowers. He would start are the bottom and work his way up the stalk. These are my pink shrub roses, they start out the solid pink and then as they mature they develop a white border. This bush has been covered with roses since early in the season, amazingly prolific. This is one of my hollyhocks, looks like tissue paper, as time goes on they seem to interact and the colors change , this one being a blush color with the slightly darker center.

So, now it is Monday and I am off to the store. Jim fixed my clutch over the weekend and we spent yesterday mowing most of the yard. With two of us mowing it was great, by myself it takes several days to get it all mowed. I only have a couple of hours left to do down one side.

Have a wonderful week my friends and thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Roses, Roses, Roses

I love roses, all kinds, all colors. I decided several years ago that I would only buy fragrant ones, that would help me narrow down the selection. It is amazing the variety of roses available. Now that we are in a new growing zone my choices have narrowed even more. I mentioned before that over last winter most of the ones I had in the yard were killed. This was sad, but also a learning experience. Our area is on the cusp of zone 4 and 5 which I knew, was told by local nurseries that zone 5 was fine. In trying to support local business I bought several that were quite pricey only to have them die. This Spring before I started buying I did some more checking. Was very surprised to find when I started reading the tags closely that places like Home Depot in Albert Lea were selling zone 5 roses. This store is north of me, so I was unhappy to see that they were selling plants as perennials that really would not have that great a chance to survive. I mentioned it several times to the people at the customer service desk with less then spectacular results. Now I am only purchasing ones labeled zone 4.
The first rose is called Fragrant Cloud, and ok, it is a zone 5,lol. I planted it close to the house and am hoping it will have enough protection and come back. This is one of those roses that the scent fills the yard. The blooms are beautiful but only last a short time. The second one is called Maria Stern and is a sub zero rose. The scent is not real "rosy" but nice. The blooms last for days and is a joy in the garden. This is a shrub rose and one of the few that came back, it's roots are closer to a wild rose and so much hardier. It also has a wonderful fragrance and has been covered with blooms almost constantly. I also have a beautiful light pink shrub rose and have added a white one. The plants are full and the roses grown in clusters, they grow quickly and get quite large. I hope to have rose gardens in many sections of the yard, so the air will be perfumed with more then the farmer's "natural" fertilizer.

I have the yard pretty much planned out so will be busy for many years bringing those ideas to reality. I was telling Jim it is like having our own park, so when all is done we will be able to stroll through the woods and gardens. I have paths planned and just found plans for a wonderful arbor with a bench. I envision a variety of gardens and paths with benches, places to sit and enjoy nature. We have so many beautiful trees and once we clear out the downed ones and the damaged ones it will be beautiful. I also want to plant more flowering trees so that in the Spring we will have wonderful color after the long winter months. Ah, so many plans, I have a feeling I will never truly be done with it all. Another decision I have made is to move the vegetable garden and to enlarge it. I know that for sure the strawberries need more room. All in all a non ending learning experience. This is not a bad thing, I firmly believe that it is so important to continue to learn and expand our horizons.

Hope you enjoy the pictures and I will post more as things progress. Best to you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Flowers, weeds who is winning??

So many of my flowers have come back, which is a good thing. The downside is that so have the weeds. I was out in vegetable garden last night and just shocked at all the weeds that had popped up in just a few days. Now, if I could only cross the weeds with the things I want we could have giant, indestructible plants. My garden has it's highs and lows, some things have done very well. The cool temperatures and lots of rain have stunted other things. It had been predicted that we would be in the high 80's , low 90's this week. Yesterday it got to 71 and not much higher today so far. For me that is fine, although wearing long pants and flannel shirts in July and August is a little strange. The plants need the higher temperatures to thrive, my sunflowers have just opened within the last couple of weeks.

Things are strange all around, we will not have an apple harvest this year. There were lots of blooms on the trees, but no bees to pollinate and then high winds that stripped the blossoms from the trees. I do not see more then a dozen apples on all three trees. I am finally seeing some bees, but no more then a few each day. The same is true for the butterflies and humming birds. Within the last week I have finally seen one lone hummingbird where in the past there were 8 or 10. I am looking into how one goes about having a small hive of bees so I will have better luck with crops nest year. I did buy some lady bugs this spring and released them, hopefully they will reproduce and thrive. I see them now and then so know that a few are around.
Here is a picture taken several weeks ago of my new addition to the family. I read that chickens will help with the fly population and other insects, so found a hatchery online and ordered some little peepers. Most of them will lay brown eggs the others will lay colored eggs, cool. There are Black Australorp, Buff Orpington, gold Star and Silver Laced Wyandotte. The ones that lay the colored eggs are called Americana. Jim has worked for the last several weekends to build them a coop. He has closed off the end of one stall, putting 3 kinds of wire and framing it in for strength. He also built a very nice nesting box for them. This weekend he was to finish the coop so I could move them out of the basement. Unfortunately, he had to stay at work as they had several pieces of equipment fail. So I have been trying to get the rest of the wire up and secured. These guys are far to large to be in cages. Wish me luck, that chicken wire has a life of it's own, I have scratches all over in spite of wearing gloves. Will post pictures when done so you can see the girls in all their glory.
I hope every one is having a wonderful summer, amazing to think it is almost over.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sorry to be away so long

Hi All,

Sorry to be away so long, still having computer problems. I am using to old standby so cannot share pictures, etc.

So, things are perking along here, nothing exciting, also nothing bad. My garden has it's ups and downs, lots of peas to harvest and freeze. The strawberries were a dissapointment, too much rain and cold I guess. I have planted more herbs and look forward to harvest and drying those.

Jim worked all weekend framing in part of a stall which will become the chicken coop. Did I mention I bought some chickens?? I got a variety pack, can't remember all the names but they lay brown eggs and two of them lay Easter eggs. I have taken some pictures and as soon as I have my computer up and running I will share them with you.

I have been planting more roses to replace the ones lost over the winter, very pleased with most of the new ones. Lots of flowers have come up, coneflowers and others whose name I do not remember. Hollyhocks are also sprung up all over the place, they are so pretty. I also found out that they come in yellow and some other colors so will have to order some of those also.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer, lots of fun and love.

See you soon.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July, Already!!

Seems as if this year is off and running much too fast. Like trying to catch the gold ring on the merry go round, I am constantly grabbing at this and that.

Not sure why, but I have many strawberries that spoiled. The plants look healthy so will have to see if I have done something wrong. I still have picked about 5 pounds so will make jam in the next few days. The peas look pretty good and taste good also, the spinach is large enough so can pick leaves for salad. Looks as if all the onions I put in are doing well, waiting for the garlic to show it self. Have cabbage, beets and peppers doing well also. This is fun, not the weeds, but the end results.

Our weather has been all over the place, from cool to hot and now back to cool, it was in the 60's most of the day. Weather man says will be warmer by weekend. Some of the new roses I planted are blooming. I think this pink one looks like porcelain, it goes from the darker pink to light with very pale edges.

My pots of flowers are looking pretty good also, if I do say so myself!

My friend Ellen gave me this gourd so I hung it in the mulberry tree. Did not expect it to be anything other then a decoration, but someone moved in. I was picking some ripe mulberries and suddenly something zips past my nose and this very tiny bird is giving me heck. I think it is a Wren. I will see if I can catch a picture of it. One of them was sitting in the tree later in the day, just singing away.

Wishing everyone a wonderful 4th and for our friends in Canada, Happy Canada Day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Best laid plans, etc. etc. etc

My big adventure is rescheduled. Jim worked so hard to make it happen, but Murphy worked harder. Jim had replaced chewed water lines, dropped the fuel tank (a rather nasty hard job) replaced the defective regulator and thought things were good to go. He had discovered that the water heater was leaking and ordered a new tank. It took forever to arrive and when Jim went to install it he discovered that it was not the right tank and was defective. In trying to contact the company we bought it from I discovered a long list of complaints against this company, bummer. So I said no problem I can make do without hot water, just as long as the toilet flushes I am good to go. He hooked up the water and oh no, leaks! Lines had cracked and fittings broken so off he goes to buy parts. Fixes all that, but by this time it is late afternoon on Sunday and we were supposed to have already been there. I could not see being this tired and then driving for 6 hours. I sent off emails and made phone calls to let the school know I would be arriving on Tuesday, not Monday.

Monday we are up bright and early doing last minute things, loading more items and getting ready. Jim has my car up on a trailer we had borrowed and hooked to the back of the motor home. In hooking up the lights he finds that the trailer lights do not work, while he is trying to trace the problem I find a message on the phone. The school has called, "Sorry you could not make the class, you may have a refund or reschedule". What, no, what is going on? I keep calling and only get voice mail, finally at 1:30 I reach a live person. I ask, did you get my messages? No, the phones have been crazy and she had not checked email. The upshot of all this is that they did not think we were going to arrive, it is now late in afternoon again. Talk to Jim, decide to reschedule. Call campground, call school and will now go to September master course. I have come to the conclusion that the cosmos did not want me to leave at this time.

The upside of all this is that my car has a new drive shaft and all the lights and signals work. She is 25 years old and still runs great, my fun little car. I bought new glasses to replace the ones Molly chewed up. The motor home is in much better shape and I now have the bug to do some redecorating, it is an 88 so could use some spiffing up. The downside is that I now have to drag all the stuff back inside, I think I had enough stuff for 6 people. I was not sure what to bring for clothes, what would the weather be like, how dressy or casual. So, I kinda took a little of everything. All the closets are full, as are the drawers. I even bought a new peace lily , love plants. All in all not a huge emergence, I just feel bad that Jim worked so hard for me and then it did not work out.

So back to working in the garden, the strawberries are huge this year and so many of them. My other veggies are doing well and I am planning an herb garden. I have planted several more roses and other flowers. Jim is helping me with my different projects, such a good guy. He brought me some yellow yarrow to add to the pink I already have. I am slowly lining the drive way banks with different plants so I will not have to mow. The peonies really put on a show, and the scent is so nice. I was also happy to have my iris finally bloom, they have the greatest scent also.

The Iris and the peonies were given to me several years ago, the peony a baby from a very old bush. The iris also are an old strain, I have carefully brought them with us through all the moves.

So my friends that is my latest saga, best to you all.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Onions in my purse and Lady Bugs in the fridge

What a hectic time it is around here, so many things to plan and get done. Ever notice how it seems as if we have all the time in the world and then suddenly the deadline is here?? That is kinda where I am right now.

The onion was in my purse because I put it there when I was working at share, that is the food program that provides low cost items. I try to volunteer there as often as possible, and support this great program. I stuck the onion in my purse as it was trying to roll away, of course I then forgot I put it there. Later that week I am in the store and looking for something and there is the onion.

The Lady bugs were in the fridge cooling off, and I forgot there were there. Good thing the instructions say they can stay there for up to two weeks. I released them into the garden a couple of nights ago. I had ordered them as pest control, we have lots of the Asian lady bugs but I wanted the old fashioned kind. Hopefully they will like our yard and stay.

Let's see, what else, oh I now know I do not like MRIs. I flunked my first one and had to go back and try again with drugs. Received a hint from one lady, close your eyes before they slide you in. The second time I did that and also had a cloth over my eyes, along with the drugs, ear phones and my panic button and lots of talking to myself I made it through. Will find out results next week. Amazing the things we find out about ourselves, I kinda figure I can bluff my way through most anything, not that. The poor guy slid me in, I kind of looked around and informed him I did not think I could do this and to get me out! Whoa, not a good feeling.

This coming week is going to be crazy, next Saturday is the wedding reception for 150. Doing the cakes, sandwiches, potato salad, macc salad and fruit and veg trays. Then Sunday I leave in the Motor Home for outside Chicago for my classes. Not sure if I will have computer access or not.

So my friends, I hope you are all well and happy. I wish you a wonderful rest of June and I will get back to Blog land as soon as possible. Hopefully the classes will give me many new ideas and skills and by the end of summer my shop will be together and ready to go.

Best to you all, Barbara

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday a new week to explore

Good Morning, it is 48 degrees at 9 a.m. and supposed to get to 69, that would be nice. It is sunny out which always starts my day on a good note. Both sons called yesterday which was a very up part of my day. What was not good was the news from my youngest son, he has swine flu and was in the hospital. Not one phone call to let me know, upsetting. Reality says what could I do being over 1200 miles away. He did not sound good on the phone, said they had him and others in special quarantined area. Assures me he will be fine. Sure hope so, no matter how old they are we want to take care of them.

I had the goats out in the grove yesterday and took a video, thought it might give an idea of what we are working on. It was a pretty day, but chilly and a stiff breeze. They have such a good time out there. Hope you enjoy it.
Going out in a bit to tackle the mowing, yard is starting to look like a field. I wish you a sunny day with gentle breezes and no stress.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

One of my Mother's Day presents was the arrival of the Baltimore Orioles and the Hummingbird. I saw the Oriole yesterday so quickly cut up an orange and put it out and filled the first feeder I could find. As you can see the Oriole did not seem to mind that it was for the hummingbirds. Then I read in my new Bird's and Bloom magazine that they might not be able to drink well from the hummingbird feeders. Today I dug out the one for the orioles and filled it and put it out. At first they looked at it as if not sure it was something they wanted to use. I had moved the hummers feeder and while looking out spotted another visitor. The first

Hummingbird of the season. I was surprised to see it as we have been so chilly, sure was glad I had put feeders out. I think we made it into the mid 50's today.

Jim did not make it home, but called to wish me happy day. It was sunny and not too windy. I worked in the garden some and sorta hung out doing a little of this and that. Not a bad day.

While walking the dogs early this morning, think 5:30 we spotted a hawk and listened to the birds. So nice and quiet at that time of the morning. Also discovered that more of my tulips had opened. They are from a mixed bag I bought, supposed to be pink and purple. Not what I wanted , but pretty all the same. The "pink" ones are white and also a coral color.
I do like the different varieties, interesting.
Hope everyone enjoyed their day.
Best to you, Barbara

Friday, May 8, 2009

One of the reasons for grey hair

This is one of the reason for much
of my grey hair. My oldest son, Erick and his toy. He races in Washington State, mostly for fun.

He has done all the work on his bike, he just posted some more pictures of more work he is doing. His new place has a garage so now he is all set.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The weather is officially Weird!!

Yesterday it started pouring and as I am running around closing windows I notice it is hailing. The next thing I notice is that the sun is shinning and there is a rainbow. So off I ran to get my camera, which of course I had left in the car. So after braving the hail I took these pictures, you can see the streaks where the hail is coming down. Strange right. The rest of the day was fine.

This morning we had a small thunderstorm and then it was gray and cloudy until about 2 o'clock. Then it cleared up and I ended up taking the goats out of their pasture and let them loose in the woods. I mentioned that we had enlarged their pasture area, well it is all cleared. They were happy to go eat little trees and what ever else they could find, then wandered out into the yard to eat dandelions. I stood guard between them and my shrubs and spruce trees, which they would have considered a great treat.

All around a nice day so far, hope yours is as well, Barbara

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Tis May, Tra La, Tra La

Our May has started off so pretty, some really beautiful weather. I have been planting more goodies.
Today I picked up some more trees, dogwoods, a willow, maple, two kinds of plum, 2 kinds of apple and a cherry. I still have peach and one more apple tree coming plus blueberries and some roses. I also have planted my peas, onions (3 kinds), need to get the potatoes in and some other stuff. I will be digging holes for days.
I also have the start of an asperagus bed and Ellen is going to give me some horseradish. How cool is this.

Tomorrow morning I can do a bit around the place and then off to the orthopedic surgeon to see what is wrong with my arm. I fell in February and everything else pretty much sorted it self out, but my arm has gotten worse. I so hate going to the Doctor, I went to a local clinic and they could not find too much. They did see a bone in my wrist that does not look quite right, so that might explain the ache, but not the pain in my upper arm. Hopefully this guy will solve the problem, I do not have time for all this.

Last week my neighbor came over and helped me fence in some more for the goats, they have already cleared it. Greedy little devils! I have been letting them into the grove to eat some of the underbrush before it takes over again this year. Tomorrow when I am in the "big" city I will pick up some more wire and posts so can fence in more for them. It will be so nice to be able to walk around more, they do such a good job.

I mentioned doing an "Otis"from back at the barnyard, for our friends son's birthday. Well, here he is. He is supposed to be black and white, could not find the black plus it does not taste good.
It is amazing to me that I can have so many colors and the one I need it MIA, Murphy hard at work again. I also made them a tray of cupcakes so they had plenty. Parker knew it was Otis so all is good.

My friend Ellen's open house for her greenhouse went well, she had so many pretty things there. It was also her Mom's 87th birthday, she is a super lady and you would never guess her age.

My best to you all,


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

I wanted to share with you what I see and hear when I walk out my front door. Being Earth Day I thought it was appropriate. Excuse the untidiness, I am in the midst of so many projects. Hopefully, later in the season I will be able to show you the fruits of my labors. The barrel I am trying to figure out how to convert to a rain barrel, it is part of the old softener system. I usually try to repurpose most things, I hate sending things to the landfill. Please turn up the sound, the prominent sound is the wind, but you can hear the bird song. Such a variety of birds, makes a chorus.

I was hoping to add a picture of my Grandfather, and dedicate this post to him. If I manage to get the album apart so I can scan his picture I will add it. Arthur G. Eldredge was a man of many talents, inventor, photographer, college professor, author. I have parts of his book on pollination, it was never published as they would not include his pictures at the size he wanted. Talk about stubborn New Englanders! I have letters from various publishers expressing interest in the book, he had taken all the pictures and wanted them just so. It would have been a college textbook. While looking for a picture to post I found a manuscript of a short story he wrote about his Father, William Wells Eldredge, Sr. He was a farmer, school superintendent and whaler, the story is about memories of stories he told when he was home. Grampa would have been right at home with Earth Day, many of my earliest memories are being outside with him. Gardening, fishing, "helping" him with his photography. He wrote endless letters trying to get DDT banned, which it finally was. His predictions of the harm that was being done were proved to be correct, as well as his warnings about various chemicals added to cosmetics and foods. I mostly remember his lab, being in the garden and watching him making grafts, or planting gardens. Most of the happy memories I have are linked to him and I also feel he was a person to live up to. Many times I would think "what would Grampa think" and kept myself out of trouble. Can you tell I loved him dearly?

This is the bed I worked on the other day, I cut down some volunteer mulberry trees and put down newspaper and hay to hopefully block out the weeds. The tulips coming up are ones that were here, with water and fertilizer they look better each year. I try to preserve any plants I find, sort of homage to those that came before. Today is supposed to be glorious so hope to get more done outside, plant some more things. I am also going to try and move some poppies, each year they come up and the wind blows them to bits. They are behind the garage so I want to move them to a more prominent spot. We'll see how that goes.

Wonderful Earth Day to you, protect and heal our world, we all can help.