Monday, September 30, 2013

Catching Up on Monday

Friends, we had a great weekend here, but Hughesnet provided us only intermittent satellite service for the computer, and yesterday I was unable to post. 

How about them Chiefs, though! 
Keith and I snacked and watched the entire game, a first for us in ten years! 


This was what greeted me on Sunday morning... very spectacular, wasn't it! 

We were forecasted to have rain all day Saturday, but had only about 1/2 to 3/4 inch... and then it stopped.  Saturday afternoon turned out fine. 


We made a trip to The Grass Pad yesterday morning to get some cornstalks and some tulip bulbs. 

I am digging up flower beds starting this week, and I want to plant bulbs while I have the ground open and am dividing perennials. 


Here's what I did with my cornstalks.  Um... Kelly is helping me with them (not seen in this picture) and I'm not sure how much will be left by the end of October. 


Petunias are STILL going strong at the henspa. 


And yesterday morning's sun still made the garden glow. 


This is a shot of The Donald's feet as I filled the duck pond on Saturday afternoon.  As you can see, there does not appear to be anything wrong with them.  He is favoring the left leg, though, which you see turned oddly here.  I don't see any open wounds.  He doesn't have angel wing, either, despite the look of his wings in this picture.  What is happening is that he takes advantage of being able to see the four girls and lays down, so he is not putting weight on the leg.  It continues to cause me worry because he is such a nice drake. 


He would normally be eating with the girls, or just standing and watching the pasture for danger.  

Speaking of danger, I was filling the duck pond yesterday afternoon when I heard a WHOOSH very, very loud of big wings.  In through the open gate came running the five ducks (even Donnie) and two roosters as fast as they could go.  I heard Keith in the yard and ran out to see what was going on...

Above us was this: 


In fact, there were seven of them.  We watched them circle for a minute, and then they faded out of the sky as if disappearing.  

I went out to the pasture twice more... and in the sky, far up, too far up to get a picture, was a huge flock of terns, which usually hang out at the rivers here, or at the bigger lakes, the reservoirs.  They circled and circled, and then also disappeared. 

I haven't made a definite headcount yet, but I believe there is another red hen missing from the old henhouse flock.  

Fifteen minutes after this attack.... and after I had shut the gate to the pasture... a lone bantam rooster appeared at the gate.  He had dived for cover when the bird came down, and wanted back in to safety. 



Here's another happy picture of three of the birds in the yard last night.  We are going to try to give the henspa birds some yard time every evening.  

The goats can't be in the yard at the same time, as they would go after the chicken feed, and we can't have that.  We found if we let these birds out after the goats are in for the day, they can have a couple of hours of free range time, and then are easy to get back in. 


This beautiful flower arrangement sat on the tables at the wedding of my neighbor Kathy's daughter on Saturday.  Aren't they absolutely wonderful? 

"If you think reading is boring, you're doing it wrong" 

This amazing quote came from Grant Wilson, who was formerly on Ghost Hunters, on the SciFy channel. 

It's true. 

I read all weekend, off and on, finished a library book, and finally finished (again) the last book in the "Mitford Series" from Jan Karon.  If you have not read these wonderful books about Fr. Tim Kavanaugh and his wife Cynthia (Cynthey)... you are missing out.  They are so full of laughter and love and worth every minute spent reading them.  I was able to get my sister to read them before she passed away, and bought us each a copy of the "The Mitford Cookbook", full of recipes and insprational quotes from the book.  That book sat on her coffee table until she died. 

To end the post with today, here's a prayer attributed to St. Francis from the last book of the series, "Light from Heaven".  (Fr. Tim is an Episcopalian priest). 

"Watch, O Lord, for those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels and saints charge over those who sleep.  Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ.  Rest Your weary ones.  Bless Your dying ones.  Soothe Your suffering ones.  Pity Your afflicted ones.  Shield Your joyous ones. And all for Your love's sake." 

Amen! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Out of Post Ideas

Rainy here, and a lazy day. 

I'm totally out of post ideas at the moment. 



Cheer up, Maa Maa! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Breakout!

I was working in the old henhouse late this afternoon.  I finally finished up shoveling, and went out to do the duck pond. 

Pretty soon I heard 

"Oh,  Mary Ann"  

And again... 

"Honey, where are you?" 

I got up and went out into the yard to find Keith. 

He pointed to the west: 


The poor henspa flock never gets out on the grass, because Lilly would kill them all. 

Well... guess what?  Lilly and Ranger were both out. 
Ranger has only killed one bird here in seven years, a duck, right after he came here. 

Lilly has killed many. 

She watched them, but did nothing. 


The pullets were all in one bunch, two were under the vines. They looked so happy. 


Ferdy was keeping track of the hens that were working the flower bed.  Man, they were HAPPY!

It is one of my fondest hopes that this flock will one day be out on the grass.  As it was late afternoon, little by little, the hens went back into the yard.  I had to help one pullet, but most of them, when I walked over to them, moved right down the fenceline and into the safe yard.  They are all in now. 


Ferdinand and Junior took good care of their girls.  Moe and Larry did not try to come out.  Little Fluffernut, seen on the right, was everywhere while she was out... but is back in, safe on the roost. 

We are expecting strong rain storms tomorrow, and they have cancelled the American Royal Parade.  This livestock and horse show was a yearly event here, and has been for 100 years. However, 30 years ago they tore down the original buildings, and Kemper Arena was built to accommodate the Royal horse and cattle shows.  Over the course of the last 20 years, the livestock and horse shows were split up, and they now are held over almost 3 months. Instead of going and seeing all the cattle, sheep and hogs, and a horse show or rodeo, you now would have to go multiple times to see everything.  People don't go anymore.  
The rodeo was once the last big event of the year for professional cowboys, and featured six days of performances and appearances by many big country stars.  Now it is two days, and this year, is being held in a tiny arena that formerly housed the cattle and horse show classes.  How times change.  I can remember as a little girl papering my bedroom walls and ceiling with pictures of the animals at the Royal from the annual supplement; now, the Star barely mentions it.  It's sad. 





Thursday, September 26, 2013

One of my Favorite Chores

You know, cleaning the chicken houses out really ARE some of my favorite chores, because you feel so successful when you finish. 

Pretty dirty work while it lasts, though. 

Ugh. 

And it got to 88 degree today, on top of it. 

However, this dirt like mixture of broken down straw, feed, etc. will be good for the garden beds.  I have to keep Kelly out of it, though, so may have to put screens over it. 


Here's the cart, chock full.  I had put three flakes of straw on top of it, to take to the henspa yard for the hens in there to "play" with it. 

I'm going out as soon as I finish this post to shovel it on the new flower bed I started last week. 

I would say this is the entire feed room, and half the coop side of the old henhouse.  
I'll get the rest tomorrow afternoon. 


It took me a while to load all this in the back of the truck, because my helper was so busy! 


These two little birds were enjoying the henyard as I filled the pool this afternoon.  When it gets a little cooler, I'll only fill the pool once a day.  In the winter, I'll be using a deep fortex, and not the pool. 
Back to the birds... the little hen is still laying every other day, a nice small white egg. 
All the other birds were in the pasture, so they were at peace and enjoying it. 


The ducks were out there with them, even gimpy Donald.  I noticed he laid and watched his girls today, but he is able to get on his feet and get around, tho still limping. 




Even though there is plenty of corn in the fields, cornstalks are hard to come by here.  These beautiful cornstalks were sold to Keith yesterday by our feed store... they were only able to get a few.  It's Indian corn, and these stalks are going up on the porch tomorrow. 

The goats approved! 


And here's Keith and Lilly this evening soaking up some rays on the deck... Keith prefers the heat of the sun to the air conditioning inside. 

I hope everyone is having a great evening! 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pictures Galore

Lots of pictures today to use up some that are stacking up in the computer. 


Hmmmm.  I found this in the goat barn when I took the fresh water in about an hour ago, today. 

Hmmmm. 

I still have seen no rats, but this looks like a rat hole to me. 

It's within about six inches of the door of the goat barn. 


See that big hole in the wall, the highest? 

While I was working on the divider between the coop side and the feed room side today, 
I kept hearing a buzzing.  I was putting staples in the framework, trying to fix the fencing that divides the two spaces.  I stood up to see a wasp go in the hole. 

I hate to say it... but it's going to get wasp-freezed with the super spray. 


This whole side had become loose.  You see, the birds all walked back and forth between the two rooms at will.  I realized about a week ago that the Elvi were terrorising Butch, my one eyed pet rooster who lives in the feed room. 

I noticed he was spending a lot of time up in the window.  Last night, I put him in the nursing cage, with water and feed.  He attacked the food bowl and ate and ate. 

I realized I needed to straighten everyone out. 

So this afternoon, I cut some chicken wire, and closed off the door (out of sight to the left) and this whole section... if you look hard, you can see the new wire against the old. 
Then Butch went back down into the litter. 

Tomorrow, I'll scoop out all the old litter and dress things with fresh straw.  This litter is going onto the bed I started last week.  I can't do it while the goats are loose, because I am keeping them far away from chicken feed. 

And speaking of the goats... 
I can't have a wreath on the porch now. 


Now I understand why my fall wreath was on the floor twice. 

That's our beverage container, which we rarely use. 


Uh huh. 


Gratuitous goat cuteness, thank you, Windy. 


The Donald has an injury, and I am watching him very closely.  When he is up, I see no open, raw places on his leg or webbed foot, but he has a pronounced limp.  

video

And in other news, the Kaw Valley Farm Tour is two weeks away.  Last year, tour days were raw and cold and blustery, and I had the flu.  
I'm hoping to participate this year, because there are lots of new places to visit.  I always get good ideas from the farms visited. 


Still getting a last blast of flowers. 


And I love, love, love the color of these mums on the deck. 

Today, while stopping at the feed store, I asked where they had gotten their beautiful cornstalks with which they had decorated.  I have a picture... if I could find it on my phone!!!
Anyway, Keith stopped by to get a bale of straw for me to clean the big henhouse tomorrow... and there in the back of the truck was a cornstalk, a big one!  I asked him how he happened to get it, and he said the feedstore had given it to him!  
Marti must have found one extra for me!  Thanks, Marti! 

I hope to find more so I can get our deck in shape... then the goats can lay on straw bales to their hearts content.  


I leave you with a picture of early morning here today at Calamity Acres.  There was fog coming off the ponds, and it was truly a beautiful scene.  I am so blessed by God to be able to get out and take care of the animals, and enjoy each and every day. 
I am truly grateful to Him! 






Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Surprise Under a Leaf



I am working on trying to get saplings, etc. cut down out in the yard, with pruners and saw. 

Look what I found today while cleaning around the big walnut tree! 

I don't think he or she is with us for long, though, because it looked as if it were struggling. 


So very beautiful.  I looked around for others, but did not see any. 


Look!  There was a boat in there! 

Actually, Keith's dad's old fishing boat has been with us for three or four years now.  The inside needs to be rebuilt, and it hasn't been moved in so long, I don't know if both tires are decent. 
I'm going to have to get Good Neighbor Troy to come over with his chainsaw and cut a particularly large sapling underneath it, and a couple in back of it. 

However, I sawed down a PILE. 


I ran into a patch of bristly greenbrier, but I was paying attention and did not touch it.  It's getting Roundup, no bones about it. 

My helpers were helping me. 


Well, one of them was helping me and two were slacking off. 


I am not supposed to hate anything, but I thoroughly dislike these stink bugs. 


This is how Abby's day started.  Yes, she is dieting now. 
Thank you, Dr. Ripperger for not yelling at me. 
Rhonda, you are always a doll! 

She is not diabetic, we are waiting for results of a urinalysis, so not out of the woods yet. 
She spazzed out for a good two hours after we got home.  All is quiet tonight. 

Tomorrow, the goats go to meet their new doctor, Dr. LaRosh, in Tonganoxie. 
That should be interesting! 

I had some more things to talk about tonight, but the computer and satellite are not talking to each other very much, so I am giving up. 

The Mother Earth Fair will be here in a couple of weeks... I had hoped to attend, but my (umpteenth) high school reunion is that weekend, and also, the Kaw Valley Farm Tour. 
I'm hoping the crew from Cranky Puppy are going and will write about it! 

More tomorrow, when the satellite is working again. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Gorgeous Second Day of Fall

What a beautiful day in Leavenworth County!

A good day to work at garden clean-up and catch-up. 


My helpers were right there working with me. 


I was picking all the tomato plants out, and gleaning what I could from them.  I'll take them down to the brush pile tomorrow. 


Ooops... stood right in the light... but I got about ten pounds of SuperSauce tomatoes I couldn't bear to throw out.  If Kathy next door does not want them, I'll take them to the food pantry tomorrow morning. 


Don't look now!  There is ONE Howden pumpkin forming!!!  Who knows?  We may actually get a few pumpkins for Halloween!

This one is actually about at 2 pounds at the moment, the picture is a little deceptive. 


There are still six small melons ripening in this barrel.  


These are in the whiskey barrel next to the ones above. They are the only ones that squash bugs appeared on, and I couldn't save them. 


The empty boxes... and we'll rotate next year.  I guess I did leave ONE tomato in there, after pruning it down to where it was blooming again.  There is also a green pepper, on the left, that is awash with tiny peppers.  I left it, too.  

Tomorrow (or after dinner) I'll hook the wagon up and take all the debris down to the pasture. 


The last petunias of the year are on the deck of the henspa, and still going strong. 


It was a great day for sunbaths, too! 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weirdness and a Birthday Boy

About four or five months ago, I evicted the Three Elvi from the little red henhouse on stilts, where they were the last of it's occupants.  We had had a full flock of mostly bantams in there for five years, but it was time to close it up.  We melded the birds that were left with the old henhouse flock. 

Because I'm nuts that way, I have been filling a waterer once a week and putting in there for....
the mice. 
Yes, it's true. 
Shake your heads. 

However, these last few weeks, I have notice something happening in there, and the other night really creeped me out. 


The dirt in there is made up of straw that has decomposed, feed that has decomposed, and chicken poop.  (decomposed)
It is about 4 inches thick.  As you can see, what I thought was just moist "soil" started growing around the two low bricks I sat the waterer on.  (that's a roost in front of them).  The black area began to grow. 
It is not moist... it is HARD, and all stuck together.  It's quite.... creepy. 

And when I reached over the roost and pulled the waterer out... 

it was full of things that looked like leeches!  I did not get a picture of them... I was so taken aback that I shook them onto the ground.  I emptied out the waterer and did not refill it and put it back. 

Now I'm scared to open the door to see what's going ON in there! 
Ugh!


The clouds that night were beautiful... red sky at night, sailor's delight. 


What we see when we look out the door now. 

They love to lay on the doorstep when they are in the yard, which is a good part of each day.  
I saw their breeder Cindy at church this morning, and she said she missed them nibbling at her clothes as they followed her around on chores... and that they were in the house for the first month of their lives.  No wonder I am having to carry them outside so much! 

Kelly was there too, just to the left. 


Okay,  I am not sure if these are "Kansas" or "Collective Farm Woman".  I had my good clothes on when I went out there. 

I'll make sure tomorrow.  They had all turned yellow, and, as a rabbit or something had gotten into two of the cantaloupes, I figured I had better pick these even though small. 

Honeydews!

And sweet ones, too! 

I'll grow these again next year, though maybe not in the same kind of bed.  


And this is where we spent most of our afternoon... little grandson Jace turned two years old today.  He's tasting the icing on his little cake... and there was a veritable tower of cupcakes for the family to enjoy. 

We had lovely snacky "gameday" foods, and spent a couple of hours enjoying watching the kids. 


The cousins tooling around the yard. 


Welcome, Autumn!