Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Wet Thursday

We had hail this afternoon, though you will have to take my word for it. 
There is a tornado watch until 8 PM, and there is a tornado on 
the ground far north of us in DeKalb County, Missouri. 

It's too soon for this!!! 

Sorry for the trash sacks in the picture, I am CLEANING out. 

These three little birds are coming with me... Moe, 
Fluffernut and April. 

As is Fleura

And Snowflake

And, if we can catch her... this little white hen with the black tail in the rafters of the old henhouse. 

I am going to try to find homes for Speedy, on the left here... and Ferdy, the big rooster. 
We are going to take them to the feed store parking lot if we have to, along with two of the three blue roosters. 

The blue roosters are the reason that these five won't come down.  

I am praying that when the blue roosters go, that these five will come down for some ground time. 

They deserve it, they have spent their entire lives here. 

This morning after breakfast, I tackled this trough that I planted 
corn in last year.  

And I filled in some of the holes the hens had made in the perennial bed. 

Then I tackled THIS.  

Here's a better view.  You can see that there IS a dividing wall in the old henhouse... and
I am standing in the door of the "feed room side".  I used it as henhouse all winter... so this morning, 
shoveled up all the refuse and used straw from that side.  I'd like to turn this place over in good shape 
at some point, when it is sold.  

I shut the door, to keep the birds on the coop side. 

Though I cannot explain this... this is a porcelain rooster 
laying in the nest that the red hens who lived here 
used ... in our nursing cage, which is up on stilts.  You can 
see the door to it open on the left in the above picture.
I was always used to glancing to my left as I came in the 
door to see who was laying... and this morning, there was 
someone THERE! 

The cleanings from the henhouse went to the compost heap, for future gardeners to use here. 

You have to be VERY careful about where you step in the garden beds. 




Lil was busy chewing on a bone. 

Right now, we have half sunny, half cloudy skies.  
We are under a tornado watch until 8 PM.  

There is a tornado on the ground far north of us, in DeKalb County, Missouri. 

Keith asked me not to take a load to the new house this afternoon until the weather settles a little, 
but twice as I worked on this post the lights have gone out. 

It is extremely windy. 

Friends, I will get caught up on all your blogs, I promise! 

Tomorrow I will do a short post, and then Saturday morning, we get the big truck 
and our help... sons, grandsons and friends, all show up to move us. 
We will be disconnecting the televisions and the computer.  They will not be hooked up again 
until Monday afternoon... when the cable man comes.  
If you do not see a post from us... don't fear. 

We have MUCH work to do here at the old place for the next few weeks, if not months. 
The outbuildings need to be emptied, and we need to dispose of "farm stuff".  
Yes, a little bit of my heart goes every time we let something go... but I know it is best 
right now. 

Yesterday, I fell in our drive, a bad fall.  I skinned myself up through jeans and Carhartt, which, thank heavens, I was wearing.  I became caught on the gate, and fell hard enough to see stars. 
Just another reminder that I need to slow life down a little. 

I am so enjoying reading all the "Planting Posts" on Facebook right now, and seeing what 
other gardeners are doing... so see, the dream is still alive... just dampered for a little while! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring is Peeping Through

It is so windy here right now, that 
things are blowing across the yard!  
If either of the big trees... black walnut or maple come down...
we are going to call it serendipity and go with the flow, we've already decided! 

Look what's coming up?  The iris, the tulips, the hyacinths, 
the crocus, and I hope and pray the hostas that we 
planted in Joel and Brandon's memories. We are taking those two hostas 
with us. 

And those little tiny curlicues in the center of this picture are one of them.

But look what was going on at Home Depot when I ran in for spackle and a putty knife!  Yowsa!!!!

Here's Mr. Harrison of Harrison Fencing in Basehor, Kansas, 
working on our fence today.  He had a cold, breezy day yesterday, and 
a very windy day today, but he is making progress. 

This gives you a better idea of where it is.  We just do not have the money to fence the entire acre at this point. 

Our yard actually goes all the way to the pole on the left.  
Maybe someday. 

Nice level place for a garden, isn't it? 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Moving Right Along

Mother Nature had a surprise for us yesterday morning. 

And this morning, too!
The deck was VERY slick. 

We are having some below-normal temps. 

Tomorrow brings rain, and Keith tells me that the Farmer's Almanac, 
that warned of the cold winter just past... has warned now of a 
cooler-than-normal summer. 

After the last two scorchers, I'm ready. 

Lilly and Abby have been picking up on the vibrations the last few weeks. 
Lilly was in the car waiting for me yesterday as I loaded it yet again. 

So today, I took her leash out and snapped it on, and we went for a ride. 
Lilly and Ranger rarely left Calamity Acres.  If they did, it was usually to go see 
Dr. Tom.  This composed look soon faded away to heavy panting, as she got more and more anxious. 

When we got to the house, I ran in with her, and raised the garage door (we didn't get a remote for it). 
I put her back in the car to back the car IN... and then we went back into the house.  I know she could smell the two big dogs that had lived there. 

She went from room to room, checking it out, and I left the leash on,  on purpose. 

Nothing would make her come down the basement stairs... she would come into the doorway, look at me, and go back out into the hall. 
There's plenty of time for this. 

When we got home, once she realized we were in the driveway, I unhooked the leash and let 'er rip. 
She was so glad to be in her own pasture. 

This isn't a very good picture, but this small homestead, on the road that I have been using to go back and forth, used to house a family with a big white dog... and goats in that lovely tan barn, and chickens in the metal barn you can just see behind it. 

I realize, after driving this way now for two weeks, that no one lives here anymore. 
The road was closed for nearly a year while they replaced a bridge over the creek... and at some point, the family who lived here either lost the home, or the renters moved.  I was always careful not to hurt the big dog, who had only 3 legs and laid in the road regularly. 
It's a lovely place. 

It's pretty quiet in the old henhouse these days. 

It takes me about ten minutes to do chores. 

And little Speedy has not been down even once since the hens were taken last week. 

I've been cleaning out feeders and water fountains to take to the sale tomorrow. The auction is 
Saturday, and Keith has been hauling things down there this week... to our fairgrounds, where the auctioneer is set up.  We thought there was an April sale... and found out this morning there is not another sale until June 24th, so now we are hurrying to get things into this one. 

I am going to put the chicken stuff in one lot, and the black trough, and fortexes (there are some out of sight) in another. 

If you don't think this isn't hurting me... you don't know me very well... but I also like to make the best of a bad situation. 

Keith is even now filling the back of the pickup to take another load down to the fairgrounds. 

Any money we can accumulate we can use to make our humble house here decent for someone to buy. 

Today's eggs.  Thank you Henrietta, Folly and April. 

Here is a side view of Moe, after the attack by Lilly.  His beautiful tail is almost gone, and he had a huge tuft of feathers now missing on his saddle... huge... which is why I thought he was gone that night. 
He will not come down from the nest box now. 

Moe is going with me, and the four little hens, April, Snowflake, Fleura and Fluffernut. 
If I can get her, I'm going to take the tiny white hen with the black tail in the old henhouse. 

We're trying to figure out what to do for a coop, a decent-looking coop, at this point, without spending a fortune I don't have. 

One morning next week, I'll take Ferdie the beautiful big rooster... Speedy, my tiny boy, 
and two of the porcelain's (The Elvi) to the feed store parking lot in a crate... and see if I can give them away. 
It's breaking my heart to do it... I had hoped to take Ferdie and Speedy... but we are not going to have room. 

The kind people who took the second batch of chickens... the Tates... will take the last three big hens, and the matched porcelain pair.  

Once everything is empty here... Chris and I will go to town and clean the buildings. 
I'm trying to think of a way to transport some cleanings to the new house for compost, but we shall see. 

Tomorrow I'll try to show you a picture of the only plantings there, and also, where I am 
going to put two perennial beds. 

My apologies to everyone for my non-commenting this past two weeks.  I do get a chance to sit, but 
not for long, usually. 
I will get caught up once we get settled. 

I hope everyone is well! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Moving On Out

I have NO IDEA where we accumulated so much .... our outbuildings are 
full and we did not have this much to start with... Keith and I are amazed 
at the accumulation of "stuff".  

This morning, we went out to the pony/llama/goat barn to bring the 
"furniture" out so that the nice Langford family, who adopted our goats, 
could take it home to be used by them. 

We were so glad to hear that the goats are settling in very well, and their 
lone goat Spot is overjoyed to have some company of his own kind. 

What a relief for me. 

Keith and I had to dig down more than a foot to be able to move 
the benches in the barn, there was so much bedding from the hard winter. 

Keith got a little bit tuckered out, we had to dig out so much hay. 

Our helper wasn't making things any easier, either. 

She and Lilly were escorted into the yard, and the pasture gate closed. 

If you wonder why Keith was dressed so warmly...


It's already gone, we are up to 32 at 3 PM, but still, a rude jolt back to reality. 
It seems we are to have cooler temps this week with two chances for rain. 
As long as it doesn't rain on our parade on Saturday, please!

Look closely, and you can see Fawni and Spicey enjoying one last fortex of warm water 
that I carried out this morning.  For some reason, they ran around the pasture for a few minutes, and then went back into the henyard, where they stayed until their new owners came.  
They were caught without a fight, and crated up, and by now have joined the 
seven other ducks at their new home. 

There goes the bench that Keith and I struggled to dig out and carry out of the barn... in one fell swoop carried by Billy Langford, who now has the goats. 
His wife Katie and kids were here, too. 

Just goes to show what a strong young back can do. 

I found these little paw prints on the steps of the henspa this morning, leading up to the door and back.  
Cat?  or Possum?  

I think cat, but they are very small. 

And this, folks, was the culmination of two and a half years of donations to the Good Shepherd... I had five dozen eggs to donate yesterday... it has given me so much pleasure to do this... and yes, it was very hard work sometimes, but knowing that we made a difference in the lives of our fellow people here in Leavenworth county is satisfying.  
I had two huge sacks of egg cartons to give to the Tates and Langfords, who took the chickens this morning when they came for the ducks... and hope that our legacy will live on, and someone else will step up to donate eggs to the pantry. 

I saved back three hens to take with me to the new house, three standard hens, Buffy, the Polish girl, 
Mama, the white hen who is such a good mother, and Henrietta, a year old red hen who is very friendly. 
However, after Keith and I have thought about it, we really are not going to have enough room.  I am going to take Moe, the little rooster, and four little bantam girls.  Mrs. Tate, who has our chickens that were picked up Wednesday, and is the grandmother of Hayley the Chicken Whisperer, has agreed to take these three girls, and Folly and Fancy, the porcelain D'Uccle pair.  What a relief for me. 

That leaves the beautiful Ferdinand... big rooster, 3 small D'Uccle roosters.... Speedy, the tiny Old English Rooster, and the three old roosters who live in the rafters of the old henhouse, along with a tiny hen who lives with them. 
We are thinking that if the three feisty D'Uccle roosters are gone, that the five birds in the rafters will finally come down for a while.  Our feed store clerk, my friend Marsha, suggested I bring the roosters over to their parking lot and some of the customers there may want them. 
I'm going to do that in a couple of weeks... after we get moved. 

We are in no hurry to finalize things here, chicken-wise.... until we absolutely have finished everything. 

I am taking a day off of moving today, after packing another round of boxes.  
Iowa State is about to start playing and Keith and I are going to sit and watch the game. 
Go, Cyclones!  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Catching Up

I wanted you all to see my spring decoration.

The peep will be joined soon by others.  
A mantel, the mantel of my dreams to decorate. 

Fawni and Spicey don't know it yet, but they are 
going to be joining seven other ducks in their new flock. 
They will be so happy, and so will I.  I will miss the ducks dreadfully. 

Mark from Seifert Flooring came to give us an estimate this morning. 
He had his five assistants in the truck with him.  They go everywhere with him, and aren't they the cutest? 

Here are oldest grands Chris and Nate, getting the dog pen in the pasture out of the 
dirt it had sunken into. 
This pen was used for the small Mille Fleur flock I had... they lived 
in the doghouse you can just barely see, throughout a spring, summer,  fall, and early winter. 
The remnants of that flock left us this week.  

With both boys heaving, they were able to get it up and then move it so they could cut 
the poultry wire off of it.  We are selling it to someone this weekend, and 
they are going to need to take it apart to get it in their truck, I'm sure. 
We're throwing in the sturdy doghouse with it. 

I honestly don't know what we would have done without the boys, Chris's girlfriend Haleigh, 
who lined all the cabinets for me today, 
and the boy's mom Sherie.

She was giving Abby a massage here, and Abby was in dog heaven.  
Sherie drove my car back and forth, loaded, while I drove the truck today. 
Let's just say we didn't have two of the loads quite battened down and leave it at that. 

Friends, I am not abandoning gardening, or chicken keeping completely, 
but these next few weeks are going to be extremely busy while we shift 
our lives over... and then I will be coming here daily to clean the outbuildings, the house, do some 
garden maintenance, etc.  I am not moving the few chickens I am taking for another few weeks, for sure. 

I need to come up with some kind of coop to keep them in, within the fenced portion of the yard, because from what we have seen, dogs are allowed to run free in the new neighborhood.  Ours will be fenced in

And Moe is definitely going! 

Thank you again for all of your positive comments and encouragements. 
You don't know how they helped me get through this week, that was so hard on me. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Great Emptiness

It's very hard for me to write the following post.  I could not post yesterday, I felt too wretched. 

It was a beautiful day out today, and I have been trying to see the positive side of things.  I also have been reading your comments two days later... and thank you all for making me see there is a positive side. 

This was the full moon setting yesterday morning, I stepped out on the porch to take this in the western sky. 

And turned around to take this in the eastern. 

But the day actually dawned gray and dreary. 

Things went on as normal in the goatyard. 

But the chickens knew something was up. 
I did not let them out. 

It wasn't until 4 PM that my friends from northwest Missouri came to get them. 
I had to go outside, I could not watch the catching and carrying across the yard to the cages. 
I was getting sicker and sicker. 

They took from the old and the new henhouses.  

They took three of the ducks, Aflac, Donald and Cinnamon, and would have taken the other two girls if there had been room on the truck or in a cage. 

I was having a VERY bad time, so I was glad to see them pull out of the driveway for their one hundred mile drive back in the open back of the stacked truck. 

I didn't sleep. 

Stupid, I know. 

I tried to take pictures of the goats this morning... but I had treats and you see it wasn't working. 

Yesterday's eggs. (and five more were laid in the cages on the ride home to Northwest Missouri) 

Abby and I found a duck nest covered with straw in the 4 x 4 pen in the old henyard. 
I'll put these eggs down in the pasture tonight for the wildings. 

Fawni and Spicey had a treat tonight... and for some reason, they are not using their swimming pool... maybe because Donald is gone now. 

However... more about them in a minute. 

At one PM, the Tates and the Langfords pulled up. 
Friends, I want to tell you... I couldn't have picked kinder people to take my beloved goats. 
And granddaughter Hailey Grace is truly the chicken whisperer... they took another ten chickens, and 3 roosters, for which I am eternally grateful.  They took the Mille Fleurs, and Hailey was able to catch almost all of them without my netting them. 

This weekend, when I go to get my big vari kennel (because Delilah was in theirs, behind these two you see above)... I am going to take Fawni and Spicey to live with them.  

The little girls and Kelly and Mama Delilah were confused and bewildered by the fact that they had to wait in their kennels while we caught the chickens.... and I have to admit to you that their crying and screaming to me as they went down the road tore my heart up. 

Here are Moe and April, so very bonded, with Moe outside the fence.  I finally let everyone (left) loose this afternoon. 

Three minutes later, literally. 

Seven minutes later, after I had dragged the Attacker into the house, and had run back out to pick up the dead rooster. 

As if I haven't had enough to worry about these last two days. 

Today's egg count. 

That's a duck egg, and a bantam egg, the only banties left are two old girls, 
and the two porcelain girls... and Fluffernut. a year old cute little girl that I can't believe no one wanted. 

There are only two big egg layers left... Henrietta and Buffy, the Polish girl. 

There is one little tiny white bantam, a blacktail Japanese in the old henhouse, that 
I have not seen in two days, she and the three old roosters are hiding in the ceiling, where we can't see them. 
The events of the last two days have upset everyone. 

I need to rehome the porcelain older rooster and hen, she is still laying, so I am hoping to move them as a pair.  We have probably six roosters that will have to be put down when we do get moved, unless I can find (beg) someone to take them. 

I am so used to the goats calling to me when I come out on the porch... it seems so odd not to hear them. 
I am going to take the duck eggs and the game camera down to the bottom of the pasture and leave them for the wildings, and see if we catch anything on camera. 

Tomorrow, Nathan and Chris and Chris's girlfriend Haleigh are going to come from Garnett to 
help move boxes on Friday, as we get ever closer to the move.  They are the first of family seeing the new house, so we will take some pictures while they are carrying boxes.  We hope to move quite a few during the day, and I'll run them back down on Saturday. 

Thanks again, friends, for all your kind comments.  It's been a hard week for me.