Tuesday, May 23, 2017

More Whacking

Just let me know when you're sick of it. 

I suspect we have months in front of us. 

She's looking a little shaggy around the edges, but she's getting there. By the end of summer she should be cleaned up and a different color. 

I actually intended for you to see that we are going there enough 
that the birds give us about 3 minutes to step away from the feeding station 
before they descend on the seed. 

The minions are working VERY hard.  This one cut a HUGE pile of low-hanging branches. 

That's just part of it.  We were dragging branches to a 
central pile for 30 minutes. 

There was one bush in there I did not want cut, but... what the hey. 

Before we started, the lawn mower guy could not drive back in there! 

This little minion dragged and carried and dragged and carried. 

She also cut some of the branches, and that's not a sullen look, 
she was working VERY hard. 

We also made more progress in the planting beds.  We still have three that need 
a LOT of cleaning... but two are ready to plant, and one is nearly there. 

I'm so proud of Paiton and Jax. 

Tomorrow (weather willing) we are going to the Kansas City Zoo. 
Each one earned 20.00, and they can each get something 
from the zoo.  I can tell you now that Jax will 
save his money, and Paiton will bring home another stuffed animal. 

We are going to try to do the zoo in about 3 hours, and then 
come home and work a little more in the yard.  IF we don't 
get a significant amount of rain, my lawn guy will 
drive his tractor and brush hog (called Bush Hog, but not here) from his house at 168th and State to 198th 
and State, where I will be soon... and cut the 
pasture for me.  Then we will load the 
pile of branches up and drive down to where I used to have a
big brush pile and unload all the branches and 
grapevine I have cut.   Just the first load of many. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Gardening with the Grands, and some Goose Gaggle Pics

Our day started out really early this morning.  Jax and Paiton are coming to my house daily this week,, as this is the "gap week" between school being dismissed and day camp (which they love) starting.  

Grandma usually doesn't get up at six, so you can see that everyone was tired, and Jester 
did not want to go outside, just sleep with his kids. 

Pardon the bins, you will be seeing a lot of them, I am in full packing mode. 

Okay, so despite the unseasonably cool weather, we went to the farm 
and worked on the garden.  Paiton complained at first and then REALLY pitched in. 
She had on flip flops, which made it doubly hard.  She is bringing tennis shoes tomorrow. 

Why yes, those ARE huge cutters Jax is carrying.  He did awesome work with them. 

We found lots of interesting things, a big toad, lots of spiders, and 
lots of ladybugs.  I reminded them all these creatures were helpful to us. 

There was one bit of bristly greenbriar in this bed, and I showed it to 
both of them and told them to stay away from it. 

Jax cut and cut. 

Paiton dug and dug. 

She also pulled weeds by hand, and shook the dirt back into the bed. 

As you can see, we uncovered two more beds, and started on a third.  There are eight all together. 

Jax is checking out that clump I left in the bed he is looking down into, because there was a big toad in it. 


So, before we left, we watched the birds for a few minutes. 
We saw an indigo bunting, a goldfinch (male), and a 
Baltimore oriole.  We are going to buy some oranges tomorrow, 
and put the slices on the bird feeder.  I'm going to hang a nyger seed 
feeder out for the finches, and we can watch them. 

No pictures of them today, though. 

The birds are getting used to us working near them. 

Here's a pert little female Red-Winged blackbird. 

And one of the ubiquitous blue jays... they are all over the deck as soon as we leave. 

We started out our day at the Ag Hall, though, taking care of these: 

Those are 24 new 5 day old cochin chicks, in five different color varieties.  I'm changing out that poopy paper daily, btw. 

But we have more babies at the Ag: 

After we did the chores, we went down to see the babies. 

Saturday, I drove the train for a birthday party, and the babies kept coming 
up the hill to the train tracks, scaring me to death.  The horn is no longer working on our engine. 

So... I was waving my arms like a psycho. 

Today, there were lots of little heads down in the grass, and mom and dad watching them. 

(There is a second batch to the right, who are about a week older). 

All of the sudden, the older goslings sprang up! 

And then the little heads came up. 

Paiton and Jax were being VERY quiet so as not to scare them. 

Mama was watching the mallards in the background. 


The older babies are getting quite big. 

Tonight, on my way home from the library, I saw some just 
a bit older than these by a local small lake... their heads look like 
Canadian geese now.  It won't be long until these do. 

You can see how big the earlier batch is.  
And I just realized I did not get pictures of the little ones eating! 

Just one. 

We are expecting rain again tomorrow, but we 
are hoping to get out to the "farm" and work some 
more on the garden beds, then I'll put fresh dirt in them 
and we will plant some tomatoes that the kids can enjoy this summer. 

Wednesday, we're going to the zoo after we do chores!  YAYYY! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

One Day At a Time

I've been spending hours cutting down saplings. 

I decided today to work on a couple of the garden beds. 

This is what they look like, and I don't blame 
the renters. 
You see, not everyone is a gardener.  They did 
grow some peppers in that far back bed, 
but the rest became overgrown. 

That high grass is in between the beds.  

This was after about ten minutes of digging and pulling.  You see, 
Keith and I built these beds 
according to the book Lasagna Gardening.  
We put paper down, then dirt mixed with manure. 
Every growing season, I dug through them and replenished the dirt. 

Most of these weeds began to come right out. 

My hard and fast rule is "don't overdo it".  
I'm almost four years older than before. 

However, I did a second bed.  Yes, I still have to clean them up, 
but I took the choppers and cut down the high grass around them, and 
started digging at the dandelions. I am going to have to have 
Brandon, the young man cutting the place, do some weedeating. 

Then I trudged across the yard, carrying all the pulled plants, 
because I have no way to get my cart out there. 
Still figuring that out. 

I tried to cut the high grass around the two beds (with the big cutters).  I figure it will 
take at least six bags of Miracle Gro dirt and a bag each of 
manure before the beds are ready to plant anything. 

I'm not going to garden extensively this year... but it will be 
nice to have a couple of beds for tomatoes. 

This, however, is the current state of the pasture.  Nice hay, huh? 

I can't even get in the gate. 

The dogs and I can't get down to check the status of the fence until 
I can find someone who can cut it. 

Lots of saplings to cut!

How I miss not having a truck. 

Here's the little pond I have shown you so many times.  It has decent water in it now. 

We have not been going back and forth on gravel in an effort to preserve the 
new car. 

I decided to do it today. 

The cow herd is doing well, too! 

Oh, and by the way... this has started, too! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Workin' In the Sun

I was standing under my Green Goddess looking up this afternoon. 

She is totally covered with vines that are growing ever higher. 

Around her base were growing many saplings. 

Here is the top of her (with a crow model, do you see him?) taken yesterday from the deck. 

She still has leaves on about the top 40 feet of branches, but the vines were growing 
ever upwards. 

You can hardly tell in this picture, but the base was circled with 
saplings and weeds.  Thickly circled. 

So, today I started attacking them. 

This gives you some idea.  Oddly, I did not find any poison ivy, just Virginia creeper and 
grapevine.   Some of the grapevine was really thick, and grown into the bark of the tree. 

I am going to have to set some money aside to have this tree taken down at some point, it is 
VERY soft.  

My helper stayed with me for a while, but soon he went back 
to the cool porch, where I had spilled some 
water filling the (let's face it, RACCOON waterers)... and Lilly and he watched from the cool porch. 

I had on a sleeveless shirt, and had remembered to put 
Neutrogena skin spray on my arms and on my face, with 
an SPF of 100.

This was my compost heap at one time. 

I'm going to confess something here. 

I never, ever let Keith use Roundup or anything like it when we 
lived there. 

I'm using Tractor Supply weed killer now.  I caved.  

I made a big pile of chopped saplings and grapevine at the 
base of the tree.  I still have not found anyone to haul the piles for me, and 
until I can get in the pasture, I can't start a new brush pile.  I am trying to find 
someone who can cut the pasture. 

My yard guy out there has a bush hog and a big tractor, but no way to bring them 

If I can get it knocked down once, I have a friend who will haul my John Deere out there, and 
I can keep it cut down, and then start another brushpile down in the bottom of the pasture for the little critters. 

This about killed me... one of the saplings I cut down (it was 
growing almost from under the tree) was a mulberry, and 
I love mulberries!!!  See the fruit on it already? 

I am also going to work on the big mulberry on the front fence line 
and cut the grape vines at it's base this week. 

I have exactly ONE globe thistle  left and it is blooming... I am ordering more. 

Pretty soon these vines will be brown.  

I was being watched the whole time. 

We saw our friends as we left. 

We saw them yesterday, too.  There are two new calves, and two 
that I believe were last years.  I counted 3 times and got 26. 
I did find out a little more about the bison. 

The property they live on, 150 acres, went into receivership for taxes. 

A man bought 35 acres of it, including the burned home, the barns, and the front drive. 

He has cleared it of the red cedar trees that are ruining the grazing for the bison, 
and also took down the fence on either side of the drive. 

Some of his equipment is in this picture. 
As you see, the bison were all grazing or resting up by the house. 

I was told by someone that this man is involved with the project to 
develop the next property over as a camping lake for fishing, where 
people can park their RVs short term.  The neighborhood is fighting it, 
because we are afraid that RVs coming in short term will end up 
being there long term.  

Knowing that the bison's actual owners were unable to pay the taxes without 
selling a chunk of the property... leads me to believe that the choked-with-red-cedar pastures that I suspect that the bison will be pushed back on will get worse and worse.  For now, they are 
able to graze on an open pasture with adequate grass.  
Make no mistake, though, these animals are dangerous. 

They are huge and can run fast. 

I am sort of hoping that the developer has bought them, too, and 
will use them as an attraction.  I know that every time I pull off to take pictures, 
someone pulls off behind me. 

In the first bison picture I posted, there is a roll of big fencing and many heavy round fence posts.  Maybe that will be to help the bison, not to hold them back.  I can only hope so. 

Yesterday, I drove down to Garnett again. 

Grandson Nathan was graduating from Anderson County Senior High. 

He cleans up pretty well! 

He tied his own tie after watching a video on You Tube, NOT KIDDING. 

It was an extremely windy day at the football stadium. 
See his tassel fly? 

I asked him to put his cap back on so I could get a picture, and he had to hold it down. 
I got pictures of him with every one BUT ME. 

No picture for Grandma. 

We celebrated with a dinner at a local restaurant, and had a great time. 
Grandma was worn out though, when I got home last night. 

The iris' days are waning.  These beds need to be dug out and replenished this fall.  I'll divide these and share them with a friend, including the blues in the bed behind this. 

Tomorrow night is our first Little League game of the spring!  Yee ha!  I'll be baking cookies tomorrow for the team. 

Jax is modeling the Sluggers new uniform. 

Can't wait to see them.