Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Wet Week So Far

Uh huh.... just when you think it's safe to put them away.... they're baaacccckkkk. 

This starling bathing in the puddle in the middle of the drive should explain why. 

We still have overcast skies today, and it rained off and on as I drove Chris home to Garnett... actually to Ottawa, as his mom was just getting off work when we got there. 

We did not get as much done as we expected. 

The dumpster will be ordered for two weeks from now, and we are going to go to town!

I took this picture this morning in the old henhouse.  Can you believe it? 
I waited for him... and he had a good, long drink.  I change these waterers (there are two, one down and one up) daily because of what you see in them... mice poop. 

The little guy took some time to clean himself up after the drink.  You see, the roosters don't go after the mice the way the hens did. 

You see here a mutant mouse.  There are numerous of these in the old henhouse.  This has been going on several years.  


Lil and I took another trip down to the bottom of the pasture last night. 

These are going to son Jim. 

Lil was ready to go home, though, when we were finished.  You see the pasture grass is growing tall and lush.  I wish we still had four little goats to nibble at it.  Goats are browsers, though, not grazers. 

Here comes the henspa trio this morning... they are glad to get out in the yard every few days.  

Their home is being overrun, too. 

I stopped in Lawrence on the way home from taking Chris today... and ordered a gyro salad at a Greek restaurant.  My stomach has not been right since the colds started last week... so I packed it up after five minutes and brought it home for Keith and me to share tonight.  I can tell you from the few bites I had... it was wonderful!  

And Keith will be so proud of me... I stopped in my favorite store in Ottawa... Front Porch Antiques... and managed to come out with NOTHING.   I LOVED this old music cabinet made up in shabby chic... and set for spring.  I saw several other things that I would have loved to bring home... but... patience, patience.  
Isn't it lovely, though? 

We're headed down to 36 tonight... but going to the high 80's next week!  What a roller coaster ride! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Old and New

Before I start today's post... Keith and I are praying for all those affected by the storms of 
this past weekend and yesterday.... so many have lost their lives, and so many have had their lives devastated, and we pray God will take care of them as they start to rebuild. 

 We moved one month ago today, but the work still goes 
on at the old place.  Little by little, it has been emptied... you see 
some pictures that will be loaded for the thrift store tomorrow... and today, Chris and I taped off the whole house to get it ready to paint. 
Yes, the rugs are a sight, aren't they? 

I had to turn the furnace back on because we are having very cool temps this week... it is 47 out right now, and we are going down to 30's tonight, so best to be careful.  

We have the spackling finished, so on Friday, I'll sand and prepare for the painting.  I want to let the atmosphere dry out a little. 

This is the switchplate by the front door, and was always a favorite of mine.  It may come over here, in fact, and a plain white one be put there. 

Yesterday, I started dumping the planters on the porch, preparatory to bringing them over... but 
now it rained again, and I've had to stop.  We are using that dirt to fill in holes in the yard. 

See all the iris shooting up? 

These are shooting up, too... weeds.  These are filling the potato bed, and I need to get them dug up and turned over before they migrate into the flower bed to the right. 

Here are more, about ten feet down the potato bed.  

Ugh.  I'm going to take the little Stihl rototiller over there, and see if I can't till them all under. 

Why would I go to all this trouble?  

Well, I loved my gardens very much, and I would like to pass them on to 
someone who will love them like I did. 

I may plant some zinnias on this side... they may do okay in the sun/shade mixture this bed gets. 

I need to see if son Jim wants to do some weedeating for me around these beds and the empty-this-year vegetable beds. 

Look who are down from the rafters!  So good to see them... they are going outside and behaving like normals chickens.  For months, while there were more birds in the henhouse, they stayed in the rafters.  
I'm so glad to see them come down and go outside! 

I planted a bunch of tulips in the fall, and Angelique was one of them... she's so beautiful! 

You see behind her that I'll be pulling lots of weeds from this bed, too. 

Moe and April had muddy toes in the henspa. 

While Fluffernut was doing her daily business for me. 

These are the kind of skies we've had for the last three days....

And something interesting... Lilly Ann will no longer go in the old house, where she was a puppy and grew up. 

She's happy here on her new deck!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Good Weekend

We went to Grandson Jacob's soccer game on Saturday. 

Here's Jim and Nathan.  About this time, Jim payed attention to the man coaching in the background, the coach of the other team.  He looked at me and said "Mom, I think that's Jonas Dominguez!"

Sure enough... Jim and Jonas played soccer together when they were 12-13, for two years... lo, these many years ago!  Jim got up and went over and gave his old teammate a hug... they visited for a moment... Jonas had played semi-pro soccer and has four boys... and lives in Shawnee, a suburb near us. 
His team and Jacob's tied. 

It was good to see him!

Nathan was throwing M and M's up in the wind and seeing if he could catch them. 
Can you tell by Amy's hair it was blowing hard? 

This picture will show you a little better with Paiton's hair, as she tried to catch one. 
Her dad thought it was funny. 

After we got home, there was some basketball playing going on out in the driveway... as well as some tag playing, and a walk down the broad street.  Nathan, Jax and Jacob had a good old time. 

And after a taco dinner, Chris got them fixed up with the tv, and they watched 
The Hobbit, the Desolation of Smaug.  I tried to watch too, but the idea of the messy kitchen waiting upstairs truncated my viewing pleasure. 

We now have two nice mattresses downstairs for when the kids visit...

Yes, rather primitive... but fun for the kids who like to think they are camping out. 
We also have a spare king-size bed upstairs, and at some point, will have a sectional down here. 

Yes, the crazy green paint is still on the wall!  

Jax was up very early this morning with me. 

He went out to play on the swingset.  We still need to get 
some new swings for it. 

He had such a good time climbing... can you see Abby, tiny on the deck behind watching us? 

Because she did not get to spend the night with the boys, Paiton, and her mom and dad, went out and had a "Paiton afternoon" after we left the game yesterday.  That's not a binky, it's candy.  She got to go to Olive Garden, her favorite place to eat!  
I told her she and grandma (me) and Madison, her older sister would have lunch in two weeks together, to have some girl time. 

After breakfast of pancakes and biscuits and gravy... Nathan and I headed down the pike to Ottawa.  Sherie, the older boy's mom, was working today and suggested I drop Nathan off there.  I was so grateful to do it, because it cut an hour and about 40 miles off my trip.  Here were the ominous skies in Ottawa as we stopped at McDonalds for Nathan's lunch.  They had already had very strong winds and lots of rain. 
I had hard rain, too, on the drive down, but lighter rain on the way back.  In fact... the sun is out now in Fairmount, and the clouds appear to be moving.  I am going to listen to the tv and find out what we can expect weather-wise for a few days, as Chris and I have lots to do in the next days at the old place. 

Back to regular programming tomorrow, after this lovely grandkids weekend! 

PS Update at 4:40 PM

We are under a tornado watch until 7.  I guess these bright skies were confusing me!  

I'm sure glad we have a shelter here in the new house, I admit it! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Gonna Be a Big Weekend!

Tomorrow night, we will have the four bigger grand boys...
two are already here, having come up from Garnett this afternoon. 
Chris will be staying over to go to town at the old house with me next week. 

We had a gloriously beautiful spring day. 

I don't even mind the dandelions!

The straw bales that protected the ducks this past winter are sprouting grass now. 
They are so heavy, they are staying right where they are! 

I'm still planning on doing a straw-bale experiement next spring. 

Double click on this picture above... and you will see the happy surprise I found down in the 
wild corner of the pasture after I did the chores! 

See their little heads nodding at you? 

The first morels of the season. 

Here they are at home, before cleaning. 

Dredged in egg, milk, and flour... salted and peppered... no, it's not a diet food... they were cooked in butter. 

And, voila!  Ready to go on our plates, with a piece of steak, and green beans. 
Let's just say I nuked the baked potato a LITTLE TOO LONG. 

Keith and I are still dragging a little... so he is already asleep, as soon as he ate. 

And... as I reminded Christopher, who helped me do chores on the way home... remember... 
there are little worlds all around us, friends... be cognizant of them and take care of them.  
We put the lost baby back in with his brothers and sisters, and put the cover down over them. 
Even the wee mice deserve a chance. 

We are going to pick up our season tickets for the T Bones tomorrow, 
and watch a bit of the open tryouts... at 1 grandson Jacob has another soccer game, 
and after the game, Jake, and Jax are coming back with us.  We'll have an afternoon of 
basketball playing, frisbie tossing and Monopoly playing, and we have borrowed a couple of 
good movies for the evening.  After hamburgers we'll have lots of popcorn and soft drinks, and settle in for the movies.  

Sunday, our area is in the plains-wide severe weather watch... so 
after breakfast, Jim will come out to collect Jax and Jake, and Nathan and I will head for Garnett and see if I can beat the storms home. 

Should be a FUN weekend! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Serious Subject

The old place. 

This is what it will always be like in my dreams. 
All the animals getting along well... and in good health... and the grass green...

And the turkey poults.... errrrr ... chicks healthy and out with mom. 

And the gardens with fresh mulch...

And all the different animals looking so healthy...

And they never die. 

But here's the reality. 

I spent 3/4 of my time.... three quarters.... taking care of all these 
various and sundry animals... and I took care of them like each was the only animal I had... which was the only way I knew how or accepted. 

I was up early, and went to bed in exhaustion nearly every day.  For eight years, we never 
went ANYWHERE together overnight, except maybe 3 times... and it was an effort to find farmsitters every time we needed to be away for a few hours.  The farmsitters had to be paid, too.  

If it wasn't the animals, it was the gardens or mowing the yard or pasture. 
Always, always, something that needed to be done. 

I had done this at the first Calamity Acres, too, when there was only one of me. 

I should have known. 

Keith jumped right in with both feet when we first moved there... and built so much of the infrastructure... his mantra, in fact "Infrastructure first".  Of course, I didn't always follow it. 

Then, his health worsened.  

I spent even more time taking care of everything... and things started to go to rack and ruin in the buildings. 

Fast forward to our move, totally unexpected this spring. 

If you had asked me a year ago... would I ever move off our little piece of heaven? 


But here is something I have been finding out in this last month. 

It's okay not to feel guilty about not doing chores for an hour in the morning and in the evening. 

It's okay not to start 500 seeds inside. 

It's okay not to be planning a garden this year, when we are surrounded by 
farmer's markets. 

It's okay not to can or freeze. 

Will I ever have a garden again?  

YES... I am already planning it.  But we are at least two months away from 
being completely finished at the old place... so we won't be doing much 
but planters this year.  

Will we ever have diverse animals again... no, but I'm happy to have had them, and 
I admire those who have them.  I can tell you it is hard, hard work. 

Here is something else I have been finding out...

I have a husband with whom I can have discussions again. 
I told him last night "Gee, we sure are talking a lot since we moved!" 
He said 
"You were always busy outside, and I was too sick to go out. When you came in, you were too tired to talk."

Shame on me.  

That, if anything, is a good enough reason to move. 

So... yes, I miss the ponds, and the pasture and the wild things and the birds and the mini-horses, 
but I have a best friend back again, and a hopefully long future with him. 

A good trade off? 

I think YES! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Girl Lil

Since we moved, Lilly Ann has a new lease on life.  I think the years were beginning to tell on her 
at the old place. 

She has been very playful today. 

I wish I could have gotten her on camera throwing that toy up in the air and dancing all around the room with it... while it was "talking"... because she kept chomping the sound button inside it. 

There are quiet times, too.  We notice that the two dogs are sleeping together a lot more than before. 

Despite her age... she'll be 8 this summer... Lil is still a big, strong dog.  

She gets to go with me in the car now almost daily... to visit the old place, and do errands.  For a dog that never went anywhere for years... she's happy to climb in and go bye bye. 
She's our girl! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Signs of Spring

Tulips galore in a neighbor's front yard... I like this idea!

Dogs sleeping on the cool bathroom tile. 

Green grass in a beautiful dell, with a stream running through it, to boot!

Tulips blooming that I totally forgot I planted!

Morning sun shining on the ponds. 

Artemesia growing at the side of the new house... a happy discovery!

Calves in almost every pasture around us... what a happy time of year!