Sunday, October 29, 2017

Frost on the Pumpkin

Guess what?

There was frost on the pumpkin this morning. 

I'm bringing this one... 

And the green one up on the deck today. 

The dogs went out, did their things, and came back in where it was warm. 
I don't blame them. 

Because today was the first day the outdoor water froze, too. 

I need to poke around in the shop tomorrow and find my 
heated water bowls that I keep on the deck for the wild birds all winter. 

Sister is venturing out several times a day, mostly when he gets tired 
of being abused by Twinkle. 

He sits at the door and meows when he is ready to come back in. 

Last night he leapt off my lap to go lay on the couch when Twinkle joined us. 

Twinkle looks as if she were going to the bathroom here, but she is not.  

She was balancing where she landed on the edge of the couch, on her way to bothering Sister again. 

It's the last hurrah for the mums, too!

Here I need to make a statement about posting. 

I'm back out in the country and off cable, i.e., back 
on a satellite operation... at least, I think they are satellite driven, but 
am not sure.  Notice how cagey I am being about the carrier?  I have had a few outages... but they are usually resolved shortly... it's just that uploading pictures is SLOW.  I usually get up and go do things in the house while they are loading.   BUT... I am pretty patient, so I am going to stay with this service. 

One good thing about the frost, my grass cutting days are ending.  I ran into the young man 
who cuts the big house (no, it has not sold) yard... and he told me they will skip this week, and check it next week to see if it needs to be cut again.  I was there after church last night to turn the 
furnace on, and noticed it is looking beautiful.  
I will be so happy when it sells, rather than feeling sentimental about it, 
I recall it as the place where Keith was so very sick, and I do not like 
going over there unless I have to. 

The young man who cuts the yard here was out this week, and realizes the mowing is ending... he is going to start cutting saplings from my fenceline, hallelujah!  I told him I could not support him all winter, but there was plenty he could do here to keep him busy as I pay as I go.  I will be glad to get 
things cleared up.  

Do you all realize Halloween is upon us, and Thanksgiving just around the corner? 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Fine Fall Day

Four years ago, when Keith and I moved from Calamity Acres, my friend 
Georgie sent me some flower seeds, so I would have flowers at the big house. 

These gorgeous marigolds were amongst those seeds.  I have kept the seeds every year, and this year, I poured some into one of the vegetable beds.  I also planted green and yellow beans, and
picked so many I let the rest just die on the vine.  

I also kept zinnia seeds, to plant for next year. 

I am so enjoying these.  I also have TWO pumpkins. 

One orange one.

And a green one that is going to have to ripen off the vine, as we are expecting weather in the 30's and 20's on Friday and Saturday nights!

Kaffe Klatsch at the henhouse. 

Twink went to the vet today and has gained 10 ounces.  She had her 
first kitten shots, and was FIV and Leukemia negative.  She will not be spayed until she is 20 weeks old. 

She will be chipped, too.  You just can't be too safe these days. 

She still got an antibiotic shot, she is not over her cold yet. 

I made another stop, too, on this fine fall day... to see the heroes and heroines who lie among us. 

A beautiful day. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Most Beautiful Time of Year

The view from my porch lightens my heart every morning, this time of year. 
Soon, there will be a tall tree to the right turning orange... I can't wait. 

Skeins of spider silk were blowing in the winds. 

The hens look beautiful in the autumn light, even in the middle of their moult. 

Do does my beautiful girl. 

This light makes me happy, too... when I see it in the window when I am outside after dark. 

I am still putting things away... will it ever end???  
But I'm so glad to be back!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

More from Calamity Acres

The view from my porch steps about 30 minutes ago.  We had a very bad storm last night, and got about 2.45 inches of rain, along with booming thunder and scary lightening.  The dogs and Sister hung close, they were all nervous.  Heck, I was nervous!  Though the lights flickered, they didn't go out, but I was reminded how rain fade can obscure your television dish receiver.  It was okay, I was 
in the middle of a great book, and I am also a hopeless Instagram addict. 

Here we are at the beginning of the storm... I had come out of church at 6, and 
realized if I stopped at Casey's for a root beer (my big Saturday night fling) that I 
was going to be in trouble at home, trying to do chores in rain. 

I found about 8 chickens still out, milling around in the chicken yard, but by the time I went over to 
batten down the hatches on the "cat house".... and went back, everyone had gone in. 

I hit the porch just as the rain started, the dogs rushing to keep up with me.  Lilly has feared storms since she was a puppy.  At the big house, she could escape into the darkest corner of the basement, where no light shown in, and stay down there until the hoopla was over.  
Here she stays in the hallway between the living room and bedrooms.  Last night, however, she stayed near me. 

As I sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast this morning, I heard cackling. 
Some one was hanging around the door, looking for a treat. 

(this is a brown Leghorn) 

She got it. 

I should say that I let Sister out, as well.  He spent Friday night out, as well, and 
I brought him back in the next morning. 

He was trying to get out the door this morning and I went ahead and let him out, but yes, I have qualms.  Nickie lived in/out his whole life here... Gwen was in.  I really don't want to lose Sister, so may reconsider this.  

In the meantime, there is this:

In the meantime, there is this. 

I did not come back from Iowa alone. 

I heard a growl from the living room, and looked up to see this.  Lilly and Twinkle, and Lilly was definitely not amused.  It took Lilly six months to accept Sister, and I think it will be six with Twink (thank you Jeanne, for the name suggestion). 

Twinkle and Sister are being kept apart at present, as Twink is on medication for a cold, and then has to have her vaccinations.  She came from a goat farm where the kind farmer leaves cat food out for the ferals.  She is extremely friendly, though, unlike the Wild Four in my cat house. 

Twinkle in her office. 

Another view of my kitchen.  I bit the bullet and bought a new fridge, 
but the double-oven stove is one that Keith bought me right before our move. 
I left it here for the tenants to use, and it looked as if the oven had never been used. 
Paiton and I are going to put it to good use today, making Halloween cookies. 

I intend to put a rug in the kitchen, but have not decided on one yet.  I am paying cash as I go, so there is that, too.  I don't want any charges hanging over my head. 

Part of the bathroom.  I opted for NO tub,
I have a shower only.  

It is such a luxury having that beautiful linen cabinet made by 
Lavery Woodworks, who did all the cabinetry.  The ONLY thing
I would change is having a third drawer put in the vanity. 

Notice I put a grab bar by the shower. 

I guess I could have turned the light on.  I put a single bed in the spare bedroom, so there is a little more room in there than before.  There is a dresser out of sight to the right, and this is the room 
Chris uses when he comes up. 

Right before the move, my washer quit working right, and would not work on any cycle but "light".  
When I got here, the move had messed up the dryer, and it would not shut itself off, I had to keep track of it all the time.  Once I left, and worried myself sick because the dryer was running.  I came clear across the county to turn it off.  So... I invested in what will probably be the last washer and dryer I will ever buy, a Samsung pair bought at of all places, JC Penney's! 

The dryer vent tube needs to be cut down, so it's sticking out a little til my son has time to do it. 

The reason I posted it though, is that that neat cupboard that holds cleaning supplies pops out... so that there is access to all the pipes.  Is that cool or WHAT? 

And this lovely cabinet, which can be locked, is 
at the back of the laundry room where our pantry cabinet 
used to sit... providing extra storage.  Sister's box sits just to 
right of it, in the open space you see. 

Lavery Woodworks did all the cabinetry in the house.  

I almost wish I had had a cabinet like this one put in my bedroom, too! 

October 21st.  WOW. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

There is a New Sheriff in Town

And his name is

Rooster Cogburn. 

He is from the Ag Flock, donated by Stromberg's 
Hatchery.  This year we were given all standard cochins, and 
there were five cockerels with the flock. 

Five different colorways, black, splash, buff, blue and partridge. 

He had never been on grass before yesterday, and it was comical 
to see him jump up and down and lift his feet up high for the first five minutes. 

He latched onto Big Fluffy Head and followed her around most of the day.  He still will not come up on the deck. 

You know... like this. 

It will come, I'm sure. 

He went right in with the hens last night and tonight, thank heavens, 
because I was afraid I was going to have to catch him in the hen yard and carry him in. 

My original plan was to bring several cockerels here, but that is not going to happen. One is enough. 

This is the pitiful take from 17 hens last night. 
Tonight, I got two more.  Yes, they are moulting... but...
they WERE also laying in two dog houses on the side of the house.  I suspect now some 
are laying UNDER the deck at the front of the house, because I hear their egg laying song 
from there.  

Very frustrating, but.... since they free range all day, I am hardly having to buy any
pellets for them.  That will change in the next month or so.  I do give them "Chicken Delight" (along with their pellets) from 
Valley Feed in Bonner Springs, Kansas... but I also don't go through much of that, either. 

Before, Lilly would kill a chicken who got too close to her.  I had chickens free-ranging in the pasture, but none in the yard, ever.  She has mellowed out... sometimes she will toss her head at one, but generally, leaves them alone, even when they are near her. 

She does not like the kitten, though, and that is worrisome. 

Jean suggested I call her Twinkle, and I love that name.  I am 
waiting to see what the vet says on Monday when she goes back. 
We are struggling with nasal discharge right now, and I want to be sure 
she is going to be healthy. 

Thank you all for your wonderful comments last night, I can't guarantee I will post 
EVERY day, but I'll sure try!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

At Long Last

Yes, I'm still alive, as are Jester and Lilly! 
My last post was August 8th, and I have intended to post EVERY day since then. 
Best laid plans.  

I moved on September 12.  For once, I had movers do the actual move, but it was not the final move.  My grandson Chris and I were so exhausted, we fell asleep in the deck chairs while the three young men moved the things in. 

They tore the freshly painted front door up, but at that point, I was so tired I didn't care. 
It can be fixed later, and I think I am going to have a steel door put on, I am still deciding. 

Here is how my kitchen looked two days before.  

I ended up having to buy a new refrigerator and the stove still had to be moved 
in from the porch, where it sat all covered up all summer. 

Of course, I got busy planting a few things right away. 

My living room is cozy.  

In the big house, I had taken over a bedroom to use as my tv room. 
I loved the coziness of it, rather than being spread out in the living room. 
Remember that that house is 3000 square feet (nearly) and this one is 
1000.  I am NOT cramming it full like I did when Keith was alive and we lived here. 
Do you see the blinds on the window in this picture?  They look like grass cloth, they are from Bali.... I paid 1/4 of what I paid for the honeycomb blinds in the big house, and I love them.  I bought them through Home Depot.  I still had 3 windows to cover... so while these were installed, the installer measured for the other three, and they are coming on Friday afternoon this week. 

Now, a word about the floors.  I have an area rug in the living room, one in the spare bedroom, and one in my bedroom.  I am going to put a larger one in the kitchen area, but I am waiting for the right one.  

One thing I have learned since Keith died is patience.  I look out the windows from my kitchen table, and I think "my gosh, I have GOT to clear those fencelines".  In the old days, I would have been driving Keith nuts to start.  You know what?  In everything there really IS a season.  The fencelines will get done.  The young man who has cut grass for me all summer and I spoke yesterday, and he is going to commence chopping saplings to the ground in about two weeks.  He is going to go slowly and do some every month.  

The garden that was mowed down in August came back (along with the weeds).  Brandon is going to pull out three of the four long beds, we will leave ONLY the shrubs in them.  I am transplanting what flowers were in them.  Then I'll have only one 25 foot long bed to dig and re-do, plus the two 
shorter ten foot beds on the ends. 
I am going to take pictures of all this this afternoon, so it will seem clear to you.  

I am keeping the veg beds, though two must be emptied and completely rebuilt. 
I may re-erect the hoop house, I loved it... and I still have the basic structure, buried in weeds. 

My two beautiful boarders from the summer have gone home. 
I feel I need to explain something here.  I have always loved horses, and 
have had both large and minis in the past.  

I was able to go between these two during the summer, and turn them 
into the yard at night to graze... with no problems, but I was extremely careful, always aware that one kick would do it to me.  

The day their owner came to load them was a rodeo.  The mare, in the back ground here, went nuts when I lead her out to the yard.  She will not load.  She reared over and over, and I am talking about above my head, like the westerns.  She got loose twice, and the second time I had had wrapped the lead around my hand without thinking... I was lucky not to lose my little finger, which is still sore.  
Her owner tied her to my gate I just had fixed this summer... and she proceeded to break her halter and bend the gate.  (It has been fixed) 

The gelding, 17 hands... got into the trailer with us pulling a rope around his hindquarters, and when the mare broke loose, she launched herself at him and we slammed the gate of the trailer.  
It was not fun, and dangerous, to boot. 

I realized I am NOT going to have untrained horses of any size here again.  Paiton, my little granddaughter, wants a horse... we are going to do riding lessons and see how far we get... because in the future, I would buy her a horse IF the interest is there and we had a secure place to keep one.  (Her dad and I are studying that). 

It was suggested to me that I get 3 or 4 ewes, and put them in the goat barn.  
You see, the horses did a great job keeping the pasture down for me, and sheep would 
do even better.  I am looking at hair sheep, it is difficult here to get sheep sheered unless you 
have a number of them.  I am going to work on this during the winter, and plan for spring. (No,Keith, I am not rushing out and buying the sheep... infrastructure, first)  

The girls are loving it.  It makes me feel so good to see them out in the yard. 
They put themselves to bed at dark, and I go out at a commercial and 
count heads on the roost... then lock up for the night.  They are all 
moulting like crazy, and I am NOT getting 17 eggs a day... but I am getting enough to 
donate, and that's what it's about for me.  I am even thinking of building up numbers next
spring, but things have to be right to do that. 

I have filled in the gaps here, I'll show them to you tomorrow. 
How I wish Keith and I had made a conversation area on the deck he built. 
We loved to talk to each other, and usually did it on the porch. 
We could have enjoyed this deck, grandson Chris and I sure have. 

I don't decorate as much as I used to for Halloween... but I love the minimal stuff I have done. 

Before we moved, Lilly went for rides twice a day to 
shut the chickens up or let them out.  Last week, she rode back and forth across the yard with me as I moved boxes from the shed.
We had a little scare a few months ago, but she is so happy... she spends almost all day outside, into the evening.  She is allowed access to the pasture in the day, but not night... and she likes to go down and sniff around (another reason I'm glad the horses are gone).  
Jester I keep a little closer tabs on. 

This is my beautiful granddaughter, Madison, last 

And this is my son, Jim, with Maddie's little baby girl, 
Maci Lynn, born last Thursday, the newest member of our family! 

Maddie is turning into an awesome mom, and she and Maci live with my son and her mom, Amy. 

On Friday last week, I ran up to Iowa to see a good friend with some china I wanted to give her.

Here is Deb Long with Petey, her guard donkey. 

Petey is guarding 4 goats and some ducks. 

Here is Deb in their comfortable new house... in the country... and Maggie, Stella Rose, and Angus (Gussie). 

I had the most wonderful evening, we went to eat in Keosauqua and walk around the grounds where Octoberfest was to be held the next day.  However, the weather was threatening, and it did, indeed, storm badly during the night, so I left the next morning at 9.  It was such a good short trip, though, we talked til late and ate breakfast together in the morning.  I met Deb and Butch's neighbors, Kenneth and Janet, and we had a good visit with them, too.  I'll plan on staying a couple of nights the next time, but you know what?  My wandering days are over.  I love my home... I love my "place"... my pets.... I am happy here. 

I did not come home alone.  

As of yet, unnamed.  

I have another surprise coming this weekend, you will all laugh. 

Yesterday was one year since Keith has passed away. 

I went to the cemetery, as I often do, to talk to him. 
He did not want me to move back here, he felt it was way too much work. 

I am being smarter than I was in the old days. 

I explained to him I am hiring things done now... and not trying to do
everything myself, yesterday. 

I miss him, but my life has gone on, now, and I am so very happy. 
Sometimes I pinch myself to be sure it is really me, really living here again and doing what I want to do. 

They had newly sodded his section since I was there two weeks ago, and the stones are up on the three rows behind him now, so it took a minute to find him.  I had to laugh and tell him I had lost him.... but there he was... waiting. 

So, summer has faded to fall. 
For me, the happiest time of the year.  

I'll unpack those big cameras and take some pictures for you this afternoon! 

(and to the very kind reader who wrote me wondering what had happened... thanks so much for reading my humble blog, nine years old now.  I have made so many good friends through this blog, and I'm honored you read it.  I'll be more regular from now on!)