Sunday, June 28, 2020

Where Did June Go?

Oh, My.  It's June 28th, suddenly. 

I don't even know where the month went. 

I calculated today I have not been to Mass since the second week of March, 
I COULD go right now by making a reservation, but I am scared, I admit it. 

I wear a mask everywhere, you will get no argument from me. 

However, things are bustling on the "farm". 

I posted this last night on Insta, it shows the boarded sheep (and goat) grazing in the south end of the yard.  There is still decent clover there, we just had some rain yesterday morning. 
The pasture IS still holding up, despite the scarcity of rain, and I have actually not 
cut it for a month. 

I really like these ewes, though the Hampshires will be leaving this 
week (I think) so that they can be shown at our county fair. 
The fair will be for Four H only, and no animals will stay overnight.
You will haul in, show, and haul out, and ONLY families are allowed on the 

One of the Suffolks will also be leaving, but they are going to rotate more in. 

This Southdown loves to lay by the walk gate, under the shade of the 
big walnut by the old henhouse. 
There is a swimming pool just out of sight in the bottom of the 
picture, and I top it off with cool water all day. 

I keep the ground here pretty moist for them, and she lays here 
off and on all day. 

My beautiful Rusty, trying to eat before the chickens discovered his food, 
last night by the big hen house. 

And here, sadly, is beautiful Tanner, the cat who let my son and I pet him. 
Feral, but becoming friendlier and friendlier.  This was a Sunday night, two 
weeks ago.  He ate at my feet (you can just see my toe)... he had a can 
of cat food and some dry food.  As soon as he finished, he took himself over 
to the bench on my deck and jumped up, as if he wanted to visit for a while. 

You can just see him in the dusk, listening to me talk to him. 

Several days went by and I called to him each evening, because he always came up to 
eat.  I did not see him in and out of the pasture feeder.  (the feral feeder which the raccoons 
have just about taken over).  

Then, Troy next door called.  He had been mowing and saw something in the grass by his pond, on the steep side. 

It was Tanner.  I won't show you the picture, I went over to look at him.  He appeared to have been attacked, but that could have happened after death.  I could not get down to where he was, 
I have an ankle that just would not cooperate.  He reeked, so he must have died as early as Sunday night.  My heart broke, I wanted to bring him in and keep him as an indoor cat. 

This guy, also, has disappeared. 

Yes, he was a big raccoon.  He was coming out regularly in the daytime, 
and lest you think that indicates rabies, it does not always. 
He was hungry, very hungry, and slowly would make his way to 
the water I keep at the base of the maple tree by the deck. 
I began to leave out plenty of food for him, and looked for him daily. 

Looking back over the pictures I took, I noticed something. 

The poor thing had to lean against the pole for support, 
he is doing it in virtually every picture. 

I noticed also that he was biting at his left rear hip, I tried to get it 
on film, but did not.  I think, now, that he had been shot. 
 This was the second to last night I saw him, and yes, I had been 
making plans to borrow a live trap and taking him to 
Operation Wildlife for humane euthanasia.  I pray that he 
did not suffer long.  He was a beautiful, unique brown color. 

I have two rex begonias on the porch, I love them so.  At one time, my 
mom and I had a collection of them in a sunroom. 

I love squirrels, and I cannot lie. 

Two weeks ago, I showed you the garden Keith built for me, 
and how it had become overgrown.  

Ben, the young man who has been doing the heavy weed eating for me, 
has completely cleaned it out and tilled it.  Tomorrow, 
after the plumber leaves, I am going to 
go buy some dirt.  I will have to drive all the way up to the beds, 
but I can still move the one cubic foot bags.  

I am going to plant some flowers (since it so late) and 
some squash and pumpkins, and then I am going to trust Ben to 
keep it clean in between the beds so that things don't disappear into weeds 
like last year.  

The sad thing is, grandson Chris and I filled all those beds last year, too. 
This will probably be the last hurrah for the raised beds. 
I still like the idea of the Rubbermaid troughs. 

Because clearly, these containers were NOT big enough. 

That is a heavily-laden cherry tomato. 

If I don't water daily, this is what happens. 
(to be fair, it was windy) 

Some friends lost nearly their whole flock to foxes and raccoons. 
I'm keeping their remaining birds for a few more days, it's been fun 
watching them. 

Check out her eye. 

Every day she lets herself out of the fenced yard (yes, I  know how) and 
comes up to the deck to lay in the planter.  She bit me today while I was trying to 
pick something off her back! 

He was giving her some sass for trying to eat his food, I missed them face to face. 

Here she is walking away, after being scolded.

My sweet little Fritzi girl is being tested for Cushings tomorrow. 
This will be the second Monday she has spent at the vet, and I worry 
so about her. 

We will see what happens. 

How can we be thinking of Fall already????

Everyone have a safe and happy Fourth of July!  

I will be spending it here at home, keeping my babies safe. 

PSS... I forgot about these guys: 

The baby raccoons are everywhere! 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Into the Heat

Friends, NE Kansas is descending into heat.  We are expecting a full week of 
very hot temps, and no chance of rain until at least next Sunday. 

I watered yesterday afternoon, topping off the sheep tanks, the chickens, etc. and then 
came in to do some dishes.  I had no water, or almost none.  It's time to 
be careful, I am on a deep well, but I can't just water and water, and 
have to space it out.  I waited an hour for the well to pump back up, 
and things were fine.  It was a good reminder. 

I looked out to see Snowy and Jes lounging on the deck this morning before it got really oppressive. 
See the sheep in the distance?  
On Friday, Benjamin, my yard helper, was here, and we fashioned 
a gate to the front of the old henhouse, so that the sheep cannot get into it. 
(Two must not get into any grain). 

I can let them in to graze the heavy clover over there, and I have put deep fortexes 
on both sides so they have plenty to drink.  

However, when I went to put them back in the pasture this morning, I was short a sheep...SHE WAS IN THE HENHOUSE and I had to laugh, because I think she actually low-crawled under a side board. 
I am going to show it to Sam and Benjamin tonight and we will figure out a solution so the birds 
can get in and out, but the sheep cannot. 

She had not touched the chicken grain, I think she had just wanted out of the sun 
and to lay on the straw in there. 

At any rate, the sheep are only in the yard for a couple of hours at a time. 
I keep an eye on them. 

I sat up in bed this morning to find Rusty, the feral cat who was 
raised here, calmly cleaning himself .  He became aware of me watching, but 
kept grooming. 
He has let me get two feet away from him, but even after two years, does not trust
me to pet him.  He is in good flesh, and looks healthy, he was neutered as a kitten before he came here.  Sadly, his two sisters and one brother were gone long ago. 

My African violets are doing wonderfully!  These are in the laundry room 

I love this goat. 

My living room looks like a nursery.  Jester loves that tiny bed, for 
some reason.  

This boy is going on a diet, he cannot jump onto the bed any more, and I don't need another diabetic. 

Different day, same tiny bed. 

The "June candles", (yucca) have begun blooming along the road. 

They look wonderful in the evening. 

I have lots of daylilies on the deck right now, because I took apart a 25 foot long bed where I had them. 
They will get back in the ground this fall.  I am so enjoying them. 

Let me mention a book here. 

I have a copy of  "Gardening for a Lifetime" by Sydney Ellison.  I remember reading it ten years ago, and laughing and thinking "That will never be me".  Mrs. Ellison wrote about being widowed, and being unable to maintain the huge gardens she and her husband had created. 

She had huge daylily beds.  

The book is about how she worked around all the "work" that she and her husband had created, and how she gave up and combined things. 

I'm there. 
I'm rereading the book this week. 

Keith was so very generous to me, building beds all over this place. 
He built the raised bed vegetable garden, and I still have his notes from the 
first year, when he studied vegetables and ordered them carefully. 

He built eight beds, and an additional long bed to the right 
(the one with the ROSE BUSH I am still working on). 
They had trellises, and we grew beans and cukes in 

These beds were too close together, and weeds were a terrible problem, always. 
Keith hated weed-eating with a passion.  

(a friend suggested I put down roofing to keep the weeds down). 

Last year, Chris, my grandson, dug out all these beds, and 
we bought scores of bags of good dirt and filled them.

Within weeks of planting the vegetables, 
they were overgrown and I could not even get in there, remember, I was 
dealing with a torn Achilles tendon at that point, and Chris lives in 

The reason they are clean now is that I have a wonderful young man, Benjamin, 
who has been helping with heavy yard work. 

Two weeks ago, I visited Next to Nature Farm, here in Leavenworth County. 
They had an assortment of large stock tanks (Rubbermaid, I think) that they had planted with their vegetables.  These were three feet high, and as you can see, there was a variety in them. 


I priced these tanks the next week, and I can afford to accumulate a few. 
This would be a way for me to continue vegetable gardening for a few more years, 
after the initial purchase and the purchase of the dirt to fill them. 

For now, I have four tomatoes in pots.... the four on the left, 
the other is a milkweed variety. 

All the tomatoes are bearing fruit.  I just shot them with Miracle Gro today, too. 

So, today, I went to an open house in Tonganoxie.  There have been few, because of Covid 19, 
and I was surprised to see this one. 
I have watched the listings to see if anything looks like it would be manageable for me and the dogs. 
This was just a gamble, it was two stories. 

The house was cramped but had been done up cute, and the second story space made into a wonderful master suite. 

I got home, and stopped in Troy and Kathy's drive to give them some magazines for her mom. 

We were visiting, and I turned around and looked at the house and made an 

This is what I saw. 

I realized then and there, I can't move. 

(from the big hen house porch) 

At least, I can't move for a while. 

I had a good laugh at myself. 

Yep.  She lets herself out of the chicken yard, and puts herself back in. 
That dirt in the porch planter is mighty soothing. 

Aren't they beautiful?

As I type this on Sunday evening, our world and our nation are still in turmoil.  I pray daily that we can all come to a new consensus 
of a better way to live. 

I pray for prejudice to end, and for me to 
learn more. 

I hope staying in touch with you all helps. 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Long Time Gone

Friends, I have not posted in some weeks, so much so that a friend 
contacted me to make sure I was okay. 

Our world is changing.  I pray, for the better. 

I am as guilty as all my friends and family of not being 
as supportive as we can be of our brothers with different 
skin color. 

I hope to do better. 

I am trying to learn, at this ripe old age. 

The beautiful Baltimore Orioles are gone, now. 

I have put their feeder away for another year. 

I really enjoyed watching them. 

I did not see a hummingbird for a week, and I clean and refill the feeder every other day. 

Last night, I was about to step outside, and one went to the feeder just then.  I was so glad to see it. 

The pasture cam picked up one of the Hampshire lambs in with the group of 
ten sheep in the pasture (and one goat). 

They are the cutest darn things you ever saw, they are the youngest ewes here. 

I had to bring that camera in, the darn ants made a nest in it and it was 
full of antlings when I took it down. 

I'm trying to figure out where to re-hang it. 

Snowy and Jester have become good friends, and often lay near each other. 
Fritzi is good with Snowy, too.... but not as cuddly. 

Meet "Tanner".  (definitely a boy). 
Tanner is the cat I thought at first was a white cat, coming on the porch to eat. 
The camera picked him up as white at night.  He also was eating in the pasture feeder. 
As you see, he is tan and white, and the last two days, has hung around the porch and deck. 
The dogs know he is there, but have so far left him alone.  

When he sees me, he does not take off as Rusty does.... and for his trouble, 
he got a can of Friskies yesterday and again today. 
I saw him under there watching me do chores yesterday afternoon. 

There are plenty of places for him to sleep around here, and I think he is 
fine, as long as nothing gets him.  I can tell when he is 
under the deck, as Snowy's tale begins to wag. 

This beautiful daylily is one of many on my deck this year. 
I removed a 25 foot long bed on the south side of the yard, 
and I dug up all the daylilies I could find.  Next year, I'm planning 
on making a bed for them where irises are now, and putting the irises together. 
This lily was unnamed, and was on sale for 4.00 at Home Depot, I bought four. 
It is a beautiful buttery yellow. 

I asked Sam's permission to let the herd graze on the south side of my yard for a few days. 
Can you see the goat?  She has started trimming everything on that side, including a big stand of poison ivy.  To me, she is worth her weight in gold! 

I did go ahead and mow yesterday, because the clover was getting crazy, but in a few days, 
I will let the goat and three of the Suffolks back on it.  There are two Southdowns who need to stay out, they discovered where the old hen house feed cans were, and got into them. 

I'm wasting a fortune in food by feeding finch mix on the railing, but.... it pays off with 
my being able to see wonderful birds as I sit at my table and eat. 
This indigo bunting has been visiting regularly. 

The baby squirrels are still here and doing well. 

I found their mother dead under the maple tree one morning, no marks on her... I just find it 
hard to believe she fell, but that's what it looked like.  Two days later, as I was mowing by my front fence, I found another squirrel dead in the grass.  

I love squirrels, they are always welcome here. 

I have been posting a lot of snake pictures and videos on FB and Instagram. 
I am going to forego that here, as there are many out there who are uncomfortable with them. 

Wait, I lied.  Here is a snake that has just swallowed an egg... can you see it? 
It is a healthy sized snake, too.  

And finally, on June 1st, my little Snowy girl celebrated her 17th birthday!
I BOUGHT HER AN OVERALL DRESS and some bows, I've never done that before. 

She had that outfit on long enough for pictures to be taken, and now it's put away!

I was so lucky to be able to adopt her. 

Everyone stay safe out there, and I'll try to 
post more frequently.