Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pseudo-lazy Sunday

After doing our bi-monthly trip to a town about an hour away this morning we decided to trek out and check out the blueberry bushes out and about. We are still looking for berry spots.

So we wandered up and down this road and that. 

The sky was a perfect blue and the clouds were so pretty.  Even the darker ones. 

While we were looking there was a quick rain storm. It lasted only minutes.  Big fat raindrops. 

We pulled over on one road and hopped out of the car to take a look.

There were *some* berries but not much. Soon, though, very soon, there will be plenty.

We picked and kept about half a cup of berries.  I know my son was eating them as soon as he was picking them. If I was nice, I could make blueberry pancakes to celebrate the first pick of the season. 

On one of the other roads there were wild roses growing in the ditch.

I haven't seen wild roses in years. 

In knitting news, I'm all done with the shawl I was working on. I cast off this morning and weaved the ends in tonite. It's currently all folded up and tucked away.  It is the Splendid Triangle Shawl by LionBrand. I used HomeSpun yarn.  I love this yarn for comfy shawls.

Now to pick out the next project.

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Getting lots of groceries without breaking the bank.

2. Watermelon for dessert.

3. Going out on an "adventure" with the family.

4.  How well all the chickens put themselves to bed each night.  I may have said this one before but it really does make the evening easier.

5. First really good corn on the cob of the season.  Mmm, when it's good, it's good!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I have a new front deck!

Today was a great day for building a front "stoop." Maybe ... the temps ended up higher than anticipated. However, it didn't stop my guy!

At about 7 a.m. he went out and started working.  Once I got some coffee in me and some food I followed and starting clearing out concrete chunks.  Sometime around 8 a.m. he had to pull the jackhammer out again and break up some chunks that were still in the way.

About 9:30 I had to go make my son something to eat.  I came back outside to this.

Not too long after that we got this. I helped a *wee* bit with screwing the deck boards down. 

This was how far along it was before lunch time.  We decided to have lunch in town and pick up some supplies. Unfortunately a trip to town usually takes three hours.  I'm drawing a blank on what time we got back.

Once we got back he put the rest of the posts up and  started working on the risers for the stairs.

You have to really know your math to get the risers just right. Luckily for me, he's wicked smart in that department!

When the stairs were completed I was the first one to use them.  Solid as can be!

After a few hours of work we stopped to eat. Then he went back out to wrap things up and I cleaned up the kitchen.

Then suddenly, it was done!

It looks so purdy!

I think it really dresses up the front of the house. 

Woo hoo! All done! This is a thousand times better than what was there before.  Now everything is perfect!

Meanwhile, my son is still coughing and couldn't help too much with the stoop building so he hung out in the back yard, with the chickens, and read.

He has read more this month than I have.  I'm so proud of him!

The construction and clean up got done just in time.  A storm literally blew in. The sky went dark very quickly and the wind picked up.  The guineas spooked and ran out of their coop.  So then the youngest babies decided it was all right to freak and run out of their coop. I guess storms get Buck's little motor going ... 

The boys came out of the house and we guided all the birds back into their coops.  Then it started raining. I've been hearing rumbling for the last half hour or so.

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. The front deck is all done and that it all fell into place so quickly.

2. Bug spray!

3.  How good my bed will feel tonite.

4. The little barking sounds the turkeys make.

5. I made time for knitting today.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Starting the day with surprise visitors

This morning I was up and doing my usual routine which involves sitting in the living room and chatting with my guy. He sits in front of the main window. As I was looking over at him a black bear entered my view.

Course, by the time I got my camera she turned.

Then my guy exclaimed "Look!" and pointed over to the right of the front yard.  There was a "baby."

Baby came trotting over to mom and they meandered over to the side yard. 

I ran to my bedroom and saw them hanging by the side yard. The littlest chickens in the nursery coop were all alert and pointing in the direction of the bears.  So I opened the window and started yelling at the bears and they went running off into the Jack pines.

I'm so not happy about this.  Last year I saw bears maybe three times over the whole season.

That was the start of my day and nothing topped it.  I can promise that.

Went to work. Work was very quiet. I left early, ran some errands and went to day camp and picked my son up early.

When we got home he parked himself on the floor in the living room and rested while I took care of some house things. This afternoon I was able to get some knitting time in, take a cat nap and try a new recipe. It's called Creamy Bow Tie Pasta.  The recipe was a bit putzy and I can certainly see why the boxed pasta side dishes are so popular.  I enjoyed the final product.  I would add more garlic and spice if I make it again.

Remember back in March or April when I was ALL ABOUT having herbs growing in the tin cans?  Yeah ... I started some seeds indoors but those fell by the wayside once we got more baby chicks in the house. The cans still aren't spray painted. It's either been too cold or too damp out to try and spray painting anything. This afternoon I planted a bunch of herb seeds and my fingers are crossed these will thrive. 

We got rain this evening.  It wasn't a cold rain but I didn't want to be out in it.  The guineas were squawking up a storm because they were getting wet.  They were going to make a dash to their coop but the other chickens were in there and eating their food.

After the rain eased up a bit my DH went out and jack-hammered the front stoop for a little bit while  I  used the wheelbarrow to haul the broken concrete. I'm bummed that even with the wheelbarrow I can't haul too much more than if I had used the red wagon. I guess I'm just a weakling that way.

Last night after I published my blog entry I realized I hadn't done a daily 5.  I was more tired than I thought.  Unfortunately I'm going through a bout of insomnia and it may be starting to catch up to me.  I'm not forgetting tonite!

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Walking into my house and smelling supper cooking in the oven. 

2. Elvis' eye is looking better.

3.  Finally getting herb seeds planted.

4. Spending time in my craft room knitting.

5. My son is on the mend. Hallelujah!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Near the end of the week catch up

It was another one of those weeks that flew by and I didn't spend much time in front of the computer. ... Let's see ...

On Monday, it was a really quiet day both at work and home. I got the okay to take Tuesday and Wednesday off from work. When my son and I got home he crawled onto his chair in the living room and fell asleep.  I thought he was tuckered out from daycamp, but really, I should know better by now.  He *never* does something like that unless he's not feeling well.

On Tuesday I kept my son home since he was looking pretty pathetic and running a mild fever.  Though he did perk up after a while and a dose of medicine. We ran some errands, picked up my birthday present from my DH and came back home. Shortly after getting home, a worker from the power company was walking through my side yard and came knocking on my door. Turns out the were going to lay a new power line since the old one is "vintage." He mentioned the power outage last year. I said "Oh yes, that happened on the first day of school."

However, my garden is running right over an easement they have for the lot behind my property. 

Great, just great.  I told him that nothing had been marked even though someone said they would mark all underground cables and wires.  Otherwise, no way would we have put the garden there.

The red line indicates where the underground wire is. 

Thankfully, they can move over about 15-20 feet and run it between the trees. Though now I guess I'm worried if that will kill the mature trees. 

Speaking of the garden, here is the arbor with the grapevine.  I can't wait to see that grapevine all over the arbor.

Later in the evening I tried out my gift from my DH.  I'm enjoying it very much.  I'm sure the neighbors are not.

Wednesday it was my birthday.  I kept my son home again. The night before he fell asleep on the couch with my cloth knitting bag on him like a blanket. I should have got a picture, but I didn't.  Not very smart of me.  He also developed a cough.  I let him stay on the couch and Wednesday morning he got up and went to his bedroom and crawled into bed.  So I let him stay home again. He slept til 8 a.m. and after a few hours he perked up again. So I took him to the local Dairy Queen for lunch.  He ate only half his burger and barely touched his sundae.

It was pretty blah for most of the day. 

Oh yeah, and I colored my hair and gave myself a pedicure.  A gift to myself.

After supper I practiced with my handgun again. I did pretty great.  I went for a very long time not doing so well with target practicing.  I think I've found "it" again.

This is a grouping of five shots from 30 feet away.  I will probably never do this well again.

That brings us today.

Went to work and brought my son to daycamp. He seemed to be better.

When I got to the office my coworker had birthday goodies sitting on my desk.  A four-pack of root beer, which made me smile, a Lindt dark chocolate bar and a brioche cinnamon roll from the local coffee shop.  Oh yum!  She also spoiled me and took me out to lunch.

After work I picked my son up and he looked wore out.  When he got in the car he said he didn't want the windows open or the air conditioning on.  He was running another fever :-(

I made a quick stop at wal*mart and got some medicine.  By the time I got back out to the car he was sleeping and didn't want to wake up.  In fact, he slept almost all the way home. 

There was a quick side trip to my MIL's to pick up a birthday gift from my SIL and BIL.

I got the blue Ball canning jars.  Three packs!

I was so pumped when I saw these!  I've been secretly lusting after these for the last year or so.  I haven't let myself buy them because per jar they are more expensive then regular jars.  I can't wait to use them.  My DH was helping me thinking of what would look good in them. 

I got some really wonderful birthday gifts this year and have been spoiled rotten. This has really been a great year for me and I am so grateful for that.

Look at my usually sweet little Elvis.  She's still brooding and getting light as a feather.  She is eating but not as much as she should be, I'm sure.  I noticed that she also has one eye that is partly swollen.  I'm wondering if she got hen pecked.   In the meantime, her depth perception sucks.

My guy was holding Buck and I tried to take photos of his feathers.  He's got such pretty feathers. 

Can you see the blue?

Back on Monday I got the privilege of seeing Buck become a man.  The poor hen looked all confused.  Since then Buck has been walking with a bit of a swagger and he's been taking liberties with the hens right in front of Brewster.  I have to say, I'm a bit surprised he would be so bold.

Then tonite happened. I heard a commotion in the coop.  Brewster knocked poor Tailed-Red off the roost and Buck tried to take advantage. Brewster flew down, knocked Buck off  and finished the deed.  I left the coop but returned a few second later when I heard yet another commotion and thought Tailed-Red was being picked on. I opened the coop door in time to see Honk go flying into the window.  Tailed-Red was running around and Brewster was giving Buck a butt-whooping.  Brewster then got back up on the roost and started chattering at Buck, who didn't move a muscle.

Poor Buck. He's so frustrated.

Here is the beginning of the next house project.  A new front stoop to the house.  But first, the old one needs to be removed

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sundays are for baking (finally)

Decent weather made for a perfect day to spent outside and in the garden for a bit. Much weeding was done and after a yummy dinner I busted out the baking gear and made my first batch of granola I've made in ages.

I had my first bowl and it's SO good.

I also busted out the dehydrater for the first time of the season.  I used my fancy new mandolin to slice up some Granny Smith apples.  When they are ready I'll be using them in my granola.

I was also a sweet wife and made another batch of the almond cookies that my guy loves.

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Seeing the turkeys run.  It's hilarious!

2. Anti-itch cream for all the fresh mosquito bites

3. My homemade granola

4. The grape trellis is set up and it looks great.  I forgot to take a photo.

5. Making my son laugh.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sunny, wonderful Saturday

Both yesterday and today we woke up to a bear in the yard. The one that visited the side yard yesterday was BIG, several hundred pounds. It was sniffing the ground looking for something.  I yelled at it and it ran away.  Today the bear was the young one from a few days ago.  This one was chased off as well. Hmmmm.

Today we went to town and picked up supplies for a new front stoop and ...

an arbor for the grapevine by the garden.

I put this together almost all by myself.  There was a few things that I couldn't quite reach and my DH came to my rescue.

Other things I did today was taking back the yard, so to speak.  I used the push lawnmower and cleared the edges of the yard and also cleared out the area behind the chicken coops.  I look like I scalped part of the yard but it will look fine after a few days.

The girls had a fabulous day outside today.  I had to share a photo of Grandma P.  Her tail is back. 

Buck is up to no good lately. 

Yesterday he nipped my son. When I was outside and keeping an eye on him Buck went submissive in front of me. I've never seen him do that before but I guess he recognizes I'm his alpha. 

Today he thought it would be a good idea to jump on of the girls, right in front of Brewster.  He was promptly knocked off his "high horse."

He's also taken to running to and from the deck when someone comes out.  

Tonite it was verified that Honk is indeed a boy. He jumped on the wynadotte, right in the chute.  He didn't do a good job because she didn't seem to mind and kept right on with what she was doing, which was going to eat scratch. 

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. The weather got nice today.  It was a wee bit chilly this morning. 

2. I got my birthday present from my DH ordered.  :-)  I'll be able to do this: 

With my very own S & W, M & P. Squee!

3. The guineas put themselves to bed tonite.

4. My son had lot of imitative today and did things around the house without being asked.

5. How fresh the night air smells right now.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A mostly chicken update

I feel like I should start carrying a camera and video recorder out to the chicken coops, always.

Buck is basically harassing the girls. He's so desperate to make hearts with one of them. I think he doesn't even care which one it is.  He chased Elvis for a bit, who freaked and ran around.  Then he tried to be with No-Tail and she was having none of that.  She turned around and chased him down and growled at him. 

You can tell when he's been up to no good by the way he goes running across the yard.

The best part was when he tried to be with the Wynadotte and he made the mistake of doing that right in front of Brewster.  Brewster literally came sliding in to teach Buck a lesson.

Everyone else seems to be fine and doing great.

This is our Barred Rock.  She's such a little sweetie.  She likes to be held.  She reminds me so much of Spot, our first Barred Rock.  Smart as a whip and such a little dearie. 

One of the Americaunas enjoying the perch that was installed this week. She didn't want her photo taken.

One of our other Americauna babies.  I love her little tufts of feathers around her face.

It was hard getting an image of both the turkeys.  They don't like it when you get into their personal bubble of space.  Two of the guineas are in the background.

Elvis' second batch of babies are as fiesty as ever.  They will forever be known as Team Dauntless. The two darker ones in this picture are roos, I think.  The one in the middle for sure.

Not afraid of much and ready to knock their food all over the place to show how "tuff" they are.  Seriously, scratching their food out of their feeder was a very bad habit they picked up from Elvis before we put Elvis back in the coop.

Our newest babies are quiet busy. 

They are so sweet at this age with their bitty feathers and rough and tumble ways. 

Some of them already have wee little tails.  

I spent some time in the garden tonite.  

And we had a visit from a local bear.  It wandered into the yard and moseyed around a bit. I tried to take a decent photo but my camera wouldn't focus properly. 

Seemed as if it knew I was trying to take it's photo.  Look at that pose. 


After I took the photos my DH went out and yelled at the bear and it ran away.  I'm sure we haven't seen the last of it.

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Homemade root beer floats

2. Family dinners.

3. Spending time in the garden this evening.

4. Singing "Godzilla" in the car with my son

5. String cheese.