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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's spring babies

Clyde is almost a year old.  We intended to take her to the vet and get her spayed, I guess we didn't realize how old she was, and she got pregnant before we could get her to the vet.  (Knuckles got to the doctor in time).   Before we knew it she was pregnant ... and we were to late.  The doctor said he could still spay her and abort the babies ... but I didn't want to do that.  So today was THE day.  When I left for work Knuckles was jumping up at the front window but I didn't think anything about it ..... she does weird stuff all the time.  When I left for work I asked Phil to give the yolks from my hard boiled eggs to Clyde because I thought she needed some extra calories and protein due to being SO pregnant.  When he went out to give her the yolks he found a baby!  Clyde gave birth in the "cat house" we put on the front porch last fall to keep them warm and dry.  It is a very small dog house with a "flap" over the front to keep the wind out.  We filled it with straw to keep them warm over the winter.  Apparently she likes it since that was the birthing place.  He picked up the house and moved it into the garage .... she didn't seem to mind.  She stayed tight and gave birth to two more babies. I was sure she would have more than 3 .... I was betting on 6. 
I got home around 5 PM ... and Clyde was safe and snug in her garage bed.  She is being a very good Mom and taking care of her babies.  She let me pick them all up, but watched me very carefully!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quirks??? Me? I don't think so

We all have our Quirks and things that bug us. Apparently one of mine is thistles. When we first moved out here 3 years ago I found tons of thistles growing in the neighbors field, and HORROR or all horrors on our property. I started spraying and chopping them out in the summer of 2007. In fact one of my “smile” memories is of my sister Betty and I walking around talking and spraying all the darn thistles. Over the past two summers I have put the grandkids to work for me. They walk over the yard to look for thistles and when they find one will yell for me to come get it. It has become a game for us. They want to be big enough to get them too, so this year we cut off an old broken hoe to fit the girls and they will be able to chop at them too.

Friday evening as the kids were leaving I spotted a huge thistle behind Molly’s house close to the back door! I was horrified to see this monster thistle living so close to the door I walk in and out of at least 15 times a day. Phil laughed and said he wondered how long it was going to take me to see it (it was hidden by the dog house and a tree). I wanted to get it out of there right then, but Phil said it was to late, just wait until morning. Saturday morning everything was still wet from the storm of the night before. I had let the dogs out to potty and spotted my trusty hoe leaned against the cupboard on the back deck so I snuck outside to kill the wretched thistle. Phil caught me by looking out the dining room window. He was inside laughing so hard, and said he was surprised I didn’t get up in the middle of the night to kill it.

This weekend was rainy and nasty outside. Saturday we spent running around getting chores done (I found 7 morale mushrooms during one of those chores) and the day was gone when we finally got home. Yesterday morning it was cold out but I really needed to get outside. In the drizzle I walked all over the property and chopped thistles. Whew, that felt good. It is always no nice to have a job well done. I sure wish Betty would come back and help me eradicate these dumb things!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Phil

Phils birthday is today.  He is 55 today ..... Whew I am happy that I am younger than him again. 
He is still so excited for birthdays.  Every time I talked to him on the phone he was singing "Happy birthday to me"  He has been asking for a carrot cake for quite a while so I tried to fool him into believing a forgot the cake .... he didn't even notice! 
Delana, Rick and the kids came for dinner.  The kids were so excited to give Grandpa his presents.  When we FINALLY finished eating and the cake came out they went crazy!  Open mine, NO open mine first  No me!!  He worked him way through the amazing gifts silly puddy, a duck bill whistle, slappy hands, slimy sludge, silly string, small cars and toy guns.  Any kids dream!  He got a great party hat, and noise makers.   Caelum made him a wonderful card (Caelum, Ruby and Olivia are wonderful card makers!) 
We all had a very nice evening.  It was nice to have Rick and Delana out here.  I wish the weather would have been nicer .... the kids really wanted to run and play outside.  As Caelum says .... April showers bring May flowers...............

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poor Mable

Mable is a very shaggy Scottish terrier. She needs to be groomed much more often than I do. She was beginning to look like a wooly mammoth; all we needed was to find some tusks for her. She also likes to roll in the dirt, or the manure piles, so often she is quite smelly! Sunday after Phil said it was time to quit working for the day I decided she had to get a haircut. I was dirty anyway so what harm was a bit of dog hair going to do to me. I lugged her up on the picnic table and brought out the dog sheers. Her fur is so thick it looked like I was sheering a sheep. I try to keep her Scotty face, but the rest gets shaved to the skin. Phil came over to help hold her down for me (she doesn’t like getting her legs and tummy trimmed). I had to go in to get scissors and while I was gone Phil took over the rest of the cut. Our poor Mable has no more beard or eyebrows. I am sure she is much cooler and feels better …… but she looks like a huge rat! Molly smelled and smelled her just to make she it was still her friend. Even the cats didn’t know who she was. Mable would not even look at me for the longest time. I think she is getting used to the new style now.

A few weeks ago when Olivia was visiting decided she wanted to be a dog. I thought I would share these pictures of her living in Molly’s house.

Spring is finally here.  We are working in the gardens.  The manure is being put down, the compost chopped up and ready for the seeds to be planted.  I have only planted a few things, but it is time to get onion and potatoes in the ground.  Phil is very excited to have fresh vegies on the horizon again. 
Phil will be leaving for California tomorrow morning.  His father passed away last week and his funeral is Thursday.  It will be a very long day for him traveling.  I am glad he will be able to see his brother, and have the opportunity to say good by to his father. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Showers ..........

Caelum told me "April showers bring May flowers.  What do May flowers bring .......... Pilgrims silly" 
The Midwest can't decide if Spring is here .......... or winter still wants to hang on.  One day the temps are in the 70's and the next cold and windy.  Today was dreary, cold and raining but the temps were in the 50's.  With the wind it felt more like the 30's.  I want to work in the garden but it is to wet.  Yesterday I was able to plant some lettuce, spinich, and onions in one of the raised beds.  I can't wait to plant some peas ... it's just to wet! 
We are planning for some animals.  We have a pig pen, and have found the fence panels, just have to wait for the guy to have surgery so we can get them.  I haven't found the pig yet ... but can't until we have a place ready for him or her to come home to.  Phil is checking out chicken coops.  I would like to raise enough chickens to put in the freezer for the winter and keep a few for laying.  I wonder if I am going to be brave enough to do the killing??  I know I can butcher chickens, I have done that, but I am still not sure I can swing the ax. 
Phil mowed the grass for the first time yesterday.  I came home from work to see him out on his mower.  That seems to be his favorite place.  I have never really learned to use the mower ... because I am only allowed to use the push mower.  He won't let me drive his tractor either!  He thinks I am accident prone ... and will tip a tractor over on myself.  I think he gets that from some things that have happened in my past .... like a burning bag melting on my hand .... well sometimes accidents do happen to me.  but Not THAT much!!!!  LOL
I will keep you up to date with the spring planting, and spring updates!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

And so it begins..........

Spring had finally come to the midwest.  With warm weather ends the lazy days of winter (WHAT... LAZY??)    OK, the free evenings to watch TV or do whatever.  With the start of daylight savings time begins the long days here at Pooh Acres.  Last weekend we started working outside and I remembered all of the soar muscles of summer.
This weekend I took off work on Friday to go pick up the new packages of bees.  Unfortunantly both of my hives froze to death this winter.  Caelum was off school, so he and I drove to Auburn NE early Friday morning to pick them up.  It would have been a fun drive, but he was so wrapped up in his video game he didn't even know where we were.  We were 40 minutes into the trip when he looked up and asked where we were going ............ he apparently thought we were going to Pooh Acres.  The way home was a little more fun, he actually put the game away for a few minutes!! 
Caelum expected to spend all 3 days with us, he said he didn't have to be home until Sunday night.  I explained that we have some things that need to be done this weekend... so we expected him to help us.  We installed the bees into their new homes, raked and shoveled from the burn pit area, picked up trash we pulled out of the old "junk" area left by the old owners, cleaned, shoveled, raked, picked up, and generally worked the boy until he (and us!!) was exhausted.  We were all filthy and ready for bed by the end of Friday.   I think he was ready to go home.  His mom came to get him Saturday morning, and he didn't look back!  She pulled into the driveway, he gave me a quick hug and kiss and said goodby!! She told him she was expecting him to help her clean the house ...he groaned!   He is such a good boy!
After Caelum left Phil and I headed to Weeping Water.  We found someone selling small "huts" they had used to raise calves in.  I thought they would work great for a pig.  We brought the pig hut home and unloaded it behind the garage ... now we just need the hog panels and a little pig.  I just want to raise one or two ... if we raise two, we will sell one and eat the other.  We are also going to get chickens.  I'd like to get about 25 - 30 and butcher all but a few when they are grown.  I would like to keep a few for eggs.  Phil wants to have ducks for eggs.  I am not opposed to that either!  Pooh Acres is turning into a real farm now. 
The gardens are ready to chop the winter mulch and work some manure into them.  Phil made me a starter shelf for tomatoe and peppers etc starters.  I have some seeds up .... I hope they turn out good enough to plant in the garden.  I have never been able to start my plants indoors ... they always get leggy.   Spring is on the way.  I am excited to get it started.
Yesterday on the way home from Weeping Water we stopped at a "neighbors" house just down the road.  (My husband is not capable of driving from point A to point B without meandering down as many country roads as he can find.)  I had noticed a big pile of horse manure in their field so he stopped to see if we could get some.  This neighbor was so nice, he said some back today and he would even load it for us.  We got about 2,000 pounds of fresh manure.  When we got home Phil was trying to figure out an easy way to unload it.  He hooked a tow strap (before the manure was loaded) around a piece of plywood under the bed of the truck.  He chained the tow strap to the International Harvester and pulled the entire thing out of the truck.  I only had to rake out the small amount that fell over the sides of the wood.  It was the easiest load of manure ever!!!   
It is late Sunday evening.  I am tired and ready to get some sleep before I go back to work tomorrow.  I wonder what the new week will bring?   Happy Spring!