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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Olivia and chicken feet

Spring is here, and the craziness of summer is my life. The garden got such a late start because of the rain and cold temperatures. I started thinking I would never get seeds in the ground.
The last few weeks have been productive. It looks like almost everything is popping up, and the gardens look good. I am running very low on mulch, so nothing is mulched the way it should be. The weeds are running rampant.
I am excited about the “upper garden”. This was an area chest high in weeds when we moved here. I started taming the area by laying cardboard down and covering it with hay or leaves. Two years ago I planted berry plants up there. Last year I planted a few vegetables up there. This year, thanks to lots of manure, mulch, and time I have planted corn, popcorn, oats, Jerusalem artichokes, quiwa etc. I don’t know if they will live through the deer. Rabbits etc, but I will give it a try. I would really like to keep it natural and unfenced, but I don’t know if that is possible. I went up tonight to check on everything and found that I forgot to cover the popcorn rows after I planted them. Guess what happened??? The birds ate all of the seeds. I replanted it all tonight. The corn I planted last week is coming up, and I am excited to see what grows to harvest.
I am gaining a bigger and bigger following for my eggs and vegetables. The poor chickens can’t lay fast enough for my customers. I am amazed at work when I hear people talk about how good the eggs are, and they would never go back to store bought eggs.
OK, I wrote that several weeks ago .. Time just gets away from me, especially this time of year!!
Phil and I decided we needed to butcher a chicken or two to see how big they really are. Saturday Phil and his friend went into Glenwood to garage sale and run some errands. While they were gone I caught three chickens and butchered them. I was disappointed that they were so small. I was hoping to send them off to the butcher soon but that is not going to happen. They ended up weighing only 3# dressed. I must say, they tasted wonderful! We grilled one with Dorothy Lynch dressing brushed on the skin and Phil beer can grilled another (using coke). The last one is in the freezer.
One of the cool things about chickens is they will eat almost anything. A few weeks ago when I butchered a pig I boiled the head thinking I would make head cheese ….. I just could not do it so I gave all of that to the chickens. They picked the skull clean in no time flat! After I finished butchering the chickens I gave them all of the innards and feet. The only thing I threw away was the feathers and head.
Saturday evening Delana and the kids came over (to wish Grandpa happy Fathers day). The kids love running around and getting into everything. Olivia was in the chicken run and came out with 2 chicken feet. She was waving them around walking them etc. She wanted to know if she could keep them and take them home. I of course was laughing so hard tears were running down my cheeks. I told her she had to ask her Mom … Mom, the vegetarian of course totally freaked and said a resounding NO!
Later I asked Caelum to help me give Mable a haircut (his job is to hold her on the table). Olivia saw all the black dog hair on the ground and wanted to that THAT home as well. Mom didn’t understand that either! (I have to wonder what the kids want with all the junk they want to take home from here)
I wish all the kids were here … I would love to have grandloves out here all the time!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

flooding

The Missouri River is flooding. We are told it is going to get very bad. We ran into town yesterday to get a couple of things ..... I told Phil I had a lot to do so we could not dawdle. We decided we needed to look at the River and see for ourselves what is happening. Three hours later, we had driven over to Pacific Junction, into Plattsmouth, and back through Bellevue. In PJ, it was a steady line of tucks bringing dirt in to build a burm around the water treatment plant, building up the RR tracks (that is a major line) and around the few businesses that are there. It made me cry to see the people packing their household into trucks are preparing to leave. From there we drove the back road down to the river. We wanted to see an area that last year was hit so hard. We were again stopped by huge trucks with dirt trying to protect the railroads. When we got to the road we wanted to check out it said road closed, so we drove on to get to the other entrance. When we go there, the road was gone. It was nothing but water. Last year these brand new houses were surrounded by water, and could not even use their driveway so I am pretty sure the houses are or will soon be under water this year. Then we got to the river. We were both amazed .... The recreation area our neighbors are part of was entirely under water. The fields that we normally see are now part of the river. I have never seen the MO River this huge. Phil said as we were driving over this narrow bridge that he did not want to come over this bridge again until the flooding is over.
After the bridge you drive up a steep hill then back down into Plattsmouth. Through the trees I caught a glimpse of the river area..... Where there used to be a wildlife preserve, and a recreation area was nothing but water... When we got down the hill into town the road was blocked so we were not able to get any closer, but it looked like it was totally under water to the rail road tracks.
From there we drove north into Bellevue. We crossed over the Platt river ... totally out of its banks and into the farm land. There is a bar and grill on Hwa 75 with a sign that says boat parking soon. It's good to see some humor in all of this.
Going into Bellevue was heart wrenching. The baseball field we spent so much time at last year was under water. The campground that flooded last year was much worse this year. The waters are close to the road, I don't think people will be able to use that bridge much longer. I was worried about the Iowa side, but I think the NE side is going to flood first. The water is very close to the road at the toll booth. It won't take much more to close it.
Back into Iowa we drove along a back road closer to the river than we are .... People are packing up preparing to leave. Houses are businesses are sandbagged ready for the water. My heart was so heavy watching them pack and preparing to leave their homes. I don't know what they are feeling, but I am sure their hearts are broken, and they must feel tattered....
I am so thankful to live where we do. I think I will be able to get to work even under the worst of conditions but if not I have a great place to be safe. Phil and I talked yesterday about what if's ......and how would I. I think I can get to work, going some back roads.
Thankfully we are high and dry. There is no way we can be flooded by this situation, (not saying that we could never be flooded)