Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Sweet, Sweet Smell



Last night I had the hardest time getting to sleep. I had spent the evening reading about beekeeping and rabbit keeping and knitting and such and my mind was just racing. It was raining outside, my window was wide open, and I actually didn't want to go to sleep. I was having fun. It just smelt so good in our bedroom...like, oh, wet dirt.
Not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I would really like to be a flower farmer. I'm not sure I would actually want to sell my flowers, maybe I could just give them away until I have gained confidence in my abilities, but at any rate, today I started getting my flower beds ready. That meant double digging and lots of sweat. My plan is to have four 4' x 15' raised beds.
I added the bit of compost I could find, and turned under the leaves I had piled on the garden last fall when... oh, sweet surprise, neighborly neighbor Glenn from next door came over with his tractor and bucket to turn the massive pile of yard waste I had been collecting for 25 years! I knew there was a gold mine in there, but the prospects of digging it out had seemed daunting. In a matter of minutes I was a wealthy woman. Compost as high as a barn!
I finished one bed today, and I was quite tickled with it! Three more to go. Thanks Glenn!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring, maybe??

Today was clean up the yard day. I have kind of a big yard, maybe two acres, and I really don't fuss too much about most of it, except for around the house. There is just nothing like fresh sharp edging and new mulch in the spring. Today I rounded up my daughter to help me throw some bark..we did two yards, which is a good start AND a good feeling. I'm teaching Sarah how to do yard work, since I never really taught her about indoor domesticity.

There is something about some dogs that just make them seem so noble all the time, our old golden retriever is one of those dogs...(not, unfortunately my little Shitzu Gracie). No matter what Cinny does, she looks likes she's posing for a picture. Here she is cooling herself down in the nice pachysandra. Always near!
I used to spend a bit of time chasing her out of there, but in my old age and her old age we've come to an agreement, and the agreement is she can go there whenever she wants. Its just....pachysandra.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Strawberry Toenails


Some interesting things I am learning about chickens! They have so much personality...OK, so I've been feeding the little hens strawberries and grapes throughout the day, you know, just to bond and such. Well, tonight I went out there in my jammies and bare feet and the chickens thought my red toenails were strawberries! They were so excited...tickling my toes with little pecks. Here's a picture of them eating Mikes leftovers...spanish rice, strawberries, and broccoli.
Mike says I shouldn't go out to the chickens in bare feet, but, well, stuff happens..
Here's another interesting thing. My frankenchickens would NOT leave the barn! They just sit there. The weather has been so nice so I put their food outside to lure them and out they went. All day they wandered maybe, oh ten feet or so. I waited for them to go back into the barn at night, to, you know, roost, but they wouldn't. Outside I went (in my jammies ) and had to carry each one of the lazy suckers back into the protection of the barn.
Carla told me when it gets dark the chickens will not move...they just lay there. Tonight I went out there earlier, when it was still light and told them to go into the barn and they just went in!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Owls

This is kind of sad, but I will share it anyway....I have lived in this house for 26 years now and have never noticed the loud owls around here at night. I lay in bed and listen to them talk (hoot, hoot) back and forth and I think they are saying..."I found some dinner here in Burnips!" Of, course, I tuck my chickens safely away at night so there are no worries, just noticing the interaction between animals is quite mindblowing. Especially when you are laying in bed just listening. I just love animals.
I'm sure they have always been there, like the woodpeckers, but since I put my chicks outside and have read articles about owls and their love of chickens I've been hyper aware. It's just sad I never have noticed before.
I need to be more attentive. It's quite a beautiful sound.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Seeds Up!

Oh, finally good weather, sunny day. I have all my seeds planted now indoors and many of them are popping up...I can't tell you how exciting this is. I check two times a day and try not to poke around in the soil looking for them! Lots of flowers for my big empty cutting flower bed. And some veggies cause we like them.

The chickens are all out in their houses now, though that has been hard with the cold weather. Heating lamps have kept them warm, but its been a struggle. On warm days (above 50 degrees) I let them run..so much fun watching the dogs interact with them. Mike built this cool little chicken coop for the hens, I still keep a heat lamp in the coop part, and the coop stays next to the house so I can peak at them all the time.

April is a tricky month around here. On warm days I am ready to get the yard all cleaned up, but then the next day there can be snow. It just feels like I have so much I want to do outside before planting time!