Posted on | February 27, 2015 | 3 Comments
I love the big barn. Unlike most barns, it originally housed up to 300 ducks at a time. So it was built with a wooden frame and only enclosed with hardware cloth. Ducks are messy and smelly and the best way to keep their living conditions sanitary is to allow lots of sunlight and fresh air.
Even then it’s a challenge.
Posted on | February 21, 2015 | 3 Comments
The Great Backyard Bird Count was a bust. Sure, the blue jay arrived to hit up the the peanuts.
But most of the little birds were absent because a mockingbird arrived, too. And that mockingbird spent all his time guarding the feeders, swooping on any bird that attempted to get to the seed.
Posted on | February 5, 2015 | 3 Comments
Well, I’m not really sure.
Oh, the usual suspects are here. Cardinals, sparrows, juncos, titmouse (Titmouses? Titmice? Why are tits even involved in this bird’s name?), finches, chickadees, wrens, and mourning doves.
We have several types of woodpeckers that visit our area. We see a giant pileated woodpecker in the woods but never eating birdseed or suet.
Posted on | February 1, 2015 | 5 Comments
So I was at the local elementary school for Middle’s basketball practice. When I went to the use the bathroom I discovered that kids are still writing on the bathroom stall doors. Take that, social media! The pen is still mightier than the smartphone.
But even more enjoyable than the triumph of old school graffiti over cyber-insults was the content of the comment:
“Ms. J—– is stuped!”
I laughed out loud. Ms. J—– was probably making some poor kid double up on her spelling words. Obviously, for good reason.
Although I did consider some kid testing out her skills of ironic humor. Kids are more sophisticated nowadays. Don’t think “Ms. J—– is stuped” qualifies as irony? Well, The Oatmeal thinks it does, so there.
But the following week I was back at the elementary school for another occasion. And I realized those words might have been written for an entirely different reason. Read more
Posted on | January 30, 2015 | 3 Comments
Winter arrived and it got cold. Because that’s how that works. I realize many of you live in areas of the country with much colder winter temperatures than we have here. But I’ve heard that living in the South makes our blood thinner, so that we are more susceptible to cold. I’ve also heard that we are just a bunch of weenies. Hard to say for sure, but since this winter the schools decided to open 2 hours late due to temperatures in the 20’s it might be the latter. In our defense, there was a wind chill. Wind chill means it feels colder than it actually is because we are too inexperienced to cover the exposed surfaces of our skin. I think. Probably. Maybe.
Luckily, we replaced our old leaky, broken, wood stove in November so we were prepared for the 20 degree nights. Sort of.
The old wood stove was made of cast iron, which heated the house through radiant heat. I mean, I didn’t know it was called radiant heat. That was something I probably knew in fourth grade but forgot because I had to make room in my brain for the difference between igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic rock. Which I forgot in order to learn the roles of apical bud, petiole, and node. Which I forgot in order to understand the life cycle of a frog. Which I still remember because the kids raise tadpoles on the deck almost very summer. Sometimes the tadpoles grow up and hop out and sometimes the birds notice the aquarium and help themselves to a froglet buffet.
Anyway. Read more
Posted on | January 26, 2015 | 1 Comment
It’s still raining. Which is better than all the snow they are forecasting for up north. So I won’t complain. Especially since The Other Half and Middle scrubbed the bathrooms this weekend, leaving me with just the usual vacuum and mop for today. Obviously I won’t get to cutting back the asparagus ferns, weeding the creeping phlox, or cleaning under Harvey’s bunny cage on the deck. Not in the pouring rain. Good thing my house is loaded with unfinished projects.
I had 2 bags of carded fleece that I was saving to make these felted owls from Woolbuddy. Although I want to make mine with mostly natural colors and just a few bright touches.
Posted on | January 23, 2015 | 4 Comments
Day One: Are You Kidding Me?
I was shocked when I saw the sun.
But I wasn’t going to stand around waiting for it to disappear. As soon as the morning cleaning was done, I hit the garden. For weeks I haven’t made it to garden before dark. Instead I show up with a flashlight, rummaging under the frost covers for kale, spinach, green onions, broccoli, or chard. You know, all the ingredients I meant to pick before the sun set and before I started making dinner, but that I forgot until the olive oil was already sizzling in the pan, the soup was simmering and needed a bit of green to freshen it up, or I needed a side dish that didn’t come out of a box with a packet of powdered cheese. Blindly cutting greens in the freezing dark is not really so bad. Touching the slugs that you can’t see in the dark is bad. Very bad. Read more
Posted on | January 17, 2015 | 6 Comments
Look who stopped by.
That’s right. One of my good friends left her 3 year old son, Luke, with me while she took care of some business in town. Luckily, I still have one closet shelf and one drawer filled with toys for the Under 5 crowd. The pickings were slim but even though the Rescue Heroes only got a quizzical glance, Thomas the Tank Engine and his cronies were instantly recognized.
“Got more Thomas?” Luke asked sweetly, pulling 3 little engines from the drawer.
I refrained from mentioning how the insipid Thomas the Tank Engine videos made me want to drive off a bridge and the merchandising made me want to either burn down the Mattel executive offices or just fill their every inch of workable space with expensive train tables covered with non-interchangeable track systems.
“No, honey, just those ones,” I said. We burned the rest of them at the stake. Read more
Posted on | January 8, 2015 | 1 Comment
I know the news anchors tell you to make sure your pets are taken care of during cold temperatures. And they encourage you to bring pets, including dogs, inside when it’s below freezing.
Be careful. Very, very careful.
Because your pet may just decide to nap in the sunny spot in front of the wood stove.
Posted on | December 31, 2014 | 5 Comments
First I carried eight 50lb feed bags out to the barn. Then I separated Autumn, the October goat kid, from her mom for the first time so we could milk Allie in the morning. It’s time to dry off Vanessa so Allie needs to pitch in and do her share. I’m not exactly sure what I did in the barn after that because the sounds of Autumn screaming in the kidding barn drowned out all reasonable thought.
The Other Half and Pretty left to go hunting and Big headed outside to practice with the throwing knives he got for Christmas. Me and Little had cereal for dinner and then I headed out to drop off Middle at a friend’s house, hit the gym for a quick workout, and stop by Home Depot for a replacement for the downstairs toilet handle that broke off in the afternoon. Just a regular evening in the scheme of things.
Except when I arrived at the gym, it was closed. And so was the Home Depot. Apparently, it was a holiday. New Year’s Eve.
Are people still doing that? Read more« go back — keep looking »