Thursday, June 21, 2012

Long week

Been a long week - this will be a rambling post.  We still need rain desperately - it is cloudy and cooler tonight.  But so far not a drop up here.  The grass is brown and crunchy - crops are shriveling in the field.  We had some rain over the weekend - seemed like the corn grew inches.  But we need more - the corn leaves are rolled up again.  My zuchinni does have a tiny baby on it - hoping it survives.

I said it's been a long week - Monday morning early Mom K called us to come help her get Dad back to bed.  (Early like 4 am).  We went and got home about an hour later.  90 minutes later she called again - this time to have help getting him up and into the ER.  Ended up with Dad K getting admitted - he was just released today.  He had an infection and broke his nose during the 2nd fall.  That short night took a couple days to recover from.  I will never regret going - to help anyone.  But between the lack of sleep and the memories it brought 

Summer is flying by.  Guess the boys will be going to church camp next week.  Squirrel has done alot of work to make that happen - we have no counselors going from our church so it wasn't being advertised.  He checked into it and began making arrangements for those who wanted to go to go with another church.  But now that we are down to the last "minute" he's somewhat ambivalent.  There is no one going from our school and no one that he is close to from church. So it will be an opportunity for him to make new friends.  And he usually loves it.  Dipstick will be going also giving B and I some uninterrupted time together - after work hours at least. 

After church camp comes the 4H fair followed by a trip to Ontario to see my folks.  After that it seems like school will be starting again already. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

If you look closely you can see a woodpecker in the crook of the tree

 My dreams of having a yard that is attractive to birds and butterflies are coming true.  I have more birds this year then I've ever had - at least 3 different varieties of woodpeckers, goldfinches, blue jays, a cardinal pair, at least one bluebird, hummingbirds, doves, tufted titmouse (mice?)...there are probably others that I can't think of.  Unfortunately I am also having issues with raccoons.  They've been into my chickens - have had a couple as a midnight snack.  Now they are coming up and messing with my birdfeeders - that is a new issue with me.  Thankfully Dipstick is willing to set traps.  So far he's caught two coons and at least two cats - the cats are freed with the hope they've learned their lesson.  Last night the coon tripped the trap and moved it but was not caught in it.  Dipstick will need to weight it down tonight.
Goldfinch on feeder outside window
While I've got both annuals and perennials growing I still have work to do.  My "flower ring" is slowly becoming more full - added some columbine to it this year.  My blanket flowers are back and blooming some, coneflowers are up, pinkish chrysthanamum is up and blooming, white shasta daisy is blooming.  I've added some other annuals - as well as have a 3 ft area that is currently covered in mulch and cardboard.  Oh yes...forgot the salvia.  There is still plenty of weeds to pull throughout this area.  (No picture of the flower ring this time)

The coneflowers are up in the flowerbeds as are the black-eyed susans.  Both are just beginning to come into bloom. Those are slow due to lack of rain.  Zinnias, snapdragons and moss roses are also blooming.  My brake drum flowerpots are filled with blooming annuals. 
This is just one corner of one raised bed.  Irises are in the background here

It is very very dry this year - crops are stunted.  B said this evening that he was glad we did not get a full garden put in.  When I water I use 10-15 gallon milk jugs as we don't have a hose that works.  Therefore if it's not a new planting or in a pot it does not get watered often. 

Tomatoes in the background, zuchinni in the front

I did do something different with my tomato plants - I'm excited to see how they turn out.  So far I'm really happy with it.  S was studying online and find something called a "tomato ring" or a "Japanese tomato ring".  Basically it's tomatoes grown off the ground in a ring that is filled with soil and compost.  I have 6 tomato plants in mine and while I don't have any fruit on them yet they are growing well.  Next year I will put cardboard around the bottom of the ring so that the soil stays in. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wow...not sure I'm going to love this new layout.  Seems like a lot of blank space. goes for another long overdue update.

School has been out almost a week now and already time seems to be flying by.  Last Friday Squirrel and I finished cleaning my bus and got it turned in.  Usually I wait til the absolute last minute to get it done.  Saturday B, Dipstick and I went to a large swap meet that only happens 3x a year and only during the spring/summer.  We left without too many purchases but I think we all enjoyed it.  Then B and I went on a date that evening - went to Sears to look at tools.  I usually enjoy any dates we go on - even looking at tools. We did the tools and then went to a bookstore to look.  As we were heading back to the car to go find supper and maybe a movie I realized we had a flat.  B didn't believe me until we got closer to the car but I was correct.  He told me later he was proud of me for spotting it.  Anyway...we drove the car over to the car repair place to have it fixed.  Instead we ended up with 2 new tires.  All I could do was laugh about it...some date night!  We had supper and then headed home as we were both pretty tired.  Sunday was a day I won't talk about - suffice it to say Dipstick got himself into some trouble.  Monday I walked in the morning with my friend L while Squirrel ran.  Once home I got to spend the day working on my Bible study lessons and starting to clean and organize my bedroom (something that gets thoroughly ignored the rest of the year!).  Tuesday I ended up being gone most of the day - Bible Study in the morning and grocery shopping after that.  I picked Squirrel up from where he was working and he made the choice to go home and help B split a tractor instead of going to get himself an ankle brace and a new pair of running shoes.  Today was another day of running with chai (tea) with S, a massage and a couple of hours of parts runs.  Walked again - think we are up to close to 3 miles. 

The picture below is of the strangest "dandelion" I've ever seen.  The seed head was huge - at least twice the size of a normal dandelion while the flower is about the same size but shaped more like a daisy.