Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Walk Around the Farm Yard

It is such a beautiful morning I thought you might like to go for a walk around the farm. The first one is in the field looking north towards the farm yard.... then looking south from the deck to where I was standing for the first picture. You can see the bales we did yesterday in the far field - due to the cold dry spring and now grasshoppers our hay crop is pitiful. Last year we made 160 bales on that field, this year only 97 - it's going to a miracle if we get enough feed for the cows this winter.

My garden and greenhouse - the potatoes look good, the garden on the other side of the greenhouse is pretty sad looking this year.

Looking at the east end of the house.

The north side....

and the south side. Tomorrow I'll take you haying!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pride goeth before a fall!

I bought a new (to me) truck last month - it's a 2005 Dodge Dakota, and has all the toys you could ask for and fancy chrome everywhere. Although it's 4 years old it has really low milage and has been very well looked after. A couple of days ago I washed it and shinned it up and the next morning and went to town. While I was in grocery shopping I could see through the front windows a couple of young men looking at the truck and discussing something. Of course I thought "Oh, they like my truck" and felt rather proud of how good it looked. A little while later after I had come back from another store and was walking down the street, I saw a man and a woman point at the truck as they walked by and say something, again I thought they were discussing how good it looked.
When I got home as I got out I glanced at the windshield and OMG there was a DEAD MOUSE stuck to it!!! It was just below the windshield wipers, there is a black edge at the bottom of the glass and I couldn't see the damn thing from inside. I realized what everyone was pointing at and talking about - I felt rather silly to say the least.
I knew Simba had been playing with a dead mouse the night before beside the truck, tossing it up in the air and doing kitty things with it, when I went to get it and throw it in the bush I couldn't find it. Now I know where it went!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Walking in the rain

We had horrific thunder storms last night and about 1/2 an inch of rain. This morning it was grey and drizzley and the temps. hung around the 50 degree mark.
I tried to find housework to do, but couldn't find anything that interested me (like it ever interests me!), did some digging on family genealogy, tried to nap, finally gave up and went walking in the rain.
Molly the Collie and Max the Mouser came with me and we wandered for about a mile around the farm. Strangely Max always likes to come for a walk with me even if it's raining, some of the other cats will start out, but the least sign of dampness they head back to the house (the big woossies).
I've always loved walking in the rain, even as a kid, as long as there was no thunder and lightening. It clears my mind, refreshes my soul and gives me time to think about things. I love getting back home and dropping the wet things at the door, towelling my hair and putting on nice warm dry clothes - my jammies this time. Depending on how cold I got I like a nice cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate and warm fuzzy slippers.
On this trip I've decided I must loose some weight, it's really been creeping up the last few years. That and the fact that we had company the other day and after they left, I mentioned to hubby that Liz had gained a lot of weight. He replied "Oh she's not that bad, she's no bigger than you, it's just her clothes are 2 sizes to small". I really had to remind myself that hubby is one of those people who couldn't care less what someone looks like, as long as they are decent and honest.
I also decided that my fall house project will be to put bead board wainscoting in the bedroom. I'll use pine boards and then put a white wash on them. I built a headboard last year of the same stuff so it should match. I did wainscoting in the spare room a couple of years ago and used the sheets of fibre board - the stuff was horrible and I still don't like the look.
I'm going for the romantic victorian look, maybe some nice plates on the wall along with some old photos framed in antique frames. Floral bedspread and curtains, my grandmothers lace doilies placed here and there.....
Yes, walking in the rain inspires me!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Growing roses

Growing roses just takes patience. I've been doing it for about 15 years with some sucesses and lots of failures.
First roses need sunshine and lots of it - mine are planted where they get sun all day as well as plenty of water is dry spells. Other wise they will won't bloom. Although I do buy hardy roses, I also plant the tender tea roses. What kills the tender ones is not the cold - once the ground freezes and there is a layer of snow, the become dormant and are fine - it's thawing out in the spring then having temperatures drop to abnormal lows as happened this spring.
The two I have shown here are a Teresa Bugnet (pronounced Boonyay) the first pic. and a William Baffin a hardy climbing rose. I'm thinking the William Baffin would look lovely on your pergola. The TB lost a few branches this spring, but it still stands nearly 8 feet tall and is covered in blooms now. The WB which had a lot of "winter kill" and I had to cut it down to about a foot high this spring (it's in the picture of the old bedframe), but it is already putting up lots of new branches.
I have another one called a John Davis which is planted by the back door, it too is a climbing rose but has nothing to climb on so it is always hanging over the step and getting in the way! It has light pink flowers and is so pretty but no smell.
All three of these roses are from Canada and are bred to withstand the cold, but you should be able to find them in Chicago. They are listed in the American Rose book.
The Teresa Bugnet is one of the few roses which will bloom repeatedly in the shade. I had a neighbour who had one planted on the East side of her house behind some trees, it never saw the sun but it didn't seem to care.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More flowers

We must be nuts in this country - we wait 10 months for 2 months of flowers! When they finally bloom we're so excited, I guess we're easy to
This is a favorite of mine the Morden Blush Rose, it's hardy and the blossoms are so delicate, but no smell. The columbines on the north side of the house are in full bloom.

Morden Fireglow Rose also hardy but no smell, it looks a lot like a tea rose with long stemmed blooms.

Buff Pixie Lily

One of the new tea roses Pat Austin, I bought to replace those that died.

A new lily called Cappuccino. I have about 20 different lilies, they grow so well here. I hope to add more this fall or next spring.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Come meet the family....

This is Mollie the Collie - she's the best dog in the whole world. She goes everywhere with me and has been my best buddy for nearly 10 years. Sadly she does have medical problems, she's hypothyroid, diabetic and has skin problems. Still she is always happy and has never growled or even shown her teeth to the vet when she has all her tests done. When she goes over the rainbow bridge I will be a mess! Next is Goof the African Grey Parrot, the one who hates me! Hubby got him as a young bird before we got together so Goof bonded to him and still thinks 10 years later, I'm an intruder.

This is Mooch the bird murdering, mouse torturing, butter licking little kitty. She was dumped off by our gate when she was about 5 months old and is just a little sweetheart (when she's not killing something).

Simba Kitty - brother to Max. They were born to a feral cat at the old place, when we moved up here I trapped them and brought them along otherwise they would have soon died. It took a long time to tame them enough to even pet them, but food and patience paid off. Now they live in the house in the winter and are incredibly spoiled.

Fat Cat Critty - also a kitten of the feral mama from the other place. He is a half brother to Simba and Max but is about 3 years older than them. For some reason he has always been tame, he just moved into our trailer one day, looked around and said, "Well, this looks like a good place to live".

Last but not least is Max the mouser - Simba's brother. Although he and Simba are "house cats" now, they are still a little wild. He will come and curl up beside me on the couch, but if I want to catch him - no way!

Since we have no children, these are our family. Next I'll introduce you to the cows!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hubby and I spent the last two days siding the new shed - new as in he built it last fall. We had tons of siding left over from when we resided the house last summer. I think it looks pretty good, but I can see a new flower bed beginning to form! The north side is along the edge of the veggie garden but is going to end being a short cut to the shop. Maybe a nice stone pathway where those two landscaping ties are laying, with shade loving flowers next to the building?
That is the garden by the way, "But I don't see any veggies," you say! The garden just sucks this year - I planted the peas 2 inches apart them came up a foot apart, the spinach is the same. I'm thinking I'll replant those two as they are fast growers. The only thing that is doing well are the potatoes, they already need hilling and we should have new little ones to eat in about 3 weeks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Finally ......Flowers!

Everything is late this year, but finally things are starting to bloom. The only thing that is not, are my orange tiger lilies - they are usually early but this year most of the buds are empty and just falling off. The few that are opening are rather sorry looking flowers., but the dianthus is doing well. The peonies are beginning to open, the pink one is 2 years old and this is the first year it has bloomed, it has the most beautiful scent.

This yellow one is a new species and the lady at the greenhouse didn't know how hardy it would be. It too, is 2 years old and seems to handle the winter just fine.

I love bleeding hearts, I have 2 pink ones in this bed and I planted a white one in the middle of them this spring. On the left are columbines, they are beginning to open too.