Thursday, August 19, 2010

Smoke and Roses

I haven't been here for a while, I guess I didn't have much to say. This summer has been different, not so much hot as humid. Even those days that were only about 75 degrees felt like 90! And it seems like almost every late afternoon or evening we've had a thunderstorm - not a lot of rain, but enough to put a stop to the haying. Last year we were finished by this time, this year we are way behind and the hay is laying in the fields to damp to bale.
My flowers on the other hand have loved the rain and warm temperatures, so sadly have the weeds!
Today they promised us sunshine but the smoke from forest fires 800 miles away in B.C. has drifted in on the jet stream pretty much blocking it out.

I thought I'd share some pictures of the roses and lilies - the colours are so vibrant this year.
This first one though is of the smoke!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our new family member

This is my dog Mollie the collie, I like this picture cause she looks good. Sadly she has many medical problems - hypothyroidism for which she has been on medication for years. This has caused diabetes and her adrenal gland to shut down, which has now caused her to go blind, loose most of her hair and just last week, to have a mini stroke. While at the vets last Friday, the vet asked if I wanted to take a rescue dog - another border collie. My first reaction was to say "No, I don't want another dog till Mollie is gone". But, Dennis and I talked it over and he thought it was a good idea he knows I'll be a complete basket case when she dies. So after a few days I decided to take her in.
Please meet Reilly a seven month old border collie.
She was taken from a farm where there were two border collies owned by a elderly gentleman who had no control over either one of them. Border collies are extremely intelligent and love to learn, but they MUST have RULES! Luckily the vet (who raises border collies herself), had her for two weeks prior to me taking her and gave her some basic commands such as come, sit and stay.

She is very sweet, timid and submissive, but very eager to learn, sadly I've learned the hard way she is not house trained!! She will run to the door (but then she runs everywhere else too) but doesn't ask to go out. She also - in true border collie fashion - want to chase anything that runs which includes the cats. When they are in the house she's not bad, but if she sees one run across the yard, that's another story.
It seems I have my work cut out for me in the next few weeks, she has lots of learning to do such as no chewing shoes (she does), not digging in the flower beds (haven't seen her digging..... yet) and kitties are not squeaky toys. But, she is a welcome addition to the family and I'm glad I took her.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Life is Good?

This picture is taken on April 9th, the snow is all gone, there was water everywhere and the geese were looking for special places to nest.
This is the same area taken on April the 10th! One of the worst blizzards of the year blew in.
This is Suzy Q one of our cows - she is a big cow and standing behind a panel of wind boards to the right. The snow drift in front of her is about 4 feet high and would end up being nearly 6 feet before the storm let up. It blew so hard that it built up drifts both in front of the wind boards and behind them, making it very hard for the cattle to find anywhere to shelter.

This is south of the barn and the snow has built up and covered a 6 foot steel fence along there. Sadly many farmers put out straw on the sheltered side of the fence for their new born calves only to find that the snow had covered them up and suffocated them in a matter of a couple of hours.

Looking towards the barn and corrals from the deck of the house - that's about 300 feet and at times the barn wasn't visible.

The poor birds didn't even try to come to the feeders - the wind was so bad they just hid in the spruce trees till it let up a bit.

They are now calling for temperatures into the 70's for the next week - can you spell flood,
or at least mud?
If anyone asks me what my favorite season is, remind me it's not spring!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

This and That

This is a hard time of year for me. The weather is warming, the Canada geese and crows have come back, the snow is melting and there is water running in the creeks and low areas. It feels like spring but, although it's too lovely outside to be indoors working in my little room in the basement, it's not nice enough to be doing any gardening yet!

I do have some yard work things to do, I didn't cut down any of my perennials last fall, thought I'd leave them up the a winter garden look, I still have that to do, but it's a little muddy in some of the bigger beds. I could be raking the lawn, but it's a little wet for that. I want to cut some low branches off the spruce trees to the west of the house, but after cutting two with a handsaw I realized that with about 100 more to do, it was becoming apparent that my shoulder wouldn't stand up to doing it by hand. It's even still too early to start anything in my greenhouse - that won't happen till about the 15th of April.

So, other than looking after the cows that are calving - which is one of those jobs where you are super busy one minute and then sitting around waiting for hours or even days the next - I have decided to concentrate on getting back into shape.
I have changed my eating habits - rather than trying to diet. Cut out sweets and desserts, added more fruit and veggies to my meals, upped my fiber content by at least 200% and am trying to eat more small meals rather than one big one in the evening.
So far it's working, I'm down 12 lbs and I'm not feeling hungry or craving anything silly. I still eat chocolate, butter, but in much smaller quantities than before. I have switched to tzatziki on my veggies and high fiber tortillas and hummus for snacks. I have also been walking a mile to a mile and a half everyday. Hubby and I running out of gas 3 1/2 miles away from home yesterday (thus having to walk) didn't hurt either! I'm feeling quite proud of myself at the moment as I am sitting here typing this while wearing a pair of jeans I haven't had on for over 2 years!

Anyway I had best go get busy, it's time for my large navel orange snack and time to have a look at the cows, as we do every two hours.

I thought I would leave you with a picture of Lil Ralphie, he is one of a set of twin bull calves. Mama initially took both of them but 24 hours later decided it was too much work and pushed the littlest one out. He is now being bottle fed by me and becoming very demanding! If we loose a calf before the season is done which is almost a certainty, he will be grafted onto the mother cow and raised as her own.

Isn't he just a cutie?!?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And so it begins....

All through the the latter part of February and the beginning of March we have had beautiful weather. Warm sun, melting snow and even warm nights. The 17th of March we had a snow storm and the 18th of March we started calving! Since that day we've had cold, snow, wind, and way below freezing temperatures.

This is the first of our babies, she is about 6 hours old and quite happy on the straw we spread for her.
Since her birth we've had 4 more - all girls. One was slightly premature and although she seemed to be all there, she was unable to suck and unable to stand on her own.
Dennis brought her into the house to warm her (we do have a place in the barn, but the furnace had gone out and we didn't have time to mess with it). While she was in we tried to get some food down her throat - it's very important that newborns get some warm milk in their tummies right away - this is when we realized she was probably born a few days too early.
We moved her down to the barn once it was warm in there and brought her mama in, and for the next couple of days we fed the little one via a stomach tube. Mama was not pleased with this arrangement and had to be tricked into moving into another pen while we messed with her baby.
After 3 days of hand feeding the little one and trying to get her to stand up we had just about given up and fully expected to find she had died when we went out yesterday morning, but lo and behold she was standing up by herself! We got a bottle and a soft nipple and tried feeding her, after much patient standing and waiting she began to suck. This morning she is bouncing around like a newborn calf should. In fact she is doing so well we let them out with the other new mamas.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I was doing OK till........

I got the first gardening magazine of the year in yesterdays mail!

I have been busy working on odd jobs in the basement, watching the Olympics, working on my genealogy and generally keeping myself busy. Then it happened!

When I picked up Friday's mail - there it was; large as life and twice as brilliant, covered with lilies, and roses and rich black dirt. With flower bed plans and pictures of new perennials, cute garden ornaments and little green nooks of grass and trees. There were hostas and begonias, gladiolas and dahlias, soapwort and salvia, asters and yarrow and a razzamatazz cornflower!
To prolong the agony they threw in 2, yes 2 new catalogues and a guide to the greenhouses (none of which are open yet).

I put on my coat and went outside, I stood in the snow and tried to imagine what my newest flower bed would look like (and where I would get the energy to build said flower bed). I opened the garden shed and surveyed the plant pots all nestled together waiting for spring and I stared sadly at the grey sky and the pitiful snowflakes that fluttered down.

It's at least 2 more months until I can do anything about gardening - the 22 of April is the earliest I plant anything and that will be my sweetpeas. The earliest I have ever cut my grass was the 27th of April and the earliest I have planted anything in the veggie garden was the 10 of May.

There is one bright spot on the horizon - a local auction house is having their first consignment auction of the year, next weekend, they are listing the estate of a gentleman who passed away last fall. It says lots of antiques, household furnishings, shop tools and supplies (in case hubby wants to come) and best of all, a whole list of Gardening Equipment!!!

Hopefully my sanity will hold together till then.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Bedroom!!

Part of my "clean up the basement" project includes doing something with those upper kitchen cabinets I picked up from my girlfriend. Since the bedside tables I have are old, ugly, brown and falling apart, I decided I needed some new ones.

Last winter I built a new headboard using beadboard pine and white washed it, so I stayed with that style to make the tables.

I started with two cabinets that were 30 inches high, one was 24 inches across and the other 21 inches across and both 12 deep. I repainted the doors a pearlized white and ordered new cut glass handles (which still have to come in).

Added the beadboard pine to the sides of the cabinet with my handy dandy air nailer and put some small feet on the bottom.

Put 3/4" solid pine board on the top that had been well sanded and had 3 coats of satin Varathane.

White washed the beadboard to match the headboard.

Put some decorative boards on the top and back.

And voila! new night tables.

They both have 3 shelves and tons of storage.

The best part is including paint, pine boards, etc. they came in for less than 50 dollars for the 2 of them. This was almost as much fun as finding things at the local thrift!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Debbie! Debbie!!

I did it! I did it! I finally made cornbread. Ever since you blogged about yours I have wanted to try it, so today was the day.

I dug Mom's old cast iron frying pad out of the cold room, cleaned it up and seasoned it, then checked the Internet for recipes. There were a lot out there so I got the basics and just made my own. It came out golden brown, just a little bit crispy around the outside and moist on the inside.
I had a big pot of bacon and beans simmering all afternoon and together they were delicious.

Sadly hubby decided he didn't like it, so now I have most of the pan to eat myself - I'm thinking warmed up with butter and syrup or honey or jam...... seems to me I remember Dad or one of my uncles talking about cornbread and molasses. So many possibilities, so many!

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's amazing what happens...

...when you get busy!

I have been working on the basement, and have de-cluttered - still have 1 load to go to the dump-, painted and am now beginning to build a few pieces of furniture and add some pictures to the walls. I sold a few items on the local trading post, made enough to pay for the paint and some more pine boards (my favorite building material) and am on the hunt for a large throw rug for the middle of the floor.

The room was white, white walls, white ceiling and cold white (light grey) ceramic floor tiles, I thought I would warm it up a little with the paint colour. There is no natural light so didn't want to go too dark, so I chose a colour called "Hot Buttered Rum" (I'm sure I choose colours just because of their name It looked like a nice golden tan in the store, however once on the walls with the lightening down there it looks very peachy orange. Oh well, I'll work with it.

This is a room that will probably not get used a lot by the 2 of us, mostly it will be in the summer trying to find somewhere cool to relax on a hot day. For that reason I am not spending a lot of money on the remake. I will cruise thrift stores, the local trading post on the Internet, and maybe the odd pawn shop to decorate the space.

It's also odd that when I have a project to work on, my neighbours drop in with requests to build things for them! One lady wanted me to make a little wheeled cart so her mother could wheel her portable heater from room to room in the house, another asked me to build another insulated dog house for him. The doghouse was a lot of work and hubby had to help, but all the money goes to buy "treasures" for the basement.

I'll post some before and after pictures once I get a little more organized down there. I think I'll go with a western/southwestern theme if I can find any decor in that genre in this part of the world.
Wow, I have high hopes!! Trying to buy everything from thrift type stores and still have a theme?!? Is shabby chic still in? I just hope it doesn't turn out shabby unchic!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm Bored!

It always happens this time of the year.

Christmas is over, the new year has begun. I need a break from doing my wood work, I need a break from the cold, the snow and the short days.

My basement rumpus room is not progressing as I had hoped, therefore my sewing machine is not set up, so the new curtains for the bedroom aren't happening.

I have 2 cemeteries I photographed this summer to post to Find A Grave, but can't seem to get the gumption to do them.

My excitement about going to Kentucky is slowly fading - it's just not in the cards for this spring unless I win the lottery.

I've started reading my new gardening magazines and plotting where to put my next batch of lilies, which green peas to plant for a change and how many tomato plants I can get in the greenhouse. However, anything resembling gardening is still 4 - 5 months away *sigh*.

Oh well, this too shall pass. In the meantime I will get back to work on the basement!