Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ducks on a pond...

Four ducks on a pond,
A grass-bank beyond,
A blue sky of spring,
White clouds on the wing:
What a little thing
To remember for years
To remember with tears!
~William Allingham

Well in my pond there are now five ducklings swimming! The three hens kept moving eggs back and forth between them and I was worried we wouldn't get any ducklings this year but on Friday, they slowly started to hatch. Then regardless of who hatched which ones, all three mothers decided they were theirs and if one hen goes outside the other two follow leaving the rest of the eggs alone.I have to remove those ticking time bombs today. I also now have three hens setting. And they are very protective of the eggs. Don't believe me? Take a look at this face....
She means business! In other fowl news, the broiler chicks are almost fully feathered and are hogs. They will be leaving the premises in early July and I am already counting the days.
In between the VFW BBQ, the VFW Memorial Day ceremony, the Girl Scouts trip to see Indian Jones and the usual chores, we helped a friend rip apart the kitchen in her house. The house has been in her family for four generations and was once a boarding house. The ceiling was plaster and lathe (what a mess!) But under that were these awesome beams. They had a name on it and I think I remember reading that it was the mills mark. These marks are all the same so that might be true but they look to be done in pencil. Another cute find (for me at least as I like looking at times gone by) was this wallpaper behind the upper cabinets we took down. She thought of leaving the beams exposed but decided to drywall the ceiling. The wallpaper is gone now too but will be replaced with an apple theme.
Huge strides have been made in the garden. The greenhouse garden has been tilled and planted and excess plants passed on to a neighbor. Also, Mom made an investment...a Honda mini tiller. The larger tiller is too much for us to handle and this one is small and able to go between rows. As my luck would have it, it started raining on the ride home so we have yet to play in the dirt with it! Now I have only to finish planting the large garden and then I will have a slight breather before the heavy weeding and canning seasons hit.
We have been canning some more. Today, we made two batches of strawberry-rhubarb jam. (Sis, just think a slice of homemade bread, toasted to perfection with butter spread from crust to crust and a big old glob of this jam. I didn't want you to go without so I ate a piece for you! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!!!)
Not much is happening in the fiber area. I finished the poncho but I bound off the neck to tight and I have to rip it out and re do it. Plenty of fibery idea's but no time or energy to follow thru. As fast as time is flying by it will soon be fall and I will be back in the knit/purl groove

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

7+ days of Rain

I'm singin' in the rain,
Just singin' in the rain,
What a glorious feelin,
I'm happy again!
I'm laughing at couds,
So dark, up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love.
Let the stormy clouds chase
Ev'ryone form the place,
Come on with the rain,
I've a smile on my face.
I'll walk down the lane
With a happy refrain,
And singin', just singin'
In the rain

It's day seven of rain with more in the forecast, so I figured if you can't beat them join them! Instead of being mad because I can't get in the garden I have to think of what the rain is doing for the hay fields...maybe the price will go down! Instead of thinking of the lawn growing knee high already, I will think of how much free mulch I will have to put around the garden plants. And I am saving gas by not mowing! We had temps go down to 33.9 on Monday night but we did not get frost. And lest you think nothing is getting done let me tell you we work between the raindrops! On today's agenda is a trip to the feed store and making blackberry jam with berries that we froze last summer. We get to them eventually!

Starting this week the man had to report to work earlier, which leaves me doing the morning chores alone. At first I thought I would miss him mucking, feeding and haying the animals with me as that is when we discuss the upcoming day. However, because he did have to leave for work the morning chores were rushed. I quickly found doing the morning chores alone to be the equivalent of that cup of coffee after everyone leaves the house in the morning-very relaxing! With the animals being further out in the field now they don't hear when you first arrive. I am able to get most of the chores done before they realize I am there. Then while they are eating I take pictures or just observing and when they finish their feed they come over for their scratches and some loving. I have NOT told the man how much I enjoy this time as he would have me doing the evening chores alone also! Momma didn't raise no fools!

And yesterday we had a doctor appointment so I was able to knit for the first time in about a week! I took the front of the poncho with me, messed up the cable, ripped it all out and started over by excluding the cable. Tomorrow we have a PET scan appointment which usually takes a while so I will hopefully get it finished. As Martha would say -that's a good thing.

Monday, May 19, 2008


"Home! And this is my room - and you are all here! And I'm not going to leave here ever again, because I love you all! And --- Oh, Auntie Em ----- there's no place like home!"~Dorothy Wizard of Oz

Both kids were happy to be home after their weekend away. We will start with #2 son. He left Friday night to a Camp-O-Ree, his first boy scout camping trip. When we got to the camp to drop him off it was pouring down rain and if you got off the lawn you were in mud! Because of the rain they had them sleep in tents instead of the lean-to's. It went down to 39 degrees that night.

Saturday was an awesome day and for the most part rain free. During the day he cooked a meal on a campfire and earned his Fireman's chit after going through the smoke house and learning fire safety.

We picked him up Sunday and the rain held off until we were leaving the campground. He had a blast and will be going back next year. No pictures as the camera is still in the car and the man took the car to work.

#2 Daughter did not have fun at her formal Friday evening. It seems puberty hormones, first formal and it's preconceived expectations mingled together do not mix well. She came out crying in frustration that if they would have all shut up and stopped arguing over stupid stuff they all would have had fun. She said she would not be going next year, but I explained a year makes a big difference.

We got up Saturday and dropped her off at the meeting spot at 7:30. They drove to the train station and left for NYC. We picked her up at 9PM last night and she still has not stopped talking...she had a great time! She said she couldn't live there as there were too many people, too much noise and it was filthy but she had fun. They went to the MTV shop, a two level McDonald's, M&M shop, Hershey shop, Macy's, observation deck at Rockefeller Center , Times Square, NY Public Library, and took a bus into the Hudson River . They saw the Twin Towers site, the Statue of Liberty, grandma's home town of Hoboken, NJ, and the play Curtains at Al Hirschfeld Theatre and stayed at a Hostel. Oh yeah they also saw (by accident) the Naked Cowboy of NYC! The poor man's ego must be crushed as she said they all got a case of the giggles!

And what would catch the eye of the daughter of a fiber person while touring NYC.... "a wool purse with a barn felted on it"...don't believe me? She took a picture! I bet her friends thought she was nuts but I love that she did that.

The man and I finished the fence, burnt a huge scrap pile, did a complete clean up of the barn and got the mower fixed! It was time to go in when the rain started again but we went back out to get a picture of the faintest rainbow over the tree. 1st one I have seen this year.It was an exhausting weekend for all and everyone was glad to be home. I am glad the kids have these opportunities to try new things and that they still think home is best!

Friday, May 16, 2008


If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that Id like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
Id save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you
~Jim Croce

Time is such a precious commodity right now. As in years past the end of the school year mania has arrived. On the plus side, the kids only have 18 or 19 school days left. Like them I cannot wait until it is over.

I did take time last Friday to go to spinning and I think that was the last time I did any fiber arts. Friday night we went and bought fencing. Saturday we dropped son off to help with an Eagle Scout project, rented a post hole digger, bought posts, picked son up, finished the pig pen and drilled almost all the holes for the pasture enlargement. Sunday we finished the holes, took the machine back, picked up the pigs, put them into their area and installed all the posts in the field. Monday was the Blue & Gold dinner, Tuesday my housecleaning job and a band concert, Wednesday, Mom and I planted all the broccoli and about 40 tomato plants then it was boy scouts, pick up the chickens and turkeys. Yesterday, mom and I made two batches of rhubarb relish and then last night the man and I got half the fence installed on the field enlargement.

Today I am going shopping for last minute things for sons camp-o-ree this weekend and a corsage for daughters formal tonight. Tomorrow morning we drop her off for trip to NYC and then we have peace and quiet until Sunday morning at 10 AM when we pick son up. Of course time will be used finishing the fencing- doesn't that just sound so romantic?!

And just because I need one more thing in my life that demands attention, I present for his blog debut, Cooper....When we went to pick up the pigs on Mother's Day (Isn't that what every mom wants to do on Mother's Day?) I saw the puppy and said he was cute and sat and played with him. I told the man that when I first moved to MD, my oldest brother had a little female redbone I named HoneyBee that I wanted and he sold it. The man being of sound mind (NOT!) thought he would surprise me and buy this puppy. SURPRISE! Now let me first state, I love this guy (the man not the dog). However, in the truck I had to tell him I think the dog is adorable but are you nuts? Where is the man of reason? Did he get another life insurance policy on me that I don't know about, because he is trying to kill me! I think he was on drugs when he made this decision...I think he better pass some my way to deal with it. I go into the bathroom and the puppy whines outside the door! I want grandchildren doing that not a puppy.

So the man swears everyone will help. I think they all crossed their fingers before they said that because they are gone all day while I trip and slip over this puppy. In case you are wondering he is an 8 week old Redbone Bluetick Plott mix....aka he is going to run. He goes where I go, so he was quickly acclimated to the animals and he is afraid of the lambs! Of course the cat is bigger than him right now but I am told he will grow into his huge paws. OH YIPPEE!!! Make lemonade when given lemons so Cooper now thinks I am his mom. He is my attached at the hip sidekick. He is somewhat aggravating but very cute which makes up for it.

And now I am off to walk him so I can leave for town. And the mower place just called so I can pick up my part...again. Third times a charm. Have a great weekend.

Friday, May 09, 2008

It is Yesterday's Tomorrow

Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
~L.H. Bailey
And with the rain we got yesterday and last night things are quickly emerging. Last night while doing chores I finally heard the wind rustling the leaves again. I can no longer see into the woods. I can hear the turkeys gobbling but I can't see them making their way down the deer trail. The dogs however let me know the deer are taking their daily walk through. Spring is truly a wonderous fair even when it wears you down to a nub.

So today things ARE looking up. Yesterday after my meltdown I went to the feed store, took my uncle to his appointment, ran some errands for my mother, came home to do chores and dinner and went to #2 daughters band concert.

Tonight after the man gets home from work and the chores are done we are going to pick up the fencing. Tomorrow we have to drop #2 son off at 8 AM, then we are going to pick up newest part for mower (hopefully correct), posts for the fence and hay. On the way home we will stop and pick son up so he can help finish off the pigs pen (isn't he a lucky kid!!). Sunday #2 daughter said she is cooking me breakfast for Mother's Day. At 9 AM we are picking up the pigs and when we get them home, hopefully making a huge dent in fencing in more pasture.

I had my Mother's Day dinner with #1 daughter last weekend. She invited my mom, the man and I to dinner at her house. She made a layered pizza dip which was so good we ate it all! (I got the recipe!) Of course we then did not have much room left for dinner which was garlic bread, spaghetti and chicken parmigiana, but we did bring home the leftovers! The meal was delicious as was the coffee and dessert (mini phyllo tarts filled with cannoli mix). I love cannoli's! She always said she was going to rich enough to not have to cook so the fact that she put so much time and effort into the meal really meant alot. She also got me "The Mom's Book For The Mom Who's Best at Everything" (is that an admission that her Mom does know best?). She also ordered me Amish Past Tomatoe plants to replace the un-germinated seed. She is a truly amazing woman who always goes above and beyond which is really the best Mother's Day present I could get.

And on that note I am off to start the weekend. I wish all the mom's a day as you want it. Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I need some cheese with this whine!

"To accomplish great things,
we must not only act,
but also dream;
not only plan,
but also believe."
- Anatole France

There are some days when you just think the "great things" aren't gonna happen no matter how much blood, sweat and tears you put into it. I have the dreaming and the planning all done to perfection. It's the believing and acting that needs assistance or more aptly the time for the acting. Then I realize this is Spring overwhelming me again. The to-do list is a mile long, life interrupts, seeds don't germinate, machines break, parts ordered by all knowing counterperson with master book are wrong part. It is Murphy's Law of Spring.

I thought I was doing good until I turned the page on the calender and realized this SAHM had 19 appointments in 31 days, so much for the SAH part. There are Drs. appts, friends 50th b-day party, two band concerts, boy scouts every Monday and Wednesday evening(not counted as part of 19), Eagle project on Saturday, Boy Scout Camporee, Girl Scout trip to NYC, #2 DD formal, Boy Scout Relay for Life, town clean up, etc etc and add to that #1 son's and the man's b-days. So with the man working 22 of those 31 days we need to find time to pick up chicks, turkeys and pigs, re-do the pig's pen, fence in another pasture, rototill the garden, plant the garden, get the car to dealer because it was recalled for repair, the usual runs to feed store, grocery shopping, grass mowing, daily barn chores and oh yeah finish the house so I can get the h*ll out of this sh*t hole mobile home.

I think the final straw was this morning when I walked out at 6:30 and saw the fleece I had washed yesterday and sat out to dry. I was so tired when I got home last night I forgot about it and it rained. I strung couple of Scarlet O"Hara's together..."Fiddle-dee-dee" "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow" "After all... tomorrow is another day." Then I proceeded to go do barn chores.
So far there is nothing on the calendar for tomorrow unless I go to spinning. "Tomorrow, tomorrow, there's always tomorrow, it's only a day a way" And by tomorrow things will be looking up.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Belated Welcome to May

A delicate fabric of bird song
Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
Is everywhere.
Oh I must pass nothing by
Without loving it much,
The raindrop try with my lips,
The grass with my touch;
For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May
Shining after the rain?
- Sara Teasdale, May Day

And it did rain on the first of May. The smell of wet earth measures right up there on the olfactory sensation measuring stick with fresh mown grass, laundry right off the line, baby's, hay, fresh perked coffee in the morning. I could go on but I'll save you and stop now.
In the ocular department...the dogwoods are blooming
as are the cowslips.
The last two days of April we awoke with frost....
the poor birds shivered in their feathers and puffed up to stay warm. Since I don't have feathers, I gave in and turned the heat back on.Flowers that looked like this before the frost....quickly looked like this....
Luckily most of the pear blossoms and the apple blossoms were not out yet so hopefully the frost will not hurt this years harvest.

Something that did hurt was this...
Last night I was working on another set of Tiny Treasure baby socks. I was close to done but too tired to finish so I sat my knitting aside. "Not me" knocked it off the arm of the sofa and on to the floor, and "not me" found bending at the waste too strenous an activity and so when they saw it there left it there and "not me" stepped on it. Luckily KnitPicks gives you six needles and I only use four when doing socks so I was able to finish them.However, this did make me realize just how much I have to teach my kids so far as money because they didn't see any importance in picking them up because "they only cost a couple of dollars"! They think that our food is free because we raise it! OH God I wish! Now the reason I didn't finish the socks last night was because our Xbox 360 had a glitch about a week ago. The man said he would try to fix it and hasn't had the time. #2 son stated last night we should go buy a new one just because the Xbox live is paid for the year. He started getting really obnoxious about it so I told him he now had two choices. He could wait until after I get in my house for the man to fix it since he ticked me off thinking that the game system was more important or he earned the money to pay for a new one. He says he can't get a job. I told him I would pay him but he will only get paid for the time he works and we will follow work guidelines. So he wanted to know how much. The federal minimum wage will be $6.55 in July. I told him I would pay him $3.50/hour. He wanted more. I said if minimum wage for a full grown man is only $6.55 I am not going to pay him the same when he will only be doing 1/2 the work and take double the time! We played with this once before and it didn't work as he decided he didn't need whatever it was he wanted then and I doubt it will last this time but I think I have to make the kids stick to this work a little because they do nothing other than take out the trash and do the evening dishes. The older two keep telling me how spoiled they are and I would defend them but now it is their "I deserve" " the world owes me" attitude is starting to grate. I think this summer is going to be interesting!
And now that I have vented I will leave you with a little surprise that showed up at the feeder whom I don't see often...Rose breasted Grosbeak. There were two of them out there with the blue jays and cardinals.