Monthly Archives: May 2013

What In The Heck Is A Lawn?

Life is busy here on the farm.  The grass is slowing down though.  It’s only growing a foot a day instead of two.  Woah.  It was intense there for a while.  Do you ever wonder why we fertilize our yards so that we can cut them more often.  I want to feed my yard a growing agent so I can cut my grass 2 – 3 times a week.  What?  Are we nuts?  Do I have that much free time?   Does that sound funny to you as it does to me?  And now that I have moved from the suburbs, I feed weeds so that I can cut them more often.   Which brings me to the next question.   How and where was it   determined that  one plant species holds more value than another to fill space and to color our lawn.  What is wrong with clover filling the space in my lawn (which is what we have) as opposed to grass?

Last year our newly established yard was filled with crab grass.  It was coming in lush and beautiful.  I said that this was good.  I wanted crab grass to take over my lawn.  It had long reaching roots and it was thick and looked great cut.  But for some reason it didn’t come back lush and beautiful as last year and clover has taken the driver seat.  I would bet  money that if I was still in the burbs, that crabgrass would have come back full bore, don’t you?  Why is a blade of green better than a 3 or 4 leaf clover?



Bottom line.  I ain’t spraying my lawn for weeds.  We just have to love what we get.

Other cool things that are happening…. Apples and blueberries are growing on our plants.  Imagine that.  Did I know that apples grew on trees?  Hmm.



I feel fairly certain that these buggers will not look as beautiful as this for very long.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Blueberries grow on bushes, I have discovered.


We have to put netting over the bushes here in a few days or weeks so birds will not eat them.   I am very very protective of my blueberry bushes.  I am not willing to share.

Last but not least, our sweet Virginia had surgery today.  It is a total bummer.  We bought a dog for the first time in our life from a “Champion bloodline” breeder.  The poor girl has had nothing but trouble and has been under the weather since we got her.   She has Entropian.  Her eye lids roll inward causing inflammation and infection in her eyes.  The  vet man said that she inherited it from her champion mom or dad.  Thanks  champion Mom and Dad.  He also said worse case ever.  ugh.   She came home with one of those cone collars on her head and she WILL kill herself or me.  She is going to rip her head off and/or cut my legs off at the knees.


She is very very sad.   We just pray the surgery will work and give her eyes some relief.

 God bless our sweet Virginia.   The Rolling Stones sing a great song called Sweet Virginia.

Have a super weekend.

God bless,


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What Kind Of Crazy Farmers Are We?

Let’s be clear.  We are not real farmers.  We are people who get kicks out of catering to little critters.  Keeps me sane.  Our chickens have been peckin’ on a few chosen ones.  A few weeks ago one of the chickens was sporting blood.  Wet head.  Hardly a feather on her back. What kinda freaked me out was her eyeball seemed to be displaced.  To the infirmary she went.

IMG_3363The infirmary is where chickies go when they are under the weather.  They can take some rest and relaxation time away from the hustle and bustle.   This poor animal was in distress.  I couldn’t see her eye.  It was like a black abyss.    She has been infirmed for several weeks and her eye is miraculously reappearing.   Wonder where it went off to for that time?  It was time to reintroduce her to  the brood.  Not so good it went.   They had long forgotten her and she was a strangaa to them now.   Foreign material.  She was ostracized to the back corner of the pasture.  I tried to get her reacquainted to the coop.  She was blackballed.  Pecked into the corner.   Very very sad.

I then had an ingenious idea.  Let’s move little  eyeless chick  over to the barn and have her live with the barn cats.  Uh huh.  So far this year we have had harmony farmony.  Why not?   Let’s let the birds live with the cats.  How did my farmer mind think that would work?  She packed her suitcase and off she went.

Kitty scratching her claws on barn getting ready for.....

Kitty scratching her claws on barn getting ready for…..

When I got her over there, I decided to bring along another chicken who had been hen-pecked by the bully chickens to keep her company and give her time to grow feathers back.


Feathers? Gone.


Circling curiosity

Circling curiosity

tastin' the goods

tastin’ the goods


They all sniffed, tasted, glared and then on about their day.  We are in to the third day.  They have found their little egg nest I made for them.  They have settled in and everyone is happy.  Pretty nuts, eh?  Farmony harmony still intact.

Now, on the Guinea front.  Not so much.  They are laying eggs  out in the middle of plain day.  For everyone to see.  Not very discrete.

Guinea sitting on her eggs.

Guinea sitting on her eggs.

It is a community effort.  One lies on the eggs and the others protect and patrol the area.


After some time,  the layer will get tired of sitting in one place and be off for some fun.    Little do they know that a one big monster is lurking in the shadows waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.


I spied through our upstairs window.  I spied the perpetrator.  Miss Virginia has had her fill of eggs in recent days.   The guineas have relocated their nesting to a place they may feel success.  I hope so.  We would love to have more guineas  running the farm.  They provide us with endless entertainment.

Spring is a fun farm time.  Especially as we ready ourselves  to celebrate a wedding and welcome our first daughter to our family.  Yay.  Times are a changin’.

This week at dusk.  Wow.

This week at dusk. Wow.

God bless,



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A Budding, Er, I Mean Blooming Artist.

Pops, our oldest, Eric, and I  traveled to our youngest son’s college for his junior recital several weeks ago.  Oberlin Music Conservatory outside of Cleveland Ohio.  Do you ever find yourself spending time in a place somewhere far from your life?  Ya get to know the place.  And it’s just a place in the midst of thousands of other places.  The other places you will probably never see in your life but for one reason or another your life circumstances have taken you there.  One of our sons  went to a military school in the middle of nowhere in Ontario, Canada.   We traveled there often over the course of 18 months.  It’s a place I would never in my wildest dreams thought I would spend time,  let alone get to know pretty well.  Life takes me places and sometimes I ask, why this place?  Why not that place?  What is that place I will never go?

The past three years we have found ourselves visiting Oberlin, Ohio.  Tiny, tiny town.  Oberlin is a very “liberal” liberal arts college.  A tad too liberal for my taste, but it is what my son feels he needs in this time of his life.    Makes my heart hurt.   I love ya, baby.   They have to grow up sometime, dont they?  I donlikit.   But I will take what I can get.  Overall, this college choice has been pretty spot on whether I like it or not.

Oberlin is a darling town with much collegiate history and a college of “firsts”. They were the first college to admit female AND black students.  Pretty progressvie,eh?  The oldest operating music conservatory in the country.  It was founded by Presbyterian ministers. Where did they wander off to??   During the civil war, it was an active underground railroad location.  The proprietor of the B and B we stayed in showed us the trap door in the kitchen used for the slaves to slip down into to hide.

B and B in Oberlin, Ohio

B and B in Oberlin, Ohio


Oberlin Campus

Oberlin Campus


Charlie’s recital was Saturday night.  We had the opportunity to be his gophers for the day in preparation for the big shewww.   His show was a combination of his own composed and recorded music,  his produced videos and dance movement projected onto a big screen.  He  nailed it.    He rented out racquet ball courts for the show which was a great idea and worked well.


I took 557 photos that weekend.  The images that were being projected onto the screen by his movements and lighting  were stunning.  Great artistic inspiration for my own art hopefully.

His little wheels are spinnin'

His little wheels are spinnin’


Eric helping, err,  I mean resting.

Eric helping, err, I mean resting.  Actually he did help.











It was a great weekend. We got to hang out with all of Charlie’s best buds.  We missed the fact that our middle son, Sam, could not be with us.  He is  busy working hard to protect you and me from dangggga.  Thank you, Sam,  for sticking your neck out for us.

Have a super weekend.

God bless,


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Goin’ On A Moon Hunt.

In the evening , we love to head out to see the night sky.   I wander to the barn between 9 and 10 to put the lovelies to bed.  Snuggle snuggle them all in their little nests.  When I close the barn door, there is such a peace and calm.  All thinking about their adventures of the day, which probably looks much like the day before and the day before and….. I wonder if they like routine as much as I do.  They are probably plotting a coup over at Cowboy Bob’s.   Or better yet the other guy’s digs.

The sky.  It is beautiful day and night.  A little disappointing that we can see the light pollution from two towns, but way off in the distance.  When we moved here I thought we were miles and miles away from civilization.   8 miles to the nearest anything.  You can imagne my disappointment the first night of camping, lying all snug in my sleepaing bag, listening to the June bugs, when out of the blue  a Harley roared by.  And then a semi truck trailor.  What the heck was that??  I didn’t move far enough away.

First time camping on new property.  2007

First time camping on new property 2007

First bathroom on new property.

First bathroom on new property.

After years now of living in an environment that is wonderfully quiet,  my ears can pick up strange noises very easily.  I can hear the train clearly that runs 10 miles north of here.

So off on the moon walk.  One evening in the past few weeks, I spied a big beautiful ball coming up over the ridge in between two trees. Pops had just gotten home from work.  Poor guy pulls up at dusk after long day probably starving half to death and I made him go on the moon hunt up, up, up.   Our ridge climb ain’t for the faint of heart.


But of course the Tick and Tack are always up for an adventure.  Frick and Frack.  This and That.


Do your cats go on walks with you?  Ours always have for some reason.  Seems odd to me.

How can something be so beautiful?  How can the moon and the twinkling what nots show up for the game over and over and over again, night after night?



It is beyond my comprehension.

On the way back down from the moon hunt, I took this photo… No idea how.  Freaky, eh?  It kinda looks like an etched drawing.  Someday, I am going to learn how to take a photo in a meaningful way.  In the meantime, I just move buttons and shoot.  Dont know what buttons nor what direction I am moving them.


Cabin on ridge.

It is a beautiful day to behold.

I have a friend that asks me all the time:  What are you grateful for today?

I ask you.

God bless,


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Where Do I Learn About The Birds And The Bees?

From the birds and the bees, of course.

I am sure you have noticed the flurry of activity out and about these past few weeks.   It is amazing all that I notice when I have camera in hand.  I suppose when I have an intention of capturing the miracles, I take in more.    The baby birds are blowing my little mind.  We have all these little miniature birdies flying around.  Cardinals.  Blue Jays.  Finches.  Bluebirds.  Color flying about.  The story I watched unfold the other day was amusing.  Two young cardinals at the feeder.  Where are they born anyway?  We have cozy bird houses for the Bluebirds.  Where are these little fellas cracking open?


Love, love these beauties.   Then along comes a young Blue Jay.   Some what intimidating to the Cardinals.  Blue Jays can be nasty.  I saw an unbelievable sight last year before I  got shutter happy.  On about three to four limbs out my window, I counted no less than 10 very young Blue Jays all together.   It was crazy.  Birdie, Birdie,  where does your nest lie?


The Cardinals moved back a little,  but felt comfortable with their new friend sharing.  THEN, the hoodlums arrived.


Our Guinea hens always spoil the fun.  I was just changing my lens to a zoom to really get close to the birds when these guys show up.    Shame on them.

I waited.  One of the Cardinals waited.


Grew tired of waiting and went about my schooling. We headed down to the apple orchard.   We means me and my four-legged goons that are joined at my hip.


Our apple trees are 5 years old and we have never had a bloom on them, which means no apples thus far.  This year?


The area was swarming with bees.  I hear that is a great sign.  Pollination.  Yeah.  That would mean that we will have the opportunity to grow and kill our apples this year.  Research tells me there is no such thing as an organic apple from Indiana.  And we ain’t spraying.  So, will we be enjoying crunchy flavors this summer and fall?  To be determined.

Bee in flight

Bee in flight


Total miracle to me.  

We ventured back up to the Shieling, checked on the Bluebird boxes.  3 have bluebird activity.  1 has mice activity.   One box had very very hungry babies calling to Mama.


Busy learning day.  Lots of livin’ going on.  And I’m sure if I looked harder,  I would see all the exciting snake living going on but I choose not to look down often unless I got my high-powered boots on.

Have a super day.

God bless,



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