Sunday, July 28, 2013

RIP Georgie

I bought five hens from a local breeder on Oct 19, 2009. They lived at the farm in the old barn at first. Later, when I had my chicken coop built, the two left were moved to my place. Because one had a raspy voice like a heavy smoker, I called them Georgie and Gracie.

Original five

Tonight I found Georgie dead in the chicken pen. Although just over four years old, neither lay anymore but I'm too attached to all of them to cull any.


Here she was last summer with the flock.
I know I can't keep all of this years chicks; some are clearly roosters already. It's just the hardest part for me.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

All abuzz

My son was going to trim the front bushes but instead found ground bees having a mating dance. I tried to get a photo of them swirling around, but they are too small and fast for my camera. I did catch them taking short breaks before rejoining the dancers.




What strikes me as odd is most of the google hits on ground bees are ways to get rid of them. Why would I want to get rid of any bee? I'm thrilled to have them around.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rough weekend

It's hard when I have a to-do list but my health doesn't cooperate. Worse that I have no clue what causes these days of debilitating exhaustion.

Happier stuff: the gardens!
    The zucchini/pumpkin patch is going strong. The pumpkins closest to the black walnut tree are noticeably smaller, but still growing. There is a row in the middle that seems stunted which is where the runoff from snow melting on the street goes...makes me wonder what's in it.

Actual zucchinis! I deliberately planted loads so I can restock my freezer.

The cucumbers are determined to foil my attempts to get them to climb instead of spreading across the ground.

I wish I could turn the chickens loose the feast on the hundreds (thousands?) of baby grasshoppers around the house and garage.

I found 10 enormous (at least an inch long) tan beetles attacking my new grape vine. I knocked 9 of them into a bucket and dumped it into the rain barrel. One flew away too fast. Cabbage butterfly caterpillars were devouring my potted kale plants. I took the ravaged leaves down to the hens who made quick work of munching them (and the bugs).

Observation

When I have no product in my hair and get caught in the wind, I bear an uncanny resemblance to Boris Johnson.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Contest!

Please visit here to enter a contest to win a lavender wand. Personally, I'm crossing my fingers to win for two selfish reasons: first - because I am incapable of keeping lavender alive and second - because these are so pretty!

Speaking of pretties; I ordered this off etsy when I got close to having lost 50 pounds and I'm happy to say that I got to wear it this week.


 I wanted something that served no function other than to look at and enjoy to celebrate. So much of my life is bounded by practicality and usefulness; even the flowers outside encourage pollinators for the gardens. Buying something like this is a treat.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Scientology - the LOL factor

Quoting from the BBC News:
"Scientology was founded in Los Angeles in the 1950s by a science fiction author, L Ron Hubbard.
He said human beings contained the souls of Thetans - immortal creatures responsible for making the Universe.
However, the world has been invaded by dark forces - the Engrams - and individuals can be cleansed and enlightened only through intense therapy called Dianetics.
It is a costly process and the Scientologists expect their adherents to donate considerable sums."

I have read some of Hubbard's sci-fi and it is not very good. I would classify it as C- rating and not re-readable. If he were starting out today, I suspect he would be one of those pathetic, self-published authors on Amazon who post bogus 5 star reviews and try to charge $14.99 for an ebook.

Would I BUY into a 'religion' he invented? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!

I have zero respect for the people who are gullible enough to join and despise those who are taking their money.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Harvest!

Lilliputian, perhaps, but delicious.



The tomatoes from my garden, the lettuce from my mother's and the egg from my hens. The only thing I bought was the organic dressing because that's beyond my abilities.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rain! Yay?

Last night we got almost 2 inches of rain. We really needed it...I just can't help wishing it had been a bit gentler and spread over a few more hours. Evidence indicates there was a strong south wind involved also...




A lone volunteer bean hanging with the potatoes.

And the mighty hunter prepared to leap upon her prey. In this case the prey was Trigger who gets rather tired of her youthful energy. :)

Everything else is going well. My son starts his new job Friday. We've been doing more wood splitting and grass pulling this evening. The next two days are supposed to be running about 10 degrees cooler than lately, which is wonderful.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

Mulberry!

Thanks to the internet I was able to identify a volunteer tree in my yard. Thanks must also go to whichever bird planted it for me. :)






Naturally the birds have taken most of the fruit, but I'm happy to have a mulberry tree. Aren't the leaves strange? I wonder why they take different shapes on the same tree.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lurking in the jungle

Today we let Loki out to explore the outside world for a little while. It's been a week since she was spayed and we kept a close eye on her to be sure she didn't do anything dangerous such as go in the street.



She had a great time and my son took lots of pictures. :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Phew!

I've been working outside, trying to get things done before it gets too hot. Of course, once I am working and getting sweaty, it already feels too hot. I'm thinking it's time to get out the soaker hoses. This weather sucks the moisture right up.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book series

I've been rereading the Jane Jeffry series by Jill Churchill. These are some of my favorite mysteries, but I'm starting to think now (while I'm in critical mode) wasn't the best time to read them. Little mistakes become glaring faults. The first that struck me was when the widow on a tight budget bought her teenage son a brand new pickup for his first vehicle. Any frugal person knows that buying new is not the smart way to manage money and no sane parent would do so for a teenager (imagine the insurance cost)!

Much of the appeal of the series is in Jane's domesticity and relationships with her children, but in the later books those details fade away far into the background. I remembered the story located at a mystery book convention as being very disappointing and found it just as bad this time. The final book (published five years ago) makes an effort to bring back those important parts of her life and is easier to enjoy, but story line errors are more obvious. One is that she never told her fiance a major detail of her past even though she had in a previous book. The worst example I just found: on page 37 Jane mentions cleaning the cat litter boxes that morning, but by page 61 there is pain-staking detail on her buying litter boxes and new clumping! litter and hoping the cats remember how to use them. Oh, the joy at the description of scooping out the first mess.

My mother was complaining that Churchill wasn't writing any new books. I suspect she lost her storytelling magic.

Hooray!

My son got the job. It doesn't start for a couple weeks, but we're both very happy.