Thursday, April 20, 2017

Awkward

The chicks are in that awkward, gangly, pre-pubescent stage, with tiny feathers sticking out all over, except on their fuzzy little heads.  I am becoming more and more sure that some of my "bonus chicks" are actually roosters.


Little by little, I managed to get all the weeds out of my Moss Bed.  I sat on the rocks on my butt for hours to get that done.


L and JP worked for several hours over break on her Science Fair Project.  Unfortunately all the work was futile...they were unable to nudge any power out of a pile of potatoes.  At the last minute, she decided to switch to an electromagnet, and it works like a charm.

Math homework is driving me crazy this week.  It's actually making me weary.  6 more weeks of math, people!

This time of year is actually beautiful - it's my favorite time of year, when everything comes alive again.

I harvested a handful of asparagus and of rhubarb from the garden this afternoon.

Here's my field of baby clover:


My new bleeding heart (and my new favorite) is blooming for the first time:


The Redbud and Dogwoods are gorgeous in the woods:

 
And it just rained, so everything is clean and shiny:

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Spring Break

This year, JP managed to get time off during the girls' Spring Break - and miraculously we had the entire scheduled break off because of no snow make-up days.  At the last minute, we threw together a Rock-N-Roll Spring Break for the girls.

We started it off with a trip to Wheeling to see a Beatles tribute band (Classical Mystery Tour) that played with the Wheeling Symphony.  We got really great seats, and really reasonable rates, and had a fun time!

"Paul" and "George"
A day later, we drove up to Cleveland.
The girls by Lake Erie

There we visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.


There we saw more Beatles,


and some of this,

 
and MJ's glove,


and a bit of that.
ZZ Top's drum kit

It was fun too.

We got home last night, and had our Easter Egg hunt in the barn today due to rain. 

 
It has been a really nice break, with lots of down time, as well as some work and long over due appointments.  JP saw his retinal specialist, who told him that the poor vision in his "bad" eye is now due to a cataract (an expected complication of his past surgery.)  I have another appointment tomorrow, and we are expecting our friend, C, to spend the day with us.  L has been working on her Science Fair Project, and it hasn't been working - she is starting a new experiment now.

On Tuesday, it will be back to work and school, with no more breaks until Memorial Day - right before the end.   Sigh...hopefully the Rock-N-Roll memories carry us through!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Peep of a Different Color

All of the peeps that came in the mail last week are doing well, save one who appears to have been injured.  She is limping around and sleeping a lot.  I try to place her by the food and water every couple of hours during the day, as she doesn't seem to try to get there on her own.  She is the tiniest one by far, and it's still a bit touch-and-go with her.

 
I was thinking that, although extremely cute, my peeps were a bit homogeneous in appearance.
 

Even Chaz thinks they're boring.
I happened into Tractor Supply Company earlier this week, and noted that they were selling a variety of chicks of indeterminate breeds for just $1.99/each.  I decided to bite the bullet and get a half dozen to "flavor" my flock.  The kind TSC employee tried to be certain that she got all pullets.  I have spent more than an hour on line, trying to identify the breeds of these chicks, but I can't be certain of that either.  I guess we'll know in a few weeks what sex and breed they are!  I thought it might be fun to get some that lay another color of egg, so I'm hoping that one or more of them are Americaunas.


 
The more adventuresome of my peeps have been "flying" up on to the side of the bin, and then falling off on to the floor for the past couple of days.  They are also roosting on top of the feeder, and on the hospital box that the gimpy chick was isolated in.  Last night I dreamed that 5 of the peeps died because they fell out of the bin, couldn't get back in, and got too cold overnight.  Today I moved them from inside the bin to half of the smaller side of the chicken house, and put the roosts down for them.  They seem to enjoy it!


I did manage to get 2 beds broadforked in the garden, and got my peas planted last night before the rain came today (and SNOW is forcasted for tonight/tomorrow!)

In the old chicken pasture, the red clover that I sowed is coming up.


All is well on the "Farm" this Spring!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

For Reals

It seems that Spring has finally come for reals. 

The other thing that came today was my new peeps - they are super cute!

 
The number of things blooming and growing is increasing exponentially, and includes some things that I thought might not do so because of the late freezes:

- forsythia
-ornamental pears
-weeping cherries
-apricots in orchard
-primroses
-hyacinth
-daffodils
-hellebores

The rhubarb is up in the garden, but no asparagus yet.  Also no peas planted...YET.

The Spring Peepers are peeping with such gusto that we can hear them all the way up on top of our hill from down at the creek.

The "Bee Man" was here to open up the hives this afternoon.  He said that all 5 hives made it through the winter, and they look "really strong" (not exactly sure what that means!)

I planted clover in the old chicken pasture, so that we can cycle the hens back over there once it is growing well.

I must go open some windows...

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Planting Time

It is time to get out in the garden and plant my peas!  Ideally I would have done it this weekend, but my back was still hurting from raking gravel out of the grass on Thursday afternoon, and I have learned to give myself time to recover instead of making things worse.

We also had friends from out of town, who stayed over night this weekend.  It was fun to catch up again with JP's college roommate and family.

As winter has finally been winding down, I have been trying to finish up my indoor activities.  I made a cover for JP's recliner.

 
Stella has scratched at the seat so much, that it is almost worn through.

JP and I also undertook a project that ended up taking many more hours than anticipated.  We went from 12 shelves packed with DVDs like this:


To this:

 
We found an app that allowed us to scan the movies in to a database using the UPC symbols on the back.  Then we pulled all the discs from the plastic containers to sleeves, which we sorted alphabetically and labeled.  I wonder how long things will stay this way?

In the meantime, we have 8 more shelves to fill with books!

I hope to plant clover in the old chicken pasture tomorrow, and possibly, just possibly...broadfork a couple of garden beds for the peas.

Monday, March 13, 2017

And So It Continues...

Well, we are continuing to have more of a winter since March began than all the rest of the winter.

The girls had 2 days off for Teacher In-Service last week, so we had a 4 day weekend.  Even JP took Friday off...and it was a good thing he did, too.  We woke to this:

 
Over two inches of snow covering everything!

L and I spent a couple of hours playing outside on Friday.  We built this little snowman down in the window well of her bedroom window.

 
The temperatures dipped as well.  We have had daytime highs in the high 20's to low 30's and overnight temps in the teens all weekend.  Tonight they are calling for a blizzard dropping 3-6 inches on our area.  (Just a few miles east, they are forecasting 8-12 inches!)  The girls' teachers have already told them that there will probably be no school tomorrow.

Argh!

In the meantime, we girls have all gone shopping for new dresses for an upcoming wedding.  Interestingly enough, we all picked blue ones.

It's time to go put the snowplow back on the tractor.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bouquet

I picked this colorful bouquet out of the front yard this afternoon.

 
It is all of the flags put out by the telephone and electric companies to mark the buried lines back in November.  Since the well people officially hooked up the new well to our running water this afternoon, I figured that it was finally safe to remove them.

They are promising to return on Monday to remove the drill rig, the ditch digger, and various and sundry equipment.  They plan to collect water at that time to test the quality, and I assume that they will deliver the bill at that time as well.