Meet Fiona

2014-05-06 07.20.39

Our newest acquisition (catquisition?) to the farm – Fiona. She simply appeared in the driveway one afternoon and hasn’t left (or stopped eating) since. Thankfully, she has all of her claws, although by her behavior, she was an indoor cat – she’s very loving, and isn’t afraid of dogs (she head-booped one of the Goldens, to his great surprise). Fiona is also quite chatty – I’m hungry, pet me, feed me.

We’re currently at 2 indoor cats, and I really didn’t want a long-haired indoor cat, so she now eats and relaxes in the pottery studio – the hair will burn out when I fire the pots! She stays outside most of the time, though, and follows me around pretty much everywhere.

Day 271

It occurs to me that I should be paying more attention to this blog!  With my laptop gone, I have to remember to use the “big screen” because my tablet makes it a little convoluted to post.  Here’s to good intentions! Things have definitely picked up around here – my two classes are taking their […]

It occurs to me that I should be paying more attention to this blog!  With my laptop gone, I have to remember to use the “big screen” because my tablet makes it a little convoluted to post.  Here’s to good intentions!

Things have definitely picked up around here – my two classes are taking their amount of time, and it doesn’t help matters that I’m creating everything for my humanities class. But that also means that when I teach it again, I will have much more time to tweak things and not worry about having to make a presentation for the next class.  Good news there.

The barn is filled with hay – next step is to go back out and mow the second cutting. For that, we all need to be healthy and able to sit on a tractor for hours. We’re working on that. It may be a touch of the flu, it’s definitely allergies, and all the bean/corn dust in the air from harvesting isn’t helping one bit. If you’re driving down the road in the morning and notice what looks like smoke hanging over a harvested field – that’s probably dust still hanging in the air from the combine harvesting the day before. And it is horrible for breathing!

Remember these cute, fuzzy things?

IMG_0370

They now look like almost proper chickens, just smaller:

2013-09-28 08.26.46They still have the fuzzy chick head, but the rest of them look like proper Barred Rocks. I didn’t know this, but their legs have black bands on them.

Lovely harvest moon the other evening – hope you had a chance to see it. Yes, those are geese!

2013-09-18 19.27.31

 

We have a couple large stands of pampas grass (a tall, decorative grass) that the dogs love to hide in. You’ll be walking around and hear “swish swish” as they move through. I found Prince hanging out in here the other day:

2013-09-18 14.00.12He’s such a silly dog.

Interwebz shopping is just about awesome. Click, click, and here comes the UPS or FedEx truck with your goodies. I don’t remember ordering this though:

2013-09-19 14.32.27

 

The garden is finished – we got a lot more tomatoes of the vines, harvested the potatoes, and pulled the last cabbages. Now for the clean-up crew.

2013-09-28 08.25.34They’ve done (as always) an amazing job of eating, and they haven’t even been in here a week. After they’re finished, we’ll put them back in the “test garden” to work in there some more, then start our soil amending in this garden – cow/horse manure, straw, and green manure (a seed mixture that fixes nitrogen and other good stuff in the soil). After the green manure has a chance to get started, we’ll probably open the gate for the chickens to scratch around and do their thing. It’s going to be a lot of work (well, what isn’t around here!!), and a lot of poo to move, but in the end, we’ll have better soil for food growing.

If your garden didn’t perform “up to snuff” this year, chances are you may be missing something in the soil. Our corn was pretty lack-luster – small stalks, small ears that weren’t all filled out – so that was our clue that the ground needs some TLC. You can buy soil analysis kits at home improvement stores – try one and see what your soil is telling you.

 

 

 

Day 271

It occurs to me that I should be paying more attention to this blog!  With my laptop gone, I have to remember to use the “big screen” because my tablet makes it a little convoluted to post.  Here’s to good intentions!

Things have definitely picked up around here – my two classes are taking their amount of time, and it doesn’t help matters that I’m creating everything for my humanities class. But that also means that when I teach it again, I will have much more time to tweak things and not worry about having to make a presentation for the next class.  Good news there.

The barn is filled with hay – next step is to go back out and mow the second cutting. For that, we all need to be healthy and able to sit on a tractor for hours. We’re working on that. It may be a touch of the flu, it’s definitely allergies, and all the bean/corn dust in the air from harvesting isn’t helping one bit. If you’re driving down the road in the morning and notice what looks like smoke hanging over a harvested field – that’s probably dust still hanging in the air from the combine harvesting the day before. And it is horrible for breathing!

Remember these cute, fuzzy things?

IMG_0370

They now look like almost proper chickens, just smaller:

2013-09-28 08.26.46They still have the fuzzy chick head, but the rest of them look like proper Barred Rocks. I didn’t know this, but their legs have black bands on them.

Lovely harvest moon the other evening – hope you had a chance to see it. Yes, those are geese!

2013-09-18 19.27.31

 

We have a couple large stands of pampas grass (a tall, decorative grass) that the dogs love to hide in. You’ll be walking around and hear “swish swish” as they move through. I found Prince hanging out in here the other day:

2013-09-18 14.00.12He’s such a silly dog.

Interwebz shopping is just about awesome. Click, click, and here comes the UPS or FedEx truck with your goodies. I don’t remember ordering this though:

2013-09-19 14.32.27

 

The garden is finished – we got a lot more tomatoes of the vines, harvested the potatoes, and pulled the last cabbages. Now for the clean-up crew.

2013-09-28 08.25.34They’ve done (as always) an amazing job of eating, and they haven’t even been in here a week. After they’re finished, we’ll put them back in the “test garden” to work in there some more, then start our soil amending in this garden – cow/horse manure, straw, and green manure (a seed mixture that fixes nitrogen and other good stuff in the soil). After the green manure has a chance to get started, we’ll probably open the gate for the chickens to scratch around and do their thing. It’s going to be a lot of work (well, what isn’t around here!!), and a lot of poo to move, but in the end, we’ll have better soil for food growing.

If your garden didn’t perform “up to snuff” this year, chances are you may be missing something in the soil. Our corn was pretty lack-luster – small stalks, small ears that weren’t all filled out – so that was our clue that the ground needs some TLC. You can buy soil analysis kits at home improvement stores – try one and see what your soil is telling you.

 

 

 

Day 225 – i heart sawzall

2013-08-13 15.09.20

We have 2 chicken houses – one for the laying flock, and the other for the chicks when they arrive.  In anticipation of getting a load of hens to supplement and replace our aging layers, we needed tocut a hole in the “peep coop” for the little nuggets to get outside to their own little grassy area.  Part 1 is now complete – there’s a hole in the coop.  Now we need to frame it, build a latching door, and install an inside and outside ramp for the nuggets to get over the foundation (they will be too little to just hop up and over – it’s about a 5″ jump from the inside, and about a 7″ jump down to the ground outside!).

So I got to play with the Sawzall today and cut a hole through the siding and wood building.  It’s a little difficult (at least for me) to keep the blade going in more-or-less a straight line, especially when cutting on the horizontal.  But it’s a reasonably even hole, and once it’s framed and there’s a door, I hope it doesn’t look too awful bad!

Day 202 – cali

IMG_0336Meet Cali – one of our “just showed up one morning” barn cats.  Usually she’s hiding from the 5 kittens and is up on one of the barn rafters, but I finally got a picture of her.  She’s pretty friendly – except when the kittens are around.

One of the things about living on a farm is that “free animals” show up every now and again.  We’re between town and the river, so animals wander off, get lost or get dumped.  The last one really gets me going, especially when it’s a kitten (sometimes they’ve been way too young to be away from their momma).  If you don’t want baby animals, spay/neuter your adult animal.  There are low-cost clinics all over, and you’ll save yourself a chewing out if I find out who you are.  Especially those that dump their animals in the winter.  Seriously?  sheesh

/end rant

Of course we take them in and care for them – hence the “free animals” in quote marks, because everyone with animals knows that there is no such thing!

 

Day 187 – princesa

2013-07-06 22.21.58Meet Trillian, my 20ish year old cat.  She has been through a lot in her kitty life – rescued from the Fairborn animal shelter, lived with me in Dayton (with another cat in a 1 bedroom apartment!), came with Denny and me to the farm.  We moved back to Dayton because of work, and she ran off during the moving process.  For several years, my parents saw her roaming around the farm, but she would rarely let them get close enough to pet her.

One day, Denny and I were visiting, and this ruckus starts outside the front door.  I go to investigate, and there sits Trillian, yowling her head off.  I picked her up, and she fell asleep curled up on my lap.  So we hauled her down to Dayton with us, and now we’re all back on the farm.

She doesn’t get around like she used to. Her daily routine pretty much involves sleeping in the clothes basket in the bathroom, eating cat kibble, and using the litter box.  And yowling at the top of her lungs while sitting in the bathtub – we think she does that because she’s mostly deaf and that’s how she can hear herself.

Her other activity is begging for milk whenever there is someone in the kitchen.  She gets a bit of milk in the morning (in that little bowl behind her – I made that especially for her milk), and is of the opinion that if anyone is in the kitchen, no matter the reason, she should get some milk out of it.  She can be in a dead sleep (and she’s mostly deaf), but she knows if we’re out there.

And this is the look I get.  Every time.

No, I don’t give her milk except that one time in the morning.  Really!

 

Day 183 – cool(er) kitty

183

 

My niece Hannah was helping me take pictures this past weekend, and decided that the world needed to see another cat picture.  So here she is – one of our indoor/outdoor cats, B-ko, sitting on a cooler.

Yes, there is an A-ko (her sister) and the names are from a Japanese anime “Project Ako”.  B-ko enjoys sleeping, eating, rolling on the driveway when it’s warm out, and occasionally catching a mouse.  She’s not into other cats (including A-ko), cold weather, or coming when called.

I actually found the two of them on the side of the road when they were kittens.  They were in pretty rough condition, but they overcame their humble beginnings to be the overstuffed furbags they are today!

Day 169 – kitteh being cute

169This is Kitten ? of 6 (or of 5, depending if we’re counting the one that hasn’t been around for a long time) – all of them still exhibit kitten-like behavior, so we still call them The Kittens, sometimes with colorful words between The and Kittens, depending on what they are doing at the time.  To varying degrees, they love attention, eating small rodents, and rolling around on the ground.  Several of them also like to run inside the house as the screen door is closing, then bee-line to the other door to be let outside again.  Fun times!