Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Sign of the Times

I finally did get to squeeze in  little more "Me Time" this week. It seems I'm in the sign making mood lately. Most likely, because I took some painting supplies to some children just down the road. I felt their pain over being bored to tears, so I wanted to give them something to do,while their Mother worked. Their Mother and Grandmother work in a small General Store three miles from my home. Pop and I drop in there 2 or 3 times a week for breakfast. The prices are really reasonable, and there is always a gang of coffee drinkers and breakfast folks to talk to. And you know by now,that that's Pop's favorite thing to do. Talk,drink coffee, and socialize.The owner of the little store lets the Mom bring the kids with her to work since there is no way she could afford to pay a baby sitter for four kids on what she makes there. She does drive a school bus during the school season, but with school being out, the kids need to be supervised, so she brings them to work with her. They try to keep busy, but they still get really bored at times.I hate being bored myself, so I know how they must feel, away from their own home, with no supplies close at hand.

I love making signs, but I don't get into the mood to do so that often, since it is a quiet, sit down job, and most of the time, that is not something I can make myself do. Kinda like reading a book. One must sit and be still do do that, too. Crocheting or quilting, likewise, but in the Winter months, those tasks seem to come easier for me. No yard to mow, no veggies to can, no wood to cut,you get the picture.

I am so proud of the door sign shown above. On the lettering, I used a stencil, but the coffee cup and flowers, I did free hand, nothing to look at. I usually need a pattern to paint anything from. I even impressed myself. Now I'm off to hunt Bear,but you'll need to check out my next post to understand. Later!

Another Surprise!


As I have mentioned before, we have trained our Bluegill to come to the edge of the pond, nightly, where we feed them. Usually crackers, oatmeal, or cornbread. We hear they have store bought food just for the fish, but we have not been to town to check on it yet. Nevertheless, we feed them daily. It is such a thrill to watch them eat. We have gradually built up the number of fish in our pond, to around 100 plus Bluegill,maybe a half dozen Catfish, and a Bass or two. Low and behold, yesterday, we could see lots of tiny fish, and I do mean tiny, at the feeding site.It was unreal seeing them. We had no clue when or if we would have the privilege of doing so.The water is really clear at times, especially when the sun is hitting in the pond just right. The conditions were great yesterday, for us to see the new baby fish.We hear that Bass eat baby Bluegill, so they will be having a feast, if that is so. Much to our dismay. I hate to even think about that, but Mother Nature has her own way of keeping the necessary checks and balances in this big world, so who are we to judge.

A Pleasant Surprise!

This week we had the pleasure of a big surprise. The baby chicks have hatched. Since we forgot to record the date on which we had set the eggs, we were greatly surprised when we walked into the hen house and there sat the mother on the ground, covering several of her new chicks.Four to be exact, and they appeared to be a couple of days old. Evidently, with all of the hustle and bustle around here, Pop did not look that closely when he did the evening chores. He has so much company, sometimes he fails to check on them at all. Nevertheless, the Old Mother Hen and the babies had managed to jump down from the upper row of nests, where she had been setting,to the ground. Amazing how the babies can do that and survive. They all four appeared healthy, so we gathered them and the Mom up, and put them in an enclosed cage, hopefully,away from the snakes. A dreaded fate for some chicks.There were a few eggs still in the nest, so I checked them out. Only one of them had pipped.  I helped it out of it's shell and took it inside the house and dried it's feathers with the hair dryer, hoping to help it along. The Mom did not seem quite intent enough,to me, anyway, to nurture it along.She was too busy scratching for food, for her new family. The next morning,all five babies were still thriving. The Mom had scratched the remaining eggs aside, so we discarded them and left her to care for her new family of five babies. That's just enough to satisfy our desire to nurture something for now.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bloom Where You're Planted

  I have never had a real planned daily agenda. Mom always tried to have a plan for each of her days, barring the unforeseen tasks that pop up unexpectedly for us all.My life is a crazy mixed up life. I do what I think needs attention the most, then I branch off to other less important things. Some times, doing things I really enjoy.

 This week, the corn was ready so that had to come first. I have cut off the cob and froze about 25 bags of corn. Two cups per bag.That was approximately 200 ears of corn. Pop did help a little after I made him feel guilty for not helping me more.He does have his own responsibilities toward keeping things running mechanically, but he has a lot of down time,too. Lots more than I do.

The grass mowing is always my job,simply because Pop is not neat enough with it to suit me. I do agree, I have way too many flower beds to keep up, but I compare it to Pop's smoking. He is forever asking me why I do not give them up. My reply is always the same, "Because I enjoy them too much".

I have been cleaning some of my flower beds lately, removing plants that have bloomed and gone to seed. I take the seeds and scatter them all around the new property.Hopefully, some of them will escape the Spring and Fall mowing of the fields.

We've had a few baby chicks to hatch off this week.Not that we needed more chickens, but we do love their presence, plus they satisfy the need to nurture something at all times.

The corn and cucumbers have been great this year, but our tomato crop is not doing as well. My guess is too much rain. We have had more rain this year than I can ever remember for this time of the year.Thank God for the Amish all around us. They have plenty of tomatoes.

I know there is a long list, somewhere, of all the things that I really need to get to, so I'm off to get to it. Maybe I can slip in another few minutes to paint another sign.I managed to squeeze in the one pictured above, while cooking my corn, before bagging and freezing it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Gettin' Down To Business

This is our view each morning as we drink our morning coffee. It is like a stage where all of the wildlife put on their performances for us to see. I've not been able to get a really good shot of the activity. It all unfolds so quickly. I plan to set up an action cam of sorts one day, but for now, I have too many more important fish to fry. My son-in-law is deep into picture taking and will need to give me a few pointers, when and if he has that extra little bit of time to spare. It seems we are all in the same boat when it comes to having enough hours in a day to accomplish all that we'd like to do.

Nevertheless, the topic of this post says a lot in regards to the performances we have been watching for the last few weeks. It seems there has been a nest of 5 baby crows being raised in the trees just along our yard, and there has been a nest of 2 young chicken hawks being raised nearby. We have watched them coming and going for weeks now. It seems the two sets of birds have been playing together, testing their wings, and scavenging for food in the pasture fields. It all looks so innocent as they interact together. Today, things appeared to get a little more aggressive. I don't know if the hawks would actually attack and eat the crows, but I do know they eat a lot of young small wildlife, and domestic chickens, if they are running loose. We keep ours pinned up for that very reason. Only time will tell how the next few performances will unfold. Hopefully, we will get the opportunity to watch them a bit longer, before they go out into the big world and live out their lives, far away from our little stage.

Monday, July 8, 2013


This is one of the first things I noticed when I awoke this morning and looked outside my kitchen window while making our morning coffee.I have been waiting patiently,well, maybe not so patiently, for this flower to bloom. I have doctored it all Spring with Miracle Grow and/or horse manure tea, hoping it would be heavenly when it finally bloomed. It was indeed, worth the wait.It grew so tall, I had to put a stake beside the plant for support. Between the dogs playing in the yard, and the occasional high winds we had this year, I was not sure it would survive long enough to bloom. And then I put so much fertilizer on it, I feared it might be all stems and no flowers. I know some plants do that when they get too much nitrogen.

The rains have finally subsided, so now I can get back to my yard. That's where I spend most of my time when the weather is not so hot, but I am afraid those cool mornings and evenings are coming to a halt now since Summer is here. The heat will be unbearable if it's a typical Summer.All the flowers will stop blooming and the grass will no longer be that beautiful, lush, green carpet which I love to mow.Life goes on! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

As Different as Night and Day

My two Grand Children are as different as night and day.

This is my Grand Son,John, and he is definitely not a climber, but he was so proud of himself the day of Pop's Surprise 75th Birthday Cookout. He wanted everyone there to see him climb the tree.

Isn't it strange how some kids hit the ground looking for adventure, and usually the dangerous kind. Not John. He has never been one to try anything that might get him hurt. He is not the typical adventure seeking type child.

Now his sister who is three years older, is another story,indeed. She's not so much into seeking out danger, but she definitely loves to try new things. Leah, our Grand Daughter, who is twelve, takes after Pop in that way. She would follow him over a cliff, and try anything he would try at her age. That doesn't leave out much. She loves to take on new challenges and usually ends up mastering them all.

This picture was taken a couple of years ago, and Leah has progressed from the Honda to the Artic Cat and now to a John Deere Gator.She has yet to try the lawn mower or farm tractors or regular vehicles, but I suspect that will come any day now. She wants to do it all and NOW.  John is content to stay in the house and do computer games. We try to discourage a lot of that, but he is bored to tears with other things. Hopefully, he will either grow out of a lot of it, or become another Mark Zuckerburg. One can only hope.