Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Welcome little one!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Garden Update for June

After that cold spell that killed off my tomatoes and basil and cukes and eggplant.. etc, I was so sad.   I kinda thought I would give up on the whole gardening thing.  It was depressing!  Worse the weather just kept on being rainy and cold. 
Finally however, the sun has come out and given us some hope for summer with some warmth.

It looks like things want to grow despite the challenges of rain and cold, the grass between the beds was over three feet tall!  We did have some sunny days here and there,  and it was on one of those sunny days that I bought some more plants and began the process once more.

My living room was green again for a while, filled with plants,  but these eventually made their way outdoors to the garden.  It took a while though, because we needed some warm days and before putting things in, we needed to weed.  Boy, there was a lot of weeding to do too, especially with the weed-wacker, which Nate kindly did for me.   I weeded the bed on.Wednesday and planted new tomato plants, cucumbers, and basil too!  Happily I found some tiny basil plants sprouting.   This all made me feel like gardening again.

I also discovered that the bok choy and spinach went wild, the beets and carrots are growing and some of the beans are actually  intact, as is the zuchini, or at least it has recovered..  Not only that three tomato plants still have some grren leaves at the top so I thought I would let them grow.  I am bound to be overrun with zucchini however,  since I have purchased some replacement plants.  Since some survived, I need to figure out where to plant the new ones.

Here are some photos of the garden today::

There is hope.  As you can see, the radishes did okay too.

I particularly enjoyed listening to the bumble bees working  in the comfrey when I was out there.  They buzz and buzz as if talking to themselves and each other.  This one would make two distinctly different sounds between flowers and on the flowers.  HE sounded like a little old man mumbling  (or is it bumbling) to himself.

Another bumbler got made and me for messing with the bushes he was on and subsequently, he took opportunity to chase me off several times.  I ran and hid under a sprinkler when he did.  It happened three times.

He was probably laughing at me as each time he went back to work, but only until he spotted me again in the vicinity and chased me off, buzzing like a wild banshee.  Funny, I don't think he was interested in stinging me, just in getting me to leave his bush alone.  Bumble bees love the comfrey... and I kinda like the bees.  They keep me company in the garden.

Hopefully, the ground is warming up a bit, and I can get in the gardening mode.    I am still trying to decide  if I like this gardening thing or not.  It is kinda a pain...between the fickle weather and the backbreaking bending over... makes one feel like they are just bumbling around....

Now, I could be wrong, but somehow, I think I might know just what the bumble bees are bumbling about to they work work work, in the garden.  It's just a hunch, but you just have to wonder!

Finch Babies

I have tried to take photos of the baby Zebra finches but it's a little tricky. There are lighting issues, disturbing the parent's issues and the fact that they look so strange you really have a hard time deciding if you got a good photo or not when you are trying to distinguishing what it is you are looking at.

Here are the little flufflings soon after hatching. At this stage, they are actually called "nestlings", but I like thinking of them as flufflings because they are all fluffy. 

They are really kind of weird things at first, but it is amazing how fast they grow. Before long they actually begin to look like birds... and just a note: I think that they look and sound like tiny Emperor penguins, the ones you might see in Antarctica.

Finch eggs are usually laid one per day for several days,  and then, when the last egg is laid, they begin incubating them by sitting on them.  Interesting that until the parents start sitting on the eggs and keeping them warm the fertile eggs do nothing in particular.. or so "they say."  The eggs then start hatching about two weeks days later.

It was hard to tell how many eggs were in the nest.  I kknew we had lost one, and sometimes they cover up eggs with nesting material, so those never hatch, but it was discovered that there were three.

Two of them are gray and one is lighter gray, almost white.

 In this photo the white one is on the right.  you can barely see the eye peeking out.

Mom in the nest with the babies.

Then they become fledglings and hop out of the nest.  Here is one now....

They are cute!

Noisy... and demanding of their parents, which depend  a lot on me to keep up the food supply for these hungry babies.  I give them bird seed, millet, apple, lettuce, clover and alafa sprouts and sometimes I hard boil an eggs and give them some of that.  

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In The Spur of the Moment

It was a lot like old times... visiting with MJ and her son when they called because they were visiting in town and wanted to say hello.  by mutual agreement, it had to be done in person, so off we went to rendezvous at the FROG.

Fun was had.  The boys went to the movies and ne and MJ went shopping, one thing we do well together.  She was my grocery buddy for a while and when she moved away I no longer had a friend that I could go grocery shop with....  Memories..... misty water colored....


IT was fun!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Farmer's Market

On the way to Farmer's Market in Millwood....

The Farmer's Market there meets every Wednesday through the summer, rain or shine I am told.  This particular day, I thought it might rain, but the sky held out. 

At last, I was almost there!

  There were crafts and plants and produce... like lettuce and honey, baked goods too. 
Wanna make a Wednesday trip to Millwood?

You could do some market shopping, then stop in at the Rocket Bakery or the Corner Door book store for a latte' (or at the Corner Door, a yummy $1.00 ice cream cone.) 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Chicks Have Grown

The chicks have grown and were released into the wilds.
They are actually enclosed  in a fenced area, one that all the other fowl escape from on a regular basis, (except for Kevin, the Emu.)  They will share this area at night with the other chickens, guineas and our resident Emu.

Thankfully they have plenty of places to hide, for Kevin as not impressed.  He felt invaded and even tried stomping and pecking the poor little chick that got under his feet.  I rescued it though and off he went... well actually I only diverted Keven's attention.

THAT is one big claw, no matter how much you have grown!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The View From Here

Here are the mountains off in the distance... and the view from my favorite spot.

I love days like these...

It's a little cloudy and I am walking around the farm with my dogs.... except for Buddy.  He stayed home.  He is too old, sometimes, to walk with us anymore.  This was one of those times.


 and cats.... who follow....and soon we are a traveling troupe!  However, the cats usually get tired easily and when they do, they try to keep a safe distance from the dogs.

 After a walk around we visited Kevin.... the emu.

 I remember one day, back when we had a whole bunch of animals, I was walking to the mailbox out on the road, walking down our long long driveway to the street.  The dogs were with me, the cats were following, and inside the fence to the south, all the rest of the animals were following too.... the sheep, the goats, the pigs, the ducks... and the dogs and cats, following me up the driveway.... walked together in a great gaggle all the way to the road, and back.  I remember thinking to myself how fortunate I was to experience such a thing.  It was just like an animal parade!

 I love the serenity.  It is quiet and the views really are quite lovely.... the air is fresh, especially since the rain, and the dogs and cats love it too.

Here is Buddy.. waiting for us to return.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


It is kinda funny what dollies like this do to little old ladies.  Here is Virginia's story:

I saw this doll and thought it was kinda cute so I was thinking about buying it for my collection of little toys when this little old lady approached me to tell me how cute she thought this particular doll was.  She was looking at it so intently, I thought maybe she had wished she had seen it first.

She oohed and awed over it a bit, telling me how she sometimes buys dolls for her grandkids at this store, and by this time I was almost certain that she really wanted this doll, way-more than I did.  I asked her if she wanted to buy it.  She declined.  With that taken care of we changed the subject to kids. She had six of them, all grown now, and didn't make a practice of "bothering" them for much, except  that she had gotten a ride to the store we were at from her son. 

I made it a point to offer her the doll again, wanting to make sure she didn't want it still, and she declined again...but made note to tell me again how much she liked it.  With that, we parted ways in the store.

It was a small store and in a few minutes later we met up again.  Maybe to her, it was just another chance to chat, but then again, maybe she really wanted the little doll... I was not sure, but I was surprised when she  asked me if she could look at it once more.  (Apparently, she, like  me, thought the doll  was quite cute. )

The experience was a little bit like being at the grocery store, with a real baby in a shopping cart , you know, people just want to say something about how cute the baby is.... only this was just a doll.  Then she asked me about my arm, why was I wearing "that thing"....

I told her I had had breast cancer.  I told her I wear the sleeve to help control something called lymphadema, where my arm gets swollen. Then changing the subject, I asked her if she lived nearby.

She said yes, but she lived alone since her husband had died not long ago from cancer.  She said, he didn't want to do any cancer treatments...he  thought he was "too old" and so he just coped with things until he died.  She said she would lay awake at night talking to him telling him how she didn't want him to go and leave her behind.

Then she told me about her faraway friend who's husband recently had died and how hard it was for her.  Said there was a lot of bills left behind for her to pay.  the man just up and died one day.  Never sick... just one day he was alive and the next he was gone; he died sleeping in his chair.

Death is one thing, but sudden death... 

Funny, the people left behind in such an instance are often baffled.  Such an incident leaves a very big void in the lives of those who kinda expected them to be around the next day.   Death is weird... life is weird too, but death, after life, if you ask me, is weirder.  I had had a week of it myself... "death," that is.....  First, the tomato plants... the squash, eggplant, and zucchini too, they were all dead because of the cold.

Then there was my faithful dog, Buddy.  No, he didn't die, but it was a near death experience.  The old farm dog was almost run over by the car, I thought for sure he had been a gonner.  I expected that I would open my door, on the passenger side, and find him  squished.  The ordeal sent him reeling with yelps of pain and anguish, but he quickly regained his composure, and after a little while he was up walking around... though just as dazed as usual.  Since then he has definitely been affected....but still happy and eating and drinking.. Recuperating... fazed...but still  a little bit like the Ever-ready rabbit, or maybe a TImex watch... still being buddy... sleeping and having difficulty getting up and down.  That old dog just "keeps going and going." 

Then there was a broken finch egg, fallen from a nest.  The tiny bird housed inside was exposed and guessed it, "dead".  There was still more in the nest, but it was sad trying to figure out how to dispose of an unhatched chick

Then too this week came the death of a family friend, a lovely lady.... swallowed up in that dreadful thing called death, and now here I was in this timely conversation with a total stranger, a short, white-haired little old lady, probably in her eighties, talking about the death of her husband and friend.

It was a death week for sure.  What a blessing that such a thing is not in-your-face all the time.

We talked a bout the hardships of getting old, cancer, and being a burden on your kids....and sdolls.  Because of a little doll, this woman was becoming my friend.  We were like two little girls in a doll shop, only we weren't so little... just girls... women... ladies, passing like two clouds on a blue sky day.

Wanting to console her just a bit in her situation, and offer her some hope in her loneliness and soon to be expected future of death...I said, "Well, you know, the Christian hope, the hope we have in Jesus Christ, and the hope of a resurrection and eternal life, is a pretty awesome hope."

She said, "yes..." like she understood, but drove the conversation elsewhere, continuing to tell me about her friend in California and how she didn't know where all the money that her deceased (aka dead)  husband, had spent.... leaving them with no funds and bills to be paid. IT was another hopeless situation.... but her friend was talking to lawyers trying to figure things out. 

I heard a lot of information.... then the woman said, "I don't know why, " she said, "but I just think that is such a pretty little doll."

"Would you like to buy it?" I asked, knowing that this would be the third time, and maybe she would say yes. 

"No." she said, "I have already bought enough dolls here.  You buy it, for your kids."

"I really do not need the doll.  They have a lot of toys, I just thought she was cute." I said. I really didn't know if I wanted to buy it or not when I picked it up and carried it around the store, I really was was still deciding.  It didn't matter all too much to me, so I asked again, "Are you sure you do not want to buy it?" 

"She is really cute... just precious, a very nice doll," the woman said.  "You buy it, you could even make clothes for her."

We discussed the clothes a bit and seeing she didn't want to buy it, or at least had been offered it several times in case she really did, I said, "Well, I guess I will buy the doll then." The woman seemed content, our need for conversation, coming to a close.  I found myself wanting to pray for her, now that I was loaded with all the inside information.... and so,  I asked the woman her name.

"Virginia." she said.

 "Well," I said, "I will ust simply have to name her Virginia."

Virginia smiled.

They both did.