Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Found Them!

I don't think I have talked about our cat or cat- less situation on the farm before.  We did have 16 at one time and no mice......slowly we got down to just two adults.  I had a friend bring us a mother cat and her two half grown babies.  Well, only one stayed and she is a yellow and white female.

This is a picture of her  before.............

As I said she was a female so a visiting neighbor's tom did what comes naturally and I noticed she was getting  very large in the tummy; also Max had seen the  event happen and I noted  they would be born in April.  One morning she came up looking noticeably thinner and I knew she had her babies.  I looked for a week or more in the old chicken house where she lives.  I also noted our oldest yellow and white tom stayed by her side.  I told Max they looked like a married couple but I was worried about the kittens.

Last week I was inside the chicken house moving out a garden cart and there they were.
I had an old shower door propped against  the wall  and she had a nest of straw behind it and they were easily spotted.

We also have a black and  white tom that visits regularly to steal our cat food.  I suspect that is not all he does.  I think I will finally have my longed for Calico.  We are delighted.
P.S.  She has already be re-bred.....doubt it sticks and we will have her spayed when she weans the babies.

I have kitten chow on my shopping list now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Spring Day in the Ozarks

Our weather has  warmed up very nicely.  We were finally able to mow.

Love the new mower but it is taller......not a good thing for me these days, but I managed.

Mama Pea, the newer Gravely version has some good improvements over the old:  automatic choke, a dial on the instrument side to set the mower deck and it is in inches you want.  Safety feature, the brake must be on to start and off to move.

We had another trip to town to pick up death certificates and check the apartment.  I was surprised by how detailed the death certificate was.  Before we left (after lunch), I sprayed 30 gallons of herbicide in various very overgrown weedy areas in inaccessible for mowing.  I don't like using it, but there were no blooms involved so the insects were safe.  It is the only way I can keep control of these large areas.

I chopped a few weeds from the mulched strawberry bed. I am very happy with how things are looking. This will be the first year in a long time to have strawberries.  My whole family is excited....gram makes them jam!

The yard men came for a few hours yesterday and I am pleased  with how the mulched beds are looking:

               This is the north side of the bed outside the kitchen (formerly the humming bird bed)

This bed hasn't been finished yet.  We will just do a border with iris and peonies and others, about 3-4feet wide.  I just wanted to show how the native Missouri flower,oenothera speciosa has spread.  Curious about the mottled yellow leaves but it still bloom a nice pink and than has a very thick  ground cover.  It is the large lighter green area behind the ponies.

                              This is the south side of the Kerria (yellow blooming shrub kerria japonica pleniflora

This shows the entire bed from the south side.  That is 'red' tradescantia blooming.  This bed will soon be planted with several new  things I  ordered  from Gilbert Wild and Son in Sarcoxie, Mo.

 I am just showing this because I think I see a seedling Long Island Cheese squash amidst the grass.(Lower left side....may be a young lunaria instead.

I am  waiting for a call to cancel Sylvia's newspaper....they make you jump through hoops!

All for now.....

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Cold, But Sunny Morning

I think the rains are  over at last.   We got  5.5 inches and are  not really complaining.  This is a wonderful time of year to get lots of rain to get the grasses going.  The cows will appreciate it.  I am not so happy with the temperature.  It was 39° this morning!  I was worried about frost so I recovered my strawberry row which is looking very promising with lots of large blooms.

The yard is way beyond needing mowing.....but between the rains and family obligations we are way behind.  We hope to correct that soon.  I finally gave in and got another mower.  I just got the Gravely out of the shop, all tuned up and ready to go and had actually mowed twice but made the mistake of trying to mow very tall grass at the edge of the garden wet.....threw a belt (I hope that is all it was).  When we took it in for repairs, I checked on a new model that is slightly larger and we decided to buy it.  Surely I will not be without a mower now!  It is frustrating to not be able to try it out......

Lots of things are blooming now.  I was surprised to look at the yard a couple of days ago and see it.
 photo corner back porch with herb bed in front_zpsnepeesyv.jpg

 photo light pole bed with peonies and iris just starting_zpsvgjdxjrf.jpg
 photo Well house bed with oldest rose a china_zpsqc0sbrxs.jpg
 photo kerria bed_zpsnaoitts3.jpg

Friday, April 21, 2017

Missing from Posting----Again

Max's mother died April 12.  She developed MRSA in her leg after surgery way back in December.  The wound never healed and things went from bad to worse.  It seems no one in the medical arena thought they should take swabs or blood tests until three days before she died......after the second surgery to take a look.  By then it was too late. Some very important lessons for us all here. I  wish I had insisted on tests months earlier but everyone said things were fine.

We hope to have everything finished with her apartment by next week.  She was a great lady and  will  be missed by everyone who knew her.

I hope to get settled down and do some blogging  soon.

We are in the midst of heavy rains and things are very green.  Iris and peonies are starting to bloom, Dames Rocket in white and purple is everywhere.  A few clematis are open.

Friday, April 7, 2017

First Week of April

It has been unusually  cold but we finally did get rains.  So far, a total of 4 inches spread out nicely.  We had frost last night but it was expected so I covered my fledgling strawberry bed with a floating row  cover held down by 6 inch landscaped staples.  These last things have been very useful.  I even used them to peg down wire next to the foundation to deter the  persistent skunk/skunks.

Gardening has been very slow and outside, almost none being done.  Yard crew is coming tomorrow (already postponed one day so keeping my fingers crossed).
I do have sever things up and under the lights thar seem to be growing slowly also:

I did get my Grape Magic daylilies dug up and divided along the south side of the kitchen bed.

I hope to mow this afternoon after the grass dries.

The first clematis is blooming:

 This is Wide Brim host my Sis gave  me.  For some reason it becomes completely lost to view as other things begin growing.

 Another of my 'native ground covers; this time white violets.
and the other one, this time violet.  These were both growing here in abundance when we moved here in 1992.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Finishing up March

We are still in  a cool and wet period.  Three inches so far.  Things have greened up quickly.  We have mowed one time.

First of all I want to report on the new "yard crew" (2 people).  First day they trimmed and picked up all the debris from the yard.....took three hours.
They were back today.  The soil is still too wet to do digging or tilling. Now, I have a country yard.....which means no delineated beds or formal edgings but since I hope to have them do my trimming (fence rows, front ditch and around beds, I decided to try his suggestion of what I think is an English type of edging.  They dig a flat bladed spade into  the edge around the bed and remove the sod toward the bed leaving about a 6 inch deep trench.  He says once  I mulch (once they mulch) then grass does not encroach passed the trench and he just uses the trimmer on edge to keep it sharp.  I certainly isn't my style but it is very tidy looking. I hope the look grows on me. I know I  need help to keep things under control so I may have change my thinking a bit.

This morning (Saturday) is another very cool and cloudy day.  The Seckel pear and the apple tree are in full bloom and the pie cherry is just beginning.  My plants under the lights and on the patio seem to be at a standstill.  I may move  them back inside for warmth.

I have made butter three times now.  I started by saving for three days but that is too much for my food processor so I am doing it every two days now.

I hope the thickness of the cream shows here.  It is skimmed  in globs that almost stand up on the cup.

 I tried to use both but the mixer was way too slow so I just used the food processor in two batches.  It makes almost before you are ready.


Finished product .  I used the spatula as a butter paddle to work in the salt.

I actually weighed and froze this in 8 oz. pieces....not doing that anymore.

Farm is going well.  We have made arrangements to take two cows to the vet  next week.  The heifer for dehorning and an older cows for a foot trim.  Max will have help for that project.  He doesn't like to haul cattle much these days.

Here is hoping for some warmer days and sunshine!