Wednesday, June 23, 2010

poor Beeker- BAD Camille!!!

She isn't so happy about showing it off, but you might notice that little Beeker is sporting a very bald area... thanks to Camille!!!

I'm not too sure exactly what happened. I was at the farm yesterday - answering yet MORE questions - when Camille snuck out of the house. I don't usually worry too much about that, because she never "goes" anywhere, but when she didn't return I went and called for her.

Sure enough, she came running back from the barn. When we arrived I asked her "what were you up to" but she never took the time to answer my question.

Later in the day I went up to the barn and found white feathers EVERYWHERE!!! I suddenly got a very sick feeling and ran into the "chicken stall", there was little Beeker on her nest. She was sitting so still that I wondered for a moment if she were still alive. She was, but when I picked her up, I saw this huge bald spot... guess now I know what Camille was up to.

So.. needless to say, Miss Camille will no longer be a welcomed guest in the barn, and poor little Beeker will probably need the entire summer growing these feathers back... "bad dog Camille!!!"


Since moving out of the big camp, it seems that life has taken off at a rate of a thousand miles per hour. Everything has to be done NOW, decisions made NOW, "now, now, now". There are days when I don't know if I am "a foot or horseback".. and quite honestly, I just want to be done with everything. The big camp must be ready for renters, so my dear friend Kim has come to the rescue on that one.. helping us get it clean and "vacation ready". I do what I can to keep up with her, plus try and see what needs to be "replaced, or redone" before people arrive. The farm house has needed a long list of "last minute decisions" made. So when I am not at camp, I am running down there to try and answer all those questions. Plus there is still a "ton" of painting work that I must get to at the house, and try and catch up in that department. Then hay arrived, so that needed our attention.. and there is still my "regular life".. dog classes to teach, laundry to do, my own animals need my attention.. my FAMILY needs my attention.. and here I am.. trying to keep in all in line. I keep reminding myself that in a month all this "foolishness" will come to an end, and I can breath then... but until that time... it's go-go-go GO!!!!

I did get those beautiful strawberries, cut and frozen. Plus we had a few "desserts" from them, and if time doesn't get by on me too quick, I would like another morning in the berry patch. The chickens certainly appreciated those berry tops and I took the time to sit and watch them enjoying their treats. I do need that "sit out time" and take it where and when I can.

Steve is working quick on the flooring.. carpets and vinyl for the upstairs will arrive any day now. I wished that I had all the painting done upstairs, so I don't have to work around this new "flooring", but that's simply not going to happen, and so I will just need to be very careful.

The living room is done, which is great, because we needed to get Titus moved out of the big camp. There was no sense (and actually no place for him) to go other than the farm house. So, Steve made a point of getting "his area" done, and we could get him moved.

Maybe not the most handsome bird.. but I have to say this "turkey vulture" was worth taking the picture. He was one big bird and actually caught me by surprise.

So, on Sunday, Kas and Nate arrived to help out where they could. Mainly we needed the lawns done again (THANK YOU NATE!!!) We needed to move Titus... and then all the computer and phone had to go, because the cable folk were coming to finish up the farm house on Monday. They also brought our big freezer up from our old house, so, that meant moving all our turkeys (we still have nine from last year) and then the small freezer that was at camp, was taken back so Kass has a nice smaller freezer for her things. Needless to say, this was a whole day's project!!!

And for the last time (and you are all knowing how I feel about the "last of anything" right now).. Titus's tank was put into the back of the gator.. and driven down to the farm..

And settled in.. he gets the title "first resident" in the house. (Actually he earned that last summer when we moved him into the basement). But this is it, this is where he will be now!!!!

And "brother-in-law" John has totally taken over the stair project. I am amazed at his talent on doing these stairs, and I will tell you all... I will never look at stairs again and not appreciate all the work that goes into them.

Stop a moment when you are about to climb some steps and really take a look at them. If done right, there is a ton of work right at the base of your feet.

So, the blogs will come when I steal a few quiet moments to myself, but I still have one more week of this warp speed life that I have chosen to manage. My dream of living on a farm was to change my pace of life and try something new at an age where I have the "freedom" to do so. Can't say that is exactly the way it's going, but it will... and another day zooms by, I hope I am getting closer to that dream.

last load of hay....

It would seem that "hay season" came at the "worst time" for us this year. With everything that is going on, it all comes to a screeching halt when Father calls and says the hay is ready. I have to admit, when I'm right in the middle of something that must be put down, it's a pain.. but once I get on the field, I will say... it's a whole different world and I am happy to be a part of it. This year, we brought in 415 bales, the smallest load we have bought since being here. But, I am still in very good shape from last year, and have decided that I just didn't need as much hay this year.

We are very fortunate, because Father has such a good group of guys that help him hay every year. They are his sons, and then some of the firefighters. What makes it so nice for us, is they are all more than willing to come and help us bring it into the barn. I hope they all know just how much I appreciate their help.. after a long day of haying, to then come and bring it in... well, I am just so appreciative. I need to come up with a "thank you" and am thinking a cookout here at the farm (once we are settled) might be a nice way.

"Miss Fox" (we think she's a she - but don't know that for sure)... showed up again. She really isn't one bit afraid, and runs after the tractors, grabbing up mice. She looks pretty healthy and certainly knows where that "easy meal" can be found.

couple of the "young guys" riding the drag and grabbing up the bales. It's so great to see that there is another generation that is interested in this "business"....

All loaded up.. taking a little break before heading for home. This is the last of this year's load, and what a great feeling knowing it's all tuck in and ready for next winter.

And as always, the "famous" last bale... seems like these days, and I am always looking for that "last one".....

Friday, June 18, 2010


the past couple of years, I have missed out on "berry season".. so when I saw the ads for "strawberries", I thought.. this year I am going to take the time to go and pick. I love berry picking, and then freezing those beauties to pull out on a cold winter day and have the taste of summer. Take a look at this year's harvest.. they are as good as they look, and I think that I will probably take another morning to go out and get some more!!!! Yummy!!!!

Sporting her very fine "berry hat" Abbie was all set to go and see what this was all about!! Next year, she'll be harder to watch with all those wonderful berries, but might as well learn this young!!

The fun part was, both my sister Rachel, and my Kassy had the week off from work. So, we all went together.. Rachel and Naomi.. Sadie and Abbie.. Kas and I. We had a great time just being together and doing something that we all enjoy.

Now, since she just turned four on Monday, Naomi was quite certain that the "best" berries would be found in row # 4.. and off she went, basket in hand to find her treasures.....

I think she hit the jackpot!!!
She certainly found the biggest berry out of any of us. She was pretty proud to have this, and quickly gobbled it down after this photo!!!!

It didn't take baby Abbie too long to figure this out as well. I love how she is sneaking into Mom's box when she's not looking.....

Success!!! a berry just for her!!!

After that, she was off to find her own. I bet she's pretty happy that she has the crawling thing down. She was scooting up and down the rows and we had to really keep an eye on her. No telling how many berries she actually ate!!!

"Berries?? what berries?? how did you know that I ate berries?"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

NEVER again....

In two weeks, we have the first of our summer renters arriving in the big camp. Which means, it's time for us to leave. When we started this house project, I never thought that we would spend two winters in the big camp, but that's the way it turned out. Our first winter there, I brought all kinds of "my things" with me, then when we had to move out last spring, I sort of "regretted" that idea. Then it turned out that we needed the big camp a second winter, so last fall, I brought as little as possible with us. Still the move out this spring has been almost as long.

I find moving extremely stressful. I just don't know how people do it... especially folks in the military. who can move a number of times in a short amount of time... it certainly isn't for me!!! This time, because I know that we won't be here again for the winter season, I am taking all that I can to the farm house and living with as little as possible in the little camp. Good thing... because we are about as squished as you would ever want to be. Three adults, a baby.. seven dogs... I haven't even bothered bringing the cats in (they'll be going to the farm) and of course Titus.... he'll be moved to the farm as well. We also have to get the big camp ready for rent... and that in itself will be at least a week of work... so good thing we "moved out early".....

It hasn't taken this crew long to feel settled in at the little camp. They know how to chill and not let life stress them out... maybe I should pay more attention to my dogs!!!!

Now, aside from the fact that I have been doing some "playing"... then moving and cleaning up.. work does continue in the house. Which is good, because we really... REALLY want to be in there soon. We got the tile down in the pantry and this past week, Ed got the grout put in... he puts it down....

And I wipe it up. The thing about the pantry being so small is that we had to work in sections. So actually this room went well, because one would get a break when the other did their part of the work. Now that the floor is done, we can move those cabinets in!!!!!

We're bearly keeping ahead of Steve. He's laying the wood floor downstairs now... and here's the living room!!!!

With this part of the house being done, we can move Titus in over the weekend. And the cats will soon follow.. that way the big camp will be totally empty of our things. Our goal date is the 4th... we'll see!!!!

party for four....

On Saturday, we celebrated the fourth birthday of my niece, Naomi. (her real birthday is the 14th) Talk about time moving fast.. I can't believe this "little baby" is already four. I am quite certain,my sister can't believe it either!!! Rachel is so excellent at things like this, and her "theme" this year was "Princess"...

The little girls were invited to dress as their favorite princess... and then, who should appear but four "big princess as well".. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The little Mermaid and Pocahontas... The girls had such a good time *(big and little)....

Here is the "smallest princess" of all....

Rachel had a pinata for them to break open. It was full of candies, beads and "jewels".. They had such fun with that, and if you look closely, you'll see that Chester was hoping to get in on the fun as well.

I brought Chester along because I thought it would be a good training experience for him. Little excited girls, with lots of activity and noise... perfect. Rachel had also put up a "jumpy house" for the kids. They spent a good deal of the afternoon hopping about (great way to burn off the sugar!!!). I wasn't too sure what Chester would think of that big bouncy thing.....

but when he tried to climb inside so he could be with the kids... I guess that pretty much told me everything. Jumpy houses.. no problem....

After the party, I had told a friend that I would come and move a horse for them. She told me that she needed a "big trailer". When I saw the size of the horse... she wasn't kidding!!!! He made Duke look small!!! At first I wasn't so sure that my trailer was big enough either....

But with a little bending of the head, and some coaxing, we got him on. Fortunately he has been trailer a lot, so once he was settled, he rode like a perfect gentleman.

And that pretty much "used up the Saturday"... didn't get any work done on the house, but you know, sometimes you just have to play.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

floors and doors

As promised, our floor man - Steve - arrived bright and early Wednesday morning. He lugged a few boxes of "floor" up the stairs and got right to work. After seeing those beautiful floors unwrapped, I am really glad that I got the hallway painted!!! It would never do to get paint on them.

But now the race began. Steve needed to have all the doors in place so he would know where a good stopping point would be. The bedrooms will be carpeted, and will obviously match up against the hard wood. Ed and I got to work, and it seemed we no sooner got one door up, and Steve was right behind us with the floor.

He's quick and knows his stuff. We certainly made a wise move with hiring him and his company.

The flooring we bought is already finished. We picked it for a couple of reasons, one being - once it's down - it's done!!! And secondly, this is suppose to have the "hardest finish" available. Those of you who know us well... know we need a good hard finish on the floors... between dogs, us - Abbie now racing around in her "scootie".. these floors are going to have ALOT of use. We certainly need something that will hold up to our live style!!! So, now the upstairs - hardwood - is all done... carpets come next, and the flooring heads downstairs.

One more room of tile... the pantry!!! Since the pantry cabinets need to get out of the living room (so Steve can start the hardwood floor there).. it only made sense to get the tile done. Then we can move the pantry cabinets in, they will be out of the way, and in the place they need to be!!!!

The "Famous Last Piece"!!!!

In place.. now a bit of "grout"... 24 hours to stand.. and we can start to get this room done.
Everything all at once... what else is new. Except one thing, it's time to move out of the "big camp". So, looks like it will be a squeeze into the little camp for a few weeks.... wish us luck!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"hay" we go!!!!

When Chester and I arrived back at the farm, two big projects were waiting... number one... HAY!!! yup, it's hay season again, this year it's about two weeks early. (Last year, it was late, due to the wet weather we were having). It's green, it's beautiful, it's ready to go. This little fox had a great time watching all the "going ons".. and catching a few mice to boot. He wasn't really one bit afraid of all the noise and activities.. guess he knows where to find an easy meal - once the hay is brought down.

"Father" has this neat "rig" (if you will). It's a sled that is towed behind the baler. As the bales come off, they are piled on the sled. Once it's filled, the bales are slid off and are left in a nice neat stack, waiting to be loaded. Saves driving around the field and picking them up one by one!!!!

The big news this year, is Father's new tractor. It is the latest and the best (he certainly deserves it!!!) and it even has AC. Ed said you could just see him smiling ear to ear as he drove around in this beautiful thing!!!

There was a nice big crowd to help out this year. One of the many benefits of being associated with the fire department!!! Not only did they help to load our trailer.. but even unloaded in the loft. The work was done in almost no time at all.

And here is half of this year's hay - heading for home!!! Next winter, on those cold and snowy days.. our boys will be enjoying the taste of summer!!!!

With project one being hay... what's project two?? getting ready for flooring!!! Ed told me that the floor guy (who is Steve) was planning on arriving bright and early Wednesday morning to begin the floor. This means, get things into place ASAP!!! So, Ed worked on getting the cabinets into place...

And I headed up the stairs. The hallway needed to be painted. Well, it could be painted after the floors go in, but the way I paint... it is much safer to get them done first. I had to come up with a color... and decided on "grey". Believe it or not, this too is a "historic" color (I have tried to keep to historic colors where I could).. and this grey comes from the Mark Twain house.

It's kind of a cool color, because its one of those colors that changes with the light. Sometimes it looks really grey and other times it takes more of a "Wedgwood blue" look. I like the way it balances the rooms, Sadie and Abbie have very light/bright colors and our room is more of a warm/dark, and this seems to bring it all together. The posts are in, the painting is done... bring on the floor!!!!