Monday, May 29, 2017

Up and running for another summer

 I feel like we're a little behind with the water garden this year. We've had so many rainy weekends it feels like we're behind in all our outside work..but today ( even though its drizzly and grey again) we were determined to get this in order. The winter took a bit of a toll on it,
But Ed had it all figured out just what to do. I did my usual job of run and fetch..
 We had to keep it drained all winter because the wall couldn't manage the pressure of ice. Last fall Ed had to drop the liner and the drain and we hoped this would keep the water level and ice level down...which it did. So now we needed to pull the liner back up to level.
 A little clean out of leaves and the like and we were ready to go shopping for the plants. I was worried  about there being water plants left to buy. The garden center has a pretty good water garden section but its not huge. After last years garden I knew what I did and didn't want for plants so I felt better about that, we went by luck last year and though it worked out well...I learned some things
 There was enough to choose from at the garden store..but it wasn't huge another week and they probably won't have any left at all. I was able to get what I wanted..except for a yellow water lilly they were out of them. But these are red and pink so we'll see what they look like. The lillies are pretty no matter what color.
And after being outside all morning and playing with water and wet...we actually came in and lit the woodstove...Memorial day seems to either be hot like summer or cold and wet...

So,.pretty typical but I'm happy getting things in place and ready for summer

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial day..for real

Memorial Day is here once again, and the weather is perfect. Things are beginning to bloom around the farm, and garden horse looks grand surrounded by green things. I did a little changing and dug out all the grass around him and added mulch. I'm happy with the look and have a few other areas that I would like to do the same with. I'm not a gardener, never have been... never will be, but once in a while I do "get it" and then proceed with the project... 
We've had the flock of geese hanging around the farm for the past few weeks. My guess is they are returning from their winter home and probably scooping out the area to see what's best for the family to come. They seem to take off during the day and return at night, but I'm pretty sure they will go one day and will be gone for the summer. I'm glad we have a place for them to camp out until they can find the right home. 

The family had been talking about when we will put Dad's ashes into the ground. Back in February when he passed, and then in March at the services, it wasn't a good time to try and do this. Dad want to be buried in the cemetery behind their house, so we have been waiting to do just that. Mom has taken the lead on all of this, and decided that Memorial Day would be the best time. 
So, we gathered the family, a few relatives and some close friends, and had a very small service in the back yard. It was sad being the absolute last of all of this, but also in a way, a time to just allow everyone to catch their breath and move on.
My Mom (and Aunt Doreen, Mom's sister in law) we very brave... I love how little Amy just did her thing and went from person to person. Paul, a friend and pastor, gave a nice service and was very complimentary on how this family has pulled and stayed together threw these life changes... I know that Dad would be please with all of us and how much we have hung together in love and support. 
Ed placed the firemen's flag at the site...
And after the service, Dad was gently placed by my Ed... Becky's Ed and Nate.....

I like that we can "visit" often, though we are a family who knows that Dad is not there, he's in heaven with his Lord and his family and it waiting for the time when it's our turn. So, we're not the kind of family that visit gravesite often... but the idea that Dad's remains are so close by is a comfort. 
After the service and burial... we all had a little cook out together, and talked about all the memories and made plans for the summer and times ahead. As it should be... 

Livy made her rounds as well.. checking that everyone was good, and then settled into her Daddy's lap

On the ride home, I caught this rainbow in the clouds... which was odd because the sky was basically clear except for this one little spot. 

Just a reminder that all is well.... Dad is happy, healthy and whole again in heaven, he watches over us from there, and I have no doubt in mind we will see each other once again. 

In the meantime, we do our best here on earth, we love and care for each other, and do the works of the Lord to the best of our ability until we are called home. It's a big task to live up to, but I am ready for the challenge and will do the very best I can...
As for these two.... well.... rest is a good thing too.....

Saturday, May 27, 2017

and the name is..... Rio!!!!!

Today began with breakfast out at one of my favorite places... "I hop". I just love their sweet crepes with lots of strawberries. Yummy as usual. was onto our adventure.

About a month ago I was told about a peacock who might be in need of a new home. He had lost his mate and hasn't been a very nice guy since. The farm he was living on has kids and the owner was a little worried about him around the children. I said if they decided to re-home I would take him.  I have thought for a while it might be fun to have some pea fowl, but after seeing the price of them...decided they weren't at the top of my list. 
But turned out I didn't need to buy any...because the family said this guy needed to go.  We had cleaned the coop out last weekend and put our new guineas in on one I had an empty side for this guy.

I was told he was big...his tail about five feet...but when we walked into their barn and saw him perched like this...I thought ..goodness, how will we ever get him home.

I brought the biggest dog crate we had..and chose a wire crate thinking he might like it better than a closed crate. Then we brought a cloth tarp to cover it because he had to ride in the back of the truck. Now "all" we had to do was catch him and get him in the crate....
Actually it went smoother than I thought. Ed and the owner got him off the roost and once he was on the floor..ed grabbed him like he does our turkeys.. and pushed him in the crate.
I'm glad we brought this crate..he seemed ok in it but it was a tight fit with that tail. All in all he seemed fairly calm and comfortable.
Then we wrapped him up with the tarp and headed for home.
Livy was very excited watching us packing up our new friend. She's bird crazy and since she rode most of the way home like this...I'm going to have to watch her. If she gets out on her own she'll be flying down to the coop....
The ride home went really well. Back  on our farm we just held the crate near the coop door, Rio ( that's his name) poked his head out..took a look at the coop and walked in as nice as could be.
He hopped up on the shelf..called out to the guineas a few times..and seemed to feel quite at home.
His tail goes all the way to the floor.....

It didn't take him long to figure out he can go outside too but I have already decided we'll need to add onto his pen. Because he has a reputation of not being nice I'm going to keep him penned for a while anyways. I'm also looking into a friend for him, I've been talking with a breeder about how to keep him properly and have done quite a bit of research on them.  They're interesting creatures.

And so....a new resident of the farm....sir Rio..the indigo blue peacock.....

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

famous Livy...

Livy and I have had (are having) a busy year of doing our therapy dog visits. For the most part I don't share much about them, I feel in a way its kind of a private project that we do.  I do celebrate the number of we are working towards AKC titles...but where we go and who we visit with, is not generally shared. Until now...when our story was printed in two local newspapers this past week. And it was not our doing.
One of the places we visit is the cancer center, and they are the ones who shared the story. 

Back in February I received an email from our local therapy dog chapter. They send out mailings listing facilities that are looking for dog teams. The cancer center was on the list and since its close to the farm, I contacted the center.
I assumed they would just say they wanted me to come,but it didn't quite go like that. They actually wanted to do an interview and see what Livy and I were all about. It was a nice interview I could see we were truly being checked out and then we were taken around the facility ..again..being watched as to how we interacted I'm sure with the staff and clients.
I thought it went well...Livy did her usual charming thing and as we were leaving the director said that they were talking to a couple of other teams and would let us know. "Ok" I thought ...if they want us fine and if not that's ok too. Livy and I were already busy doing reading with the kids at two different schools so either way was fine by me.
A few days later we were notified that yes they did want us to come and explained that this would be a pilot program. Meagan, the gal that had interviewed us, was presenting the therapy dog idea to the center. And not that anyone had said no to it, but no one knew quite what to expect or how this would really work out. Personally, I had no worries and knew just how it would work...but I went along with whatever they wanted and needed. 

Basically Livy and I are in the waiting room. Livy is more like an ice breaker for conversation  and by her third visit people began to look for her. When she is there, the whole waiting room is talking. The staff was amazed and saw how people were really talking to each other. Sometimes they share the story of their recovery journey but more often they like to talk about things other than cancer.
Not everyone visits with Livy, some folks don't want to be bothered and I can understand that...and Livy seems to sense when to approach someone and when not to. I trust her instinct and allow her to work the crowd. 
A couple of weeks ago we were told that its no longer a pilot's a "program" 
and they want Livy and I to come as often as we can. The staff can see a difference and Livy has quite the fan club. And so much that the newspaper stories were released,

Its not the reason why we do it..I like giving to my community, especially if I can do that with a dog, I know the magic that they bring. But I'd be lying if I didn't say its been fun to have a few moments of fame...Livy on the other hand...just wants a few more pets.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Farm weekend

It is finally feeling like we have some spring weather on the way. We've had a lot of rain over the past month, and just when all the mud and yuck seems to be drying up.. another batch of rain puts us right back into mud season. But I have to say, when the sun is out and with all that wet... things seem to grow right before your eyes...
But, then we got slammed.. summer showed up... one week we still had the wood stove chugging and the next, it was in the 90's... since I am not a hot weather fan, even when we are suppose to have it.. I was not a happy camper. However, at Mom's two little boys greatly enjoyed ice cream under the big maple tree.... 
In fact, we all enjoyed ice cream.. and a good visit.... 
Abi was able to come and spend the night over the weekend. I am trying to get her interested in doing things with the horses. She likes them well enough, but hasn't been bitten by that "all little girls love horses" bug. Still though, she did ask if we could hitch Mocha and could she try to do some driving work. Course I jumped on that, and we had Mocha hitched in a moment.  They did fairly well... Mocha is pretty willing and only did a little testing with Abi, but I was right there to push her threw. I'm not sure what Abi thought... perhaps Mocha seemed a little slow, but who knows where this may go.

They sure do look cute together...
We had to run some errands.. grain and the like, and came across a motorcycle run. So, we stopped to watch the bikes go threw.... and then onto the grain shop.

As we arrived at the store, I noticed they were having "farm day"... where different vendors set up their wares that are farm related. I was so excited to see that guinea hens were advertised and went right over to see what they had. I've been looking all spring for some hens to go with my flock of boys... trouble is with guineas, is that you can seldom just buy one or the other, you usually have to buy a batch and hope for the best. And no one, with the huge tick issue we have now, is willing to sell off their adult birds. 

As luck would have it, the vendor with the guineas had already packed up and left... but one of the other vendor folks knew him and gave me his phone number, telling me that he did have adult birds for sale. As we were walking away, the guinea man called the other man, and since he learned I wanted to buy some birds, he came back. 

He had a number of babies... and three adult hens... I took those adults (who thankfully were fairly priced) and looked at the babies. I told him I didn't want to risk buying babies because I only wanted hens... but he assured me he could tell the difference. I found it hard to believe, but told him I would take the chance on him knowing these were all hens and bought four little babies. I also told him that if there are any boys in this batch of "all girls" I'd be calling him up.. and he told me to do so. 

We'll see if they are all hens... for now, they're just cute little balls of fluff.... The hens are nice, lighter in color than I like (darker is better for hiding from the hawks).. but I'm just so happy to have some hens. We have them in the coop right now and I will probably keep them penned for a bit so they will stay around the farm. I can't wait for the boys to figure out they are there, and it will be nice to have an even flock again.
The other big event of the weekend was Abi's color run at her school. They do this as a fund raiser for the playground equipment. We all went to watch her run. I brought Shadow along as a good training event. He loved being with all the kids and around the people. As a typical service puppy in training, he took everything in stride.

Abi was so happy to see all of there.... 

it was hard to get a photo of her zooming by... she did 3 laps around the soccer field... we thought she did a pretty good job...
Kass was able to get the boys packed up, and picked up Mom so they all got to see Abi run as well. Reagan said next year, he wants to run!!!

Shadow checking out the dancing man.... that's the thing about public outings, you never know what will be around as a training experience... I think he would have loved to run over and jump on this thing.... he certainly was not afraid....
After the run, we all went out to breakfast. I love breakfast out, and what fun to do it with all the family. Reagan had his usual line up of trucks.....
Shadow was a good boy and tucked under the table and was quiet and out of the way while we ate...
Back on the farm... spring has its own amount of work that must get down. Last haying season, we had a wheel on the hay wagon seize up. Since we were leaving for our trip, Ed did not have the time to see what was going on with it. Now that hay season could be just a few weeks out (depending on the weather), he needed to take a look at those wheels and figure out what is going here. 
As he pretty much thought, it was a barron on one wheel, but since he has it up, he has decided to do them all. Not a bad project, just a project that needs to get done.... so this is now on "the list".....
Abi loves playing around the barn... so she and I spent some more time up there. She loves holding the little chicken (who lives with the bunny) and wanted to be sure I got their photo..

and so ... I did...

Farm weekends are just the best, especially with family.... I treasure them