Friday, August 27, 2010

I woke up Monday morning to a sparkly, glistening sheen on all outside surfaces. Hummm. Had it rained in the night? As I pondered what I was seeing, it dawned on was frost! I grabbed my robe and padded out to the thermometer on the front porch and read with huge disappointment......33 degrees.......

I quickly made my way to the garden water hose and turned on the sprinkler hoping to salvage the summer crops. They were struggling anyway between the extremely cool, wet spring and the less than warm summer. This very cool weather might just finish things off.

Dang it. No zucchini or home grown pumpkins this year. Who would have thought that the middle of August would present freezing temperatures! Though I think the lower areas of the squash were probably unaffected by the almost-freeze, there's not enough time left in the summer for the plants to recover enough to make fruit.

So it's off to the fruit stand and farmers market tomorrow to see what I can buy. It's a good thing we are not pioneers or we would starve this winter......

Here's a picture of Daniel's birds....very pretty.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ribbons at the Fair!

Well, Daniel's hard work paid off! He won two ribbons at the Flathead County Fair for his birds this week. He's pretty am I.

Backyard chickens are popular around here right now. So he's hoping to sell some of the banties to a few folks who would like their own fresh eggs. The birds he raised are a breed called Mille Fleur. I've never seen this type of chicken but the pictures of the mature birds are outstanding. These little guys are the perfect backyard pet. They are quiet, good at free ranging but small enough to be happy in a cage if need be. We have been transporting them back and forth in a small dog kennel so they are pretty portable, too. He's already pre sold most of his flock so he will have a nice start on seed money for next year's project.

Hopefully I can get a couple more pictures posted here before too long.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Man, farm life can be tough on the heart.

When my sweet daughter ventured out to feed the animals she found a new chick floating in the watering font. Dang it! I knew the waterer was too deep if the babies fell, but they had been really cautious and the momma was ever watchful. Of course in retrospect, what's a hen to do if one of her babies falls into the deep waterer? Dive in to rescue it and perform CPR if necessary? I should have been more careful. I knew the water tank was too deep. I should have replaced the deep one with multiple smaller, shallower dishes the minute I noticed the babies teetering on the edge to drink. But I thought the little guys could handle it. I was wrong. Instead we are minus one future laying chicken. It's sad to watch the remaining family searching and calling for the lost little chick. I'm sure by fall the momma hen will forget and the two other little birds will not remember that they were once a family of four.

I hope I never forget.

The general unspoken understanding is if we take on the responsibility of having animals, we will care for them. That means we will keep them safe and warm and fed. In turn they supply us with food from their own bodies. It's a hard lesson when one of us forgets their part of the contract.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Home at last

We just got back last Monday night from a fun filled 12 days visiting family in the Olympic Peninsula. We had a BLAST! The last several years have found our family taking "vacations" where ever one of our boys were playing baseball.....not terrible but not always a hot vacation spot. So this year when August came along, we realized that we were actually going to go West and spend the night in a hotel (!)

But before we got to Seattle we slid down Lion's Head with our cousins in Idaho on our way West :

And after I drank the whole city of Seattle dry of coffee we walked up and down Pike Street (twice) and went to the aquarium (and got lost in the aquarium....actually my family got lost from me. I knew exactly where I was) we went to Port Angeles and did some crabbing.

And then after many days of fun in the (not) sun and the serf, we came home to this:

A giant garden! Yea!

And more chicks!
The new little chicks were a surprise. I must have dated the eggs wrong because they all hatched several days before we arrived home instead of three days after we returned as I thought would happen. Our wonderful "animal sitter" (one of the neighborhood girls) was not flustered in the least...... as though wandering into the chicken coop to find 6 unexpected chicks happens everyday. She separated the new babies with their mother from the rest of the coop and went about her chores. She is wonderful!
We had a great, restful time and I am thankful that we have family that loves us enough to have us visit (because you can't just descend upon just anyone with 6 big people....most of them teenagers who eat non stop- they can't help it. they are growing! again!) so we can get away from the grind that is life. It's so good to get away and it is so good to come home.
Where else can you have 22 full grown birds run at you at break neck speed hoping for a tidbit of breakfast? Or 6 monster turkeys asking you eyeball to eyeball for some lunch. Or where else can you find the constant high pitched whine of a wriggling, red puppy begging for a tummy rub. Or the the smile of 4 sweet kids snuggling down into their own beds at night.
Coming home after vacation is good.

Thanks Grandpa Mike and Grandma Pat.......