Sunday, March 29, 2009

Baby Chicks


There have not been chickens on this farm since our small flock was massacred about a year and a half ago. So we are finally starting over with 8 chicks from Tractor Supply. They are Rhode I. Reds, and probably all roosters, but we are hoping for a few hens. They are living temporarily in my laundry room in an old laundry basket.
We gave our old homemade portable coop a remodeling. We stripped off all the old plastic wire, tightened and repaired all the joints, repainted, rewired, and added a new door. This was a family affair, as you can see in the first picture. This coop is very light, and will be moved to a new patch of grass every day. We will put a nesting box in when the chickens are old enough to lay. I can't wait for those fresh eggs! Next-- fresh milk. Stay tuned...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Down time

It's been a long week. I've got a bad cold that won't go away, and haven't done much school with the little ones. But this "down time" has given them a chance to do some neat things on their own. C brings books to my bed for me to read to her and we've had lots of nice snuggle time. Little R has been reading extra books to ME. And she came up with a book-making project all on her own. (She's eight years-old.) She wrote a story using the computer word processing program and then took pictures with my digital camera to illustrate it. Then we downloaded the pictures onto her writing and printed it all out on my color printer. She was very pleased with it. She's waiting for her big sister to get home from shopping so she can help her make a cover for the book. I know she wouldn't have been so enthusiastic about it if I had MADE her do it as an assignment, so maybe down time is part of God's plan, too. (wink)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Easter Dress



For Easter, I made a dress for Ella Mae out of some left-over bridal satin. It is trimmed with white satin ribbon and pearls. The wrap is completely removable. Now C wants me to make the same dress in her size-- ouch!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Squirrel Memorial


I was at Walmart looking for some play sand for the sandbox, when suddenly I saw it-- the perfect little birdbath for my garden. Perfect because of the little squirrel. I thought, what a great way to remember my special pet! This other pic is of C holding a snail she found. She loves all kinds of creatures and is not afraid of a little slime. Plus, here is another cute trampoline video...

video

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gone


Grandpa has still not seen hide nor hair of Chippy. Either an owl got him, or he ran off into the big wide world to fulfill his destiny as a roving male. Meanwhile several nest-building birds have been eying Chippy's box.
I miss my widdie skwirl...
At least I have this beautiful weather to comfort me, and the knowledge that I did the right thing by letting him go. Thanks for all the encouragement.
Here's a funny video of Dad on the trampoline...
video

Monday, March 16, 2009

Freedom!



Well, we did it. We let Chippy go free at Grandpa's house. We nailed Chippy's nest box in a tree, set out his food and water dishes on a convenient stump and walked away. He proceeded to scamper all around and up and down the tree, heady with the exciting smells and textures. We walked back to the house and watched from a window. Another squirrel came by! Chippy made a threatening movement toward it, and it fled. Oh well, not too bad for his first squirrel encounter. The little girls woke up this morning missing Chippy. They called Grandpa to see if Chippy was still OK, but I think Grandpa was still waking up. We'll call again later... Here is a pic and video from the blessed event.
video

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Art Show



Little R and C both had their artwork selected for the Youth Art Month show at the community college. Their art will be on display through the month. They received certificates at a ceremony at the college. R's picture is the fruit which she did in oil pastel at art class when she was 7 years-old. C's was done at home under the guidance of plain old Mom. C's picture is an ocean scene started with watercolor, then enhanced with oil pastel (those are sea anemones), then she actually glued coquina shells on to the paper. It's not bad for a 5 year-old.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Outside all day

Yesterday was a glorious day--partly sunny and 74 degrees! I was awakened at 7am by an eager 8 year-old's cries of "Can we go now, Mom?!" I had promised the first horseback ride of the year this day. What made it even more special was that Daddy wanted to come along. So we geared up all three animals and had a lovely ride along the river and through storm-damaged trails. But the downed trees made it more exciting, as the horses sometimes chose to jump, rather than step over the larger tree trunks. Then we spent the rest of the day cleaning tack, dismantling and feeding the horses and cows the very last round hay bale, and doing some outdoor clean-up around the barn. We had some wind damage from the latest wind storm which tore off several sheets of metal roofing, plus lots of downed tree debris from the ice storm which needed burning. It was a lot of work, but we had a great time being outside.
We did not bring Chippy out with us this time because his release date is only one week away. March 15 we plan to set him free at Grandpa's house. (Too many cats here.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Signs of Spring



The last week of February brought several signs of spring to our little homestead. The crocus and daffodils began to bloom, the migratory birds are stopping by on their way north, and Charlotte (the spotted saddlebred horse) began her heavy spring shed. Today is March 3, and it is very cold (30's), but these signs of spring are quite promising.