Archives

The weather is…

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The next four days are supposed to be…

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A couple days ago it was super…

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When it’s done being cold and rainy, I bet it will be…

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In fact, the past two months have been…

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Ugh.

Of course, I won’t be here for a week of it, as I head out Friday. I’m actually looking forward to leaving this week behind. My back is really hurting today from all my exertions in the yard the past couple days, and I’m still not done. The duck house has new bedding, sweet potatoes have been planted, more onions were planted, duck water has been changed about a million times, protective barriers have been built around my trellises to guard against both cats and ducks. Frankly, I’m exhausted.

The hardest part is the fact that all the animals have been working against me in one way or another. I’m furious with Chicky (constantly spraying EVERYWHERE) and only mildly annoyed with the others. I had decided this morning to give away the ducks as they are just so much work. I haven’t been able to keep them quiet or clear of all gardening areas and it has begun to seem like too much when so much is going wrong. H has sort of talked me out of it, but I have to admit I’m feeling more than a bit foolish at the moment, having underestimated the work required to take care of even this much.

It is all compacted by the fact I have been sleeping poorly for so long I can’t even remember the last time I slept well.

On a brighter note, I posted a picture of the giant peacock doily on facebook yesterday and have gotten a lot of positive response and kind comments. It really is such a beautiful pattern.

Well, I’m off to go plant some more things, but first I’m making some comfort food. Feeling pretty bummed…

I hope you’re having a better day.

 

 

 

 

New new life…

Here are the two newest additions to our household…

twonewcropAs you might be able to tell, I’m being hissed at quite seriously here…

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My yellow girl, Noodle, had two (surviving) very dark babies. Her first didn’t make it. She is turning out to be a better mom than I had expected, aside from the mishap with her first. Chances were 50/50 she’d end up like one of her mothers, the one who left all 11 kittens to be nursed by her sister, poor thing. But so far these two have been nicely plumped up, cared for and cleaned.

As for Olive, her kittens are the calmest, happiest, FATTEST babies I’ve ever seen…

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Sweet Olive kept Noodle company throughout her delivery Saturday, so spent extra time nursing her own. You can see by the size of their bellies this worked out very well for the kitties.

They are going to be so much fun. Unfortunately, I will miss a whole week of them since I am headed to LA Friday for a workshop. *sniff*

Work on the giant doily is nearing completion…

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Gorgeous, eh? The colors look so nice in the sun. I wanted to get a pic so I can mark it up and see how I want to finish it. I’d like to add more color with the finishing touches, provided I have enough pink and purple left over.

I started a new walnut dye pot this weekend and muted some floss…

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I’ll work on getting the rest of it carded, asap. In the meantime, I have a ton of gardening to do before I leave…and a long to-do list to write up for H.

I am hoping to come home to most of my plants alive and thriving, as well as ducks and cats well cared for. I have to admit, H is not thrilled to be wearing my hat for a whole week, on top of work. But, his mom loves ducks, lives only 2 blocks away and will hopefully help with the duck sitting. Today they are doing really well being outside on their own. It is such a relief, as I have a lot to do inside, as well.

I hope the beginning of your week has been lovely…

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New old pursuits…

The days lately are turning out to be like most days…duck watching, gardening, cat wrangling, and a bit of stitching here and there…

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Pillow progress has been put on hold for a bit as I started another giant doily for the front porch. Here’s the pattern:

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I am hoping I will have enough yarn to finish, although I am betting I don’t and will have to order another skein. This is always a dilemma as most of the time I am endeavoring to use up the yarn I already have rather than buying more. I will have to give it some thought as I get closer to the end. Most of the doily is purple, but I may finish up with pink. We’ll see.

It’s not rainy today, which is nice. I was out earlier and the sun felt great. I am headed out again soon so the ducks can roam under my watchful eye. They seem especially nervous in the mornings which does make sense because all the cats are particularly interested in them in the morning. Once kitty nap time hits mid afternoon things seem to calm down a touch.

Check out these bookends…on the duck pen, of course…

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I worked for hours yesterday in the garden getting things planted. It wasn’t so bad, just takes a lot of work followed by putting duck and cat protection over everything. That part is frustrating…but the lettuces are happy…

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T&G are mean girls…

Noodle…calmly sitting by the duck’s pool…looks innocent, doesn’t it?

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Noodle…who isn’t afraid of water, or the ducks…who has lurked around the ducks since I got them, been too close to them for comfort…Noodle…who gets in everyone’s face whether they want her there or not…who has pestered everyone in this household within an inch of their life…etc…has possibly met her match.

Yesterday I was eating at my outdoor table, the ducks resting calmly beneath me, when Noodle wandered over and came very close to the ducks. Too close, as it turns out.

Gyrtle hissed at her loudly and made a really ugly face! I think there was some wing flapping, too.

I had never seen her do that before. Neither had Noodle. Noodle, eyes big, mouth slack, was stunned!

Then today, not long after the photo above was taken, the ducks wanted to get back in their pond and, wouldn’t you know, Noodle was sitting there again. Apparently, Turtle didn’t take kindly to that. She eyed Noodle up and down for a moment, stomped up to her behind her back and shoved…yes, that’s what I said…SHOVED Noodle off the step! She didn’t peck, she didn’t nip, she just pushed her right off of there!

Noodle whipped around, eyes even bigger than during Gyrtle’s hissy fit and was, frankly, APPALLED!!! The nerve of that duck! No one has ever treated Noodle thus.

No, Noodle, dear, this is something entirely  new.

Turtle and Gyrtle are mean girls.

I laughed until I cried.

In other news, I am tired today. I have decided today is mostly an inside day, or inside as much as possible. Any moment now the ducks are going to get noisy. They prefer to be out of their pen foraging. I don’t blame them. However, they still have separation anxiety…not as bad as before our talk. But I still am required to be around, within sight, preferably ALL the time. Now, I am allowed to run into the house if I need something and be gone 10 or 15 minutes…maybe…until T&G start up a fuss about me being gone. I usually try to sneak away while their heads are buried in leaves as they search for slugs. Then they might not notice me tip toeing away.

These are blooming in the back yard. I really love them. They remind me of pinwheels…

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These are also a good example of why H is not allowed to mow in the back yard…maybe ever this year. If he had mowed they would be GONE.

And here is another reason I am avoiding the outdoors today. This was last night’s sunset…

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Perty? No, smoky. It is the annual burnfest where local farmers all get together and try to smoke us out by burning all their fields simultaneously. This favored tradition and general thumbing of the nose at us city folk is due to none of them wanting to practice no-till farming. Because no-till farming is more work and, well, they haven’t been doing that for eons and they got there first and they can do whatever they want…and…don’t get me started.

The smoke laden air and my burning eyes didn’t stop me from getting a couple of photo ops with my new wind chime…

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Upstairs, all is well. Say hello to Twobie and Archie. Explanation of those names will have to come later.

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I knew they were boys before I named them, before I checked…how about that?

Above them there are now two blooms on Grandma’s cactus. One for each kitty?

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Out in the garden some new trellises have joined the tribe…

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How is it I would rather build these all day than plant anything?

And, inside, there was more stitching…

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I hope you have a lovely day.

New life…

Olive seems very content with her new babies…

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So far there are just two. I’m guessing she will have four total, but who knows? I was close to guessing the due date. I had expected them tomorrow.

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These babies are gray! No clue who the daddy is, as my boys are darker.

Last night Shane made a startling discovery. Our cats like to climb on the roofs, including the duck house (formerly Chicky’s shed). He peaked out the window after dark because he thought he saw Weanie on the duck house roof. He looked again…uh, it wasn’t Weanie. He tapped on the window and the thing spread out its WINGS and took off. Definitely an owl…poor duckies. H said the owl was peaking in their window. That raspy bird of prey sound I’ve been hearing during the day? I’m thinking definitely an owl. H was aghast.

Whatever it was it had a six-foot wingspan! he said.

The ducks are doing much better again today with their separation anxiety. I was able to come in and throw together my lunch without them having a giant come-apart. They are currently in their pen, which I moved to a new spot.

I’m going to make some more trellises today. I want them to have plenty of shelters to dart under if they need to. Once the plants growing on them get started I can take off the barricades at the bottom. I may just start leaving one gap open so they can run in, kind of like I did here, but in a whole trellis.

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I really admire people like Cecilia who handle large farms. I am managing 3 ducks, 6 (make that 8!) cats and a garden and it is kicking my butt. Luckily, I have more energy today than I did the past couple of days. I was able to get some digging done, but there is much more I want to do. I have a lot to plant.

I am very excited about these new additions, as well…

The box of seedlings left/front are from seeds I saved from last year’s tomatoes! I was so happy to see them sprouting, as it had been a while since I saved seeds. The ones in the back box are from Seed Savers Exchange. There is one more package of seeds I would like to get from them that no one else seems to have: borage. But, first things first…P.S. I believe they are offering FREE shipping this month!

A new heart started on the Heart Pillow…

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Now, off to let the duckies loose and dig some more ground!

 

 

 

 

So, this is happening…

A few things that are happening at my house this week…

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Very pregnant cat #1, Olive, who is due to give birth any day now. She sleeps even more than usual now.

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The ducks having a blast in their “pond” under my watchful eye. They had been flipping out whenever I got out of sight, making a lot of racket, etc… But I had a talk with them last night and things were better today, more calm and much more quiet, although they are loud enough people are noticing. Still following me closely a bit…I ran inside to grab a few things and each of them was on a back step contemplating following me inside, I think.

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Grandma’s Christmas cactus, finally in bloom, after trying for over 20 years. I should crack open a bottle of champagne or something…if only I drank!

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The bees have more rocks in their plate, so no more casualties! (Only two so not that bad.) I’m amazed every day how they avoid the many other bigger water sources and always go for the plate. I refill it several times a day. I guess I need to look into getting or making a proper bee waterer.

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Very pregnant cat #2, Noodle, caught here in mid-yawn. She is not happy about being pregnant and is, defiantly, not letting it slow her down too much. Due…??? Maybe in a couple of weeks?

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Blue-eyed grass blooming and red bud blossoms falling…Have you ever noticed blue-eyed grass? You have to look closely or you’ll miss it.

And one lovely little finished star on the Heart Pillow.

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Welcome back. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine went by too fast.

 

 

 

 

Sunshine…

The past two days have been beautiful.

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The cats think so, too. There’s Buggar, sunning herself on Path. They love the Path.

I’ve hardly been inside it’s been so nice. I’ve managed to get some ground dug up along the north side of the fence. I have a lot of things I want to plant there: marigolds, lemon basil, sunflowers, maybe some veg of some sort or cantaloupe.

I also managed to get a sunburn, already, right across my back and shoulders…ouch!

In addition to gardening, I am rearranging the duck area…again. Today I made progress on their “big water” or “pond” as I call it.

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With the interest in them “from above” in the form of hawks, I decided to build a trellis around their big pond. This way they can enjoy the water without feeling preyed upon or constantly having to keep an eye on the sky.

I spent a while cutting up a pair of H’s old pants to make ties.

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Over the years I’ve used a lot of fabric ties, mostly the seams of shirts and things. They are so strong and hold up really well to the stresses of a Kansas summer. Often, I can reuse them year after year.

I’m not exactly sure what to plant around this trellis. Maybe something edible, although earlier TG&Y were enjoying the water so much they wouldn’t get out to eat. Instead, they were reaching out over the side and snipping off bits of grass. It was actually adorable. It’s the longest I’ve seen them stay in there so far. Maybe because it was so nice and warm. However, whatever I grow around this trellis could quickly become duck food. I will have to see how it goes. I suppose I could always scoot the pond out a bit farther away from the edges.

Today they fell asleep under my chair. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen them take a long snooze. They are almost constantly foraging.

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I have largely dismantled the rinky-dink duck pen extension I put together a few days ago. I realized today I don’t actually need it. H had promised to help me build an outdoor shelter for them. The one I really liked is called a duck tractor…don’t you love that name? A duck tractor is a duck pen that can be moved around from place to place. It gives them new places to forage, lets the grass where the pen has been revive itself, and provides constant, secure shelter. Rather than build one, I realized I already had one! The pen itself.

The chain link dog pen I’ve been using came to us for free from H’s parent’s place. It is lightweight enough that I can maneuver it around by myself. If H is around, we can easily pick it up and replace it in a new location. I also secured the bottom, top, and door with chicken wire, so nothing can get in – or out, as Noodle has proven.

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I stuck her in there the other day when she was pestering me to death. She really didn’t seem to mind all that much.

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It was a good test run because she did try to get out by climbing up, but I have secured the top well enough there’s no getting in or out. The pen is fine for day use. At night they will still go into the duck house. The pen is not nearly secure enough to keep them safe from predators at night.

Speaking of Noodle, pillow Noodle got a face lift.

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The Heart Pillow, I have discovered, could be stitched on for ages. I have an upcoming trip, so I will take needle and thread so I can stitch on it here and there.

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I’m trying one of Jude’s wishing stars.

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She makes it looks so easy. It’s really not. Maybe I just need practice.

In the corner of the garden I was excited to see this…

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Sprouts from a pie pumpkin! I’m very excited to see these coming up. I also spotted a sunflower start. My plan is to basically fill the entire back yard with growing things. I have a lot of planting to do.

Have a wonderful weekend.