Tag Archive | ducks

The wind blew my head off…

That’s how it’s felt lately. Too windy for my taste.

This is the first day I have been able to be inside for any amount of time without the ducks (i.e. Turtle) going berserk. Perhaps the wind has calmed them, as well.

Yesterday was more like this…


Not just beneath my chair, but ON my foot. Turtle was completely on my foot for a while, and Yoyo was on my shoe. They stuck to me like glue yesterday, even when I went inside for a moment


I wasn’t sure what was up with them. They weren’t getting in their pool at all. Granted, the water was the color of chocolate milk, but that’s never stopped them before…or so I thought. When I began to empty it out, the smell hit me. Yikes, it was bad. As soon as I started filling it up with fresh water they were in there…and loving the spray nozzle…


Now that they are fully feathered out bath time is different. They really fluff up their feathers so that they look like pinecones. I think it’s to let the water reach their skin…


I had a new arrival in the garden…

butterfly crop

Sooooo beautiful. I had to take the pic fast because Noodle was chasing this one. She whined when I kept nudging her with my foot so she’d miss it.

I am so tired today…again. Allergies? Could be, also interrupted sleep. H wants to go grocery shopping, but I am dreading it. I would rather stay here and stitch. I’d rather stitch and starve. Not really, but I can make do. Shopping means a trip away, a long drive, and gone for a couple hours. Ugh.

I did get out for some errands today. I found this book at the thrift store…


It has some really nice color photos. I thought maybe it would inspire some drawing, or at least help me when/if I draw birds. Or I may just read it.

I also got this old lace tablecloth for $1…


It’s really beautiful and has a nice feel to it. It was much loved, as the stains, holes and worn places suggest. I want to use it for dyeing experiments. It will be hard for me to cut it up, even though I tell myself it has been used.

No stitching to share today, although progress has continued on the giant doily. I did end up buying another skein of yarn, which I know is the wrong size. I don’t think you will be able to tell from afar, so hopefully it will work ok.

I just noticed it’s only Wednesday. *sigh*






Ready for the day…

My ducks are in a row…


…literally and figuratively.

By that I mean I got a good amount of sleep, tea is made, lunch is started (my giant sweet potato will take a while to cook), cats are fed, kittens have been checked on and mama fed, computer work out of the way…I’m ready to head outside for some stitching and duck baby sitting. I’ve already heard them quacking.

I finally got back to stitching on the Word Cloth. Sometimes I have to wait for a bit of inspiration.



I suspect the key to my feeling better is last night I got in bed early. I watched the last couple episodes of The Durrells in Corfu (PBS/BBC) and just chilled out. I hardly watch any shows these days, maybe a couple hours a week tops. So, this was a nice treat.

Yesterday I felt kind of fuzzy all day, a bit tired from my exertions the day before. Then I had a weird exchange with an acquaintance over text that kind of threw me, but now I’m feeling more put together, which is a good thing.

I’m off to see the duckies…




T&G are mean girls…

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


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…


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…


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…




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


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?


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


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

And, inside, there was more stitching…




I hope you have a lovely day.


The past two days have been beautiful.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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…


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.



The hawk, the cats, and the ducks…

Soooooo….I just about had a heart attack today.

I had been outside all day (about four hours) doing this…


I was super tired, ready to go inside for some tea to warm me up (it’s cold and rainy AGAIN!) and to do some stitching, writing, reading, relaxing…or whatever. I had been inside for maybe 20 minutes, had barely sipped my tea when the little girls wanted to go outside. Noodle had been a giant pain in the ass when I was working outside, so I had stuck her back inside. So now I really had to let her out. The ducks are only safe from the cat’s shenanigans if they are closed up in either the pen or the duck house, so I went out to put them in their pen.

Just as I stepped out onto the back steps a GIANT HAWK saw me, swooped down from a tree branch and flew away. That sucker had been on a perfect perch eyeballing my ducks…who were peacefully snuggled together at the edge of their pen. I nearly died!!!

I had really been keeping an eye out for hawks and signs of any other critters getting too close. One night I heard an owl very nearby, but no hawks. I guess the hawk had been watching us. Argh…

Now I know the extension on the pen is not adequate, at least not when I’m inside. They really are only safe inside an enclosure. I have more work to do.

As an example, this is what I’m dealing with every day as far as the cats vs. ducks…


You see, it is CONSTANT, and no amount of cajoling seems to quell the curiosity or the predatory instincts.

The extension was only temporary anyway and not ideal as far as what I wanted. But it did give me an idea of what I do need. This is turning out to be a lot more work than I had anticipated. H has basically said “I told you so,” just not in those words. Hmph…

On a brighter note, we got to enjoy SUN yesterday…


It was really wonderful.

I also managed to get in a wee bit of stitching…


I have decided to name my little pillow project the Heart Pillow…


I may be stitching on a few more hearts…I could use the love right now.




Why so cold?

How was March any different than February?

H asked me that this weekend when we were outside. There wasn’t much difference, really, except in March it was cold and wet, instead of cold and dry.

We got a ton more rain last night. Just for grins I put the duck’s old tubs under the shed roofline last night. This morning they are half full of rain water.

The ducks seemed oblivious to the cold. They got right into their new pool. I don’t know if you can tell, but they love it.


I don’t know if you know this, but those cheap kiddie pools? They’re kindof pricey! We got this one at the dollar store for 8 bucks. I was expecting to pay $5 or $6 for a larger one, at least the medium size one. I need to start selling fabric to support my duck habit.

It really does crack me up when all 3 of them get in there. Funnier in the litter box, but this is good, too. They actually look like real ducks on a pond…sortof.


Ok, so not the greatest shot. Gyrtie was excited and swimming around…or is that Yoyo?

Noodle got in on the action, too. She was paddling in the water like a weirdo. I don’t know what goes through that cat’s head sometimes.

Even though it was cloudy, cold and rainy, I managed to get a couple of trellises built. I’m pretty happy with them.


The one on the right is made with stronger branches. I’m going to grow Armenian cucumbers there. The one on the left is made with thinner branches, not so sturdy, and is in what will hopefully be a little bit of shade once it gets hotter. Peas for the ducks are going there.

On the stitching front, I’ve been working on the pillow…she still doesn’t have a name yet…


She’s coming along nicely. Although, I have to admit, I think she is more charming in person.


I took her outdoors with me so the ducks would have company. They played, ate, pooped and swam while I stitched. I have to play guardian a lot, any time they have the run of the yard. As it turns out, I really can’t trust those darn cats AT ALL. They are far too curious and predatory…at least at this stage. I am hoping the newness of having ducks wears off soon. In the meantime, I am scoping out some options for building a pen. I need something quick, cheap and easy which requires zero building skills. I’m not asking for much, am I?

I snagged these from a lilac bush in the alley, just before the Mulberry tree came down. Sadly, it’s already time to throw them out, but they were pretty while they lasted.





Goodbye tree…

I woke up to this today…


No electricity, cable and electric lines down, chainsaws and strange men in MY yard…with almost no notice. We knew the tree was coming down, but didn’t know when. Our neighbor, who was apparently informed of all the details, denied knowing anything when telling us the tree would come down “sometime soon.” We have suspected for a while he’s not playing with a full deck. The tree guy later confirmed the date had been set a week ago. Of course, he didn’t call me back and only called H late yesterday and left a message. Because H thought it was a telemarketer call, he ignored it. So, I had little warning.

So, now the big Mulberry…my neighbor insisted it was a cottonwood…nope…confirmed (just for grins) by the tree guy…is gone, leaving us a fabulous view of…


the ugly building behind. Oh, well, the tree was falling apart while also growing up into the lines. We can’t have that.

The whole ordeal was, honestly, a fitting end to a tiresome week where everything felt off and nothing really seemed to go smoothly.

Anyway, the electricity was off the bulk of the day. Once most of the work was done, I spent a couple hours in the back yard with the ducks and the cats. So far they are co-existing pretty well. Weanie is funny. She knows the ducks are off limits, but couldn’t help herself and ran fast towards us in a big sweeping circle. I’m chasing the ducks…nooooo…not really….psyche…

This was a bit of my time with the ducks yesterday.

They like staying close to me. The chairs are on boards to keep them from sinking into the ground. We’ve had a lot of rain.

I put out the old litter box full water since they probably weren’t going to go in their pen for the water there.


All three of them will climb in. It’s pretty funny.

They really love to forage. It is quite relaxing to be in their presence.


I did have photos of my pillow progress, but they are being held hostage at the moment by my ipad and I cannot retrieve them. So, I’ll leave you with some views from the park today where I ate lunch.




There are so many things blooming right now, the air smells like flowers.

Enjoy your weekend!