Thursday, December 27, 2012

Morning chores

The temperatures have been in the teens these past few mornings. The ducks have been anxious to return to the coop before egg gathering is finished. Their water has been frozen every morning and I have been breaking it with the corner of a shovel.
This morning I went to let the ducks out and found that their water was frozen solid, nothing was going to give the ducks water unless I brought it to them.
After bringing back the eggs I filled three five-gallon buckets with hot water and drove them over to the coop. Once the water was poured into the watering containers the geese and ducks were thrilled and stood in the pool of warm water to drink and to wash. They love water and I know it will be many more trips with buckets of water before spring comes.

Sending love and wet duck kisses from the farm,
oxoxox







Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas at last!!

It may seem silly but it doesn't feel like Christmas until we have snow. It snowed on December 21, just in time to cover the ground and usher in Christmas break.

The ducks and geese have survived some frigid nights but are impatient when I collect eggs; they want back into the coop out of the cold. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
Sending love and snowy kisses from the farm,
oxoxoxxoxo











Thursday, December 13, 2012

Snowless December

Even though the fields are resting and the garden is empty we have been busy. The ducks have been giving us eggs each day and the geese should be soon. Every morning I go into the coop I expect to find geese eggs. So far, none.
Other points of excitement include the news that cougars have been spotted in our area. Since we live about an hour from a major city it seems unlikely, and yet, they have been spotted just outside that major city.
We have no snow and have actually broken a record for more than 280 days without measurable snowfall. Last year was "snowless" and now it seems this year could be too.
I bought more yarn to make Travis and Arliss some scarves --camouflage colors of course.
My dad brought his tractors and 1929 Dodge out to "sleep" for the winter. That seems the best way to explain it to my 3 year old nephew. The three Farmall tractors are tucked in until spring.
The fruit trees need pruning, the garden shed needs to be organized again, and the duck coop needs a new roof.
I should organize my sewing room and go through the boys' toys that they have outgrown.
But there are gardening books to read, a quilt to keep working on, scarves to knit and quiet to appreciate.

The Christmas tree is up and the boys helped me put up lights outside this year.
I can hardly believe it will be Christmas in less than two weeks. I am hoping for some snow by then.

For now, know that we wish you a merry and bright Christmas. May you be with those you hold near to your heart.
Blessings to you and yours for the farm.
oxoxo

deck is all "decked out"


the water trough for the cattle is tucked in for the winter



view from the east hay field



glorious duck eggs


wintry morning


Travis decorated the barn doors



the F-12 and the "H"


dinner time!


view from the front yard

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November, how I've missed you!

The fields are bare,  the corn is harvested, and we are preparing to settle in for the cold days ahead.
some of the duck eggs
Travis roto-tilling the garden one last time
The ducks and geese have been giving us eggs faithfully every day for the past two almost three weeks and we are now bartering with a friend who has honey, a pound of honey for a dozen duck eggs.  Another friend is going to buy an "oven-ready" duck on Monday.

my quilt is the size of
a crib blanket
The dogs are busy barking at all of the squirrels gathering nuts for the winter and my mending basket is getting low as I work on different items each night.  Soon I will be working on some scarves and my hexagon quilt.

The house is quiet today as Travis and Arliss are away at a church retreat.  My Honey is at work so it is just Rover, Rufus and me in the restful house.
The trees are bare and their beauty covers the ground, all tucked in for the winter nap that will come in the next few weeks.
I am loving the great wonder of a new season and all it will hold.
Blessings to you and yours, enjoy the pictures of recent "goings-on" here.

Sending love and lots of chilly kisses from the farm.
oxoxo




every day is amazing here

Travis got to drive the 1936 F-12 solo for his birthday
hard to believe that barn has been
standing for over 100 years

Travis is on the F-12,  my brother is on the 1948 "H"


A serene morning on my way back from feeding the ducks and gathering eggs

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall leaves and fields

fields ready for harvest
Fall has come.  The fields are being harvested, the ducks are beginning to lay eggs and the leaves are falling quickly.  I have taken a million pictures it seems and now I am sharing some with you.  I hope your holiday season, which is rapidly approaching, is full of joy, family, and many new memories.

Sending love and sweet fall kisses from the farm.
oxoxo

quilted ground

one of my favorite views

rain washed leaves

my favorite tree--it's the only one that turns this brilliant color
another shot of my favorite view

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall days

Life has been quiet here on the farm.  The cows are gone, the fields are drying and waiting for the tractors to come and begin the harvest.  The nights are colder and the furnace has been turned on for the first time this week.

The ducks and geese have been growing fat and sassy and we soon will process the last of them before winter sets in.  I have been taking my camera with me in the morning when I go to let them out in the morning.  I love how the sun comes up and makes the world seem full of possibilities.









I have been taking a lot of pictures as usual, but with teaching and other responsibilities I have been remiss in posting them for you.

I hope as the weather turns colder you will find many blessings as we turn toward the holiday season.
Sending love and chilly kisses from the farm.
xoxoxo

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September

Sunrise over the cornfield
The school year has begun and the fields look more like October than August.  I have started teaching part time at a school a few towns over and I seem to have less and less time to write, but I am still able to take pictures.  So, with the old adage of a picture versus words.  Enjoy the pictures... and know that life here on the farm is moving quickly toward winter, when the days are shorter and the work is less as well.

Sending love and kisses from the farm.
oxoxo

one of the coolest frogs I have ever seen here on the farm...he just chilled out on the window sill all day

some of the gourds from the garden

"Indian corn" from this year's garden

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another day, another experience

As I mentioned in the last post, we have added geese, having lost one the first day to coyotes, although the death is unconfirmed, it is the most likely scenario.
A week later, as I put the ducks and geese away for the night I did a head count.  We were missing a duck.  I counted again. Yup.  We were missing a duck.  I went to the house and told Andrew, immediately we were outside whistling for it, listening for any sound that could signal that the duck was  just slow in finding its mates.  Nothing.

The next morning Andrew was gone before anyone was up.  When he returned he had the needed items to build a pen next to the coop where the ducks and geese could be safe from any prowling animals.  Since then, all has been well. The geese and ducks are trained now that when I come around the corner of the out building that it is time to go to bed.  By the time I get in the pen they are inside the coop and I just have to count heads and shut the door.

The reality is that the coyotes, like other animals, have been effected by the drought.  The mice have tried to set up house in my house.  So far, people 3 mice 0.  We don't play around when it comes to mice.  They may seem cute, but one mouse can eat 25 pounds of food a year.  With the number of litters they can have in a year, it can quickly multiply the loss of food.  I personally hot-glue an almond or peanut to the trap.  Gets them every time.  I used to use peanut butter, but the mice can be crafty and lick it off without triggering the trap.

The rains have finally come.  My grass now is green/brown instead of brown with a hint of green.  I may have to cut more frequently this month.  But I will cut grass and be grateful after so much dry and hot weather.

Arliss found a praying mantis on a recent walk

one of my favorite views... east hayfield facing west.

Rufus was nose to nose with Princess and just couldn't figure out why the "dog" didn't want to play with him!

Today I made 8 loaves of zucchini bread for friends and family.  Of all the vegetables we planted the zucchini has been the most successful.  The house smells amazing.

I leave you with some pictures from the wonderful world that surrounds me.  I am grateful.  Farm life is hard work, sometimes with few rewards, but the beauty around us, the sweet breezes, the wide open spaces, and the feeling of satisfaction when you have worked hard and completed the tasks for the day-it makes it all worthwhile.

Enjoy the pictures and know we send lots of love from the farm.
Sunsets out here seem to be more breathtaking than the last one

this garter snake met its Maker... but at whose claws, talons, or beak?  

Arliss checking out the dead garter


wild camomile grows all over the farm

another sunset

last night's sunset after the storms had passed
oxxoo to you and yours