Sunday, July 15, 2012

48 hours

This past week Travis and Arliss went to stay with my folks.   They went swimming, fishing, and helped set up and work the garage sale my folks had over the weekend.  It was a lot of fun and a definite change from the farm.  My folks neighborhood has been around for over 60 years so it's a bit more relaxed than the newer subdivisions, but it also is different to wake up and know whether the neighbor's are home or not, just by the sound outside your window.
Once I got home from getting the boys we settled back into the usual evening routines. My hubby had the TV, Travis caught up on Facebook and Arliss took my iPad to watch a show or two on Netflix.
So much for family "catch up" time.

At 10:30 p.m. Travis let Rufus and Rover outside for one last time before bed.  Within a few minutes I could smell a tell-tale scent of "yuck" coming from Rufus.  The dogs had been sprayed again by a skunk.  Since Travis let them out I made him help me wash the dogs.
As we washed Rufus, who is too big to fit in the laundry sink, the floor drain got clogged from his dog hair.  Travis used his foot to clear the cap cover only to have the metal sheeting on the floor cut his big toe.  Yesh.  After alcohol wipes, Neosporin and some gauze, his toe seems to have survived.

Finally everyone goes to bed for the night and the dogs stay in the cellar for the night... just in case they smelled a bit.

Church morning usually means slight laid back, slight crazy.  The boys start moving and we are on the way to drop off hubby's truck at his work before we all head to church.  On our way home we drop off hubby and the boys and I walk around Walmart and then go to the Goodwill store nearby.

Back home we get a call asking if Travis wants to spend the night at a friends.  Off he goes to camp out and Arliss and I stop at a drive-thru for an ice cream cone as the heat has been turned on again outside.

The ducks are now fully grown as I mentioned and hubby and I are on egg watch.  We know that the first few eggs will not be very big, but we need to keep our eyes open for them.

Arliss and I went outside to watch the sunset and on our way back in he is startled by a 2 1/2 foot garter snake moving right in front of the back door.  We watch the snake work his way along the foundation of the house, looking for insects or a small frog.  Beautiful creature.

Now it's nearly bedtime again.  I pray for Travis to be safe as he sleeps at his friend's house and for Arliss who has already fallen asleep on the couch next to me.

Rufus and Rover nudge me to go outside "one more time" only to have Rover tree a raccoon.  Really??

I am still waiting to get some rain.  We had a sprinkling this week, but not enough.

I hope you have a great week.  Enjoy some pictures.

Sending love and sleepy kisses from the farm.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hot summer days

As I have mentioned we have been struggling in northern Illinois with very little rain.  In June we had .01 inches of rain.  So far in July we have had no rain, but for the past few weeks we have had 90+ degree weather.  Our corn looks like a lily that has wilted at the end of the day.

Our farmhouse is over 100 years old, built way before A/C came around.  We keep the shades pulled during the day, fans help circulate the air and keep the house comfortable.  The dogs are sent to the basement to cool off on the concrete floor.    The walls are made of fieldstone and plaster, helping to draw in the cool temperatures from below ground.

The ducks love the sprinkler and often gather around it when we turn it on.  They spend their day in the shade, eating bugs, searching for seeds, especially the seeds that fall from the bird feeders.

Travis and Arliss have had a friend come and stay over, often camping out in the fields or by the pond. The other day the three boys went swimming in the pond after a hot walk to find raspberries and mulberries.

I had to laugh as Rufus joined them.  Our silly lab won't take a bath ever, but pond water?  He is in it faster than you can blink.  Rover stayed closer to home, not wanted to make the hot walk to the back of the farm for the pond.

As Rufus walked the pond's edge he scared the bullfrogs who were sunning themselves.  The bullfrogs hopped into the water to get away, which then became a game of chase.  How fast could the dog get the bullfrog before it got away?  Final score: bullfrogs 20 Rufus 0.

completely cleaned and ready for the oven
My husband and I have also begun to process the ducks.  We had 20 and are now down to 11.  Some have been eaten, some have been prepped and frozen for another day.  We'll keep the rest through the winter so we can have eggs and chicks come spring.

our new cherry tree
This past week my mother-in-law and I found a nursery with fruit trees.  We have been looking for a cherry tree to plant here at the farm.  My grandfather's favorite food was anything with cherries in it; cherry pie and Gram's cherry soup especially.

We planted the cherry tree which stands about 4 1/2 ft. to 5 ft. tall.  It will have sour cherries which are the best for growing here in our region.

the black lump is Rufus' head
I have heard from my dad that farmers in central and southern Illinois are having to call a loss on their crops this year.  Claims have been made for insurance policies to cover the loss, with some farmers cutting down and plowing under the crops that have failed with the hopes of planting a second crop for some kind of profit.

 I know that the forest fires out west have had a lot of the news lately, but come this fall when crops should be harvested, the food prices will go up due to the lack of crops.

 Pray for rain.  In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of the goings-on around here.
this storm only lasted for a short time.  

Sending love and prayers for rain from the farm.