Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bird Watching

This little fellow was at my feeder this morning.  I had never seen such a bird before.  I grabbed Jacob's camera (he has the zoom lens) and took several pictures.  Then I grabbed my bird book to look him up.  A red-breasted grosbeak!  I was so excited to see a new bird!  (I was equally excited to see my second indigo bunting last week, but I didn't have a camera handy!)

Spring at Someday Farm

The first sign of spring is always asparagus growing!  Our first newly-planted sprout was met with cheers of joy!  He's safe this year, we won't pick any sprouts until next spring.  But then, look out!

We moved in mid-June last year and missed all the amazing blossoms around the farm! 

 The apple trees didn't have blossoms for long, but they were sure pretty while they lasted!

One of my favorite trees on our property is this beautiful, big maple in the pasture.  I loved how purple the new shoots were (that quickly turned green!)

We have lots of cherry trees, too!  The Mister did research and talked with "those who know" and sprayed several of our trees.  We're hoping to have some edible fruit this summer and fall!

We had no idea how many dogwood trees we had!  The pink one really took our breath way when it bloomed!

This tree took our breath away but for different reasons...we don't know WHAT in the world these nasty growths are, but they sure were eye-catching!

Lilac bushes will always remind me of the neighbors we had when I was little.  I brought a few into the house to savor the memory of "The Croakers."  

Sunrise over the marsh

We've been watching a pair of Canadian geese in the marsh since early spring.  I named them George and Martha and we have been anxiously awaiting goslings!  George is often swimming around by himself and we assumed that meant Martha was sitting on eggs somewhere (not that we can even tell the male from the female, but we like to suppose).  

In any case, we were pleasantly caught off guard by a family of geese out front in the pond!!  I quickly named them Claude and Bridgitte (I think this is a French-Canadian family) and the goslings are Un, Deux, Trois!

Leaving for work, I had to stop and take a quick picture of the pond.  I am reminded that God wants me to slow down, pause and have gratitude for the simple beauties in life!  

We are so very grateful for Someday Farm!

A Walk in the Woods

Dad and Judy took us for a short hike in the woods.  We saw a beautiful waterfall and all kinds of amazing signs of spring!  We loved spending the day together, especially enjoying the beauty of God's creation!

The boys decided to hike up to the overlook rock.  Show-offs.  

It was a beautiful day spent with family.  What a great vacation!

Breaking Protocols

The Mister was pretty giddy to be on vacation.  He didn't originally have this week scheduled to be off, so it was even better knowing that he'd be off again for a week in early May!  The minute we headed south for Spring Break, the craziness broke out!

First, we stopped at Arby's for a bite to eat.  I hear my husband order a Reuben sandwich, but I didn't actually believe that's what he meant to say, afterall, we're in the car and he's driving...

...but a Reuben was exactly what he ordered and got.  He didn't think anything of it.  When I mentioned that this violated all kinds of traveling in the car protocols and expressed my concern for his shirt, (I was raised by Roger, afterall) he simply said, "This is my traveling shirt." oooohh, your traveling shirt....I guess it's okay to eat the messiest sandwich created by a fast food joint while driving if you are wearing a traveling shirt!

The craziness got worse, however, just a few miles down the road.  We pass the casino exit every time we head south, or take Jacob to or from school.  The Mister always shouts, "We should hit the casino!  We'll put $20 in and let it ride!"  Of course, we never do.  Until today, when suddenly, The Mister is pulling off at the exit.  I said, "What are we doing?!?"  

He said, "We're on vacation!  We're going to put $20 in and let it ride!"  I could not believe he was actually going to stop at the casino (violation of traveling protocol #2: unplanned stops, especially those that involve the "stupid tax" aka casinos).  But, we did indeed stop at the casino (where I should note, The Mister was actually going to CHANGE HIS SHIRT before we went inside.  As though we need to be presentable to enter a casino at 11 o'clock on a Friday morning. 

It was my first time in a casino, so The Mister showed me the ropes.  He put money in the slot machine and kept hitting this button and hitting this button and I thought he was doing great (he was up $11 at one point) but then he informed me that he had put in a TWENTY.  A TWENTY!?!?!  What?!?!  (violation #3: impulse spending).  We'd been on the road 20 minutes and he was already violating traveling protocols with abandon!  

Just to say I did, I put $$ in the slots and tried my hand (I only put in $3).  We lost.  But The Mister got a complimentary coffee and I used the restroom so we figured that made up for something.  Maybe...?

The rest of the trip was as crazy as it started.  We whimsically decided to take a scenic drive through Lexington, Kentucky that didn't seem to exist.  We asked a dude in a parking lot and he said he'd lived there for 25 years and never heard of it.  So, we got a hotel room, got a dinner and crashed.  (We actually found the route on the return trip.  Wanted to find that guy and tell him about this amazing drive he's been missing out on, but I guess he'll just have to go on not knowing about it.)

After our visit at Garrett's, we drove through Gatlinburg, Tennessee and decided to stop, shop, eat and sample whiskey (What?!?! You're not supposed to do that at 10am on a Monday?!)   While we were there, The Mister met Paula Dean and fought a grizzly bear.  In addition to sampling Smokey Mountain Whiskey, we also tried some wine.  The whiskey tasted a lot like...kerosene, but the wine was delish!

Finally, before heading on to Dad's, we stopped and had lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  We had a wonderful day in Gatlinburg!

Vacationing with The Mister is always a crazy fun adventure!!

A Trip South

Over spring break, we went south (because that's what you do when you live in Michigan where there's still snow on "Spring Break").  We visited my brother and his family in North Carolina.

While we were there, we got to hang out with this little monkey.
Oh, and Little Garrett, too!  He was super fun!!  (And not nearly as mischievous as the monkey he's holding!)

Adalene was super adorable as well.  She is SOOO smart!  She wowed us with her memory (she recognized a picture of the windmills in Ohio as "The things we saw on our trip to Em's house.  The make power when the wind blows" and she could tell us all kinds of letters, sounds and how to spell! 

But we also learned that Adalene does NOT like to draw 2 in Uno!!  

Thanks to Big Garrett and Diana for allowing us to crash at your brand new house for a few days!  A huge thanks for letting us hang with such amazing kids!  We can't wait to see all of you again!

Asparagus and Strawberries!

Well, not asparagus yet...

We, well, I have a vision for a huge perennial and vegetable garden, but it is going to happen in very slow stages.  To that end, we are trying to put together some key pieces that take awhile to produce.  We started with one of the most important parts of our garden, the asparagus patch.  We made a raised bed to contain the perennial and planted sprouts I bought last year (and more sprouts I bought this year, which meant I planted a LOT of asparagus sprouts).

I know it's hard to see, but this picture was taken just today and I have LOTS of little "aspara-gi" coming up!  (It really helps if you talk to them, even if The Mister rolls his eyes each time that you do.)  While we wait for these guys to grow (we will eat some next spring), we have two very small wild asparagus patches that we are keeping an eye on.  So far, we've picked four stalks.  It isn't much, but it's something to carry us over!

This is the strawberry patch we put in.  again, it's part of the Big Picture Plan and it, too, will have a shorter bed in front full of something or another.  I got a little carried away ordering strawberry sprouts. so this bed will be full before we know it.  Next year is going to seem like a banner year in the garden!

This is the "overall" view (so far).  There will be a fence, and beautiful walkways lined with bushy perennials and flowers, but for now, we have at least two key components in the ground.  


So, The Mister has been busy.   He's been fulfilling his dream of being "a man on a tractor".  He spent warm days this winter and early spring clearing more of the pasture.

He was finally able to seed it this spring. 

THAT was a happy day, indeed!

We are super excited about the pasture.  It will be next spring before there is a cow roaming around, but The Mister has made a ton of progress!  In addition to clearing and seeding the pasture, The Mister also got electricity wired to the barn.  That was an ordeal.  The short version is that the idiot (The Mister uses much stronger words for the man he had to deal with from Consumer's) first quoted us $1700 to do the job, then $3200, and then when it was finally done, it ended up being free!!  We still aren't quite sure how it all got erased, but we have electricity and that's all that matters to us!

While The Mister was out working in the field, I was working on some of the flower beds.  The previous owners had beautiful landscaping, but they used wood chips for mulch and we didn't like the looks of that.  While it seems easy enough to throw down some black mulch, these beds were all overflowing with old mulch that had to be removed first.  

The end result is worth the price of all that digging out and carrying buckets of old dirt and weeds, though!  
This is the front of the house before I got to work on it...

...and this is the front of the house after.  Yes, you can tell from the growth on the bushes that it took me a week or two to complete, but doesn't it look better?