Saturday, May 13, 2017

From the Porch

We listened to a wren sing her heart out.

We saw our baby cardinal learn to fly.

Mom Cardinal, Dad Cardinal and even an indigo bunting came out to watch the fledgling.

We saw our first hummingbird of the season.

The robins came to enjoy a cool bath.


Even the titmouse couple came to get a drink and freshen up.

The Mister and I agree there is no more peaceful place than our front porch.  At the end of a day of working in the yard, pasture, garden or around the house, sitting on the porch, listening and watching the world around us brings us such contentment.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Out On a Ledge

The Mister noticed the beginnings of this nest a couple weeks ago when he was working on the hot tub.  We thought it might be a barn swallow at the time.

Watching the last several days, I think it's a Phoebe bird, but when I saw the egss were brown today, I'm not so sure. (My book says the eggs of the Eastern Phoebe are white.)  Today, a cold, windy spring day with frost warnings out for tonight, a caught momma sitting on her nest.  I am in awe of the architectural skill necessary to create a nest on such a tiny ledge of a window! 

The view from above was even more amazing!  How many trips must this bird have taken with a bit of twig or grass or moss in its mouth to build this masterpiece?  
And five sweet little eggs inside!
I left quickly, so momma would come back and keep those eggs warm!

A Poultry Sunday

Due to a power outage at school on Thursday, we had to bring the chicken eggs my second graders are incubating home.  In addition to our five incubating eggs, we also brought home one little chick that another teacher had hatched who desperately needed his heat lamp to stay warm!  We spent the weekend with all this poultry taking over our counter (can't put them out in the potting room, Charlotte would think they were toys just for her!)

Today, we returned them to school, just in time for our eggs to hatch in the next day or two.  We could hear the little chirps coming from one egg (I absolutely love that!) so we know at least one of the five should hatch.  We took the one little chick to my classroom as well so the parent who is taking the chicks can come get him tomorrow.

After getting all that set up, we headed to Tractor Supply for some chick feed.  We buy a bag every year, use maybe a quarter of it and then donate it to whomever is taking the chicks.  Next year, we hope we are incubating chicks for our farm and will use the entire bag (and then some!)

From Tractor Supply, we headed up the road, stopping to buy eggs from a local farmer.  We keep him in business, I tell you.  We eat A LOT of eggs right now!

We swung by Julie's to drop off a few things (and as it turns out, to pick up a few things) before heading home.

Once we arrived at home, we pulled out chicken legs to thaw for dinner.

Seems like we are a little obsessed with feathered friends today, doesn't it?  From egg to chick, hatching to the dinner table, I think we have it all covered today!

Growing

The cardinal baby is sure growing!  Only a week old and he is getting more feathers and has more than doubled in size!  I cannot believe he fit into an egg that small just a week ago!  His eyes are open now and we see mom and dad cardinal fly back and forth from the bird feeder to the nest to feed the baby.  Sure is fun watching him grow!


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

A Great Day for a Birthday


Momma cardinal wasn't too happy with me.  I thought she was off her nest when I snuck out to see if either egg had hatched.  I should have known she wouldn't have been off her nest in 40 degree weather.  She flew to the nearest tree where she squawked at me while I peeked at her babe.

One little cardinal chick.

Reminds me of a day 21 years ago when I brought home my first born and all these people showed up who wanted to hold him and talk to him and I wanted to scream from the rafters "HE'S MINE!!  BACK OFF!" but that seemed rude and these people meant no harm. 

My boy, my child, my baby, my only turns 21 years old today.  I text him, sent him a package and talked to him on the phone, but I won't see him.  It's finals week and he's studying hard for his tests.  For some kids, that might just be a line they tell their parents, "We've been studying since nine this morning." But even on his 21st, I know my child is being responsible.  His grades matter to him (now, after all those agonizing high school years).  He'll "study" in the form of drinking when finals are over I am sure.

It's hard not to see my baby, but it's something I guess you get used to.  He'll come visit soon he says, and I will hold him to that.  He is as precious to me as this little one is to its cardinal momma.  Even more so, I dare say.  I'd do more than chirp from a nearby tree if a stranger came too close to my baby.

It only took 13 days for this little guy in the picture to hatch.  It won't take too long to grow wings and learn how to fly.Of all things I am thankful for today, it's that it takes human babies far longer than that to grow wings and fly.

Hold onto your babies as long as you can.
It will seem like it's only been a week when they do fly away.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Charlotte

Someday Farm has a new addition.  No farm is complete without a barn cat it would seem.  Charlotte is here to be the official mole killer of the farm.  The critters are tearing up our lawn something fierce and The Mister is Not.Pleased.  So not pleased in fact, that he agreed to a cat!! Granted, she has to live outside and May Not Under Any Circumstances Come Indoors, but still, it's a cat and so I took the deal.

Of course, The Mister has been seen holding and playing with said "mole catcher".  And just yesterday he said he thought about bringing her down to the basement where we were watching TV.  Ahem.

So, she currently lives in the garage and gets to play in the potting room when we are in there.  She loves going outside to romp and play under the bushes.  And we enjoy watching kitten antics and see hunting instincts take over.  She's a joy and a wonderful addition to the farm.

Welcome, Charlotte!
(Now, go catch those moles!)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Nesting

Mama cardinal built her nest in our holly bush while we were gone on spring break.  Now that we have returned, I suspect she is regretting her choice of location as it is right in front of a spigot that The Mister needs to get to frequently to get water to the cows.  

Poor Mama.

She is patiently sitting on two speckled eggs.  I am amazed that it takes less than two weeks to incubate cardinal eggs!  It's such an amazing process!

We will keep our eyes on the nest, but we'll try to give Mama as much room as we can.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Evening Walk


Robin out splashing in the bird bath.

Samson peeking to see if we brought a treat or not.

Outside our bedroom window, a cardinal has set up nest in a holly bush.
Yesterday, there was one speckled egg.

Tonight there were two!

Peach blossoms!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

He Always Cracks Me Up (Just Not Always in the Way He Intended To)

While browsing through Tractor Supply (what?! YOU don't browse Tractor Supply?!), The Mister thought he would be clever as he came up to where I was standing.  "I've just got to say, I don't know your husband, but he is one lucky woman!"  he said, almost perfectly.

I couldn't even respond I was already laughing too hard.

"Darn it!  I always mess it up!"

No, Babe, you always make it funnier still.

Why I love The Mister, Reason #498.

The North Pasture

Today was a great day to be a cow at Someday Farm!  The Mister decided to open the gates and welcome Samson and Delilah to the North Pasture!
We invited Robby to come watch as we thought there might be much excitement and fanfare, but we forgot to think about it from a cow's point of view.  While The Mister and Robby are thrilled to be done putting in fence posts by hand (they might have even done cartwheels in the pasture to celebrate), the cows were just excited to get to the grass that is always greener on the other side of the fence!  They took their time grazing their way into the new pasture and then never stopped!

Two VERY happy cows, indeed!

I've been hearing this bird for a long time, but I hadn't been able to spot him until today.

The Tufted Titmouse decided to make an appearance while I had my camera out.  
(I am pretty sure I was supposed to be doing lots of other things, but sitting on the porch identifying a bird seemed more important at the time.)


He didn't mind posing one little bit.

While snapping pics today, I also got to catch sight of my first turtle this spring.
It was a great day for sunning on a log!!

Spring Break


Once again, we abandoned the iffy Michigan weather and headed south for Spring Break.
We stopped to see Garrett, Diana and The Littles before heading on to Dad's.
While at Dad's we took a trip to Chattanooga to Lookout Mountain.

We loved the view...



...but most of all we loved the company we shared it with.
Thanks, Dad and Judy for another great vacation!

Feelin' Frisky


I know, you all think this post is going to be about The Mister.  But it's not!




 I'm not sure which one of us was more curious about the other.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Shit Happens

As if our week wasn't going badly enough, yesterday, the septic system decided to join in the game.  In hindsight, we are glad we were home as we were able to somewhat mitigate the two leaks in our basement (until a plug we had gradually been opening in order to slowly release the back-up pressure suddenly came off completely - I will spare everyone the details, but it wasn't pretty).

The Mister still amazes me in such situations.  He talked with the septic guy a time or two, but he knew how to find the tank in the yard, how far to dig to get to the cap and what to look for once he got it opened.  He also knew how to unplug the problem, and how to remedy the situation well enough that we could survive until Monday when the septic guy could come out to pump the tank.

To say it was The Most Disgusting Thing Ever doesn't begin to describe it.  But, we dealt with it side by side, standing in shit - dealing with it, solving it and cleaning it up.  It's part of life - it's part of owing a home (hopefully avoidable from here on out - ) but it's also part of being married.  Problems aren't his or mine, they are ours.  Big or small, fun or crappy - we're in this together.

Later, soaking in the hot tub, we laughed about the day's events.  We were so grossed out and yet we were so glad to have each other there to help the process.

I am always grateful for The Mister, but I now know that no matter how shitty life gets, he won't ditch me!

(I am certain my dad and second mom are very relieved to have been here LAST weekend!)

Too Soon

To say we weren't ready is an understatement.  We had just been to the vet two weeks ago.  A clean bill of health and all our concerns swept away with a diagnosis of "age".  We could relate to that.  Choosing to stay near the house instead of running all the way out to the barn is a choice we could understand.  The stairs being okay some days and a scary proposition another was something we chalked up to deteriorating eyesight.  But overall, our beloved Eli was in fine shape and as happy of a dog as ever.

Until Tuesday.

He came down the stairs reluctantly but still he joined us for our movie.  Curled up on his blankets, he stayed nearby.  Part way through the movie, he stood and was unsteady on his feet.  The Mister jumped out of his seat and started checking out Eli's legs, to see if he had hurt one.  I got down on the floor and looked my puppy in the eyes and immediately we knew something was wrong.  Very wrong.  He was dazed, immobile and unsteady.  As The Mister ran for a phone, I petted my puppy saying, "Not today, baby, not today" but somehow, deep down I just knew it was today.

A speed-breaking drive to the emergency vet a half hour away and a set of x-rays later, we knew the reason.  A large mass pressing on his heart and lungs.  It explained his quirky behavior.  It explained why some days he seemed to be panting for no reason; why storms seemed to upset him more than ever (harder to breathe); and why those runs out to the barn with The Mister were skipped some days to just stay closer to home.  It explained, but it didn't solve.

The vet talked options, but they were risky, uncertain and not likely to succeed.  He was unable to move and having difficulty breathing.  He barely lifted his head and he hadn't made a sound.  There was only one choice, but it was excruciating to make.  We weren't at all ready.

I can say he had an amazing life.  We made him promise to live long enough to join us on the farm, and he did.  (I also made him promise two weeks ago to live out his three-year rabies shot and dog license - that didn't work out.)  I tease that The Mister only married me for my amazing dog, but there's probably more truth to that than jest.  He was our constant companion - being outside with The Mister while he worked around the property, being inside with me while I cleaned or baked.  He jumped up on the bed every night for some love before curling up at the foot of my side until finally deciding he'd get kicked less on his own bed.  Every morning he got up with The Mister, had a quick jaunt outside, a bite to eat and then up on the bed, on The Mister's side now, to sleep until I got up.  He laid right outside the open bathroom door while I got ready every morning, requiring me to step over him many times as I got dressed and ready for work.  He greeted us at the door when we came home, stayed close the entire evening and wanted little more than to run around outside and to get some rubs behind the ears.  I can say he had an amazing life, but the truth is, he made our life more amazing by being a part of it.

He was a rescue dog who rescued us as much as we did him. He made us laugh, he made us smile and he gave us comfort.  The sorrow we feel is so intense because the joy he brought us was so immense. We buried him under a maple tree overlooking the farm and pasture.  James found a couple of his stuffed animals abandoned out back in the snow and put those in the grave with him.

We are still struggling with the emptiness, the silence, the missing piece of our day.  We still can't seem to get our minds around it - it happened so fast.  We are so grateful for our years with Eli.  We are so grateful for all the ways he blessed our little family.  We are grateful that he didn't suffer long.  But he will be missed for a very long time.  We could not have asked for a better dog.  We will never know exactly how old he was, or how he became a rescue dog in the first place, but his eleven years with us were precious and we will forever treasure his memory.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Signs of Spring

I always wondered why we only see bluebird for literally ONE day each spring (when snow is usually still on the ground).  Today I found out.  They are just here for the berries.  Between the bluebirds and the robins, the berries will be gone in one quick day! 





We have woodpeckers all winter.  The Mister puts out suet where I usually have hummingbird feeders and the woodpeckers love every bit of it!  Of course, the juncos do, too!




Saturday, February 04, 2017

Celebrating the Beginning

All great "How You Met" stories have some embarrassing element, and ours is no different.  We got started because The Mister's roommate called him a pussy.  He had had a crappy day, a crappier week and he didn't feel like going out to the pub and hanging with the usual people.  His roommate didn't take "No" for an answer.  He called The Mister a pussy and pissed him off enough that he finally agreed just to get his roommate off his back and ended up on a bar stool next to me.

As my story goes, I had had a pretty crappy day as well, which made for two of the most unlikely characters for this love story, but love story it is.

The rest of our "How We Met" is equally as remarkable.  Having unknowingly lived within two miles of each other in Pennsylvania several years before always gives us pause, as we wonder how many times we might have messed up God's plan for us to meet until He finally just decided a pub in Michigan was just as good a place as any.

All I know is, six years after that fateful night, The Mister still has renovation plans - only now they are for OUR house.  The Jeep is still parked in the garage, only now I drive it every day.  We still tell each other about our jobs, our families and our dreams, only now it's over dinner at the table or lying in bed at night, side by side.  He still makes me laugh every.single.day.  And I love this man more than I ever knew was possible.

Happy "Day We Met" Anniversary, Chief!!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Four

"Chief?  Why is it when I do the towel load, do I always find four towels in your bathroom?  What do you need four towels for?"

"Well, one is for the floor."

"You couldn't just buy a bath mat?"

"I've been a little busy."

"Yes, I know.  Those eighteen hour days you work..."

"Ahem."

"Fine.  What are the other three for?"

"Well, one is for the hot tub."

"Okay, fine.  You still need TWO towels for your daily shower?!?"

"Yes!  One is for when I first get out of the shower.  It's my pre-drying towel.  It gets most of the water off..."

"Your 'pre-drying towel'?  What is the other one for?"

"Well, that big yellow one is so fluffy and warm, it's for after I'm mostly dry..."

"Chief?"

"Yes?"

"Where is your wallet?"

"My wallet?!  What do you need my wall....oh, wait.   You want my man card, don't you?"

"Yes, Chief.  Four towels demands you surrender your man card."

"But..."

"No 'buts' Chief.  Them's the rules."

"Fine.  But I want that yellow towel as soon as its out of the dryer."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Spring Day in January

57 degrees on a mid-January day is not to be taken lightly in Michigan!  While The Mister and George were putting in fence posts in the other pasture (they put in 23 by hand today!),
the cows enjoyed the sun.
Delilah was pampered with lots of treats today when friends came to say hello!

Samson thought the sunshine was a perfect spot for a little rest.

He is getting more "frosting" every day it seems.
The breeder says he will probably lose it but it will come back next winter!

Too cute for words!
Samson will eat apples right out of your hand, and you can touch him for a second or two, but then he scurries off.  He will come towards the gate when we arrive now, instead of running in the other direction, so there's definite progress!  

Delilah, of course, comes running any time you are near the gate and will take anything you have to offer her!  She loves to be brushed and rubbed!