Monday, February 28, 2011

A new life

One of the best things about living in the country is getting to see all the animal babies. The farm that surrounds our property breeds Standardbred Horses, the kind used for racing.  This spring they are expecting 7 new foals and the first one was born yesterday! Look at this cute little guy-just a few hours old here
First time Momma, Alice, is already proving to be a good Mom

What a cute little guy! He may just grow up to be a racing legend one day...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Slow progress on the kitchen

I'll bet you are wondering how my kitchen project is coming along. Well ... it's not. I finally got DH back to work on the island and now we have changed our plans again. Previously we decided that we would get an 18" dishwasher that would fit in the corner of the kitchen in a cupboard. Now that the cupboards are done and the island interior remains unused, we have decided to install a regular sized dishwasher in the island. Funny, when I first suggested that idea, he told me it wasn't possible. So...I went back to researching dishwashers and narrowed it down to a couple of models. Since dishwasher models are generally the same price everywhere (or within $20 or so) we have decided to pick up the GE model in town to support our local business rather than make Home Depot richer. We will be picking it up tomorrow, and then the kitchen island will have just one more modification - it needs to be an inch and a half taller.The actual island counter top is being built today. Wow! I'm going to have a dishwasher again!!  Wonder how long it will take DH to actually get it hooked up and washing my dishes?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spring fever

Just sharing a few of my favorite spring blooms...

The Garden of Weedin'

That's the name I gave my vegetable garden a few years ago. It is the most labor intensive garden I have. It doesn't matter how long you spend weeding, it is never near enough time. I finally gave up trying to keep the rows clear and just started weeding the individual patches. Once a week I run the old reel mower down the rows to keep it tidy.

I have a vegetarian in the house so this year I have great plans for the veggie patch. I started last fall by adding mountains of manure which I will till in this spring. I would like to get the garden fenced in this year too.
I've been browsing through all my seed catalogs and made a list and took advantage of a seed sale last week

Half price seeds!! I only wish the selection was better. That's OK, I'll be ordering the rest.
Now with just 27 days left until spring, I'm dreaming of  home grown veggies ...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bad weather and boredom

The weather was amazing yesterday ... 11°C and sunny. A fantastic day for February and most of the snow in my yard melted leaving a lake on my lawn.
This happens every year and we don't worry about the water. It is far enough from the house not to cause concern and if we are lucky, we get a few days with a skating rink. Well, Mother Nature was NOT happy last night...the temperature plunged and the winds began. I haven't seen winds like this for a long time ... the gusts must have been 80 km / hour or more. The house was shaking like I'd never felt before and I was worried about my new shingles that didn't really have time to seal since we put them on, and the 3 ancient Sugar Maples in the yard. I couldn't sleep so I decided to go online and try to do something with my family tree. I had started it about 12 years ago but took a break because of the lack of info out there about my German ancestors. Well lo and behold ... I found that the Census records of Mecklenburg were now online from 1900 on Family !! I was amazed and quickly found my Great Grandmother on my mother's side as well as other branches I knew nothing about. I was oblivious to the raging winds outside now in my ancestors tiny town in 1900!! Wow...the amazing wonders of the cyber world.  I can't wait to tell my Mom.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kildeer in the veggie garden

Last summer, I had a couple of Kildeer set up nest in my veggie garden. These birds make their nest on the ground in small nests of gravel. They lay 3-4 eggs in the nest and these eggs need 24-28 days of incubation.
The parents take turns sitting on the eggs and the other stands guard. If they see anything they consider a threat, they run over and pretend to have broken wings all the while luring the threat away from the nest. When it thinks that you are far enough away from the nest, it will suddenly fly off, laughing as it flies.
The eggs are spotted and blend into the background making them very hard to see. The Kildeer in my garden was upset that I didn't leave when she played her broken wing game and after many attempts she settled back onto her eggs and watched intently as I planted my tomato's and beans. The spot she chose to make her nest was the spot I had chosen to plant my zucchini so I would have to wait until these eggs hatched!

Luckily, Kildeer chicks are born and start running before their fluff even dries. They are like mini replica's of their parents and boy can they run! They look like little pompoms with feet. Unfortunately, these eggs hatched and ran before I could get a photo of them, but I'm sure they will be back this year. But you can be sure I won't let them build a nest in my garden again!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When Hawk's come to visit...

Living in a rural area, I see many Hawk's of all shapes and sizes flying over the fields. During this time of year the snow is so deep and you see very few of these magnificent birds. Unfortunately, I have a couple of Hawk's that stalk my bird feeders. This upsets me, but I realize this is the circle of life. I caught this guy sitting in the Lilac tree right outside my kitchen window.
I snapped this creepy shot earlier in the year. I didn't notice it had a bird until after a feather floated down to me and I looked at the photos. Poor little bird :(
And just the other day I looked out towards my backyard bird feeder and spotted another one

I've been looking at this link to try and identify these birds but they are so similar I'm not too sure.
I do love to watch these Hawk's, but not after my little feather friends. I would like them a lot better if they stuck to the field mice.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who say's cats don't watch TV?

I had to laugh at my cat, Boots. She is an indoor cat and I guess she has trouble keeping herself amused at times. Watching the bird feeder is a favorite, and the horses at the fence in the backyard are another thing she like to watch. She's never really seen another animal up close except for our dog Boomer. We snapped this photo of Boots watching 'Blue Jeans' (Hanna Montana's talking horse)the other day.
She was REALLY into this show! I guess she thinks that horses can talk now!!

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentines Day to those who celebrate.
I'm not the kind of person who really celebrates Valentine's Day. I've been with DH almost 25 years and we have never celebrated Valentine's Day. EVERY day should be a day that you show love and appreciation for your significant other.  There is one thing I like about Valentine's Day ... the SWEETS!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Seed catalog's

Today is the day! I'm going to plan this years veggie garden!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The difference 7 years makes

The evolution of the back garden

You may remember the only garden that was here when we came
Not terribly attractive was it?  It did have some nice plants ... Phlox, Sedum, Snow in Summer, Lamium, Ajuga as well as Lily's, but it was terrible neglected. The first thing I did was to dig out the Lily's and add lots of compost. I had moved many perennials from the old house, so I added them...Peony, Iris, Phlox,  Lady's Mantle, Culver's Root, Lamb's Ear and others. This was Autumn now so I also planted some bulbs.
The following spring, I dug up the 2 Sedum ~ they were HUGE and the 2 plants made 10 new ones ~which I shared with friends. I took advantage of perennial sales that year and filled the bed, as well as the expansion of it around the other side of the house. Added were Lupin's,  Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Daisy, more Phlox, Gaillardia, Penstemon, Peony and others. Somehow I have no photo's of this time, but here are a few from the years that followed