Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What's Wrong With This Picture?...

This was my chicken pen this morning...

No chickens, and a hole dug under the fence...


I was away last evening, and when I got home around 10:30, I heard some clucking from the chicken pen.  Against my better judgement, I didnt investigate.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

I found lots of feathers and an empty pen this morning. I know it wasn't the dogs,  because I saw them sleeping in the barn when I came home!


I'm pretty sure this is the hole where the culprit entered the pen,  although the smaller hole might be from its offspring.

Jim saw a fox running in the fields the other day, so my guess is that she is now quite satisfied with herself.

And I will now have to buy eggs .

I declare war!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wait! I Thought It Was Spring!

Just when we were starting to feel a hint of spring in the chilly air, and when the earliest daffodils decided to bloom...


We have been reminded again that we are not in control!







We have around 6" so far, but thankfully it's not very cold...


My rooster is a little snow-laden...


The daily work must go on.  It doesn't feel quite right to desecrate the beauty of the snow like this, but the gutters need to be cleaned out and the manure has to be hauled out regardless...


Somebody loves the snow!  While the older dogs stay holed up in the warm barn, Phoebe goes exploring. The chickens hate walking in the snow, and when I checked for eggs, she was confused about why they weren't outside...


Now my morning chores are finished and I'm hoping to get the last of the prep work finished on the hallway before it's time to prime...maybe later today or tomorrow!! 

The warm radiators can do their part in drying the coveralls, hats and gloves...



...and we'll wait for the snow to stop...and melt.  Quickly.  The forecast is for temps in the 40's this weekend!

Spring is just around the corner!


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Another Long Overdue Winter Project...

It seems like the list of projects that need to be done never ends.

Am I alone in this?

I think not!  Especially when you live in an old farm house, the list never ends...it just gets longer.

I love the character of our house...the two big porches (both of which need work), the large eat in kitchen (we're pretty good there for now), the big windows (we've replaced them a few at a time over the past 20+ years and only have a few more to go) and among other things, the loooooonnnng hallway that runs the length of the house upstairs, with stairs going down at either end.

Said hallway is the focus of this winter project.

First, some history.  We are the third generation to own and live in this farm house.  Over fifty-one years ago, before Jim's parents moved to the farm, his grandparents had the upstairs hallway wallpapered.  The wallpaper was good quality paper, and required little attention paid to it for many years.


The white pattern is actually a textured design that feels kinda like felt when you run your fingers over it.

Over the past few years the paper began to loosen in spots and fall off.  It got put on the back burner because no one other than family typically goes upstairs.   Out of sight of of mind.  Kind of.

This is the winter that we decided something needed to be done, so...



Looks kinda like a war zone, doesn't it?


Over two thirds of the paper pulled right off easily, with very little effort.  The remainder just needed a little encouragement.  I used a garden sprayer with a mixture of warm water and vinegar to make it damp, and in two days all of the paper was gone!  Another day took care of the ceiling paper...



This section was done a bunch of years ago with help from my sister and our kids...


The glue residue has been washed off, and this week I've started spackling.

After that, the twelve doors, two window frames and all the woodwork need to be sanded and prepped for painting!  Thankfully, I have a friend who will lend me her mad skilz and motivation!

Wish me luck, and motivation to keep going!!

Friday, March 2, 2018

"Marching" In Like a Lion...

March has come roaring in like a lion here...

The winds started early this morning, and are picking up as the morning progresses.  We're supposed to have gusts of up to 50-60 mph all day and through the night. 

The dogs all "helped' me feed the calves this morning as usual, and the rain didn't stop Phoebe from begging to play ball on the way to the hutches.  You can see the path the wagon has made through the grass this winter. This morning I was slipping in the mud as I pulled it back to the barn...                                                               



We've had lots of puddles like this, this winter.  February on average around here, brings about 2.5" of rain.  We've had over 5"!

 

It's pretty difficult to see in this picture taken out the dining room window, but snow flurries are now blowing sideways!  They're melting as soon as they hit the ground, but it's snowing! 


I for one am thankful that it's not freezing cold and blowing like this.  The mud is a mess, yes, but a lot less trouble than a cold west wind, frozen water lines and plowing the driveway!

I'm hoping that if March is blowing in like a lion, that it will go out like a lamb! 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Roof Repairs...

Maybe you've wondered what farmers do in the winter time when the field work is finished?  Besides milking, feeding and daily chores?

They take long afternoon naps, vacation in the Carribean and eat bonbons, of course!

Riiiiiiiiiiigggghht...

It's a good time to catch up on repairs on equipment or buildings, especially when you have temps in the 60's and sunshine like today!

This past summer, my parents moved into the house across the road from us. (Oops! I just realized that I never did a blog post of "after"pictures like I promised!  Click here if you want to see some of the pictures of the work in progress on their house. I'll try to do a post soon of the finished project!)
Anyway...my Dad recently discovered where some water was getting under the roof on the screened in porch and damaging some wood. 

Jim inspected it yesterday and gathered some materials.  This afternoon he's been working on the repairs...



It's convenient that Jim worked for a roofer after high school and learned some roofing skills...


I climbed up and "helped" for a little bit, but really wasn't needed, so I skipped out and went to visit our neighbor lady who just had a hip replaced on Monday.

My Dad would love to be up on that roof with Jim, but was content to watch from below...


Jim's been working all afternoon, and the forecast rain has held off.  Hopefully he'll get finished before it starts!  There will be more wintertime projects to come, I'm sure, and before we know it spring will be here!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Winter Projects...and Super Bowl LII...

I was going to save this for last, but it's WAY too important, so let's just get it over with, ok?

THE EAGLES WON THE SUPER BOWL!!!



It sure was an exciting game!  Other than the outcome, which was a looooooong awaited win, the game was so much fun to watch, because both teams played really well!  We were biting our nails until the end, and let's just say that the dog that was napping at halftime...well he couldn't have slept if he'd wanted to in the final two minutes of that amazing game!

And the guy in the recliner?  He wasn't feeling well...and he was cheering for the Patriots...and he went to bed at half time.  I'm not so sure how easy it was for him to go to sleep either!

Fly Eagles Fly...

Ok, enough of that.

Before Christmas, we had a building project going on behind the barn...


We wanted some more storage space for some equipment here at home, so Jim consulted and got estimates from a couple of Amish crews, chose one, and they put this addition up in just a few days...


The Amish man who did the original design/estimate was tragically killed in a buggy accident the day after Thanksgiving.  His grandson who was heading the project made a few adjustments to the plans, and did a really great job with the building...




The only thing different about the project now, is that they added some rolling doors on the west side of the shed (facing you in this picture) to protect the contents inside from blowing snow and rain.  They were added a week or so later, and we're quite happy with the end result.


It even seems to help keep the west side of the barn a little warmer, by blocking the wind!

That's our big project for this winter!

Fly, Eagles, Fly...

Friday, January 26, 2018

Jolyn...

Jolyn. 

She's just a kitty...and a calico at that...which means that she's an unlikely choice for me to fall in love with.  She's independent, smart, a good hunter, and has the uncanny ability to run underneath the cows without spooking them!  They ignore her time and again, as she runs anywhere she pleases without getting so much as the swish of a tail.  That's asking a lot of a cow.

This morning I found her curled up in a pile of hay in front of this first calf heifer.  You can barely see her, but she found a warm spot to take a quick snooze...



This picture was taken a couple of years ago...


She makes a warm scarf on cold mornings!