It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Let Down

We've all experienced it I am sure. Walking out of a football stadium, your team won, it was a great game, you screamed your lungs out, but then the let down begins to hit and by the time you're home you have waves of, "hip hip hooray" mixed with waves of, "quick lets dial back to the middle of the game and live it all over again".

So you're not a football fan, how 'bout Christmas, when the last leftover is eaten and the tree gets put away and it is still a month or two before any of the pretty spring flowers show up to brighten your world... .

So you don't celebrate the pagan holiday Christmas, how 'bout you're driving home from a great vacation, you caught a zillion fish, you hiked farther than you ever thought you could, the weather was constantly perfect, the trailer parked and hooked up in minutes, or all the tent stakes were in the bag and the food never got soggy in the cooler and the organic, non-toxic mosquito repellent actually worked this time. But now you are heading home. Excited to sleep in your own bed, but.... but you had such a good time you really wish it could go on forever, as if you were stuck in a good groundhog day movie.

That's where I'm at, let down. My weekend company pulled out of our driveway at about threeish on Sunday, Mike and Rebecca stayed for dinner, the adults even played a little Mario cart, (don't bug me, I know we are way behind the fun and games curve but, "Hi my name is Lanny, and I'm a gameaholic and it all began with pinball." Yes, my family has had to suffer for the sins of the mother) but then even the Bowermans had to go home, (they successfully stepped over my dead body flung at the doorway) and there I was, partyless.

So yesterday I wandered around aimlessly throwing slug bait here and there, wondering where I should plant this or that, digging up a few weeds in the driveway, watching all the different finches pluck the seeds out of the dandelion puffs.

I'll be okay in a day or two.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Help, Help the Weeds Have My Hand! They're Pulling Me Down Into....

I know, long title. Is there a rule on title length? Somehow I just know Bethel is shaking her head again, as if my poor spelling isn't bad enough.

My title might not be short but I have grown a little short on time. So I'll leave you with a few of my pictures and some places to visit that will keep you entertained and moved ifn' I don't get back here before Monday or Tuesday.

The_Fishing_Guy has some "guess what this is" each week I thought I'd give you a little challenge and ask you to see if you can figure this one out. And unlike that nice Fishing Guy I will not give you any clues, you're too stinking bright Dear Reader I am not giving you any hints.

Tipper ran a nice series of posts on an old spring at their home place and ended it with the song I Shall Not Be Moved. I wanted to post the lyrics, but found that there are a lot of versions and none of the ones that I found were the ones that her family sung. I love to put up her blog and just listen to her family's music while I work on stuff. I too feel like a tree by the water, from His love I shall not be moved!"

Jennifer put out her gourds already, sheesh you people who live in nice early growing seasons, and made note of her livestock panel that she planted them by for support. So I thought I would show you part of the fence that Dirt built me out of the shorter hog panels (when steel wasn't so stinking expensive) and a little snippet of next week's flower subject. I'd love to give you a long shot of the fence but that would show just way too many weeds.

Not only did Dirt use the panels for a cool looking fence that holds up to honeysuckle vines and supports a few roses, but we also took some of the taller livestock panels and turned them into a hoop house where EBet grows her gourds - later - for now it will support our peas, if they ever get a move on. I thought they bragged about liking cold weather!

Here is a shot of the hoop it spans an old concrete floor, more on that on a farm tour. Look, there's Fluffy Joe again. I think he is following me around telling me to put the camera away and to get to work!
Kathy had a great historical piece and it reminded me that often the sisters related by ordinary human blood are not very similar to each other at all. Some great sisters are found in the family of God. I am truly grateful for both kinds for sure but I am looking forward to seeing the non-human-blood kind this weekend, some old, some new, some close at hand, some from up north and from far away lands.
Karen and Mildred are sisters in every way and have blogs I look forward to reading just like yours Dear Reader, Karen's for her reminders of God's great love and those in His Body for whom we need to remember in prayer, and Mildred's for her lovely posts about God's great creation, snippets of our history and some awesome recipes, one that I am going to make for my guests this weekend!
With that Dear Reader I hope I have left you with some new places to travel to. If those aren't new to you, you may find some others on my not so recently updated blog links on my side bar that you haven't seen yet. But for now I've got to skedaddle away from this here computer and all of the lovely blogs I usually visit or try to get around to at least. Typing with the one hand that the weeds didn't grab and eat is getting difficult!
Chin up no matter the situation Dear Reader, God has you in the palm of His hand, take a moment to give Him thanks, remembering that He is the Living Water that makes us like the tree beside its edge. Do not be moved! And I will try to do the same as I rip out weeds and knead bread (not at the same time).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mid Spring Seeds Arrive Today

I am conflicted. Last night I looked up on UPS tracker and found out that the seeds I just ordered on Saturday are arriving today. I thought that was groovy, being able to see when my seeds would be arriving. If I already had my six hundred peat pots I might be tempted to get planting today, have my peat pots lined up ready to go.

The package is passed from the UPS man to EBet, Anna Colleen swings the door of the propagation house open, as her knife blade zips through the packing tape. Lanny reaches in takes the first packet of pumpkin seeds out and begins to carefully but speedily drop seeds into the indentations of the starter soil that she finished putting in the neatly arranged pre-labeled peat pots just as the UPS truck driver rolled his chariot down the driveway tossing biscuits to the Great Pretender Fluffy Joe.

Ah, the pure fantasy of it all.

I got so busy yesterday I forgot to push publish ooopsie! Hope you are have a tremendous week Dear Reader!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Beaver Dam

Are you ready for the next chunk of the farm tour? Today I'll take you to the east side of the back forty where the beaver dam is. We need to do our annual release of the excessive height they put on during the intense spring rains. Dirt can't mow his lawn and some of my barn garden is flooded but the standing rain puddles are all dried up so we know that the excess water is because of those workaholic OCD beavers.

But first while I get my boots check out this scene I sat to this morning to take you on the tour! The window is kinda in the way isn't it. Hard for the camera to look past what we often are capable of over looking. Here, I'll step outside in front of the window...

There this is what I get to look out on every morning. Although earlier while I was fixing the photos up there was a light little morning fog dancing on the water top. I know, you don't have to say it, we are major blessed to live here, rent and all, totally blessed.

So this is the canal that links Big Pond, the one that is held by the beaver dam, and the one out our back window, the one we are looking at in the distance. During most of the summer the water level stays high enough that we canoe through the channels, it's fun and I won't deny that we, well at least I, pretend in my mind that I am up in some northern chain of lakes on a canoe trip

Standing on the same bridge but turned the other direction is the view of Big Pond, nearly the same view as last week, what a difference between rain and sun shine eh Dear Reader? not saying good or bad, like and need them both, just saying it's different.

Well now we're out here in the clearing, Dirt keeps trying to turn off the road too soon but I told him to turn at the big cottonwood. He sure is in a hurry. This is the first time he has come out to help with the beaver dam, for over twenty years I come out here just me and what ever of the girls want to join me, but make it a photo op for the blog and here he comes! Where is he any way?

Look at him way up there! Let spy on him you gotta see this!

Yup there he is, maddax over the shoulder and cheap beer in the hand! That's my Dirt!

Pretty scene when you pop out of the brush! Later this spring EBet or I will take you for a canoe ride under the snag and watch the birds clean out the nests.

So this is the pond side of the old dam, the one I came out and poked release holes in.

There, now you can see both sides. It has really grown over with grass and some bushes have taken hold in it too but it is under water in a lot of places because the beavers went down stream and higher.

Can you see the sticks under there? part of the old dam that served its purpose. You can see other dam remnants and the dens when you paddle around in the canoe.

Ah we made it to the other side of the dam, it was a little dicey in spots. Sure is pretty isn't it?

Dirt's getting impatient to start. So I'm going to hurry on over there to show you the cut out he makes. I can't believe he isn't waiting for you to see spot before he starts to whack away. Maybe his wanting to do it is because I'm usually never this late into mowing season before I do a little release and not for bloggy fame.

So this is the top of a beaver pond, fresh with mud and sticks due to all the recent rains. Beavers hate to hear rushing water.

But they'll hear a little today, well tonight really. The beaver wasn't always nocturnal, they became nocturnal when beaver pelts and felted beaver hats were all the rage. We see them every once in a while during the day because they seem to know they aren't really in any huge danger any more, especially here.
Most dam levels are controlled by putting a long pipe in the dam, long enough that the beavers can't get to either end to plug it up. but my method actually gives them something to do. Nothing like a little sky-is-falling feeling to keep everyone on their toes. Look how well all the doom and gloom scenarios work for people. Okay, I won't go all culture cranky today I'll leave it alone.

It's amazing though how fast and hard they work, this will be filled in before the sun rises again. I'd say tomorrow but really I would mean today. If we fast forwarded ourselves back to real time this would all be stopped up. I would have had you do a double back but I really have a lot to get to today around the house. We'll be out here again and I'll show you more of the details and how they patched our slice up.

Just a nice peaceful scene.

Now that we hustled out here with Dirt it's time to hustle back, too bad I didn't bring my inhaler with me, that wasn't very bright of me. Who knew it was for a zip and tromp today!

Hey look it is the first bloom of Rubus spectabilis, our native Salmon berry. And yes, in the summer we will have salmon berry shortcake!

This is the lower swampy area just before we cross the road to the big hay field that we saw last week.

And there it is, the bulk of the back forty from the east side looking west. There is plenty of holding room in this series of ponds to hold the water that we released.
It might run up on the lower parts of the road a little but it will go back down pretty quick.

When we turn around and look east we can see the mountain that was hiding so well last week.

It's really pretty with the grass in front. Well gotta get back to the farm and get some work done, those raspberries rarely finish tying themselves. You can stay here and relax if you like or skip a rock or two in the pond. If your dog came along you might find a stick to throw out for him.
Have a great rest of the day Dear Reader, I gotta get back to the farm and Monday morning. When you're done relaxing go take a tour of the rest of the world out there in bloggy land courtesy of God bless, good travels and have a great day!
Oh, and if you missed some of the other parts of the tour you can catch up over on the side bar under tours. See you again soon!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Sweet Fragrance

My flower for today is Hyacinthus orientalis, a spring flowering bulb, native to the southwestern parts of Asia, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria. France cultivated it for its contribution to the perfume industry and it became a part of the Netherlands famous flower bulb industry.

It will only continue to come up in areas where it will have a season of cold.

It is hard for me to turn down a fragrant flower. Hyacinthus orientalis is not only constant with its heady fragrance but I find it enchanting with its layers of glistening succulent perianths.

Hyacinthus orientalis are a great bulb for forcing but I am not that well disciplined and so prefer to bring in pots of them from the garden during their normal bloom time.

Once inside however and they quickly fill out, it is a hard give and take, for if left inside they are done well before their outdoor counterparts.

Making both Fluffy and I greatful for warm sunny spring days on which we can stretch out and enjoy the fragrance and beauty of the outdoors.

It can't help but bring a smile to our faces, a quicker beat to our hearts and a faithful gaze to the future.

For the Lord, through the reoccuring of beauty from winter's death, assures me again of His faithfulness to His children, to those who adore Him.

Lord God, you bring such a gentle peace to my spirit, a time of quite and calm when I need it the most.

You alone dear Lord have brought comfort:
You alone dear Savior have given me a living coolness that indeed slakes my thirst,
O Holy Spirit, Teacher and Counselor, you have brought warmth to console my weary frozen bones,
You alone Father, Creator and Maker of the whole earth, possess the richness and depth to enliven my mind, waft divine fragrance to clear and calm my heart.

For you and you alone, o Holy God have the consistency to strengthen my soul.

Your fragrance bathes me and makes me new.

Please Dear Reader, enjoy the day God has brought to you and take sometime to visit other corners of the world and the flowers that grow there.

In the House For A Break

After I dug through my ill devised corm and tuber storage to find a dismal return for my silly trouble, I decided to do a job that has been haunting me for quite a while. Trust me, jobs don't haunt me until it is way past time to do them so when I say it has been haunting me for a while I mean I am nearly to the point of, "what is the use of doing it at all."

The raspberries have been needing attention for quite some time. Ugh. And funny, the job does not get any easier if you let it go. All the cane that are bent over and tied need to come out and all the nice green already growing canes need to be tied in the usual horizontal position.

Raspberries produce on the new growth that sprouted up as new canes at the end of the growing season late last summer. The old canes aren't just old canes, they become dead canes, no use keeping them around.

And there are always the new canes that are confused and think that they can grow just anywhere on the farm. The will have to come out completely and be replanted in the bald spots or replanted some where else. I have a hard time even killing, tossing on the compost, the pathetic skinny ones let alone extras, so I try to find new homes for the nice ones.

Snipping off all of the ties from last year is kind the worst and least fun part.

They are unceremoniously tossed in a garbage bucket with some of the garbage I picked up along the way here.

Well my break is over, but I still feel like Moose aka Amie Jo.

Oh wait, here is my flower arrangement I made when I came in for a break. I used the pineapple from yesterday's dinner offering . There is a plastic cup down in the cavity.

This is my favorite unitasker, probably the only unitasker in my kitchen, because so far I can't think of anything I else I could use it for.
Hey I gotta go out and finish my job. See you later.
Oh duh I totally forgot to say that this is my pineapple cutter, you cut off the top of the pineapple put the little grippy end over the core and twist away, the harder you push while twisting, the thicker the slices seem to be, I'm a brut with everything so my slices are usually thick, I never think of having a lighter touch until it is too late! Mmmm my analyst would have something to say about that for sure.
Just came in for a drink, back to the mines, fields, uh raspberries.