Friday, April 30, 2021

And FINALLY....the One with a Zillion Random photos... it is....the "catch up" post.  Random glimpses of life since 16 that don't fit in other posts and maybe should just be left on the camera. LOL 

Nolan and Jamin BOTH made it home on Sunday the 18th.  It ironic they both fell asleep in the living room. I guess they come home when they're ready to crash! LOL 


Alex called in and was told he didn't need to show up for jury duty. 

I've been slowly testing my feet out...frankly they hurt all the time, I may as well walk a bit. Ice, Ibuprofen, stretches, inserts and new shoes. I'm walking 1.5 miles most mornings. 

Stacia wanted to go for a run. I went along for a bike ride....enjoying the weather. 

Our home was visited by a red robed monk? Nah, it's Stacia's birthday gift to Allie. This thing is amazing...a blanket with a hood, cuffs and pockets. 

Allie turned 17. 

Millie was on hand to be helpful! 

I don't know...maybe a bone? 

I continue to nudge Grandpa out for a walk every few days. He loves the ability to sit down when he wants to. LOL 

Selfie's are a challenge.

Alex pulls trampoline parts from the ice and sets up the trampoline. We moved it around for a few days to aid in melting the snow under it. Yeah - it's an Alaskan thing they aiding of spring. 

Nolan is working on his 3rd class for this session of WGU. The VA requires him to finish 18 credits every 6 months. He's pushing....I think the sun was a great help. 

I don't have photos but this would be as good a spot as any to mention how hard Stacia and Allie are pushing with school. I'm proud of them. They are up early and sticking to their schedules.  I think they may both finish this year's work early in May. Then it will be up to me to get the paperwork done. LOL 

Millie  knows when the "forever treat" comes out she is either going to be banned from the table or go into the kennel. 

Selfie anyone? 

Walks are slow, because walking is slow....and also because Dad loves to pick up rocks along the way. 

The chickens are very happy to be out in the yard again! The rooster, Pietro, keeps flying over the fence and then racing along the fence line all day. He can't seem to figure out how to get back inside the fence. 

The adult Gherkins know they are ALWAYS welcome to drop by - and they do. We see Arielle and the boys quite often. Cy, Carrie and Livie usually drop by on the weekends. Jamin drops in when he's got a house to show in the valley or a moment to breathe....but once a month we have a family dinner. The idea is to celebrate any holidays, birthdays and anniversaries on that date. This month I FORGOT to roll them all together so we had Easter dinner with everyone, BreZaak invited us all over to celebrate Bella...but we decided to take advantage of Allie turning 17 to get together for another family blow out. CoRielle were in Washington and BreZaak couldn't make it...but the rest of us had a fun night together. 

We SORELY miss Bre when it's time to sing Happy Birthday....we may need to get some vocal lessons.

Livie is willing to help blow out the candles...and sympathizes
with Allie over the pig hat. 

All told Allie had 3 celebrations - I think she has well and truly had a birthday! LOL 

Michael is shoring part of the row boat. He will add handles which will make it easier for us to carry, and allow us to add a trolling motor. 

The girls and I hung our hammocks  - and promptly were called into battle with the giant mosquitoes. The mosquito magnet will eventually catch up with them - or so we hope. 

View from the hammock

WHUT? Look what showed up on my van! 

 Have I mentioned how very happy I am to be able to walk outside again in the mornings? 

We ordered a few dresses for the girls to try for the upcoming wedding.....

Since Alex didn't have jury duty he took advantage of a bit of time off to reconnect with chickens, to work out, to play video games and  help out with a couple of projects around here.  Who knew chickens could be so "centering." 

Another walk...they probably don't walk with me because they don't want a photo with morning hair. 

Stacia has begun playing with ideas for a small wedding cake....

Millie is willing to try out her new bed if the humans will join her.

It's been a full couple of weeks....and it is only going to get busier as the weather changes and we move OUTSIDE. 

*I'm nearly caught up....I need to back date a post on produce and Millie....nearly caught up. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Millie's Uniquely Quirky Look

 Millie. Millie is a labradoodles. She has hair not fur. She gets cold in the winter. We let it grow. We TRIED to stay on top of the grooming but we have accepted the fact she will be shaved to the skin when she sees the groomer.  We don't regret not having her cut short in the winter - but we WILL stay more on top of it from here on out.....

The thing is the groomer can't get her in until June 1st...and she is going to be a mess climbing in the woods with this hair....

She has begun chewing on her feet, her fur...a bit of exploring, the snipping of one section of matted hair or "matts" as Stacia calls it...and we discovered the inside of the matts are full of dirt. We decided since the groomer said she'd probably need to shave her to the skin....we would begin cutting the matts out.....make her a bit more comfortable.  It should also make shaving her in June much easier. 

We started with her front legs. 

We are amazed at how fast her hair grows. Even where we cut it to the skin to get out a matt, she's already got fuzz coming back. 

With both legs done we moved on to her hind legs, back and face. She doesn't like us to do her chest, but we're getting there.  She may look uniquely quirky, but her attitude is still all Millie. 

We just wanted you to know when you see Millie - she doesn't have an odd ailment, we're just learning how to give a labradoodle a hair cut. LOL 

We used to groom our cocker spaniel...I bet we could learn to do Millie...but she doesn't sit will be much easier to take her to the groomer. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Michael is a Genius!

 Check this out! Michael considered our needs, did some research and got to work in the garage. 


We'll be able to store several bags of feed in here. There are four feeding spots...the feed will be dry, they can't get in and scratch it all around the coop/yard.  Pietro - our hatched egg - cute hen which turned out to be a BIG rooster...surveys the yard. He's not so sure about changes. 

Michael is a patient Chicken dad. He demonstrates how it works. 

They are willing to check it out - but they aren't convinced. 

Aha....I should have guessed Golda would go first....

Very cool. This is a great addition to our chicken yard. Way to go, Master Chicken Whisperer....

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Spring Garden

 It was April 20th and I was DYING to get into the garden. We spent some time cleaning up dog poop (and moose poop) and then I went to check on the condition of the garden. Yes, I AM in a tank - it was in the 60's.  It is amazing to me a girl raised in Africa and the tropics CAN acclimate to this weather. I would have hopped for more of the garden to be cleared by this time in the year. 

We leave these hoops up and stretch plastic over them in the spring to gain a week or so jump....the moose got tangled in it this year..... we'll need to fix this. 

The snow this year came fast and furious. It usually snows, melts, snows and melts and THEN snows for good. This year it came and didn't leave...and we were definitely caught unawares. We found garden tools, toys...the "corn" wasn't harvested, a few tomato plants were still up, flowers weren't removed from their tire planters....

The greenhouse Michael built over the two beds last year (top of photo) needs plastic to be put back on it.  He had wisely removed all he could as the wind and snow does a number on the plastic. 

It's breakup....waters runs down from the mountain, down the street, into a corner of our place, down our yard and my garden is the lowest spot...water is now starting to run around the beds and into the garden. It's wet and swampy at this point. 

April 21st, the snow melts  bit more and we discover's not ALL about poop. We left our sweatshirts out when we harvested potatoes and it snowed......the treasures we find in the spring. 

Plastic installed....I've planted some seedlings and put them in here in hopes it will stay warm enough for them to germinate. It beats the dirt and seeds all over the house. We shall see. I may end up having to buy starts this year. 

I've started....

The beds are melted today....and more water is running through...soon it will be patches of snow instead of patches of dirt. It won't take many weeks above 60 for this to melt. 

April 25th - yep - 5 short days and the snow is's wet but will soon be workable. If only I could talk the girls into seeing how fun this is....I spend many happy, praying hours out here. 

Black plastic covers most of the areas not covered by raised beds. The tires held flowers last year. I may plant potatoes in them this year. 

Last year, the left foreground had potatoes, nothing was in the left rear. The right rear was corn - which didn't have long enough to mature and the corner shows the greenhouse over the beds...which is where we had tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Our melons blossom, we get tiny melons and they fall off. Any ideas what we can do? 

Oh, those moose....I even found moose poop IN the bed. 

It's ghetto but we are desperate to use the space and keep the chickweed under control. We spread cardboard in the middle section, put flowers around and this chair...there is nothing better than sipping a seltzer water and watching the garden be watered.....ah....the winter is over. It really is. Summer will be here in a bit....Winter.Is.Over. 

We have dreams. Michael would like to build a BIG hoop house to grow corn and melons in. I'm not sure it will work - but we have plenty of space.

We need to burn the big "bush" in the middle of the garden and deal with the weeds in the far side. There is some good soil under the weeds. 

I'd like to find "something" to line the paths which would mark out paths between beds and keep the weeds down. Ideas? 

I like the middle section - maybe we'll put in some sort of rock work in the center, with a little firepit and flowers would be a fun place to have friends come for garden tea parties. 

I'd love to build a real fence with arches etc...but the electric has worked and we weren't 100% sure we'd want this big of a garden. We've still not used all the space. We used about 1/3 the first year, 2/3's last year....maybe we'll get it all used this year. 

Lots of plans - it's so MUCH work. Michael reminds me  each year we are making was a weedy horse pasture. We won't get it all done in one year - but we have no plans to move out....

I'd like to figure out plants and get some landscaping done around the house - but then again - I've not a clue where to start. LOL