Saturday, April 30, 2016

So many new things.....

Today, I spent most of the day at work. Nothing really exciting there...just putting together 3 ring binders for the next few classes of students. After work I came home and changed into work clothes then headed back to MUTC to walk the woods in search of the ever elusive Morel Mushrooms. I was talking to one of the guards at the gate this morning and he told me of a spot he had been a few days ago and was able to find 30+. I have been out a few times this spring and have yet to find any. Once I get to the area I wanted to search, I changed into my boots, grabbed my walking stick and onion bags and headed out. Walking through the woods is a great way to unwind from the past few weeks of stress. It is so peaceful out there. The weather was great for a hike. Temps in the upper 60's and partly cloudy. I start walking just taking in the scenery. Soon I came across these two old trees. Their lifespan complete yet still useful for small animal homes.
After a few minutes, I headed out again, eyes to the ground....still searching for the ever elusive Morel's. It wasn't long before I realized I had walked into an old abandoned cemetery. There was a sign off to the side, warning that these grounds are protected. Most of the grave markers were just thin stoned, the engraving long gone. I was able to read a few names with dates.
It was sad to see that this place was so forgotten. There was a single wire " fence" around the area...marking what seemed to be the boundaries. Several large trees had fallen across the cemetery, undoubtedly across a few graves.
It is sad to think that the families of these people most likely have no idea that they are here. After carefully walking through I started out once again...still searching for Morels. Every once in a while I would look ahead and scan the area to decide which way to go. That is when I spotted this in the woods.
Because this area is a Military training center, I am sure this was strategically placed here with a purpose. It was a little spooky seeing this laying off on its side and with all of the damage. By the time I found this, I had been in the woods a few hours, so I decided it was time to head home, empty handed. Another hunt, ending with disappointment. Not even ONE Morel. After I got home, a dear friend contacted me to let me know she had picked up two little bucks. One for her and one for me. Our little Herd Sire is absolutely adorable. He is a registered Mini Nubian with ice blue eyes. The lady we got them from said that our little one could possibly throw "moon spots" That would be fantastic! He is just a baby right now...but so adorable. I would like you to meet Lazarus.
Those ears! I can't wait to get him home...and love on him. I am hoping to be able to find a registered Doe for him by Fall. So now that I was able to spend a few hours in the woods..and unwind..I feel I am ready for the new week ahead. We will be working I believe 21 days straight. This will be a long few weeks. Somehow I need to get the gardens finished prepped, and start planting. Before we know it we will be eating fresh from the garden again. This makes me smile.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rain....rain...and well, rain.

It rained is raining today.....and it is supposed to rain tomorrow.(Thursday) Friday looks OK but rain over the weekend, both days. I did get a chance to go mushroom hunting yesterday. I walked about 10 miles in 4 different wooded areas...for 3 hours. NOT ONE MUSHROOM! Frustrating!! Maybe after all of the rain...I will get another chance to go again. Work is going to be really busy over the next 3 weeks so I don't know if I will get a chance to go or not. I will be really sad if I don't get any Morels this year. My potato plants are just starting to peek through the mulch covering. YAY! It is such a good feeling to finally see something growing in one of the gardens. The strawberry plants are growing great, blooming like crazy! However, I have been battling a mole over by that garden. I WILL win this battle. Hopefully BEFORE it eats everything I plant. The cats seem to not be interested, or doing their job. So either I am over feeding them and they have become lazy....the rain is keeping them from hunting that area because it holds so much water..or this is one stealthy mole. I have never used Mole traps but this might just have to be the year I do. YUK! This morning I must head out to get the chores finished a bit early because I need to run in to work for a few hours. It is wet and foggy and quite cool out there, in the upper 50's. Time to get this " show on the road"

Monday, April 25, 2016

Whew! What a week....lets start THIS week off different!

Last Monday....was a " typical " start out. Hubby got up and went out with a do a few little side jobs....mainly just to get him out of the house. He has been laid off work since December 2015 and has been in a slump trying to find a job. At his age, that is no easy task..he is 56. So, after he left, I set out to work on the little gosling pen. I was out there a few hours when I get a call from our friend. Hubby had a massive heart attack, and they were at the hospital. Luckily they were only 2 blocks away when he had it. The Doctor said if he had been 30 seconds longer, that they would not have been able to bring him back. They had to shock him twice to get a normal rhythm. We almost lost him. He is doing a LOT today after I get the morning chores finished...make sure everyone outside has an ample supply of water, ( since it is going to be 85 degrees today) I am going to go take a LONG walk in the woods...and if I happen to find some Morels...well, that will make my day even BETTER! LOL Now, for the little Gosling pen. My big geese have a decent size yard so I decided to put the gosling pen in the goose yard. This way they can protect them from the " monsters" that want to eat them...and they can get to know each other as the littles grow. I had a volunteer come by and donate her time to help me with this. Peyton has helped me several times out here...she is a great young lady. I started with a small crate that I used to have call ducks in. This crate will need a bit more work, but it is sturdy enough for these babies.
Once my helper got here, we added rabbit fencing to the outside of the yard, covering the original "fence" and I had made the lid for the yard, covered with rabbit fence and added hinges. There is still some work to do to finish this little place...I want to add some metal roofing to the house, then paint the wood around the yard and the little house....I need to add rabbit fence to the little window and a latch to the window cover...and add large rocks around the outside perimeter. Once I am finished, it should be a fairly well protected place for the little goslings.
This morning after chores, I am going to load the lawn tractor up and take it to get work done. I hope this doesn't take too long. I really need to get this mower back soon! Once I get hubby back home and settled in...I am going to take some personal time and take a long walk in the woods....and hopefully find a few Morels. Or a LOT!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Finally Spring....Gardening...YES!

Today started with a trip to town. This trip to the feed mill was one of those you love once it is all put away...but dread putting it away. 15 ` 50 pound bags of feed...all put up before noon. I am so glad THAT is done. Now I wont have to worry about feed for at least a month....well, for the most part anyways. I might have to grab 6 or 8 more, for the pigs. From looking at the weather future cast...I think...dare I say it?? Spring is FINALLY here. Temperatures in the 70's and 80's for highs, and the lowest is tonight at 48 and after that, lows in the 50's. Yes, I think Spring has sprung! We worked outside most of the afternoon and was able to get quite a bit done today. I am hot, sweaty, sore, tired....and I am LOVING IT! This makes me happy.......
This little apple tree should produce quite well this year. It is going to be the best year yet with it....I hope. But, this next picture makes me even happier!
Do you see it!?? There is a honey bee getting itself some yummy apple pollen...and doing what bee's do for fruit trees. Last week I was able to get about 20 pounds of seed potato's the hubs and I moved 4 loads of mulchy type stuff, clean out from the barn over the winter, on the potato rows after I watered them.
This will help keep them moist, and keep the weeds down. I also planted the onions today.....3 dozen of "Kandy Sweet"
I planted these last year, and boy oh boy, they ARE sweet onions. We really enjoyed them. Hubby tried to till the area for the beets....still too wet. I think maybe by Monday it will be dry enough. I then concentrated on the strawberry patch. I have been saving the cardboard for a few months now so I took it out and laid it between the rows and up to the plants...then covered it with the same stuff from the barn. I only had enough energy to do about half of 2 rows. Tomorrow I will get busy early..and HOPE to get it finished. The strawberries are blooming like mad, so I need to finish this soon!
Oh, and this is on one of my Peach trees. I am not sure what it is but I am leaving it alone. I don't think it will harm the tree...just some critter cocoon...
So, tomorrow there will be more of moving barn mulch....and planting the rhubarb plant I bought. I am hoping in about 3 years, I will have some yummy rhubarb for baking with. So, what is your weather like? Are you able to get into the garden?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Oh for crying out loud!

I wish there was a "magical" switch someone could flip on so Spring would just warm up already! We have had a few nice days....warm enough that the garlic is starting to come up...the strawberries are blooming...the peach trees and apple trees are blooming...and now..UGH! The weatherman said we will have several days coming up that we will wake up in the mid to upper 20's. I had to cover the little peach trees the other day....I was lucky that the winds were not too strong. I was worried that they might break branches with the weight of the sheets. Whew! So, now that they are in full bloom...looks like we are going to get a few more days of hard freeze. Where is that switch?? I NEED to get planting in the garden. I say " need" because I NEED fresh greens and such. Oh, I could go buy veggies at the grocer....however with all of the recent recalls I fear the "fresh" veggie isle. But I crave fresh greens. COME ON SUMMER!!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Shearing a trip....and a super windy day!

Shearing sheep is one of my LEAST favorite tasks here at Heavens Door Acres. Luckily, I only have one Ewe to shear every spring. Her name is Laura. She is the last Shetland Sheep we will ever own. Not because I don't like them. On the contrary. I just LOVE the Shetland breed. They are small, easy to manage and have wonderful personalities. However, I am just getting to old to be shearing sheep. I don't have electric shears, nor do I have electric out at the barn....yet, so I have to shear her by hand. April 1st, was shearing day. One of my neighbors volunteered to help so I took her up on it. I am sure she will never offer again, after the long day we had on the cold floor of the barn, for 4 hours! *sigh* The scissors I had were not the it took way too long. Poor Laura suffered through, she behaved so well. Because it was taking so long, we didn't get to trim her up and make her look "good" so she is looking pretty rough for now. I will have to give her a week, then get her down and finish the trimming. Here are the before and after pictures. Don't laugh...Here she is in all her glory....
And poor Laura after we "finished" shearing....
My poor Laura...but at least she feels better. Today I had to take my big boy, Caesar, to the vet to be weighed so I could get his flea pills. He is a big boy... 74 pounds....and very protective. He has a mean bark that makes some peoples blood run cold. However....he is terrified of riding in my truck..this is how he rode to the vet and home... big farm dog rode all scrunched up in the floor board of my S-10. I tried to get him to ride in the seat next to me, he would not come out of the floor board. I stopped on the way home to get him a hamburger as a treat for being so good at the vet. He was so scared he would NOT eat his hamburger in the truck. Only after we got home, and he got out of the truck, did he want his treat. *sigh* Today the winds were crazy!! There was a constant wind of 20 - 30 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph! There are several reports of power outages and downed trees. We have a lot of branches down...and my poor old barn really took a beating. Looks like I will have to call the insurance company tomorrow.
With the one piece missing, the hay inside is exposed. Luckily I had a large cardboard box and was able to get the hay covered. It didn't cover all 70 bales....but at least that corner is mostly covered. I am hoping I can get it fixed before we get too much more rain. Now the weather man is saying we are supposed to get a few nights of FREEZING temps. I really am ready for this cold weather to be gone, ready to get in the garden and to have fresh vegetables!