Monday, December 28, 2020

Bringing Home the Hens

In March our lives changed. I doubt that any of us were prepared for what was to come. Who would have thought that Main Street also a state highway in our little town--and yours--would be empty? 

Life, though, at the Garden Spot just a couple of blocks south of the main highway continued on, quietly and steadily. The horses were glad to find fresh blades of green grass beneath the winter's thatch as March began to warm.

The Head Gardener prepared the garden, just as he did every other year.

He built an hot spot in the corner of the barn to start his tomatoes.


Mother Nature, unfazed by government mandates to social distant, wear masks, stay home, and wash hands, put on her Spring Show and we were so thankful that she didn't let us down.


To pass the time, I retreated to the  basement and built a replica of our Hen House. You can watch me build it on my other blog that I did keep up: When the Hens Come to Roost

   

I even made the chicken feeder and waterer.





Nothing like a basketful of fresh eggs!

I even put bears in the window like others did all over the country, only no one saw them since we are so far off o the road.


As 2020 ends, we are still social distancing, still hiding in the basement on these cold, wintery days, mostly because it's cold and snowy outside. We've stayed healthy and kept ourselves entertained. We look forward to a kinder, gentler year for 2021.

To you, my friends, Happy New Year. Be Well. Be Happy. 

Thank you for visiting. I'll be joining Angie for Mosaic Monday. See you there.





Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sending You our Holiday Wishes for A Joyous Season



Some time ago, Sundance fell. We don't really know when or  how, but he was badly hurt and lame in his right hind quarter. Jennifer sought the veterinary clinic and the round of tests and exams began, followed with attempts at physical therapies. The diagnosis was a broken pelvis. The vet felt that he would heal with stall rest where he was confined for six weeks. 

Months of lameness followed. It was painful to watch him as he'd take his daily walk to the front pasture. Some days he wouldn't even attempt the walk. Other days he'd only go half way. He was put on Prevacox, a arthritic anti inflammatory for dogs, but it didn't seem to help much. He went on CBD oil and we thought that he made some improvement then we changed brands and he had a set back. Jennifer tried acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage therapy but the cost became a burden and didn't seem to be working. Last summer he was so crippled that the end was inevitable  . Both the veterinary and the farrier' recommended putting him down. The vet prescribed short term a powerful pain reliever that would hard on his stomach to make him comfortable until the decision could be made. 

Sundance's movement began to improve slightly. He still was terribly lame, but he didn't seem to be in pain, nor did he show signs of stomach distress. Now months later he has improved noticeable. Jennifer found a therapist who does an electromagnetic treatment combined with massage; thus the white hose that you see over his back delivers the electric current. It seems hocus-pocus, unless you've had any chiropractic work done, you will understand the concept of using electric current to open pores to improve blood flow, especially to the injury. Along with the magnetic treatment, Nicole does  massage on the sore muscle tissue. He really is sore all over because he has to compensate for the damage done to the hind quarter.

Finally after several treatments, Sundance shows improvement. He will always limp, but now his gait seems more fluid, easier. The old boy still has spirit and would love to run out to his favorite grazing spot, and he tries. It is that effort that lets us know that he feels better and that his treatments are bringing him some relief. 



 Jennifer is very thankful that she has found Nicole who patiently and lovelingly works on Sundance. At first he refused to recognize that she was trying make him fell better, ignoring her. Now he seems to welcome her therapy. Horses have a way telling us what they are thinking.

Realistically we know that one day that very hard decision will have be made, but this 24 year old boy is going to be around a while longer, a lot longer, we hope.



His ears are forward. He's enjoying his massage.


When the sun goes down, the lights come on. We've put lights on our trees along the front road most years that we have been here. The trees are out growing their 3 strands of lights. We added lights to the fence, too. Two 400 light strands--the length longer than a football field.


The lights are hard to photograph at night, too; thus the blurry effect that I rather like.


We had a little visitor and I do mean little. Some how a nuthatch found his way inside. Actually it was pretty easy; we left the front door open. So there he was at the window looking out, wondering, I'm sure why he couldn't penetrate the glass.


He was rather tame. The Head Gardener was able to get him to sit in his hand.


Thinking that he really friendly, we decided to take more photos and then the little guy flew through the kitchen into thelivingroom and right into the back patio door that he hit full force and knock himself out.We worried that he had fatally injured himself. He sat motionless looking dazed and injured, but we put him in a spare bird cage and waited for him to come around. 

By bed time he had recovered and was ready to fly. 

We released him in the morning. All the HG had to was to open the cage door and he zoomed right out.

 

We're all lit up inside, too. We exchanged the everyday lights out of the chandelier, replacing them with colored lights. We don't get much light, but I love the effect.


The village is all set up. Several years ago I wrote my favorite post on the village. You can revisit it here:



Just playin' around.

I went with the traditional colors this year instead of my favorite pink tree, using the multicolored lights on the tree and the vintage decorations that represent a hundred years of family memories with ornaments from grandmother's tree, my mom's tree, and our first tree in 1974. I've collected those battery operated candles that are self timers. They light for 5 hours then go to sleep. They are so realistic and so much safer.



Even though I scaled back in decorating, I did decorate the tree for the kitchen dedicated to the birds. 


This village looks pretty much the same. I'm getting better and setting it up after all of these years.

Some of my friends are not just scaling back, they are done with Christmas. No decorating. No gift buying. Maybe some gift cards. I'm getting slower this year. I have yet wrap a single package; nor have I baked a single cookie. We just don't need the sweets tempting us as we watch our sugar intake and weight.  I still have the spirit and love the holiday season.  

I've got a busy week ahead.

This year's village. It looks pretty much the same as it always does.





Thanks for visiting.

I'm linking with Mosaic Monday. See you there.



 

Monday, March 9, 2020

Spring is in the Air

"It smells like spring. Come out and smell the air," said the Head Gardener as he left the house to feed the horses. I obliged, taking a long deep breath of clean, freshly washed air. A light rain had dampened the patio and softened the lawn and indeed spring was in the air. Still officially weeks away, Spring is making her intentions clear at the Garden Spot this morning.

Last week I was lamenting the lack of moisture, hoping for rain and took the photo on the left for Instagram to show that Garden Spot was beginning to green up. Wanting to show how much the rain has helped stimulate the grass, I took a second photo today, but the shadows don't help to accomplish my goal.


Spring bulbs offer more proof that Spring is lurking about. In the front courtyard the crocus and tulips have a good start along with the wild hyacinth ready to burst forth in bloom. While in the newly planted bed at the end of the barn circle, the tulips are barely poking through the ground, making me nervous that they won't bloom at all. Be patient, I tell myself; they are young.


When the HG is gone, I am on chore duty which isn't a big deal: feed the horses and the hens. There is a certain perk to chore duty: a handful of fresh eggs. The ladies are now producing 3-6 eggs a day. I think I'll make some deviled eggs today. 



We've lost more fish, some now in the large pond. Yet Big Boy the koi has survived. I'm so glad. We lost the other koi last year when a great blue heron took it. 


As the garden comes to life and the gardening catalogs arrive, we can't help but begin to plan the garden work that will begin in a few days. We have five acres, so there is a lot to do. Some of those chores were neglected last year as we prepared for a wedding here, so some things got out of hand. Here's my list of TO-DO in the garden:

  1. Prune and feed Roses in front court yard
  2. In the center garden, rake away dead debris and top dress with compost to help discourage the bindweed. I've been doing research on how to control bindweed. There are 3 approaches: Round-up, aside from the risks, it does not reach the roots so only the surface plant dies and will regrow; cloth or plastic weed barrier only cover up the plant and it is strong enough to grow out from underneath the weed barrier; finally, composting or changing the soil make-up. The roots grow very deep and are very hardy and the plant like this Colorado clay, but it does not like compost. We will have the local nursery deliver a load and where the bindweed grows, we will top dress and water like crazy--another thing bindweed doesn't like, water--with the hopes of at least reducing it.
  3. The pastures and lawn need fertilization, which my husband will spread either using his 4-wheeler or the golf cart to spread the fertilizer. 
  4. Replace all of the drip system that the dog tore out. Ugh.
And that is a partial list. Mostly maintenance in early spring.

So as the days warm, we will be spending more time outside enjoying the sun and doing what we love the most, tending plants. 

What's on your garden list? 

Thanks for visiting. I'll be joining Angie for Mosaic Monday.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Some Bunny Loves You

Good-bye February. You were a brutally cold month. Hello March. Please be gentle with us. As February left us shivering and wishing for Spring, March came in like a lamb this morning--no wind, but March gifted us with a skiff of snow. 

I never know what my one daughter will come up with next. Yesterday it was a photo shoot for the the rabbits. The three granddaughter have show rabbits, so we had a photo session yesterday.

First up was the test, Peter. Peter is an 11 year old Himalayan who arrived with the Easter Bunny when Elinore was just three. Peter is not a show rabbit. He's too old and neutered. He is just a love pet who lives in Ellie's bedroom.




Next up, Midnight, Little Lily's bunny. While Lily is too young for 4-H she does take him to the open shows and while he is generally the only Dutch and places well, he did well with the competition at his last show.


Meet Texico, a red rex, Mom's bunny. She hasn't showed him yet, but he is registered and show quality. His coat is like velvet.


And then the newest baby, Blue. Even though she is very allergic, the middle granddaughter Lucy bought her own rabbit to show. He is known a Blue Rex known as an "otter" because of his white belly. 
 (I really don't know why).


These are Ellie's last two babies of her first litter of babies. Now about six months old and not show quality they are looking for new homes. The boy on the left is a seal point Himalayan while his sister is a lavender because her points are lighter. They are very sweet and very gentle, having been handled since birth. They will make excellent pets for children.



They weren't the most cooperative sometimes.










And Fritz the pup got his portrait taken, too. 


And the horses, but they weren't into getting glamor shots.

  

Here at the Garden Spot, we are really anxious for Spring to arrive. The pond has finally thawed completely while the fish just hang, waiting to warn up. We really have a mess in the bottom.



The dreary brown landscape is as dry as it looks. Rain would be nice, but I'm sure that there is more snow in our future.


The Head Gardener fired up the rototiller; the garden is ready for a good dressing of compost.


If you look really close, you will see the horses at the far end of the hayfield. They were excited to get out back this morning.


Brody's favorite pass time: heckle the hens. He sneaks up on them and they go running to the henhouse.



The girls survived the winter, all looking fat and sassy, four of them laying eggs, others in the middle of a serious molt.



So there you have it: a quiet weekend at the Garden Spot.

Thanks so much visiting. Join me at Angie's for Mosaic Monday.

Just a Hint of Spring with a Dose of Cuteness

It's not safe to say that Winter has made his exit. He's still hanging around waiting to surprise us. We know the routine: freezing ...