I planted a garden and have harvested a few things, fought the bugs, and marveled at how big some of the squash plants are getting. My tomatoes are producing lots of green tomatoes, but some type of stink bug is sucking the juice out of them faster than they can ripen.
|Peppers, Tomatoes, Squash & Cabbage from the garden|
|Fresh Black Prince Tomato, Yellow Cherry Tomato, & some refrigerator pickles Mom made|
The sheep and I have finally worked out a mutually beneficial system on grazing the front area of my place. If you remember they have been rather at loose ends since all the leader sheep died over the last few years. I couldn't get them to calm down and stay in most of the areas on the front of my land without penning them tight. And even if that worked, they would then refuse to enter the area the next time--contrary to popular belief they aren't stupid. (Now stubborn..yes) It was a real battle and very frustrating. However, the solution was happened on accidentally when I was late putting them out front one night to graze. They seemed much more calm during that time, so now after all the chores are done and it's almost time to go in the house with the dogs, I will turn them on the front, while I'm giving Cal and Willow their evening meal. I leave the gate open to the paddock and they graze up until dark and then go out again at first light. They have kept the front 'mown' pretty well. Not the short 'just so' cropped look from the lawnmower, but I like it. It looks a bit messy but it's short and green and full of life--lots of little flowers everywhere. I've mown it three times this summer and will do so again when we get a good rain, but this is lots less than if I had to keep it all short on my own.
|Millie Cuteness Overload|
|Millie & her big Green Frog|
Cleanup on the hen house has finally been accomplished. It was a hot nasty, NASTY, job, but the worst of it is done. I'd let things go over the last few years with only a few hens so there was layer of about four to six inches of very dry chicken litter on the floor. I got that all shoveled and swept out (that sounds so quick and easy...) while wearing a mask. Then I hosed everything down inside, but since it didn't drain as well as I expected it turned into some drama and hard work getting the water out. It needs another rinse off, but we will see. Now I need to do some repairs around the outside edges and install new nest boxes, and fix the roosts...and, AND....get some new chickens! I'm kinda excited about that. Ready for fresh eggs, and I miss seeing their little bobbing shapes around the pasture, not to mention their role as scrap disposal systems. I only plan to get about six hens, or so and would like to get young adults.
There is a new stray cat. I'm pretty sure it's a young tom. It took a little while to figure out there was a new cat in town as he looks an awful lot like my two elderly outside girl cats. Only they are more portly. He comes up every night and talks to the cats in the catio, and that was what gave him away. My girls talk but it's more a screamy meow, and his is rather a melodic mewmewmew. So anyway, he has a date with the live trap and a trip to the vet for tutoring, then I guess I'll just release him and if he wants to stop in and eat he can. Not really needing anymore kitty residents. I don't think he is very wild but he is spooked. I suspect he was dumped. He is a beautiful silver grey and if I could find a farm home for him I'd be pleased! Only this isn't the worst of it in the cat news. There is a kitten.
|One very sad misused kitty|
|First Meal at Hotel Paradise--he was thin and scraggly looking|
|Lip Smacking Good seemed to be the verdict|
|A week later and Ashley is consoling him--you can see the 'oddness' about his rear hip and leg|
|Feeling better but still favoring the leg --you can see how he sticks it straight out|
|Off to the vet yet again.....|
Off to the vet we went the next day. Without expensive tests and x-rays nothing obvious presented itself, but the vet's best guess was either a fractured pelvis or some nerve/ligament damage. He was also concerned that some of it's organs had been displaced and herniated, but everything 'sounded' good in the lungs and heart. So back home we went with predisone and 'bed rest' instructions. The next day he took a turn for the worse (yes, it was a he) or I thought he did. Because it was so intensely hot I gave in when the vet discussed keeping him for observation and anti inflammatory injections over the next several days. He was much perkier by Monday. Now three weeks later he is more steady on his feet and the 'problem' seems to be located in the right hip area. He does well until he gets tired then you can tell it bothers him. I am keeping him confined in a dog crate in the breezeway during the day and he has a small exercise pen set up under the tree that he goes into before and after I get home from work for some change of scenery. I also let him follow me around the yard for a short time in the evening. (edited to add: he is loose in the yard when I'm home now) He isn't as energetic as most kittens his age, but he is coping and hopefully will heal --the vet thought thirty days of restricted movement would be beneficial. He was only about seven weeks when I found him. Our best guess is he probably got thrown from a vehicle that he hitched a ride on...but we'll never know for sure. Now he needs to go back for shots soon (edited: he had those this past weekend) as they felt he was too young and weak the first time around. I have a lead on a possible home for him, but have to have assurance that he is wanted before we proceed. I will also keep him until he is hopefully better. (edited again: possible home has never gotten back with me...) He is very cute as all kittens are, but I cannot offer him much here. He would be an outside kitty in an unsafe environment, albeit well fed and loved. Praying for a home for him! His temporary name is Tang and he is a very self assured young kitten and I think he will have a ton of personality.
Last night I was thinking that it would soon be time to get the wood supply ordered for winter, not to mention the hay. It's been a strange year for hay--it was cool and wet for many days and so the first cut got delayed. Yet, we never really got any good long soaking rains. Just days of drizzle and clouds. The ground is very dry and it doesn't take much to bake it. I'm hoping though that we get some good rains as farmers are finally getting their first crop off the field and there should be time for a second cutting provided we get some moisture. It's hard to think about winter... the older I get the less I cope with cold and inclement weather and having to drive on slick roads. (especially the latter!)
|Making himself to home on one of the many outside cat bed/nooks--needs lots of naps|
|Collie Carpet--Minty, Ashley & Carly's favorite place to spend a hot day (inside in the AC!)|
I guess that is it for now. Hope you are having a good summer in your neighborhood!