Monday, March 29, 2010

Simply Monday....

There was laundry to do.  I always wash sheets on Monday and then a few other things, depending on how full the laundry chute is.  The sheets are already off the line and up next came the jeans and towels.  It was especially warm and breezy here today, otherwise I would not have been able to hang out the jeans with confidence that they would dry completely.  
(See the snowbank back there in the trees?)
  Peering out the window, I spied this house finch at the feeder.  The boys built me the feeder many Christmases ago and it's still faithfully doing its job.  It is just so much fun for me to see all my feathered friends returning back home.
I did a little looking around on the blogs today and found Angry Chicken's pattern for a lined bonnet on sale for just $8.  I couldn't resist.  I purchased it and stitched one up for my lil grandgirl this afternoon.  It was so easy and I think it's an adorable style.  It's cute plain & simple, but if you added some trim or lace you could really spiffed it up a bit more.  Lots of possibilities.
 H. came over to model her new bonnet for us.
She wore it without complaining or tugging at it and played happily in the yard, throwing the ball to the dogs and gathering up sticks.  I plan to make more bonnets for outdoor summer days.  By the way, if you like to wear bonnets, you can make one for yourself as well as for the lil girls in your life.  The pattern includes three sizes: adult, child, baby.
"Monday is the key day of the week."
~Gaelic Proverb
It must be true.  Just think of how my week would be thrown off if I didn't get the sheets washed!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The green things growing

Red and green tulip tips --
a glimpse of things to come.
Pale green daffodil tips protrude with promise.

Hopeful hollyhock beginnings.

Spring snow is still a possibility.
Carrots and onions are on the garden list.

O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing. 

O the fluttering and the pattering of those green things growing!
How they talk each to each, when none of us are knowing;
In the wonderful white of the weird moonlight
Or the dim dreamy dawn when the cocks are crowing. 

I love, I love them so - my green things growing!
And I think that they love me, without false showing;
For by many a tender touch, they comfort me so much,
With the soft mute comfort of green things growing. 

And in the rich store of their blossoms glowing
Ten for one I take they're on me bestowing:
Oh, I should like to see, if God's will it may be,
Many, many a summer of my green things growing! 

But if I must be gathered for the angel's sowing,
Sleep out of sight awhile, like the green things growing,
Though dust to dust return, I think I'll scarcely mourn,
If I may change into green things growing. 

"When the grass disappears, the new growth is seen,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
The lambs will be for your clothing...."
~Proverbs 27:25, 26

Friday, March 26, 2010

First Meadowlark...

I heard his unforgettable song first....
and then I spotted him on the barb wire fence 
as I was shutting the gate on the sheep's pasture.
Joy fills my heart whenever I hear
that first trill.
The meadowlark has come home!
In celebration I stitched an itibit.
One with him singing
and the other with the notes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Have you been watching Molly the Barn Owl?

Live Video streaming by Ustream
She's hatched 3 owlets so far. The webcam is on day and night. You may have to click the refresh symbol on the left-hand side of the video to get it to play "live." Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Itibits 19 & 20

Half way to 40 itibits.
I'm enjoying this.
I started crocheting the edging on my pillowcases for the 
I haven't crocheted in years so 
I feel like a beginner...
Beginning again.
But it's fun!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Merry First Day of Spring!

I spied a pair of robins this afternoon amongst the caragana bushes.  I snapped up my camera and took these photos from my window.  Then Sue chased them off.  She loves to chase birds.
Doesn't Robby Robin look curious?  
It was a warm, windy 50-ish degree day, 
very like March.
I've read that the male robins often arrive first in the spring.  You can tell them by their bright orange-red breast and their darker capped head and white eye ring.  The female has a much duller color.
We had our afternoon coffee and tea and a celebratory
lemon cupcake on the front porch in the sunshine.
I made a lemon box cake, added some lemon zest to the batter and then topped the cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting (Julia Child's) and a sugar carrot.
Very Spring, dontchathink?

I saw a really interesting happening today on the stock pond by our house.  There have been Canada Geese coming and going  these past couple of weeks and today I saw a pair of geese walking across the ice of the pond to the other side where four other geese were standing tall and erect, watching them cross.  Once the pair got to the bank, they lowered their heads to the ground and continued to walk toward the other geese who remained upright.  As the pair walked, they made a very low, groaning sound.  A humbling sort of sound.  I had never heard nor seen this before.  The two continued in the bowed state and then would stop and turn away from the four.  A moment more and the pair would try to approach the four again, with heads lowered and the low groaning sound hovering forth.  There was absolutely no response by the four geese, just an erect stance.  The pair of geese from this point on, walked away from the four, heads lowered and groaning.  

I wondered if the two were defending their pond territory since I have noticed a pair of geese that stick around all the time.  Or perhaps the pair was submitting to the four in a pecking order of some kind?  I didn't watch for long, but I noticed the pair swimming on the pond later this evening.  They were the only geese around.  I'm not sure how everything was  resolved, but I *think* the pair  remaining tonight may have been the same couple who were bowing and moaning.  Other geese and a variety of ducks come and go from time to time, but one pair of geese stays.  It'll be interesting to see if they choose to nest nearby.
click picture to enlarge
I see the moon,
and the moon sees me....
The moon looks like a sail boat
ready to embark into the dark sea of night.
More about the week's night sky here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shoveling out.....the coop

Nice days often equal outdoor clean-up jobs.  After my morning chores yesterday, I spent an hour or more cleaning out the chicken coop.  THIS is dirty work.  It's stinky work, dusty work, sweaty work.  It is the kind of work that I wouldn't ask anyone to do......unless it was my kids and they were in need of harsh punishment.  In all honesty though, the kids have helped me clean the coop because they were being kind, very kind, to their mother. 
Inside the coop there was an entire winter's worth of straw bedding and poop layered on the floor, smelling of ammonia and that indescribable chicken coop smell that anyone who has been inside one knows, but all is clean and fresh now.  When I say the chicken coop is clean, that does not mean clean as in Mr. Clean and Scrubbing Bubbles clean, but it means that as much shtuff as is possible to be pitchforked and scooped up with a shovel has been removed from the dirt floor.  It means that I washed the windows to let more light in for the girls, and it means that I tucked some clean, fluffy, grass hay into the nesting boxes.  I sprinkled wood shavings on the floor and underneath the roost which gave the coop a fresh pine smell, but it is still just a chicken coop which is nothing much to brag about unless you have a fancy coop like some backyard coops I've seen online.  Check this one  and this one.  If you Google "fancy chicken coop" images, you will be amazed at what's out there in Chicken Coopdom.

When summer comes, I will do a more thorough coop cleaning.  I'll take the fire truck (a small 300 gallon sprayer we use on prairie fires) and hose down the walls with some disinfectant.  This too is a dirty, messy job where I end up soaking wet with very dirty water.  Spraying the coop down requires a very hot day so the inside will dry out quickly.  Soon I'll  lay down some Permectin (garden powder) in the places where the hens take their dust baths.  It'll help keep the bugs off them. 
I used to think that my chickens couldn't care less whether their residence was clean or not, but after my little shoveling-out yesterday, I see evidence of their satisfaction.  Inside the coop there are little holes where the hens have scratched up the dirt floor to make dust baths for themselves.  They have happily (I assume) laid their eggs in the soft nests and have increased the number of eggs for me to gather.  All signs of happy hens!
Lots of baby calves being born day after day.  Look at this cutie pie bucking and playing!

More itibits of stitchin'...

More fun square inchies may be found at...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Playing in the puddles....

Today was Gramma Day.
It was so warm here that we spent the majority of the day outdoors playing under the sunshine in the mud puddles.  I really didn't play in the mud, but merely sat nearby observing a child's wonderment as she threw small rocks into puddles and stirred the muddy water with her hand.  
No need to interrupt nor interject.
It was her very own time.
Her very own play.
A gift.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy First Spring Robin Day!

It's been a foggy, drizzly, gray day -- a day which is perfect for afternoon naps.  So I took one.  Earlier this morning I spent a wee bit of time embroidering a robin on my 40 Square Inch Sampler.  I took out my bird guide to see a picture of a robin in flight, and I stitched her flying close to her nest of eggs.
 Dedicated to the First Spring Robin on March 14th.
Could it be a coincidence or a God-incidence?
  After my nap today, I went outside to tend to the chickens when what did I hear?  The "chirp" of a robin.  I knew it's voice instantly.  I waited to hear it again to make sure I wasn't having "wishful hearing" but there it was again, "Chirp....chirp-chirp-chirp," as clear as could be!  It wasn't the "cheery-up, cheery, cheerio" sound, but the simple "chirp" sound.  Click here for robin calls. And then I saw him perched up in the Ash Tree, and then I saw him fly.  What a joyful lift to my winter-weary soul!

I took another little stroll down through the steers and heifers and saw a great, black, swooping flock of blackbirds!  How wonderful!  As I slogged my way back home with my bucket of eggs in hand, I spied duck tails upturned on the stock pond.  Ducks and geese a-mingling on the stock pond.  Well, Jiminy Cricket!  
Spring is busting out all over!

In celebration....
A Snickers Chocolate Egg....
Lemon Meringue Pie!
or both.
A spring treat for our afternoon coffee.

Friday, March 12, 2010

inch upon inch...

More itibit stitcheries,
one inch by one inch at a time.

"There is no neutral ground in the universe; 
every square inch, every split second, 
is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan."
~C.S. Lewis

Boots made for sloggin'.....

My boots.  
They really are were cute boots, 
but who could tell when they are covered in mud....
....or snow like today?
This nice, wet snow will produce mud
in the warm sunshine that's on its way!
Where I live, you must have boots 
for every kind of weather and duty.
You need boots like these Bogs that are warm and waterproof.

And you need boots to ride horseback.
Below are my spring mud boots for warmer weather.
They work for rainy daze...
Or snowy daze.
But they aren't warm boots, just waterproof.
They are great for washing trucks and cars.

On warm days, I expect the boots to be taken off at the porch, but when it's cold, the boots come into the mud room.  Nobody likes to pull on cold boots to go out into the frigid weather.  Brrrr.

I'm really looking forward to some of this!

And this!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More itibits...

I'm quite hooked on this now as you can see by the number of ititbits I have here.  When I was a 7th grader in the 1970's, I had a pair of bell bottom jeans that I embroidered ALL over.  I only wish I had them now.  I drew pictures on them with a Bic pen during the day and then when I got home from school, I'd embroider my drawings.  Some of the things I embroidered here would have been on my jeans.  
Can you guess which ones?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


I'm stitching an itibit at a time,
in fact, just an inch at a time.
Dawn at 4:53 a.m. got me hooked.
I figured I could stitch one square inch a day for 40 days.
Why not?
And it's fun!
I've only just begun.
If you'd like to stitch along with me, 
click over to Amy's Stitch-a-long
for some inspiration.
I'm not on pace with the others but am doing this on my own terms.  I never thought about embroidering a square inch at a time, but I like this --
a do-able wee project.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Bits of Monday...

A sunny day to line dry sheets and pillowcases.

Fresh-washed eggs.
Someone is a hippie-layer.


I heard them from my bedroom window as I napped.
I had to see them.
I'll sleep at night.

The first of the migration

Canada Geese have arrived.

The ice has heaved
snow is melting and running-off into the stock ponds.
Spring is breaking out!

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.  
~Hal Borland


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