Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Kittie Christmas

We took the kitties in on December 23 for their inevitable spaying. We had to wait until they were big enough for the surgery. They came home that evening, and since they were coming off anesthesia and in a bit of pain, they got to stay in the house. It was only fair. They have bare bellies, and just underwent major abdominal surgery. We now are left with the animals that CAN breed are the ones we want to breed - namely, the sheep, my "special" chickens and Atlas - who will someday, one day, have a girlfriend of his very own.

In the meantime - we have 2 kitties in the house where they can stay warm and heal before we take them back to the barn. Our friendly Marie has been adventuring around the house - almost climbing into bed with us last night. We also saw her wander into the living room last night with a mouse to play with. HOORAY MARIE!! Best mouse trap ever.

I am now in the basement this morning having some tea and checking my emails - the kitties tend to sleep down here, it's warm in the underground cave. Natasha, who we couldn't find all day yesterday (she was hiding under a couch) is less scared of me than she is of pretty much every other beast in the house. I've got the baby gate up so the dogs can't come to the cave. Since she feels sort of safe around me - both the cats are out this morning... and they are playing cat and mouse with a mouse.

I thought of running upstairs to grab my camera for a picture, but thought people might not like the sight of an almost dead mouse. Marie really likes to play with them - and Natasha got in on the act too. Though she had to make sure where I was before she would come out and play, and I am trying not to make eye contact with her. And I think I see their MO, now. Marie does the playing, until the little critters are too tired or too injured to run away... Natasha does the clean up. Yeah, she just wandered off with the little mouse to eat it. That's good... the last thing I need is for them not to clean up their toys!

So the extra bonus Christmas gift for me is the possibility that for a week or so, these little kittens are going to send a message to our mousies... GET OUT. The only problem will be - will I ever want them to go back to the barn? (My allergies are telling me YES!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Baby, It's COLD Outside

It's pretty cold, all of a sudden. We're having issues. It's too cold to paint the greenhouse. The fan on the wood stove broke, so it doesn't do such a hot job of heating the house. We have a slight problem....

There's ice INSIDE the windows in our house! OK, this is because our storm door blew off quite a while ago - last spring or fall in a big windstorm. So we finally bought a replacement, but since we didn't want white, we had to order one. It'll be here in 2 weeks. Sigh.

The ground is show covered, which makes it hard for the sheep to find what few little spots of green might be left. So we let them have free reign in the backyard sometimes, and in the front yard when supervised. They can still find green stuff. This time, they found the overgrown evergreen bushes on the back porch. We kept meaning to trim this over the summer, but never got around to it. I like this kind of pruning - it doens't take a power tool, and it doesn't take MY time either!

We have Marcia, on the porch, Charlie Brown behind the post, then, from left to right - Pretty Princess Penelope, Linus, Lucy, Daphne and Velma. Chow down ladies, and enjoy the porch!! (I'll stay inside where it's warm, sorry sheepies, you can't come in the house.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Greenhouse Update

GWe're getting a little bit done each weekend. Larry's dad came over on Saturday to help us hang the big doors on the east side of the greenhouse. We almost completed the entire endwall, but a storm started rolling in, so we called it quits.

I was painting the unprotected wood before the freezing weather came on Sunday and I wouldn't be able to. One coat of primer done. If the sun shines this weekend, I'll paint it green like the other end wall. Green - for a greenhouse.

Larry is trying to hold the wood still, while connecting it to the frame, all while we are battling severe afternoon winds and just trying to get this stuff all together before the wind blows us over.

We had one solid work day this weekend, as we got snowed on Saturday night, followed by below-freezing weather. That does not constitute an outdoor work day. So this weekend, if the sun is shining, we'll put up the last section of this end wall, get the hip boards up and maybe start putting together the hard ware for the roll up sides. I can DREAM a big dream, can't I?? We are getting there. In the meantime, birds are all in the barn. We'll see if we can get them to the greenhouse before spring!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Goliath Wants a Country Club Membership

Goliath is still working any angle he can to become a house dog. I think he wants into the club. He knows what's up - winter's coming and those house dogs get to sleep inside, sometimes on a bed with an electric blanket. He wants a piece of that. And he's working it all on me. He knows I'm soft!

Here is a picture of him where he usually hangs out now... in Sargie's doggie bed that we bought when Sergeant was visiting. It's near the couch upstairs where I have now parked my laptop. So he sleeps here in the evenings before dinner. Isn't he cute, all snuggled up?

But this is where he really tried to turn on the cute. I caught the guilty little guy trying to snuggle up next to the bed... in a dog bed that is way too small for him. He's got his butt planted in Ditka's old bed. You're looking at a 100+ pound dog trying to squeeze into a bed meant for a 30 pound dog. I still have the bed because Hobbes actually can squeeze himself into this bed. Goliath tried - but looked cute as heck for trying. This is on my side of the bed - so he's still trying to convince me he's a house dog and he should get to stay inside all the time.

I don't know if I have the heart to tell him, but he's still got to guard the sheep. He doens't get to retire to the house just yet!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Endwall WIthstood the Wind!

GSo we finished one endwall this weekend. We built it on the coldest, windiest day so far. It was so cold and windy, that with even another hour of sunlight to go in the day, we decided not to start building the braces for the second endwall. We called it quits once we finished one.

Then, a few nights later, we had a raging wind storm. It was blowing the dog door flap open on the flap that's INSIDE the house. (One goes from the outside to the garage, the second goes from the garage to the kitchen - and they are on 90 degree angles from each other... the kitchen one was flapping!) I thought there were windows cracked open in the house, it was so windy. It was pitch dark, there was nothing we could do, so I fretted all night at the mess we might find in the morning. We found this instead... all intact and just waiting to be completed....

This made me happy. From talking to the county clerk (who, by the way, thinks it's ridiculous that we need a permit, and said that, yeah, we must have an annoying, nosey neighbor) he did verify that we live in an area that can get wind bursts of up to 120 MPH. I have no idea how heavy that wind was the other night, but our greenhouse withstood it - and just an endwall by itself. Still no hip boards for extra strength along the sides, no second end wall for support on the other side, and no plastic to guide the wind up and over. But we're getting there... A little bit each weekend - hopefully it'll get done before it gets too cold for the chickens - but I am looking forward to the day we get to move them all into the house!

BTW - we have a permit now, so that's that for our nosey neighbor. Not sure what their major malfunction is, but you can't stop us. You may slow us down, but you can't stop us. We are going to make this farm work!