Friday, February 29, 2008

One Little, Two Little, Three Little...

We have two guinea pigs that are expecting any day now; they're HUGE and about to explode! The gestation period for guinea pigs is typically between 60 and 70 days. These two are at approximately day 63 today.

Riley is the piggy on the right and that's her daughter Squeaky on the left that was born on July 4, 2007. Squeaky was one of four piglets born that day and the only we got stuck with, err I mean, that we kept. Of course I didn't learn the first time around, so here we go again. Stay tuned, updates and pictures to follow...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


We had a pretty good nor'easter last Friday that dumped about 6" or so. It wasn't too bad a storm as the snow was light and fluffy and easy to shovel; not the best for snowballs and snowman making though.

However, Saturday morning we noticed this unique snowman at the neighbors house across the street. An elderly woman lives there so we found this snowman out of place, especially because the snow wasn't good for snowman making remember, so we took the following picture.

A couple of days later after the weather warmed and the snow began to melt we looked for the neighbors snowman but he wasn't there. Where could he have gone? It wasn't that warm to melt him away or was it?! Instead what we saw in it's place was an old tire, see below picture. That mother nature sure is creative.

Hydrangea pH Play

Q: How do I change the pH in my soil to change the color of my hydrangeas?

A: It's easy to modify your soil's pH. Start with the Hydrangea macrophylla variety. Soil that is on the acid side (pH between 4.5 and 5.5) will produce blue hydrangeas. Once established, you must fertilize them yearly with an acid fertilizer according to the package directions. When you plant initially, modify the soil with two pounds of sulfur and peat moss. If you want pink to light red hydrangeas, the soil needs to be neutral to alkaline, with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Add ground limestone only around the plant to make the blossoms pink. A pH above 7.5 will result in poor growth.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Frye-Alator Makes All-Star Team

I am happy and VERY proud to report that Stephanie made the 2008 Bay State Conference Girls Ice Hockey "All Star" game! She was one of only three from her Walpole team to make the "All Star" team.

Each girl was announced to the crowd and acknowledged before the start of the game and presented with a certificate for making the "All Star" team. Here's Stephanie below receiving her award -

Stephanie skated hard and played very well and had an excellent scoring opportunity but was robbed by a hot goalie. Despite their efforts and a hard fought battle, her team Herget lost to team Carey.

Stephanie, I am VERY proud of you! Love Dad

Easter Bunnies 2008

Here are a couple pictures of the most recent addition to the Lincoln Street menagerie. Nine adorable, happy and healthy baby bunnies! The mother, Salt & Pepper, believe it or not had ten babies, YES, ten babies! Unfortunately, one didn't make it but incredibly she has done a terrific job raising the other 9 little ones.

If I planned it right these little guys will be old enough, weened and ready for adoption a couple of weeks before Easter.

These are mini lop bunnies and the picture below shows one ear already drooping at 12 days.

Emilie has been chomping at the bit to take them out and hold them but they're still too young yet. Soon enough and then she'll have her hands full trying to contain all nine...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Birthday Bumper Bowling

Birthday bumper bowling - now try saying that 3-times real fast. Once you've mastered that try the ole, "how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood"...

The 3 of us went bumper bowling for Emilie's birthday and we had a blast. Here's Emilie trying to pickup the spare -

No more score sheets and no more pencils and no more need to push the button to reset the pins at the end of each set, the entire experience is now computerized.

Here is one of our game scores -

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Frye-alator Starts Cooking in Wins

It was snowing pretty good last Saturday night as I drove to my oldest daughter's varsity ice hockey game. The storm didn't drop too much snow but Stephanie sure did, as she brought her "A" game on this night. It was a very exciting game, fun to watch especially #9, the Frye-alator!

Walpole 3, Norwood 1

Sophomore center Stephanie Frye scored a pair of goals including the second period game-winner leading the Rebels past the host Mustangs on Saturday.

Midway through the second Frye and Cosby (2 assists) worked a 2-on-1 with Frye getting in alone on goal to give Walpole (5-9-1, 3-5-1) a 2-0 lead. “They played very well,” said Rebels coach of his top line of Frye, Cosby and Lennon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pachyderm Poop

Time is flying - we're just about mid-way through February. Spring is right around the corner and will be here before we know it. With that said and in preparation for some happy, health and hearty plants, here is some good information on manures and their uses -

Q: Ringling Brothers gives away elephant manure when the circus comes to Atlanta. Is pachyderm poop good for my garden? What is the best manure for gardening?

A: Assuming that the circus elephants are American born (there are no federal restrictions on their waste, although manure from imported animals must be burned or buried), elephant manure can be as useful as any other. However, we do not know the nutrient content. Horse manure is generally regarded as the best; it's rich in nitrogen, and it ferments easily. Cow or horse manure applied in the early spring is best for flower gardens; chicken, cow, or horse manure applied in the spring and fall is best for vegetable gardens; cow or horse manure applied in the fall is best for potatoes or root crops. For acid-loving plants, cow or horse manure should be applied in the early fall or not at all. Never use fresh manure. Another excellent manure is sheep manure. Sheep chew their cud so finely that there are no weed seeds being inadvertently applied to your garden bed. Make sure all manure is aged or composted.

Click here to be taken to the Old Farmer's Almanac gardening question of the day.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Identify the Tracks II

Emilie and I walked up to the ball fields/playground this morning. It snowed over night and everything was covered in a white layer of snow; it was beautiful and very peaceful.

As we typically do, the camera came along too. Here are some tracks that were left behind in the snow from various critters. Can you identify them? How bout I make this a little easier as a multiple choice quiz. Here are some possibilities to choose from - Coyote, Fox, Dog, Emilie, Squirrel and rabbit - GO

Sunday, February 03, 2008

When I Was A Kid...

When I was a kid, we didn't have fancy swings like they have today, see below. If you were lucky you'd have a swing in your back yard and if not you'd have to hoof-it down to the playground for some swing time fun. Even then the swing would be hangin from some old rusty chains with spurs that would cut your hand if you slid them up and down and the seat, well the seat, would be some old, worn out, torn, black canvas thing-a-ma-bob that would pinch your ass as you swung and leave scuff marks on the seat of your Tough Skins - yeah that's right, my mother dressed me in tough-skins but that was the style back then and I looked good! With all that said we were happy with what we had.

Ok, Ok, so I'm not that old but I did wear Tough Skins, which were first introduced in 1971, and I looked good. However, the kids today do have quite the playgrounds as compared to those of 10, 15, 20 years ago.

Here is what the kids of today have to play on. This particular playground was built this past fall just up the street from us; less than 1/2 mile. Emilie is excited and loves it, so we'll be taking advantage of it and getting some exercise too walking up and back.

Identify the Tracks

Can you identify what animal left the following tracks?

As always, a lollipop goes to the winner.

Blue Bird 2008

It's the beginning of February and we already have visiting Blue Birds! I saw one on Saturday and tried to get a picture but was too slow. Today, well that's another story; today I was able to take a handful of pictures of these visitors. I was ecstatic to see not one, not two, not three but FOUR Blue Birds bee-bopping around our back yard!

Potentially even more good news too. The above picture shows one of the Blue Birds sitting atop of a bird house I built. Actually, there have been two of these bug eating machines checking this house out - in and out and sitting on top. The location is attractive, as it's hanging amongst our raspberry plants, which I would guess is prime bug catching real-estate. Our fingers are crossed and we're hoping that they'll move in come Spring!

Here's one taking a break on one end of Emilie's swing set.

And here's a third one sitting on the other end of Emilie's swing set with the neighbors shed in the background.

Think Spring...

Numero Uno...

Were there any doubts? Rock on...

I'd like to thank all the folks that took time out of their busy schedules to participate in the poll! I will do my best to continue the work I've started and that you've all come to enjoy and rely on.
FYI - I actually prefer the Samao's Girl Scout cookies to the Do-Si-dos, go figure and with coconut too...