Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fun With Shadows

NOTE: Not sure what's going on with the formatting lately, UGH! I've been unable to figure out and it's frustrating me to no end! Now, I'm sure this silhouette can be interpreted in many different ways some flattering and some not so much. Be that as it may let your imaginations run wild and have fun with it. However, I do want to point out and put to rest one possible interruption that is completely incorrect and false - the beer bottle is not balanced on my knees and I am NOT resting my hands on my fat* belly. * It's been a long winter and that's NOT my belly!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And We're Off!

JoAnne came home on Sunday with some veggie planting work for me and I couldn't be any happier! The arrival of the early Spring veggies is a time to rejoice for sure. I'm sure you've all noticed it yourselves if you've purchased anything recently that products/packaging are getting smaller yet the prices are rising. Well, it appears that greenhouses are no different. Instead of seedlings being sold in 6-packs they're now coming in 4-packs, so it appears that greenhouses are feeling the pain too. We'll be starting with Broccoli, Lettuce and Kale.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Navin R. Johnson I Am Not...

The new 2011 telephone book has arrived.

It's arrival has forced me to finally go through all our old phone books and in the end ten were tossed.

The good news is they were recycled. The bad news is just how wasteful these phone books have become. I don't believe we opened a single one of these books going back to 2007, not once. The Internet has help to makes these books obsolete for many.

Of course I like to keep some around to impress visitors when I rip them in half...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Minimizing Our Skunk Damage

Skunk relocation is easy. All you need is a skunk and you're on your way -

Step 1 - trap skunk:

Step 2 - package skunk:

Step 3 - release skunk:

Walla and when done properly there's no spraying!

I was lead to believe that skunks were black with a white strip. Clearly this one didn't get the memo.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!

Although, not as warm as it was on Friday it didn't prevent me from getting out in the yard yesterday to get some long over due exercise. As it worked out the temperature was just right for manually tilling my vegetable gardens. The winter rye I planted in the fall, as well as the compost I spread over the snow has all been turned into the soil. The hard part is now done and the gardens are sitting at the starting gate ready to grow...

Before -

After -

There were oodles of earthworms with each shovel I turned, which is a very good sign. I did, however, find approx 25+ grubs, which is not a good sign but the chickens sure did enjoy them!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Commission, Done

Another 1000 piece, 34" x 16", puzzle completed.

Forcing Spring's Arrival

In an effort to hurry Spring along, in my mind anyway, we cut some pussy willow branches and brought them inside. We cut enough to have two vases full. As you can see they're starting to bloom. Perhaps, we'll give forsythia branches a whirl next, which just might add some color too.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What Would You Do?

So, you arrive home after a day at the office. Upon pulling into the driveway you notice that your two 65-gallon trash barrels have blown over and are lying in the street, which is causing a problem for passing cars.

What would you do?
  1. Stop and move them out of the street.
  2. Pull into the garage, walk up and move them out of the street.
  3. Pull into the garage, walk up and bring the barrels in.
  4. Pull into the garage, shut the door and ignore them, letting them stay right where they lay until your spouse comes home to take care of them?

I would do #3 and guess that most folk would too BUT not all; I've seen it!

Monday, March 07, 2011

What the Flock (of birds)...

Well, there's no question that it's been a long, cold, snowy winter here in New England. As we typically do when winter is upon us we fill our bird feeders so our local, winter-over fine feathered friends have a some food available to them.

There is always activity and always a variety of different birds that share our feeders, which we enjoy watching. The last month or so we've had flocks of birds descend on the feeders and hungrily gorge themselves.

Here is a flock of Red-winged Black birds -

Here is a flock of Common Grackles -

One thing to note with these pictures is that there are equally as many of these birds sitting up in the surrounding trees waiting for their opportunity to fly down and grab a bite. So what I'm saying is that there are oodles and oodles of birds both in and out of the photos.

Of course the arrival of these folks scare off the other smaller, onesy twosy birds. Fortunately, these flocks don't stay too long before moving on. If they tried to stay longer I would pull the feeders in. I'm not in the business of feeding nomad flocks who are just passing by but rather the locals.

Still thinking Spring...

Snow (covered) Cat

I don't care what you say, Emilie enjoyed this!

I think Gracie (the cat) did too...

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Invitation, Done

1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, 34" x 16", which required a new card table, done!

"Gee" & "Haw" Just a Few Ox Commands

Here are my farmer friends pride and joy - a pair of Brown Swiss oxen.

They too were enjoying the nice warm weather yesterday. Here they are feeding on a 200lb roll of hay that was recently put out for the cattle.

Now, this first picture doesn't really show you just how big these animals are. These dudes weigh approximately 2200+ a piece - YES, a piece! They're so big that they've outgrown their yoke quite some time ago. In fact, a yoke to fit these monsters today would be too heavy for one person to lift and get in place. That being said my friend uses rope (instead of a yoke) so he can continue to work with the animals and keep them familiar with their position and reminded of the commands used to work them.

Now, here is a picture of my farmer friend, who is 6' tall, standing at the back-end of the younger oxen. Amazing right?! The circumference of his legs are also impressive. And they still have plenty of growing to do too.

Mother and New Daughter

Here is a picture of "Monkey Face", a Hereford-cross cow, otherwise referred to as a first-calf heifer, and her brandy new, three week old female calf. Mother and daughter are doing just fine and were out enjoying the 50+ degree temps of yesterday. Four more cows are due in the next 30-days, so hopefully the warmer weather is here to stay.

All I Can Say Is...