Tuesday, May 31, 2016

bullet points

Over the weekend:

  • all but one of the puppies went to their new homes, except one
  • he goes home Thurs night
  • I'm a little sad about that.
  • I've had no voice the last two days
  • can breathe better today
  • cut part of the grass today
  • and I realized I have less than a week to read my pollworkers manual
  • election is next Tuesday
  • quilt show is this weekend
  • and right now I'm too tired to care...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

blue heron

I'm amazed at how much wildlife I've seen in the 17 years I've lived in Garner. Coyotes, foxes, deer, opossum, raccoons, muskrats, beavers, snapping turtles, geese, green herons, mallards, owls, hawks, an eagle, rabbits, field rats, and a river otter. But it's the blue heron that we see the most. I love watching them fish off the pier (though I don't like the scales they leave behind) and fly in and out. We know there's more than one, but we seldom see more than one at a time. The funniest time was when we had goslings in the dog pen by the pond. It stood at the gate and stretched itself out (almost 4') and stood there and stared, turning its head side to side as if it was trying to figure out the whole setup. Our dogs don't seem to be aware of them if they're perched on the pier, but if they ever walk on our side of the pond, they start barking. For the most part the herons ignore them, unless the dogs start running toward the pond. At that point they'll take off. My lens doesn't zoom far enough from the house to get a good picture of them in action (eating, flying, preening), and if I step out on the porch or ramp for a better view, they tend to take off before I can focus. But I'm content to simply watch on occasion. I'm sure they resent me being here as they go about their business as much as I sometimes resent the builders watching me as I garden or cut grass. But it's okay. We're all a part of this world, and no one ever got sick or fell apart from simple observation - that I know of anyway.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

aaannnddd.....here we go again

About four days ago, we had a hen go broody. Then the next day, a second hen did. For those not familiar with the world of chickens, a broody hen decides to start "nesting" but not in the way a serious Momma hen does. A hen that wants to be a Mom will find a secluded spot and lay her eggs there, then sit on them, being very careful to turn the eggs and check them daily. She will also shortly leave the nest to eat and drink. A broody hen chooses the nesting box/area as her spot, collects every single egg that is laid, even by other hens, discards none of them. She doesn't turn the eggs, and if she does, is not careful with them. She may or may not choose to eat or drink anything. The problem? With them collecting every egg that every hen lays, even if you get them off the nest, you don't know what is fresh or what is not.

So today I decided enough was enough. We bought a new incubator. (I threw the old one away last spring. After being loaned to two families and eight+ years of hatching for us, it was worn out and wouldn't hold a regular temp. We lost two batches of eggs we tried to hatch.) I ran the hens off their nests (which was surprisingly easy to do), and we now have 21 eggs in the incubator. So even if the hens hop back on their haunches tomorrow, I'll know those eggs are okay to collect. What on earth I'm going to do if even half those eggs hatch in 18+ days, I have no idea.

Meanwhile, Freckles is scheduled to be spayed in 2 weeks. A second puppy will go to its home toward the end of this week.

And as much as I did NOT want to use Craigslist, I'll post the puppies there Wed if we don't have homes for them. By next week we'll have to start getting shots for them, which means we'll need to start charging. And Little Dog is sick. He's been heaving all day and sounds like a goose. If it's not stopped by the morning, we may be taking him to the vet. We've never been ones to drag our dogs to the vet except for the absolute necessities, but he's a little special to us. We've set our price limit before going in. I'm still hoping we'll wake up in the morning and he'll be well.

And other than the stupid geese who are nesting under and around the hen house (and we don't have a male goose so those eggs aren't even fertilized!!!) making it a nightmare to collect eggs, feed the chickens, or clean the hen house, life among animals on the Bryan homestead is normal. Dogs eat the goose corn, geese eat the chicken feed, chickens eat everything but love the puppies food (along with the crows and cardinals), and the puppies are gnawing on everything. While I get very aggravated sometimes, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Well, except for a certain Rhode Island Red hen that I've named Dumplings. I won't even need to trade for it. You can have it. I've never named a chicken before. The only thing that hasn't kept it from becoming it's name is the fact it's killed and slurped down two baby snakes the last month. The spot on the back of my leg where it pecked me has almost healed. The first time it got me I was wearing pants, so no big deal. But the second time I was in shorts. Third time may very well be the last time. Some things I don't tolerate very well.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

an update

For today's update, visit the Quilting page (link to the right).

Thursday, May 12, 2016


The past three days we've had the opportunity to watch two of Bobby's great nieces. And then my parents were here yesterday. So this morning as I sit here and only hear the washing machine, it feels more than a little strange. (Bobby's getting labwork done.) And I know it's just the calm before the storm as more family comes in tonight. :)

It'll be next week before I can post pictures, but I was reminded again this week of how blessed I am. Having Bobby at home and his gentle and loving nature with children was an incredible help. When a little one year old wouldn't nap without being held, it was great that her older sister had someone to play with and talk to (He says he's learned more about princesses and play-doh videos than he could ever imagine). I know most Moms don't have that kind of assistance, but it was very nice to have. As I clean today, I'll miss the 20 questions for every step from a very curious almost 3 year old, as Aunt Monica doesn't do things the way her Mommy does. We joked last night before bedtime that we would probably wake up earlier this morning (we didn't). Let's just say we've more than adjusted to a retired person's lifestyle and 4:30 and 5 am wake-up times stretched both of us more than we imagined it would. But I wouldn't trade these past three days for anything.

Monday, May 9, 2016

this week

Is today really only Monday?

This week (ie, since Sunday):

  • a chicken found and ate a small snake...slurped it, actually
  • same chicken pecked me yesterday for not feeding them fast enough
  • and it followed me way too close for my comfort during feed time today
  • my sewing room is picked up and packed up and only needs vacuuming
     (my niece will sleep there this weekend) 
  • construction next door started at 4am this morning
  • our great-nieces showed up at 6:45am
    (grandma who usually keeps them is out of town with a new cousin who arrived Friday)
  • babysitting went way better than I expected...great kids
  • my parents arrive tomorrow, Lord willing
  • Mom spent the day at urgent care with another infection :(
  • my husband has really gone above and beyond expectations this last week in helping out with things...could not have survived without him

Monday, May 2, 2016

adding and subtracting

When dealing with a checkbook, it's always a very good thing to add more than you subtract.
Unfortunately, the same doesn't hold true for housework.
Or quilting projects.
Or gardening.
Or yardwork.
Or the scheduling calendar.

One week from tomorrow my out of town family starts to arrive for my niece's wedding and my house is SO not ready. I did get 98% of the wallpaper peeled off one of the bathroom's and contacted two different painters, one of whom waited 3 weeks before calling me back, and the other who did come for an appraisal but never e-mailed us the estimate like he said nor has returned my text message. And so my family is going to have to live with sheetrock walls, including one small section that revealed a patch of mildew underneath the wallpaper when it was peeled. But for the moment I've done all I can do in that area.

Meanwhile I'm tackling some long overdue cleaning (light fixtures, washing curtains, etc) and will hopefully be finished before they come.

And as I'm trying to finish up a baby quilt and wedding present quilt, my sewing room also needs cleaning out to make room for an air mattress. Needless to say, I shouldn't be sitting here typing. But my checklist is made out, and hopefully by the end of next Monday, everything will be crossed out.

If not, it really is okay. My family is coming to see us (okay, they're coming to save money by not getting a hotel) and not my lack of housekeeping skills, which they already know about.

Onward, ho!