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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Its been so long, may as well start here....

It has been a little over 6 months since I last posted here. I can tell you my memory is not good enough to remember what all has happened to give an actual update so I guess I will just start here and go forward.
I get emailed comments on occasion asking me to keep writing, so here goes.

But I can remember back in December we had Rob, Amoy and both the grandsons home over the Christmas holiday. We got to help celebrate lil Zachary's 1st birthday. And what an honor and such a sweet lil boy. He reminds me with his actions and mannerism of his daddy at that age. A loving, sweet calm lil boy that never sees a stranger. So generous with hugs and sugars. And you know this grammy loves that.

Can you tell these are the most important things in my life. Such precious things those little grand babies.
We did take a road trip across the country in April this year to be in Arizona for Liam's 3rd birthday party. It is so hard to believe he is 3 already. And far too smart for such a little person. We had to drive to Arizona so we could take Liam a bicycle for his birthday. (papaws idea) I know there is a big box store out there where one could have been purchased but nope, we drive and take one.

 This is a little snuggle bug. He went right to sleep with papa watching cartoons.

 Liam's 3rd birthday party with lots of his little friends from his and Zach's play date group.

He thoroughly enjoyed his new bike. Now when they go to the park he has a bike to ride like the big kids do. I can only imagine the skinned knees and bumps and bruises when he is old enough to get the training wheels off.  It is so worth the few dollars spent to see their lil hearts happy tho. We enjoyed our visit and time with the kids.

We got back home shortly after the first of May just in time to be ready to start planting our garden. It rained several times while we were gone so needless to say the ground was too wet to plow and plant. So we wait. I had huge plants in the green house waiting to be transplanted. We finally got a couple dry days and got everything planted on May 16th, which is late for us. We like to plant corn, beans and such the last week of April and transplant seedlings after the first 3 days of May. That is how dad always did it. But the wet weather held us up a lot. We planted the garden on Monday evening and it rained on it Monday night. Then finally the following weekend it was dry enough again to get out field corn planted. We planted almost as many sunflowers (black seeded sunflowers for chicken feed) as we did corn. Then on the other 1/3 of the field we planted Purple Hull peas as wildlife food plot and to rebuild the soil. The Purple hull peas are excellent to fix nitrogen in the soil after it has had corn on it previously. Not to mention the deer and turkeys love them. All the garden and corn, peas and sunflowers are up and look great. Now comes time to use the hoe and tiller to keep the weeds from taking over. This year we did decide to put a 5 ft tall fence all the way around the garden to keep the deer out. It is a permanant fence but the ends can be taken down in fall to allow the use of the tractor to plow the ground. Lots of expense and work just to prevent dang wildlife damage. But you do what ya gotta do I reckon to eat.

My laying flock of hens are getting to be kinda crappy layers. Not sure if they are molting or whats up with them. So this spring we decided to just order some baby chicks and just raise an all new flock of layers. I got 25 Buff Orphington babies in early April. They are doing great. Should be laying in a couple more months. Then for the others it will be "off with their heads". I think we have decided we are gonna have to fence in a pen for the chickens to run in. Something caught 2 of them last weekend in daylight and then today I lost 2 more. I am guessing we have a family of bobcats here somewhere. I will get the full grown hens and make a quick get a way before it even startles the others. That is damn frustrating to lose them and not even see what is getting them. Last weekend the 2 that were taken were not 25 ft from the front porch. Talk about mad. Yep, I was. Hubby and I were talking last week that we needed to get another dog like Luna to keep the birds safe. SO...........we got one. She is just a lil baby right now but she will grow. Meet the newest addition to McGuire homestead. Sasha Marie. I use my middle name Marie for her so Rodger wouldnt insist on calling her Marie.

Yes she is another Great Pyrenees. And good grief what we do for our little critters around here. To keep her safe from predators till she is grown Rodger and Jason put up a pen for her. I used a large shipping crate to fashion her a "dog house". I thought cedar shaving would giver her a lil added protection from fleas and ticks so we put cedar chips in the dog house covered with a bath towel for bedding. Too hot here to even think of warm stuff. She would not stay in the dog house even if it was raining. You could put her in, she would run right back out. I thought well dang she dont like the cedar. In the middle of a big bad thunderstorm I got splashing thru the rain to go rake out some of the cedar and I took a towel with me tucked under my rain coat to keep it dry to put inside for her. I picked her up, she looked like a wet cotton ball, and put her in the dog house, she sniffed the towel and laid down. She has been staying inside now out of the rain. I guess it had my scent on the towel where I had tucked it under my coat and it was familiar to her and made her feel safer. I was a happy camper to know she at least would get in out of the weather. I will add more cedar shaving back in there later to make it softer for her and leave the towel as her "security" blanket.
Sasha was born April 17th so she is just a bit over 6 weeks old. She had her first vet visit today. Got her shots started, wormed and Frontline put on her.. She goes again at 9 weeks and again at 12 weeks for boosters and her rabies vaccine.. After that she will be good for a year. I was suspecting that with other dogs around at the vets office she might start missing her momma and cry a lot but she was calm as could be and just ignored the other dogs. Even ones that wanted to kiss her hello. She tucked her head under my arm to avoid other puppy kisses. I am thinking this lil girl is gonna grow up and be very very spoiled. I really would like to have gotten 2 to raise up together so they dont have to work alone here but its hurts the pocket when you look at paying $150 each for 6 week old babies plus shots for them. So for now she is an only child. Maybe a little later I can get her a sister.  Just hope she will grow up and be as good a working girl as Luna was . She is gonna have some big shoes to fill with that task.

We had big plans to do some weed eating here tomorrow and maybe work in the garden some. Grass and weeds are the things that grown best with all this rain. But it rained a lot this evening and is still raining now so none of that will happen. But I think the fellows are planning a trip to the farm store to pick up 5 more cattle panels to extend our bean trellis this year. We planted our bean rows 60 foot long this year instead of the 40 like last year. We bend the panels into an arch shape, anchor the ends in each row of beans and the beans climb the trellis and you can actually pick beans in the shade of the trellis. I dont know why we didnt do this many years ago. But I guess as you get older you try to find easier ways to do stuff. Now we need to gather up all the tobacco sticks to stake the tomatoes with. The fence panel we keep to trellis cukes still needs to be put up as well. I would like to get the garden plowed and hoed out before we trellis cukes and beans. I just pray we have a bountiful garden this year. We are running kinda low on canned stuff here. We had a small plot out back here at the house where we raised Turners yellow field corn last year just to save the seed. I planted a good handful of Ky Wonder pole beans to save just for seed. This year we planted the Turners yellow corn and had enough seed to plant almost an acre. I saved enough seed from the few beans we raised to plant 2- 60 ft rows in the garden with enough left that in an emergency I could grow them out again for seed. I only planted the one single variety of beans to keep the variety pure. I had gotten the seed from a friend in west Ky a couple years ago, planted and lost all but about a handful of seed. Phew, that was close. To me it is sad to totally lose all the seed for an old heirloom variety that you know is pure and a good variety.

I have picked about 4 gallon of strawberries so far this summer and put them in the freezer. I had a big bowl full in the fridge that I used to make some homemade strawberry ice cream. Oh my, it was so dang good. Not too sweet, great strawberry flavor. Not sure I will be able to eat store bought again after that.. Now I need to work on a recipe for Maple Nut, my all time favorite. Cant be that hard to duplicate.

I guess I should end this lil update and put me to bed. Tired all to pieces and have not done anything worthwhile all day. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.



Gianetta said...

Hooray! I've missed your updates on the farm. Dang crows ate all of my corn. It's hard to garden from 30 miles away--that's how far it is to my mom's house. I'm going to stay for a week so maybe I can get it caught back up.

doubletrouble said...

Happy to see ya back at it, Stella!