Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Let's Just Chat Today! :)

I have had computer woes again.  The modem decided to die on us.  So after spending some time on the phone with the very nice and actually understandable Pakistani gentleman, they said they would send us a new one (for a huge charge, of course!).  It arrived yesterday evening so I spent another hour on the phone with a nice but not so understandable Pakistani lady and we managed to get the settings and things fixed, so now, thankfully, we have the internet back.  (Kisses computer, so happy to have radar again with the storms that have been moving through.)

Apparently I also dropped a crumb near the computer because it now has ants.  Which I fixed with flea spray.  It works great.  :)  And the old modem has been placed in a box to go back to "Peggy" in Pakistan.  Or maybe it was New Jersey.  Same difference.  (You have to see the commercial with "Peggy" in it to understand this paragraph.)

So I am cooking a chocolate cake while I do this.  They usually celebrate birthdays at work with some kind of treat but somehow, in the spring rush, they forgot mine.  Fine.  I'll cook my own darn cake, thank you very much!  Maybe I will take it into my office and eat it all by myself, too.  So there.

In the meantime, Kathy made us this cake for Easter:
He is made out of two round cake pieces, Kathy cut them out and isn't he just adorable?  All three of us gobbled him down in about two days.
Then she made a chicken cake for Hayley:
Oh, how Hayley loved this cake!  All the corgis got a slice and all pronounced it very yummy!  There is some leftover, and we have been using bits of it to get Cookie's painkillers down her.  She doesn't object to the chicken cake at all!
Anyhow, here is Hayley with her birthday cake.  And she ate the brownies I got for her and tonight she gets to have a pig ear:

Now as you all know, none of my posts would be complete without a sunrise or sunset of some kind.  So here is a sunrise we had last week:
I'm starting to think they are like snowflakes, they are all different and I love each one, from the most delicate and soft ones to the blazing "it's gonna be a great day!" ones.
On to gardening.  Here is the garden we hope to get dug up if it ever stops raining:
It was sadly neglected last summer, and fall, just had no time to work in it. We have a rototiller lined up from a friend but need to wait until it's not muck.  Another few days and it will be ready to work in.  Lots of veggies and some flowers to try and keep bugs out of it.  The guineas do a great job with the bugs around here and I have 15 new ones ordered to help out with the work here.
Here is the little flower garden which I am turning into a rose garden:
It still needs work but is coming along. All the little pots out front have been planted with nasturtiums and zinnias.  More zinnias for the back yard, too.  I have six knockout roses planted and some little flowers that look like tiny carnations, have forgotten for the moment what they are, but very dark pink and should look great.  I think I will paint the little pots white, too, for contrast.
There are two azalea bushes here, this is the darker one, the other is a medium coral color. So pretty!
And we have the hillside which is now all green. The goats and horses are in heaven, all they want to eat and plenty of room to roam around in and also to run.
Just so nice on the eyes, isn't it?
Last, and this is the really great news, we have new BABIES here!  Blizzard, the little one who lost her ears in the stupid winters up north, now has two baby bucklings.  They are gorgeous!  The white one will look like his mom and the brown one will look like the sire, Blaze. These are both of their first babies.  

He will be a blue roan like his dam, with brown stockings (Blizzard has black stockings).
His brother will be what is called a buckskin:
Both of these sweeties will be sold, as I have five boys already.  They are really nice ones!
So that is the news for this week.  I think I have one more goat that is pregnant and then there is one that I think is just fat.  I didn't have the set up to be able to breed much this fall and was lucky, I think, to even get two bred.  The other mother to be is Clare, who is Blizzie's dam, and I bred her to Splash.  They should be very nice babies, too.
That cake is ready now.  Come on over for a slice!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hayley's Sweet Sixteen Birthday!

Her birthday is tomorrow!  She looks marvelous!  So I prepared last week by buying her some neat goodies, some "Brownie Bites" which are actually carob, for dogs, 2 pigs' ears and some special neat cookies that look like frosted brownies:

I know, I know, it's really bad form to leave price tags on the gifts.  But she never saw them so it was ok, I think.  
I decided to start giving the treats on Monday night, but when I came in from outside, Jerry had already given Hayley her night cookies, those little ones that look like cheese nips, and a pupperoni or two.  Uh oh!  Will she have room?  Well, turns out she did.  Of course she did, she is a purebred corgi, after all, and mother of The Beautiful But Evil Yet Terribly Misunderstood Aisling, Food Queen of all Food in the Universe.  So I handed Hayley one of the "chocolate" brownies.  She took a quick look and then went back to eating her cheese cookies. Wait...just a minute...what?  She did such a fast double take and I'd wished I'd had it on video.  She abandoned the cheese cookies and really enjoyed eating the brownie:

Oh, what bliss!  She loved the brownie and ate every crumb!  So last night I decided to video tape the Brownie Enjoyment:

Now you have watched a full three minutes of an elderly dog eating a cookie.  And you call this a life?  :)  OK, so go and do something, like go to Dairy Queen and raise a cone to a frisky old lady dog who still enjoys life and is not ready to leave us any time soon at all!

I love you, Hayley Boo Banana Nut Bread Chocolate Brownie Girl!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane!

It's not been quite a year. As a matter of fact, our anniversary for our first year here is coming up on June 30, as we arrived here late that night.  But I thought I would go back through some of the photos of the flowers and things that we experienced when we first got here. After all, I have dozens of photos to share with everyone.  
The house was surrounded by beautiful morning glories.  I love morning glories, just not where I have to clean them all up!  :)  It took a long time to tear them all down in the fall and I don't want to do that again, just too much work and not enough extra time to do that. So I will NOT be planting any this year!   I've seen some volunteers coming up and have been picking them out already.  But in the meantime, they did look gorgeous and I did get some photos (and some video of the bees with them).  So here is what they looked like all over our porch:

Next is an odd plant.  I had absolutely no idea what they were and neither did Kathy, Erin or Jerry.  Some friends from Ohio told me they were weeds:
But the locals knew what this was. This is Poke Salad!  Yep, it's a real plant.  You apparently take the smaller leaves and cook them or have them in a salad. The bigger leaves aren't as good and no one seemed to know anything about the berries except that you really shouldn't eat them.  The plant has a very dark red/purplish stem.  And they grow big, some here were 8 or 9 feet tall.
These are some volunteer sunflowers that came up from the previous year's birdseed. There were a lot of these around and some were quite big. The American Goldfinches thought they were just fine and ate all the seeds out of them before I cut them down.  I think I will put some along the fence line this spring.

This doesn't have anything to do with the sunflowers, but I put my pop up tent in the backyard for some extra shade for the dogs:
Of course, the corgis were busy themselves, and thought that the big pots on the back porch were quite fine.  This year these will be in the yard and filled with zinnias, I think.
There is a type of native hibiscus that grows naturally down here. We have one of these in the big garden out front and I'm trying hard to protect it so it continues to grow there:

Some color, huh?  I love this bright pink!
Of course, the hummingbirds loved everything. At one point we had around thirty that fed from early morning to late in the day.  We went through a bunch of sugar!  But it was so nice to seeing hordes of them as opposed to seeing a few for a fleeting glimpse as we did where we lived before.

There are also a ton of these around. I was told they were a Rose of Sharon but then Kathy said she thought they were really something else. They come in a purple, very light pink and white.  There are several dozen of these planted around the yard and were apparently here when the old house out front was still liveable. They are quite gorgeous and bloom all summer long.  And I love them!
Last is a flower that I found at a local nursery.  I immediately thought "creamsicle" and had to have it.  I have never seen a flower like this nor this color.  I kept it in the house until it just looked ragged and tossed it but it lived for several months here while it bloomed.  I have forgotten the name of it but will go back in a month and try to get another one.  I wonder if they come in other colors, this was the only color they had in the nursery when I went there.  I had also gotten a huge gloxinia that bloomed for weeks and weeks.
When Jerry got here, he told me he thought it was fake, he never saw a plant like this, either!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring is Bustin' out all over!

I have been taking photos for the past month and here are some of our lovely spring!  First we will begin with the daffodils.  These were taken in late February:
Of course, we wouldn't see the likes of these until mid May up north.  Don't you just love it?  :)  Now there is a vacant lot in town that had hundreds of daffodils growing in it.  I went and picked some for the house and for work and found these:
I don't know if this is some kind of established hybrid or if it is just a mutation, but aren't they cool?  I just loved these!
Next is the little forsythia out back.  My gosh, forsythias in early March.  it's really hard to imagine!
And then one day in very early March, we found these trees down by the Kmart.  I am not sure what they are but we were day they were bare and the next two days they were covered in blooms.  This is a time when everything is bleak, cold and bare as well as grey in Northern Michigan. And we have blooming trees down here!
And then I discovered the one plant out front that kept getting these very fat buds on it. Last summer I had thought it was some kind of fig tree because of the thick and odd shaped leaves.   I was delighted to discover this is what we called a Tulip Tree in Florida but up north they are magnolias and magnolia is the species type.  Not a true magnolia, though.  However, I have always loved these and they get quite big down here, there are a lot of very old ones in some of the yards:

Above is the little tree all dressed up for Spring.  It only lasted about a week because of the stiff wind we had one day, but it was gorgeous while it lasted.
About this same time, the Barrett Pear trees bloomed.  This is a tree that is quite popular down here, medium sized, fast growing and covered with zillions of littlle white flowers.  They are everywhere down here.  They are a pretty,, round tree, and have a lot of leaves so they make great shade:

Here are some of the red bud trees. These were trees that my momma really loved.  We didn't have them in Florida when I was growing up but I know she and Daddy spent some time at Oak Ridge and am guessing she saw them there. They are such a gorgeous pink and they last a long time:
I thought this was neat, this little bird is checking out the bird feeder from the beautiful tree:
Right now the flowering crab trees are in full bloom as well as the dogwoods.  I'll try and get some photos of that tomorrow.
Last, here is a photo out of my kitchen window.  No curtains, I took down the ones that were there and am trying to decide what kind to put up there.
I can't believe I've already put up 48 blogs or so!  And still so many photos that I haven't shared.  Stay tuned and enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Dinosaurs of Kentucky

Yep that's right.  Right here in Kentucky!  They have a special Dinosaur park over in Cave City and everything.  This is what was on the highway as you get off to go there:
Now this fellow is pretty impressive and you can see the others over the fence as you drive past. However, what I was not aware of is that Kentucky has actual live dinosaurs!  Did you know that?    Here is a quiet and sweet, unsuspecting Fluff on a warm Sunday afternoon, just minding her own beeswax:
I'm sure you are thinking, this little innocent Fluff is dinosaur bait, right? Well, not really. Something far more nefarious is in this corgi's immediate future.

And so we present the Fluffyosaurus!  Demon of the woods, devouring bears two to a bite.  The soft forest floor thunders with her paw beats, and the animals of the woods cringe in terror!  She is the Mighty! She is the Enormous! She is the Fluffyosaurus! All animals and other dinosaurs bow to her Will!

You'd all better be very careful....I hear Fluffyosaurasuses can be found everywhere.