Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today I took the camera with me on my morning walk to catch the dogs' antics, but I also happen to catch a little bit of the natural beauty of summer in Kansas.

All of these are straight out of the camera--didn't even so much as crop one of them. People complain about Kansas being flat as a pancake and boring, but if you take the time to see the beauty around you when you are here, you will quickly see the plains are anything but plain.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For The Birds

I think my little farm has gone to the birds....

A couple of days ago I weeded my veggie/herb garden, and that tickled them plum to death.

Uh, guys...can I put this in the compost pile before you go through it?

Even birds of the non-domesticated nature are sure to let me know what they want. This little guy fell out of the top of my shop ceiling so I put him back.

These kids have some 'tude.

Don't get too comfy, Chiclets. You're not going to roost in here after I get this place fixed up!

The turkeys firmly believe they own the place as well.

I do have one turkey that isn't thriving (in the middle). There isn't anything wrong with her aside from her small stature, so nothing I can really do except wait and see if she makes it. I call her "Can't Get Right" (name that movie).

Mr Boucher and his brother Mr Boucher (because I can't tell them apart) used to be my only roosters.

Not anymore. Fancy Pants here decided to crow the other morning.

As well as this Americauna "pullet."

So far the Mr Boucher twins are still top, birds, so there is harmony in the coop. If that changes, I might have some tough decisions to make.

Like whether to make Coq au Vin or Chicken-n-Dumplings.

Don't worry kids, you're not the dumplings!

See you turkeys later,


Sunday, June 26, 2011


Out here in the boonies, you hear all kinds of sayings. Some of them are quite commonplace, while others will make you sit up and take notice. Just to warn you, this post has a little bit more explicit language than what I usually write. I tried to clean it up, but the sayings just aren't the same without the more colorful words, so I left 'em as I'm told 'em.

In any case, if you're very sensitive to such things, avert your eyes and close your browser immediately. Fellow heathens onward!

As an example, when Sophie places herself between me and an object I'm viewing, I let her know that she "makes a better door than she does a window."

Or when she comes running around the corner barking her head off anytime anyone drives up, you could say she's "as subtle as a horse turd in the cream pitcher."

Speaking of horses, they haven't been happy in this heat lately--it's been "hot enough to singe the feathers off a buzzard's ass."

I tell them to buck up, though. At least they haven't been "rode hard and put up wet."

That fence behind Bambi is "ugly enough to run a ghost up a thorny bush," (thanks to Bambi thinking she's a hunter/jumper) but it's just temporary. I wish I had more money to re-fence the entire place right now, but "you can shit in one hand and wish in the other and you know which one will fill up first."

For the past two weeks I've been working really hard on the brick path. You could say I've been "busier than a one legged cat trying to bury shit on a marble floor."

I suppose I could do more, though. You could "stick a broom up my ass and I'll sweep the floor while I'm at it."

I'd tell you that my body isn't bruised, tired, and beaten from hauling all these bricks and setting them in place, but then you'd tell me "don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."

However, having this part of the landscaping finished is "better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."

Sorry, "I had my tongue over my eye teeth and couldn't see what I was saying."

I really like my turkeys, but bless their little hearts, they are as "ugly as the north end of a mule walking south."

The sad fact is they really are as "ugly as a mud fence and half as smart."

Their "heads might whistle in a cross wind," but they are "about as funny as a fart in a spacesuit."

The cats have been spending their days napping on the couch. They were apparently "born tired and raised lazy."

They're really close now. I think Milton would "walk through hell in gasoline underwear for" Harley.

Charlie isn't exactly thrilled about having a puppy like Evie to look after, but he knows you're supposed to "dance with the one that brung ya."

Evie's antics go over "like a turd in a punch bowl," but Charlie puts up with it. He's "so old he farts dust," so he knows that "life is like a turd sandwich; the more bread you've got the less shit you have to eat."

Time to make like a cow pile and hit the trail!


Friday, June 24, 2011

I'll Regret This In The Morning

Dad called me earlier today, after my interview, to ask me if I could come pick him up at the truck repair shop. He needed a ride back out to the workshop and after that, he said he'd buy dinner.

I didn't argue because like most people, I like dinner.

We went to the local bar and grill, which I haven't been to in nearly six months. I decided on a hot summer day like today a single, solitary, margarita on the rocks was in order. So I ordered.

Well, I never, ever, never, ever, never, ever drink. And you'd think because I ate something along with the one margarita ('twas just one margarita after all) that I'd feel perfectly normal, or at least as close to normal as I can get.

My friends, I am here to tell you, I do not feel normal. I feel more like Abby somebody...Abby Normal. I would like to curl up in a little ball and fall asleep on the floor, please and thank you drive thru.

Because I can't curl up in a ball and go to sleep on the floor, because I would wake up to find three dogs and two cats piled on top of my face wondering what in the tarnation their human and sole caregiver is doing laying on the floor in the fetal position instead of feeding them, playing with them, and letting them out, I thought gee...what better time to blog than when I am in an unusually un-sober state?

Here are just ten things I've thought about tonight (run and hide before it's too late):

1. Oh hell, I forgot what the first one was....

2. I lost count while feeding my horses. I have four horses.

3. Interviewing for a job is a lot like going on a first date. You have no idea how they feel about you and the only thing you can do, whether you are interested or not, is to see if you ever hear from them again. If you do, then you have to decide if it's something you want to pursue. If not, you loathe yourself for the appropriate time period and move on. Joy.

4. I have a turkey that can't get right.

5. Oh! I remember what the first one was! Wait.... OK, I almost had it.

6. What if I'm looking for a bathroom, I can't find one, and my bladder explodes?

7. If I had a theme song that would play anytime I entered a room it would be Merry Happy, because "Dancing at discos, eating cheese on toast" sung with a British accent is the coolest song line ever. Ev-Er!

8. I took the dogs on a walk through the park today and Sophie heisted her leg every chance she got...SHE got. She. Heist. Leg. Dear Lord, why can't I ever have anything normal?

9. Interviewing for a job is a lot like calling tech support. You have no idea how they feel about you and the only thing you can do, whether you are interested or not, is to see if you ever hear from them again. If you do, then you have to decide if it's something you want to pursue. If not, you loathe yourself for the appropriate time period and move on. Joy.

10. I still can't remember what the first one was. Ah, forget it.

Over and Definitely Out,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kansas Sky

If pictures are worth a thousand words, then pictures of the Kansas sky are worth a million.

No other words are necessary.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Paula's Birthday

Five years ago, on June 18th, life was very different. I was married and my husband had just gotten out of the Army. We were staying with my dad on his farm (which I had no way of knowing, at the time, would eventually become my farm) while we were looking for a house. It was my husband's birthday and my gray mare Larry was due to foal any day.

I had been on foal watch for two weeks. I didn't know when she was really due to foal because when I had her checked the vet had said she wasn't in foal, so what I was up all night waiting for was a very pleasant little surprise. Larry had been dripping milk for over a week but refused to lay down and have the foal.

My hubby and I wanted to go out to celebrate his birthday, but I was afraid to leave the old gray mare. On our way out I stopped into the pen and checked Larry over. Her bag had actually shrunk way down and she was no longer dripping milk--it appeared that she would hold off foaling for another day. Hubby and I left for dinner in the "big" city, 90 miles away.

And when I got home only three hours later, this was waiting for me.

We named her Paula, because it also happened to be Paul McCartney's birthday (my ex's idol). Usually gray horses aren't born gray, and Paula had a lot more gray hairs in her coat than most soon-to-be-gray foals. In those early days you could clearly see how loud her markings were.

I especially love the eagle on her neck.

She had the biggest ears!

She still does, actually, but back then we could pick up HBO with those things!

Then as most foals do, she grew....

And grew....

And grew!

And she got lighter...

And prettier...

And bigger...

And ornery!

So that is the story of how I ended up with this pretty, big, white, ornery mare named Paula.

We're both back where we started, but we've both come so far. She's my girl and I feel very blessed and fortunate to have celebrated five years with this special horse. Happy Birthday, Paula!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Just in case I don't get a post out tomorrow, I just want to say Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there, like mine.

This is the only picture I have of him smiling.

I'm only sort-of kidding, too.

Now days I have to sneak up on him to even get a picture, let alone get one of him grinning.

Contemplative Dad.

But he isn't always serious....

Although he can sometimes be mistaken for the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Thank you, Dad, for always supporting us kids and our interests, no matter how you really felt about it.

Happy Father's Day!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Today I took the day off from brick-laying to run errands and do some laundry. However, the call of outdoor design was too strong for me to avoid running over to Lowes to see what sort of plants they had in stock and on clearance. I hadn't planned on getting my mailbox landscaping finished yet, but that's how these things come about--I see something and think, "Oh, that would be cool!"

Actually, rather, it is all meticulous planning on my part. *cough*

I ended up with day lilies on each side of the mailbox....

And at the back of the mailbox I planted a Japanese silver grass.

I planted them just before the storms tonight, so I will try and get a few pictures tomorrow. The plants are just tiny things, so nothing like the previous two pictures, but I think next year, when they've had a chance to establish and grow, they should look pretty nice.

Over the past year I've planted about a gajjillion (yes, that many--with two "j's") plants. A few of them haven't survived, but most have. I don't have all of them mentioned here, but I did want to share a few of them that have worked out for me (so far):

For example, in my shade garden earlier this year I planted 30 plants, including hostas, lilly of the valley, ferns, and bleeding hearts. All that came up were the hostas.

I gave up and then purchased already-emerging shade plants, which have worked out much better--like this Japanese spurge:

As well as this Palace Purple Coral Bells:

My sister-in-law gave me this plant, which is a lot smaller than this example right now, but will hopefully end up a stunning addition to my front yard in the years to come--a Kaibab spruce.

I did plant one Karl Rosenfield peony root this spring over Stupid's gave and it is doing very well. It probably won't bloom this year, but next year I hope it will look like this:

I was surprised to find a couple of Knockout Roses on the clearance rack! These standard pink ones I planted near the highway to add some color up front. One actually bloomed already!

The other, a yellow, I planted by my veggie garden, but it's still fairly dormant, although it seems to be established now.

On one trip to Lowes I found this very interesting plant and absolutely had to purchase it. It's called a Mountain Fire Pieris.

It is supposed to be cold hearty to zone 4 (I'm in zone 5/borderline 6) and thankfully the chickens don't find this plant very appetizing, so it's done fairly well getting established over the last six weeks or so. It hasn't bloomed (it only blooms in spring) but the new leaves are red and the old ones are bright green, so even without the bell-like blooms it makes for a very interesting plant!

Last fall I got several plants for only a dollar or two each. They were all half-dead and I lost a couple but the two Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Bushes are doing quite well. One is in a shadier place than I intended so I might end up moving it, but both plants are very far from the horse areas (because cherry leaves are quite toxic to horses).

White Pampas Grass is a piece I am trying out by the house. I might end up regretting it, which I realized once I trimmed it up and the blades cut my hands up pretty well. It's another plant I will probably eventually move, but for now the plant is only doing fair so I will wait until it "feels" better to transplant and replace it with something a bit more tame.

Speaking of tame, my wisteria is only doing so-so. Of course its bloom-period is over, but the plant itself doesn't seem to be thriving like I feel like it should. It has some new growth, but considering I hear it thrives on neglect, you'd think it would have taken over the place by now.

I actually read that if your wisteria isn't doing well, you need to ignore it more. The only way I could ignore it more would be to completely forget I have it. Sort of like an ex I guess.

You say tomato, I say see ya later,