Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Flowers, Goats and the Runaway Pup

One of my favorite things in spring is all of the beautiful flowers. I love planting flowers that we can all enjoy throughout the year. I'm kind of a cheapskate so I love to carouse the discount racks at the back of Lowes. You know, the racks where the not so pretty flowers go? It's a great place to find some real bargains, and save them before they end up in the trash can. I scored four new Knockout Roses (carpet roses that bloom all summer) for $5 a piece, originally $19. They were back there because they weren't blooming anymore. I also got several of the flowers to go in the pots on the deck from the discount rack. They all perk up and look beautiful in no time. Here is my sweet Greta helping me plant the pots. She's quite the helper.

I was out taking pictures and the goats beckoned me over to their pen with their loud hollering. I let them out in the small fenced off area of the walnut grove to keep that section mowed periodically.

They are usually in the dirt pen with the horses and I make them come out into their pen to eat the weeds and poison ivy. They stay out there for about 10 minutes and then cry to go back into the horse pen. Strange animals. They would rather curl up on the old hay mound in the sun than eat grass in the shade. Oh well, I try.

Winston has gotten into the bad habit of running outside whenever anyone opens a door. He lies in wait until you barely open it and then shoots out before you even know what's happening. He only runs into the fenced in backyard so it's not a matter of him running off or anything. But it is super annoying. He also won't let you catch him. He trots around and evades the kids as they try to catch him. I've been doing a lot of research on how to train him not to run out and also not to run from us. We'll see how well he can be taught. Little stinker.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


The kids and I did our annual outing to the pond supply store to get our fish for the koi pond. I always know it's time when the mosquito larvae start populating the water. My enthusiasm for the koi pond has been wavering over the past few years. The April clean out of the pond has been at the bottom of the fun list of spring chores.  It's just nasty. I have to drain the brown leaf filled water, then scoop out or blow out the composted leaves. Then I have to chop off all the cattails that are taking over. All the while dodging the critters that call it home.....I'm referring to a particularly large snake. Filling it in has crossed my mind but when it's all said and done I like it. I enjoy the sound of the fountain running and the koi swimming around. I like my kids catching snails just like I used to when I was a kid.

The pond store that usually has giant stock tanks full of varying sizes of koi and goldfish only had one small tank this year. Apparently they are downsizing their animal sales and focusing more on supplies which was a bummer. We got three koi that are quite a bit smaller than normal. They should do a good job at eating all the larvae. That is if the snake doesn't eat them.

Friday, May 26, 2017


We've had a rocky start to the summer vacation. Wesley came down with the creeping crud at the beginning of the week. He had a 103 degree fever for a couple of days. He was pretty miserable, poor kid. I've had a rough week as well. Over the past two weeks I've been mowing and weed eating the walnut grove. It consists of 200+ black walnut trees and once a year I venture into the grove to trim the poison ivy vines that travel up the trunks of the trees. I had called our extension agent when we moved into this house about the poison ivy and he recommended just trimming the base of the vine and letting it die on the tree. No removal needed. I am all for not using Roundup and keeping it as natural as possible since one day soon we hope to have it fenced in for the goats (it's an ongoing project).

Anyways, I went out there two different days to weed eat and trim the poison ivy. Each day I was dressed head to toe, long sleeves, gloves, boots, safety glasses. The only skin exposed was my face. As soon as I went inside I would put all the clothes directly into the washing machine and take a shower and scrub from top to bottom. I felt like I was safe from the evil poison ivy rash. I was wrong. Last Monday (almost 2 weeks ago) the little bumps started on my face. I ended up with a blistering rash on my face that is just now clearing up.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. I noticed on my upper thigh all the little dots starting to show up. I couldn't figure out why there would be a rash developing on my leg. Then it dawned on me that each time I trimmed a vine I would put the trimmers in my jeans pocket. Apparently the oils on the trimmer went through the pocket fabric and got onto my skin. A hand sized blistering rash developed. Then over the weekend it became infected and fluid started collecting around my thigh. It was red and inflamed all the way down to my knee. Into the doctor I went on Monday and he said it was a staph infection with cellulitis. Talk about uncomfortable! The entire leg itches like it's on fire. My stump of a leg won't fit in my normal pants so I've been wearing the loosest shorts I own to keep it from chaffing. I'm on day 5 of heavy duty antibiotics and it's finally stopped being so red. The fluid is still there and it's still incredibly itchy. I can't sleep well, whether that's from the inflammation or the antibiotics I'm not sure. I've learned my lesson though, I'm staying out of the walnut grove. The poison ivy has officially won.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


School is officially out for the summer! We're super excited for all the things we plan to do. We sat  and wrote down everything we each want to do this summer and made a nice list. I'm most excited about sleeping in past 6:30 each morning, although the dogs aren't going to let me I'm sure.

Both kids had sleep overs last night which allowed me to sleep in until 9:30 this morning. I'm pretty sure I haven't slept that long in nearly a decade. It was heavenly. 

Greta started complaining about things being blurry a couple of weeks ago so off to the eye doctor we went. Sure enough she needed glasses. She doesn't need to wear them all of the time but only as needed. She thinks she looks like a grandma, which is what she was pretending to be in the second picture.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Puppy Power

Last month we had to pleasure of watching my parents dog, Dieter, for several weeks while they went and explored the South. Dieter didn't know what to make of Winston and all of his energy. Winston just wanted to play with everyone and all the other dogs are senior citizens. He finally, after a week, got Dieter to start playing with him. I'd sneak into the living room to find Dieter chewing on an upside down Winston. Winston enjoying every minute.

Wesley takes the pup outside every afternoon into the back yard to let him run and expel some of the never ending energy. Last week Wesley came running inside to tell me Winston had jumped up on one of the round hay bales. They are big bales and I couldn't believe that tiny dog could do it. But he did.

The fun part of play time in the back yard is that nobody can get the dog to come back inside. We have to nearly tackle him and then carry him in. Wesley's gotten pretty good at it.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Truck Bed Progress

There has been progress made on the auction truck we bought in February. I left it off in the last post with the removal of the truck bed to access the fuel pump which was replaced. While the bed was off and on jacks in the shop Sean took the opportunity to fix up the rusted bed. He first took out the goose neck hitch that was in the middle of the bed. This, of course, left a big gaping hole that needed to be patched.

Sean found a truck bed repair panel for around $40 on Amazon that was already formed to the bed. He cut it down to fit and welded it on. He cleaned up the rust and got the bed ready for a coat of paint. He used tractor enamel from the feed store and it coated nicely.

Now it's time to get the bed back on the truck. Although I have kind of gotten used to the truck without the bed....looks like a farm truck. We ordered a bed liner and new hitch so it will be all spiffy in no time.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


The kids got some big bubble wands as part of their Easter baskets and were out on the deck blowing giant bubbles the other day. Winston was standing at the sliding glass window watching them and letting out the most miserable sounding little whines. I thought it was time to introduce the pup to bubbles. He thought they were great! Bouncing and leaping through the air and catching them in his jaws. The confused look on his face when he landed on the ground only to find there was nothing in his mouth. Silly little dog.