Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thumb suckers and Biking

 A couple of thumb suckers getting along,we'll take what we can get. Also, Hazel on her hand crafted balance bike. She's getting the hang of it

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Good bugs, Bad bugs and One upset bird

Hazel has had more than a few run-ins with bugs and birds lately.  We had an aphid problem in the greenhouse so we introduced them to hundreds of lady bugs and praying mantis, no more aphids. Hazel enjoyed that the bugs were on our side which meant no harm to us or the plants. On the other hand we have had an amazing mosquito hatch this year.  As a result I'm down a few quarts of blood and I'm sure the rest of Alaska is feeling it too.  Hazel and I did a quick cabin trip to drop off the camper and assess winters toll on the place.  Overall things were in good shape, with some repair to the kitchen needed. The best part of the trip was the swarms of mosquitoes that were our constant companions.  Hazel looked like she had developed chicken pocks over night as a result, I'm sure I didn't look much better but I didn't have to look at myself.  I thought for sure the chocolate chip cookies and Doritos would help ward them off, not true. Anyways, Hazel didn't make a single complaint about the menu or her zillion bug bites but she did want her mommy so we headed home a bit early.
If we hadn't had enough excitement already, Hazel and I found an injured magpie at the school near by. I made a phone call to the bird people, they suggested that we catch it and take it to the emergency vet and they would pick it up the next day.  I figured why not, Friday evening what could go wrong?  We were able to catch the bird and then wrapped it in a blanket. Hazel was riding in the chariot and Cahill's seat was vacant, so I figured it was a great spot for the bundled up bird. I put the screen over Hazel and the bird and asked her to make sure it stays wrapped up. This worked for about two blocks, Hazel let out a blood curdling scream, I looked back from my bike and saw that the magpie had escaped from the blanket and is giving Hazel a piece of its mind(one of my finest parenting moments, who puts an injured wild animal and their first born in a confined space and thinks it's a good idea, Me apparently).  I was able to grab the bird and re-wrap it.  This time I put the secured bird under my arm as we rode home.  Hazel had mixed feeling about the event but in the end she decided it was pretty funny.  We boxed up the bird, put a little tape on top for safety and placed it in the back of the truck for delivery to the vet.  After we dropped it off Hazel decided she wanted keep the magpie, luckily I was able to talk her out of it.

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    This years garden

    This years garden has a few additions to last years.  The greenhouse is twice as big and houses, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.  Stadium seating for our cole crops with a self watering system.  A fence to separate the "farm" from the rest of the yard.  And a 4 x 20' garden box.  We are growing peas, beans, potatoes, zucchini, paddy pan squash, carrots, assorted greens, raspberries, rhubarb and strawberries. 

    New members of the flock.

    One of our chickens died a few months ago and we wanted to expand our flock.  We did some research and found out it is much easier said than done.  Cue broody hen!  Mick became broody and we thought if we could find her some fertile eggs, she could help us add to the flock.  Pat found a lovely lady with a roo as big as Hazel and she donated 8 eggs to our cause.  21 days later we have 4 new chicks!  Their coloring is amazing so we can't wait to see what they turn out like.  No idea if they are pullets or cockerel but we are keeping our fingers crossed!
    Two of the new recruits one day old

    4 days old and out and about with Mom

    Dust baths for everyone!  2 weeks old

    I assure you they are bathing, not dead.

    3 weeks old

    3 weeks old

    3 weeks old

    3 weeks old, the only one that has a name, Chicken Hawk.

    One third of the bathroom remodel done.

    The kids had been sick off and on for about 2 months and I had it in my head that there had to be mold behind the shower walls that was causing the illness.  So one night after the kids went to bed, we tore the shower out.  There was A LOT of mold.  Took us longer than we thought to complete the task but we wanted it done right and I think we did a good job. 

    Hazel HATED the "new" wall.

    Waterproof membrane over the durock.

    Only picture I have of the old shower.  Glad it is gone.