Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It's Summer!

The weeds are endless, the sheep are escape artists, a chicken is also an escape artist, the house is dirty, my skin is brown, it's summer time! The garden fence Still isn't done, but that doesn't stop me from being outside! I can't plant Anything because it seems that whatever I plant, in what I think is a "safe" place, ends up getting run over by the backhoe. Sigh. however, I did plant some peas and spinach in the shade, and barricaded it so the sheep and dog can't trample it down. The spinach is up!

cutting steel for my garden fence with our little helpers

 We spent a wknd in Billings a few weeks ago, and stocked up (went broke) at Costco, got some lumber, etc etc. Jed and I put together this little strawberry planter! So far they aren't up. The top tier is full of flowers which need to surface to reassure me that the dirt isn't a flop again.
 We had a wild storm here the other day. Turns out is was a mesocyclone (sp?) which could have potentially ended bad. We were watching the clouds from the window and they were moving soo fast. I manged to snap this shot right before my fil called telling us that it's a tornado cloud (gulp) and to get to the root cellar. I'm so ticked I didn't open the window, but that was not even a safe or doable option! That is Jed's brothers house in the left. The cloud just about ate the house for supper.  Luckily it just rained, winded, and hailed a bit and then disappeared but it was definitely a tornado cloud, or turned into one at one point!

Right before the rain dumped

You can kind of see the bad cloud forming

I convinced Jed to give this old crate a new side so I can plant things!

Picking wildflowers when we should be chasing cows

Testing the nesting box..I hope ha!

It's been fairly warm here (28 or so) and I've already gotten my first burns. I was reminded to not compete with Jed when it comes to tanning. He's got native in him which  makes him go practically black. My darkest is his normal colour! (well, not quite!)
We are HOPING to get this garden fenced asap. It's practically June and nothing is planted. My tomatoes are just about 3ft tall and they need OUT.  With the leftover fencing/panels we took down, we will fence an area for the sheep and chickens. Jed's brother+family are moving here and they have a dog. So 3 dogs and chickens isn't the best idea! Not until the chickens are full sized and can fight them! Also, I discovered I have a rooster. Only took like 4 months to discover that!
Fredina the hen has discovered that she can fly up on the edge of the panel and jump out. But not get back in. Dumb thing. She's going to get caught my bet is!
The sheeps have also discovered how to jump through the panels and be free. Which normally isn't a problem until they get into my mil's gardens and the shop. I was hoping that they would be too fat before they figured out their escape route! Stinkers.
We are heading up to Canada here in a few weeks. We are both quite excited to go to Canada. Jed loves Canada. And obviously I like Canada too! We also will be heading to Moscow for a quick trip to bring back a trailer full of Jake's stuff. We love Moscow!
Now to get my butt out the door and feed some lambs, and catch some chickens!

Friday, May 16, 2014

My little farm

I've spent nearly all day, everyday outside this week. I now understand how and why we almost starved to death as children in the summers!  Why waste time inside making meals when you can spend all day outside?! I'm soaking in this 'warm' (cooler) weather before the heat hits. I'm hoping that I am a lot more immune to the heat this summer!
My garden still isn't fenced. So therefore I really can't plant anything. I planted some gladiolas in a place which I thought would be a safe place. But turns out right where I planted them, will be the walkway to the one gate in! oops. I'm not complaining. I'll have my garden, and this whole big tree area all fenced hopefully within or by next week.  I have been pulling weeds and weeds and weeds. I give the weeds to my chickens and they love it! And they love the worms they may get too. I tore out a ton of grass clumps by a tree north of my garden. I tilled up my garden, and then that area and planted a TON of wildflower seeds there! Shasta daisies, zinnias, cosmos,bachelor buttons, marigolds, poppies, and likely a few more. I have high hopes and expectations of it becoming a wildflower patch!
I planted started a few more seeds. I'm hoping that it'll give them a week or two head start. Planted cukes, tomatillos, Brussels sprouts, blue corn, cauliflower and some tomatoes. It may be too late, but its worth a shot.
With two little lambs, and quite often a dog around, they don't make it easy to get stuff done. The lambs are like children. Constantly getting into things, picking up what you just put down, gnawing on garbage, but ignoring the field of fresh green grass behind them, climbing on your lap, butting you for food, etc. And then when you throw a dog in the mix, she has to be Right there with them. So if the lambs come near you, the dog is there, happy of course, so wagging her tail, knocking things over. But. It's cute. And it's teaching me to be consistent in pushing them away from the new plants, consistent in taking them to the grass. However, they are the cutest thing. To them, I am their momma. They see or hear me and start baaa-ing!
The cuddly one

Best time of day

Jed did good!

rain makes all things vibrant

Happy Mothers Day!

looove a clean house

She LOVES the sheep. So obse

All in all, I love this life and this place I've been given. I get to spend most of my day outside, with my little animals! I feel very lucky that I am able to be outside for as much as I want. I've come to absolutely LOVE being outside. Surprisingly, i'm not lonely, or bored. As crazy as I may sound, these animals keep me sane and normal ha!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


We finally finished the chicken coop! The chickens had gotten far too big for their temporary roost we had made them. Well, they weren't actually too big except for they all want that top roost and therefore step on each other to get that certain roost spot!
We also made their nesting boxes. 6 nesting boxes they get. They say one box per ever 4-5 hen. I have 19, so that should be plenty. And regardless of how many nesting boxes you have, apparently they always fight over the same one...
Jed had some idea for their roost plus a little shelf like thing along the inside of the coop. That way it's more room for them which they'll need in the winter.
I'm so glad I married such a handy man! He did such a good job I think he should go into the chicken coop making business. Ha!
 And then yesterday I white washed the inside of the coop. White washing is essentially painting everything white. However, because of the ingredients you use, it will kill mites, lice, and other bugs that like chickens. Plus it makes things easier to clean and brightens up the coop!
I mixed hydrated lime, borax, salt (dissolved in water) and water. It's super runny and messy but that doesn't matter. At first when I painted it, I could hardly tell I had painted it. But once it was completely dry, it was pure white! Magic stuff.

Before white washing. 
 I should really take some pictures today, as it's had all night to dry. And be pooped all over. There are a few spots that I have to touch up and still paint.

Whitewash just put on the walls
Just about dried

Just about all dried. That yellow spot above will dry completely white. 

Enjoying their new roosts. And the rafter. Gr. 

Bloom Where You're Planted

Somebody had made this comment in mtg a few months ago and it has actually kind of come back to me a few times since.  Such a simple phrase but yet so important.

I think of where I came from and where I moved to. So very different.
Back home there was trees. So many trees. Trees all over. Here there's about 15 trees in the yard and then you can't see any for miles! (Just where we are)
There was long, cold winters, and nice, tolerable summers back home. Here the winters are cold for a week and snowy, and then melted the next week and warm for a month and then cold and snowy and then warm again. Which essentially means 10 springs. Where FSJ has one nasty one. Usually!

The summers. SO HOT. Last summer it was a minimum of 30C every day. I believe the highest I saw was 35C or something ridiculous. And yet I've been told that last summer was a cooler summer. I don't handle heat very well I've learned. When it was 26-28C for a few days I was LOVING it. I could bend over in the garden and not stand up without getting a head rush and all light headed feeling. I much prefer the milder summer weathers as it is too hot to do much of anything! However, the hotter summers mean I can grow corn here!

Back home I can run through the bush, the yard, barefoot and not think a thing about it. Here? There's snakes. I saw 11 (alive ones) last year. Jed saw 2. I have a fear of snakes. Jed doesn't. Something is wrong with those numbers! I came about a foot or so from stepping on one in my garden, in my flip flops. And then saw another one in my garden. And a few right close to my garden. Way too many. I had no clue I even had a fear of snakes and now they surround me. Oh. I also saw one (small) one outside our door and one in the shop. Shudder.  Now I rarely wear flip-flops and instead where running shoes. Which sucks. Because when it's 30C, your feet want fresh air. But your brain tells you to wear snake proof shoes. However: I do hope that having 19 chickens, and 2 sheep in the big fenced in area right beside my garden will keep the snakes far far away!

The differences are endless, but I've learned to adjust. I've learned to love and appreciate what we do have here.
I love the openness that there is here. I can walk for miles through the pastures and creek, and not see anything except maybe the odd cow. I can see for miles and miles. I don't have to worry about neighbour dogs attacking me.
I also love that I don't work. Actually.
Some people NEED to work, some people don't. I'm one of those who doesn't.  There was the odd day in the winter where I got a little stir crazy, but then I just found something else to do. IE: Research chickens.
I have been called countless times by my father in law for the most random things. One time a bull was sitting down, and he knew I'd like to see it so he called. Another time a HUGE flock of cranes were flying over head, so he called me. The other morning he showed me a rabbit nest with brand new babies that was right in the middle of the bull hay! I get to get in with the randomest of things. It's great. For the most part.
Now I have my chickens, my two bum lambs, and a garden, and kind of a dog to busy my time. The bum lambs are now getting fed 4x a day so that definitely keeps you busy!
Now that its nice(ish) out, I can do so many more things outside. I white washed the chicken coop yesterday. I just have to fix up a few spots and it'll be nearly done. My garden and tree area should be getting fenced this weekend! That means 19 SUPER happy chickens (so much green grass and new things!). My garden can be planted pretty much right away, just after a good til or two as the weeds in it are out of control. Which is kind of good. That means my garden will do better this year. I hope. My mom said last year "if the weeds won't even grow, that's not good!"
All in all, I've learned to appreciate what it is here. Make the best of it. Even if it isn't all the ideal life, it is what we have now. I would Never have thought I would get chickens (or even lambs for that matter!) but I love them! Both Jed and I have learned and are still learning from our life here, just how we want to settle down. Where, and with what animals! Chickens most definitely. In the country most definitely. Definitely not cows!
Bloom where you're planted!