Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A wonderful nephew

The other day may nephew told me that he was going to stop by and work on the barn. The barn with the best roof had the South wall pushed out. I should have taken a before picture but the board to the left was laying up against the outside wall. 
The wall pushed back into place
They put a temporary metal support in place. Then they pushed the wall back into place and started creating the new support structure. 
New support beams
Looking across you can see that we will need a free pieces of siding to go on the outside.  But this barn needs the least amount of work and is what we are planning to use for the winter. 
Thanks  Nickolai!  It is looking great so far.
Dang steers, chewing the siding off!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

He doesn't know that he grew up

Dale cleaned out the laundry room the other day and found Skyler's puppy bed. To my surprise he remembered it.
Skyler in his puppy bed
He worked hard to get curled up in it and to stay curled up in it.  The cute little fellow. 
Skyler in his puppy bed
Or not so little fellow. He is taller than mama, Misty Blue, and grandma, Duchess.  He is within an inch of Auntie Sonjia for height. (I was laying in the corner by Skyler and Duchess heads.  They leave me so much room! 
Doberman bed?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Naughty little lambs

Oh yes,  the lambs got out of the pen in the barn the other day.  I thought that they might have wiggled under the gate.  I was wrong.  This evening I was doing chores.  The last thing on my list was to fill the outside water trough for the large animals.  When I came back into the barn, I saw creamer and cocoa standing on the top of the piles of bales. Creamer (on the right) had her front legs on top of the fence.  She is blurry because she stepped back when she saw me.
Cocoa and Creamer - the escape artists aka lambs
Yes, the escape artists were preparing to jump over the fence and out of the pen so that they could be out with the other large animals  It made me wonder if they were part mountain sheep?

Monday, July 25, 2016

I wish you could taste this!

I made homemade soup Thursday evening. It is Chicken Vegetable soup:
Home grown chicken - 2 breasts
From my garden (as much as possible) Seasoning: rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic and onions & Vegetables:  kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots.
Chicken Vegetable Soup
It started mid afternoon when I  put two chicken breasts seasoned with rosemary,  sea salt and pepper in the crock pot.
2 chicken breasts
2 chicken breasts cooked with rosemary
Yeah those are very large chicken breasts. I chopped up garlic and onions and started it sautéeing in coconut oil.  Then I added kohlrabi to the sautee pan.
Garlic, onions and Kohlrabi to Sautee
I had picked a head of cauliflower and it was time to cook it up.
Garden fresh cauliflower
Soup just is not soup without carrots.  I am not sure why that is.  I purchased a seed tape for carrots this year.  Dale laughed at me but look at these good looking carrots!
Garden fresh carrots
It never takes broccoli very long to cook.  So that was the last thing that I added to the soup.  It turned out delicious but it was a huge batch.
Top it off with broccoli

Friday, July 22, 2016

Poor kitten

July 6th mama kitty brought her litter in from their hiding spot in the wood pile.  There were two full size kittens a runt and in a different spot I found a mostly eaten kitten by a dead rat.
About 15 days ago the runt disappeared.  I didn't know if the mama moved it or if something got into the bottom of the cage and took it? But why just the one? 
Doing chores the other evening I got part of my answer. Sitting in the brick wall (where the other litter had fallen) was the runt. It was meowing and it's eyes were matted shut.
I cleaned it's eyes and brought it back to mama and siblings.  They were all happy again. Then the next morning,  hiding behind the kennel was a light color kitten. I mistakenly thought that it was the older kitten.  It's eyes were a bit matted and I wondered what it had gotten into this time.
Then I saw the older kitten playing across the barn and realized that the light colored kitten must have also spent some time trapped in the wall. They are safe now. But what a trama those kittens must have gone through! 

Soar to new heights

In order to get the pictures of the purple martins in flight, I need to be taking pictures on a sunny day.  My camera has the feature that is designed for sports photography.  It sets the camera at settings that stop motion.  Then I put my camera on continuous and hold the button down.  When reviewing the pictures it almost looks like a movie.
Coming in with a dragonfly
Looking at the shots of this bird coming in for a landing, it is amazing that our large airplanes can manage to land.  Look at the way the back portion of the body is curving downward to control it's descent.
Adjust those flaps
It also amazes me to see the flexibility of the wings.  They go from all the way forward to straight back behind the body. The camera has caught the extreme positions but as you watch them they move so fast that you don't see that much movement.
Landing gear down
A perfect landing every time. Well almost every time.  I see them fly over when there is too much activity on the ground or too many birds already perched on top of the houses.
Another safe landing

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Purple Martins

Sometimes fewer words are better.  Here are six of my favorite Purple Martin photos. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Purple Martins - What's for supper?

I am surprised that we can take the nests up and down, pull off the sides and look inside and moments later the parents are back to feeding the babies.  In case you are wondering, purple martins eat dragon flies.
Daddy brings a dragonfly
 It is fascinating watching the birds quickly slide in and out of the house.  Other times they hang onto the front and pop their heads inside.
Daddy feeds dragonfly to kids over mom's shoulder
 If you want to see how good we have it in life, just look at how hard these parents work to feed their children.  I'm close to a mile away from the Sauk River. These birds fly back and forth to the prime feeding ground in order to feed their children.
Tag team - feeding is difficult work!
 Below you can see the baby birds beak in the entrance of the door.  Their mouths must actually get smaller as they get older.  Isn't that interesting?
Hurry back mom!
 The purple martins sit so proudly on the top of their homes.  They don't get bothered too much when I walk down there but the dogs running by disturb them a bit.  I know, I move a lot slower than my Dobermans.  I am not making as much noise as I'm going by either.
Song and Dance


I had a good-sized strawberry patch in town. Last fall I tried to move several plants out here. Only a few of them made it. A few weeks ago I purchased some are plants. I was so excited to see that they are trying to bloom this season already.
Ever-bearing Strawberries
Once again my mobile upload wasn't working.  Technology is wonderful .... when it works!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Wind Turbine

I had to pull over on the side of the road Saturday morning as Pat and I went to St. Cloud. There was a train full of windmill blades.
There were two large cranes strategically positioned to lift the blade off from the train cars.
It looked like each blade covered two rail cars. We weren't lucky enough to see the cranes lift a blade off from the train. 
On the way back, I drove into the back area. They were placing the blades in a row on the ground.
I wasn't allowed too close. They had a security vehicle parked at the entrance.  
I found out that Anderson Trucking had been contracted to remove the blades from the train to the location where they were will be assembled.
The security guy wasn't sure where that destination was. What can I say? I had to ask!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Eye spy

...a temptation. I am trying to post and it keeps failing this is a test. The test didn't work and it took me almost three days to make this post.  There is something going on with my mobile APP for Blogger.  But back to what I really wanted to share.  I saw this stump and the growth on it and there was an immediate temptation.
Here is an eye catching sight
 I stopped by Hobby Lobby.  Their fairy garden section was pretty picked over but maybe because it is so late in the season. That didn't matter.  There were still enough items to choose from for this project.
Original choices
 There was a whole group of toads or frogs.  I am not sure which but they are cute.  There there was a whole group of Gnomes also.  But WAIT!  This is a fairy garden and not a Gnome garden.  So I resisted loading up on the cute Gnomes.
Gnome riding toad
 The intent was to do this as a surprise.  When I got home, I took everything out of its package and prepared it for installation.
Final choices
 My nephew came over to butcher chickens.  Knowing that his girlfriend was not going to be outside when we got there, we made our way over to the backyard and installed the fairy garden. The Gnome and toads/frogs are on the top and the fairy is under cover.
New Fairy garden around tree stump
We had fun adding to the natural beauty that God had created from this rotting tree stump that no one got around to cleaning up.  The moral of the story is "if you don't get around to it then you can get around to something different."  Eye spy a beautiful fairy and a friendly Gnome.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Protect and Feed

Mama's everywhere are protective.  Especially in the animal (and bird) world.  A little bird decided to rest for a bit near the birdhouses.
Unwelcome Visitor
 As the mama came back with food, it took off after the unwelcome visitor and chased it away.  I've seen birds take after each other before but I have to wonder if they would ever do any real harm?
Bird fight
 It absolutely amazes me when I see them grab onto the front of the plastic gourd and stick their heads inside to feed the babies.  They have so much natural born skill.
I'm here open up!
 God has created these beautiful Purple Martins.  If he cares that much for them, how much more does he care for us?
Don't fight over the food
 It is nothing while watching the Purple Martins to see one one bird feeding while another one lands on top with more food in it's mouth.  Most of these houses have three to five baby birds inside.
Don't rock the gourd