Friday, May 16, 2008

Look what we found!


or is it baby fox?? Is the plural of fox FOX, or FOXES?? Whatever...there were SEVERAL of them.

...and aren't they CUTE!!!

They're living right in front of Paityn's school.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's better than CHICKENS!!!

You may remember last spring when Paityn visited a farm with a friend. She came home and put 2 goose eggs and 6 chicken eggs in the fridge. What we DIDN'T know was that the other half of the dozen was in her room...wrapped in blankets...on the baseboard heater..."hatching". Of course when we realized she'd turned her room into an incubator, we explained that we couldn't burn the house down, and that THAT kind of heat would cook the eggs anyway, etc., etc., etc.

So then she was devastated. She'd "killed" the chickens. She was SO sad, and there were lots of tears. Now...I need to add here...we normally just let the tears flow. I mean...tears don't usually work around here. There are two female children in the house (one being a teenager), so we've seen lots of 'em, and we're pretty much immune. But this was serious heartbreak. So we went online and ordered an incubator. I doubted that the eggs had even been fertilized, and even if they had, surely she'd cooked them on that heater. Besides...even if they were fertile, and even if they weren't cooked, chicken eggs are only viable for about 2 weeks, and that's how long it took to get the incubator.

This kid researched all there was to know about raising chickens. She was a walking encyclopedia of chicken facts and coop building. And would you little chick did develop. When it was time to hatch, we had to leave town. She held that incubator, plugged in, the entire 8 hour trip there and the 8 hour trip back. But the poor thing never hatched. :( So then we ordered fertilized eggs. Unfortunately, the post office scrambled them. Kudos to the seller...the eggs never broke, even though the box was destroyed and had to be replaced en route. But, nonetheless, they didn't develop into baby chicks.

Somewhere in the midst of all the heartbreak, apparently we promised that THIS spring we'd get live chicks. I use the word "we" rather loosely...I really don't recall there being any "we" to it. Regardless..."we" were playing the odds...the odds that by this spring, she wouldn't give a flip about chickens. WRONG! We've been able to put her off so far, due to the weather.

A few weeks ago, she asked for a bird. She's had one on her Christmas list for several years. So I offered her a deal. She could get a bird INSTEAD of chickens. (There's no chance of ME trudging through 2 feet of snow at 20 below to feed a parakeet) She declined. It had to be chicks. Until Saturday, when there was a change of heart. We were taking the dog to be groomed, and there were BIRDS. I'm sure she was starting to think it was never going to stop snowing and she would NEVER get her chicks. The birds were within reach. So she gave a little speech about how she'd realized what a huge responsibility it would be to raise chickens, and how it would be a big job with the bad weather, yada, yada, yada. She could have saved the sales pitch...I was SOLD! I'll take a parakeet over chickens any day!

So now she has a parakeet named "Sky".

I can't believe how quickly they've bonded.

The two have spent HOURS together.

I think it's love. :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

So I'm CHEAP!!

Last May, for Mother's Day and my birthday, I wanted to make our yard look nice. So we made a BIG trip to Home Depot, spent a LOT of money, and then made our muscles ache by digging, raking, planting, etc. We were careful to choose plants that worked for our zone...the ARCTIC ZONE. Those poor plants struggled all summer long. They looked pretty much dead at one point. We slowly nursed them back to life...if you want to call it that. Each plant sprouted at least one new leaf on their dead brown stickly bodies, so we called them "live".'s sort of spring again, or at least the calendar says it is. Let's just forget the blizzard we had on Friday. Those plants were officially dead. We were looking at our receipts, and in a few days, it would be a year since we bought them. And hey...they were guaranteed for a year. THEY WERE!!!!! So yesterday morning, when the snow had mostly melted, I sent Chris out to dig up the dead plants. We made another BIG trip to Home Depot. This time, we carted in 6 very dead plants. As we got near the "RETURNS" counter, Chris and the kids started to walk the other direction. Yours truly was, of course, pushing the cart with the dead plants. I turned to Chris and said, "OH NO YOU DON'T! YOU GET OVER HERE!" There was no way I was going to keep that embarrassment all to myself. But as I got busy explaining myself to the guy at the register, my family quietly slinked away. The young register guy with grommets for earrings was NOT amused! But how could he argue...the guarantee was for a full year, and the year wouldn't be up until later this week.

As I walked away with my $127 gift card, a man in line even complimented me on my gardening skills. I thought that was nice.

We didn't leave empty handed. I mean...what a deal! If the plants die, we'll just get fresh ones again next year.

We got some Honeysuckle ( smells SO nice),

a couple of Lilacs,

and some Sand Cherries.

We even had some survivors (Lilies) from last year. might say we're quite the gardeners.