Sunday, June 28, 2009

So you won't get lost...

I was looking through a book that I had checked out from the library, and I saw a picture of something similar to this:

I thought it would be fun to have something like this in our backyard since we seem to be utilizing more of our land... We don't want anyone to get lost!
Roger cut out the arrows and I painted the words. I think you can make out most of the words, but for some reason the camera didn't pick up the bottom ones too well. There's school room, garden, chickens, shop, tree house, vineyard and orchard, beehives, and firepit.

And, I mentioned in my last blog post about my hatred of the Japanese Beetles. This is what is hanging from the arbor in my backyard... and if we didn't fight the JB's, these beautiful grapes would be all shrivled and black. Don't you think my hatred is justified?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ode to the Japanese Beetle

I don't toss around the word "hate" too often, but I have to be honest. I hate Japanese beetles. I hadn't seen too many around until these last two days. They are getting worse each day. I even called Handy Man at work yesterday a little freaked out because I was seeing so many flying around outside as I looked out my kitchen window. They're just evil looking...straight from... well, you know...
These are pictures of some JB on our lovely grape fines!! Argh!! On the picture below, it's hard to see, but there are about 6 beetles on that leaf. Double Argh!!!!
I am so bothered by these horrible creatures, I wrote an Ode.
Ode to a Japanese Beetle
How do I hate thee, let me count the ways.
You fly into my forehead causing me to slap myself unnecessarily.
You land in my hair leading me to dance around flailing like a spasmodic idiot.
But worst of all, you foul creature, you eat the leaves off my lovely fruits and vegetables.
I loathe you.
I dread the time of year you emerge from your hellish cocoon,
roaming to see what you can devour.
(Yes, the biblical analogy is intended.)
We will fight you oh formidable foe...
Insecticide is our friend as we wrestle to save our beautiful, sustaining crops.
Be gone you miserable, repulsive mass.

What do you think? You didn't know I had it in me, did you?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Meet The Girls

We have chickens. I can't even begin to explain how unlikely it is that this city girl, a lazy city girl at that, has decided to welcome these feathered creatures into our life. I have come a long way baby!
We have 3 girls that we hope will supply us with fresh eggs. Here's what they looked like when they arrived. They were little balls of puff that gave the sweetest chirps. They eat and poop like pros. Their first home was a box. It worked well for about a week. We then expanded their apartment to a larger box and it's worked well as they grow big enough to put outside in their permanent home...the Chicken Castle...otherwise knows as the chicken coop. They are named after our grandmothers. There is Bertha, Mildred, and Irene. They were much easier to tell apart when they were little...we've since had to put a black spot on their feet to make sure we keep them straight... Not that they care.

Here's what they look like now. They are about 4 weeks old and we have been putting them in their Castle during the warm days and bringing them back in the house during the chilly nights. We have a warming lamp in their Castle and in the evening they chow down on the unsuspecting moths. The hole in the floor leads down to the bottom of the coop which is fenced in and lets them be on the grass. They haven't really figured that out yet.

I think this is Mildred. She's the leader of the pack...just like grandma.

Here's a picture of their Castle. There are screened windows on the sides and a large door to check on them...or just visit with them. The nesting box goes over the porch so I don't even have to put my shoes on when we need to start gathering their eggs. Aren't I smart? And lazy?