"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Friday, August 28, 2015

There always seems to be a rainbow..........

..arching it's way over the grounds after a welcoming rain.

It all starts with an intense hot and muggy day......clouds that look like meringue on a pie
start gathering

some look as soft and cotton candy

and some start growling and begin to look menacing 

Some look like a cave man drawing........don't you think??

and some have the most amazing color

and then............they break and the ground opens it arms to the moisture.

After the rain is gone.........wild birds of every color

and shape come to quench their thirst

and to romp around in the cool wet grass.
From the Road Runner

to the groups of quail



and even the often reclusive badger comes for refreshment.


And the rainbow lingers a little while longer.

How about you? How has the weather been treating you this season?
Have you been too close to the terrible fires that are raging?
or are you getting too much rain?........to much heat?
Or is there a rainbow to lift your spirits?
I would love to hear!

Monday, August 10, 2015

The words " I think a skunk might have sprayed Sophie"

jolted me out of my sleepiness in the early morning hours.
How I wish I was just dreaming ..........
but no.........
 before I could force my eyes open to see my husband standing over me........
I could smell that horrible smell drifting in from the open back door.  

I hurriedly dress and rush outside to find a very sad and heavily slobbering Sophie,,,,,,
sitting on the patio.....head down........eyes blinking......and tail thumping .........
as if to say "  I know I was not supposed to chase that thing!"
This has been the one major worry I have out here.............SKUNK SPRAY
I have seen this skunk on the patio at night and I have constantly warned my husband and son to "watch out for that skunk" and
 "don't let Sophie out until you make sure the skunk is not there"
well........it happened..........
I  have always heard..........tomato juice is the remedy.........
I am 30 minutes away from any store and all I had on hand were two small cans of tomato sauce.
Nothing is more yucky than to be out on a still darkened patio.......in hot, humid weather..........
not even having time to brush my teeth........or my hair.........standing there with a really stinky dog........rubbing tomato sauce into it's fur.......yuck, yuck, yuck.........
while my husband......hurries.........and I do mean hurries off to work.........
leaving me ........to deal with this.............mess.
And just for your notes...........TOMATO SAUCE DOES NOT WORK!
My son researches for me and finds that hydrogen peroxide,  baking soda, and dish soap does the best.
Luckily.........I keep a lot of that on hand. The baking soda/peroxide  mixture I use on my vintage linens to get stains out.
And  I am forever washing dishes. 
So
If your dog gets sprayed.........dump the baking soda all over and then pour the peroxide all over that, then the dish soap......... and work into the hair. Rinse and repeat. Then bathe the dog in dog shampoo and 
you have a very squeaky, odor free, and stain free pooch!
And .........no ..........Sophie is not blonde from it all
After all of the drama, I came out of the bath to find Sophie......
barking in her sleep..........
chasing that skunk in her dreams no doubt .


The very next morning I found this young owl sitting on the floor of the garden well house.
 If you remember, I had posted earlier that the owls have made the old weathered well house a nesting place.
This is the second or third batch of owls that have hatched this year............ It had fallen from the hole in the ceiling . It had pin feathers all over it.........not quite ready to fly and unable to get back up into it's nest. 
I needed to get a step ladder from the house to be able to reach the nest.......and I did not want to leave the owl just sitting there..........I knew that it would go hide behind all of the junk in there ..............and I did not want to dig through it all to find it. So I scooped the owl up and brought it into the house with me......to find the ladder
It remained calm and just kept looking up at me with those big dark eyes, while it's foot had a tight clutch on my fingers. 

back into the well house, I stepped up to place the owl back into the rafters. I could hear the mother owl thumping around up there and I was worried she was going to get me.
I placed the young owl onto the top of the sheet rock and it let go of it's grip  on my fingers and walked into the darkness of the hole


I could not get high enough to poke my head in to take a look at the mother, so I just put my camera up through the hole and snapped this photo.
Since then, I have seen the young owl......peering at me through the hole , but ducking away when I say hello. A wildlife rehabilitator told me that the the owl should stop hatching out young by late fall......so hopefully, at that time,  we will be able to repair the well house and keep the wild life out.
To say the least........it has been a very exciting week........
whether I wanted it to be or not! 


Friday, July 31, 2015

His favorite thing to do lately

 is to sit and look out of the large window..... to watch 
the newest visitors who come to eat feed
or to get a drink of cool water on such hot days.

Sometimes, they like to just lie down in the shady grass........

sometimes they come to fill their cheeks full of grain ....
running off to store it in their nests.....and then come back for more

but most..........are very thirsty.......and line up along the watering tray
enjoying a cool drink


how much he loves to watch.........his tails slaps back and forth and his mouth quivers, making his whiskers shake. 

Today.......something bigger........and strange came to the watering tray.....
making everything else......leave..........

and making Taboo...........stand still......and stare..........

a raccoon......which never usually shows up until night just could not resist coming to tromp around in that cool water...........
he also decided he would check out the porch for food............

but this time..........he was greeted by Hobo.........who has now made this place his domain............
I was getting worried watching this............

but he looks up at me..........proud........as if to say.........
" I showed him!" 

Also.........my work has been published! I quilt is  on page 8 of this lovely magazine

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Whether I like or not........... new visitosr have come to the farm

First this very sweet cat.  He was sitting on the back porch early one morning..........
I made the mistake of asking him if he was hungry..........he was.
I posted his picture on Facebook, 
no one has accepted him as their friend........as of yet.
I have named him..........Hobo

The next day, this young bird got trapped into our chimney and the next morning, it finally came out of the fireplace........tired and weak. I let it go outside.......and it flew away.

The next day after that,  a swarm of gigantic flying ants covered the whole grounds. This is their mating season. They have done this a few years ago and I do not like them being here. You cannot walk because they are all over the grounds. Thankfully in a couple of days, they left.
The cat........has not left
. He rolls all over the porch and makes it hard for me to resist rubbing his belly.......which he loves.  Although I don't really want another cat.......
the large rats that will not leave my car alone.......have suddenly disappeared and are no longer on my engine when I open the hood. 
My flowers have stopped being nibbled down...........
He follows right along side of Sophie and I on our walks.......
so incredibly sweet
He has proven himself to be a worthy " farm cat"
so..........I guess.........
 he will stay.


My greenhouse and my greenhouse gardens are looking pretty this time of year.



It's always full of rose moss, blooming in brilliant color

and budding in every container.

I love pincushion cactus and I have had this one for many years.

My Chrysanthemums are beautiful this year

and the roses are constantly blooming.
I had planted a large garden of zinnia, as you know, my favorite flower,
but we have had an explosion of rabbits this year. '
They mowed all of my sprouted Zinnia down.

Little Taboo is growing larger.......well........longer each day. He enjoys sitting with me during my stitching hours........sorting my thread.

Sophie.........sweet as always has welcomed all the cats into her domain.
As long as she is the only dog........she is happy.


I have a vintage recipe on my cooking blog by Ann Pillsbury 1950.
Just click onto link to visit

So tell me..........what visitors have you had lately??















Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Narcissus is a flower I have not yet tried to grow

but I hope to do so by planting the bulbs during the fall.......
maybe October.
Narcissus are daffodils.......which I have grown......
but I really want to try the white ones this year.
Narcissus are hardy and easy to grow. They like full or half day sun but do just as well in shady spots. 


In the middle of a project I am embroidering,  one of the flowers is
the Narcissus
I love to embroider flowers and insects, because the world of nature is full of amazing color.



For the folklore of this flower..........
Greek mythology tells us how narcissus plants came to be.
Echo was a mountain nymph who fell madly in love with a beautiful young man, Narcissus.
Narcissus was a vain youth and cared for nothing but his own beauty. He spent all his time looking at his own reflection in a pool of water and spurned Echo's love until she finally faded away, leaving nothing but her voice. The gods, angry with Narcissus because of his vanity, changed him into a flower who was destined always to sit by a pool nodding at his own reflection.
Similar versions of this myth occur in Rome, Arabia, Egypt, Spain, and Portugal.
For medicinal purposes........
Though Narcissus bulbs are poisonous, they have been used medicinally for centuries. A doctor named Galen was a surgeon at the school of gladiators in Rome. His favorite salve to "glue great wounds, cuts, and gashes" was the juice from the Narcissus bulbs. 
The bulbs are said to have been a standard bit of medication in the first-aid bags of Roman soldiers. European peasants would mix the juice with honey and apply it to cuts or swollen joints.  
The word Narcissus is from the Greek word narkeo, meaning "to be stupified," and this alludes to the poisonous properties of the plant.
The bulbs contain lycorcine which paralyzes the heart and numbs the nervous system. Scientists are testing chemicals from Narcissus bulbs as a possible treatment fro multiple sclerosis.

Narcissus is the Chinese symbol of good fortune and the emblem of winter. In Japan, it is the symbol of mirth and joyousness and emblem of formality. 
The love of Narcissus is ancient. 
Mohammed is said to have said, "Let him who hath two loaves sell one, and buy the flower of Narcissus: for bread is but food for the body, whereas Narcissus is food for the soul."


*** The folklore of this flower is from the book: 
Garden Flower Folklore by Laura C. Martin"


Monday, June 29, 2015

From The Best Banana Bread..........To The Best Banana Peel Plant Fertilizer

It's almost the July 4th holiday.......a time for the gathering of family, friends
and the table full of wonderful foods.  Especially banana pudding and banana bread.
This is one of my most requested desserts and recipes You can find it here at this link to my cooking blog   Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread with Orange Pecan Topping
But what do you do with all of those banana peels and eggs shells??
Don't throw them away! 
They are full of wonderful things to make your garden blossom in brilliant colors.
Banana Peels contain
Potassium (Contains 42% when dried)
Phosphorus
Calcium
Manganese
Sodium
Magnesium
Sulfur
All the things that make your plants happy and healthy! 
By adding a few egg shells and Epsom Salt .......
you can make a cheap and chemical free fertilizer spray.
Here is the recipe:
Banana Peel Plant Fertilizer Spray
Spray Bottle
Water
4 Banana Peels
1 tablespoon Epsom Salt
3 Egg Shells
Lay banana peels and egg shells on a tray and place them in a place where they will dry out completely.
After they are completely dry, place shells and peels into blender and pulse until they are a fine powder.
Add the shell/peel powder and the Epsom salts to a large spray bottle.
Add water to the bottle and stir or shake the contents until all is dissolved and mixed well.
Caution:
because this is a fertilizer spray,  don't use too much at one time or you could burn your plants.
Do not spray directly onto plants that are in full sunlight, spray into the soil around the plants.
As in all things, test carefully with each different plant to adjust to each individual need.


 
I found this recipe a little while back and so far my plants have been happy with it.
Best of all it is non toxic to the environment..


Friday, June 19, 2015

Stepping out into the early morning , with Sophie at my side,

the sound of chattering came once again from the back property.
where, underneath the old retired RV sits, a mother raccoon has died,
leaving behind her babies. 

 A couple of days before I had found this little fellow and spent a good bit of time trying to locate a wildlife rehabilitator.  One person told me to just let it loose in the woods............
it is such a tiny baby.......and look at those eyes...........how could I do that?


Instead, I placed him in a carrier and finally found a veterinarians office about 80 miles away who takes in all kinds of orphaned animals......including raccoons.
The first day one of the assistants me me half way and picked this small fellow up

but this morning, the office was short handed and we opted to drive these two to the shelter. 
They had gone days without being fed
and were so desperate for a feeding that they chattered and sucked on my fingers , as they rode in my lap all the way to their new home. I can understand why people want to keep these little critters as pets. They are so lovable. But it takes 12 weeks of 4 hour around the clock feedings and a year of learning from their mother before they are ready to be on their own. .
It takes a rehabilitator  this much time to get them prepared for the wild.
  But I feel so lucky to have been able to hold and cuddle such wild creatures. 

Another strange visitor that is not supposed to even live here was this squirrel. He showed up a few days ago and I hope predators do not get him. 

The animal shelter that took in the baby coons had an amazing array of different animals.
All who had been abandoned by previous owners/
There were camels

a lonesome looking monkey

very friendly doves

a beautiful white turkey

and lots of horses........
this one I would have loved to take home!
There were also large lizards, crocodiles and snakes. 

Meanwhile, inside.......baby Taboo is growing......
and longs to be able to go outside........
but for now........it is way too wild for such a small kitty.