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Archive for the ‘flowers’ Category

The past couple of weeks have been crazy around Oleo Acres. Well, what else is new? As soon as we returned from our trip to New Zealand, we had two horrid windstorms here, each taking bits and pieces of the roof shingles and paper with them. I had forgotten just how unnerving listening to the wind rip your home apart could be. We were stationed in Kansas for seven years. Those years saw many times when the wind tore through our housing area, downing trees and brush while leaving our WWII brick quarters standing tall. Many a time a hot meal was left on the table as we scrambled out the door to the basement stairs when the tornado warning sirens alerted us to oncoming storms, Ralph with Kelly in his arms and me with a “Survival Bag” of necessary items and the cat(s) held tight in my arms.
We knew it was almost time to have a new roof put on. We’d had water damage from snow and ice storms the previous winter of ’07-’08. Now the wind was finishing off the other parts of the roof toward the south side where the weather hits us. It was time to bite the bullet, with the aid of our insurance company. Not only was the roof damaged, but we saw sections of the privacy fence by our garden flattened as well. It looks like it will be a busy summer here.

After tearing off the old shingles and roofing paper, the contractor laid down a waterproof membrane along the edge of the roof and up the valleys where we normally see ice dams form. Then all was covered with roofing paper, a new drip edge and here you see a few photos of the shingles going on.

We decided while the new roof is going on to add a few sun tube, or solar tubes, to the package to brighten areas of the house we thought could use some extra brightening: one in the kitchen, one in the hallway to our bedroom, and the final one in the stairwell to the basement. A friend in town had some installed in her abode when a new roof was put on and they made such a difference we couldn’t pass this opportunity by.

One delight is that my Coffee plant (above) and my citrus (lime, below) are blooming! The front sunroom is fragrant with the smell of blossoms!

Another wonderful happenstance was that we found out we had more property than we thought! The county has bought our neighbor’s place. they will tear down her house and add that land to the wetlands they own behind us. That being the case , what with the county about to take possession of said property, they had their surveyors come out to stake the true property lines. On our walk around the house this evening we both agreed that this weekend we need to move our railroad ties and rocks over to the line. (And yes, the county would love to have us sell to them as well as they would love to add our stream in their property, but we’re not selling to anyone until Ralph retires – and prices go back up a bit. 😉

I’m just sorry I don’t have any pictures of lambs to share with you this year. Then again, with everything that’s been going on here with surgeries, trips, and roofs…well, maybe that was a good idea not to breed last fall after all.

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Note: For some reason my first try at this post did not show any of the pictures, so I have re-posted sans the former comments. Please do let me know if you have any problems viewing this post. I suspect Blogger is up to something…

The weekend before this last one saw us at a tractor show north of town. It was a fairly small event but reminded both my Hired-Hand-With-Benefits and myself of something we don’t see often here. Tractors. The inspiration for going to this event was my HH looking for a new transmission for the small garden tractor he uses about the place. The old Craftsman had died a slow, horrible death and try as he might it could not be resuscitated for love nor money. Parts had been replaced to no avail. It was dead. This prompted the ordering of a new and a bit larger garden tractor. I have yet to hear if any of the accessories fits the new one. A major piece is the snow thrower which makes easier work in clearing out the snows of winter.

I love old farm equipment. Well, I guess I have to qualify that a bit as I like new farm equipment just as much. I had instilled in my character the love of good tools from a father who took me to countless hardware stores looking for items to make life easier.
My HH will tell you, I have never balked at anyone in the family getting some sort of tool or equipment to make life easier or more efficient. I am a big believer in the right tool for the right job.
Now, that being said, I also grew up in a family where each of us ended up with our own toolbox due to Dad grousing at someone who had used his tools without permission or put them back dirty or in the wrong place, usually my brother. This tradition has carried on in this family as well although a bit of “friendly” tool robbing occurs from time to time.
And this attitude goes as far as to in the kitchen (proper cooking implements) and wool working equipment: good spinning wheels, carding machine, looms, etc. Dad instilled the value of our time being worth something early on in life. If it was worthy enough to do correctly, it was worthy of time…a valuable commodity in itself.
So, the short of it is we enjoyed seeing all the tractors although I didn’t see one Allis Chalmers tractor among the ones on display – those mainly John Deere and International Harvesters. I guess it’s a Midwest thing, but I have fond memories of driving an Allis from time to time.

I also wanted to share this daisy with you. When I was married, almost 32 years ago now, I carried a bouquet of yellow roses and daisies. Not until later would I find that my mother had saved the seeds from those daisy flower heads for me. On the return from living in Germany, I was given a baggie filled with the seeds from that very bouquet, then about five years old. that baggie was placed away and I didn’t come across it again until we moved into this place in ’92. I took a chance and planted the seeds.
I’ve always admired daisies for their strength of character. They hadn’t failed me and came up with vigor. The first plant from those seeds eventually succumbed to age, but not before it left “babies” for me to keep. Every summer it reminds me not only of my wedding, but of the mother who believed…in the daisies and in me. Mom passed away in ’83, but I still feel the connection through these blossoms.

And the final picture is of lily plants in our “pond” that were given to us by our cat vet, Dr. Bill and his wife, Melanie. We weren’t sure they would make it through a winter in our area (they have a backyard pond in town), but they have. It’s been a joy to see them bloom and grow.

In pondering over the flowers coming up, some against the odds, I have come to re-think and take stock in the saying, “Bloom where you’re planted”. I’ll try to remember that, Mom.

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Easter Flowers

I thought I would share a couple of the more cheerful, colorful aspects of this past weekend holiday with you.

This first picture is of a Christmas Cactus I have had for years. I should name it “Old Faithful” as it begins to bloom around Halloween continuing up to and usually through Easter. I had been worried about it as most of my plants suffered during my stay in the hospital last June and afterward. Poor guys. I feel like this plant came through just to let me know that they all hung in there for me. Now if the orchids will get off their (ahem!) backsides and follow suit!
Next we have a lovely bunch of Daffodils. While friends like Tina and Michelle have had many things bloom at their places, I have had to console myself with bought daffodils from a local grocery store. The nice thing about these is they have a wonderful fragrance. And a bonus is that none of the cats seem to want to munch on them.

We have also had quite a few active birds around. I’ve been waiting for the Western Bluebirds to start moving through – a sure sign of impending spring here in the mountains, but have had to “make do” with Mr. House Finch singing his beautiful little heart out trying to impress the Mrs. He’s been here for a number of years (or maybe his son?) and every morning will sit by the kitchen door, serenading me with his beautiful renditions. As summer comes closer, his feathers will become much brighter in color. Sometimes, Bran will sit on a nearby telephone pole and try singing base along with the finches song. But he just can’t cut the mustard like Mr. H. Finch!

That’s OK, Bran…I’ll still talk to just you down at the barn. I’m ready for another lesson in Raven. Are you ready to teach one?

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OK, OK…Tina and Becca….I got the message. Here it is – a Blog entry, FINALLY! I have to say that I haven’t been blogging, but reading and walking lately. It’s been hot to where you’ll do anything not to move during mid-day and our home office seems to be the hottest room in the house.

The last time I talked to Tina she mentioned the Great Sweet Pea Experiment I was doing this year. We have flower boxes on our front deck and I had this great idea to plant sweet peas in hopes they would cascade over and cover some of the space under the deck. The photo is the outcome of this “Great Idea”. They are now starting to really acquire many blossoms – enough to show up in a photo, at least. The white ones are extremely fragrant. And a big factor – they haven’t been eaten by our infamous “Rats-With-Antlers”! Hmmm…I wonder if it’s because the elk have plenty of grass this year or do they just not like sweet peas? The elk drive the sheep absolutely bonkers. Not from chasing them, or coming over into our pasture, but I think it’s by their mere presence. One of the ewes, especially, will bleat loud and long to let everyone know there are elk coming close to “her” pasture. Even if she’s in the barn, closed up for the night. She must believe she’s some sort of early warning system.
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My DH managed to get a few shots of the boys in the mist as it rolled into the lowlands after a rain, but it’s just too dark to show up well on the blog. Soon, with the first shot heard, or the first arrow sailing through the air, the boys will disappear until next summer. It’s amazing just how fast they can disappear during hunting season. Little do they know that they would actually be safer in this field than in the surrounding forests as we are in the no hunting zone around the Flagstaff area. Ah, well…they must go to where the girls are and the girls don’t hang around here. 🙂

Soon, we will be treated to a visit from some of our family from New Zealand and I do hope “The Boys” are still here. It would be so nice to sit on the deck and watch them…

and I promise……I won’t even chase them away with large, black plastic bags. At least not this year….

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A few photos

Kelly here again – Kathy is recovering well from her back surgery. Today she was very chatty and sounded almost back to normal (although she is still in some pain, and moving around stiffly). I was surprised she didn’t have my father feeding her bonbons to speed her recovery!

Dad was nice enough to upload a few pictures to Flickr:
flowers, view 1
flowers, view 2
Kathy in bed

I know she has appreciated all of your warm wishes and happy thoughts – and hopefully she’ll be able to tell you so herself in a few more days.

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