Of Monarchs and Milkweeds

Originally posted on Farmhouse38:

Monarch Butterfly Gardening at Farmhouse38.comI attended college at UC Santa Barbara, and my very first apartment was just outside of campus in Goleta, CA. My neighborhood there butted up against a chunk of undeveloped land peppered with trails that led all through and eventually down to the beaches there. I felt very fortunate to live so close to such a place and spent a lot of time exploring and running on those trails, always taking different directions and footpaths to see where they would take me. One afternoon, I was doing just this, running a trail, and all of a sudden, I stumbled into a eucalyptus grove that was alive with monarch butterflies. Stunned and all alone, it was just I and the butterflies, the flipping of their wings dripping from every leaf, every branch, and ‘puddling’ in various spots on the grove floor. It was magic, and I have never ever forgotten it.

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Spring turkey strut

It's turkey time!!

It’s turkey time!!

Beautiful wild hen

Beautiful wild hen

Haven't seen them since Thanksgiving and now all of sudden everywhere I drive there's wild turkeys in the fields in large groups.

Haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving and now all of sudden everywhere I drive there’s wild turkeys in the fields in large groups.

The Man-Cave

I’ve made a few changes in our main living room.  A lot of our male friends that come to visit never go past the living room so I decided to make it more “male pleasing” with conversation pieces and moved all the frilly to our family room.  I wanted to keep it comfortable enough that anyone would enjoy sitting and talking without feeling like they were in a taxidermy shop.  Here’s what it looked like before:

 

Living room 3

Living room 3

Living room 2

Living room 2

Living room 1

Living room 1

 

It’s a small room but seats four comfortably and of course it has my crafty/country adornments.  I wanted to give the new look a more man-ly, outdoors look and to show off hubby’s trophy and pictures.  I started by taking out the “non-hunting” wall decor.

DSCN4682

 

 

 

 

The picture on the right is gone now too!  It’s hanging in the family room.

 

 

 

 

 

DSCN4681 I took all of the primitive dolls and floral piks away.

DSCN4680  Not much left on the mantle with the floral, fluff and “my thing” gone.

DSCN4679

DSCN4678I’ve decided now to wait until late spring to do any decorating in here so that I can paint the room a delicate ice blue to keep the room bright.  We also had a disaster with the woodstove and stove mat the night we finished the maple syrup.  Hubby’s last run to the sugar house produced about 6-8 more quarts of syrup so he emptied into a pot and filled the sugar pans with just clear water so the pans wouldn’t scorch.  He decided we would just let it cook off on the wood stove while we slept. At 4:00 a.m. I was awakened by the smell of burning sugar!!  Guess what??  It cooked into a rolling boil and out the pot it came, down on the top of the stove, down the sides of the stove and onto the stove mat when I found it.  Hubby was sound asleep from being up since 3:00 a.m. the previous morning so I let him sleep while I quickly carried the pot to the kitchen.  It took two rolls of paper towels to get it up and I ruined two metal spatulas scraping the burning syrup off of the stove.  The stove mat was ruined but I got all of the syrup off of the stove and think it will be polishable when I spring clean and paint.  I definitely have to get a new stove mat.

A new post will come as the “man-cave” makeover begins and ends.

Spring cleaning and Granddaughter’s Help

I spent my entire Saturday, March 22nd, “starting” the spring cleaning in my kitchen.  By starting, I mean those beautiful shelves my hubby put up on both sides of the length of my kitchen up near the ceiling is where I’ve started this year.  I didn’t get to them at all last year and decided they would be first this year.

Shelving runs lengthwise in my 30 ft kitchen on both sides.

Shelving runs lengthwise in my 30 ft kitchen on both sides.

The shelves hold a lot of my antique kitchen items and farm animals (ceramic of course).

The shelves hold a lot of my antique kitchen items and farm animals (ceramic of course).

Several crocks and lots of roosters and hens.  The shelving boards came from lumber we sawed from the farm and I finished.

Several crocks and lots of roosters and hens. The shelving boards came from lumber we sawed from the farm and I finished.

It took all day to clean and put them back and my granddaughter climbed up and handed down everything to me and I washed and dried it all and she put it back.  It was work but we had a good time catching up.  While I was washing everything she was crafting for me.

First she twined a bottle for me.  This will be placed in my family room.

First she twined a bottle for me. This will be placed in my family room.

She used polymer clay to make this flowers and bows to attach to some of our projects.

She used polymer clay to make this flowers and bows to attach to some of our projects.

This clay was white but when it baked it turned to a very light beige which made it look old.

This clay was white but when it baked it turned to a very light beige which made it look old.

Some she embellished with a light blue and some with white.  They're very delicate looking.

Some she embellished with a light blue and some with white. They’re very delicate looking.

Victoria enjoyed doing them so much she took a picnic basket full of bottles, twine and clay home with her to make me some more and I’ll post them when she is finished.

I'm so glad she loves crafting almost as much as I do.

I’m so glad she loves crafting almost as much as I do.

Those fingers working the clay just perfect.

Those fingers working the clay just perfect.

She has a delicate touch!

She has a delicate touch!

The spring cleaning in the kitchen is an on-going process and now it’s time to do the other shelf and all that it holds.

Weight-loss update

Winter blahs and some family issues have caused me to backslide and lose my willpower to get this weight off.  I knew I was backsliding when I gained a pound last month and quit keeping my food log.  I tried to pump myself up by buying an exercise mat, a couple videos to dance with, some weights and made a large poster board of pictures of the exercises I needed to do get rid of the inner tube that is supposed to be my waist.

Dance/exercise videos to help me work off the weight.

Dance/exercise videos to help me work off the weight.

Exercise mat and weights.

Exercise mat and weights.

Treadmill to use when it's too cold to get outside and walk.

Treadmill to use when it’s too cold to get outside and walk.

When I get home from work in the evenings I’m wasted.  All I want to do is sit in my recliner and put recipes on index cards, read magazines or my book, or sleep while watching the television!!  I just feel worthless!!

I go back to visit my weight coach tomorrow and hope she’ll have some advise and wisdom to get me back on track.  I sure would like to lose another ten pounds by summer.  I started out at 187 (I think) in September and I just can’t get down past that 170 mark and am terribly afraid I’ve gained this month.  Of course, making desserts and mac & cheese on the weekends doesn’t help either.  BUT, in my defense, I still do not eat after 7:00 in the evening!  I guess it’s time to pull up my “big-girl panties” and get back on track regardless of the weather!!

Baby animals are . . .

heartwarming, fun, adorable, cute, huggable, curious and so much more.  I just had to share some more pics of the rest of the baby calves born in the last two weeks.

IMG_1011 IMG_1006 IMG_0034 IMG_0031 IMG_0003IMG_0009 IMG_0011 IMG_0012 IMG_0013 IMG_0015 IMG_0016 IMG_0017 IMG_0026 IMG_0027 IMG_0028 IMG_0031 IMG_0035 IMG_0038

Beavers are destructive creatures

One of our neighbors has a small farm behind our farm and a small spring runs through their property, through ours and on into Sinking Creek.  Last year a beaver moved into their part of the stream and they love watching them.  Well, now part of their farm has become flooded due to the activity of the beavers and they have raised kits which have moved further down stream to our property which is now flooded.  They raised kits and their family moved to the next farm adjoining us.  Hubby has been trying to destruct their dams on our property a couple times.  Here’s pictures of the dam before the destruction:

2014 views and maple syrup 008 2014 views and maple syrup 007 2014 views and maple syrup 006 2014 views and maple syrup 005 2014 views and maple syrup 004 2014 views and maple syrup 003

They have cleared out a big area of brush and young trees on the neighbors side of the fence to build this home of theirs.  On Monday, hubby took the tractor, hip waders and cable with treble hooks down to the dam built on our side of the fence and ripped it all out and the water had receded that had raised to the fourth strand of high tinsel wire.

Even from a distance you can see the difference once the dam was torn out and released.

Even from a distance you can see the difference once the dam was torn out and released.

The lake is back to a stream.

The lake is back to a stream.

The entire fence is visible without the dam.

The entire fence is visible without the dam.

The smaller dam below the larger one is broken up too.

The smaller dam below the larger one is broken up too.

Big difference!

Big difference!

Hubby called this morning to make sure I made it to work with problems since we had another snowfall during the early morning hours.  He had driven down the holler to check on the dam and during the night the entire dam had been rebuilt overnight as well as the smaller one.  The destruction continues and they have killed some fruit trees in their habitat building.

And NO, I don’t have a picture of the culprit because they work at night while I sleep and I won’t give up my sleep for a beaver!!

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