Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

To one and all!  May you enjoy what is truly important to you this holiday...

Decorating the Christmas tree a couple weeks ago

hmmm, posing, are we?

The finished product
Another look at it!

A nice effect at the Christmas eve service

The star of Bethlehem

A bagpiper adds to the ambiance (I seriously love those things!)

We have a few things under the tree, I see.....

Yes, it's Christmas eve....

Feliz Navidad, Gelukkige Kersfees, Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Agriculture Symposium

Recently spent a week at an Agricultural Symposium a couple states away.  Here are just a few of the many pictures from that most informative and wonderful week.

Some of the cold frames behind the school buildings


A few farm animals

You can see the tip of the compost heap poking out to the left

Some kind of pheasant

Duckies - they were so cute - talking to each other constantly....

Some of the winter garden in front of the greenhouse and coldframe

One of the planting plots

The lettuce do well even in the cold.

Red clover as a cover crop on the top field


Coming along

Can you guess what this is?

It's a Cosmic Purple Carrot!  Tastes out of this world - mild, sweet, crisp, colorful, and a fantastic size!  I recommend this wholeheartedly!
Hope you enjoyed the little tour of the gardens.  And I hope I'm sufficiently educated to do better in my own garden this next year.  One main point - make sure your soil is augmented with the right balance of minerals etc, and pH balanced.  Your produce will be healthier and you will be too!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A "Grand" comes to visit

We had a tiny 2 month old visitor this summer - tiny, but he made his presence known and was consistently the center of attention!  What a sweetie.  Here's his account of his visit:

Here I am laughing with Mama

Let me try to copy what she's doing with her tongue!

Ha ha, that's funny!

I'm a cutie! Did you know that?

Mommy and Daddy were glad to see me so peaceful and sleeping as I'd had bouts of collywobbles recently. I don't like collywobbles - and Mommy doesn't like me to have them either!

 ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz - dreamland is so fascinating....

With Great Granny and my Daddy

With Great Granny and Grandpa - they're all the way over here from South Africa to see me!

I know I'm loved......

Four generations

Oh, I'm such a good looking boy! Yessirree!

Grandpa is taking me flying - it's a little scary - but I'm hanging on!!

Bye for now....we hope to have more pics sometime soon.  It's nice that Daddy has a website just for I know Granny and Grandpa and Great Granny and Grandpa visit me there a lot!   Those of you who know about it may visit his very own little website with MANY more not going to advertise it here!  Gotta protect these little ones!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kitty sagas

Nothing is ever easy at this house when it comes to our pets.  We have one geriatric 17 1/2 yr old cat who can't poop in his box so it's on the floor next to it!   Now we also have a young female stray outside who has adopted us (DANG!). Then we have Sunny who lately has been getting into fights even though he is a fixed male. This is what we saw over a month ago!

What on earth, Sunny?!  (it's red b/c I put mecurochrome on it)

What is going on?  It doesn't look like the skin is broken.....but I was wrong!  The vet says he got scratched/punctured and an abscess formed.  And of course he couldn't leave it alone - licking and licking!

This is what you get when you lick stuff, Sunny, my boy!  Unfortunately I didn't have this BEFORE he licked it to death.  We took him to the vet and he stitched him up.  This healed up nicely; I took the stitches out and lo and behold - the next day he got into another fight and re-injured the first place, ripping it open again and getting another couple injuries, one on the side of his abdomen and another small one on his face!  Back to the vet we go after the side one abscessed....

 This is what the vet had to do on our second visit.
Only half of it was stitched for some reason...the vet knows I'm sure - maybe for drainage....
Unfortunately, the lower part doesn't seem to be healing.

This is the first shoulder injury healed up pretty much.  It's all matted because I had pine sap on it - unfortunately, that stuff gets on everything when it's put on a cat - and it's next to impossible to clean up!
Poor boy can't clean himself and has been miserable the last few weeks.  I tried taking the Elizabethan collar off and five minutes later he was licking the side injury!  So it's back on for you, my boy.  Plus you have to stay inside (what a travesty).  Matted hair, balding spots - what trials and tribulations!!  I feel for you and sincerely wish this was over!!

Serenity NOW!

Update Nov. 23:
Healing nicely, finally!
This is a side-kick note: Someone commented that Bud was just looking into this shoe and passed here he is....ha ha, poor boy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Survival in 5th Grade - Orienteering!

A couple weeks ago the 5th graders had a whole day of orienteering - first learning the basics of compass use, practicing that in an open field - and then.....we were set loose into the wilds (literally Cohutta Wilderness).  As the adults, we weren't supposed to correct or set them on course, but to guide, or tell them to "check again" etc....We were at their mercy!  Around 11 or 11:30, we were dropped off on a road, given a setting (see, I've forgotten the proper term already - was it "bearing"?) and that would should bring us back to the practice field.   If you're following the logic here, that means we have to go in a STRAIGHT line from point A to point B (felt like point Z).  This means over hill and dale, through thickets, through trees, up and down cliffs, over rivers streams, bear lairs, mud sloughs, swamps, sinking sand and other minor obstacles. (Please  -  am I not allowed a little exaggeration??!!)  Here are a few pics of our (long) day. 

At first, everything checked out peaceful and calm...(albeit a little blurry)

We all headed over to the council fire to learn the theory of compassing.

No problem - only a couple hundred feet of scenic flatland

Here we are.  It's a little chilly, hence the fire.  However, the "counsellors" were running out of wood - no problem, they sent some of the 5th graders out into the woods to find some, and a couple of the dads did some quick chopping.

Listen carefully - your life could depend on it!!

Aaahhhh, NOW we're talking!  That's more like a fire!

No help to us in the "time of trouble"....

OK, we need to get this sighting straight.  One dad doesn't trust that compass - he's got his own on an iPhone app!

The abandonment drop off point for one group - there were at least 5 groups of 5.

Lunch break on the "trail" already for our group. 

Are you sending us in the right direction?

I think I'll sit right here and wait for a helicopter.  Don't worry about me, you go on ahead....

Into the deep..........steep?...........weep!

Hey, we can barely see you!

Oh no! Where IS everybody?

Oh, here they are taking a break by a lovely creek!  We MUST be close to "home" (but oh no - we were actually still about an HOUR from home with a couple more MOUNTAINS to go over!!!!!)

Let's take a break, shall we?

Whew, at last we made it back!  We were only a few hundred feet off.  Total distance covered was about  twenty fifteen   ten  one (and a half) miles. (SURELY it was more!?)

We were treated to a hotdog and burnt fire-roasted baked beans supper! Delicious!!

Thank you Southern's OE program - that was super fun and VERY educational!  (and the only lasting (physical) momento is a sore shoulder from grabbing onto a tree as I went over a cliff - must have strained a ligament - we won't even mention the psychological counselling and potent meds needed afterward).