Monday, February 24, 2014

February, Part Deux


We ran to Tractor Supply for more cattle panels.
While Russ got them all tied to the truck, Sam and I had some fun on the carts...

Then we ran over to Walgreens, knowing they would have a good selection of half-priced Valentine Day goodies.
Boy were we right!!
Not only did we walk out with a big ol' bag of candy, but we found this guy marked down half-off as well (the dog, not the boy).
A couple of months ago, Brook had found a giant stuffed dog (not this big) at a store and was BEGGING for it, but it cost so much!!!  So when I saw this, we had to have it.
It gets dragged in and out of her room daily.

Getting our rain barrels set up!
These 3 are on the west side of the house (although I didn't secure them, like I knew I should have and they blew over and broke in a wind storm, sigh).
Walk back under the deck there to the other end of the house and...
 

You'll find these guys.
Still not sure what we're going to do with the overflow on these guys, because they're going to fill up fast when we finally get rain.
Then if you go through the gate to your right, walk along the front of your house you'll find...

This one.
Yes, one.  At least overflow isn't as big of an issue here.
Then travel along the sidewalk, to the end of the house...

And you'll find Russ's hugelbed.
They aren't recommended for desert growing, but we're going to try anyway.
So all of the rainwater coming off of this corner of the house will drain down into that swale (ditch) there (which will be mulched...all of this will be mulched to retain any water we get) and keep the hugelbed watered.
That's the hope, anyway.

I've been working on my herb spiral (another no-no for the desert--too much evaporation and desiccating winds) as well.
I'll take a better photo when I've got it built up more...need to go dig more dirt and collect more rocks.

It has been sooo nice out lately and it's drawn us all outside.
In this case, to draw!
Brooklyn is pointing at all of the chalk spiders she drew all over the trampoline.
P.S.  Notice the hair??  :) 
She wanted pink, but loved her "golden" look better ("I look like Tangled!!").

Love those babes of mine.

A new litter of baby bunnies...THIRTEEN!!
I had looked in there, but didn't see any, so figured she hadn't had them yet.
Later, Russ said, "I think there were 10."
"10 what?"
"Babies."
"Huh?"

So I went and dug a little deeper...sure enough!
Babies!!!!  <3 br="">

It was so nice out, and I was tired of sitting on the ground when I wanted to go out and meditate, I brought the swing back out.
It's been a big hit.  :)
(Notice the trimmed-up tree??  It's the same one that Russ and Sam were hacking at in the last post.  Now we have looots of room for planting!  It's a perfect spot--right outside the door, gets sun, but has protection from the tree during the hottest part of the day, right by the water...very excited!

We got our second load of mulch delivered!!
The kids love watching the truck dump it and then, of course, playing on it!
I think mulch is going to be instrumental in helping us grow all of the plants we're wanting.
There is a video showing the benefits of it, called Back to Eden (Note: There are a lot of religious undertones, as well as a lot of great info).

Mulch Masters!!

Brooklyn paused like this and said,"Mom, can you take my picture?"

The Pokemon mod on Minecraft updated!
You know what that means...bust out our trusty Ultimate Guide to Pokemon book and see who they added to the game!

Russ has been getting up really early, so I miss seeing him in the mornings.
I found this waiting for me one day.
Love him.

We made a very exciting discovery this week--THE CHICKENS ARE LAYING!!
VERY exciting!

Now that it's warmer out, the kids love coming out and
helping me get all of the animals taken care of.
Sam loves feeding rabbits.

Brook loves collecting eggs.
I definitely don't blame her either, every day it's like an egg hunt...
some chickens lay in the nest boxes, but others lay in the duck shelter, and the ducks lay ANYWHERE.

Mmmm, my mouth is watering.
Stir-fry quinoa and veggies with fresh eggs.
I think I know what I'm having for breakfast...

Our first duck egg!!!
Isn't it gorgeous?
There was some back and forth on whether to eat them or hatch them.
We reached a compromise--we'll eat them until the hens get broody, then we'll hatch.
Also, Brooklyn decided her bangs were in her eyes too much.  :)

This makes me so happy!!
No more store-bought eggs!!!!

More mulching.
Brooklyn decided we should try and make a tunnel...I didn't think it would work.
I was proved wrong!

Bubba sent a Valentine's package!
New undies, books, hats, and of course CANDY!!!
I know, Brooklyn looks soooo excited...it was taking me awhile to get my camera adjusted, lol.

We had a crazy wind storm.
A it's-so-loud-I-can't-sleep crazy windstorm.
I was nervous to go look around the next morning...
I was happy to find that everything was fine.  Then I went to check on the greenhouse and stopped in my tracks and my jaw dropped.
Not only had the rain barrels fallen over and broke, but the trampoline (which is normally to the right of the fort) was mangled.
Luckily, we got things fixed and put back, and anchored a bit more securely...sigh.

One morning, we had some of the rabbits on the ground.
I noticed Brin was very attentive to them and kept making sure no other animals were bothering him.
He loves his animals and tries so hard to herd them and keep them safe.
The problem is that I don't know how to communicate with him to tell him what I need him to do, which makes things rough sometimes.
Another skill to add to my To Learn list!
video

 As part of The Great Duck Egg Compromise, we told the kids we'd go see if we could find some ducklings at the local poultry swap.
We were in luck--there were 2 female Rouens (the same kind that they coyotes got)!

So sweet!
video

 They were being turtles, hehe.

I love that all of our animals live in (mostly) harmony.
The cats aren't big fans of each other, but stand each other.
Brin thinks that when S'mores tries to scratch his nose (she's declawed), she wants to play...
Brin also tries to herd a flock of 16 chickens, which can be overwhelming for a pup.
But for the most part, everyone gets along.

I love early mornings.
(Minus that frigid 30 second burst when you jump from your bed and throw as many warm clothes on as you can...)

Russ and I built a tower for the kids to find when they woke up.
They woke up, were surprised and happy and what's next?
Knock it down, of course!
Who wants to just knock it down though, why not use a catapult??
video

Hello, sweet girl.

A friend of ours inspired us to step up our coyote protection (she mentioned how her dogs were digging near her house, and they threw cacti in the holes.  No more digging!  ...and the cacti live!  Thanks Jeanette!).
We have 3 acres with cacti!
I have been digging it up and redistributing it along the outer perimeter of our backyard fence.
I think it's working...we no longer find dig marks on the places where the cacti are, but ARE finding them where they are not...
Must dig more cacti.
(Which isn't fun.  Well, it's nice to put it somewhere that we want it, but I find little pokies all over my body by the time I'm done--fingers, neck, back, belly, legs...fun.)

I'll finish up this post with one of my favorite videos I've taken in awhile.
Have I mentioned that I love this ram??
He is just so dang cool.
I love my life!
video

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