Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hosta Time!

Turns out, our girls fancy hostas!  They continue to enjoy their time in the yard these days.  On a side note, I've realized, once again, that flip flops are not an option when visiting with the girls during the spring and summer months.  I think this may be a lesson I learn on an annual basis!  I should have read Backyard Tip #1 before the weather improved to remind myself!  I took some pictures while out visiting the girls today.  The weather is wonderful and all the trees and flowers are starting to bloom...finally.  Enjoy!

Girls snacking on hostas in the rear while a nosey, molting Welsummer and an Ameraucana check out the camera!

Poor hostas...

Flowering crabapple tree...the prettiest tree in our yard.  It reminds me of Trav's grandma Rose who passed away recently.  It's nice to have something so beautiful to remember her by.

Munching on leftover sweet corn from last night's dinner!  Who needs a garbage disposal?!?!?

This Ameraucana is enjoying a warm sun bath!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

RIP Gimpy

Sadly, Gimpy's condition worsened over the last week and Travis had to put her down yesterday.  I know some of you were wondering about her.  I always cry when we lose a chicken.  Although some may find that strange, they are like our pets.  She wasn't eating anymore and she was getting worse daily.  While we were never able to figure out what exactly was wrong, we decided it was best to relieve her of any pain/suffering she had been enduring. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Serendipity Farm-Waterford, WI

Today was a great day to be living in the country & in Wisconsin!  There aren't many things in life that can beat a road trip on a gorgeous day like today out in rural country...bright sun, blue skies, fields of green, barns and cows scattered across the countryside, and a fresh, cool breeze singing as it blows through the trees.  Today, however, our destination actually trumped the ride. 

Early this morning, I loaded the kids and my Mother-in-law in the grocery-getter and hit the road.  Destination, Serendipity Farm in Waterford, WI.  I found out about Serendipity Farm after watching an episode of American Pickers featuring Hippie Tom.  Not only was his property and stuff unique, he seemed even more unique than the rest!  I became very curious about him and when I heard he was in Wisconsin, I went straight to Google to track him down.  I was hoping he was close enough to visit and, sure enough, he was only 45 minutes away!  He opens his property a couple of times/year to the public.  This weekend was the Mother's Day Tent Sale weekend and I've had it penciled on the calendar for quite awhile-actually, markered on the calendar because the only thing that would have stopped me from going was the death of a loved one-although, if they were dead, would they care if I went to see Hippie Tom instead?  You get my point.

After 45 minutes of "are we there yets", we arrived!  Tom was there along with a few others, but we got there before the main crowd arrived.  It was a remarkable place.  As we walked through the farm in amazement, we were greeted by Tom.  I brought a dozen eggs for him (seriously, how could I not).  He was grateful, sweet & kind.  As the day progressed, I had a few more encounters with him and it was clear that the remarkable thing about this place, was Tom.  Afterall, a work of art is only as remarkable as its creator.  I snapped some photographs to share with you because words just don't do it justice.

I've always sworn that I'd never be one of those crazy, groupie types that must get their photograph taken with those they adore while fawning and drooling all over them...today, I broke my own rule.

 Looks like the Easter Bunny won't be coming next year...

If we had a trailer with us, my Mother-in-law may have had us load this outhouse up.  She loved it!

Everyone needs one of these, right?!  For some reason, I loved this concrete lady-head on a post... 

The bird cage, another one of the MIL's favorites!

The bowling ball graveyard.  My MIL has a bowling ball in one of her flower beds.  She even commented after seeing this that she knew she was on to something!

Dust pan, anyone?

Welcome to Mushroom Land.  This was the most creative use of an old bed frame and box spring I've ever seen!

The hardware store has nothing on Tom when it comes to shovels!

Mary enjoyed herself-even said she'd like to live here.

Bicycles hanging from trees-A new spin on the classic wind chime...very whimsical!

I believe Tom actually relocated many of these buildings to his property. 

Thankfully, I can now say I went to church today.

I wonder how many bottoms have taken a load off in this chair over the years?

We came, we saw, we drank all the wine.

Another favorite outhouse.

My picks for the day-While the insides of the buildings were closed to the public, I just knew that Tom MUST have had a shutter/window stash somewhere.  I couldn't possibly leave without asking.  When I asked, he was kind enough to take me to his stash to find just what I was looking for...I was in heaven & have vowed to return for more!  I'm going to use the shutters and window for wall decor in our house and the cast iron piece to adorn the top of a door.

Connor even tried his hand at pickin'...he wouldn't let us leave without these bowling pins.  He even asked Tom how much he had to get for them!

If I hadn't been so busy looking at everthing, chatting it up with the locals, and chasing the kids, I could have taken a thousand pictures.  When we were ready to leave, Tom escorted us to the van and helped carry our loot!  I can't wait for the chance to return; next time, without the kids.  All that was missing today was my husband, a truck & trailer, and a lotto win to pay for all the stuff I could fill that trailer with!  Tom & his wife plan to open the farm up again this fall.  If you're in the area, be sure to stop out.  Bring a fat pocket full of cash so you can take home some of your favorite treasures.  It's definitely a place you won't soon forget.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chicken Chatter

Our girls are chompin' at the bit every day when we get home; they can't wait to get out in the yard and free-range for a few hours.  I love watching them do what chickens do.  Scratching, finding bugs and other treats, chasing cats and each other, pretending they are eagles-wings spread, running across the soft green grass, occasionally leaving the ground- snacking on the neighbors flowers, checking on the progress in the garden & chattering away like they are all having their hair (or feathers) fixed at the beauty salon!  I also adore how they follow us around as if we have treats comin' out our heels!  This cartoon reminded me of our spoiled little girls-Oh, what a life...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gimpy Goes to the Hospital

I'm starting to feel like I should be some sort of chicken doctor.  About a month ago, I had to isolate one of my Silkies because she got injured somehow, maybe by an overzealous roo, but I'm not really sure.  For safety sake & knowing that Elvis was a bit aggressive with the girls, the suspect roo has since been donated to our friends at The Gee Funny Farm.  Besides, Brooke was never very pleased about having another man around the coop! 

Anyhow, after a week of not getting up (she'd just fall to her side and lay there), I figured it would take a miracle for her to survive.  However, as long as she was eating, drinking and dropping, I refused to cull her.  I had food and water within neck reach and a heat lamp on her to warm her up!  A week and a half into her treatment, I was thrilled to find her standing and peaking her head up and out of her hospital bed!  Miracle is now back with the rest of the Silkie bunch, happy as ever.

Currently, Gimpy, one of our Silver-laced Wyandottes has a similar leg problem.  They've never been housed together, so I know it's nothing more than a coincidence.  She began limping around, then got to the point where she'd only hop on her one leg, now, she doesn't move much at all.  I decided I better remove her from the coop and give her the same treatment Miracle received.  While trying to feel around that leg today, I did feel & hear a POP!  I'm just praying it was a good pop.  We suspect Miss Gimpy either dislocated something or has nerve damage of some sort.  Her leg is limp and she doesn't move her toes at all.  I suppose time will tell if she'll recover or not.  At least for now she is warm and within necks reach of food and water. 

Eating and drinking is always a good sign!

She doesn't seem to mind being on bed rest!

A plastic tub large enough for her, but small enough to keep her from trying to move around too much makes for the perfect chicken hospital bed!