I had to purchase more canned food for Bucky today because he is eating so good now. It's about $2 per can from the vet, but it seems to be helping him, so it is money well spent. He is doing so much better, it's so nice to have him back. We had a major accomplishment tonight, he walked the entire property with his brother Nitchske and didn't pull his "donkey manuever" one time, which resulted in a much more enjoyable walk for all of us! :-)
Tonight, we marinated and grilled our first zucchini of the season, and it was so good! I'm so thankful that we have a garden and can grow some of our own food. I hope that over the next few years we can become 100% self-sufficient when it comes to our food needs because it is so rewarding and reassuring to know that it comes from our garden where there was zero pesticides used, only Mother Natures TLC.
This morning I slept in until 5:09am and I almost missed the sunrise. I love beautiful sunrises! It is so tranquill out here, no noise other than the birds starting to chirp and the sound of the rope on the flag pole being pushed into the pole as the wind begins to pick up. Did I ever say how windy it is here? The title of the blog says it all!
Well, I'm off to do dishes, and then walk our Black Labs around the property, and then pull out the pups to walk and play with them before I head off to work.
What a Hobbit sees as he walks through out garden!
Sunrise on the farm..
Good morning everyone! I was up at 4:47am and when I went out to the garage, to my joyful surprise, the boys had made it through the night without an accident in their kennels! Yeah! We're almost there, another few weeks and I'm confident they will be totally kennel trained. Just wanted to share a couple pics from this beautiful start to a Tuesday morning before I head out!
Preparing to transplant Sunflower's from pots to garden
Ahhh...what a BEAUTY!
As I sit at the computer, contemplating what to write, we are getting a nice light steady drizzle, which is good news for our garden. The severe weather is to our South, so we should be spared. Hopefully the storm's severity is minor and does not produce any crop destroying hail nor property damage in its path.
Yesterday, we worked in the garden for about an hour, pulling weeds and harvesting our first batch of spinach, more lettuce, more radishes and finally, our first zucchini! We're planning to marinate it and grill it tomorrow night. Can't wait to get back down to the garden to see what else is ready to be harvested!
JD thinned out some of our veggies and I added them to our compost bin which is steaming really nicely this year. To my surprise, when I dug into the bin, I uncovered two healthy Garter snakes that were pushing the length envelope of 28". One escaped my grasp but I managed to grab the other one and safely relocated him to the soy bean field where hopefully he will continue to enjoy his life, human being free. It is not hard to believe that the compost bin is a prime habitat for snakes, considering that all sorts of bugs and worms are drawn to the decomposition process. After looking at the size of the two snakes, I could tell they eat quite well! But hey, who am I to talk, right? LOL ;-)
Grandpa, don't take my picture..I'm tryin' to pee!
I've enlisted the help of "monkey" to protect the garden!
Happy Monday everyone! There is nothing more beautiful to me than a morning in the country! I awoke at 5am to yipping and barking, Nitchske and Bucky needed to go out to do their business right then! After their normal romping and rolling and stick hunting in their temporary outside kennel, they were ready to eat breakfast. After their breakfast, it was walk time! Nitchske loves to walk the property with his mom and aunt, but Bucky, not so much. For some reason, Bucky does NOT like to leave the comfort of the hilltop to venture into the lowland of the property. Not completely sure why, so I am incorporating new routes to the back of the property to get him to feel more comfortable walking and to wear him out.
On our walk to the garden, the sun was coming up making the soybeans glisten for acres and acres. And, our walk wouldn't be the same if we didn't hear the low "karoo, karoo, karoo" of the breeding pair of Sandhill Cranes that call this home, at least for right now.
Life is great! I love living in the country, I only wish I hadn't waited so long to figure out that life is much better (for me) where I am at today! Wouldn't give it up for the world!
Hope your day started as good as mine did!
R Dean "Slowdog"
PS. Hope you enjoy the pics as much as I enjoyed taking them!
Bucky is doing so much better, he is really acting more like a puppy everyday! His new diet along with some medication that Dr. Peters prescribed has given him a new lease on life! We're so happy!! Thanks Doc! The only problem is his brother thinks he is completely well and is not giving him one minute of peace! They are making up for lost time playing and playing and playing. But, Bucky can hold his own, so we only intervene when Nitchske gets too rough. Check out the video!
Last night, JD and I went to Glenbeulah for the annual party at the pond at Greg and Kathy's place. The neat thing about the party is that Greg and Kathy encourage everyone to bring their dog(s). So last night, we took Nitchske so we could begin to socialize him with both dogs and people. We wanted to take Bucky, but considering he is still on the mend, we felt it best to let him have a break from his brother. Nitchske was obviously the hit of the party (only puppy there). He met Greg and Kathy's dogs George and Deuce, a Golden Retriever and Black Lab respectively. Another family had Zeke, a large Black Lab who loved to play fetch with Nitchske's squeaky tennis ball. The best Nitchske could to do was chase Zeke as he retrieved it and try valiantly to take it from his mouth, which proved most unsuccessful. And then there were the Chihuahua's, Priscilla and Lisa Marie (guess who they are named after??), he didn't know what to think of them, considering he was already about 20 lbs heavier than the both of them combined. And I cannot forget to mention Shelby, the black Golden Doodle, for which Nitchske had a little bit too much fun with, typical adolescent boy! It was a great night, good people, good food, good weather and without a doubt, a good dog gone time..sorry..couldn't resist some Sunday morning "corniness".
Molly eyeballs Rocky Raccoon on top of the "Garden Ladder to Nowhere"
Fortunately, the garden is surviving with little precipitation, although we may get some today based on the look of the sky. We could definitely use some, but at the same time, if it does come, I pray it comes in the form of water and not hail, like last year!
We have harvested quite a bit of lettuce and radishes to date making for some tasty salads, but I really can't wait for the corn and the zucchini's!
Good news, Bucky is doing much better thanks to the help of a special diet prescribed by Dr. Peters. His new food is Hill's Prescription Diet l/d which he seems to like a lot! He is now eating MUCH better and need I say, a WHOLE LOT MORE food and even begging for more! He is now acting much more like a puppy should act, which tells us he feels much better. Although we know this is not the cure for his portosystemic shunt, it seems to be making him feel much better, which is so important to us because we want to provide him the best quality of life that we can. And with his special diet also comes additional TLC, so I suspect he probably has already surpassed his brother, aunt and mom on the "spoil-factor"ometer.
Unfortunately, on Monday we found out that our Black Lab puppy Bucky is very ill. After several visits to the Vet, they have diagnosed him with liver disease. They suspect that he has portosystemic shunt, but without a very expensive diagnostic technology called Contrast Radiography, we cannot be 100% confident. Today I spoke to our Vet and she is going to provide us with some special food that has less protein and some antibiotics to try to combat the illness the best that we can, although we know that the only true cure will be surgery, for which we have heard could cost upwards to $4000. Life is strange and life is cruel, things happen for a reason, although it is extremely tough to accept that an innocent little puppy can be so sick so early in his life when he should be romping and rolling around on the ground, chasing bugs, chomping on wild flowers and playing with puppy toys. We love our little "odd duck" Buck!
I relocated my compost pile and replaced the old wooden snow fence that originally acted as the compost bin with 4 ft. high livestock fencing. It is now approximately 5 feet in diameter which provides quite a bit of cubic feet as well as much better ventilation. If I keep it maintained, it should yield good compost by early Spring of '10 (I hope). I also put some hay in the bottom of the bin before I transferred the compost, so I hope that further accelerates the composting process. If anyone has any tips to share on composting, please comment!
So far we have been really lucky with the garden. Everything, for the most part is coming along pretty well. We have already harvested several types of lettuce and radishes. Our squash is creating pretty significant ground cover, so hopefully soon we will be enjoying some marinated squash on the grill!
Wow how time fly's! It has been over a week since I last posted to my blog and although I had very good intentions to do so, I just have not had the time to sit down, download images and type! Excuses, excuses, excuses..I know! The two things that have kept us extremely busy are the pups and the garden. We were able to sell three of the pups, and had already planned to keep Nitchske, the chocolate male, but have now also decided to keep Bucky, the black male, formerly known as "Butkus". We had to change his name because lets face it, how can you name a Black Lab that resides in Packer territory Butkus? So, considering we are in the Badger state, the name Bucky was more appealing and fits his personality much better! Bucky is our special little "duck" as JD notes! He is the runt of the litter but can hold his own against his big brother, mom and aunt!
We're so bummed, but on the other hand, we're really happy that others are going to be able to enjoy the pleasure of a new puppy! I remember how happy we were when we brought Maggy and Molly home almost 4 years ago!! :-)
I took this pic yesterday morning after a night of light precipation. This morning, to my surprise, no shroom! It had vanished! I had hopes of seeing that it had doubled in size over the past 24 hours, but my hopes were shattered! Oh well, probably was pickins' for a hungry critter that ventured past the garden last night! And by the way, the silhouette of one of the dogs was purely by luck..come on, you really don't think I planned it do you? Timing is everything!
It rained last night, thank goodness, we needed it! I took some pictures of the garden this morning, it is coming along well. So far, we have been able to pick several varieties of lettuce, french breakfast radishes and yellow pear tomatoes (in the photo above), making for some very tasty salads! Also, couldn't resist posting a picture of a wet cobweb and the ever popular "garden ladder" to know where, with yet another coffee mug resting on top. Now that's art! :-)