Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ninja Cat!

Aaaarrrggghhh...because my garden is depressing me...who wouldn't be with all the stupid weeds...I'm dedicating this post to my cat.

Anyone who has met this cat of mine, knows that she is pretty small and very cute.  She acts much more like a dog than a cat and is not one of those shy, prissy cats.  She comes when called just like a dog...actually better than one of our dogs...ahem.  We don't really have a name for her...Kitty, Black Cat (although she is more of a tortoise), Kitty Cat, and my favorite and most appropriate name...Ninja Cat!

So, Ninja Cat gets fed every morning after I put away and feed the dogs.  She follows me around until I give her breakfast.  After I feed everyone, I go inside the house and get ready for work.  I can usually see her out the bathroom window and she is doing normal cat things. Prowling around looking for mice (she's a pretty good mouser) and sunning herself.  When she doesn't think anyone is watching...that's the time she does the most amazing things.  We call it Ninja practice and we are pretty sure it is preparation for the Zombie Apocalypse.

These are the activities I have witnessed:

*  Running full speed across the deck, leaping through the slats of the deck railing, and scaling the trunk of the magnolia tree in two bounds.
*  Catapulting from a lower limb of aforementioned magnolia tree onto the slatted roof of the deck and doing what appeared to be a tuck and roll on the roof.
*  Running at what appeared to be a 30 second 100 meter dash across the yard, scaling the vegetable garden gate, barely touching the ground in the vegetable garden, making a seriously sharp u-turn and exiting much the same way she got in.
*  Going from the front yard to the back yard and back to the front at breakneck speeds.  If two people weren't witnessing this in two different locations, I would not believe it.
*  Going undercover (actually crawling so ninja like under the weed fabric) and exiting only when I starting hitting the weed fabric with my hands.

Never have I witnessed so many acts of Ninja-ness from one small creature.  Amazing!  Tomorrow I will return to a post about the vegetable garden as I made adjustments and am not feeling so angry about the whole situation.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Stage 1 complete!

Stage 1 of my garden is planted!  Friday, Husband and Fish went to the coast and left farmer wife at home.  Actually, I was at a track meet for most of the day and didn't get home in time to go with them.  No worries...I used that time to get started on planting the garden.  I headed out to see what was ready to plant and consulted my high tech plans...yellow legal pad with pencil drawn rows and labels.  After choosing the lucky plants, I went out to survey the garden...the rows seemed a little taller than I remembered and I investigated.  Oh my...the weed fabric was supposed to keep the weeds out...instead, I think it acted like a greenhouse for them, as this is what I found:

Isn't weed fabric supposed to deter the growth of weeds??? I suppose once I get things planted and the plants get all the sun, these guys will disappear.  At least, that's what I'm hoping.  So, the planting started.  I planted cucumbers, summer squash, crookneck squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, mini pumpkins, and corn.  I wanted to plant the beans, but since I was planting solo, I didn't have anyone to help me with the fencing to support them.  Next week.  I watered them as I was planting and discovered that my watering system is quite effective.  I was ankle deep in mud at one point.  I almost fell, too, which would have been pretty comical, except that there wasn't anyone there to laugh, so I didn't.  

 Ready to go in!

They look so small...

Once I got them in, I consolidated the rest of the plants, which hopefully will get going in the growing department so I can plant them soon too.  I was hoping to get as many in as possible before the desert heat strikes.  I might be too late though, as I heard the temperature Wednesday will be around 97 degrees.  Egh.  Miserable.  Hopefully, it's a temporary spike in temperature.  

While I was planting, I kept hearing loud squawking coming from the chicken coop.  I hadn't collected the eggs yet, but knew it wasn't an egg laying squawk.  More of a "get away from me" squawk.  I took a walk over to the coop and saw the following:

These ladies were taking turns climbing into the condo with coop mama.  Not sure why they were going in there, but she was NOT happy about it at all.  This went on for a while and finally coop mama had clearly had enough.  I think she pecked one of them quite severely and they retreated to neutral corners.  I collected eggs shortly after...she pecked me too.  She takes her duties as coop mama very seriously.  Once the eggs were gone and she had nothing to sit on, calm was restored in the coop.  Love how these girls are so much like people and their weird personalities.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


That's all for today!  Tomorrow I start planting!  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Karma is a $%$#!!!

Remember a post or two ago where I mentioned that the white chickens weren't laying eggs, possibly due to the fact that I had angered them?  Well, I think they have exacted their revenge on me.  Or tried to...yesterday, I went out to the coop to feed the ladies.  As usual, one of the Leghorns flew up to the ledge above the door.  They like to roost there at night, and often I have to dodge poop balls as I open the door.  Yesterday, poop was not my only concern.  As I opened the door, my little white hen decides to lay an egg.  Not sure why I moved just slightly to the right, but I did and missed getting "egged".  She let pout a squawk...she was probably afraid she'd end up in a frying pan...and took off to a neutral corner.  The others, much to my disgust, flocked around the broken egg and ate it up!  Bleah!  Husband is going to fix the roosting area issue today after we get home from work.  They have perfectly lovely condos in which to sleep...or they may rest in a frying pan...their choice.

Also on the agenda when I get home from work, is to start planting some of the larger vegetable sprouts.  Some of them are starting to push the constraints of their starter pots.  A few are touching the roof of the greenhouse and are making crazy patterns trying to reach some sunlight.  We'll see what I can get planted...there is rumor of rain in the next few days.  Time to tune in to Storm Warn 30! Ha ha ha...it always makes me giggle.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And Spring is apparently over...

The weather this week has been nothing short of perfect!  Nothing over 80 and nothing under 60 during the day.  It seems this is coming to an end...it's supposed to be 95 on Saturday!  Ugh!!!  I guess my little fowl friends might enjoy the sunshine.  Last weekend they were out and about and I caught these two sunning themselves on the back porch.

The chickens being out was nice for them, but getting them all back in the coop was an adventure of sorts.  We have a small crew that enjoys sleeping high up in the trees.  Two black, 2 white, and the "pretty" one.  The pretty one seems to not be so smart though.  I came out in the morning to feed the girls and thought someone had dropped an egg the night before after collecting.  It was a green egg...I looked up and who is sitting directly above?  Yep, the producer of the green eggs. Really???  We lay an egg while we are in the tree?  Wow...

The seedlets are starting to push the limits in their starter containers.  I think I will start planting the seedlets Monday after school!  Woo hoo!!  My boy bought me four wine barrels...he does live in wine country...and those were delivered to us last weekend.  They are going to be filled with dirt and planter's mix and the herbs will go in two of them.  Flowers and other prettiness will go in the other two.  Things are looking up in the garden!  

My babies...growing so fast!

Lots of work ahead...can't wait!!  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

Wanted:  Slightly Used Ark
I survived the day at school Friday and since all sports were cancelled, I was able to go home immediately after school.  The view from my backyard was amazing!  I love the way the mountains look after a storm with all the snow on the foothills.  

What was not such a pretty view was my garden!  It was, and still is, flooded! I'm very glad that we hadn't planted anything yet.  Yikes!!  That's so much rain!  I think after a few days of sunshine, we should be good.  I have a few seedlets that are getting ready to move in to their new, more spacious home.  

The chicken coop was quite flooded as well.  Apparently, chickens do not like to swim.  They were all huddled in a dry corner of the coop.  Husband felt sorry for them and let them out.  They enjoyed their time out in the yard and every time I opened the back door, they all came running to see if I was tossing scraps out for them.  I was, actually...cleaning out the fridge.  They liked everything except for the whole wheat tortillas.  Husband said that's because they know that when their lives end, that's where they will end up...in a tortilla.  True.  

Warm weather predicted for the coming week...hopefully things will dry out and we can get started on the garden planting.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Apology Apparently Accepted

I may have a future as some sort of chicken whisperer.  I'm pretty sure that's a silly idea, but you never know.  Cesar Millan and Monty Roberts have found their calling "whispering" to dogs and horses...I could have a reality show on how to deal with ill-behaved fowl.  The other day, I had clearly upset my Leghorns and they were not producing eggs.  After three days of these shenanigans, I went out to the coop and had a come to Jesus talk with them, complete with apology.  I said very positive words to them and encouraged them to lay eggs.  In my apology, I was sincere and I was even more sincere when I told them that if they didn't start laying eggs again, they would become the main ingredient in one of my many chicken recipes.  Lo and behold, the very next day, two beautiful large white eggs appeared in the coop!  How's that for whispering?!

Might just have been peer pressure...but I like to think I have some talent.

I'm glad we managed to get our garden project done last week.  The heavens have opened up and the downpour we are getting right now is probably going to break some sort of record.  I'm not complaining since everyone knows I love the rain and we need it here in our desert!  As much as I love the rain, school becomes tricky when it rains...the kids get so weird when there is any sort of atmospheric disturbance.  Next week, it will be back to normal weather I guess. That means everyone will start complaining about how hot it is and the kids will be stinky...ew.  No one is ever happy with the weather.  

Speaking of weather, Storm Warn 30! was in fine form last night.  The news of officer shootings, random violence, and home invasions was overshadowed by moving satellite photos of the "big storm" and all the user uploaded thundercloud and lightning pictures.  Funny was the interview with the toothless resident in Atwater perched on her porch surrounded by water.  No idea what she said, but really, we couldn't find someone a little more capable of using a complete sentence?  Also funny?  The thunderstorms really freak people out here...there have been several tornado warnings as well.  I'm sure anyone in the Midwest area would laugh at how melodramatic people become when they hear of a tornado warning here in the valley.  Well, it is still raining, and they are still issuing thunderstorm warnings.  Perhaps I should go look for my ruby slippers...best to be prepared!