Friday, August 10, 2012

A Small Tornado has Inhabited Our Home

Meet Oliver Twist Barnes, the newest member of the Barnes household. Oliver was born on March 23, 2012, is now just over 4 months old, and as of August 9, 2012, weighed 5 lbs 13 oz.  We adopted him on July 24, 2012.

Oliver had been fostered in a good home through AC PAW, a shelter in Antrim County. I found him at PetSmart where he was being housed in the Kitty Complex. He made it known in no uncertain terms that he wanted out - NOW! Of course, I complied and here he is. He and Daisy often share this "blankie". Daisy is a good caregiver.

Daisy, Oliver, and Ayla are all napping together.  Then there is Molly, napping at the same time as the others but chose to be a couch potato.

We had planned on calling Oliver Ollie. However, every time we called Ollie Molly came running. We soon learned that we were either going to have to change Oliver's name or call him "Oliver".  We did consider calling him Mr. T (Trouble) but didn't want to give him a complex. :D  

When Oliver is up and moving he is nothing short of a bolt of greased lightning.  Oliver gets along well with all but Ayla who, after our loss of Emily, thought she was going to be an only kitty child. She hisses, growls and swats at Oliver but does nothing to try and hurt him. In turn, Oliver acts the part of a typical little brother as he teases and provokes her. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm Back and Trying to Play Catch-Up

I can't believe I haven't updated this blog since November. I am going to try and give a quick, brief summary of the main things that have happened since my last post.

The fence and 3 gates for the enclosed dog area are now complete. Doug spent many hours/days working in cold wet weather to finish this project before the ground froze.  My contribution was to hold the poles straight while Doug filled the holes with concrete. 

This is the back deck. All 3 decks are now finished with railings and stairs.  The fence is finished and it looks wonderful. 

The doggy door is in so our "girls" are able to go out and/or come in whenever they need to or want to.  This is nice for all of us as we don't have to worry about hurrying home to let them out nor do we have to get up in the middle of the night to let them out.

The snows came and Doug got to use his "new-to-him" used and rebuilt by him snowblower.

The decks are all finished including railings and stairs.  Notice the beautiful orb (below) that showed up in this picture.

 Matt, our contractor, neighbor, egg man, and snow removal person is plowing his way through a 30" snowfall so that we can get out if we need to.

Ahhh!!!! Spring. At the first sign of this new and lovely season Doug built our permanent clothesline.  There is just nothing like the crisp feel and wonderful odor of clothes dried outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.

And along with spring, increased warmth (a little), and greatly increased light our greenhouse went to work to provide us with salad greens to eat  right now and seedlings to plant in our new raised beds built by my own personal engineer/master builder . . . Doug :D

Doug also repurposed some pallets into this compost bin. He plans on building 2 more.

Here Doug is working on one of the raised beds with plans to build a total of 6 this year. More will be added next year.

In the greenhouse where it is warm and sunny I am trying to transplant seedlings into these seedling trays which Doug also built from pallets.  No, I am not trying to grow more kitties although that's not a bad idea. Kitties are like potato chips - you can't have just one. :D

Ayla didn't like the potting soil and so I was able to plant both trays.

This is the temporary tree nursery. Every year the Grand Traverse Conservation District has a seedling sale of native trees. I bought 5 each: elderberry, black walnut, ash, white oak, sugar maple.  We weren't ready to plant them in a permanent location and so I planted them in rows in a block out back.  Hopefully these babies will be alright during this cold weather.

This is the original #1 compost bin. It is a year old and should be ready to use. It is quite wet right now and I haven't been able to get in there and turn it to see what is going on.

Seven cubic yards of 6 year old, very well rotted horse manure just delivered last night.  Compost bin #2 is in the background and is about 1/3 full.

Doug built the permanent asparagus bed made using "Urbanite" - broken pieces of concrete.  There is nothing in it yet except the soil for the asparagus. I am waiting for the live starts to be delivered any day.

There is an amazing amount of work to be done outdoors. Thank goodness spring brings with it longer hours of daylight. Now if we could also get a little more warmth it would be perfect. Our highs are in the 40s with lows in the mid-20s, too cold to plant anything outdoors but at least we can get everything ready.