Saturday, June 30, 2012

JOY

It is still very hot here and everyone and everything is suffering. I water everyday trying to keep the trees, saplings, bushes, plants, flowers and veggies alive. Not all are thriving but most are living.

Buddy has a hairy coat which is much thinner than in the winter but a coat nevertheless. He seeks shade under the evergreens, sometimes digs a hole in one of my shady beds to lie in, and today he ran through the sprinkler, howling with what sounded like pure doggie joy...
I had just turned on the sprinkler and
Buddy began to run around the sprinkler
in circles
Then he began howling as he ran, a
happy howl
The cool water had to feel so good

Back around, occasionally lifting his
head to swallow water

This was a BIG joyful yowl, before
some major shaking off the water


This shows his speed



He's going for the good soak
Keep cool, dear readers, and enjoy your summer Saturday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Heat Wave

It's 105 degrees today, hot humid stifiling degrees! It's supposed to cool down for the next ten days...to the 90s!
The grass is crispy, all the birds are panting, and I'm pulling hoses all day to keep the plants watered. I've already lost a few bushes and plants that just weren't strong enough to stand the heat.

An Oriole sitting in the water for awhile before
his bath...just cooling down
We need rain...soon.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Picking Cherries With Family and Friends

The cherries are ripe and they have brought some wonderful people together...
beautiful luscious cherries
Granddaughter, Kelsey, pitting cherries
for a cherry pie.


Our granddaughter, Kelsey, graduated from college in early June. I was able to attend her graduation in Kalamazoo MI and it was a great family experience. We are so proud of her.
On her way back home, she travelled through NE and stopped to spend a few days with us. She really wanted to bake, so we made cookies and she picked cherries for a pie. We always have so much fun baking and cooking together.

Last weekend friends from California graced us with their visit. Connie and her daughters Brooke and Hannah drove to NE from Colorado where Brooke is employed.  We haven't seen them in several years so it was a treat for us. Mark pastured his horses at their property for several years and Connie homeschooled her children so the family and Mark became great friends after spending lots of time together.
Hannah happily picking cherries
Connie and Brooke picking cherries
The fruit of their labor - beautiful, isn't it?
They and Mark graciously picked the entire tree so this week I'll be making pies and jam.  We had a fun visit and also enjoyed cherry pie...and some great card games! What a competitive group!
The Card Sharks... Hannah, Connie,
Brooke, and Mark

The weekend went so quickly.

The lovely family of Connie,
Hannah and Brooke on the
swing before saying goodbye
(Check out Hannah's shoes -
two different colors, newest
style? Just friends staying in
touch during the summer by
switching one shoe!)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spring Visit

My sister, Bonnie, from North Carolina visited for a week, and my youngest sis, Sandi, from Denver came for Memorial Day weekend. It was grand to have my sister "fix".

Bonnie marveled at all of our babies--- horses, wild birds and chickens, and was found regularly outside with her video camera. I'm including some of her work below and it might be very interesting to those of you who haven't spent time recently, or ever, on a ranch.


A must-do for everyone who visits is
to gather eggs. Buddy always helps.

Bonnie surprised a Cuckoo Marans in
her nest. She lays chocolate brown eggs.
Showing off the Dots bounty
Kids aren't the only ones who love
to swing. All our guests tend to take
a turn on the double swings.
Our lovely mare, Boone, and her baby
girl. Isn't she an adorable filly? We've
had about 12 baby horses born on our
ranch this spring.
(NOTE: The video below is best without the sound. Buddy was excited about the horses so he was herding them and you can hear me repeatedly trying to get him to settle down... evidently without success!) The video is of some of our horses and babies but front and center is a 24 hour old colt. Love those long legs!
video
My regular blog followers know that we have guineas on our ranch to help keep the bug population down. Some people don't like guineas because they are so noisy. Bonnie took a marvelous video of the guineas in the pasture so you can see and hear them as I do as they circle around the house and yard every day doing their job. I've learned to enjoy them, sound and all.

video

Mark stumbled upon a guinea nest so it looks like we will have baby guineas one of these days! That is exciting news for us. The guineas lay their eggs in the brush, not a nest box in the barn, but once the babies are born, they will bring them into the Guinea Shack in the barn for safety. I'll keep you posted.

A tradition for all guests who arrive in Omaha is to tour the pioneer sculptures downtown. I've included a few pictures and a closeup of one of the pioneer faces so you could see the fine detail. I never get tired of visiting this sculpture park with guests. Omaha is a lovely city and has several sculpture parks.
Bonnie and I went to Kearney to visit the MONA, Museum of Nebraska Art, which I love and to lunch with two dear friends who went through the Master Gardener program with me. We had a great day.
Bonnie, JoAnn, me and Pat @ the MONA
Fabulous lunch @ the Bistro in Kearney,NE
Speaking of babies, see the bluebird sitting on top of Sydney's hand made and hand painted birdhouse. The bluebirds are building nests in all the bluebird boxes. It's great to see them back. Baby birds of different kinds are in many of our birdhouses around the ranch.
Happy sisters; Bonnie, me and Sandi at lunch together
My summer project is painting the barn...I'm excited to get it done. It will make our place look so much better.
Black hollyhocks next to the barn

Delores