2 years ago today I decided to let myself fall in love with my husband. I didn’t really have much choice in the matter even though I liked to think I did. It’s been the happiest two years of my life and the best decision I’ve ever made. Thank you love for these years 🙂
I bought this camellia in celebration since our house seemed to be missing one.
We are officially in the driest year of recorded history for our area. It’s the middle of November and we haven’t stopped wearing shorts out in the garden and sweating when we work outside on the weekends. So when the weather forecast calls for rain even if it’s just 30% it’s all anyone is going to talk about for that week. Well it sprinkled last night and we woke up with a wet driveway and clear blue sky’s. This is how our rain has been, small raindrops that sneak in at night and leave before we wake up. We were really hoping for some measurable rain this time.
Then this evening the sky opened up and the wind blew in and we have been having a very hard downpour for the last hour. The goats were not thrilled about this strange water falling from the sky but the ducks sure loved it! We haven’t finished roofing the rabbit barn so it’s not quite water tight but it’s fully covered and I think everyone will be fine in there.
One of our big accomplishments to cross off the to do list last weekend was building the actual quail tractor. We made it entirely out of scrap we had around the house. Thanks dad for all the random stuff you find us 🙂
We combined the quail from both rabbit cages into this portable tractor that we will move around to different parts of the field so they can graze on the grass and weeds. We also give them plenty of feed to avoid fights. There was a little bit of a pecking order establishing when we combined the two groups but everyone seems to have handled it pretty well. I’m sure the quail were pretty happy in their new home during this storm.
Our poor dogs are dealing with some sort of stomach flu that they are passing from one another. It started with our oldest lab Ansel. It was so bad in him we actually thought it was the end which made for a very stressful couple of weeks. He slowly bounced out of it and is back to normal begging for food like always.
Then this past weekend Trapper stopped eating and we randomly found piles of throw up but not really sure who they belonged to since Ansel still wasn’t quite right. After a couple of days with no food Trapper bounced back and gobbled down his dinner earlier this week.
Unfortunately it wasn’t over yet. On Tuesday night the baby of the bunch Riley just seemed a little uneasy. Since he’s also our nervous baby it wasn’t that unusual of behavior but still just a little odd. In the morning he didn’t have much energy until his stomach decided to reject everything that was inside. All over our bedroom. Let’s just say those were 3 large piles of unpleasantry. Sorry for the details I actually left out many.
The only one who hasn’t seemed to be affected so far is our sweet little princess Karma. She does seem to be moving a little slower today so maybe she hides it better than the boys. She is one tough lady!
It’s rare when I take a three day weekend but I felt like I deserved this one after finishing a major project at work and helping my boss finish one of her major projects I was happy to have an excuse to take a three day weekend. The plan was to buy 10 stone fruit trees since they were half price at the nursery and paint the bathroom. We bought the trees and Scott is still working on digging the holes for them only 2 more to go! I’m so glad I don’t do the digging 🙂
The weekend deviated from my plan when Scott snuck a peak under the straw where the sweet potatoes were planted. Last spring I planted 20 pounds of potatoes. 10 pounds we planted in make shift bushel baskets. They were actually made out of wire about 3 feet tall and we lined it with straw and put a small amount of compost on the bottom. We planted the potatoes and covered them with more compost. The idea was that as the potatoes grew we would continue to cover the plant and more potatoes would continue to grow up the plant.
We made 6 baskets like this. 3 with red potatoes and 3 with white potatoes. For awhile it worked in a couple of the baskets. Then we got married and the heat of summer hit with only hoses running to an acre of field. And that was the end of the story of those potatoes.
So for the other 10 pounds we watched a video where a guy spread cardboard then compost then planted seed potatoes and covered it all very heavily with straw and watered very heavily. He never had to water again and 6-8 months later he had bushels and bushels of potatoes. Well it looked great in the video but we really didn’t take in to account that he was in England and planted in the fall. We live in a desert and planted in the spring with no real water system to get us through the heat of summer.
As I watched all of my potatoes die around me I had one last desperate attempt for a potato. I had sprouted a sweet potato over winter and tried to transfer just the sprouts but they died (are you noticing a theme) so in my desperate attempt I just put an entire sweet potato under the straw where the cardboard mess was and tried to remember to water it daily. Which usually equated to twice weekly. But thankfully Scott bought these water timers so I could just toss the hose on the pile of straw and set the timer and not think about it again! After a couple of weeks we had a lot of green growth coming out of this patch of cardboard and straw. The leaves seemed to be very tolerant of my lame watering patterns when they got droopy from lack of water I would give them water and they would perk right back up. Before I knew it the leaves had sprawled probably about 10 feet in all directions. I read in a book that wherever the leaves touch soil they would put down roots. But when I looked under the leaves I didn’t see any setting roots so I really started to doubt anything was actually growing underground. I just thought I had a lot of great greens for the animals.
A couple of weeks ago when the weather cooled I quit watering the potatoes and have been clipping several vines each day for the animals but I’ve refused to dig up any potatoes. I didn’t want to know that I had completely failed at growing any potatoes. Saturday morning Scott decided to peak under the straw and then pulled us out to show us what he had found.
Some how I managed to grow some potatoes!!! Ok I know they aren’t really potatoes but I am happy to have them!!! And not just some but 42 pounds of sweet potatoes!
Friday couldn’t have come sooner after our difficult start to the week. I left to work on Monday almost certain I was saying my last goodbye to our 12 year old lab Ansel. He wouldn’t get up and wouldn’t eat anything. Scott took him to the vet and they said everything looked fine gave him some meds and a couple days later he was back to normal!
Other than that rough start the week has been pretty good. We’ve collected 4 quail eggs from Goldie. The first one came on a day when I said to myself “Goldie must be a boy” because she wakes us up singing every morning. Scott even called her our little rooster that morning. So when tanner told us there was an egg I didn’t believe him (especially since this isn’t the first time he’s joked about eggs) but the boy who cried egg was telling the truth!
The other quail aren’t laying yet because they aren’t getting enough light in these shorter days. I’m adding a solar light to their cages which will hopefully help encourage them to lay.
Our ducks and chickens have continued to supply us with more eggs than we can eat! Hopefully they can keep it up through the winter. We aren’t adding any lights to their pens because it’s just to difficult with the way the corral is set up.
To celebrate Friday we decided to make homemade pizzas. It was a fun experiment with a really tasty outcome!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!