Friday, April 27, 2012

Nanny's Roses

11 years ago, we were cleaning out my Grandmothers little apartment  right after she had passed away.  Her death had been long and sad and heartbreaking.

While packing boxes I heard  someone made a comment about hoping the new tenant enjoyed her rose bush and I immediately felt sadness.  It felt like I was leaving a piece of her behind.  She loved that rose bush and in the last few years of her life,  she couldn't get out much, but she'd always ask me if it was blooming when I came to visit.  Other times if I saw that it was, I'd pick one for her and she'd smile and bury her nose in it.

I couldn't just LEAVE it there. What if the new tenants didn't like roses? What if they let it die? What if they ripped it out and threw it away??? 

So, my auntie, my husband and I, armed with shovels and an axe,  took on the monster rose bush.  She cut it back, Danny dug and dug and dug  it out, cutting it loose from its carrot and garden hose thick roots.  We plopped it in a hole in our yard, covered it up and then went our separate ways to go clean up our scratches caused by mutated thorns.

"I'm not sure if it will live or not. We weren't very nice to it!" said my auntie. "But  with some TLC, it just might."

It did.

I watched that bush go through shock, until I was certain I was looking at dead sticks in the ground. Until the teeniest tiniest of leaves poked out.   Today, its a monster again.  And it makes me smile.

The first time I saw it bloom I was shocked. And thrilled. And sad. and excited.

Every spring since then, I watch for the first blooms, and a little tiny lady comes into my mind. A lady who cussed like a sailor, called me Princess, who could name and recite any verse in the bible at any given time,  who wouldn't DREAM of having Christmas eve dinner without Peanut Butter fudge, who sang Happy Birthday to me over the phone EVER year, and a lady who could never EVER get my children's name correct, (Jacob was called Joseph and Baby Tristen was little Christan.) but I never ever doubted her love for them. It was HIGHLY irritating as a new mom, but its one of my favorite memories of her now, and it always makes me smile.

I bet the roses are beautiful in Heaven!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I just realized I never updated about our last round of babies.  Tristen is FINALLY a Dutch breeder!!

His Tort, Snickers, had 5 little fat babies.  She's been a wonderful momma, and they are plump and happy.

Any day now their eyes will open up! Its so funny to watch them when they start seeing the world.

His blue, Storm, also had 5 little blue babies.  They are beautiful.  She's been a good mom too, but is more protective than the other does.  If there are any hands in the box and she's immediately over, paws up on the lip, seeing what you are doing.   I waited to see just what she would do if I "over stayed" my welcome in the box yesterday, and she boxed my arm. ;)

 Twilight, a black, had 2 black babies, who are pretty fat and sassy too. Isn't her baby pictured above just adorable?

And this isn't a Dutch, but here's one of the four first Jagger babies. SO far, Jacob's been THRILLED with the color these guys have!!  Like bittersweet chocolate!!

So be watching for these little cuties on a show table near you..just as soon as they make weight! ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Jacob's heifer, Charlie, tagged me this weekend.  She was eating, I was scratching her back, she kicked forward to scatter the flies and caught the side of my  knee.

Its a running joke in our house about mom and her bruising, but I was even a little shocked at the results a "thunk" in the knee did. 

I feel tough.

Monday, April 23, 2012


The roses have just loved the rain we've had this year. And I've loved watching them bloom!! This bush has just exploded.

I have another bush that I transplanted from my grandmothers apartment when she passed away 11 years ago. Its LOADED with blooms and I'm patiently waiting for its show to start. 

I think I mentioned before that I  transplanted 3 bushes this year from the farm.  2 look about normal. All the leaves have died, but its staying green, so I'm hoping with TLC this year, next year they will take off. The other bush I planted never did wilt or die off  and it already has TONS of new growth on it.

I also had my first Poppies bloom this morning.  Have I mentioned I love spring??

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crazy Like A FOX

I've always loved where we live. We are in town, but yet on the edge of town, where we see lots of wildlife.

Last week around 4am, Danny and both shot up in bed. There was a weird noise outside. Its sounded like a chicken or large bird was being killed.  It kept squawking, and went up the road, fading out until we couldn't hear it anymore.
I had wanted to go out and see what it was, but Dan was warm and cozy in bed, and I sure as heck wasn't going to go out there alone.

The sound was a hot topic around here for the next couple of days, and Jacob made me promise if I heard it again, I'd wake him up.

Last night I was cozy in my bed, just starting to nod off, when I heard it again, and it sounded like it was right in the yard. I flew down the stairs, ran by the bathroom where Tristen was yelling: WHAT THE HECK IS THAT NOISE????

Ran to the living room where Jacob was coming out of his room, wide eyed and saying something like OhhhhhMyyyyyGosssshhhhhh...What ISSSSS that????

We sat quietly by the front door, not being able to located the sound that sounded SO close. Until...I saw a large yellow cat run across the road. With a big fat bushy tail.  Not a cat!! A FOX!!! We watched it run back across the road.

Apparently, denning season is from April to July.

These cat like canine will eat  insects, worms, crayfish and mollusks, small rodents like mice, wood rats, squirrels  as well as rabbits..oh great!!... fish, reptiles and birds. Now and then, vulnerable farm animals, such as chickens, ducks and lamb will be taken. While farmers used to routinely trap foxes, many now realize that the fox brings far more benefit in its constant predation on crop destroying rodents and insects, than the harm they cause in taking the occasional barnyard animal.

If you would like to hear what we've been hearing, here is a video. The Vixen Scream is what we've been listening to.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Twisted Weather

Saturday we spent the day at Hutchinson at the Salt City show.  We didn't end up winning anything big, but enjoyed seeing our friends.  The weather was a hot topic around the show.  We were expected to get some pretty wicked weather in our part of Kansas.  Our friend, Sandi, even had a little hand held weather radio, and had packed up everything and left as soon as they were done showing.

As we packed up, I wanted to go in and say good bye to everyone, but Dan insisted that we leave. My mom, who is a 911 dispatcher here at home, sent texts telling us to stay put, that weather was going to hit just as we were leaving town. Dan pulled the map up on his phone, determined he was pretty sure we would miss it and  stay  just ahead of it.

That is EXACTLY what we did. Literally staying just a minute ahead of a storm that caused some major damage.  Mom would send msgs like "golf ball sized hail in Arlington" as we could still see Arlington in our mirror. It was a massive dark wall that was chasing us, or so it felt like. I had had the boys gather up shirts and hoodies, just in case they needed to cover up their heads with something in if started hailing, but all we ran into was some rain.

Came home, unpacked.  Sandi texted me several times, making sure we had gotten home ok, and we chatted about the weather a bit. Went to bed, woke up, made coffee, turned on the news. Holy moly.  The town of Woodward, OK, an hour from us, had been hit. Death count this morning from there is 6 people, with 3 of those being children.  Wichita area had been hit too, and WHY OH WHY was the street they kept repeating on the news sounding so familiar to me?? Took me a little bit before I realized that was where Sandi and her family lived. Surely not, I kept thinking.

Turned on the computer, and tuned into the chatter on Facebook.  Sure enough. Its sad when you see damage from towns or places you know, but it is a whole new level of panic and sadness when its people you know and care about going through it.   They had gone to a shelter to ride out the storm, and had spent the night in a FEMA trailer.   Their house is a disaster, their rabbit barn was destroyed, but they are all ok, and Tyler only ended up only losing 3 bunnies.  The cages were all bent and smashed, and he found mommas with babies in the neighbors yard, so I am now pretty certain bunnies have guardian angels too!  If those bunnies could talk, I bet they would have some stories to tell.

Kansas weather isn't anything to mess around with.

Sometimes I forget that. =(

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Greetings From Grand Central Station

The fridge is over flowing, and is desperately in need of cleaning, the boys rooms smell like a zoo and dirty socks, the laundry seems to be reproducing in the basement, and we have 4 birthdays this month. Danny worked out of town for a few days, not getting home until late. (Our team doesn't run so well when one of our teammates is missing!)  I haven't been sleeping well, and when I AM sleeping, I am snoring, which has lead to Dan stomping down the stairs to sleep on the couch at midnight. For the first time in my entire life I am dealing with allergy issues and had a sinus headache for 3 days straight. Our neighborhood has some sort of chicken/small animal killer that insists on dragging its screaming dying prey up our street several times a week now at 4 am. Yesterday  morning we ran out of toilet paper. And then shortly after,  Kleenex . And twice in the past week I have bought cheese, only to BOTH TIMES leave them sitting on the counter, in the grocery bag, overnight!!!! Just keeping it real!

Moving on..

We have more buns due this weekend/early next week, including the long awaited Dutch litters.  Tuesday morning, Jacob's chocolate doe, Keisha, had a litter of 5 little chocolates, sired by Jagger! His first Jagger litter! He's anxious to watch them grow up! (Jagger's 6 month show career to date has included 2 Best In Shows, 1 Best In Show Specialty, 2 Best of Breeds, and 2 1st Place Sr Bucks. He's a handsome boy!)

Jagger says Hello blogland!
It seems Keisha has inherited her dam and great-dams wonderful mothering instincts, as well as a not so favorable trait from her stick your hand in to check on those babies, and you will be greeted with grunts, growls and lunges with wide eyes and bared teeth.  Keisha's mom, a normally sweet girl,  does this her entire pregnancy, (its how we know she took!)  and then about a week after her babies are born, she mellows back out.  Those hormones are KILLER!  We shall see if they same holds true for her. Its hard to get mad at her, when she's just being a protective mom.

We have our potatoes and the beets and peas planted in the garden. Danny made our garden much bigger this year. Its now 38X51, adding on a good 200 square feet.  Which we will put to good use, since Dan is growing 3 different kinds of potatoes, I planted 2 varieties of beets and will be trying my hand at Okra this year!   It felt good to get my hands dirty again, and I was happy to see an abundance of  big, fat, juicy, earthworms. It seems with adding lots of rabbit manure, newspaper and straw, our soil has much improved in the 4 years we've used this plot for a garden! 
Tristen loves growing things, and this year is growing something new: PEANUTS! I wasn't sure if you could grow them successfully here, but found several articles on line about Kansas farmers growing them for crops. We had a sad empty spot in our yard where we recently took out our sandbox.  The perfect spot for some peanuts! Its been fun waiting for them to sprout and they are looking GREAT!! They are a hot weather crop and won't be ready until late this summer, but they seem to be doing well! 

Our spring has been A.MA.ZING! I commented to Danny that the pastures almost look FUNNY to me, with all the green grass out there. The cows are thrilled, and hardly come in anymore, except to get a quick drink.  It seems as if its been forever since things have looked this way.  Hose water will keep things alive, but that rain water, well, it's just magic!

The boys are in full swing with track! Jacob metaled in 2 events at the first track meet, with 4th place in the 800, and 3rd in the 400 relay.  
Tristen didn't metal, but has his first meet behind him now, which is a feat all in itself! I think track will be more fun now that the nerves will settle! He's been dealing with a foot injury for a month. He fell out of a tree..sigh...and bruised 2 bones in his foot. Its been a long  and annoyingly painful process for him.  One of those-- it doesn't hurt so bad to sit out, but hurts enough to HURT when he runs-- kind of things.  I think he's finally getting healed, which will help too, as long as he stays out of the trees. 

So there you have it. Our life right now. I'm thankful this week is almost over!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Goodbye March, Hello April!

Holy Batman! Really? March is over already??

It's a busy time around our house. Neither of my boys went out for basketball, so we had a nice time of nothing before track season started. But the busy time has started up and their first track meet is tomorrow.

Lots of babies in the boxes! Jacob ended up with 7 litters. 6 Havana, 1 Californian.  He has several pure black litters, 2 broken blacks, a blue,  and a litter of chocolates.  He has a another doe due this weekend, which  is sired by Jagger. He's anxious to get some Jagger babies in the boxes!

Tristen has 4 Dutch does due. 3 are due next weekend, and another the weekend after that. He's had a frustrating time getting started, and is just ready for some Dutch babies!! Stay tuned!

After this round is weaned, the girls will be bred again. In October, ARBA Nationals is in Wichita. 25,000+ rabbits, right in our back yard?? YES, PLEASE!

I do have a bit of a sad story to tell, while I'm talking about rabbits.  Jacob's black Havana, named Golly, was bred this last time, and I had palpated her as positive.  She built an amazing nest, pulled fur, and then...nothing. We waited, and waited.  She's known for having small litters, with big chubby babies, so I was worried.  After a week, we knew that it wasn't going to end well if she had  babies still inside her. So I called our vet and ran her over.  She had her belly shaved and was given an  ultrasound...our vets very first one she'd ever given a bunny!  Turns out, Golly isn't even pregnant. She just wants to be a momma REALLY bad!  She might have aborted her litter, or had a false pregnancy.   I tell people if she were human she would be one of these people who fakes a pregnancy and steals babies!  Golly still isn't convinced she's not about to give birth, but we feel better now that we know she's ok!

Saturday, Jacob and I ran to Dodge for a little birthday shopping. He got a pair of boots he's been wanting, as well as a headset for a game he plays on the Wii. That evening our family joined us for some pizza and some birthday cake.  His 14th birthday is Wednesday.

Let the month of birthdays begin!!

I am so enjoying our spring flowers!  It's amazing what a little bit of rain can do!! I sure don't remember things being this pretty last year!

 It's exciting to walk around the yard right now, and seeing things take off! I think we have a chance of rain off and on this week!! I sure hope we get it!  Hope everyone has a fabulous Monday!!!