Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Last night a storm snuck up on me. The weather folks are classifying it a "microburst", which is is a downdraft that produces straight line winds in a localized area. The localized area was my yard. The closest air field reported 75mph winds. Can you see my truck? Amazingly, the only damage to the vehicles is a dent in the size of the truck, which I think adds character. We are going to have to have a tree guy come out to remove at least one of the trees. Maybe I'll replace it with a red maple. It sure seems like we are losing a lot of trees. We're also losing all of our pine trees to beatles. We spent the evening cutting up and hauling off chucks of tree. Oh... and I got distracted this morning and took some pictures of dewy flowers.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Zoo day

We had a nice trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo today. It's one of the best zoos in the country, but you have to go to Omaha to see it. Typicaly Omaha weather today... it's about 125 degrees and 80% humidity. The Madagascar exhibit is new this year. Lots and lots of lemurs... who wouldn't love that? They also have the largest indoor desert. It's under a glass geodesic dome that looks amazing at night. Under the desert is a nocturnal display, which is my favoite part of the zoo. Also of note, the rainforest, aquarium, and gorilla valley. These exhibits are all INSIDE, where there is air conditioning.

Incidentally, chicken eggs should hatch in about 20 days. I recommend removing the eggs after day 23. Apparently the rooster overseeing the flock we got our eggs from is less attentive than he should be. We hatched 5 chicks. One partially hatched then didn't make it. The other six have been sitting in the incubator.... until today. We came home from the zoo to a horrible smell... Apparently if you cook chicken eggs at 100 degrees for 26 days they might just explode. And it's not pretty. And the smell is indescribable. Also, when you remove the remainder of the eggs... do so carefully. They may explode the moment you touch them. This is not good... not good at all.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Slipping Away

As summer slips away, I'm starting to think about that final rush to get things done before winter. It's been hot and humid, making it miserable to get outside and do things that should be done. Lucky for me, the actual needs are significantly less than what is on my todo list. Yesterday I picked up 7 chicks from a friend's place. They are a cross between Americana and Barred Rock. We also have a couple dozen eggs in a borrowed incubator. First hatch is on Aug 5, second is on Aug 8. As you can see from the varied egg colors, we'll have a mix of breeds from this hatch. This is the first time we have hatched out our own chicks!

I've been distracted lately and the pile of books is growing. Current reading list includes C.H. Douglas's Social Credit, which is not as dry as I expected, and Leonard Mlodinow's The Drunkard's Walk.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DC 2010

I'm out in DC picking up the girls. We had a great visit to the Baltimore Aquarium It's amazing. Of course, I find myself thinking about the engineering that must have gone into the multi-story building full of aquariums... Lighting conditions in aquariums are always difficult, leaving me wishing for a higher quality camera. The kids had a great time. Me too.

We enjoyed lunch on the patio overlooking the bay. I've never cared much for cities, but this was a nice way to spend the day. The weather was beautiful. I wish we had time to ride the paddleboats - maybe next time. After lunch we went back to the aquarium to see the Jellyfish Invasion exhibit and the rainforest. Impressive and lots of fun!

Then we hopped up to Hersey, Pennsylvania - the sweetest place on earth. I wasn't aware that there was an entire amusement park based on CHOCOLATE. Like a dream come true... And to top it off the park houses some really great coasters. Fahrenheit is the best coaster I have been on, bar none. We also went to Hersey Gardens and the Story of Hersey. The garden was nice. Lots of interesting things for the kids.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sleepless nights

With spring storms, extra chaos at work, and the looming due date for a paper for school I'm not getting a lot of sleep. Usually I'm not one to lose sleep - and anymore I really need the sleep! We have had some beautiful days between the stunning thundershowers. A week of on-call for work coming up and only 4 more weeks of school. I can't wait to be free to enjoy the summer! Rather, I'll be spending my free time clearing the upper lot and fencing a corridor to the east lot. What to do about the thorny locust?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Catching up

I awoke one morning to three solid black lambs. All were still wet, so I assigned them to ewes and put them in jugs. (I could have gotten the wrong lambs with the wrong mom - but I don't think anyone minds.) Lily had two black lambs, a ewe and a ram who have been named Chip and Salsa. Tutu gave us a black ewe lamb, dubbed Solo.
A few weeks later, Baagonia surprised me with two black lambs with faery kisses on their foreheads. Melba and Mulligan tipped the scale at a mere four pounds - half the weight of the smallest of the other three lambs. After a few shakey days of both lambs becoming increasingly gaunt in spite of supplemental bottle feeding, they are now active, curious lambs. We are continuing to offer a supplemental bottle, which I enjoy as much as the lambs.

The human daughters are gone for the next couple of weeks on part one of their summer world tour. My son got a trip to the circus today as a consolation prize. The circus has come a long way since I was a kid - although I have to admit I prefer the old fashioned midway.

There weren't any lambs in the circus. Maybe I could train Melba and Mulligan up and hit the road...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waiting Impatiently

I'm waiting impatiently for this years lambs. Lily and Tutu both look very close. Officially their due date was yesterday. We are expecting a storm tomorrow evening so I was hoping that they would lamb today. But, no dice. I'm on call this week and worked most of last weekend. I didn't even get my homework done. Actually the last two classes I have taken I have given myself permission to skip an assignment. In both classes I ended up with an A- instead of an A, and I considered it worth it. Good enough is good enough, I tell myself in an effort to remain sane.