Friday, May 27, 2011

Tuukka Trouble

It's a good thing that Tuukka is cute because lately he's been getting into all sorts of trouble. The main source of his mischief making is our little decorative pond. We had some trouble last year with Boomer thinking it was his own private swimming pool, but Tuukka goes above and beyond causing trouble with the pond.
To Tuukka the whole area is like a waterpark. For Tuukka the little fountain isn't just something to look at it's a place to get a drink. And if you chew on the fountain you can make it spray in all directions and if you try really hard you can even pull the top of the fountain off and use it as a chew toy! Fun!
Then there are the little frogs and ducks I have decorating the pond. Tuukka loves the ducks. I find the ducks all over the yard or bobbing upside down in the pond. I know he is a bird dog but pond ornaments need to be left alone.
And lastly there are the plants that are growing around the pond that he tramples in his frolicing
or the hole that he started digging after he saw me digging out some weeds. The poor pond needs some serious landscaping if it would only stop raining!!
Oh and did I mention the biggest chicken predator is Tuukka trying to dig into the chicken run?
He's not after the chickens though, he's after their food!
But despite all the trouble we still love him. He is highly entertaining in all his puppy playfulness and generally speaking, a good dog.
Just one example of Tuukka's antics-tipping over the fountain so that the water squirts everywhere!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Free Range

I really wanted to be able to free range the chickens because one of the main reasons we got them was to eat all the ticks and other unfavorable bugs crawling around here. My biggest concern was our own two dogs. BIRD hunting dogs no less, but as I observed the dogs and chickens coming face to face through the wire run, I noticed the chickens didn't care an awful lot about the dogs and that the dogs really seemed more interested in the chickens food than the actual chickens.
So today we were finally blessed with a dry and partly sunny morning and I decided I'd let the chickens out of their run to free range while I did some work in the yard. Yes I did leave the dogs out with me too. I armed myself with a pocketful of dog treats and randomly caught the dogs being good by not bothering the chickens and for coming when I called them away from the chickens. The free ranging was a success which made me sooo happy!
The chickens were very entertaining as they foraged through the yard and I actually found them following me around along with the dogs.
Here the girls are checking for bugs along the woods.
A nice dust bath in the sunshine...
And who would have thought that bird dogs and chickens could get along so well?? Certainly not me on the very first day. Here everyone enjoys the warm sun.
Now I was thinking that the chickens wouldn't mind me taking a pictures but ironically this look is similar to the one the kids give me when I've taken too many pictures of them-oh well!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Where's the Sun?

I know that the sun is good for the grass and all the little plant that are popping out all over the place. And I am very thankful that it is not snow. But after 5 days straight of cool,wet weather I am soooo ready for the sun. The gray days are making me want to go back into hibernation mode which is depressing as I just came out of hibernation after a long cold winter. I refuse to turn the heat back on, though the gas fireplace has been used daily to take the chill off.
Also my oldest has been away all week at a program through school called Natures Classroom. Lots of neat outdoor activities promoting team building, social skills and an appreciation of nature. The weather has been yucky for the poor kids and I am hoping that she is having a great time despite the rain. I'll find out tomorrow. We've missed her and look forward to hearing about her adventures.
I have been venturing outside to take care of the chickens and the rabbits and have attempted a few little projects. Unfortunately everytime I venture out it is sure to begin pouring within minutes. Our little chicken coop has a leaky roof and we've placed a tarp over it until we can fix it. We've got some shingles leftover from the house and will use those.
I am desperate to just be outside and not get wet. Not to mention that I have 500 outdoor projects that I want to get done!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Funny Chicken Story

Many of you already know this story but for those of you who don't here you go. I think I have mentioned before that I have wanted to get chickens for several years now but we would never get around to making a coop and so another year would pass and no chickens. But the more I read about chickens the more I wanted them. Now my husband was pretty sure that this was just a phase and if he could put off building a coop then surely the phase would pass. Maybe, but one day several weeks ago as we were returning home from a trip from parents, Becca said" I just saw a chicken in the woods." as we were turning into the driveway.
Both Dom and I were like no way you saw a chicken. It must be a young turkey.
After getting settled Dom asked Becca to show him where she saw the chicken and he and the girls headed across the street to check things out while I fed the dogs.
They returned a little while later confirming that there was in fact a chicken across the street. Now we do live in a very rural area but there are no houses across the street and no one with chickens close by so where did she come from?? They had tried to catch her with no success.
So we left her to her own devices as we got on with the rest of our evening.
The next day Dom and I were walking the dogs when he asked me if I thought that the chicken was still around. I doubted it with the woods full of wildlife just looking for a tasty dinner after a long winter, but sure enough that hen was still in the same area of the woods!
We brought the dogs into the house and Dom grabbed his fishing net. We were going to try to catch the chicken. Now I wish that I thought to grab the video camera because it was quite amusing to see my husband chase after the chicken with a fishing net. He managed to catch her and get a good workout all at once.
Of course now that we had caught the hen what were going to do with her?
Luckily we have a double decker rabbit hutch and we stuck her in the bottom.
Now what?
Well I decided to keep her of course. This was obviously a sign that I was supposed to raise some chickens.
Or was it a sign to have a chicken dinner....
Anyway we kept her and now there was no choice but to build a coop of some kind. There was also the fact that chickens are flock animals and you really need to have more than one.
So my husband and I set about converting a doghouse into a mini coop with an attached run.
I then attempted to attend a chicken swap only to get rained out in the hopes of finding a friend for our new hen Luckily my parents neighbor was kind enough to provide us with another hen free of charge. So I am happy to report that we are now enjoying fresh eggs!
I have hopes of trying to work out a way for them to do some free ranging for part of the day so they can eat up the ticks and other nasty bugs that torture us. Not sure how to work it out yet since we own two bird dogs that would like nothing more than to chase the chickens around the yard. I'll let you know if I come up with a solution.
Here is Henrietta!
This is the new addition-Henny Penny.
And this is their new home.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tractor Rides

While visiting, Auntie Lisa and Uncle Chuck checked out the new tractor by taking a little ride on the driveway.
We even got Nonna to sit on it!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Spring Fun!

We had some special guests spend the night after Kenzie's first communion. Auntie Lisa and Uncle Chuck came all the way from Colorado for the special occasion and they spent Sunday night with us along with Nonna and Nonno.
We took them hiking up Blue Job and made pudgie pies around the fire.
Here's Nonna and the girls on Blue Job.
Tuukka likes to be in the middle of all the action. He also makes a great lap warmer. Just ask Becca...
My favorite pudgie pie combination so far is this one. Cherry pie filling with Hershey chocolate bar! Just like my favorite treat- chocolate covered cherries! Yum!
Again, Tuukka is right where the action or rather the food is. He's just waiting to test the pudgie pies and make sure they taste okay...
And in celebration of the demise of Bin Laden we just happened to have an appropriate firework leftover from the summer. It was an Exploding Bin Laden Noggin.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


Over the weekend we celebrated Mackenzie's First Communion with family and friends.
Mackenzie was absolutely stunning and did a great job. After church we had a nice cookout back at the house. I am still hoping to get some more pictures of Kenzie all dressed up but for now these will do.