Sunday, August 2, 2015

Seattle drought, pirates and princesses, crooked chicks,peeing in the woods,mean rooster attack, home movies

Drought in Seattle. Who would have thought that we would ever hear those words?  Its killing my garden. I mean it really is killing my garden. I normally plant  a lot of cool weather veggies that grow well in the PNW.  Broccoli, spinach,lettuce, snow peas are all close to fail this year.  Squashes  and cucumbers  are doing fabulous.  Green beans are hit and miss depending on where I planted them. All the berries this year are dry and  tart.  I cant say  that warmer weather is doing  the gardeners in the PNW any good.   None of my gardening neighbors are having any luck with their carrots this year.   As for me? I'm wilting as well. Once it  hits 90 degrees,  all I can do is sit in a puddle of my own sweat and dream of the day  it is overcast and 78 degrees.  The kids came for an extended visit  during July. They have been in one of the southern states for the last 7 years and the weather was to hot even for them.
While they were here I incubated a few eggs for  the little ones.  Best choice ever.  Out of 6 eggs, 3  developed to  maturity.  I was surprised at the results.   The first one was a pretty little  blue laced wyandotte.  The second one took a full 24 hours to hatch and has some issues. Everything on her is a little bit crooked. I was concerned that she would/would not survive but, here we are at one month and she is  thriving. Not sure how I feel about that.  The last one was a complete surprise.  A coal black chick with a white butt.  Jimmys  itty bitty mean rooster is  obviously the daddy. Bantam roosters are not supposed to be able to do that with full size hens.   We named them Daffodil, Rosie (the crooked one) and Snowbutt.  And that's what happens  when you let a three year old name chickens.  In a couple of days  the three new ones will be moving outside to  climatise in the  integration pen before joining the  others.  The  leghorns I picked up  early in the spring are doing well.  They bonded with Arnie pretty early and he watches over them.  They should be laying by the end of august.
July was delightful at Mystic Cedars.  While the grownups were busy  grown-upping the little ones were enjoying  Mystic Cedars  at its finest.  By week two we had developed a routine of  walking the yard daily and snacking on berries, plums and whatever else we could forage for.  We fed the chickens and hunted for eggs.  We put a couple of swings in the trees and built a cardboard castle fit for any princess to play in.    Papa Jimmy decided  the castle needed to be besieged by pirates (guess who the pirate was) and built two cannons out of five gallon  buckets, one for the castle and one for  the pirates.  He then showed  a two year old and a 3 and half year old how to throw rocks at grownups.  Papa Jimmy is a terrible influence and must be kept from small children.  Except  the small children idolized him and followed him everywhere which is how the  oldest learned to  pee in the bushes.  Papa Jimmy neglected to instruct her..... that for effective  peeing in the woods,  one must first  pull down ones pants. Her mom was not happy with that particular tutorial.   Papa Jimmy also found them  a nice patch of dry, sandy dirt for them to play in, which resulted in their first ever hosing off, before they were allowed in the house.  It took a good week for Jimmy to realize that they were following him everywhere and peeking around corners to see what he was doing, which is how they found his secret chocolate stash.  Marlow was in  heaven while they were here. He followed the little ones everywhere vacuuming up  their toddler-food shrapnel.  He dined on spilled mac n cheese,  abandoned pb&j's (and sometimes not abandoned) pieces of hotdog and  many other  foods he would not normally have access to.   For the first two days  after they left, he refused his kibble and waited under the table for treasures that wouldn't drop again until next summer.  Did I worry about him not eating? Not this time.   Did I feel sorry him? Not really?  I figured when he got hungry enough , he would eat.  He did.
The cats, of course, pretty much disappeared while they were here.  Nothing terrifies a cat more than  a tiny,high pitched voice, exclaiming excitedly...'KITTY!!!!!!!!'.
Many adventures were had at Mystic Cedars this July including a large family BBQ.  I need to stop here and apologize to my sister-in-law .  Jimmy decided at some point  during the BBQ, to add to the chaos by letting  the big chickens out.  My poor, unsuspecting, sister-in-law  was strolling   the back yard when Arnie jumped out  from behind a bush  and attacked her.  I hate that bird. The screaming  brought us all running to the rescue and  she wasn't injured but, still... I'm sorry!
Does anybody want a really mean teeny tiny rooster? For free? I'll even bring him to your house. 

And now time for  some home movies... I hope. I've never tried to add a video to my blog so I hope it works. This isnt everyone at the BBQ.  Most of them were scattered all over the property and a few even wandered down to the creek but, this video will give you the flavor of our  get together.