We are watching Tony's dad's dog this weekend. Her name is Mattie and she's a senior miniature Australian shepherd. She's a little naughty after dark, when she gets into any garbage or food she can find, but otherwise she's a pretty quiet girl. Her age is catching up to her and she sometimes struggles with the two steps up to the door, and I suspect she is pretty much deaf as well. She kicks her feet out as she walks, an indicator that her vision may be failing her too. She certainly doesn't like Moose and she growls at him if he wanders into her vacinity, even if it's unintentional. We get to watch Mattie this weekend and then again next weekend.
This morning we still had five kits in Penelope's nest box, but I could tell the tiny one was struggling. This evening the littlest one had passed and there are now four babies in the nest box, including one more particularly small kit. It looks like one of the kits is harlequin marked. The others are yet to be easily identified.
I didn't have a lot of time to go treasure hunting but in the three holes I dug I found the goodies below. One nail, a thing you'd use to secure a pipe to a wall, a flat square with a round hole in the center, and a small railroad tie thing.
Tony woke the kids up before he left for work. It's about time we started transitioning to earlier mornings so school isn't such a shock. It was nice to all have breakfast together.
I got most of the kitchen stuff unpacked and put away, swapped the kitchen lights for energy efficient LED bulbs, and cleaned out most of my dresser drawers so #3 could have them for what is now her dresser.
While doing bunny chores I came across a Prairie Skink. He (or she) froze in the walkway. I admired the little reptile for a couple minutes, took a photo, and then shooed the friendly insect eater off to the side so I wouldn't accidentally step on him. He's beneficial, he will help keep insect populations down in the bunny barn, and eats spiders too!
I did a half-assed attempt at a mini Back-To-Eden style border garden. I only had half a bag of soil, so it's not as deep as I wanted it to be, and the bunnies haven't been here long enough to produce any significant amount of fertilizer, but I tried. #4 and I planted Garden Sweet Burpless Hybrid cucumbers, Snowbird snowpeas, Provider bush beans, and Black Beauty zucchini. I have no idea if this garden will grow or not or if the plants will have enough time to actually produce this year.
Then I planted the sad shriveled horseradish roots we bought this spring. I have no idea if they will grow or not. I hope so, but if not I can buy more next spring now that I actually have a place to plant them.
When I finally finished all of my chores, I put the corned beef into the crock pot and headed out with the metal detector again.
Another screwdriver, a couple nails, two railroad bolts, a four leaf clover, two pennies, a dime, a ketchup wrapper (seriously, it's metal), a bent pipe, some kind of oil container, part of a big spoon, the metal part of a lightbulb... Reminder friends! Sometimes treasure hunting can be hazardous! That light bulb had broken shards of glass all over in the dirt.
I dug up a lot of junk today too. I don't keep the wadded up aluminum pieces. The look like the mangled remains of pie tins. Beyond those, I also found some plastic and glass while digging metal up. Here's the "junk" pile from today.
I called it a night when the sun started to set.
Tony didn't get home until after dark. He bought a new screen door. I lovingly refer to this particular variety as a "bang door." You may remember the style from just about every old show ever. The wood and screen door on a spring that bangs closed when you walk out. It's an absolute must for an authentic farmhouse.
To y also stopped at the old house to pick up some of the plants. If he brings a few home every day we will soon have our garden moved! We now have peppers and tomatoes, squash, an eggplant, and chamomile on the homestead. Today's harvest included three red tomatoes (from the 100's tomato), and one purple tomato from the Indigo F1 tomato plant.
Somewhere down the road a skunk must have been hit by a car, and our little homestead was just the wrong way downwind. Tony said he could smell it down the road, though we had thought maybe a skunk had sprayed somewhere in the yard. It was pretty strong.
All is well tonight on the homestead. It was a busy but productive day. It's going to feel great going to bed after a long day of projects.
A brief metal detector outing this morning yielded small results. Two little bullet casings, three nails, and a random piece of metal. The bullet casings were pretty deep. Since we are on a waterfowl refuge, I wonder what someone was shooting at.
The little purple-headed bird came back to the seed feeder this evening. Again in a trio with two plain brown birds (his mate and this years offspring perhaps). This time they were joined by what looked like a thirteen lined ground squirrel (striped pocket gopher). The two brown birds are at the feeder and the gopher nibbled spilled seeds on the ground. Then the purple headed bird came to the feeder and started picking up seeds and dropping them to the gopher below! What a cheeky little thing! I guess we are feeding wildlife that pays it forward by feeding other wildlife.
This evening while everyone else ran back to Brainerd for a shopping trip, #5 and I went out with the metal detector again. We found a piece of pipe, a long hooked flat piece, a metal cap with words on it, and a screwdriver with a broken handle. He ran off with the first two calling them his "treasures" so I wasn't able to get photos of them.
Tonight we are washing our first load of laundry at the new house. Yay for small milestones. Tony goes back to work tomorrow. It's been great having him at home this past week. Now we will have to adjust to longer travel times, but I anticipate we will be just fine.
We made some important progress today. All of our bunnies and all of the cats are officially moved to the homestead. The turtle is still in her temporary cage until my Dad can come and take the wood stove so we can use the raised area in the living room for Minnow's big cage. Insurance stil hasn't reimbursed us for lost items from the flood, so we still don't have a stand for her tank for now anyway. The only living things left at the old house are the garden plants and the 29-gallon fish tank. Both should be fine with Tony checking in on them every couple days while he's in the area for work, until we can get them moved too.
I took the metal detector out for a few minutes this afternoon again and found even more treasures. A wire, a quarter of a can lid, a can rim, a nail, a headless screw, something round with a nail in one of the holes, an L-shaped piece, another piece to a shotgun shell, a key, and my best find yet - a metal soldier!
The metal soldier looks pretty old, but still has some paint. The face is of pale complexion, the helmet is green, and it looks like the pants were tan. It looks like he is wrapped in a poncho or blanket, but the paint there is gone so I can't make out what it's supposed to be. If anyone can identify this soldier, I'd love to know how old he actually is.
We made it out to the county fair for dinner and cheese curds, and we went through the rabbit barn to admire the rabbits. I do want to get a breeding trio of Champagne d'argent rabbits at some point. They're beautiful.
The cats are enjoying having free run of the bathroom and laundry room. Zombie has been chasing jingle ball toys across the floor, while Netherquartz sits on one of the bottom shelves of the cat tree watching. Henry, Mabel, and Floki have claimed the topmost seat and have been purring for the last hour. I am not sure if they're happy to have full time humans again, or for more space to romp, but either way, they're clearly happy cats this evening.
Tonight we finally got the bedframes set up for everyone. We'd been sleeping on mattresses on the floor (with sheets and pillows and blankets of course). Tomorrow I'm hoping we can get all the dressers moved in, and unpack more boxes.
Amanda's blog about everything, important and trivial.