29 January 2010

There's a Storm Coming

So Mr. Fuzzy should be presenting you all with more pretty pictures of the white stuff and / or ice in the next few days.

It's been a busy week around here. Most important of all the busy-ness is the END to Mr. Fuzzy's huge, unpaid, editing job. I have my husband back! We celebrated by going out for one of the best meals we've ever had in America. (Almost as good as some of those impossibly delicious meals we ate in Italy.)

My life has been, mostly, taken up with the animals, again, this week. Little Soup Dog, "Salsa," got to go to the vet for his checkup and I screwed up the courage to give he and Rocky their DHLPP shots. That's the "does most everything" one. The vet did the rabies vaccine. Tonight I find the tenacity to shoot their noses full of kennel cough vaccine. OH BOY! That's going to be an adventure. That was the small stuff.

I took Salsa to Pitiful Pulski to meet a potential adopter. (Note To All: there a good cuppa available and a ReStore but nothing else there. Totally dead and about to blow away.) The folks really liked Salsa and I'm saying my prayers they'll decide to adopt. It's the perfect home. That's Big News #1. Big News #2 is that the doggles, Rocky and Rufus, escaped from the walled garden last night and Rufus did not run off! Today he was allowed, for the first time, to hang out in the yard for a couple hours and he was very well behaved. (Chetworth would disagree....) Looks like he won't be forever confined to the garden after all. Yaaayyyyyyy!

Been working on the greenhouse some more. My water barrel has a leak so it needs to find a new use... Maybe as a soil barrel? The newly-hatched plan is to add gutters to the greenhouse roof and collect the water inside, under the bench. Cross fingers and wish me well! I've also gotten the soil in where I can. Under the bigger bench will have to wait until the overwintered plants come out. I also got seeds planted for early greens. Hopefully next year we'll have greens all winter in there! I've put in lettuce, spinach, chives, an radishes to eat plus some crocus, miniature iris, and nasty urchins just because I want them there. The moles and voles eat the crocuses if they are planted in the ground. I'll let you know how it works out.

Oh, yes, and the foster cats are gone. 'Lizbeth was adopted practically before her feet hit the kennel at PetsMart and C.K. is well now so she's "on show" at a local gallery.

25 January 2010


22 January 2010

Greenhouse O Greenhouse

Remember this lovely greenhouse picture from last spring? The one where I said I'd emptied, cleaned and disinfected the interior before putting on a fresh coat of paint? Well, it doesn't look that nice right now.

I finally confronted my fear of power tools and decided to remodel things to make the space more useful to a barely-five-foot-tall (after I've been to the chiro) amateur gardener. All that unusable space under the benches just collected trash and I couldn't reach the far corners at the end without climbing onto the bench. So... I remodeled.

Warmish greenhouse or icy, windy yard?
Rocky knows which is better!

This bench has worked really well so I just drilled holes in it for water and potting soil to fall through. It also works well for securing a jig saw and holding fuzzy "helpers."

The big bench is history, trimmed to a shadow of it's former self but still wide enough to hold a milk jug or Buster sprawled in the corner. I drew his chalk outline (with space for growth) to be certain. Nothing in the greenhouse was square, and I'd never used a jig saw before, so I went with a wave pattern based on an old CD I found on the floor.

I see no reason a greenhouse can't be girlie.
(Jig Saw work completed.

The medium size bench was OK but too deep for me to make use of the floor underneath so I'll be affixing expanded steel bases into the holes. There's a small area at the end, which you can't see, for setting tools and things on a solid surface. With the holes I'll be able to see what's below and maybe use the floor to over-winter plants like peppers and chiles. The dead looking things are habaneros. Might have gotten too cold in there before I found the heater but we'll see. The idea is to keep them alive, but dormant, until they can go back into the garden.

And here is the door end. I put the soil on the floor to help with the water problem, drilled some holes in the floor too, and put as many tools as I could above my head. The lantern is LED so it gives bright light without any risk.

The ultimate plan is to have soil on the floor and a thyme walkway down the center. I'll be able to directly grow lettuce and other things AND have space for potting up, setting teacups, and growing starts.

21 January 2010

Mrs. Fuzzy's Artistic Outlet

Good homes needed.

Parson's Jack Russell.

Our foster dog.

And our foster cat.

12 January 2010


Dearest Readers,

It has been unremittingly cold here in Paradise. Tomorrow it is forecast that the temperature may rise to 40F (4.5C); should that come to fruition, it would be the first time in about two weeks that it was above freezing. The snow which fell before Christmas blankets the ground yet, freshened by a light dusting this morning.

Fortunately it has not been terribly frigid - the lowest temperature has been about 10F (-12C) which is warmer than last year at this same time. Nonetheless, last year saw consistent gentle swings from near 0F (-18C) to the mid 40s such that any precipitation melted within a week at the most. This year, despite many sunny, cloudless days, the mercury seems unable to rise to the occasion.

We have burned nearly our entire inventory of fire wood. It took some searching to locate a firewood vendor with any stocks remaining to replenish our wood pile; many are sold out for the season. Mr. Fuzzy has been reducing a fallen red oak on the front of the farm into firewood but it will require a full year before it is ready for use.

The tyres on the Honda CRV were well worn but there was hope of squeezing yet another 5,000 miles from them but the need for superior traction on the ice and snow demanded the immediate purchase of quality mud and snow tyres.

Our Fife friends in have seen a snowy and cold winter like the auld days as well. Friends in France and Germany have witnessed record cold and snowfalls. Ye Auld Blacksmith and The Celtic Fiddler in Vermont have seen much snow and below zero Farenheit conditions but well acclimated, they snowshoe to knitting bees and dances...

11 January 2010


It's been a busy phase for us here in Beautiful Floyd. A fortnight or so ago Mr. Fuzzy made three trips to photograph dogs at the pound... all abortive but it's OK. There weren't any new doggies impounded. We attended a lovely night out / board meeting with the Humane Society on Saturday where the food was free because it just happened to be "customer appreciation night" at the restaurant.

Speaking of restaurants, our favorite waitress at the cafe has eleven puppies (all one litter!) needing homes in 2-4 weeks. So.... we were at her house that Friday to photograph them to put on our society website as "pets around town." The annoying internet phrase "dies of cuteness" is appropriate here. And, finally, Sunday saw us out at a nearby sheep farm photographing seven more foster dogs including a handsome tricolor hound, a very attentive parson's jack russel, and a pair of super compact little dogs who were once feral but are learning to love people.

Anyone want a dog?

Oh yes, and then there was the kitten, 'Lizbeth Stubbs. She is named after the Queen and the musician. Yep.... royally cute and she has only a third of her tail left after an argument with a Buick. I suppose we could have called her Gully because she was also covered in motor oil.... but that would be too obscure. Que no?

Then last Tuesday we took in another foster cat "just overnight" to take up to PetSmart's adoption center. Her foster mom had a bunch of meetings and I had a dental appointment first thing so it was going to be a simple hold and dump operation. HA! The poor thing developed a cold. So, now we have a slowly recovering, dog-nervous, sneezing cat convalescing in our upstairs bath & bedroom. As soon as she is well she'll go to the Bell Gallery in town to be featured. The kitten will precede her on Friday. Her tail is healed and she's past the trauma of it all.

And then there is my Moment of Compassionate Generosity from last night... temporarily named "Sal" (For Salad-Brain / Salsa / Salvador.) Sal is a a fuzzy ball of Soup Dog. I thought I was volunteering to take in a different small dog... ... ... Anyway, he'll be in residence for 2 weeks while transport details are arranged. He's got a shelter to go to up north but his time at the pound was to run out today. The amazing Debbie, who arranges transports, just didn't have quite enough time to get things sorted.

I think the chicken shed will be built tomorrow. He has an annoying "small dog bark" and marked the carpet in Russ' office.

Oh, and I've been remodeling the greenhouse since warm weather arrived last week. Rain today and 1 1/2 inches of it a few days ago but it's been above freezing. Snow is mostly gone.

08 January 2010

Dancing at the Country Store

Floyd Country Store, every Friday of the year.
(Courtesy of YouTube.)

03 January 2010

Stratheden Farm: Year 2

Buster Goes Sledding

In a few days we'll be able to say (both) the Fuzzys have been on the farm for a year. A whole year! Frankly, I can't remember it very well. I know I spent a lot of time dead exhausted, swearing at packing boxes, digging, rearranging furniture, or preserving. Good thing we have this blog, eh? We can just look back to a date and see what we were doing. It's kinda cool that way.

So what are we planning for Year 2? Hmm... more zucchini and Seminole pumpkins. (Mr. Fuzzy actually LIKES eating the pumpkins. This is no small miracle.) Probably a few more foster kitties and lots of updates about small town socializing. I might even give y'all another recipe or two.

Resolutions? Eat better, walk more, cut firewood for next year. We're working on a wish list of projects we'd like to do around the farm but I think we'll need some help. If you want to buy a lovely house in New Mexico, please let us know. There's one just outside town on offer at a VERY reasonable price.
Hi All!!!!!!! It's Chetworth! Didja miss me? Mama left the internet up so I'm gonna finish this and get it posted for her. She's off doin' somethin' in the workshop. Rocky the dog says that a new kitten showed up yesterday so I'm thinking that's what she's up to. At least it's not in the house!

We didn't write Santa for toys this Christmas so I'm writing Baby New Year instead. If you all would talk to Baby New Year for us maybe he'll bring us some of what we want as well as what we need. Here's my letter so far, maybe you could proof read it for me?

Dear Baby New Year,

You are the prettiest New Year I have ever seen. I really like your white blanket. I hope you are wrapped up tight because it's awfully cold out there! How do you stay warm when it's negative wind chill??? Do you have a heated cozy like Hodge had?

Mama has been a very good girl. She actually called people she didn't know well and went socializing like a normal(ish) person. She took in eight new animals (Mama says it was a nice thing to do but I'm not so sure...) and didn't even roast the puppy with sweet potatoes and celery when he made us angry. She also learned how to build a rippin' good fire in our Century Fireplace to keep us warm. That was a very good thing!!! Grover and I like to sit in the big chairs when it's going!

Please grant her a wood shed, a root cellar, and enclose part of the porch as a solarium. She also wants to get the kitchen painted, a brand new marmoleum floor in there, the bedroom woodwork completed, and ...if you can get us a good price on the old house... to get a photo studio built for Mr. Fuzzy. Us cats want a solarium (boy that's a hard word!) too so we can sit in the sun where it's warm.

Mr. Fuzzy wants that studio too, and a guest house under it. He also wishes for all new windows and for that darned house to sell at a really good price! While we're at it... can you send him a lightly used Kabota tractor with a bucket and the little backhoe attachment? You know the one he's been looking at online, I'm sure... No doubt Mr. Fyzzy will add a wish or two in his own letter to you but I thought I'd get this off straight away because he's pretty busy with another editing job and he might not get it done in time.

Us cats want you to keep the vet away ALL year, make us not get those yucky worms, make the puppy be nicer to us, and pleas, Baby New Year, can you please let me win the standoff over who can sleep on the bed? Right now only those smelly babies go up there and I really really reeeeeeeelly want to sleep next to mama and papa. It's extra soft.

I guess I should add something in for the doggles. Ummm. Lots of big bones and Rufus to Please Calm Down. Your big sister did a good job but you need to finish it for her, OK? I guess they want to keep the vet away too, if you can.

I guess that's all the wishes I know of. I hope you have a good year.


P.S. You can combine the cellar with the guest house & studio to make things more convenient for yourself.

P.S.S. Fredster would like a giant bowl of canned food.

P.S.S. I just found out there IS a kitten in the workshop. Buster smelled it! I asked papa and He said her name is Stubby and she lost part of her tail and needs a friend 'cause she's extra scared. I hope she finds her tail soon. It would be weird to loose my tail... but I bet Jack Tar would steal it so he could wear TWO if Rufus didn't just eat it first. That dog will try to eat ANYTHING! (Even Christmas ornaments.)