Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

On the Eve of 2012

Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a beautiful day!  65 degrees and sunny on the last day of the year is hard to believe, particularly since last year we had snow on the ground and it was only 3 degrees!  As I write this, the wind is whipping around the corners of the house and the noticeable chill in the air tells me that the front has finally arrived.  Our high tomorrow is supposed to be half of what it was today.

I suppose it's natural for us homo sapiens to see the end of the calendar year as a time for reflection on what was and what is to come.  2011 was an interesting year as J. and I started our journey toward building this little mini-farm in the city and long-term planning for our move to our larger farm.  That seems a long way off, since we probably won't make it there permanently until retirement.  But, you know, time seems to speed past me even faster as I get older.  We have been blessed in 2011, though, in that we haven't been impacted by job loss, or serious health issues, or anything major.  And, yes, I am knockin on wood that it stays that way.  It is definitely not something that I take for granted.

If anything, 2011 has been one long learning experience.  And perhaps the most important lesson I learned is what I don't know.  There is definitely so much more.  But we did make great strides this year:
  • Built a beautiful chicken coop
  • Raised 9 chicks from the time they were 2 days old and they're happily supplying us with eggs and entertainment on a daily basis
  • Cleaned out the fence lines and re-fenced the entire back lot\farm
  • Planted an organic raised bed garden full of several varieties of tomatoes, jalapenos, pumpkins and watermelons
  • Started a small orchard of dwarf apple trees and planted blackberries and strawberries
  • I attended an 8-week long canning\preserving class and, not only did I put away some tasty salsa, but I also roasted my own pumpkins and used them to make pumpkin bread.
  • Got our water issues taken care of with the purchase of a Big Berkey from Ebay 
  • Continued to add to our food stockpile and cleaned the basement out so that we could better organize everything
  • Procured a 1988 Terry Taurus travel trailer that we'll be taking up to the real farm next year after we finish renovating it.  That will give us a place to sleep if we want to spend the weekend up there, as well as a much-anticipated bathroom!
Here's our coop and two of our raised beds - new in 2011!
There were some sad moments this year as well.  My boss lost his wife of 40+ years right before the holidays.  And J. and I said goodbye to the first puppy that we raised together.  Chase, a beautiful black lab mix with soulful golden eyes, left us early in the year.  The ground was frozen solid but it didn't matter to either of us - we both shed more than a couple of tears as we labored to bury him in the backyard.  He was a rescue puppy and not much past weaned when we got him.  J. always described him as "sober as a judge" because the odd thing about Chase is that he never wanted to play.  But he loved being near people and was smart as a tack.  Even now, it's bringing tears to my eyes to think of him, and I hope he is somewhere chasing rabbits in the warm sunshine.

Well, the new year begins in just one short hour.  I can't wait to see what 2012 will bring us here at Cranky Puppy Farm and to you as well, my dear readers.

Wishing all of you a good night and nothing but happiness in 2012,


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