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!

Sunday Slice of Life

Monday, April 30, 2012

Yesterday was pretty much a washout - lots of storms rolling through dumping over an inch of much-needed rain on us.  Once the rain stopped in the afternoon, J. and I ventured out to grab some lunch and these babies:

These were too wet to get out of the truck for a better picture of them.  Sorry!
Food grade barrels from Craigslist!  These are rare to find listed here in KC and, when they are, they're expensive and gone already when you call.  We wanted some for water storage so we're thrilled to finally find them.  These came from the Panera Factory and had tomatoes in them, so they're safe to store drinking water in, and they also have a locking steel rim.  We bought them from the nicest gentleman who invited us to a birthday celebration at his church.  I know some folks have had terrible experiences with Craigslist sellers, but we have only ever met really nice, down-home folks.

On the way home, we decided to swing by and see how the neighborhood community farm was doing.  They sell raised beds or traditional beds here really cheap, which I think is a great way to teach folks about gardening, get them out of their houses and support community.  We need that desperately here in the inner city.  There are large garden plots to the left and right of the sign (you can just see a peek of one of them on the right.)  They've also got some of those huge reinforced water tanks for watering but this garden was so huge I couldn't get it all in one picture.  I'm looking forward to seeing what this looks like in a month or so.

Back home again before the rain started anew and I just had to capture a picture of this rose still kissed with raindrops.  

This is the Climbing Blaze rose that I planted last year to climb up the front of the coop.
 What's going on in your little slice of the world?  I'm off to blog hop and find out!

Those Naughty Onions

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I've been crowing for a couple of weeks now about how good my onions look and I should have known better.  I jinxed myself, I think.  Because look what I just found in the garden.

See that little bulb on the end of the stem in the center of the picture?  That's a soon-to-be onion flower.  Some of the onions have bolted because of the crazy weather we've been having.  I knew this was bad but, since this is my first time growing onions, I had to do some research on what to do about it.  I mean, do you just snip the bud off and let them continue?  Do you harvest them?  What gives?

Well, it IS bad news. Onions flower during their second year and temperature fluctuations can cause them to do this.  Once they start, you can't do anything about it except harvest them.  And they probably won't store for very long.  I pulled the three that had the buds on them and here's what I found.

Absolutely nothing.  While these are still good to eat (both the white and green parts), there's no huge bulb on the end.  Aaaarrggghhh!  I thought I had done everything perfectly - side dressed them, good dirt, etc.  I really hope it was the weather.  Any ideas?  I guess I'll have to plant some more and see how that goes over the summer - they take about 8 to 10 weeks, so I could be harvesting again in June or July.

On a good note, though, I just pulled (and J. ate) our first strawberry grown here at Cranky Puppy Farm.  He reported with a grin that it was very tasty and sweet.  So at least I can grow s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g.  It is rather cute, isn't it?

Toodaloo 'til next time,

Linked to: Garden Life, Farm Girl Friday, and Ole' Saturday Homesteading Trading Post and Monday Barn Hop hops.

Overreaching Youth Farm Labor Rule Overruled!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Morning, everyone! 

There's nothing better than waking up to good news and that's certainly what we have today.  Based on pressure from lawmakers and, well, just about everybody, the Department of Labor has decided not to pursue their proposed rule that would prohibit young people under the age of 18 from working on family farms and participating in agriculture programs including Future Farmers of America and 4-H.  You can read the proposal here if you want to see what they were planning on doing.

Folks, when I heard about this a couple of days ago, I went into a fit that probably looked something akin to somebody that just had a wasp's nest dropped on their head during an earthquake.  It got even worse when I started to read what these kids would no longer be able to do:

  • Operating a tractor larger than 20 horsepower, or connecting/disconnecting implements.
  • Operating or assisting with machines, including a corn picker, combine, hay mower, forage harvester, hay baler, feed grinder, crop dryer, forage blower, auger conveyor, wagon or trailer unloading mechanism (powered or self-unloading), powered posthole digger, post driver, non-walking rotary tiller, trencher or earth-moving equipment, fork lift, and a power-driven circular, band, or chain saw.
  • Working in a livestock yard, pen, or stall occupied by a bull, boar, or stud horse maintained for breeding purposes, and sow or cow with newborn offspring.  Employment at stockyards, livestock exchanges or auctions are out also.  No more 4-H!
  • Working with timber or tobacco.  (Wow...I helped build a log cabin when I was 7!)
  • Working from a ladder or scaffold above 20 feet, including tasks that require painting, tree-pruning, or fruit harvest.
  • Riding on a tractor or transporting passengers in a bus, truck, or automobile.
  • Handling or applying farm chemicals classified I or II by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Dust bowl kids, circa 1936, by photographer Dorothea Lange.

Farming is not just a job - it's a way of life.  Alot of what I learned, I learned by walking in my grandfather's footsteps and those of his friends who were true farmers who made their living by working the land.  They didn't need a nanny government to tell them that they needed to watch out for my safety.  Many small family farms depend on the extra hands that are provided by their kids that help out with chores, and it's a valuable learning experience in responsibility and hard work for those kids who at one point will probably inherit the farm from their parents.  In introducing this rule, the DOL is ignoring hundreds of years of tradition and way overstepping.  Not that I'm surprised, as I think the Obama administration has made it abundantly clear that they would like push small farms out of existence in favor of big agribusiness.  For example, look at how the FDA is going after anyone selling raw milk.

Well, the good news is that they've stated that they will not pursue this for the "remainder of the administration" and will instead work with the American Farm Burea Federation, National Farmers Union, FFA and 4-H to promote safety among young workers in ag.  I wonder, however, if that means THIS administration but, if he's re-elected and free to do whatever he likes, will they pick up the mantra again?  They've already increased staff by 30 to 40% in order to monitor family farms.

Good for us and folks like Kansas Senator Jerry Moran for putting a stop to nonsense like this.  We need to remember that we do have the power and we CAN stop an overreaching government.

Well, that's my 2 cents on the subject.  What do you think about this proposed rule?

Planting Potatoes in Laundry Tubs

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Home again, home again, lickety split...

I came home to discover a pack of dogs that needed to be petted, chickens that needed to be let out to free range, and some garden beds that needed to be weeded.  It's so nice to be home!

What I couldn't believe is that Kansas City hit a record high temp yesterday of 92 degrees.  My Jeep has a temp guage in it and I was watching it go up as I got closer to home.  When I left Indy, it was 63 degrees.  4 hours later, as I cruised through St. Louis, it was 83 on the east side and 91 on the west side.  Guess I found the front.  :-)

Before I left for the trip, I got ahold of some organic Yukon Gold potatoes and wanted to get them planted but I just didn't get to it so, as the chicks free ranged last night, I took advantage of the time to get that done.  Before I left, I did manage to get the potatoes cut into pieces and they were sprouting nicely.  You'll want some nice 2" minimum pieces with a couple of eyes on each one.

Organic Yukon Gold seedling potatoes, cut and sprouting nicely before being planted.

I debated whether to buy some grow sacks, trash cans or even building boxes, but I ultimately picked up some $5 laundry tubs from Walmart to grow these in.  The main reason I chose those is because they're bigger around and shorter (and I didn't have enough scrap wood to build boxes!)

Growing potatoes like this is pretty easy and I already talked about growing Yellow Finn potatoes in boxes in another post.  Step 1 is to drill some drainage holes in the bottom with a 1/4" drill bit.

You don't have to do a fancy pattern like this.  J. started drilling those center holes without supervision until I noticed and told him they didn't need to be so close.  Just evenly space them.

Then turn it over and fill it with the equivalent of a bag of dirt or about 6" deep.

And then plant the potato seedlings about 3" deep and cover over with dirt.  You'll need to keep the soil moist but not drenched - since it's in a plastic container, these will dry out faster than your in-ground garden or larger raised beds.

And that's it!  As the plants grow, we'll dump in more dirt, leaving just the top of the greenery exposed until the tub is full of dirt.  As mine grow, I'll show you what I mean by that.  We'll also have to build a rudimentary trellis for these, as these are going to get tall!  And, when it's time to harvest, we'll just push the tub over on a tarp and harvest some tasty taters.

Potatoes are easy to grow even if you don't have a green thumb.  So get out there and grow and some spuds!

We're linked up to this week's Tuesday Garden PartyCountry HomemakerMorristribe Homesteader Blog Canival and Homestead Help hops. Go check out what everbody else is doing!

Hangin' Indy Style

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm bound for home later today (yeah!) so I had to get out and walk around last night to see what Indy's downtown had to offer. It's a great city - tons of restaurants, shops, malls, and things to do within walking distance of the hotel. It's a big town with a small town Midwestern attitude. I can't remember if I mentioned this in my earlier post, but Indy is what Kansas City aspires to be when it grows up.

I snapped some pictures to share with you, but it was a rather grey, overcast day and the cell phone camera just didn't do well. First up is the Indiana Capital, which is right across the street from my hotel.

I love that golden eagle at the very top (biggify to see it!)  Then, just 2 or 3 blocks away is what is referred to as Monument Circle which is a roundabout with a huge monument in the middle called the "Soldiers and Sailors" monument.  It's dedicated to the Indianans that served and died in the Civil War and Mexican War.  I love history and, in particular, these types of beautiful monuments.  I'm not sure if you can pick it up,but look at the detail in the carving.

I believe that picture on the rigth is depicting victorious Lady Liberty.  The angel carrying the olive branch overhead signifies peace after the tribulation depicted at her feet.  I particularly love the slave with the loosed chain.  This is a beautiful monument and the pics just don't do it justice.  Around it is the financial district and tons of shops, including the Best Chocolate Company.  How could I resist stopping in there?!

On the way back from the monument, I spotted another beautiful bronze statue at the Capitol and snapped a pic of it.  The detail on the bottom of her gown is astounding - especially when you consider that it's done in bronze!

Then it was back to the hotel for some dinner and relaxing. The famous football coach Don Shula has a restaurant here in the Westin, so I thought I would try it out.  It's comparable to a Morton's or a Ruth Cris if you've ever been to one of those.  Expensive but the service is impeccable.  I had the chef's special, Steak MaryAnn, which was two 5 oz filets in a cognac and green peppercorn sauce, and the twice-baked potato (which was as big as an NFL football) followed by a motel chocolate lava cake.  Completely orgasmic is how I would describe it - the best steak I have ever had in my life. 

Speaking of, here's the menu to the right.  Yep, that's a football signed by Shula himself.  And, speaking of football, Lucas Oil stadium is just a block away.  As I was driving into Indy, it completely dominated the skyline.  There's no doubt in my mind what importance the residents of Indy put on their Colts.

Well, I need to run off to my seminar now and then I'm headed for home.  It will be nice to be back at the Farm and not having to sneak down to the lobby to "talk" to all of you.

Have a great day!

Chubby Chicks

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Okay, call me a homebody but I didn't make it out to see the city last night.  I was wiped!  After class, I grabbed some to-go food and headed back to the hotel to relax.  The great thing about driving here rather than flying is that I could bring along some stuff that you normally wouldn't want to stuff in the overhead bin.  Like my sewing machine!

My hotel room was so dark that the fabrics looks black, but they're actually a fabulous navy blue.

And here's a closeup of the pattern that I'll be following.  Those adorable little chicks are appliqued on, so I'll be learning how to do that for the first time.  I think it should be easy enough.

I spent the evening cutting fabric and ironing the patterns onto the fabric.  Then I realized that I only had my quilting foot on the machine, so I couldn't get started sewing.  Drat! 

Tonight, I PROMISE I will head out and see some of Indianapolis and come back with pics for you.  It really is a cool downtown and I can see what Kansas City aspires to.  Apparently, Indy used to look just like KC until they underwent a downtown renovation for the Pan Am games and the Superbowl.  There is so much to do here and I have just one choice for dinner, so it's going to be fun seeing where I end up tonight!

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

Crash, boom, BANG! (And I'm outta here)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why do things always happen when you're in the bathroom?  The phone rings.  The doorbell rings.  FedEx or UPS shows up and knocks.  Your kids are yelling at you for something.  It's a perverse version of Murphy's Law or something.  So let me tell you what happened to us yesterday, which will explain why I didn't get anything posted yesterday.

So it starts with J. and I heading to Tractor Supply to pick up some shavings and pellets for the chickens and, when we got back, I had to visit the little girls room while J. took the dogs out.  The next thing I know, the toilet is shaking and the windows are rattling...heck, the whole house was rumbling!  My first thought was "this is it!  the sh*t has officially hit the fan".   Then, realizing that might be a little dramatic, I thought "ok, whose house just exploded?"

So I rush out as fast as I could to find the entire neighborhood at the end of the street looking at a truck parked backwards at the end of our one way street.  Not just A truck...OUR truck.  Then I noticed the broken off telephone pole hanging precariously over our backyard and garage and blocking the street.

The bottom of the pole used to be where the yellow arrow is pointing.  Ooops!

And then I saw our garage.   Our Dodge Ram 2500 diesel with its load of shavings and straw had somehow come out of gear, rolled down the incline that it was parked on in our backyard, took out the side of the garage, turned and careened diagonally across the driveway backwards, completely took out the telephone\power pole and then proceeded to flee for freedom backwards down the street next to our house. 

It looks worse than it is.  It knocked about 2 feet of the sill partially off the foundation.  All of the trim is OK and just needs to be put back on.  Believe it or not, the garage doors still open and close!

Luckily, the tires were swiping down our rock and concrete wall and that caused it to slow and stop.  Otherwise, it would have taken out the neighbor's truck across the street and possibly the kids that were riding bikes.  Ay carumba!

While the garage will have to be resided to fix the broken piece at the bottom and the trim will have to be put back on, it's pretty minor damage.  Luckily, the Kansas City Power and Light guy was really cool and marked the pole as rotten and needing to be replaced (which it was!) so J. is not going to get charged for replacing it.  Had it been new, I think it would have stopped the truck.  They tacked the power lines up into the tree until Monday when they'll be out to put up a new pole.  Unfortunately, then disconnected our Internet and phone as well. :-(

But the truck didn't fare so well.  It sheared off the 17 lb adjustable aluminum trailer hitch that I bought J. for Christmas a couple of years ago and the passenger rear quarter panel is dented and scratched all to heck.  It will be interesting to see what the appraisal is for the damages.  But the truck can be fixed and no one got hurt, so we can count our blessings. 

Poor J.  I'm actually writing this from the lobby of  my hotel in downtown Indianapolis!  I had to leave him to get the cable and phone hooked up today temporarily because I drove here for a training class for work.  He just texted me and apparently the goofballs from Time Warner took out 1/2 our power in the process, so now KCPL is back again to find the break.  J. is again sitting in the dark.

I'll be back tomorrow with some beautiful pictures of downtown Indianapolis for you.  Hope your weekend was uneventful (or at least not as eventful as ours was!) 

I Hate Fakers

Friday, April 20, 2012

We're going to divulge from our normally affable daily discussion here at CP and get our rant on.  Buckle up, batten down, and let's go, people.

Those of us who have our own gardens and are trying to eat healthier probably pay more attention to phrases like "organic" and "all natural" while we're cruising the grocery aisles.  There are lots of companies out there that appeal to health conscious shoppers - Odwalla, Honest Tea, and Kashi are just a few that come to mind.

So I can't even tell you how much it burns my biscuits to find out that some of these pseuo-healthy companies are actually owned by their unhealthy competitor conglomerates.  For example, I just learned that Kashi is actually owned by the Kellogg Corporation and that Kashi cereals have been found to contain a large amount of GMOs and are coated with pesticides.  You can read the report here.  In some cases, the products contain 100% generically modified ingredients!  So how are they getting away with making the claim that "we're passionate about good, all-natural foods" on their website?  It appears that these companies are purposefully deceiving consumers by not divulging what is in their products.
Honest Tea and Odwalla are owned by Coca-cola.  Naked Juice, their competitor, is owned by PepsiCo.  MorningStar and Bear Naked?  Kellogg again.  Seeds of Change?  Owned by Mars\M&M!!  Garden of Eatin'?  Owned by Heinz. 

Image courtesy of Michigan State University.

Still think those healthy products you're eating are actually healthy or all natural?

I am convinced more than ever that the only way to know what is in your food is to either (a) grow your own from non-GMO seed, or (b) shop at local farmers markets from trusted vendors.  Also, if you haven't already, you might also consider signing the petition to ask the FDA to require the labelling of any product containing a GMO ingredient.  We label cosmetics, cigarettes, and even mattresses so I can't believe we have to fight to find out what is in the food we eat.  Europe has been doing this for decades.

What are your thoughts on this?  I'd love to hear them.

Quilt is Finished!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Whew!  It's finally done!

What an incredible feeling of achievement I have right now.  It's hard to believe that I started this project almost 2 months ago.  As usual, I got a little impatient to see the finished product and I'm actually done with 2 quilting classes left.  I talked to the instructor and she's going to get me started on a cute little quilt kit that I found at a local quilt ship.  It involves applique, which I've never done so I'd like to practice while I have some professional help. 

But....for those of you who are following along, here are the last steps in finishing this quilt:

Hopefully, you have all the strips pieced together after our last post and you're now ready for the two borders.  I put both of these on in just a couple of hours, so you're very close to being done. 

Cut the Inner Border
Cut 9 strips of fabric for the thin inner border that are 1.5" x WOF (width of fabric).  I used a gold color that complemented the other colors in the quilt top.

Cut the Outer Border
Cut 9 strips of fabric for the larger outer border that are 6" x WOF.  For this one, I went with this silly, fun little swirl pattern that doesn't appear anywhere in the quilt top.  Hey, it's your quilt - you can do whatever you want!

Attach the Borders
  1. Sew the strips for the inner border together with a straight seam to create one long strip.
  2. Measure the length of the quilt on the longest side. 
  3. Cut a piece from the inner border that is the same length and sew it on.
  4. Repeat for the other longest side of the quilt.
  5. Measure the length of the quilt on the shortest side from the outside of both of the attached inner borders.
  6. Cut a piece of the inner border that is the same length and sew it on.
  7. Repeat for the other short side.
  8. Follow these same instructions to attach the outer border.
  9. Press all seams.

I've already got the batting and the backing, which is extra wide black fabric (no pattern).  The ladies in my quilting class know a gentleman who does beautiful machine quilting work with a long-arm quilter, so I'll be hitting them up for his information.  I can't wait to get this quilted and see how it turns out.

If you're a quilter, can you give me any tips on what kind of quilting design might look good on this one?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a beautiful day!

How Does Your Garden Grow

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's certainly looking like Spring around the ol' urban homestead, so I thought we would take a little tour today to see what Mother Nature has been up to lately.  So put on your sunscreen and your floppy hat and let's go!

Ooooo...our first ever strawberries! I swear I checked one day and there was nothing and then I turn around and there they are the next day.

Looks like there are all kinds of baby plants waking up right now. I never ceased to be amazed that I can put something in the ground and life springs out of it.  Simply amazing and beautiful!

Little baby Sugar Baby watermelon, Contender bush green beans, and spaghetti squash arriving on the scene. These are all new guests for us here at Cranky Puppy Farm this year and they seem to be coming on nicely so far.

The onions we planted last fall seem to be progressing nicely.  I think you're supposed to harvest these when 3/4 of the greens fall over.  All I know if that the necks are huge on these things!  They really like being in bed with the strawberries.

J.'s Early Girl tomatoes that already need to be staked.  These girls already have blooms on them!

And now for my favorite part of the garden....

A close-up of my gorgeous black bearded iris - my favorite flower.   Look at those colors on the inside of the flower and the delicate veining on the petals.  See the shiny specks?  I suspect that's pollen that's been carried out on the fuzzy legs of every-busy bees.  By the way, these flowers are HUGE.  They're about 5 to 6 inches across.

 And, not to be outdone, the Climbing Blaze rose that I planted last year to train up around the door to the coop is going to bloom this year.   We had one of these in our front yard just off our front porch and it was beautiful.  You just have to stay on top of keeping it pruned, because it can quickly become a maneater.

Looks like I may get a bloom later today or tomorrow.  I really need to get out and get this thing trained up and over the arbor over the door to the chicken coop.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour today as much as I did.  I can't think of a better way to start off a Monday after a stormy weekend than with sun, fresh air and some of nature's beauty.

How is YOUR garden doing?

We're linked up to this week's Garden LifeBarn Hop #58  and Tuesday Garden Party hops. Go check out what everbody else is doing!

Toto, We're Still in Kansas

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Tornado Over Kansas" by John Steuart Curry, 1929.

I'm in love with John Steuart Curry and, in particular, the painting above.  Take a minute to really look at the movement in the painting - what are they turning back to look at that is just off the right side of the painting?  And why isn't someone grabbing that chicken!?  The use of color is gorgeous and he captures the green sky as only someone that has lived in the Midwest can (for those of you that haven't had the pleasure of being in a tornado, the sky often turns green before the storm hits).  If you want to see some more beautiful images created by Curry, click here.

We woke up this morning to find outselves unscathed by yesterday's weather events despite the fact that we were under TorCon 9 on a scale of 10 just to the west of us.  6 is a moderate possibility of a tornado and 8 is high probability.  Those weather guys scared the bejeezus out of everyone.  But for good reason, as there were tons of tornados not that far from us.  I went to bed last night watching them report on a large wedge tornado that wizzed past southern Wichita, KS where we have friends and co-workers.  We had high winds but really not alot of rain and no sirens.  Seems that the storms ended up going north of us in a severe southwest to northeast pattern.

Unfortunately, there were others that weren't so lucky.   I just read on CNN that there are at least 5 confirmed dead in Oklahoma and untold property damage.  An emergency has been declared in Kansas. My heart goes out to all those folks who have lost loved ones and their homes.  This is probably the scariest thing about living in the Midwest.

We're pretty sheltered living on the east side of downtown KC and it's unusual to have a tornado go through the main part of a large city (but not rare - it DOES happen).  So our concern was really wind and large hail associated with these storms and the devastation that it would wreak on our garden.  So we spent some time prepping for the weather yesterday - staking tomatoes, covering some of the plants, closing the west window in the coop, etc.  Cruella is now back in with the flock because we thought she would be better protected in the main coop.  We didn't get the hail, fortunately, but yesterday was extremely windy and it's still that way this morning, with gusts up to 45 mph.  Which bring me to one of my favorite "it's so windy" jokes:

"It's so windy that one of my chickens laid the same egg 4 times."


Finn and Domino went out with me early this morning to let the chooks out and check on the garden and everything looks OK.  If there's anything good to come out of this storm front, it's that our fledgling bean, squash, watermelon and cucumber plants will now be hardened from the wind blowing on them.

Did you come through the storm OK?  See a tornado?  I hope all of you are OK!

This post is linked to this week's Ole' Saturday Homesteading Trading Post.  Clicky to see what other folks are up to!

Time To Go, Mr. Easter Bunny

Friday, April 13, 2012

Some house guests just don't know when they've overstayed their welcome. 

I'm talking to YOU, Mr. Easter Bunny.  I caught you last night roaming around my garden, peeking into my raised beds, and nibbling on my tender baby cabbage as the sun was leaving the sky.  First you didn't leave us any Easter candy and now you think this is an all-you-can-eat salad buffet. 

Despite your big-brown-eyes-twitchy-nose-fuzzy-ears-cotton-tail-cuteness, you've got to go, my friend!  If putting fencing around my raised beds doesn't discourage your snacking, then I'll be forced to implement more drastic measures.  Consider yourself on notice, buddy.

Posted as part of this week's Farm Girl Friday hop!

March in Review

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Um, I just realized that I forgot to do a goal update at the end of March?  I swear I would lose my head sometimes if it weren't attached.  I hope you can pretend it's March 31st for the next 5 minutes or so.  Pretty please? I'm only 12 days late.

So here's how we did on last month's to-do list:

March To-Do List:
Till up the garden beds and lay in new (old) compost
Start tomatoes, peppers and flowers seedlings indoors
Build two potato bins and plant the Yellow Finns
Build trellis for cucumbers and spaghetti squash
Research and start a "chicken treat" garden
Make our own first loaf of bread
Finish organizing the basement and pantry
Get ready for the yard sale in April
Fix the bikes and make time to ride

Not as good as I would have liked, but this quilting class has kept me busy!  For the cuke trellis, I'm going to buy a fence panel from Tractor Supply and create an arch in the raised bed for the vines to train onto.  But the little squash plants are just now breaking the top of the soil and we've got some time before they need a trellis.  The yard sale has been pushed back to May 12th (thank goodness!) so I have a little bit more time to figure out what I want to sell.  And we got the bikes out of the basement only to find that we needed new innnertubes.  We've got them, but they need to be put on before we can be rolling. So that leads me to the.....

April To-Do List:
Finish my first quilt and find someone to quilt it for me
Install the bunny fence around the raised beds
Install the trellis for cucumbers and spaghetti squash
Start growing the "chicken treat" garden
Get ready for the yard sale on May 12th
Fix the bikes and make time to ride

You know, looking at this list, I just realized that I could get alot more done if I didn't have to work or if there were 12 more hours in the day.  I suppose I'm not the only one to make that observation.  ;-)

It's Hug Your Dog Day

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Actually, yesterday was and I missed it!  Not that I don't regularly love up my ornery little furry rapscallions every single day of their lives.

So I'm declaring today National Hug Your Dog Day II.  So get out there and give those pups some luvin'!

Our first Pomeranian, Foster.  Alpha dog that rules the house with an iron fist.  She has J. wrapped around her little paw and knows it.   Hobbies:  hiding, pooping under the china cabinet (as a puppy), ignorning Mom, eating Cheerios and humping dogs 3 times her size.
Age: 15 years old. 
WARNING:  The following picture contains gratuitous puppy pornography.  Parents, you've been warned.

Sometimes the victims don't have to be 3 times her size.  Poor Domino was trying to take a nap when he was the victim of a sneak attack here.
Finnegan, our middle child.  Answers to Finn, Finnebuka, Puka Smuka and a myriad of silly names that I've come up for him over the years.  Member of the 10th Street Fat Boy Club (along with J.)  Notoriously cranky when new people are around, which is where the Farm got its name.   Finn is in the center of the farm's logo.  Hobbies:  fierce protector of the house and yard from interlopers and mailman demons, snoozing on the loveseat next to Mom, finding snackies and a good arm-humpin' once in awhile.
Age: 8 years old
Look at that adorable face.  Is he not just the cutest little love bug?  Finn is a beaver (no, not the animal, silly!) which is just a description for his coloring.  His nose and poochie paw pads are brown instead of black.  He can melt you with one look from his big brown puppy eyes.

Heeeeerrrreeeeeee's Domino!  Our youngest furkid and fearless daredevil with 9 lives.  Answers to Domino, Donno, Puppy, Bootie and Muka.  Hobbies: Woohooing (anywhere but especially as fast as we can go through the house and over the furniture), smooching anybody that will sit still, licking my hoomans, getting puppy massages from Mom, stealing pork chops and cake off the counter, catching Cheerios out of the air and anything that anybody is eating.
Age: 5 years old
Like Finn, Domino's is a momma's boy and follows me through the house to be near me.  He is a true lover and thinks everyone is a friend just waiting to be met.  While Finn would try to bite you if you were in our house, Domino would try to kill you with kisses.  He is a true lovebug at heart.  Over the years, he has eaten several harnesses (didn't like those darn things), eaten mouse poison, and eaten a whole piece of stolen chocolate cake.  So now you know why we say he is part cat and has 9 lives. 

Well, those are the furry critters here at Cranky Puppy.  I'm being reminded now by Domino that I'm spending too much time on this computer and not enough time petting pooches, so I'll sign off now.

Have a great Hug Your Dog day, everyone!

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