Is puppyless a word?   Puppyless: adj. not in possession of a puppy.  There....I just made it a word.

    There has been a puppy in our house for pretty much 7 1/2 years now.  That's how long I have been raising Leader Dogs For The Blind.  German Shepherd Butsch was # 8 puppy.

     Butsch is back at the Leader Dogs For The Blind school in Rochester Michigan, for them to evaluate him.  He had been growling at certain people.  At only 5 1/2 months old, they wanted to determine if it was fear that was the basis of it or what. 

     Usually at about 1 yr. old, the dogs go back to the school for professional training.  I'm usually ready for that.  But, I wasn't ready for this.  It was a lot harder to part at this age.  If they decide he might outgrow it and could still be a Leader Dog, I will get him back to finish his socialization.  In the mean time I am puppyless.......a stange feeling in this house :-)

10 weeks

4 months

Butsch aka Butschy Boy :-)
5 1/2 months
.....dr momi

Need A Caption.....

"life is meaningless without Opra"
(My favorite caption of all......thanks texwisgirl!   http://run-a-roundranch.blogspot.com/ )


Sunday in Pictures

The broody hen finishing out hatching her ducklings.
She is an excellent mama.

Small duck...small hands.

We had to compliment my son-in-law Danny,
(married to daughter Katie) for some
pretty straight rows -- just by eyeballing it!
Danny is an Elementary School Teacher Mon. - Fri.
A hunter-fisherman on the weekend.
.....and a gardener in between.
(oh...and a super great husband and father all the time!)

This is blooming everywhere right now in Northeast Wisconsin.
It is NOT elderberry!
At least not the elderberry we eat. 
 It is Red Elderberry which will give you one upset stomach if you eat the berries.
The flowers and berries look different than the real elderberry. (Leaves look very similar.)
It always blooms about 2-3 weeks before the real elderberry.

Missed out trying those fiddleheads again this year!
....but I know they are there if I'm ever really hungry one spring :-)
 .....dr momi


Baby Duck-Chicks

     I have totally confused the grandchildren.  "Why is the chicken on the baby ducks?"  "Because she's their mama."     ?????? -- comes up on their face.

     The banty hen hatched out the duck eggs -- 28 days sitting.  She did a good job.  However, I have a little to learn yet.  Of the 5 eggs, she has 3 ducklings -- because of me.  The first one to hatch in the chicken coop in the bucket evidently was trampled upon (or pecked to death) by another hen who layed an egg in the bucket. (With the ma-ma hen in it yet.)  The duckling had a cute "tophat" just like Elton.  Perfectly healthy one minute, and dead the next time I peeked.  Uggh!

     I quickly moved her bucket and all to a new outside pen, laying the bucket on it's side.  She hatched out 3 more ducklings.  Then I decided to pull the bucket out as it was rolling about some.  I was careful to pull the whole nest out of the bucket, they still were in an old dog house for cover.  The unhatched egg was in the middle of the nest.  She then proceeded to take up caring for the other 3, and quit laying on the egg.  Uggh! ....and it was ready to hatch.  It wasn't a dud.
     Lesson learned -- once I get that broody hen going next time, she has to have her own little pen -- and no disturbing her!  I'm sure there would have been 5 ducklings if not for me.

Grandsons Ryan and Riley holding the new babies.

They love her and she loves them.  :-)

.....dr momi




Medicinal Herb -- Horsetail

     My first encounter with horsetail was give or take 15 years ago.  I was not working, but all 5 kids were in school.  I spent a good deal of time finding medicinal herbs and then drinking the tea -- you know, like a little guinea pig :-) .  My husband was sure I was going to poison myself!  Horsetail was plentiful and easy to identify. 

Horsetail is aka, bottlebrush, or pewterwort.
This patch isn't full grown yet, it will get 10 - 12 inches high.
     I drank horsetail tea 3 times a day for about a month.  I ended up with the strongest fingernails I ever had in my whole life!  That would have been due to the silica  (in soluble form) content of horsetail.  I was impressed.  The silica content of horsetail encourages the absorption and use of calcium by the body.  So.......I now store horsetail every year just in case of any broken bones that may occur.  I would use it along with comfrey poultices.   Drinking it 3 times a day for fingernails is a little much for me, but if I broke a bone, I would start drinking it right away.  A small handful to 3 quarts of water.  Bring it barely to boiling and turn off the heat.  Let it cool, strain....and then I drink 3 cups/day.

The silica content also strengthens the wall of veins and
helps guard against fatty deposits in the arteries.
hhhmmm -- perhaps I should start drinking it regularly.
.....or at least maybe a springtime "cleanse",  drinking it for a few weeks.

Horsetail, now hanging with mullein to dry.
Remember to pick up a good herbal or a field guide for your area
if you intend to pick some for yourself.

.....dr momi

The information on this blog is being provided for education purposes only. Statements about the possible health benefits provided by any foods or diet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not indended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare provider with all questions concerning your health.



Sunday In Pictures

I could not figure out why the few daffodils that I had (that hardly ever bloom)
all of a sudden exploded with new plants and flowers this year.

Then I remembered that my sister-in-law gave me bags of bulbs she had to dig up last fall.
Thanks Sharon!  I'm totally enjoying them!

This was one mad hummingbird. (that was moving fast)
I was only a few feet away.

My oldest Grandson Ryan.
.....and he was movin' fast.
(found a wood tick on him after all of this :-)


The pathway in the garden became a raceway!
Kept them busy while their mom planted garden  :-)
 (It is NOT dry here --- the pic is giving you the wrong impression :-)

.....dr momi



Medicinal Herb - Mullein

     AKA Indian Tobacco, mullein is one of my favorites when I come down with bronchitis or a nasty cold.  This last year, I didn't store enough of it.  A nasty coughing cold went through the extended family. I shared the mullein, and was out when I needed it :-)  I won't be out this year!  Every spring (through summer/fall) I start restocking my medicinal herbs.  I never keep them longer than a year.  The longer they are kept, the more medicinal value they loose. 

It usually grows on disturbed land.
It will get a tall flower stalk on it with little yellow flowers.
Which the bees love.
....and it just happens this one is a few feet away from the beehive.
(oh ya -- my second batch of bees just barely made it!! -- but they're alive!)

Guess what "disturbed the land" where this mullein decided to grow?
This plot of land was formerly known as "Mrs. Fox's" --- an old fox den.
       Mullein is just starting to get some nice size leaves on it around here in Northeast Wisconsin.  I've had my eyes on a couple plants on the property waiting for the right time to pick them.  It's pretty hard to mix mullein up with any other plant.  The  leaves are fuzzy and soft.  (You should get yourself a good herbal book with good pictures for identification). I will hang the picked leaves until they are dry.  Then crush them, take the main "veins" out, and store in a glass jar.

Drying herbs just becomes part of my decorations all summer :-)
Rubber bands and paper clips -- works for me.
Don't wash the leaves -- try to pick nice clean ones.
 Dry them out of the sun.

     To make a tea -- grab two handfuls of dried leaves to 2-3 quarts of water.  Heat to just boiling and turn off.  Remove the pot from the burner, and let it cool.  I then strain it and drink a cup of it 3 or 4 times in the day.  I keep the rest of it in the refrig for the next day.  Just so you know, when I say "drink", well, it's more like "slam" the tea.  It doesn't have a bad taste,  just very "green".

     For me, a cup of mullein tea works extremely well in loosening phlegm.  It will thin the mucous secretions, and ease my harsh cough.  I won't be caught without enough for the winter again!

.....dr momi


Fat Cat

Propagating Dogwood - Accidently

     After the growing season in the fall, I will fill all my pots that had flowers in, with red dogwood for some winter color.  I simply stick branches into the dirt.  Lots of times in the spring it grows.

This dogwood is growing after all winter in the pot.
Last fall the branches were cut,
 and stuck into the dirt.

      That's about all it takes to propagate dogwood.  Put a thin branch of it into the ground, keep it wet, and it will grow.  Even if you leave it in over winter.  There is so much dogwood around in the woods that I really don't need to grow it.  But I love decorating with it.  Dogwood and pumpkins for fall.  Dogwood and winterberries, and pine boughs for Christmas.
     When you cut your branches from the bush it is just like pruning it.  The bush will just get bigger and wider next year. Rick will take this dogwood that has rooted, and plant it out at the hunting land for the deer.  The deer eat the branches and the turkeys and partridge eat the berries.  The wildlife is happy and so am I :-)

.....dr momi


Rick's Snake Story

     Rick and I have been married for 34 years, and the first time I heard this story was a couple of days ago.  Huh, just when you think you know someone..... He started the story by saying, "Did I ever tell you why I so hate snakes?"  (...and when he finished I said, "oh, this is so going on my blog." :-)


My husband Rick.
Mighty Hunter...Salmon Slayer
Hates snakes.  :-)
       He said he was about 6 or 7 years old, and at his grandfathers house.  One of Grandpa's pigs had just had babies.  Without any adults with him he went in back to see the new piglets.  What he saw traumatized him for life.  ( If I dislike snakes, he  hates them :-).

     In the pigpen was this huge 7 ft long snake -- probably a pine snake.  It had just eaten a baby pig.  I mean just.  Rick said the baby pig was still wiggling around and screaming -- inside the snake!   The snake was trying to get away, but because the piglet was so big, it could not get back through the fence.  Needless to say, the adults took care of that situation.............

     Now I know that when Rick says he hates snakes, he really means, uhh.....uhh *whisper* that he's afraid of them. (DO NOT tell him I said that :-)

.....dr momi



The Snake Story


Perfect snake "houses".  We found a snake skin under these one year.
However, this metal is all going on the pig shed tomorrow.
So sorry snakes,.....NOT.

     At our old house we lived on a hill.  If you rode your bike out the driveway and turned down the hill, it only took one pump and you could coast (fast) down to a second driveway by our barn.

     That's exactly what I did one fine spring day years back.  I had horse chores to do before I took a bike ride.  I think I might have given that bike two pedal pumps that day, if I was going any faster, I wouldn't have made the turn into the driveway.

     Just as I turned in, I looked ahead, and there was this big (4 feet -- ok -- medium) snake sunning himself on the gravel!  It all happened so fast.  If I had put on the brakes, I would have stopped right on top of him -- I just knew it.  So, I kept going, and with my legs stretched out as far as I could get them, wouldn't you know I ended up running right over the middle of him!  I was screaming my head off the whole while....!  He slithered away, and since it was only a grass snake, I hoped that he made it, but, I really don't like snakes.

     Tomorrow........Rick's snake story.


Sunday In Pictures

The Papa dandelion on the left is probably at least
three years old.  Older plants have more medicinal value.

Good enough to eat??
Better not -- it's soap. (Those are dried roses on top)
A girlfriend and I took a soap making class on Sat.  We had a blast and learned a lot.
Now it has to cure for three weeks.
Check out the wonderful muffins that Deb served us at Peterman Brook Herb Farm :

We had Granddaughter Zoe's 1st Birthday party today.

She liked it!

Grandson Brayden
"Smile Grandma, I take your picture"

"Look Grandma, you're a monkey!"
"I am not a monkey!"
....and then we'd giggle and giggle.

(.......I'm drinkin' from my saucer Lord,  'cause my cup has overflowed.)
.....dr momi


Rhubarb Survivor

This Rhubarb plant was planted 3 years ago --- the first spring in our new house.
It started to grow that year.......and then......
Rick mowed it down with the lawnmower.
....and kept mowing it down all summer.
It started to grow the second year......and then.....
Rick mowed it down with the lawnmower.
....and kept mowing it down all summer.
It started to grow this, it's third year.....and it's still here!
....because he hasn't mowed yet.
....because the lawnmower is broke...hahahahaha she says with an evil laugh.
I do believe it's big enough to see now!  The new lawnmower comes tomorrow.
.....dr momi

linked with      http://farmchickskitchen.blogspot.com/2011/05/farmchicks-farm-photo-friday.html


Happy Growing Pigs

     Check out how well the pigs cleared "quack grass city" in only a week and a half.  It's not perfect, but now I think I can get the roto-tiller in there.  It will all get turned under to help keep the smell under control.  In the middle I am planting some giant pumpkins.  If the manure doesn't burn them out, the pumpkin leaves will keep it shaded and weeds held down for this year.

"Gordo" is running around, playing like a dog.

     This last Sunday three of our guys just picked up the pen, and moved it to the next section of land to clear.  The pigs never got scared, just thrilled when all of a sudden green grass showed up :-).  It's taken them only 2 days to root it up like you see now.  I think they figured out what their "job" is!  The old dog kennel is working out great for now.  So is the old dog igloo for a shed.  They love it.  Rick is already building a lean-to for when they are too big for this.  We fit the old 50 gallon waterer that we had, with a pig watering spout, works like a charm.  We just have to get it up on some bricks so they don't keep pushing dirt up into it. Notice the fly trap is already in place, but it's been so cold, there really aren't any flies yet!!  Huh, blessing in disguise!
     Tonight for supper they had warm fish egg, fish spine, fish head and rice goolosh.  They were so full they couldn't eat another bite.  Then they started playing tag with each other.  They seemed awful happy to me :-)

.....dr momi

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop


Elderberry Trimming

     The first year in our new house I planted an elderberry in the new flower garden meant to "hide the pump".  Last year was the first that I had to trim it.  I had heard it is easy to propagate elderberry -- just stick a branch in the ground.  That's what I did, and they grew!  I had to trim more this year..........

The parent bush is just getting leaves.
It is a tame variety -- can't remember the species.
It's a great landscaping bush. Beautiful
flowers in June, and it gave me a good
crop of elderberries last year!

Taking the cutting.

Stick the cuttings into very wet dirt that you
keep  wet until it gets going.

Six elderberry "bushes" to give away.  :-)
Every household should have one, a basic medicinal plant!

.....dr momi


Sunday In Pictures

Garlic is coming good.   .....needs to be weeded.......*sigh*
Makeshift fencing is keeping chickens out.
What crooked rows I planted last fall :-)

Granddaughter Zoe learns how to go down the slide.

Grandson Logan (Zoe's brother) grew a lot this winter.... lol

Daughter Katie was weeding the strawberries......
.......and Grandsons Logan and Brayden are looking for los gusanos.  (worms)
When they yell "gusano!",  "Red Ruby" comes running for a treat.
(I love those little butts in the air :-)

Daughter Kristy started the official planting of the 2011 garden on Sat., putting
in her peas and onions.  Three kids will have their gardens out here.
The other two will have their gardens at their homes.

                          Happy Mother's Day !
.....dr momi