Tag Archives: farm life

Save a horse, ride a hound dog.

Please join me at my new web home JessieGunderson.com and don’t forget to like the Blog Schmog Facebook community HERE.

I had hoped to report to you that wrestling a Coonhound that is twice your size does- in fact- induce labor but it has been nearly 16 hrs since the event and I’m still with child. Or at least I was when I wrote this post. None-the-less, you might enjoy my adventure.

Why, might I ask, do these things ALWAYS happen when I’m very pregnant?

Here she is, “hiding” before her home surgery. Poor girl, really thinks I can’t see her. Insert the dopiest voice you can conjure up, “If I don’t look du’ humans in the eye they’ll never find me.”

I spotted her limping and discovered a small bone or quill stuck out from the pad of one of her toes. I grabbed a pair of tweezers and two strapping–er’ I mean scrawny little boys–to help me. I had Scarfunkle and Captain Obvious each hold a leg while I sat on the third leg (10 mo pregnant, mind you) and grasped the offending foot.

One little tweeze and that big ol’ hound was bucking and twisting. She sent Captain flying one direction and Scarfunkle plopped down the other, while I hung on for dear life. “Just…let…me…HOLD STILL WILLAMINA!” Then, just like those strange water wiggler toys grandma had at her house when I was a kid, that loose skinned hound slipped out from under me and I too took a ride. The three of us lay on the floor and Willamina hurried back to her “hiding” place. After several attempts we realized weren’t going to be able to do a darn thing so I sent her back out to wait for Matt. I hoped the snow would numb it some and keep any swelling down.

Of course I forgot all about it until we’d loaded the kids in the car to head to evening church. Matt went to put the dogs in their kennel and suddenly my memory jarred. Oops! Upon inspection we knew it couldn’t wait. The swelling had begun and the foreign object was now flush with the pad of her foot.

Hubby got the needle nose pliers. I got the scissors and tweezers. Scarfunkle grabbed a bag of ice and Captain Obvious tried to subdue the other restless Thinglets buckled in their car seats.

Surgery began and oh boy did she protest.

We sent Scarfunkle out to the car with a message, “Pray boys, pray!”

Let me tell you, there ain’t no more offensive odor than a stressed out hound dog! She excreted her stench and whimpered when Matt sat on her head. One hundred sixty + lbs of dog is something to be reckoned with especially one as wimpy as she is! She wanted nothing to do with our toe saving adventure and she let us know it. I sat on the rear half of her while Matt restrained the front half and I went to work.

Ten minutes on ice gave me just barely enough numb to cut around the thorn or bone or whatever it was. The prayers of three little boys were answered when in one tug I was able to get the darn thing out. It was a good inch long and stuck straight in. Poor girl!

Poor us!

We needed a bath. No time for that. I feel sorry for the people who sat next to us in church. Even a change of clothes and three or four hand washings couldn’t eliminate the stench she let off. Gotta love a hound dog!


Filed under Farm Friends, Random, Reality, Ruse, True Tales

Cooped up with the chickens.

Captain Obvious had a chicken farming mishap the other day.  He somehow got in the coop but couldn’t get out. I wondered what was taking him so long. I don’t know how long he stood like this before I looked out the kitchen window! “Oops, what’s he doing looking all forlorn?”

Dad to the rescue! And next time, take a shovel. 🙂

poor guy…

really mom?

well, at least he got the eggs

Smile Captain you survived…


Filed under Farm Friends, Thru the Lens

Yes I really took pictures of my chicken’s bum

…and it was all because of you! I wanted to share something I learned about raising chicks.

Please join me at my new web home JessieGunderson.com and don’t forget to like the Blog Schmog Facebook community HERE.

Grose huh? I know, I’m terrible.

Maybe you already know this but I was recently reminded that it is important to clean the poo goo off their bums so they don’t get stopped up or those little chickens might die on ya.

I usually do have some losses with day olds but this is just one way to minimize it. Use a damp paper towel and gently “melt” away the gunk. The farm I ordered from told me that the stress causes the chicks poo to thicken and stick. Once they settle down it should become less sticky.

Another thing I didn’t know (or didn’t remember) is that for the first couple days to reduce stress related losses you can feed them boiled and crushed up eggs. I stirred in a little chick starter and put it out twice the first day. My chicks were crazy for it!

The lady who told me about this reminded me that when the chicks hatch they eat the egg whites and that’s where they get the protein to rest for 72 hrs. Giving them hard boiled eggs just boosts the protein intake.

So, there you have it. Chicken bums and protein boost. 🙂

Does anyone have some fun chicken breeds? I will post pictures of my mixed flock of chickens soon!


Filed under Farm Friends

The two worst things about playing outdoors.

As a small aside to my post on running with sticks, the two things I am most paranoid about in life are BEES and TICKS! ACK. Yes, I’m afraid of teeny tiny bugs but not bears, moose, split open heads, poked eyes and the like.

I started writing all this in response to Gina and decided it was a good time for a new post.

So, two days ago, while I was planting trees I made a “fort” out of a large bush with arching branches. I just shored it up with some long sticks so the kids could climb under.

Around dinner we headed inside and Scarfunkle (Thing 2) started complaining that he had a scab on his head and it was bleeding. Ugh!

Being the “medical expert” in my family I called him over to investigate. Daddy doesn’t do blood.

I started pulling back his blond curls trying to find this supposed scratch when the black butt of a bug with sticky outy legs came into view, clinging onto his head for dear life. My heart stopped for a second and I shot straight in the air, throwing my hands up with a ghasp. Then I started shaking all over. I hate those little boogars!

Trying hard not to alarm my son, thankfully still standing behind him, I squeezed his shoulders and said “Don’t worry, you aren’t bleeding. Daddy will take care of this and you’ll be good to go.”

I had to swallow repulsion and choke back some tears that tried to surface, SO so thankful that Matt was home. If I hadn’t been doing the grose out dance with my stomach churning in disgust for a good half an hour after the “sighting” I would have taken a picture and given a brave tutorial on removing the grose bugs. Sorry to say I would truly cry if I had to take care of one without my husband home.

As it was I had to remind him to kill the sucker. He easily plucked it off without ever having to tell Scarfunkle what was going on but smartie pants that he is, he let the crazy bug live and simply threw it into the garbage!

I questioned the wisdom to which he said “Hon, it’s fine.”


Not being able to control my fear of a repeat visit from Mr. Tick I peeked into the garbage and just as suspected he was crawling back up the side of the bag.


Matt finally put me out of my misery (not really LOL) and killed the sucker.


Here is a funny side note. I lived in Idaho for 22 years, playing outside and camping in the woods and never once saw a tick or had one on me. Then when I got married I moved to California and in my first year there had one attach to my leg (which sent me into near hysterics) and had to get my hubby to pluck numerous ones from my dog. Since I’ve been back in Idaho (5yrs) this is my first encounter with one of those disgusting little bugs on a person in my family. We’ve had them occasionally on the dogs. So my fears are near unwarranted but oooooh do they make me squirm non-the-less.

Do you have any unexplained, possibly unreasonable fears? I don’t mean your deepest darkest, just those funny things that get your blood pumping that are mostly harmless.


Filed under Gardening, Motherhood Uncensored

FAB Friday: Peewee’s hand-me-down overalls

FAB Friday is here again! Join in at the bottom of my post.

If you are new you can read the page above for the rules schmules. This meme is meant to encourage and promote conversation between bloggers so the rules are “for your own good”. HA HA! Meant to make it as fun as possible in other words.


PeeWee is lovin’ her new camo overalls and the freedom she has when not wearing pink. Mamma doesn’t rush over and try to dust the mud off of her new flamingo colored yoga pants (thanks for those btw Aunt Missy!).

Yay mom I love my brother’s clothes!

Look at me! Pee Wee took herself into the upper pasture, traversing rocks and hills and weeds. Lots and lots of weeds! To this vantage point overlooking the property. When I realized she wasn’t in the front yard I scolded the boys for loosing her (ha) and started yelling. She wasn’t concerned she hollered back “Huh?” without a hint of worry.

Then came the pictures…Pee Wee decided that she could no longer handle the hills and the rocks and the weeds. “The hills are alive with the sound of crying. La la la laaah!”

“Can’t anyone see me?”

Click, click, click. “Nope Peewee, Mom can’t see you. Must be those darn overalls!” Click, click, click. Makes for some good pictures though!

Time for you to link and share a family moment from your week!

Don’t forget to put a link here to Blog Schmog in your post so everyone can join in the fun. 🙂


Filed under FAB Friday Carnval, Thru the Lens

Talking about gardens. Seeds vs. Plants and Pest Control.

I started typing this huge return comment after I put up my garden plan from last year and decided to make it into a post so you can chime in and share any more tips on pest control or planting successes.

Debra said: I was considering a smaller garden this year because of all the mosquitoes last year but since we’ve decided to go gluten free I’ll have to step it up a bit to balance out the higher cost of food. It’s a good thing I enjoy gardening

Life at the Circus said: My thumb is not green AT ALL. Each year I try a garden, and really compared to yours, I mean, I try a row or two of plants and then I forget about it, grow a ton of weeds and by summer’s end am thrilled with a vegetable or two

Gina said: I so want to be a gardener…Okay, I lied. I want to reap from a garden, just not do the work. We tried gardens for several years. My idea of gardening, plant the pants from Home depot, turn on the sprinkler aimed at the garden and wait!!! The first year we were successful. The rest were flops! Birds would get our tomatoes, rabbits ate the lettuce and let’s not talk about he bugs…and I refused pesticides! I think it’s hopeless, but I’m not giving up.

I love gardening Debra because it is THE most inexpensive way to eat (especially gluten free) if you can succeed. Besides that, even ME (picky eater that I am) will eat almost everything I grow! Somehow it just tastes different when you’ve worked so hard at it. Plus home grown has SO much more flavor.

Life at the Circus, another cool thing about vegetables is once you get them started, many will survive and thrive with little attention. If you get the right varieties for your situation you can “fix it and forget it” to a degree!

I feel your pain Gina. I have an 9′ + fence around my garden to keep out most of the varmits, two huge dogs to deter the rest and some kleenex close by for the ones that sneak in. 🙂 Boo Hoo!

I don’t do pesticide either but there are some tricks to get by. One is the time of day and how much you water. Soaker hoses get right to the root and minimize bugs/mosquitos clinging to soggy leaves. They also preserve water which is necessary for me with a slow well.

Marigolds also help repel bugs and deer don’t like the smell. Unfortunately they will happily munch over them. 🙂 I’m planting a wider row this year hoping to fool them. Ha!

One other thing… some plants really DON’t like to be transplanted and do well sewn from seed. I used to be afraid to try but had better success once I did.

Cucumber, corn, beans, peas, lettuce, squash, pumpkins, carrots, sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds (to help repel pests), grass (with patience).

Things I  buy and transplant (because I don’t have a green house) are Tomatoes, strawberries (only have to buy once they come back), peppers (except bell peppers did amazingly well from seed last year), herbs (most come back), onions, garlic, potatoes.

Good rich compost keeps the weeds away and if your soil is rich, it will be full of worms that help with the bug population. I start ot with terribly hard, clay soil and one year I dumped a whole bunch of horse manure over the whole area and the next spring tilled it in. Ever since it’s been great. Growing things actually improves soil quality as well. Compost includes, horse manure, chicken manure, cow manure, even coffee grounds or ash from a wood stove are all good for the garden. Just don’t put fresh manure directly with your new plants. It has to decompose and get tilled in or it will burn your plants so plan ahead!

Any other tips you red thumbs? That begs the question… if you don’t have a green thumb what color is it?


Filed under Gardening, Random, Reality, Ruse

Vegetable Garden Plan 2009

What’s going in your garden?

I have not drawn up my 2010 garden yet but it’s time to order seeds in the northwest where the growing season is a scant 90 days. Make sure to read the packet so you don’t try to grow something that takes 110 days or more. Ya, I would know! 🙂 Now, I try to get varieties that mature in 80 days or less because if you loose some seedlings in your first plant you still have a little time to recover.


Here is last years garden post:

I spent my weekend plotting the vegetable garden and dreaming about dirt!

Today it’s finally sunny. We’ve had so much rain the springs are swollen and taking their yearly adventure into the nearby fields.  Mud is abundant yet the ground underneith is still frozen.  The Farmer’s Alminac says we have until the middle of May before it’s okay to plant in the ground but I’m going to wait until the end of May to be sure.  I’m sure having a hard time waiting.  I just love to put on my overalls and spend hours with dirt on my knees.  That’s a good position for many reasons. On my knees I’m eye level with my little one’s, I’m close enough to the ground to smell the damp fertile earth and best of all working the dirt reminds me of how wonderfully we are made!

Today our school project is planting the seeds that we can indoors.  We are going to plant a little of everything indoors so the kids can “experiment” with what works and what doesn’t.  I’m hoping to coax some corn up early though I’m doubting wether I can get it safely transplanted.  I also don’t expect the cucumber or beans to transplant well since I haven’t had luck with that before.

Here are the heirloom seeds I purchased for my garden this year:

  • Beans, Blue Marbut:  70 days.  A colorful, tasty, southern heirloom. Colorful purplish stems and purple tint to the leaves. Tasty, purple streaked green pods.
  • Beans, Greasy Back Cornfield:  75 days.  Heirloom pole snap bean, white seeds. Grows well planted with corn and using the cornstalks as a pole to climb
  • Carrot, Coreless Amsterdam:  57 days.  Very early. Roots average 6″ long and are straight all the way to the end. Excellent for use as “Baby Carrots”.
  • Carrot, Snow White:  70 days.  Tender, creamy white
  • Corn, Black Mexican:  82 days.  6 foot stalks, with 8 to 10 rows per 7 to 8 inch ear. Starts out pure snow white and turns to purple then black. Eat as a sweet corn when white. Dates to 1863
  • Corn, Blue Pop:  100 days.  I got this from Gurneys close to 30 years ago. It was never all blue like I thought, but is brightly colored blue, yellow and other colors mixed. Ears are nice sized, pearl type.
  • Corn, Clem Bennett:  75 days.  6 to 7 foot stalks, 12 to 14 rows of yellow kernels on 9″ ears. 1 oz
  • Cucumber, Lemon:  60 days.  Super tasty globe shaped lemon colored skin
  • Cucumber, Monastic:  65 days.  Dual purpose, short, fat pickling type, cream colored when young, will also work as a small slicer
  • Garden Huckleberry 90 days.
  • Golden Zucchini:  53 days.  Bush type, bright yellow, 8 to 10 inch fruits
  • Lettuce,Black Seeded Simpson:  50 days. A chartreuse, green-yellow color.
  • Lettuce, May Queen:  50 days.  19th century heirloom, earliest butterhead type, pale green tinged with brown
  • Lettuce, Romaine:  65 days.  Erect, tightly folded plants
  • Lettuce, Waldman’s Green:  55 days.  Large, wavy, frilled leaves, a nice dark green leaf lettuce, tolerates cold weather well.
  • Peas, Alderman (Tall Telephone):  75 days.  I remember how much I enjoyed growing this variety in the cooler Springs in the Northwest. There it would reach 6 feet tall and be loaded with pods. Our rapidly changing climate here makes them shorter.
  • Pepper, (sweet) Early Niagara Giant:  64 days.  A nice, early selection of a green bell. Fruits will turn red in about 95 days
  • Pepper, (sweet) Frank’s:  56 days.  Our most productive pepper ever. Plants are very compact with a solid pack of fruits. Good for fresh use or for cooking. Turn red quickly. Fruits are a medium size, elongated bell shape. Very sweet flavor
  • Tomato, Chipollino:  mid, Ind, round, red globe, 3 oz. fruits
  • Tomato, Yellow Out Red In:  late, SD, solid 6 oz. globe, tart, the best of the keeping tomatoes


Filed under Gardening