Thursday, May 28, 2009


T'was the day before Memorial Day and around 6pm my son Eric and my ex-son-in-law Tim DEMANDED that I go fishing with them. I told them that I was tired and it was late, they reciprocated with references to my age and fishing abilities!
Well I just couldn't let that go unanswered! Why I'll show them 2 young whipper-snapper's a thing or two about fishing!! Especially after Tim said he would "LET" me catch more fish than him!!! The nerve of some people's kids!
Why if he weren't my ex-SIL I would have taken him over my knee. (in my dreams, but don't tell him that, I think I had him worried there for a minute...okay second...Jeeze...HEY!, it was my dream after all)
Anyway I asked them where we were going fishing......"Ugh....we were hoping you had an idea".
Now don't that just tear it! A couple of days earlier I had told them of a few of my old secret spots when they called because they were striking out at their favorite places. And now I have to take them to another. So I took them to "The Old Pike Hole" on the river. Now Eric had been there as a youngster when he wasn't that into fishing, so I told them where the best places were to find "freshwater barracuda" and I settled down to try to catch some Rock Bass, leisure style on the riverbank. Let the young'uns do all the hard casting work, I'll just sit here swatting mosquitoes while watching my bobber.
Then it happened, my son latched on to a monster! In the photo above you can see him with his 30 inch Northern Pike. OK so it wasn't a monster, but it was a very good sized fish for this little river. I have seen and hooked a lot bigger in the river, but never landed them! It was a good catch.
They tried everything in their tackle boxes, but couldn't catch another fish. Rocks and seaweed yes, and a lot of both. Finally as the sun was setting and I was getting low on blood from all of the mosquitoes I was feeding, we decided to pack it in for the night. I started to reel my line in and low and behold there was a fish on it. A lowly "stone-roller", (a small dark Sucker that inhabits the river to feed the pike) it was about a foot long, which seems to be there adult size. Didn't have a clue that it was even there! And it put up no fight at all, but it was a fish, so I tied with my son at one fish apiece and Tim was true to his word and let me catch more fish than him.
Well the word spread throughout the family, and on Memorial Day I ended up back to the same spot with a bigger crew. Wifey, Eric and his wife Andrea (who is carrying my future grandson Owen), Sarah and her boyfriend Jimmy, and even Angie came along for the ride.



Wifey, Andrea and Eric.

Well, Wifey was the only one to catch a fish, a small Rock Bass. But we all had a good time drown ding worms and feeding mosquitoes. Oh, by the way, do you know what Michiganders call products like OFF and CUTTER insect repellent..... MOSQUITO LURE ! They come running from miles!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Catch-Up to Ketchup

These are my Easter bunnies now. Mom of course is squished into the corner, and Houdini is the name of the all black bunny in the back to the far left. He has been getting out of the cage nightly for the past week, and we can't figure out how, hence the name Houdini, after the well known escape artist. Every morning we have to hunt him down, catch him, and return him to the cage.

And now for a little more catch up. A big THANK YOU to all of you well wishers and those that sent prayers to myself and family during my Dad's illness and death.
I have been remiss for not mentioning this earlier, please forgive my slowness.
After all of the turmoil of the funeral, I have been keeping very busy. Trying to help my stepmother and catching up on yard work, trying to plant a garden and cleaning up downed trees for next winters firewood, making the chicks a pen in the coop and caring for all of the animals here on our 5 acre Funny Farm. During this process I have managed to break the cartilage in 3 of my short ribs (and no I didn't fall) and slice my finger good by accidentally running it along the very sharp blade of my machete. (Stupid rookie thing to do, I have been using it for almost 40 years and this is the second time I have cut myself with it. The first time I was sharpening it with a file and got a little carried away and slit my thumb open).

So me and Wifey have been slaving away until almost dark every night, staying tired and exhausted with little R&R. Time to go FISHING !!!

Anyway, here are some photos from life on the farm.

Our now 16 day old chicks, notice the size difference of the Vantress Cross meat birds!!!
(they are the white ones)

My daughter Angie calls them "Meat Blobs", a very descriptive term I must say. But they are doing what they are supposed and grow. So far we have lost 1 to natural causes and 2 to hiding under the gallon waterer. They must have run underneath it as I was replacing it in their pen and I didn't notice it. A very unhappy Wifey discovered them the next morning. Ooopsy!!

This photo with the Isa Brown in front of them and the smaller Americanas behind gives you a better sense if the size difference. The Meat Blobs are laying down, the rest are standing up.

Here is my first batch of live bunnies, all 8 have survived and are weaned and living outside now.

I caught the left one in a dead run to get away from the scary camera. But when I bring a bunch of grass for them, they mob me to get to it. They are eating very little pelletized food now that they get all of the fresh grass and weeds twice daily.

The white rabbit of this group has a black nose, ears and tail.

and the red eyes...

Can you see me bending into their pen snapping a photo in the reflection?

This guy is my favorite and always comes to greet me, not shy at all.....

Even the shutter noise doesn't deter his curiosity.

And here is Wifey's favorite.

The other grey one in back.

And this is my friendly Americana who always comes to see me whenever I am outside.

And the Grey Leghorn my wife thinks is a rooster because it is the only one who's comb stands erect.

It's rather HOT here today even with a strong wind, and the flock is taking refuge under their favorite pine tree. I see you eyeballing me Mr. Rooster!

Bear and Harley are taking turns watching the bunnies in their pen outside.

Harley wants a double shift I guess.

One of the last tulips to keep its petals in all of the wind we have been having lately.

Some fresh Chives for baked potatoes.

And FRESH picked asparagus....

peeled and steamed the way Wifey likes them.

And OUR favorite fungus...Morel Mushrooms cooked in butter....YUM !!!
Who cares what the meat was with all of these delicacies!!!
Oh, and I lied about the Ketchup...who needs it anyway.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Chicks

Amidst of all of the insanity over the last few months, with my dad, his wife and my daughter's illnesses and finally my Dad's death, we somehow managed to order some chicks for spring. We had planned on having an addition built on to the chicken coop by the time they arrived.

However that didn't happen, so I had to butcher both of my buck rabbits to make room for these little guys. I will try breeding my does with Angie's buck next time, and will eventually get replacements.

Most will end up as laying hens to increase our flock. If I ever get the addition built. Scratch that, I MUST get it done and soon!!! In between cutting up felled trees and planting a garden!!
And of course trying to find SOME time to go fishing!
Somewhere in all of this mess of fluff are 25 Vantress Cross broilers, 10 Isa Brown, 10 Buff Orphington and 5 Americana chicks.

Most of the Vantress Crosses will be table fare and are straight run birds, as are the Americanas, but the rest are pullets.
I came upon this surprise quite by accident.
We usually don't see any tree frogs around our yard. I've had a special reguard for these little guys since I was a child.
And even after disturbing this guy's slumber he has stuck around in the same spot for the last 4 days. Maybe he will decide to make this old woodpecker nest his home. The day after I spotted this chap I found another not too far away. I hope they eat all of the mosquitos and gnats they can, because I am tired of donating blood already!
Wifey's tulips are blooming.

And the grape hyacinths are spreading.

I do like the pretty little things though.

Now where are the bees?
Maybe next year!