Posts Tagged With: dog

Good-bye Gabby Girl

It’s been a rough week here at the Fraudulent Farmstead. We said good-bye to our sweet Gabby on Monday. It’s amazing how dog can leave such a hole in your life. It’s far too quiet, even when two of the cats start chasing each other around. Although frankly, even the cats seem kind of subdued.

Our Gabs.

She was smart, and stubborn, and she had her humans well-trained. She was Ginny’s best friend, protector, and precocious kid all in one, and she was happy to boss me around too if she could get away with it.

Up to the end, she still loved to go for walks, even when we had to loop a blanket around her hind end to help her along. She outwitted any number of “smart toys” that were supposed to keep her occupied for hours. Ginny bought her an everlasting treat ball, but it took Ginny longer to get the treat into the ball than it did for Gabby to get it out.

Gabby loved people, although she wasn’t crazy about other dogs. She actually liked our cats Ace and Fiona, even when they walked under her face and dragged their tails along her chin. Miss Kitty, on the other hand–Gabby felt it was her mission in life to keep Miss Kitty from infringing on her own begging territory. She had no patience for Miss Kitty’s oozing up to her humans and asking for food.

Gabby was happiest when the center of attention, either from her mom or from any random people who dropped by the house. She had a huge personality and the soul of an entertainer. We miss her dreadfully.

We love you, Gabs.

Categories: Animals, foreign and domestic | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Must post…must post!

Which is what I’ve been saying to myself for three weeks. I was running sound for West Side Story at Civic Theatre for three weeks, which effectively took up all of my free time. But I’ve been theatre free for a week and racing to fit farmstead chores in.

We had a gorgeous March, which has been followed by a (so far) rainy, cold, blustery April. A few days with the Spotts crew have called for long underwear, two pairs of wool socks, and about six layers of clothes, but mostly we’ve been fine. I’m planting lots of vegetable gardens for customers this year, which naturally makes me think of my own garden…
Peas and potatoes are in the ground. I’m forgoing lettuce crops this year, mostly because Gin and I get such great salad greens from Farm Fresh Delivery, and theirs are all clean and stuff. I’ll make up for my skimpy spring garden by planting in midsummer for a fall harvest–I’ve read that spinach, carrots, and beets are all actually sweeter if you leave them in the ground for a few frosts, so I’d like to try that this year.
The front garden expansion is making slow progress. I’ve planted two dwarf apple trees and a dwarf cherry. Right now they look more like fruit sticks than fruit trees; they are unbranched whips, and the stakes I used are taller than they are. My new blueberry is in, as is the Nero Aronia. I still need to plant the goumi.
In an embarrassing twist, the lovely large shrub that I thought was a blueberry revealed itself to be a thrice-damned honeysuckle. So I cut it to the ground and grubbed the roots out. I will replace it with a potted Northland blueberry as soon as the weather warms up a bit.
My giant load of compost is due to come in next week. I’m hitting up all my friends and relations for their stacks of newspaper so I can prepare the front yard vegetable bed the lazy way: I’ll dump a thick layer of wet newspaper on the grass to smother it, then put compost on top. I’ll plant transplants by shoving the compost aside, cutting a hole in the paper, digging a hole in the ground, and filling with compost.
On the chicken front, Mr. Dan and Mr. Roy are scouting for additional recycled materials for the house and brainstorming engineering designs. So far I have a very nice coop door I found on the side of the road, a bunch of pine panelling Amy F and her husband Kirk donated to the cause, and the disassembled pieces of the Christy and Tim’s girls’ playset. Thanks to their generosity, my chickens will be the only ones in America with a pop-hole gangplank made out of a climbing wall.
Right now, Gabby is glaring at Ginny for daring to bathe her, Ace is attempting to launch stealth attacks on my bedroom to harrass Miss Kitty, I have the squirt bottle handy to remind Ace he’s not allowed in my bedroom, and dinner is in the oven. Yep, it’s just another evening at the Fraudulent Farmstead.


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Categories: The garden year | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big happenings at the Fraudulent Farmstead

Ginny, Gabby, and Ace are all moved in. Gin's still getting the basement studio arranged to her liking. Gabby is a little creakier than when she last lived here, but she's still getting up and down the stairs no problem. Ace thinks he's gone to cat heaven–windows! With ledges and seats in front of them! Birds and squirrels to watch! And–what's this?–wet cat food? Good lord, it's like kitty paradise.

Except for Kitty, who treats Ace much as a cranky seventy-year-old lady would treat that doofy thirteen-year-old kid who keeps cutting across the lawn. Or in Kitty's case, trying to lounge on her bed. 
The bathroom walls are up, and the first two coast of drywall mud are on. The shower's installed and the electrical roughed in. I'm hoping to get some paint on the walls next weekend, then focus on installing the flooring so Mike can do the sink and toilet. Then Ginny will have a fully functional bath of her own. In the meantime, we're tracking a lot of drywall dust around, but otherwise the mess has stayed pretty confined.
Thanks to the run of unseasonably gorgeous weather, I got quite a bit of spring cleanup done the last few days:
Pruned the lavender.
Pruned the roses.
Cut back the Annabelle hydrangea, caryopeteris, and butterfly bush.
Limbed up the maple tree in the parking strip so people can walk under it without clocking themselves. 
Turned the Biostack composter, uncovering a live, small, grey mouse in the process.
Took an  old can of spray paint and marked out the new front yard potager beds and planting locations for apple and cherry trees.
Started yet another new garden journal with the hope that I'll actually keep up with this one.
Saw my first crocus today! None here at the Fraudulent Farmstead yet, but my neighbor's rock wall was sporting a cluster of bright yellow ones. We do have lots of daffodil and tulip foliage, though, so I'm hoping for blooms soon, even though the temps are supposed to drop again this week.
We always celebrate Gabby's birthday on the Ides of March, but Dan's traveling next week. So we moved it up a week, invited my parents and their friends Roy and Sherri, and combined Gab's b-day with chicken coop brainstorming. With Dan and Roy on the case, this will probably be a seriously engineered structure, and will likely cost more than I want it to (I want it to cost $50, so I KNOW it will cost more than I want it to). I have taken to haunting freecycle and craigslist in hope of scoring some free materials to recycle for the chicken palace.
AND I start with Spotts tomorrow, and this is dress rehearsal week at Civic for West SIde Story. So probably I'll collapse into a heap by Friday. Stay tuned! 

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Categories: In the garden, In the house | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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