Critters of Gredemeer – continued


Several of you know about my yearning for a donkey.  Prince Farming was not as eager to add another creature, but was willing to acquiesce (look it up) if the price was right.  I’ve been talking to people and spreading word about my need desire for a donkey, and I finally found one.  For the right price.  I’ll share that in another post.

Here’s my new little friend.  His name is "Japie" – named after my grandmother’s donkey.  She used to tell me stories about how she rode to school on a donkey.  The word is pronounced  "Yah-ppy" – where the vowel sound is a little longer than in the word "yuppy".

Isn’t he cute!?  I love his markings. 


He’s exploring his new field – all by himself for the moment.  No cows in that field yet – he owns it for the moment.  But I think he’s lonely.

It’s time to make friends . . . it’s going to take time because no one has really been interacting with him, but I know it will happen.

He’s curious enough.  I just need to remember to bring sweet treats down with me.  I’m loving looking out of my window and seeing Japie.

You can read about more critters of Gredemeer here and here.

Finally Flying – Skywatch


Happy Skywatch Friday.  And an especially happy New Years to all my skywatch friends.  This has been a fun thing for me this year – and I appreciate your kind visits and comments.

The weather finally cooperated on Sunday.  My brother checked the weather and deemed it acceptable for flying.  And really, it was perfect.  I won’t spill all the fun beans on one post, but here were the highlights.

There’s my pond . . . that little puddle near the tree line.  Pretty wild, huh?  And the barns look like Monopoly houses.  This was so much fun.


When we weren’t farming we used to spend LOTS of time here – at the lake.  The water is low because the lake is used to generate electricity in the winter time.  During the summer it fills up (provided there is not a drought) and it’s a wonderful play place.  The dock nearest the center of the picture is the family lake house.  We all share it – and can play on the water any time we want.  It’s about 45 minutes away from where we live (by windy roads).


This characterizes the area pretty well – lots of rolling hills/mountains.  Very little is cleared. 


I loved being in the plane – my brother is an amazing pilot who was very generous with his time and resources. 


Hope your skies are clear and your 2009 is beautiful.  You can see other skies from all over the world by visiting here.

Critters of Gredemeer III- Skywatch



I keep watching for something STUNNING to appear in my sky.  And this week, the most stunning thing is that there wasn’t anything stunning.  It’s been very gray and fall almost winter-like.  Sometimes drizzly, sometimes misty, but always gray.  So here are some pictures taken just this morning (Thursday) to prove my point.  I realize now that it’s beautiful in its own way.

You don’t have to point out that this isn’t a picture of the sky – but if the trees look like this, can you imagine what the sky looks like?  Just open up a blank word document, create the entire page to a very light gray, and you’ll have the right image.  There is no variation – no tone-on-tone.  Just plain whitish-gray.


After taking the picture above, the farm dogs came up the lane, so I retook the shot – with them in it.

The grayish dog is an Australian Cattle dog, also known as a Blue-Heeler.  We adopted him as a biggish puppy from a family in town because he needed to live in the country and run.  The other dog adopted us – she is incredibly friendly, but her friendliness manifests in a low growl, which we translate as "welcome, I’m so glad to see you" but people who don’t know her translate as "I’m not going to get out of my car without sharing my sack lunch with this dog."  She has lived on our farm ever since we bought it – we feed her, get her rabies shots updated and all.  So that must make her ours, right!?  The dogs run all over and play like they’ve never been apart.  (I actually think this paragraph makes this post part of my "Critters of Gredemeer" series, don’t you?  DONE)


Both of the above pictures were taken out of our front door.  The back looks a bit brighter today because the hills aren’t so close by.  But it’s still super misty.


And so I don’t leave out you pond watchers, here’s your shot of the week:

The clouds have been thick and present all week.  And we’ve gotten some much-needed rain.  Unfortunately with the rain comes some pretty chilly temperatures.  I’m very grateful for our outdoor wood furnace, and for Prince Farming and our son who keep it well stocked.  It allows me to sit inside with short sleeves and bare feet.  Just the way I like it.


You can see more skies – sunny, cloudy, or clear by visiting skyley.  Hundreds of people are watching the skies on your behalf.



Clear Skies



EDIT:  9/11/08 Skywatch post is actually here – sorry about that!

Here’s a non-evening shot of my wonderful kitchen window view.  Can you even imagine how beautiful it is in the fall?  And in the spring?  I will share.  I promise.  Soon there will be pictures of neat round bales of hay out there, beyond the pond.

Can’t really see how stunning the sky is in this shot.  You know the saying . . . "Red at night is the shepherd’s (or sailor’s) delight" – this was beautiful.

Since you always get to see the view from one direction, I decided to swing around and show you the opposite direction.  This would be my library window view.  That "road" is our drive-way . . . a long and dusty one, right on the edge of our property.  Beyond the immediate neighbors is family land again.  Prince Farming’s parents and brother own that next hill.

For more stunning sky shots from around the world, and from the other side of the pond(s) visit this site. 

Heads or Tails?

This entry is inspired by this Meme website.  The current challenge/topic is "Three Things from Any Category"

My Category:  Things I’d love to blog about but can’t yet because . . . .

1)  A few of my favorite things. . .

I had great pictures of several of my summer time favorite things that were the makings of a really good post.  My hard drive crash and the loss of my pictures postpones this really good post.  Hope you’re not suffering as much as I am over this loss.

2)  Stamping projects . . .

I keep threatening to stamp and share what I stamp.  I’m sure the anticipating is killing you.  It’s killing me.  Next week is looking better than this week for stamping.  Don’t hold your breath.

3)  My new Gredemeer Critter . . .

It isn’t here yet.  I haven’t convinced Prince Farming of the necessity of a new critter.  Actually, I can’t decide what the critter is.  Either a donkey (first choice), or (currently) a little dog.  Our house guests have a little Yorkie that doesn’t bark or stink or shed.  Nor is it high maintenance like I’ve understood Yorkies to be.  I think I might dog-nap the little rat and rename it "Gremlin" when they move out.  Don’t tell anyone.

You can play "Heads or Tails" every Tuesday.  Just visit this site for the rules and the games.


Critters of Gredemmer II

One of the things I remember from my childhood is chickens.  We had them (bantams) in at least 2 places where we lived.  They were easy pets, and could be left on their own with occasional throwing out of a handful of food.  We didn’t have them for eggs – just as lawn decorations, I think.  So when we got the farm, I was certain I wanted chickens.  But Prince Farming is a light sleeper, and he didn’t want a rooster.  That was the one thing I did want – I mean, how quaint is it to be woken up in the morning by the crowing of a rooster.  But that was not meant to be.  Until recently.  A nearby farmer had a rooster.  He thought the rooster was lonely, so he brought over a hen.  The hen laid eggs.  The eggs hatched.  Then all of a sudden he had a family of chickens, and he didn’t want them around his horses.  One day I came home, and Prince Farming and our son were in the barn fixing up a place for this little family.

In this area there are wild dogs and other predators (racoons etc.) that make a chicken’s life slightly vulnerable.  So we were quite skeptical about their longevity.  Wild critters can get inside a chicken coop very easily.  Based on the time we had and the resources immediately available, Prince Farming rigged a really nice little coop.  Except not nice enough. 

The next day the family was down by a few chicks.  So it continued (despite renewed effort for their safety) until it was just one rooster and one chick.  One day we went down to the barn to take some food and we heard the rooster, but couldn’t find him.  Finally we looked up – and there he was in the rafter of the barn.


We also heard a chick (still really little – unable to fly) but couldn’t find the little guy ANYwhere.  It was the craziest thing.  Our daughter climbed up on some hay to look around – and she found the chick.  It was sitting on the rooster’s back up on the rafters.


How totally cool is that?  The only way for it to have gotten there would have been for it to climb on the rooster’s back before the rooster flew up.  Because there was no hay anywhere close by where they could have done it in small steps.  I just totally marvel at nature sometimes.  I know hens are nurturing and will guard their chicks to the death, but this rooster took on the care of that chick and did it well.  BTW – Our daughter took all these pictures – budding photographer that she is. 

Anyway – the rooster does crow.  People who take walks along the road have heard him.  We don’t hear him from the house because the barn is down the hill and a small distance from here.  That works for Prince Charming.  But now he’s caught the chicken bug. The rooster is all that’s left, and he wants more.  He brought home a catalog of all sorts of critters and the stuff one needs to keep them safe.  So I’m sure there will be more chickens in our future.  And they might even move up the hill to be closer to us – who knows?  But these chickens will be our local egg delivery as well as pets – Prince Farming LOVES farm fresh eggs – brown ones with bright yellow yolks.  Now THAT’S nutrition!

Numbers I Love . . .again

Can I just say that this took me by surprise?  But it’s a wonderful thing.  Check out todays date:

2008 2008

This doesn’t happen very often.  Why have I not noticed it before?  Or maybe I did – and I just don’t remember.  There’s that little memory issue again.  If you need the background on this post – check out this post.

Anyway – just wanted you to enjoy the moment.  Of course. . . nevermind.  I won’t talk about the clock this time.

To make this a bit more interesting to the non-number watchers, I thought I’d add a picture of one of the Gredemeer barns.  This would be a great barn party place, if it weren’t full of hay.  And chickens.  Actually, just a rooster.  More about that another time.


Critters of Gredemeer I

This has been a detail long in coming – - so I can refer to my life in the terms I generally use.  We live on a farm that borders the family farm.  Prince Farming’s parents, sister, and one brother all live within sight (almost – depending on how many leaves are on the trees) of our farm.  Because I have a high value around independence/autonomy, I wanted to be able to differentiate between here and there;  between theirs and ours.  So we created this name "Gredemeer".  It is made up of the first 2 or 3 letters of each of our first names.  We were just lucky that it worked.  Some other families end up with names like "Ranch Joke" (for Randy, Charlotte, Jonathan and Kevin) which actually is fairly appropriate from my perspective because we’ve shared many great times and belly laughs together.  During the building process (of our home), someone suggested we have a stone tablet set in with the bricks with our name.  So we did.  It makes me happy.  I’d love to hear what title your family names create.  Let me know in a comment.

Now I can move on to the "Critters" part.  It’s hard to know where to start. . . so my sharing of the cows right now doesn’t make them the most important – just probably the shortest entry because I notice that my blog entries are veritible epistles, and I don’t want to take you away from your life (or other blog reading) for an inordinate amount of time.  I’m sure I’ll have more to say about cows in another post.  There have been several frustrating days that involve cows, but I’m certain they pale in comparison to the days I’ll use as "blog fodder" in the future.

Right now the cows are young.  We got them near the beginning of the summer as yearlings (around 500 lbs).  I only know these details because I over-heard a discussion about the cows.  Once when I was picking up salt licks from the co-op, the lady behind the counter asked me what kind of cows we had.  Because I’m such an expert on the topic, I told her we have black ones that go "moooo."  She decided that she wasn’t in my same league to continue the discussion.  Here are some pictures (the bottom two are from my kitchen window) of our cute little herd.



One day I hope to have a donkey wandering in the field with the cows.  Local farmers tell me that donkeys are very good about keeping wild dogs away from the cows, which seems like a necessity to me.  Prince Farming assures me that his dad has never needed the services of a donkey.  But I think donkeys are cute.  And necessary on a farm.  I’ll just wait and see – maybe that will be my Christmas present.  I wonder if a donkey would be in the same class as coal?

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