Saturday, 1 June 2019

June 1, Wishing for Summer

Hello anyone who might still be reading this. I've been on a self-imposed isolation for the last week or more. As always, this time of year is a busy one for those in my profession. I have been doing last minute marking and writing of second term report cards. Twenty four students x sixteen different subject areas = three hundred and eighty-four comments. Our elementary report cards require written comments, not the old fashioned "Good work!" type, but tied directly into the curriculum expectations. I've been staring at a computer screen a lot. However, I've been at this now for twenty-nine years, so it's nothing new and I have many banked comments that I can alter and manipulate to suit to what I've done, and how each student is doing, so I'm ahead of my new colleagues, for whom this is an arduous task. Our school year wraps up right at the end of June. Sigh. One and a half years to go.

Life continues on around me. Here are some images from the past several days, including this Saturday morning where the sun (what is that??) is shining and the birds are singing and life is pretty good.


I spotted this little fellow when I was weeding the front walk way. It's a leopard frog.

I might have squealed with joy when I saw this about a week ago. One of my new pullets laid her first egg. Look at how cute and tiny it is compared to the others! I can't bear to eat it, it's so adorable. The other three should be laying soon as well.

This is the one time of year that I love this old apple tree. It is practically vibrating with bees right now. I've also been catching a rare glimpse of an oriole every once in a while, feeding from the blossoms. My new header photo is this tree.

Simple perfection.

It has been a full two weeks since I brought the four new pullets home and it is only now that they are somewhat accepted in 'general population'. The three older ones will occasionally give chase and grab a feather if they are fast enough, but the fact that the new ones will come out of the coop (or are allowed to come out of the coop) is a very good sign. I've set up wooden barriers for them that they can go behind without being trapped or cornered and it helps them to be a bit "out of sight, out of mind".


They have a little chicken playground, with many things to perch on and scratch around. Note the burn barrel in the background that is slowly disintegrating and collapsing. Time for a new one.

The rhubarb has loved all the rain. It is giant this year. I haven't done anything with it apart from cutting some to take in to work to share with those who don't have a giant rhubarb plant of their own. Maybe this weekend. Pie? crisp? Pudding cake?

It's a bit too early for most of my flowers, but the phlox is doing well. This is one nice little patch that doesn't have a ton of grass growing up through it!

I have one patch of these tulips. They always look so delicate and pretty.


Today will be a weeding day. At least with all of the rain we've been having, the weeding is quite pleasurable. All it takes is a trowel to lift some soil from underneath, and you can follow the giant white roots of the twitch grass along for quite some distance! Very satisfying!
Son was at a two day C.W.O.S.S.A. soccer tournament out of town (well, everything is out of town!) which stands for Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association. His team did so well they headed to the O.F.S.A.A. tournament (Ontario Federation of School Athletics Association) later this week, where they'll stay in a hotel in another city and play over a series of three or more days, depending on how well they do. Of course, I can't be there to watch, but he'll text and let me know how they are doing. I'm so pleased for him, and others on his team, who had their own little highschool close on them (thank you, board of education and the province), and are now in their final year of highschool. It's such a wonderfully positive note on which to end their highschool careers!

47 comments:

  1. Hi Jenn :) Summer...yeah, what is that? Seriously, frost on June 1st, UNACCEPTABLE...anyway we can only keep our hopes up! Oh that will be fun for your son, good luck to him! :)
    I love your chicken playground! Those tulips are so pretty! What variety are they? And where do you get a burn barrel? That's something I would love to have but I'm too cheap to pay for one...lol...do you get them recycled?

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    1. Hi Rain, I have NO idea what kind of tulips they are. I don't even know if I bought the bulbs or they were a gift of potted tulips that I just stuck the bulbs in the ground afterward. The burn barrel was free from a tractor / repair dealership a few minutes from us. We know the owner and he said to just take it. It had hydraulic oil in it (but was more or less empty when hubby took it). Husband cut off the top and cut holes in the bottom for airflow. It's several years old.

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  2. A chicken playground:) Love all the pictures and can't believe that rhubarb!

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    1. This is probably the biggest the rhubarb has been!

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  3. - What a positive post - hens settling well, new pullets laying teeny eggs,blossom attracting orioles, school report writing going well, son doing well - enjoy.

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    1. Thank you, Weav. Yes, things are going well at the moment. It's a lovely time of year.

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  4. I agree with Weaver of Grass above. A jolly good post and fun to catch up on all that's going on in your world. Have never seen tulips like your white ones. Before your identification I didn't even realize they were tulips.

    Our rhubarb is big and getting bigger every day, too. So far I've made rhubarb sauce for the freezer (so good over a slice of pound cake), a rhubarb cake and luscious, calorie-laden rhubarb cream pie. If you cut out that seed stalk you've got shooting up in the middle of your plant, the stalks will keep producing longer and better. I usually have about 4-6 of them to get rid of each season.

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    1. I have a recipe for "moist rhubarb cake" that I might turn into muffins. I do know about the seed heads. Every time I see them I think, "I need to cut those off." Then I do something else and forget about it!

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  5. "vibrating with bees" -- love that image!

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  6. Hi Jenn, please, please get a new burn barrel sooner rather than later. I notice it's on a cement slab which is good but there is still dry grasses near by. I mention this because my dad had a similar burn barrel and unbeknowst to him the bittom had burned out, grass caught fire and their beautiful retirement home was gutted. Nobody was hurt, thank God. They were in their 70s but they did rebuild. Their home was cement block construction but the entire inside was gutted and had to be rebuilt. It was a rough time for all of us. The community raillied and had a "shower" for them. It took almost a year before they could move back in. Just some friendly advice.

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    1. Oh , I'm a stickler about the burns. I have a big container of water right there (you can't see it in the picture) and the piles of brush are what's going in the burn barrel! There is also a hose at the pool house that snakes out that far, but you can't see it in the picture. Thank you for the heart felt advice, though.

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    2. Sounds like you never leave it unattended. That was my dad's mistake. He left it to do something else. The fire got quite a head start before it was noticed. My mom and a friend were quilting in the living and they broke the quilting frams to get them out the door. A few things were saved as it didn't take long for neighbours to come and help. Word travels fast in a rural community.

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  7. I was typing out a message saying how much I'd enjoyed this post.
    Your apple tree looks amazing and well done to your son and team … and then whoosh!
    The computer started doing funny things … well they do seem to at odd times!
    So I've typed it out again!
    Keeping fingers crossed this comment posts ok.

    All the best Jan

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  8. What a lovely stroll through your garden. The hen girls all seem to be doing well, lucky girls with that playground - happy hens lay bigger & more eggs? I agree weeding can be therapy :)
    ... Mary-Lou =^..^=

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    1. The pullet eggs are already getting a little bigger from the first few she laid. Weeding is addictive. I tell myself I'm just going to do a few minutes, and then an hour and a half later I can't straighten up my back!

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  9. What a lot of comments to forge through. I have friends that are teachers and have helped grade papers over shared coffee. lol
    Love that sweet 'new baby' egg. You have it stored now as a first forever in your photo collection.
    Your garden is beautiful and I love those tulips--they are gorgeous. Happy weeding---xo Diana

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    1. Hi Diana, I actually ate that little egg this morning, along with another one just like it. They were even cute in the pan!

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  10. your garden and chooks are doing well!
    The first day of Summer...and I'm still using the heating in the evenings!!

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    1. I usually do a shift in my small closet from fall/winter clothes to spring/summer clothes. Hasn't happened yet because I still need sweaters and layers!

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  11. Great post! Yes, things are finally coming along in the garden, thank goodness.

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    1. Thanks, Chris. I've not put a single vegetable seed in the ground yet, though.

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  12. So Summer is late where you are. Mad tulips!

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  13. Such a lovely catch up - if I could send some sunshine your way, I would, as we really need some rain. Our planet is just crazy these days with the Seasons, almost like it's forgotten how they go.

    I'd be pushing for rhubarb crumble if your nights are still chilly, otherwise just stew some to have on yoghurt for breakfast if summer breaks through.

    Very thoughtful to give your girls an adventure playground. Good luck to your son. too!

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    1. It's kind of ridiculous how much I do for those chickens!

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  14. What a sweet little egg. We too have been dreaming of summer..now the mosquitoes are out with a vengeance and I'm so done with it lol.

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    1. It's more blackflies for me. I'm typing this with a swollen hand from a blackfly bite.

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  15. Nice to read your life. You are so not like a teacher. I love you for it!x

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    1. Ha, ha, I'm not sure what "a teacher" is normally like in your experience. I'd say most teachers, especially the younger ones are pretty laid back, funny, regular people. I have no experience with nuns being my teachers, although I did go to a teachers' college that was quite Catholic (I'm not) and I had one professor, Sister Theresa. She was completely out of touch with kids and what they are really like. Thought gum chewing would be our biggest problem! -Jenn

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  16. You will enjoy retirement judging from the restful things you enjoy.

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  17. Wow all of that work to close out the school year. Good luck. I love that your new chickens are being accepted by the others. Once they are not scared and feel excepted I am sure they will be laying eggs a lot. We have had so much rain for the month of May. Breaking records but today it was beautiful and sunny. A nice summer breeze coming in the windows. Felt great. Not sure how long it will last but we will take it. Have a great week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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  18. Oh my gosh...that tree!!! It is stunning.

    And I just love your little chicken playground. How adorable. All the girls look happy and healthy.

    I spent Friday morning weeding. Not my favourite thing in the world but it had to be done.

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  19. Loving that frog! And those flowers......stunning.

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  20. I just found your blog today from a blog friend we have in common, I enjoyed this post very much, I love a good catch up post, you sound happy and busy and I really like the tulips! I have never ever found any like that! Best wishes from northern Ontario!

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  21. Every single word and photo in this post makes me smile and giddy with the season. Well, OK, not the school stuff. I feel for you -- that's SO comprehensive but I suspect it is a lot more valuable than "good job." But super time consuming.

    But oh, that sweet egg! I know what you mean about not wanting to eat it. True story -- the first tomato I grew I loved so much, I put it on the windowsill and looked at it every day (until the fruit flies started buzzing around it because it was getting a tad squishy). I'm glad all the girls are getting on better and the newbies are coming out of the coop.

    Your tulips and phlox and flowering trees are just gorgeous. The one (and only one) good thing about this cold, rainy spring is that things are lasting longer. Wish I could take you up on some rhubarb! Looks amazing! Have a wonderful week!

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  22. I always get a chuckle when I visit you ...
    And your Chickens make me smile...
    Summer is doing a pretty good job at eluding us so far..
    Hopefully some warmth in the week to come...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  23. You are a very thoughtful chicken owner - having barriers is such a relief to the new ones. I think that pullet eggs are my favorites - they ARE cute! Our crazy weather is beyond reckoning. One day hot and dry, very next day cold and wet. I've given up following the forecast. Your profession is a tough one, these days. I know my sister, a teacher for years, finally had had enough and took early retirement.

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  24. Stay strong: summer break is just a moment away.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  25. Your blooms and your chickens look so welcoming and lovely! Getting fresh eggs is the best ever! I just love frogs.....they always seem to have a smile on their faces! Good luck with the closing of your school year. Have a wonderful week!

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  26. I love that you have a little bench facing the chickens so you can watch their antics - I would be doing exactly the same thing!! :)

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    1. I actually call it the chicken bench! Sometimes after work, I go out and just watch them for a while.

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  27. Wow....our tulips came and went a LONG time ago. I did have some around Mothers Day but they were hot house bloomed. Loving that you have chickens. I don't eat fresh eggs, not in almost 40 yrs when I cracked one and it did not smell good and I was pregnant. Got really sick. They are fun to watch.

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  28. Really enjoyed this catch-up post, Jen, and everyone gets behind with posting because life comes first. Still it is always nice to read a new one about what’s been happening with others. The little egg was a beauty and I wondered are they always brown ? Your flowers and garden seen to be thriving with the recent rain, but then the weeds do as well๐Ÿ˜• You surely do have a lot to complete by the school term end.

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  29. Hi Jenn! Everything looks great! That apple tree is amazing. Please note my blog is back at blogger. :)

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