Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Visitors

It wouldn't be a fun holiday weekend if noTTafarm didn't have visitors! We were lucky this weekend to entertain my mom and dad (Ray and Jolene) who came to Omaha Saturday evening. They stayed the night then stuck around Sunday to have lunch with my brother Tim and his family (Teresa, Karli, and Clark.) Monday afternoon, Scotty's folks (Carl and Marita) came over for a good visit and dinner - and surprise visitors nephews Pat (and his pup, Emma) and Andrew. It was especially great to meet Andrew's "special friend," Kaitlyn! She's just adorable and seemed to enjoy meeting more of Andrew's family. 
Clockwise from top left: Future-Crazy-Cat-Lady Karli loved getting to see Wilson; Clark had to leave early to play in the orchestra at Millard South's graduation but Tim did a good job of entertaining everyone after lunch; Kaitlyn is such a good sport - she let me take her photo and enjoyed listening to all of the embarrassing Andrew facts I could dredge up; Tim is never amused by me.
Time to Start Planning a Fun 4th of July Party!

You Load 16 Tons, And What Do You Get?

Well - maybe another day older but not really in debt. It only cost a little to have 16 tons of white rock delivered Friday. It was needed to redo part of the circle drive east of the house that had been nearly wiped out during construction.
 The truck arrived right on time at 10:30 Friday morning, backing down the driveway as usual.
 The truck driver reviewed the low-hanging cottonwood branch before proceeding to the first dump site.
Dumping the first little bit in just the right spot.
He moved the truck to the southwest side to drive-and-dump along the top of the circle drive.  
It's so much easier to let the big truck do all the work! 
We couldn't use this technique on the lower side because the dump bed couldn't be raised while moving under the cottonwood branch.
So - one big pile was created on the east end.
Scott pushed the rocks around with the help of the Ranger's snow plow. 
We also used manual labor to arrange the rocks "just so." Yes - I helped, too. I just couldn't take a photo and shovel at the same time! 
Scott had some success employing the "sled" he made a few years ago. Rather than pull it behind the trailer, he rigged up a new yoke to hook it to the Ranger.  There's a good story that involves a minor injury but thankfully no photographic evidence of my major faceplant exists. I have some good bruises, though!
Ta Da!
A few hours later, the improved circle drive looked quite spiffy.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

One More Round of Grass Planting

To kick-start the Memorial Day weekend, Scott and I took Friday off. We took advantage of the absolutely gorgeous weather, getting busy with our list of outdoor chores early in the morning. First things first: finish planting grass seed! There were several areas that needed attention; some areas were bare because they used to have trees covering them - others were bare because telephone poles laid there for years. By 10AM, all areas had been properly roughed-up, seeded, and watered. Good job, us!

Scott called the little tiller into action. 
It did a much faster job than me and my hoe!
Then a nice raking or two with the harrow.
Finally, a good healthy sprinkling of grass seed.
The seed we planted last week in the old burn pile area is already up and sprouting. It looks like the west yard is in full recovery mode!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ash Saturday

During our last Lumberjack Day, we were able to burn a giant pile of brush in the west yard. It went up quickly and smoldered for a week until finally becoming a dormant field of gray glop. This large area is the site Pat and Kathleen selected as the altar location for their September wedding . . . so it was time to scoop up the ash, smooth out the dirt, and get some grass seed planted. Luckily, Saturday was a "top 10" weather day so it was easy to stay outside and get it done.

The first load of ash was from the fire pit. 
We scooped up what we could and loaded it in the bed of the Ranger.
The big area was much more of a challenge. Scott scraped the surface with a hoe, creating little hills of ash for me to scoop up. 
I lost track but I think we took 7 loads of ash to the east dump site. 
I didn't realize how much work it was until Sunday morning when I woke up with my shoulders and back throbbing.  Boo Hoo!  Old ladies really shouldn't be forced into servitude like this!
The final pile of ashes.
This area on the northeast edge of our property is a huge dump site full of felled trees, old tires, broken windows and who knows what all. We plan to hire someone with a front-end loader some day to haul it all away. Any volunteers? 
With the ash removed, Scott was free to harrow.
He smoothed the area to prepare it for seed. 
The Sower
Now we just need nature to take over:  
sunshine + rain = green grass.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

You Should Be Jealous . . .

. . . we see the best sunsets at noTTafarm! But don't get mad; come on out and see it in person!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Severe Weather Passes By

Sunday may have been Mother's day but the real excitement for Omaha was waiting for the forecasted severe weather to arrive. As predicted, the rain started and the winds picked up late in the afternoon. Scott kept track of the local television weatherman with one eye and the animated radar on his iPad with the other. Finally, when the sirens sounded at around 6:30, we headed to the basement with Leo and Wilson. Scott gave the "all clear" a short 15 minutes later. The most severe weather stayed west, then headed north of noTTafarm. The folks out in Elkhorn took the brunt of the storm; we didn't lose any big branches but gained over two inches of lovely rain (which came down in buckets.)

Stay Tuned and Stay Safe!

Sunday Lunch Visitors

It's always a treat to have people over for lunch. It's a super, duper treat when the people are family! Scott and I welcomed my sister, Karolyn, her husband, Alan, and their baby boy, Joe who were on their way to South Dakota for a quick visit. Our time together was too short but it sure was nice to see my favorite sister on Mother's Day!
Nephew Joe is a freshman at UNL. His daddy can't quite believe how tall he's grown! (Note Alan's tippy toes.)
Of course when there are two or more boys together, there has to be shenanigans.
Why so serious?
This family is normally quite animated. I'm not sure why my camera had this effect on them.
That's better. Pooh is all smiles posing with her best little sister.

Come Back Soon, Pooh and Alan!
(And you, too, Joey)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekend Clean-up

You know we're serious about working outdoors when both the Ranger and the trailer spring in to action! Since the weather was so nice this weekend (especially Saturday! What a gorgeous day!) we couldn't pass up the chance to work outside.
Scott's first task was to remove these three tree trunks in the west yard. These trees were at the back side of the big brush pile/fire we took care of at Lumberjack Days last September.
The chain on the saw was pretty dull when Scott started slicing . . . and it got even duller as he tried to cut through these Chinese Elm stumps. The Farm Boss really smoked as the chain oil burned.
While Scott took care of the trunks, I started loading the trailer with some of the rotting firewood stacked in a pile in the west yard. We got two loads carted over to the fire pit and burned before I saw a small snake in the pile and decided I'd had enough fun for one day.
Sunday, Scott's attention and chainsaw turned their attention to the east side of the house. The drought and cold winter took their toll on the bushes so it was time for removal.
Luckily, the chain saw was fitted with a new, sharp chain. The removal was quick and painless.
The remaining small yew tree in the cottonwood's flower bed was also lost. Scott made quick work of removing it, too.
 Go, Farm Boss, Go!
With all of the bushes removed, this area is quite large! I have some clean-up to do before I can begin thinking about what to plant. Bring on the planning!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!