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Those of you with small children: have you read Duck in the Truck? Or Sheep in a Jeep? Both are very fun, very simply worded tales involving animals, vehicles, and muddy muck. (And I can recite both from memory.) No animals involved in this post (although Josh and I were considering some Nigerian Dwarf goats the other day. And a couple western tanagers visited our bird feeder!). And as yet no stuck vehicles. But we are inundated by muck.

It’s been raining here for 3 weeks straight. This is what our creek culvert looks like:

It’s running nearly full. In fact, under normal circumstances the creek takes a little wander right here. Now it’s just a mini-lake. (Kinda like when it froze over.) It’s backed up into the neighbors pasture on the other side as well. Poor donkeys. But it sits lower than our drive and will keep our access open, so the donkeys can move to higher ground.

I had thought I’d try to plant my garden on Saturday when the sun peaked out. I’m rather glad I didn’t.

That reflection in the middle? All water. If you blow it up big, you might be able to see my poor strawberries drowning in the middle of the puddle. You can also see the creek short cutting between the garden and the road as well, creating a nice little island. (And ugh. Our poor tree. It appears to be croaking on us. *sob* Doesn’t look like pine beetle at least. Probably just stress from the construction.)

Enough about our poor water logged plight (and really, in the grand scheme of things, we have it easy. Our hearts go out to those just a few hours away who may lose everything). What did everyone do for Memorial Day? Tell me the sun was shining and you had a lovely barbecue with friends and family. We worked – it’s the bane of making a tourism living. No summer holidays off. I did put up some artwork for the day. (Um, maybe I should say “for the evening”? I hung it up when I came home from work. Shall I hang my head in shame? I kept meaning to do it, I just had a bazillion excuses other things to do. I AM ready for Father’s Day!) Anyway…wanna see?

Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the riveter. I love her. And wish she found more air time. I did a horrible job sizing this one and hence her feet are cut off. Must fix for next year.

Poppies. Found via Google Images. (Hello reflection.) I’m sad I didn’t get a poppy this year.

An old Memorial Day post card with Lady Liberty. It’s long and skinny but I love it.

In other news…the Boy is beyond excited about going to his first movie next month. I found a treat while grocery shopping on Saturday and decided to spoil him (and his sister).

Too funny! It’s a sucker with Mater’s teeth for the “stick”.

The Girl is currently obsessed with all things “MY”. Including her swing. She’d be out there in the rain all day if we let her. She’s definitely found her voice and is adding words (and  signs) all the time.

Here’s hoping the sun is shining, you’ve managed to turn your heat off for the season (current temp = 41), and your gardens are growing gangbusters. Please send some our way.

Hello my lovelies.  I’m sorry for neglecting you.  We’ve been crazy busy, although that’s no excuse.  I have plenty of photos for you and promise to add them over the next week.  But we have something more pressing to discuss today.

Some of you have commented before that we really do live “in the wilds”.  I’ve highlighted a number of lovely members of the animal kingdom who have graced our property.  There are the the domesticated ones next door – donkeys, horses, guinea hens, and geese (along with some dogs and cats).  And there are flocks of birds (ducks, bluebirds, blackbirds, chickadees, herons, robins, etc.), tons of frogs (currently croaking their heads off), snakes, some pocket gophers, and more deer than I want to think about.  I’m not thinking about the snakes either. Ick.

Just the other night we saw a red fox saunter through our backyard.  Unfortunately we weren’t quick enough with the camera to grab his mugshot.  I’m hoping he comes back.  But after this?  We’ll see.

Because we just found proof of a not so friendly in our neighborhood.

On Monday we were busy working on the fence for the garden, which involved bringing the bobcat over to drill some more holes.  As we were loading the bobcat back up, I noticed something funny with the drive:

Can you see it?

It looked like something was drug across the drive.  I figured the Boy was up to something.  But upon closer examination, there was funny fur found along the track.

But we were busy loading up that Bobcat and taking a trip to the Big City to pick up more poles for the garden.  So we just forgot about it.

The next morning Josh went out to load up our garbage can and did a bit more looking around.  Looking to the right of the drive, there’s more fur all the way down the hill.

Looking to the left of the drive we find:

Want a better look?  You know you do.

Except when we looked in the morning, it wasn’t just a major mass of fur.  It was a deer.  Or what was a deer.  One that had been chewed on.

There are only a few things in the Hills that can take down a deer, drag it a few hundred feet, and make a snack of it.  One is a human.  The other is a Mountain Lion.

Josh called Game, Fish, and Parks and they came to check it out.  The major concern here is not us.  It’s that trail we live on.  And the bit of odd behavior by this lion. Our understanding is lions will typically hide their kills for later snacking.  This one left the deer right in the open.  And right on the trail.  The trail is heavily used in the summer.  So GF&P removed the deer and we’ll wait and see if anything else develops.  (Hence no gory photos for you.  I didn’t take any in the morning as we were trying to get off and the Boy was along for the adventure.)

We’re not overly worried.  Although we are keeping a keen eye out.  Oh, and the Boy won’t be playing outside by himself.  And we’re back to contemplating getting a dog.  Lions have large ranges and while our little valley must present quite a buffet of venison for the bloke, it’s not the only one.  And funny enough, I haven’t noticed near as many deer in our yard the last few nights…

So, now that that bit of excitement is out of the way, who wants to see some cutie pies?

Please ignore the baked beans on his cheek.

In honor of baseball season we begin with this:

For the Cottingim clan who are big Cubbie fans and sent this head band with a cute Cubbies outfit back before the Boy was even 1.  (The outfit fit then.  It’s in the Girl’s closet just waiting for her to grow a bit more.)  Get well soon Uncle Bill!

The weather has been trying to turn to Spring.  Temps keep rising up in the mid-60s and the sun comes out….and then it snows. Sigh.  But during those sunny springy days, we’ve been tackling a major yard project.  (Okay, truth be told, the whole yard IS a project.)

We start with a very happy Boy in a Bobcat.  That thing in the front is a Harley Rake.  With it we did this:

That is scraped and ground up all the hard pan that resulted from us doing nothing with the yard for a year.  The idea being we would plant grass seed so we could have a decent yard come late summer.  But then we got an idea…

And we started digging (the Bobcat hellped with this area)…

And then we dug some more… (no Bobcat here, just us, some shovels, and a pick ax).

As a side note, we saw this guy hanging out by the creek.  I didn’t get a photo unti he flew off. (He’s a heron.)

Then we filled in what we’d just dug.

(Another side note – I really like those rounded edges.)

And then we started the truly back breaking work…

We managed to get this much done last night.  We’ll keep working tonight.  Once this area is done, then we still have the whole front walk to finish.  1600 paving stones (800 9″x9″ and 800 9″x6″).

Huge thanks to my mom for keeping the kids entertained and feeding us all week while we try to crank the project out.  Huge thanks to Josh’s parents for helping us dig and move the crushed gravel on Sunday.

And just so she won’t feel left out:

The Girl is getting bigger, she can reach up and grab her fishies now.  I think it’s time to get the activity bouncy-thingy out.

Oh, and the rest of the yard?  Still a muddy mess waiting for grass seed…