Saturday, June 21, 2008

Idyllic Iowa

Joe, the kids, and I took a drive today in the Jeep and I couldn't resist taking some pictures of these cows. They looked so content to ramble around the hillside. Tate loved the brown calf and keeps asking where it went. Tate was the reason we stopped in the first place, as he was worming his way out of his seatbelt and we had to stop the vehicle to get him to put it back on.

Joe thought Tate was talking about the cream-colored cow, because he was asking "Es bloun cow go, Mama?" and Joe interpreted it as "blonde cow." Tate loves riding in the Jeep, even more so today because Joe took the windows out so we could all see better.

There have been some beautiful sunsets lately and I have been quick enough with my camera to capture some of them. It's nice to have had mainly clear skies for about the past week. Things are finally starting to dry out!

With the warm weather finally here, I have been working on shaving the Shih Tzus fur. Chester looks so handsome with his fresh haircut-he probably feels a lot better, being a black dog. So far I have Chester and Kolby finished, and Bailey almost done. So that just leaves Josie, Daisy, Violet, and Zoie.

I finally figured out where Big Stripe's litter of kittens under the trailer is. I found a hole in the plastic that holds the insulation, so I took my camera and stuck it in the hole and took a picture. Sure enough, I saw a kitten, so I stuck Big Stripe up there to get all the kittens to come out and took some more pictures. As far as I could tell, there are 3. She has started moving them to the barn today; I saw 2 of them down there and actually caught and pet one of them, who tried and tried to bite and scratch me, but eventually he calmed down a bit.

I have also really gotten into dyeing my own yarn with Kool-Aid. I bought a bunch of undyed wool for socks, and also some worsted weight, and I have been doing some experimenting. It is really easy to do and nearly impossible to screw up. The pink with bits of green is to make something for myself, though I don't know what, yet. The blue, orange, and green is to knit some socks for the boys. Now if I could just stop dyeing more yarn and actually knit or crochet with the stuff I have done :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Enough Rain Already!

We've had three floods in the last couple weeks, the one last night being the worst of all of them. The water came up very quickly around 11 last night, luckily Joe went out back to feed the puppies and saw the water at the bottom step already. We've never had water this high in our five years here. The current washed some of the puppies under the deck where they were struggling to keep their heads above water.

These pictures are from the floods on Memorial Day and the Friday after. The floods from last night were gone by morning, so all I got was after pictures. After saving the puppies, we had to move the older dogs to the garage because their pen was also underwater. Then I looked in the hog lot at the front of the barn and saw about a foot of water. I ran to the barn with a flashlight and we moved all the baby goats to the camper. The older goats we left because they were standing on a ledge and were only knee-deep in water. The horses were in the back of the barn and were also knee-deep in water.

The two horses in the back were too scared to come into the barn because they couldn't tell where the big step was, so I had to wade out in hip-deep water in the pasture to get them. I ended up tieing them in the barn so they wouldn't go back out there. One of the goats went out and almost drowned when the current caught him where it was really deep, but he managed to swim out of it without my help. I put all the chickens on the wall in the barn- they were soaked to the skin.

This morning when we woke up, the floodwaters had receded. We were fine and all our animals were safe, but we lost a lot of stuff. All our firewood for next winter is gone, though we found a small portion of it down the road about a half mile, along with one of my big cages, which is in the ditch. About a mile away in the ditch we found one of my raised beds for the garden. Our big farmgate from the backyard is nowhere and our big plastic barrel is really far away in a field. (We think it is- it's too far away to tell for sure.)
Our roads are all but washed away and the gravel from them fills the ditches. Bridges have huge holes in them and a lot of roads in our county, including ours, are closed, ours has been closed since Memorial Day. We have more rain in the forecast this week, which is about the last thing we need right now. No one has had a chance to clean up and make repairs much from one flood when the next comes along. I think eastern Iowa deserves a break!