Sunday, June 30, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Is there anything cuter....

than a baby and a kitten playing with an ice cube on the floor?

If there is, send me a picture.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bonnie and Clyde

I was at the veterinarian office one summer day in 2008, paying a bill and minding my own business when our vet, Mark, walked by with a cup of coffee in his hand. He did a double take, then said, "Do you want a couple of bottle kittens?"

 I said, "Bruce would kill me if I bring more cats home."

 "Oh, well I don't want to get you in trouble, BUT, there is a cat at our farm that had a litter of kittens and she's young and isn't taking care of them. She had 5 and there are only 2 left." At that, my heart sank, how could I NOT go get them! Mark said, "If you want them, they are in a box under the window."

On the way through town I stopped at Bomgaars, picking up a carton of kitten formula and a kitten bottle, then on to Mark's house to get the kittens. One was a tiny female, black with mittens and a white, tuxedo patch on her check, the other a little black male with a small white patch on his chest and a badly infected eye. I named them Bonnie and Clyde because they stole my heart as I cuddled the little cold babies in my lap on the way home.

They took to the bottle with gusto.

Sadie loved the babies and always wanted to smell their butt, how rude!

Bonnie was the dominant kitten, healthy and full of it....
Clyde was frail and I had to watch that Bonnie didn't pound on him.

Sleepy babies...
Niece Kaiza babysitting...

"Hey Clyde, we could eat on this big guy for a month!"

"I say, I say there, what was that?!"
"Uh, nothing."

Clyde suffered his first setback a broken leg, I think Bonnie did while practicing her wrestling moves. He had a tiny purple splint from his hip to his toes. "Just kill me now!!"


Makes it a little tough to eat.
Bruce and Bonnie napping, don't let that sweet innocent kitten fool you.
Clyde content to cuddle with his stuffed animal...
Bonnie wrestling with the camera bag.

Bonnie playing in a basket....

Bonnie lining up her pool shot.
Do you see a pattern here? To be Continued....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"No closed door is keeping ME out of the barn, I have an opposable nose."

"See this closed door? Do you really think this will keep me out?"

"I simply use my opposable nose, catch the side...."


"Once the head is in, it's a piece of cake..."

"Where the head goes, the body follows...."

"I simply use my, Ahem, heft so to speak, to finish opening the door and I'm in. No freaking door is keeping me out."

Monday, June 24, 2013

It's Vewy, Vewy Qwiet Around Here

Stephen's father, Bob, spent a few weeks every summer on the farm for years and everyone knew how much he loved it here. The family decided to spread some of his ashes at the pond where he and Leo spent hours. After saying a few words, Stephen opened the bag and started scattering the ashes.

The old outhouse makes an unusual backdrop but I'm sure Bob visited it a time or two.

Stephen encouraged Ian and Annie to join in....


and, of course, where they are, Mollie goes. "What ya doin', guys?"

Bruce took some of Bob's ashes out to the bean field, he said they spent many hours walking beans and solving world problems. Looking at the sky, he said, "I know you are watching, Bob."


Sprinkling some in the pond.....

Then it was getting time to go, one last family photo in front of the new, improved outhouse with the 'French' sign Leo made.

Take 2...

Back at the house the packing and loading was completed, Stephen and Kathy decided they had time to go to church with us before heading up the road to Sioux Falls. But first, one last goodbye to all the animals and stopping at the farm to bid Morris a fond farewell.

"Munch, snaarf, gobble, uhh, goodbye guys, come back soon with cat treats for me, I'm so underfed."

Someone sniffed and snuffled through church, okay, I admit it, it was me, but I was already missing them. Tears flowed freely at the last hugs as we pointed Stephen toward Sx Falls with the words, "Keep going North and WEST!" (He was a bit directionally challenged driving home from the reunion Sat night, he kept wanting to turn east.)
Bruce wanted to cheer me up so he took me out to eat in Cherokee, when we arrived home we found this surprise on the couch!
Flowers and a lovely card that each person expressed their appreciation for the farm experience and inside each bag, a Disneyland sweatshirt for each! (They live just 10 minutes away.) The tears flowed again, we love them!! Thank you so much!! Hope you had a good trip home.

After a week of non-stop, whirlwind activity, silence ensues and none of us quite know what to do. Our special needs cat, Clyde, followed the family around upstairs as they packed, getting in their way, ditto downstairs, managing to get stepped on twice. He was so distraught at their leaving, he hacked up a hairball in the laundry room and spent the rest of the day in the cat tree in their now empty room.

Mollie is very subdued, but then maybe she just needs the rest.

I wandered through the house, doing laundry and putting the bedrooms back to order, not near as much fun as getting ready for them.

Ghost is smiling.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stacked chickens, they take up less space this way.

This is what happens when two hens have their eye on the same nest at the same time. "You get off!" "No! You move!" "I was here first!" "Too bad, I have to lay REALLY BAD!!"

Saying Goodbye to the California Cousins

We crammed a lot in the last couple of days and I'm exhausted. Friday, Bruce and Stephen went golfing with 3 other Nielsen cousins who are here for the big reunion at Lake Okoboji on Sat. Kathy took her GPS and went to Cherokee in search of thrift stores and the kids and I took a 3 mile ride on the horses.

Annie has taken to Spider like a duck to water, she reminds me of niece, Anne's, little Sophia, 'No Fear.' When they came last fall to ride horses, Sophia was the first one on and the last one off.
Sophia and Aunt Christine on Lacey. (Pictures courtesy of niece Anne.)
When we leave the barn the horses walk s-o-o-o-o s-l-o-w-w-w-w, trying to turn in every driveway, certain it will lead back to the barn. I'm in the lead, always turning around to check the riders are still on course. Going home is a different story! Suddenly Lacey and Spider are filled with energy and hot footing it for home, Lacey usually at a jog. Ian is such a soft heart, he is afraid he is going to hurt Lacey so I told him to just turn her in a circle to slow her down.

Then Lacey is disgusted that she isn't in the lead anymore. Both of them have really polished their riding skills in a few short days and it's been so much fun having someone to ride with.

Friday night 'the whole darned family' (well, not quite right but we always love that part of the Boll Weevil song) were home for the big reunion the next day. Bruce's sister, Janet and hubby, Foof, from Paullina, along with all three children and most of their families. Christine and Brian from Paullina, with Jesse, Levi and Nichole. Son Brian from Paullina without Ty and Jacob as they were busy, and Anne and Pete from Rochester with Alex, Sophia and Ben. We were missing 2 other sisters and families from WI.
Whenever the family is home and the weather is conducive, we try to have a cookout at Leo's Pond, the French kids legacy from their father. Bruce and Stephen weren't going to be home till later so that left Kathy, Ian, Annie and I to do the work. We went over early to get it ready, after carrying chairs out of the cabin, I had to laugh when I saw Kathy had them both scrubbing the dirt, it's usually every man for himself over there!
Christine, Sophia and Alex trying to catch a fish.

S'mores face, only a father could love.

Nichole playing a trick on Aunt Anne and Grandma Janet while Kathy is oblivious.
Levi warming up for the 'big rock throw across Leo's Pond...

Ian swimming 'Loch Leo', he's missing his ocean swimming in California.

He must touch dry ground before heading back.


Everyone had a great time at the pond, Bruce and Stephen arrived late but were still able to get a sandwich. We needed to get home and cleaned up because we had another big day Saturday, at the Presbyterian Camp on West Lake Okoboji on Sat for the Nielsen Family Reunion. There was a ton of food, just what you would expect from a Nielsen clan and Brian and Christine took their boat so anyone could go tubing and the kids all had a blast. Most of the adults sat around, digesting the food and catching up with other family members we don't see that often. One memorable moment was when one of the toilets overflowed and Bruce and Foof jumped in to save the day.
We were a nearly comatose group on the ride home, luckily Stephen kept his eyes open since he was driving. Every one snacked for supper and went to bed early, we had a storm in the night, I was up closing windows and Bruce found some damage at the farm this morning.
I hear the whole crew upstairs packing, it will be quiet around here now. There is one member of the household who will be glad things are back to normal, Ghost, our feral house cat.
She's been wondering who these people are and when are they leaving!!!
Edited to add sister Carol, hubby Tom and The Buster, their cute little Pomeranian fuzzball dog that I inadvertently left out, so sorry!! Tom showing off his Frisbee skill.