Guess what?

whatisthis11

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a guess what post. I’m not sure this one is entirely fair, as the before and after pictures were taken a few weeks apart.

I’m thrilled to have this addition to the farm. Take a guess today, and I’ll be back on Monday with the answer.

In between, I hope that you have a great weekend.

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Birthday birdbath

Everyone who guessed last week got it right. Our new addition at the farm is our birdbath.

As usual, when it came to my birthday last month, my wishlist was pretty short–as in there was only one thing on it. This year, what I wanted most was a top for the birdbath.

Birdbath

The base has been here at the farm all along, but we’ve not seen any sign of the top. It probably broke sometime ago, so we resigned ourselves to having a new top made.

Concrete birdbath

A house down the road has a sign out front for pre-casting and a yard full of concrete animals, fountains and birdbaths. They said yes, they could cast us a basin.

Concrete birdbath basin

I picked out a design that I liked and that I thought would work well with the base. About a week later, they delivered the birdbath (delivery was so helpful, as it weighs about 3 tonnes).

Concrete birdbath

It’s obviously the end of birdbath season here in Canada. So we’ll be tucking this away for a few months, and I’ll be getting my morning bird-watching fix from the birdfeeder.

Nonetheless, I’m thrilled to finally have a complete birdbath. Thank you, Matt!

Do you have a birdbath at your house? Have you ever had anything cast in concrete?

Birthday presents previously:

Guess what?

Something new showed up at the farm a few weeks ago, but I haven’t gotten around to posting about it yet.

Before I do, I’m going back to an old standby: my guess what post.

Any guesses as to what this is?

Guess what?

I’ll be back on Monday with the answer. Until then, have a great weekend.

Guess what

I used to do guess what posts every so often. Always on Fridays. And I always revealed the answer on Monday.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts. In fact, it’s been more than a year. I’m doing one today, but it’s a bit different.

You see, I don’t know what this is.

Rusted spike

We uncovered it in the garden.

Rusted spike

It’s metal (obviously heavily rusted). It has a hole in the rounded end.

Rusted spike

Anyone know what this might have been used for?

Magic beans

My husband is now known as Matt of the beanstalk. Or at least Matt of the magic beans. We have a little ways to go until we have actual stalks.

Our fields have been planted with soybeans this year. After tilling the soil, our farmer spread these little turquoise seeds.

What is this?

After a night of rain, they shifted from round beads to a shape more resembling beans.

Soybeans

Then the beans split.

Sprouting soybeansSoybeans

And now, a week after planting, a few sprouts have begun coming up through the soil.

Sprouting soybeans

Fee-fie-foe-fum. Fields of beans, here we come.

Has anyone out there grown soybeans? Or seen them in your area? Are you planting any new plants in your garden this year?

Let the sun shine

A few people guessed that last week’s Guess What? post had something to do with solar. They are absolutely right. As of Friday night, we had 24 shiny new solar panels installed on the barn roof.

Solar panels on the barn roof

We have 14 more to go before our array is complete. I’ll be posting a full project breakdown once everything is installed and wired, but I’m too excited not to share the news with you now. We’ve been waiting a long time for this day, and I’m so excited that it’s finally here.

The equipment that you saw on Friday is the inverters. The company that’s managing our install calls the inverters “the brains” of the system. Their web site explains, “Inverters… convert the DC (Direct Current) power from your panels to AC (Alternating Current) before feeding it back into the hydro grid.”

What are these?

The panel install started on Thursday. Here’s our empty barn roof on a dim grey morning.

Barn roof before solar panel install

And here’s how it looks currently, mid-way through install on a much nicer day.

Solar panel install on the barn roof

We need that sun to keep on shining. The power generation aspect is obvious, but we have a more immediate need. The panels have to be connected to a hydro pole so that our power can be sent back to the grid. The pole is 300+ feet away from the barn. We need a lot of snow and ice to melt so that the trench can be dug from the barn to the pole and we can be wired up.

Hydro pole for solar panel installation

Say it with me people. Let the sun shine!

Are there any exciting projects happening at your place this spring? Do you have any solar experience to share?

Introducing Baxter

Anyone curious to see what was on the other end of the nose that you saw on Friday?

Everyone, meet Baxter.

Our beautiful new dog, Baxter, laying down in front of the barn

“Hello. I love meeting new people (in case you can’t tell from my wagging butt). That’s the boxer in me. I wag my tail, but I also wag my butt. I can’t help it.

I’m also part lab. Somewhere in my family tree, there’s probably a hound dog too, because I like to sing sometimes.

I’ve lived with a few different people in a few different places, but Julia and Matt say I’m theirs for keeps now, so maybe this is where I’ll stay. (Julia says she’ll share my adoption story another time).

I guess you could say I’ve been through a lot even though I’m only three years old, but I prefer to live in the moment. I’m a glass half full kind of guy. Whatever you want to do, I’m up for it–unless you want to go for a really long walk, ’cause I haven’t done that a lot and I get a little tired sometimes. Matt thought it was really funny when I laid down in the weeds at the side of the road and didn’t want to go anymore. I knew he wasn’t going to let me stay there. I was really just thinking about him. I mean he’s only got two legs!

I like it best when we’re all in the house together, and I can lay on my pillow and keep an eye on them. Sometimes, they lay down with me and rub my back or scratch my cheeks. We practice sit and stay and down and come a lot. I know them all. I just have to remember them sometimes. And honestly, is it really fair to make me stay downstairs while they go upstairs? I can’t know what they’re doing just by listening!

I’m pretty sure Matt and Julia love me, but for some reason Easter and Ralph don’t. Easter and I have been introduced a few times, but she still won’t let me come very close. I had lots of friends at my last house, including a very little kitten. I know how to be gentle, but I just get so excited when I see them, and I really, really want them to like me. I didn’t mean to make Easter climb up the tree (she’s fine, by the way). I’d just been sitting there so long waiting for her to come over, and I got a bit impatient. Ralph, I’ve barely even seen her. When she finally came outside when I was there, I ran over to meet her, and she turned around and swiped her claws at me (she didn’t connect though, thank goodness). She must have met a not very nice dog some time (there are some of them out there, believe me, but I’m not one of them). I keep sniffing around the barn and sticking my nose in the cat door so they know I’m here. I make sure to wag my tail extra when I do, so they know I like them.

Dog peaking through an opening in a barn wall

I’ve already been to lots of new places and met lots of new people. The most interesting place so far was the park. There were lots of people and even a few dogs. I barked at one and sniffed another. There were some that were very excited, yapping and whining, so I just ignored them. Mostly everybody on the baseball team just petted me. I tried to go on the diamond once, because they didn’t have enough players, but Julia said they had enough boys and only needed girls.

Dog at a baseball diamond

Even though I’m not super energetic, I do like to play sometimes. We’ve played tag and wrestled a bit. I like to box–after all, I am part boxer. Sometimes, if I smell something really interesting, I’ll go looking for it (I think that’s my hound dog genes coming out). They keep me on the leash or the long cable pretty much all the time so far, but the one night Julia let me follow a trail out behind the barn. She kept up pretty well until I tried to go into the thicker bush. That was when she said we had to stop. She had to tie her shoes up again (wearing shoes must have something to do with only having two feet), but then we went for a run around the field and up and down the driveway. That was pretty fun. I let her win when we run up the driveway, usually. She says we’re going to go for morning runs instead of morning walks this week. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

So far, they’ve been doing an okay job of taking care of me. They did forget to take me outside to, you know, the one night before we went to bed. I did my best, but at 4am I couldn’t take it anymore. I only barked once, and Julia came and took me outside right away. They haven’t forgotten the bedtime bathroom break since.

They also gave me a bath the other day. I really don’t think it was necessary, but Matt kept saying I stunk. Julia said I wasn’t that bad, but they did it anyways. I think I was pretty stoic through the whole thing. Really it was like being petted a whole lot, although with water and suds. I rolled over in the grass a few times and laid down in the flowerbed afterwards, so I feel okay now.

Giving a dog a bath

Overall, this seems like a pretty okay place to be. Matt and I are spending lots of time together, and we seem to have a lot in common. I mean, I don’t work on the computer like he does, but I’m good at keeping him company. And when he takes a break and watches a movie or plays a video game, I lay on my pillow and watch too. Julia and I go walking every morning and then all three of us hang out at night. That’s probably my favourite time.”

Mine too, Baxter. Welcome home. We’re so happy you’re part of our family.