Will and David working on David’s cabin Saturday.

On Saturday morning, Will and David took off early to start working on David’s cabin. As our weather’s been nasty for so long, it was good to get at it again. David had hoped to get the east gable end framed, but working hard they got both ends done, and framed in the doorway which will (eventually) lead out onto a small balcony. I fed the guys a quick lunch in the middle of the day then Ashley grilled chicken breasts, baked potatoes, and bacon wrapped asparagus for supper. Since Sunday was Mothers Day so we got up early and headed for our family outing at Byrnes Greenhouse where we filled our vehicles with plants (of course!).

Our family after lunch and our outing at the Byrnes Greenhouse.

When we got home in the afternoon after having a wonderful lunch at Wilbert’s Cafe, a historical family cafe in Cotton, Minnesota, there was a visitor waiting for us. It seems a tame blue jay decided to pick our home for his. Maybe he was raised by some person — this bird lets you get up close and even lets you pet him! At first we thought maybe he had been injured or was sick, but he flies and eats hungrily. It’s fun having a new member to the family!

Yesterday Bluey showed up for the first time.

We also had another calf born. This time it was a pretty red bull calf. It’s so much nicer having calves born when it’s sixty and sunny rather than below zero temperatures. It seems strange not to have calves in the living room, although it is less messy. — Jackie


  1. Jackie I would like to know if there is a secret on how to keep rhubarb from developing seed heads. It is still spring (well sort of) and already the seed heads are growing. Also, my baby chicks are gobbling down the chick feed . Is there something I can supplement for them so they don’t need quite so much boughten feed? /thanks

    • No secret; the plants so want to go to seed! You just have to keep cutting the flower buds off as they appear. Frequently! We keep our chicks on “chick feed” until they are nearly feathered out, then switch them to 18% poultry feed which is a mixed grain and much cheaper than processed chick crumbles. (In the old days, the chicks just ate scratch feed like the parents but then they didn’t grow as fast either.

  2. We only have gray jays here in the copper valley. Valdez has steller jays. We usually have several pairs of gray jays hanging around our feeder but we had an influx of red polls in late winter (like 200 at a time) so they have kind of moved off. A perigin falcoln is hanging around my son’s cabin about 200 yards away and has killed a couple gray jays this spring. At least its not hanging around my chicken pen like last summer.

    • We, too, have gray jays, which I love as they are so silent when they come swooping up for goodies. Our birds are in migration like yours, coming in waves. Last few days it was pine siskins like crazy. And now the rose breasted grosbeaks have arrived with the hummingbirds. It’s fun! We had a sharp-shinned hawk fly after our bird feeder birds last week but he landed in a lilac bush nearby. Empty-handed. We had one fly into our orchard and grab a hen last year but Hondo chased him off and the hen ran away, unhurt. Fortunately!

  3. We have A pair of pesky blue jays around here that will dive bomb my husband when he’s out working! He doesn’t appreciate it too much but I think it’s pretty funny! And they perform a valuable service to the quail in that they knock out loads of seed from the bird feeder, that is hanging about 5 feet off the ground, in search of that perfect seed! Love the family pics. Looks like a fun crew there :) Supposed to get snow this week here in Northern Nevada! Boooooo!

    • We like the blue jays but for in the fall when they congregate and eat our corn before we can get it harvested! They even come onto our porch if I hang it to finish drying there. So they are “seasonal pets” which become “seasonal pests” at times.

  4. Jays are survivors, but the two I have around her are as messy as all get out. They land on the feeder and start searching for the perfect seed. Meanwhile, half the feeder’s seeds are now sitting on the ground. Sigh.

    • Yep, they do that. Fortunately we have a lot of ground feeders like mourning doves, sparrows, juncos, etc. who benefit from their untidy manners.

  5. LOVE the pictures, sounds like a great weekend!I cannot believe the blue jay let you touch him, that is so awesome! Have a wonderful week, so nice to be able to be outside more.

  6. Glad for David and Ashley as the cabin can be worked on again. The outing at the greenhouse looks like it was enjoyed by all. I keep finding beans coming up in my yard. I found out why yesterday as a brown thaaher tried to fly off with it. It appears the the robins are at it also. Ahh, the life of a gardener.

    • Wow, that’s different! I found squash plants growing out of my orchid cactus pot, 8′ above the floor in our living room. A mouse must have planted them!

  7. David’s cabin is looking good love you mom happy mother’s day. Tell my dad to get a haircut looking rather shaggy.

    • Yep, it’s coming right along now that the weather’s getting better. YOU tell him! I just threaten to braid it into corn rows…..

  8. We found a baby blue Jay in our yard that had been pushed out of a nest or dropped by something. It couldn’t fly yet, but was hungry. We made a nest in a wire “kennel-aire” we had for the dog and fed it water soaked dog food nuggets. (Black Lab sized.) When he was big enough to fly we let him go. This was about 1969. His name? Jay of course!

    • That must happen fairly often as I’m pretty sure “Bluey” was hand raised as he is awfully tame for a wild jay.

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