Psalm 27:4 "One thing have I desired; that will I seek after. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life."

Posts tagged ‘chickens’

Time Sure Flies

Gosh, where is the year going?  I can hardly turn around anymore without wondering where I am.  Oh, that’s pretty usual for me isn’t it?  Well, I guess if I ever figure out how I got to where I am, I might know where I meant to go.  Make sense?  Me neither.

I know I got pretty hyped up about the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle a year ago and honestly I was pretty disappointed once I got it.  I didn’t feel like it helped me or hit where I was at.  Well, I told myself I wasn’t going to waste anymore money on those ebook bundles.  Until Monday.  I got this little 4-step mini-course on restarting your creative juices.  I really enjoyed the challenge of looking at creativity as part of my life instead of something I do if/when I get the chance.  So, I bought the bundle (it’s no longer available, sorry).  I was surprised.  Between the ebooks, ecourses and bonuses, I am going to be so busy, sewing, knitting, crafting, writing, learning to digitize photos, scrapbooking my smart phone photos – and the one I’m most excited about – learning to art journal, that I’m going to be super creative for two years at least!!!  It just made the juices flow.

I told Kristen I’d have her new show vest done for Regionals (a week from Saturday), but things have gotten in the way (of course).  So, between shopping for SOMETHING for Kurt’s birthday next week and making Easter dinner on Saturday so that it can warm in the oven while we’re at church on Sunday, I’ve GOT to find time to get her vest fitted and sewn.  I promise pictures – I PROMISE!

I do have a great collection of pictures on my phone and just uploaded them to dropbox, so it should be easier to get them here and to photobucket.  Anyone have experience with Snap Monkey? (I think that’s what it’s called).  I’m not as happy withe photobucket as I thought I’d be.

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Remember our art making cat, Catnip?  He chased chickens yesterday.  For a whole minute he thought he was a wild safari animal.  Then he realized what he was doing and panicked.  Silly cat.  I guess he doesn’t really want to live free and in the wild.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm

 

 

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Quick Catch Up

I know my blog family has missed me – I’ve missed me too.

I’ve been struggling with the depression a bit over the last couple of weeks.  I ended up with a chest cold after Black Friday – totally explained the massive headache I had that day that I blamed on only one mug of coffee before we left instead of the whole pot!  My SIL and niece were really great about my pooping out – I literally fell asleep on the floor at Loft while they shopped!  Karra kept saying, “Mom, Mom!” so that I would wake up and not fall over and drool or something else equally as embarrassing.  I’m having a deja vue moment – have I told you this already?

Anyway, I saw my doc this morning and she’s upping my dosage  a bit to see if we can bring me back to a more normal level (for me anyway) and get me focusing again.

So . . . .   I have the Christmas cards almost done and I took pictures to post for you (we’ve exeded our Exede, but I’ll try to get them online anyway) and was putting the inserts in last night and then folding the Christmas letter and I ran out of 2-sided tape.  Ugh.  So I sealed up the ones I had gotten done and then realized that I needed to put Kurt’s and Kristen’s birthday pictures in – so I pulled out all of the ones that need pictures so that I can open them up and insert pictures.  I had to find some stickers to help them reseal afterward :p  I’m reduced to using a glue stick to put the rest of the inserts into the Christmas cards.  I’m really happy with how they turned out and in the future I hope I will remember to only print enough Christmas letters to go in the cards that I put the letter into and not for the whole stack of cards I send out!  It cost $40 to get the letter printed – because she cheerfully used a glossy paper stock without asking if that’s what I wanted!!  I should have bought the ink and done them at home – that would have only cost me $45!  Of course, the paper wouldn’t be as nice and I’d have to clean the print head every 10 papers, but I would have only printed the 25 that I need – see, I told you I was having trouble.

I did talk to my Mom late last week and she sounded much better than she did a few days after her partial knee replacement.  She had gotten so discouraged about the therapy machine – 6 HOURS A DAY! and finally told the therapist she wasn’t doing it anymore.  Once the staples were out and weren’t pulling on her skin she could sleep better and she doesn’t have a cane or a walker, so she’s moving around their small house much better.  My Dad sounded really relieved that she was more cheerful (after all he’s the grumpy old fisherman!).

Which brings me around to today.  I was leaving Meijer with a few groceries after my chiropractor and doctor visits when the old phone rings.  “Mom, did you let the chickens out today?”  Um, no.  “Well, Lexi has the rooster and it looks dead.”  Which rooster?   “Not the silky one.”  Ok, breathing can return to normal.  I arrive home and Kristen tells me that Big Foot is okay, but when she found him he was lying on his back with his feet in the air and one leg was shaking.  I was sure I was coming home to a rooster with at least a broken leg.  So, we start investigating to find out how the dogs got the rooster, and it turned out that someone hadn’t pulled the chicken coop door all the way closed this morning after he filled the feed tubes.  The cows had decided to go in and visit the chicken coop – isn’t that a sight, cows INSIDE the chicken coop!  And when the dogs wanted to go outside to run around and bark at the world, they went under the gate and into the pasture to look for tasty morsels of poop and found an open chicken coop with live chickens!  On the positive side we only lost one Barred Rock – it was gross and she was eaten.  The real trauma came when we couldn’t find our silkie, Brik.  He had simply vanished.  We couldn’t even find a feather!  We looked and looked and called and called and no little silkie rooster.  I was about to give up when he sauntered into the barn as calm as could be.  We have no idea where he was hiding out, but it was a good and safe spot.  Big Foot is a traumatized mess – I should get a picture – with a bare spot on his back and only one long tail feather left.  I don’t know how Lexi didn’t kill him, but he must have put up a pretty good fight.  Maybe he won’t flog us anymore.  The hens may not lay for a few days, but most of the harem is still here.  From the original 15 chicks, 2 were roosters, Lady Grace (the surprise bantam hem) died when the weather turned cold, and we’ve lost one hen to dog terror.  11 hens and 2 roosters.  I should look for a couple of Easter eggers to fill in the gaps.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Blessings – Unbelievable

I really don’t try to stay away for so long, it just kind of happens.  It’s this strange thing going on called LIFE.

After we found about the team, I did some searching for the money to pay for it and told Kristen the cold, hard truth might be that we have to wait until next year to join the team.  It was hard to say and hard for her to hear.  I did some praying and reminded God that this girl is a tither.  He woke me up in the middle of the night and showed me some money I didn’t know we had!  It covered her IEA registration, her team fees, chaps and hat.  She offered to pay for the show shirt she’ll need, she contacted her trainer and asked to work off the extra lesson, and I knew I would still have the added fee of her team jacket.  But God went to work.

The girls helped set up at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and God took care of the team jacket.  Her trainer and his wife GAVE her a show hat that their family no longer needed – cleaned it and had it reshaped for Kristen.  We got to go to the Congress this past Wednesday with our beloved friends J & D and we found Kristen’s chaps and bought a can for her hat (I don’t know why they call it a can, it’s a plastic hat box) – and all was covered by the money that God showed me.

And while we were all talking they asked if I needed any straw because J knows someone with a landscaping business and they needed straw for a client but didn’t know what to do with it afterward and hated to just take it in to be mulched.  O MY GOODNESS!  I need straw for a thick layer in the new chicken coop and we’ll need it for lambing next March.  And it wouldn’t hurt to insulate around the rabbit cages in the barn.  I’ll get twice as many bales as I was planning to buy – and all for free!

God has blessed us amazingly!  It’s just been so special to watch God bring the riding team to pass for Kristen.  We’ll have entrance fees for each show and I looked at her and said, “What hasn’t God provided for this?”  He is truly amazing.

On Thursday I went to see my doctor and she says I probably have a pinched nerve in my back that is making my leg ache.  Off I go to the chiropractor, do da, do da!  On Friday I finally painted the barn doors, oh to do da day – My aching self!!!!  Reach up, bend down, reach up, bend down.  Climb the ladder, tense the legs, paint and climb down.  How many more times do I have to go up this ladder?  I swear the new, bigger door went faster because I wanted off that ladder so badly.  In the end it took 5 hours to do the background boards on both doors.  After dropping my tools while on the ladder (but catching them before they hit the dirt!) my gloves were covered with paint and the brush handles were sticking to me terribly.  I got paint on both sides of my edging tool, so I have some paint on the cross boards and will probably have  quite a few irritated words to say to myself when I paint those cross boards next weekend.

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I got a picture of Sugar coming in to the barn and sniffing the newly painted door – phewee it stinks cause she pulled away from the door right away.  The camera didn’t reset in time to get Libby sniffing the other door.  I honestly haven’t been out to look at them since Friday.  It’s been rainy and I spent yesterday canning applesauce and baking cookies and doggie treats.  I’ll run out once today to check.

The new chickens are kicking into production.  We got 2 dozen eggs last week.  I found 5 in the boxes when we got home from church today.  I’m up to my eyeballs in eggs and will be giving them away at Life Group this Tuesday.  I don’t know how long they’ll be in good production ahead of winter or I’d start taking orders.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Homestead.

Sunny and Cool Sunday Afternoon

With a good football game on to boot!

What a beautiful fall day.   Of course, it’s October cold instead of September warm, but it is a nice crisp day.

I haven’t done any spectacular to report on in the last couple of weeks.  I did pick up a free cabinet that Kristen and I are going to paint and use to store canned goods and canning supplies in the basement.  I cleaned it up this past week, but now it needs to be sanded before I can repaint and then it will be a new surface for Kristen and her paint brush.  I was pretty excited to pick it up for free off of craigslist.

We’re hoping we have a buyer for the sheep this week.  He emailed yesterday but I haven’t heard back.  We really want to see Joy and Stormie go for breeding and not for someone’s feast – I’ve had a couple of calls from people with heavy accents (how do you say that without sounding prejudiced?), but it would break my heart to know they were butchered.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to say that I have a sale pending – thank you, God!

We picked apples on Friday and got 1 1/2 bushels of drops for the price of a 1/2 bushel picked off the tree.  I was doing some math for my homesteader ladies and last year the drops that became applesauce saved me as follows:  applesauce in the little cups runs around $1.88 (last time I bought it) and I’d buy 6 pkgs. a month. $11.28/month x 12 = $125.36.    I saved on applesauce last year – $125.36 –  $24 for the 4 oz. jars I invested in  = $101.36.  This year my Mom has given me another dozen jars, so the savings will be even more significant.  Of course, it’s a lot of work to do all of those batches of applesauce.

The girls came home from the barn on Friday with a 50# feed bag full of sweet corn that the trainer had given us.  Sweet corn is something I just didn’t have the resources for this year and now I’ll still be able to put some in the freezer!

Did I mention that we butchered our old chickens?  I didn’t cry and Sarah will be commemorated with a plaque naming the new chicken coop for her.  We boiled up the carcasses and got 25 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 10 cups of usable meat.  The meat was really tender.  We used 4 cups of the meat in a pot pie and it was very tasty.  I’m going to BBQ some of it too.

I only got 11 pints of pears from our tree.  A lot of the pears were tiny or too full of bugs and bad spots, so the chickens got quite the feast from them.  They’ve also been getting quite the feast from my garden.  The old girls never tried to squeeze through the fence into the garden, but these gals go right through the holes and eat my green tomatoes!!  I chase them around with a stick and have to climb on the compost to finally get them out.  I may have to do something much different with my garden fence.

I went through a nightmare trying to download my much raved about Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle.  We’re on super slow internet so I got up Thursday night to download and the link wouldn’t work.  I emailed and tried again Friday night with no luck.  I emailed customer service again and she sent me a new link since they had reports of problems with satellite connections not working.  Up AGAIN last night (have I ever mentioned that I like to sleep all night?) and the new link worked.  I downloaded everything including two videos on using herbs.  Today I ordered the bonus freebies that interested me and signed up for two ecourses.  I have lots of reading to do and I’m excited about it.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Jumbles

It’s been a long week that went really fast – is that an oxymoron?  Long but fast?

Kurt had swim lessons this week, so we were up and out of the house at 10am Monday – Thursday.  You would think that 10am wouldn’t be a problem – especially if you’re laughing yourself silly because you leave at 6 or 7am every morning.  Let’s just say that I’m 17 years out of practice at leaving the house every morning looking presentable to the world.  And then there is the warm, cozy pool atmosphere that makes me very sleepy.  So, here I am nodding over Winston Churchill at 11am!  Good grief.  Or was it good night?

We survived and this morning found me out the door at 10am to grocery shop.  Why is it when you cut back to regular weekly shopping from the once-a-month monster shop that it still took 4 hours?  I did take Kristen’s pretty blue guitar in to be re-strung and the nice fella said to give her a hard time about not wiping the finger prints and smudges off the guitar EVERY time she uses it.  He was good natured about it really – they like her there since she took lessons from one of their staff.

Joel and I did our Chipotle and Sam’s Club date tonight and stopped at Home Depot (to look at little copper solar post tops for the deck that Joel is refinishing) and ended up buying two plum trees on clearance.  We planted them in a gentle rain tonight and are really happy with the purchase.

I’ve been working on getting the schoolroom switched over for the new year – the kids decided they want to start on August 20th.  Karra wants to finish at the end of May and I’d really like to actually wrap up the other two by June 12.  It’s going to be a very full year and everyone is going to need Mom to be involved.  Good thing I’m on the anti-depressant and feeling so much more in control and in the present.  Tomorrow is the day to get the bookcase inside – the one my Grandpa built.  I mopped (don’t faint) the schoolroom while I have all of the old bookshelves out.  The room is so sparkly right now.  I have two big boxes of books waiting to be unpacked and eager kids ready to see their cubbies full.  Hard as it is, I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!

The animals are all doing well.  We love listening to Brik in the mornings.  A farm just isn’t a farm without a rooster crowing in the morning.  He’s so gentle and calls to the girls and helps them find little treats in the grass.  Sadly, two of Kristen’s three Ameracuana’s are roosters.  One of them we’ve named Eaglet and he’s a reddish and white (really pretty, but not good tempered) and he is already getting rough with my Buff Orpingtons.  The other is a pretty black and white and much calmer.  Kristen wants to try to sell him before we take the two roosters and the geriatric chickens to the butcher in the fall.  I can’t believe I’m going to give Sarah the ax, but I know that there will be other favorite chickens and it will be easier to save them if they’ve been part of the main flock all along.  The old girls just aren’t giving enough eggs to justify continuing to feed them.  I’m okay with it now, but the first morning I go out and there are no old chickens to feed and no Sarah to let out, I’m sure I’ll cry.

And I end my jumbles with the news that Karra’s BFF got married yesterday in Texas.  Good old military planning/necessities canceled the pretty wedding and opportunity to be a maid-of-honor.  The bride will be coming home on Monday and joining her groom in September – in Germany – once he’s out of tech school.  It’s bad enough when your own kids grow up too fast, but do their friends have to do it too?  I’ve known her since she was in her Mommy’s tummy!  Despite the fact that they are young, it is a match made in Heaven.  God has moved in so many ways and brought such growth to these young people in the last year.  I know that they are going to have a truly wonderful life together.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

I’ve Been AWOL Haven’t I?

OK.  Here goes:  My parents came, we took them to the Lego Movie & Grandpa fell asleep (but he liked the parts he was awake for), we went to the Half Price Bookstore, Grandpa put up new clothes lines for me, we went to the mall so Grandpa could go to the Lego Store with Kurt (Kurt talked the whole time) and we had lunch at 5 Guys – oh me oh my!  Then my Dad went home & my Mom stayed & I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off and finally got the garage sale together and advertised and we sat through Thursday and Friday and made $50.  I took Grandma home the next day in my new van and discovered at my parents that I had XM Radio!!!!  And then the kids had Drama Camp and I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off all week taking them hither & yon and doing this and that.  Then they performed Friday night and J & D joined us and we all went to Steak N Shake.  Then I had the garage sale on Saturday and made $30.  And then on Sunday Honey wasn’t right & on Monday we took her to the vet in the old van and she made a fecal sample and I nearly died in the driver’s seat, and then on Tuesday Lexi went to the vet to get fixed and on Wednesday she left a fecal sample on my carpet TWICE!  And then Wednesday I went to here and went to there and got Kurt signed up for swim lessons (and had to run from the pool to Hubby for a signature and back to the pool) and . . . .  the week isn’ t over yet.

My parents visit was really fun and I think my Dad had a good time.  He really liked the tomato fence I put up and made one for himself when he got home.  I don’t know how to include the pinterest picture where I got the idea, but basically you put a piece of cattle panel between two t-posts and tie the tomatoes up.  Someone commented that they were going to use rebar mesh because it’s cheaper and that’s what I did!  Hubby was impressed.

Grandpa really did fall asleep in the Lego Movie – it was funny.  My Dad always falls asleep if he sits down too long – especially in a dark room!

The garage sale was obviously less than a stellar success.  3 days and a whopping $80.  Definitely not worth the work although it looked really nice all set up.  I’ll be posting things on craigslist tomorrow night (if I’m not exhausted from our first college visit)

It was nice to do a road trip with my Mom and to spend a quiet night away from the kids.  I brought home a big hunk of my Mom’s lavender plant and a couple of roses.  I put them into the neglected front flower bed where they are anchoring the lilly I moved.  I know, I know, pictures!  Let’s wait until next year when things are blooming 🙂  I sadly lost the XM Radio on Monday, someone figured out that they’d sold the van.

Drama Camp was fun.  I helped out with cleaning up a couple of days and it was the easiest sheemsiest thing.  The kids had a LOT of fun and Kurt had a talking part!!  My first child to have a speaking part at Drama Camp.  He played Tarzan – complete with a wig that I can’t even describe!!  Like a mullet on steroids.

KidShine Tarzan's beautiful hair!

And of course he had to strike a pose!!

He told silly jokes and made a hysterical laugh (which is what won him the part).  He brought down the house.  Who knew my little guy had perfect comedic timing??

Never play poker in jungle . . . . too many cheetahs . . . .  HAH HAH HAH HAH!  Tarzan crack Tarzan up.

I have a great picture of Kristen with her friends but once again I won’t post pics of other peoples’ children. 😦

We had a great time going out to dinner with J & D, but I was really, really tired by that time.  It was a long week.

And then we started this week with Honey off her feed on Sunday.  She still wasn’t eating on Monday and Kristen took her temp and it was way high.  The vet couldn’t see her until 4pm, so we followed our directions and got her to drink plenty of water with electrolytes.  In the old van, two minutes from the vet’s drive and Honey lets out a nice, wet fecal sample.  I had just told Kristen to move her rear end away from me because I didn’t want what happened to happen!  I started screaming BLEEEEECK!!  GAAAAAAG!  ACKKKKKKKK! I’M GONNA DIE!!!!   BLEEEEEEEECK!  Kristen sits on the back seat and laughs her not so little flip flops right off.  I was ready to die in the driver’s seat – and it got on my purse handle and the seats and the center console.  It was nasty!  After eliminating the obvious causes, we concluded it was probably salmonella – which means someone wasn’t washing their hands after handling the new chicks and then going to tend the animals.  Hmmmm.

Tuesday we took Lexi in to get fixed and she was so sad and didn’t want us to leave her.  That was hard.  We picked her up and she was still so groggy and unsure about walking with the cone on her head.  She face planted on the sidewalk when we left the vet.  At home she started up the sidewalk with Kristen and when the cone got stuck on the ground she just stopped.  We spent the rest of the night laughing about her getting stuck every time she tried to walk.  By morning she was fine.  Until later in the day when I was gone running errands (I wanted to find capris to wear to Karra’s college visit tomorrow because I didn’t want to look all old and frumpy.  She insists I could have worn shorts and a t-shirt, but I want to look nice.  I don’t want to embarrass her).  So, Lexi had diarrhea on the carpet while I was gone.  5 minutes before we need to leave for church Kurt came and asked how to clean up diarrhea – Lexi again in the same spot.  I ran to the vet for meds to make it stop and she has been on food rations today.  Poor little puppy.

And now you’re caught up on where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.  I’m hoping to be posting the barn project pictures very soon.  The new coop is done except for the sliding door between coop and run.  Once Joel gets that done this weekend we can move the babies out of the garage (they stink!).  He’s getting lumber tonight to put the metal around the back of Sugar’s stall and then it’s a big sliding door for Libby’s stall – and her stall of course – and we’ll be done!  Kristen and I are in charge of chicken roosts, feeders and nest boxes.  My nest box ideas keep changing because the space for the boxes has shrunk courtesy of the beautiful picture window in the new coop.  I’ll have to locate all of the pictures I’ve taken and get them organized into a coherent post.  I’m very excited to share that project.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm!

 

 

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