Monday, February 28, 2011


Into every life, a little rain must fall.  Isn't that how the saying goes?  Well, we've got a little rain here.  Ophelia, the little duck who started out here trying to jump out of the box and run off into the sunset, seems not to be doing well.  She's been hanging back from the others, laying down, and trying not to walk.  When she does, she seems to be hunched over, she tucks her tail down, and she doesn't walk for long before sitting back down. 

I am worried, and of course, I put the blame on myself first.  Possibly I have the wrong combination of nutrients, or not enough Niacin?  But if it were something that I was doing (or not), then more would have the same problem.  However, she seems to be the only one.  I am hoping that it's something simple.  Maybe a small case of spraddled leg or that she's not getting enough of the vitamins in the water.  I am doing all that I can.  I am hoping that it's not a failure to thrive--that would just break my heart, and I know, other's hearts too.

Keep your fingers crossed for her.  On a small farm like ours, all the little lives are very valuable, and I am hoping she'll pull through and get better.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

We're not ALL ducks around here

We grow plants, too. 

Here are the trees we're expecting in the spring (whenever it shows up)

Granny Smith Apple

Damson Plum

Haricot Apricot

Montmorency Pie Cherry

Is your mouth watering yet?  Also expecting...

Allen Black Raspberry

Cavendish Strawberry

Fall Gold Raspberry

Ozark Beauty Strawberry

Honeoye Strawberry
Also expecting to put up a lot of fences.
Heh heh heh...

Other things coming as well, like onions and asparagus, but they're not as pretty.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just Can't Get Enough

And because they ARE that cute.

We had to move them inside last night, as the temperature dropped, and the two heatlamps were only keeping the brooder up to around 75.  They spent the night in a laundry basket in the sewing room.  They will probably spend the next few days and nights there, as the temp has been around 90 with one heatlamp, and that's much better.  They seem very comfortable.  See for yourself...

They enjoy spending their time sleeping, eating, backing up to poop (which is hilarious), and making as much of a mess with their water that they can.  Not only do they drink from it, but they half sit in it to do so, and they "motorboat" around it with their faces.  They spend A LOT of time at the water cooler!

I was trying to show how small they are, but it's difficult--they don't stay still.  They're not even one handful, and they weigh nothing at all.  This is Pheobe.  She was trying to be patient.  It didn't last.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And I Am In Love Again.

How could I not be?

Meet the four Runner ducks, Ophelia, Susie, Jane and Pheobe, and the two Welsh Harlequins, Fawn and Charlie. 

They arrived early this morning, on what has to be the coldest day we've had in a couple of weeks (morning-wise)

They were cold, as their heat pack was on it's last legs, but they perked up once they were inside, under the heatlamps.  Today we need two of them, as the cold is just sucking the heat away.

 They are pretty content though, eating and drinking like it's going out of style. 

Oh, and sleeping, too.  When it occurs to them.

Don't mind the thermometer--I had to remove it from the wall to monitor the temperature more closely.  It's not staying there forever.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Little Peat Pots of Hope

Broccoli, 2 types of cauliflower, cabbage, and 3 types of peppers.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And the Verdict is....

And his name shall be Emmett.  Daddy picked it, and it sounds like Margaret (sorta), and it's about time we let him name one of the animals, so he says anyway.  Yes, it is a clear "Back to the Future" reference, but let's just forget about that, shall we?  I have sworn him off of making references to the movie, as long as I agreed to name Emmett, Emmett.

Fair's fair, after all.

And how do we know, you ask?  Well, though I trust Mr. Holderread totally, I just HAD to see with my own eyes.  So I flipped Emmett over.  And saw it...and so it Jeff.  In fact, I didn't need to flip Emmett all the way over, because Emmett was SO affronted by being picked up in the first place, he was displaying his "displeasure" for all to see.  I got him up in my arms (no protest so far--they know where their bread is buttered-and by whom), and began to turn him over, and well, there it was.  Not a girl.  And not a happy gander, either. 

Now that I've sexed (sexed meaning identified the sex of) a full grown goose, I'm feeling so brave, I just might sex the rest of them, though I know what they are already.  And then I'll sex any other animal we get through here, too, if need be.  I am unstoppable.

                                     Geezus, I love this life.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

From the mouths of babes.....

As seen on You Know Who's third grade science test on simple machines:

Question:  Why do public buildings such as schools, libraries, and hospitals have ramps at their entrances?

Answer:  Because it is for wheelchairs and old people.

She got a 3plus.  I laughed so hard I nearly choked.  I am thinking of framing it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

When I came home

When I came home from Lorelei's class today, I found we had lost a chicken.  I believe she had choked to death on something.  When I found her, she was already cold.  I got a large box and put her in it, and thanked her for all she's done for us.  I stroked her soft feathers and told her I hoped she had a good life, and that she was treated well.  I said goodbye.

I am a little sad about this, I won't lie.  I've lost a good worker and a pretty girl.  I only hope that I did right by her while she was here.

Rest in peace, Hazel.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This Just In....

Well, well.  I have to go back a little for this one.  You know the story about Margaret and Arthur by now.  They seem to be mates.  They go everywhere together.  But, at this time, I have to say that I've been noticing that Margaret seems to be fairly aggressive to others.  She attacks when Arthur and Ferdi attack.  She can get as shrill as they can.  That got me wondering.  Why?  Ginger shies from conflict.  Margaret runs right up to it.

Then last week, before it snowed like the dickens again, I was working in the pond, digging it out.  The geese are very calm with me, so they just do what they do.  It's a great time to watch them and see how they behave.  Well, Margaret and Ferdi got into a bit of a row.  Ferdi was digging in the bottom of the pond with his beak and Margaret was intentionally getting in his way.  Then a bunch of snapping ensued, and I'll be damned, Margaret tried to mount Ferdi.  She grabbed him by his wing and pulled and pulled and swung her leg over and tried to climb on top. 

This befuddled me, to say the least.  Knowing what I know about geese (which is quite a lot, but no means everything), I was really taken aback.  Nothing I know about females would have a female mounting a male for dominance.  Ever.  Females are the ones who take the high road and just walk away.  Ginger is proof of that.  But Margaret gets right into the middle.  So that got me wondering again, is Margaret a Margaret??

I really didn't know what to do.  So I sent an email to the man who would know, David Holderread.  He is the expert beyond experts, and I would trust his knowledge.  I laid out the whole situation for him--she's shrill too, she can be aggressive, she mounted Ferdi--and asked, if he had just a minute, could he please help me out??  I really didn't expect an answer.  The man is busy.  He breeds beautiful geese and is the expert on them bar-none.  But today, I got one.

Well, holy shit.  Margaret is not a Margaret.  He said that there would be no way that a female would ever mount a male, and it's his opinion that they are two males instead.  So what about them being mates?  Obviously not.  But I believe they were raised together, and therefore are used to one another.  That is probably why they get along and they seem to be a "pair".  And before you ask, yes, Arthur is DEFINITELY an Arthur.  I've seen the--ahem--proof myself.

So what to do?  Gotta change the name, obviously.  Anyone got a suggestion?  But what about mates?  Right now it's only Ginger who's a female and she's outnumbered.  I don't know if they will go after her right now, because she's not really sexually mature, but some day she will be.  And then it will be 3 against one.  Not to mention the other two pairs that are coming in March.  Yikes.  So do we become a 10 goose house and get a girl for Arthur and .....?  Or let there be two boys by themselves and see what happens?  I am slightly befuddled.  Too many males is not a good thing when it comes to geese. 

Oh boy.  Opinions here would be welcomed.  Even if you don't know anything about geese whatsoever, I'd still love to hear from you.

Just Before it Melted

Saturday, February 5, 2011


We are losing the battle, folks.  Though, I guess you could argue that we lost the battle before it even began. 

I have never put much stock in Whole Foods or Stonyfield Farms or the like, to be honest, because, though they were seen to be "leading the charge" on non-GMO's, who really knew what was in the food?  The biggest issue that I can see is that this new mutant-alfalfa is an open-pollinated plant, just like the mutant corn.  The pollen will drift, and we'll have mutant plants everywhere before long--mutant food to feed to our non-mutant animals.  Then what?  You are what you eat. 

I have lots more to say on this, but I'm going to break it to you all slowly instead of hopping up on my soapbox for hours and hours.  In the meantime, plant some seeds.  Grow some of your own food--even a little of it.  All it takes is a little piece of land or a couple of pots on the patio.  Don't have time?  Make friends with someone who does, and does it in a way that's kind to the earth.   If you want meat, find someone who will treat the animals fairly and humanely, not  another CAFO.  If a lot of us do just a little, that'll be a lot in the end.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Heh heh heh

On Candlemas, if it be snow and rain,
winter is gone and will not come again.

Eat that, winter!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oh, look. It's February.

Welcome, welcome, February.  Thank you for arriving.  January sure took it's sweet time leaving, and I'm not sorry it's gone.  Just because I was so happy to see you today, I was busy.  What did I do, you ask?  Well, let me see....

I fed some animals.

                                                        I finished another birdhouse.

I drank some coffee:
Disclaimer: not my real coffee cup

I ordered some seeds.
First, some from here:
Then, some from here:

I ordered some strawberries, asparagus, and onions from here:

Then I did some consulting work to pay for all the aforementioned seeds and plants.  Whew.  Thank goodness Jeff has connections!

I read a book:

I gathered some eggs:

I reluctantly snowblowed (snowblew?) the driveway AGAIN:

I had more coffee:
Still not my cup

I fed the animals again:

I decided that our house would look very good thatched, like a cottage:
(But that ain't gonna happen)

Went back inside and sewed a little:
pain in the arse
And learned VERY quickly why people don't make this pattern anymore, and if they do, why they use this:
to do it. 
But see, I spent all my money on seeds, so no printed interfacing for me. So sad.

And that's it.  I will now head back upstairs and feed more animals (cats), drink more coffee (why not), and figure out what to do about dinner (I'm thinking eggs and biscuits).  

What did you do today? 
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