Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Low Down

The good news is that my finger is mostly healed up and I can now leave it unbandaged for a little while without it hurting like mad.  It's really ugly, though.  I did quite a number.  I bandage it not only for comfort's sake, but also to not scare small children.  Screaming children are really loud, and I'm pretty sure mobs of them will cause someone to call the cops.  Better not to tempt fate. 

The bad news is, if there's any, that I haven't been able to stop and write in quite a while.  While all the world looks like it's falling asleep here, I have just been hopping like a total loon.  The job list is numerous--I finally stopped at 57 items, but I know I'm still missing things.  Luckily, I have gotten some of it done, which is nice, because then I feel like I'm accomplishing things.  Crossing things off the list has become a bit of an obsession. 

Lets see, what's new here......

  • I went with my dad to JFK airport to pick up my youngest brother, who just came back from South Korea.  He'd been gone a year.  That was a nice day, and a nice change of pace, and I am super glad to see him.
  • On Sunday, we did process 19 of the 35 broilers we have---one week later than I would have liked, but oh well.  I had a conflict the previous weekend.  It went pretty well, and smoothly, since my husband and I have gotten down a bit of a flow.  He even graduated to "Chief Dispatcher", a dubious title to be sure, but a lot more help to me then I can say.  He sped up the day a lot.  Now if we could only draft a third person in to do the plucking, I could be "Chief Entrails Officer" and not have to switch.  Oh the glamor!!
  • Yes, we have 16 more birds to go.  That's for Saturday, and then we're done for the year.  Yee haw!
  • I managed to get some of the biggest jobs done last week, between the rain and my finger injury.  I got the goat house, chicken coop, goose houses, and duck house all cleaned out.  Yep, it'll maybe last a week, at most (especially with the ducks--piglets!).  It's done, though, and they are ready for winter in that respect.
  • I also got the hugest job of all done---moving the wood pile.  The pile has been here since before we have, and some of it was good, and some of it was terrible.  I spent four days taking it down, moving the good stuff to a "to be split" pile or right to the new wood pile.  The crappy stuff I spread around the pond to try to shore it up.  That was some hard work!
  • The girls (my goaty girls, that is) are being CAE tested next week, because it's breeding season.  I am a little worried about it, just because there are no guarantees and I couldn't see everything and know everything about their mamas (and I am a control freak), but I am hoping it will come out ok.  The vet has to come to us, because at 80 pounds times two and 60 pounds times one, my husband is unwilling to load them into the car and drive somewhere with them (wuss!).  Anyway, I am unwilling to breed them without knowing their status, so enters the test.  I am hoping for the best possible outcome--negative!
  • The bunnies are bunnying along, but it's become obvious that Ygraine will NEVER mate with Phillip Johnny Bob, no matter how much he tries to convince her.  I believe her to be older than I was told.  I love her to pieces, so I don't care so much, and her wool is lovely, but it's a problem (obviously) for breeding.  So, I am in search mode for another Angora doe. 
  • Which I may find at the Wool and Fiber Festival in Dutchess County in two weeks.  I am SUPER excited about it, and I will take plenty of pictures!  Due to a scheduling conflict, I am going all by my lonesome, but that's ok.  As I explained to my husband, if I come home with TWO Angora does instead of one, or an Alpaca, or a whole garage full of wool batts and yarn, it's all his fault.  If there's no one there to reign me in, I can't be held responsible.  And that's all I have to say about that.
  • I have been sewing a bit lately, since we've had a bit of needed rain.  I made an apron, of which I owe you a picture, and quilted two of my mom's quilts.  It was nice to get back in the sewing room, but I still can't spend the whole day at it without feeling guilty about not working outside, where I know I'm needed.  Even if it's pouring rain out.  Yeah, it makes no sense.  Currently, I'm working on crocheting some washcloths because...
  • I am doing another craft fair.  This time it's a true craft fair, and that's all there is there and that's that.  No food or stuff to see.  I am bringing the soaps I have left, and a few new ones, as well as making up some gift baskets and some other nice things.  I'm calling it "The Softer Side of Chicken Scratch Acres".  I am hoping it will go well.  It's to be held in mid-November.
  • My daughter's teacher just had them read a book on Benjamin Franklin, whose father made candles and soaps.  My daughter, of course, spoke up and said that I know how to do that, so I am now teaching a class of 22 5th graders how to pour candles next week.  That should be easy.  Getting them to choose a scent will be the hard thing.  I believe I am to go back soon after to teach them about soap and have them pour out some melt and pour.  It should be a lot of fun. 
  • Speaking of teaching and influencing, when I did the egg hatching workshop last year, I inadvertantly sparked a whole slew of new chicken owners, one of which is the son of my daughter's 4th grade teacher.  He's just started with a small flock of 6, and I've lent him some of my brooder equipment as well as my expertise.  When there's a whole bunch of new farmers coming up, you can blame me.
I think that might be it.  I hope you all have a great evening.  Due to the lack of sunlight and the wealth of coyotes, I have to go outside and wrangle everyone into their homes.  Take care!

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  1. Holy Cow! Jocelyn... all that and a bum finger.
    I think I'm envious of the angora wool...raising the bunnies, etc. I've thought I'd like to do that. I just don't know If I'm ready to learn another skill just yet. (...a.k.a...L.A.Z.Y.)

    glad to know the finger is on the mend. You are a super busy chick. :)

  2. I've been out of the loop for awhile....glad to know your finger is healing. We have much the same list as you except we are fortunate that in TX it never gets too cold to do chores....maybe I should say UNfortunate. Hhmph!

    We did our CAE testing last month and are currently breeding. It was a tense time waiting for our results (one buck was suspect), but all was well. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and your girls.

    I'd like to see a pic of your apron, but I would REALLY like to see your mom's quilts. I can't wait to get back to my sewing room....thesis defense is scheduled for Nov. 12 and then I am FINISHED forever...and I can get back to my homesteading and sewing and cooking and geez, I can clean the house!

  3. Well it seems typing is the only thing you slowed down on. I wish I was as far ahead as you in cleaning coops and pens. Great idea for the name at the craft fair. And kudos for you for not only learning new things - but then turning around and teaching them others. You rock!

  4. Glad to hear your finger is healing well (even if it looks a bit scary still)! It sounds like it barely slowed you down at all!! You are an equal inspiration to those of us in blogland too - I keep saying to DH "There's this lady in New York, I follow her blog, and she's processing over 30 chickens! If she can do it, I bet we can too... tho maybe we should start with a smaller number. She took a processing workshop, maybe we can find one around here...?" And Angora bunnies!! If I had a spinning wheel, I'd get bunnies too..... *sigh* I am doomed to live vicariously through you for the moment, it seems. Good luck with your coming fairs and workshops, you'll do great!!!


  5. Busy, busy, busy lady! Glad to hear you're on the mend though! Don't forget to rest when you can! Self care is necessary AND it will help you heal quicker :-)

  6. Shoveling coops, butchering chickens and hauling wood sounds like life around here...except that I haven't done any of those things yet. lol Feel proud that you've pretty much got this Autumn buttoned-up!

  7. Pat--The bunnies are a pleasure, which is a really nice surprise. I am looking forward to learning how to do something with all of their beautiful wool!

    Jen--Yes, I am concerned about the CAE tests as well, but all I can do is wait and hope. I will post a pic of the apron soon, but I'll have to ask my mom for the quilts. I don't know what she did with them!

    Michaele--You know me, I don't like to slow down. And chickens are addictive. That's how I wound up with all the animals I have! Gateway livestock, anyone?

    Mandi--As long as you say "there's this crazy lady in NY", that would be right. You'll be there in no time flat. We only started a couple of years ago. You gain momentum and the ideas just start flowing, along with the skills. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all goes with you. I'm checking as often as I can.

    Bee Girl--You're right. I should just SIT. I'll work on that.

    BoPeep--Not quite toward getting it buttoned all the way--my big chore that I'm ignoring is putting the garden to bed. I ought to get to that....


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