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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter has FINALLY arrived!

Not everyone likes the cold & snow but for me it brings out the child in me.  I can sit & watch it for hours & the first snow of the season always makes me smile.

The big coop I built in April has proved itself & the chickens are staying warm & happy inside even when it hit 1 degree.  but then again I do have a red heat lamp on one side above their water-er & a ceramic heat lamp on the other side where they roost at night.  I put up  old burlap coffee bags between the 2 sides a week ago so they could have a dark area to roost & light if they need a midnight snack.

I was sad to have 2 of my hens die in the last 2 weeks, one unknown causes, she was fine when she went in for the night but I found her dead the next morning in a laying box.  The other girl I brought in one morning cause she was hiding...a sure sign something is wrong.  Poor little girl started throwing up the most awful smelling stuff & couldn't keep anything down which in my experience shows gizzard bound.  she didn't make it through the night but at least she was not alone to die.

I finally figured out why my hens who get along with Jasper the duck where pecking him.  He is sexually frustrated & is trying to mount the hens, but since he is so small he can't get on their backs so he grabs them by the neck to pull them down.  which of course they are not happy about so they peck at him to get him to let go.

Now I am not really into the whole Duck thing, but I got him from Kelley when a cat killed one of her silkies that Jasper was raised with.  But I think I am going to have to get him a little girl duck so he can be happy & leave the hens alone. Right now I keep him in a dog kennel in the laundry room or in the bathroom but he is not very happy being by himself.  I had tried to place him back with the hens after the first time he got pecked near his eye, not knowing why they were doing this to him.  Well he wasn't with them 24 hours before his eye area was swollen again so I removed him again.  It wasn't until later that day I saw him try to mount one of the hens that I finally knew why he was getting picked on.......poor little boy!

Thank goodness he is not one of those huge ducks that are super loud & aggressive.....I have forgotten his breed but he is very small like a silkie hen. So I think I can handle one more so he is not so lonely.

Rosey, the dog from Georgia we have got to experience her first ever snow, she loves it....... not the cold, but try to keep a sweater on her is not possible.  She has even gotten out of the ones that fit tight to her body!

The holidays here are quiet, we really don't celebrate.  My son is in Oklahoma so it seems silly to do a big holiday when my husband &I don't care.  He spent the day playing on the computer & I sewed.  I have been sewing for 42 years but I will say, I was about to burn the dress I was making!  Its a dress pattern from the 1920's that had the worse direction & diagrams.  What should have taking me maybe a few hours ended up 2 days!

 I love old clothes so I try to make the things I like from the 1920's,1930's & 1950's whenever I can find a pattern from that time.  I have been lucky to get some great patterns from the web for about the same price as new ones, but some of the patterns I get are Costume patterns.  This was a costume pattern & very tough.
Since I now know how to make it the next one I do, it won't make me want to pull my hair out... but I think I will first sew the 1940's coat before I try another dress with that pattern.

I use my guest bedroom as a sewing room & I take Willow, my crippled hen up with me & put her in the middle of the bed on a feather mattress so she can be with me.  She listens to my Murder She Wrote DVD's & sleeps while I sew. The nice thing about having her with me is she doesn't tear up the pattern pieces or bat around the thread like Macy, the kitten does or sit on my ironing pad that's on the floor like Rosey does.  I had to kick them out & close the door which they hate cause there is now another room they are not allowed it!

Have a great & safe Holiday everyone!

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