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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.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Winter blessings are soon to come

                                                                     Baby Monk 2011


My little sister took this picture of Monk while she was here in July for my minor surgery.  It was so cute I had to post it for all of you to see.  As many of you know, his 4 siblings didn't make it, but everyday I am so happy that Monk pulled through & is here with me.  He just had his last series of shots until next year & even gained almost 2 lbs within 3 weeks.  This boy has 2 different kitty foods to choose from, the no grain feed of Big Momma's or the urinary tract feed of Einsteins.  so he gets the best of 2 worlds in this household.

I finally was able to once the blizzards snow melted, to get the 2 coop kids together during the day so instead of just 6 kids in the backyard, I now have 17 that are free to roam around & enjoy the yard.  I hated having the big coop kids in a run once I got the fence in, but just had no good days where I could set up a fence so they could see each other but not get to each other to fight.

After 3 days of this, the smallest of the babies was able to get through a section & was left alone to wonder & eat grass, so the next day I opened up that area of the fencing after CeeCee figured out how to get out also.  Only Gertie faced off with CeeCee, but I was there to stop it & now after a week they are doing wonderful.  They still go back to their own coops at night, but I enjoy that they all have more freedom during the day.  Plus Monk & his Momma Macy seem to enjoy running around & playing among the kids.  Just so you know the baby kids are now 4 months old & tower over Monk so he doesn't try to go after them.

Now I will work at getting the 4 basement kids out there & hopefully into the smaller coop before the next snow.  I would love for them to be together, even though to be honest I don't think they care as long as they get their share of the feed & treats.

I have gotten much better working the old wood cook stove but have yet to cook anything on it except for water. But soon I will be using it as Thomas is getting to come home in Dec instead of Feb. Can you say Happy Dance!  In the 18 yrs we have been married we have spent 5 yrs of that separated.  I don't mind so much since I do well being by myself, but I don't eat well when he is away.  Its not that I eat a lot of junk, I just don't eat & drink too much coffee. with him home I cook so that I know he is getting good healthy foods which means I get good healthy foods also.

Now that my little Sis & I learned how to use my bread machine, I can't wait to make him whole grained & egg breads.  We are not big bread eaters, but I can make enough different breads & rolls with this machine that we will have good breads to go with the homemade soups, stews & chili's I make during the cold months. Plus this machine will let me make quick breads like pumpkin which we both enjoy.

You all know I can't make bread to save my life, but with this I can have the machine do the mixing, then I can take it out, do more batches & let it rise in bowls, then bake it all at once.  When I use my oven, I try to make sure I have plenty of things to go in it so I am not wasting the fuel.  Plus now with the old cook woodstove I will work on learning the oven part so I can bake in it....I will first do casseroles in it so not to destroy the breads. At least with a casserole if its not done I can microwave it or throw in in the regular oven.

This winter was going to be a slow season for me without Thomas, partly due to a bad left shoulder that has not healed & has gotten worse.  But I have an appointment for it this Wednesday so hopefully something will get worked out.  With Thomas home he can do the heavy lifting, if & when I remember to ask him...lol....I am looking forward to him being home even if it may be a short time.  He may go back to Afghanistan for 2 years to work for a computer company that sets them up for the military.  So far its up in the air but I will enjoy knowing he is here & with me & the kids.

I have been working on a few different things lately.....finally boiled the deer legs I had in the freezer, outside of coarse...since they smell something nasty.  Once completely dry I will cut them to make bone buttons for my old fashioned clothes I sew.  Been practicing my needle tatting & am more comfortable with it now & am enjoying it...still got a long ways to go on it looking really good but its fun.  Got up into the sewing room & completed a skirt & top & working on a long muslin skirt right now.

Also decided since so many people ask me questions about raising chickens to write a small book on how I raise chickens.  You can get so much information through books & the web but some of the stuff I have learned isn't listed anywhere.  Everything is more on a professional level but not all of us need the professional information, we just want the common sense information.  Well its a bit bigger..ok its a lot bigger than I thought it would be but I decided since I was doing it to add recipes, medical, Vitamins & mineral information  plus add pictures & information  of things you can make yourself instead of going out & buying things.

Right now its still in the rough draft stage but I will send it to my little sis to review for me & catch my mistakes.  She is good at seeing things I might have misspelled or repeated so she is in a sense my editor.
It will be self published here at The Old Batz Farm & I will do a poor mans copyright on it until I know its something people want to have.  I am excited about this as I love to write & eat up information whenever I can. So keep your fingers crossed for me & this booklet on my kids.

Until next time have a wonderful chicken day...M'

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