- 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.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Sorry its been a bit since I last wrote but since nothing big has happened that has shook my world I have been lazy in the writing department.
As you know 'Mother' was laying on eggs & I just knew none were going to hatch since it seemed she had been on them too long. But 2 Saturdays ago, I had to go have a tooth pulled & when I came back I checked on Mother while my mouth was still numb & feeling no pain.
This proud girl had 2 babies, one all black & the other yellow with browns in its wings. Somehow she had gotten them down to the floor (from the nesting box that is about 4 foot from the floor) without any broken legs or injuries. I ended up naming them Pearl (black one) & Opal...if they are boys they will become Percy & Opie.
I went to bed then & when I woke up I had Bess broody in the house! Well since she doesn't have access to fertile eggs I went out in the big coop & grabbed 3 that should be fertile & placed those under her & removed the 3 she was laying on. she has taken the middle sized dog crate as her nesting box & is doing quite well. I so worry about them & whether they get enough food so like I did with 'Mother' I mix her feed with baby food or yogurt & put it right under her beak so she will eat while I am watching for a few minutes.
I find it funny that I never was into the whole baby chick thing but now I get so excited when I see one peek out at me. Pearl & Opal are doing great & they are getting fearless with the other chickens. Mother calls them back when she sees them where they are not suppose to be or possibly going to get pecked by one of the hens. But so far she has not fought with anyone & they all keep their distance from her when the chicks are near by. Yesterday though it was overcast I went out & worked in my 2 small gardens, raking wood ash & straw into the ground & remarking where I am putting the potatoes in this time. I found a few red worms that I took into 'Mother' & the babies got a hold of them. they were like little mini roadrunners with the worms in their beaks. I never did see if they ate them but boy did they run around with them.
I have both of them on medicated feed for now but I know they are also getting the regular feed that is on the floor of the coop. I try not to do more than 6 weeks of the medicated feed because I want them to eat what the others are eating. Its a tough decision but I also know that they can get sick if not on it & so far I have had good luck with it & have not lost any of my young chicks to illnesses or diseases. this winter I only lost 3 hens compared to about 20 the winter before. I hated losing them but am so thankful that it was only 3 this time.
As soon as the weather warms up I will extend the big coop by another 6 feet & add a indoor run that is about 4 foot by 8 foot for them. this winter they never went out if there was even a dusting of snow on the ground & I felt so bad that they were all inside in a 10 foot by 6 foot area. The added area will give them a 16 foot by 10 foot area to roost, eat, nest ect & the indoor run will be open on really nasty rainy days & in the winter as well so I know they are getting some exercise & not having to breath the same old air day in & day out.
I am giving up the area of my shop that is set up for making dollhouses (for charity) since I have no time to do it anymore & the space is just being wasted as storage. I just need to get out there now & sort through the dollhouse stuff & get it ready to sell. I plan to keep 1 dollhouse kit & the rarer dollhouse furniture but the rest will go. I want to build a dollhouse for my grand daughter so when we move back home in the near future she will have it when she comes to visit.
Thomas is now in Texas getting all his shots & other training for when they leave for Afghanistan at the end of the month. he has been gone about 3 weeks now but I can talk to him on the phone which is nice. They are getting 4 days off just before they leave so he is flying to see his folks. I told him he needed to do that & I didn't mind him going to see them before he left. I had him all the time before this & they only get to see him maybe once a year so I think it is only right that he spend time with them.
As you also know I had to put down my 15 year old Chow Chow last month & Rosey our other dog got worse. Before she would attack Hayley for just moving, ate my camera...yes even the metal parts! Well I thought she might calm down with Hayley gone...Oh no, she forced her way into my sewing room, ate vintage 1940's patterns, antique lace, cardboard box, straight pens & tore a huge hole in the bedspread. what got to me was Thomas' game room is right there, door open & she left everything in there alone but had to force the door open to get into my sewing room. Needless to say Rosey is now living with a nice couple 2 hours away. So for the first time in about 23 years we have no dog in the house. I like dogs but am at a point now where I prefer the chickens & my standoffish cats. And I see no dogs coming here in the near future. I think it is someone else's turn to take the dogs...I will stick to rescuing chickens.
I got in the mail yesterday my strawberry patch fencing, you know the kind that is a big circle with 2 more small circles that you put in like a tiered wedding cake...well I am using it as a herb garden so it will keep contained the herbs that like to wonder & will be easier for me to maintain. Now if the weather would just let the sun come back again for a bit so I can set it up. I will need to get a load of dirt for it which if I can get a hold of my friend with the small pickup I will be good to go. I thought I would go through the 50 pounds of potatoes I got last fall but I still have some left that have sprouted so instead of composting them I am going to cut them up & plant the sprouted parts for some nice small potatoes. They will be nice in potato salad ect & maybe some will be left in the ground so by late summer early fall I can dig up some bigger ones for me to enjoy later on. I try to be careful & not waste anything I have but I may have more potatoes sprouting than I can use so some may have to go in the compost, but then again I will use the compost so I guess in a sense its not wasteful.
My spring/summer list of chores has grown to 42 items that have to be done before the fall. I sat down thinking I may have a bit but 42! thank goodness I have a long while to get them all done. Since Thomas is not here I have to make sure they get done cause I won't have him to blame if they don't....lol......but then again I am the only one who knows the list...soooooooo...I guess if a few don't get done who will ever know besides me? I know you can't tell on me cause you don't know whats on the list!
Well my arms are tired so I best close for now. Everyone have a great chicken day!....M'
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Good morning everyone, I woke up at 1:30 a.m. & am just sort of messing around on the computer & decided why not write a bit. I have always been a night person, even as a child there was something nice about the dark & quiet that always appealed to me. Now with the change of life sometimes its really hard to lay in bed when you are so hot you feel like you are in sauna, & no matter how hard you try you can not go back to sleep.
My husband got the Norovirus & passed a mild case of it to me so I have been battling a low grade fever just over 100 for the last 3 days, not wanting to eat & sleeping whenever I can. Nice about being a stay at home wife I can lay down when I want or need to.
Today is the day my husband goes into Military lock-down & will be on a plane tomorrow to Texas before heading to Afghanistan. They are having a lunch for all of the military families at the Elks Lodge & the guys get to leave until 6:00 p.m. then I have to say goodbye for the time being. & yes, me who can't drive in the dark will be coming home after dark, so it should be a lovely long drive home as I will surely miss a turn or two....lol....
But the good news is we got my military insurance taken care of so I can finally go get new glasses, which I know will help greatly. In my middle 40's I had to have bi-focals & they seem to go the quickest for me...my distant sight is still pretty good but being a silversmith I need to see all the little details when I work. Its funny they have no line bi-focals & they tried to get me to use that, but I said I worked hard all my life & I deserved to have the lines on my glasses. Did I get some funny looks over that one. I told the lady I was not vain so I didn't care if I had lines on my glasses or not. Its amazing as you (me) gets older the less we care what we look like....I mean I still have days I miss the pretty me but overall I think that I am lucky to just be alive & if the wrinkles, ect bother you, then don't look at me. I do have a problem though when I am said to be Thomas' mother instead of his wife...darn man has a baby face!...lol
Bowzer, my little rumpless hen who lives in the basement coop came up to see me in the house when I was done feeding them. She has always liked having Mommy time where I hold her & she tells me about her day. Well Porgie saw that there was a new girl in the dining room & showed off for her. It was so cute to see him jump up on a chair so she would see him as he pranced, puffed up his feathers & looking at her crowed. This is the first time I have ever seen my boys do this. Anytime a new female comes around they run over, circle them & then jump on them to mate....no pretty prancing or crowing or showing off. I was quite proud of him, such a gentleman he was & never did he try to attack/mate with her...but then she was in my arms so that was a determent.
I love the fact that I have chickens who really want to spend time with me, that they like to be held & enjoy it. Bowzer has always been that way with me & even when its nice outside in the run she will come stand on my feet so I will pick her up so she can talk to me. & of course I always talk back to her....lol
I finally got my garden seeds ordered last night from the company in Canada I use. $47 worth!! but most are herbs that will come back each year & a few special lettuce blends. I use herbs a lot for medical needs so I love when I can get something that will grow here that I can use. I also ordered a winterberry plant that will have to be potted & brought in in the winter, but I have always wanted to extract the oil because I love the smell of it. But its one I will have to make sure the chickens can't get to since its considered a poison for them. It will be nice to try & grow it though...we will see if it can handle my cold house this next winter.I also got some patio blueberry bushes that can in time be planted out in the ground & are good in very cold weather areas. I got into a good deal with one company I use that gave me a 50% off coupon on everything I ordered so I got the blueberries, 2 raspberries that survive below freezing weather & one of those strawberry round frame thingies that is tiered with a sprinkler......I am not planting strawberries but the herbs will go in this as it will have its own watering system & since contained won't go all out over my yard...not that I mind that but it would be mowed over & that would be such a waste. I love flowers, but with chickens I have to be careful of everything I grow that they can get into. Hopefully when I get in the privacy fencing I can plant the so called dangerous flowers & bushes on the outside of that so the chickens can't get to them but I can enjoy them. I adore foxglove, with all its beautiful blooms but its one that will have to wait until next year. Its kinda nice though, because once the fencing is in I can spend next winter going through the seed/plant catalogs & have great things to plant next spring.
I am sure with all that I want to do this spring & summer I will not have time for planting those flowers....I tend to get a bit crazy when the sun is out & I can be outside. I want to do everything but my poor old tired body says you aren't 21 anymore & there are limits to what I can get done in one day. But it is nice to get up & know that you have fun things you want to get done. For 2 years now I have been wanting to build a 6 foot metal Rooster that will be looking over into the chickens run...I have a lot of the stuff...all recycled...for it but since I can not weld I have to use nuts & bolts for it plus there is this great thing called engine weld that I fould years ago that if you heat up with a torch will fuse the metal together...not as tight as a normal weld but good enough for what I want it to do. I have the pattern/design all drawn out but most of it is in my head....I see things in my head & am lucky that I can copy them with out drawings....but since this is a 6 foot sculpture I did the basics so I could understand the balance of it so the big thing doesn't do a nose dive into the chicken run with a strong wind.
I have also been wanting to make my own lye & I just got a copy of the Foxfire book that shows you how they used to do it, which is how I wanted to do it. There is plenty of information on the web, but like everything else I try to do, I want to learn how my great grandmother did it...not the modern way. Foxfire books have always been some of my favorite books & I had a good collection of them, but over time they have been misplaced or borrowed & not returned. I remember getting into these in the late 1970's thinking they were wonderful along with Mother Earth News. I think I have always been backwards when it comes to the way things are done....Teach me the old way & I never forget. There is something so pure about learning that way for me. I do enjoy the reading of things but if you take the time to show me I am in heavon. I also love to teach things to others that are considered lost arts.
Well I guess I am done for the moment, so will close
have a great chicken day ! M'