Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm Back!!!

Ok.  I have a computer now.  I'll try and get back in the swing of things next week.  I haven't taken any pictures and have been just plain worn out anyway.  Some news.  I'm down to 18 cornish cross.  They keep wandering off.  I have one pile of feathers to prove they are being eaten by something, but only one.  Don't know what happened to the other 4.  We lost another leghorn too.  I actually found that body though  and I'm not sure why it died.  Pigs are staying in!!!!!  What a relief.  Smith and Wesson are both over their illnesses but are about to learn a "shocking" lesson on staying on our property.  The Marans chicks are growing like weeds and we'll probably introduce them to the great outdoors in a week or so.  BTW....6 girls and and 4 boys in the marans bunch.  I was going to offer an all expense paid luxury trip to Hawaii for the person who guessed their sexes the closest, but since I'm the only one who guessed I guess I win!!!  Nosey started laying eggs again and at first they were PINK.  Yes!  Pink!!!  To bad I lost the picture on the stupid computer that now will not even turn on.  Hmmm....guess that just about covers it...oh, and the exterminator is coming to take care of the carpenter ants/termites.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Take it Back

I don't like the rain. It's wet and cold and it leaves the ground muddy and my hair clumpy. It's not fun to feed the animals in the rain.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

After the Rain

The world is different. Everything is softer. The soil underfoot, the bark on trees. Even sounds are softer. Somehow dampened by the soaked landscape. Or maybe it's just that everything that makes noise can finally relax after the long dry spell. And though thier tone maybe softer, noise itself is multiplied after the rain. Just a few days ago the evenings were quiet with only the wind to hear. Maybe carrying the stray bray of a donkey from across the big pasture. But tonight, after a stretch of rain. Noise. Sounds of animals, insects, birds, and water running somewhere unseen. It's different after the rain. The whole world comes alive singing a greatful chorus. And the colors are brighter. Even in the fading shadows of sunset the muted fields have become emerald carpets and pastel wildflowers are vibrant as if freshly painted. The air I had paid no mind to in the past I am acutly aware of after the rain. I can feel it. It's the opposite of wrapping up in a warm blanket on a cold night. But just as comforting. After the rain everything is different. There is hope. And peace. And the land agrees.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

This Weeks Shopping Trip

The cost for these groceries (plus a package of chinet napkins I forgot to put in the picture) is $38.41. I paid $7. 46.

I'm really liking this game and I learned a new move today. The rain check. Homeland was out of more than half of what was on my list. Since this homeland is about 45 minutes from me, I needed this trip to be worth while. I got rain checks for 8 items. The neat thing is I'll be able to use them the next time I go even if that item is not on sale so my trip wasn't wasted. The not so neat thing is that they have to write them by hand and it took over 10 minutes for me to check out. Now, to my credit, when the couple got in line behind me I TOLD them it was going to take me a really long time. There were plenty of other places to check out but I guess they didn't belive me. They were definitly not pleased to have to take all their stuff off the belt and move to a different stand. I said I was sorry but I got pretty nasty looks. I TOLD them though.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Everything but the.......

I'm about to put that kitchen sink in the pig pen. It's heavy enough. It might just deter them!

The last few days have been a constant struggle and worry trying to keep these guys in. I've used every piece of scrap everything to try and keep them in. It's really not working.

However there is something keeping them in the property (other than my constant offering of food): Smith and Wesson. I first witnessed an act of their instinct yesterday. The pigs were wandering and had gotten aweful close to the pasture fence. Smith and Wesson were, to my estimation, lounging by the garage. I saw Lois and Clark breech the fence line. Before I could get "Pig! Pig! Pig!" out of my mouth, Smith and Wesson bolted and began hysterically barking. They crossed the fence line and barked at the pigs until they ran back squealing into our property. The dogs quit barking and resumed their lounging by the garage. I stood there utterly stunned. I could not believe what I just saw. I almost wanted to believe it was a fluke. It was not. I've witnessed the same act two other times in the last two days and Eythan reported another. As much as these dogs frustrate me, they more than made up for it this week. Now as long as they don't bring home anymore half decomposed.....thing, they will remain in my good graces. Lana is still in my good graces. I would gladdly make her a lap pig. She is so sweet. Lois and Clark? They need to learn the word bacon.
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Meet Clark

It seems that I'm not going to be able to get any more pictures of Clark up soon so I'll just tell you about him. We drove to Pittsburg last Friday to pick him up. OH! That's Pittsburg, Oklahoma! It was a beautiful drive to the foot hills of the Kiamichi Mountians. We got to our destination and met Anna the breeder. She was very informative and showed us Clark's daddy. He was BIG. She also showed us Clarks elder brothers. I'm SO glad we decided to get Clark because his older brother was HUGE and we never would have been able to load him. It was quite a feat catching him in the pen with 4 other piggies. They did NOT want to get caught. It took Jon and Anne 30 min. To catch one and at that point we were not going to be picky. Actually Anna caught the exact pig I wanted. Clark has an ear that curls backwards and it's very endearing. We got loaded up and started down the road. That's when Jon got the call to go to Atoka for 3 weeks. It was a crazy drive home with phone calls, making plans, cancelling plans, etc. When we got home the chicken tractor was upside down again. AAAAHH! And we already had so much to do and Jon was supposed to leave within the hour. I wrangled chickens and Jon worked on fortifying the pig pen.

It was a harried afternoon but we got Jon ready and introdused Clark to Lois and Lana. It was love at first sight and they were an instant family. Clark and Lois are cousins and they act a lot alike. Lana is still the laid back one of the bunch. Of course the whole fence drama started after Jon left and Clark has taken the lead over Lois as the instagator in escape plans. I'm still enjoying having them around and their distinct personalities even if they are the cause of so much worry and WORK!
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Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm so Frustrated!!!

I was all set to update you all on my crappy 10 minute computer when, for whatever reason it will not read my card reader. SO I can not upload all my pretty pictures of out NEW boar!! There should be some with this post taken with my android.

I tried to post this little tidbit on the computer but it died. Just another in the long line of frustrations today. Let's just leave it at I've spent the last 3+ hours trying to figure out why my electric fence is not working, chasing pigs, and being pecked to death by little chickies who think my toes are worms during the whole ordeal. I'm just praying that the pigs are still here in the morning and that they have not eaten the chickies.

Good night. I'm tired and I have blisters.
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Saturday, April 16, 2011


That's me most days, but my post have been ratic a word?

Anyway, my posts may be ERratic for a while because Jon is on storm duty for 3 weeks and he took the computer with him.  I'm left with my android....which is not good for blogging, and this laptop which will only run for 10 minutes or so before.......

Ok I"m I was saying, this computer only runs for a few minutes before it overheats and turns itself.....

off.  So I'll do the best I can. Some really great stuff is happening so I want to keep you updates.  I'll try again tomorrow!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Bachelors

Not Barry is not welcome into the chicken gang.  Barry is in charge and all he want around are the ladies.  So recently, Not Barry has taken to hanging out with the other bachelors in the bachelor pad (my front porch).

He's just one of the guys.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chicken Updates

The babies - Marans - are all alive and growing.
The Leghorns are growing too and are ready to fly the coop!

The Dominiques are somewhat smaller still, but growing.

They're in their awkward teenage years.

We can also tell that we have two boy and two girl dominiques because of their color differences.

And as always, the Cornish cross are ginormous!
They are outside now and getting used to their chicken tractor.  They LOVE me now like everything else that gets fed twice a day......oh....maybe it's not me they are scrambling to get to.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The big birds have been outside for a couple of days.  It's been windy for a couple of days.  Everything has been fine.  But this morning I moved their tractor a little sideways because I wanted to give them access to a nice big cow patty to scratch up and find yummy bugs.  I was sitting with Caedon when I heard a couple of thumps and the wind roared.  I didn't think anything then, but a few minutes later I got up.  I glanced out the window and saw the tractor.  I don't know if you've ever experience this before, but when out brain sees something that it hasn't seen before, it take a little while to process.  I wasn't quite sure what I was seeing and it took a couple of seconds to translate in my brain.  The chicken tractor was upside down and little chickies were running all over!!!!  I yelled at Jon to help and we righted the tractor and rather easily rounded up the big birds.  They were more than willing to get back into the safety of their tractor.  We learned a valuable lesson.  The chicken tractor MUST have it's smaller profile to the wind.  Such drama.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stockpile Update


It almost wasn't worth the trip.  Half the things I wanted to buy were not on sale at my Homeland.  Since my homeland is 30 minutes away and the next closest one is an hour away I didn't have an add to show them.  I've been told they will match the sale prices from other homelands.  I did only spend $2.80 on all that.  You can never have too much pasta and now I have a pretty good stockpile of meat in the deep freeze.  I hope next week is better.  Ugh.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Musical Coops

The big birds stink.  Big birds eat big and have big waste.  For that reason they had to go!  So we built them a luxery outdoor coop.

It has a lid.  It just wasn't on in the pictures.  Now they can eat bugs and grass instead of bleeding us dry with the chicken starter.  It should take them a little longer to reach butcher weight but it'll be worth it.

We cleaned out their stinky pen.  Nothing "organic" goes to waste around here (pun intended).  We put the litter between the rows of the garden to keep weeds down.

It will decompose there and when the garden is turned next year it will add good fertilzer!

Then we put fresh litter down and put the new Marans in the big brooder.
They don't like it!  I thought they would love the room to run and romp.  I guess living in a rubbermaid container for the first week of your life changes you somehow.  Hopefully they will get used the wide open space and start acting "chicky".

We couldn't forget the leghorns and the dominiques.  We gave them a roost!
They love it!  We should be moving them outside soon too.  Just need the time and materials to make them luxery accomidations too.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Help in Hard TImes

I know  many of you are looking to make a few extra bucks.  The cost of food and gas are exploding.  I'd like to direct you to a blog about making money of the internet.  This isn't one of those scam blogs.  There is an actual real person that writes it and I've talked to her.  I've even tried out one of the sites( and it's for real too.  Anyway, take a look at . You don't have to sign up for anything or sit through a phone confrence.  It's just good tips on finding a job and making a few extra bucks!

I also want to remind you about and another coupon site  neither one of these resources take much time, but with the rising cost of food, you might want to take advantage of it now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

What I've Been Missing

You know the old saying, You don't know what you've been missing?  Well I've missed a lot in my 34 years and I didn't know it.  Now I know I'm not a full fledged farmer.  I know I'm just playing at it and I'm completely inept.  But I'm trying.  And since I've been trying, a whole new world has opened up to me.  Before moving out here and feeding animals and trying to grow stuff, I never realized the subtle changes of the earth.  At some point in the summer I would get really annoyed that I wanted to put the kids to bed and the sun was still up.  At some point in the winter I would think, "Man it sure got dark early today!"  I never noticed the grass turning green.  I just cringed when it was apparent the neighbors were about to call the city on my too tall lawn.  I never saw the leaves begin to fall from trees.  I was just inconvenienced by the huge piles of untansversable debris that appeared overnight.  I never paid any attention to the moon, or the birds, or the bugs, or the wind.  Now it's different.  I have to get up with the sun to let the roosters out and put them back in at sunset.  Everyday it's clear that morning is coming sooner and night is coming later.  I squealed with joy at the first green blade of grass.  It meant that soon our feed bill would start decreasing (for animals and humans).  I watched everyday as the trees budded and bloomed and was amazed at the speed of it.  I know when it's a full moon and a new moon.  The stars look different.  My body knows too.  Away from the the light pollution of the city, it's found it's natural rhythm again.  It cycles with the moon.  Geese and ducks appear with the winter and leave with the spring when the sparrows, scissor tails, and wood peckers return.  Spiders and wasps have also come with a vengeance and soon I expect the butterflys and dragonflys.  The wind is fierce enough to threaten the tomato plants. 

I feel connected to the earth like I never have before.  Not in a worshipful kind of way, but an appreciative one.  It makes me that much more determined to work WITH it in sustaining my family than dominating and eviscerating it.  God made us this world, and I've missed so much of it.  I have a lot of catching up to do.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chick Updates

This is a Leghorn at 3 weeks:
This is a Dominique at 3 weeks:

THIS is a Cornish X at 3 Weeks:

They would make good Cornish game hens for the bbq right now.  As a matter of fact....if you buy the small game hens at the store, these guys are exactly what you are buying....3 week old Cornish Cross.

In other news.  The Chick with the broken foot died.  Nosy Rosy is still broody, but she won't brood inside the hen house.  She won't be safe brooding outside so we are trying to break her....with little avail.  I thought about sticking some of the new chicks under her, but since she won't brood inside, we would probably just loose any I put out there.  I miss my Marans eggs.  In 4 months though I should be getting LOTS with all our new chicks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

All the Pretty Little Chickies

Saturday and Sunday were so amazing.  I couldn't have guessed how exciting it would be to watch chicks hatch.  It's almost like watching grass grow......but way more fun! It takes a really long time and is so mesmerizing.....and a little disgusting.  We wound up, over 24 hours, with 10 chicks hatching!!!  We set 13 eggs.  Two of them early on did not show any growth, so we only "lost" one.  I think that's pretty darn good for our first hatch.  So without further adieu, the chicks.......

 So here's the game.  You're supposed to be able to tell the boys from the girls from their head spots.  Little spots are girls and big spots are boys.  Give a guess.  Here I go!
 Top Left: Boy, Bottom Left: Girl, Top Middle: Boy, Bottom Middle: Girl, Top Right: Boy, Bottom Right: Girl
 Top Left: Girl, Top Right: Boy, Bottom Left: Girl, Bottom Right: Boy

From another angle, Left to right, with the one at the very right last: Boy, Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl, (can't see), Boy, Girl, Girl, Boy

You can make your guess in the comments, or email me.  We should be able to tell in about 3 weeks!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stockpile Update

I'm getting my pantry full!!!  I got all this for $15.92.  Notice that's 4 packages of Johnsonville Brats.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Good Day

Saturday was a good day.  Not just "good" in the sense that notheing bad happened, but "good" in a primal sense.  It was good to be surrounded by family.  It was good to laugh and share.  It was good to get outside and get my hands in the dirt and good to make my muscles work for their food.  It was good to get a little sun and good to have to give the kids a bath BEFORE they came inside. It was good to help my neices feed the pigs bananas and good to see them and my children delight over chicks hatching out in the incubator.  It was good to eat my husbands homemade spaghetti and costco cookies.  It was good to feel so tired both physically and mentally.  It was good to see my husband and my son working in the garden.
And it was good to have my dad help and good that he is still around and healthy enough to do so. 

It was good to have my mom there too, healthy enough to come.

Yep. Saturday was good.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

10 babies

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The Brutality of Nature

I've noticed a lot of things I never noticed since moving to the farm.  But I witnessed something yesterday that brings the reality of the natural world right in my face.  The chicks are so cute, and fuzzy and fun to watch, but they are animlas, driven by animal instincts that I"m not sure anyone understands completely.  Somehow, one of the chicks broke its foot.  Still scratching my head on that one.  Since it couldn't move, get away, or defend itself, the others attacked it.  Charis saw the injured chick first and couldn't make out what was wrong with it.  I sent her out and set out to rescue it.  It had been pecked all over and it's middle toe was grotequely deformed.  The others had shown no mercy.  It was cold, wet and bleeding.  I got it seperated and under a heat lamp with a bolus of honey.  He's recovering on the Dominique side of the brooder now.  I'm not sure how to feel about it.  On one hand it's terrifying that living creatures could to that to one another.  On the other, picking on the little one comes natural to many of Gods creatures.  I wish I could feel passionate either way, but I don't.  I just feel....both.  Is that how a farmer is supposed to feel?

8 Babies and counting!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

We Have CHICKS!!!!!!

As of 8:00 this evening there are two slimy chicks wobbling around in the incubator!  I'm so excited!!!!!!!!  Our first farm babies!!!!  I tried to take pics, but it's really hard trought the little windows.  I'll get pics when they are out.

Yin Yin Yang Yang

Friday, April 1, 2011