Friday, May 27, 2011

Of Meat, Salad and Accidents

Well yesterday started out great.  I headed out early and bought our steer to go in the freezer.  I learned a lot about meat.  I think.  Then I headed back home to finish cleaning out the brooder for our surprise guineas.  Of course then I played Dr. and made the prosthetic for Wibbles, who by the way is walking fine now with out it!  Then there was house work and an amazing breakthrough.  I had a salad made fresh from our garden!

The lettuce, onion, and eggs are all from the sweat of my brow.  It felt great to eat it.  To bad I really don't like lettuce.  I find it's the best way to eat salad dressing though.
Then it was off to Paul's Valley for a park day with other homeschoolers.  I was only there for about 5 minutes when I got a phone call.  It was a stranger who had tracked me down to tell me one of my dogs was hit by a car.  I rushed home (about a 30 minutes drive) to find the good Samaritan who called me, one of the neighbor kids, and Wesson on the side of the road.  Blood was streaming from his mouth but he was sitting up.  I went up to the house to get a blanket to move him in and Smith was wining at the front door.  When I approached he ran at me hysterically as if he needed to tell me something.  I calmed him  down and chained him up.  I didn't want two dogs hurt.  Me and Tracy (the good Samaritan and my next door neighbor) moved Wesson into the van and I drove to town and the Vet.  The Doc didn't seem to think he had any internal injuries, but the xrays revealed a fractured pelvis and the ball of the femur was broken.  The pelvis will heal....the femur won't.  They are going to do surgery and remove that part of the bone and the muscles should form a false joint.  Not sure how that works.  Anyway, Wes should have 80% use of the leg after that.  This will be expensive, but he's worth it. 
At this point in my day it was time for Charis to be at Ballet rehearsal.  Her recital is this weekend.  I had about 30 minutes to kill so I took the kids to the park.  Not a few minutes there and Charis announced that Eythan had made her laugh so hard she peed her pants.  WHAT!  There was no way I was taking that girl to Ballet with wet pants.  So I went to dollar general and bought a "cheap" pair of $13 pants for her.  Then we had to sit through her rehearsal in the auditorium.  Caedon of course was in rare form.  It was not a fun event for me.  Finally we headed back home and got there just in time to help Jon start putting in the new pig enclosure.  We are expanding....again.  I just wanted to crash after that but we had two chicks stuck in their shells.  You know you are not supposed to help them but I could tell something was wrong.  They were different than the others.  I finally got one out and it was like a clown car act.  This chick is twice as big as all the others!  Crazy.  The other one was coming out the wrong end but all he needed was a nudge.  I still have one Keet trying to make it out.  We'll see if he needs help tomorrow. 

What a day.  Time for bed.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Paging Dr. Havens

The Guineas are here!!

So far we have 13 and still counting.  We already love them.  How could you not love little puff balls.  But what do you do when something isn't quite right with newborns?  Ask the Internet of course!
Here's the problem.
This is Wibbles.  He wobbles.  He can't stand up and is incredibly annoying spinning his feet across the newspaper that lines their little brooder in our bath room ALL night long.  I had recalled an article I read in passing about making chicken prosthetics a while back so I looked up how to fix splayed chicken legs (even though this is a guinea).

Here's the process.  Take a pipe cleaner (thank you Susan for all the craft supplies!  You saved a guineas life!!!).

Cut it in half (although I found a fourth to be better suited for the small guineas).

Now shape it into a staple shape.  Bend one side of the staple around one of the guineas legs, and other side around the other leg.  Viola!!

The chicken stands!  It could take as little as 24 hours for his muscles to adjust and he won't need the prosthetic anymore.

Here are some more cuties.  (Wibbles is the bluish one on the bottom right)

Aaaahhh...the things we do for baby animals.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh Crap!

I just went in the bathroom to get ready for bed and looked in at the guinea eggs. 


One of them was almost out of it's shell!

I thought I had at least another week.

So we scrambled and got all the eggs out of the turner, add more water for extra humidity, and now we are just praying that the ones hatching survive and the ones that aren't slated to hatch for a couple of weeks survive the early hatch.  I tried to get a picture but it's just too hard through the little window.

We should have guineas tomorrow!!!

P.S.  We are just fine.  No bad weather came through.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over...

My memory is not the best.  I have trouble sometimes recalling small details from childhood, adolescence and even as recently as last month that some people find important.  But this one image will forever be etched in my memory:  The smiling, laughing, contented faces of 30 men, women, and children reflecting the soft glow of the campfire.  I will forever be able to recall the boisterous murmur of the eclectic crowd punctuated by the zealous shout of a child requesting more smores.  I will remember the moment when I realized the reason each one of these people had traveled hundreds of miles to be here.  They all had beautiful campgrounds, excellent fishing, and pristine parks both those from the north and the south.  They all had family and friends to share their weekends with, but they were here.  They came because we were here.  30 people -friends from our entire timeline- were here for no other reason than because they loved us and each other.  My heart swelled.

Then I am reminded of a not so long ago gathering at my home where 4 generations of my family were represented.  They ALL drove 2 hours to be here.  God has blessed us with a beautiful home and land, but they did not have to come.  It would have been much simpler for us to have traveled to them.  They came because they wanted to share in our joy and celebrate a birthday.  They came because they loved us.  My heart swelled.

Basking in the glow of friendship, memory wandered to another gathering of our friends around a fire.  It snowed that night.  They came to celebrate a new year. These friends were not the same ones whose company I enjoyed now.  These were another 20 or so people who had traveled to be with us.  Another 20 people whom we loved dearly and who loved us.  My heart swelled.

The warmth of the fire and love envelope me and I think of all that He has given me this past year.  I think of how much we lost the years before.  The weight of knowing fills my heart to bursting as I compare riches.  God loves us.  He is here because He loves us.  The damn is breached and my heart overflows with love and joy and peace and contentment.  I am so rich.  My cup runneth over.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011



The BIG dark eggs are more Marans eggs.  The tiny white speckled eggs are Guinea eggs!!!

I'm so excited!  I really, really wanted guineas.  I don't really like the look or sound of guineas, but they are very useful to have.  They eat TICKS!!!  Lots and lots of TICKS.  That's a good thing because we have lots and lots of ticks.  The problem with getting guineas is that they are expensive.  Even their hatching eggs are expensive.  I called a friend from down the road that I knew had guineas and hatched guineas.  I asked her if she would be selling guineas this year and she wasn't sure.  A few days later she called me and asked me if I had an incubator.  I did not have one, but I thought might be able to borrow one.  She told me a mutual friend of ours had guineas and that they had made a nest and were sitting on the eggs but not in a good place.  She wanted someone to try and hatch them.  I DID get to borrow the incubator again and it is FULL of guinea eggs.  Half of them are slated to hatch in the next two weeks or so...maybe.  The mother guinea had sat on them for a while and we are not sure how long.  It could be two weeks.  It could be 28 days.  The other half had not been sat on at all so they are slated for 28 days.  I candled them at 9 days yesterday.  The first batch seems very viable but the second batch didn't seem to take well.  Either way....we will be crawling in tick eating guineas before July.  The only thing I paid for these guys will be my time and labor.  I'll have to give the owner a few of them if and when they hatch. 

Yeah for Guineas!!  If you don't know what a guinea is or what they sound like........

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Well blogger is finally working again.

The Crosses are growing, the Leghorns are maturing, I still have a Dominique Trio and a Marans foursome.  The baby Marans are definitely 4 males and 6 females.  Lois, Lana, and Clark and getting fat and happy on grass. 

Smith and Wessson are amazing and annoying.  I have NO eggs because they have decided to eat them.  They follow the hens around until they lay.  I have no chance of beating them so we are going to have to modify the coop.

The garden is coming in....sort of.

And a surprise.

I'll have pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flat Stanly Takes a Ride

If you don't know who Flat Stanley is, he is a boy who got squished by a bulletin board and now travels the country in an envelope.  My niece sent me her Flat Stanley and this is what I sent back to her class.

Flat Stanly Takes a Ride

Flat Stanly was VERY excited the day he arrived at Bethany's aunt's house. The second Bethany told him her aunt was a Farmer, there was only one thing he could think of doing. He wanted to go for a ride!

"Hello there Flat Stanly!" The farmer said cheerfully. "We are so glad to have you on our farm. What would you like to do first?"

"I want to go for a ride! I want to ride every animal you have!" Flat Stanly shouted with glee. The farmer looked concerned and said, "You know Stanly, everyone here on the farm has a job including each animal. They are pretty busy, but you may ask them for a ride."

Flat Stanly was sure that the animals would say yes, so he ran to the first ones he saw.

"Mr. Pig! Mrs. Pig! May I please have a ride?!" he asked.

"Oh no, no, no, no." snorted the pigs. "WE are American Guinea Hogs. WE are very important you know. There are very few of us left. We are so very busy eating grass and keeping snakes away from the house. We are much too busy to give you a ride."

Flat Stanly was not upset a bit. There were plenty of animals on the farm so he went to the next animals he saw.

"Mr. Chicken! Mrs. Chicken! May I please, please have a ride?" he asked a little less hopeful than last time.

"Oh, no, no, no, no." squawked the chickens. "WE are much too busy eating bad bugs and laying eggs. We cannot give you a ride."

Flat Stanly walked a little slower to the next animals he saw. He began to think he would never get a ride.

"Mr. Dogs? May I please, please, please have a ride?" Flat Stanly asked with little enthusiasm.

"Oh, no, no, no, no." woofed the dogs. "We are livestock guardian dogs. We are much too busy guarding the animals from hawks and coyotes to give you a ride."

Flat Stanly was sad. He walked slowly to where the farmer was working in her big garden. "What's the matter?" asked the farmer. "No one will give me a ride. They are all too busy." Replied Stanly. "Well" said the farmer with a grin, "Maybe you should find a job to keep you busy on the farm." Flat Stanly thought for a moment. "Ah ha!!" he exclaimed. "I have it!"

He ran straight to the pigs and asked, "Mr. Pig, Mrs. Pig. How would you like help looking for snakes and the best grass? If I sit on your shoulders, I could be your look out!" "That sounds just fine." Said the pigs. Flat Stanly rode the pigs for most of the morning until they decided it was time for an afternoon nap. Flat Stanly took a little nap too, resting on Bethany's pig called Lana.

Then he ran to the chickens. "Mr. Chicken, Mrs. Chicken. How would you like help looking for bad bugs and safe places to lay your eggs? If I sit on your shoulders, I could be your look out!" "That sounds just fine." Said the chickens. Flat Stanly rode the chickens until the evening when they went in their roost for the night.

Then Flat Stanly ran to the dogs. "Mr. Dogs! How would you like help looking for coyotes and hawks? If I sit on your shoulders, I can be your look out!" "That sounds just fine." Said the dogs. So Stanly rode on the dogs shoulders well into the night. He was so tired and wrinkled by bed time, that he hardly noticed the farmer tuck him into his envelope. Flat Stanly had not only gotten his ride, but he had found a way to be useful on the farm, just like everyone else.