Monday, April 27, 2009

The latest haps on the farm

Yeah, we're snowed in again. Living in the desert as I do any moisture at all is usually a cause for at least a smile but I really need to get going on this whole garden thing and snow is not conducive to good gardening. Rain, I can work with rain because it doesn't keep the ground temperature from warming so while I can't actually plant something I know it's not going to set me back but snow means another week at least before anything can go in the ground.
Does it seem like I'm always bitching about something? I assure you I was once regarded as the eternal optimist so perhaps it's the blogging experience and I only feel compelled to write about my adventures when I'm having difficulty.
In other news, the horses are not happy about their advancing pregnancies. Fiona who actually knows what's going on inside her is still kicking her belly to teach that little foal a lesson for kicking her mama. She moves very slowly and deliberately. You can see her weigh her options these days. "Should I walk up and see if Mom has a treat for me or should I stay here awhile and see if she'll come to me?" Dixie is very worried about her own belly as she glances back frequently to see what it was that just moved inside her and then asks me what the heck that was. She too is moving slowly though she's a third of Fiona's age so she still seems a little lighter on her feet. I still worry about them both and can't wait for this to be over.
The kids took some tests for school today and really did quite well. I was rather surprised. Sometimes I wonder if I'm really doing them any good at all by keeping them home to teach them and then I get results like this and realize that somehow, some way they are learning something so I'm not the worst teacher in the world. Annie actually asks to read so that's gotta be a good thing, right?
I've moved all waterfowl to my hatcher incubator. My mentor seems to think my humidity is too high for turkeys which may have spoiled my last hatch so I put the ducks who are close to hatching in one incubator with much higher humidity and I'll leave the turk eggs in the incubator with lower humidity and see what happens. I've gotta get at least a few out of this batch or there will be no breeding stock.
The ducks and geese and turkeys that came from the last hatch are all doing very well. You can't help but like a little duckie although it seems like my heart belongs to turkeys. My pet turk Jefferson (who appears each day to be more female than male) likes to pretend that he (she?) is a parrot and flies up to the top of the gate so that he can sit on my hand and be cuddled. The new little Midget turkey (Tattoo) is coming along quite nicely. I think from now on I will offer food that has been wettened for new turkey hatches. They seem to eat it easier and make it through those first few dangerous days easier.
We had a great weekend this weekend! I sold 180 dollars worth of plants!!! Can you dig it? Any naysayers out there who think I can't make money with my growing prowess now? No, I didn't think so. We also sold some not-so-baby chicks but I doubt that we are making much of a profit on them at this point. Still, came out of the weekend with over 200 bucks I didn't have going into the weekend so I'm not going to complain. Tomorrow I'll be selling more tomatoes and chickens....sounds like a good day to go shopping!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Just an update on the farm happenings. My last hatch was yet another failure more or less. Apparently the humidity either was too high or spiked after a fill and drowned my little turkeys because everyone that went into the hatcher was nicely developed and alive but only one hatched. I could just cry. I spent good money on those little Midget turkeys babies and hated to lose them. On the other hand, I did get three duck babies to hatch. They LIKE the high humidity hatch. So I have one lonely little white midget turkey baby and two blue Swedes and one black Swede. They are awfully cute. Then Greg came home with three baby buff geese. I really, really need geese....I do! They're adorable, who could not need geese? One good thing about the whole thing is that the ducks and the geese keep reminding the turkey about where the food and water are so he's doing very well at eating.
On to the next hatch. Seems like I'm always pinning all my hopes on a new incubator full of eggs. The next hatch is lavender turks, Beltsville turks, runner ducks, call ducks, some chickens from my chicken house and some Pilgrim geese. The plan is that I will use the hatcher for a high humidity hatch for the waterfowl and keep the turks and chickens in the incubator with the turner turned off and lower humidity. THIS time it's gonna work. I've ordered some more Midget eggs too because I'm just that confident that I can do this. Damn it.
We've moved the baby chickens out to the new coops and my baby turkeys are now in the grow room so the new ducks and newest turkey could have the little bathroom brooder. Where will I put the new hatch? In Greg's sock drawer of course! I hate cornish chickens. Just want to get that out there. If I EVER grow meat birds again it will not be these aggressive, ugly, smelly things I can assure everyone of that. I'll butcher my Reds before I do cornish again.
My plants are thriving of course. Ever see a plant that I couldn't make grow? People have purchased quite a few but everytime I get some extra space I plant some more stuff. Last week I planted my pumpkins and some more herbs and the last watermelons and broccoli. In theory, I'm done but all bets are off if I sell some more of my babies.
So we have snow now. I mean really, a LOT of snow. We're so snowed in that if I didn't know we were going to have 70 degree weather on Monday I'd think this would be something we were going to have to deal with for awhile. Ah, but my pasture and trees are so happy. By mid-week next week we're going to have so much green out there that it will burn your retinas. You just gotta love spring in the Rockies.
Kids had a review at the school last week. All went as expected. They all had vision and hearing tests. DJ flunked his hearing test but it's allergy season for him so my guess is that his ears are swollen or fluid filled. The three little ones had reading tests. DJ went into sensory overload and failed miserably even though he's been steadily improving since he got the Hooked on Phonics program. He' s actually relaxed quite a bit about reading since he's started to gain some proficiency. Oh well. Mikey did as well as expected considering he still lacks some of the fundamentals regarding phonics. He knew a few sight words and then wanted to do something else, anything else. Annie showed off and did a good job so at least someone was able to confirm that I am teaching the kids something. We did DJ's IEP which was the usual stuff, nothing new. Rissa has been playing lately so we discussed some ways to motivate her. We'll see. And that was a day at the school. It was nice to have Greg be a part of the process too.
And that's about it for me. I'm canning chili today and have a couple of whole chickens in the oven for supper. I've discovered that I really like black beans so I put them in the chili. I had a bowl of black beans with some butter and a little salt. They were very good. Need to do that more often.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Migraines and megrims

Yesterday we decided we were going to the store. I was like the dog or something-GO?, GO NOW? WE GO IN CAR??? NOW? Hey, I don't get out much, okay? Anyway, I was excited about a road trip. I actually like getting out of the house with the kids. My kids are usually more or less well behaved in public so it's nice to go places with them.
As we left the house the sun shone brightly reflecting off the newly fallen snow. Little sparkles glittered everywhere as we happily set off on our journey. The closer we got to town the more I noticed the colors in the shimmering snow. How strange that the very sky seemed to dim next to their brightly flashing ......wait a minute, I turned away from the scenery but the circles and bars of light went with me. Blinking and shaking my head a little didn't change the patterns or disturb their flight across my husband's face or the seat of the car. Like a circlet of diamonds, I couldn't really see anything but the light refracting through the rainbow of vibrant and pastel colors. Little floating UFOs of gorgeous flashing and Fourth of July explosions. It's a shame I only get to see them when they're warning me of danger because they mesmerize me everytime.
Yes, I have classic migraines. I get to see these beautiful auras as a sign that the most horrendous pain possible is coming like a freight train. If I'm smart enough to recognize the signal and get to some medication quickly enough I can stave off the worst of the headache but if not.....
So I didn't have the medication with me yesterday and my husband was quick enough to understand my problem. He turned around and raced home. When we got here he closed the windows, covered all light sources and put me to bed but it was really too late. I got to experience the whole thing. But I didn't get to experience the road trip.