Tuesday, August 30, 2011

chick update

Our little chicks are doing well. They survived the tropical storm. We locked them in the cow barn. Much to mama's distaste for that. Her nest was behind the barn in the tall grass, not under the barn like we had thought.  So we decided because it made us feel better that they would spend the night in the barn with Maggie. We figured it would be better for them. Although I have to admit that they seem like they are much more hardy then the chicks that we raise from a day old. These guys are out in the rain, wind and it's not 95-100 degrees like the light raised ones are. They are 12 days old according to when we saw them. Maybe 13 if they stayed in their nest for a day. They peck and scratch much more too, looking for bugs and such. Mama hen is doing a great job with them. It's fun to listen to her talk to them. Her tone changes depending on what is going on, and watching them respond accordingly. None of the other hens bother with them anymore either, because mama comes at them!



The rooster is now gone. We gave him to my BIL. He's got some hens and is hoping that one of his hens will sit on some eggs. No more 4:30 am alarm!!! I'm very glad I don't have to listen to him any more too!!! I'm also hoping that some of these chicks are hens! It would be nice if they all were, but I'm not going to hold my breath. So far I think they are going to be nice looking, the way their feathers are coming in. We shall see what the end result of a Silver Laced Whyendott (I know I didn't spell that right. My spell check didn't know what it was either!!) haha and New Hampshire Red looks like. Roosters will have to go, we don't need one through the winter...

tropical storm irene...

...well, that was interesting.
We were ready for whatever this storm was going to bring us. We made sure toys and such that could be blown around were put away. After church on Sunday we filled up barrels of water for the animals, and left lots of buckets under the eves of the shed to collect rain water for the toilet. We filled up a big 5 gallon jug, with a spicket on it, for washing our hands in the bathroom and got a few more gallons of water on hand for the kitchen. Although we had plenty of water for us. We also made sure all the animals had plenty of water in their buckets for the night and that they were filled up, I just wanted to be sure. I had also picked up a few snack foods for the evening just in case. Like chocolate! I made sure that there wasn't lots of left over food in the fridge, and put some meat I had in my kitchen freezer into our deep freezer. I have a gas stove so I could use the stove top to cook if need be. Our flash lights were charged. We have those really nice solar ones that also wind up for power. No battery to charge or to plug in! We were ready. We have too many animals to not have extra water on hand to not put some up, and be prepared, because you just never know. And as I've said before we live in wide open spaces, on a hill, so the wind howls around here!
In our electricity driven world, we sometimes forget how to live without it and then all can go downhill very fast when we don't have it. And water! I don't think people realize how much water we use in a day, and then add a family of 6 to that! I'd like to think that we are aware of the water and power we use, and try to conserve as much as we can.
Late Sunday afternoon the wind really picked up. We were home late from church as we had had a pot luck lunch after. We were just sitting in the living room when Matthew was like, lets go outside and play! He wants the kiddos to remember this storm. We had finished our chores to get ready, so we did! The kiddos were able to experience a "tropical breeze" (remember sisters?) I guess it was more then a breeze as the wind whipped around. It was a balmy 70ish degrees. The air was heavy with the rain that was coming, and the sky was gray, blue in color. The clouds were heavy with the rain that was coming, and had come down earlier too. We had so much fun playing out in the wind running around and being silly! The kiddos were super excited about it too!

trees across the street.

my carrots and onions getting a bit wind blown

i told you we had some wind!!!

another shot of the trees, and the sky

my kiddos were excited, and running off some extra energy!!

the corn. Matthew tied it up a bit to help keep it standing. it did well.

my girls are not afraid to fly their freak flags...

but I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!!
Anyways, we lost power about 7pm Sunday night. It flicked once or twice and then it was gone. OK, no big deal.  On the other side of town they never lost power. My in laws have a generator that we borrowed the next day to run the deep freeze. We didn't want to loose all the meat and frozen goods we have. We had the kiddos get ready for bed, before it got any darker, then we just sat around and talked. We still didn't have power on Monday. All day the power was out. We ended up having supper at my SIL. It was really good too, BBQ chicken, corn, couscous, and asparagus, and a wonderful glass of chocolate wine (that is soooo good!!! I highly recommend it to those who enjoy a glass of wine!) We cleaned out the food that wasn't going to last and gave it to the pigs. Then I had some stuff that I gave my SIL that was fine, but wouldn't last. Matthew had talked with someone and he had been told the power would be out for another day or two. We had a nice meal with my SIL, then we took the kiddos up town to ride their bikes at the school parking lot, and play on the toys. They had a blast too! We came home to a still dark house and  had the kiddos get ready for bed. This morning we still didn't have power. Our neighbor we share a driveway with is on older woman and we had checked on her a few times to make sure she was ok too, and Matthew had gotten her generator running Monday morning. She was ready for the storm too. We were glad of that. We would have gladly given her food, water, shelter or whatever she had needed. She and her husband are like grandparents to all of us and we cherish the friendship we have had with them more then I can express.
SIL for feeding us a wonderful meal. My Man for putting up with my cranky mood at times with the power out. The extra coffee I had on hand. Our cow being dry, and not loosing gallons and gallons of milk. My MIL for cooking a chicken for us so it didn't spoil. Thankful that it's summer time and I could sit outside in the sun. For not being too grown up to let my hair down with my kiddos and play in  tropical storm Irene I am so thankful came to our doorstep!!




Saturday, August 27, 2011

pigs, pigs, pigs

I just so happen to think that pigs are cute. I like to watch them. I finally got some pictures and my Man got a short video of them and their, well antics! I hope you will take a few minutes to watch our happy pigs munch on some apples we got and some stale bread. They really enjoyed it and the fresh sawdust! I'll post the pictures below!

video

We were unable to bring the pigs to our house this year. We tried to figure out how we could keep them here and it just didn't going to work out. Lack of a place to house them and fencing to keep them in. They need hot fencing and we just didn't have enough to go around. We had wanted them to be pastured outside and root around like pigs do. They were kept clean in their pig pen and had all natural grain and food scraps. There is also a window in their pen. We were disappointed, but did the best we could to give them a good life. Maybe next year it will be different. They will be going to the butchers in October.

And again the red on one of the pigs is beets, not blood. I have been canning beets this week and the peelings and ends went to the pigs. They loved them!



peek a boo!!
Hope you all have a blessed weekend! I'll be back provided we don't loose power and all that with the storm that is headed our way. One minute it's a hurricane and the next it's a tropical storm. We shall see. But in either case we are ready and have extra water on hand for all the animals. Again we shall see. I'll let you know how things turned out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

stormy weather

The wind is blowing a bit on the wild side. The sky is a beautiful gray, and blue and there is a humidity sitting in the air that smells like rain. The clouds are thick and covering the sky, and the sun can hardly peek out from around them. The cut hay fields that surround my house are short and bowing, bending, twisting, almost dancing with the wind. The animals are happily eating yet they seem to sense the coming storm, and there is a bit of unrest about them. They seem to jump and twitch when they hear a certain noise. Thankfully it's not a full moon! The clothes on my clothes line are blowing about wildly, with the wind and will be dry in no time. I love the feel of the moist, heavy wind on my face and I turn to enjoy it. My hair flying wildly about my shoulders. I close my eyes and imagine the ocean waves that are crashing against the rocks the white caps on top of the waves as they come rushing in and out! I bet it looks just amazing, it does in my mind. The gray, blue color of the sky and the water. I can almost smell the ocean now, the smell of the salt water, and the tangy taste of it on my tongue, just the smell of the ocean in Maine. The sea gulls flying above calling out to one another seemingly uninterested in the storm that is coming. I wish I was there to see it, and smell it. Maybe capture a picture or two or 50!
The weather men are calling for a hurricane category one here in Maine depending on how hurricane Irene tracks. We could be in for a wild, wet, windy weekend here. Not compared to the havoc that it will wreck on the coastline down more southern then us. But it could still be interesting to see how it all pans out. I am always amazed at the wild weather that my Creator can open up and unleash on us. All the different kinds of storms.
 The pictures below doesn't do justice to how it looks. But this is out back of our house. You can kinda see the dancing. I like this view!




Can you see the flowers and the grass bowing, bending, and twisting in the wind? No? Well I tried to capture that for you. I even switched my camera to the blur reduction part. Anyways...


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

projects


I made a baby blanket for a friend of mine expecting a girl. I never did get a picture of the finished blanket but I think it came out really well. I followed a pattern that I had never used before too!!! The colors were really nice and I used that Simply Soft yarn. I can't remember the color of it but it's multi colored!


I've just started a new baby blanket for another girl, but have maybe 7 rows done on it. And I'm following a pattern that I've used before but not sure if I've shared it before. So when I get more done on it I'll show you. I just need some time to sit down and actually knit! Haven't had a whole lot of extra time lately. I'm still not sure what "extra" time really is!! hahaha!! I'm still trying to get caught up on the blogs I follow!

Monday, August 22, 2011

this is what we do

on what seems to be the hottest days of the year. Hay!!
But due to the chicken poo we put on the starved fields we now have over 700 bales of hay in the barn!!!!! We are praying that we will get a second crop! That will be for Maggie when she freshens in October. Provided we get the second cut. We were thinking that we would need 600 with all the critters we have. Due to a rather wet spring we  had to buy hay for the horses because the grass was slow to come! What a blessing to us, to have 700 bales! We had to hire the cutting of the hay because it was so thick and our sickle bar mower wouldn't do the job. While Matthew was raking the hay both times we made hay the kiddos and I went to a party at my grandmothers and then to his family reunion! (Two different times). I get a kick out of that. I went to his family reunion without him. I like his family so it was no big deal. The kiddos went swimming in the lake and I watched them. It's a very shallow lake too.
 I ended up having to stack hay on the trailer while it was coming off a homemade loader, well I'm not a very good stacker and I ended up falling off the side. Thankfully I wasn't hurt, just a nice bruise behind my knee and a tender spot down the side of my leg. I actually landed on a bale that I had just knocked over. Then when my father in law was driving down the road with it, 5-6 bales fell off. Guess I didn't get them packed tight enough! That was my first time stacking hay on a moving trailer! Matthew said I did fine. After that load I didn't have to stack any more hay. Not because I fell, or lost a few bales, but because Matthew was done baling and he could stack it. He's a great hay stacker!
One afternoon when things were winding down Matthew let Little Matt drive the tractor!

pleased as punch at a job well done!
So until the next post take care!




Saturday, August 20, 2011

i'm back!!!!!!

OK. So my wonderful husband surprised me with a computer late this morning!! Thank you honey!!!
It's all up and running. And I only had to call tech support... once, oh ok twice!! Hahahahaha. Computers and I we are so compatible!! That is in there for my sister. She'll get a laugh out of that!! I hope!
Well now that I can blog, my brain won't work, I have so many things I want to share. So watch out I may just keep on rambling!
So much to do, but I think I'll blog for a while, then get busy...

Well remember how we got a rooster.Still have him, and he still wakes me up at 4-4:30 every morning. Grouchy is what that makes me. We locked some hens up with him. All but one, she was the low one on the pecking order and was never around. I thought something had gotten her because she was gone for weeks. She was never with the rooster. Then she came out from under the cow barn. She was thin and pale looking. She ate some food and then went back under the barn. We figured maybe she had a nest, but didn't know if any of the eggs had been fertilized. She didn't come out until a few days later. Still alone. She went back under the barn for a few more days. Then Emma comes in the house her large, round blue eyes wider then normal and a smile on her face and says "Mommy come see what I found! The hen came back with some babies!" We (myself, DaLaney and my mom were here at the time) went outside and saw 5 little fuzzy butts running around with a very proud mama hen. She is very protective of them and even tried to attack Maggie for going in her barn! Guess she got a little close to her babies. Other hens come around and mama gets ugly and will attack them if they get too close. They run like the dickens when she comes at them too! They are sooooo cute! I'll try to post a picture of them...




I did it!! Wwwwaaahhhhhoooo! Sorry just a little excited about that. No tech support involved!

We have stopped milking Maggie too. She is getting dried off because she is due October 12. She was still giving about 1.5 gallons a milking and we had been milking her for 13 months. Due to all the trouble we had getting her AI'd. Guess she's a good little milker. Thankfully we have not had a problem with her getting too swollen and uncomfortable. She seems happy enough to munch on hay and lounge around all day in her dry paddock! Ah the life! That worked out well because I had to have my wisdom teeth out, I kept putting it off, so no milking or heavy work for me. Bad time to have it done right in all the harvesting and canning get busy. But I'm on the mend, and as of right now I still don't think it's worth it. I'll let you know if I change my mind. I'm ready for a nice grilled stake and a green salad! Sounds good to me!!
Well that's all for now! I gotta get caught up on all the blogs I follow, and some canning done! Hope all is well with you all!!





Friday, August 19, 2011

just a note

Aaaahhhh feels good to sit and be on the blog again! I don't know if any of you noticed or not but I have been very absent from all blogs. Not by choice, but because our computer died a slow and painful death last month. Now to let you know it's not worth all that it would cost to fix it.  WWWWWAAAAHHHHHHH. I feel slightly better. We had a whale of a month last month and I'll catch ya'll up on it when I get my new computer. I'm currently at my SIL on her computer. I wanted ya'll to know to check in with SweetLand every once in a while to see if I'm up and running. I will also have to catch up on of of the blogs that I follow. Can't wait to see what all of you have been up to this summer!
But July was a good one for thunder storms, and some huge ones at that. I think I've mentioned that we get some storms on the hill. In the span of one week we lost two fence chargers, and the phone due to the thunder. Then the computer died, not due to thunder. We didn't know the cow's fencer was dead until she got out one morning. Sunday no less. So after chasing her around for about an hour I caught her  and got her in the barn. We were even on time for church, which was a good thing!! Then the horses fencer was dead and I noticed that Time Out was pushing herself into the fence and not getting shocked. Matthew was able to fix that one. The cow's fencer is complex and new and had to be sent back to the makers. The inside of it was fried. Must have been some hit from the lightening too. We even have one of those lightening diverts too. Didn't work. Clearly.
Anyways, that's all for now. Just wanted you to know that I will be back blogging soon. Hope all are well and will be catching up with you soon!!!