Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February Tidbits

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just a couple of pictures to show what's been going on around here.


J made chocolate covered beef jerky for her friends for Valentine's Day!


I found this hen missing the back part of her comb on
Sunday.  She is now in quarantine, getting daily
Veterycin treatment.

The first flower this Spring:  Hellebores

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Finally Winter

The high temperature was 66* on Tuesday with sun and rain.  It dwindled to only 24* last night and turned to snow just as we were heading to bed.  There was a 2 hour delay for school this morning, but JP and I were out at 5:30 to clear the driveway and in front of the house.  I also walked the chicken fence, knocking snow off and shoring it up where the heavy snow weighted it down.  I measured 4 1/2 inches of accumulation.

On the way home from work this afternoon, the fields and trees along the roads were so beautiful, that I couldn't help but stop and snap a few photos.  As you can see, I was impressed by the contrast of the road and the snow.


 
 
It won't last long.  The temperature is supposed to soar back up to 60* by Sunday.




Sunday, February 5, 2017

Journey


By way of explanation:

The first half of this commercial played during the Super Bowl on Sunday, with a link to the rest of the commercial on line.  At the website, it was prefaced by the tag "the following commercial was deemed too controversial for television."  84 Lumber is a local business in our area.

By posting it on my blog, I am in no way condoning illegal immigrants, or (as many commenters implied) the hiring of illegal immigrants over those immigrating legally.  The absolutely first thing that came to mind after watching this commercial was "This is what I think of your &*%^ wall!"  I am diametrically opposed to keeping people of other races and cultures out of our country - we are the "Melting Pot" after all!

That's it for my soap box.

Super Bowl Food

Although our Steelers didn't make it to the Super Bowl this year, we have the tv on...playing in the background while we go about our lives.  We enjoy the commercials, and want to catch Lady Gaga's Half Time Show.  Super Bowl Sunday is also all about the food, and we spent a big chunk of the day preparing some bite sized nibblies for this evening:


Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries


Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers


Sausage-Cheese Balls

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night...

It is finally looking like winter around here.  We had sleet and then snow last night - less than an inch, but shoveling it was quite a workout this morning.  I did half of it before taking the girls to school this morning, and finished up on my return.

When I went into the chicken house after shoveling, all the chickens were still inside, which is a bit unusual.  I discovered the reason when I went out into the yard.  There was a carcass of one of my hens, tangled in the electric netting.  This one was destroyed much more violently and thoroughly than the ones killed by hawks in the past.  My dad came over as I was cleaning up, and asked if all the chickens were ok, as my mom saw a fox leaving our place this morning.

As we stood there talking, a hen came out from under Old Bessie, where she apparently spent the night.  I counted, and we seem to be missing one more, but I couldn't find any more remains.

After walking the fence to look for holes or low spots, we realized that it was not electrified.  After much trial and error, we narrowed the issue down to the box supplying the electricity.  I made a trip into town to the Tractor Supply Company to purchase a new one.

I chose one with a few more joules of power than the last one, whatever that means.  It had a pictorial guide on the back regarding which animals it is appropriate to use for: 


It looks like I'm good with chickens, rabbits, dogs, goats, pigs, cows and horses, but I'm out of luck with bulls, elk, and...what is that?  A fox?  I'm not sure.

Sigh.

We plan to get the fence up and running again before dusk, and will close the chickens up for the night.  Hopefully we won't lose any more of our hens!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It Happened Again

I had another birthday over the weekend.  I can't seem to refrain from having one annually!  This time, one of my favorite presents was the fact that my good friend from college drove up from VA to visit!  We had a lot of fun and stayed up way too late...just like in the good old days.

 
L baked me a carrot cake, and made cream cheese icing pretty much on her own.  She did a great job - it was delicious!

 
It was lovely and Spring like again today (we get a day like this here and there between the rain showers, apparently we are not going to have much of a winter this year.)  I spent several hours shoveling out the chicken house, putting more leaves on the garden beds, and shoveling out the culverts on our driveway before the next round of rain storms.

Tonight, my back and elbow are feeling the effects of being middle aged and spending several hours shoveling things.

Sigh.

After checking all of the roosting hens with a flashlight this evening, and getting pecked & pooped on, it appears that I have marked all of them with color coded leg bands.  We will probably have a butchering/canning day here soon.  Survival of the fittest, baby.

I'm off to find some Advil and a heating pad.  Nighty night!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Just a Trim, Please

It was so nice outside this morning, that despite all the things I SHOULD do, I went outside and puttered a bit in my flower beds.  There were a few plants that I neglected to dead head, as they were hiding past my weeping cherry tree.  And speaking of the weeping cherries, JP has been after me to trim them rather aggressively.  I have been dragging my feet because I like the way they look with their long, graceful branches trailing on the ground.  Nevertheless, I wielded the loppers and gave them quite a trim this morning.  In the process, I discovered 4 Praying Mantis cocoons on one of the trees.


I find these things quite marvelous, and I usually find a couple when I am clearing for the winter.  I actually found one on the asparagus that I cut down, and tucked it into the oregano for the winter...hope it's ok!


I'll try to remember to watch for hatching mantis-lets in the Spring and keep you posted!