Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Wonderfully Useful Little Booki receiiiaAAI

I recently purchased this book. make your nest. And I'm so glad I did! This book has tons of very interesting and easy to use information about homemade cleaning, cosmetics, and herbal medicines and first aid. I highly reccomend it for anyone interested in herbs and herbal remedies.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My....Feathers

So, Sick Little Hen is feeling a lot better now. She was back to normal yesterday, though she still hadn't layed an egg. I'd have liked to wait until she did, so I'd know that all was normal again, but I just couldn't make her stay in a cage in the garage anymore.  Poor thing must have been getting so bored and lonely.

So, last night back into the coop she went. This morning she seemed a tad disoriented, but through the day she got her spunk back and was scrambling right along with the rest of them for bread and clover.

So, I'm not sure if she's completely recovered and supplying eggs again.  But I'm pretty sure she's going to live now. Yay, no dead chicken!

The photo is from last week, when I had her soaking in a warm bath. That, supposedly, will help relax any clenched or cramping muscles, and move the egg along in an eggbound hen.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baby Robin

Didn't he get big, and cuter, so quickly? Seems like just a few weeks ago he was a naked creepy thing. Well, not that he's quite the looker now, but better anyway.

The sick chicken is still with us. She actually looks a bit better. More aware, and holding her tail at a normal angle again. I'm still babying and doctoring her.  We'll see what happens.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Poor Sick Chicken

This chicken is in the infirmary right now.  The infimary being a big cat cage in the garage.

I'm not completely sure what's wrong with her, but she's all droopy and pathetic, and her bottom was all filthy and oozey (with mucus, or maybe egg white) yesterday. There was some blood then too, but hasn't been since then.

So, I'm pretty sure that the problem is that an egg broke inside her. That can be a pretty serious thing, so I'm not too hopeful that she'll make it.

I am doing the best for her that I can, though. She's on antibiotics in her water. She's drinking water at a much higher rate than usual. I've been feeding her scrambled egg, yogurt, applesauce, and other tidbits to tempt her, like canned corn and cornbread.

She's got the cage to herself in a quiet, relatively warm place, and free access to layer crumbles as well.  I even had the radio in the garage going for her earlier, just to give her some company, but I shut that off for the rest of the day, in case it seemed threatening to her, since it's an unfamiliar sound.

She seems uncomfortable, but not suffering. If she were suffering, I would end that. We won't be taking her to the vet, she's not a pet, and she's two years old and possibly almost ready to be culled anyway.

I am grateful to her for two years of entertainment, good nutrtion, and a tiny bit of income (like the occasional farming magazine bought with leftover feed money).  I think that animals that are not in the realm of "pet" but of "livestock" enter into a sort of evolutionary business deal with us.  We owe them humane treatment, and we use them for nourishment.  Michael Pollan, Joel Salatin, and Barbara Kingsolver express this point of view more clearly in their books, if you're interested in the topic.

Because I've done my best to make sure the life she's lived with us has been as full of the things that chickens "love" as I could make it (those things that allow them to most fully follow their natual insticts and express their full "chicken-ness", to mangle a phrase from Joel Salatin), I will also help her through her illness to the best of my ability and, if it comes to that, make her end as comfortable and humane as possible.

If anyone has any tips for what else I could do for her, I'd love to know your thoughts.  I do realize that lots of people will do an "internal exam" of sorts, and I did don the latex gloves, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, she seemed so tender and uncomfortable. If that's absolutely needed, it's going to have to wait till Ben gets home. Other than that, let me know. Thanks!

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Garden Salad Illiustrated

This picture was supposed to go with the post below. I don't really know how it got de-attached.

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Garden Salad

My little lettuce patch is producing furiously around the weeds, and the radishes, though still small, are coming along leaps and bounds.  Which means salads every day. Otherwise, why did I bother planting spinach and lettuce? :)

We're having cornbread and beans w our Easter ham bone for dinner. Seems to me like that needs something green, so I got out some of the last of last years green beans from the freezer.  I can't wait till I have some fresh green beans again, but I think that'll wait till next week or the week after. It's still getting kinda cold at night.

I carried water to all the new trees and bushes this morning since it hasn't rained since the 7th, and there's none in the forecast till next week.  It looks like all the fruit trees and blackberries and elderberries we planted are doing pretty well.

One of the big Black Tartan cherry trees we planted last spring is doing really well and even has a few green cherries set on it. But the other one looks like it's dying and is all bare and sad. They're only about twentyfive feet apart and I can't figure out what the problem with it could be!

The peas are coming along slowly, but showing progress, so I think we have some yummy snap peas to eat in June.

And the sock I'm knitting is coming along slowly as well, but I haven't abandoned it yet.  The cuff is about five inches long, and I've been estimating and adding ankle and calf shaping as I go.  I can't wait to see how it fits when I finish!

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

So cute. And creepy.

The eggs in the nest on the back fence have started to hatch. This little guy is really cute, but baby birds sort of gross me out too. It's a love hate thing.

I'm impatiently waiting for his brothers and sisters to come out too. I'm pretty fascinated by watching these robins this spring.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Homemakers' Club and their dang from-scratch coconut cream pie make counting calories a daunting challenge. :)

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Seed Starting

I'm a little late starting my seeds this year, but if I were organized in every part of my gardening, where would the excitement be?

I use some seed starting trays that were a gift from my in laws last year. They're very convenient, the kind with the expando peat pellets and the clear lids.

Anyway, I find that it's very helpful to make a chart when planting these so that I won't loose track of what is what seedling. And no matter how I think I'll recognize them or remember what I put where, that's just not happening.

Also, I'm going to be setting the tray on heating pads. The warmth helps the seeds to germinate, particularly the tomatoes and peppers.

Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll be able to transplant some time in the end of May or the beginning of June.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Good Monday Morning to All!

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had very nice weekends.  Mine was both restful and productive.  Ben and I hung out watching netflix on the couch for much of Saturday, but we also managed to get the chickens moved off of the winter spot, plant four butterfly bushes and two rhubarb plants, and clean up some things in the yard.

Today I'm looking forward to mowing the lawn.  It's Lawn Mower Opening Day.  Ever since we got the riding mower last summer, I've really come to enjoy mowing the lawn.  It's just me and my audio books, out in the sun, watching the birds dive and chase the bugs I stir up.  Very calming and contemplative.  While at the same time kind of exhausting and chaotic.  Exhausting because of the sun and shaking, chaotic because of the huge noise and the fact that I sometimes find myself mowing dangerously, despite my best efforts to avoid it.  Good thing there's a kill switch built in if I slide off the seat.

After cleaning up a very disastery kitchen and mowing the lawn and starting my tomatoes and peppers (better late than never), I'm planning to relax with last week's Dancing with the Stars (I'm behind because no one would let me watch it last week, lol) and my knitting.  I'm just getting past the ankle on the purple striped sock I posted about a bit ago.  I'm hoping to get it finished this week.

I think the dew should probably be dry now, so I'm headed out to commune with my lawn mower.  Hope you all have lovely Spring-time Mondays as well.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

About that Blogging Break

While my blog has been been quiet and slow, my life has been quite full and busy.  I've had company this week, and we were quite busy site-seeing and spending lots of time together.

My little brother Adam and his super nice girlfriend Becky were here on vacation since Tuesday, and just headed back yesterday.  We did all the fun things we could manage to fit in while they were in town.

On Tuesday, we visited the arch.  They took the tram to the top, and then we watched the big screen movie about Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery.  After that, we had a picnic, and headed to the zoo.  It was really hot that day, all the way up to 85 or so.  So the zoo was fun, but pretty tiring.  We picked Ben up from work, and had a wonderful dinner at LaFonda.  I just love Mexican food.

On Wed, Adam and I hung out in the morning, and Becky slept in.  I was glad she got the chance, since it was her vacation, and she has to get up early every other day.  In the afternoon, we headed back to St. Louis, and went to the Art Museum in Forest Park.  There were thunderstorms, but after they cleared out, the park was just beautiful.  We picked Ben up again and headed home for Pizza Night!  Adam and Becky and I went next door to visit Leeza for a bit, and then we watched American Idol and ate pizza.

Thursday morning we were all up early, so we could be at Soulard Market.  It wasn't so busy as it usually would be on a weekend, but we picked up some fruit for breakfast, and had bagels from St. Louis Bread Co. to go along with it.  After breakfast, we went to Calvary Cemetary to see Tennesee Williams' grave.  But we ended up in Bellefontaine Cemetary, which is next door, first, and took a very fascinating self-guided tour there.  We saw lots a really cool, unusual and beautiful monuments, including William Clark's, and Adolphus Busch's and the Lemp family tomb.  Then we went to Calvary Cemetary and saw Tennesee Williams', Dred and Harriet Scot's, and General Sherman's graves.  We had lunch at Pappy's Smokehouse (yum!) and took a little tour of what is supposedly a haunted house, the Lemp mansion.  We didn't see any ghosts, so we went to the Delmar Loop and had some Fitz's root beer.  At their restaurant, we watched the root beer being made and bottled.  We shopped a little in the shops along there, and then came home.  Adam and I baked a little, and we watched Spinal Tap.

Friday morning, the weather was beautiful again.  We visited the Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, and came home for quesadillas.  We finished up our baking experiment.  We were trying to make homemade peanutbutter twix with a regular shortbread crust, not the icky chocolate one they use now.  They were pretty good, and turned out kinda close to what we were shooting for.  Becky and Adam packed up, and we took them to the airport.  So, it was a very eventful week, with lots of fun.  We got to know Becky a bit better, and really enjoyed visiting with them both.

Then this morning, we moved the chickens off their winter site, and a big rat ran over my foot.  Back to real life, I guess.

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Friday, April 02, 2010


She's just so over this whole blogging thing.

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