Sunday, February 27, 2011

A lack of change

Hubby and I made a trip to Goodwill today. Its amazing how we go to donate stuff we dont need and come home with new stuff. Usually we return bearing books. Today, it was the Little House on the Prairie series for me. This was a childhood favorite. I remember being allowed to watch the tv show as long as my homework was done, and I had practiced piano for an alloted time. Oh how I loved Laura's adventures. I still do. This evening, after all the farm chores were done I settled in for a bath, with Little House in the Big Woods. Re reading this series started me thinking. Growing up, I loved anything having to do with the pioneers. I loved Little House, reading about the Donner Party (and visiting Donner Lake). I loved playing with my American Dolls. I loved my dollhouses, built by my grandpa. I would decorate and "play" with the dolls. They even had pizza, tea sets, Christmas lights and snow! To sum up my favorites then, I liked decorating, playing house, and homesteading. Funny, those are still my favorites today. I love decorating our real house. I love anything about homesteading, including re reading childhood books on the subject. Is this just a coincidence? I dont think so. I started thinking about my sisters, and their likes as well. My sister A, loved bugs, drawing, and nature. She had a poster board with pined on dead insects that lived in the garage forever. She would draw, sketch and paint her heart out. She loved anything having to do with nature and animals. To this day, she loves the same things. A runs an art school that also houses exotic animals and reptiles. She is an amazing artist and I am proud to show off her work in our house. She shares her love of art, nature and animals with kids of all ages. My "little sister" J, loved math. She loved puzzles- both physical and mental. Any time we went on a trip, she brought a "mind puzzle" book. J loved making lists and filling out forms. If we checked into a hotel, she would fill out the registration form. Visitor forms at church? she was on it! J made lists and census' for everything. Today, she is a super important HR employee for a company back home. She continues to enjoy puzzles. She loves sudoku. Its a safe bet, at Christmas, she will complete multiple puzzles. Her favorite game is Monopoly, where the whole game is planning, math and strategy.
Looking back, its amazing how we have changed so much yet so little. Is it normal that people are still passionate about the things they enjoyed growing up? Normal or not, I think its incredible! So here's to playing house, art and math and hoping we dont change too much in the next 20 some years.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baby Bunnies, Stump Burning and Paint







After working this morning, I returned home to a beautiful day! Changed into what I call my "farm clothes" ie yoga pants and a stained/paint covered old sweatshirt of Hubby's. Hubby and I spent the afternoon out in the yard. I grabbed my bucket of "barn and fence paint" and went to town. I painted our raised garden beds that will be for the chickens. I painted wooden chairs that will go in the chicken coop. Most excitedly, I painted the bee hives. They were white to begin with, and I just gave them a fresh coat. We ordered our bees last week, and if everything goes well, we will have them by April March timeframe (I think). While I painted, hubby played with fire. Well, kinda. You see, we have these two big stumps near the chicken coop. The trees were cut down years ago. The stumps are ugly. They are half gone, so you cant really use them for anything. Too low to the ground to cut up further. Hubby started a hole in the center, and spent the next few hours tending a fire in both stumps. Today was a perfect day for stump burning. The ground is still wet from all the rain and snow and there was practically no wind. One of the stumps is mostly gone, and the larger one will need a couple more sessions with my pyromaniac.







During all this hard work, we did make time to check on the baby bunnies. They are so chubby, which remains a mystery to me. They pass their time in the nest box, covered in fur. I have no idea how they are able to nurse or even find mama bunny amid all that fur. Apparently its working, because their bellies are growing. They are getting hair, and looking more and more like bunnies. I cant wait until their eyes open! Speaking about bunnies, it looks like one, maybe two of the angoras are due. We are unsure who, if either is pregnant, but they are both building nests. I am nervous about the babies surviving, since this will be both their first litters. Its out of my hands. We made sure they both have adequate food and water, and will leave them be for the night.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mama Bunny

If Chickens are known for their care free, live in the moment, worry free lives, Mama Bunny is the opposite. She is worried about everything. She doesnt hang out by her nest with the babies for fear that a predator might see her and get to her darlings. She is worried about making a mess. She will use one area of her cage for a toilet so that her house is always tidy. When she gave birth to her babes, she ate her placenta and cleaned up all the evidence. When she gave birth as you know there were 6 living babies. Out of those 6, 1 was super small. He was definitely the runt of the litter. Hubby and I were not sure if he would make it. This evening after I got home from work, I went to check on Mama Bunny and her brood. There she was, eating the runt. Mind you, he was already dead. Nevertheless, she was cleaning up the evidence. Worried something might smell a dead baby. She wasnt about to wait around for us humans to dispose of the poor thing. No, she took matters into her own hands. No doubt she worried about the poor guy all the way up until his death. And then worried about the safety of the rest of the litter. What Mama Bunny doesnt know, is that there are no predators in our bathroom, where she is currently taking up residence. There is nothing to smell the dead babe and come after them. But Mama Bunny worried just the same. I immediately scooped up the half eaten runt and disposed of him. It might be nature, but no mother should eat her young, not if I have anything to say about it. Now Mama Bunny is resting in the bathroom, with the rest of her brood. Who, by the way, have the roundest bellies. They are just starting to get fuzz for fur. Their eyes are still not open, but they have floppy bunny ears... I cant wait until they are out of the nest and more bunny like....
The carefree chickens, on the other hand, were cooped up today. We had a huge rain/wind storm and I didnt want them blowing away. When I checked the eggs this evening there were 9. 9! Wahoo! Its a good thing I left them in the coop. The wind tore the patio umbrella (that was centered inside the patio table) out of its stand, over the roof of the house, where it now sits on the front porch, just waiting to greet hubby when he returns from poker. I dont think those chickens would have stood a chance against the storm... I did feed them green beans this morning, so at least they got a treat.

A Useful Christmas Gift


For Christmas, my parents gave Hubby a Shop Vac. I assumed it was something he would keep in his workshed. I had no idea how useful it would be in the future. For example, a while ago, the downstairs kitchen sink flooded. Water was everywhere. My first instinct was to grab all the towels in the house. Hubby had other ideas. Out came the shop vac, gone was the water and there was no need to get my towels wet. Awesomeness!
Last night I couldnt sleep. I tried mind you. I just laid there trying to sleep but really thinking of all the things I needed to clean around the house. Outside there is snow on the ground. That means any entryway in the house is either covered in wet or muddy footprints. This morning after doing all the farm chores, I let the dogs have free run of the downstairs. I busted out the Shop Vac to see what Hubbys Christmas gift was all about. I vac'ed the downstairs kitchen...and the laundry room...and the fireplace (man that thing even sucks up whole socks!)...and I started on the carpet in the hallway! I dont think there is a surface the shop vac cant handle. I might be in love. The hose is way longer than that of a vacuum. It holds sooo much more than a normal vacuum. It can clean wet or dry. A jack of all trades! There might be more vac'ing tonight when I get home from work. I know the floors wont stay clean as long as there is snow on the ground. Its ok. I can use the shop vac. Thanks Mom and Dad! Thanks Hubby for leaving it in the house!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Going Green







We are going green...in the kitchen! Hubby and I have been working on the kitchen for quite some time now. I am satisfied with the cabinetry, in love with my sink, and disappointed in the opposite wall. The wall is white. Against the wall I put the hoosier cabinet we found at an antique store. The was was still bland. Hubby and I painted the offending wall green. The same green that is on the cabinets, and the wall in the living room. I love it! Now I want to paint the rest of the kitchen green... Maybe next week. What do you think about my new wall?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby Bunnies
















Yesterday when I mentioned we might have baby bunnies, I had no idea how right I was. I knew one of our albinos was pregnant, but I wasnt sure about the other girl. Hubby went out to check on the pregnant doe last night and discovered she was in labor. We left her to it, while closely monitoring her at the same time. She is now the proud mama to 6 babies. She delivered 7, but one didnt make it. Since the temperature got down to 2 last night, I brought her in this morning. Mama and babies are now in the bathtub, surrounded by old towels. Its amazing really. She completely filled the nesting box with her fur. Its like the babies are sleeping in a cloud of their mamas fur. How awesome! It definitely says something about the mama. Like any mom out their whether human or not, she is willing to give anything for her new babes. She has bare patches of skin where she pulled out fur. Now if that isnt bunny love, I dont know what is!





Mama albino's sister also gave birth. Sadly, as it is common for most first time bunny mamas, her litter was all stillborn. During my research, everything agreed that there was nothing to be done. Although she did pull out fur to start a nest, she didnt make it warm or cozy enough for the little ones to survive. I am hoping the research is right, and she will learn from this experience and be a better mama next time. The mama that has the living babies, had a litter a while back that died. We are going to let both mamas heal and be pampered. I am hoping all the babies survive.





The rest of the farm is doing well. All water buckets were frozen solid from the cold last night. I hiked out in the snow, wearing my hand-me-down ugg boots from my sisters. I love those boots! All animals now have feed and water. The cats are locked in another bathroom so they wont get near the bunnies. I have a toasty cup of coffee and a bit of time before work. Happy Bunny Day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Introductions...

This weekend there were quite a few introductions around the farm. We started Monday off by picking up 4 more ducks. 3 girls and a boy. We stopped on our way home in Ellicott City to do some antique shopping. While wandering around we got a call from a friends dad. He had 12 chickens he was looking to get rid of- did we want them? You bet! After enjoying a wonderful lunch we hopped in the car and picked up the chickens. We came home with 12 more chickens and 4 more ducks. I didnt expect the new hens to start laying, due to stress. I figured we would give them a month to settle in...nope, today we had 9 eggs!





Everyone was cooped up today due to the snow. Friday was in the mid 70s. Last night we got dumped on with snow. I had to work today, while hubby got the day off (base closes for even the smallest bit of snow). I want to give the new girls a few days to get accustomed to the coop before we let them roam free. Come spring, we have plans to build an enclosed chicken run. We will need to, with the chicks being old enough then to join the rest.






When I got off work, I did my daily inspection of the farm. Usually I check everyone in the morning when I feed and water them. Today hubby was on "farm duty" since he was off, so I didnt get to see all the animals. The chicken constantly amaze me. They are generally happy creatures. Even happier when we give them treats of corn, yogurt or popcorn! The ducks are dirty, but noisy as always. When we have nicer weather they will all get baths. When I got to the rabbits, I noticed something different than normal. One of the albino girls has started pulling our her fur. She happens to be the girl who is with the boy right now. We immediately took him out, and gave her lots more bedding. My theory is that she is pregnant! She has been busy building a nest ever since! Upon inspection, the other albino girl seems to be pregnant too. They each have seperate cages now, where they can have kits and not be disturbed. Hopefully the babies wont freeze like last time. Now if only the angora girls would have babies. I am dreaming of all the fiber!





This weekend we introduced the new chickens and ducks to the farm. Hopefully soon we will be introducing baby bunnies! Welcome to Victory Garden Farm Ya'll!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekend? Sunshine? Holiday? Absolutely!




I had to work this morning, and I left the farm in capable hands. Hubby did the launday, organized some out in the yard, and started painting the chicken coop while I was at work. I came home with Chick Fil A (suiting considering how the afternoon was devoted to chickens...). We took a break for lunch, and both painted after. Three sides of the chicken coop-former playhouse, are free. The other side, is one wall of the new-and-improved goat pen. Painting the three free sides was easy (except for one side where a rock comes close- see photo for details). While hubby worked on one of the free sides, I entered the goat pen to paint that side. Bad idea. Jackie and Billy are now wearing lipstick because they got a little too close to the freshly painted red wall. In fact, not only are their lips red, but their ears and tail are as well. Jumpy is best described as flighty. I think of her like the character Brittany on Glee. Ditzy and clueless. Meanie is a whole different story. She is constantly challenging me by rearing up on her hind legs. She wants me to tap her on the forehead. This supposedly mimmicks the goats playing. However, lately Meanie charges me with her horns down. When she makes contact, she brings her horns up, effectivly hooking me. Normally, in the old pen, she couldnt get a huge start because the pen was so small. Now she is back with a vengance. I would lift the paintbrush to paint, and she would charge. Hubby stepped in. She only kind-of charges him. I do exactly what he does, and she has no respect for me. Hubby had an idea. To get her to respect me and leave me alone, we should do what we do with the dogs. Tackle them and make them surrender. Hubby went first. Effortlessly he brought the goat down (with no harm to the goat) and held her with his hand. "And thats how you do it". OK, if he can do it, so can I. Yeah right! The goat must have thought i was doing one crazy dance. I grabbed her horns (as hubby had done). I grabbed her front legs (just like hubby). I bent round in a circle (just like hubby). The goat just went round and round with me (not at all like hubby). Hubby came over and flipped the goat. We stayed like that for a minute or so, with me on top of the goat, showing it who is boss. NOw, this may work with dogs. They will respect you for it. Not with a goat. Meanie, who hated me before, was now furious. When I let her up, she got a running start, and rammed me as hard as she could. My leg now has a big red welt from her horns. Hubby put her on a tie out, so I could finish painting. We are thinking Meanie will make one good barbeque. I dont know what else to do with her. I dont want a goat that I am afraid of. I dont want a goat that will challenge kids who come over. Jumpy can stay, Meanie has to go.



On a better note, Little Guy is completely well. I am amazed he is still with us. He is now fluffy, and growing in his wing feathers. Same as the rest of the chicks. Daily, we take them out of their cage, and let them run about the bathroom. Dont worry mom, we are going to sanitize it 100 times when they are gone. They peck at the floor, flap their wings, and sleep on my leg. Last night, I had 6 little chicks lined up on my ankle, passed out asleep.




Out in the coop, the pullets are growing (they are the 4 medium sized chicks we got a couple months back) The cochin hen (the gorgeous one in the pics) thinks they are her babies. When they are caged she frets about the edge of the cage. When they are loose, she is huddled near. She never leaves the coop with the rest of the chickens. She stays and does the babysitting. I just hope she starts laying soon. Today was a 4 egg day! 3 from the chickens, and one from the duck. The duck took a vacation from laying. Was it just that she was tired? Or was she protesting? If the Reds dont have to lay, why should she? In any case, she is back to laying, and we are all thankful!


The goose should start laying sometime soon too!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sunshine, A goat pen, and paint





Today was such a beautiful day! The temperature was in the mid 50s, which is super warm compared to what we have had. Fortunately for me, I had the day off. We had been wanting to rearrange the goat pen for a while, so I adopted that as my project for the day. It was meant to be our goal once hubby gets home from work, but he is working late today...so I started...and finished it on my own! Of course I will have hubby check all the fence connectors and tighten what I couldnt. We moved the goats out of the barn (did I mention yesterday that they went through the barn wall and hubby found them in the frontyard?) Now, their pen is attached to the chicken house. The chickens can watch the goats out their back window! The goat pen is now huge! We combined the goats fencing with the dogs fencing for one huge pen. They have multiple shelters, as well as rocks to climb on. Jumpy, loves to be up high. She will stand on the tallest rock, or even on top of the dog house. Meanie has a ton of room to run around, and Jackie and Billy have places to hide from her. I think they will like this new arrangement way better. We have real fencing to put up come spring, but the ground is still too frozen, so this is temporary.
I am starting a new painting project (no more walls to paint). It involves canvass, stencils, letters and green paint to match the living room and kitchen... Ill post more about it when its done....off to paint now!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I wanna be in the blog



As if this little guy isnt mentioned enough...he couldnt resist yet another posting to update his status. Little guy is doing better. He is chirping loudly, looking fluffier, drinking and eating. He is not quite ready to join the others (he got trampled when we tried earlier). He is working on regaining his strength here in the office. Getting lots of attention from Hubby and myself. We did lose one chick earlier today. Hubby found it. It was the other sickly looking one. I am glad it wasnt my Little Guy. Each hour is an hour stronger. You can do it little guy, you already are!

Hang in there little one...



We are trying...He is trying...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Final Touches



The kitchen is getting its final touches. I had ordered this sink skirt and curtain from etsy. It came this week. Hubby and I just finished hanging them...what do you think?

A phone call, baby chicks and geese







What an eventful day today was! We started the day off by going to Lifepoint Church. After church, tim realized he had a voicemail. It went something like this "This is Greg, calling from the Post Office. We have a box of baby chickens here for a Jessica Griffith. You can come pick them up now if you want". What? We were expecting them tomorrow. We had one quick stop to make before driving an hour to get them. Our one stop was to pick up our new pair of geese. Remember I mentioned them before? We now have a goose and gander! We dropped them off at the house, changed out of our church clothes and drove down to Frederick, to get our newest additions. Little did we know this morning we would be returning with over 32 birds!





We arrived at the post office (did you know the shipping dept is open on sundays? I sure didnt!) and retrieved our box. As we were walking out of the post office, our box was like a chirping alarm. Man those chicks are loud! Once we got in the truck, I couldnt resist opening the chirping box. One chick, I sadly declared dead. He (or she) was laying in the corner, neck crooked and beak open. His (or her) eyes had never even opened. All the other chicks were standing on their feet, chirping loudly (i am sure in search of food and water). Hubby drove and I sat with the box, monitoring all the chicks. As I glanced in, I noticed that the "dead" chick was barely breathing. Now, if the chick really was dead, I could handle it. Its part of life. But I wasnt about to give up on a "mostly dead" (to quote the princess bride) chick. This chick was not going to die on my watch. I scooped him up, careful to support his head. The poor thing couldnt stand up, or even lift his head. I gave him some water by dipping his beak in a water bottle cap. Slowly he would drink and I would lift back his head to swallow. By the time we got home, he was still struggling. We set all the other chicks in the brooder. Hubby showed them each how to drink and they were off. Hubby set up the heat lamp and we admired our healthy chicks. I returned my attention to our sick one. We fed him sugar water and put him in a bowl with his own heat lamp. Hubby and I settled in on the couch to watch Glee. After each episode I would feed the poor chick more of the sugar water concoction. As I was holding him, he slowly opened one eye. Then another. Then he chirped. He would try to stand and lean and fall over. Once he was down, he wouldnt have the strength to get back up. We would prop him back rightside, where he would stand until falling over again.





I am now proud to report that he seems to be doing fine. His chirping is louder, he can stand without falling over. We put him in with the others, so that he could join his kind, have the warmth of their bodies, and try to eat and drink on his own. He will require lots of checking up on, but I believe our "mostly dead" chick can now be counted amongst the living! Its a miracle!





As I went out to do our afternoon check of the farm animals, I couldnt help but smile. The goats were playing in their pen. Jumpy was standing on top of their dog house igloo. Meanie was scratching her back along the chain link fence. Jackie and Billy were standing together. The chickens were running about, enjoying the freedom that warmer weather brings. The geese were checking out their new crib and looking for possible escape routes. I was overtaken by contentness. I love this farm! Sure, there is a ton of work that needs to be done. Yes, the goat pen is smelly. But there are baby chicks again in the bathroom. The hens are producing 3 eggs a day. The goats are growing by leaps and bounds. Hubby and I start beekeeping classes next week. By the summer there will (hopefully) be bees buzzing around. Life is good. And I am thankful for that!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Debt Free

Its done! We paid off both the credit cards, and cancelled the accounts! This is a HUGE step for us. Its super scary, but definitely needed. No longer can we just use the card for something we want but cant afford. Sure, it might affect my credit score, but we decided its worth it. The only debt we have now is the house. I understand that according to Murphy's Law, now something is going to go wrong and be terribly expensive to fix. So now we will focus on building an emergency fund. Its going to be hard work but I know we can do it!
Hopefully within the year, the farm will be making a little more money. We are selling our eggs for $2 a doz. I think this is a fair price, since they are farm fresh and free range. Our new chicks are coming next week. In 5 months they will be laying and we can really start producing eggs.
All the animals are fed, watered and happy. Ill spare you the details of the goats escaping their pen this morning. lets just say I was running around chasing them in my pjs and hand me down ugg boots. Jumpy (one of the goats) doesnt have a collar (since she broke it a while back) and I had to pull her by her horns to get her back in...but i wont go into that adventure. Off to work now. I hope everyone has a debt free day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

this is the story of an egg...
















I got off work early today, came home and straightaway checked the chickens. One egg. I took the egg inside, put it with the others, and changed into work clothes before continuing with the rest of the farm chores. Somewhere in there I made a pot of coffee (too cold to survive without it). I returned outside to feed and water the animals. Funny how water freezes so fast when its cold outside. I decided to let the chickens free range. Everytime I open their screen door to go in, they try to make a mad dash to escape. Its not like they run away, since they return to their coop when they are tired or too cold. I proped their door open and went to check on the goats. While tending to the goats, I noticed that one hen was missing. Did a fox get it when I wasnt looking? A Hawk? I decided to check the coop again. There was the missing hen, just sitting in a box, waiting patiently to lay her egg. After many checks, she had abandoned her box to join the others, leaving a perfectly new, warm egg as a present. I imagine that she went out to the others, who were frolicking in the snow, and told them the wonderful news. Well the third hen didnt want to be left out. She ran her little chicken legs to the coop, and is presently sitting in a box awaiting her egg. I can just picture her, joining the others, proud that she too laid an egg. It looks like it will be a 3 egg day. Amazes me everytime! I know we risk losing one (or all) of the chickens when they free range. But you should hear them. They are so excited to be free. I think its worth the risk to have happy chickens.






The chickens are happy. The ducks have a thawed out dish pan to play in. The ducks are happy. The goats are fed (and even got some bagels) and happy. The dogs are laying in the office at my feet. I'd say they are happy too. I have a nice hot cup of coffee, and am quite content myself. I will be extra happy when I convince myself to brave the cold and retrieve that third egg.






P.S. 31 more chicks are coming on Monday!!!

geese


So we are considering broadening our flock to include geese. I found a guy who is paring down his flock and going to sell us a pair of geese. Hopefully if it all works out, we will get them this weekend. I am super excited! They are supposed to be great guard animals, and perhaps will alert us when the fox comes to visit again. Any suggestions for names? We are getting a goose and a gander... The picture is of the goose.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

adios credit card!

Hubby and I have been working extremely hard to pay off our credit card. We had paid off over 20000 in debt in 2009. Then we moved to Maryland, and put the move on the cc. Granted the government paid us back (it was a military move) but not after we had already earned interest (that the govt doesnt pay for) and bought necessary stuff. We went from a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house in Texas to a 3 bed 2.5 bath house in MD. We worked to pay that off (luckily it wasnt anywhere NEAR what it was before). Once we got it paid off, we bought a house, and moved yet again. We racked up a good bit with "house" stuff. We went from our 3 bed 2.5 bath house (which was huge to us) to a 5 bed 3 bath house on 5 acres. While we didnt buy anything furniture related for the farm house, we did buy lots of paint, and fixer-upper items. We kept Home Depot and Lowes in business! Hubby and I finally agreed that we are sick of living like this. If we just didnt have use the credit cards, then we could have that extra money in the budget. If we need something done, we will budget for it. Instead of buying and paying later.
Tonight hubby called the credit card company and cancelled his account. We still have one open account, that we will pay off by mid march. Its funny, because we were on the phone trying to cancel for about 20 minutes. The guy on the other end, kept asking if we were sure. Yes! At the very last minute, he mentioned that we still owed 3.35 in interest. Blah. Fine, if we owe it we will pay. He conviently mentioned that we could pay over the phone for a 14.95 charge. You mean you want me to pay a fee of 15 for a 3 balance? No way Jose! I can pay it online, for no charge and it will go through just the same. Man, I cant wait to be done with this.
Its scary, not having the card to fall back on. Its even more scary, how much we charge, when we have the account open. We have an emergency fund, should anything happen in the near future. Our next step is to save up 3-6 months expenses. Then we can work on saving for bigger items. Hubby will need a new vehicle in the next couple years. His is not 4 wheel drive and definitely not suited for the farm life. We can then save up for adoption and or infertility treatments. Its our dream to go to Alaska togehter (and even more perfect, to go when my cousin and her family are living there). All these things will be do-able in the future, if we can stay debt free. I know we should keep the card open for good credit. But that just doesnt work for us. I can not be trusted...haha. Sadly its true though, every time I try to just charge something little and pay if off monthly, we get into trouble... so its best to close out the account and use cash.
That was our big achievement for the night. One down, one to go. Then we will be debt free (except for this house, but thats ok). Wish us luck!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Constant Reminder


Every time I stand at the kitchen sink, I am greeted by this daffodil bulb. It amazes me every day. I took a bulb, ugly, layer-y and dormant, gave it some water and am watching it grow. There is a single word on a stick. Simplify. A constant reminder. I dont need "stuff". I dont need to be doing things constantly. Simplify. Read a book. Cook a meal from scratch. Watch a flower grow from a single bulb. Simplify. Love the Lord. Love my husband. Love my family and friends. Notice how the flower faces the sun. All I really need, is my family, God and a little sunshine. Simplify. Somehow I forget to slow down. And this flower reminds me. Its a constant reminder.

Graduation











So our bathroom chicks have graduated to the big coop. They are still in their cage so that the hens wont attack them. Everywhere I have read has said that unless the chicks are the same size (or close enough) to the originals, the originals will see them as weak and peck on them. I couldnt just sick them out in the coop to be tormented, but I also couldnt keep them in the bathroom (for sanitary reasons). The perfect solution was to put the whole cage in the large coop. This way the chicks will get used to the larger birds, and the originals will be accustomed to the smaller chicks. The hens are faithfully laying 1-3 eggs a day. Today was a 3 egg day. In the large coop we have the 3 original hens, George and Joseph the roosters. The 2 reds and 1 cochin are in a smaller seperate coop since the reds are molting right now. They look sick and I hope they will grow new feathers soon.
We are anticipating 30 more day-old chicks to come on Valentines Day. Sooo much better than chocolate, I dare say! We are planning out a brooder situation right now and looking forward to their arrival.
Today the weather is gorgeous. Cold, but gorgeous! The sun is shining, and melting the ice and snow. The snow on the barn roof is steaming from the heat of the sun. I spent the morning curled up under a quilt, reading a book about the amish. This evening we are going to a friends house for dinner. All in all, its a perfect, lazy Sunday. Exactly what we need here on the farm, to gear up for the work week. But we wont talk about work. No, I wouldnt want to spoil this perfect day. I hope your Sunday is just as wonderful!