Saturday, October 30, 2010

Well it turns out the little hen end up hatching five little black chicks. So far they all seem like they are doing fine. I got a hold of my friend Marianne, to see if she had any chick starter and she didn't. So for now they will have to survive off of boiled eggs and bread crumbs.

Marianne and her daughter Kaitlyn came over this afternoon with their two ewes. Marianne doesn't have a ram, and I am okay with having her two girls here for the next two months.And I don't think Rambo really minds either. When I come out the house, Kaitlyn was telling me that  Marianne was in the back of the trailer trying to trim around their butts. I just told her if there is a will there is a way. Poor things never got sheared this past spring.

After showing them the hen 'n chicks, and checking out my Jerseys we came in the house for a pot of herbal tea. I had purchased a new tea-well new for me-by Celestial Seasonings Vanilla Hazelnut. It has a nice flavour, especially when you can share it with friends.

Last night I started falling asleep on the sofa just after 8pm. Frank kept telling me that it is to early for me to go to bed. I lasted until quarter to nine. That was it. I was done. I slept until 6.30 this morning. With that renewed charge of energy I had a fairly productive day. I did my chores this morning. Milking went great. I did laundry, dishes-several times, baked bread, made up my Amish cake, and used up some bananas that were past their prime, into cranberry banana muffins. Marianne said they tasted good. Hey I even got the farm books caught up to date. Including that dreadful GST!!

Kaitlyn noticed my crocheting sitting there, and she asked me what does hdc mean. I explain to her how to do the stitch  and she practiced it, while her mom and I talked tomatoes. I had a good day. Overall a pretty good day. And the temperature even got above 0 to 3 above. Most of that icky snow has melted. Life is good!
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Friday, October 29, 2010

a late bloomer....

Well, this little mama was discovered about week in a half ago sitting on a nest of eggs. She made a nest under a piece of plywood leaning up against the hen house. Which is fine if it was May, and not October! We decided to leave her be. Even though the overnight temperature has gotten down to -10, she never left the nest. And we left her alone. We made a decision to leave her there. We have debating where to put her once her eggs started to hatch. Not to many buildings here that are insulated.

Yesterday the eggs started to hatch. So the decision was made that warmest and safest place for the new family would be my storage shed. So amongst the lawn chairs, Christmas decorations, garden ornaments, an old stereo not to mention all the other stuff that is in there,  Frank managed to  fixed a spot for the hen and her little brood.  He built her a nest, set up food, water and a heat lamp. We boiled a about a dozen eggs, because, lets face it, where can one purchase chick starter at this time of year? Once it got dark out last night the boys moved the hen, three chicks and the remaining unhatched eggs to their temporary new home.

This morning, when I went to check on her, and to feed the chicks a crumbled boiled egg, and dry bread crumbs, she managed to hatch another chick. That is four. I never got a chance to see how many eggs are left  to hatch. Frank and I figure, if they survive,  and make it past the stage when they fill out with  their feathers, they should be big enough to move into the hen house, for winter.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

morning chores

I went to milk Annie this morning, what a waste of time. She had been sucked dry. There is one of two possibilities for this. First, that Jr, Misty's calf, is stealing milk or  second, Spook is back to sucking her mama. Madeline had put Spook and Miss Dolly back in with other Jerseys a few days ago. I don't know if the weaning period was long enough. It had been over a month when we seperated them. But my first guess would be Jr. So, no milk this morning.

Yesterday, with all the excitement happenin in the okay corral, I ended up with a few guests in with my Jersey girls. Rambo, was not suppose to stay behind. I didn't want him in with his ladies until December. But I am not going to try to convince him of that. I bought Rambo and his woollie women as bottle babies in April 2009. But when you are trying to teach children responsibilities, they think everything is play time- and yes my remaining kids at home are teenagers-so definitely everything is a game. Anyways, young Frank figured Rambo needed to learn how to head bunt, because if he was with other ram lambs he would do that. Right? Wrong! And besides Frank, Jr thought it was funny. Anyways, now Rambo thinks he needs to beat the shit out of everyone. So I guess Rambo stays. At least until January. Oh, the other guest is that beef cow in the background. But I aint chasing her out of the corral. The two Franks can do that tomorrow. And Rambo will probably go after young Frank again! I should have had my camera yesterday. Rambo nailed Frank from behind, knocked his legs out from under him..... I am grinning and snickering, 'cuz they didn't listen to me last year, every time he encouraged/egged on Rambo with the head bunting thing. 

After forking hay to my Jerseys and guests, fed 'n water the hens, and gathered the eggs. I hauled in an armful of wood. Did a load of laundry, put dishes away, and now contemplating if I really want to do housework. I probably will, just to kill time. My boys probably won't be home until early evening from Grande Prairie.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

a little bit of this 'n that

Well, I am being a 'bachelorette' this evening and most of tomorrow. Frank and the kids took a trailer load of bovines to the Grande Prairie Livestock Auction this afternoon. The sale starts tomorrow morning about 10 ish. We 'shipped' the bull, a culled cow, and four of this years spring calves-all steers. The gang left about 2.30 pm and they arrived at the auction mart about 5.30 pm. The highways were clear all the way. The cow - can't remember her proper name, we just called her Butter-bitch,- calved back in May, and she had come back in her cycle last week. She's only 5 years old. The bull is a 2 year old, no sense feeding him thru the winter. We will just purchase another bull come spring. Frank figures we might get $600/animal. They will spend the night at our daughter's, Cassierae, and the son-in-sin, Mike.

Madeline wants to stay with her sister for a week or two. To hang out. Do what sisters do with each other. By than Madeline will be extremely bored and missing her horses, and than she will want to come home. Maybe when I  go get her, I could kill two birds with one stone and try and  get some Christmas shopping done. That would  be great!! Can't believe it is only two months til Christmas. I love Christmas, don't get me wrong, I just don't like shopping for it. What I really want to do, is do all the shopping online!!

Soon I will be planning my Christmas baking. (I am not even done canning those damn tomatoes yet. Maybe I could feed the rest to the chickens- bwhahahahaha-that is my evil laugh) Frank always says that I make to much, and that we all end up getting fat the winter. If anyone reads my blog, lets swap recipes.! I am always on the hunt for something new to make for Christmas. I have made several different kinds of sweets over the years, besides that goodies that get done in the oven. Let me know if your interested.

Over the weekend, with the first official snow of the season-although winter doesn't officially start until the winter solstice-but hey I guess that is splitting hairs-we have so far accumulated eight inches of snow. Yep you heard me correctly, 8 inches of the white stuff.  I have decided that I am going to keep track of the temperature, and snowfall this year. Why? Because winter lasts roughly eight months, boredom, but out curiosity mainly. The first winter we spent here in our new home, 2006-07, I heard that at the Manning airport, thru winter, there was 10 feet of snow. I would like to see what we get here on the farm.

It is going to be a noisy evening. Those three mamas that don't have their calves anymore, have started a choir, and they are not singing on key or together for that matter. The rest of the calves will get seperated on Thursday. I hope the weather is a bit warmer, don't need no sick calves.
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