Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chickens Love Octopus or Squid?

My neighbors decided that they didn't like Octopus or Squid, not sure which it was. They gave it to me and I didn't have the desire to try it, it just didn't look appetizing to me and I will eat just about anything.

I thawed it and put it out for the chickens, they were delighted. Garfield, our finicky cat liked it too and he doesn't even like tuna.

Looks wonderful doesn't it?

This hen wanted hers breaded, so she rolled it in some sand.

Most of them just grabbed some and ran.

The good news is that after their feast they laid 6 eggs. We haven't gotten that many eggs in a long time.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Adopting Dogs, Cancer Research, Global Warming

In continuation of yesterday's post, my mind seems to be stuck in reverse. I was thinking back to a time when I actually OWNED a dog. Now I am just a dog care giver, parent, foster parent, adoptive parent, servant and manager. It is now impossible to buy the pet of your choice. You must ADOPT a pet. Animals rights organizations and the government have put a stop to most dog breeding.

You can't adopt a dog from a rescue because their standards are higher than they are for adopting a child. Plus every animal you already care for must be spayed or neutered. You must live in an impenetrable fort and sign away your life and privacy. The rescue adoption fees are higher than you would pay to a good breeder for an excellent bred pup.

So here is what I see happening in the pet world. It is already happening with designer pets. They are mixed breeds without registration. Goodbye AKC! Goodbye purebred dogs! So what is the long term effect. No more breeders, no more rescues, no more humane society and no more animal control officers, this is great news. No more surplus animals.

Dogs will sell at a premium on the black market because they have become an endangered species. In the mean time look at all the lost jobs and incomes. What will all of the rescue, humane society, animal rights and dog registry people do with their time? Why do these people want to put themselves out of a job?

Talking about putting yourself out of a job. A friend of ours has cancer and as she struggles through her treatments, she has raised some good points. Why would cancer researchers want to cure cancer? Look at all of the people that it would destroy as opposed to all of the people it would save. Look at all of the Hospitals that it would put out of business. These researchers have put tons of money and effort into their educations to do what? Put themselves out of a job. Even if someone would make a huge breakthrough, I am afraid that they would be quieted. I hope this isn't true but when you think about it, it is disturbing.

This also brings to mind Global Warming and Climate Change, the very people who are suppose to be working for solutions to the situation are the ones who are making big money because of it. Why would they want to be upfront about the true situation? We should be jumping for joy that this has all been a scam but they are trying hard to say that it isn't a scam. Look at all of the people who will lose their fame and fortune.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Before Seat Belts and Car Seats

You know that you are getting old when you wake up one day and you are living in a very foreign country. Things are just not like they used to be. This has the potential to be an extremely long post. I will try to keep it short.

Are the changes that have taken place in the last 50 some years for the better or the worse? Some are definitely better but most, in my opinion, are for the worse. For instance, Banquet Pot Pies used to be full of tender white chicken or turkey breast meat and large chunks of good quality vegetables. They were delicious.

The last time that I had a Banquet Pot Pie it was full of some type of dark meat that was hard to identify with microscopic vegetables that looked like they were the castaways from someone's poorly performing garden. But most importantly the taste was terrible.

Many foods have changed for the worse. Potato chips bags used to be full of potato chips instead of air. T.V. Dinners tasted good and were cheap too. Pepsi doesn't taste the same now at all. My Son recently bought some cans of Pepsi that were made with real sugar in "re-makes" of the original cans and it tasted so good.

I told my oldest Son the other night that he didn't have a car seat or even a seat belt when he was young. When he was a newborn until he was 2 or 3 years old, he sat on my lap in the car. If he and I went somewhere alone he was on his own because we didn't have seat belts in all cars and trucks and even if they did have belts, you didn't strap your little kids in them, they weren't made for kids.

With our second Son, we did have a car seat of sorts. But it was probably more dangerous than no car seat at all. It was a hard plastic booster type seat with a hard plastic shield that came down in front of him. It didn't work with seat belts, so if we had ever been in an accident he would probably have broken his nose hitting that shield.

Station wagons used to be popular for families with children because the kids could entertain themselves by crawling over the seat into the back to play games or take naps on long trips.

When I was young and you went anywhere in a truck, it was a given that the kids had to ride in the back if it was warm weather. That's just where the kids all rode. We were still riding in the backs of pickup trucks when my kids were young.

I have blogged before about how we hauled horses when I was young and even when we were first married. Our horses just jumped into the back of the pickup with a wobbly, wooden rack with their heads over the roof of the cab facing the wind.

We weren't the only ones who hauled their horses like this, that's the way everyone did it. Now you have to have padded trailers, bumper pads, blankets and leg wraps. You also have to go to seminars, read books and work with your horse for hours or hire a trainer to teach it how to step up 4 inches to get into that trailer.

I honestly do not remember having problems loading horses into the back of pickups. I don't remember spending hours training them and we certainly didn't have to read a book or go to some big name expert's training clinic to figure out how to load a horse.

Our horses just jumped in when asked because they were livestock and not pets. They respected us and trusted us. If we asked them to do something they did it because we were confident that they could and would do it. We have dumbed down our horses today, we no longer give them credit for intelligence and ability. Our horses of yesterday didn't get a lot of mixed signals from their owners like horses do now.

I recently read in our local paper that they are thinking about making cold medicine by prescription only because of the Meth problem that is getting so out of control. That is such a shame for the people who are stricken with a nasty cold on a weekend or during the night and who can't afford to run to the Doctor every time they get a sniffle.

This all makes me wonder when we will have to start signing a paper or getting a prescription to buy drain cleaner. It has already caused farmers grief and heartache by having to account for their chemicals and the worry of keeping everything locked up tight.

We can no longer give privileges to the majority of the people, we have to punish the majority for the abuses of the minority.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

eBay, Roosters and ACV

It is nearly time to retire for the night and I thought that I should post something. But what? Three things came to mind, none that are related or mildly interesting.

I listed three Spyderco Knives on eBay this evening for my Son. They didn't look like much to me but one got a bid as soon as I hit the submit button. That is unusual for me. Normally the things that I list on there don't get a bid until 3 minutes before the auction ends. I hate listing things on eBay, it takes so much time and thought. But once the listings are done, they are fun to watch.

Since we have so many roosters, five at the moment. Only the alpha rooster sleeps in the goat/chicken shed with most of the hens. That means that the rest of the boys sleep in the barn with us.

Most of the time they don't bother me at 2:00 in the morning when one of them gets the idea that it is wake-up time and starts crowing. This wakes the other three who follow the leader. They do it all over again at 3:00, and so on and so forth. If my DH doesn't have to get up early he takes the time to carry them all one by one out to the goat/chicken shed after they go to roost, so that he can rest in peace. He doesn't seem to be bothered by the 2 and 3 o'clockers. It is the 4 and 5 o'clockers that upset him.

One of my Granddaughters spent the night with me the other night. She is 5 years old. The next morning she informed me that that rooster just kept roosting and roosting all night and she couldn't sleep.

I have taken on another supplement today. You cannot believe all of the herbs, teas and seeds that I am taking since I had to stop seeing my Doctor. None of them are doing any good but I just keep trying.

My blood pressure is one of my main problems right now. I am taking every herb known to man that is suppose to lower BP but nothing is working. So I started taking a little Apple Cider Vinegar today. I give it to my goats and chickens but hadn't considered taking it myself until I read online that it will lower blood pressure. We shall see. I know one thing, it tastes nasty. I don't understand why my goats and chickens act like it is so delicious.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Horses Ate My Computer

Our beautiful white farm is quickly turning to mud. This is not good, I know that we must have mud before we can have Spring and grass, but mud is so muddy.

We are trying to figure out where we can come up with the money for gravel to cover the muddy mud that was once our driveway. We still have a hay bill that is not paid and continue to need more hay.

I gathered a little money at the end of 2009 and at the beginning of 2010. We both decided that money would be used to purchase a new computer that we desperately need, as ours is now operating solely on prayer.

I shopped a little for a new computer but by the time that I put together the system that I wanted, an iMac, I didn't have enough money and would have to wait to gather some more money. Low and behold, instead of gathering more money, that which I had started to dwindle.

The horses haven't completely eaten my entire computer yet. But they have a good start on it. Even if that money isn't used to pay for hay, it will be used to pay for things that hay money should have paid for. So, in the end, the horses will have eaten my computer or perhaps my new computer will be used to cover the mud in the driveway.

It would be nice if the horses could pay for their own feed like they used to, but those days are gone. We do have someone coming to look at some horses today and hopefully they will purchase one or two and my computer will be saved.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dashing Through The Snow

We ended up getting around 8 to 10 inches of snow. It is hard to tell how much we actually have because it tends to move around so much. In some places it is up to my knees. It is still snowing today but we aren't suppose to get anymore accumulation.

We were under some type of snow emergency yesterday. No one was suppose to be out on the roads unless they were coming home or going to work or had some type of emergency, like needing medicine. But we had to go feed a sick friend's horses. I am not one to like to get out on the roads when they are slick but for some reason I wanted to go yesterday. I took my camera and had fun getting out. There wasn't much traffic and it was a beautiful drive.

These are some pictures of our friend's place and her horses.

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Snow...

We spend much of our time under Winter Storm Warnings it seems. February has been a great month for warnings. We don't get much snow but we do get lots of warnings. We are just hoping that it doesn't end up like the boy who cried wolf.

We have gotten around 6 inches of the white stuff so far this morning. It is still snowing and the forecast says we could get another 6 inches. I don't think that we will but you never know with Indiana weather.

When I looked out the window this morning I was amazed by the beauty of it all, as usual. I ran to get some clothes on and to get my camera for pictures before the snow was disturbed.

I was too late. I heard my DH say that someone was plowing our drive. A phantom snowplow come flying down our drive. The problem was that he didn't know where our drive was and ended up plowing up the gravel and dirt that holds our driveway in place and keeps it from washing over the hill when it rains. Oh well, he meant well and it is the thought that counts.

I snapped some photos of the snow, they look a little gray because of the fine snow that is falling.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Collette 2010

Yes, I have accepted the fact that Collette is indeed expecting kids who were fathered by Rancid. Let me be perfectly clear on this matter, it was neither planned or authorized by me. I have no idea when the blessed event will take place and she is not being very forthcoming about it. But here for the perfecting of your prognosticating talent, are her official portraits.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Sun Has Arrived

The Snow has stopped and the Winds have ceased. The Sun is shining at our house and all is well. Our driveway only has one serious drift and it is only a couple of feed deep. We plowed through it with no problems yesterday going in and out of our drive.

My DH on his mail route enjoyed busting through deep snow drifts to deliver the mail yesterday. Unfortunately, the drifts ended up in the back seat. He learned his lesson, you don't plow through drifts at high speeds with your window down.

Collette looks so close to kidding but still no changes in her udder. It is suppose to get down to 6 degrees tonight, so that means 0 or -1 for us. I hope she holds off until much warmer weather.

On the lighter side; I wore some new cologne to Church last night and when my DH got in the Truck with me he asked, "Do you smell Diesel?".

How about some pictures?

Our new $300 hay feeder.

Going to Roost!

The beginnings of a storm.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

More Results

We could only find two eggs this evening, so the experiment isn't panning out with great results but I will give it another day. We haven't had the hens on layer feed this winter because we have been feeding them something with more protein but got a new bag of Layer Crumbles today.

Our updated weather forecast is a brand new Winter Storm Watch for Tuesday, 3 - 7 inches of blowing and drifting snow with cold temps.

And The Results Are In

3.4 inches of snow for us. Much less than the predicted 6 to 12 inches we were suppose to have by this morning. We had just a dusting when we went to bed last night but sometime early this morning it got slightly serious.

Here is our next forecast:


I got 4 eggs on Thursday after feeding the hens Cayenne Pepper on Wednesday. I got 1 egg yesterday. Today should be the test but with the snow and high winds, I am afraid that they won't be able to make it out to the Chicken/Goat shed where their nests are. If they lay here in the barn, I probably won't be able to find them. Especially if they go to the loft.

Friday, February 5, 2010

2/5/10 Storm Update

Well our big storm has arrived in the form of pure rain. My Granddaughter's teacher had told her that they probably wouldn't have school today. I don't know how she is doing but I would have been devastated when I woke up this morning, they did have school.

Our accumulation estimation was raised one inch last night to 9 inches and if this rain had been ice or snow it would have been a pretty decent storm. There is some snow mixing with the rain right now. It is a little after 9:00 AM. Instead of a Winter Storm Warning maybe we should be under a Deeper Mud Warning. There is still the possibility of losing power if the light poles sink.

Now A Warning

Our winter storm WATCH became a WARNING this evening. It was suppose to start with rain and it started raining around midnight. I love winter and snow, always have, but with the prices we are paying for hay and being caught with so many horses this winter, it has taken all of the joy away. I sure will be happy to see green grass growing again. I will also be happy when all of the hay bills are paid. It has been a struggle.

We worry about the horses because the big bales that they are getting are not what we would normally feed. My DH likes "good" square bales that he can regulate without much waste but all of the decent priced "good" hay anymore is just junk, moldy and weedy. We were forced to switch to big round bales that are nasty but are still costing us thousands of dollars.

We had to buy the big round bale horse feeders when we switched to round bales and you talk about a joke. They cost an arm and a leg. They start falling apart and getting dangerous after a couple months of horse use and sitting in the weather, more money down the drain.

The horses made me feel a little better tonight. They all look great and were running, racing and playing like a bunch of kids. Even my old gelding stood on his hind legs and pawed at the sky. I think they must be looking forward to the storm.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winter Storm Watch

Thanks to those who were concerned about me. December and January were not great months. December was lean in the pocketbook for us, plus I had the flu during the first part of the month then my DH got pretty sick towards the last part. I spent a couple of weeks on the couch with a pinched nerve in my back around the first of January. I think that I have had a little of the winter blues. Nothing much to write about and I just haven't been inspired.

However, I feel a little inspired today. As I sit here waiting on the big winter storm that is about to engulf Indiana tonight and tomorrow, I was thinking of Spring. Our groundhogs did not see their shadows and Spring is only a few snowstorms away. I know this because my hens have gotten back on their nests and gone to work this week. After months of one egg per day. We got two eggs, then six eggs, then zero eggs, then four eggs, then one egg. I can't wait to see how many eggs we get this evening.

The actual truth is that I had read somewhere that giving your hens Cayenne Pepper would make them start laying. I tried it and about three days later got six eggs. So, yesterday I fixed them up with some leftovers drowning in Cayenne Pepper. I will let you know how it goes.

Collette is huge but I don't think that she will have triplet doelings again this year. I think that she will probably have twin spotted doelings. I still have no idea when she will kid, but I do know now that the father is my black spotted young buck, Rancid. I didn't think he was tall enough or even knew what he was doing but where there is a will there is a way. He doesn't even stink yet!

I check Collette everyday when I milk Calico. She is getting ready to kid, losing her ligaments and has that dropped look, hollowing out in the flanks, carrying low. Still no udder to speak of though. She is waiting for just the right snow or ice storm or just the right sub-zero temperature.

My plans for the rest of today are to get prepared for a winter storm. I need to find a way to store some water. If our electricity goes out we have no water because we have a well with a pump. We do have a nice spring in case of emergencies but it is easier to store some from the well than hauling it to the house from the spring.

We do have heat from a ventless gas heater that provides our heat during the cold months. We do not have lights or a way to cook unless we run our generator. I miss having a woodstove because you always have heat and a way to cook. I suppose we could always build a campfire outside to cook on, I am a pretty good campfire cook.