Thursday, May 5, 2011

Introducing our menagerie

We've added quite a few members to our animals family at the farm and it's time for them to be properly introduced.

Perhaps the most beloved-of-the-barnyard is Maybe the donkey.  She's an adorable little sweetheart that was given to us by friends.  She's a Jerusalem Donkey so as she gets older the black cross down her back and across her "shoulders" will become easier to see.  She's almost a year old.  If you've never heard a donkey-you-love hee-hawing I must say it's almost heartbreaking.  She sounds off if she hears us in the distance and wants us to come and pay her some attention.  She is a sweetie-pie and her main function is protection for the other animals.

Next are Flanders and Lambchops the ewes.  We "borrowed" a ram last fall and had both ewes bred.  The rams name was Jacob - I referred to him in an earlier post.  Farming is not for the faint-of-heart!!  We kept Jacob as long as necessary and then we - ate him.  He was the first animal we ever had butchered and picking him up after the fact was a lesson in real-life food production.  I don't think we ate any of the meat for 2 months just trying to adjust to the whole idea.  Unfortunately both of the ewes had miscarriages so no baby lambs at the farm this year. The girls have an appointment with the sheep shearer in the next few days - I'm sure they will be relieved to get rid of their huge winter wool load.

We have added significantly to our chicken collection.  so much so that we have lost the exact count!  There are approximately - give or take one or two - 40 hens running around the property with old-lady names like Annabelle and Clarabelle.  Most of them are Red-Sex Links, but there are also 6 White Leghorns, 1 unknown breed hen and 1 Black Silkie named Granny Pearl.  You can call them what ever you want - but they all come running when you holler HERE-CHICKIE-CHICKIES and walk towards the barn with a bucket in your hands.  They know who loves them - I mean feeds them!

Along with our hens we have two gorgeous roosters.  Solomon is the big shot Rhode Island Red.  He cockadoodledoos at odd times throughout the day - never mind mornings only and seems to have a very large EGO.  He sure knows how to strut his stuff.  Our other smaller rooster is Fred.  His wife's name is Ethel.  Poor Fred had a big fight a few weeks ago with a large duck and he his still licking his wounds.  We're not sure he is going to make a full recovery.  He is eating and drinking but he still looks rather sad.    It's too bad because he was a masterpiece of colours and flowing tail feathers and I was hoping he and Ethel were going to make beautiful babies together.

Some of our most entertaining members are the ducks.  We have two families.  The first we raised from day-olds last summer.  They were cute little fluffy bits of yellow when we got them.  Now they are all white Muscovies.  Sir Winston, Sir Francis (a girl), Lady Bella and Lady Gaga are never far from each other and they move as one when there's trouble afoot.  The other family of ducks are 2 Rouens - Harrison, one I can't remember the name and a Crested White Duck that I like to call PomPomHead.  The ducks have a small swimming pool outside my window and they are a JOY watching them splash and clean themselves in it.

Other than an assortment of cats - some of whom are going to have kittens soon and a spoiled-city-dog-turned-country-dog named Levi THAT'S OUR MENAGERIE.

So that's all for now - really - until the eggs in the incubator hatch in a few weeks or until the next CAN'T-LIVE-WITHOUT-IT-CUTIE comes along.

It's all my moms fault - she never let me have any pets as a child!  Love you MOM!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

After a long break I'm back...

My last post was almost 10 months ago. I had to leave the world of blogging for a little while.  Life happened at breakneck speed and I couldn't keep up!  I now however have 10 months of stories to catch up on and I will start with the latest!

I am the organized one in our marriage - otherwise known as The Nerd (Dave Ramsey) or the One-Who-Has-Learned-To-Be-Organized-Lest-She-Perish-In-Chaos Person.  I have Lists.  On paper.  On my computer.  In my head.  On my Blackberry.  I like Lists!

My List told me a long time ago that if we had a power outage we were going to have a few major problems.  My DH - The FreeSpirit (Dave Ramsey) says ahhh-honey-quit-worrying-about-it.  Yeah he did.

A few days ago we were sitting together having morning tea as we usually do and I brought up the subject again by saying: Honey I wonder if it would be a good idea to do a 48 hour No-Power test to see where the potential problems might be. 

NO JOKE - I finished the sentence and the power cut off.  He looked at me gasping like I actually had something to do with it.  As he sputtered that maybe I should have just SHUT UP I backed quickly out of the room and said: TALK FAST HONEY - you've got about two more minutes till the basement starts flooding. 

I already have a history with our not-so-beloved sump pump.  He (it looks like a he) and I have come to terms about a few things.  First off I had never seen a sump pump in my life until it malfunctioned about two months ago.  First the pipe to the outofdoors froze.  The the pump quit.  Then we went to seven stores in one night to buy another pump.  Sucess at last or sort of anyway.  We had to run a hose out the basement door in the dead of winter - it was a long winter!  So, I had some idea of what was going to happen and HAPPEN it did.

One pail.  Every seven minutes. For 33 hours.  Oh yes.  It was fun - NOT!  I lugged water up the basement stairs for hours since no one was home with me for most of the day.  By the time they got home I was delirious and ready to stomp on the timer which beeped at me every seven minutes with-out-fail for hours!

Thankfully two of my kids who are night hawks stayed up most of the night with my DH as cheerleader to bail while I got a few hours of sleep.  Then they went to bed and I continued.

This of course says nothing about making tea over a fondue burner, not being able to have a shower for TWO days (egads!) or the worry about the freezers defrosting and Jacob dying for no purpose.  (A story for another day!)

We went to look at generators today.  One more thing off My List.