Tag Archives: Musing

Mizz Pepperpot

1 Feb

After carrying hot water and oatmeal out to the yard for the Chicky Girlz, next is filling and hanging their feeder up to discourage other critters from looking for free meals. Having to be careful where I walk, the hens and their accompanying roosters crowd in. Each feathered little face peering over the next jumping up eagerly awaiting the daily hand feeding of scratch. Exiting the yard and pulling the gate closed, I step into the grain room and gather tools for cleaning the coop.

Recently I decided to change from straw bedding for the coop floor to using construction sand. Initially I worried that in the low temperatures the chickens and roos would be cold without the straw.
Check out this link below for info.
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/09/chicken-coop-bedding-sand-litter.

One thing I noticed right away, no more poopy eggs! The nest boxes still have straw, freshened every morning for their comfy arranging which seems to encourage laying. I have also started using dried herbs, just a pinch in each box to keep it sweet and fresh. Ideas here: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/p/spruce-coop.html

Some of the Chicky Girlz have a full ruffle of feathers looking like ruffled old fashioned pantaloons along with their feathered feet and the straw and poop would stick to their pretty adorned feet.

If you dare to compare, coop sifting is rather like cleaning a rather large catbox! The sand does work best with daily sifting and there are some great ideas and pictures on the link about sand for bedding. I used 3 bags of sand and it took visits to 5 stores to find the construction sand. The smell is much less, rodents are not attracted to sand in the coop like they were when I was using straw.

After finishing the coop tidy detail, I wanted to freshen those nest boxes with some of the nice, soft straw we get locally. Picking up the bag with the straw in it I open the bag, reaching my hand inside to grab some straw and much to my astonishment a very loud Squawk booms out from inside the bag! I almost dropped the bag and carefully peering inside a gray and black checkered hen named Miss Pepperpot glares at me, guess I surprised her too!

This Chicky Girl is a 2 year old “Fluffercauna” . Around our little farm a Silkie and Ameraucana cross is called a “Fluffercauna” due to the extra feathery “hat” of feathers atop their heads and their legs and feet appear as bloomers with little featherdusters attached.
Nothing like a tiny hen to bring you to sitting fast with that kind of surprise! All is well, against her loud protests (pretty some of those squawks were swear words) I settled her into a nicely fluffed nest that she could not resist.

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+My Tangled Garden

16 Jan
  • Lately my life feels like the current state of my garden; tangled, overgrown and neglected. Some areas still show outlines of herbal ideas faintly recognizable through the grass and weeds.  As I open the gate and walk in I see colors of fall still displayed on some of the Blueberry bushes, a Rosebush is full of immature blooms never to be set upon  by a bee.  The once towering Catnip plant has been pulled down by the arch nemesis of morning glory vines. Tiny pink petals shimmer between curled vine, leaves and stems. At the end of the garden the raised bed is already covered in preparation for the coming of  winter bears a fragrant rebel. Last year at the end of summer a very sad, tiny rosebush was rescued from a local store. Holding my breath, I trimmed it back and lovingly planted it in the raised bed which was covered to protect the plants inside.
  • When danger of frost was past, I rolled back the heavy plastic cover revealing a beautiful sight. Seemingly showing gratitude, the previously “Charlie Brown” rosebush had taken over the whole end of the bed and had bloomed profusely! Starts of Salvia almost 4 feet tall beckon to hummingbirds. Nasturtiums that cheerily spread and reseeded now host a variety of life from butterflies, bees, bumbles, humming birds and an occasional wild  bunny.
  • Our tendacy is to focus on the weeds instead of the flowers.
  • My garden reminds me counting blessings and appreciating them encouragages us to care for the precious beauty within our lives. It is so easy to take for granted especially while tripping over blackberry vines, weeds or caught up by thorns.
  • Weeds can be beneficial as well, when plucked chickens eat them like salad greens or make sunshine yellow Dandelion jelly.
  • The first bouquet of flowers from my oldest son as a toddler consisted of as many bright yellow dandelions as he could grasp in his little fist.. Seeing his face light up as he handed them to me was priceless! Do you think I told him those pretty flowers were really considered weeds?
  • As this year draws towards winter, I will cringe as I trim back plants still showing green.

How is your garden in life?

Choosing an attitude of gratitude is challenging when overwhelmed, however we do have a  choice flowers or weeds?

The Quest for Organic

3 Jan
  • Our little feirme (farm) has a small herd of Mini-Mancha dairy goats. Currently we have two senior does in milk. One of our milk customers wanted to know if we would consider feeding Organic feeds to our milk does as they wanted to keep using our milk, but new health concerns had them looking to organic only in their diet.

What is the definition of Organic? As I researched, It came to my attention that there are endless interpretations of this one word. What I am looking for are grains developed for goats that are not grown or processed using artificial chemicals for growth, fertization,insects resistance or weed deterrents.

We have not used any weed killers, sprays, powders, chemicals on our property since we moved here in 1999. Our livestock is fed as much local hay, alfalfa, grains, herbal supplements, minerals and formulas as possible. Another thing I discovered the way we have been raising our livestock and growing our garden, fruit trees is called “sustainable”.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/sustainability

Going to some of our local feed stores revealed few choices for Organic grains, feeds or hays. The first Organic grain blend we tried has a lot of powder in the mix. Our Goaty Girlz do not really care for it and my oldest doe “Tutu” lost body condition, both does lost weight on this.

Availability is challenging, most feed stores want you to order and pay for a minimum month supply of bags as it is not kept in stock. Price is steep, expect an average of $12.00 per bag increase in price. Now we are looking for possibly mixing/milling a grain blend with higher protein and palatability.

Here is a link for the organics offered by Payback, we will be contacting them and will keep you posted on our quest for organics. http://www.paybacknutrition.com/products/organic

Just a Bench…

22 Feb

We were given a cement waiting bench, we put it out by the tire swing so the children waiting for a turn would have a place to sit.
Little did we realize that this bench would come to represent more than just a place to sit.
Before little sister and brother came along, my oldest son and his friends would sit out there and scheme together. One day they talked about how they would create jumps for their BMX bikes. Another day it was used for a napping spot. Countless coats, hats, plates, books and Army men have utilized it.
Our cat likes to sit upon it and watch the goats out in the pasture.
The dog watches whomever sits there and offers to share their sandwich.
I sat at that bench after I lost my dream horse that I had shared the previous 16 years with. After the sun slipped away, the fog slowly crept along the ground and came to swirl around in front of me. I know I sat out there until I could feel the cold penetrate every joint in my body, I guess I needed to feel something, even if it was painful!
Over the years Z Waiting Bench has been well used and appreciated.
Last year someone was just downright mean and took it upon themselves to break the edges off and this exposed the iron rebar running through the rectangle of cement that gives a sitting place.
After thorough interrogation of the vast range of children that were at Z Farm that weekend, we came to the conclusion that the NOBODY Gremlin that causes socks to be lost, dishes to be dirtied and other various household items and farm tools to be misplaced had gotten bored causing mischief in the usual way.
In life I am finding that it is not always possible to find out the truth in all situations, no matter how much it is desired!
Instead of focusing on the havoc that was wreaked, think of the opportunity to recreate beauty from ashes.
There were a few very surprised children when I told them that no longer could we comfortably sit upon Z Waiting Bench.
After being queried by the suspected offending party about this, I calmly stated that safety came first and I was really sorry that one had ruined it for many. Hearing complaints, blames and whines we removed the seat and placed it on the ground.
Well, that’s not fair! Protest after protest from all was heard and acknowledged. I replied “Life is not fair and we just have to make do with what we have. I want you to remember that decisions you make really do affect others, contrary to what society tells you!”
I have two bags of cement, broken pottery and china pieces stored in the garage waiting for the warmth of Spring.
Collecting materials so we can implement plans to create a new and improved cement seat for this bench.
We want to have this done before my daughter in law comes to visit when my eldest son leaves for his next deployment of 9 months.
So many have come to Z Farm, shared, helped, been ministered to and moved on in their lives.
We are continually blessed by longtime family friends who come to visit. Sharing a meal together, we listen as they recall that some of the most pleasant memories of times spent on Z Farm included work, with me as the Sargeant Taskmaster! This resulted in tears, I laughed so hard! They reveled in their stories of youthful antics, mind you they are only in their early 20’s now.
One young man, now in the Marines. Another getting his life together and working steady. Both had fond memories of doing chores, eating well and sitting on Z Waiting Bench, while times passed.
Why not just go out and buy another? What is the point in replacing it? I am not giving into the societal norm throwaway mentality.
You cannot always just “go buy a new one!”
As I think forward to hands and minds joining together in the solution, it will create new memories.
It has been almost five years since my son left home, progressing towards his third deployment and still living abroad.
I cannot explain why it is so important to me, but I need to show that broken things are worth fixing, valuable. Maybe this will help things to seem normal, like before.
He remembers Z Waiting Bench and knows it will be here for him…waiting once again.
waiting bench

Driving your car…

14 Feb

We had a Skype session yesterday, I received the news that heart had already know for so long.
Another deployment, broken promises of worthless paperwork, dashed dreams and crumbled crumbs of hope left on the table.
Before you enlisted, you and Dad went looking for cars.
When you came home from your seeking, sometimes it sounded like an updated story of the Three Bears story. This one was too old, this one was too trashed and then you found one that was just right.
Do you remember that it was the second time around of looking and going back that you were successful in your quest?
A car of your own! I recall that you questioned your Dad about the price of the car and knowing what it would take to make it road worthy.
So impressive when you asked if it was honest to buy the car for such a price when after you and Dad discussed what the car would probably need, you knew the car was worth more!
We gave you a key ring, your keys for the Mustang are still on it.
Looking towards the back door when I knew you were both returning from buying the car. Wanting to treasure the look on your face, triumphantly striding in with a smile so big your face looked as if it would crack!
Teaching you the power of this new car, your Dad took you out for the first time. He was driving and as he turned onto Hwy 126 the road was wet, it had been lightly sprinkling. Your eyes got so big as the car slid sideways across both lanes and right over the white line!
One night you were coming home from your then girlfriend’s house and a big deer jumped out of the woods and right into your car.
You came in the house and I could tell by your voice, when you opened the door and called out “Mom?”. I turned around and looked at you, your face was very pale. I asked what was wrong and I started to think you had been in an accident. Your story spilled out and we went out to look at the damage to the car. Wow, did the deer damage the front end! After cleaning it up, you dried the car off and spray painted ouch deer on the side!
That car taught you to budget, it also instructed you in the art of being humble. You got into trouble together and still have quite a reputation, just like our own Dukes of Hazzard and Boss Hog!
Both the Mustang and you like to show that you got it!
That car loves to drive! Old cars and trucks have personality.
I so enjoy being able to Drive your car. When I get in and adjust the seat, mirrors and stereo I look for a CD to listen to. The case of CD’s you left for me are still in the car. I discover a blue CD that says Mom’s mix~ Love you Mom. I pop it in the CD player and memories come flooding back, of differences and compromises we both came up with. Remembering our Mother~Son drives and “dates”, you are always freshly shaven, sharply dressed and smell like your favorite cologne.
Sometimes I would close my eyes, sit on my hands and chew on my tongue trying to hold off comments that would offend you in regards to your driving. Time passes, life goes on.
Can you come pick me up at the airport…in my car? Sure, we drive two cars to the airport, to give you your car and we have a way to get home. Your brother and sister help detail your car, your dad does work to suprise you while you are away.
We were talking about how we were going to meet you at the airport again and how you would drive to your new duty station. That won’t be happening anytime soon. I can’t sleep. The flag is flying at half-mast in Veneta, honoring fallen soldiers. It looks quite striking in contrast to the dark grey sky. I want to get a picture of it to show you every time I drive past that flag I think of you.
Every time I see your car I think of you. The tattoo on my ankle reminds me of the promise of protection from your Angel.
Every time I look at it, prayer follows, then praises.
No visit home, no duty station change, no sleep, no airline tickets, no money.
You have no idea how much it means when I can go out to your car, which still smells like your cologne.
Listening to the blue CD while Driving your car.
Mayday ahah 079

~The Quest towards Pearly Whites~

11 Feb

It has been at least two weeks since I last wrote about grieving the loss of part of my tooth.
After the visit to the dentist this week, I figured I needed to update you on what is happening.
Contrary to what my mind had already convinced my heart of, I do not need to have all of my teeth pulled for dentures!
The dentist is very kind and took the time to explain to me that even though I have been diligent about the care of my teeth, sometimes there are things that are not in our control!
I was very surprised at this explanation and he elaborated.
Your genetics, body chemistry, medications and what you eat and drink are all factors that affect the health of your body, mouth and teeth.
After listening, I told him I guess that leaves me with a trio out to attack my teeth!
He stated that unfortunately, he would not be able to salvage my broken tooth. The roots or what is left would not withhold the repair to enable me to keep my tooth.
I could feel my anxiety rise as he told me that I need to have the tooth pulled. I have networks of facial nerves that do not know they are supposed to follow a blueprint. It is hard to find and numb them and with my mouth being so small, very painful after work is done due to cramping of my facial muscles afterwards.
I shared my anxiety with him. He proceeded to show me the last filling.tooth he had repaired. Pointing out the extensive dental work on this tooth, he reminded me that it took a lot more time to do that work than he will have to do pulling the offending tooth now!
He reassured me that I did great then and will do fine for this procedure.
I left with such a mixed array of feelings; thankfulness, sadness, twinges of fear, regret, anger and resentment.
I cannot believe that out of all this dredges up that I wish my mom was around so I could tell her what is happening in my life right now. I do fine for a while, then go on my merry way and something like this blindsided me.
Missing her so much lately, not having her advice, her laughter. It is so hard to believe that she has been gone for almost 19 years.
I want to ask her why she got dentures as such a young age, did she have these problems? Just to hear her say one more time that it will be ok. I search memories to try to remember the sound of her voice.

My husband also went to the dentist and his attitude is angry about the dental work he needs. Well, we don’t have $4000 to fix my teeth. We have to live in the meanwhile.
How does it come down to this? Going from having insurance and retirement to nothing? I am currently searching through my house, seeking what I can sell to raise the money. I am stubbornly refusing to give in to the mentality of….oh we are poor, it just happens!
According to society, we are not poor.
We have a beautiful family, a small farm, our cars are paid off (even though only one is currently running), we are trying to balance our lives.
The children have health insurance, dental and vision. Even with the insurance comes copays that need to be kept paid up and current.

This morning I am readying to go do the chores to care for the animals and farm we are blessed with.
My children up and eating a hot breakfast, with a warm home and starting school.
On the morn of having my tooth pulled I am reflecting, how far do we go in search of Pearly whites? Is this Vanity?

Mayday ahah 253

Failing Kindergarten

1 Feb

Reminiscing, I guess that is one stepping stone of realizing you are an unwilling victim in the aging process. I overhear children talking about how they are bullied, pushed. lied to, made fun of. Keep in perspective that most of what is heard is coming from third grade up to high school. Teachers uncaring, judgmental  dispensing unjust discipline.  Whispers of drugs, sex talk, cell phones, sex-ting, disbelief of intelligent child and adult interactions. Mistrust of adults overall is seemingly rampant, spreading like the cold you try to avoid by not touching fomites.

Forty five years is a long time, material things go from classic to antique status. Depending on the care and quality of the item either treasured or thrown into someone’s junk heap.

Listen with open ears, apply filters when necessary. Most of the things that really annoy me now, cannot be changed, fixed, averted, nor avoided.

Quite tragic that most of the drama starting at such young ages and progressing into adulthood is nurtured, cherished and shared with whomever will listen. 

Any helpful advice? NO, just want to make sure everyone knows. Can you offer help? Sure, it is not taken when proffered. 

It has taken over four decades for the realization that a lot of society’s ills, poor social graces and rudeness, anger and selfishness can be attributed to one thing from the childhood of everyone involved…these people flunked Kindergarten!

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