Monday, November 29, 2010

We are doing a bit of house updating

We watch HGTV, "Curb Appeal", "Holmes on Homes", "House Hunters". So we have been gathering ideas for years, Telling ourselves No we can't afford it right now.....recently I thought what are we waiting for? So I said now we are going to do this. Today our carpenter installed a new storm door. He is meticulous--like he working on his own home-- how refreshing! The old door was flimsy, would fly open during a strong wind. At last it hung crooked with day light showing all around. I said a lot of people come to our door and that's all the further they go, and to see that trashy door! The new door is heavy thick double insulated. [If I knew had known that's all it would have cost to replace a storm door~ I would have done it a few years back---gheez.] Its cottage panels match the side windows of the picture window next to it, its quarter panels match the entry way door.  Now that's curb appeal.  Yes the deck settled a bit on the left next Spring my son and I will level it.
The next project is pine car siding on one side of  the center wall that runs the length of house in the four main rooms. So when you walk in you will see it. (see pics) It will be installed on a diagonal in varying lengths. 

The kitchen's linoleum is worn...a few rocks popping through, afew too many knives have been dropped. This last year the kitchen floor speaks to us-- in squeaks and squawks.....the carpenter will add more screws to the sub floor. The computer room, family room and front living room carpets are worn and the many seams show (too many seams in my estimation) All will get hardwood floors. Samples coming....We were surprised to learn that laminate and real wood is priced about the same! We will choose a real hardwood - narrow old fashioned oak with a heavy duty prefinished  sheen, nailed down piece by piece. We both love our farmstead and its location...we're just settling in for the next 20-30 years.
More later

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ode to Poppy

Hi I am Poppy:  I am not the ewe in command around here but I do have the first spot at the bunk.....right by the gate. Most of the time the tall man closed the gate with a black tarp strap. So I wait for my chance. I tested it, dang! is strapped shut....I will keep trying as you never know......Here he comes with an arm load of hay, he just came through the gate.....he did stop to strap it?, he's busy putting the hay in the's my chance, I will give the gate a little push....(happy dance) its opening......freedom- freedom....well I am still in the barn...but let's see,,,,,hey the grain pail....sniff...nose inside...drat its empty....I have watched the tall man before, the rest of the grain is in a tall garage can with a snap on lid....nah the hay stacked to the ceiling looks just like the hay he just carried in.......say what's in this bag....smells kinda funny,, I will taste it, icky icky now its on my tongue  spit spit.....Last time I tasted it, the tall man yelled "Poppy! out of the cat food!" I don't know how the cats can eat that stuff...ish! Ghee its not so interesting out here  I guess I will go back in..oh no the gate swung I am struck and the tall man will know I am out......and he calls, "Poppy you should know better."  He opens the gate and I walk through with  a privileged gait,,,,,as I was out..if only for a few minutes........I will keep trying the gate, one of these times he has to leave a bit of grain in the pail, don't ya think?
Tall man

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Something to consider

I wrote this the other day to share with family...please excuse some words, they were needed to be on point

A man leaned against the store wall, glaring at others going in the store. He was 200 pounds of pure hate. A stony glint of his eyes revealed his hard life. His wife came out of the store and he gave her a cold stare. (bitch he thought) She glared back at him.....(ass hole) They walked several feet apart as they trudged to their car. As he drove away, he started yelling at his wife, he nearly hit a couple coming out of the store.........
.......The other couple didn't notice the near miss....they were laughing at something the other had said. 
This man's step was light for a 200# man. The sparkle in his eyes revealed his caring attitude. He smiled at his wife as he clasped her hand (still the gal he married) She smiled back at him (prince) They casually walked to their car. Before they drove away they just sat there awhile, talking
Your life is a choice.....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Introducing my 3rd Doe "Bubbles"

Bubbles is an American Alpine from the same breeder as my Shilo and Anna. Bubbles being a bit younger is bottom of the pecking order. She is dry but I give her a bit of grain on the milk stand before I milk Anna and Shilo. Bubbles has not had it easy the last year. Sold as a two year old to inexperienced goat herdsmen, she didn't get enough groceries. She kidded last Spring milked heavy but due to lack of good feed and management, by County Fair time she was dry. So I bought her from the 2nd owners as a bit of a rescue. The breeder told me Bubbles has a great background, good udder and is a heavy milker.
Bubbles will be 3 come Spring. She is very tame, friendly and when called she comes running (I think she likes it here!) 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chick pictures!!

My son Darren stopped by. He has a phone that he can take pictures and email to me. So here is the 14 Ameraucana chicks at 3 days old. They are from extra large eggs, so they are big robust hale and hearty. Some are crazy marked, a few brick red, several with a blue hue to them---they should have some blue on them when they mature. Fluffy cheeks and chins-- show their beards already. The left side of Pic#2, chick facing the camera....throat is all fluffy with its beard. Chick in foreground facing side view shows off its fluffy cheek beard. The first time we had chicks in the laundry room, neat to hear them pip. I peek in often, baby chicks like other babies sure sleep a  lot..
Sire of the chicks, I am hoping that some of the chicks get all his colors!
Cold here today. Sold a few sheep this afternoon. When the cold wind blows I can easily lock everyone in at night....yes babying them I know, but the barn is warmer for me! Eight bred ewes, 3 bred dairy does, 24 adult chickens and 39 chicks. I will have a chicken sale in Spring.......Ameraucanas, Splash Silkies and Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. Add a few next generation to the breeder flocks, and sell started, young adult and year old stock. Michelle I will be contacting you first, as you expressed a need for some BLRWs. We know someone who can get them to you!
Stay warm.......131 days till lambs.....and the April First!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hatch Day!

My first hatch in many years. I set my new Brinsea oce 20 incubator (24 egg capacity) with 20 extra large sky blue eggs-I followed the "hold you by the hand" instructions to the 't'-turned the incubator manually every 8 hours-to turn the eggs, add warm water to the evaporate trough every third day,  and waited,,,,,,,, First chick 3AM Wednesday......they hatch thoughout the day and night  3 chix, 5 chix, 8 chix.......this morning the count was 14.......excellent hatch of robust good sized chicks,,,,,,,,14 chicks from 20 eggs at 70% hatch  that's great!!..... Paula is in Idaho visitng her cousin with our camera, so sorry no baby pictures.......yellow with black stripes, one solid blue, brick red, brown, blue/brown.......cute cute cute.......they are my 3rd generation Ameraucanas    Breed to standard,,,but in unusual colors so they don;t qualify for show,,,,,but I am doing it for me....improving each generation "to see what I can get"
Till later


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Our First snow

that fell and is still here. I know friends in Southern MN got a lot more. My mom in Fergus Falls..40 miles due snow. I woke at 5 AM, checked my email, my cousin Mike was up waiting for daylight to start the hunt. We were emailing back and forth and I wrote to him..
[Some people get up in the morning and say ah Sh_t! and are ready to do battle with the day. I prefer to wake up feeling blessed and embrace the day- Jerry]
I went back to bed. Slept in till 8AM! Walked out to the window (pic above) and said aloud "Ah Sh_t! snow!" then I laughed really hard.......shook my head and embraced the day.
I hope your hunters are happy, your hobbies in progress, wish all your critters well, that they and you are warm and dry


Friday, November 12, 2010

First hatch next Wednesday

Twenty eggs from my Ameraucanas are set to hatch of Nov 17th   Sunday is day 18-that day  is 'lock down" - stop turning the incubator..position it on level...and don't open it till the hatch is complete
The bator has octagonal shaped ends........there's level, one turn left  then 8 hours later one turn right....amazing  No opening of the incubator to manually turn the eggs, which cools down the whole batch.
We'll see how it hatches, talking to others on a chicken forum say The Brinsea oce20 its a great little incubator. My silkie hen Muffin hatches out 3 of my Ameraucana eggs...NOw the chicks are 10 weeks old- all three are pullets and two are blue! A gold/blue and a brick red/blue. The third is the color of Flash2's mother. Impatiently waiting to see how many eggs hatch and how many blue chicks I get from my blue roo Flash2.
Did you know-- that as an egg hatched the membrane shrinks, air sac gets larger, a chick develops from the egg white, turning the egg keeps the developing chick from sticking to the shell membrane, on day 19-20 the chick's beak is positioned in the air sac ( that's how you can hear them pip before they break out) Day before the chick hatches it draws the yolk inside itself, that's how chicks survive the first three days. That's how hatcheries can ship newborn chicks.
Love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching and live like there's no tomorrow..

Its been a while Off Topic

Sixteen years ago, Paula and I married. We blended families my daughter Jess 16, her sons Darren 10 and Derek 8. Jess calls Paula "Mom" and hasn't seen her birth mom in 16 years, the boys call me dad........there were no step-dad. step-kids....we don't believe in "step--"
My mother, aunt and uncle  lost their mother to stomach cancer in 1958 their dad to a heart attack in 1960. So they were all married and starting to have kids.  We all lived within a few miles of each other growing up, The three of them and us kids gathered for holidays,special occasions starting in 1958 after Grandma died. We still gather with spouses, kids, grand kids.....for Thanksgiving, Easter and the last Sunday in July summer picnic at the lake. 52 year tradition and most of us have never missed.
When their parents were both gone, my aunt was 18, my mom 23 (I was 5) and my uncle was 26.
Today my youngest 2nd cousin is 18, our son Derek is 23 and Darren will be 26!  My parents, aunt and uncle were mere kids!
This morning we had a 5 way email going back and forth, my mom, my aunt, two of my closest cousins and myself.....talking about how old they were when their parents died,  how kids today don't know much.......worry for trivia stuff..text Here is a part

My mom: Yes! We were young, but we knew how to dress a chicken and kill it first....cut the head off!, carry the water in and out, wash clothes with a wringer washer, iron the clothes...that we sewed first...put wood in the stove, carry out the ashes, empty the 'pot', bake bread (sorta), wash dishes in a dish pan, dry them with a towel
Now my writing (I will be 56, grew up on a small farm )
We grew up before Aids, terrorists, Dirty bombs, cell phone auto accidents, McJunk food, Remember if you were getting an important call you stayed home to get it, now its in your pocket. Or "hey be quick about it - its long distance." We use to have a 'party line" phone...different rings for us and 2 neighbors...back then others would "rubber" on the phone, quietly listen in,,  We thought we knew more at 18-21..then our kids do---maybe so ah but maybe not. Our 3 kids "get it" to varying degrees.....Darren at almost 26 is the most mature acting and thinking.....I have to say the teen that gave us the most grief.....turned out to be the most interesting caring adult. He helps me alot......put up motion outside light, cut a hole in my barn wall with a tin snips then said It must be hard to put a window in by yourself,,,so let's put it in together. Can discuss religion, politics, $$ management, can fix any computer problem.....self taught --can build a computer from scratch, fix any car, instinctively knows what that "ping" is.  He even understands me
One time Paula was gone to a funeral with her mom...Southern Minnesota.....I had birds that sold on Eggbid that late morning and the buyer wanted them shipped....I boxed them up and ...I was going to gently/carefully drive the pickup to Garfield. A big no-no I know (less than 20% vision and gave up my Driver's License 7 yrs ago (see the Last 7 years  blog) .  Darren happened to stop in. Gently asked where I was going/ I explained.  He spoke with quiet confidence and looked me in the eye "We both know you can drive the pickup to Garfield. But I have time to drive you there. Let's do that.   I of the few persons who can soft shoe me without me resisting..........and he is my son. 
A few months ago, we were sitting in the living room taking. Darren said I want you to know something. I have two biological dad that I go to watch football and discuss car mechanic and you. You are way different "you get it" With you I can discuss feelings and emotions, laugh, relax and you have taught me a lot... [(sniffle) gheez, ah hucks]  So when I say I'm going to my dad's...remember you are my dad too... 
We needed new tires on the car..he said I buy them online.....Tire Rack.....He looked up the site,  found what we needed.......I filled out the info and bank shipping........we saved $100 over the in town price....then they sent us a $25 rebate. He took the car to the mechanic in Carlos... Darren did the work of switching the tires and balancing  cost us $40  Darren lives in Carlos
Darren's mowing maintenance job at the City Cemetery had ended 2 weeks before. Darren needed a job...worried about it more than he let on...When he brought the car back he said I got charged $40 to switch the tires (I paid him)  But next time it will be free he says with a grin........I ask why? Because the mechanic gave me a job.....the other guy isn't showing up.......I start tomorrow.  Darren has never applied for a job, they just fall in his lap.......other people see what we see,,,,,,, The other day I thanked him for something he had done as he was leaving,  and I said you're our guardian you know........he grinned "ya that works".
Paula works on Saturday Darren is coming to drive the pickup for me to get the smelly buck back home.
And yes he knows how I feel  I have told him several times
We hear of people out there that they lose their jobs, housing ect, get real sick and have no one to turn to..  rather a foreign concept to us
I feel blessed to have an outstanding family of origin and extended family- an aunt and uncle who are like 2nd parents and cousins that are more like siblings. They gave and give me the tools to be a better man.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It was all quiet,,,,,

For the past two nights, when everyone is fed and I sit down to milk the goats, its quiet.  I hear a kitten! I search here and there, I have a 4 ft high "wall" of plywood against the hay/straw bales, There is a health gap,,,,,,,,I reach in I touch a kitten in its way up!  Go to the house for a flashlight and the camera.
 Here is a kitten from "Surprise" till Nessie renames it.
looks like its  a couple months old....I think its by itself.  I can't get it out, I will drop down treats to it so it tames down
Is the kitten in the murky bottom?
Here is a cropped close up, such a sweet face

This morning I walked in to the Kitchen!

And I was greeted by the smallest hibiscus tree in full bloom. All the trees have been blooming well but this one is exception.!  Blossoms are 9 inches across and a deeper red/pink than the other red tree, Combine with Sun and 53* outside.......give me a its Spring! feeling.........

Till later