Archive for June 4th, 2008


Sharon June 4th, 2008

I’m back, and my relationship to the computer is gradually metamorphosing from “feared and loathed overlord the I must obey” to “useful tool” – which is nice. 

It was a lovely and productive few days, which is to say, I’ve got an unbelievable amount of stuff that needs to be done ahead of me to get the house and garden back to normal, but progress is steadily being made. 

 The sheep and Xote, the donkey returned to their pasture.  They then promptly broke out of the pasture again, and went back to the front yard, where they ate 12 newly planted tomatoes.  They were put back into the pasture with some additional layers of electric fencing, and if they stay there until Friday, I’ll actually risk planting in my main garden.  The nice thing is that today is pleasantly cool and rainy, and a good day to can rhubarb sauce.  We need the rain, especially if the predicted 90 degree temperatures arise later in the week (it is really far to early for that here, and so I’d be delighted to send the expected hot weather down to you southerners, who like that sort of thing – we usually leave our sweaters out until mid-June).

This morning began with the arrival of 60 peeps (chicks).  If you haven’t done this, you can’t imagine how exciting it is to get a phone call from the post office at 6 in the morning (yes, I know that sounds crazy, but it really is).  The chicks include 50 Delawares, who will mostly be raised for meat (I’ll keep a few of the hens to add to my flock which is now mostly Buff Orpington, Black Australorpe and Dominique, with a couple of Aracauna’s thrown in, and 10 silver laced black cochins, whose purpose will be partly to lay eggs, but mostly to set on them, so I can stop ordering chicks.  Our Orps are supposed to be good setters, but we’ve only had a few hatchings.

The one fly in the ointment was that our brooder light turned out to be broken, and of course, we didn’t check this until last night.  Since the daytime temps are 60ish today, and the babies need 85-90, this was a problem.  And no one in our country towns sells brooder bulbs at 9 pm, oddly enough.  But fortunately, a couple of mason jars of boiling water, wrapped in the cut off legs of some old toddler sweatpants that were ready for the rag jars do a pretty solid job of keeping the babies warm.  Eric can pick up a bulb this afternoon, and it is supposed to be so hot we won’t need it anyway.

 The turkey poults should arrive tomorrow.  And that *should* be it for us, but there’s talk of some ducklings, since my BIL lost his to a predator.  I’m all about that – we could use the slug control.

Then there’s the longer-term critter project, the goats, who arrive sometime in July.  They currently live with our wonderful friends, Jamey and Carol, but are headed our way when their babies are old enough for the move.  Check out our future girls: 

I’m so excited!

A quick skim over the computer tells me there’s all sorts of news on the energy, oil, food and financial fronts, but I have to do some reading before I can absorb it and pass it along.  So no bad news today – only new life, small, warm, fuzzy and cute.