Monday, July 9, 2018

No time for coffee dates

Life has been going at full speed since spring came to my area. At least that is how it feels for me.

Baby chicks being taken care of. Baby kittens going off to their forever homes. Spring fever in general ...

This little one was taken by my sister-in-law.  His name is "Fast" Eddie.  Oh my gosh, he is a little spitfire.  So adorable and sweet. Into mischief no matter what.  Then he comes to you, purring away, and you can't be upset.

I have no recent photos of the chicks we were hatching out.  We did keep 20-some birds for ourselves, to replenish our flock for egg laying. The younger birds are still segregating themselves from the older birds.  At some point we will have them all in the same coop.

We've added to the animal menagerie.

My son has two rabbits.  Hoss and feffer.

Hoss is the one with brown fur.  Feffer is the grey one.

They love snuggling with each other.


Their adult coats are coming in and now Hoss looks like he has a unibrow and looks angry all the time.  When I see him I can't help but laugh.

I have some sad news.

Our favorite roo, Mama's Boy, passed away a few weeks ago.  One of those things where they are fine, and then they aren't.  We said our good byes and put him down.  The farm yard just isn't the same without him.


I also stopped crafting for a good long while. Anyone who knows me well knows that this is a sort of a big deal.  There was just too much going on and a few things had to go. 

I recently picked the needles up again and am slowly working on a vanilla sock.


I have to find the ballband for this one.  All I can tell you is that it's Knit Picks Felici yarn.

I also decided to participate in Tour de Fleece this year.  My goal is to spin at least 15 minutes a day. I think I can squeeze 15 minutes in.  I have some beautiful corriedale fiber that has been sitting in stash for four years.  Ultimately I'd like it to be a sweater, but first things first. It has been ages since I've have spent any significant amount of time with the wheel.

Things have been happening around the homestead, but I've been going, going, going and when I do have a few moments, my mind is on things other than writing.

Routine.  My routine has been discombobulated and I'm slowly getting back to what feels like routine.

Monday, April 9, 2018

A mostly quiet weekend at home

The weekend weather wasn't conducive for outside activities.  Saturday we decided to make feed run to Rice Lake.  The girls are running low on feed, and we needed meat producer for the meat birds.

"We heard there would be food."

Sunday the weather wasn't much better, until the afternoon. By then I didn't feel like doing much of anything. 

My copilot cowl got a lot of attention.  I'm almost done.


I am starting to feel like I'm playing yarn chicken.  I just feel like I may not have enough yarn. I'm halfway through my last repeat, and then another border set. Fingers crossed. 

When I was tidying up my craft room, which is a mess again, I wound up the yarn for my next project.

I decided to take today off.  Lots of things that needed attention and I decided it was time to take care of them all.  Most everything was taken care of. ...

One of the things I did today was to stop my my mother-in-law's place, and I was able to record a quick video of the kittens.  They are growing super fast and they are getting to the stage where they want to explore.  As soon as they figure out how to climb out of the box, I'm sure they will be giving their mom fresh grey hairs.

As soon as the kittens fell asleep, Miss Kitty crawled out of the box, went to the middle of the kitchen floor, and promptly passed out. I was able to watch her dream, too. Then she popped her head up, like she could read my mind, and gave me a look that said "I was NOT sleeping!" Then she put her head back down and closed her eyes.

I think she will be happy to have her kittens go to their new homes.  They are really wearing her out.  She's been losing weight and she's always hungry.  Not to mention she's getting chewed on now, and the kittens are all over here, so she can't get a break, unless she steps away. 

Speaking of "babies" ...

All the baby chicks are doing well.

These guys are still in the house, because it's still too nippy outside for them, I think.  Even though we do have plenty of room out in the coop.

They are a quiet bunch.  I have to frequently look on them, to make sure things are okay.

The meat birds are getting feathers

They definitely don't want to be held anymore.

The other babies are having a blast in their space.

Their feathers are starting to come in.  There are so many different feather patterns, and they are pretty!

Meanwhile, the incubator will go into lock down in less than five days. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

If we were having coffee ... The 15-minute blizzard

This type of blog post is for when I have a lot of little things I want to share, or when I feel the need to catch up. 

So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice. One of these days I'll actually take a photo of myself holding a cup of coffee for these posts. ... One day. ... Today I'm drinking a cup of hoity toity organic Earl Grey tea.

It's Friday and I haven't posted since Monday.  What the hey - lets have a quick coffee date. 

If we were having coffee ... I'd update you about the babies (chicks, that is). We moved the Brahma babies out to the coop. They are growing by leaps and bounds, it seems. They need more room, and we need more room in the house for the next batch of babies that hatch out. 

It appears they aren't fond of the paparazzi.  As soon as the camera came out, they all ran to the corner.

The meat birds are all doing well. They've hit the point where they aren't moving as much, preferring to park themselves in front of the feeder as much as possible.

They are definitely entering the awkward teenager phase.

We've had more snow this week.  The big girls and boys don't seem very thrilled to go outside anymore.  Thanks to the fluctuating temperatures, there was a crust of ice on the snow.  The birds were able to walk on the snow, but kept slipping and sliding.

Guess what?  More snow is in the forecast.  Let me yell out a very sarcastic Yay! Speaking of snow, the reason I called this post "The 15-minute blizzard" is because we had a very quick snow storm this morning.  Quick and dirty.  I looked out my window and there was near white out conditions.

Then a short time later the sun was shining bright and it's blinding when you go outside.

Ah!  I got off track.  Let me go back to talking chickens.

We put our incubator in lock down a few days ago and babies started hatching out yesterday.

These little ones were waiting for me when I arrived home.

All dried out and fluffy.  As soon as they saw me peeking in the window, the immediately demanded to be brought out.

So I did.

It is so nice to be able to just open something and pull out a tray to retrieve them.

Then they started complaining. 

Off into the brooder tote they go.

All just as adorable as the first batch to hatch out.

If we were having coffee ... I'd let you know what books have been on the nightstand.

I recently wrapped up "The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the three magical children and their holy dog."

Nice writing and beautiful illuminations.  However, this book was not for me. I can see why it was a Newberry Honor Book winner.  I didn't feel very engaged in the story until right at the end.  Then it was done.

I'm slowly working through "Read Aloud Revival." I discovered this podcast at the end of last year.  I really enjoy the podcast.  The host has a wonderful voice and she's so bubbly and upbeat. I'm not very far into the book. So far it's a good read. 

Last night I started "Working stiff," a cozy mystery by Annelise Ryan. I read this book a few years back. Just long enough ago that I don't remember many details.

If we were having coffee ... I'd update you on my knitting.

I haven't touched my vanilla sock.  Actually, I'm not sure where it is. ...

My Copilot cowl (ravelry link) has had plenty of love and attention.


I'm pleased with how it is knitting up.

That's all the news from my corner of the Internet. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Incubator fun

Our new incubator arrived on Good Friday. 

It is a lot bigger than I thought it would be.  Well, depth-wise it is a lot bigger. 
My husband and I set it up, transferred over the eggs we had in incubators, and moved over the eggs that were hatching out. 

The picture above is the first little one to hatch out in the new incubator. 

All set up and running, this is a pretty impressive unit.  Sorry for the crooked shot.  We also sprung for the humidifier add-on.  No having to pull out the water tray and fill it every few days.  Hooray!


Speaking of incubators and hatchings, we had some "excitement" Thursday evening.  The one incubator we had in lock down and chicks hatching out decided it didn't want to play nice, and it started not keeping temperature.  My husband spent close to three hours trying to get the temps back up to where they needed to be and we crossed our fingers that the new incubator would arrive on time. 

So many babies hatching out, and eggs pipping all over the place.  We had that incubator wrapped in blankets, over a heating pad, and I put a rice pack on top, to ensure temps would stay up.  

The end result?  Probably our best hatch out.  We certainly stressed over this one. Now we have a second tote full of love. I forgot to count how many hatched out. 

In other chick news, we moved the meat birds out to the little coop.  They were growing too quickly and weren't happy in the house.

While they were in the house.  They didn't move around much.  Barely said a peep. 

 Out in the coop, however, they are so happy.  They are running all over the place and doing their leg stretches and wing stretches. 

 The big girls are doing fine.  I have no recent photos of them.  I do have a video of Mama's boy crowing, finally.  

He's got such a deep crow. I have been wanting to get it on video for ages.  He's camera shy, though, and he gets real quiet if you pull out the phone. 

 In other news, we celebrated Easter, and had the big meal over at my mother-in-law's. We decided to do something different this time around, and had a crown roast that my hubby smoked in the smoker.  Yum!  So good.  My sister-in-law made a small turkey and sides.  I didn't have room in my stomach to try the turkey, but I was told it was really good. 

There is more snow on the way.  Gah!  Snow starting tonight and going to tomorrow. I had plans for outdoor stuff. Mother nature must have got a whiff of it, and decided to spoil them.  

I've also been summoned to jury duty.  I'm supposed to call tonight and see if I need to show up tomorrow.  I'm really hoping the trial has been settled because I don't want to try and rush to get to the court house early in the morning.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

The fat babies have landed

Yesterday I drove down to Hayward and picked up a box full of goodness.

A box full of adorable little Cornish X chicks. All my friends know we call the meat birds "fat babies."  Because ... well, because they get fat.

They are so soft, sweet and utterly adorable right now. In a couple weeks they will hit that awkward teenager phase.

This one snuggled up into my hair and fell asleep.  He was not happy to be woken up when I removed him. 


Look at that little face. So sweet and adorable.

Since this one was feeling chatty I took a quick video.

This morning we could tell we have Cornish X chicks in the house. I was thinking we'd have them in the house for a three weeks before moving them out to the little coop.  The time frame will need to move quicker because I'm not sure how long I can live with the smell of their little fluffy butts.

In the meantime, they will be getting lots of snuggling and attention.

In other news, we are supposed to get snow this weekend. Just in time for Easter. I'm hoping this will be the last storm.  I'm not sure how we will do an egg hunt with a fresh layer of snow on the ground.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The day that started out as a winter wonderland

This morning it was a winter wonderland outside.

On my way to town this morning. The air had a crisp, fresh and clean scent.


 If it was early December, I would have been awed by the drive this morning. So clean and pretty.

But it's late March, and I'm *so* ready for spring.

The last few years I've been expecting late March winter storms.  One last hurrah from mother nature.

No cars in the ditch this morning. The temperature was above freezing.  By the time I went home the sun was shining and it was 45 degrees F.

I took some time today to visit with my SIL and nephew, who were in from out of town.  The visit wasn't nearly long enough.

I was able to grab a photo and video of Miss Kitty and her babies.

Miss Kitty took several breaks from her babies today, and graces us with her presence, and I forgot how quick kittens grow. 

More chicks hatched out last night, and this morning.  Well, during the day too. When I arrived home after work there was no sound from the one incubator.  I opened it up to see what was going on and the chicks all started chirping as soon as they saw me.  I closed it back down and found my phone so I could take a short video.

Later in the evening a gentleman from the Brainard/Aitkin area came to get 30 chicks. He told us he has five grandchildren who wanted more chickens.  A fox got their first flock. Darn foxes.  Now the family has three geese, who will guard the barnyard from foxes, and protect these new guys.  He said one of the geese has bonded with the youngest grandchild and it's follows her everywhere and tries to snuggle with her. Aw!

It sounds like the chicks will have a lovely home and plenty of kids to play with them.

Before those chicks went to their new home, we had just over 50 chicks.  Wow.

Meat birds were supposed to be delivered to the feed store today. Due to the crappy weather the delivery has been delayed until tomorrow.

I restarted my Copilot cowl again.  One row along so far. 

The other day I forgot to include "Wolf Hollow" on my list of books, I think. This was a quick read for me. I read it before going to bed.  I cried a little at the conclusion.  The antagonist is *so* unlikable that I didn't feel one bit sorry for her when bad things happened.  But ... something else happens and I felt all sorts of feels for the character. A very good book.