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. ... But today is not that day. In the meantime, here is a slightly blurry picture of me with a chicken.
If we were having coffee ... I'd tell you how life has been crazy busy for me these last several months. I decided to let a few things go to the back burner, and the blog was one. Sorry.
When I was looking over the blog, this time last year something very similar happened. The busyness of the season necessitates that I be out and about rather than sitting indoors.
Back in July I started working on this blog entry again. I had written a masterpiece, saving often and thinking I would put the pictures in later. Well, when I opened the post to decide which photos I wanted, everything I had written was gone. I was so steamed that I put the blog in time out. Yes, you can do that.
Now summer is winding down, and I feel I can pick up the virtual pen, and put it to virtual paper.
So ... How are you? :-)
Me, I'm doing good. Still busy, but not quite as much. The family is getting back into the routine of school, early mornings, getting it all done, and trying to not rush out the door and chase the bus because someone forgot their lunch.
We are also trying to get the new ladies transitioned from the little coop to the big coop. They aren't quite getting it yet.
Wait, I think I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me pick a point and start from there.
If we were having coffee ... I'd blather at you about the chickens. So many chickens. At one point we had around 100 chickens on the homestead. Around 30 of them were meat birds. Best group of meat birds we've had so far. Very friendly and they didn't act like dim light bulbs either. Every time we went out to the coop to feed or water them, at least one would come up to you and stand right in front of you and look up, as if to say "I'm ready to be held/petted/loved." It made it just a smidge more difficult at butchering time.
Meat bird babies back in April. They grew so fast.
Smack dab, right in the middle, is one of our homegrown babies. They all look so sweet together.
Here they are, out in the open air coop, sometime in early May, or so. Seriously, some of the happiest birds meat birds I've ever seen.
Here's a photo of our first homegrown baby from 2017, fresh out of the egg, back in late March/early April.
Unfortunately we didn't have many eggs hatch out this year. Either our Roo was shooting blanks, or he just wasn't doing his job. We wound up with four babies. Two hens went off to live with one of my best friends. They have already starting laying eggs. Hooray! The other homegrown babies were roos, and we found them homes, even though we really wanted to keep one in particular. He was super pretty, and because he was pretty, he found a new home fairly quickly.
To supplement the flock since so few hatched out, we decided to pick up more Americaunas, Black Marans, and Brahmas.
Americauna babies when they were feathering out.
Our little Maran Roo, back in April. I held this little guy a lot, hoping to dispell the notion that Black Marans are crabby little buggers. I think it worked. He's not aggressive towards us right now. He seems to be a good Roo so far. Always attentive to his ladies and not a jerk. However, he does like to keep the flock segregated. As in, the brahmas need to stay away from *his* girls, which are the Marans and Americaunas. So he chases them away, and comes back to his girls, aka, his angels.
Most of our little Marans. They are sweet little ladies.
Our Brahma babies have been adorable right from the start. This year we decided to try placing an order from a hatchery. I'm very happy with how the whole transaction was handled. We didn't lose any chicks.
Baby Brahmas on "delivery day." I flew out of the house when I got the phone call from the post office. It is amazing how many chicks can be squeezed into a small box. They were scipey little babies that first day. They were unhappy and wanted to let everyone know. As soon as they got into the brooder tote, and warmed up, they quieted down.
All the Brahmas are sweet, except for one. The buff Roo. He wants to mate all the ladies, all at the same time, and they aren't ready for his rough and wild ways. He's a feather puller, too, and they aren't into that kinky stuff.
He's also sort of a jerk. I have to shake my head at this, because I was so focused on making sure the Maran roo wasn't a jerk, thinking I didn't need to worry about the Brahmas because of their docile nature and sweet personality.
We decided to take a break from raising turkeys this year. Even though we have a ton of fun raising them, and having them in the yard. Butchering a turkey is not an easy thing, specially when it's cold outside, and we always feel so bad when the weather turns cold and we see them shivering in the coop.
I did have a close call with picking out a couple. We went to an L and H and they had a "special" on baby turkeys. Buy one and get one free. Oh, it was *really* hard walking away. Baby turkeys are *SO* cute and sweet.
Maybe next year.
If we were having coffee ... I'd tell you how my crafting took a nosedive once the weather turned nice. All I've really accomplished this summer were two pairs of socks. I have a few things (I think) that have been off the needles for a while, and still need to be shared on the blog. I'll post those items in a separate blog or two.
Started: June 6 2017
Completed: August 6, 2017
Needle size: 24 inch circ, 2.25 mm
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici
Colorway: Madrigal; Lot: 59922
Yup, took me almost two month to knit a pair of plain vanilla socks.
The other pair I worked on was Dead Simple Lace Socks, out of WendyKnits Socks from the Toe Up book. I have had this book since 2008 and I've knit just a handful of socks out of it. It was an easy enough pattern that I could take the project everywhere.
Dead Simple Lake Socks
Start: May 14, 2017 (Mother's Day U.S)
End: July 28, 2017
Yarn: Berroco Sox
Color: 1436; Dye Lot: 3804Needle size: US 1 - 2.25 16 inch circs.
First toe up sock pattern in many years. Couple boo boos in the pattern. Would make the pattern again.
At least I can call this a "summer of socks" and not just one pair.
Yes, I finally have a pair of sock blockers. They are a birthday gift from my MIL. Yay! I've been wanting a pair for years.
Quilting and sewing pretty much stopped in April. I had fallen of the cross stitch wagon *hard* I have not haven't touched my "Happily Ever After" cross stitch since ... late March. *gulp* I'm getting things ready so I can pick it up again. I have my needles threaded with floss and just need a chunk of time, and some good lighting.
Yes, I'm still at January's clue. This is probably not going to get touched until the snow flies.
I thought I was going to participate in the Tour de Fleece this year. ... Yeah, that didn't happen either. No spinning to speak of. None. My poor wheel has been gathering dust. I've been listening to old podcasts, and the one gal is talking about spinning, and I have images of spinning pretty fiber again. I want to get the dyepots out again and dye up a braid or two.
There has been no various and sundry crafting done either. I know. I'm pathetic.
The summer has been cooler and wetter. My garden hasn't flourished like I hoped it would. We are getting stuff, but it's not coming at that breakneck speed I hoped it would.
My poor garden.
Reading has been scant the last several months, too. I had been listening to audiobooks from the Void Trilogy. I will get back to the series soon. I put it on hold when school ended and I started commuting with my son.
A couple books I did read were Foxlowe, and Bear Town.
I'm subscribed to a few book lists, and both of these novels appeared on one of them. If memory serves correctly, I picked up Foxlowe because it was a story set with a "Gothic" background.
Um, if I had known just what the story was about, I don't think I would have picked it up. However, I reached a point of no return and felt pretty invested in it. It is definitely not something I would normally pick up. It is a coming of age story about a girl in a cult. The woman who is the head of it is a sadistic woman who takes out her frustrations out on the kids who live in the commune. There is no happy ending. Just broken kids who grew up and are learning to deal and cope with what happened during their childhood.
Bear Town is the story about a small hockey town on the edge of the woods. Their chance to nationals is just within their grasp. A predictable incident occurs and it rocks the entire town and residents take sides. What I really liked about this book was the different points of view, and how every one in the town is grappling with the news, and choices being made. I liked how the novel was ended. It gives the reader a reminder that actions done when you are young are always there when you are older. It's up to you to decide how to own up to them, and carry them during life's journey.
If we were having coffee ... I know you'd ask me, well, just what were you doing this summer that kept you so busy?
Well, in addition to keeping up with some homestead stuff, which there always seems to be something, (thank you very much Mr./Mrs. gophers) we did a whole lot of fishing and kayaking.
We have so many lakes near us, but many have sandy boat launches. We went fishing where ever and just carried the kayaks. Hubby now prefers fishing in a kayak to a fishing boat. You can go where boats can't go, and be super stealthy and just drop your line off the side. My son and I still like the fishing boat, but for me it's more for having our picnics on the water, together. You can't do that with kayaks, necessarily, unless you latch together. Which isn't that much fun.
So much fish for my boys! Plus, we all get out of the house!
And now here we are, almost at the official start of Fall. I don't know if I can think of the proper adjective to describe how I feel about the quick passage of time that has been this year. I know things aren't going to settle down for a while, still. I know the snow is going to fly before I'm ready for it, and the family will be snuggled up in the homestead, around the wood stove.
Oh, speaking of the woodstove, to show how cool this summer has been, I've had fires in July. I don't recall there ever being a July so chilly that the heat needed to be turned on.
Okay, well, I suppose I've blathered at you long enough. I'll admit, I had been working on this post off and on for so long, that I was cold feet, so to speak. The longer I sat on it, the harder it was for me to work on it. I really hate when I do that to myself, despite my "blogging without obligation" rule.
I promise to not go six months until the next blog post.
Until next time, thanks for stopping by!