It’s been a crazy past month. Folks, I’m talking crazy! Obviously the spring season has settled in full vigor over our valley. Oh, nothing so bold or wild has happened. It’s the accumulation of breezes that join force, forming a whirlwind. I think I’m living in a whirlwind.
Actually, it all began with the lambs, those darling, innocent, escape artists!
Those Darling Little Lambs
As you probably know, we added two spring lambs to our small collection of critters. We wanted to raise these guys as healthily and cheaply as possible by offering them grass only. Come fall, they will fill our freezer.
In order to keep them on fresh grass, I had to move their pen every 3-4 days. This action gave the little buggers the idea that pens were meant for getting out of. Get out they did!
I know. They’re cute. And like most cute things, you can’t trust them for one second! Ever tried living in a whirlwind of escaped sheep? The only way I can control or lead them anywhere is with a grain bucket!
Speaking of grain, did I mention the little guys broke into our turkey/duck pen and cleaned out the bird feeder? Yes, they did! Bloated bellies and scours ensued. I had to syringe a mixture of yogurt and apple cider vinegar down their throats every 2-3 hours until their ‘cow-pies’ began to firm up. Gah!
Luckily for us, our landlord had fenced off an acre or two for animals of his own. When it didn’t work out this spring, he offered the space to us. We gladly accepted and our mischievous balls of wool have stayed put.
We had friends who were willing to incubate eggs for us this spring. In the backyard, we have 12 turkeys and 7 ducklings who are eating and making a mess. I can’t wait to move them down below with the rest of our birds!
In the ‘big bird’ pen, our heritage turkeys had a second unsuccessful hatching year. Baby birds formed but when time came to hatch, they couldn’t break through the egg membrane. After waiting 28 days, it’s very disappointing. We think the culprit may be the duck eggs we added both this year and last.
Ducks are waterbirds and their eggs need higher moisture levels to hatch. Is it possible that the duck eggs claimed all available moisture from the hen’s body?
For now, we’ve forced the hens to leave the nest, discarded their eggs and insist that they eat, drink and be merry. We’ll let them go at it again in a month or two, but this time without the duck eggs.
Oh yes, we also have a broody duck down below sitting on a nestful of (15?) eggs! I hope she is faithful!
Our Missing Tom
Last Sunday, the neighbor lady who owns and manages the RV/trailer park beside us came knocking. It’s a bad sign! It only ever happens when our animals are on her turf.
So it was. Our tom had been missing for about a week. A dog had gotten hold of him and we found feathers all over the grounds. Not sure if he was dead or alive, we searched but without luck. Our escaped birds have always returned home within a few hours. Food, water, good roosting and friends are inside! What’s not to love?
Well, this time he didn’t come back. Two days after his escape, we were notified that someone had seen him grazing the park at 8:30am. I went looking again, even released some of our other birds so that he’d feel comfortable joining the flock.
No luck. Until 7 days later…
….on Sunday morning! The neighbor informed us that he was indeed alive and well, doing damage to her trailer park and her camping guests. He couldn’t fly and had taken refuge by living on the porch of an empty trailer home. Yes, a carpeted porch!
Instead of going to church that beautiful morning, we spent our time cleaning white, green and black splotches out of the carpet. Renting a carpet cleaner was also necessary. Sigh.
I won’t say much, other than that there was a spring rush to get two new hives set up. Making your own boxes, honey supers and brood frames takes time! And lots of it!
A Garden A-Growing
This year, we chose to grow food at a friend’s house. The garden has been left to rest and desperately needs weeding. Which I plan to do today, now that I have a brief break from the whirlwind I’ve been living in!
However, on a positive note, we harvest our first green salad from it, complete with lettuce, kale, chard and radishes. Y-u-u-m! My feeling of wealth and richness just increased!
The Property and House
Our perc test finally went through! I can’t tell you how happy I am about this! The only thing standing between us and a visit to the bank is the electrical company. And those results were supposed to be in two weeks ago.
Why is it everything takes longer than expected? Seems to be the law of buying and building!
My man and I have been working hard to wrap up last minute details. We finally chose our interior house color (‘Lemon Lily’ if anyone is interested) and decided to go with all-white trim. Two colors only, we’re keeping it simple.
It’s all the little things now: choosing siding, the bathtub, both ceiling and outdoor lights, finalizing root cellar plans and those for the power shed/barn. We’ve decided how much soil will be hauled in for the garden and have found a supplier.
I’m beside myself at the thought of being able to put in perennials! And I’m still dreaming about an edible hedgerow….
Then There’s the Secret…
I’ve been working on something special for my readers. It’s a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I’m super excited about it!
Learning always takes time. I’ve probably given too much to this project, but I want to do a good job, to create something you’ll enjoy!
But that’s all I’m going to tell you for now. So stay tuned! It’s coming out on July 1st and I can’t wait to share it with you all!
I’m Living In a Whirlwind
My man has been working like a dog, is so tired. The summer heat has finally descended and doesn’t help with motivation levels…for either of us.
I need to carry on with packing and sorting, preparing for the big move. Even though papers haven’t been signed, I’d prefer to put myself under pressure now. And if things don’t go through? No one has ever been the worse for cleaning, sorting and organizing!
Don’t worry: we won’t get lost in the whirlwind. I only hope we’ll come out better and wiser for having been in it.