We finally found Turkey Lurkey, or should I say my oldest son found him. My boy and this particular turkey had a special bond and finding his death location was terrible. To say we all miss him is an understatement.
Last night we had a wonderful time at my youngest sons preschool Christmas program. Santa even came with a gift for each child. Seeing my little ones eyes when Santa walked in the room in the middle of dinner was , well, priceless.
He even got to stand next to the new woman in his life. In case you are wondering my sweet little man is completely and utterly in love with Vivian and she is a fine pick if I may say so myself.
I was shocked that my boy got up in front of everyone and sang and danced. Such public displays are usually his brothers domain. I guess when you have the woman of your dreams by your side you can do anything.
But why does it seems that good and bad always come hand in hand. As we left for our really rockin' party with the man in red himself we had a loss. Turkey Lurkey is missing, there is no sign of him and we are all beside ourselves. His loss would be a deep cut to our lovely family and we keep hoping he will turn up.
I don't know what about my house attracts such strange things, but here is a new one.
Today a simple thing happened. The UPS man tried to deliver a package. Now one might think his biggest worry would be the dog, but no not here on Skunky Acre. One has to watch their back against all sorts of attacks when treading on our property,apparently. You see our drive way was covered in ice and snow so the UPS man did not want to pull his truck in. Instead he parked on the road and walked down. A simple move one may think, but it was the wrong one for him. Mohawk Mike our low ranking, feather headed rooster was right on that one. He was convinced that he needed to protect our house and all of its occupants from this person who was obviously up to no good. Yes, that is right our rooster attacked, with full force mind you, a delivery man. That poor guy. He just tossed the package and ran......God only knows what stories he told when he got back to headquarters. In fact I wonder if we will ever get a package delivered to the deck again or if they will just throw them from the truck as they pass.
This year I have had a heck of a time getting into the Christmas spirit. I don't know if it is the lack of snow ( usually it comes by Thanksgiving at the latest), doing a good deal of my shopping on the internet, or the decrease in everyones budget but I have been having a hard time getting in the mood. Today ,I believe ,it is all turning around. The family and I all headed out to the store to try to get some shopping done and to try to grab a few supplies before a big storm hit. We did not make it. Right in the middle of our errand running the storm hit and then the fun started. We ran through the grocery store to lay in a few things and rushed home, all the while listening to Christmas music ( which I have not been able to find until today because someone around here " borrowed" it) and enjoying the snow.
What a difference snow makes.
We stopped at the post office and all the internet orders had come. We had a big teetering pile of boxes. Now I just want to drink hot chocolate with a roaring fire. Goofy, I know, but fun.
I can't believe I have not made a post since November, and then I only made one post in a whole month. I do sincerely make an apology, and I promise to be better this month. These cute little monkeys are the reason for my absence. I particularly like how the middle one ( my youngest) has begun making that same face for any picture. Isn't it just lovely !
Now let me catch you up on our lovely little lives:
We had a wonderful holiday. The whole family came out and we all shoe horned into my house. We had a great time visiting, going to movies, eating turkey, the whole works. It was really great to see my little niece. She is growing up so fast and I only have so many days a year to spoil her.
We also are in the middle of a raccooning. We have traps out but no occupants yet. Fortunately we have not lost any chickens, but we are on the look out. A family of around 7 raccoons can not be up to any good in my yard at night. Especially since my oldest caught them waiting in a tree, hoping that we would forget to lock up the chicken house just one night. I do think they would get a surprise when they went fishing for a nice sweet chicken and got a handful of turkey.
On a really exciting note...... We now qualify for a free calender from the feed store. A special moment in every girls life, I know. We received ours yesterday and it took me a while to absorb the fact that we actually purchase enough stuff from a feed store for them to consider us good customers and send us a calender. Are we cool or what.
Today is the day that I married my loving husband 17 years ago.
That is right 17 years !
Can you believe that one. I am a little unsure how I got so lucky as to marry the man of my dreams, a guy who shares all my goals and values at the tender age of 20, but I did. You may ask what wonderful plans we have for such and important day. Well, we are attending the Football awards banquet for pee wee football, and we have a kid with a fever. Sounds like a great way to celebrate to me.
I am pleased to announce that the 80s have officially been chased from my home. You see my lovely master bath, the place where I go for a little quiet and some renewal, was stuck in 1980. It was all complete with wallpaper with little powder blue and pink flowers, oak cabinets, wooden towel bars, the works. You really can't blame the original decorator for it was in the 80's that that part of the house was added on. I am sure at the time it was picture perfect and a sight to see. Now , being 2008, it all seems a little dated and just not my style. In fact, it was not even my style in the 80's. So, yes, I have spent my weekend so far painting, peeling, and texturing and the results are beautiful so far. I will soon post pictures of the brothel bathroom ( as my husband is calling it), and I will leave you to ponder what exactly a brothel bathroom looks like. Just remember with me you never know.
Here on the acre we have been enjoying one last week of nice weather. We have had lovely days in the 60's and cool nights in the 40's. It has been hard to get any work done around the house and on the computer as we have been picking apples, attending festivals, playing football, and carving pumpkins. What a wonderful way to spend the fall, but it is ending. As of today the weather is turning and snow is starting for fall here in our lovely state. It was great while it lasted, and now we can all look forward to fires in the wood stove, ice skating, and hot chocolate.
First you have to say that right, sort of like one would say:
I have lice, or I have gas, or even, I have termites
Yes, here at Skunky Acre we have a plague of cats. It all started when we went out of town for a few days this summer. We had a lovely time, but the house sitters were feeding our cat outside ( with our permission) and it attracted a lovely calico cat. We kept feeding her because she was sweet and cute, and she apparently did not have a home. Well, that set off the cat radar for this whole area and now we are over run with cats, all of which want food. One has even decided she lives here and will just walk in my house and make herself at home. We started calling her Jadis ( as in the white witch that just took over Narnia) and her picture is above.
My oldest son informed me yesterday that if the economy was to collapse then we would be ok. You see he is sure that our garden, chickens, and orchard would protect us from the general pain that such a thing would bring the country. I guess that means I should replace the tools we broke the day before the infamous arm injury. We were digging out stumps and broke our pitch fork and shovel. Those just might come in handy if indeed he is right. In case you are wondering he is currently working on a plan for what to do if the " city " people try to come up the mountain and take our resources.
Maybe I should start limiting his TV news watching.
Ok, I am back now. My life is returning some what to a normal state ( if my life is ever normal). Skunky Acre has been as active and interesting as always, I just have not had the time and mental space to write about it. Now that everything is calming down I should be back to entertaining the world with our odd life.
My husband, the brave leader of our family, has returned to work. His arm is almost healed and he can now use it again. It is a bit painful for him, but the doctor told him that is his therapy.
My oldest sons football team is kicking some Pee Wee butt. They are undefeated and have now qualified for the play offs. So far he has not broken any bones or had any major injuries. Thank goodness ! Any time someone gets hurt on the field my first response is " that is not my kid is it?".
Our turkey ( who we were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt was a girl) has found his manhood. He now struts around the yard displaying to all what a huge stud he is. He has also formed some strange bond with our oldest son. He meets him at the bus, comes when you call his name, and will hug you. Yes, I just said our turkey will hug you. I think the oddest thing he does is gets on the trampoline with the kids. Strange I know, but that is our life.
This past few weeks has been so busy and crazy that I can't even start to tell you all about it. I guess it will have to be enough to say I am back and I am sure it will all come out in the end.
Hot off the press! The Bears win their first season opener 21-0, over their rivals in blue - the Cowboys. Here star player Alex #62 shouts his enthusiasm to his team-mates on the sideline over their victory. Alex #62 clobbers a cowboy during a pass attempt.
We have fallen right back into the life we purposefully moved away from. Yes, that is right for the past few weeks our life has been in and out of the car, running from obligation to obligation, eating on the run, move move move.
Yesterday we said stop !
I am exhausted, my kids are exhausted, and my husband is still broken. So what did we do, we quit.
Today we will stay home and get back to our lives. Boy do I miss our life.... in fact here are the top things I missed
1) hanging laundry on the line. It is such a relaxing thing to do and you really feel like you are accomplishing something.
2) Weeding and caring for my garden. I just love sitting out there and listening to the silence, the results are yummy to eat also.
3) Cooking real meals with real food and real nutrition for my family. Nothing tastes better than that
4) Waiting out in the yard for the school bus to drop off my oldest while the turkey waits at the end of the drive and my youngest jumps on the trampoline.
5) Walking around out in our property and just looking. You get to find snakes, lizards, bugs, what fruit is ripe, what animals are coming around. Pure heaven !
6) Hanging out with my girls. I love my chickens and I love to work in the yard and just watch them having chicken adventures. The meat birds we are keeping since all our laying hens have been eaten are particularly funny.
7) Hanging out and talking with my kids, not just driving them around and hearing their fun second hand.
8) Having time to notice the world around me and blog about it.
On Friday the neighbor called to say a coyote was headed this way. My brave man hung out our bedroom window with gun and shot it as it was trying to get our chickens.
Broken arm and all !
On the bad side he did not drop it and it ran off in the woods ( behind the bus stop) to die. I decided it might be wise to stand with the kids until the bus came. I had visions of the little girls trying to help the poor wounded creature while the boys threw rocks at it. We all know nothing is meaner than a wounded animal.... so I took a gun. You read that right, I stood at the school bus stop with a clutch of kids and a gun to protect them from a wounded coyote. Don't you do that often?
Oh, and the plums are jam, the yard is mowed ( no coyote cover that way), my husband is still broken but really cool, my oldest is registered for football, and I am very tired.
What more can I say, other than what is in the title. I am being run ragged doing all the chores around here at our busy time of year. My poor husband is broken and can't help, but our plums are plum delicious.
Ok, so they don't sound like the go to guys when you have a coyote problem, but let me tell you these guys kick butt and take names later.
Our coyote problem has been getting worse. They have begun coming up on the deck right up by my windows and doors. To be honest with you I was getting scared and would not let a single soul out of the house. We came to the conclusion that those animals just had to go.
Yesterday was the assigned day so early that morning my husband and children ( who were well prepared) painted their faces, put on all their camo, and proceeded to climb into the tree fort ( their blind). They blasted their recordings of " hurt baby coyote", " dying chicken", and " injured rabbit" trying to lure in those coyotes. It lasted for hours and nothing came. I say nothing but really every dog and cat in the area showed up. We were all a bit frustrated since until now we could not even go outside with out seeing one. Where had they all gone. The " great hunters" decided to take it up a notch and released our pent up chickens. That for sure would do it. By 6 that night we were all sick of it.
Now enter the U.S. Dept. of Ag guy. He showed up around then and informed us we had a real coyote problem ( no kidding). Apparently when we called in the big guns last week they started checking out the area. They discovered that the coyote population in this area has gone nuts and reached an unsafe level. They have been hunting coyotes all week and are thinning the population. It will take them some time, but they are handling it. Oh, and they shot the giant female who has been stalking us. To say we are happy about that is an understatement. I can now go out side and not worry about my safety or that of my children.
This is for all of you city folks out there who like to think you are doing us country bumpkins a favor by hand delivering us your unwanted pets. You know who you are, the ones who dump your problems out on the side of the road out side of town and hope someone will find them and love them. Well, we don't want them. If we wanted such a pet we would go down to the animal shelter, pet store, or local rescue and get one. If you are wondering exactly where this is coming from here is the story.
Yesterday we told the boys we would take them out to lunch and to the movies as sort of a last blow out before school starts on Monday. Everything was going well all through lunch in a mountain town near by, and then we headed down the mountain. Not to far from our house we found 2 large dogs that some one had " set free". We know this by the big bag of dog food they left dumped on the side of the road. It was complete with EMPTY water bowl. Now I am sure it was a very hard thing for them to do, seeing as I am sure they loved those dogs so very much, but it ate up the rest of my day. We as a family go with the idea that if we kept going on about our day we would be no better than the people who dumped them out. So we spent the next few HOURS finding out who was in charge of strays in the very remote area, and trying to figure out how to tell them where they were with no landmarks to speak of. They were 1 1/2 miles after the pavement ends up fresnal canyon road. There is a big bend in the road after a 15 mile an hour sign. How do you like those directions.... we also drew a map. We did finally make the movie, although we all worried about those sweet, friendly guys the whole time. They are in good hands now with an animal rescue group and hopefully finding good homes.
Now to deal with the stray cat that has shown up. It's picture is the one above. The boys have started feeding it and named her Clementine. I guess now we have a second cat I sure hope it is a girl.
Yes, that is right I have banned my kids from Disney. Not the lovely g rated cartoons, mind you, but the awful, tacky, smart mouthed sitcoms they have started to produce. I started to notice my oldest boy getting that same lip and attitude they have on Hanna Montana, I Carly, and the like. I put my foot down and now I am afraid I am the most uncool mom of the year. To bad, so sad.
There have been some new " happenings " here on the acre and as always I like to keep my people posted.
We discovered what is eating our hens. Coyotes , and darn big ones at that. We have had the government out here to handle it, but it is to dangerous for them. So , of course, they have left us to handle it on our own. In the mean time we are keeping our kids, pets, and live stock locked up until the offending pack is dealt with. More on this later.
I have a new look. I know everyone is so concerned with my appearance, but this one is fun. I went in to get my hair touched up last week and came out with a completely new thing going on. Think Trixie from speed racer only crazier. I could not decide on a hair color so we just did them all. I am now Dark Golden Brown with bright blond and bright red streaks. My kids hate it, I love it. They say I don't look like a mom now, I look like a rock star. I say who wants to look like a mom, I would rather look like a rock star.
Have you ever been looking for an answer to a problem only to discover, after many hours of searching, that the answer is right in front of your face ?
That is what happened to me. I spent yesterday calling all my chicken contacts ( yes, I have chicken contacts don't you?) in search of some barred rock laying hens. I had 8 meat birds to sweeten the deal. Then my loving husband pointed out the obvious,
all chickens lay eggs.
They may not lay well, or long, or in the same place every time like my beloved working girls but they all lay. We have 8 hens left of the meat birds and they should start up production fairly soon. I say when you are desperate you give everything a try. So in with the flock go the nameless masses who were save from the chopping block.
Here we are again, I have been out in the yard in the dark night in my pjs and muck boots smelling chicken feathers.
How do I keep coming to this point.... and who would ever think of themselves as being here !
Any way, here I am and we have lost most of our chickens already this year. 8 chickens in two weeks to be exact. This means we are now in desperate need of laying hens. We only have 5 layers left and only two are laying right now. That is not enough to feed my family much less sell. From the smell of a fresh batch of chicken feathers we found on the ground we believe it to be a skunk. Let's all hope we trap it tonight.
Yes, that is right my chickens are a little off. We know this because for about 8 weeks now we have only been getting one to two eggs a day and with all the chickens we have that is way off. I have carefully watched them and have noticed that only the barred rocks are laying. This just makes me love them more, they are my favorites after all. They are such little champs. We have several theories as to why the chickens have just stopped laying, but can't confirm any of them.
1) they are molting 2) Rocky's love is a little much and is bordering on harassment 3) the predators are stalking them and stressing them out ( we have lost quite a few in those same weeks) 4) they are laying somewhere else
I guess we will just have to wait it out and give them the break they must need.
As most of you with children know with your first child you would cut your arm off before you would let their birthday parties be theme free. You make sure that every aspect meets that theme, and spend all sorts of money to have the perfect party. Then after a few kids and many years of party giving you could give a crap. Not that you are not just as excited for your little ones special day, but you realize that what ever they want is fine as long as it makes them feel special.
For my youngest, my sweet baby, all he wanted was his whole family to come to his house, to have a batman pinata, an Indiana Jones cake, dinosaur decorations, and go hiking. That is exactly what we did. In his mind is was the best day ever, what more could you ask for.
After a busy month of butchering chickens, digging and rocking ponds, putting in gardens, installing light fixtures, and generally improving our home we said to heck with it all , loaded up our nutty family, and headed to Albuquerque. We had a blast. We hiked lava fields, saw dinosaurs, ate in a shark tank, feed larakets, rode camels, ate ice cream, ordered pizza, rode trains, found peacock feathers, swam in pools, let butterflies land on us, and just had a good time. Now back to work, refreshed and just a little tired.
Not giving your children to their grandparents permanently when they
Have a rock fight, get in trouble for it, move the rock fight around the corner where you can't see, break a window on the house, hide in an apple tree so you can't find them, find out the apple tree is to small for two little boys and break the branches on the apple tree with their weight.
It is 63 and raining, and it has been for days. It stared on Tuesday night and is still going strong. As you can see from the picture my kids have found a wonderful way to entertain themselves. We adults are just frustrated since all our out door projects are just sitting and waiting for the rain to stop and us to finish them.
I hope everyone is having a great time on this 4th of July. We spent the day doing what every red blooded American does on the one day a year we celebrate our independence.
I hauled rock !
Now don't get me wrong we attended parades, ate watermelon ( even the chickens) , popped fire works, and ate hamburgers. I did not want our citizenship revoked after all. But, the majority of the day was spent hauling rock up a hill from the big pond in the yard to the little pond in our garden. The pond is shaping up very well. Yesterday ( as the above picture shows) we finished digging the hole and put the liner down. Now we just have the long and hard task of rocking it. I will make sure I post pictures later this week when we are finished. And now I leave you with a picture of our youngest rooster Mohawk Mike spending his independence day lounging by the compost heap. It must be nice.....
I must apologize for my lack of posting in the past week or so. The home improvement stores have begun to mark down their merchandise for the season, and the rains have come. The combination has made for a very busy life and a much improved home. Good thing since my whole family is coming for my youngest 4 th birthday in a few weeks.
On another note, the rains have also lead me to ask a very important question......
" just how stupid can a chicken be"
The answer is really, really, really stupid. Now that the rains have come the yet to be butchered black broilers are a bit confused. ( 11 down and 12 to go) All that water falling from the sky is just to much decision making for them. What do they do about it. The answer is nothing, they go about their day getting soaking wet. All of this ended with me, once again, standing in the yard in the rain and dark trying to round them up and put them to bed for the night. Let's all hope they don't end up getting colds and dying from it.
Yesterday shaped up to be a really wonderful day. We took a break from the endless chicken killing ( 8 down and 15 to go ) to attend our towns cherry festival. We volunteered at the fire departments snow cone stand, petted the local camel, ate hot dogs, amazed people with our 3 wheeled bike, and generally had a great time. I am always glad when festival time comes around and we can ride our bikes up to what amounts to a big party for the locals.
What ! You mean to tell me that you only bought me half a bike !!!!!! So it is not what we had in mind when we went to buy our youngest a bike, but we all love it. You see his birthday is coming up next month and all he wanted, with all his heart is a bike. We are thinking we can finally all get out and ride as a family on the awful gravel roads.
For those who do not live in New Mexico, you are truly missing out. We always know summer has arrived, because the state bird shows up, with his distinctive sound. We know because it flies overhead every ten minutes between slurry drops.
The rain really needs to start. Then these guys will go away. By the way, the forest is "closed" right now due to the extreme dryness, and we have teams of firefighters camped out on the local trails just in case. They are literally living in the woods to get the jump on anything that may start. Betcha' can't convince them global warming is a myth. Every year the season is drier and hotter and the fires are getting bigger.
Ok, so the final numbers are in. Our chickens are averaging 3 to 5 pounds after they are cleaned so we are paying around $ 1.87 a pound. I think my husband is a little disappointed that we could get them cheaper at the grocery store, but I don't know if that is true. Around here we can buy a whole chicken for $.89 a pound. But, and this is a big but, they are injected with salt water. Yes, most meat is. Read your labels people. They inject our meat with all sorts of things. I learned all this when my youngest had a terrible milk allergy. I had to start reading labels on everything and boy howdy was I surprised at what they do to our food. Talk about an eye opener. Any how, I am wondering if this lovely, beautiful skinless meat will not shrink as much during cooking. That would lower our price per pound considerably. I guess the truth will be in the cooking, and I will keep you posted.
After extensive reading and video watching I have finally mastered the vacuum sealer! This may not sound like a giant achievement to you, but to me it is huge. My mom was nice enough to send me hers ,since she does not use it often any more, and I had huge plans for putting up those awful chickens in my yard.
Yesterday did not go well for me.
The men huddled in the yard working out the system we will use for the rest of the birds ( 2 down 21 to go) and all I had to do was preserve them for future use.
Who do you think had the easier time ?
I for the life of me could not get the hang of the sealer. Here I was with the fruit of my mans work sitting in the kitchen sink while I fumbled around and just could not get the hang of it. I finally gave up and used plastic wrap to contain them. If you are wondering why exactly I did not just put them in a freezer bag the answer would be because they are HUGE. I don't know what happened out there in the chicken tractor, but those sweet little chicks grew to gigantic proportions. Crazy.
So now I go on through my life with one more skill...... that of vacuum sealing. Now if I can only preform under pressure.
Today is the day we started " retiring" the meat birds. We selected 2 of the biggest birds and we went to work. I guess I should really say my oldest son and my husband went to work, and I was pushed to the sidelines ( cleaning toilets, getting mail, taking trash to the dump, picking up the youngest from preschool and taking him to free lunch at the school). I was so proud of my little boy..... so big and spending the morning really actually helping his dad. He was so excited to be included in this grown up event and I can see him reaching for his manhood and wanting to learn. I am also a little sad as this is one more step away from me.
Ok, so the black broiler meat birds are big, stinky, mean, and really need to be in my freezer. We called the butcher and guess what .... he is way busy until late July ! There is no way our measly little plot of land can support all of these full grown chickens for that long with out really making a mess of it. We have decided to do it ourselves and have set the date for next week when we will all be home for 5 days straight. So look forward to the post, it will be a good one.
I was up at the general store showing off pictures of my hansom brothers wedding and this one seemed to stand out. I think everyone picked it out and said " is this your sister". I have no sister... in fact it is my cousin. Maybe is was all that pulling me around in a wagon when I was 1 and she was 4 that bonded us. What you would not put a 4 year old in charge of a one year old. Well, evidently my family would. What can I say it was the 70's and people did a lot of strange things.
He did it ! My sweet little brother got hitched. We dragged our country bumpkin family to the big city to witness the event. My smallest child was in awe of the big airplanes at the airport, the freeway was mistaken for a race track, and he achieved his goal of eating a hamburger as big as his head. We spent the whole week amazing our kids with all the fancy sites to see but are very glad to be back at our humble abode.
Ok, so the picture is out of focus but you get the idea.
We had a nice little rain shower yesterday afternoon, and being summer my kids hit the dirt ( or mud) afterwards looking for fun stuff. What they found were tons of snails. They spent a good hour out there catching them. Now I am not the biggest fan of the snail. I can handle most bugs, but snails = yuck. I insisted that they at least put them in buckets when they came in the house for bed time. You can imagine my surprise when my youngest even pulled a few out of his pants ! Needless to say I tucked in 2 happy boys with a bucket brimming with snails which were released as soon as the boys were happily sleeping.
Organic fresh produce delivered to my door. I usually try to buy my produce and meat locally, but living in the mountains there is really only 3 months out of the year produce is available. Our only other choice is Walmart. I hate buying produce at walmart. They do have a nice little line of organics now, but their selection is so limited and I have to drive all the way down a mountain to get it. The other day I ran across a lovely web site that ships fresh organic foods right to your door. More food miles than local, yes, but in the end it is better than food shipped in from some far off country. Both better for you and better for our planet, I believe. We decided to give it a whirl, and boy howdy am I pleased. It was easy, fast, and my kids love it. The box arrived and they tore it open and started shoving food in their tiny little faces. I sort of like the variety aspect of it. Some of it I don't think I would buy normally but I sure will try it now that it is in my house. Here is a list of what I got delivered right to my door for $82.00 and that included shipping.
3 apples 3 citrus fruits 1 pear 2 kiwi 4 peaches 1 bunch of red grapes 1 bunch of green grapes 3 red potatoes
1 small package of cherries
1 head of garlic one box of cherry tomatoes 1 bunch of green beans 4 zucchini 2 bunches of cooking greens 1 package of mesclun salad mix 1 bunch green onions one head of leaf lettuce 1 bunch of spinach 1 bunch of parsley 1 bunch of basil
They also included a recipe sheet to tell me how to cook some of it. The selection will change seasonally , of course, but I am pleased and we will do this again for sure. In fact next time I think I will get the larger size box, as my kids have already dug in to the shipment and show no signs of coming up for air.
Things here at Skunky Acre have been a bit crazy but I do have a lot of new stories to tell, so here they are.
Have a look at Kung Foo Pee Pee. I guess that is what happens when you let a 3 year old child name a turkey. The elementary school my oldest attends tried to hatch some of our eggs for a science project. Something went terribly wrong and what few eggs that hatched were deformed. I had been expecting 8 more chickens for our flock. When the news that we would not be getting any more chickens came my lovely husband and crazy children immediately ( as in I had to turn the stove off to leave ) hopped into the car and ran down to the closing feed store to snatch up this lovely bird. Gee, do you think they had a plan there ! We are unsure of his breed, but know he is a heritage breed turkey that will be white. Oh, and here is my favorite , he has to be walked and he does not get along well with others. Other birds that is, he LOVES people. We purchased him as Thanksgiving dinner, but I am sure that plan will be revised.
On another note we had to off a few of our bantam roosters. We accidentally ended up with 3 of them and they were really hard on our hens. Now nothing, and I mean nothing, messes with our laying hens. They are our money makers and food supply. We had been putting it off for a good while and it was just time for them to go. In fact, I do believe that their soup was what had to be turned off to go and get a turkey. The soup was good, but we were all a little sad. They were good little guys and really pretty. Such is life.......
The black broilers are growing by leaps and bounds. I am sure they will be in the freezer in 3 or 4 more weeks. The hurt ones have started regrowing toes and feet. Yes, you read correctly, they are regrowing body parts. I would post a picture, but it all looks pretty gross.
Next week is the first week of summer around here. The boys are enjoying the end of school and all the cupcakes and fun that come with it. As a matter of fact, I can't get my oldest to stay home and in bed with his sore throat and low grade fever. He was going to school this morning if he had to walk there.
First off I want you to meet the best Mad Hatter ever ! Yes, my sweet darling little boy played the Mad Hatter in a elementary school rendition of Alice in wonderland. Might I say he wowed the audience with his talent and was the hit of the show. I think we may have had a glance at a future profession.
Now for The Case of The Missing Feet. Today we discovered that something ate the feet off of some of our meat birds. We have put the wounded ones in a nice little hospital ward and are treating their wounds with antibiotics. The poor little guys, but there is hope for them. They are healing very well and learning to limp. We spent the afternoon placing chicken wire around the base of the chicken tractor hoping to stop what ever little hands are reaching under there and getting a nice chicken dinner. I will have to keep you posted on this one.
Happy mother's day to all of the mothers out there. I, myself, have had a whirl wind weekend of mother's day fun.
The weekend started off on Friday night with a wonderful promotion ceremony for my youngest son. He is moving from the 3 year old room to the 4 year old room. I got all teary eyed when I saw the cute little 5 year olds in their cap and gowns graduating to kindergarden. That will be us next year and I just can't stand the thought. We both won awards this year. My boy won the best backwards clothes model award since he always loves to wear his pants backwards. He just can't understand why anyone would want their pockets in the back. I won the best mom award for letting him wear his clothes any way he wants as long as he is dressed for the season at hand.
Then ( after a big breakfast on Saturday morning) I was presented with lots of jewelery, both the kind kids make and the kind husbands buy. I was also treated to an actual movie theater movie ( a first for at least 3 years). There was even popcorn and candy a plenty to go around. I just love Speed Racer and so do my boys. Then we loaded up the truck with enough mulch to almost finish off my garden. I was also the recipient of a cake decorated in my honor at dinner time.
Who knows what today holds, I am sure my boys have big plans. All I know is I am the luckiest woman in the world and I am sure it will be a wonderful day.
I have been hen pecked in two different ways..well maybe three.
1) Apparently I did not tag someone else in the fun little blog game, so I am going to tag Tara and Jerry. They are over at wheresyourline.blogspot.com and I know they will love me for the invitation to play. Oh, and I plan on adding their blog site to my list just as soon as I get the time to edit it. What can I say I am super slow and my husband does most of that stuff.
2) The chickens got in my garden the other day. I am just now able to talk about it with out steam coming out of my head. Someone ( not me) left the gate open and the little boogers took their chance. My garden went from almost ready to produce, to completely gone. The good news is I caught them before they dug up the roots so I am counting on the plants coming back.
3) Our food has begun to bite ! Those sweet but a little wild Black Broilers have gone off the deep end. They now eye ball you when you go in the pen to feed them and run over to bite you. They will even try it through the chicken wire. Crazy little animals no wonder people eat them.
Ok, I have been tagged. I am not really one for games, but I am also not one to ruin a good time. As usual I have adapted the game to my needs so here are 5 random things about me.
1) I can't wear a watch. That is right I can't wear one. Not for any personal reason, but because after a few weeks the batteries stop working and then after a few weeks the batteries stop working and then after a few weeks the batteries stop working. Yes, I some how drain the batteries with my body. Watch people have informed me that while unusual there are some people who have to wear a wind up watch because of the electromagnetic energy their bodies do or do not give off. Even stranger is I think my grandma is the same way, but I could be remembering it wrong.
2) I like to chop wood. There I said it. I love the feeling of doing something so usefull, and to see the big neatly stacked pile when I am done. I can stand out there all day chopping and enjoy it
3) I can sing all the songs in the movie Cinderella. The Disney version of course. She is after all the coolest of the princesses.
4) I once caught my husband in the head with a fishing lure while we were chest deep in the ocean and he had a giant salmon on his line. We are still married so it must be love.
5) I am addicted to the documentary channel. I can watch it all day long. I just love spending a whole hour learning about the electric car, blood diamonds, or peak oil.
We drove through this to get it... What a strange trip it turned out to be. We drove right through the fire lines with flames on both sides of the car and smoke so thick you could barely see. But we got our meat by gosh!
It seems as if there is a 5,000 acre forest fire not to far from our lovely little patch of heaven. Alarming , a little, but there is a small town between us and the fire that as not been evacuated. When that happens I will really get worried. We are however reviewing our fire emergency plan and making sure our plants around the house are not to dry.
Our biggest problem at the moment is the fire is between us and our destination for the day. We are headed to Smokey Bear days, old Lincoln, and the farm for some fresh meat. I am looking forward to a good old fashioned family adventure, even if I have to drive around a fire to get to it.
Yesterday was a good old fashioned farm day around Skunky Acre.
The Black Broilers were moved out of the brooder and into a pen. They really enjoyed the dirt under their feet and spent part of the day taking dirt baths. Then the little roosters found a new love of arguing with one another, and everyone attempted to eat any thing they could find be it food or not. We also discovered that they had already gone through their 50 pound bag of chick start, boy are they hungry fellows. It is getting them nice and plump and juicy though.
So we made a quick run down to the feed store and resupplied all the animals. Feed has really gone through the roof around here. It is now costing me $25 for 3 weeks worth of feed. I am really glad we pasture our chickens at this point, all though, I have no idea what I am going to do this winter when the chickens don't find as much food out there. This lead us to come to a very hard decision, we are going to have to raise our egg prices. I really hate to do it. I love the thought of undercutting Walmart, and supplying a better product at the same time. The big problem is now that I am losing money if I don't raise my prices, in fact at $3 a dozen I am still only making twenty five cents a dozen.
Hummm, maybe growing corn in the garden and fighting the raccoons off it is not so bad an idea. I might have to think about that one.
Here is my latest project. It is somewhat still pieced together given the time sensitivity of planting things like food.
We have a lovely fenced area right off the back door. The old owners used it for a yard, I am trying to turn it into a cottage garden. The ugly old fence will be torn down and replaced with some cute little number. Well, may be not so little as it has to keep out the deer and chickens. I don't think there is a fence yet invented to keep out the raccoons, but that is a whole different story. We are just staying away from the growing of corn and crossing our fingers with that one.
This winter I locked the geese in the little yard and let them go to town on the grass. I was really pleased with their work as nothing has come back up as of yet. Now I am putting raised beds all through the garden with mulch around them for access. I have 6 beds in right now with plans for 5 more. To cut the price I have been scavenging wood from behind the chicken garage for flowering plants. I can use any old treated wood for the plants I am not going to eat, and I think it will add interest to the area if it is not just a food garden. I really hope it turns out a pretty as it is in my mind.
I can't believe it has been a week since I have made a post. Things around Skunky Acre have been busy and we have all but 8 of our chickens in now.
The Wyandottes arrived the other day. They are so cute and sweet, not to mention tiny. Here is a picture of one of the little guys. They look just like the picture in the catalog so hopefully we got what we ordered this time. The giant feet in the picture are the mystery chickens we received when we ordered Dark Cornish chickens. With a little help from the feed store we identified them as Black Broilers and are now researching to see exactly what that means.
This little fellow is our newest mystery. He is definitely not a Black Broiler, but what is he. At first we thought him to be just a runt, then he sprouted that lovely mohawk down the middle of his head. Once again the people at the feed store came to the rescue and helped us identify what we think he could possibly be. We are leaning toward a Crevecour, but are uncertain at this time. It is just so hard to tell until they feather out. If it is a Crevecour we will be lucky people indeed. They are rare and really pretty.
Yesterday as my husband arrived home from work it dawned on me how tolerant he really is. You see, around the back of our house is the utility area. That is where the second garage, chicken coop, vegetable garden, clothes line, etc. is. If it is a little ugly, some type of storage, or not fit for the public to see it is back there. So, yesterday I was back there turning the compost heap while I watered it down and wacked any left over mice. We have definitely learned our lesson on how important compost maintenance is around here. I have also begun to shred any financial documents that come to the house and toss them in there. We had our identity stolen last year and it was a small pain in the butt to fix it. I decided any thing to do with credit cards, or personal business is better off rotting in my back yard in shreds than in a trash sack at the dump. Ok, so back to why my husband is so great....
You come home after a long day of terrorist, mega disaster training at work only to find your lovely wife out back in mismatched clothes, mixing your shredded mail in the compost heap, while your youngest child squirts it with the water hose and at the same time screaming " mommy wacked a mouse until it's brain squeezed out". Oh, and I had cleaned all the past it's prime produce out of the fridge and feed it to the chickens, so your yard it full of groceries.
My lovely husband just smiled and went in the house for a little while, I think he may have even mumbled that he loved us under his breath. What a guy !
You see we ordered Dark Cornish chicks from the hatchery, and this is what we got. At first we thought they did not look quite right, but most baby chicks look a little alike so we did not think much of it. Now we are fairly sure that this is not the face of a Dark Cornish chick.
What is it ?
Let's just hope they are edible because we have 24 of them in the back garage growing like crazy.
Spring is here and it has brought our lives here on the acre to a screeching halt. Yes, we stopped our busy lives and just tried to enjoy.
The orchard is just gorgeous, and I have been spending a good part of every day just wondering through it. The kids have just seen Bee Movie and were fascinated with the difference between real life bees and movie bees. It was a wonderful time to point out how many things are not how TV and movies present them. We went to the zoo and spent a good part of a day watching animals we did not have to feed. We also grilled every meal we possibly could.
The chicks have arrived. We only received the Dark Cornish, the Wynadots will be in soon. They are cute as buttons and we are having the best time watching them grow. There only seems to be one snag in the grand plan to raise our food. These chicks look nothing like any of the pictures we have seen of Dark Cornish chicks. I will have to say things could get very interesting around here as these little guys grow and we discover if we received what we ordered. I was sorry it ended this morning with the rush to preschool and elementary school. I am now looking forward to free flowing days of summer.
This week is spring break for the little members of Skunky Acre. Instead of taking a big expensive trip we have come to believe we have everything we need right here. So we spent the very first day of this very special week eating watermelon. Even the chickens got in on the fun as we gave them the rinds. The boys insisted that they have these giant pieces and they ate every inch of them.
The fruit trees are in bloom, the baby chicks should arrive, and all is right in the world. I think it should be a wonderful week as we slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of our lives and our little town.
I have been suffering from a sinus infection this week. As you can imagine things around here are sliding a little and one of those things has been the trash. On trash day getting it to the curb completely slipped my mind. About half way through the day I noticed the can at the curb and thanked my husband for remembering when I had forgotten. He of course took full credit and smiled. That is when I knew, deep in my marriedness, that something was amiss. I drug out of him the fact that he had not done it. I proceeded to question everyone in the house and no one knew anything about it. So, somehow, my full trash can made it all the way up my drive in time to meet the trash truck.
Strange, but true and a bit convenient. If I did not feel so bad it might just freak me out!
Seeing as the time of year it is we have been throwing our money at the yard. We are working on our garden as well as covering up the ugly fence. At the home improvement store my sweet dear husband found a plant he could not live without. I warned him that deer love to eat this particular plant, but he could not be detoured. We forked out the $30 for a HUGE honeysuckle vine with special pink and red blooms. I will have to admit that it is a really pretty vine and so I was not that hard to convince. Well, to make a long story short we came home and immediately planted it. I did not want it to sit around and die while it awaited planting. Not 10 min. after we stuck it in the ground look who showed up. He just knew that we had put out a special treat for him to enjoy and would not leave. We tried all the tricks in the book and it just lead to him following us around the yard. He was even trying to walk up to the children. Much to their disappointment they had to watch from the windows and the safety of the house after that. My husband, in the mean time, set a bad example by frolicking in the yard with the deer. Oh, and he put a deer fence up around the vine that evening.
Located at 6700 feet above sea level, Skunky Acre Farm is the home of farm fresh eggs, several different varieties of apples and cherries, with dogs, cats, and our two free range boys. We moved from the city to the country and are living the good, if not a little crazy, life.