Friday, March 28, 2008

"Tail"of 2 Roosters

We do still have 2 roosters with the hens, down from 3 last year. WF felt the need for fresh blood, so he imported a rooster from Wisconsin (found at the Feed store, I think). I had mixed feelings, because our "Large Rooster" was so calm and tame, and I was wary of what we'd get in a new rooster.

Turns out the new guy is rather skittish and would rather stay away from people entirely. He has small spurs and a very short comb/wattles. We suspect he had a pretty hard life in his other place, with a history of frostbite or even malnutrition.

He has a bit of a comical crewcut look with his short comb; note him next to the remaining young rooster from last year's batch. Young rooster has a bit of frostbite and may lose part of his comb, too, but not likely as extreme. New Rooster IS indeed more adapted to cold now, I suppose! They seem to get along fairly well, perhaps becasue young rooster still knows his place...

New Rooster has settled in and is getting used to WF, and he's never challenged me. He's not too interested in the ladies, though... we'll see if that changes! One reason may be that he seems to have brought mites with him into the flock (visible mostly just under his tail). Bummer.

The whole flock has had a few, and WF has been treating them with garlic juice and diatomaceous earth. I leave that part to him; too busy with things in the house to worry about mites right now. WF does think it was limiting egg production for a while, but the mites seem to be controlled fairly well right now. We may have to do something more toxic eventually, but we'll see how this goes for now.

So, the flock genetics may be more diverse through the newcomer, but our coop fauna is, too! Ah, well, all part of the learning experience!

Chicken Treats

So, this isn't exclusively a pregnancy blog, I promise. There ARE still chickens here at Raisingfrolic, and they are as pampered as ever!

We have fewer hens this year, but WF still makes sure they get some tasty treats, served by hand.

Lutsen sometimes gets jealous (you're paying attention to chickens and not me! Meow! Meow!) and her frantic need to be close to the chicken-attention-giving humans makes the hens a bit nervous.

But in the end, the treats win out. Peck! Gulp! Peck! Yum! Maybe we'll give more eggs...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

35 at 35

Just in case there was any question about if I am really pregnant, or just HOW pregnant I might be, here's the obligatory belly shot:

GTR at 35 years: Baby at 35 weeks!

Yep, gettin' big. Carrying forward, so looking even MORE impressive ("ready to pop" has already been mentioned). I still feel pretty good, but sleeping is getting harder and some swelling of hands/feet is happening. Just month (probably?) to go, lots to get done at work, of all places. Home is getting more ready; LOTS of baby stuff is now organized in the room, other rooms look more livable, too. Thanks to my parents and brother/sister-in-law for helping last weekend!

Regular posting to resume, sometime..

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hard to Fathom

Things I do not understand:

Why a daycare provider would spend 10 minutes describing her facility in glowing terms to a random caller on the phone (me) and then finally get around to the point that she doesn’t have any openings for months and months, if ever.

Why curtains only come in absurdly long floor lengths, in boring plain colors, while shower curtains come in lovely new cloth and patterns; ????

Why a gigantic “baby superstore” would not carry even ONE type of “modern” cloth diaper. I’m not terribly surprised, but it’s weird.

Why a “motivated seller” would not bother to remove long-dead chickens from the coop and dirty disposable diapers (shredded by some animal) from the yard before the prospective buyers came for a look-see. (We went with friends to look at a different rural property. They are still in love with it, despite that…)

How taking 4 days off work does NOT allow one to entirely catch up on all outstanding projects and other to-do list things. Hmmm...

(Yes, still here, still fine, still pregnant, just busybusybusy as usual! Above list gives an idea of where my brain is at lately. We’ve finished some more good house projects, and there are still some chicken pictures/stories waiting for posting soon if I can find the oomph.)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Different Chicken Dinner

Did you know that you can, on a whim on the way home from work, stop by the local grocery store and purchase a whole (dead) chicken for about $5.00? And that chicken can be ALREADY CUT UP, cooked in 10 minutes in the pressure cooker and eaten in the same evening? Wow. It seems the height of luxury and convenience. Isn’t this a crazy country we live in, or what?

I’m only half-kidding here, people. Every chicken we have cooked and eaten in the past few years has either come from an elaborate farm co-op order/delivery process or from chickens we raised and butchered ourselves. They were delicious and clean, and I feel good about supporting small agriculture or our own efforts. But it doesn’t happen all in one evening.

I’ve been told I should be eating more protein for my (and baby’s) health. So, yesterday, I availed myself of the modern American food distribution system and simply purchased a fresh, already-cleaned and cut-up chicken. Albiet, a “natural” Amish raised chicken that was on sale at the “regular grocery store.” I hear tell that other people do this all the time. I don’t expect that I will do it all the time, myself, but it was an interesting exercise in seeing how “other people” live.

Sometimes we make life hard for ourselves with our “different” and idealistic practices. But where do you draw the line between health, convenience and supporting your larger ideals?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Snowshoe Cedars

We're big fans of showshoeing (haha).

We made it to the sacred Cedar grove and year-round running spring just across our property line. It was stunning, as usual. An ancient cathedral, within shoeshoeing distance!

Baby-to-be enjoyed the ride, and I did better than my current level of fitness might indicate. Thankful for the sun and a day off to enjoy!