Wednesday, January 30, 2008

let it snow ,let it snow, let it snow!

what an awesome snow storm!!!! glad i stayed home- it started out so innocently tuesday morning-we had our morning walk and it was barely coming down. by the time we made it home there was an inch or two on the ground-it was acummulating fast. we had tons of errands to do in town that day-but i chose to stay home as i hate driving curvy mountain roads when it's snowy- hey- i learned to drive in February in wisconsin-may i say this- flat!!!! may i say this- no curves-were' talking straight flat farm roads for miles on end!!!! when i lived in minneapolis-i didn't have a car-i rode my bike or took public transportation. so i do get all nervous driving these snowy roads-and our driveway is steep and curvy.-which we are now totally unable to get out-even with 4-wheel drive. i needed to go to the post office today and music lessons tonight-but as dylan says-"we ain't a goin nowhere." now the bummer thing about homeschooling is-snow days don't exist. we still gotta do our work-but the kids are going crazy to sled down our fabulous driveway-so i lighten our load and let them play. and play they did! our property is so steep-we almost lost them a few times!!! unfortuanately our dryer is broken so i couldn't dry and warm their snow clothes thru out the day. i hope to get a sledding video up in the next few days-but it will take some technical doing on my part.
so- my computer is being possessed right now -don't know if you can see it but i can-it's typing in blue and underlining the words-and it won't stop-shit, whenever i try and underline something it won't-i'm getting pissed. i hate when other entities take over my computer!!
anyway-(it stopped!!!!) i have some photos of my recent dyeing adventures: soon to be available on my etsy site. lovely soft merino!!!
i know i know- can't i ever do any other colors? i just love these- but i did use up some raspberry dye that was explosive-i hope it mellows when i spin-put your shades on:

ouch! that hurts!!!

for those of you who have inquired(thanks!)-ruth is doing somewhat better-still in the laundry room-and no clue what is up-after all my reserch. i continue to put echinecea and vitamins in her water. i'm sure the other gurls would love to be in the laundry room too:lucy says-"hey-where'd everyone go?"well, it's bedtime story time-gotta go. enjoy life and snow-we are suppose to get more!!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

where's ruth?

i think the girls are wondering where ruth is. i opened the front door yesterday afternoon and this is what greeted me:

ruth is still in the laundry room-looking slightly better. i'm a bit worried. the only advice i've gotten so far is let her have a week in the laundry room-if she's not well by then you need to cull her-gads!!! how can i kill her????i'm not that kind of farm gurl. heavy sigh!

on another note- i did get some dyeing in. only one pound of merino. better than nothing. of course i always forget to take photos while i'm playing-this is all i got:once the fiber has dried i will post more photos. i've been very busy with commissions lately-which always makes me nervous. hoping they will like what i make for them. here's some yarn i'm working on-blue-faced leicester!i dyed this merino and spun it for a hat commission:
hubby's been traveling a lot lately for work-it's nice to have him home. we bottled some homebrew today:i'll leave you -on this very rainy day-with a picture of liam with his favorite hen-kamakze.

Friday, January 25, 2008

caged drama!

No, this isn't where i put the kids when they won't do their school work(hey not a bad idea though!)-we have a sick hen and i had to get the isolation "cage" out. it's actually the first time we've had to use it. I'm overwhelmed with busyness. so, i'm just going to post a rough draft for my february article of "The Chicken Chronicles"- for those of you who don't know i write a monthly column for our local paper on my inexperienced adventures in raising chickens- by the way liam loved the cage and said he wanted to sleep in it.(?????) here's the article:

After an uneventful holiday “chicken” season, this month seems to be quite the opposite. There’s a lot going on here at the Rebel Hen Ranch. Many of you noticed that our rooster “Insulator” was not included in the list of holiday greetings wishers. I chose not to include him as I was trying to detach myself from him as we found someone to take him. Only-it wasn’t to give home a good home it was for holiday feasting purposes. We just needed to catch and deliver-well, to tell ya truth-I’ve grown kind of attached to this fella since finding him a taker-and so have the kids. Insulator is quite the guy! He finds his girls’ food- makes a delightful chirping sound which they run to him and he lets them eat first-before he ever takes a bite! He keeps them all round up in a tidy group and crows proudly-announcing to the world that he has the best “chicks” around-and they are all his! So, I keep making excuses as to not catching him while I figure out what to do with him as I promised Hubby no roosters!

I’ve also been busy with coop repairs- trying to keep the girls warm and dry during all these storms. The storms haven’t affected egg production though-they are laying like crazy! We had eight eggs yesterday! The girls are averaging about 5-7 eggs a day. The wild turkeys continue to be a nuisance. My new wrist rocket doesn’t help much-they keep coming back to eat the expensive organic chicken feed!!!

We had another bad predator scare the other day- no wild beasts this time. A neighbor's dog was chasing the girls madly around our house. Fortunately I looked out the window before we had another chicken massacre.My throat hurt the rest of the day from screaming and yelling so loud. Heavy sigh of relief!

On a sadder note-as I sat down to write this article earlier today my youngest son came running in to tell me “Ruth” was sick. She looked terrible!-pale comb and foamy frothy eyes. I knew I had to separate her from the rest of the flock. Luckily a few years back I bought an old collapsible dog cage-I had no use for it at the time. Best 5 bucks I ever spent! We brought it in the laundry room- filled it with straw, a roost stick, food and vitamin/electrolyte laced water. The boys and I caught “Ruth” easily and brought her inside. I dosed her eyes with homeopathic pink eye remedy by Similasan as I knew it couldn’t hurt. We put her in the cage and she seemed real content to be out of the elements. I’ve been reading up in my “Chicken Health Handbook” by Gail Damerow-it could be many things-but the frothy eye seems to be listed under “Chronic Respitory Disease” which is common and usually not fatal-but I’m going to do more research to see what’s going on with her. I’m hoping it’s just a cold due to all the wild wet weather.

As I finish writing this I’ve noticed her eyes are no longer foamy and she is resting peacefully. I may try and give her some Echinacea as it always helps us when we are sick…….Stay tuned for the next exciting adventures of “The Chicken Chronicles.” May all be well!

did you notice her freaky eye syndrome?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

damn turkeys!!!!!

wow-long time no post. besides the storms, the poison oak(which is still itching!), the sicknesses, the schooling, the field trips etc., etc. etc., etc. life just left me with no posting time. we are having beautiful misty , foggy weather at the moment-my favorite kind. snow showers are expected later. i'm watching the football playoffs with hubby right now-sure looks cold!!!!(it's colder in green bay right now than it is in moscow, greenland and alaska-shit!) football bores the hell out of me-but it allows me to get things done like blogging, knitting or spinning. unlike basketball-which i like but i have to keep my eyes on the screen as it is action packed and not boring in anyway. so, i can multi task while watching football.

anyway- i'm sure you have all been holding your breath on my xmas tomboy gift i got myself-aheim-i mean the family-a mighty fine-----are you ready? check this out-(see an earlier post-"holiday tingle") an official "wrist rocket" i have wanted one of these forever!!!!! we are having a great time blasting the wild turkeys. unfortunately they keep coming back. they drive me crazy!!!! they eat all my expensive organic chicken feed-they are quite the nuisance. i had a post during turkey hunting season-but decided not to post it-i may still do it-it's a bit gorey.

news flash-it's snowing-yea!

i've been super busy fixing and cleaning the chicken coop for better weather protection, the boys helped dig the new potato patch(thanks!) and i have many knitting and spinning commissions i'm working on at the moment. my hands hurt. gotta give em a break! plus- i started up my banjo lessons again.

here's a caplet i finally finished for myself in bulky merino-with awesome antler buttons:
disclaimer-no deer was harmed in the making of these buttons! so all you bambi lovers out there can let out a big sigh of relief!!!!!!

my latest baby bonnets knit out of my handspun have been real popular. here's a few i already sold:if you'd like to see more of my knitted stuff and and handspun yarn check out my flickr site. i will leave you with 3 awesome photos that liam(youngest son) took during the "storm of the century"-yes, we snicker about that too birdsong!
later folks-"go packers!"

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

YEAH! 2008!


we had a wonderful new year. a celebration at our neighbors / friends rhodie and scott. delectable new mexican cuisine made from scratch! after much feasting and shots of "hot damn" we had a spectacular fireworks display in our newly cleared field.we don't do fireworks in summer because of fire danger. so we set them off at new years. very fun indeed!

well, since our journey to find snow- we got some of our own. yea!
here's a shot of one of liam's outdoor insulators.
the weather hasn't affected the hens at all-we've been getting 5-7 eggs a day. you go girls!!!!well, i have been weather proofing today for the upcoming series of storms that is expected to hit tomorrow. still need to buy gas for the generator. roy and liam are sick so we need that heat if the power goes out! sometimes i think these weather people get a bit dramatic. one station says-the worst storm in 10 years the next one says worst storm in 15 years. oh brother! but i prepare cause i know if i don't-that biggie will indeed hit.

i leave you with a picture from this year's poison oak festival in columbus, ca. in honor of our present condition. roy is more careful as he always gets it. liam and i never used to get it. not so anymore. i got it big time!!!! land clearing. winter is the worst-those damn sticks still got the juice. oh misery! if only i could stop itching so i could get some sleep! nothing like starting the new year off with a grand case of poison oak. check out the oak bikini: