Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Observations

I have found that chickens like to group up for companionship and protection. The Evil Twins, Fick n Frack are separated only when one is laying an egg. The three Orps are always moving around as a unit and Little Bit sticks close to Rooster Stew all day. Ginger walks alone but that serves to delineate her as the top dog.
About the only thing I see where it's Every Man For Himself with chickens is when one of them finds a tasty morsel, like a bug or a slug. Then all pandemonium breaks out and they all behave like ice hockey players. Body slams, fakes and dodges. There will be NO REST until the food is down a hatch and until that moment, nothing is beyond the rules of engagement.

I have been working on another experiment...... this has to do with the laying of eggs and box assignments. You may have read where out of the three available, only one will suffice for the 3 laying chickens. There are 2 artificial eggs in there as well. One brown and one white. They only lay in the far left box with the brown egg. SO I cleaned the straw out and switched the two fake eggs. Now the brown one is in the middle box and the white fake egg is in the box where they lay.

Guess where they lay eggs?

Next week I will switch it up again and see what we learn.

Ketchup

We have been hard at it planting the garden and all the little things we started from seeds... so glad we did it this way. It's been a real learning curve and I have made mistakes I am certain to repeat, should I live long enough.

My intention to have staggered plantings have gone awry, naturally. That episode with the moldy cardboard pots has set us back considerably. Those seedlings should be much larger by now than the seconds and you cannot tell the difference in their ages at all. Additionally, in my zeal to get it all started, I did not take into account just how much farther north we are here than in our old house and subsequently I cannot put the tender things, like tomatoes and peppers and squash, out as early up here. And I didn't realize how quickly the seedlings would grow and WANT to be out there.

So in total, too make a short story long, I started too early. And while I cursed the skies last year for having 28 tomato plants all ripen the same two weeks, now I have more than 38 destined to do the exact same thing this year. Yea me!

We have 29 of them in the lower garden and all the rest in the raised beds and yesterday I planted more marigolds around as a companion plants. I started them from seed as well, along with impatiens which burned when I hardened them off outside one day, Hardened off indeed. Killed off is more descriptive. I am hoping they will have survived but it's looking grim. The sun toasted the leaves considerably. See.... learning curve, indeed. I must mention that at Home Depot I bought a flat of marigolds that were already in bloom and tossed them in as well.

The temperature in fluctuating between mid-40s at night to mid-70s during the day and the hardier plants are just leaping to life now. The spinach I started in January is delicious and the kale is out of this world. Not a big fan of Swiss Chard, don't think I'll plant that again next year but I did throw in a few of the neon seeds in last month and they are better than the bulk variety. Better tasting, The other ones before now were being enjoyed by garden slugs. Now that those critters are gone and the plant is thriving, I don't like it at all. Go figure. That was a waste of bed space. The collards are bolting so we are eating the leaves up and the brussell sprouts are still going strong. All the onions, garlic and shallots are doing their things in various beds and growth stages.

All the carrots were terrific and I still have the Jan beets to pull with a new crop just starting out. We tried mesclun seeds on a tape and they are wonderful!!!!!!! One whole raised bed is devoted to leafy greens and so beautiful. Now, the chickens that can fly over fences get in there and cause mischief. The three peas are growing, still no signs of flowering, however. The ones we started last fall were gorgeous and in full flower when a cold front with heavy winds and freeze killed it all off. We had 2 crops farther south last year. See what I mean? 20 miles and a world apart.

NOW fruit: the citrus all look dreadful. They are starting to send out a few leaves, all from below and sparsely but I am hopeful. In the meantime I put in a new Calamondin tree Just In Case. I really want that one more than all the rest and would pitch a fit if after waiting as long as Dan Gill suggests yielded me nothing more than a dead tree and a whole lost year, so we may have two (which is better than one in truth but not what I had originally planned for).

The peach, pear, fig and berries all look terrific but of course they LIKE the cold. And I am scoping out exactly where to plunk in the guava. I know where I WANT to put the three but that requires the removal of two more sago palms and I think I will work on that Friday.

Gotta go let the girls and Stu out. Yes, we still have the rooster. Some things are just hard to give up.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Back By Popular DEMAND!

Okay so I've had a few days off from posting and am back with this!

We have been acclimating the biddies to the older chickens. By older, I mean, only several months older. Not exactly OLD........ but the older ones are also LARGER and more fierce so the little girls tend to stay together as much as possible and respond to our voices very well. They like to be picked up (eventually. At first, they give a small squawk and then settle down for a cuddle and a coo)(yes, I coo to the little girls)(call me crazy).

And they are SO cute, I can't stand it! You don't know adorable until you have bonded with something that looks like a dinosaur with feathers.


I spend lots of time these days out in the garden and tend the veggies growing out back, We have corn and beans up (my shout out these days: "We won't starve this summer!") and the tomatoes we transplanted last week are looking very hopeful. I had my doubts because of those dicey days of mold on the pots. And I have more to come, or go as the case may be. The potatoes are coming up as well. We have 1 (short) row of Blue potatoes, 2 of Yukon Golds and 4 Redskins and they are starting to crown.

But the BIG news is the Guavas arrived (yippie!) and they are HUGE trees! Man alive, I had no idea! and I have to find just the right spots for them. I think I know where two will go. They want protection for the worst of the southern heat. (think: afternoon shade) and The Arbor Foundation sent the 10 trees as well, so I have them potted in large containers. Now again, I have 10 (11 actually. They threw in a BONUS crape myrtle) but no ID tags so I have to wait til they leaf out to identify them all.) And they are really just tiny little seedlings. If they survive, I am either a Master Gardener or that will tell me every plant is eager to live and I have been murdering all others this whole time through noting more than willful neglect. sigh

What's funny is the "evil twins", as John likes to refer to them. Those rascals fly the fence and high-step over to the nearest pile of mulch and just start wailing away with those clawfeet. And John gets furious!."You miserable chickens! I JUST recovered all that!!!! Get AWAY! Go over THERE!" like they speak English! or ...... something.

It's almost 9pm and I am still awake. I surely must get all sorts of merit marks for this...

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Remember in November"™

should be the campaign slogan for the next 3 elections.

Consider this trademarked. "Remember in November"™

This is Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff at the Inauguration of Barack H. Obama.



This is what the L.A. Times wrote of this photo at the time.

"Rahm Emanuel.....Enjoying the day....... Funny gesture"


Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

thumb your nose at somebody/something

to show that you do not respect rules, laws etc or you do not care what someone thinks of you:
a chance to thumb his nose at the college authorities


I think that sums it up.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring is for Weddings

and we just attended what must be described as the perfect intersection of roots and growth. These two people have been entwining for as long as I have known the family of the young man. If he was home, she was there. If she was seen in town, he was beside her.

The bride was beautiful & adorable (this is not a common occurrence), the groom stuff that make hearts flutter in romantic young girls (he brushed a stray strand from her forehead as the vows were being declared, aawwww!) and setting was on the edge of the glorious swamp of her backyard, where the pair have been friends and a couple for the past decade.

John (with the Home in the background)

The house sits raised high on the property, so the bride swept down the gracious stairs, which face the frontyard, on her father's arm and floated up the aisle to her waiting man.

Even with the surgery, I could not hear what was spoken

but the ceremony was very brief and supervised by a horse watching from the sidelines. He had the occasional head-bob as though he approved the entire event. Like a director, minus the megaphone.



I have to mention that completing the procession was Gumbo, the family dog.

He followed after the bride's mother on the way to and from the altar and added that lagniappe to make this the most joyful and spontaneous, impromptu wedding eveh! If there was script, it was Oscar quality.


If I get permission to post photos of the wedding couple, I will add them later. In the meantime, let this stand as an accurate description along with shots of subjects I am sure will not object.



I really want to add some shots of the photographers surrounding the events. (I know they will have taken far far better photos than these and I cannot wait to see the ones they took of the two on the boardwalk leading out onto the bayou. From the distance watching, it looked the perfect setting for stunning photography) At one point, when cutting the cake, it looked much like I imagine what celebrities suffer on a daily basis.

Between the professionals and the party guests snapping away (me included) the poor couple didn't know where to look. Gumbo did. Eyes on the cake.


I don't blame him one bit. The cakes were delicious!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

No Sewing For Now

because the sewing machine is kind of loud..... I need to find a pair of mufflers....

And it may be getting boring to read only about chickens, but did I tell you about the cute thing that happened yesterday evening? How cute is this? I wish I had video of the event:

After I got back from the doctor's appt (healing going well. auditory testing in 5 weeks) I got home and let the little ones out into the runs. I don't like leaving them for longer than a half hour unattended. Kids! They get into so much mischief!

I was bouncing between the garden, the run and the house, doing work here and there and I finally stopped by the coop to check on them. Two of the little guys (girls) were in one run with one hen, binking around and the other one was alone with the rest of the bigger birds and clearly having issues with the nearness of them (they can be intimidating). She was dashing back and forth along the fenceline trying to find an escape route. Cheeping frantically.

She saw me open the gate and move inside and she took off at a dead run straight at me, flew up my leg and grabbed onto my jacket screaming bloody murder as she made her way to the top of my shoulders and jumped on my head! There she settled down and scolded me!

I AM mother!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This Figures

When my brother-in-law ordered supplies for their new coop, I noticed there were 16 brood boxes on the list for 15 chickens and I suggested from (limited) experience that perhaps 16 was too many.

Yesterday, Ginger proved me right. Apparently, only one will do for some chickens. Witness:

video

There are 3 boxes there to lay an egg in and the one Ginger wants is occupied at this moment. And this makes her very unhappy. And she lets everyone know of her displeasure.

I was out in the runs all day, resting (started feeling what I can describe as light-headedness. a vague sense of something is not normal.....take it easy) and keeping a motherhen eye out for the chickies and I hear this squawking. It continued so I wandered into the coop to find Ginger up in front of the boxes just giving Frack whatfor for being in HER box. Her special box. The ONLIEST box which will suffice to lay an egg in. And the world was going to end unless she got off of her space and let Ginger have it. Even the rooster was watching this nonsense..... Frack, or is that Frick?, of course would not concede and you have to wonder how easy it is to lay an egg when you're getting yelled at and have this chicken rump in your face.

After the noise died down, I looked in again and found this:

video

So I thought, at last, peace in the coop.

In any case, when I checked later for eggs, all three were in that same nestbox so Ginger waited for the right one. I think she was faking out the other one to get her to finish up. Chickens!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

For all of you who can think farther than the current moment in time, this post is for you:

I just came in from letting the chickens out of the coop for the day. The very FIRST thing 2 of them did was head over to the new bed I planted yesterday.

As though they had spent the night dreaming of breakfast. And they knew where the closest Denny's was located.


What I basically did yesterday was hand them a salad bar. They are devouring the leaves and all the little buds on the azalea bushes. Great. (Terry, stop laughing)

So much for making a "cute" chicken home. (really. stop ) They don't care how cute their place is, they want to know what's for dinner!

And I am so tired today! I have to go out there and dig it up. Or I can wait and see if they tire of it and move on to something else......

Which makes me now wonder how clever we were to plant all those blueberry bushes. And here I was, all concerned about the birds and how to keep them off the bush! Somehow, I forgot to consider the chickens! Wait til they see the berries start to grow.

March Madness

around these parts means time to plant. Nothing about sports, sorry. (please. As if...)

So yesterday I may have overdone it a bit. We let the little biddies out of their confinement in the morning, allowing them to integrate with the hens and Stu but this meant I, as the mother hen of the nest, had to stick close to protect them from the flock. Poor little guys..... the big ones were hard on them.

Even Little Bit, who I as a human steeped in Disney thought would be at least somewhat sympathetic, got in on the act. She was merciless, taking every opportunity of my back turned to dash over to them and knock one on the back or head or ANYwhere her aim could land a blow.

So I hovered and John preached that I was wasting my time, there HAD to be a pecking order, Give it up! "That's what they are for!" And in truth, I get why LB is acting out, she's glad to be left in peace for the first time since Dec. It's someone else's turn to be the pinata!

But while I was out there, fretting, I planted the azaleas and a viburnum and something I bought thinking it was a garden herb, only to learn it's the herb that ate Texas. Lots of digging, (this is where I think I may have overdid it) and dragging more soil and turning, etc. It looked great! all soft and loamy.

I had to run an errand so I gathered up the chicks and protected them in my absence. When I returned a few hours later and went to release them again, I found that freshly-dug, loamy piles of garden soil are exactly the place a group of chickens would scratch out of existence in search of the worms that live in this milieu. (she slaps her forhead) duh!


I love the quizzical looks they give when the head is cocked to one side!


Oh NO!!!! the Brussel Sprouts in the Valley of the (everybody sing! hohoho!) Green Giants!


that's a pretty good shot!

Here, try this:


I'm Watching YOU!!!!!

I'm feeling silly.

Obviously.

That's MY Boy!

So this is what we, no..... I, have been waiting for these past many weeks. Definitive proof of roosterness before we put him out to pasture, so to speak.

I have been looking for a home to send Stu to, one in which I may have visitation rights, and not somewhere that intends to eat him. He is so handsome and winsome, he deserves to live longer than 6 short months.
As is happens, I know someone who knows someone who has quite a large grouping of fowl, including peacocks and a chicken flock and I keep fingers crossed that Stu may find a place in one of the crowds. I believe he would fit in nicely with either.

My aunt and cousin were here for the weekend and unfortunately did not get to hear him, so R, E, this one's for you!

video


Here is a good shot of R with her quilt. I love the way this one turned out. It is lively!

She is working on the binding now and will no doubt be finished before tonight. They got stuck in traffic on the return yesterday somewhere near Beaumont due to 18 wheeler accidents. They had a long long loooooonnggg wait til it got cleared. This is the biggest issue with travel on the interstates; no controlling those rigs. They BEHAVE as though they own the road, instead of SHARING it with the rest of us.
Now, having said that, I should also stress the inconsiderate DRIVERS who insist on staying in the left lane, clogging up the roads because they believe THEY own whatever space they WISH to occupy. Together, this makes one awful brew of anger and control issue conflicts.

They should all have timeout in a corner and think about it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Chickeny Goodness

video

Martha Calls Them HHHHHerbs

There WAS a landscaping outside the backside door that HAD in it 2 enormous sago palms, perhaps the only hated plant on Earth. I don't get this one at all. There is NO redeeming factor in a Sago. None I can find in any case. They take up valuable real estate and give NOTHING in return except an attitude of entitlement. You can't even pet one like you can a cat, that other of God's creatures which could fall under the same category of As of E. There is also one very tall Crape Myrtle which I love and a slew of agapanthas which got freezer burn during the dreadful week of bitter cold but they are now reappearing abundantly. (there were also blackberry brambles but they've been taken out)

And there were 2 Sagos and they are gone thanks to John and his trusty tractor. I had envisioned an herbal garden in this area since last year but there wasn't time to address desire then and really, hard work like digging out rootballls is best left to cooler days of winter. We found as well an above ground sprinkling system in working condition and low-voltage lighting wires that did nought so John took them away.

I have been attempting to grow some herbs from seed (dill, Thai basil) and have been collecting herbs from various sources as the weeks went by and with my aunt and cousin from Houston here to give advice (and thank GOD they were as I had something that would have taken over the whole bed by the end of the summer!) here, these have been strategically planted in this new herb garden, so close to the kitchen that there is no way I will not be harvesting for culinary creations in the coming months.

I find strange that my thoughts of "Before and After" photos always crop after somewhere around After. Very strange habit there.

So, here's the "After"

I can't wait til I take another After to show how they grow!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hurrah for Spring!

We spent time planting the spring garden and hope to continue today. The wind has been breezy and the original plan of putting the tomatillos down in the back plot has changed.

Did you know: I think they have to be the Princesses of the garden. Good grief! They are so fragile! I broke 3 leaves on one seedling just carrying the box from the house to the beds! I thought there is no way they will survive out on the open plains in the back. So I plunked four of them in a raised a bed along with the Sweet 100s and 1 Black Beauty eggplant. There is still room in the bed for veg expansion.

And so it starts. I still cannot bend over so Kathyrn helped us plant the potatoes while I handed them to her. (I want to be a part of this in any degree.) We have put in apprx 70 potato seeds: 1 row of Adirondack Blues, 2 rows Yukon Golds and 4 rows of Red new potatoes. 3 rows of Silver Queen corn, 2 rows Kentucky Wonder green beans. Soon there will be blacked-eyed peas going in and louffa gourds, squashes, lots of tomatoes, jalapenos, eggplant (although I am not holding out alot of hope there, they seem sickly to me. I might try it again with straight seeds in the ground though).

It occurs to me, reading this, that I should explain the rows. We have approx 50' rows, 9 of them and we have separated them into 4 - 12' sections. So although we have 3 rows of corn, these rows cross only thru two sections (75' of planted corn). and the beans cover only one section., 2 rows in one section (25' of beans. Last year we had one 50' row of beans and I thought I was going to die trying to keep up with so many green beans!) The potatoes are all in one section across 7 rows. After they have been harvested, we will plant a cover crop in this section and allow it to rest til next year. This is our rotation.

We are still eating collards, brussel sprouts, carrots, mustard greens and I must say, they are so beautiful at the moment; they are in bloom and very fragrant and the bees are moving in. You can see the yellow flowers in this shot (look past Q)(I know that's tough as she is a very pretty cat, but try all the same)(very pretty and tends to pose in exactly the location I wish to take a picture of and then ignores my calls to turn around)(beautiful plumage!)


She is my constant companion out there, my monorail kitty

I feel certain there was something more I wanted to say, but I have become distracted by the essence of Q. I take my leave.

Today's Episode Brought To You By Stu


the CROWING rooster! I have been taking photos of the strutting dude of the run for the past week because I know it is now only a matter of time and a large net before he flies the coop, so to speak. In truth, he has never tried to jump the fence or bolt past the gate. He is a good guy in every respect so why is he so-to-be history, you ask?
Well I ask myself this daily and the reason is: soon, very soon, his roosterness is going to reveal itself and he will be a large aggressive bird complete with weaponry. Think: Ninja-roo. Think: Wolverine.
I was working in the garden yesterday when he gave his first shout-out and let me tell you, the bird has quite a voice in him. Loud and clear, and complete. I do believe it was his first crow and it stunned me! I started to laugh and crowed back at him, in a question. HE ANSWERED!!!! and Kathryn came running out of the house, She could hear him all the back in the kitchen!

He SHOULD be proud. He should strut his stuff. HE IS AWESOME. I love this bird and am going to really miss him terribly. I hope wherever he ends up, I will be able to visit now and then and check his progress.

I worry now that Little Bit is going to be severely depressed when her body guard is gone. I hope the introduction of the three littler girls will give her a new meaning to life. Ginger protected her from Frick n Frack when she was smaller (than she is today) and I hope she returns the favor to the Buff Orps.

Speaking of which, did you know you can perform tricks with chicks? How about this one:

If you turn a chicken up-side down, well ok, on it's back, it goes docile. And then you can rub the little belly. Pretty cute. The feet are SO warm when they hunker down on your fist. Warm and rubbery.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can I Hear You? Oh Yes and How

It is as though God has installed microphones EVERYWHERE and the speaker is in my left ear. Cranked to 10. Everything is amplified. It is awful.

I have just had my first coffee in 28 hours , deelish. Interestinghow the first cup is always the best cup. Unl;ess it is bad caffee to start with. THne nothing makes it get better except a fresh brewing.

I am hopped up on Vicodin, my new best friend, but I amy only taking half thet ablet so that's okay. No intentionj of prolonginh htis. Interesting to note how my next pain and shoulders don'thurt as much as ususal either. I'm sort of liking that.

I don;t remember much except the coldness of the room and the anesthesai going in. AFter that, I woke up with a sore thraot andthe sound of my heartbeat in my head. That's interesting too. I can hear my heart beat in my ear, noe. I wonder if this going to be cpnstatnt. THe humming in not as louf as it had been,. I wonder if that iis permanant.

I didn't get he nasuea I was warned I might... yea@@@@! adn Lathyrn made a deliscius chicken pot pie from scratch with Julia nd the Pionseer Qoman. I din't care how my thrait hurt, Iwas hungry and it smelled good and I ate it2 and fell asleep.
I woke to my banign the headbaord with my arm. and man that was painful to my ear. and John's. He got back to sleep brcasue he has been awake since 3 am yesterday and din't nap after we got back. I lost the wager tha twe wouldn't be out before 3.. WEe were home by 3 I think.

Anyway, it's all good and I hoe it lasts.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Gardening Goodness.

I whined the other day on Facebook that a whole day had come and gone with my not having a thing to show for my existence. However the same cannot be said of yesterday.

I began the day on the quilt below....

My aunt did the piecing and will be here next week so I'd like to have it ready for her return to Houston. Each square has a different quilt design and I think I might take photos of each one to remind myself when my imagine turns to dust and I don't know what to draw on another quilt. I do this to myself.... get all excited about quilting on the machine and then draw a blank as to what to stitch on the top. Luckily, Patsy Thompson has lots of great ideas from which to springboard and I found another machine quilter, Leah Day, who taken upon herself the task of coming up with a new design each day for 365 days. Very inspiring.

I think I might set up a quilttop with simple 5" blocks and practice some of the designs she demonstrates on her blog.

After coffee and the newspaper, John said, "let's go burn!" and we did. All the remaining piles except the huge one that CAME with the property are all gone now. It was a good day for burning. AND I got to drive the tractor for the first time. Talk about GOOD! No, not me, I am lousy at that driving but the tractor is FUN!

Once the fire became totally manageable for one person (I'm talking 3 hours later), I headed back to the house to transplant the seedlings we started 3 weeks ago. These would be the 2nd set of the staggered plantings, but I wonder if they will catch up now to the 1st set. Below you can see the center two trays are the 1st sets and the outer two trays are what I planted yesterday.

And I have certainly gotten my technique down pat this time around. No more washing of the roots to "save" a plant. This time I will snip out the lesser of the two seedlings in each pot. I shall be ruthless.

Additionally, these will not have the stress of being in moldy pots so they are bound to jump and grow quickly. I have been taking the 1st sets out each day to enjoy the sun but man they got a little wilted yesterday. The raised bed garden is really beautiful now. The mustard greens are in full bloom and the bees are having a blast. Nothing else is in flower here yet so the plants are loaded with honey bees buzzing. They haven't bothered me.

Rooster Stu is a hoot. I love that big bird and am going to start carrying my camera everyday out there to shoot him because one day very soon he will have found a new home. His spurs are starting to grow but still no crowing. And he really is beautiful. I should ask the lady who gave the chicks to us if she would want him back with her flock.

I have not been sewing much but I did manage to crank this out:

Yes the image is blurry but I did not realize it until I had uploaded it to the computer. I'll get a better shot later. In the meantime, what is it, you ask? It is the center block (quite large, too) of what we at Sharp Needles refer to as Leslie's BOM. I skipped ahead of the routine in order to be certain I had enough fabric in the Christmas project to get that one completed. And I am glad I did because the individual pieces are larger than you might think. Now I must do the same with the other 5 quilts I have in the makings before I go back and proceed with the 16" blocks. I have sewn 5 of those blocks each. It's getting there.

Here is the February Mini-BOM from Bright Hopes Quilting:
Except Easter falls in April this year. Oh well.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Coming Up Going Under (and not in Australia)

I have scheduled the ear surgery for next Wednesday. Soon I will know definitively whether or not my hearing loss is due to age or disease. yippee.

I had the pre-op appointment yesterday. The only real worry at this point, besides absolute knowledge, is anesthesia. That and the trachea tube. When one reads the list of possible complications, like broken teeth, one pauses and ponders...."is this a good idea?" I have been under once before but have no memory of the tube down the throat part so I rather doubt that occurred back then but it's gonna happen Wednesday. yea me! Thank God they put it in and take it out AFTER the gas takes effect.

So why am I doing this? Because not hearing is more unbearable than not knowing the future. I can't hear you. I CAN hear certain things but not murmurs and not the wind unless it is howling. I never realized how softly we speak in America until I found myself begging people to repeat themselves. Endlessly. That and please turn down background noise. It creates such a din with this added bonus of ringing and pinging in the ear. So much fun!

But enough about me.

We had a house full of people this past weekend with some notable exceptions and they were sorely missed. That DID leave more beer and shrimp for ME but.... I did miss having them with us as we tripped down the wormhole of reminiscing. And we played this fun Viking game called Kubb which the girls gave us for Christmas.
That's Cheri tossing a Pin at the guards... the idea is each team of 2 stands on either side of the field with 5 guards lined up and the King block in the middle. Once your team has knocked over the guards on the other side, you take dead aim on the King and it is NOT as easy as you might think.
Especially not easy when Q thinks she is part of the game and comes barreling in to "help". She's hiding now at the edge of the blueberry bush nursing hurt feelings because she kept getting yelled at.

Here is a wide shot that shows how far away the guards stand in the field.


I had to add this last one because you'd think Vickie was aiming for me. HAhahahahah.... hey! Wait a minute!

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's a Rooster

sigh.

I really thought I could wish it into submission. Don't you just hate it when reality sets in. (you know,.. I DID notice that NOT ONE of the voters thought It was a hen. Thanks. So. really..... I am the only crazy one out here) When you are forced to move out of that comfortable zone of sheer denial, and the world makes you see truth. Clear white undeniable truth.

It's a rooster and all that comes with it. (except the crowing for some reason; no noise.) (yet)

My pretty little friend out there has numbered days left. That makes me very sad. A little angry too. I didn't want roosters for this very reason. I fall in love with the creature and become so attached to it. All the conjecture (on my part, ok ok) has been proven false and I face only the question of what to do with him.

And truth be told (oh heck, why not!) Little Bit isn't exactly out of the woods yet either! Yeah yeah, It mounted her last week but what the heck does THAT prove? He is still young and stupid. He runs into the fence when Kathryn walks near, so he is beautiful but not smart. (BTW his tail feathers are turning blue and green!!!!!)

Now, the next burning question: what about the little ones?

That red arrow shows an area of concern. One has the beginnings of a comb before the other two!!!! If any one of them is a rooster, I am right back in the same Ground Hog's Day. Are they really pullets, AS ADVERTISED!!!!! or did I get snookered AGAIN!?

Has it Been A Week?

Take a gander (Bah!) at how big they've grown!!!!

Just kidding. That size is due to the angle from which I shot the picture. This is what they really look like:Strike a Pose! Madonna, eat your HEART out.

Last week, I could hold all three in the palm of my hand. So they are much bigger but have a ways to go before I release them to the coop-mates.
And our guests were amused to be sharing the bathroom with them, or at least they were gracious and made me believe that this was okay and not a complete breach of host etiquette.

And to up-date you on how things have progressed since the transtransplanting fiasco, here are 3 shots of the plants we started a month ago (and almost killed last week);

It would appear that all has been forgiven and they are happy in their plastic homes. We see third sets of leaves popping out so that's a good sign. And the Ag Center called back to let me know that the mold will probably not affect the efficacy of the plants.
Tomatillos are doing very well. They are the ones towards the back on the right. All the seedling in the orange trays on the left are the repeats.

The two here on the left are actually older than that pot on the right so go figure. Not at all certain how that has come to pass. Maybe plants, like people, grow stronger with company.