Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wild red huckleberries

Been picking huckleberries this weekend. We made jelly for the first time from berries we had picked over several days last week. Delicious, and we're really happy with our first ever jelly experience. It's a pain to pick a decent quantity, but these tart little jewels are sooo worth it. We found a huge bush today, and got 5 cups of berries off it (took us an hour to do so). I'm making another batch of jelly tomorrow, and will actually post a recipe for once, for anyone with the patience to pick these things. :) 8 cups of berries should give us 4 8-oz jars. Did I mention this stuff is extra yummy? I did? Ok. Just checking.

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thought new layers laid small eggs...

Holy crap! Lookie what I pulled out of the nest box today! This egg is HUGE! This is it next to a grocery store extra large.

The girls gave us 4 eggs today. Looks like another girl started laying, as the most before this was 3. :)

*** So, having bought a digital scale today, we weighed the monster egg. It weighed in at 2.3oz, exact same weight as an extra large we plucked at random from the store egg carton. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Evening stroll, and a big surprise!

So, I got home from work last Friday afternoon, soooo very glad it was the weekend. I relaxed for a few with LJ on the back lawn, enjoying the sunshine and a beer. It was such a lovely evening, LJ suggested we take Henry for a walk on one of the old logging roads. So we headed out, happy pup tugging us along.

We came around a corner, and LJ pointed up at one of the hills. Standing there, nearly invisible against the brush and grass, stood twin fawns. They watched us as we walked around the hill. Henry was oblivious, more interested in scenting the trail. Unfortunately, the deer were too far away to snap a pic. Very neat sight, though.

Such a pretty walk!

We continued into the hills, and I started to get a bit tired. Lots of uphill! LJ pushed me on, telling me that we only had a little farther to go to get to the top of the hill. Henry seemed to agree, and dragged us ever higher.

We finally reached the top and walked out on an old log landing to view the lovely sunset. I saw LJ reach into his pocket, and didn't think much of it, until he turned to me, told me how much he loved me, and got down on one knee...

5 years and nine months to the day from our first date, I got engaged to the best man ever! :)

Perfect man, perfect ring, perfect setting, perfect evening! Now, to plan the wedding... Woooooohooooo!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My dog killed a skunk... Warning... Dead skunk pic.

Yep. Henry got his first skunk last night, about 100' from the turkey pen. He was just protecting the livestock, right? Riiiiight... He bounded off into the bushes, leaping around like a fox hunting in the snow. Next thing I know, he's wiping his face in the grass. Yuck. It was a young skunk, and Henry appeared to have killed it with little to no resistance. Luckily, he hadn't gotten bitten, and is up to date on his rabies shots. Skunk appeared healthy (other than the whole being dead part).

So, I got to stay up late, washing skunk stank off my dog. The miracle mixture? A bottle of peroxide, a heaping 1/4 cup of baking soda, and a good squirt of dish soap. Mixed it all together, lathered him up, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Took the stink away like magic! Luckily, it didn't really get his face, just his neck. I think he hated the bath more than the spray. Lol. Poor kid. No... Poor me. After washing the stinky pup, I got to go out and cut the head off the skunk with a shovel. See, when I was a kid, rabies was a terrifying thing. More than once, one of the dogs got a skunk. We would have to quarantine the dog while the vermin was tested. I cut the head off so the brain could be tested if necessary. Quadruple bagged it and popped it in the shop freezer, as the brain apparently decomposes pretty fast. I was up until nearly midnight... Ugh. Turns out not necessary. I called our vet this morning, and they said don't worry about it, since Henry is up to date on shots and wasn't bitten. Just need to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't react badly to the spray. I guess some dogs have severe reactions. So much for my paranoia. Anyhow, at least that little skunk won't be developing a taste for poultry, eh?

The cherry on top? Henry went and rolled in the spray this afternoon, and I got to wash him again... Oh joy! :)

(This post gets a LOT of hits. Leave a comment if you have a moment! :) I would love to hear if the peroxide mixture worked for you, or hear your dog vs skunk story.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First egg!!!!!!

21 weeks, and one of the buff girls gave us a beautiful little egg! They've been doing the "egg squat" and cackling like maniacs for about a week, and we were sure they were close. Woooohoooooo!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Something's eating my onions...

Something is eating the tops off my onions. I've lost about 5' on two different rows. I bent some scrap fencing to make a row cover. Came out to find another couple feet chewed down. Grrrr. Must be either rabbits or the "mythical" mountain beaver. I say mythical, as I haven't seen one yet. LJ has seen them several times. He says, "They only show themselves if you TRULY believe." lol. Anyhoo, added some extra barriers today. Stupid animals.

Had to re-clip the wings of the Rio and Palm turkeys today. Came home to both of them on top of the chicken run. Would have been pretty entertaining to anyone watching, as I biffed it twice trying to catch those stupid birds. Those little turkeys are hard to catch. The broad breasted whites and bronze come running TO me when I go out to the turkey pen, and they beg for grass. The little ones though... they are going to be extra tasty, flavored with "can't wait until we process them." lol.

I've got the next 5 days off between weekend and vacation days, and I'm looking forward to a fantastic visit with my mom. I have a birthday present for her... An early printing (not first edition, alas) hardback copy of Clan of the Cave Bear, inscribed to my mom for her birthday by Jean Auel. I think this is going to be one of those presents that make Mom tear up. I've only achieved that once before. Sign of the perfect gift. :)

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beautiful evening!

Perfect temperature, and a clear sky.

Weighed one of the Cornish X chickens yesterday, an average sized pullet, and she weighed in at a little over 7 lbs. Sweet! Two weeks to go...

Been really busy, prepping for Mom's visit. Still lots to do!

Hope everyone had a great 4th!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Our little straw spreaders

I learned today that our chickens will spread straw for us. Good chickens. We cleaned out the coop today, and put linoleum down on the floor of the coop, trying to extend the life of the floor. I raked the chicken run and yard, and we tossed down a couple flakes of straw. We hadn't spread the straw, because we got distracted. Later, we went out to find the girls taking care of it for us, scratching away at the straw piles. Again, good chickens.

The meat chickens are getting huge, and we're restricting their food, trying to take them out to the weekend after next. Mom is coming to visit this next weekend, and I don't think she wants to take part in the processing. If we process weekend after next, that will be at 10 weeks. Should work, as they're all still getting around just fine, fat and sassy. We've been restricting food for the last two weeks. We only give them access between about 6am and 5pm. They are awfully friendly, and I try to ignore it, knowing that they will be in the freezer soon.

We moved the goat pen, which we should have done two weeks ago. These guys are nuts, stripping vegetation in record time. I've made a flyer to advertise Lyle. We need to go put it up at local feed stores.

Anyhoo, lots to do before Mom comes next weekend. Hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th!!!