Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wow! What a busy and crazy week!

Wow, things have been really busy this past week and I just have not had the time to sit down and compose blog posts. So I apologize for you all being left hanging and wondering what has happened. Let's see....where to start. I guess I will start with the chickens. I finally realized that something had gotten into the chicken house and killed my three little chickens. I originally thought that my rooster had done the deed, but the hens were terrified to come back into the henhouse at night. So we stripped all the litter on the floor, and emptied all the nesting boxes. Sure enough we found a couple of spots where something had burrowed under the wall. We now have chicken wire that is nailed to the wall and then lays is stapled into the dirt all the way around the inside of the chicken house. We locked up all the chickens and have not let them out. We have had no other incidents even though I would get up all during the night and trek out to the chicken house to catch the predator in the act of trying to break in the henhouse. We believe whatever it is is gone because there have been no further activities apparent. We will see. The hens have calmed down and now are appearing to be comfortable once again in their house, so we will give it a couple more days and then start letting them back out again. It will be nice to do so because we sure have been going through quite a bit of feed this past week. In order to keep them entertained the feed is scattered all over the floor of the henhouse which means more is used. We also don't seem to have as many kitchen scraps these days to feed them so again more feed is required. The goats are doing great and spend their days roaming the yard and pastures close to the house on weedeater detail. The woods have steadily been encroaching closer to the house and when I found a snake egg (already hatched) right outside the rabbit house door which backed up to the woods and tons of underbrush I told my husband that something had to be done to help the goats eat all that mess. Then the next day I almost stepped on a gray rat snake in the yard as I was gathering mulch for the garden. So that was it. We love the woods, but the underbrush had gotten too close. This past weekend was a huge cleanup weekend. Unfortunately my husband got a little carried away with the weedeater and "cleaned up" my groundcover under some of the trees. I wasn't really worried about that groundcover because the dogs like to rest in there and the guinea likes to hunt bugs in there. Any snake entering would quickly be flushed. We also had several piles of leftovers from our projects and these had to be cleaned up. So we have had a massive cleanup and this are much better around here with very few places close to the house for a snake to hide out. Then we discovered that a family of mice had moved into the laundry room. They actually chewed through the foam insulation surrounding a pipe and were coming up through the basement. I cannot stand mice! I really don't mind them out in the field, but I do not want them in my house or in my feed room. The cats do a good job of keeping them out of the feed room as we have not had a mouse out there in years, but this was the first time in 7 years that we had a mouse in the house. We not only had one we had several and they totally ignored the humane traps. So unfortunately we had to put poison in hidden spots around the house, since they were bringing all of their buddies in through the basement. So then began the cleanup of their little droppings that wind up in the most out of the way places. One must be very careful cleaning up mouse droppings as they are very toxic and the bacteria that they harbor can become airborne when disturbed. The best thing to do is to use a bleach/water solution to spray them before cleaning them up. Unfortunately, this is an old house with many little cracks, crannies, and nooks and occasionally we will get an unwanted visitor. We once had a rat snake fall out of the vent over the stove. It had apparently made its way down the chimney looking for chimney sweeps and took a wrong turn into the vent shaft for the vent over the stove!. That was a total shock. We even recently had a small wood duck that fell down the other chimney and was flying in panic around the house until we could catch it and take it outside. Inevitably each year we have a chimney sweep that does not have a sense of direction and instead of flying up out of the chimney they fly down out of the chimney and into the house. My husband started a new job this week and so his schedule has changed. I now must arise at 4 am and fix him breakfast because he leaves the house at 5 am. However, he gets home at 2pm which leaves him more time to work on some projects around here. He does like this new schedule although it has taken some getting used to. He eats dinner when he gets home from work because he really doesn't have time or a chance to eat while he is on duty, so that is the reason for breakfast. It is strange having to cook him breakfast before he goes to work. He never has been a breakfast person but since he doesn't get dinner until so late he needs to eat breakfast. I remember when we first got married I got up every day for months to cook him breakfast before he told me that he would prefer that I didn't because he just did not like to eat so early in the morning! Oh, how I wished that he had told me sooner, but he didn't want to hurt my feelings. Now, after all these years I am back to cooking breakfast and my days start even earlier as the alarm clock goes off at 4 am. I must admit though that this new schedule is not too bad. I already have one load of laundry and on the line to dry this morning. I already scrubbed the kitchen for today, so I am ahead on my chores. Wow, this might be nice to have an extra hour for sewing projects or other things that seem to take forever to finish. Yesterday, I totally scrubbed down the whole side porch and got rid of (temporarily) the spider webs that were threatening to take over. Even the screens got scrubbed. The bugs are terrible this year and we are running out of bug stuff. Because of them I am having to thoroughly clean the rabbit house daily which takes more time in the mornings. The horses have to be sprayed every morning with fly spray or the horseflies will carry them off. I have been spraying the bunnies with white vinegar and spraying the frame around the door and windows with a product called Odoban. I have used this for bug control for years as the main ingredient is Eucalyptus oil which is a natural bug repellant. I have not noticed as many gnats and such in the rabbit house during the day when I take out their frozen water bottles. I keep it very clean in there because I don't want to have to deal with flystrike. The bunnies don't seem to mind their vinegar spray in the morning and don't fuss when I cover their eyes with my hand. Miss Baby should be due in a couple of weeks with another litter of bunnies. I certainly hope we do better this time round. I have the nesting box ready and I hope she will use it. The past few days have been exceptionally hot and I was down to the last few gallons of rainwater in my barrels for the garden. So, God sent a surprise rainshower yesterday which watered the garden and put a few more gallons into the rain barrel. No rain was in the forecast so it was really great. The Lord has really blessed us lately with my husband's new job, the garden is growing well, the animals are doing well, and we are all happy and healthy. Even though I never doubt that He will provide I am still amazed at how well He puts things together sometimes. He is a truly amazing God and I am so thankful to have Him in my life. The past year has been difficult for us in many ways with the last 6 months being the most trying, but having endured the trials I can easily see the blessings that have been bestowed. The trials make us stronger in character and faith so that we can more enjoy the blessings that we are given. My husband has grown more in the past year in his walk with our Lord which has increased the strength and faith of our family. I see the difference in myself and our children as his faith has strengthened and his walk has solidified. It has given me strength and our children strength and direction in a way that only a solid godly father can give. So yes, the Lord blesses us each day and right now seems to be a particularly blessed time in our life. Life is peaceful on the farm these days even though very busy. We will soon have baby rabbits and then in the near future baby goats. Our children are happy and enjoying the country life. What more could a woman ask for! I hope to be back to blogging on a regular basis and get back to work on that book. Have a blessed day and I will write more soon!

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