Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Bit of This and That

Tonight is a catch-up night. 

I tried to post several stories this week, and one actually appeared to post.... but never did.  We don't know if it is Hughesnet, our computer, or Blogger.  After three weeks, I can tell you that Hughesnet is no faster than our Sprint aircard at the speed we have right now, which is basic.  As Keith is kindly paying for it, I don't feel I can demand we go to the next level.... yet.  So, I continue to have the problems all the rest of you have, bad access from the countryside, though we are close to a small town, and a major metropolitan area.

We have never seen a snake as early as the one in the henhouse now.  We have had many snakes in there... in fact, once, there were seven while Keith and I stood and watched.  It makes for few eggs, let me tell you, though we are glad to have them around. I don't know what this portends for the summer.  Our goal this year in making a new henhouse is to have more eggs for us, and less for the snakes.  We also want a secure place to raise purebred chicks so we can have replacement pullets. 

These are two black rat snakes who were mating and went right in between our legs as if we weren't even there last spring.
The reason we have so many roosters around is that yes, I'm a sap and hate to put them down.  We have managed to give away a few, and if they were bigger, could probably give away all to a local ethnic group who likes to butcher and eat them.  However, except for Rambo, the other roos are small, down to downright tiny. As my friend Diane calls them, they are McNuggets.  We can't handle too many more, though, and I realize that.  In the old days, at the old Calamity Acres, I managed to give away any roos I had....and my purebreds always were easy to sell.  Now, we have five in the big henhouse, Rambo, One, Two and Three, and Butch in his feed room with his harem of three, who are abandoning him now for the rest of the flock. 
In the little henhouse, we have Ratchett the frizzle cochin, Ruffles, the half frizzle, and two tiny ones who are nameless as yet.  The hens and pullets in the little henhouse are all very young (there are sixteen in there now total with the loss of the gray pullet this week), but the hens in the big henhouse are aging, except for Angel, Reddy, and Eagle, and the black Libby and Rosemary from our friend Dave last summer.  It's these hens that must be replaced with layers this year. 

A week ago today, the morning temperature was 9 below zero.  This afternoon, as I drove home from the dentist, my car registered 75 degrees.  I heard the news as I went by the tv earlier, and it is expected to drop to 56 by 8 PM.  The yard that looked like this two weeks ago:

Looks like this today:

And even more gratifingly, as I cleaned up some of the garden beds tonight, I saw this:

Some of the iris coming up!

And lastly, a few words about writing this blog, and the people who are reading it. 
I had been a scrapbooker for about six years when I started this blog nearly 2 years ago.  I grew to really like recording what was happening around our place, first, for people like Keith's parents who live 5 hours away from us in Ames, Iowa.  Then, for friends who, even though they thought I was nutty for the animals we had here, enjoyed reading about them.  Now, I look at my stats and see that people from all over the world are reading about what goes on here in Tonganoxie.  It is awesome, and awe-inspiring.  I have never been anywhere.... I lived in Wyandotte County, Kansas, my whole life, until I married Keith.  I lived in Illinois for the final year and a half of his Army career, and then came home here, to Leavenworth County.  My sister has traveled all over Europe, her husband is half Italian and half Slovenian, and speaks both.  I, who always wanted to go to Europe, have stayed home and been very few places.  A few in Arkansas, and a few in Pennsylvania, mostly connected with Civil War battlefields or the circus.  Keith lived in Europe for 3 1/2 years early on in his career, and has traveled widely there.  We see people from Russia, Germany, Slovenia, and many other countries reading our blog, and we marvel.  I work for a German pharmaceutical company, so it is not out of the ordinary for me to speak to people from other countries, but to have someone so far away interested in our little blog is mind-blowing.  People really are the same, no matter where they live.  Keith's family is from Holland (his mother's side) and Germany, (his dad's).  Someone in Holland reads this blog regularly.  It is inspiring to me.
And for those of you in the US... I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I love reading your stories... I stay up far to late to do so... and to Sheeps and Peeps, Sproutnwings, The Old Geezer and Rural Revival, welcome to our blog!
Join Amy tomorrow at Verde Farm for Farm Friend Friday. Last week 54 blogs posted to Mr. Linky.  I found so many new blogs to follow, that I  got VERY little sleep Friday night!


  1. Mary Ann,
    I love reading your blog and it has been so much fun to watch it develop over the years. I love your stories about your farm and your animals. Keep up the good work and if I have to take up a collection to get you better internet service I will!!
    Love you!

  2. I would pass out if a snake passed between my legs. BTW do ones with legs count? I think I may have encountered one of these. Love to hear about your farm animals. LOL Mary G.


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