Whew. Party day is over, for another year! We still have to go see my son Jeff next weekend, and my sister, but the big event is over. I went to church this morning and came home and put the house pretty much to rights, washing dishes and putting things away. Keith ran Brandon back up to Iowa, and then came home to put heavy plastic on the big henhouse, since we think a storm will be hitting us by Tuesday. The day dawned sunny and bright, but by 2 PM or so, plenty of clouds had come overhead.
Why is it that having company can make you so tired?
I hope to get caught up with all my blogging friend's adventures tonight and tomorrow night. I have a four day work week, and am then off for a whole week! This is my last Christmas to work, and I want to take cookies to our guards who have helped me all year, and to several other departments who help us throughout the year, and then, folks, I'm done baking for a while!
I'm sorry I haven't commented much in the last two weeks... it seems like time is moving so very quickly, lately.
Today was a good day for the llamas:
Here is Tony snatching a treat when I went out to feed. He does the "Happy Llama Dance" most days when we get ready to pour his grain out, jumping and kicking. I'm always careful to stand just outside his reach.
Mama Inca is growing in a good winter coat. I am hoping that now that she is weaning Aztec, she will gain some weight. She is the thinnest of the three. I have not seen Azzie nurse now in over ten days.
As you see, Azzies eye is healing up nicely. She has the most beautiful wool .
Those pictures were taken today, after the clouds came in.
The chickens are doing well, and the porcelain hen, April, has begun laying finally. I am praying that in the spring, I'll be able to have a friend hatch some porcelain eggs for me.
Here are some of the little henyard birds enjoying leftovers yesterday. That's Brutus the Welsummer rooster, Rocky was in the henhouse. Note Bitty, the mixed silkie blue hen in front.
This hen , who has matured to almost look like a young cockerel, is the only surviving chick of the 22 who were born in the spring. She has the same kind of head as Bitty, the blue hen with the black head, including the same kind of comb. She is a pretty color, and I am almost sure she is a daughter of Ratchett, who was rehomed last month. That's one of the nesting boxes that Keith built last month next to these girls, and though they will go in it, not one has laid an egg in it. In fact, they have all taken to crowding into this corner, and I see an egg amongst their legs. I did collect 7 today.
Of the three roosters left in this henyard, Rocky, Brutus and Handsome the partridge cochin, none is fighting with the other. In fact, Keith is stunned that the two bigger birds don't fight each other, but Brutus kowtows to Rocky.
Here was the big henyard side, with Rambo in control. The tiny brassy back rooster, Speedy, is still with us, and very pretty. You can also see Boots the Mille Fleur by the ramp, and the hens all look happy. The three elderly roosters, One, Two and Three, are staying out of Rambo's reach these days.
The two Ameracauna pullets and the two cochin pullets do not seem to be laying yet, so I'm a little disappointed in them as they are past nine months old.
I am dumping the water fortexes each night so I don't have to break ice in the morning. So far, the outside pump has been a blessing to us. Keith says he thinks it will run most of the winter except for the bitter cold nights.
I filled this tonight, just before darkness fell... poured out last week's and put fresh water in. Aztec has a bad habit of picking things up and moving them, and she pulled the heater out one day this week. I am scared she'll get shocked and we'll come home and find her.
I filled it full enough to immerse the heating element. I used to obsess about the cleanliness of this trough, and emptied it several times a week, and thus created about twice the work (if not more, for us). The llamas don't even go through a trough a week, but so far, I have emptied it each Sunday and refilled it with clean, good water. Right now, while still working, I am very grateful that we are not carrying water from the house for the animals, as we did for six years.
I did not write about it yet, but two weeks ago, I received the 2012 Landreth Seed catalog. I have been so busy I have not had a chance to sit and go through it. I'll do that one evening this week. It's so much fun to dream of the perfect garden when snow is on the ground!
Yesterday, I put a jar of red goodness in the basket for Keith's mom and dad... tomato preserves. You might remember that this was the first year I made them, and I used the last of our tomatoes from the garden for it. I hope they enjoy them as much as we did (and will!).