Friday, May 31, 2013

Not My Planned Second Post

Okay, I'm having to remind myself of why I want chickens and ducks. 

The henspa yard, this afternoon.  I sit in that chair when I fill the pool.  It's disgusting.  The smell is disgusting.  I really am thinking of moving the ducks to the other side, to the old henhouse yard.  They can have access to the pasture, and it won't be as bad.  They will be able to get their greens on their own. 
This mess is about 80% their fault, but the rest is from the rains. 

Some of the hens don't even want to be down in it. 

I'm thinking of dropping the cover for the summer, so the whole thing has a chance to dry out well. 

Here's the Missouri River at Leavenworth Landing Park, where Lewis and Clark landed once upon a time. 
The Mighty Mo is in flood stage, can you tell? 

Keith took this this morning. 

There is usually another ten feet of bank in front of the fence. 

My original plan for today was to show you all something neat I found yesterday when I went to the post.  I stopped to take pictures.  I had noticed it a few weeks ago when Keith drove us to Home Depot in Leavenworth... and I had never noticed it before.  I stopped there on purpose yesterday. 

Instead, I'm going to do that tomorrow, and show you what I found when I went in the big henhouse to do chores. 

ARGHHHHH!  I didn't get the egg in her middle, but I DID get a third one in the cage, and yes, I stuck my hand in there. 

Here's her buddy... he went to the top of the cage to try to get out when I came in.  (This is the nursing cage, up on stilts) 
I'm sure he dropped back down and ate that other egg.  I got the third one, don't ask me how. 

These are NOT Mr. T... these are the other two snakes that have been mating all week. 

If it just didn't flipping smell so bad in there with the muck from last night... but now it's humid and within minutes, I was perspiring like you wouldn't believe. 

I shoveled out two shovels full of muck, and said 
"That's it for today"

Everyone has water and food... and I'll still feed the babies their bottles about 8 PM, but that's IT for me, except for locking everyone up.   UGH. 

I know we needed rain, but UGH. 

Supposedly we have 3 days of sun and 80 degree temps coming before the next storm, 
thank heavens! 

Tomorrow I'll show you the Little Church in the Wildwood I found.  

A Stormy Morning

We had two waves of storms come through here over night, after two days of rain. 
The creeks here in Leavenworth County are now in flood stage, and our own Stranger Creek, a mile from our house, is out of it's banks.  Keith has taken the camera with him to the Emergency Operations Center to take pictures while he is out this morning.  (He works in Emergency Management for the State). 

I'm going to post this morning, and again later. 

Hundreds of worms were drowning in the driveway this morning when I came out to feed the babies. 
I went back in to put on some plastic gloves (I admit I don't like to handle them) and picked up a bunch for the ducks. 

The low spot in the driveway was like a pool. 

This is why God made muck boots.  This, my friends, is the feed room side of the old henhouse.  It has a base of about 4 inches of broken down straw and dirt.  Butch lives here during the daytimes, though he roosts with the other birds at night now.  The inside door was open last night, and the rain blew in through the screen door.  It is now a room of MUCK!  It smelled almost as bad as the outside. 

I'm going to have to shovel some of it out, but not right now... it looks like it will rain again. 

Remind me why I'm keeping chickens again? 

Mr. T was in the waterer.  I gave him fifteen minutes to move... and then I picked him up and set him down on the floor.  He appeared to be full of mice this morning. 

And off he went.  Another one of the three snakes had gone behind there earlier. 

We've had the ground collapse in several places in the little henyard.  Keith thinks it is animal trails that have collapsed in the sodden conditions. 

On the other hand, some of the potatoes are beginning to flower! 

I had all perennials planted yesterday except for four.  I am almost afraid to go look at them, I left them in a flat on a garden bed.  A flat on the deck was full to the top this morning, so we got over 2 inches of rain. 

The little guys continue to do better... and survived that terrible stormy night well in their little barn. 
I am keeping them in again today, as their yard is a wet mess. 

Another post later today! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Post Op Report

Here were the little dolls last night: 

With their little manhoods missing.  Kaycee was hardly walking at this point, and I was really scared. 

You can tell in this picture how Kaycee feels, he is so hunched up.  My poor little guy. 

I can't handle them much, because their behinds are so sore. 

But, good news... 
Kaycee emptied a bottle this morning at 6:30, and Kody ate well, too. 

I am just about to go out and feed them again. 

Can you see it?  There, in the middle? 

A zinnia blooming, the first one! 

The grass you see behind them is in the unused bed, which has grown full of weeds.  With the wet conditions, we are digging out these huge clumps one by one.  Then we are going to cover the bed with carboard and paper and straw, to try to keep it clean til we are ready to use it for soft fruits, raspberries, etc.. 

I read an interesting gardening article in Mother Earth News last night that indicated that we should clean all vegetables before bringing them in... that to bring them in unclean brought in bugs and bacteria to the house.  Makes sense to me.  I'm going to come up with a little cleaning station outside, near the garden. 

It is pouring out there right now, but I was out earlier planting the last of the perennials I started.  This rain coming down will soak them in well. 

As you can see, the henyards are FUN right now... there are four of the little guys on the left, and the three chicks are in the upper middle.  They are getting along fine.  One will be a replacement rooster for Rambo, and the other two are pullets, one big and one medium size, not bantam, though out of a bantam. 

Dill coming up in the hoophouse. 

Water flows down the driveway, into the pasture, and then continues downhill to the Spehar's big, deep ponds. 
Remember, we were a strawberry farm, and we are terraced downhill. 

(times are off by 2 hours) 

And here they are, milk moustache and all on Kaycee... this morning, ten minutes ago. 
Feeling much better but still not really perky.  I am keeping them in, it's so wet and soggy out, and goats hate sog.  I want to keep them dry and clean. 

Both pee peed while I was in there... and both ate well.  They cannot drag themselves under the hay feeder, where they like to sleep in their little nest... I'm sure it's hurting to do so.  They were in a little ball of fur just outside it, warm and dry. 

I have to go back to the post for an appointment this afternoon, so thought I'd put the blog entry up early today... thanks for all your prayers and hopes for the babies.  We made it through the stressful day, and I got this in my phone last night: 

That is a blurry picture of Carol Abramovitz's doe, who finally kidded last night.  These are the folks whose place I visited in April, to see their Nigerians.  They thought she was due May 1st. 

She had two doelings and a buckling. 

The boy. 

Anyone know a good "K" name? 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Exhausted Tonight

I confess to you all that I have not slept well the last three nights. 
The events of this month have been very hard on our family, and it is very hard to keep going daily as if nothing horrid had happened. 

Today was the day for the little guys neutering.  I duly had them at Dr. Jeannie's office at 7:50 this morning, visited with the vet tech for a few minutes, and then off to the dentist. 
Imagine my surprise when the dentist told me that a tooth that had been bothering me had to come out... and today.  I left there for the oral surgeon's office, where I waited for 3 hours to be worked in. 

By the time I got home from getting my pain medication, etc., it was after 1 PM.  I stayed dressed, thinking I would have to go get the little guys at 3... and no phone call.  At 4:30 I finally called to find out they had not been done yet, but were next.  They had not eaten since 8 last night!  

I'm afraid I did not react well, and tore over there in the car (at 45 miles an hour, don't worry).  I calmed down as I drove, I worked with a ton of vets at Bayer and I know things go wrong. 
It turned out there were a lot of spay/neuters today, and they were last.  

I held a crying Kody for 30 minutes, until he fell sleep, wrapped in a towel in my arms.  Then Kaycee came out, and the vet tech held him.  He could not wake up, and the vet finally gave him some more drug to make him come to.  He was able to stand finally, and we put him in the crate and brought them home.  Kathy was kind enough to come over so we could just carry the crate into the barn and set it down, and not have to handle them. 

I went out at 7:30, Kody ate a little... Kaycee, nothing, and he does not look good.  I am going back out at 8:30 to see how he is doing, and I am praying up a storm. 

My friend Jill, who is an experienced vet tech, is on call if I need advice. 

I did get a little done in the yard after doing chores.  

Yee ha! 

A tomato on a Baker Creek "Gypsy" plant, the first. 

I counted and seven plants are now flowering. 

German Butterball potatoes gone wild

This is the mystery plant.  Does anyone recognize it?  The green stuff laying there in the box is just ... stuff. 


Nugget, Abandoner of Babies 

(they're doing fine) 

Now I'm going to go check on the babies again. 
Then I'm going to batten down the hatches, as more bad weather is to come tonight or tomorrow. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hay in May

I snapped this out the car window this morning on my way back from post. 

I can't remember seeing hay being made in May here, since we moved here. 

wrote about it today, too. 

I don't ever remember hay being made this early around here. 

What was that you said, Ma?????

Hay?  What is hay???

Don't worry, Fawni, you would like it if you saw it. 

(let me tell you, folks, that mud REEKS) 

Here's one of my helpers hard at work today. 

Tomorrow morning, early, I have to take two hungry little kids to see Dr. Jeannie. 
I found out that Dr. Jeannie does not disbud, and another vet does... but he neuters at 2 weeks, and will not do it now.  

I do have the name of someone who disbuds, a goat owner in our neighborhood, and my friend down the road uses her now, since she hates to do it herself.  I'm still fighting with myself over it, and yes, I've studied the pros and cons.  

I kept an eye on my helpers, so they wouldn't tip the cart over.  I had cleaned all the hay out of their barn, and put fresh straw down, as they cannot eat ANYTHING after 10 PM.  I'll be putting their carrier in the car tonight, and praying there is a break in the storms in the morning. 

This cartload of hay/straw went into the henspa yard to be composted.  The girls (and boys) were very glad to see it. 

We are under a tornado watch until 10 PM, and there is a threat of severe storms tomorrow.  I am alone... Keith has had to go to Salina for a 3 day excercise,  and he will be back Thursday night; I hope we have not blown away in the meantime. 

I am sure you are getting tired of snake pictures, but I am getting tired of walking in on snakes mating. 
I am cautious every time I walk in the door of the old henhouse now, to be sure I don't put my foot on someone. 
I did pull a large skin out of the rafters today, but I broke it... I am trying to get a whole one for little Jax. 

This is one snake, there was another inside the hole he was going into.  I put a new light in the feed room side of the old henhouse today, and it really lit it up.  That may dissuade our visitors. 

Rambo and his ladies were able to go into the horse-llama-goat yard this afternoon for the first time since the babies came home.  Formerly, they had the run of it, since we rarely shut the horses or llamas up.  
They couldn't believe their good fortune, and ran in, checked the barn out, went all around the yard, and then slowly came back across the pasture as I worked.  The babies were able to run in and out and up and down the pasture, while I kept an eye on them. 

I got a bunch of things planted today... flowers... and will take pictures later and show them to you tomorrow.  I had hoped to get the last of the perennials I started this spring into the ground today, but will aim now for tomorrow if it is not pouring.  
I have to drop the babies off at around 8 AM, and be at the dentist 4 miles away at 8:30... I have a jaw infection that has been laying me low.  I hope the doctor gives me antibiotics to settle it down and then maybe I can get some good sleep.  I suspect I am going to have to see the endodontist, but I am not going to worry about it until I see the doctor tomorrow. 

One last picture of goatie cuteness. 
They are wearing the pop bottles out, I am going to have to get new ones tomorrow. 
It's looking kind of icky out, so I'm going to go out and see if I can lock anyone up.  The three little chicks are not going into their pen (they do it alone) until it's nearly dark, but they do go in. 
The henspa girls do not go in until dark, either, but I shut all the lights out early to try to get everyone settled with this weather brewing. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Major Keith Yoder, Command and General Staff School Graduation

I know you've seen this picture before, but I'm so proud of my Honey for his 24 years of service to our country... guys like him have made it the land of the free, and home of the brave. 

Here's another one who did: 

My Dad, Ensign Joe Peterson, World War II. 

Offered a promotion to Commander at the end of the war, he chose to come home to Kansas City, Kansas , from the South Pacific.  He came back to my mom and Mike and Pete.... and settled into a career as an electrician, though he had a degree.  Five years later, along came me, and then two years after, my little sister Kathleen, both adopted.  

Thanks for your service, Daddy! 

Thanks to all who have served our country so bravely for so long... hug a vet today, if you know one! 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quite the Weekend So Far

We begin with the scene of a crime.  See the gap between gate and wall?  There is a post on the inside to keep the big hens from trying to get out.  

See the bucket? 
I put that bucket against the gap on the outside because last week, I found Susie, my tiniest hen, along with one of the big hens who got out when I opened the gate... out in the yard. 

Jim and Amy and the kids came over, and Jax went in, knocking the bucket over, and I missed putting it back. 

Behold Susie: 

Uh huh.  
Came out when I forgot to put the bucket back. 

Everytime I think Lilly Ann is cured of her Super Prey instinct, I am reminded in a most unpleasant manner. 

It just happens that Susie was a favorite of mine, so it was a hard lesson. 

I got to her while her eyes were still open, but as Keith said... he would have had to put her down. 

This afternoon, a Sheriff's deputy came by and took a report about the goat dragging I saw yesterday.  My friend Roxanne at the goat dairy down the road and I spoke at length, and she suggested a name for the sheriff's department to speak with, and I gave them the name.  The man lives down around the corner from us, about a mile and a half away, and keeps Boers.  I had to explain what a Boer was to the deputy.
He was going to leave here and go speak with the man to see if he was missing any goats, OR if he had sold a goat yesterday morning. 

Keith's project for today... new steps going down to the new patio. 
He is going to put a railing on either side for me. 

It was so nice not to have to go clear around to the east steps, and the dogs appreciated it, too. 

I got some more plants in the ground, and some plants from Wal Mart in red, white and blue were planted in containers.  I'll take pictures of everything tomorrow.  

I have about ten more perennials I have started from seed to plant, and that's IT for the spring, I think. 
(Wrong, I need to replant the two round barrels re-positioned off the deck that had tulips blooming in them.) 

We did discuss the two pea beds, and tomorrow, I'll hoe up the bed that did not produce, and green beans will go into it, to climb up the trellis of that bed.  The potatoes continue to go berserk... we are stunned at them. 

I still don't think the other pea bed will produce anything, despite the prolific vining... it's too late. 

I am carrying buckets of water from the duck pond in the morning to pour at the base of the tomatoes, and despite warnings and warnings of rain, we are not getting any, and the ground is showing again how dry it is.  
I'm going to have to start putting some of the water from the duck pond on the apple trees, at this rate. 

My silky/cochin crosses are all going broody. 

I'm not letting any of them set. 

The prettiest of the two Mille Fleur roosters is hiccuping, and I am waiting for almost dark to go out and dose with VetRX.  He's easier to catch on the roost, and won't squirm much.  I also need to trim the beak of the one Polish hen I have, Buffy... she grows that beak faster than any bird I've ever had. (Keith helped me do this at dark, too) 

When I stopped at Roxanne's after church, I had left my camera in the car.  Roxanne told me that Jackson is all of the sudden not doing well, for the last three days.  Her other turkey, Dinner, was all scruffy and missing feathers, and she told me that her male adult peacocks had attacked and almost killed him.  She thinks they went after Jackson, too, though she did not catch them.  He was very subdued when I saw him, and she is worried about him. 

Rosie, on the other hand, is on a clutch of eggs in a safe place... right next to the front door in a cubbyhole, and Roxanne hung a tarp to keep the sun off her.  She peeped at me when I talked to her, but stayed tightly on the clutch, which is goose eggs and turkey eggs. 

Roxanne lost her white turkey hen, the one I had stopped and let in the gate several times when I saw her pacing in the road.  She could get OUT, but could not get back in again, and something got her. 

Kody was watching Lilly who was far down in the pasture. 

The little guys playing in Adventureland (I was there the whole time).  They'll be five weeks old on Tuesday! 

Susie in happier times.  She truly was a tiny Old English Gamebird.  I have only one left now, Speedy, the smallest rooster, who lives in the old henhouse. 

RIP, little girl. 

On Sunday of Memorial Day last year, I lost my little sister, Kathleen, though the actual date anniversary is tomorrow, the 27th.  
I can't believe an entire year has passed.  I can't tell you how many times I picked up the phone to call and ask her something... and remembered. 

How she would have enjoyed our reunion last Sunday, she would have been the life of the party.  How I missed her there. 
Her husband still grieves for her; her son misses her. 
The year has flown. 

Here she is at 5, on the right, with two of our neighbors.  People didn't move around then as they do now, and we grew up our whole childhood with Mark and Chris and their brother and sisters next door to us. 
What happy times those were, the fifties and sixties.  
What a sweet little girl my sister was! 

Kathleen Peterson Serra

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Full Saturday and It's Not Over Yet!

English lavender, planted in the hoophouse last year, and blooming again this year.  It smells so very good! 

On a whim this morning, I decided to let the half-grown chicks out.  

There are two pullets and a cockerel... the white bird is a pullet, and the brown facing her, a pullet. 

And here they are, bathing in the dirt of the little henyard, as right as can be.  No one was bothering them. 

As we have a ballgame tonight, it will be interesting to see where they put themselves away; we close the popholes when we get home.  I'll take the big flashlight with us and we'll find them in the dark, don't worry.  My guess is they will go back in their little white house. 

Spehar's steers were watching as I cut the grass.  I wish we could put a gate in so they could eat our pasture, too... I hate to waste it.  If I run into the Spehars, I'm going to suggest it. 

The "calves" have sure grown up, and there are still four of the eight originals over there. 

The babies had some visitors when son Jim and Paiton and Jax and daughter in law Amy came by. 

Keith calls our pasture chairs "The Goat Playground".

Pretty soon, Jax asked if we could go find the big snake.  I told him "Sure!".  I'm all for kids learning about snakes. 

The babies LOVED the ramps. 

And sure enough, Mr. T. obliged Jax, who was thrilled. 

The other snake was in there too, the two tails disappeared just as we walked in. 
I had seen Mr. T earlier, so knew he was hunting (and had taken the inside eggs).  Jax was able to get two eggs out of the rabbit cage outside.  Whew! 

We are off to the ballgame in an hour, for a night of relaxation. 

I hope that everyone is having a safe Memorial Day Weekend!