Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Another part of the Jolene the Franken-Chicken Saga...

We had to do one more addition to the saga that is little Jolene, our Franken-Chicken (aka Fiberton's Monster.)

If you missed the previous posts, you'll find why she received that name here and her health updates here.

In our latest installment, we must reveal a new name for Jolene.... Joe!  Now that Joe has grown up, we now know that Joe is a rooster!  And as for Dolly, who we thought was his sister, well, we are now calling him Donny. (As you can see by Joe crowing below...)


Ric was not having it....

"Ric, I think the combs and wattles on Jo and Dolly are really big. They might be roosters." I tell him one morning.

"Nope.  That is just their breed.  They are fine.", he says defiantly.

Later that week...

"Ric, I need you to watch this video of Jo." Here I produce video of Jo crowing...

Here's the thing, and probably why Ric was trying to pretend otherwise, but last month we had to do the not fun task of culling 4 roosters , as at that time we had 6 that we knew of.   They were fighting, and would not give the girls any peace, so they were not able to free range.

That being said, Joe and Donny are very domesticated and let us pick them up no problem.  And so far, it seems that the roosters have taken on their own family units.  Our hope is that it stays like this, and we can keep all 4 roosters.

Our family units include:
  • The two Kevins (the sorta wild roosters) and their hens: Girl Kevin, Falcor, Artax, Donkey and Giraffe
  • Donny and his 2 girls: Barbara and Dixie
  • And finally Joe and his gal, Atreyu
So far so good!  We hope to add some more chicks to the mix very soon!  Today my job is the get a special space set up for the new additions that is outside and not in our bathroom this time.

- Ash

PS - And speaking of chickens, keep an eye out for our new podcast episode coming out very soon on....Chickens!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Confessions of an Impatient, Anxiety Ridden Farm Girl

I have been encouraged (mostly by Ric) to start my own Farm Girl Confessions.  But in my promise of keeping it real, I will put an honest title on this series...


To be clear, this series will give a little insight into my personal brand of crazy, but I am sure (or maybe should say, I hope that) others will find it interesting or useful or comical or maybe just a diversion while bored at work.  I will be totally content with any of the above.

I think the title may have clued you in to two of the first confessions, and the prologue for this Confessions series. (I like to think that I cover these things up well, but those of you that really know me, this likely will come as no surprise.)  

Who has two thumbs and pretty hardcore anxiety? This girl! 

And who can't wait to do pretty much everything?  This girl!

I have lived with anxiety my whole life but will admit that only recently did I really realize I had it to a pretty good extent after reading and learning more about others that share in the fun.  I have never gone in to chat with someone about it, (mostly because that makes me anxious) but luckily I have a very understanding husband and family, who deals with my litany of 'worries' quite well.  I am pretty sure if they played a drinking game where you had to drink whenever I said "I am worried about..." or "I'm anxious about..." or "Everything is ok, right?", they would be pretty smashed most of the time.  

And I am also impatient. I have been jonesing so bad to quit the day job and go full time on the farm.  Part of it is that I know we are on the cusp of being able to do it, that point of "you need the time to make it over that hump but don't have quite enough resources (i.e. money) to quit the day job and make it happen yet", which is making me crazy.  

These two things combined make for an at-least-weekly meltdown about "wanting to spend more time on the farm and with the animals and making stuff!" and "why can't it just work?!" and "how do we get more resources right now?!", which Ric patiently listens to and mostly understands.

However, I work hard to combat my crazy with little things.  Little things are both calming and under appreciated, and are how I stay sane in this complex and crazy world. 

So I will end this first week's Farm Girl Confessions with some of the little things that make me smile and keep me from ripping someone's arms off...

... Did you know that I have a cup holder on my hay cart?  I mean, how cool is this.  This makes taking my coffee on my morning chores a breeze! Personally, I don't know many who have such a luxury.  You should add a cup holder to whatever you are able to. That is just sound advice.




... And speaking of my hay cart...it is great for making me a giant at night.  Well, not a real giant of course, but I can use it to cast some sweet shadows.  When I have to feed at night, I sometimes wrap my headlamp around the same spot my cup holder is. (Which typing head lamp made me just think about old school head lamps.  People are pretty ingenuitive, someone was like, "You know Bob, it would be way easier to see if the light was sorta near our eyes." and Bob was like "You know what, Jim, we should totes create the first hands-free device." and then Bob shoved a candle on Jim's helmet and they were probably seen as hero's in their town. Good on you, Bob and Jim.)

Anyway, when I wrap the headlamp, it makes a little head light for the cart.  But it sits back behind where I pull it around from, so it casts this great shadow that makes me look like an absolute giant.  So while I go feed I lumber around the yard, doing my best Gamera. (Sorry, Gamera is way better than Godzilla).  It is kind of the best.  

... And that is one of the reasons that I love tarantula's.  They are a giant of the spider world.  I know there are other giant spiders, and I might love them, too, but I have only ever met tarantulas and I imagine them tipping their little hat hello when I seen them.  I always sort of imagine that the other spiders are sorta mean to them for being so big, but in the end the tarantula has the upper hand when that little spider needs to reach for something on the top shelf or something.  Theeen they need tarantula's help... 

Also, I really want to start a comic strip that is "Champ and Rancho" all about Champ, our silly little ram lamb solving mysteries with Rancho, the tarantula.  Of course, Rancho would be the brains of the team.  (You should totally let me know if this needs to be a thing.)

Here I am working on my contortionist act with a tarantula...


Well, that seems like a good glimpse into my brain for the day, but stay tuned for more soon, kids, in next week's "Confessions of an Impatient, Anxiety Ridden Farm Girl!"  

- Ash