Very Late Update on Our Farm

cand197qWe are slowly creeping into Spring here in the Pacific Northwest.  Our baby chicks have grown into young adult hens and roosters.  The tulips in the front are exploding through the dirt to reach for the sun.  And we’ve actually seen the sun and not just buckets and buckets of falling rain.

Homeschooling is going along pretty smoothly lately.  We still have our little bumps here and there.  But I can see the progress that have been made and it is very encouraging.

We just finished the History book that we have been reading for a while.  This would be the second book in the series written by Susan Wise Bauer.  The enjoyment that we get out of reading these history books beats any text book, any day!

I have a few videos, well, about 24, lined up on YouTube for the kids to watch before we start reading again.  This is basically to go back through the times that we’ve learned so far.  The kids like the change of pace.  I’m not sure what they will think of these videos though.

The guy seems a little cheesy to me, but hey, kids like cheese, right?!

Anyway, after we are finished with the videos, we’ll start reading The Story of the World book three.  I really can’t see starting a different History program now.  We will finish this out with book four when we’re done with three.

Watch soon for a review on book three.

I have tried to schedule our days a little more.  Mostly because I have so many things to do, that if I don’t follow a schedule and work on certain things at certain times, I’ll just run around like a tazmanian devil and accomplish many areas of nothing.

And of course, it doesn’t work at all on days like today, when I just do not have the motivation to do anything.  The kids wanted to take off President’s Day, like public school students, but I had said no.  This morning, my body was screaming YES!

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Life on the farm goes on though.  The animals don’t stop laying eggs or ahem…depositing waste, just because I am not motivated.  And today was one of those days that work on the farm needed to be done.  I’m very thankful that the sun was able to hang in the blue sky, with very little clouds dancing in front of it.  It made working outside just a little exciting.  But just a little because I was still freezing cold.

I was also able to visit with the girls and roos while I was out today.  Even snapped a photo of one of the babies that we had last Summer.  She turned such a black that she is has glossy green feathers.  Very beautiful.  I named her Raven.  She is almost completely black, except for a little bit of white on her legs, and maybe beak.  And that’s only been the past couple of months, before she was all black.

So while we all anxiously await Spring here, we’re taking the time to enjoy the beauty and crispness of Fall.  Hope you are also enjoying your Winter!

Gorjuss love

Timeline of My Day

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A normal day here is not very normal.  lol

Mondays are my favorite days of the week.  It’s a fresh start to a brand new week.  A week to get things accomplished.  A week to explore, learn and praise God for all that He brings to it.

Today’s schedule is pretty much what an average day looks like around here, Monday through Friday.  The only thing that today is missing is errands, because thankfully, I don’t have any to run today.  And that always makes any day, better!

6:00 am – Wake up, Devotions

7:00 am – SWAG Bucks

8:00 am – Wake kids, Kids feed, Work on 1 Million Moms Against Gun Control (1MMAGC) stuff

9:00 am – Blog

10:00 am – Workout, Amanda does dishes today, Start school at 10:40

11: am – Homeschooling

12:00 pm – Lunch, Cleaning

1:00 pm – Cleaning

2:00 – 4:30 pm – Crochet

4:30 pm – Cook dinner

5:00 pm – Whenever – Crochet

The evenings are mind to do what I want.

Our dishes schedule rotates through the family, so I only have to wash dishes once every four days.

On Saturdays, that is my day to sleep in as late as I want to.  After I get up, I usually feed the chickens and ducks for the kids.  Then Saturdays are spent folding laundry, planning for the upcoming week and anything else that I fancy.  Sometimes I do get some housework done also.

Sundays we try to go to church.  So I’m up around 7 am.  Some Sundays I feed for the kids, other days I make them do it.  The rest of the day is devoted to NASCAR or football, whichever happens to be on and naps.

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Yep, You Guessed It…..

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An Average Day

I try to wake up between 6-7am.  If I sleep in too late, my hen Giggles, will start clucking to let me know.  (She is currently living in a plastic tub in the house because of her injured leg.)  I like to start my day early without any other interruptions.  Well, from people at least.  Before I even get out of bed I have anywhere from 1-3 of our five cats waiting in the bedroom for me to get up and feed them.  After I get up, they are all circling me and meowing, it takes some time to get to the laundry room to feed those ravenous little felines.

The first thing I do is turn the heater on where the kids sleep, walk into the living room and turn on my electric blanket and the heater in there and then take care of the animals.  Into the kitchen I stroll to turn on the burner, fill my pot with water, and get my coffee ready.  It takes only a few moments for my coffee to be prepared in my French Press, and I’m ready to head into the living room to enjoy my warm blanket.

Some mornings, I feed the chickens and ducks outside while I am waiting the 4 minutes for my coffee to brew.  Other mornings I wait and let the kids feed when they get up.

I let Giggles out into the kitchen to eat and drink, before I sit down.  I gather my Kindle and my latest crochet project to listen to my Bible, read my studies and cuddle with my blanket in the recliner.

After my studies are through and Giggles is done eating, I put her back and I can check in with my email and facebook.

Later mornings the kids do their schoolwork.  At this time I have been catching up on orders that I got behind with when I was working at the Washington State Fair, and I haven’t been doing Science or History with them.  But their English, math, and reading their daily devotions get done.

I spend many  hours of my day crocheting.  It’s my only source of income at the moment and it’s not a very good one at that.  But it sure does keep me busy!

I don’t get lots of time for  housework around here, but I have to try and squeeze in what I can when I can.  Daily chores include dishes and laundry.  Any errands that need to be run is also my responsibility.

Evenings are spent crocheting and online.  Sometimes I can find the time to read, play with graphics or edit my photos.

My days are busy and long.  But there is never enough time or energy to get done all that I’d like to.

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Rosie and Daisy aka The Twins

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These two lovely ladies are my daughter’s hens that she purchased herself.  She loves the Blue Laced Red Wyandottes and has two of them.  The ladies above are Daisy and Rosie.

I have dubbed them The Twins because these two are always together!  Where one is, so is the other!  I rarely find them too far apart.

The mornings are one of the funniest times because inevitably, one of these girls, scares the other when they come out of the coop to eat.  Usually, it is Rosie who gets scared of something and runs around panicking in a circle.  When she does it, then Daisy follows suit!

Daisy is the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte.  She is a much bluer shade than our other Wyandotte, Emy.  I just LOVE her pattern!  She has a little bit of attitude also.  Out of all 11 chickens that we have, she is the only one who chases Sampson, our newest cat.

Sampson found us not too long ago.  He meowed and meowed at my sliding glass door at about 2am one morning, until I felt sorry enough for him to feed him.  I, of course, am a sucker for cats, so I tried not to be too friendly.  But then Hubby got up and brought him in!  Then Daughter claimed him as her own!  The first time we saw Samspon running from Daisy, we were a little shocked!

We have four other cats, and two of them are allowed outside.  Jerry is our fattest and oldest male.  He hangs out with the chickens quite frequently.  They don’t mind him and he doesn’t mind them.  Feisty, our oldest female and cat, can be seen with a chicken every now and then.  So to see Sampson getting chased was not something we expected!

And I mean, Daisy chases him.  The faster that Sampson runs to get away, the faster that Daisy chases him!  I had a good laugh at it earlier today while I was out hanging laundry on the line.

 

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Rosie, is a Delaware and did not care to pose for the camera.  She has a beautiful coloration on her feathers also.  My daughter does some great chicken picking!  Rosie will occasionally join Daisy in her chasing of  Sampson.

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Rosie

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Harry Clucker

Meet Harry Clucker. If you are looking for the top dog, look no further. This is the guy! He is a very gentle roo with my kids and lovely to look at. Harry is a Lavender Orpington and he is almost 1 year old. We love to watch Harry find food and make his “chook chook chook” calling his hens over to eat whatever tasty morsel he has found.
According to my daughter, who calls Harry hers, Harry loves to eat watermelon seeds. She named him after Harry Potter. She can be found toting him around occasionally.

Winter on the Farm

20110212_24Waking up in the morning to the ground white and hard does not make me want to get out of bed in the morning.  Knowing that I must go out and tend to the chickens and ducks in the cold weather just makes me cringe when I wake up.

I am normally a morning person.  It’s my favorite time of the day!  I love to wake up early, be alone and have some quiet time to myself.  Even when it’s cold out, I like the mornings.

But since having these chickens the cold mornings are colder when I am out in it taking care of the animals.  Taking care of animals is a huge responsibility.  I tell myself this every morning.

My morning dialogue to myself goes like this:

“Ahhhh, it’s morning!  If I hurry and wake up, I can enjoy a cup of coffee and read my Bible in the quiet!”

“Oh no.  I have to go take care of the chickens.  It’s freezing.  I don’t want to!”

“Danielle, you know that you love having these chickens.  Just be a big girl, suck it up, and go take care of them.”

So after that conversation, I get up, turn on all of the space heaters (our furnace is broken, which makes it harder to get out of bed), turn on my electric blanket so it’s all warm for me when I sit down, put water in my kettle and on the stove, prepare my coffee press, get creamer and mug out and then I use the restroom and feed the cats.  By this time, usually, my water is just about ready and I wait to pour it into my press.  Other times, I use the restroom before I start it, so I go outside and take care of the chickens and ducks while my water heats up.

After my water is poured into the press, I get boots, hat, jacket on and I put the dog on the leash.  I take the dog with me if my daughter is asleep, if she wakes up, she likes to help me and she takes the dog.  This morning, I knew that their water would be a solid chunk of ice, so I was prepared with a new water tub.  I have a little sand bucket that I use to take warm water out for them when the hose is frozen.  It takes me about 3 trips to fill up the tub they drink out of.  I did this first this morning before letting them out.  I usually just let them out first.  After I got the feed and went into their yard.  This morning was the first time that it had froze the coop door.  Other mornings I do have to breathe on the lock to open the yard door.  I finally got the coop door open and the chickens come running out.

My daughter has a rooster, a Delaware, that is the greediest little pig.  He literally follows me around trying to get the food.  He makes me laugh.  So I have him hot on my heels while I am pouring several piles in different places for everyone.  I watch Louis, my blue faverolles rooster, stomp his feet at Bill the duck.  Bill just stands his ground and quacks at Louis.  I watch this every morning.  It cracks me up.

I always pour a little pile on the other side of the fence for my salmon faverolles, Philip.  He gets picked on and I always give him his own pile of food.  He knows that I do and none of the others have caught on.  Yet.  Philip is my special rooster.  He is the same age as Louis and Harry Clucker, who is a Lavender Orpington, yet he has never crowed.  He is not quite as big as either of them.  It’s very strange.  Our young roosters even are crowing, but not Philip.

After feeding, I usually water if my daughter hasn’t already.  But since I did it first this morning, I go into the coop and check for eggs.  I didn’t get one this morning.  Yesterday though, we got our first brown egg!  That was pretty exciting.

Tonight, I knew that it was once again going to be cold.  And right now it is 23 degrees and 9:55pm.  It is supposed to get down to 20 degrees by 4am.  So I emptied the water that was already in the tub and hadn’t froze today.  The chickens and ducks are all cooped up until the morning, so they don’t need the water in there.  This way, I can just take out the warm water and put it in the tub.  I won’t have to worry about frozen water.

I noticed today that the ducks had gone swimming in the water because the ground was frozen with ice all around the watering area.  Naughty little ducks.  The ground is hard enough with the frost.  But then to have ice?  Thankfully it was thin enough that it was not slippery.

The snow that we have doesn’t seem to bother any of the chickens or ducks.  They don’t have snow in their yard, because it has tree cover.  But the bigger chickens get out every day and they hang out in the grass where all of the snow is.

I do love having a small farm.  I love having our own eggs.  And if need be, we could eat our chickens.  Hopefully it doesn’t come to that yet.  I am not quite prepared for that step.

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