Friday, March 27, 2015

Come out, come out...wherever you are .....

 The new baby girls, 5 reading up on what's happening on Wall Street, the other 2 on the other end, keeping track of the sports scores. 

  I forget, from one time to the next, just how fast baby chicks grow. It's amazing.  I have been missing in action for a few weeks, I know.  It's been an interesting March.  I bought 8 chicks on St. Patrick's day. Husbandman (who's not the boss of me)  said 5.  I (the Queen of quite a lot) said 10.  So, I (ever the perfect wife) compromised and got 8.  Within 24 hours, 2 of them were dead.  I called the Rural King and they said bring them in and they would replace them. So I did.  I was keeping the tiny babes in a large cat carrier, (cleaned and sanitized, of course), until I could get the big cage cleaned and disinfected and moved into the office.  Husbandman (who is often wrong about things) said they could live in the garage, it would be warm enough with the heat lamp.  I gently disagreed (ever the perfect wife) and reminded him that we have had issues with raccoons getting into the garage, even with the door closed. And IT WOULD NOT BE WARM ENOUGH.  Usually we use the guestroom for the chicken pen, but, alas--it is occupied at this time. So, I generously suggested that we move them into my office and all would be well. He wasn't particularly happy about that.

 Another chick died.  I have never lost a chick before and this was starting to worry me. It occurred to me that perhaps the cat carrier was trapping too much ammonia for their delicate little bodies to process, even though it was ventilated...So, out to the garage I went and finished disinfecting the pen and with the help of my roommate, we two wild women carried the monster into the house and into the office and got them all set up. So...7 chicks, pullets, happy as clams.  The minute I set them down in the cage, they started running with joy, 'round and 'round, jumping over the little 2x2 divider that runs down the center. Such a fun thing to watch.  The cats are not particularly impressed by them. 2 of the dogs pretend they don't exist.  But Miss Molly McGee, the Jack Russell Terrorist---another story entirely. She is obsessed.  Tries to get in here every time the door opens. Sniffs around the bottom and sides of the pen. Stands there, staring, every muscle in her body quivering 50 mph.  I don't think she wants to eat them. Husbandman disagrees.  But she's never been a bird eater/killer.  I think she wants to mother them and when she hears them peeping and cheeping, she thinks they're in distress.  I let her come in and sit while I'm in here sometimes...constantly reminding her to "get back...back up"... until I can't take it anymore, then I have to put her out.  lol

   Since last I posted I have done some canning...chicken breasts at 1.69/lb.  Barbeque sauce.  Dehydrated 10 packages of celery (.69/package).  Made 5 dozen meatballs for the freezer.  My sister-in-law had surgery for her recurring brain cancer. I made lasagna and soft garlic breadsticks and a big salad and we went down and spent an evening with them. I have attended 3 funerals.  I am having some goofy issues with muscle weakness and visited the doc a couple of times. Started some dental work. 

 You know--the usual stuff.

  But I feel like I am coming out of my winter doldrums (I HOPE!!!!)  and things are looking up all the time. We had a few days of some incredible weather around here, but then it started yo yo-ing and this afternoon had some snow flurries.  I am so ready for warm weather.  But at least all the snow has finally melted and if it will stop raining a while, we might be able to get out into the garden beds and get some stuff done. I made a seed and potato order and the seeds came , but the spuds are back ordered and should be shipped mid-April. A little late, but we are always late planting anyway.  Did get the garden journal ready and made decisions about what to plant and what not to. Went through all the saved seed from last year, and we actually did alright. Yay !

   All in all, we have survived the winter and life is good at Honeysuckle Hill.  The grass is greening up, the lilies are about 3 inches tall--crocuses and daffodils are everywhere.  Can't wait to eat some yard salads--dandelions, violets, chickweed, plantain--yum.

  Trying to finish up laundry tonight, as I have a busy day tomorrow. Going out to the La Vista Ecological Learning Center at 4 for a movie, potluck and an evening under the stars for Earth Hour.  It will be a very nurturing event. Husbandman is leaving for Southern Illinois for an Area Assembly and will be back late Sunday night. 

  Sounds like the dryer has stopped.  My cue to say...


Monday, March 2, 2015

Ich habe schnee nicht gern.

 Not that I really hate it...but I am soooo ready for spring and green grass and garden work and warm weather,. (AND--not that I'm sure how rusty my high school German  We got some more snow since I posted last. We may have more coming in a few days.  Go ahead, winter...give us what you've got.  In a bit it will be the Spring Equinox and then  you will be on your way.



   It's been a rough few days...a friend lost her oldest son to a heroin overdose-services tomorrow. My heart hurts for her and for all the untreated addicts and alcoholics out there.  Once again I am shown how incredibly blessed I am to be walking around clean and sober.  Once again, I see the first hand anguish of an incredible loss that every mother fears...loss of a child. Because no matter if they are 10 or 17 or 37, they are always our child.  And once again I am so grateful that I have (so far) been spared that horror.  And my heart hurts for my friend in the face of this unspeakable incident.

  My youngest sister's husband is a twin, and this week his twin brother died after a battle with cancer. That battle was mostly won, but the treatment of it wreaked havoc on a liver already decimated by cirrhosis. He was 66 years old and we will have a memorial service this evening for him.  I cannot yet imagine the grief of the loss of a sibling, and I know it must be even worse when you are a twin.  My heart goes out to them all. And the only thing I can do is suit up and show up and be there, in whatever little ways I can.

 We (and when I say we, I mean I) feel our most helpless in the face of grief, I think...when there is nothing anyone can do to change what has happened. When all you can do is stand by and watch the pain and hurt of the people most deeply affected by the loss and  not even find the words to say that are not trite or empty or sounding foolish.  And yet...and yet... I will go and I will offer up my love and that's all there is.


  So...more snow. And deaths. And I am so tired of being cooped up and am ready for a little break in the weather, which we are getting today and tomorrow. And it will be good.

 I canned about 20 pints of boneless/skinless chicken breast last week.  2 jars broke, (one from the rim down) but I was able to save the chicken as the canner hadn't started yet. 2 jars didn't seal...after 75 minutes of pressure canning--never had that happen before either.  I suspect they are not making canning lids like they used to...I had several last year that buckled (they still sealed) and looked weird after canning. Another thing I hadn't seen before.  Ho Hum.  The older I get, the more new lessons surprise me.  lol

 I have been offered another writing opportunity-- writing a sustainable/local/healthy food article for a newsletter that goes out only twice a year. No pay for it, but it's a cause I am deeply involved in, so there's that.  It is the ministry connected to our local ecological society, the Mission for the Integrity and Justice of Creation ... the newsletter goes to over half the states in the country, and I thought it would be a good challenge for me to try to write a short article. lol   I am excited about doing it.


   Last night I made a Middle Eastern supper night...falafel, hummus, lots of fresh veggies to dip, pita chips and lettuce leaves to wrap the falafel in. It was seriously good finger food. Tonight I am making peanut butter chicken per my husbands will be served with basmati rice and steamed broccoli , and I need to get it started so that I will not be putting supper on the table too late. I don't plan to stay too long at the service today, so hopefully...Thing is, that Irishman comes home from work hungry as a bear. lol

  Alrighty. I have been very slow getting started this morning and am now seriously behind. lol  Need to get it up and running.  I pulled a muscle somehow in my back/shoulder/neck and couldn't sleep. When I finally did, I dreamed of gardens and 20 foot tall tomatoes and  incredible bounty. Hopefully that is a vision of the year to come...heaven knows we don't particularly need another year like 2014...