We interupt this program…

…for a breaking news announcement.

Some of you will be relieved and some of you will be distraught to know that the rooster known as Lucky is no more. I, for one, am both. Now visiting Aunts from all over the country can rest assured that they are safe at the Martin house.

Goodnight.

Springful Thinking

I ordered my seeds this morning. YEA!! I always have really good intentions about what and how much I am going to plant. We’ll see how much really manifests this year. Picked out a couple of things that I have never grown before. Stay tuned.

Yesterday was soooo nice in the morning. I went out to the garden and pulled some weeds from around the garlic which is coming up nicely. Shoots are about 4-6 inches tall. And pulled weeds from around the microbaby kale, radishes and chinese cabbages of various varieties that I don’t recall exactly what I planted. Things are starting to pop up that I sowed in the ground couple months ago.

There is a spot all ready to be turned over and have potatoes put in the ground thanks to my husband and boy children. They moved the compost pile that was there to a new location to finish cooking so that left a lovely bare patch of dirt.

My stupid chickens finally decide to get with the program and lay some eggs again. We have been babying them. They now have a red heat lamp on all the time and a fluorescent bulb that comes on for four hours after dark to give them more daylight hours. I have three dozen eggs to sell today and will probably have another dozen by the end of the day. That is not counting the ones that I keep for us to eat. Of course I am sure that I don’t make enough off the eggs to cover the electricity needed to create the spa-like atmosphere.

Now they are all fighting over the ONE nest they deem worthy of using, which is not even one of the nest boxes. It is a corner that they have picked out. There is always someone carrying on and squawking to use it next. High demand. Yesterday there was such a commotion when I was in the garden that I actually walked over to see what the problem was. One hen was literally sitting on top of another hen on the nest. Guess the first one wouldn’t move quick enough. So I need to clean out the coop…okay I need to have my kids shovel out the coop so I can rearrange put down some new straw and see if that makes anyhen happier.

Oh Brother.

I should finish weeding the garlic but I probably won’t today. It is not nearly as nice out there today. Yuck.

Chicken News

Hello from the coop.

I thought I would introduce those chickens that have been named. (And it is just fun to take pictures of chickens. I don’t know what you guys are doing for fun but me…)

This is Gertie. She’s my best friend. It is a little difficult to get a good picture of Gertie because she is always so close to me. She runs right up to see me every time I go out to the pen. She trys to get out the door and she must peck various pieces of my attire to test them for safety purposes. Better to be safe than sorry. That’s Gertie’s motto.

Here is Gertie on the left and one of her other friends, one of The Party Girls, on the right. They are just that. They are only here for the party. Like sorority sisters from a movie, they are all stuck-up. They don’t want anyone to touch them. They are all blonde. And it looks like they all use a lot of hair care products. The opening picture is also one of the other Party Girls. There are four of them.

This is Peaches. She wanted to be a Party Girl but she does not have the hair do for it…

 and as you can see, she got stuck with this down turned tail. She is the only one with the down tail thus the Party Girls must make fun of her or something because she is very shy and quiet.

This is Henny Penny. Or at least I think it is. There are 6 others that look just like her but you can tell it’s her because she always gets right up in your face. 

 

Like this.

She is not in charge but she thinks she is. And if she doesn’t like where you put your hands she will peck the crap out of you. I tagged her Henny Penny because you should see what happens if someone is sitting on her favorite nest box when she decides she is ready to lay her egg. She squawks and raises hell with the intruder then runs out to the fence and paces back and forth carrying on like it is the end of the world for three minutes pecking the fence wire the entire time. Then runs back into the coop and repeat until the rude but fairly unaffected nest hogger decides it is time to move on.

This is Crazy Fanny.

She is a little flighty. Her head is very rust colored compared to everyone else. She tends to dart from one place to another very quickly and seems to be a little nervous or fidgety. She reminds me of someone I used to know. (Yes, my Texas family, you got it.) I know I probably shouldn’t have named her that. It is probably wrong. But I couldn’t help it. It totally fits her. And it is very funny.

It is a dead ringer when she looks at me with that semi-blank stare and I swear she is one and the same. I really tried to capture that look in a photo but didn’t quite get it in any of the shots.

 

 This is Fanny and Lucky. He is the surviving rooster and therefore aptly named Lucky. (Matthew named him Lucky when he was still very little and we still had two roosters.) 

 

 

 

 

 He is very handsome and quite the flirt.

Somehen fairly consistently lays double yolkers. You can see how much bigger they are than the regular eggs. Mark told me to watch and which ever hen was walking bow-legged; that’s the one!

BEHOLD…

(Pretend you are hearing the theme to 2010 A Space Odyssey in your head. ba ba baaaadaaaaaa)

 

 

The first egg!!

It is from one if the Americanas (note the teal (Easter Egg) color). I can’t wait for tomorrow. I’ll be checking the hen-house like 47 times before the sun sets.

 

 

In other related new: We now have 15 chicken total. That would be 14 hens and 1, count him, 1 rooster. The other rooster met an untimely demise at the end of a very large stick wielded by none other than Mr. Martin. And then his neck rung by Mr. Martin. And then his head chopped off with a knife by Mr. Martin. (I hope that PETA is not reading this or any of my vegan readers are offended. Sorry. Way of the world. Not always pretty.) But he was the toughest dang rooster! He would not die. He got mean and was getting meaner every day. So that sealed  his fate as the one to go. I would have liked to have found him a home but he was getting so mean that I would have felt guilty giving him to someone else even. He was going to seriously injure a hen at anytime. It was not a total waste though. Isaac now has very beautiful chicken parts curing in a box on the back porch for future fly tying. Fishing flies for sale.

Matt said when they were still little that he wanted to name one Lucky. Rightly so the one remaining rooster is called Lucky. Or you may also call him by his Native American name. Broken Toe. (The past-tense rooster broke his toe in a brawl somehow…..see that’s what I was talking about.) He has one toe that is kinked around to the side. Doesn’t seem to bother him though. He is the happiest rooster in all the land. So happy that he crows day and night. Literally.  He crows at sun up. He crows at sun down. He crows at noon. And anytime day or night that he feels it or hears my voice.  He is quite the flirt. Which was cute at first. Kinda rooster for, “Hey Baby, what’s shakin’?” “How you doin’?” I’d be in the yard and he would act all perky and strut around……but now at 3:30 in the morning when he is missing me because we have been separated for several hours….not so cute.

 

PS- There is my mother's hand again holding the egg. So weird!
(Sav came in a asked,"How does the camera do that? 
Make your hand look like Nana's hand?") Weird!
 

Photo of the Day

Summer Chickens (vs. Spring Chickens)

The chickens have been out of the pen a couple of times to cruise the yard. (Tour de Yard 2011. )

Everyone had a great time – including me.

I was able to just sit in the grass and photograph the chickens as they milled around. The first trip out was quite comical (again my point of view on just about anything chicken(except getting chicken poo stuck on my shoe, not really fun)).

“Hey guys look! I see something over here.”

 “What the hell is it?”

“Can we eat it??”

“No….Then move on ladies….”

(It’s a milk jug. Why it is in the yard I cannot say.”)

‘Quick! over there…….”

“Let’s eat this instead.”

I was online looking up chickens trying to figure out what kind of chickens I actually have. When we bought them, eight are supposed to be Americanas (which lays green shelled eggs – which is why we picked them) and the other eight are Golden Laced Wyandottes.

This one below looks just like the pictures of the Brown and Red Americanas. So I guess if these eight spit out green eggs then we are spot on. They are also much more eager for human contact. They love to be pet and listen intently to me when I talk to them. (So sometimes when I am very exasperated in the house because NO ONE is listening to anything I say; I simply go talk to the chickens. They listen no matter what I say. Unless a bug flys through the coop, then the attention spans go out the window.)

These lighter ones were suppose to be the Wyandottes, along with the two big white ones that turned out to be roosters not hens. (more on roosters later)

Where was I?… oh yes, Wyandottes, They don’t really look like the pics online of the Golden Laced Wyandottes. First of all you can see that the one in the pic above on the left front is not golden at all (more below on her also). Second, they all have the feather tufts on their cheeks. None of the Wyandottes I looked at online have tufted cheeks.  ?   And the roosters are white. Which could be the White Laced Wyandotte or the Silver Laced. Except they have tufted cheeks also.

 Anyway, all these last pics are of my favorite as far as looks go. I think she is so pretty. I kept saying that her feathers look like a pheasant. During my online search I think I figured out that it is called ‘partridged’. referring to the coloring pattern. Such as barred, laced or penciled. All of which I had heard before but partridged was new to me. As if I am a chicken expert. NOT.

You can see in this pic that the color around her legs is smoke gray. That looks a lot like the Blue Wyandottes I looked at online. So maybe she is a Blue Partridged Wyandotte. ( I have aspirations that I am correct and that this breed is very rare and chicken breeders and enthusiasts will travel from far and wide to see my prize Blue Partridged Wyandotte hen. They will also pay me gobs of money to breed her with their stock and to simply get a glimpse of her beauty. On second thought maybe I should enter her at the county fair this summer and list that as her breed and see if anybody gawfs at it.)

 But I have to say that the reason I like her the most is because with the cheek tufts, she always looks like she is running realllllly fast in photos, even when she is standing still.

Like a stunt chicken or something. (My prize winning Blue Partridged Stunt Wyandotte)

Back to the roosters. I have two. Which is always an issue if you have more than one. So I will have to do something with one of them. Either find a home for him or kill him. They are laying chickens so not very meaty. I don’t think that he would be very good to eat. And then which one do I pick? One is bigger. One is smaller. I liked the big one because he has a more magnificent tail. Very pretty. But the smaller one crows. Or tries to crow I should say. Cut the guy some slack. He is adolescent and going through puberty. His voice is changing. Seriously, it is hysterical (again, could just be me.) Jay laughs too. It is so funny. Sounds like a party horn gone wrong. Very wrong. Though he has actually has improved in the couples weeks since he started.  Now he is at least getting some tone variation going on. Where at first it was just this horrible out of tune honking that kind of died off at the end. I am going to try to get some video of this. It is too good!

Out of Date Pop Culture

So last night I was having a conversation with the dog, (What? Like you have never had a conversation with the dog before?) and I abruptly realized that during the course of the conversation that I actually gave her two thumbs up and made the Fonz, “Ehhhhhhhh….” noise.

As if talking to the dog wasn’t bad enough, I must push the envelope and make Happy Days references during the course of doing so.

As she looked at me from the depths of those liquid brown eyes that pronounced, “So pathetic and out of touch, Dude.”, I realized… She was right. I am a freak. Because not only do I actually think of this shit: I truly think it is funny. And I have a few good friends that if present would also think it was very funny. One of them being my mother. Whom I count amongst one of my best friends.

So here’s to all you friends who don’t think I am sad and pathetic but who actually think I’m funny. And we laugh our asses off. It is all in the perspective I guess.

Ps- A few nights ago, I also told my husband that it is a very sad thing that I have to wait for the chickens to go to bed so that I can go lock them up before going to bed myself. I really want to go to bed before the chickens but they are not done partying yet. Those crazy chickens.

Just give the dog some time. After she hangs with me awhile; she’ll get it.

Hooray Hooray The First Of May…

Get your minds out of the gutters before I go any further. Today is actually the second day of May. See I am already a day behind. My list is a mile long and I am blogging instead of working on it. But the list is next – I swear!

I promised I would blog about the wedding so today I am blogging about……..you guessed it……….chickens! I can’t help it. I love those stupid chickens. This morning they were released into the wild of the chicken pen. Everyone is flapping their wings, stretching their necks and scratching around happily on this fine May day.

 

This is the one that I think might be an eagle, I mean a rooster.

Nova is still diligently standing guard.

  “Hey, did you hear something?”

“I think I heard something.”

“What!?!’     “Oh, I heard it too!”    “OMG! What is it??” “There is something oooouutttt there!!”

“Whew…..I think we are safe.”

So now I just have to get the coop cleaned out by evening so the girls can all be tucked in bed safe and sound. Which is on the list with a bunch of other stuff not so nearly as exciting.

Home Again

We made it back from the wedding trip/elopement/vacation. Whew! Today is the second day home. Yesterday I was so tired but not sleepy. Like the walking dead. Even after going all day yesterday, I had a hard time falling asleep last night until after 1:30AM. Just so tired that I literally could not sleep. Whatever kind of sense that makes. So today I have been worthless. I laid in bed and actually watched a movie. But still could not nap. Ridiculous. I swear.

The trip was so much fun! We had a blast. We (Jay and I) are so glad that we decided to do the elopement thing. Weddings are for the birds. I know that everyone is waiting to hear all about it. And never fear; I will talk all about it. But tonight as I sit here sipping the last of the spectacular bottle of wine I bought on the wedding evening with dinner, 2008 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon, I would rather talk about something more exciting, speaking of birds…..the peeps!

Have I mentioned how adorable they are? I had to get a peep sitter to chicken-sit the peeps while we were gone.

Before we left they were getting a little to rambunctious for their small box that they were rapidly outgrowing. They had taken to roosting on top of the feeder and waterer…

And sneaking out a couple of times if we were not careful…

“Hey, what the heck is going on out there (outside this box) ?”

Jay did come in the back door to find one perched on top of the box and quickly hop back down when spotted as if nothing could be proven without evidence. Jay then proceeded to build the ultimate cardboard chicken condo complete with a couple of roosting perches so the peeps would be safely contained in our absence. Our chicken sitter is not a really down on the farm kind of person and while the metal image I had of him coming into the house to feed/water the peeps finding that they had escaped their small box to overrun the house in complete un-abandoned chaos made me laugh out loud….it was really not a funny scenario.

Peeps survived completely contained just fine.

Yes ,that is how much they grew in one week. Amazing. The chicks that were struggling to roost on top of the water jar are now as tall as the water jar. I think that lighter one is part eagle.

Nova is still standing gaurd…as best she can that now they are located on the back porch again (they started on the back porch and then we had a night that got down to 29 degrees. So now they are bigger and are able to take the cold better and being as it is not quite that cold now (but still cold-where the hell is mother nature-the old hag must have taken off for the freakin Bahamas this year or something!)).

Next time, I’ll talk about the wedding. I promise. Or maybe not. I really don’t know. (*giggle*)

Update

…..so back to that accountability thing….

…haven’t really been able to blog much lately. Oh, trust me I have had plenty to say just not any time to type it. So let’s see where should we start. ..

The boys had their first race of the season on this past weekend. It was actually the second race but the first was canceled due to the continuous crappy weather that we keep having. Both the boys took second place in the main events (Yea!). They are racing in separate classes this year, no more racing against each other, at least for a couple of years.

 

 

Nova is still on constant full alert chicken monitoring. It is really a tough job; let me tell you. If these pictures showed her little tail nub waggin’ back and forth at nine-hundred miles an hour, you would be laughing as hard as I am. Trust me.

Needless to say the peeps are getting bigger….. I really love them. They are starting to be curious about the world outside the box and stare out/up at us when we (mainly me and Nova) are staring down/in at them.

We have only lost one out of seventeen. We bought sixteen. But after one died and now I (and others with counting skills) count them, we still have sixteen….so there must have been an extra….or something like that.  ?   There is one with a reddish head that lets me pet it more than the others. It’s like a little Shannon protegé in a chicken form. What a cutie (of course)!

That is her under the light (kinda hard to tell that her head is more reddish when under a heat lamp). My Granddaddy always named all of his chickens. So I guess I might name this one The Red Head (which is what he named me).

Garden report: (this is the accountability section remember) I was trying to decide if I should do a separate blog post with the garden report, which I would like to do, but being as I can not guarantee that I will have time to do another post soon, I am just cramming it all in here now. It’s the only way to be sure (blogs and nuking aliens you know). I have been a busy bee. Let’s see, what have I done since the last time I blogged but haven’t had to time to post a new blog about it? (Does that sentence even make sense?)

  • I started seeds in six packs of: four kinds of tomatoes, eggplant, parsley, bell pepper, and various hot peppers.
  • Direct sowed carrots and more parsley.
  • Weeded-tons. Porn star garlic is looking great btw.
  • Turned over another bed which the napa cabbage and bak chio (they are already started in pots) will go into in the next day or two.
  • Kale that over wintered is starting to bolt so I cut the tops out of it and am nursing it along (and eating it) hopefully until the newly sprouted kale is ready to start picking on, which is highly doubtful. I considered ripping it out and was going to and replace it with direct sowed fennel (never grew fennel before) but the thought of going with out kale for several weeks depressed me especially now that the winter spinach is gone and the spring spinach is just now coming up.
  • I bought some more seeds at the store, where a nice elderly seed shopping gentleman flirted with me and then bought fennel just because I was. Hey, I was being nice and helped him find some snow peas (no hidden meaning here) and also online. I ordered all my seeds from Territorial Seeds this year. Versus the normal Burpee (sorry Burpee) which is sort of a family tradition thing. But Territorial is a family owned business (Burpee was like a hundred years ago but is not now really). And I really like Territorial’s mission statement and they are located in Oregon (which is practically local for us) and they invite anyone to come up and visit their farm where they grow as much of the seed themselves as they can. And they have a much wider selection of organic seeds than Burpee does (sorry Burpee).
  • Snow peas and snap peas are coming up and I will be transplanting them in the next day or two. I know lots of people say that you shouldn’t transplant peas but I have and do. They are fine as long as they don’t get too big in the pots (thus the next day or two).
  • My Granny was right, the cabbage is bolting. So I will either attempt to transplant it (the ones that have not bolted yet) outside the greenhouse where it is cooler or simply rip it out. Via con Dios cabbage.
  • Bunching onions are coming up, spinach is up, radishes are up, red lettuce is up, romaine is not up, beets are not up.
  • Next need to plant fennel, get seed potatoes in the ground, start more tomatoes, transplant seedlings and I can’t remember what else at this moment because it is late and I am tired. Stay tuned.

Savanah lost her first top front tooth (this makes three total). The tooth fairy will be swinging thru (yes, I know that it is technically through and not thru but I don’t really care) our neighborhood.  Just in time for the wedding pictures. Did I mention that we are getting married in one week?

 

So I’m getting married in one week. I am also getting a cold sore. And a few hives.

Time to feed the peeps. Night all.

 

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