Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quiet Times

Hey Everybody!  well, I'm still hanging in but for some reason, I just have had no idea or information to post about.  I've rolled things over in my head for some time and am just not really sure why I've been so quiet lately.  I have felt much better this past week and went back to work but that in itself is an act of pure frustration.  The job has become depressing and futile.  The only nice thing is that I get to see my fellers some, and that only at lunch.  I think I mentioned that my old company was bought out and then the company that bought us was bought by a company from California.  Well, I suppose as a sign o' the times, we now have to sign our life away to work for these people, so I can no longer blog about work, the people I work with, what we do at work or how I feel about work.  Even if done anonymously, as I always have done.  So, that takes out subject matter for a number of posts.  And general how-to info that a lot of people could probably use.  Going back to my old job has certainly made me think about a lot of things lately and most of it ain't good.  I feel so badly for a lot of the guys I work with that bought into that consumer lifestyle and are now indebted to these corporations with no end in sight.  They say peonism was outlawed years ago but I believe it is still alive and well, flourishing even.  The only difference now, is that instead of false arrest, they use shiny new vehicles and $300 cell phones to lure people into servitude.  I thank God every day that something showed me long ago not to enslave myself like that. 

I guess I've also been fairly frustrated at some of the trends I see in social media.  Namely, if you are a even slightly conservative or religious person you can expect to be insulted, criticized, stereotyped unfairly and have numerous hateful comments hurled your way.  I guess because I am an artist a lot of people just assume that I would be wholly liberal and without any religious convictions and so at times have been flooded with all types of hateful, bigoted crap on Facebook and other areas, designed solely to discredit Christians or any other conservative person, all the while spouting how open-minded and wonderfully non-judgmental they are.  I've even seen writers for a few public forum type homesteading blogs spew such crap.  You know, on your own blog, you can write whatever you want, but if you are a guest writer for a homesteading blog, the fact you were offended because some person had the gall to name a pet after a Christian term has no place in the public post you are writing.  But that's the thing, the sport du jour these days is to insult or criticize as many Christian people as you can.  And yes, I realize there are plenty of hypocrites in this world; I build churches fer cryin' out loud.  But I know a good many conservative, religious people that just don't deserve that kind of counter hypocrisy and hatred.  So, while I have a good rant brewing in my head, I've been trying not to explode all over the place.  Turn the other cheek and all that and ya'll long time readers know, that's a real hard one for me. 

I also feel that I just haven't given ya'll much decent information over the past few months.  And yes I know many of ya'll have commented that you don't read this blog for info, you just like to see how I'm getting along and such.  While I sincerely appreciate the sentiment, that's kinda depressing too, if you'll excuse me.  I want my readers to get something they can use out of this blog.  Something that might help your life be a little easier or a project go better or a way of doing things you hadn't thought of.  I don't want to post yet another picture of my daffodils blooming or the chickens running around the yard.
So, I guess I'm just a little discouraged by my own ineptness and things I see out in the 'real' world.  I don't know.  I'll snap out of it.  I'm getting my spring plantings in the garden and I'll show ya'll some of that.  It's definitely looking like spring around here now and I know that will brighten my mood.  So, how are ya'll getting along??

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Sick

Hey Everybody, just a little update to let ya'll know I haven't been run over by a trackhoe or anything.  I went back to work last Tuesday and it has been a total pain in the ass.  By the time I got home Friday evening I was feeling rather bad and have been very ill with my semi-annual sinus infection ever since.  Today is the first day that I have got off the couch or out of bed much.
On a good note though, I get a much better connection online where I'm staying at work this time than before.  I'll try to be back soon with some kind of a decent post.
Happy Valentine's Day to everybody also.  If you're single, go treat yourself to a little something nice just because.  You are all sweethearts to me!

Monday, February 06, 2012

A Tail Of Two Chickens

With the addition of 5 new hens our egg production is starting to ramp up.  I say 'starting to' because they are just now beginning to lay even though they are supposed to be a year old.  I know they laid for the guy we got them from but had stopped completely come winter, where ours kept on laying.

Here are 2, well actually 3, of the new hens waiting for a nesting box to open up.  If you look carefully behind them in a nesting box, there is a 3rd hen standing over one of our old hens in the same box!  I guess they got anxious or thought they couldn't hold it or something!  I don't know.  Just in case Jack built 3 more boxes on the wall opposite these.  They say 1 box for every 5 hens should be enough but we've noticed a pile up a couple of times so thought maybe a couple more boxes wouldn't hurt.

As I was saying though, you can see these new hens are a little scruffy looking.  Most of their tail feathers are missing and their other feathers are kinda gapped up and well, they just looked scrawny.  I picked one of them up one day and it was scrawny!  Poor little things, I don't think they got fed a whole lot where they were.

Now, this one that I've named Bobbi, for obvious reasons, looks okay.  Smooth, shiny feathers and fairly plump looking.  Just absolutely no sign of any tail feathers.  I don't know what has caused this.

 Our original bunch looks quite healthy I think and they should, considering how spoiled they are!  I have discovered a lot of rural people just don't feed their chicks much or supplement their scratch any.  Now, we don't want to spend a fortune of feed but we do want them to be healthy and happy.  Oh yeah, ol' Runt feels he has to put on the "proud rooster" pose any time I come around with the camera.

We give all our chickens free choice 3-way scratch and the hens get a layer mash if they want it.  Of course, they get to range the yard for bugs and greens.  We also cook a little rice or oatmeal for them on occasion and they get leftover fruits and veggies if we have them.  Jack also goes to the discount bread store for $.50 loaves and they get a handful of bread as a treat now and again.  About twice a week they get a vitamin supplement in their water and a little apple cider vinegar in there too.  Any hen that is molting gets a few bites of cat food to help through this process.  They say the protein helps them get their feathers back sooner.  I don't give them much though.  Just a few bites.  They may occasionally get yogurt or some cottage cheese too.

Since the meat birds don't get out we try to supplement their regular grains with as much greens as I can find.  We went to my mom's the other day and brought back two big sacks of turnip greens for them.  They loved them!  They had already gobbled most of them in this picture. 

They also get the vitamin water, vinegar and cooked rice or oats.

I have to leave tomorrow for work so I don't know when I'll get to post again.  Hopefully it won't be too long.  Those of you who ordered stuff; I fired last night, so barring any catastrophes I haven't seen yet, Jack will be mailing your orders off in the next day or two.  Thanks for being patient! 

And Peg, I received my little hat!!!  I love it!!  thanks so much!  It does get cold here, although you couldn't tell it from this winter, so I'll be wearing it often.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Not The Best Of Times

Hey Everybody.  I'm still here; things just haven't been going as well as I would like lately and therefore I haven't been much in a writing mood.  That's the way it goes though.  Things aren't always sunshine and roses.  Or tomatoes may be a better analogy.
My old company called a few weeks ago and want me to go back to the out of town job to complete that welding.  They finally have all the steel in.  I knew this was probably coming and I did get a month more off than what I thought I would.  I really hate to go out now that it's getting close to planting season but I did get seeds started already and some early lettuces etc. seeded directly in the garden.  I guess I've been a little agitated knowing that I must go back to that work.
I've been a little under the weather the past couple of days too.  A cold or something and been feeling poorly.  The frequent rain is killing me with the arthritis in my foot.
We've also had a longtime issue with a neighbor's son that finally resulted in the police being involved this week.  The neighbors themselves are very nice and well, neighborly, and I hate to have things pushed this far.  I sincerely hope things are settled now and we no longer have a problem.
There's been a few other things that haven't gone well but I think ya'll get the picture!  There has been some beautiful days also.  I'll try to post again before I leave to go back to work.  Hopefully I will be able to work 4-10's and have a 3 day weekend.