Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chicken Anarchy

In 11 years of doing this farming thing (Gawd, has it been THAT long??) we have bought chickens, mail-ordered chickens, traded chickens, incubated chicken eggs, rescued chickens, and even sold a few...but we have never actually hatched our own.  Like from scratch....with a hen doing the actual work, and no human involvement.  Until now....
Into the Void, which is an apt description of a farm gone wild with practically no rules, structure, consistency or order (due to a medical disruption of my Former Life on a large scale when my husband almost died from Lyme, a stroke and other nasty complications) this hen decided to drop a chick.

I can honestly say I have NO idea where she brooded this little thing, but she managed to stay hidden for 21 days (not too hard given my almost constant state of harried frenzy and general lack of attention to detail) AND managed to stay away from predators (more impressive given our proximity to several fox dens and the new hazard of ranging coyotes that have crossed our property more than once this summer...) AND managed to totally ignore all the rules that said something like, "Do NOT make more work for the Lady" "Do NOT add more chores to Her list" "Do NOT grow the farm in any way since it's too much already for Her sanity" and so on, and so on...

And yet.....here he/she is.  A Buff Cochin chicklet.  Sex TBD.  No rules.....No. Rules. It's Chicken Anarchy.

Monday, June 02, 2014

New Staff

Let me introduce the biggest addition to the farm....Zeva.

(The nut featured two posts ago...)



The decision to add another mouth/chore/critter to the farm was pretty easy after seeing that face....but really, it was about ticks.

You see, DH's NDE (Near Death Experience) was triggered by a tick bite in May '13.  Left inadequately treated, it led to a stroke, encephalitis and the NDE....amongst other things).  Anyhoo......

Ticks...eaten by Guinea Hens.  Guinea Hens...eaten by foxes.  Foxes...deterred (if not eaten) by large canine.  Canine...available by barter from a neighbor farmer, and, well, I love to barter. Viola!

She is a Maremma. So far....she hasn't eaten anybody (including chickens!) but we've had no losses to predators...so we're ahead of the game!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Seems like a good way to start...

Leave it to Susan (who got it from Carolyn) to come up with the perfect way to cover a lot of ground and keep me busy (er) ....and I pretty much do anything she tells me/suggests/wants ..... so, here goes a month of blog postings...


...and in the spirit of the quotation....we'll see what seeds we can plant!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jumping back in ....

There was no easy way to dive back in the conversation....other than to just do it.  So.....we are back.  Everyone is alive.  Life is not pretty....but, like Zeva.....I'm looking for a playmate (or 2..)







OK, maybe not that desperate....I draw the line at sniffing butts.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Occupational Therapy

This was one of those things I never quite got the gist of....Bill had it every day while he was in rehab, and even some days when he was in the ICU, and it covered everything from brushing teeth to putting wooden pegs in their holes...but here on the farm, we have our own version:

We had a bumper crop of apples this year, so it's apple cider, applesauce, apple jam, apple bread....you get the idea....

Bill is working his fine motor coordination by feeding the apples into the press while I crank.  You can see how much weight he has lost (almost 60 pounds! but here he has gained back about 15) when you compare to his pic several posts ago...

He was happy to be contributing to the flow of things around here, and his cider was part of tonight's dinner, so this is what WE consider occupational therapy....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What happens when YOU dial 911?

Many of us live where we live SPECIFICALLY to get away from people/noise/traffic/stress (fill in the blank).  But there's nothing like an emergency to make you instantly wish you lived right next door to the fire department/ambulance/emergency room....(you get the idea)...

We live in  Petersburgh, NY.  Pretty much right where New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts come together.  It's a wee little town with somewhere around 5,000 people and not a hell of a lot more.  We live 3 miles from the garage of the Petersburgh Volunteer Ambulance.  We live 14 miles from the garage of the Bennington Rescue Squad.  When the neighbor dialed 9-1-1, it took 18 minutes for the Rescue Squad, and 20 minutes for the Ambulance.  All of which seemed like an ETERNITY as I was huddled there on the lawn, cradling my husband and trying to keep him calm and warm.

If you don't know already, then it's time to figure out for yourself - how long does it take for help to arrive? 

Not only ambulance, but fire and police as well.

Who responds?  State police or locals?  Fire volunteers or municipal firefighters? Do you live near a hydrant, or will they use a pond?  Is your house # clearly displayed? If it is nighttime, do you have adequate lighting?  Do your personal cars block access to your property or house? 

In a former life, I trained social workers who do field work with the mentally ill, and I ran them through these same questions.  I stressed these points over and over, and still was caught off guard when it happened to me.

And here's the really important one:

What do you do while you are waiting?

Seriously.  Do you need a safe place to wait?  Do you have access to a phone?  Do you need to lock up, move cars, secure animals, gather anything? Are there kids that need to be comforted/ occupied/ supervised?

Run a drill, people...run a drill.  It will be the best 15 mental minutes ever used.  Stop for a minute and ask yourself: 

What happens when I dial 9-1-1?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What happened???

If there actually is anybody who was wondering, it's a very long story.  Which I will tell you, but it will take some time.  I'll try not to make the telling as excruciating as the actual living through it...

On August 10th, my husband had a stroke.  In an instant, my whole world as I knew it disappeared.   Everything went frighteningly liquid; no firm ground, no thing to hold on to, no plan, no future, no nothing but the very panicky present moment...

And probably the only reason I can write this post, is that he is finally coming home.  Tomorrow.  After an unbelievable saga, practically everything but pregnancy (or at least it felt like it), mistakes, incompetence, horrible stories (and a few funny ones), and some amazing friends who helped us through it....

On the 77th day since it happened, my sweetheart gets to come home.  The place is a mess; the farm went to pot, the bathroom is not totally finished, but I just don't care.  He's coming home - we'll just start from there.