Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 19 Update

I apologize for the tone of yesterday's post.  I've been struggling, and it's hard to write about uplifting or funny things when I'm that way.  Usually I just don't write at all.

I referred to almost killing the goslings and poults - Hubby was tired of having the geese splash dirty water on his motorcycles, so they had to be removed from the garage.  Wait, when did I update last?  Did I mention we had geese?  I'd ordered them, but they came suddenly last Tuesday.  They were put into a small rabbit hutch-type pen and set over our wimpy wheelbarrow.  We have 3.  We also ordered six turkey poults (white this time), and they came as well.  They were put in a small, round, galvanized trough thing (in which we boil water and scald them, eventually).  One died before the next morning; I think it failed to learn how to eat and drink.  I tried to teach it, I really did.  They were all slow learners, though.  I wonder if white are dumber than bronze...?

So anyways, the garage just wasn't working.  We can't feed the cats on the porch, because the chickens go up there and eat their food, so we were letting them come into the garage at times to eat.  That obviously wouldn't work with cute little turkeys living there.  Too, having the door open at all is a bad move in daylight hours - we've kept feed (in addition to cat feed) in there, and the chickens - all of them - have learned about this.  They will flock inside the garage, leaving the floor in a condition that seriously displeases Hubby.  Ahem.

While Hubby worked ALL DAY Saturday on service calls, the girls and I burned ourselves out making a very fine "shelter" for the Meat Mutants in the garden are (I prefer their 'fertilizer' to be put to good use next year, and this way I won't have to shovel it).  I'll have to take a picture, though:  Their 'shelter' is the floorless pen covered in chicken wire, with the truck canopy leaning up against it, to provide shade and shelter from The Hawk.  At least I hope it does.  Their entire pen consists of garden fence (reinforced with chicken wire) along one side, and poultry netting (not electrified, currently) to make a semicircle.  Sunday, Hubby removed the truck bedliner that was in the greenhouse-style hoophouse and *cough, gag, choke* cleaned and hosed it out.  We put in fresh shavings, and the seven little turkeys moved in.  Seven?  Yes, while in town on Thursday we bought 2 more.  Six is just right for our yearly needs, and one more just in case...  These had lived 2 days at the farm store, so I was pretty sure they knew how to eat and drink.  The goslings are still in their little rabbit cage, but on the ground alongside the truck bedliner (still inside the hoophouse).  We covered it with a tarp to provide some shade, but it still definitely has the 'greenhouse effect' and they don't need heat lamps at high noon, for pity's sake!  (That's a reminder for myself)  Maybe I should get a plug-in timer thingy...

We've lost no Mutants since I sprayed them with antiseptic or Benadryl.  This makes me glad.

My lettuce is SLOWLY growing.  The biggest 'bunch' is about an inch across.  I have some lovely reds out there, and I can't wait for them to grow bigger.  Which they might not do if this heat keeps up.  The potatoes are sprouting pretty well, and anything green in those boxes makes me happy, so...

Our disastrous greenhouse run yielded some herbs - chives, sage, thyme, which as of this writing haven't been planted out yet.  I'm not sure they can handle it.  Keeping them alive in the hous e is a challenge too, though, when there's not much dirt to hold water for their roots.  I wanted four peppers (four square feet, you know) for Hubby, and got a Big Bertha (large bell pepper), a Chocolate Beauty (bell pepper), and a 4-pack of Garden Salsa (mildly hot chile) and a 4-pack of Sweet Cherry (sweet little round pepper).  If he can get and keep the rototiller running, I'll plant the extra peppers  with the tomatoes.  Of tomatoes I got 4-packs of Old German (stripey looking thing, orangey), and some Beefy-kind (2 sets) - though they were the last of the larger plants and I'm not sure they are what they say, and not the sturdiest things, either.  Especially after I smashed them with the stroller.  I did take a couple busted-off plants and stuck them in a cup of water... perhaps they'll root?  I got 2 tiny cucumber plants, and 2 tiny yellow zucchini plants.

I started several pots of pumpkins which are all getting their secondary leaves now, and a few pots of basil.  Some unknown household member plucked the leaves off several plants, but there are still some left.  I've also started cilantro, and two pots have sprouts.

I have seed potatoes still, and great plans to plant potatoes in a bag.  Or several bags.  I'd like to get a truckload of compost to help that endeavor - which costs the same as about 5 bags of such - but have no trailer hitch on the van, and the camry isn't licensed anymore.  Hubby's truck is full of stuff for the dump, so I'm stumped.  It's a trip to the far side of Town (the closer place is closed weekends) for it, and even if their front end loader-scoop could fit inside my van door, I don't think I'd choose that method of transport... (but you were wondering, weren't you?).

Pregnancy-wise, all is mostly fine.  I had an appointment last Friday, around the 28-week mark, and decided the midwife's scale is really a Minion of Darkness and Hates me.  The feeling IS mutual, though.  Let's just say that I'm within a pound of a REALLY BIG NUMBER - which I never even hit when pregnant with Organique, and only barely topped at full-term with Big Sister.  For the life of me I can't remember what it was with Little Artist.  I'm supposed to "walk" and "exercise" and "stop eating so many flippin' carbs."  To which I say, "and when am I supposed to find time for that?" (well, okay, I can find time to stop eating pancakes and french toast and such).  I can't keep the house in order (but I was for a while!  I forgot to update that time, though...), can't keep the family fed decently, can BARELY keep the critters alive, and you want me to exercise?  *sigh*  Also, my urine showed traces of blood and leukocytes (white blood cells) indicating a possible bladder infection.  Which surprised me, because I've had those before, and know what they're like.  She said they're often 'asymptomatic during pregnancy.'  I told her those were my favorite kind.  But, I'm swigging cranberry juice a few times a day.  No, JUST cranberry juice.  It's not very nice, really.  Definitely tolerable, and even better than my old remedy of swigging cider vinegar, but it's not within the scope of "refreshing" or "Cran-Apple" or "sit back and relax with a glass of ____", certainly.  She gave me some cool pee-tester strips to use in a week or so.  Fun.

I think that about wraps it up.  I ordered some rubber fingers to build one of these, and I hope and pray it gets done before the Mutants need freezer time (and that's looking like very soon).


Rachel Le said...

Well it sounds you me that you "exercise" plenty!

My garden is starting to come up too :) Exciting!

I had some kind of infection at my first prenatal appointment, and I didn't have any symptoms either.

That chicken plucker thing is SO COOL! Looks easy to make too- hope it works for you!!

sariah said...

That chicken plucker do-hickey is one wild contraption!! Does it "tenderize" the meat too?!? Looks very, very handy.

So I'm starting to see what people mean when they say ducks are "messy". I never knew quite knew what they meant- it's not as if they have toys or a kitchen to keep clean. Oh, but NOW I see! They eat messy, drink messy and poop messy!! Is that why you've never seemed particularly fond of Aflac? Joel thinks the ducks are the coolest thing and wants to let them free range. But does Aflac eat your flowers or veggies or poop on your porch? I'm thinking I want to make them a permanent pen.....

EllaJac said...

Sariah, I don't know about tenderizing the chickens, but these things are still pre-teen, so they don't get too tough anyway. :)

Yeah, "ducks are gross" is my phrase used most often about Aflac. Ducks WILL eat small greens; I don't know if they'd go after a well-established garden or not. They DO eat bugs and such, which is good (slugs if you live in WA), and yes, they'll poop on your porch if they have reason to go up there (our reasons have been: cat food to scarf down, wading pool put up there for the girls, etc). Keep in mind that a permanent pen will be a "permanent" mess, so it's a choice between some mess everywhere, and all the mess somewhere, I suppose.

Or duck l'orange..?

annie said...

Oh man is right.......You don't need to apologize for the post the other day. I am right there with you. Our days generally begin at 430 when my husband is at work (whhyy do the children sleep until 630 when he's off but get up before dawn when he leaves for work at 3???) and by 830 I'm ready to hide in a corner somewhere and cry because it's been nonstop nursing and crying and fussing and demanding and pottying and changing and cooking and refusing and action and busyness and mess for four hours straight.

The heat is terrible. So is the rain when you only get one week out of the year to pick blueberries and it rains non-stop all week long. At least it gives us some relief from the heat. I'll be crying for this rain come July. It's just frustrating now.

There is a purpose to all this. I'm sure it's meant to grow us in many areas. If anything, it makes us thankful when the day is done and we are reminded that this does not last forever.

I don't know anything about birds or ducks or Mutants, but you're not doing a good job convincing me I need to break county rules and secretly house some chickens in my back yard. :)

Our lettuce grows slowly, too, if at all. I didn't think it could be from the heat. That makes sense. Maybe we'll have to do lettuce in a pot indoors. I don't recommend loading compost into your van. That's grosser than duck poop. :)

You exercise plenty. Carbs might be a problem, but I can't give them up either. I'm TWENTY POUNDS more than I was after I gave birth to my daughter. TWENTY. I'm having a hard time not freaking out about that number, and yet I can't refuse the bowl of ice cream or popcorn my husband hands me every night after the kids are finally asleep and I can stare into space for awhile. I don't think all my sit-down time is helping either.

I like cranberry juice, but my urine showed traces of leukocytes, too, around that mark and again for the last four weeks of pregnancy. My midwife said it was common during those times and not to get too worried about it. But ugh cider vinegar. You are so much braver, stronger, courageous, and willing to try icky but potentially helpful and good things than I. I admire you.

How are you 28 weeks already? I feel like I'm stuck in a time warp.