Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of our Family and Friends, we would like to say "Happy Thanksgiving"!
We consider all of you an important part of our lives and wish each and everyone a beautiful day.

May the realization of all your blessings be something that follows you through each and every day of the coming new year. So often we count only tangible things as what are the important things in life. May we all rediscover the intangible gifts and riches we all have.

Pax vobiscum...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thank You, Girl...Now It's Time To Fly


The white chicken on the left has been with us for about 5 years or so. Well, actually all of the chickens in this picture have been with us for a while. I originally had four Pearl/Leghorn egg layers from Murray McMurray Hatchery, but this one was our last, the others succumbing to frailties after relatively short but very productive egg laying careers. They were the first to start laying and lay they did! Big, beautiful jumbo-sized eggs that were the delight of my kitchen.
She was the last of her kind. I had noticed she really didn't come back well after a few months off to molt and R&R before it was time to go to work again. This week saw her beautiful red comb start to shrivel and become dull and grey - a sign of a sick or failing hen. Yesterday I thought she was just cold so I made sure she had the heat from the light towards her when I penned them for the night as well as blocking any breezes that may have hit her by shutting the shutters to that side of the barn.
But this morning she barely moved. Sullen, withdrawn...there was a look in her eyes of giving up. She wasn't interested in food or scratch. I left her in the warming morning sun promising to come back to check on her later. When I did I knew it was time to let her go. She had made it into the barn, propping herself up against the nest boxes as if she knew that's where she really belonged. It was time. I knew I had to ease her way past the pain into another light.
Our friend and cat-vet, Bill, had told me about "The Death Hug" he used to cull chickens. By firmly, but gently pressing on the ribcage and prevent its expansion, it calmly caused a chicken to go peacefully. I tried it and found her to go very gently into another place...one with warm sun, bugs, and large pastures. I knew when she barely shuddered it was a kind thing to do.
People may think it strange that a no-named chicken is held in such esteem here. This girl gave us many, many eggs to feed us and others and gave us hours of entertainment as we watched her and her flock-mates do their "chicken thing" in the pasture.

She served me well and deserved to go with respect for all she had done. Thank you, dear girl. You did well. And I will miss you.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What kind of Autumn am I?




Your Autumn Test Results



You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.



When you are happiest, you are calm. You appreciate tradition and family. You enjoy feeling cozy.



You embrace change. You love change. You see change as a rebirth.



You find love to be the most comforting thing in the world. You feel at peace when you're with your loved ones.



Your ideal day is chill and uneventful. You prefer to kick back and take it easy.



You tend to live in the moment. You enjoy whatever is going on, and you don't obsess over the past or future.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Real Snow

The other day we had our first real snow - one that stuck on the ground for more than ten minutes. The day before, all of the animals here, myself included, were restless and tempermental. Little did I know that my reason for such mind-set was I was coming down with a cold-thing that has seemed to stick around and taken my voice to some other place for hiding.
I did get out to snap a few photos of the "dusting" the trees received. I only wish it had been more in accumulation as we really need the moisture.
Above is an offering to the ewes. They absolutely love pumpkins this time of year. Each day I try to give them a treat of a pumpkin sacrificed to the sheep-gods/goddesses lest I be made to endure the wrath of the ewes for no goodies. No, my sheep are not spoiled.
I love the frosty days of this time of year. It is my most favorite time. I just wish this stupid cold will make a decision to either stay and really have it out with me, or go away. My hope is the latter.
On other notes, I have been experiencing my computer's decline from old age. Geez...I hope this is not a portent of upcoming trends in my life! :) (I plan to go unwillingly and fighting all the way!) I am still able to send and receive emails, but I have started looking at new computers instead of just replacing bits and pieces of this one. While part of me loves new gadgets and electronics, the other part of me knows full well that as soon as I buy a new computer, it will become obsolete. It's just like driving a new car off the lot - immediate devaluation.
The big news and bonus of the week has been finding out that my DD is having a girl next month! I was sitting last night thinking of all the joys (and some pains) mine brought me. No one should ever underestimate the bond between a mother and a daughter. Ours was and is a very strong one. I can only wish the same blessing for my daughter as the blessing she brought into my life.
And no, Kel...I won't over-do the "Pink"-thing that little girls seem to go through. But you have my word that I will, most definitely, over-do the "Sheep"-thing. There may come a day when I'm about 97 that my sheep may just need a new shepherdess. :)