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I talked my awesome, loving, handsome hubby into watching the kids so I could drive down and park in front of the library for some online time, and boy did I get a surprise when I logged on! It turns out that Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has a blog, and on that is a randomly generated list of links to other blogs. Mine is one of the random blogs featured! That was exciting to see. Yeah, I know, it’s random, but it’s still super cool. I LOVE that company, and will promote them as much as I can. The seeds they sent us are turning out to be very high quality. Here I was thinking that we’d have maybe a 50-60% germination rate for the tomatoes, but it ended up being about 90%. We’ll be swimming in tomatoes this year. I felt so horrible pinching out the extra seedlings to leave one in each cell. My husband laughed at me and told me to replant them in some new flats, but who on earth would be able to use nearly 200 tomato plants?! As it is, we’ll likely be selling off many of the seedlings to work buddies and friends. The kicker is that even with all of those seedlings, we still have more than enough seeds to last us through next year.

Anyway, that wasn’t really what I intended to write about today, but I got a little excited. Today we received a big box full of bee suits. We even got one for our 3 year old. He was so thrilled that he tried it on before we even got all of the tags and stuff off. This is one instance when I wish I could post a picture, because he was so adorable in his little bee suit. After my husband took a picture of him, he put his arms up and started flapping. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “Now I have a bee suit, so I can fly!” Haha! Kids are so much fun.

I also wanted to post an update to the story of our hurt chick. Of course, I hadn’t even posted the first story until just now, so scroll down to see what you missed. We put the cone on, which helped the chick calm down and get some rest, but then I ended up cutting the cone off because she figured out how to get around it anyway. I kept her separate from the other chicks until late today, when she decided she wanted to go back all on her own by jumping out of her box. She landed on the screened top of the big box and looked a bit frantic to get back to her pals, so I let her in.

I didn’t get to post a picture of her in the last one because I had trouble with it transfering from Word, so here it is. Goofy, huh? Poor thing!

She seems to be fine now. I’ve noticed that one other chick is missing some of her tailfeathers. I’m guessing it’s just a curiosity thing with the chicks. Or maybe it’s the pecking order being established. Whatever it was they seem to be leaving her alone now. I never put any Vaseline or hydrogen peroxide on the broken feather. It just stopped bleeding on it’s own once the chick fell asleep and left it alone.

Speaking of feathers, I am starting to get a bit fed up with the chicks being in the kitchen. We have them in a huge box right near the oven, and every time I am cooking the silly biddies get all worked up and start trying to fly out to see what’s going on. That kicks up all of the loose fluff and feathers that they have lost that litter the bottom of their box. I’m starting to find chick fluff on the counters and stovetop. When I cook I have to make sure to have lids on everything so a stray piece of fluff doesn’t end up in the food. It’s starting to gross me out. I’m thinking 4 weeks will be all the longer we’ll keep them in the kitchen. If it’s possible, I’d like to get them out to the coop, but we’ll see what the weather does. It makes me nervous putting them out there when they still don’t have all of their adult feathers. Of course, we have a few heat lamps, but I am a natural worrier. Spring just can’t come fast enough for me.

On a final note, I would like to remind those of you who know me personally to refrain from using any personal details like names, locations, and schools if you comment anywhere on my blog. I’d really like to keep my privacy. I know there are ways of finding out all that information if you know how to use search engines and whatnot, but I’d much rather make it a challenge by avoiding listing it on my blog. Thanks!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

We had a wonderful time last night, thanks to Grandma and Grandpa. They took the kids, despite the horrible driving weather, and freed up my husband and me for a date night. We went out to a very nice restaurant that we would never attempt to go to with the kids, and then we browsed a book store. It may sound boring to some, but we are huge fans of books. I’d compare my love of books to a chocaholics love of chocolate. When I see a bookstore, I automatically turn to go in it. I love walking down the sundry aisles looking at all of the different titles. I enjoy perusing through all of the different authors names, reading the dust jackets for a quick description of the book, and feeling the different textures of the book covers as I run my hand down the row. I loved having the time last night to actually plop down in the middle of the aisle with whatever book my hand happened upon to flip through the pages and read small excerpts. It was great to be able to pick up a book with lots of beautiful pictures and actually be able to study the pictures in detail before replacing the book on the shelf. With the kids, I’m lucky if I even get to read a title in passing, and I usually forget about it as soon as it’s out of sight because the kids? They don’t like stopping in a boring book store when there’s so much room to run around and explore, so many things to knock off of shelves, and so many ways to make Mama’s heart falter and nerves twitch.

If we were rich, I imagine we would have an entire room dedicated to books. We would have an entire section dedicated to Sci-Fi and Fantasy, as I think that is our favorite genre out of them all. Then we would have a corner especially for children’s books, with a comfy place to sit and a soft rug to lay on. The rest of the room would be dedicated to books on gardening, woodworking, house building, stone-laying, food preservation, recipes, US history, biographies of influential people in history, livestock and bee keeping, composting, knitting and sewing, art and museums, animals from around the world, genetics, robotics, firearms, atheism, alternative energy, quilting, decorating, and so much more! I love books, and I hope to pass that enthusiasm onto our children. Books open up new worlds, unlock interesting and useful knowledge, and provide adventure even on the gloomiest of gloomy days. I suppose if we were rich, we would also be sure to provide books for the less privileged children of the community as well. Everyone should have the chance to escape in a book, no matter their background.

Right now I am rereading the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini. I have just finished the first book, Eragon, and am impatiently waiting for the next, Eldest, to come in to our library through the inter-library loan system. I’m also reading through a book of vegetable recipes, copying down new and tasty-sounding ones for this summer’s fresh produce. If I had to pick a favorite book I don’t know what it would be. Sometimes it’s the Lord of the Ring series. Sometimes it’s something by Jane Austen. At others, it’s my book of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley. And, of course, the newly popular Twilight series. Who wouldn’t swoon over a book with a character like Edward Cullen? Some other authors I adore are Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, Orson Scott Card, Piers Anthony, and J.K. Rowling. If I were to list all of the ones I enjoy reading, this would become a very tiresome and tedious blog entry. Suffice it to say, I love to read.

What’s your favorite book?


Sunday, February 28, 2010

We are sitting here watching the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics, and it’s really nice to see all of the athletes getting together and having a good time. Earlier, we watched the hockey game where the US lost to Canada. I was quite upset at the end of that. No, not because the US team lost, but because the US team won. They won the Silver. But by the way they reacted after the final goal was scored, you’d think someone had died. No smiles. No patting each other on the back or turning to their coach or teammates to tell them what a great job they did. I’ve seen happier funerals.

Why is it that so many people are disappointed by being just shy of the best? Why can’t we accept less than perfection as just fine? I guess I really don’t have a lot more to say without sounding like I’m throwing a tantrum. Good job, team USA. Really. Silver is amazing, and your fellow citizens are very proud of everything you accomplished.

Of course, hockey wasn’t the only event that the US did well in, and I’d just like to say that I am very impressed with the talent that showed through. Go, USA!

On another note, we had a bit of a situation with the chicks this morning. One of the buffs had a broken tail feather that was bleeding quite profusely. Not only were the other chicks picking on her, but she kept trying to preen the broken feather ends and getting blood all over her beak and wing feathers. I had no idea what to do about the bleeding, but I knew we had to get her out of the range of the other chicks’ beaks. I put her in a separate box with her own food, water, and heat lamp. Then I called the local vet, whose voice mail gave me the number for the MSU emergency vet line. After telling the woman who answered my problem, she said, “A chicken? Oh, I don’t know if anyone here knows anything about chickens.” Seriously?! A chicken is a bird. Just a bird. They finally found a guy, and although he sounded kind of unsure of himself, he recommended bandaging the bleeding area then putting a cone around the neck of the hurt bird so she couldn’t peck at herself. Brilliant. How on earth am I supposed to bandage a bleeding tail feather on a bird no bigger than my fist? On a very active, wriggly, fidgeting, peck-crazy bird who poops every ten seconds? Yeah, I didn’t even attempt to bandage her, but I did clean it up as best I could with a warm washrag. Now for the funny part. I did the cone. Yep, this poor little chicky had a cone around her head.

At first she was miserable. She lost all sense of balance, kept running into the walls of the box, tried kicking and wiggling it off. Eventually she gave up on removing it and just laid down to go to sleep. But, being the fussy, overprotective mama I am, I made her drink a few cc’s of sugar water through a medicine dropper since she couldn’t fit her cone into the waterer. Oh, the poor thing! She looked so silly. Well, after a good little nap, the blood had stopped flowing, so I cut the cone off to let her eat, drink, and preen. She seems to be doing better, but I’m still going to keep her separate for the next day or two. I’d like to see her all cleaned up and blood-free before I put her back into the fray with the other chicks.

That’s all for now. Toodles!

March 2010

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