Sunday, June 24, 2018

Broody Hen #2 2018

Well, I noticed a hen staying on her box the last week. I tried pulling her out and tossing her lightly outside, locking her out of the laying area, taking her eggs every day and she continued to sit. I told William to move her to the top boxes and if she stayed there we would give her eggs. I thought this might discourage her if we kept being annoying.

She decided she liked the top left laying box and has stayed there for a few days now. She had 5 eggs under her the last two days but I was a little uncertain about that decision. On one hand, I have plenty of replacement hens growing in my yard and in my chick coop and still in the incubator. On the other hand, last year I wouldn't let a brown hen have chicks and when I finally did she'd been sitting for almost 6 weeks near the end and ended up getting eaten so … I wasn't going to make this girl sit that long.

Today, I went to the barn and collected the eggs and left hers there. When I came back to the house I checked the incubator and got a great idea. I pulled four eggs from the incubator and brought them to the barn - well William did gently. He switched her eggs out and brought her five into the house for me to deal with. Now she can hatch out some eggs as if she's been sitting for only three weeks because these are due next weekend and if they don't hatch I will still have chicks to slip under her when the time comes.

Phew. Crisis averted.

In other news - the pigs keep getting into all the feed and it's making me mad. I even yelled at them yesterday and told them they were bad boys!


They just wagged their tails. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The tougher farm days

Farm update :
Our morning started off with an unrealistic but optimistic idea to move our meat chicks into the big barn so our smaller chicks could have more room.
This did not go as planned.
As we checked the fence to let out the meat chicks for some air and sun, Corey discovered a Rhode Island Red chick had somehow escaped the locked down chick coop. (The pigs are really causing a lot of headaches.) Unfortunately, one of our cats ALSO discovered the RIR chick roaming around and beat Corey to it. This escalated into a frantic family chase for the cat, finally caught by William, although too late. We buried - Spice the chick next to Pepper the chick (a chick that died during hatching).
They are buried in the same box as Corey's peppers are growing.
NEXT, one of the dogs bit Steve (or Wilbur - I still can't tell them apart) Which evolved into ANOTHER family chase to catch the bleeding pig.
The chicks didn't get moved - for another week or two, and I'm still missing a piggy. I don't think it's the injured one either.

Sigh. 


Monday, April 23, 2018

The right people

I deal with anxiety.

Not so much anxiety about situations per sey, mostly health anxiety but I also get self-doubt about parenting. I don't know a lot of parents who don't.

This last year especially, but the year before as well, I've been really blessed by the right people. Whenever I thought I was getting sucked under my overwhelming despair about whatever phase my children were going through, I had support, from the kids teachers and the principal. I could have hugged them. From the parent teacher interviews to being called about incidents or whatever I always left or finished the conversation by being told my kids are good kids and are always making progress and really felt 'in charge'. Even with more recent events and being unable to do much because of surgery I still was able to stay calm and reassured that my children were being supported and loved at school. I knew their strong points were being supported and weaknesses worked on.

Amelie's singing teacher has also been another blessing. Her patience and joy for life and complete understanding of everything we were going through and her generosity with her time and love were appreciated. When she learned I used to play the piano and missed it, she sent home a keyboard for me to play with and we are all upset she is moving away. She will be sorely missed by all of us.

All our friends and family who helped in some way with our renovations - which are mostly complete now - were also there supporting and lending a hand, or tool, whenever necessary. As we neared a deadline and a looming surgery we squeaked under the wire with a complete renovation.

Even my own family and friends who came after my surgery to babysit me ... my kids ... clean my house or even my fridge and remind me to take it easy. Even those who came and slept over and put my kids to bed when I could barely get my own butt in bed. So much love.

I hope that I can spread this love and patience and understanding to others. People have made sacrifices for me in some way whether it be with their time or patience or understanding or compassion, and I have never considered myself that type of person to anyone who wasn't under the age of 5 ;) but when you see and are the recipient of that kind of treatment, it's much easier to repeat it to others!

There's not really a way to say how deeply touched and affected I have been with all this love.

All my love and gratitude guys! YOU made a difference to me, which affected the way I parented and treated others. In a good way. 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Femoral and Umbilical Hernia Surgery - not for wimps

It's been nearly a year since I blogged and I had so much to say about this surgery it wouldn't all fit on my facebook. It also seemed weird to put it there? Anyways.

I was all set for this surgery - back when I thought it would be in December, or January ... and then maybe February but it happened March 20th with a surgeon I met for a TOTAL time of less than 15 minutes.

Luckily, I was one of the very first to have surgery that day so despite being there at 615 am, we were in day surgery fairly quickly after that. We chatted with 3 other couples there for surgery. Well two other couples, a man and a baby - dental surgery. I was brought into a room and told to get completely naked, pee in a cup, and put the new things on. Not in that particular order.

#turnsoutimnotpregnant.

When I was done changing behind the very sketchy curtain I answered some questions, showed them my permanent wire on my teeth and then went to sit with the others. After a quick glance around, I realized ... I was the ONLY one who wasn't given pants. Even the BABY had pants. The baby. Not me. Pantsless. And pantyless. #notcoolguys.

When we got to the OR waiting area, we sat - me and another guy in our separate curtained areas with warm blankets. I listened to everyone around me. I met a fellow (who was actually a girl) who would be assisting in the surgery, a nurse, the anesthesiologist, the other dude's anesthesiologist and saw tons of people. Eventually I saw my surgeon and she drew a smily face on my left  hip. It's still there. It won't wash off. It'll be there forever. She also told me she might not see me before I left because she had a super important surgery after mine but I could wait and she would find me.

Another lady - super high on dilaudin - was chatting about how she's had so many surgeries to the nurse who was trying to get answers out of her. Quote 'why did you give me these drugs ... if you wanted straight answers from me!?'. True. You tell them lady. She was getting a knee replacement.

Sidenote : one of the nurses in day surgery was on her first day back after knee surgery.

Finally I was brought into my OR room #2. I was terrified but my OR nurses were so great. They talked to me and asked personal questions, teased the others. It really helped. They had something called a pause where they talked about the surgery and then they strapped me down, super scary, then started the IV. The anesthesiologist ended up taking over when the nurse couldn't get it in the first time. It took a few more minutes, they gave me some oxygen and started chatting about who wears the pants in the anesthesiologists house etc ... then I got super sleepy and was out.

When I woke up, I was in total freak out mode. I had no idea where I was, what I was there for and why I was in so much pain. You guys. Completely freaked out and one nurse said 'You just had surgery of course your in pain'. Wow. Thanks for that considerate word of encouragement. Eventually I was able to breathe out that I was in a 9/10 for pain and they gave me morphine.

I remember them saying they were going to move me but I hadn't had 15 minutes of oxygen and they said it would continue in day surgery. It did not continue in day surgery by the way. Once in day surgery recovery area I. was. a. mess. I don't remember a ton of details, just one of the nurses - Jessica and a few others saying I was white as the sheet I was wrapped in. I was cold. I was hot. I was shaky. I could hardly breathe. I was exhausted. I don't know the entire order of things that happened after this. I drank juice/water. I had to pee so bad but absolutely could not get up to walk at all. I kept asking how the surgery went, it was my number one concern. I asked in the surgical recovery room too and no one would answer me. In fact, one nurse in the day surgery gave me a lecture about how she wasn't there, she didn't know how it went, she didn't have the answers and the surgeon wasn't coming to talk to me. I cried. Well, except I couldn't cry so it was the ugliest, gasping, stomach clenching sobbing terrified mess you can imagine.

Super terrified. Corey pat my hand and told me it probably was fine. Guess how I took that. Not well. Everyone got silent treatment once I calmed down, until ... a nurse came in and Corey asked HER and she said oh it went very well, if you wait around long enough the surgeon will come down and chat with you, but they hadn't been told of any complications. Like how fucking hard was that you guys. I did a 180, pain started to subside, I agreed to try walking - which was sketchy but successful. Jessica and another nurse helped me. I peed. I freaked out that my legs were pink - turns out it's the antibacterial stuff they use. Thought I had a blood clot. No biggie. #holycrap

After this, I did a lot of resting/sleeping until I started to get steadier and then my surgeon DID come and tell me it went great. I DO have a tiny divet but not enough of a 3rd hernia to warrant surgery but the other two went well. The mesh fell right into place right where she wanted it etc. She told me to expect bruising watch out for infection and no lifting/strenuous anything for at LEAST 2 weeks but closer to 4-6 weeks. Get walking right away.

#no.

It took me until about 130 ish to decide I was ready to go home. I was given a list of instructions and told to sign a paper to promise I wouldn't sign for anything important. Ironic. the nurse that discharged me was so amazing about all the instructions and was very serious about what to lift what not to do and what was good to do. I went home and was in bed and slept/whined a lot.

4 am we ended up making a call to 811 when I was in so much pain and I couldn't stop shaking. At all. I felt so, so, so sick. The nurse on the phone was pretty good at talking Corey through all my symptoms and telling him what to watch for and what to do and what to give me. A dose of dilaudid, gravol and water later I was finally settling down. Dilaudid was my friend for 12 hours until I could switch to Tylenol.

The next day, ended up in the ER for bleeding from an incision, but that's a whole other story. Phew. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Chicken Update

I tried to put this on my facebook as my status but it got to be extremely long, and far too detailed.

I started off with 110 chicks yesterday - 100 meat and 10 Ameraucana (Easter Eggers that lay beautiful colored eggs). Overnight I lost 5. I was very bummed but figured it was my heat lamp configuration. Rearranged it today and when I got home they were still good to go. Between being home and having supper - 3 more died except these babies had bite marks.

My poor babies! :( Oh noes!

Cats. Curse you cats! Plus Julie the cat was moving her kittens up - I can only assume to practice killing on the chicks. I am hoping Henrietta will be able to protect her 10 babies with the other white chicken mamas. I watched her take a huge chunk out of another one of our cats (hilarious).

So what does this all mean? It means at seven o'clock at night we changed our chickens coops.

Enter the usual entertainment.

First we argued about whose idea it was to put the chicks in the small coop first (it was mine by the way) then Hubby said we would move the box. (WTF) It weighs a ton.

Hubby : Can you lift please?
Me making a mediocre effort : I can't
Hubby sighs in annoyance and more arguing about why I can't lift a ton. (shrug)
Hubby : Fine then ... shove.
Me : Are the hens still in there?
Hubby grunting with effort to lift a ton. Me not shoving anymore I'm looking for the hens.

By the way this whole time we are lifting shoving this thing ... there are STILL TWO hens in there. They are hardcore brooders. Hard. Core. I took the eggs out after we decided to tip it. Yes... after. I feel bad about it ... #awkward. So we finally get this thing laying on it's side on a wheelbarrow and a wagon and there is still a hen in there. The brown one got out and got real mad at me. We shove it back into the new space and I toss the brown hen in with the chicks and she is like ... What ... what ... the hell ... what? Completely confused. So I gave her an egg and she just sat on it and protected it and it kept her happy for a while.

Whatever chicken. The other one is still in her box and she's mad but not budging. Fine. I gave her back her eggs and some new, fresh bedding. Then I went and prepped the baby coop for the babies. I'm real glad I had taken out the worst of it a couple weeks ago because I only needed to scoop out a couple more and then I put fresh bedding, while Hubby put up the heat lamps. Then I set up the water and got the chicks. In their new home they seem to like it much better but it's real hot in there. I hope they don't die from heat exhaustion. I might turn off a lamp during the day? Yikes. I don't know! LOL It's WAY easier when a mama hen raises them.

Then I locked the door and 30 chickens and a rooster are staring at me. Terrifying. I try to cajole them to the other barn. Corey tries to cajole them. Finally we end up having to catch each one - probably  missed a few and tossing them in there. I locked the door but I already know they can get out. There is a divider between them and Henrietta/babies and another divider between them and the brown hardcore brooder, since she sat on some eggs there and isn't budging.

I have no idea what's going to happen now. Chaos probably. Luckily Henrietta's babies will be able to go with the other chicks once the other chicks are bigger and Henrietta allows them to.

I'm tired. That was exhausting. Chicks better not die tonight. Hopefully the rooster and Henrietta can guard the others and nobody gets eaten outside.

Corey talked about adding on to my barn but I have a way better idea for next year. Way. Better. ;)



Friday, July 15, 2016

Training Sugar

Some things I learned about my first day getting back to working with the horses.



I need more supplies than a lead shank, pink whip and a dog brush that I found outside, and I should also bring all supplies at the same time to save from going back and forth.


I also learned that even though my horses haven't been worked in YEARS, they are still in better shape than I am.

We need to do something about the quicksand mud hole in front of the horse shelter. ASAP so I don't drown there.

It's really hard to get on a horse without a saddle ... or bridle, or halter .... a rock would have helped.

It was really rewarding when I was able to lead her out of the round pen and to the field, in the MIDDLE and she didn't leave until I pat her neck and told her to go.



I'm 100% sure she will NEVER do that again hahahaha!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New hatch!

I recently hatched out 14 chicks. After my last attempt, I wanted to try again and get better at it, but I really didn't need a ton more chicks (Hello I have 73 chicks.) I found someone who wanted to buy some chicks so I made a deal and started incubating 30 eggs. That's right. 30. I figured ... if I didn't do well, I should get at least a few.

By day 14, I culled 2 that didn't grow properly.

By Day 20 I had 2 chicks born already! And it was the same weekend as Amelie's First communion/confirmation so ... that's right ... lol, super busy.

New babies! Born June 18-19th
Lucky  far left back - the tiniest chick I've ever seen. It hatched upside down - it was ... a breech baby. HAHA

Seriously, awesome coloring on this one

All the babies on their last night here.
73 chicks They are now separated into 2 groups. Meat chicks and Laying chicks.
Out of the 28 left, 14 were born. 1 leghorn/barred rock and 13 barred rock. One of them was born
with it's 'intestines' hanging out so I thought .... darn. But it turns out it wasn't it's intestines. It was the yolk sac. This chick is SO TINY and adorable, but super, super annoying. I still don't know if it'll live long enough to be productive but it has already surpassed my expectations so off it goes with it's siblings to a new home!



I also ordered some leg bands so I can put some on the chickens to tell them apart, like Henrietta, Little Peep etc ... you know the 'special' ones.

I can't wait until next year to hatch more eggs!!