Sunday, November 12, 2017


I just finished putting away the load of firewood I ordered. I would have been crippled by back pain trying this a couple years ago. Amazing what a difference losing weight and exercise can make.

Most of the wood was normal looking but a few pieces caught my eye. Isn't the color interesting in these?

We are enjoying some nicer weather again which is very welcome. Sunny and 40s today. Keeping busy!

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Gray Days

This is the sort of day when it's hard to fall out of bed in the morning. When the first sound I hear is the wind moaning and the clouds are turning the daylight gray and grim, it's a chore to leave my warm den of covers and relight the fire that has given up in the night.

Trigger and Loki couldn't wait to rush outside with me to do chores this morning. Funnily enough, they couldn't wait to get back inside as soon as I finished. My cats get restless inside, but love comfort more than adventure in the cold.

The wind chill is 4 F; not even below zero yet, but oh, I'm feeling the winter today.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Winter - Round 1

We were forecast to have a 20% chance for light snow, so naturally we got 3 inches. If this is the trend for the winter we will be snowed in a lot.

The chickens are not pleased and mostly stayed inside where they could complain with dry feet. One of the more annoying reminders of the season is that I have to bring the chickens' water bucket in to thaw out.

The log splitter is in the shop getting repaired and I ordered some more firewood. Here we go!

Thursday, November 2, 2017


The first hint that there was something wrong was when I found Thunder (gray hen) outside the coop after dark. Upon opening the door I discovered the opossum prowling around. This was obviously what ate the chicks and has been cutting into the egg supply lately. We've had this problem before and eventually they start killing chickens.

I am not a brave person and have never shot at a live target before, so I called my dad and begged for help. Lucky for me he was willing and the predator is gone. Sighs of relief all around the flock.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The wind blows...

...And the weather changes. Two days ago it was warm enough to rake leaves without a jacket on and this morning I had to break the ice on the chickens' water and wear a heavy winter coat. At least we avoided the snow that was forecast.

Yesterday I drove up to visit a young friend who has a small flock of chickens. It's fun to see the mixtures of color and appearance that result from my rather random assortment of birds. They already butchered the extra roosters and one of the hens was snatched by a hawk, so it's a quite small bunch left. I could see why she saved the rooster (named Hei Hei) because he is gorgeous. I'll try to post a picture of him if I can get one (forgot to take one myself).

And the sun has gone so it's time for me to go shut up my flock for the night. Goodnight.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Big Updates

This is a post I've been avoiding writing in the misguided hope that if I don't put it out there it isn't real. I got laid off from my job. Twenty years turned into 'bye, we don't need you anymore'. It's hard to face just how much of who I am was tied up in what I did. So, honestly, I'm not dealing with it very well. My exercise and diet have gone out of whack. I might even be just a little grumpier than usual.

Trying to look on the bright side: this type of situation is exactly why getting out of debt is worth the effort. Now I have time to decide what I want to do instead of desperately looking for another crap corporation to work for.

Other stuff...winter is fast approaching. All the roads are heaving dust clouds as the semi-trucks move between fields and grain bins as fast as they can. Even if I felt like cycling, it wouldn't be safe on the roads. The farmer who rents my parents' fields finished harvesting on Saturday. He has us trained to know we have at most two days to glean before he plows them under so I went out Saturday and Sunday to pick up corn. Those bags get heavy when I hauled them back across the fields!

I'm also experimenting with indoor gardening this winter. I set up LED shop lights in the basement. This is how it looks so far:

The kale loves it and I have hopes for the lettuce. I just planted some carrot seeds, more to test their germination rate than in expectation of a harvest because these were saved from carrots my mom let go to seed. 

Anyway, that's how things look currently. I will try to keep posting on a regular basis.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Time Flies

It's been ages since I posted here. Yet life seems to go on much the same: work, chickens, garden, exercise...

This morning I ran two miles on the treadmill - that won't seem like much to most people, but it's a major accomplishment for me. What I'm really enjoying though is cycling. My longest ride was 20 miles.

On the gardening front it continues hot and dry. The lawns are all brown and daily watering is the only thing saving the garden.

I have to admit that I don't miss tilling and hoeing my old ground level garden. It's much easier keeping raised beds weeded and harvesting is more accessible.

In the last picture the pumpkins are spreading out nicely. I plant them for the chickens. I can already imagine the feeding frenzy this fall.