Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Winter weather - the pretty kind

I hurried to take pictures of the frost and it stayed all day.







Monday, December 12, 2016

Birdbrain

We're in another cold snap here; the lows tonight are expected to be at least -6F. It was well after dark when I got home from work and when I went out to shut up the chicken coop I found a buff cochin hen sitting outside. She had got the idea to spend the night in the small, old coop and went into stubborn mode when she found the door shut. I scooped her up and put her on a roost with the other chickens so she's safely tucked in.

These are the type of dramas I like; where nobody gets hurt and the problems are easily solved.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Hello, Winter

Yesterday I dug up the gladiolas; the wind was chilly, but everything was still green.


Now they are hanging out in the basement with the plants I brought in before the first frost.


And today we have:



The footprints are from my venturing onto the deck to measure the snow depth on the table...11"!

The chickens haven't gone outside at all today. I can't really blame them; I had to change into dry pants every time I did.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Boarders

These are the hens I hatched out in my incubator last spring and that have been living on my parents' farm all summer. This week all nine of them moved into my big coop with my flock for the winter. So far they are keeping to themselves, but I expect them to integrate with the others eventually. At least there is plenty of space in my pen.



The cat stayed behind. :)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mid-life Crisis?

It was a beautiful weekend which gave me a chance to enjoy my new toy before winter shuts it down.

Fueling up

Ready to roll

Zoom!
 It's a 2016 Zero SR + Power Tank. It goes like the wind and is silent! I am loving every minute on it, even with the bug splatter on my helmet.

Thriving

My lovelies.






Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I wrote a book!


So, I spent a year writing this in my spare time. The really painful part was cleaning it up and into the right format to publish, but it's done and out there. I'll be honest; I wrote it for fun and did not hire an editor. My son describes it as 'prepper romance' which is about right. Even in my family the feedback is mixed, but it's good enough for me to begin on the sequel.

My thanks to Marek Larwood (one of my favorite comedians) for being the first person in the UK to buy a copy. Check out his videos here: vlog.

Something Begins is available as an ebook for Kindle and Nook. It can also be ordered in paperback on Amazon (the ebook is definitely less expensive). If you do read it, I'd love to hear your opinion.

Friday, August 12, 2016

August

Hooray! Rain! Such a delight to see the rain barrels full again and all the plants happy.

This morning I've been picking chokeberries. These will be frozen and used by my parents for smoothies all winter.

The young cochins are growing well.

And, while the garden won't be epic due to the late start, it's filling in nicely.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Gardening 2016

Made a major change in the garden arrangement this year. The process set back my planting drastically, but hopefully will be worth it in future years. I built raised garden beds to alleviate back pain.




I'm leaving the corner posts tall in case I want to go higher in the future, but already...what a difference! So much easier to tend.

Lovely rain this morning. Even makes the ensuing humidity worth it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Growing like weeds

The mail-order chicks are doing good. Not the brightest creatures; some of them can't figure out how to get back into their coop, but healthy and cute.



Saturday, May 7, 2016

When authors lose it - a rant

We've all seen it happen: a favorite author suddenly takes a nosedive in quality. Is it just a factor of aging? Are they burnt out? Under extreme pressure to keep producing? No matter the reason, the stench of a bad book can change the flavor of everything they've written before.

One British mystery author had a fascinating series then went off on an extreme tangent and spent an entire novel shrieking about the evil of a medication for hot flashes. Definitely a 'huh?' moment for her fans. I've never gone back.

Another long-time cozy mystery writer completely changed her style of writing. I'm still convinced they brought in a ghostwriter for that one.

What brought up the subject? Lois McMaster Bujold. Brilliant author. Books that made me laugh, cry and cheer. My all time favorite book is her Shards of Honor. In all honesty, she never hid the fact that she was tired of that series. What she really wanted to do was write Fantasy, not Sci-Fi. And she did, occasionally producing one of the first series to placate her fans, she wrote the books she wanted. And I bought them. I didn't enjoy them as much as the others, but I prefer Sci-Fi.

In 2012, she released another from the original series and there was something off about it. The character didn't seem to match and the whole thing felt weak and disappointing. To put it into perspective, I've read all the others many, many times; but this one I've never picked up again.

So, when she published another this year, I held off. Judging from the reviews, it was the right decision. She took the original characters from 30 years ago, people who have played more of a supporting role ever since, and twisted them around; completely changing them and losing the humor and any semblance of a plot along the way.

Now, if the author had been developing these characters through the last three decades, putting out an occasional novel focusing on them and having their personalities change along the way, that would have been one thing. Or if she just wanted to pound in some social commentary, she had an entire universe to work with; she could have created any number of new characters.

Honestly, it feels vindictive. As if she's lashing out at the public for not embracing her Fantasy books and asking for more of something she no longer enjoys. Well, I'm asking her to STOP writing. As far as I'm concerned, the series ended in 2010 with the last decent book. I'm even tempted to say it really ended in 2000 with the last incredible book.

End rant.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A new generation

It's that time of year again...chicks! I wanted to introduce some new bloodlines so bought some mail-order chicks. 8 buff cochins, 3 black cochins and 5 black langshans plus one mystery chick. I kept them inside for the first week then had to move them out to the old coop because my incubator eggs began hatching.





They're a bit shy and are taking full advantage of the extra room to hide. One arrived with a splayed out leg and I'm happy to report that after using the rubber band/straw method to fix it for a day, I can no longer tell which one it was. A full recovery.



These are the first incubator hatchlings. Twenty healthy, one with closed eyes (which I can't find a treatment for) and one with crooked toes. I've got the foot in a bandaid cast and am hopeful that takes care of the problem.