Friday, October 23, 2009

Cozy Day on the Farm

So, we're hunkered down on our first chilly-all-day day on the farm this fall, and I thought I'd give you a completely mundane overview of the happenings at We Don't Know What We Are, But I Can Tell You What We Are Not, And That's Harmony Farms:

  • Last night we had our first fire of the season. It was a controlled burn. In the fireplace. (Sorry, it's fall, which is prescribed fire season in the Forest Service and sometimes I hearken back to those days with some longing....Not necessarily the burning part, just the overall working with people who were dedicated stewards of the land part. Me, I just wrote stories about them and talked to reporters. The guys and gals in the field building trails, mending fences, protecting archaeological sites - those were the real heroes.)
  • Anyway.
  • The return of fires is lovely and it's so cozy this morning to be wearing Adam's sweats, someone else's socks, and to have my feet tucked under me on the couch with the fireplace warming the room. Yum.
  • The duck's eye is back. Anyone want to explain that one? Here's my stab at it. I think those mean ol' turkeys pecked at it so much it receded a little bit, the surrounding tissue swelled and closed up, making it appear the eyeball was gone. Poor little duck. She's twitchy and nervous and both eyes are now showing signs of peckage. She's even more skittish at the moment, but we're hoping to coax her into the hen house this evening, with fingers crossed that the girls will be nicer to her. And, we've been putting some antibiotics in her water in the hope of tackling any infection that might be trying to take hold in and around her poor wounded eyes. Poor sweet neurotic duck. She is still nameless, but no longer one-eyed, so it's doubtless her name will be anything clever. We're accepting suggestions.
  • Tanner and Macy are home, keeping me company. Tanner is on a great protein producing quest (that's euphemistic speak for spilling copious amounts of protein, which we don't like to see but doesn't mean immediate danger to his kidneys, just requires vigilance and an effort to stem the spillage), so we're keeping an eye on him. He's happy as a clam and feeling pretty good, so he doesn't mind hanging out. We're measuring protein and hoping it'll resolve on its own rather than having to add back in those stinkin' steroids that are just so dang invasive and fraught with side effects. (I'm saying words like "fraught" - blech.) Macy isn't doing so hot with this season's approach to asthma control so we're enjoying her sweet if coughing presence while we mix her meds up a bit to see if we can't get her back in the strong oxygen readings category. It'll be well in hand soon, I'm sure. In the mean time, I've taken to calling the schools early in the morning so I catch the answering machine to tell them which Walker child is blowing school off for the day. This practice offers the same kind of relief you get when you get the boss' voicemail when you call in sick - I don't know why I instinctively dread those calls so much. The kiddos have legitimate, doctor documented health issues. Why am I such a pleaser? Good grief.
  • I washed my car last week. Then, I drove it to Mike's work earlier this week so I could cover the clean surface with a nice, thick layer of salt-laden dirt. Then, I looked out the window 2 days ago and saw Gertie the Goat licking the dirt off the car and the wheel well. While this is an inexpensive if time-intensive alternative to the car wash, I think it also is a cue that Gertie's lacking a little something in her diet. We stopped by the Feed & Seed yesterday to pick up her own little Gertie-sized mineral block. She licked it exactly four times, then wandered back over to the car and resumed her hub cap licking. She's all about the chores, that girl. Gotta love her.
  • While at the Feed & Seed I mentioned our non-producing freeloader hens and the wise feed store owner, Karen, who I adore, said it's time to throw 'em in the stew pot. I did not prompt her on that statement, and she's the least homicidal person I know, so I'm feeling a little more like my farming instincts are starting to develop, rather than that I have become a cold-hearted maniacal killer. Thanks, Karen. You unknowingly helped me through a terrible identity crisis with your suggestion of a bubbly pot of chicken and dumplings. Now, I have to learn how to kill and clean a chicken. My resume just keeps growing and growing.

Well, that's about all for now. I'm going to go warm my tootsies by the fire that Tanner's presently stoking. Then I'm going to go do chores. Or, snuggle on the couch with my cheerful wheezy, leaking children and then do chores. We'll see how it all unfolds. We've got time.

Love from the farm,

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