Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cranes, ducks, and other home tid bits.

I love living here. Today as I was moving the babies from their brooder in the garage to their protected enclosure in the big duck yard and I heard a huge ruckus in the air above me. I looked up and saw 6 Sand Hill cranes sailing through the air above to their nesting grounds. It was perfect peace, for just a moment, as they flew out of sight. This is just one more reason I need to keep a camera with me at all times.

The little duckies are feathering out in the silliest of places at the moment, they look very silly. Meanwhile the adults are going into their after mating season molt and they all look a bit disheveled. All but our little brown and white hen, Jerry (named for Jerry of "Tom and Jerry" fame), she still looks pristine as always. Ham 'n' Cheese, our drake, has been looking a bit worse for wear for a few weeks now. Big Boss, our leader ,who is a hen, I love this duck breed for adopting a matriarchy, is starting to be a bit more ruffled than not. And Speckle, she lays grey speckily eggs, is looking a bit tattered as well. They will all be back to their meticulous beautiful feathers in a month or so. But for now they all look rode hard and put away wet. The babies, all 16 of them, do not yet have names. They do they are just all referred to as Lunch or Dinner at this time, except for Dopey, that littlest duck was a bit of a slow started and is still super undersized. It would probably be up for the chopping block except for the fact we kinda like it and its marking are beautiful. We shall see what becomes of Dopey in a few weeks. The names Lunch and Dinner are simply to try to separate us from our potential food. It will potentially be difficult because most of them are very lovable and we cannot keep them all. I am so happy we decided to get them.

The grown duck, I am sure, are just as pleased. I am as positive as I can be that they are happy to not be living with the guineas and chickens any more. At their first home they were in a general poultry pen with all manner of fowl and no swimmable water source. Here they have 3 pools, and will have access to the pond when we can extend the fence to keep them safely, and a large pasture to nibble and waddle about. Yes, I can say I am sure they are happier here as their playful attitudes show constantly.

I can sit and watch them for hours, and I do in loo of sewing and housework, which I need to get to. Projects will be tackled tomorrow, if the rain we are supposed to get in fact arrives, hopefully with photos to confirm my diligence. Though I might watch them play in the rain because that is always captivating too.

On a totally not peaceful front, Grandma came today, she brought gifts, one of which was a new harmonica for the Big boy. I am not against musical instruments, far from it, but his old harmonica was smashed for a reason. We didn't smash it but we didn't stop HIM from smashing it either. We have a tambourine, kazoo, drums, xylophones, baby guitars, maracas, and endless other percussion instruments, we LOVE music, but that damn harmonica. She meant well, totally the best of intentions, but wow I really hate that harmonica. But we are keeping it and happily enduring the attempt at musicianship because the Big boy loves it. Maybe we need to schedule "music time" least till after I have my morning pot of coffee.

More about the Big boy, what a big boy he is. We signed him up for pre-school this week. He is super stoked, I am terrified. The idea of him being in the care of other adults and in a room full of other kids that I know nothing about is daunting for me. I know it is a great program and it will be just what he needs, but I am still very nervous. He is very excited about being around other kids his age that he can play with, as well as the prospect of being able to play without the constant threat of what he is building or playing with being demolished by the Little boy. I will loosen up but as of yet I am still not convinced.

The Little boy has said good bye to his high chair, instead opting to kneel on a grown up chair for meals. I am a bit sad but times they are a changing. It seems like every day there is some new task he masters or sound he mimics...well it doesn't seem like it, it happens.

We talked about having another Itty person in our house, and we opted to hold off trying at least till Mr.T goes back to work. Oh yeah he is laid off. About 3 weeks after we moved in he got laid off. We are doing just fine, thankfully we rehabbed our credit and savings very early in life and we are very much enjoying the time together. We went from seeing each other on the weekends for a year, to being together 24 hours a day about 6 days a week. I am so glad we are getting this time together and that the kids are getting to spend so much time with their dad and he with them. Someday another Itty T will be running about, but not in the estimate-able future. I will keep you posted on this and all other goings on round here.

Country living= 1 happy LittleSquidgen


I am a punk rock loving, tattoo having, concert going, crazy hair color wearin, headbanging, funky chic, and a stay at home mom, organic gardener, duck raiser, cloth dapperer, clothing maker, thrift store junkie, eco-conscious, country girl. I love to be in the city, but I have to be in the country to sleep. So I have recently realized I am full of contradictions. With the funny things that happen in my home, mostly because of my children, I thought someone might get a kick out of my daily blurbs.A bit of background, I grew up in the country and love it, my husband grew up in the city and loved it. After 5 years of living in the city in a tiny house on a tiny lot together, we decided to give the country a try. And by "we" I mean ME saying daily "I don't want our kids going to school here, time is running out."

So we purchased a big enough house to accommodate us and a few more kiddo's maybe, on 2 and 1/2 acres in the country, 2 counties away from our old house, and in a great school district. We moved in a few months ago, and are just now getting truly settled in. We planted a 30x50 foot garden, which I tend organically. We recently got 16 ducklings and 4 grown ducks. I am still pushing for sheep, but I suppose that will take a long while to wear down. We are cutting our electricity consumption as much as possible. We have only used our clothes dryer 4 times in 3 months. I make everything I can from curtains, clothing, and laundry soap, nearly all our food, and someday cheese and yogurt. We plan on installing solar and rainwater cisterns someday.

I am pretty sure I am the only person in a good 10 mile radius who had caution sign orange hair or this many tattoos. And I some of our neighbors I am sure are a bit nervous that the area is being invaded by "freaks". But we are good normal people we just might look a touch odd and play our music a bit too loud.

So for now it is myself (Little Squidgen, I will explain the name later), my husband(Mr.T), our two boys(Big and Little) and 20 ducks.

More exploits to come as we strive to simplify, reuse and recycle, achieve self sufficiency, all the while not forgetting to rock out on occasion. We are those scary-looking, "crunchy", liberal, far left weirdos that your momma told you about. But we are also generous, loving, accepting, helpful, and devoted family oriented people. Forget what you think you know about a person by appearance, us tattooed liberal freaks can be down home farm folk too.