Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Turkeys, flowers, chickens, gardens, and potty training! AKA the ElCloud updates.

Thursday was our 15th anniversary, and Steve got a turkey!!  While it is Spring turkey hunting season here in Kansas, he wasn't hunting.  Unfortunately, he got the turkey with his windshield on the way home.  Turkeys don't fly well and this one tried to fly in front of him.  His windshield is now concave and he drove home the remaining hour with limited vision.

Saturday we planted flowers in our porch planter (it's a brick wall and the entire top is a built-in planter).  We bought impatiens.  My Mom always had impatiens on our porches growing up, and I just continue that tradition.  But it is a shady side of the house, so they do well there.  I also filled a hanging planter for the porch.  But we still had 12 plants left, and no more room for them.  I spent the rest of the weekend trying to think of creative planters for the other porch or the yard ...something I already owned.

Sunday afternoon we brought ten more chickens home after church.  We bought the last 3 Buff Orpington pullets (baby hens) because I really wanted Buff Orpingtons.  They're pretty, gentle, and good egg layers.  But it seemed silly to raise up just 3 more baby chicks, so we also got 4 cute little Production Reds.  They'll make pretty hens and are good layers, too.  And then, we got 3 Barred Rocks.  We weren't sure about them, but our research after we got home showed it was a good choice. 

The brooder area wasn't yet ready, though, so we had to rush through getting it ready while they stayed in their little box.  The Buff Orpingtons are older than any of the rest, twice as big as the Production Reds.  The Barred Rocks are between them in age.  But they seem to be doing well together.  No pecking or bullying going on.  

They'll be joining the 14 Ameraucanas and adding some more color to the chicken yard.   Of course, they're all brown egg layers ... although the Ameraucanas also lay blue and green eggs.  No boring white, looks like it came from a store, eggs for me!   I know it's silly ... but I don't want white egg layers.  I like the brown and colored ones.  We're already getting one tan egg a day from the guinea (although that isn't why we got guineas).  Soon we'll have 24 hens and 1 guinea hen laying eggs.  Maybe next year we'll get more guineas, and figure out a solution to the poultry-loving dog so the guineas can actually patrol for ticks as we hoped.

I love watching them and listening to the chickens. Their clucks and cheeps are musical and soothing.   I've heard chickens are addictive and therapeutic.  I can see that's true.  I am turning into the Crazy Chicken Lady ... and the Crazy Cat Lady.  Someday I'll be old, with a house full of cats and a yard full of chickens.  I admit I'm in danger of becoming a Crazy Goat Lady, too ... I've got the itch, but no goats yet.

We finally have several days in a row of sunshine.  I hung two loads on the line on Sunday, and hung another 3 yesterday (one was diapers).  Then the kids cleaned their rooms and changed their sheets, and Baby G leaked onto my quilt.  So I have more laundry to wash and hang out again today.  Not to mention all the folding waiting inside.  Baby G has been fussy and I'm not making much progress on folding.  Yesterday's homeschooling included life skill lessons on home managemant and housecleaning.  Today's may have to include more home management and life skills in folding laundry.  It's going to be a folding party, I think.  Perhaps I can find an educational video/dvd for us to watch while we fold.

I missed out on yesterday's Simple Woman's Daybook.  The children will be disappointed in me.  They look forward to those.  This blog isn't just my thing.  It's a family thing.  The kids give me advice on what to post, and always come running to read what I've posted.  They are my most faithful readers

Baby G is sick with a fever, stuffy nose, and cough.  The fever came first, and I didn't recognize it for a few days, thinking it was a warm face from Friday's sunburn at the homeschool group field day.  I finally realized yesterday he had a fever and had also gained a stuffy nose.  I was hoping teething or some other virus, but of course Swine Flu is nagging at the back of my mind, as well.  Now he's coughing. 

Unfortunately, due to the turkey mentioned earlier, Steve's been taking my vehicle to work.  So, we need to decide if Baby G needs to see the Dr. and have him drive the old pickup to work instead tomorrow or Thursday if we want to take him in.  He took two long naps yesterday, which is unusual and prompted me to take his temperature.  I kept getting faulty thermometers, though, and didn't get an accurate reading until evening.

Poor fussy guy.  Please pray he pops out a few teeth and is all better soon.  I'd really prefer it be due to teething than illness ...  especially since we had him out and about on Saturday, not realizing he was sick, and exposing others to whatever it is.

Yesterday during Baby G's second nap, I went outside and decided to plant the remaining 12 (turned out to actually only be 11) impatiens plants alongside the sidewalk to the back door.  There is an area between two basement window wells next to the house that also has two large decorative rocks in it.  I decided to plant them around the rocks.  It's shady and I thought it'd make a nice display there.  This is one section the outdoor cats don't seem to potty in, either.  So I added some topsoil, worked it well and then 5 yo M and I planted the flowers there.  I hope they survive bike crashes, outdoor cats, and heavy rains.

When Steve got home last night, he went out and tilled in the garden.   We have weeds and "volunteer" wheat coming up in our large garden that used to be a wheat field corner.  The potatoes, peas and onions are doing well, but we need to do some hand-weeding today.  I'll leave an older child to supervise Baby G during a nap and the rest of us will go learn how to pull weeds and not plants.  The garden is so big I'm going to have to train them to help with weeding this time.  It's also right by the road and our driveway so we don't want everyone seeing a weedy garden.  Before we moved, the garden was in our back yard, so we often waited until the weeds were overtaking the garden before spending several hours re-taking the garden.  I don't want to do that this year.

We still have to plant our green beans, tomatoes, sweet peppers, zucchini, cantaloupe, lima beans, burgundy green beans, wax beans, carrots, lettuce, spinach, pumpkin, beets, cucumber, spaghetti squash, and way too many more peas.  We're planning to plant the rest from seed.  We had hoped to get lettuce and peas in the ground already, but it has been too wet to till!!  And now it may be too late to start those cool-weather plants.  We had also thought we'd try to start some of the seeds indoors, but now it's warm enough we'll just put them right in the ground instead.

3 yo L is potty training ... again.  We've been talking it up to her, but I hadn't yet resumed working with her.  Yesterday, she saw some pull-ups and wanted to wear them.  I told her not unless she pottied in the potty chair first ... so she did.  Then she got to wear the pull-ups.  I printed out one of the charts I'd designed for previous kids and hung it up for her.  She gets a sticker on the cart for every success, and a gummy bear.  Two gummy bears for putting her BM in the potty chair.  She got two stickers yesterday. 

I need to persevere with this.  She's capable at her age, and able to communicate well.  She can't move up to the 3 yo Sunday School class this fall unless she's trained, and she can't attend the Wednesday night classes in the fall unless she's trained, either.  So we have a goal and a motivation (at least I do).  Her motivation is pull-ups, candy, stickers and eventually getting to wear her Dora underwear.

I think I may have a buyer for our second Persian kitten.  If all works out, he should be going to a new family on Saturday.  And Melody, our young adult female is pregnant with her first litter.  She should have her kittens around the middle of June.  I'm praying it goes well and she's a good mama to her kittens. 

So that's life here ... busy as usual, a little chaotic ... but very, very good.   We are blessed.

Trusting in Him,
April

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! And, I can commiserate about the potty training the 3 year old. Mine does really well with #1 but not with #2. She will often think of going potty after she has already started doing #2. And, then there are times she goes off by herself, removes her training pants, empties it in the potty, and puts on a new pair of training pants--without wiping up, of course. I know I've potty trained 3 others, but I think I've forgotten how I did it! ;)

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