Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's been awhile since you've seen a real picture of the geese. They're full grown, with full grown voices and full grown annoyances. Yeah like teenagers. But here's a few of the others things that hand out back:
Four Pekin ducks.  Two breeding pairs so to speak: Two male, two female.  That's great right? Yeah, no. One male has usurped all the females.  Most of the time we've got one male dejected duck by himself.

Man, even when you stack the deck, things just don't fall right! The ladies are laying eggs.  We'd love to hatch out the eggs, but right now is not the time to start incubating, with winter being about a month away.

Incidentally, I don't think those guys can NOT walk and talk at the same time.  They quack away while waddling one after the other from place to place.

This one is a bit hard to puzzle out, but there are two hens and 7 baby chicks in the lilac bushes. We started with 10 chicks, but 2 drowned in the pools and one disappeared; probably down a feral cat's throat.  I saw one lurking around last week and got a shot off at it. I don't think I hit it, but I am sure I scared it enough not to come around for a while. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Watch Me Try to be Nice

Reality is what hits us every day.  Sometimes we accept it, grasp whatever bits of goodness come out and move on. The people who deal with reality every day will tell you that sometimes the hard parts are unbearable, but must be done.

We've been dealing with reality a lot here: Alex gets a job, but it's 45 miles away.  $40 bucks every two days to fill up the car so he can go to his job.  Which means $50 to fill up the van every 2 1/2 days to get both Dave and I to work and school.  $180.00 per week IN GAS.  Reality sucks, my friend.

And today I get to finish my chem lab early, drive back home, disarticulate a deer and put what large pieces we have in the freezer to butcher later after I drive back to school at $4 in gas to take an Algebra quiz. If we don't get this deer butchered, the meat will rot and we'll be eating chicken all winter long.   Reality is we cannot afford to waste meat, nor buy it from the store.  My Brother In Law offered us the Doe he got last night, so we need to make the time.  Reality.   I can't remember the last time I ate a piece of beef.  It's too expensive to buy now.

Reality folks, is a bitch.

Reality is dealing with a feral cat that keeps trying to kill my baby chicks.  Reality is that some moronic lazy-ass MF from town decided that their cat wasn't worth the effort to find a new home, or to take to the shelter.  "Oh we'll drop it off in the country! It will find a home as a barn cat!" Um, not really.  What they do is become feral and kill off chickens, pheasants and quail.  All ground nesting birds are prey.

So when a feral comes sniffing around this area, I shoot it.  Reality is ya dumb sonuvabitch that your cat would have been better off at the shelter.  At least there the death is more humane.  Your cat wouldn't have starved, had people shooting at it, nor tried to find a comfortable place to hide from coyotes. But since reality was so 'hard' and you couldn't man up....your cat will either be shot, run over, mauled or starve.

And I'm not paying another $30 to take YOUR cats to the humane society.  Yes, they require you PAY to take you pet to them.  I'm not the owner, but those two kittens someone left on my doorstep somehow became my mess.

I've got 3 cats here.  They live inside, have cushy lives and are NEVER let out.  There are too many predators to get them. Reality is, in the next few years Tigger's health will decline.  He'll need to be euthanized and I will man up and do it the right way. My Tigger's been with me 15 years now, he deserves that. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Cold Reality

Fred the goose died last night. That's a picture of Fred.  I was out buying new work boots for Alex and found him in front of the pen..already dead. Two geese dead within a week.

I'm exhausted emotionally and physically.  I've spent the better part of the last 2 weeks trying to will Fred and George to good health and then cried over their bodies. I'm up early every morning to let them out, feed and water them and to try to keep Fred and George alive for one more day.

School is well, school : Professors demand you drop everything in your life to study and then get all shitty when you can't.  Perhaps it was stupid of me to think that returning after 25 years to get a degree was going to work. I've got no tolerance for bullshit profs -and both of them are not as competent as my HS Chem teacher by far- and their inability to remain focused, no tolerance for people who cannot comprehend there's a REAL life outside of University.  School is making us all crabby, cranky and rude.  I'm trying to find more time to study and I've got real life that is just as important.

I'm about thisclose to saying "F it" and just finding a job.  I've got the car, right?

Well no.  Alex got a job in IL. He needs my car to get back and forth.  So I'm pretty much where I started: Getting up early, going with Dave to his work then driving home, going to school then going to get him. I'm excited for him; this is his first REAL job. He's all excited, and I'm sure he's running $$ through his mind at all times.  I remember that first real job...it was cool.

WHY did I decided to go to school in the first place? Oh yeah, career and retirement.  Screw that. I want my life back.  I want time to spend with my family, my husband and my friends. And with everything that's fallen into my lap in the last week. I could give a shit less whether or not I pass anything.



Monday, October 8, 2012

~sigh~

Well, Georgie the goose died last Tuesday.  I came home from school to find him collapsed by the lilac bush. I  had him on my lap for about 10 minutes hoping he'd come out of it, but in the end, he convulsed a few times and died.  Dave was a trooper and got him dressed out and  put in the freezer for me. I've put his feathers and down in a bag that I made from pillow ticking and dried it.

We learned quite a bit from the process and we'll be using those skills soon.  Cuz you see, Fred's been doing the same thing: Collapsing out of breath...horcking up a lung like he's got asthma.  We've discussed the future of Fred and the ducks, but it will wait until we have the cone.

http://meadowcreature.com/poultry/ sells one like we have on order.Ours is on backorder for another week.   Basically it's a galvanized steel cone with a hole in the bottom. Drop your poultry into it, pull out the head and chop it off, or slice the jugular and let them bleed out. Sounds pretty hideous, right? Actually, it's one of the fastest and less painful ways to kill poultry. The animal isn't flopping around breaking wings and such, it struggles for less than a minute before it is dead dead. I don't want my goosies to suffer more than they have to.

The Bantam Hens have lost 3 of their chicks: 2 were found in the wading pools drowned and one we just have not found at all. The problem with the chicks is that they like to jump and run. They jump in the pools and can't get out.  Ah well, we took out 2 of the 5 pools we have available. It's getting colder anyways and the ducks and geese aren't in them as much.

School is getting better handled. The first few weeks were just insane. Now that I've been in it a month, I can calm down a bit and focus. That doesn't mean I'm not freaking out, but it's just about more than school now. I don't feel the need to be constantly studying.

I've finished off one Rikke hat which is made from brown alpaca.  It's a nice slouchy hat that holds a lot of hair. Warm! My issue is with working in the mornings feeding/watering/filling pools for poultry, it falls down over my eyes more than I'd like.

Now I'm just a font of great news aren't I???  Yeah, it's been a trying week. Until we either send Fred off to Goosie heaven, or he recovers miraculously, I will be working for 2 hours every morning to 'release the hounds' as I call it, then sit with Fred as he tries to recover from collapsing.  That's the hardest bit of all and one I don't look forward to.

I'll see if I can get in a Random Tuesday tomorrow.