Lately

I haven’t posted a good post lately.  I really feel like it’s been very “touch and go.”  No real substance.  Just a quick write-up with no real feeling, and then photos or a recipe.

So.  What have I been up to?

School.

Cooking.

Reading.

Placing our first Azure Standard order.

Using lots of coconut milk.

Eating chocolate.

Having fun with friends.

Ironing.

Poor little Lucy puppy has been scratching like crazy, poor thing.  And I had just given her flea medicine!  So we took her to the vet yesterday, and he put her on some medicine.  She seems to not be as itchy as she was, which makes me SO happy.  I really don’t like it when she doesn’t feel good.  My little puppy love.

The black flies/gnats have been bothering the chickens.  They buzz all around the chickens, and especially bother their faces, making it hard for the chickens to breathe.  If they get too bad, they can kill the chickens (we lost one a few years ago to them).

But there is an easy repellant: vanilla.  So today I mixed up some vanilla and water in a spray bottle and went out to spray the chickens. (Sometimes I think it’s like putting perfume on the chickens.  It is nice to have sweet-smelling chickens, though, so I try to dismiss that thought.  :))

At first I had the spray bottle on mist, but once the chickens found out what I was doing and decided that they didn’t like it, and then they started running.  So the mist no longer really worked.  Then I had a great idea:

Use stream.

This almost immediately made it more fun – it could be related to a first-person shooter game, but better, because it’s real.  It could be compared to a squirt gun fight – but better, because NO ONE SHOOTS BACK.  So I didn’t get wet.  And I wasn’t running that quickly (more fast-walking) behind that chickens to get close enough to squirt them.  It turns out that if you pursue the chickens for long enough, they just run into the coop.

Bonus round!

Now I have a whole bunch of chickens in a tight space to spray.  Talk about efficient!

School has been going really well.  I am loving it!  I thought that learning some of the more technical stuff (like anatomy and physiology) was going to be difficult, but I am not finding it that difficult at all.  The midwifery module that I am working on now is on caesarean sections and prevention. 

I just finished reading Joel Salatin’sFolks, This Ain’t Normal.”  I liked it.  It discussed how our culture, compared to history, really isn’t normal, from the food we eat to how we get entertainment.

I started working on the reading program from the library.  It’s been going pretty quickly, since I do so much reading, especially for school.  I am almost halfway done.

And I think that’s about it.

So what have you been doing?

Today’s Adventures–3/24/2012

Mom woke me up slightly earlier than usual this morning.  We were going to a friends’ home to drop off some of our chickens, as our flock was getting too big.  Some of our chickens (who are currently free ranging) were scratching/dust bathing in our neighbor’s flower garden and garden.  Not good.  The decision we made was that we needed to pen up our flock. With the size of fencing that we have, though, we couldn’t pen up our 29 chickens.  It was decided that we needed to get rid of some, and since our friends have been buying eggs from us, and wanting some chickens for awhile, they agreed to take some of our excess.

Since we were already going to be up that direction, Mom decided that we were going to go pick up our chicken feed at a farm store and pick up some honey at an Amish store.

First things first – we had penned up the chickens that we were moving last night, so they just had to be put in the van this morning.  Well, when you put 10 chickens in a cage in the back of your van, and then proceed to take a 25 minute drive, things get interesting.  Let’s just be honest.  Chickens stink.  Especially when they are in confined spaces.  Mom and I ended up driving all of that time with the windows open (it was 55 degrees out).  I only brought with my jean jacket, so I was chilly.

After we dropped off the odorous passengers at our friends’ home, it was off to get honey.  It took about 25 minutes in a much warmer, quieter, and less smelly car to get to the Amish store.  Once we got out on the country road and around the Amish homes,  it was absolutely beautiful.  The morning sun was touching everything, bathing it all in a golden light.  The fields were green, except for some, which were purple with some little flowers that are blooming right now.  I hadn’t brought my camera, which I was rather unhappy about at the moment, but was probably a good thing, because if I had had it, I probably would have wanted to jump out of the car every 2 minutes to take a picture of something.  Yes, it really was that beautiful.

We saw a few horses and buggies, which was quite fun.  It also provided a new learning experience for me, since I was driving.  When we were leaving, there were three young men riding horses down the gravel road.  It made me wonder – why did we ever give up horses for cars?  Sure, cars are faster, but horses are so much more beautiful and, I don’t know quite how to articulate it, personal.  They have a personality.  They’re alive.

After that it was back to the town to pick up our chicken feed and a few bales of hay for our friends.  We then got back on the highway (after a quick stop at a grocery store and a chocolate shop :)) to head back to our friends’ home to drop off the hay and some feed.  The back of our car now held hay, five 50 lb. bags of chicken feed, and a large rock with which we had wedged the chicken’s cage.  Quite and interesting assortment, eh?

On our way home, we stopped at a meat processor’s to pick up some pork lard.  Yay!  Now I can make  apple pies again.

That was the extent of our morning travels.  We are going to a Republican Party dinner in our area this evening.  It should be very interesting.

Oh, and as a side note, a friend (the same one who took our chickens) loaned me The Pioneer Woman Cooks yesterday.  I have been enjoying it quite a bit.  Between reading that book and driving by those Amish homes in the lovely country, it is making me want to live somewhere REALLY country.  I love the country.  The Pioneer Woman also has a website, which you can visit here.  As with all things, please use discretion.  I have only been on her site once, and that rather briefly.