Monthly Archives: August 2013

Name That Cat!



This little calico tabby cat showed up a month or so ago and seems to have settled in to stay. She’s sweet and a great hunter, so that’s fine with me! But now she needs a name. Any suggestions?



Thursday Randomness


1. The windows are open wide and the attic fan is on, because we’re getting a delicious taste of autumn today. It’s 70 degrees outside with no humidity. I would like this weather nine months of the year, please.

2. My Baby is too big for his swing. His feet are hanging off the end, and he’s too heavy for it to actually swing anymore. He also has two teeth and may have said “dada” last night.

3. I love my Ergo carrier. So does he. It makes shopping trips and mountain visits so much more comfortable for both of us.

My little koala bear.

My little koala bear.

4. We’ve gotten eight eggs so far today. Four white, three brown, and one creamy little Silkie egg. There are probably more out there waiting to be collected by now.

5. I do not like spiders in the house. As of the past few days, though, they seem to really like being here. Must find eco-friendly option for treating the attic, which seems to be their stronghold.

This one is happy outside. Good spider.

This one is happy outside. Good spider.

6. Coconut oil is my current minor obsession. I love it for cooking and baking, and it’s fixed every little skin issue The Baby has had. Plus, it’s cloth diaper friendly!

7. The Boy had his first experience with dunking Oreos in milk and declared it to be “good.” Now I want to try the homemade Oreos recipe I’ve seen on Pinterest.

Buy Nabisco stock now!

Buy Nabisco stock now!

8. I do not know how I feel about the Twelfth Doctor. I do, however, think that he will look more suitable with River Song.

9. Coincidentally, our new golden retriever puppy is named River Song. If her name had a subtitle, it would be “Trouble in a Fur Coat.” The Boy loves her.

Up to no good.

Up to no good.

10. We’re having pork loin for supper tonight. It will be rubbed with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. I saw a recipe on Rachael Ray, though, that uses garlic, green onions, fennel, and all kinds of good stuff. Must remember to buy fennel bulbs.

11. I have a new favorite breakfast — homemade “Bo-berry” biscuits. They’re ridiculously good. Try them. Seriously. Find the recipe here, on my friend Rene’s blog.

I'm drooling just looking at the photo.

I’m drooling just looking at the photo.

12. It turns out that laundry piles are not like compost piles. No matter how long you let them sit, they do not break down into something else. They just keep sitting.

13. I realized a few weeks ago that the vast majority of my favorite TV shows and movies are BBC productions. Why is their stuff so much better? And will Sherlock ever come back? I miss it so.

14. My dad turned 80 last week. At our family dinner on Saturday night, he mentioned that the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on his twelfth birthday. His dad was born in 1893 and fought in the First World War, and his brother served in the Pacific in WWII. Having older parents makes all that history seem much more recent.

15. Ben just got home. The Baby dove into his arms. I’m pretty sure that has to make his day.

Summertime Blues


An unusual year we’re having. First, we had spring, a season we typically only see mentioned on the calendar. Now, here we are in late summer, when the grass is usually brown and crunchy underfoot, and we’re setting rainfall records. Fifteen inches in July alone, and we’ve had more rain in the past seven and a half months than we were projected to have for the entire year!

Now don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful for the rain after years of drought. And like everyone keeps saying, “It’s nice to see the lakes full.” But really. Everything in moderation.

The tomatoes are spindly and growing ever taller, searching for nearly nonexistent sunlight. The mosquitoes have organized and are demanding better wages and flying conditions. And the ground is so saturated that the rain in recent weeks has just been running off in torrents, filling the ditches and damaging the roads.

Oh, and weakening the trees. Which is how we ended up with three down in our yard a few weeks ago. A weird storm came out of the northeast, and I’m guessing we were hit by a microburst. Whatever it was, it did some major localized damage. Besides our big pine tree and two tall oaks from the woods behind us, the wind took down the last of our neighbor’s three huge oak trees (all three gone within a year!), then crossed a field and felled four large trees in one yard on the other side.

Our splintered pine tree. We'll be putting in a line of Leylands or Thujas soon for privacy on that side of the property.

Our splintered pine tree. We’ll be putting in a line of Leylands or Thujas soon for privacy on that side of the property.

Both of the oaks behind the house landed on the power lines, and one came down smack dab in the middle of the chicken tractor, killing two hens and trapping two more, while four managed to escape from the wreckage. Because the downed power lines were draped over the whole pile, I couldn’t even rescue the Marans hen I could see, let alone search for any other survivors. Fortunately, when the power company guys (who must have been very nice) arrived the next day, they got her out unharmed and put her in with the escapees I’d already captured.

Tree on tractor

Looking at this, I’m still amazed anything survived. The Marans hen was trapped in the corner on the left in this picture.

We stayed at my parents’ house until the power was restored, so it was two days after the storm when I found my little red partridge Silkie under the splintered tractor, alive, but with one foot crushed under a 2×4 that had a lot of weight pressing down on it. We got her out, but I really didn’t know how much damage was done and what her chances of recovery were. After a few days of rest, though, she was running around with hardly a limp. Now you’d never know she had been injured.

Crushed tractor

Here it is after the tree was semi-cleared by the power company. The Silkie was sitting quietly in the corner on the right, apparently waiting for rescue.

The destruction of the chicken tractor has really exacerbated our overcrowding problem, since all of the girls from the tractor have had to move into what had been the portable extended run for the main coop. I sold my five Buff Orps last month and hope to sell the ten Silver Laced Wyandottes this weekend. At that point, we should be back down to a manageable flock size. Oddly, most of the ones I’m keeping are the older hens. They’re just still laying too well for me to get rid of them, and obviously people buying adult hens would rather have the younger ones.

In the midst of all the mayhem and losses, one of the two surviving Gold Stars from this spring has started laying. It’s amazing to see how the cycle of life carries on in spite of what must seem to those chickens like nearly apocalyptic events.

Not bad for a first egg!

Not bad for a first egg!

Life goes on inside the house, too. Ben is working an insane number of hours because of “back to school,” so we probably won’t get to see much of him until late September. The 47-mile drive tacked on to each end of his 10+ hour workday certainly doesn’t help. He’s only had three days off in the past month, so his homecoming is a big deal every evening. The Boy is always waiting to open the door for him and tell him the latest news, and The Baby lights up and starts trying to push off of me to reach him. Daddy is pretty popular in these parts.

I’m staying busy with kids, critters, and the everyday. What life might lack in excitement, it more than makes up for in cuddles, giggles, and kisses.