Saturday, December 24, 2011

christmas dumpster diving

You know, we get produce throw-away from a local market. We receive the items in a bag and it is quite neat and tidy. Sometimes we buy boxes of bananas for a dollar a box, but mostly the items are free. I have made many banana bread loaves from this produce.

We checked with another market, and unfortunately, their policy is to throw it all out, in the dumpster. Luckily, the produce folks put their toss-outs in a box, usually on top. Today, this is what Rusty and Nick brought home for our animals.

a pumpkin, cucumber, tomatoes, apples, green peppers, doughnuts, and pudding

collard greens, black raspberries, bananas, romaine lettuce, cabbage, and pears

loaves of bread - no mold

Best if PURCHASED by date.

these bananas are perfect for baking, but today's went to the pigs and goats

$2.99 bag of greens

yummy $2.99

Earl loves magical dumpsters

Nick and my his dog Tonka, enjoying the animals enjoying their food
It feels good to give our animals such a variety of whole foods. We usually don't get doughnuts and pudding, but the pigs loved the pudding and both the dogs and pigs shared the doughnuts. It is a Holiday. Why not?

But what if I was hungry? What if I could not feed my children? Doesn't this food look edible? Wouldn't the hungry be grateful for something to eat? I would. I am not saying the poor should eat out of dumpsters, I am saying I would. I think all of this food "waste" should be re-distributed. I don't know how, but I do know that we are a country that wastes food. Me included.

One dumpster, one day.

Friday, December 23, 2011

traditional best

 Yule has come and so starts the celebration. We are a mixed bunch here; a Buddhist, a few Pagans, a Agnostic, a Christian, and a Universal Believer. A colorful bunch we are. But we do hoist up that Yule tree. I know Christ should be put back in the tree, but really the Christmas tree comes from Pagan roots. Most Pagans are pretty used to sharing though. You might think because I say that I must be dancing with the devil and stuff. Problem is: I don't believe in that Christian deity, therefor I can't rock around the Christmas tree with that horned guy. It's a Yule tree here.

 Let me give you a glimpse of holiday preparations here. It is nothing fancy, but very eco-friendly with my vintage ornaments mixed with some years of collected newer ornaments. The kids have grown to love them. It was love at first sight with me. I love old stuff.

I Spy for Owen

perfectly imperfect

somebody showed up

they are like ants, but cuter

oh she is up to no good

home invasion
 So, I figured I better make a refreshment to help calm myself. I am no Martha Stewart, but this is a great holiday cocktail that can be made in a virgin state or a spiced up mix.

Start with some spiced dark rum, eggnog, whip cream, nutmeg and a vessel.

that tattoo stuff is dark and crazy spicy


add eggnog


add whipped topping


Especially yummy after coming in from feeding the animals in the rain. Warmed me right up. One of my dogs got to my beverage before I did, so I have to make another. I also popped some gingerbread in the oven, as  I had a chill and gingerbread makes everything right in the world.

baking gingerbread
Tonka our dog opened some presents from under the tree early. He smelled candy. So, poor Sophia had to disobey her Nanny and was forced to enjoy her gift before the 24th. I remember having to wait... it was so hard to wait as a child, but we got to open the presents from my Aunt Jeanne on the 24th, Christmas Eve.

So tonight the new tradition is to fix your dog a cocktail and let them open you forbidden gifts. However, I am still sticking with elf appearances, comfort foods and remembering more simple times.

Happy Holidays, Ya'll.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Saint Nicholas

My 17 year old son is flying here to WV today. It has been a long time coming and not an easy road for him... or me. But today I get an early Christmas.

Happy Yuletide Blessings are sent out to all of you, who listen to me ramble and are part of all of getting me to here. Yes it is true. Like loyal friends just waiting to listen. Sparkly light beacons of like-souls. Somehow the Universe has brought us together.

I need to do a farm update. You all are going to just flop over when you see my new additions here at the farm. I have been traveling all weekend picking up the new ones.

Hint: gobble gobble peep peep QUACK!!!

Love and Light,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

when it rains, it pours

... I ran as fast as I could, smacked Lady Gaga hard on the ass and grabbed Squint up into my arms, then ran to the house.

Wait. If you just tuned in you may want to read my previous post.

I brought Squint in and put him in the bathroom sink and washed him down with warm water. I saw he was still living and in one piece, but he was terribly injured. Lacerations on his back, broken wing, and sore foot. The foot does not appear broken, but he is having trouble with it. I dried him off and brought him in front of the heater and luckily I had Rusty there ready to roll. We worked on him together, using a spray bottle of blue-kote, and anti bacterial/anti fungal healing coating that is great to have on hand if you have any livestock, even for pets really. It works really well on abrasions. Next was the injection in the leg muscle, then a good overall assessment of his skeletal condition. The wing, probably was the biggest concern. So we wrapped him to keep it stabilized.Tonight we took the wrap off because Squint has a small cough. We thought perhaps he was unable to take full breaths with the wrap. He is in a small area and is still, so we will leave the wrap off tonight and see if the cough eases up.

Poor little Squint. He just lost his buddy Crick not too long ago. Him and Crick were special needs ducks, both penciled runners, but ran with the flock like any other flock member. The geese were their body guards. They ate, swam, foraged and frolicked, and I even caught Squint doing some ducky love moves on a white runner girl. Awe ya baby. Both boys are beloved by many people who have seen pictures of them hatch and grow and then move here with me. I feel a deep sense of responsibility and love for them. I still miss Crick. He was so crooked, but hung right in there with the best of them. Now Squint is hurt and it hurts my heart.

So like I was saying... I will use magic aka: work my will to bring these ducks to health, and although I know that when I heal, I am only the straw in which the power travels through. I can only approach them with an open heart and mind. The will of others, belongs to them, not me. However, I will tend to these babies and do the best I can. That is all any of us can do.

I don't know why Lady Gaga the pig had him pinned on the ground. I had just seen Squint minutes before, he had ran into the barn, first. I remember smiling because he was first duck in. He looked happy it was dinner time. I picked up their feeding pans and gone in to fill up feed buckets and pans. Less than five minutes later he is in the mouth of a pig out on the side of the muddy hillside. I wonder if he was not feeling well and wanted in. I wonder if he had this cough before. Maybe he slipped in the mud trying to get back with the flock who were back up on the hill? Lady Gaga is the gentle pig. The one I thought we would keep around. How many pig on duck attacks happen? I think that is why the "WTF?" came out of my mouth. It did not make sense.

I went to my group of Feather people and I voiced my WTF? I wondered if there were aliens over my house, what the heck was happening. You see, before Rain and Squint got hurt, There was the goose attack on Happy. I lost two rabbits that were born a week too early. I had a hatchling that kept throwing it's head back. Next, I had a huge beautiful chick hatch who kept stretching his legs out, rolling backward. We had researched, taped, propped, and worked with it doing tiny physical therapy, but it kept not standing. It was not splayed legs, nothing deformed. This chick just refused to stand. Then Rain, and then Squint getting tragically hurt.

I wondered, until a friend of mine who is following the same path as a farmwitch, told me that Mercury was in retrograde starting on the 24th. Oh? Oh. oooh. I normally do not prepare for negative energies on a regular basis, I like to focus on positive and put my energy into manifesting that. But could this be it? Was this why my hatch was taking forever, and the chaos came to call? I took quick action, just in case. For my flocks, herds, packs and tribe.

Did you know Astrology and Astronomy used to be the same thing? True.

So Happy is running with her flock again, recovered from her goose attack. The chick throwing her head back has stopped doing that (infant vitamins w no iron fixed that) I hear it can be called stargazing. Which will be that chick's name, Stargazer. The chick who wouldn't walk finally did, after a long session late last night trying to correct her, tape physical therapy, yet again today with me sticking the chick in a toilet paper roll (empty) cut in half to force the chick forward. It worked. It is fumbling, but walking. I know she will be fine. Squint is eating and pooping like crazy. Rain is recovering. She layed an egg in her hospital bed today. No kidding. What a girl!

Also, I have a house over my head, a fire in the wood-stove several dogs by my feet several dogs outside patrolling and protecting and, I have internet connection.

Retrograde THIS Mercury! (Just kidding.) Respect.

Any question why I might call him Bear?
He is a Hero. The Protector who saved Squint.

Bear and Izzy
Can you see me smiling?
Crow's Animal Hospital
Squint and Rain

Slow hatch

Amazingly enough, I accomplished my goal today of moving my breeding quad of Black Copper Marans to the Barn house up the hill. One chicken or bag of pine chips at a time. Uphill, in the snow. I will let them be together for a couple of weeks before I try to hatch purebreds. Meanwhile, they can get to know each other.Woodpile must have got kicked out of the barn, or he just had to get away, but he hasn't seen these girls for awhile because they love to hang upstairs in the nursery. Even though two of them are laying already! They are very mild mannered birds. Opting for peace.

Woodpile no longer lives on the woodpile
Who is establishing dominance?

So peace be with you... and me!

boobs and ducks

It seems my week was just as crazy as the last. But, hey... I am not complaining. I love what I do, and part of what I do is to heal. Myself, others, or any old thing that I think I can infuse positive energy into. My outlook has been on positive-mode.

First, my little one inch "pumpkin" at 12 o'clock on my breast. Has not grown, and appears to be benign. Same day I went for the scan, which was yesterday... two ducks down. Not down for good (hopefully) but down.

The first, was my own doing. I rushed outside before coffee (bad move) to let everybody out because I had my appointment. As I opened the barn door, there was resistance, which happens quite often, hay piles up or somebody knocks something over. So I gave a little shove, at the same time glancing down to see a duck leg under the door. One of my silver runners. She sped off to the corner on one foot. I grabbed her up and ran in the house, mud tracking all the way upstairs (every-other) and woke up Rusty. He awoken to me, throwing the door open (again) and saying "Can you help me with this duck?" I felt like the worst duck Mom in the world at that moment. Of course it was an accident, but I broke my ducks leg. Broke it. Rusty is a biologist, which means he is good at looking at things scientifically, while I look at things more on a spiritual and intuitive level. So I held my girl, and Rusty got busy on the internet. He pulled up diagrams of a duck leg bones, and was able to take in all the data into his computer brain, then said, "OK, We will splint the leg, and sling the duck." Sling as in not throwing, sling as in hang her in a sling, where she has to be still. Sort of like traction in a hammock. He showed me photos of Wildlife Rescue's rescues, and I agreed, that would be the plan.

I still didn't know which girl it was. I though maybe it was Olive, Sly's girlfriend. She is the same color, silver, but when I went out to see everybody else, Olive was there next to Sly. She is younger than the other silver girls, so not as tall as the others yet. So I broke Rain. Rain the silver runner. I broke her in the femur. Which is about an inch above the knee. Not cracked, broke.

I put her in a small box, kept my plan in my head, tried to breathe, then raced off to the radiologist. That went about as good as one can expect. On the way home, we stopped at the pharmacy picked up supplies. A finger splint kit and two kinds of wrap. Fortunately, I have the antibiotics/pain meds on hand from my last duckaster, as well as the multivitamins and niacin. The niacin is a must for duck care. It is what they get from insects. In the winter there is not as many and you can get a "lame duck" from a niacin deficiency. How can you tell it is that? You can't. It is hit or miss. So listening to your gut and just plain old experience factor in... or borrowing other people's experience.

Back in the day when everybody farmed to some extent, you could learn these tips from your parents, your neighbor, or your community. Neighboring farmers would come over and help you doctor your livestock. Now we have the internet. If I could have a community of all you fellow farmers out there, and we could gather and be old-timey neighborly, it would be grand. But at least I have access to some of the same unity, some of the like-minded... to learn from, or to teach.

So my sweet Rain went through surgery of sorts. I held her stroking her neck and beak as we clipped away feathers and down. The area was extremely difficult to brace. The femur is up where the leg connects with the body. We set the bone and wrapped. Then added two splints on each side. Finger splints worked great in this situation. then more wrap over the splints. Lastly a wrap over her whole torso to keep her immobilized as much as possible. Then she got her injection into the muscle. We have very tiny needles for our birds. Next, vitamin water with niacin and some grower crumbles. We put her in a 3 part rabbit carrier cage with a pan underneath. This way she stays clean, and has no room to pivot. All that fits in with her is two cups, one for food, one for crumbles. She settled in and took a drink and nibbled on her food.

I took a big sigh of relief. Maybe I was an ok Duck Mom. But it will be a very long road for her. There are tendons, and circulatory issues, anything can happen. I heard something about 50/50 chance for her. At best.

But that is when magic comes in handy. Call it the power of prayer, positive thinking, quantum physics, God's grace... or call it magic. It is all the same to me. I just "do it" in the way that I can best relate to the Divine forces.

It had started to snow heavily, so I thought I might get everybody settled in for the night a tad early. I went out and began my duties. This is when it gets loud. At sunrise and at sunset. The animals know when they are to be fed, and they all want to be fed at once... or first. I start filling feed buckets, when I hear Bear, (the new Great Pyrenees rescue) barking and going absolutely nuts.

I look, and there is Lady Gaga (the pig) with my special needs runner duck, Squint in her mouth. All I see is a mud shaped duck on the ground. "WTF?" I say.

To be continued... (soon)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

crow and company

We had plenty of visiting going on here at the farm. Brittany and Jonathan came out for dinner on Wednesday,  then my Mom and Step-dad on Thursday and Friday. On Monday and Tuesday, Rusty's sister and family stayed here. Thursday, Brittany and Jonathan were back for Thanksgiving, and yesterday, Friday we went to Rusty's Dad's house to meet up with more family. Then to the airport for some flying.

Quite a bit of socialization for a monk farmer woman.

In the middle of all that, new rabbits were born to two mothers, as well as a fresh batch of hatch-lings. Meanwhile, all the normal work involved to keep things running does not stop. The barnyard folks can't be put on the back-burner. They have daily needs and with them, always come a few surprises. Like a breach of fence security and it rained of course. So it was mucky. Mucky and geese and dogs getting loose, me falling, filling pools, late night feeding, a puppy, cleaning, cooking, running here and there for supplies.

Oh and on Thanksgiving Rusty went out and was successful with his deer hunt and brought a huge eight point buck home. Who is hanging now and needs to be processed packed and put in the freezer.

Big breath.

I haven't forgot you all. I will catch up on some past posts and get back in the groove here. I have missed you. Here are some great photos by my sis-in-law, Beth and my daughter Sophia took. She had a borrowed crazy zoom lens on her camera. So here is a little close-up of part of my week:

Alejandro and Lady Gaga growing and rooting


my little nephew holding a black English Angora baby rabbit

my Earl

molt and a roo

my nephew helped with farm chores

moving the geese back... again

adlelei, house bunny

an apple-lier

meet Bear, rescue dog

Blue Clay, TN fainter goat would not faint on demand

Blueberry my dog, came over with Brittany

Another of Beth's awesome photos

I love the help

boys and more boys

Blue Topaz five little English Angora kits

black English Angora baby rabbit


I taught my nephew how to milk a goat

he is a natural

mixed breed roo

more awesome photography


"major medical boi" (Aflac commercial)

Moon angry at the paparazzi

the essence of Sophia

Kevin, my Bro-in-law, 2 nephews (one is a little one) and Grandpa pilot

Rusty and the cousins

drama queen ;-)


Beth finds the beauty at the airport

I love my Bro-in-law



three rides
Sophia's view 1

Sophia's view 2

Sophia's view 3

Sophia's view 4

Sophia's view 5

Sophia's view 7
my view

my view 2
another safe and beautiful landing
thanks Beth

Beth, is a master cook, a super-mom, an awesome photographer, glamorous woman, and a great sister-in-law. Thanks for sharing the week with us kin folk here in W&W WV..