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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Winter is here

Winter has reared its ugly head again. I am not sure why we are always taken by surprise, thinking that fall will last all the way into spring. We have been warned by the weather people that there was a chance of snow this weekend. Tonight Phil went outside to have his goodnight smoke and said there were wet snowflakes falling. I decided not to listen to him and went to bed. It is now 11:30 and I am awake because I went to bed to early. We have at least 2” of snow on the ground, and the wind is blowing like crazy. I hope that this won’t last long. I don’t like being cold. I don’t like when I can’t grow anything. I don’t like it when there is so little daylight I can’t see it except on the weekends. I love the summer when I come home from work and stay outside for another 4 or more hours. Now I come home and it is almost dark.

When I first started talking about keeping chickens Phil put his defenses up, and pushed away from that for a very long time. This spring he gave in and built a coop for me. I found 2 chickens on Craigslist to bring home. Soon after that Phil’s friend gave us another chicken then a few more. I found another 10, bringing our flock up to a level that we needed to sell the eggs. We enjoy the chickens so much … naming the chickens and watching them play in the yard. They are a pain in the back side sometimes. Picking and scratching at things we don’t want them to, but for the most part they are just cool to hang out with. Early in October I found 3 baby chicks for free and brought them home. Phil decided they needed to live in the garage (just like every other baby animal we have brought home). They are now almost 2 months old and just moved out of the garage into the barn pen. He is very worried about them … and misses an animal in the garage. I think I need to find a new baby or two to bring home for him.

Last week I found an ad on Craig’s List for layers … and I had to bring them home. I went to see them after work this week. Phil was tired and decided not to go with me. I drove out to a beautiful area of Iowa to find the chickens. When I got out of the car and walked to the area the chickens were in I saw a carcass hanging from some chains. (Thankfully it was a deer waiting to be butchered). I was actually a little nervous when a big guy who could barely walk started yelling about the rent being late and how the money I paid would go to him. I got through it and found layers for $3 each. I went out there to bring 10 home, but ended up with 18!  I was happy to get them into my car and get out of there!!!!  We have this great "chicken box" I found at an auction a few months ago.  It is an antique but works great! 
We are starting to be in demand for eggs …. And honey .. and garden produce. We haven’t made a lot of money yet, but I can see where this can go if we play it right. One person said today he will pay twice the cost of store honey to buy what we produce, because it is real and honest. The eggs … the following I have is at work and one other regular customer. I hope someday we will have a real “following”.  The chickens have been paying for themselves with the eggs we sell. 
I wasn’t able to post this last night because we had no internet service. That is one of the pains of living in the middle of nowhere. We have satellite TV and internet service. We loose it during storms or just when it feels like going away. We pay as much or more as we did in the city, and have very spotty service.

I am excited that we are having a cold gloomy day because the day is mine. I am going to be able to stay inside and get some chores done that I have been putting off, and make some jerky. One of the things I have been wanting to do is make soap (Yep from lye). I haven’t done that in years. I have been working on cleaning the beeswax and want to use some of that in the soap. I also want to work on making some lip balm with the beeswax. Some of the things I NEED to do are clean the basement and my office. Both need to be organized!!!!

I hope we get heat soon (we got the furnace “fixed” last month and have NO heat now). The heater works well in the living room, but the office is FREEZING!!!

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