Sunday 19 May 2019

Four New Hens and gardening

The four new hens are doing well. This time I'm actually doing it right. First, they were set, still in their large cage, beside the chicken run, so everyone could see each other.

Cue the music , "Getting to Knoooowww You, Getting to know all about you..."  Then super high tech feeding and watering stations were installed in the cage (empty plastic tubs with holes cut in them so they could be wired into the corners).

After a little while, the cage was moved into the run for closer inspection.

That's almost-bald Lacey checking them out. She was the unfortunate favourite of the two big roosters.

Here's a close up.

They are good looking birds and are even a bit bigger than our three that we've had for several months now. Nobody has laid an egg yet, but I'm not too worried about that.

Last night, the cage was carried into the coop and everyone shared accommodations. This morning, the cage came back outside, shaded now that it is actually a sunny day. I think by tomorrow, everyone will be well introduced and I can let them out of the cage to roam around.

Ooops, I hit publish and realized I hadn't written about the gardening part. I've been in my vegetable garden today. It is shamefully covered in weeds and grass. Bit by bit I am getting rid of unwanted greenery. I am alternating between standing and bending over, kneeling on a pad, and sitting on a little stool. That helps my lower back from seizing up too badly. Next, I am taking a break from that to tackle the scary barbecue that is messy from last fall and has disintegrating parts. I really want to put some meat on the grill tonight for supper, so a clean up and possibly a part replacement is in order.

Saturday 18 May 2019

May 18, Victoria Day Weekend

I was up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 this morning. According to my Fitbit, I had very restless sleep and only slept in one hour stints between being restless or awake. Fabulous. Oh well, might as well be up now rather than continue to fight it.
Just got up for the kettle - I have coffee now. All is good.

Mother's Day was this past Sunday and it was very nice. I received very thoughtful gifts from both children and my husband. Daughter made butter chicken and rice with naan bread (one of my favourites), so I didn't have to cook. Lunch was out at a local little restaurant with husband's mother. She appreciated the chance to be out and enjoyed her meal.

The weather (yes... I'm talking about the weather) has been cold, rainy, rainy, and more rainy and then cold. I am sooooo far behind on weeding, cutting back perennials that I didn't get to in the Fall, and whipper snipping around the fences and edges. Ughhhh. Maybe some will get accomplished this long weekend. (Although, it's calling for rain).

I've been on a quest for a few more chickens. I was down to three sad, partially bald laying hens after finally getting rid of the two roosters. One of them keeps laying eggs with very delicate shells which break in the nesting box. I've starting giving her extra calcium, so we'll see if it helps soon. I called up a hatchery (Frey's) that also sells ready-to-lay pullets. I was told they were back ordered, at least for the interesting kinds I wanted which were barred rocks and Columbian rocks. Then I tried the local co-op, but they get their birds from Freys and I was told forget it until September. That made me very sad.

I went looking on Kijiji (an online buy and sell site) and found a few options, but then remembered that it didn't go so well the last time I did that, with birds that I believe were carriers of a respiratory disease, and three roosters!

Finally after mucking around on a site called Backyard Chickens, I found out about a place called Pullets Plus about an hour and a half away from here. They sell either brown or white pullets. Yawn. However, they are open on Saturdays until 3:00 and have birds available now. So... later today hubby and I will go on a "chicken roadtrip / date" and pick up a few brown hens. I will still keep my name in for September for the other more interesting breeds, but for now, little brown hens will be fine.

In anticipation of the new girls, after work last night, I cleaned out my chicken coop, washed and disinfected feeders, waterers, and nesting boxes (which are actually just plastic bins from Dollerama, but work remarkably well, especially in terms of keeping them clean), laid down fresh shavings, and gave the girls a good talking to about being nice to the newcomers. This is wishful thinking as I know there will be an established pecking order and an adjustment period. I just hope nobody gets too severely bullied.

This weekend is Victoria Day weekend, with Monday being a holiday. Many folk like to go camping this weekend, weather it be in trailers, RVs or tents. None of these are our thing, but good on those who do. In my classroom, I had students away to get going on an early camping weekend with their families. We will get together with friends tonight after supper for drinks and a fire. I'm going to make a hot cheesy dip to bring along.

My ant issue continues (for those of you who actually remember that I had an issue with ants in my house). I thought they were limited to one area in the kitchen. Nope, now they have migrated to the den. I currently have a spray bottle of Lysol cleanser and a roll of paper towel ready to attack every time I see more of the little buggers "go marching two by two hurrah, hurrah". For the record, liquid ant poison and little round ant traps do not work.

The fox that showed up on our back porch continues to be seen around our area. I have no idea why it wants to hang around this vicinity. There is a lot of human commotion happening. We are always coming and going, and the new house which is built kitty corner to us has lots of action and people all day long. It could have a huge woods to reside in if it just walked five minutes to the south. I don't exactly know where its den is, or if it is male or female, but I would really like for it to change locations. I am not worried about the chickens during the day. They are in an enclosed run. If we are home, the chickens are closed up in their coop by about 8:00 in the evening. However, there are times when we are out, and the kids are out, and we aren't around right at roosting time to close them up. I have no doubt that a fox could scale the fence and pop in the little door. Oh well, nothing I can do about those times except maybe try to heard the hens in early, before we leave.

We watched the final episode of Big Bang Theory and daughter and I had a cry at the end. I enjoyed it and recorded it every week so I could watch it. But I think there were series that were more meaningful to me. I was a religious Seinfeld watcher and still reference the show (low talker, man hands, spare a square, working on the Pensky file...). I remember the last episode of MASH. Now that was a tear jerker! As an eighties gal, my shows that I watched were things like Magnum PI, Hillstreet Blues, St. Elsewhere, WKRP in Cincinnati, Cheers, Soap, Unsolved Mysteries... I didn't get into any of the night time soaps like Dallas. One thing I can't abide with these days are the so called reality tv shows which are just staged competitive ridiculous fluff, such as The Bachelor, or Naked and Afraid. Seriously, who came up with that concept??

It's now 6:20 a.m. and the sun is starting to shine in my windows a bit. That's nice to see. I'm going to start to catch up on some of your blogs now and finish my coffee. I'll leave you with some morning tulips that have just stated to show their colour, a bright little forsythia, and the girls  just starting their day.

Saturday 4 May 2019

May 3, 2019

My baby girl turned 23. We had a wonderful time celebrating her birthday. She wanted to go out to eat somewhere, and as she is the social media, tourism, knower of all things interesting, we asked her to decide where she wanted to go. She thought Cowbell Brewery would be fun. This is a fairly new place that features its own craft brewery on site and has a large restaurant. When reservations were first made, they were so booked up that we had to have an 8:30 p.m. time. That's pretty late for a Friday night, when I figured I'd be ready to fall asleep within a couple of hours of that, and then they called back as they had a cancellation, so we were able to have an earlier time. At first, son was booked to work, but he was able to switch, so he was available to join us as well.

Cowbell is about an hour away from us, so we had to start out ahead of time. The food is fantastic there! They have their own wood fired pizza oven, so their pizzas are amazing. Four of us had pizzas and daughter had a lamb burger. Of course, the big thing there is their own beer with all kinds of inventive names. I had a glass of Absent Landlord. The three "kids" had flights (four different kinds of beer in smaller amounts, so you can try a variety and see what you like), and husband had a dark beer called Fly Girl.

Daughter and boyfriend. You can see their flights in front of them in nifty rustic wooden holders. They write the names of the beer on the wood.

Mother and daughter. That is my "Absent Landlord" pizza with pulled pork and crispy onions on it. I brought half of it home with me.

Father and son. Son's pizza was like a cheese burger. Husband had the meat lovers (predictably! ). We had lots of laughs and daughter and boyfriend ran into a couple of friends and associates. We amused and maybe shocked daughter with stories of the day and event of her birth. Husband told her how she was such a conehead baby when he first saw her that he was afraid there was something wrong with her! As you can tell, her head went back to a normal shape. We also told her how husband was in such a fluster that day, that he ran out of gas when driving home from the hospital and had to walk to a gas station to get gas. (Good thing it didn't happen on the way to the hospital!)

The facilities are amazing. We've toured a brewery before, but not this one. You can see much of it from the restaurant, and the rest you can take a self-guided, or guided tour of.

They surprised daughter with a birthday desert which she shared with all of us, because the standard chocolate birthday cake was waiting at home for later. We were absolutely stuffed!

When we got home quite a bit later, it was time for cake.

Try as I might to get a "nice" picture, this is as close as I got.

Not to be forgotten, we pulled up the chair and Samson took his rightful place.

He did not partake in cake. He was expecting some kind of handout.

Today (May 4, yes, May the fourth be with you...), is supposed to be much nicer weather than the rainy cold crud we've been having. I'm in desperate need to outdoor yardwork time. So many things to cut back, clear up, weed, and dig. Hope you all have a good weekend as well!