Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Overdue Update

It's been a while since I've posted a Thanksgiving chick update. They've really grown! Tonight I moved them from the huge box in the basement out to the pen in the garage. It's bitter cold, so I hung the heat lamp pretty low so they can feel the heat. They're all feathered out, so I think they'll be fine.

Out of the seven, I think at least two if not three are cockerels. I know to of the red Buff Orpington crosses are cockerels. Most of the others look like pullets, but it's a little soon to tell.

And want to hear something funny? A day or two after the chicks hatched, my 2 year old nephew went and picked one of the chicks up out of their box. He managed to carry it out into the hall before anyone noticed (sneaky little bugger). The chick was fine, not hurt. But......

now it carries its head a little crooked. I think it's hilarious! It doesn't affect the chick at all, and it's not even all that noticeable. And hey, I guess it could have had a crooked head before Evan carried it, who knows! I haven't told my sister yet, because I didn't want her to worry or feel bad. So Becky, don't feel bad! Now I have a great story to tell!

You can kind of see what I mean in this picture. It always looks like it's looking up at the sky. :-)I think "it's" a she. Maybe I'll name her Ilene.

Hope you're all staying warm out! It's sooo cold and windy here!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Five weeks ago we took in Remmy, a boxer, as our foster dog. He'd had a rough time and needed to get out of the shelter. His time was up and they had no other options for him. Luckily a boxer rescue group stepped in once we agreed to foster him, because the rescue was out of foster homes.

My parents started a greyhound rescue group, so we had our fair share of foster dogs. This time was different though. He was *my* foster dog, not my parents'. I'll admit, there were some frustrating times with Remmy. He had diarrhea for 4 of the 5 weeks we had him. He had some small issues trying to get along with our dogs, but he came a long way.

It's just like something clicked for him one day. Like he finally understood what living in a house should be like. He and Elmer started playing together. I cannot tell you how happy I was to see that. Before he *got it*, I thought I'd had enough. I was done with him, done with the constant monitoring, done with the refereeing of the dogs. But luckily for us both, things did a complete 180. His diarrhea stopped. He adjusted to our dogs. He became a house dog.

A woman from Pennsylvania contacted the rescue about him. She'd lost 2 dogs in the past year. She's a long time boxer owner, and she and her husband are retired and would be home with Remmy full time. It was a dream come true for him.

We spoke over the phone and I could just tell she'd be a great home for him. She has another dog, a 12 year old boxer, and she has enough dog experience to be able to handle any bowel flare ups or temper tantrums he might have.

We met her today near Philly so she could get Remmy.

It was bitter sweet. I'm so happy that Remmy has a good home, and he's going to be ok. I'm also sad because the time he's spent with us lately has been great. I am already missing him. I sent him with a blanket that has our scents on it so he has something familiar in his new home.

I think I'm mostly sad that he might be confused. Is he thinking we abandoned him? Is he wondering where I am? I keep telling myself that he's fine. His new mom already called us and said he's settling in nicely! She promised to send updates and pictures.

I'm going to miss his sillyness though, like watching him try to fit his body through the cat door, and finally giving up and laying on the floor with his head through it.

I know that we gave him a great opportunity. It's so overwhelming. This dog is alive because of us. We saved his life.

Hopefully we'll get the chance to foster again. I'm thinking we'll take a break for a while. It's emotionally draining. But it was so worth it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Best Day of the Year!

We had a great Christmas here at home. Did you all? What did you get?

I have to say, my favorite present this year is the awesome pressure canner David got me!! I can't to fire this bad boy up...maybe cook some chicken, or ribs. And next summer I'll be able to can some veggies that I can't can in a waterbath canner!

I also got a very nice heat pad that's microwaveable! David couldn't find a hot water bottle, so he got that instead. I took it to bed with me last night and it was definitely warm! Ooh, and he got me a really cool fire pit for outside. It's dome shaped with a mesh screen lid...perfect for sitting around at night and roasting marshmallows! He did a great job!

The kids came over from their mom's house around noon and saw that Santa had come! They were very excited!

Kylee got a biiiig present. I love her expression here. What could it be?!

A tricycle!!!

Here she is opening a Disney Princess poster for her room.

And here's Devin with his foam dart gun.

And this is our third child. Just kidding, it's just a big doll. See how Kylee's eyeballing it? Well, we had a little incident. Kylee decided she wanted to take down the doll's bun. Well, turns out there's not hair all over the doll's head, just around the edges, so when it's pulled up you can't tell. The doll looks freaky with her hair down, because you can see plastic skull. It freaked Kylee out. She laughed about it at first, but then when I took the doll's hair down a second time to show Grandpop, she said, "I'm not looking!" and hid her eyes. Poor kid is scarred for life I think.

She got some new headbands. Did you know it's the new thing to wear them all at once?

Later that night we opened the new Play-Doh food set and made a few meals.

David was testing out the Wii we got "for the kids." Everyone chipped in so we could get the Wii. David's parents and my dad also contributed. Thanks! Devin was happy to test out the popcorn Santa left.

After the kids went to bed, David and I had some quiet time. He played Wii while I knitted on the couch with Elmer and Remmy the foster dog.

Today we're headed to my dad's for a visit. My Grandma, Aunt Linda, and Uncle Larry will be there, along with my brother! Can't wait to see them!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm A Big Sister!

Sort of! Remember the chicks I hatched over Thanksgiving? Well, my mom ended up taking the incubator and some fertile eggs home with her to try her hand at hatching them!

She just sent me these pictures! The chicks hatched out yesterday and over night!

There are 5 of them. She had a great hatch rate!


I think she may be keeping them, but I'm still not sure. Maybe she can clarify for us? Maybe I'll bring some home after our New Year's visit?

Tell us your plans, Mom!

And I'll try to get some new pics of mine now. I always forget how small they are when they hatch!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My First Hat!

I survived knitting my first hat! I should also add my sister and my Aunt Linda also survived me knitting my first hat, because they answered LOTS of my questions!!

Looking back, it was a really simple pattern. I did happen to make lots of mistakes though! Turns out, when you knit 2 purl 2, you have to pay attention! Luckily about 1/2 way through I learned to tell a knit stitch from a purl stitch, so I could see what I needed to do if I wasn't paying attention. Unfortunately, I also managed to drop a stitch, which is what caused me to go off pattern in the middle of the hat. It took me a while to figure out what I'd done.

I like it though. I think unless you look at the pattern I used, you probably wouldn't know the pattern wasn't intentional. At least that's what I'm telling myself!

Oh yeah, this hat isn't for me. It's Christmas present for my brother-in-law, Joey. I hope he likes it!

Now I need to knit another before Christmas. I better hurry!!

I almost don't want to show you the pattern I used, because my hat looks nothing like it. But I will. It's the Ribbed Cap pattern from the book One Skein Wonders. I used Paton's Classic Wool yarn, worsted weight. I'm not sure of the color. Some type of manly green. :-)

Hopefully my next hat will resemble the pattern just a bit more.


Ok, I like snow. I guess I would even venture to say I love snow. I just don't love snow that's up to my knees.

I guess I wouldn't mind it as much if I didn't have to take dogs out every few hours, and feed the animals. For their sake, it's just too much.

It sure is pretty though.

This is a four foot fence and only the top half is showing.

I had to dig a trench so the Darla, Purl, and June could get to the water trough. The shovel tip is on the ground.

Uh oh. It's only a one-lane road.

It's ok. They push past each other.

Hopefully today we'll be able to get to the store. Not that we really need anything, but David doesn't like feeling trapped in the house. I think I'll go make some sourdough rolls. And maybe bake some cookies. We didn't get any baking done yesterday. I was too busy knitting. I'm almost done with the hat. Should be done today. It sure is an "interesting" hat. ;-)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ready? Set? Snow!

I took off work yesterday because the weather forecast said we were going to get snow. A lot of snow. I decided there was too much work to do around here to get ready, so I stayed home. Our only heat source at the house is a heat pump. If we lose electricity, we're without any source of heat at all. I decided to go to Lowes and get a heater of some sort, plus some other supplies.

I got a grain scoop to use as a snow shovel, because we can use it for other things later in the year as well. The bucket is filled with a snow/ice remover (pet safe). I got a propane heater that will heat up to 200 sq ft. It runs off of those little 1 gallon propane bottles, and it's indoor safe. I also bought candles, milk, bread, and toilet paper. You know, the necessities. I also finally managed to finish up the Christmas shopping.

Seems these geese are restless and looking for some kind of shelter.

Once I got the shopping done, I went to work outside. I wanted to make sure all of the animals were comfortable. I filled up all the water troughs and buckets. Tucker had to check everything out.

I put up a board to block half of the front of the sheep shelter. It's not pretty, but at least it's keeping them warm and out of the wind.

I filled up their hay feeders and bedded them down. June is loving life.

The sheep would rather graze. See Rooster Cogburn? He thinks he's a sheep. Seriously. Most nights he roosts on the hay feeders under the shelter. He's always out with them. I think it's because one of the big roosters (who will be finding another home soon) picks on him.

I put fresh shavings in the chicken coop.

I managed to string icicle lights on the house!! Now we're ready! Bring on the snow!

We woke up and there was snow on the ground! This is unusual for us here. We normally don't get snow until January or February. And this much snow this early is almost unheard of!

Elmer LOVES it!

We got about 8" last night, and it's still coming down fast! We're supposed to get an additional 8-15" today, and another 5" or so tonight. We may get a total of 24"!!! Blizzard!

At least the chickens are snug in their coop.

And Darla, Purl, and June are warm and happy.

Their water wasn't even frozen. It was a giant slushy, so I scooped a path so they could drink.

Here's another shot of the holly in the front yard.

And I don't know if you can see it, but I made a snow angel before I came back in the house. :-)

I have big plans for the rest of the day. Bake cookies, snuggle on the couch, watch some Christmas movies, and finish knitting my first hat! More on the hat later....

Hope you are all warm and toasty wherever you are!
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