I know, it's been entirely too long since I've told you a story. I could give you plenty of excuses, but that's all they'd be. Since my last story lots has happened...Hon took me to see Kid Rock in concert (woo~hoo), Eldest drove on the highway for the first time (a real white knuckling event), and spring has begun it's sprung. But, what this story is about has nothing to do with any of that. Kid and I are on a journey...one that will hopefully bring us the joys of chick-hood...we are incubating eggs.
You see, years ago Hon bought me an incubator. It was one of those foam-type ones. We had one semi-successful hatch from it. Then after that, no matter what I did with it, no matter what room I put it in, it gave us squat. That incubator was cleaned and disinfected every time. It was even given pep talks about what it should be producing. Even with all that, it gave us weeks of waiting for what ended up being rotten stinky eggs. I finally gave it a name... the death-a-bator.
Lots of my poultry friends knew about the death-a-bator. It looked like any other foam incubator, but looks were deceiving. No matter where I put it - family room, dining room, cellar - the end result was never good. About three years ago I started dropping hints that a new incubator would be a nice Christmas gift. Then I'd hint at it being a good birthday gift. After that I'd move into hinting about it being a good Mother's Day gift. I even put a wishlist on the refrigerator and at the #1 spot was a new incubator. After years of wanting...I decided it was time to start whining. I don't particularly like whiners, and don't like being one, but I figured I was at that point.
You see, last year after one last ditch effort with the death-a-bator, which resulted in a load of stinky eggs, no chicks, and a bit of a temper on my part - I picked it up and chucked it out the cellar door. Kicked that sucker all the way to the garage, picked it's parts up, and dumped them in the garbage can. That was the end of the death-a-bator. Gosh, that felt good! Problem was, I still didn't have a replacement, so it was time to commence phase whine. I got quite good at it. Even so, Christmas came and went with no incubator.
In February I started conveniently leaving the internet on. It was on a particular webpage for a company called Brinsea. They sell incubators. Then I mentioned to Hon if he bought one through a particular poultry website (Fresh Eggs Daily), he would even get a bit of a discount. Cha-Ching! Low and behold, he finally did it. I knew he did before he told me (because I saw the confirmation email), but that's neither here nor there at this point. On my birthday he told me that he had ordered it and it would be coming soon. I wanted to camp out at the mailbox, but decided against it figuring they've seen enough of me in my nightgown and chicken rain boots, among other odd happenings.
Yesterday Kid and I set our first bunch of eggs in it. We're doing a "togetherness" hatch. He's hatching out some of his Mille Fleur d'Uccle bantam eggs as part of his 4-H project for this year. I'm hatching out some Java eggs from our friends at The River Walk Farm in Arizona. So far, this Brinsea incubator is doing a primo job at holding a good temperature and humidity level. That means on April 18...it takes 21 days for poultry eggs to hatch...we cross our fingers knock on all available wood...chicks will hatch. It's exciting just thinking about it - and we still have 20 days to go.
So, there you have it, folks. A new incubator. The prospect of actual eggs hatching out. I think Hon's having nightmares of being overrun by chicks, turkey poults, and goslings...but he'll get over it. I have yeeeears of incubating to catch up with. This may just put another project on his list of things to do... Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Today's the day...I'm 45. I've been looking forward to this day for the past 364 days. I don't see getting older as something to cry and moan about. It's a day to celebrate the past year's accomplishments, no matter how big or small.
Of course, I do have to remember that I not only share this day with a bazillion other human beings on the planet, but also with three Japanese Bantam roosters on the farm - Sparky, Buddy, and No Name. They're five, by the way. They also had a celebratory feast of lettuce, carrots, and apples to share with their feathered friends this morning.
Now, on to those bifocals. A couple of weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and make an appointment to get my eyes checked. I figured it was a good idea, as it's been years since I've had that done...and I'm teaching Eldest how to drive. Then there was that incident a few months ago where I was lost and couldn't read the map...oh, and when I had to ask Kid to read me a telephone number out of the phone book... I just knew the doctor was going to tell me I needed focals - you know those bi or trifocals. When she gave me the news, and my shoulders did a bit of a slump, she told me I was lucky because she needed them when she turned 40. What she didn't know is I probably could have used them when I was 40, but hey, who am I to burst her bubble, you know?
I am now the happy owner of bifocal contacts. It's a bit weird, and my eyes are trying to adjust, being as one contact is for seeing distance and one is for close up. I've told Hon the only way to describe it is one eyeball focuses on the near or far of it all, while the other is just there - sort of along for the ride, but not doing much. He told me it's got to be messing with my brain, but I told him I'm re-training my brain to see things differently. That sounds much better - more educated, I think. I'm going to get myself a pair of glasses, too, because I still can't see real small print worth a lick, and had to ask the gal at Jo Ann Fabric to read the fine print of a coupon they had there this morning, but I can still read a book looking at the print upside down, and that's one of those things I like to be able to do when I'm reading a story to a group of kids.
Tonight we'll celebrate my day with a stack of birthday pancakes complete with whipped cream and sprinkles - that's tradition. Hon made me a chocolate cake yesterday (which we decided to dig into yesterday being as it's chocolate), but there's some left for us to enjoy today, too. I'll cherish the cards I was given, along with the hugs and kisses, too.
So there you have it, folks. My birthday...not to mention Buddy's, Sparky's, and No Name's birthday, too...oh, and the bifocals. I think I'm going to sneak myself a piece of that chocolate cake... Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Yesterday Kid and Young'un had the opportunity to participate with Boy Scout Troop 14 from Chillicothe in the annual First Aid Meet that was held over at OU-C (that's Ohio University - Chillicothe). Kid as an administrator of first aid with other boys from his Troop, and Young'un as the victim. Poor Young'un. All I asked was that they didn't kill him in the scenarios because I look forward to the hair raising experience of teaching him how to drive, like I'm doing with Eldest at the moment. I was very proud of all the boys that participated. They did a great job working together, which is uber important when you're in what can be a stressful think quick situation.
The Patrol Leaders started out reading the rules to their teams. Young'un was relieved to hear there would be no actual mouth-to-mouth, and if CPR or anything of that nature was needed, the boys were to verbally state that they were doing it. Then the teams were ready to show their stuff. I have to say, the four first aid scenarios that Bill DeVelin, Troop 14's Scoutmaster, came up with were fantastic. They gave the boys a good variety of situations to work together on. I also think I've found a kindred spirit when it comes to making stuff up, too, as he found a bit of humor to throw in a couple of times. Of course, if those particular events were real, I surely wouldn't have laughed, but in the controlled situation I just couldn't help myself.
Let's see, there was situation #2 where Timmy Tenderfoot gave the rundown to his patrol about a boy that needed help (very serious situation), and after giving them the details he remembers to tell them, "I think he's a pleptic." That one little sentence had me giggling. I could just see it in my mind...in fact, I could see a student I had years back that would have said that, which didn't help matters. Don't worry, I got myself under control.
The big problem came with the last scenario. The Scouts had just finished a very serious scenario where they had to demonstrate different first aid situations they might come up on. Everything from bee stings to something in an eye, and burns to swallowing poison. That was tough. Thank goodness I live with Boy Scouts. Now, on to that last scenario.... Picture this, you're winter camping (yeeeeeah, not going to happen)...your Scoutmaster isn't feeling well, so he turns in for the night. Later, after everyone else is sleeping, they are woken up by shrieks. The Scoutmaster has turned into a zombie and has decided Timmy Tenderfoot really does have a tender (i.e. delicious) foot. The Scouts are able to scare their Scoutmaster away and into the woods, at which time they can begin administering first aid to Timmy.... The best part of this was watching the Scouts faces as the story was read by their Patrol Leaders. Their eyes were big as saucers and their mouths were open. I, on the other hand, couldn't help but laugh. I'd be getting a lot of mileage throughout the rest of the day with Young'un having been gnawed on by a zombie.
In the end, actually from beginning to end, it was a great event. The Scouts did a fantastic job and were able to demonstrate so much of their first aid knowledge. Congratulations to everyone in the district that participated, but in particular Troop 14's Husky Patrol, who held top honors in the event!
So, there you have it folks. I suppose technically Young'un didn't die, but I'm waiting for him to turn zombie. When we went to eat lunch afterwards he said it was his last meal of real food, and told me not to let him go to sleep on the way home or he might turn into a zombie. I questioned him this morning, but so far everything is normal...or as normal as it gets around here.
It's a rare occasion when I don't include a picture with a story, but I've decided to let you use your imagination on this one. You see, being a farmer isn't always glamorous. Sometimes it's a dirty job. Case in point, this evening.
There I was, out by the red barn doing chores, whistling away to California Dreaming by the Mamas & the Papas. Nothing unusual. I had just carried hay to the ewes, narrowly missing dumping it when I traversed the mud. Okay, so it's not all mud. I like my delusion of what is and is not in it - so for this story, it's just mud. After I got the hay where it needed to be, I thought I did good because I didn't get stuck. Next stop, the chicken coop.
As I walked out of the ewes stall and into the mud, all seemed okay. I did the normal walking routine - you know, one foot in front of the other. Problem was, when I put my right foot down my left foot should have been rising up into the air. Instead, my left foot got stuck in the mud. Then, ironically, my right foot also got stuck, so I was kind of in the motion of walking, but couldn't. I lost my balance and started waving my arms around like an overgrown turkey trying to take flight to keep my balance. That failed. Next thing I knew I was screeching and going down on my side. My feet were at an odd angle and were stuck inside my boots, which as you remember, were stuck in the mud.
After that, as I was wallering around in the mud like a hog, I had thought surely Young'un and Kid would have heard me (they were putting the turkeys in) and come over to help me out. No one came. That left me there on my own...stuck. It's amazing how much mud (yes, it was all mud) a person can get up their jacket and in their pants as they're laying there, rolling back and forth, trying to get unstuck. As the situation got dirtier, I decided maybe it was a good idea they didn't come at that point, because I figure one would have done a good show at "trying" to help me out while the other went for the camera.
I finally got a foot loose from my boot and there was only one place to put it. I had only wished I didn't have my slipper socks on because up until this evening they were pink...and there's not much pink around here. There was nothing I could do but stick my nice pink slipper sock in the mud (yes, that's all it was) and then start working on the other boot. Since I could finally move a bit better the other foot came out easier, although that slipper sock had to also go for a dip. At least once I got my feet out, I could finally stand up and begin tugging at my boots, which of course, held like they were glued to the ground until just the right amount of pressure was used on one and it sprang loose, flinging my backside back into the mud. It was quite graceful, I'd like to think. After that, the other boot came out a bit easier and it was back to finishing chores. I still had no idea where Young'un and Kid went to. I can tell you, there was no way my feet were going back in my boots. I finished my chores in my used to be pink slipper socks with the animals looking at me like I had lost my mind.
When I got in the house, the kids looked at me like...well, it's kind of hard to describe. I said, "Young'un, didn't you hear me out there?" To which he said, "Well, I heard you scream, but then Kid still needed my help with the turkeys..." Then Eldest said, "Oh man, I wish I knew what happened so I could have gotten the camera." It's nice to know their mother's welfare is first and foremost on their minds.
So, there you have it folks. No picture, but I figure I've given enough details for your imagination to run with it. I suppose this gave me an excuse to clean up and put my pajamas on early. My clothes are in the washer, but I suspect the slipper socks are not going to be what they were. I think my hat is still out there.... Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals wouldn't agree. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm just called Mom. Life on a farm is full of family and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.