Month: February 2005 (page 1 of 2)

Hens, Lights, and ears

Well it’ s rather wet and dreary and chilly again today. Yesterday the hennies gave me a white egg, then three brown eggs, and that was it. Today it was exactly opposite. First a brown egg, then three white eggs, and nothing more so far.

It’s funny to look at the eggs in their prospective cartons side by side. I always store each eggs days in a separate carton, and in the order they were gathered, and I also decide which of a gathered-at-the-same-time came first and second, and so forth, based on the temperature in my hand feeling. So it’s fairly accurate day in and day out, but on slow days, dead on certain. πŸ˜‰

So that’s two days of just 4 eggs total (unless a seemingly-miracle happens in the next couple of hours.) It was only the day before yesterday that we had a nice amount, and the past week has had high counts. I think I have to go back to February 17th to find a 5-egg day.

So I am hoping this can be pinned on the chilly wet dreary weather, somehow.

Otherwise though, I can understand them. I’m rather drugery-minded on days like this too.

Speaking of that, I saw a commercial, really an “infommercial” on TV last week during the night. I had the TV on and had fallen back to sleep, and awoke hearing talk of light, and seeing better, and such things that’d really catch my ears, and did.

What it was: Ott-lites. A Dr. Ott created a different kind of lightbulb due to working on a Disney project many years ago. Lights that actually let plants grow indoors under their light for good results.

These are lights that are good for seeing better in the darker times, seeing true colors, and well, they should be a cheery presence for these drudgery times. I was able to get one this past weekend. We went to Fry’s and found a task-light for my bedside. They, at Fry’s have other models as well.

The lightbulbs are rated for 10,000 hours of use. That is way more than traditional modern lightbulbs. The light is not like flourecent, though it turn on similarly. It doesn’t have a nasty hum. It doesn’t have any real glare, just lots of wonderful light.

One day I hope to have a few standing lamps, Ott Lites.

I’m glad to have my bedroom light and it will become very useful for me if I can train myself to stay awake and read in the early evening again (as I do in non-winter times). As well, with my “insomia” likeness at times, this light will encourage me to be able to read in the middle of the night. Other book lights have only frustrated me. Lamps frustrate me too. I cannot stand to read from overhead lights, as in a fan fixture. So I’ve fallen into a “watch DVD’s or TV” mode for late night non-sleeping times.

I guess part of it is my eyes, aging. I do wear correction for distance, and do alright with close work naturally, but there is strain in bad light. That’s the aging, the irritation with reading in artificial light. The difference being, Ott Lite doesn’t seem to bother me, but I do need to test it out more. I have several books that I’m in the middle of reading, and haven’t really picked one up in several days … last night I did though, and just couldn’t find my “spot” it had gotten lost, so I have to find that spot again!

Oh too, about correction lenses. I used to wear contacts, and in the last few years I stopped wearing them voluntarily and just wore my glasses instead. In the past year plus I try not to wear my glasses unless I need them too, and I started wearing an older pair of glasses happily at that point. So it’s been beneficial for me to stop wearing contacts. One thing contacts did was give me trouble reading. They corrected far vision too well, so much that close vision suffered.

I’ve read of eye correction methods and am sad that I never heard of them in my younger years. But I do what I can in my older ones without the aide of knowlegable ones around me, to just pretty much do what I can in life to train my eyes a bit better.

One trick I have is if I don’t think I’m seeing well, or just took off my glasses, I shut my eyes for a moment or two, then open them being sure, totally certain, to focus on something very near, like look down at the fabric of my dress on the arm or chest, looking at the texture, so that my eyes naturally sharply focus, then gently look away to further things. It works wonders, keeps blurr-shock away πŸ˜‰ for one, but I do believe I am seeing better than I USED to without glasses.

Glasses overall make me feel ill anyhow. They are unnatural and I’m glad to do away with them in most cases of living. Contacts were helpful, but ended up being less helpful as the years went by. Dr.s like to fine tune contacts and that can get you into stronger and stronger prescriptions easily. I’m out of that ratrace, so gladly too!

As I’ve been typing this Victoria came to me with her second loose-tooth getting looser. I told her to go to her Daddy and ask him to check and see if it was ready. He helped her with her first the other day. She was a bit hesitant, so I brought out thecard we’ve been holding for awhile and told her that if she went down to Daddy and he could get it out, then we’d have her ears pierced this weekend.

She proudly ran away, then soonly ran back holding it, prouder than a peacock. πŸ™‚

So’s she has a gap in the front on the bottom, two side-by-side missing. She is now telling me how good it feels to have the loose tooth gone, she doesn’t “have to go in and wiggle it” anymore. I remember how that was. πŸ˜‰

It’s a cool day

Today it’s been cool and overcast, a bit gusty at times, and then rain started this afternoon. It “feels” chillier than it really is, due to all those conditions. This is normal, as hotter temps have the same thing making it usually “feel hotter”. Drier hot days don’t feel “as hot”, just as some cooler days don’t “feel as cool” due to humidity or sun, or such, it’s a visa versa thing. Weather on the extremes and middles of many connected things similar yet not, similar named result, yet totally different.

I’m just blabbing about this to post something, not important, just that it’s cool and yucky out and I’m trying out some things that posting may help show whether something is working or not. πŸ™‚

I’m getting chilled by just sitting here, so I’ve got to get up and move around. I see a neighbor behind us has smoke pouring from their chimney. All winter long that wasn’t very normal to see from their house. We on the other hand had a fire going if it was cold for a few days and kept it going as needed. So here I am, I said I’m a bit chilled sitting here. That’s just normal for it being a non-sunny day and the temps in the 40’s and rain outside. Not a fire thing, just a get up thing.

I guess some people didn’t make fires during the colder part of the “winter season” so they feel that today is a good day to have a fireplace fire burning — romaticism and all that.

For me, I could build one, but I’ve done it for warmth for two winters in a row. I love building them, but seeing as it’s not COLD cold in here, why build one? Are they romatic-like? Sure, but maybe a bit more utilitarian for me now than they used to be. Also, the wood is all wet. Who wants to struggle with that, I’ve done that in the really cold-rated days this year, it’s neither warming nor romatic kindling making stuff πŸ˜‰

Temps here are going to be in the high 30’s tonight, accuweather says. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, and dim, similar temps as today, but on the lower side of the mid-30’s tomorrow night. Tuesday we are supposed to see some sun, that will be welcomed with open arms. But that night and the two following will be right at the freezing mark, or thereabouts. Temps then in the daytime being around 53 and 49 as is predicted on two of them … with some sun, it’ll be manageable. So we are now just to the point of being 15-days from the “last normal freeze” date. I’m watching the weather predictions heavily, well, just watching and writing down a few degree infos here and there to compare. The plants are definitely into the Spring Fling, and the birds are getting noticeably interested in it too. We are due for a bit of a late winter, I guess, since it’s been so mild most of the season. So let’s just say, I’m very ready for Spring. Might as well, I’ve had Spring Allergies for a couple of weeks, with it building up to higher than mid-point counts the last week. Let’s just get going so we can get it over with. πŸ™‚ And start planting safely too. πŸ™‚

Spring! Signs everywhere!

It’s a lovely day so far. It’s supposed to be up to around 61 degrees F. The sun is shining. Spring is in the air.

I forgot to post this exciting news the other day. Victoria were on the deck the other day sorting through some Thyme I’d cut out of my herb garden (hair cuts for Thyme plants). I heard an odd sound, an odd bird sound, garbly trilly odd. I didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t tell if there was something over this or that way making the noise, in trees or something. She pointed to the east. I squinted my eyes, Ah there it is!

A huge V of geese flying due North at a nice clippy pace. The first sign of Spring Migration!

It was a euphoric site and had me on high excitement levels for quite awhile.

In other news, the Weeping Willow tree is looking very dotty green. It’s fronds are long yet, not at all, but she’s a-puttin them out and from a distance you can see those green things coming out. It’s beautiful. I fear she’s too early though. We have a few weeks to go before the probably “last freeze”. In fact, in the next 15-days forcast Accuweather is calling for many nights down to 32, 31, 29. It’s not that which will be a problem, most likely, but it’s the fact that in the last couple of days they did have “ice storm” maybes in the forcast. They’ve gone away from the forcast, but could come back.

In the greater Atlanta area there are many trees starting to bloom. Cherry trees, or something like them, not the kind we have (ours bloom into March or so –Y. Cherries) and a few others. Maybe they aren’t cherry trees, but they look like the K. kind (I can’t recall the names to spell them out, so figure out the Y and K please yourselves πŸ˜‰ )

Today I saw a Bluebird looking at the nest box. I need to relocate that box. Last year it was nothing but bad stuff for them there. As well, today there were E. Starlings on the fence by the bird box. They were bothering the Bluebirds, of course. Going out I just have to clap and yell a second or two and the Starlings fly away, but the Bluebirds stay. πŸ™‚ I can’t watch them every moment of the day though πŸ™

So I need to get a pole to mount the box on in another place in the yard. Frank, mark that down. πŸ™‚ You are the pole buyer. πŸ˜‰

I would also like a new big bird feeder … mine fell over in a storm last year and started to crumble, not worth the fixing. So I have no nice feeder. I also would like a few more Hummer Feeders, through different things all but one is broke now. Just my nice one is around for now. It’s delicate, blown glass shaped like a long tubular flower. It’s a piece of art really. It’s not a “filler-er-up” many times in a month type. I like the feeders that have many stations on them. So this artsy one is not for that, it’s a one-at-a-timer.

We were in Bass Pro Outlet last night, they have some nice single Hummer Feeders … made out of all kinds of glass bottles and copper and such twisted around them to hold them up, very pretty decorations on them, big old decorative Hummer Feeders all in themselves! But single feeders — pricey too. $19 and up. πŸ™

I’m doing some work on my “herb garden” here and there. I really want to get it in good shape, get more plants in it, and a nice brick border, or a short picket fence around it. It’s a battle keeping the creeping weedy grasses out of it. So the Mantis needs to come out of the garage and do some work for me. Edging first, then cultivation between “rows” to loosen the dirt, get rid of little springy weeds, then I get get in there and do the hefty stuff easier, tidying up and hopefully getting a mulch to put on the dirt, and as I said before, more plants. I have Bee Balm and 3 kinds of Thyme, and Chives that are perennials that are doing alright. I also have two other plants in there that are not “herbs” but are nice butterfly attracters. Purple Cone Flower, and a Giant — I forget it’s name. Both die back to the ground in the winter. The herbs don’t die back, the Thyme keeps plugging away winter long, and the chives scale back but don’t go away, same with the Bee Balm.

I may only have 2 types of Thyme now. I recall that one of the 3 is “Wooly Thyme” and may be under some weeds in the corner, or vanished … or may come back in some small way that I can work with. I also have English Thyme and German Thyme. My English is more leggy and loose –mild smell; the German is more bushy and thick–more smell to it too.

The Peonies out front have continued to put up their first shoots out of the ground. They should be super duper huge this year, and I need to put out supports for them for sure. Frank, take note– I need stakes and garden string! πŸ™‚

Egg Counts moved to own page

Yesterday I began a new page with the egg counts. See it here .

It’s a work in progress. The first page is a list of all pages with counts, and I have them named by month, so all egg counts are on monthly grouped pages, with the format, currently, similar to how I put the egg counts in this weblog as posts, in the dotted border box … but all formatting will be changed sooner than later probably, as I put in more data and see how better to arrange it.

So as it goes, I only have one page listed right now, this current month, and only the past week or so of counts. Once I get more formatting decided then I’ll add more data.

Thanks to WP 1.5 for this functionality using “Pages” πŸ™‚

The current months link will also be on the side bar. Find the basic egg report link on the headers right navigation menu too.

Eggs for Feb 23 2005

Today we have, at this point: 4:57 PM, 8 eggs. Today we got a green egg, yesterday we did not. We got our biggest count yesterday of the year without the contribution of Hawklady. So today she has laid, an additional Leghorn has laid, as well as 5 others as we had yesterday (whether or not these are the same 5 from yesterday, since there are 8 Leghorns, 5 laid yesterday, 6 laid today, do the probability possibilities yourself πŸ˜‰ ). Alas the brownies are the slackers today. Only 2 eggs so far. Yesterday we had 5 brown eggs by this point. As one could see by the numbers, add up todays eggs, and add in the possible other brown layers that we KNOW have laid, I’d have a full dozen today IF they had laid. So we had a white egg late yesterday, will we have one around 5:30PM, or will she hold it over for tomorrow morning? Or is she not going to be an every day layer. Time will tell! πŸ™‚

(See the egg report link on the side bar near the top for the current egg report month, or choose the link at the top of the page for a list of the reports available.)

Upgrade to WP 1.5 complete

I’ve now upgraded this weblog to WP 1.5.

It was a bit difficult due to my customization of my comments form, but I got it straightened out fairly fast. I had to change some of the the php tags from “{ ?>” to ” : ?>” and then I forgot to transfer a couple of commas between some things that needed to be changed as well.

In order to do the comments form I took the WP Classic 1.5 comment form and just added in my changes as were in my 1.2 wp-comments form.

It wasn’t totally straightforward, but neither was it difficult to figure out, just a tad tedious.

Otherwise, I need to test to be sure old things are working still, but so far it seems that all is fine.

I used to have a script in my head section, but I took that out and put it in a separate .js file, and I just haven’t put the line in to call it up yet. So some older pages have popups that won’t work therefore. That’s all that is about.

I have exhibit installed for images, and I like that system, yet again, not. I like it for having the photos available in post as writing an already saved post, but I’ve stopped using it as it’s codes, just have used it to insert the urls of the photos into posts. I haven’t had very many photos on this blog, and when I have, I have just had them lined up without thumbs. Just as easy to add my own css divs around each photo.

I know that I won’t want to have that in use always, so I may just go back and change any posts that use it particularly and recode them to url links to the files myself. I will be getting a real photoblog set up again, so because of that I will put less photos in this blog, but probably not by much, as one or two of any “series” I’d load on a photolog would be in here in a post to link to them probably.

So all in all, I have all the same plugins working, except for that I took out the two spamming plugins I had. I need to retool and see if there are updated plugins or better functioning ones to use for the things I have.

I’m wanting to make changes to this site layout, but this one is working fine, so I won’t break what’s not already broken and since it went really smoothly over to 1.5 as a Theme, then I guess I just need to make it stay this way.

I can use this theme as a parent theme and just change the style of the site with a new theme as a color only theme, for example. I could change the way it looks, but content would be the same.

There is functionality in coding in the Kubric theme too, which I’d like to use, so I’ll be playing with things but it won’t be that noticeable since I can switch back and forth in themes easily. So if a page won’t load right, wait, and try again. If it looks very different ever, it’s just because I’ve switched it to the default theme, or one I’m working on.

I want to get some of the info off of this page and onto separate pages that I’ll link to. So that’ll get more room on the sidebar for other things, and I may overhaul my site root index page to include some info from the various blogs, recent comment updates, recent post titles, etc. recent photos, etc. It’ll be more a portal page for the whole site instead of just a slight portal front page that no one hardly visits.

So this is the first blog on this website to be fixed up with 1.5. I have two or three (or so) more to do here. πŸ™‚

Sunrise after a night of Thunderstorms

Last night we had major thunderstorms come through, including earlier in the day as well. After dark we had the worst of them, harder pounding rain and pea-size, and some a tad larger, hail. Lots of Lighting, cloud to cloud mostly, it was wonderful to watch. The sky was filled with the flashes and glowing of that sky only electricity.

Here’s a photo I took this morning as the sun was coming over the horizon. The ground was misty, light fog that would soon burn off once the sun was higher.

Photo taken with OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA February 22, 2005

Eggs for Feb 22 2005

Eggs for 2-22-2005

9:00 AM – 1 Brown
9:15 AM – 1 White
9:30 AM – 2 White
11:40 AM- 3 Brown
PM – 1 White
PM – 1 Brown
4:30 PM – 1 White (freshly just laid!)
Order gotten in:

BWWWBBBWB

Total: 10

4:40pm Update: We have 10 eggs so far today. That’s our HIGHEST count of the year, and we didn’t get a green egg today (we may or may not still get one).

That’s 5 white eggs, and 5 brown eggs. So more than half the leghorns laid again today, and only 1 brown layer and the 1 green layer didn’t lay — that would also mean that, to include the number of Leghorns that didn’t lay, only 3 Leghorns didn’t lay today. Whoooppeeee! πŸ˜€

WordPress 1.5

I converted my “other weblog” over to WP 1.5 yesterday.

I’m planning on doing that here as well. It’s going to be a bit dicey though, as I need to clean up my CSS file anyhow, and to convert the existing blog, I’m not so sure I want to with all the plugins and stuff … so it’ll be a “I’m not sure how I’ll do it” thing.

I like the new functionality of WP 1.5. With it I’ll get my Photolog going again. πŸ™‚

WP 1.5 will have great potential for even better plugins … so if you have WP be sure and get the new version, and if you don’t use WP, consider it, it’s a great tool to use!

The Themes that you can use in WP 1.5 make it more probable that you’ll see this blog in a very slimmed down version at first. I can use any theme out there and have my own design being tweaked in the background. So I can post and have comments and all my content available as I get things going. Just one click in Themes will change the site entirely.

Themes can also be subthemes, having another theme as it’s parent. So say like you have all the content pages coded the way you like … That is your Main Theme, then you can make a theme that uses your Main Theme as the parent, and make the site look different through the use of CSS. You can have a full theme or as many as you like, changing them with one click. Your site will load however you have chosen the theme in your admin section.

I do see this whole upgrade thing as a need to reinvent design, which I’ve been hungering for πŸ™‚ I’m not sure how it’ll end up. It’ll be blue, no doubt, though. πŸ™‚

The Dog and the Storm

It’s raining very hard right now. It wasn’t raining awhile ago, but I thought I heard the rumble of thunder in the distant WSW. I looked at my accuweather email for the morning and it didn’t mention any thunderstorms. So I went online and looked at the radar and sure enough, there was a nast line moving towards our area from the west south west.

I had also looked out the window, went onto the deck and looked, and it was definitely darker, more gray than black, in those directions. So it was obvious a thicker storm was moving in, but not obvious that it was heavy or thunderously filled.

The radar confirmed my hearing and other senses though. I can feel these things coming. I love them too.

So I then went to the front door to stand on the porch, the dog, Lothar, was behind me and I figured he’d run away into the house somewhere since I was going to the front door. Of course that was not HIS plan. I’ve been training him more the past few days, and had wanted to start training him to come with me to the door, in the event of me wanting him by the front door for any reason in the future.

So in split second timings this was all happening as I opened the door, and I reached down to grab Lothar’s collar and zzzippp he was out the door and whipping across the front yard to the street and beyond. Whoaaa Boy! Nothing brought him back. So with imminent falling rain and lightning bolts not too far away, I had to go running after him.

It may not be known to all readers that Lothar is a super speedy pup. He’s over a year old, but still puppy-like. In anycase, he speeds around the yard like he has a fire on the end of his tail. So knowning that about him, I was sure I couldn’t catch him.

My best hope was for Frank to come out and help, and the children had ran in to find him. I ended up having to run all over the place in our little part of the street, four houses involved, ours the two on either side of us, and the one across the street. Our lots aren’t tiny so it was a lot of ground to cover and very hilly one part goes uuup and the other way is dooowwwwn. Takes a great lot of energy reserves to do such running. I am not one with much reserves. I can output the needed energy, but then I’m tuckered out and shaking for the rest of day.

I called that dog, whistled for him, sweetly called his name, slapped my thigh called “here boy!” and clapped my hands … nothing did he attend to. Nothing did he even stop for and look at me.

He was nuts. He’s never done this before and all I can figure is that something weird happened in his brain when he saw the front door and could feel a storm coming.

Well he marked this and that place, and that other place and on and on. I just couldn’t get him, a centimeter from his collar, or tail –I got that close and just couldn’t make a grab on him anywhere. Huffing and puffing I was running and trying to shuttle him towards the house and he was way ahead of me and turned at the same place he’d been time and again on his crazy tour and just went in the house. Dumb dog.

I can use exercise, sure. But that sort isn’t helpful. If he got like that daily I’d have to seriously ditch him or pay to have it trained out of him. See animals in our area get hit all the time. Our neighbors dog got out of their yard recently and was wandering around. It was a digger, and with our chickens and our dog we coudn’t keep it in our yard, it went away anyhow. So we found out later that it had gotten hit by a car and was dead.

A free running dog is not legal either, leash-laws. I have no desire to have my dog running around the neighborhood as others have been doing since this subdivision went up.

So our Lothar was in the house, and he knew I was not happy. He was non-hyper and totally the opposite of his previous adventurous self. Into his crate he went.

I’ve had some good times with that dog the past few days, thinking I was making progress with him in paying attention to me, coming when called no matter what, listening to my commands to come, sit, stay, with help, but he was doing great compared to anytime in the past I’d tried to work with him.

I guess he had pent up rebelliousness from training and the pending storm not far away released his emotions. I am guessing.

So anyhow it’s been raining since then, pelting rain, then lulls and then more rain, then pelting, pelting rain. Crash, rumble, flash, flash, flash, rumble, crash, crash, flash, crash … ahhhh.

Eggs for Feb 21 2005

Eggs for 2-21-2005

8:30 AM – 2 Brown
9:30 AM – 2 White
10:15 AM – 1 White, 1 Brown
PM – 1 White
4:45 PM – 1 Brown (nice and warm!)

Gotten in this order:

BBWWWBWB

Total Thus Far: 8

It’s an overcast/foggy/rainy day. It’s not raining right now though. The egg production has been good. One brown egg a day has been kind of cracked or really cracked. I think it’s the same hen. So just one is showing a need for extra calcium — I have to go find my box of hen supplies that has some of the “A” stuff in it. [it’s buried in the garage somewhere. πŸ™ ]

Afternoon Update: I got another egg from the Leghorns, that’s the 4th white egg today, the highest white egg count of 2005! Way to go old ladies! That’s 50% production from the White Leghorns.

Eggs for Sunday – The Lord’s Day Feb 20 2005

The Lord’s Day
Eggs for 2-20-2005

8:30 AM – 1 Brown, 1 White
11:00 AM – 1 White
PM – 2 Brown, 1 Green, 1 White

Gotten in this order:

BWWBGBW

Total: 7

Eggs for Feb 19 2005

Eggs for 2-19-2005

1 Green
3 Brown
3 White

gotten through the day in this order:

G B B W W W B

Total: 7

Eggs for Feb 18 2005

Eggs for 2-18-2005

9:30 AM – 1 Brown, 1 White
11:00 AM – 2 Brown
12:15 PM – 1 Brown
1:30 PM – 1 Brown, 1 White
3:40 PM – 1 White

Total Thus Far: 8

It was cold last night, below freezing for the first time in awhile. The hens are laying fine today though. Yesterday I got a white egg later in the morning than today, and going by the numbers of eggs and times, comparing today to yesterday, that may be a different Leghorn, meaning two different ones laying.

Yesterday Hawklady laid her green egg around right now. So maybe we’ll be seeing one from her in about an hour, or later, or not until tomorrow. I hope it’ll be today soon though, and that she’ll prove to be a great layer, like she has been in the past. πŸ™‚

1:45 PM:

The eggs just gotten were a cooler brown and a warm white one. That is possibly the white egg layer that laid yesterday around 12:30pm. Most likely, that is. πŸ™‚

3:45 PM:

I went out to feed the hens a little snack/early light dinner at 3:30pm and found that there was a Leghorn in that pens nest box. Hmm. We already had two white eggs this day at that point … this hen didn’t have a super read comb, but it doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be the layer. She had the right position of laying as if she was nesting and getting comfy in order to get ready.

So I went back in and asked Victoria if she’d put some grass in that box, since there was some grass in that box. She said she had. It would have been an interesting feat for the hens to have done that πŸ˜‰

So I gave it a few minutes and then went back out. There was a nice very warm white egg in the box.

That means we had 3 white layers today. That’s the most in a day thus far this year.

We also though had 5 brown layers today. This has happened before this month, but I hadn’t considered it fully until today. It means that every so often 5 hens are laying an egg the same day. Brown eggs, and my brown layers number 6 birds. So do the math, one hen isn’t laying yet, or is and they haven’t all laid on one day together.

I have to get my data on paper and look it over, as I’ve done in past years. I love calculating who and what … it’s very INTP I set up a systematic scheme for how it’s going, and that is great to keep going with, until their production hits a lulling snag and I lose intrest πŸ˜‰

So I don’t have perfect records, though I’d love to have such. I need a farm-hand-trainee to take up the drudgery task …” let me do the schematic dreaming and you do the data entry, keeping up with it daily all year long.” πŸ˜‰ I have one of them growing up and probably able to complete the task in the next year or so (Russell will be 9 in April).

Dog training in session

These two photos are from the other day. Dog is now being trained to stay inside.

Previously he has only been crate trained and stayed outside mostly, in his 10×10 corral and running free in fenced in backyard.

So he’s new to the inside during daytime nice weather, not in crate. In these photos he on the dirty kitchen floor, with his leash wrapped around the table leg just so he’ll stay put. He’s not depressed. He just looks like this when laying down with leash on or off. πŸ™‚

So yesterday I had him in the house off-leash.

Today he’s been in off-leash.

It’s working out alright. The cats are wary of him, well not exactly.

Scarlet and Strider both like the dog. They go right up to Lothar and rub on him. Strider even licks Lothars head some. The Think Blue Count Two duo sit several feet away and watch the dog. They don’t want to be put near him, they pop and hiss if you try to make them. They have no problem running right next to the dog though to get onto my lap. πŸ™‚

So this is first phase of “Get this dog ‘better’ trained”.

He’s over a year old. It’s just now that the first anniversary of his sisters death is at hand. πŸ™

Eggs and Industrialization

I am so happy to have our hens laying again. I’ve so missed their eggs, even though we found a farm less than 10 miles away to get good eggs from. They use the same layer feed that we are now using [we get it from them].

So now that “their” eggs are gone we are using “our” eggs again. Why is it that all our hens give us deep orange yolks … but that farms eggs weren’t like that. Our eggs were like that before, always they are deeper orange than any other eggs we can get. So it doesn’t matter why, really, just is so nice to get the eggs out, make a sunny side up and it be glowingly orange. To crack eggs into a bowl and make scrambled eggs in butter, and have the scrambled eggs so very yellow, bright orange yellow. So fluffy, so mild, so tasty.

I only like our eggs. I know that seems snobby. It’s not. Good is good. Not good is not good. One must distinguish true good over true bad. So it’s not snobby. It’s true that our hens give us nicer eggs somehow and that makes them palatable to me. I like eggs that are mild and delicate yet textured firm as well. I like eggs that have big orange yolks and sit high in the whites. Mmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm.

Everyone needs some hens in their backyard. Everyone should experience this. Everyone. Too bad that’s not going to happen. See, everyone doesn’t have their own backyard. Lots of people don’t have even 10 square feet of backyard.

Farmers live off of the fat of the land. Live high as hogs. Not with money, but with food. We taste that in the smidgen of the way we can, with the layers in our backyard. It’s a taste of heaven.

Silly, isn’t it, in the “old days” it was “normal” for people to have layers in their backyard, pecking the ground, laying eggs, have a hen for dinner, or a rooster, just by going out and catching one.

That was how it was. Then industrialization came to being, and the market days dwindled. Not everyone had hens in their backyards, so farmers markets existed. There were big cities before industrialization, but not like the big city that came after.

So the difference in this is that a large majority of people in the old days lived in little villages, rural areas, on farms, farm-ettes, has at least a little garden and hens, cow too.

What they had, we taste just a little of, and consider it a taste of heaven.

Knowing how most laying hens live should be enough to turn many folks around. But it goes to this sad truth: even farmers don’t care. They are the ones with those huge expensive concrete hen houses.

This is the Matrix we live in. We are so intelligent, advanced, and know so very little. πŸ™

Eggs for Feb 17 2005

Eggs for 2-17-2005

9:30 AM – 2 Brown
11:30 AM – 1 White
12:oo PM – 1 Green
1:00 PM – 1 Brown

Total Thus Far: 5

Update: 12:10 PM: I went out to check for eggs and found Hawklady in the A-Frame Nest Box. She was in a laying position, close to actuall dropping her egg it looked. So I shut the door and looked in the “window” of the other door at all the hens. Hawklady stayed in the box, so I opened the nest box door again when I saw her move. Since there is no hay or straw in there, I had a clear view of it. She had her bottom facing the door, and when I looked, I got a front row seat to seeing that egg “crown” and then come out. It was precisely cool!

It’s also a good thing: she laid yesterday, and today. It’s a pattern she hasn’t had as of yet, so she may be getting into the laying a bit more now. πŸ™‚

Frank left for a 2-day trip before sunrise, so I was awake then, and went back to sleep. I didn’t wake up then until right before 9 AM πŸ˜‰

When I got out to the hens there were 2 nice brown eggs in the A-Frame nest box, they weren’t warm, but neither were they as cool as the air. So they weren’t “just laid” nor laid “super early”.

Yesterday afternoon Frank was moving the SuperYard pen by himself, and a Leghorn got out. So he needed my help. Leghorn Catch is a fun game if you keep your humour. πŸ˜‰

We ended up just moving the pen and would get the straggler afterwards. During the move another Leghorn got out (lumpy land is the reason, raise the pen to go over the lump and then boom, hen ducks under on the other side of the lump.)

So Leghorn Catch was doubled, and we eventually got them. Frank caught them each by the tail. He’s a bit more unsure of picking them up, so I have to go in usually and get the bird. To do that I have to distract them so that he can sneak up on them from behind, or if he can do that while they themselves are just naturally distracted. In the past it works to get them caught in a barricade or something that’ll trap them. Otherwise, they run away from any front or side or rear approach. They are very flighty and it’s a wearisome game.

Given another piece of land, we’d not have to catch the Leghorns, but let them free-range. πŸ™‚

Eggs for Feb 16 2005

2-16-2005 Egg Count:

6:00 AM – 1 Brown (the hens and me were up before sunrise and so I got this one nice and warm)
8:00 AM – 2 Brown, 1 Green (1 brown was very warm, the other two were cooling down)
during the PM – 1 White, 2 Brown

Total Thus Far: 7

We’ve had a good start to the day! It’s not foggy today, and the sky is trying to become blue. There are burst of sunshine here and there. The first in days.

We are supposed to get some rain in the afternoon, “they” say. The sky is not blue, just hints of it peeking through the layers of white and gray. These are the low kind of clouds, almost overcast, but not quite that, just sort of. πŸ˜‰

Well the temperature right now, at 8:58 am is supposedly around 57 degrees. I went out early to get that first egg and it was dark, balmy, and comfortable out. The info for this area also says there is “Fog” but there is not where we are. The 24-hour past temperatures read out that at 6 AM it was 55 degrees. Whatever the temperature, conditions, feels-like temp, it was so nice then, really balmy and comfortable. OK so it was probably really cold to some folks. πŸ˜‰ not me though! πŸ˜†

Eggs for Feb 15 2005

2-15-2005 Egg Count:

9:00 AM – 1 White
11:30 AM – 2 Brown (both not warm when gotten)
PM – 1 Brown

Total: 4

I went out to check for eggs at 8am today. We had an egg right before that the day before. I didn’t think there’d be one that early today, not from the same hen, at least, so wasn’t surprised when there was no egg in there then, nor later the next couple of times I checked.

That first checking is when I found a Leghorn in the nest box in the SuperYard. That proved out later to be an egg, when I next checked, but it was probably laid much earlier than 9am then. That’s a different hen than laid the white egg yesterday … of course. πŸ™‚

I was just out and got the first two brown eggs, and when I looked in the SuperYard nest box, there was a Leghorn in there. So another egg will be laid, or has already been maybe, and it could be the same hen from yesterday, but maybe a third hen.

In any case, I took a decent long look at them right then and there, the group, and saw more tinges of red than not. That’s super good news for the SuperYard!

It got foggy last night, well, before night, as night was drawing nigh … and got thicker and thicker. Fog Advisories were released from the weather experts. First until 9am today, then this morning extended until Noon. The fog is still thick, but not as low to the ground as it had been earlier. I’m awaiting the sun coming out today. It’s supposed to get to 72 degrees with some sun. I sure hope so!

I’m sure the hens would appreciate some sun as well. πŸ˜‰

Valentine’s Dinner

It’s Valentine’s Day night. It’s dark out and getting foggy. I was going to make an alfredo sauce to go with chicken breasts but couldn’t figure out what I wanted to really do. So I ended up just grating a bunch of parmesean and putting butter and cream in a pan, heating that and putting in the cheese, heating it, then thinking it too thin grating more cheese, then more … then just putting the chicken, once browned in Olive Oil in a frying pan, putting that into a big low and wide casserole dish, and pouring the sauce over it and putting it into the oven. I have no idea how this will turn out.

I have “heart” pasta to make to go with the sauce. Hopefully it’ll be fine. The pasta we got at Cost Plus World Market. It’s pink and white. Some hearts white, some hearts pink. I saw it in January and for 1.99 it was well worth it. So it’s the night to use it and I am deflated about using it. Not sure how the sauce is going to be. πŸ™

I sprinkled some granulated garlic over the chicken breasts while they browned in the pan. So there will be a garlicy taste in the sauce.

I wanted to make bread last week. I had the sponge going, really not a sponge, but my “Pseudo Sourdough Culture”. I’ve kept it out on the counter since creating because it’s just not that warm in the kitchen and I have no room in the fridge, and I’ll have culture ready whenever I want it, a bit faster than the fridge would serve it up to me, that is.

So I didn’t get bread made on Friday. I had the culture all ready to be used. I didn’t make bread on Saturday, culture going even better. I kept the culture going these days, adding more flour to it, but just not getting it made into dough. So Sunday, I kept it going again. Didn’t make bread, it was Sunday, couldn’t do it that day.

So today, Monday. I wanted to make the bread dough. Just never got around to it. It’s been cloudy the last few days, so it’s tougher for me to get things done the longer it’s not sunny. Today I took a nap in the early afternoon too, so that put the bread on the backburner again.

I wish not though. I surely wish I had fresh bread to go with dinner tonight.

πŸ™

I used to make a parmesean noodle side dish, it was always really good. The sauce I made tonight was supposed to resemble that noodle sauce, but I don’t have the recipe book anymore. It got ruined through some freak child accident/violent treatment of something. :rolleyes:

So I put too much cream in the sauce pan, I am sure of that. I put a ton of parmesean in, but not nearly enough to go with the cream πŸ˜‰ If the sauce gets thicker in the oven with the chicken … good. It should, but I hope it’ll be a nice texture when I take it out to serve it.

I have a ton of cookbooks. I have one huge Chicken cookbook –dedicated to chicken recipes, glossy pages, tons of photos– not one interesting “cream sauce” type of chicken recipe in that book. :veryshocked:

Not one recipe for a real alfredo sauce in my any of my books either. It’s not that I couldn’t find one online, I just didn’t like the ones I saw … I had one in my head from before and what I put together is just a weirdo thing, out of proportion, I could’nt control myself, just dumping the cream I had in jars into the pan. πŸ™‚ Well it’s an experimental creation and we’ll see how well it turns out. Frank says my “experiments” are always good.

So it’s in the oven, I just put foil over the top, it was browning on top, the cream sauce, that is. It’s ending up that we’ll be eating later than I had wanted to. That’s just the way it goes sometimes (a lot more often than not, actually πŸ˜‰ )

So this is a family dinner, not a sweethearts dinner. We have nothing smooshy going on this year. Just the smooshy heart pasta, that’ll be it. πŸ˜‰

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