Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Peeps

Well, our adventure with chickens has begun...

We bought our peeps on Saturday from a man at the Channel 16 Expo. We were going to get all Rhode Island Reds but then he showed us these... The larger white bird is a Deleware Chicken, they apparently are on the the endangered species list. They are supposed to be very docile birds that lay about 1 egg a day right through winter. Mature weight is around 6lbs, so it is a good meat bird too. We are hopeful that this one is a hen, it was the only one he had left on his farm. The other larger birds are the Rhode Island crosses, I forgot to ask what they were crossed with, but I assume, as these are the only breeds he had, they are with the Delawares. The little black guys, or gals, are Dominiques, also an endangered bird. The grow up to be these beautiful speckled black and white birds. They are more docile than the Rhode Islands and also lay about 1 egg a day. Again, we are hopeful that at least 1/2 of our 13 birds are hens, but with my luck, they will all be, and I will have eggs coming out of my ears!!!!

For right now, these little guys are living in our garage under heat lamps and out of the cold. We are building, or rather collecting, our hen house. We are lucky enough to have many farmers in the family and between them all, we have been able to collect an abandoned backyard shed, about 20 nesting boxes, feeders, waters and assorted other necessities. We just have to put them all together and build a completely enclosed pen for them.

Wish us luck, there is no turning back now!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Anyone know what they are? Extra appendages, toes or fingers. We have a barn cat that has eluded being spayed more times than I can count at this point. She usually gives us only two litters a summer and each litter may, if we are lucky, have two kittens in it. She is not very fertile, thank goodness! Lately, the past two litters, she has been giving us polydactyl kittens!

Yesterday she gave us two more, both males. The smallest of the two has the extra toes. One extra on the front feet and one hind foot has only one extra, the other has two.

If you have ever experienced one of these cats, they have a very distinct personality. The know how to use these toes and are hysterical to watch. They can literally pick things up almost like a human! There are so many toes, they just wrap them around, and without the nails, pick up whatever quarry they are after. Imagine throwing a ball to someone wearing a catchers mitt. Now imagine a paw outstretched to catch that little mouse you have just thrown across the room, it's almost as big.

Ernest Hemmingway made these cats famous. There are still polydactyls running around his farm. It's a genetic trait, so once it's in the gene pool, I guess it is there to stay.

I will post pictures once they are a little older, I don't like to handle them too much the first week they are with us. Both of these little guys will be up for adoption the beginning of May. Anyone interested?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some Blogging Fun

OK, this is WAY overdue, I know. Of the many hats I wear (mother, wife, volunteer, weaver, teacher, etc, etc) I have only worn one the past two weeks, that of mother. There has been a really nasty bug floating around Northeast PA and my two children both caught it. They were running high (104.8) fevers, even with meds, for almost 2 weeks. As it was viral, all we could do was cuddle on the couch together. Now that they are better, life can return to normal and I can pull all the other hats out of the closet.

I think I may have mentioned this one other time...but I have MS, multiple sclerosis. I am very lucky that, for the most part, it does not effect my daily life. My stress level right now is so high that I have been forced to back out of some prior commitments and have been told to learn how to say "NO".

But, then I read this blog written by my Aunt Tammy, Treadleworks by Tammy. There is a link belowin my blog list. She was talking about paying it forward, this was not something I could say no to! Therefore....

To "borrow" some wording from my Aunt...

Here's how Pay It Forward works:I've signed up with Treadleworks by Tammy and committed to send the next 3 people who sign up here with me on my blog a hand-made item and goodie package within 365 days.By accepting my invitation, YOU agree to Pay it Forward to the next 3 people who sign up with you, on your blog, and send them something within 365 days.Want to join the fun, create some positive energy, a Blessing and Pay It Forward?The first 3 people to leave me a blog comment, telling me they would like to Pay It Forward is in!I will leave you a comment on your blog and you let you know if you are one of the three and then we will go from there.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? And the prospect of a "gift" showing up, unexpectedly, anyday over the next year almost stirs up childlike giddiness! What a wonderful thing to look forward to, both the giving and receiving. How could you say no?!

So, how bout it? Who will be the first to sign up and "Pay it Forward"?