Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cows, Cats, Chickens

Our neighbors are the BEST!  
The Tuckers told us they were going to be rounding up their cattle to re-tag and spray the mommas for fleas, ticks, and chiggers, and check the calves, banding the boys.  We were invited to watch.  We did!

Some of the tags looked like there was NO number.

Now everyone knows who she is.

The calves coming to the chute.

Our favorite girl.

A while back we "found" some cats.  I checked with the closest house to where we found them.
Oh no!  They were dropped off.  We brought them home to learn that the local (and not so local) veterinarian charges $50+ to spay or neuter cats.  
Um NO!  
But.....  In December and July they neuter for $5 and spay for $23.
I called animal control.  There is no place close to take them.  They were male and I did not want them mating with my female cats.  We put them back.  Yep.  Cruel.  I get it.  And it was done.

The next time we visited our neighbors on the other side of the hill, the cats had found them!  We were so happy to learn that they had a home.  

Then........... we discovered that our 2 female cats are pregnant!  
Oh NO!  
The onions are excited.
Our animals will be spayed or neutered in July!

A couple of days later the same neighbors invited me and the onions to come help chase and catch some chickens that were dumped there.  Everyone rushed to their truck!
A few chickens were already in the cage.

We caught the one young chicken relatively easily.  Mr. Tucker was the catching hand after it slipped through several attempts to stop it and scoop it up.  

The Rooster was a different story!  We chased that guy for 40 minutes.  It was like running in a soccer game.  Never really stopping and always strategizing.  Everyone was all in to start.  Then blaming, yelling, and frustration ensued.  Some walked away. Some persevered.  Amelia was determined to catch it!
Mr. Tucker was calm and rather quiet the entire time.  It was his hand that finally captured the chicken,  I sometimes ask if my children and helping or hindering.  I think it was the latter, including myself, in this case.

We debrief just about everything these days....  
We talked about what went well, what didn't, other things we noticed, and what we could do differently next time.  They participated and had great insight.  I am already looking forward to our next chicken chase.

We got to keep the chickens.  Amelia wanted to butcher and eat the rooster!  

I called our neighbor over the hill (almost our back door neighbor, but it's over a mile to their house by road) to come help us.  In the few minutes we had to wait for him, we observed yucky mucus on several beaks and diarrhea out the other end.  There were several possibilities of sickness.  I did not want to get our chickens sick.  We do not have facilities to quarantine.  I did not know if the sickness was severe of minor. 
 Mr. Farrell "euthanized" ALL of them for us.  I learned a new technique - upside down in a cone.  Although, I did get the hatchet out for the young chicken: she was much too small for the cone.  Mr Farrell gave us one of his cones!

We live within the national forest boundaries.  Animals get dumped here.  Sigh. 
Thank you to all of you responsible pet owners!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Oh DEER and "the dress"

Naomi has been saving money for months.  When we first went to Bakersville, the little pioneer village where they grow and sell rare seeds and have a pioneer shop, Naomi fell in love with the pioneer dresses.  She finally had enough to buy one for herself and was anxious to buy one. 

Seth drove to Bakersville for driving practice.  At one point he drifted and swerved rather sharply to correct our SUV.  I told him that it was dangerous to correct so sharply at high speeds because it could turn sideways and flip. 

When Eric is driving and sees a dead deer he said "oh deer..."   Well it got really real for us.....

Not even 5 minutes later a deer came running onto the highway right in front of us.  I knew we were going to hit it.  I looked at Seth and experienced the incident almost in slow motion.  He slowed, but did not slam on the brakes - there was a car behind us.  He did not cross the double yellow line.  He did not swerve.  In the blink of an eye he had to make the decision that our lives were more valuable than attempting to save the deer from our suburban and potentially putting all of us in danger for a deer that he did not want to hit or hurt. 

The whole thing was rather difficult.  Seth tried to pull over immediately, but I told him to keep going a bit.  Then he pulled off when it was safe.  There was very little shoulder and we were right on the white line when he pulled off.  We all breathed heavily.  The poor deer!  And yet, Seth did everything exactly as he should have. He did not get rear ended, he did not go into oncoming traffic, he did not veer off the road.  But all was not well.  An animal died.  We were all a bit shaken.
I got out to examine the damage.  There was none.   I was glad of it.  When we were all back to breathing normally and had talked about it, Seth continued on. 

I asked Seth to drive home.  It was pouring down rain, but he agreed.  The return trip was just as nerve racking.  He gripped the steering wheel tightly and struggled to see well even with the windshield wipers at full speed the whole way home.  We made it and he did great.

Seth later told me he didn't want to drive after hitting the deer, but that he didn't want to get out when the car was right on the white line.  He didn't want to drive home either.  I am grateful that Seth choose not to give up.  That he persevered in the uncomfortable.  He is changed forever and he is much more confident behind the wheel

Naomi did find a dress she loved enough to buy.... 
She tried it on the minute we got home.

She even wore it to church.

Note:  I did not attempt to harvest the deer.  It did not die immediately with legs flailing (not good meat), it was rather mangled, and I didn't have a knife or tarp in the SUV. 
Guess what's in my car now!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

All in a days' work

We usually have some type of plan for Saturday - going to the temple, youth Super Saturday, a service project, or a church activity.  We had NOTHING on the calendar!  It turned out to be a very productive WORK DAY!

Eric chopped wood the good old fashioned way.  The logs were too big for our hand hydraulic wood splitter.  It turns out that it's faster too.  Wood splitting is a constant need this year.  We will be much more proactive in cutting wood in the years to come.

The onions (mostly Scott) stacked the wood and Eric split it!

Eric was quite worn out from chopping wood all morning.
But on to the next project.  

We got Amelia a shelving unit and a board to use as a desk.  While she was super excited about the desk, she did not like the shelves.  

Eric didn't skip a beat.  He changed out the kitchen sink faucet!  
The old one had separate hot and cold handles - not my favorite.  The sprayer leaked and sprayed about 2 feet sideways if pulled down.  And the soap dispenser did not work.

I did not want a brand new faucet to look dingy from the hard water buildup left on the sink.  I remembered my dad telling me that "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner gets off hard water - easy peasy.  I bought some when he was visiting us here, but I had not tried it on hard water until I thought of it when Eric was ready to put the new faucet in.  
I poured some onto a sponge and it practically wiped away.  Very little effort was needed!  

Eric also changed out a shower head in our bathroom.  LOVE IT!
I am grateful every time I step into the shower!

I had arranged for a piano tuner to come on that same Saturday.

The cubscouts are doing their annual pinewood derby.  This year, they invited the girls too!

I decided I did NOT like the box of flooring I thought I wanted.  Amelia talked me into considering a darker shade.  I like it even more and it will work better for our home.

The contractor that did the outside of our house came to take a look at the inside for me.  I want the wood stove IN the living space we actually use.  We measured and taped off the area.  Then on to the pantry and library and master closet.  He said it would be best to move the stove first, then put the other flooring in.  So we are waiting on him before installing the floor.