afarIt was an odd homecoming. Throw some clothes in a suitcase, add some things to keep me occupied (read: work), borrow a MiFi device from very generous church friends in hopes of being able to log on at my folks’, leave egg delivery contact list and info for Sue, hit the road. 7 hours later, here I am. I’ve never left Sue on such short notice, with no plan in place, and without weeks of planning. Yet, here I am. For those not friends with me on Face Book, my mom was hospitalized with a TIA over the weekend. I’m glad I’ve came to, maybe, make sure that she doesn’t do too much too quickly; now I am updating you from afar.

As you know, when I’m on travel, I rely very heavily on Sue’s updates and photos. That is, unless I’m doing a field trip while gone… no field trips this time! However, I am able to fill you in more on a couple of the ongoing projects and other items. Since I’m writing from “afar” I have to tell you my favorite Christmas joke as first heard from the Rev. Dr. Floyd Ellison.
Q: Why did the Wise men smell like smoke when they arrived at the nativity?
A (spoken in a heavy southern accent): The Bible says, “They come from a fahr.”  Get it? Call me later and I can say it so you hear the accent and inflection. On with our update…

IMG_2598The chicken coop looks spectacular! Such a calming color for those chickens :). Here’s an action shot of our neighbor, Lance, working on the coop itself, after all the raw lumber in the covered run was done. He and Elise have been wonderful helping get the project done. My sole contribution was caulking… I may have said that already, sometimes I forget. I’m hoping that, by the time I get back, whatever was driving my allergies bonkers, will have passed, and I can help Sue put up the wire and the top coverings. Here’s a photo “from afar” to help you get the the big picture.
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Brief update on the solar over at the tractor garage: Sue and our friend, Ron, worked on it some more yesterday. She reports, “We got the [solar] panel on the roof, the wires run, but both of my Marine batteries were bad. Ron says he has one, so tomorrow I’ll trade him a bad battery for a good one. Then we can finish the project.” Sounds like we’re making out on that deal; who wants a bad battery??? Knowing Ron, he can probably fix it. I don’t have any new photos of this project, but maybe when it’s done Sue can document it all for us.

IMG_5855Other things: before I started thinking I might need to drive to Cali, I was out in the garden cutting greens for the flock. Much of our Swiss Chard, broccoli, and Kale, a few of our Bok Choi and a red cabbage were starting to go to see already! I just chopped everything back and brought it into the house to wash up. We have a huge farm sink and it was filled to overflowing with greens. I was able to even salvage good portions of the kale and Swiss chard for us to eat – and  still get 6 huge grocery bags full of greens for the birds. Sue said it should last her 5 days or so. Being able to grow and harvest our own has given us days of staying away from the stores. Rather nice. Oh! PLUS, our snap peas are really putting on a show and are so very tasty. We had a wonderful shrimp (still eating out of the freezer) and snap pea pasta the other day; used some of the fresh salsa I made a couple weeks ago now. Was delicious!

IMG_2612The geese really enjoy extra greens and stalks in their little pool. Sue sent me this photo from this morning’s play time. Makes me smile to see it; they are always so noisy when they’re going after the floating greens. The chickens usually feel left out. Poor babies.

The-Disabled-List-LogoSpeaking of poor babies. We currently have two chickens on the DL. One is in a large kennel recovery cage on the porch; she had the beginnings of what we believe to be Coccidiosis. She’s already doing better with an infusion of Nutri-Drench (basically liquid vitamins), some natural homeopathic antibiotics with sulphas (designed for organically raised/kept chickens), and magic water (this is something we give the chicks when they arrive; water, honey, garlic, bit of apple cider vinegar).  We were recently able to cure another one of her flock mates with some of the same symptoms, so we’re thinking of added the Drench and natural antibioticals to their water for a time. See if we can knock it out of their systems. Now that the oregano is coming on strong, I should pick a ton of it and add that to their water too. It’s a great herbal antibiotic for them, helps them in hot weather too. The other is one of our very small banty hens. Sue found her limping around the chicken yard. We made her comfortable in a small carrier. Yesterday Sue texted me this update, “The little Banty hen got out. The cat’s didn’t know what to do. She is walking better. Maybe only one more day in the house.” It’s always good when they improve. Sometimes they just need a quiet place that they can recoup for a couple of days within easy access to food and water. Hope she’s back out on her feet in no time.

summer thank youSo, that’s the farm update at this point. I haven’t been keeping you up on the egg count.. I have been terribly remiss. Maybe I’ll ask Sue if she’ll just e-mail me numbers. But she’s already doing so much, you might have to wait until the end of my sojourn. Until then, as always~
Thank you for reading.