Monday, May 2, 2011

Bees, Bunnies and Microbursts

Holy week this year was a very eventful one in our house.  We started Holy Wednesday out with severe storms and high winds during the middle of the night.  Apparently the winds developed into a micro-burst and took out the kids trampoline.  They finally stopped complaining about it when they saw the devastation caused by the southern tornados that unfortunately killed so many people.

Also on Holy Wednesday Jason brought home 10, 000 bees for our bee hive.  We managed to get them installed in their new home with only two bee stings on Jason.  This was truly a miracle because Jason forgot to spray the bees down with sugar water the first time he tried to dump them into the hive-needless to say the two of us got attacked.  You can see edited video of our first bee hive dump on youtube and/or our farm's facebook page.  Someday Jason will make a "blooper reel" that shows the attack.  On Easter Sunday he removed the cork from around the queen so the other bees would eat her out of the comb box.  He's checked on her one more time and thankfully the bees have accepted her as their queen and didn't kill her.  We are on our way to having honey and a pollinated garden if the rain ever stops long enough to get one planted.

On Holy Thursday we had two big stray dogs begin to attack our ducks.  Luckily Jessie saw them from the sliding glass door so I was able to run out and try to scare them off.  I sent Jessie to tell Jason what was happening.  Jason came outside with shaving cream all over his face and just a towel tied around his waist carrying his of those occassions where you wish that you had a camera on you!!!  Unfortunately he seeems to have missed the dogs because we didn't find a blood trail, but thankfully we haven't seen them since.

We started out Good Friday by taking Jason's mom up to Dover, OH to see the premanufactured home that we are buying for her to live in.  On the way home Jason decided to stop and buy six rabbits to raise for meat rabbits.  We tried sexing them at the feed store, but still have to double check with one of our farming books-we're not actually sure if we got any bucks or not.  We might have to trade rabbits via Craigslist or Facebook.  Thankfully Jason had already picked up a rabbit hutch for free from another family that was getting out of the rabbit raising for once the animal's home was completed!  It does need some tweeking here and there, but they got to go straight into their new home without a set-up delay!  Jason got to end Lent with a case of food poisoning that began when he got home from church on Good Friday and lasted into Holy Saturday.

Since we are Byzantine the week after Easter is called "Bright Week" and it's a non-fasting week-you can eat meat on Friday!  (The ironic thing was that we actually ate fish leftovers for supper on Friday.)  Anyways on this past Bright Monday, Jason brought home a puppy for the kids.  Princess Cupcake is a half sheltie collie and half cocker spaniel.  Holly the lab doesn't want to have anything to do with her yet.  The kids all adore her, though the dog potty training shall be interesting since I am stuck on bedrest and now Joey and Jessie have one more "chore" to do each day....for some reason Jessie hasn't complained about it yet....I think it's because she is dying to be allowed to have a dog to sleep in her bed.  Anna is excited to have an animal that is actually smaller than her.  Katie likes her for the most part-though she is half scared of the puppy nipping/playing and she calls the puppy "Eddie," which is the name of Jason's mom's black poodle.  Joey seems to have gotten over having yet one more female being added to the house.  We may end up with a schizo dog since Jessie calls her "princess" and Joey calls her "cupcake" on top of Katie's "Eddie."

Jason was able to confirm that we have four baby kittens: three white and one black.  Their eyes are now open, so hopefully the kids will be able to pet them soon.

Last night Jason killed one of our five roosters for Sunday dinner since we really only need two of them right now.  Katie was quite distraught when Joey told her and Jessie what daddy was going to do.  She actually ran across the farm yelling, "Stop Daddy Stop!"  Jessie gave Jason twenty questions about why he was doing it and then informed him that he should at least kill the mean rooster and not the one he grabbed.  Jason asked her, "How can you tell it's not the mean one?"  She replied, "It's not big enough."  She was correct: the mean one is still alive for now.  Joey helped hold the rope around the rooster's neck to keep it pulled long and straight while Jason chopped off the head and then let it "flop around" like a chicken with it's head cut off....that is when Katie cried, "Daddy broke it.....Daddy broke the chicken!"  Unfortunately Jason forgot to plug in the crock pot early enough this morning, so I had to put the chicken in the oven to roast for my luncheon company-the breast cooked up fine, but the wings didn't, so the dogs will enjoy them.  I am looking forward to rooster #2 being sacrificed soon for my crock pot.  I do have to mention that this breed of chickens is really docile.  Jason tucked that rooster under his arm and was able to answer a cell phone call from our business while carrying it across the yard.  He looked like he's been farming all his life while that was going on.

We managed to pick up two more Peking ducks today from a friend in town to add to our flock.  Right now they are in the chicken pen with the latest batch of baby chickens since the other older ducks were not too accepting.  (Chickens are nice because you can add new birds after dark and when they see them the next morning they accept them as if they have always been around....not the brightest of birds but they are yummy and make eggs.)  Since Holy Week began our Muscovy ducks are laying eggs.  We were excited because it seems as if one of them was nesting, but after Jason moved the younger Peking ducks into the Muscovy duck pen yesterday from the chicken coop she abandoned the nest.  She was sitting on eight eggs!  We are hoping to build a few nesting a-frame boxes in the tree line since the Muskovy's are wood ducks....Hopefully we will have more baby ducks waddling around soon that came the au naturale way!

I was going to add more pictures of all the new additions to the farm, but the computer doesn't want to cooperate in adding them to this post.  I will try to post them later in the week.  This was a rather exciting/busy ten days on the farm, but I have to admit that it has helped me to fight off my bedrest depression....along with the scary realization that in less than six weeks our new baby will arrive-so much to do to prepare-so little time!

Wishing all of you the sweetest of blessings from God!



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