Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.


Posted on | June 4, 2014 | 2 Comments

So The Other Half got up, put the dogs out to go to the bathroom, made lunches, signed permission slips for all the movies that the kids will be watching instead of doing school work during the last week of school, put some kids on the bus, drove some kids to school, let the dogs back in so they could begin their morning nap on the couch, and filled and started the dishwasher.  Which meant that when I finally rolled out of bed at 8:15 am (O.M.G. 8:15 am!!!!) the house was quiet and most of the chores were done.

I stood downstairs for a minute, baffled.  I was well-rested, the kids were gone, the kitchen was clean, and I had 10 hours until I had to go to work.  What in the world was I going to do with myself???  Luckily Big had left the last of his chocolate Easter bunny on the counter so I settled in for some nibbles as I planned the rest of my day.

But nothing came to me.  None of the animals were injured or dying.  I mean, some were earlier in the week but that resolved itself.  With death.  Which is irritating and only leaves me with 3 turkey poults but it is less annoying than having to care for a turkey poult in the house for the next 6 weeks.   None of the animals required any medical treatment.  I mean, some of them did last week but we finished draining and medicating an abscess on Vixen on Sunday.  We were running low on hay but not out yet.  The garden had been watered, sprayed with Neem oil, and sprinkled with DE on Monday which took care of irrigation and insect control until the end of the week.  I had also poured out several gallons of milk on the tomatoes so calcium needs were covered.  The day before I made enough chicken pasta salad to last for several meals and the egg drawer (and the counter) was overflowing with simple, easy protein goodness for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

I finished my chocolate and meandered out to the barn to do the morning milking.  I decided there was nothing to do except enjoy a leisurely day on the farm.  A break for me before the kids finished school.  A time to relax and recharge.  A lull in the busyness of house and farm and job.

Since my goats were used to milking at 6:30am I gave them a little extra grain.  It’s hard for them to complain when their mouths are full.  And while they were happily munching away after milking, I gave everyone a hoof trim and a sprinkle of DE.

While I was getting the DE, I figured I might as well refill the mineral and baking soda feeders.

I tossed the leftover DE into the chicken coop for them to dust bathe.  And I noticed several of the roosts had been knocked down so I adjusted them and tied everything down.

Which reminded me that the chicks in the back pen were just about roost-sized.  So I added some roosts to their chick shack.

Since there were a bunch of extra roosting poles, I gathered them up for the garden.  And on my way out of the barn yard I filled the wheelbarrow with some dirty bedding.  Because I had a use for that in the garden, too.  I stopped at the greenhouse to get my gardening gloves and realized it was still a mess from spring transplants.  So I emptied all the shelves….

….and neatly stacked up the pots for next year.

Of course, while in the greenhouse, I discovered the permanent garden labels I had made to properly identify my plant varieties and put in the greenhouse to dry.  Full of hope that the temporary popsicle stick markers in the garden were still legible I carried them with me.

Finally in the garden, I drove in the extra roosts as stakes for the fall tomatoes.  By “fall tomatoes” I mean the tiny transplants I took out of the greenhouse and put in the garden at the end of May.  This was my first attempt at staggering my tomato crop and these tomatoes should still be going strong when the ones planted earlier are dried up and shriveled.  Probably.  Maybe.  Who knows??

Then it was time to plant the $1 summer bulbs I bought from the discount rack at Lowe’s.

By “planting”  I mean I put them on the ground and then covered them with the dirty bedding from the barnyard.  I think we can all agree that once it is officially June it is officially too hot to dig holes for bulbs that were only $1 a bag.

Next I stuck my homemade plant labels in the ground and while marking the melons, I decided to use the rest of the barn yard bedding to mulch the melons and cantaloupes.  They’re heavy feeders so that served to fertilize as well as block weeds around their bases.

If I was going to be mulching things, I figured I’d go ahead and add another layer of straw to the potatoes.

I saw that the cucumbers across from the potatoes needed to be wrapped onto the trellis.

And then it only made sense to wrap the vining squash onto their trellis….

….and wrap the peas onto the garden fence.

With all of the vegetables safely off the ground, it would have been crazy not to mow the grass inbetween the rows and around the raised beds.  So I gave the garden a quick trim.

By then it was too hot to do much more relaxing outside.  Instead, I got showered and dressed in normal clothes (i.e., no rips, holes, or mysterious-yet-undoubtedly-disgusting stains) and headed into town.  I returned my friend’s sheep shears, bought a few end-of-the-school-year gift certificates, met a friend for coffee, picked up some algae inhibitor for the small pond, bought the ingredients for a special dessert, and stopped to check out books from the library.

I cruised home along the back roads and still had time to vacuum the pond and apply the algae treatment….

….put fly spray on the fat and sassy pony….

….and refill the hummingbird feeder.

I made the special dessert and when I put it in the freezer I realized that an empty freezer shelf meant we had finally finished eating last year’s pig.  So I went out to the farm freezer and carried in more pork.  Time for a taste of Penny and Pushy!

The kids arrived home off the school bus and Little helped do the evening feeding, watering, and egg gathering and, as a reward, got the first sample of the oreo truffles I made as the special dessert.  Turns out the helpful bird, not the early one, gets the worm.

I got changed again and went in to work almost an hour early.  Because, really, there was nothing to do at my house.  Turns out a lull is kind of boring.  Getting to work meant it was time for the real excitement.

I mean, is there anything more exciting than starting a new book from the library?!

I don’t think so, people.  I really don’t think so.


2 Responses to “Lull.”

  1. Lisa D
    June 5th, 2014 @ 5:50 am

    My lull is sitting here at the computer reading your blog! You exhaust me…

  2. Jill
    June 5th, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

    I’m with Lisa. This is not a week for lulling… 🙂

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