Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

This Update is Brought to You by the Letters D, B, and C

(We are traveling this weekend)

So this week we have been planning to go to the Golden Isles for a long weekend. No, it's not vacation. I'm finishing my moving out process. It also means the last of my stuff is coming up here. It's a good thing Mel cleaned up the barn. It will be stored there until our tiny houses are built. We are still a couple months away from that.

Mel has been working 9-1 each day at her job. It seems that home office finally decided to train her in her job. After a year. Government jobs, ya gotta love them, right? She's been hopping between one location to another on a daily basis instead of two days a week. It seems that they are coming up on funding review and that's the reason they are doing it now in a hurry.

Our free video editor went to pay for use. We had made several videos during the past couple of weeks and needed to edit them before uploading them.  It made for a flurry of internet searches to find a new one so we could edit our YouTube videos. I suggested just buying a program out right with Mel arguing that we should be able to get a fairly decent one for free. We finally found one that we both could agree on after each trying a couple of them. So we are back in business.

It doesn't help that Mel's truck windshield got hit by a rock on her last trip with me. The little ding spread with our heat wave to show a crack almost to mid line of her windshield. She got pulled over for it and was given a warning. Joy, joy. What fun she is having out and about. I took her Tuesday and we carpooled it back to the homestead for more fun with rabbits and pickles.

Tempest, Blue English Angora
On the homestead, she's been dividing her time between her workshop, where she's rebuilding our rolling cart, to nursing ill bunnies. Tempest is still nursing her sore hocks and is playing it up big time with Mel. She hobbles around her cage lifting her now healed front feet in the air  for attention. Her rear feet are healing nicely.

As many know, rabbits can sleep with their eyes open. She is a heavy sleeper.  Tempest has to be around here with the chickens, dogs and cats. She's been loving her time in the bunny hospital aka Mel's air conditioned bedroom. She was flopped over on her side when Mel went to check on her. Mel being Mel spoke to her through the cage in a loud, corny voice she does. Mel even poked her through the cage. Tempest would not rouse. Mel thought she had lost another English Angora. The rabbit was only sleeping because when Mel reached into the cage and picked her up, the rabbit looked at her with a startled look. I might also mention this rabbit has been treated for a body mites. So she's almost hairless. She looks so pitiful.
Dustin, Gray English Angora

Mel came rushing in from checking on the rabbits Monday. "Dustin has diarrhea! What do I do?" Nothing will kill a rabbit faster than diarrhea in the summer time. They can't drink enough to keep them hydrated.  I told her to empty out his cage. To give him only timothy hay and put some apple cider vinegar into a clean water holder. We bleach and clean their water bottles and food dishes routinely. In fact, we had done it over the weekend. Nothing had changed drastically in his environment to cause the stomach upset. After Mel returned from work, she bathed his hind end of all the mess. Straw and poop everywhere.

In the end, so to speak, there was nothing wrong with him. What Mel thought was diarrhea was just rabbit poo drenched with urine. Once cleaned off, he was his usual playful self and getting into everything. She clipped his poo trail because I'm dangerous with scissors. Now electric shearers is a different story, I can handle those fine. We have yet to get those. They can be a bit pricey for good ones. But they are in the budget for two months from now with the purchase of the new rabbits.

In the garden, I have been waiting and on tomato watch. The one and only tomato we had earlier this month has been joined by about fifty or more little tomatoes. Considering the tomato plants themselves are now 6' high, it's about time.  That first tomato started to go yellowish-orange. I could almost taste it. The first tomato to harvest from our new beds. Every morning I'd go out and peruse my tiny garden. I'd retrain feeler vines, talk to the plants themselves and hand pick any varmint that was trying to damage them. The chickens have gotten used to my routine because they wait for me to throw the offenders over the fence for them to munch on.

This first tomato was my pride and joy. It had gotten so heavy that it carried its branch to the ground. I placed straw under it to cushion it from the ground. It was now on its way to be harvested. Imagine my surprise to find that 6" tomato half eaten this week. I picked it up from its cozy bed and just stared at it. It was then I noticed not the rounded bite marks of an insect or even a rabbit, but the "V" shaped bite marks of a chicken. GRRRR! I threw the tomato into the compost bin. The chickens raced for it, and then squawked loudly because I'd thrown it into the center and they couldn't reach it.

The chickens strike again! But their uncontrolled free ranging days are numbered. They need to enjoy them while they can. As fun as they can be, I'm tired of them thinking my house is theirs to come and go as they please. I'm tired of cleaning up their poop, or slipping on it. But most of all, I want to be able to eat my own vegetables that I grow for us. Giving them scraps and leftovers is fine, but not everything the greedy buggers. I can honestly say, I'm going to enjoy culling day. At least I know what they are eating was good stuff, but it was meant for us. They are eating all of my garden, their chicken food, the scraps, and whatever they find when they are foraging around the yard. So far I've harvested 2 lbs of green beans, 3 lbs of zucchini, 1 winter squash pumpkin and that's been it. They have eaten the rest! And, they say sharks only live to eat and make babies. What about chickens?! They even eat their young.

I know, I know, I always seem to complain about the chickens, but can you blame me? Yes, they give us eggs but compared to what we've lost is free eggs really worth it? Something doesn't balance. Around here right now, we are the Cockeyed Homestead under chicken rule. The chicken building can't get here fast enough. Unfortunately, too late for a garden this year.

Next year, I'm (human) taking control back. (Laughing wickedly and maniacally) I will rule, or so they will let me think so. Yes, insanity is hereditary. It's gleaned from rampant homestead animals and plants. No, not the illegal kind of plants either. If not careful not only will be talking to yourself but answering yourself too.

Okay, so I'm dreaming now. Any minute now Whitie will crow and wake me up. Ah, there he is now. It was a nice dream while it lasted. The Cockeyed Homestead is brought to you by the letters D, B, and C for Darn, Blasted Chickens. It's a good thing I'm not home right now. I hear sirens approaching to come and take me away from the homestead.

I watched this a couple of years ago. Enjoy while we're away. Shaking my head sadly. I didn't read between the lines and listen to her.


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