13 years have passed since the terror attacks on the US. Hard to believe on that morning I was a normal kid getting ready for school, content in the knowledge my world was as safe as could be. I can remember a class mate coming in to class late saying someone had flown a plane into the first tower. Thinking it was some sick joke. Then, one class later, my parents coming to take us home, in fear of everything else that could and would happen that day. To this day I can remember the heart pounding fear and despair as we worried for the people on the planes and trapped within the buildings. So today on that tragic day's anniversary, stop as you go about your busy life, and take a moment to say a pray for our nation, the innocent people who lost their lives as they worked in their offices or flew to destinations never reached, and to remember the ones who went down as heroes in that Pennsylvania field. And make sure you don't forget the first responders, firemen and women and all the other rescue workers who faced the rubble at Ground Zero and the Pentagon. They saw things no one should ever be forced to face. God bless America and all of her people.
Yesterday was spent running for chicken and turkey feeds, and cleaning the lower barn coop. My husband did most of the work, I mostly just used my apple picker to scoop up the loose refuse that was left after the big chunks of old rotted cow manure were taken out. Now they have a nice clean area with a nice layer of fluffy big chunk shavings.
Also, we added in a second smaller feeder. The larger stand up one simply wasn't enough for all of the birds we have down there now. We took a rough head count and there are approximately 25 hens, 2 roosters, and 3 guinea fowl up in that coop. It's hard to get a great count as they move around so very much. The youngest hens look absolutely fantastic, and are growing at a wonderful rate. We figure they should start laying in another month or so, give or take a week. The husband is going to put a shop light up in the coop for me so they will get enough light as we go into winter to keep them laying through out the cold, dark months.
Today's goal is to get the upper coop cleaned again. Its amazing how much poop 9 young pullets can excrete in 3 weeks time. Now that my little guys are up there they still aren't using the roost at night. So the manure on the floor is increasing rapidly. We'll clean it and add a quarter bag of shavings so that they stay clean and dry. That should nicely last the next month to two now that there are just little baby keets, one baby turkey poult, 2 chicks and one old banny hen in there.
Moving the turkeys to keep them clean and in grass is a constant thing. They are due for another move at around noon, having already been moved this morning at 7. Then this evening around 5 or 6 I'll move them to fresh clean grass once more and re-fill their water pan.
I've come to really enjoy my daily chores, as it gives me a few minutes to be by myself in the peace and quiet outside of the house. There is just nothing quite like getting away from the craziness for a bit to recharge the batteries so to speak.
One of my lovely young Thanksgiving table bound turkeys
This young chick is a cross between Jade's big rooster and my white EE hen.
Laura is doing an excellent job teaching the young
I can't believe my little girl is already 6 months old. She's such a little dear, and amazes me with how generally happy and fun loving she is. Hard to believe soon she'll be walking and then talking. I adore my little punkin who right now is trying very hard to nap after a busy morning in her jumper and a breakfast of milk and sweet potatoes. She doesn't like them nearly as much as carrots but they do the trick for filling the little baby tummy.
Mornings have reached a certain level of consistency.
Nurse Miss P, take dog out, allow Miss P the pleasure of 15 or 20 minutes in her bouncer while momma enjoys a quick cup of coffee. Nurse again and feed a half a jar or so of some form of baby food, she's partial to carrots and squash, but readily accepts apples, pears and sweet taters. Burp, change diaper, put down for a 2 hr or so morning nap (yesterday this did NOT happen, far to rambunctious).
Once down return to the great outdoors, occasionally sans dog. Put whichever horse gets pasture time out for the morning. Drag turkey tractor to a new location (this now needs to start happening 3 or so times a day, as they have become massive and very very hungry). Feed horse and pony, the 4 coops of various poultry oddities, o and the one running around loose and tripping folks. Run the hose to fill all troughs, buckets, pans and other such water containers. Cart by the 2.5-4.5 gallon container to all the coops and stalls and paddocks.
That complete, gather whatever eggs there are so far. Loose wild (wild being a relative term referring to the fact she's the only hen not cooped up) hen is laying gargantuan brown eggs with the most lovely orange yolk right outside Diamond's stall.
Chores are complete, at least for the am, return to the house. Check on still napping child. Sit down at computer, enjoy second cup of coffee and breakfast. Wonder why it is that when you are outside doing said chores you feel so comfortable and cool, and yet the moment you sit down sweat starts to pour off you like a waterfall.
Recently I saw a post in which the person mentioned that farmers are so undervalued by society(very true in most cases) and that they are so terribly poor. Frankly as I walk about doing my morning chores, I feel like the wealthiest person alive. I have a delightful child and family. My wild red hen runs to greet me every morning. Horse and pony alike welcome me to the stable with snuffling noises of hello and nuzzles that cannot compare. The silly little yellow and white fluff ball of a dog that calls me hers races about my feet every morning, full peal to each and every barn a million times, as I go about seeing to all my guys and gals that need my care. My hens and roosters in the lower coop are always eager to see my feet as I come with their feed and water, and they provide me with lovely chicks, eggs and giggles as they do their silly little chicken things.
There are many weeks we wonder how to pay the bills in all honesty. But you know what, I wouldn't trade my life and what I have for Warren Buffet's fortune. Too many people worry about making a million or striking it rich, and fail to see the wealth of family, friends, and experiences they've been granted. Stop and smell the roses, and stop coveting thy neighbors possessions, and maybe the world won't seem so unfair. What is the difference between the rich and the poor? One day the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip" "It was great, Dad." "did you see how poor people live?" the father asked. "Oh yeah," said the son. "So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father. The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them." The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are."
Well summer is pretty much over. Fonda Fair, the 173rd edition this year, is over once more. The fairgrounds is back to being a veritable ghost town. Gone are the carnival lights, horses and cows, chickens and ducks all went back home yesterday after a long week of oohing and ahing from crowds of city and country folks desperate to cling to the last vestige of a cool damp summer before the buses run once more.
Mini horse pulls, so fun to watch
The sights and sounds were certainly there to delight even the most fair hardened senses. From bright cotton candy and candy adorned apples, to sausage sandwiches and chicken gyros any one who left the fair hungry certainly missed out, prices were even fairly reasonable for a change.
Now the show tack and show birds and ponies are all put up again for next summer. Mr. Blue did quite well for us, winning his class despite being in molt. The chicken barn does a lovely dessert exchange when they pass out the awards and ribbons. We got to meet some lovely new folks and re-connect to some old friends.
McCalls KL Crimson, aka Diamond, did me very proud. We got a second in open obstacle pony. The course was relatively simple, with just 5 obstacles, a bridge, rails to back thru, cones, and a set of jumps with noodles at the end. In hand pony, which is a conformation class, she got a 3rd in. Last year we had 3rd and 5th in the same classes respectively so I'm very happy with the way we finished out this year.
So now its time to get ready for winter. More chicken coops need to be built, the turkeys need to be finished growing, and somehow Mom and I need to put up more vegetables for the brutal weather we have coming. If the chilly summer is anything to go by winter is going to be a nightmare.
Summer is essentially officially over. Not that we've had much of one, what with the wet and chill days with little sun, and very few hot muggy days.
My darling nephew last year with Diamond.
O and my sweet husband too.
But now it will feel as though its all done. Fonda Fair truck in is tomorrow. Today we will go borrow a horse trailer from the husband's darling aunt, and go over and decorate our stalls. This year we are doing a pirate theme. Should be fun and definitely interesting. We have little fish for the water and sparkly letters. Fun fun.
We're taking two ponies and one rooster this year. BlackJack was less than impressed with his bath yesterday. And I predict today Diamond will react much the same to hers. Then there is the clipping they must both deal with, O Lord what was I thinking? Cows, while more complicated, are still so much easier. O well it must be done, and once finished both will shine like the gems they are.
Last years stall design.
Not as creative but it worked.
For now it's chore time. Turkeys, chickens, guineas and equines alike all beggeth for their breakfasts and romp times outside.
Any and all who live in the Mohawk Valley and are near enough to enjoy the splendor of the fair come on over and visit. Cows of the beef and dairy variety, ponies and mules and horses of every shape size and color, chickens and turkeys and pheasants, o and the little fluffy bunnies await to delight the senses of young and old alike. Ferris wheels, bumper cars and the bus that goes round and round sit silent now, waiting to light up the night skies and thrill small and large children of all ages as they dance to the age old music of the carnival. We hope to see you there!
I'm a cow person, farmers daughter. Love my cattle and family. I wait with great anticipation every year for August to roll around so we can take the cows out to the fair.
Other than that I love just about anything that gets me outdoors.
Particularly rodeo and bull riding. They're probably the two greatest sports in the world!
All images and video copyright 2006,2007,2008,2009