I won't lie. Things still aren't normal around here since Tank passed away. We keep seeing him in his favorite spots and we'll break down and cry when we hand out his favorite treats. The other dogs have been so sweet. They seem to sense our deep sadness and try to cheer us up, giving us kisses and hugs. Of all the dogs, Iko misses Tank most. They were very close.
We mope a lot. I hadn't had any desire to go online though I've tried to answer emails and personal messages. Thank you for that guys. Your heartfelt condolences meant a lot to both me and Greg.
|All these babies are gone except for the big guy in the middle.|
In an effort to get back to the world of the living, I'll start out with a homestead report.
Garden: We wuz robbed! I try to keep up with weather changes. I knew the polar vortex was going to hit as far south as Texas, so Greg and I covered several beds of tender veggies with sturdy tents of heavy plastic. I ran out of plastic so I dug up the few remaining pepper plants in a last ditch effort to save them.
The polar vortex was harder than the plastic cover could endure. ALL the plants died. Now I wish I had tried to put them in pots. I especially hated losing all my tomato plants that were full of plump, but still green tomatoes.
The onions, garlic, strawberries, bok choy, and beets survived without any protection and did just fine.
The hard freeze lasted almost a week but we're back to the upper 60s again. Generally, we don't get real cold here until January and February.
Chickens: The Marans will head for the big chicken coop in the sky within the next couple of months. I just have to make room in my freezer. Despite our best efforts we haven't stopped them from eating their own eggs, so they'll have to go.
Come 2015, we'll probably incubate some eggs from the black Australorps. The hens are getting a little old and they'll need to be replaced next year. They're good chickens. Calm, friendly, and good layers. The Marans on the other hand are all a little schizoid. I should've put them in the freezer months ago.
Rabbits: We've had no luck at all procuring another blue New Zealand. I've decided to settle for another breed until the right one shows up.
|Freestanding hay manger|
When they were set free, the boys chased the girls (as boys do), but once the girls started ramming them with those sharp, pointy horns, they finally settled down.
Greg built me a hay manger. It holds almost an entire bale of hay and is off the floor so it doesn't take up any more space. Goats are notorious for wasting hay and we hope this will slow them down.
Future Plans: We're thinking of moving animals around. Greg saw a friend's layout for a chicken coop/run that looked like a luxury resort for chickens. We'd like to start moving more of the animals to a centralized location so we'll build the new chicken cabana near the goats.
The rabbits in turn will move into the existing chicken coop and run. It's built like an aviary so no predators can get in. It'll give them more room to move around and allow them to have their babies in a more natural environment. Since the enclosed yard is big enough, I might also grow some miniature trees or grapes under the protection of all that fencing.
This Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US. We plan on having a quiet holiday this year, but I'll still put out a big spread, enough for man and dogs.
Don't forget to take pictures of your holiday table. I'd like to do a fun blog hop to show off everyone's holiday table on December 29th. I even created a blog badge for the event. Here's the original post with the details.
Feel free to take one of the images below for your blog. If you can't copy it, email me and I'll send you the jpg.
What will you be serving for the holidays? For Thanksgiving, we usually have turkey but since we'll be alone this year, I'll be serving duck. For Christmas I found an excellent recipe for rib roast. The trick is to find a roast that won't break the bank!
What are you serving this year?