Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Tale Of 40 Roosters

The tale of 40 roosters begins last June with the arrival of two cheeping boxes at the local post office.




The little cheepers numbered 50 in all, the idea being that approximately half of them would become the new flock of laying hens and the other half would become chicken dinner.


Alas, the plan went awry.


Even I, a novice chicken farmer and self proclaimed chicken hater, could see that the math was not quite working out 50/50. In fact, by the time July rolled around, I was guessing the male/female ratio to be right around four to one.


The final rooster count was 40, and a tale of 40 roosters and 13 hens has only one possible ending.


And so it happened that I broke my vow to never, ever pluck a chicken.




Sadly enough, one of the children grabbed my camera and documented the events. 





As unfortunate as that was for me, I must admit it was even more unfortunate for this obnoxious rooster who was introduced to the chopping block.





The camera didn't seem to bother my girl, though. She was busy at the plucking table. 





The chicken farmer of the family had no qualms about the gutting process and dove right into the body cavity.


And so ends the tale of 40 roosters, which is the second installment of Backwards Blogging


Prologue: In case you were worried about the fate of Riley's egg business, rest assured that he has acquired more hens from a generous friend who ordered pullets this spring. The nests are yielding nearly a dozen a day, and production is expected to double within a few weeks.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Backwards Blogging: Part 1

Having become a slacker blogger, I have trouble knowing where to start when I decide it's finally time to do a new post. I usually take a look at my photo files to remember what we've been up to lately, but I've been slacking so badly that I now have six months of events and activities that have gone unblogged.


Instead of reaching back to May for a blog update, I'm introducing a new concept that should suit slacker bloggers like me: Backwards Blogging.

I'll start with a more recent event and then work my way backwards through the summer. That way, we can all enjoy green grass and flowers when the temperature is dipping below freezing.

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Speaking of freezing, the first installment in the Backwards Blogging series is a trip to Yellowstone Park in October. It has taken me nearly a month to blog about this trip because it took nearly that long to recover.

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This was no simple family vacation to a national park. This was a trip with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders called "Expedition: Yellowstone!"

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For four days, the kids and their chaperons stayed at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Wyoming.

The excursion included hiking, wildlife viewing, classes about ecology and geology, scientific testing of hot springs, freezing in the wind and snow, and a vicious outbreak of Influenza A that left most of the kids feverish, coughing, and nauseous for the duration of the trip.

Despite my official role as Dr. Mom, I enjoyed the time in Yellowstone.

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We saw geysers

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geyser basins

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bears

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hot springs

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hot spring terraces

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and so many buffalo that I never even photographed one. In fact, during the final night in the cabins, an entire herd moved through the camp. I could have reached out my cabin window and petted one. We could hear every sniff and snort as they grazed between the cabins, and at that point I decided that tent camping in Yellowstone would not be on my list of fun things to do.

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We also saw elk, especially in the towns through which we passed on our way to and from the camp. The elk prefer the green grass of the city lawns to the rough country crawling with wolves and grizzlies. They also pose nicely for people hanging out of vehicle windows taking drive-by photographs.

As field trips go, this was an exceptional one. Coming home with a very sick child and arriving to find three additional sick children was not, in fact, fun. But, thanks to this Backwards Blogging idea, I can now blog about the trip, share some scenery, and report that all's well in the house once more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rite of Passage

After passing his hunter's safety course earlier this fall, Riley has been anxious to shoot something besides pop cans and paper targets. Last Saturday, he got his chance.


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I'm told that the first buck is something special for a boy. I suppose it's a rite of passage that goes back to a time when providing for one's family involved putting meat on the table - literally. It was an integral component of the transition from boyhood to manhood.

In our rural world, that tradition is still very much a part of our culture. Hunting is a skill passed down from generation

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to generation.

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It's hard to tell which one is the proudest, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pink Piggy Party Pictures

My baby is four. I would be concerned about that if I weren't so distracted by the fact that my oldest child is 12.


Four also happens to be one of my favorite ages, so I'm trying to enjoy the time for what it is instead of lamenting the idea of my kids growing up too fast.

It also helps to have fun parties.

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This one was all about piggies.

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Pink piggies, to be exact.

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The guest of honor was a pink piggy pajama princess perched on a puffy pink pillow.

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The main course was ham, the pink meat, with a side of mac and cheese to please the 10 and under crowd.

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The cake was pink.

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The presents were pink.

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It was the perfect pink party for a piggy loving princess in pajamas.

 
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