Tuesday, May 29, 2012


DD17 and I took Cooper to the vet. Got the xray taken and she said his bones look normal, but that bone cancer doesn't always show up in xrays. Great. She prescribed rest and some anti-inflammatory meds for him. It's good news with the potential for a negative outcome. If he is still limping in 3 weeks we are to bring him back in for a follow-up xray and she'll compare the two. Well, it's better news than I was anticipating so I am happy, but realistic. Prayers for Cooper that is is just a sprain and he'll get better soon. Somehow after rereading what I wrote, I still sound pessimistic. Sorry, I guess I want a definitive answer and that's not what I got. But it is what it is, so I'll just have to deal with that.

Lost Eggs and BO

Do you ever wonder why you're not getting as many eggs as you should be? Wonder where on earth your hens are laying that is so much more attractive than the boxes you have painstakingly prepared for them and check each and every day? Search no more. As we were getting the patio fireplace pulled out from under the lean-to so our daughters and their friends could roast smores over the weekend, lo and behold...eggs! Yep, apparently our hens don't feel the least bit frightened about being roasted up for dinner and conveniently laid some eggs in the fireplace. Fried eggs anyone?



 So now we know where the layers are laying, but if you are BO, you are no longer laying, but setting on eggs. Here you can see the box in the corner. Actually, it is the top of a dog crate but it works wonderfully. DH simply placed it over her as she was setting on the eggs in the corner of the hen house, and as you can see, the chicken wire is separating the two sides of the hen house.

He then went into the other side and cut out a piece of the wood and lifted the wire up. It will be simple enough to fix when she hopefully has raised some little chicks. She has the whole side to herself. We usually call it the sick pen because we put injured or ill chickens on that side, but for now I think we will call it the nursery. You can see she is not exactly impressed with all the attention and she is not letting on if she likes the arrangement or not. Time will tell.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Hens and Dogs

I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend. We have been busy working around the place tilling the garden, weeding, mowing, fertilizing and trying to get the place looking at least presentable, like someone actually lives here and that there really are people alive behind all the tall weeds and grass.

Buff Orpington (BO) is at it again. She is on a clutch on the ground again- same old spot. Remember last time when she had 21 eggs and I came home from work one day to find only 10 eggs, no chicks with the exception of a dead one in the beak of a mean old hen running around with the others chasing her. The other chicks met their demise, too, and then she wouldn't sit on the eggs that were left so I tried to hatch them in the incubator with no luck. Yeah, that was a bum deal.

Our hen house is divided in two by a piece of wood that runs across the bottom and chicken wire separating the two sides. Well, this time, DH went in and put a box around her to the other hens couldn't bother her. Then he went into the other side and cut an opening so she can have some room to stretch her legs and get some food and water. She wasn't too keen about his idea but we are hoping that she will be able to brood undisturbed and we will have baby chicks running around in 3 weeks. Plus, with fewer eggs, we are hoping that things will be manageable for her.

On another note, our golden retriever, Cooper, is almost 6 years old. On Friday, he suddenly showed lameness in his right leg and was limping around, so of course we looked him over. Checked for swelling, an abscess, cuts in his paw, goat heads, between the paws, and anything else. Maybe just some slight swelling, although you really had to look. Nope, nada, nothing. He's still limping and really favoring his leg. We are the wait and see kind of folk when it comes to these things, as we simply do not rush off to the vet for every little ailment that most often will heal itself with time. This is not the first time an animal of ours hasn't had some sort of soreness and stiffness that corrected itself in a few days. No worries.

I woke in the middle of the night on Saturday with an awful thought. I shared it with DH Sunday over breakfast. What we see in Cooper is exactly the same symptoms that we saw manifest themselves in our late dog, Jake. Jake had suddenly one day started limping... same leg as Cooper.
Again, we found absolutely nothing but some slight swelling in his right foreleg. After several days with no improvement we took him to the vet. The vet had looked him over and could not find anything wrong but wanted to take an X-ray. Sure. Well, when the vet came back into the room, he was very grave and said he suspected and was sorry to inform us but that our dog, Jake, had bone cancer, it had spread by now,  he was in pain and did not have long to live.

We were heartsick to say the least. Jake had been such an awesome dog raising our daughters, how could he ever be replaced. You would not believe the stories I could tell about his protectiveness and loyalty over the years. We knew we had very little time left with Jake and so I immediately began looking to purchase another golden retriever to keep Jake company, and for Jake to teach him the ropes around our homestead. We were fortunate to find Cooper. He was very mellow for a puppy.

Cooper and Jake had about a week or so together. Jake deteriorated very rapidly and was having trouble breathing because the cancer had spread to his lungs. He could barely walk out the front door to do his thing.He is fondly remembered.

Well, you know what I am thinking don't you? We are sick that Cooper has the same thing! I am going to make an appointment with the vet tomorrow and get him in to find out. I am so sad, I don't want to go through this again. Once we got him trained to leave the chickens alone (chickens are our friends and are not sporting birds!), he has been awesome! He is a great companion and I cannot imagine life without the company we have from him. Sigh... I will keep you posted on his diagnosis.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hello & Welcome!

I would like to thank Sandy at Oklahoma Transient for hitting my follower button and Home Spun Blue as well. Thank you  for taking time to read my humble little blog. Please feel free to comment and I will reply.

I have been so blessed. Thank you to everyone who reads this blog and to my darling husband who is patient with my time on the computer to share my thoughts and our life events around our homestead with you.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Freeze Dried Foods

 I have never tried freeze dried foods with the exception of ice cream that my mom ordered from REI back in the 1970's. That is my only recollection of freeze dried foods, but I remember that my brother and I liked it, and mom bemoaned the cost. Any of the dried foods I use are invariably dehydrated. Most of my dried food supplies are items like pasta, rice, and beans, and dried soup mixes, with some dried apples, potatoes, and mushrooms on the shelf as well. When I have purchased dried foods  the foods were dehydrated because they are so much cheaper. When I have browsed websites that offer dehydrated or freeze dried meals in a can, I always looked past them because of the cost.

A while back I was visiting the Apartment Prepper's blog and entered a contest with suggestions of what people who live in an apartment can do to be prepared. You can read my entry here. I was very surprised when I got an email from Bernie saying I had won, and the prize contributed by Ready Made Resources was 6- #10 cans of freeze dried chicken and rice by Mountain House! I was so excited and happy to have actually won something. Especially something like freeze dried food that I never buy because it is so expensive, and something that I can add to my supplies. I eagerly awaited the arrival of my chicken and rice.

My package from Ready Made Resources finally arrived and I was eager to try my supply of chicken and rice. Much to my surprise, it was a variety pack. Yeah! There was chicken teriyaki with rice, lasagne with meat sauce, beef stroganoff, spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken stew, and chili mac with beef. How was I to decide which food to try. Well, I had it in my mind that I was going to be getting chicken and rice, so we tried the chicken teriyaki with rice.

I opened up the can and mixed up the ingredients. There were some pretty generous sized pieces of chicken in there, along with peas, red peppers, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. I boiled up the water and mixed in the dry mix measured out at one cup per serving. I only had to wait 5- 10 minutes for it to be ready. It re-hydrated very quickly. It was very  flavorful and the chicken pieces tasted like real chicken and the texture was great!  I cooked up some zucchini and pineapple to go alongside. The combination was tasty, and best of all, it filled us up. I thought maybe 1 cup would be a small serving, but we were satisfied, and I will eat this meal again. 

I checked out the case price here at Ready Made Resources for the Chicken Teriyaki,  and it is currently on sale for $133.60 for 6 cans. At 9 servings per can, that is $1.48 per serving. That is a pretty good price for a satisfying meal that tastes good. If you buy cans individually, it is $29.70 at full price, which obviously costs much more per serving at $3.30. I must say that I am now convinced that freeze dried foods can be a good value. They also have a very long shelf life for years under favorable conditions.

I want to thank Bernie over at the Apartment Prepper blog for his contest, and Robert at Ready Made Resources for donating the case of freeze dried foods. Without those two people, I probably never would have bought freeze dried meals, but now I am happy to say that the meals are tasty, filling, and easy on the wallet.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Free Cell Phones...

Free entitlements for everyone! Food stamps, medicare, medicaid, TANF, HUD housing, the list goes on. I realize that some people are in a bad place and need TEMPORARY help to give them a hand up. That is one thing and I support those that need that help to get back on their feet.And charity has always been generous in generations past.  But the government using taxpayers to fund "Free" phones, because you "need" a worry-free way to stay in touch? NO!

But now that the government wants to create an even more dependent state of people who have little or no incentive to work or to better their lives, let's make sure that everyone has a RIGHT to a Phone, not just the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Oh, and at the taxpayers expense. That would be the working Jane's and Joe's with a mortgage and a job who are just trying to make ends meet, with maybe something left over for a treat now and then, or a family vacation that is 30 miles away by car, and in  a tent in a State run campground, that requires a $30 State Pass to stay there in addition to the campground fee.Yeah...

"Now with ASSURANCE WIRELESS, you can have a worry-free way to stay connected. Have you been looking for a worry-free way to stay in touch? Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile ans supported by the Federal Universal Service Fund. How do you  qualify?"
General Assistance (Disability Lifeline)
State Family Assistance
SNAP (Food Stamps)

 Here's what you can get: a FREE Assurance Wireless phone, 250 FREE Voice Minutes, the ability to keep your current number, Voice mail, Call Waiting, and Caller ID, 911 access, and no annual contract.

Income based eligibility:
household size:             Yearly income:
1                                     $ 14,702
2                                        19,859
3                                        25,016

Let's see now...... my college daughter who is working her way through college and makes $1,000/mo. would qualify for a free phone. I don't think so.  A phone is not a right and she has to work to pay for these extras. NO! People do not have a right to a phone! Next, everyone has a RIGHT to free transportation so they can travel where ever they want, free vet care because they need companionship, free clothes so they don't dress "poor" and the list goes on. NO! Live within your means, and don't expect to have more unless you  work for it.

The government is TAKING away our country's human dignity, human strength, human creativity, human pride, human incentive to work, human pride, human discernment,  human motivation, human compassion, human enthusiasm, human judgement, human critical thinking, human drive, human reason, and human's reliance on GOD for help and guidance.

I do not want the government GIVING me what I should be working and paying for on my own. We call that Communism.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MIA- Spring Fever

I'm sorry I haven't been posting. I will post this weekend. I have been up to my ears with spring activities and projects. I hope all my readers are doing well.