Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Almost May?

How is that possible?

My chickens still aren't on their own yet. Still in their comfy giant box in the garage. I tried. I really did. One whole day in the chicken house. And then at night they simply didn't know what to do and peeped sad and loud and long and I took them all back to the garage. I would be a terrible mother. I can't help but spoil.

The foofies know this and exploit my weakness shamelessly.

My flowers are speeding right along. The tulips are now over, daffodils are long gone. I had iris blooming yesterday. Yikes. Bleeding heart is probably my favorite plant. I wish it lasted all year. But then maybe I wouldn't like it so much.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How am I behind already?

Spring so quickly becomes overwhelming. Or is it just me? You wait and wait to be able to go out and get dirty and then it just seems like you can't keep up. There are so many things I have to plant yet!

And as usual, I panicked and bought my tomatoes too early, so afraid that the ones I wanted wouldn't be available if I waited. So I dutifully haul those in and out of the garage every day. I'll wait until the beginning of May, but even that is two weeks early based on out last frost date of May 15th. But at least I am set for San Marzanos again for 2008.

But I suppose it is good to be busy. I spent entirely too much time the last few months thinking about things and it is good for me to have a distraction. Even politics has failed to draw much of my attention. Can you believe it? I did work the polls on primary day this last Tuesday. And while Obama lost Pennsylvania, he did win in my precinct (the only Obama precinct in my district) and I like to think it was because of my smiling face and my "Lancaster for Obama" pin wishing everyone a good day.

My trout lily (Erythronium americanum) bloomed for the first time. Actually, they aren't my trout lillies, I didn't plant them. I've noted the foliage every year that we've had the house, but never seen a bloom. There were three this spring, although I was unable to get a shot of any of them fully open. The leaves really do look like a speckled trout's back.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spring so far

I suck. I know. I've been busy. Really, really busy for like three and a half months. Ok, not really. But it seemed like it. To me anyway. Okay, that isn't so true either. I just haven't felt like it. There. So here is what I've been up to:

I got four new chickens! One of my Plymouth Barred Rocks died in March. She molted late and just never really seemed to get her strength back. After a few days in chicken intensive care she gave up the ghost. I watched the other chickens for a few weeks for signs of disease and they were fine and healthy, so I got four more Barred Rocks. These little girls are about 4 weeks old now, they were two weeks old when I bought them. Hopefully no roosters in the bunch.

I lost thirty five pounds! I got sick in January and was on antibiotics for awhile. This particular antibiotic killed my appetite entirely and I literally had to remind myself to eat every day. So that resulted in about 15 pounds lost which is as good of a jump start as you get, and I've kept on going. Yay me!

I've developed rats. Sometime in February I noticed the chicken feed going faster than usual. And then one fateful night in late March I came face to face with a surprisingly large rat in the chicken house one night. It was reddish brown and not at all shy. So I bought some poison and shoved it down some holes that were chewed into the chicken house floor behind some flowerpots and waited. On Sunday, I strolled across the yard towards the chicken house and there sitting in the sun was that very large rat. Sort of struggling to breathe. I felt kind of bad. I know, its a rat. But still. So I went to get a stick to poke around at it a little, never having been that close to a rat. And when I returned my husband was standing there with a shovel poised over his head which then came down hard on the rat's head and rat was no more. I felt really bad. The next day I read on Wikipedia that rats are self-aware like humans and primates and that their favorite food is scrambled eggs. And I felt worse. I hope there aren't any more rats.

My tree is starting to bud out! A bit slower than the silver and red maples that we have, but that's okay! As long as it does.

My garlic has all sprouted!