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The last week (well, since Tuesday) I’ve felt like Death warmed over.  Now, I ain’t been too far from home, so I don’t know if that is strictly an Appalachian expression, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were.  Us mountain folk love to discuss our ailments.  I don’t know when that came about, but as long as I have been alive, it has been true.

It usually goes a little something like this….  You see Linda’s, Mamaw Flora at the grocery store.  You go to church with Linda, so you feel you should say a hello.

“Hello  there, Flora.  How you today?”

“Aw, not too bad.  I got the arthritis so bad in my hip I can’t hardly get up and down.  Linda can’t help me none… much.  She had the stomach virus this week, and Fred (Linda’s husband) has been down in his back.  He’s too old to be working underground, but he can’t retire.  Not right now.  But, we ain’t doing too bad.  Can’t complain.”

So, I’ve felt like Death warmed over, folks.  I’ve had the whole sinus thing going on, and I’ve just felt plumb wiped out.  John’s been off his feet because of swelling and blisters from all the hard work he’s had to do these last weeks.  Winter was rough on us this year.  But, we can’t complain.

This week we’ve had visitors from Princeton University who said the trip to the cabins here to talk to John and George were the highlight of their trip.  I haven’t felt like keeping up with the girls, but they kept up with me. 🙂

Ivy found the dress up clothes that Deladis never bothered with, and was a Princess for two days.

Deladis had to get in on the picture taking fun without really playing dress up.

Today, we were all feeling a little better.  The girls went to stay with John’s mom last night, and husband and I got some much needed sleep.  The sunshine this morning lured us out to the barn and the garden plot we’ll be sharing with our friend and now neighbor, Nathan Hall, for some work.  Nathan has huge ideas of the real learned variety.  He has somewhat of a degree in agriculture.  We’ll have a nice organic garden this year. 🙂

This morning we spread nice wet and aged poopy throughout the area where we will plant over the next few weeks.  The aged poopy came from the barn, and the nice fresh stuff, Nathan brought back from some where off.

The barn door.

This area will be disced and more manure spread as we go along.

Soon, we will be adding more animals to the mix.  We’re looking for meat goats and some larger chickens for egg laying.  We did get six eggs from our house hen yesterday!  Crazy!  They are tiny little things too.  She isn’t setting though, so they’ll be breakfast.

It’s a beautiful day, and John’s Mamaw is celebrating her 82nd by cooking her family a nice old time dinner.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend and being a little better than not bad. 😉

Meet our new flock.  They are little cuties.

chickens

I believe they are some kind of bantam.  We aren’t sure.  Chickens around here seem to be just what they are – chickens.  One thing I do know is that this bunch is much tamer than the last.  They are still only babies and have been petted since hatching.  This makes me hopeful that we might eventually be able to free range these.  That gives you the healthiest eggs and the chickens a more natural diet.

coop

We have moved the coop from the previous location of the massacre of the last flock to right outside our bedroom window.  We are hoping to avoid a repeat massacre,offering the new flock a little more protection.  The coop sat next to the woods before which left them vulnerable I believe.  John dug a trench for the run and filled it in with dirt.  The two of us tied wire around the bottom about an inch between each tie to try to reinforce the chicken wire.  It was pretty obvious the last undoing of our flock was done by a possum because of the total destruction, waste, and nastiness of it.

There is nothing like a home grown egg.  Chickens that feast on clover and quality feed, bugs, and treats from the table give the darkest yolks that are so full of flavor.  You don’t have to worry about serving them runny either, though I’ve never been much to worry about that.  Another plus are the shells are so much stronger.  You can definitely tell that the factory farmed poultry are not healthy animals by their egg shells and yolks.

Right now, we have two baby hens and two baby roosters.  Then, there’s Roy, our left over rooster from the last flock.  He runs free and is scared to death of John, but will sit on the porch with our dog. 🙂  So, we are rooster heavy, but we’ve decided to expand the flock to at least six hens.  I won’t count out the possibility of one of the baby roosters ending up on the table when it is grown.

I rocked Ivy to sleep this evening and heard Roy crowing his head off.  Then, in this viable attempt a little voice screeched what I believe to be his first cocka-doodle-doo.  It was sweet.  I know I shouldn’t get attached.  It’s not healthy. 🙂

shack

This is another thing that has inspired my homesteading mind of late.  This little structure sits right inside the trees in the backyard and inside a fence that the previous dwellers on this property used to keep pet foxes.

shack2

Here’s another view from farther back.  I dare not try to drag it out of the woods because it is almost a guarantee there would be a copperhead nest under it.  Yet, it sits there sturdy and unused, slowly becoming a part of the woods.  See, I’m thinking goats.  A goat family.  I’m thinking this would be a perfect house for them.  John laughs at me and says that’s a project for next spring.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

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