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Honey’s Trip to the Market

I guess market is a nicer way of saying the butcher… we’d been wondering when Honey should go into the bacon factory because we are quite honestly clueless and new to the whole hog raising business. Google and/or Bing suggested by his shoulder width he’d be about 300 pounds.

By the way he pushed Rooster about the pen I would’ve assumed the same. My Rooster is no small man by any means and Honey was able to nudge him a bit. So we were flying blind.

We had gone into our local butcher and talked to Randy, our favorite guy at Integrity Meats, and he knew we weren’t going to be able to wait until the end of October either. So we were moved up the waiting list and we’re told a week maybe two and they’d have an opening.

Last Monday on the drive home we got the call… we were on our way to pick up oldest after school, still had to get youngest from school and I’d be off to guitar lessons. So Rooster and oldest were left to their devices.

We lined up a trailer on the drive and everything was set and ready. Just had to load Honey and head to town.

So picture it’s been raining all day, it’s chilly, and windy and the pick pen is a soupy mess. Insert Rooster and oldest with a very pissed off pig. Times like these I wish we had one of those doorbell recording devices…

After much cussing and escaping nearly into the beans reinforcements were called in. Yes, another tale of neighbor Josh and a wild critter ensued.

It finally came down to neighbor Josh and Rooster picking Honey up and physically putting him into the trailer.

Of course stories like these are better told by the original parties, but Rooster isn’t much for writing.

Youngest and I came home to find miscellaneous boards scattered about the yard. No doubt attempts at corralling Honey into the trailer.

Rooster and oldest retuned home at almost eight o’clock. Upon arriving at the butcher there was another debacle, of course. Honey now didn’t want to get out of the trailer, and had to be pushed into the indoor pens.

The sight that was Rooster and oldest when they came home was a little worse than I expected. Covered in “mud”, soaked to the bone, and smelling like they had rolled in the pig pen. Poor guys had quite the adventure and looked it.

Stories were told with great fervor over supper from Honey’s escape attempts, to neighbor Josh’s arrival, and unloading. These poor guys were exhausted.

That night Rooster said he was reconsidering having two pigs next year, and told me he no longer viewed rods as animal cruelty. I was honestly shocked, but had been awaiting this day to change his mind.

Since a week and a few days have passed since the great adventure we’re back to planning on two pigs. Hopefully we will be able to have found the farm of our dreams by spring, and will be able to have two pigs.

So just remember when life covers you in “mud”, soaks and chills you to the bone remember to laugh and live a simple life.

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Early Morning Excitement

So there I was…. you can already tell this will be a good story! All great stories begin with the old age “so there I was”.

So there I was in my bathrobe, hair a wreck from restless sleep, enjoying the quiet sunrise of an early morning. There is nothing better than watching the sun rise from its slumber. As you yourself are waiting for the sweet nectar of those magical beans to brew ahh a perfect morning.

Suddenly the tranquility is broken by disturbed hens alarmed by an intruder. The dogs already alerted are running to the run. I squint trying to see what is wrong… my glasses are in the bathroom and of course are necessity at this moment.

Clutching my robe closed I put on whatever footwear is left at the back door. Flip flops won. Trudging through the cool dew soaked grass I see three blurry fur balls. One, a new blur, is chasing a small white blur while my two blurry dogs are running block keeping it away from the blur I believe to be one of my young Pekins.

While our dogs are occupying this intruder I am able to scoop up the poor duck and get it in the run. I see this intruder is the neighbors young pup who feels it’s play time and has no need to go home.

Our dogs of course join in the fun of play time as they see their job is done… so I’m hollering at our dogs to go back home, still clasping my robe for dear life, and trying to keep from braking my ankle in the now slippery death traps on my feet.

Now enter the neighbor coming to retrieve his pup. It turned into a whole mess of dogs not listening to anyone. Dogs running in circles, me clutching my robe, frustrated by the whole ordeal, I finally get ahold of Charlie, our youngest fur child.

Enter Rooster, who looks annoyed, gets the dogs to listen with ease and gets them in the house. Ugh. I feel ridiculous standing there in my robe, hair a wreck, holding a sandal that I had used to unsuccessfully get our dogs attentions.

I head back into the house for my much needed glasses and magical bean juice.

Fast forward to after breakfast when morning choring is done. I get water for the little chics in the coop, and feed. I grab a pail of feed for the ducks and chickens and throw it in the run. As I go to grab the buckets that need refilled with water I see something odd. That white duck is way smaller than I thought.

Wait, what? Thelma, Louise, one, two, three, four, and a tiny duck. My brain clicks into gear and realizes that none of my ducks were lose, and couldn’t have been. This miniature version of my Pekins must be one of the neighbors roaming call ducks. Sweet Jesus I feel dumb.

The phone tree is sprung into action. First, the neighbor who on previous occasions has said “oh, their neighborhood ducks we just let them free range”. P.S. this always pisses me off because one that’s not what free range means, and two maybe I don’t want your damn hippy critters in my yard as I have enough to keep track of. Besides all that the neighbor in question is a quarter of a mile down the road, and apparently gives two shits about where their critters go.

The hippy simply replies “They aren’t mine”. Ugh… now the next neighbor I know has call ducks… I actually like this lady and she’s a hot mess like me so I can see how her call duck got lose and is over here.

“I don’t think it’s mine. I didn’t notice anyone missing this morning.”

Are you kidding me? Out of the twelve people in this town only two of which keeps call ducks, and neither of them are claiming this one. FML

At this point I’ve now resigned to the idea that I now have a call duck. She’s getting along fine with everyone and it is adorable.

Fast forward to when hot mess gets off of work and realizes it probably is her call duck. An exchange of texts asking certain details of said duck, and a little banter she says she’ll be over in a bit to check.

“You’re not home”

“Yes I am.”

“F*** I’ll turn around”

“I’ll go outside LOL”

Here she comes, my favorite neighbor, driving the gator. I chuckled to myself as I realized this adds to our critter encounters together. She asks after the pig, and critters and makes small talk. She tells me her husband drug home two geese, the two she told me about for sale at the local farm store.

“Now there’s goose shit EVERYWHERE!” She exclaims. “Back steps. Goose shit. Drive way. Goose shit. Everywhere goose shit!” She’s animated as she’s explaining the situation with the goose shit, and I can’t help but to laugh.

We enter the run, her in her crocs, me in my muck shoes, and we round up the call duck. We talk about how many of her escaped critters have been found or saved by us, and she thanks me again. Just a few days prior I had called that her dog was in the road. Call tucked under her arm she drives away in the gator.

Left alone to tend to our flock I think to myself how cute that duck was. The stray thought of having call ducks enters my mind. I shake the thought away as I tell myself they’re not in the plan of sustainability, and laugh to have even had the thought. We have enough going on.

Meanwhile I’ve received a call from day care, the youngest doesn’t feel well. I picked him up and discovered he has a fever, call the pediatrician, and head to the big city. Viral infection. So a few rounds of puking and diarrhea later the poor thing is tucked into bed.

As I call it a night I can only hope that tomorrow is less chaotic.

So, when life throws you lemons… remember to live a simple life, and make some lemonade.

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Weekend Adventures Featuring Josh and the Raccoon…

The weekend started like most others the boys were playing in the yard, I was watering the garden, and Rooster was doing odds and ends in the yard. When Rooster stepped inside shortly here came Josh in his car. He looked panicked, “Where’s Nick?”. He just stepped inside he’ll be right out. At this point I was a little worried that something was wrong.

When Rooster came outside we learned what was going on from Josh. There was a raccoon in his garage, and it would not leave. After a brief discussion of the hows, the whys, and the what are we going to do to it Rooster loaded into the SUV, and rode off into the fading sunset with Josh.

The boys and I waited patiently, but started laughing hysterically when we could hear a leaf blower in the distance. We knew all too well what was going on. They were trying to force the raccoon out of it’s hiding spot using the leaf blower as motivation. We were later filled in by Rooster that the leaf blower only aggravated the raccoon even more.

A truck came down the road, and pulled into Josh’s drive. Ahhhh reinforcements. Josh’s father-in-law. Armed with a .22 lever action rifle. Oh Lord, I thought, someone is going to not only need a round of rabies shots, but a bullet wound patched up as well. (Have I mentioned that I worry a lot?)

A little while later I got a text from Rooster to send the boys down. Oldest took off down the road with youngest on his heels yelling “Wait for me!” It was quite the sight.

Josh was nice enough to bring all my boys home with no need for rabies shots, or battle wounds on the side by side. Which I am sure was an extra treat for all of them. Once home the boys recapped the tale of Josh and the raccoon. Apparently a company had brought out traps that didn’t work on Tuesday when the critter appeared in the rafters of the garage. With a three hundred dollar price tag to catch the critter! I don’t know how that works out when your father-in-law and neighbor kill said critter if you still have to pay a fee. Anyways, I am getting ahead of myself.

When father-in-law showed up they had chased the raccoon back into the soffit with the leaf blower, and once it showed his face… well, you guessed it. Said father-in-law shot the raccoon, but not well enough. Upon the second emergence of the raccoon it received a shot between the eyes, and the deal was done. We learned something new about our neighbor; he’s never shot a gun before. I don’t know the details, but I am curious. Every red blooded American should own and know how to shoot a gun. (Just my opinion)

Upon the death of the furry critter Rooster was called upon to get said dead critter out of the soffit. We also learned that Josh also really doesn’t care to retrieve critters out of soffits. LOL.

In comparison the rest of the weekend might have been a little bland. We went fishing with my dad, and Rooster did great this time backing the boat into the water! All of us worked in the yard, building a great new chicken gate, and getting the garden finished up.

Remember my impatience over the corn? It sprouted! WooHoo! Now I am just impatiently waiting for the louffa gourds to make an appearance! Gardening is for patient people, but I do find it relaxing when I can plant, and harvest everything myself. The help of others seems to be stressful to me, and honestly it takes a little of the passion out of it. (Have I mentioned that I am a control freak?) When youngest was planting those rows of corn I thought I would lose my mind. The row wasn’t straight, the seeds weren’t deep enough, but ignoring the tightness in my chest I let him carry on. It was either it was going to grow or is wasn’t. The yearly crap shoot just in different hands. The boys really should learn how to garden for themselves because they will need the experience for when they get older and out on their own.

Sunday Rooster and Oldest went fishing in a pond up the road, and I worked on making breakfast for the week. I made egg bites, breakfast burritos, and cleaned the house. Did I get everything done I wanted to? No. I never do. All in all it was a productive weekend though. Once Oldest and Rooster returned from fishing I had Rooster cut up a pallet for me to make a herb planter. I put mint, tarragon, and Oregano in the one planter, and planted basil in the other. My ambition is to have enough basil plants to make pesto. We love pesto.

Waking up to face Monday morning was a little rough… We both had tossed and turned all night, and morning seemed to come too soon. Making it through a super long work day was trying, but we made it. Now I am sitting here blogging while youngest has guitar lessons, and Rooster is in the big city with Oldest for Football camp. We’re off to the homestead to get supper ready, and water the garden along with the flowers. Talk soon, and remember to live a simple life.