A week on the ranch (March 16 - March 22, 2009) - Blogs - Frugal Village Forums
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A week on the ranch (March 16 - March 22, 2009)

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by , 03-23-2009 at 01:18 AM (1098 Views)
And what a week it was!! Another one of those maelstrom of energy kind of weeks that makes the days fly by!!

I had to fly to Vegas in the middle of the week, for work. The weather was beautiful, but I really hate that city, and couldn't wait to get back home. I think I'm allergic to Vegas! Or maybe I'm just allergic to noise, traffic, and really low-class people who are too self-absorbed in their own hedonistic whirlwind of self-destruction to give a thought to the damage they are inflicting on society and humankind, in general.

I also had a co-worker's dogs staying with mine, from Tuesday through Friday afternoon. Both dogs are blind, but they know my dogs' room and run pretty well, as they visit regularly. They love to hang out with my boys, and you'd never know they had any vision problems, the way they run around the property. If you watch carefully, though, you'll see they stick to the same patterns and paths. On the few occasions that they get distracted by an enticing smell or sound, it takes them a bit to re-orient themselves and get "back on track." I guess that isn't much different than what most of us do on a daily basis, operate on a kind of remote control, accomplishing our obligations by rote, unless some foreign subject introduces itself. I would like to think that I would welcome those foreign sights, smells, and sounds, but maybe, like those two dogs, I would just get a little upset and a little stressed, and try to find my way back to my comfort level.

I spent the rest of the week trying to adjust to having six cockatiels in the house! Happily, two of them were adopted on Saturday, so I'm down to four, and Mickaboo Cockatiel Rescue is working on trying to find a foster home (or two) for those. I wouldn't mind them, but I just don't have the space or time for more pets, and I feel like I'm neglecting them. Also, although I joke about it, there IS a grain of truth when I say that most of my animals earn their keep. My freeloader level is maxed out, so any new animals are expected to pull their own weight!

The weather has been unpredictable all week, ending with a rain/hail storm all weekend. But the peach, nectarine, and pear trees are blooming, and the plum trees are past blooming and are getting ready to bear, so I have faith that spring IS on its way!

I had hoped to move the chicks, who are now a month old, out to the coop this weekend. The weather had been so nice, in the 70's, that I thought they'd be fine outside. But I'm glad I didn't move them out, because the storm hit Saturday afternoon, and it is VERY cold out there tonight. So the chicks are still hanging out on the ground floor, enjoying a life of comfort and luxury.

The bunnies are both starting to really show off their personalities. Polly likes hanging out on the third floor of the house, and once she heads up there, I don't see her again for hours, so I've taken to letting Colton out when Polly disappears, so he can have some time with me on the main (second) floor. Colton is very mellow, happy to just crash near me and nap. Polly is like having a kitten, into everything, tossing things around, running up and jumping on you if you ignore her. It has been a real pleasure learning about bunnies with these two, and Colton's fur is growing back, so he is becoming fuzzier by the day.

The weather also screwed up my plans to work on the garden, so my March project of getting the garden up and going is falling further and further behind, as my instinct to break soil and plant seeds gets stronger and stronger!

I am reading a book called Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Food, and it is really making me want to become more self-sufficient, plant more fruit and nut trees, grow more produce, do a better job of preserving my harvests. I am also more motivated to purchase locally those items that I can't grow myself. In part because of a reaction to reading the book, I posted an ad on Craiglist for my chickens' eggs, advertising a dozen for $4.00. I've had one woman respond that she is interested in buying a dozen a week, so maybe this is the first baby step in what should be a natural cycle of local supply and demand. It seems such a simple concept, but so impossible to do, earning enough from what you grow and harvest to continue to plant and raise enough for next year's harvest. In a way, if the eggs sell, I will feel I have closed a tiny circle, one that may grow as time goes on, and one that makes my life make more sense to me.

Well, it will be hard to face the oncoming week if I am operating on a sleep defecit, so I think I'm off to bed. I thank everyone who got this far in my ramblings for their indulgence, and I hope you all have a wonderful week, full of enticing sights, smells, and sounds that pull you off your comfortable path!!

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  1. Debbie-cat's Avatar
    Sounds like things are operating smoothly in your part of the country. After how you described Vegas, I no longer have any desire to go there!

    Good job on the sale of the eggs! I am sure as the years go on, you will become your own little farmer's market. I think it is fabulous!
  2. fixer's Avatar
    I really enjoy reading about your ranch. You are a very good writer. I appreciate your comments on eating locally. In the past few years, I have tried to support local producers by buying a variety of products. I have also made some friends along the way. I buy local honey from a lady who is as delightful to talk to as her product is to eat. We have been buying a quarter of beef from a couple who are working to get to the point of sustaining their farm with it's products. The lady realized I wasn't her typical customer when I asked for the steers diet. Yes, it makes a great difference. I applaud you for trying and celebrate your successes with you. I know how much work it takes.
  3. madhen's Avatar
    Thanks, Debbie-cat. Vegas is a "love it" or "hate it" kind of place. There is no middle ground there. It IS the home of Ethel M Chocolates, so maybe it has a tiny modicum of redeeming value.

    Fixer, the book I am reading talks about how you have to change a turkey's diet prior to butchering it, to improve the taste of the meat, so I know where you are coming from! You changed your pic, btw! I didn't recognize you!

    Thank you both for your encouragement along the way. I know I have a long journey ahead before I am anywhere near self-sufficient, especially as I tend to find a lot of distractions along the way, but I think I'm at least walking the right direction on the path!
  4. fixer's Avatar
    I tired of using an anonymous cow. I have been unhappy with it since losing Roman. The cat is Blue. He died last fall at the age of seventeen. After my last experience, I will be using pets posthumously for my avatar.

    Distractions are what makes life interesting.
    Updated 03-23-2009 at 11:17 PM by fixer
  5. madhen's Avatar
    He looks very much like a cat I had a long time ago. His name was Gus.