Thursday, June 28, 2007

On killing chickens

If anything, its gotten harder to kill the chickens we are going to eat. It was always hard, but after 18 months of doing it, its even harder.
Maybe its because we are currently killing a couple of young Buff Catalana roos a week, and they are SUCH sweet chickens. They act wild, and they are subject to quick panics, but if you catch one, they settle right down in your arms. THey don't scream or try to peck you or anything that the others will do, even fairly tame ones. Its weird, because the Buffs didn't get much handling as babies, either. For the first time, we kept the brooder box up in the coop instead of on the front porch, so they didn't get picked up and petted a dozen times a day. They just seem to be nice, nice chickens.
Its almost easier to kill the ones that flap and scream and carry on, because you want to get it over with.
Either way, I don't think you should eat meat unless you are willing to kill it yourself. DH and I do it together. I hold and pet them and he quickly snips off their head with pruning shears. Quick and clean.

And yet another

Well, ONE of them was knitted this month. I started this pair from Nancy Bush's Vintage Sock knitting book; its the Fancy Silk Sock, and I knitted the first sock months ago in my vintage sock KAL. Then finally this month I felt confident enough about lace knitting socks to knit the second one. Notice the second one is noticeably bigger than the first. I used sz 0 US bamboo dpns for both, and I tried and tried to knit tighter as I saw the sock getting larger than the other. Didn't work, though, and I didn't have any smaller needles.
Now, I do. I bought 2 sets of sz 000 circs, one from Addi and one(for a third of the money) Hiya hiya from the Knitting Zone. There doesn't seem to be any such thing as a 00 US needle.
And the size difference in these two socks also reinforces my policy of knitting 2 socks on 2 circs since I learned how to do it. The socks turn out exactly alike. I just juse both ends of the same ball of yarn until it is gone, as that makes it so much easier to periodically let hang and turn to untangle.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Catching up

We had no power yesterday from about 8 AM until around 7 PM.  Evidently a lot of Goodyear and most of Buckeye didn't have it either, and it was caused, according to the radio, by vandals cutting the guy wires to a major transmission pole and toppling it.  Too bad it didn't land on them.  It got awfully bloody hot in THIS house; I can just imagine how hot it must have been in trailers and stick-built houses.  The night before had been somewhat cool, so I closed up the house as soon as the power went off and closed all the curtains and settled down to move as little as could be.  I could read or knit by the light of the skylights, but couldn't sew.  I need a back-up treadle machine, I guess.
The only real bad thing was that as soon as the water in the well pressure tank was used up, there was no running water.  Sure, I had rain water in the containers out back, and I had drinking water in the dispenser, but I had to carry buckets up the hill to replenish the chickens' waterers, and I couldn't run the mister or sprayer like I usually do when it gets really hot in mid-afternoon.  Luckily though, we didn't lose any chickens to the heat.   I wish I could convince dear hubby to either put a hand pump or a windmill and stock tank on our second well down the hill.  It would help SO much when the power's off, and would really help the wildlife (the windmill) the rest of the time.  But he's so cheap, and things that I want to do are not nearly as important as the things he wants to do, even when he doesn't want to do anything.
Bill killed 2 rattlesnakes in 2 days over the weekend.  He came home after dark on Friday night ( I was out) and walked right over one curled up in front of the back gate.  The yard lights weren't on, because he usually gets home quite early on Fridays so I hadn't turned it on before I left.  He hung it in a tree to show me, but it was gone by 5 AM when the dog woke me to go out (and I didn't get home til 12:30)
Then the next day, we were rearranging chickens(some in this pen, some over here, remove rooster here, put another one in there), and found one under the dog crate shelter in the open coop.  We thought at first that he had bitten one of the roos on the foot, because it swelled up and the roo could barely walk within 2 minutes of killing the snake, and they had all been piled up in the corner where the snake was when it started rattling. I didn't want to kill the chicken if he could recover, as he is one of the best looking of the yound Catalana roosters so I put him in a cage by himself for a couple of days.  He wasn't happy, but recovered well and I let him go back to the rooster pen last night.  It was a short enough time that they recognized him and he doesn't have to prove himself all over.  He is actually one of the top-ranking roos with the chickens as well as with me.

June socks

These are from More Sensational Knitted Socks, and I knitted them on a jeep trip last weekend.

FW: [Conversations with whomever] New comment on Robin's eyeupdate.

I accidentally erased all the comments, so wanted to make sure this posted.  Thanks Chelsea, for the suggestions.  My electricity was off all day yesterday, so I didn't see any of it until just now.
----- Original Message -----
From: Chelsea
Sent: 6/19/2007 5:56:10 AM
Subject: [Conversations with whomever] New comment on Robin's eyeupdate.

Chelsea has left a new comment on your post "Robin's eye update":

Hi - I don't know if your sweet canine still has a meibomian gland infection, but I do have another trick if she still has it or if she gets it again. It sounds very simple, but it does work very well for humans. The trick is to get her to sit still (if she's a treats performer, this is good) and to hold a warm compress (a warm, damp wash cloth) for about ten minutes at a time (it can be a couple of minutes, re-warm the washcloth with new water, re-apply, etc. - you'll find a routine that works for you two). Anyway, make sure that the water is pretty clean. If you don't have decent tap water, then boil some on the stove, let it cool to be comfortable on your own skin, then use. I have worked as an ophthalmic assistant for twelve years (am now a student to change professions) and have almost as much training as an optometrist - disclaimer in case you are skeptical. ;) Anyway - I'm hoping that it's all gone for now. But just in case...

Have a great day! Oh! And I found you over at the SAMKAL3 (I also participate). Bye again! :)

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Posted by Chelsea to Conversations with whomever at 5:56 AM

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Robin's eyes update

Just wanted to let everyone know that, after only a week of treatment, it is impossible to tell that Robin's eyes have ever been swollen.  She still tears more than I would like, but she has done that all her life.  And she feels much better now too. She's back to her old bouncy self with an ATTITUDE!  Its time to go find another obedience class for her.  She wants to go so bad that she will lie down by the car and refuse to go back to the house if she thinks I am going to leave without her.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pat's puppy update, again

Tuesday is living at our house while we look for a good home for her. She is turning out to be just too much Heeler for Pat, and she is too much Heeler for us too. She bullies Robin something awful, so I make her stay on the porch most of the day while RObin stays inside with me. Its better anyway, because Tuesday has NO manners.
She will pee and poop outside when you take her out, but then pee all over the place inside too, no matter how often you take her out. She doesn't even seem to know she is peeing, or at least just doesn't care. She's not scared, either. Half Heeler, remember? She'll start peeing just walking along. I try to be understanding, but start making her stay outside about the third time I have to mop the floor in the morning.
SHe also blunders all over, barks at the cat, jumps up on the counters and furniture and steals all RObin's stuff and guards it, chomping Robin if she tries to pick up her own toy. Robin is a wuss, OK, but she's my wuss and I resent the other dog bullying her.
DH thinks he may have found a good home, with a woman he works with. She already has 3 dogs, and likes the hard Heeler personality. Bill will deliver her on Saturday, and then find out on Monday at the vet (parvo booster) if we have to take her back again.
We're going on a jeep trip Sunday so at least we have that time free.

Robin's eye update

Yesterday I took Robin to a canine opthalmologist. My god, that is expensive! But anyway, I found out that she doesn't have the inward eyelashes, but a skin inflammation called "Meibomitis". Her eyeballs and vision are perfect, but the pores in her eyelids are clogged and that's why they are swollen. The pressure builds up, then comes to head just like a pimple, bursts, and repeats. It is a staph infection and has some kind of trigger that causes it to recur and become chronic if the trigger can't be eliminated.
So, we have eye wash, antibiotic eye ointment, prednisone, and antibiotic pills. ANd another appointment in 2 weeks. I will work on eliminating even more possible allergens from her diet and environment, but I doubt if that will work. I mean, we already try not to buy anything with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives on general principle. The vet said I may have to take her to a canine dermatologist for skin testing, as this is a dermatological problem.
She (the vet) also says that she has known many dogs with recurring meibomitis to never have another attack after being spayed. So, if we don't find the trigger within 6 months, hopefully spaying RObin will take care of it. I want to let her growth plates close before I spay her so she will be proportional, but if we can't get a handle on this eye problem, we'll do it sooner.