Well sort of. Mine is still leaves just poking out of the ground, but for lots of folks the season of the “pie plant” is upon us.
I have tried over and over in my dry poor soil to get rhubarb to take and as of now have only succeeded once. I have read everything about how to improve my success and tried almost every suggestion hairbrained or not.
I have now decided to try a different approach. Instead of buying little plants grown who knows where and trying to get it to take, I put a posting on Craig’s list offering a bag of soil in exchange for anyone who wants to get rid of rhubarb they may have at their home. We will go dig the plants they no longer want and put a bag of soil in the hole we leave behind. Sounds like a winner to me. Whatever they get it is already proven in this climate. The cost of a bag of soil is less than the cost of an unproven potted plant. Their soil may be different than what I have, but I am banking on my personal compost to give my soil enough enrichment to make it take.
Today I got an email from someone who is interested in my swap. Cross your fingers that I may end up with enough rhubarb that in the not to distant future I can have all the pie, crisp, cobbler, bread, stew, jam and anything else I can think of made with rhubarb I grew.
Norwegian Jaerhon chicken at 9 weeks.
I am always trying new chicken breeds. This year of my first-timers is the Norwegian Jaerhon chicken. My reasons for trying this breed are many. Some good and some just plain whimsical.
- I chose this bird because it started in Norway. That translates into Montana cold hearty.
- They are supposed to be good egg layers, my main reason for having chickens.
- Some websites suggest that they are good foragers. I love birds who are good foragers. As free range foragers they produce eggs that have brighter yellow yolks, with better nutritional value.
- Lastly the pictures of the bird are unusual and that fascinating me.
It is too early to tell that how this is all going to work out. I can tell you that this photo doesn’t do her justice. She is one of the prettiest birds I have ever had. I love her nearly golden head and neck with a grey speckled body that is nearly a steely blue. She is on the small side compared to what I usually select in breeds.
She is not a social bird like I am used to having, and almost stand offish. This year’s flock is so heavily weighted to males that it is hard to tell if she is hiding from the males and that is part of her problem. This may also contribute to the fact I seldom see her out foraging as well.
It is still early and time will tell if this bird is a one hit wonder or it it will be something that I repeat over and again.
OMG time from another Capitol Hill hearing or investigation. Time to pull together a bunch of like minded thinkers waste days asking questions to prove they are right. Everything with the purpose to prove folks who don’t think like them are evil, corrupt and need to go. This process is happening in every group on the hill. I don’t think that there is a person above that behavior at this time in Washington DC.
The whole point of this post is one of the most important things I think congress is charged with doing, is managing our money and making the law of the land. Instead the thing I most often see and hear about is congress is setting up another hearing. They will spend hours in front of the press puffing out their chests in self-importance. Honestly what are they going to do, demand someone is fired. They don’t have that power over John Smith working for the IRS, Hillary Clinton who has since left her job, or the person at the Justice Department who signed off invading the AP. I am outraged and appalled by all of it, but congress is not going to fix it. They can’t even reconcile the federal checkbook, let along put together a budget. Instead they spend hours with a billion committees and subcommittees with everyone the head of at least one. No sense in leaving anyone out. Do they ever ask themselves really what is my job here?
Anyone is believes their favorite Senator or Congressional Representative are above this behavior, I think is wrong. Their silence is condoning this behavior, failure to say “This isn’t our job. Lets do what we were sent here to do and go home.” I akin it to bullying. How many kids know it is wrong, but don’t speak up or do anything. These adults are the same. It takes real conviction to refuse a committee seat if really serves no purpose other than to belong or to build political capital you can cash in on in the future. We wonder why our kids don’t have backbone and conviction. What kind of behavior are we modeling for them. Go along with the crowd. Pack up with only those who think like you do. Bashing publicly those who you disagree with.
Those of us working know we have a job to do. Our employer expects us to do our job. I hired my Washington representatives and as their employer I say to them do your job, socialize on your own time. All those committees appear to me as social time, because you are not getting you job done.
My new chicks are now nine weeks old. They are fully integrated in with the existing flock. Sort of. The existing flock will not tolerate them for the most part, but the newbies dodge their way around them just fine. Each morning I open the coop and let them all out. When confine to the chicken run the newbies lay low, but as soon as the gate is open for free range time my adult flock heads out, leaving the newbies full run of the coop. You will often find the newbies sitting on the stairs outside the little door enjoying the world.
We are feeding a flock raiser without calcium and providing oyster shell for our layers. Life isn’t to bad for the chicken farmers. No more separate feeds, or spaces. We get to treat them all the same. It is just a wee bit early to start thinking of butchering.
My meaties are huge and we are starting to think about sending them to freezer camp. Our packing peanuts are not far behind. Last night one of the roosters was mad and pecked at my husband when he put them away last night. It means their days are numbered.
I am very careful with the sun. I wear hats, sunscreen and UV clothing. I make annual pilgrimages to the dermatologist to get my moles measured and monitored. It is almost that time again for that annual check up. Yesterday I got out late to do my training walk. I had six miles to get in. It was overcast, but I knew that did not matter. I put on the sunscreen and headed out. Unfortunately I forgot my top had a keyhole in the back. Big oversight. Now I have a mega sunburn.
In the 50′s, 60′s and even early 70′s we did not know all the dangers of the sun. Today we do. Let this be a reminder to all of you. Wear sunscreen and cover up. Be safe, so some day you are not sorry.
Every year we have our neighbors put their horses on our pasture for a little while. It has been a good set up for us as their horses have preference for cheatgrass, that is encroaching on our property from neighboring property. With proper grazing I have really managed to minimize the seeding of this nasty grass.
This year, for the first time, one of the horses has taken to eating my young trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs on our property are a precious commodity. Wind and lack of moisture make our land inhospitable to most things except for bunch grasses, sage and nasty invasive plants from Eurasia. Browsing is not an option.
In all my years with this arrangement the horses have been good visitors. They have not cause any problems. Darn “Two Socks” a new addition has proven to be a pill this spring. Drastic times call for drastic measures. We have put up a string ribbon electric fence above the top wire on the fence. It is perfect height to get a nose zap. No more leaning across the fence to have at my precious trees and shrubs.
I am thrilled to report that “Two Socks” is unhappy. He clearly understands the meaning of the white ribbon. The other three will come up and say “Hi” to visits, but “Two Socks” has now decided that humans are the root of all evil, and stands away and watches, when Mr. Ranger Sir goes out and talks with them.
Or maybe it is not having them keeps you young. So much of life is measured by milestones but you don’t much think about them. Unless that is, you skipped a bunch of aging milestones because you had no children.
Mr. Ranger Sir and I had no children. We have missed all those milestones that parents measure life against, graduations, marriages, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All those moments when you reflected and said “Holy Cow, where did the time go?” or “Our kids can’t be that old already.” We never had a full nest to experience an empty nest.
We have had different milestones. We think about where did we live or what job did one of us have when that happened. But none of those are related to our age. My brothers regardless of their age or birth order are all older than me. They have had so many of life’s milestones I haven’t. Their children have made them old in more ways than one.
Now we are starting to look at external aging milestones. We have been planning for retirement for years, but it now on the horizon. It is a milestone we can’t avoid and it will say yes we are getting older - kids or not.
Life is busy. There are not enough hours in the day for all we have to do; all we want to do. We are trying to be the best worker; a good employee; a great spouse; a true friend; wonderful family member to our kids, parents, siblings; a fabulous pet owner; a contributing member of the community; and an honorable person. It is a huge list and we are constantly trying to be all of those and yet no where on that list do you see a mention of self.
Lately I have been that person, striving to be what everyone else needs and wants. Not unlike so many others. The trials that have been going on in our country and the world remind me that time can be short. Take time out. Be good to yourself.
I am getting ready to start integrating my old and new flock. Each year when this come there is a certain amount of dread because integration is never uneventful. The big chickens can be just plain nasty. There are two elements that cause all the problems.
Chickens don’t like newbies in their flock. Add new chickens to a flock and this upsets the pecking order of the flock. When a pecking order is not set, then everyone wants to peck on others helping to ensure they end up as high as possible in the new flock order.
Chickens like to pick on smaller chickens or chickens that physically look different. When integrating a flock like this you have bigs and littles. This year I have one white one who sticks out like a target.
One of the things that I do just prior to integrating my flock is put my new flock in an dog exercise pen. This allows the bigs and littles to start seeing each other and working more like a single flock. Often times the bigs will stand around the edge of the ex-pen waiting for the littles to get close enough to peck. This gives my littles a safe place to learn that yes, bad things can happen, and if you are going to be around the bigs one must be quick. We are in that phase. Next step is to open the doors on the ex-pen.
As I train for this year’s races I am forced to deal with the idea that my shoes are on the downward side of being serviceable for another year of races and distance walking. Shoes if you wear them to walk around for a day of shopping only wear out when they burst at the seams and fall apart. If you use your shoes for fitness then there is a definite time when they no longer provide the kind of support and protection you need from your shoes. It all depends on what you do for fitness, the time you spend the the shoes, your feet and yes even your body (how you stand, your gait, and even your weight).
There are lots of guidelines when to replace your shoes, but if you use them for serious running or walking you know when they start to loose their effectiveness and it is time to replacement. That is the easy part. The hard part is fining a new pair of shoes. In the runner’s world the running shoe is constantly evolving and their are hundreds if not thousands of models out there. I can’t imagine how you pick a new shoe if your model has been discontinued.
If you are a serious distance walker it is much harder as there are not many shoes made specifically for walking. Walking is significantly different body motion than running and the shoes are just as different. Putting on running shoes and walking a half marathon doesn’t really work. I have had many sports fitness stores convince me otherwise and I have sent many perfectly good running shoes to Goodwill after blisters and other foot problems training wearing those shoes. I have learned my lesson and restrict my purchases now to shoes designed for just distance/fitness walking. So I am back to my favorite maker of walking shoes and weighing out current model one looks best to plunk my hard-earned cash down on. It is time to start breaking in a new pair of walking shoes. My feet are telling me to retire my current pair.