Archive for the ‘Life’ Category
So, as usual I’ve been a flake. I guess my only excuse for not posting is that I didn’t really feel like I had anything to say. I figured I’d better give a brief update on what’s been going on around these parts or you’d think the chickens truly had eaten me. Bad birds.
Mr. MoonCat has been working six days a week, keeping very busy. I’ve been working on my new business which is in the infant stages. I’m excited about getting it off the ground and I’ll have more on that at a later date. The garden is starting to see some activity.
The hubby’s uncle passed away a few weeks ago after a very long battle with cancer. We’ve spent a day up in Sacramento for the last two weekends helping his parents clean out the house to get it ready for sale. While it was a sad reason for us to all be together, we really enjoyed visiting with his parents. Hubby’s best friend/brother from another mother Chris went with us this last weekend to help us move all of the furniture. We were grateful for the help as there was a lot of heavy lifting involved.
Most of the critters are doing well. The dogs and cats are happy that Spring is pretty much here. The chickens are keeping us snowed under with eggs and attitude. We have a great bartering deal going on with my “other parents” – my best friend Becky’s folks. They keep kitchen scraps saved up and I weigh them down with eggs. Everyone’s happy! Especially the chooks – it is hysterical to watch them dig through the goodies. They recognize the large plastic ice cream tubs that the scraps are saved in. When I walk out carrying one of those it is a large squawking herd of mini-monsters meeting me at the gate. (Remember the Velociraptor Chickens?) They get quite rude and scary!
All is not great though as we do have some cause for concern. Wedgie’s leg isn’t healing like we had hoped. Since I posted about his injury we’ve had him x-rayed and found that he had actually fractured his leg. The vet seems to think it will heal just fine in time, but it’s sure making us worry. He has to stay in the small box stall and not move around too much. Poor little guy isn’t taking confinement well, he is horribly bored. It’s really hard for such a curious and mischievous little dude to deal with forced inactivity. We try to keep him entertained, but it’s a challenge. He is such a good baby though. He allows us to change his bandages/semi-cast with a minimum of fuss.
That’s about it around here at MoonCat Farms and the ranch. I will try to post some photos in the next few days – truly. Wedgie really is getting cuter all of the time. I know he sends his love to all of you who love him from afar, especially his honorary auntie Lemon Verbena Lady 🙂 (Phantom kisses being blown your way)
As many of you know (and our new readers will soon learn), we’ve recently joined the ranks of “backyard chicken farmers”. I mentioned my initial desire to have about six chickens in order to provide enough eggs for us and the immediate family. Well, the hubby and the Dad decided if six was a good amount then NINETEEN would be a GREAT amount of chickens to have. Men!
Well, all of this has led to a MAJOR over-abundance of eggs and the addition of “farm fresh eggs” to the things that we are starting to sell here at MoonCat Farms. I am trying to get completely organized and making sure that everything is legal and by-the-book. One of the first things I started looking into is insurance coverage.
It is amazing how much information is out there and just how uninformed I am! I had no idea the different types of insurance I could or can’t get for our little operation. The green things we grow are covered in one area and the birds are a completely different ball game. I’ve learned things I could never have imagined ~ or wanted to imagine knowing. So for instance, do you know that along with credit scores there are also insurance scores? (I found an informative guide to insurance score in case you didn’t and would like to.) Needless to say, I’m doing more homework than anything else right now.
I’ve been filling out so much paperwork lately that I’m afraid I’m responsible for at least two trees being killed. I’ve always known that agricultural pursuits are highly regulated, but OMGosh! I have permantly cramped hands from filling out forms in duplicate and triplicate..blah blah blah… I’m nowhere near done either. Still have banking to go…
On a good note, we have happy chickens who are happily producing lovely eggs. LOTS and LOTS of eggs.
Have a great Wednesday my friends.
Like many of you I spend hours upon hours this time of year drooling over the newest seed catalogs and planning the garden’s future. There’s a big difference for us at MoonCat Farms this time around though, we’re also deciding what kind of crops to grow for our chickens!
Since becoming the chicken mama to my feathered friends, I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about what I can feed them – especially at this time of year. The ground is bare and there aren’t many tasty bugs to be had so I need to supplement their fare. Trying to give them fresh produce is costing a fortune! They’ve been eating some very interesting concoctions that I’ve been creating in the kitchen as well.
For the most part, I’ve gathered that if it is natural and healthy for us ~ it should be pretty much the same for them. They have been enjoying A LOT of fresh spinach, cooked peas and beans, various fruits, a bit of fish or other proteins on occasion, homemade suet cake treats, etc. This is of course on top of their chicken mash, scratch and pellets.
When the garden was still in full swing we discovered that tomatoes and watermelon are their top choices. They’d line up like little inmates at the fence and beg for tomatoes. Squash and peas were OK once they’re cooked by the chicken mama, most greens were welcomed as well. Strawberries and blackberries were another favorite treat along with cucumbers.
Besides the normal fruits and veggies that we’re growing for ourselves, I’m trying to figure out what we can add for the chickens. I will be doing a lot of canning, freezing and drying of our own foodstuffs and things such as comfrey, spinach and other greens for the birds. I would like to get any suggestions that some more experienced chicken keepers might have as to what else would be good for getting us through the winter a bit cheaper..
My friend Susan pointed out that I needed to post a few pictures of Mr. MoonCat and I in our Renaissance Faire garb. I’d been writing about all of the new outfits that we would like to make with our LA Loot and she requested some photos. So here are some from the last few years; I hate having my picture taken, so there aren’t an abundance of me 🙂 Hubby on the other hand is a ham, so I will have even more of him in the near future.
Growing up on a working ranch meant we didn’t really have a lot of frivolous decor in the house. Things needed to be useful, practical, and most of all, easy to clean. The hardest working “decorations” were the rugs. They took a major beating. Especially the rugs near the back door where we came in from the barn. We usually had one of the very colorful, very durable old rag rugs placed there. They were workhorses! They kept the majority of the mud and other things from going further into the house. I still have a couple of those old beauties that I try to keep anyone from stepping on because they’re getting some age on them.
|Old Rag Rug section|
She is one of the most destructive little dogs I’ve ever had! She eats my shoes (notice I said mine, NOT Mr. MoonCat’s), books and whatever she can get her little pointy teeth on. I have to be sure to get to any packages from UPS or FedEx before she does as she REALLY likes to open boxes and mail for me. Please note that she has more toys and chewy things than a puppy or child could ever want to gnaw on – she just prefers things that belong to moi!
So back to the rug issue. Little Miss Peepers has given me the excuse I’ve needed to replace the rugs in the living and dining rooms (it’s actually more like a great room all combined). I’ve decided I want to go with somewhat more modern rugs than the plain older rugs we’ve been using. One of the other concerns besides the dirt trapping is keeping the wet doggy paw prints from being left on the hardwood floors. Here are two examples of what I am looking at:
This one is an indoor/outdoor rug that is handwoven. It’s hoseable, scrubbable, bleachable and designed for high-traffic, muddy areas. I like that the design and colors combine to add a little punch.
Both rugs are water resistant and could be hung out over the fence or big clothesline to dry when washed – not in the machine, but by being hosed down 🙂 I am a lazy housekeeper as I’d much rather be in the garden or out at the ranch with Dad and the horses. Ease of cleaning and practicality are VERY high on my requirements for things around here.
So what do you think, any suggestions? I admit I’m leaning more towards the leaves at the moment, but I always let the Mister put in his 1/2 cent – since I get 1 1/2 hee hee..
**I am a CSN Preferred Blogger and will receive an item for review in exchange for this post. My opinions and words are 100% honest and MY OWN and are not influenced in any way.
I haven’t updated everyone on the girls (and Big Red) in a while so I thought I’d share a few photos from one of the VERY few days of no rain lately.
|The hen’s eye view|
|Big Red fascinated by a bit of straw|
|The death of a straw bale|
So, are you ready for a surprise? We weren’t! Look….
|Aren’t they pretty?|
We really didn’t expect the girls to start laying until March or April at the earliest. I think they’re confused as they aren’t supposed to lay during the very short days of winter. Given that they’re also only 5 months old, we were amazed to find these beauties in the coop! My babies are growing up so fast…
A while back I said I’d post some photos from our Disneyland trip. So I finally pulled them off of my little camera and have a few to share with you. We spent a week (Sun – Fri) down in Southern California/Anaheim with brother Chris and sister-in-law (you remember my dear friend/sister/co-conspirator, the “Mad Scientist – Cindy”?), their son Rowan and Cindy’s mom Sandy.
We had a blast and it was soooo much fun watching Rowan’s face and seeing him experience Disneyland for the first time. It was also Sandy’s first trip so it was an extra special treat all the way around. We all have a timeshare membership and the Anaheim condo is right around the corner from the gates to the park so we spent a lot of time there. It’s great because they have a full kitchen and washer/dryer so you don’t have to buy the $12 burgers at the park all the time. We ate pretty good… Of course, I justify it because we also walked miles and miles..
I am doing a separate post to show you the spoils for our day trip to the seedy side of Los Angeles. You won’t believe what we found…..But you have to wait until tomorrow 🙂
On Friday, Mr. MoonCat and I headed to Las Vegas for the weekend where we met up with his parents. Mr. MoonCat got sick so we didn’t do much while we there but that’s OK, we were together! On to the pictures………….