Posts Tagged ‘update’

postheadericon Chasing Chickens

Well, it’s been so long since I’ve posted that I pretty much had to learn how to do it all over again!  Life has kept us very busy here at MoonCat Farms since I last checked in many moons ago.  There’s too much to cover in one post so I’ll just start fresh with one of my favorite and frankly, most time-consuming interests. My chooks…

Mr. MoonCat’s parents call them their “grands”.  When they come up for a visit, they enjoy helping me with the little feathered fiends.  In fact we’re looking forward to a visit next month when I will be enlisting their help in vaccinating the flock and accomplishing a few other chores that seem to need a few willing extra hands.  Plus, we just have fun playing with the birds and spending time outside.  The chickens reward their “grands” by sending them back to Arizona with a bunch of beautiful farm fresh eggs!

 

Rudy Roo – Barred Plymouth Rock

Rudy Roo is called a Barred Plymouth Rock or just a Barred Rock.  He runs with my laying flock of mostly Rhode Island Red hens and a few girls of questionable parentage.  He’s a very gentle bird that takes great care of his girls and is pleasant for us to be around.  (His neck shouldn’t look all fuzzy like that, he’s been sticking his head through the fence to reach the rosebush and messed up his feathers. I will be putting up more chicken wire soon, as Mr. MoonCat accused me of trying to strangle poor Rudy!)

 

“I’ll Be Back…”   Iowa Blue hen

This little gal giving us all the stink-eye is an Iowa Blue hen.  She’s a smallish bird that lays a small creamy colored egg.  They are a personable breed that is enjoyable to be around and as you can tell by the up close and personal photo, very nosy!  (BTW, they aren’t blue..just those Iowa people coming up with a name for their birds… 🙂

 

Boo – Blue Andalusian rooster

This pretty guy is one of my favorite boys here at MoonCat Farms.  He is Boo, a Blue Andalusian rooster which comes from Andalusia, Spain.  Blue Andalusians actually show up in three color variations:  Blue, Black and Splash.  They are all the same bird, they just carry the blue gene differently.  I will do a post on each of the breeds I am raising and go a little more into the colors then.

 

The fluffy butts in the photo above belong to my lovely Giant Blue Cochins.  That is one of the two roosters with his head up while the others were pigging out on a pumpkin. They lay medium-sized brown eggs, but not in large quantities.  In spite of this and in all honesty, because they are so darn cute, they came to MoonCat Farms with a purpose – to sit on and hatch the eggs of the Blue Andalusians.  Andalusians are notorious for NOT sitting on their own eggs while Cochins are notorious for being broody and wanting to spend their time raising chicks – instead of laying eggs!  It’s a perfect match :)If you haven’t noticed yet, I have a bit of a theme with the BLUE chickens.  This has become quite the endeavor and I am truly hooked on my birds.  I look forward to sharing more about this journey with you.

 

postheadericon Spring is Sprung

You know you’ve been a neglectful blogger when the hubby of all people, asks why you haven’t posted anything in several weeks!  I didn’t even realize that he’d been paying any attention to “my little blog” as he calls it 🙂  So I have a couple photos for you today..


Our first flowers of the year


Needless to say, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside this week.  After weeks upon weeks of storms, we’re finally seeing some sunshine.  This has been our wettest winter since 1997 ~ we’ve been having extreme flooding and our ground is completely saturated.  Since we usually live in a state of near panic due to drought conditions and the threat of wells going dry, it really is nice to see an overabundance of water.  It would just be nice if it could rain a few days and then be sunny; then rain a day or two and be sunny…..  We had ten days straight with rain at some point so we’re a little soggy.


Super high grass and weeds

Poor Mr. MoonCat is asking if I won’t reconsider adding a couple of goats to our menagerie for weed control.  We may have to get the mower deck for the tractor for the front and back yard as the grass and weeds have been growing several inches a day.  The ground is super wet so we can’t get the lawn mower in there yet and the lovely sunshine is just making everything GROW!


Our gorgeous Weeping Willow

The photo below is actually a blossom from a weed.  I loved the shading and pattern on the bud.

Weed flower bud

And finally, we already have a rose (or possibly, still have a rose?)

Rose in bloom

More to come…

postheadericon Woman Eaten by Chickens or Stuff n Such

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)

postheadericon Wedgie’s Week of Woes

Wedgie had a lot of firsts this week – he was FINALLY weaned from his mama, he got his first big boo boo, his first haircut AND he had his first hoof trimming.  All pretty much within 48 hours.  Little guy’s world was turned upside down.

 

We had planned on weaning him a couple months ago, but the unbelievably wet weather the last two months made it difficult.  We didn’t have any spare stalls or inside pens that were dry, so the pasture was the best place for him and his mama.

 

Walking the Wedge
The use of a “butt rope” laid loosely around his hindquarters helps teach Wedgie to walk forward while being lead with the halter.  This is a very common training technique we use with foals.
He was actually taught to lead and accept a halter when he was just a few days old.  He was then turned out with his mama and the other mares in the pasture where he was allowed to just be a baby. (The photo above shows him getting a reminder to go forward when led.) 
He’ll be worked with up close in the barn for a few weeks again while he’s completely weaned and then turned back out to pasture to continue learning how to just be a horse.  He’ll now be out with the rest of “the boys” instead of the mares.  At two years old, he’ll be brought up again and start very light training to be ridden.  Their leg bones are still maturing up to about three years old, so heavy riding at too young of an age can actually be detrimental to their development.  He’ll probably be gelded at this point as well.

 

Boo Boo wrapped in blue
Wedgie’s boo boo.  He cut himself on the ankle when he was having a tantrum over being separated from his mama.  We put them in side-by-side stalls when weaning, but he still managed to have a fit and bang up his little leg on the wall.
**On a related note ~ Horses tend to find numerous ways to hurt themselves.  It’s a full-time job trying to keep them safe.  For instance; if you have a mile of fence posts and only 1 has a tiny nail sticking out, the horse will find that 1 tiny nail and cut himself on it.  I think you could put them in a padded cell, cocooned in bubble wrap and they’d still manage to do something!  It’s part of their nosy nature and part of life with horses. 
Wedgie’s 1st trim
Wedgie received his first pedicure or in equine terms: hoof trim.  A lot of times this is a very difficult task as the babies don’t like their legs and feet messed with and lifted off the ground.  This first trimming was made much easier because we got him used to us touching his legs and looking at his hooves when he was just a few days/weeks old.  The more they’re handled when young, the easier it is to do the necessary tasks as they grow.  He was a perfect little gentleman while Dad trimmed his hooves.  He won’t actually get his first set of shoes for another year or so.
Wedgie’s 1st haircut
This photo was more of a snarky comment by my husband on the similarity of Wedgie’s wild forelock and mane and my wooly head.  It was pretty foggy that day and with a lot of moisture in the air comes lots of curls and frizz in my hair!  So yes, the Wedge and I both have naturally out of control locks.  We did manage to trim what is called a “bridle path” for Wedgie (not me).  It is a strip of about three inches of his mane right behind his ears that we trim down to the base.  It makes it much easier for the halter to fit snugly and secure.  It’s also more comfortable for him as the halter won’t be sitting on top of a wad of mane and pulling his hair.

So that’s pretty much Wedgie’s traumatic week.  He’s doing fine and starting to enjoy being in the middle of everything at the barn.  He has already learned to pull the lid off of the grain bin as he goes by and tries to snag a mouthful of hay when passing the bales.  One thing is for certain, Wedgie will be in the middle of things on a regular basis.

postheadericon Humming Hummers and an Update

Sorry I’ve been so absent lately.  We’ve been pretty darn busy.  This week was a great one as my Ant (intentionally spelled-she’s very short!) and my Unk came down to visit from Idaho.  We had a lovely time with them.  Their stay went too quick though.  It seems like the time just blows by during the summer months and I can’t seem to get everything done that I’d like to.

Mom is doing ok, not great, but ok.  Last week we had a 112 degree day with dangerously unhealthy air.  It just knocked her for a loop and she’s still just starting to recover a bit from those three or four really bad air/heat days.  We’re a bit cooler now and soooo ready for the fall.

The garden had such a whacked out spring and summer.  We are just now getting the bulk of the tomatoes ripening.  We planted them in stages hoping to spread the harvest out a bit, but NOOOO they’re all hitting at once.  I’m up to my eyebrows in tomaters!  Of course, we’ll be loving it in the winter when we have those sun-dried tomatoes and the sauces..yum.

I decided to show you some of our busiest residents here at MoonCat Farms. ( I am working on getting better photos.)
We’ve rearranged the furniture on the front porch so we can sit out there in the evening. 
The bonus is getting to enjoy the activity at the new feeders we’ve hung for out little flying friends.  They’re just now getting used to us.

postheadericon What I See Wednesday

Your regularly scheduled “What I See Wednesday” has been pre-empted..or is it hijacked?  Instead of the garden and other photos you’re eagerly awaiting – today you will see CHICKENS!!!

Stella – The Ringleader – Ms. Attitude
Midge (on right) & her Poultry Posse
HeartyGirl aka #19 aka Trauma Chicken
Thelma or Louise – The Spies
More of Stella’s Minions
Stella – rallying the troops
from the TOP of the pen
Training on the gangplank
Sgt Stella shows them the correct way
The coop – Headquarters
Stella biting (pecking) the hand that feeds her – mine
Can you believe how much these little ones have grown in just under 2 weeks?  Except for Midge, they’ve pretty much doubled if not tripled in size.  Most of them are flying for short little bits, it’s hard to keep them in their little pen anymore.  HeartyGirl has done quite well following her ordeal; she’s still a bit smaller than some of the others, but she’ll catch up. 
Stella is quite the comedienne and definitely rules the roost.  She’ll fly right to either of us and land on our hands or arms.  Goofy bird likes to be petted and is one of the nosiest critters I’ve ever had.  She has a real thing for Mr. MoonCat ~ maybe that’s why she’s always trying to get my wedding ring?
In spite of Dad and everyone else making fun of us, we’ll continue naming the little feathered fiends as we go.  We’ll also keep you updated on their progress and our fall from sanity…

postheadericon Summertime and the Living is BUSY

Sorry about being pretty quiet for a whole week! I’m back to spurt-blogging (that sounds almost nasty, but it is pretty appropriate.) It seems like we are outside most of the time now and I have tons to do before I can take the time to sit in front of the computer. So I’ll give you an all-around update on life at MoonCat Farms where, as the picture below shows – all is well:

The MoonCats doing what cats do best

Mom is doing pretty well. She has gained some strength and has decided to take up scrap booking.  She’s making lists (and lists and lists) of supplies she wants from the crafts store. My niece and nephew were here on Friday and they all three had their heads together plotting their next few projects. We’re really looking forward to them being around a lot this summer while they’re out of school.  They’re great kids and a lot of fun to have around.  Mr. MoonCat and I took advantage of them being here with Mom and ran off to do some shopping together and take in a show (Prince of Persia – cute movie and even cuter Jake Gyllenhaal.)

I am way behind on my crafting, my photography, my letter writing, my blog visiting, my bookkeeping, and pretty much everything that isn’t related to the garden.  But we’ve been eating some yummy squash, peas and onions the last few days.  Of course dinner hasn’t been until 8pm or after 🙁


 I have a book review coming up that you’ll not want to miss.  I was thrilled to be asked to participate in a TLC Book Tour for Jean Davies Okimoto‘s The Love Ceiling.  My stop on the tour is scheduled for June 23rd when I will post my review and GIVEAWAY ALERT: the lovely, lovely author has generously provided a copy of this fabulous book for one lucky MoonCat Farms reader!  It was one of those books that I couldn’t put down so I’m tickled that one of you will get to enjoy a copy for yourself.  Be ready to get your entry in!

Speaking of upcoming giveaways…For my 200th post in the next week or so, I will run that contest I mentioned to officially name Wedgie.  Keep your eyes open and you could win a special prize!  (I really do enjoy giveaways – especially ones that involve wearing thinking caps..)  Lemon Verbena Lady has already put her hat in the ring with the very creative “Phantom” which could be very interesting when combined with the parents’ registered names…..More info coming soon.

Here’s a gratuitous photo of Wedgie who is becoming quite the little ham – notice the swishing little broom tail:

Is this my good side?

Mr. MoonCat got to spend some quality time with his folks last weekend as they were visiting in the area.  We’ll all get to see them sometime later this week and return the pan that his mom brought filled with delicious lasagna. YUM.  I’m not a big fan of regular over-tomatoed lasagna, but his mom’s is the bomb.  We always look forward to it and it never lasts long!  Mom really enjoys it too which is great since her appetite is still more off than on.

The mad scientist, aka Cindy my sister-in-law, is coming up for a day of soap and paper making.  We’ve both been gathering supplies like crazy so we’ll have many hours of crafting and creating.  We’re really looking forward to it and then to going out for sushi that evening with our hubbies. 

So that’s pretty much it in a nutshell.  Tomorrow I am getting back in the groove with one of my A-Z Herbs posts: E is for Elecampane.  I may just get to the middle of the alphabet by the end of the year 🙂

postheadericon Growing Greenery Update

We’re seeing a lot of green around here – and reds, oranges, pinks etc.  I’m really happy that so many of our plants and flowers are coming back in full force.  I was worried that I’d lost a lot in the move and with the neglect I showered upon them while Mom was in the hospital.  But they must be made of sturdy stuff.

One of the reasons for my latest neglect of this blog is our Herculean task of finding homes for the majority of the babies from THIS post about the rescued plants.  It has been a trial attempting to identify some of them and we’re definitely not done.  We found out that the nursery guy was notorious for potting and replanting plants in whatever pot or tray he could find and didn’t care how things were labelled.  (Do ya think this could have been a clue as to why he went out of business??) 

Anyway, so far we have planted about 25 butterfly bushes here along with an unknown number of jasmine – Mr. MoonCat’s favorite.  I was thrilled to find that in addition to a gorgeous rosemary plant we’d managed to salvage several bay tree babies.  I love using bay leaf in some of my recipes.  We also have some agapanthas, canna lilies, African irises, boxwoods, spirea, and mimosa trees.  Still working on it.

Everyone in our life is benefiting from this little escapade.  I sent about a dozen of the trees that we think are maples out to the ranch.  It was amazing how all of these poor neglected babies just took off with a bit of water and some TLC.  Our friends are getting used to finding plants in their vehicles when they leave from a visit here.  Good homes must be found by all! 
As the rescues continue to get healthier and start to thrive, I’ll show you some updated pictures.  But for now, here are some of my other little pretties that are enjoying the sunshine.
Peas
Our wedding mums
Nasturtiums
Our experimental potato/tater box
Volunteers
Beans
Tomatoes/Tomaters

postheadericon Back in Action

I’ve missed all of you!  I apologize for the long lapse, but I can tell you that we’ve been extremely busy.  Thank you so much to those of you who checked in on us; we all appreciate you thinking of us.  I promise, I’ll be better now and update you on all that’s been going on here at MoonCat Farms….
~~~~~
Mom is doing well.  She’s still wheelchair bound, but she’s determined to get back on her feet for more than a few minutes at a time.  I’ve been keeping her busy hulling strawberries and going through boxes for our monster yard sale in July.
We had some very dear friends here for several days.  Linda is one of mom’s dearest friends whom she misses very much as she lives several states away now.  This is a photo of her with her husband and their adorable dog, Cappy.  I love Border Collies and would have kidnapped him in a second!

While Linda was here, some other dear friends also came for dinner.  Mr MoonCat outdid himself with some fabulous ribs which made my side dishes pale terribly in comparison.  We all really enjoyed the visit, especially Mom.

~~~~~
Obviously I’m back online again!  I am so far behind on EVERYTHING:  email, blogging, reading the posts of my lovely friends, etc.  I was happy though that I managed to save everything from the laptop.  I was so fed up though, that I bit the bullet and bought myself a new desktop.  I had been wanting one for ages, but really couldn’t justify it. 
But, wait for it……..I won $2500 on a slot machine!!!!  I was just about bouncing through the roof. This hand was DEALT to me!   So after paying several bills and taking care of a few things, I decided that the money had dropped into my hot little hands at this particular moment for a reason – I needed a new computer!  The best part was that I hadn’t gone there with any of my own money.  They were having a promotion and had sent me a $40 voucher and a free meal coupon if I’d come in that day.  I am SO tickled that I took them up on it.  It was amazing!
So one of the coolest perks of all of this is that the laptop is also back up and running.  I was being a tightwad and decided I’d fix it myself or it’d die from my trying!  I completely wiped it and started it back from scratch.  It’s now behaving beautifully.  So I have my lovely new big guy in my sewing room/office and the laptop is used primarily as a back-up in the living room.  I do a lot of work on the couch while watching the Star Trek Next Generation reruns every evening.  “Tea – Earl Grey – HOT!” 
~~~~~
I’ll leave the massive garden update for another post, but I will show you what Mr. MoonCat is up to – besides getting all of his lovely curls chopped off for the summer..
Beuford – The Roping Dummy Steer
This is Beuford.  He is a dummy steer for practicing roping.  I can rope enough to help out at brandings and working cattle, but I’m not a competitor.  Mr. MoonCat doesn’t know how to rope, but is insisting we keep Beuford in the front yard anyway.  Of course, he IS the cheapest of all of our pets to feed.
Below is Beuford with a dummy sitting on him…
“It’s the other direction, dear..”
And finally, my beloved hubby – Mr. MoonCat.  Gotta love him….(I have a piece of paper that says I must, by law.)
“Thank goodness he has no aspirations to ride bulls..”

postheadericon OWOH Update and Thank You

I am so amazed by the amount of comments coming in from the One World One Heart event.  We are almost to 300 comments.  I’m thinking I’ll have to add a little extra goody or two to the drawings…   I hope everyone knows that I DO read each and every comment that comes in.  I just haven’t been able to respond to them all.  That is one of my intentions for the New Year – respond to every comment.  BUT, with the sheer volume in the OWOH drawing, I really can’t accomplish that.  So I am issuing a blanket THANK YOU for the moment to everyone coming by and I hope you’ll all continue to visit MoonCat Farms.  We have a lot of new stuff planned for 2010.
 


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