My favorite fall flower.
After the past few years of glorious Indian Summers, it is weird to have come into fall these last two weeks more the way we usually head into winter, which is days and days of rain and wind, with one or two nice days or sometimes just nice afternoons scattered here and there. We are off flood watch and have been for a couple days. I’m not sure if I mentioned we were on flood watch or not. It wasn’t as bad here as they made it out to be, at least not where I am. We’ve had far worse. Of course the baby tornado (F1) that touched down near Boeing several days ago was nowhere near us, though we did have scary fast wind that sounded like a train roaring through a tunnel that same day. I’m just shocked we had a baby tornado at all. We don’t get those here. Earthquakes, yes. The occasional eruption from the Mt. St. Helens volcano, yes. Tornadoes? Nope. I guess it’s not just in the middle states anymore.
The good news was the roof repair out at the old house has held up despite the torrential rains. No more water damage. No more delaying getting the house on the market. If there is any good to come out of these storms, it is that they really tested the roof. The husband met with a realtor today and showed him the house. He was very impressed with it. The contractors did a great job. He is going to do some research in the area before setting a price for sale. The other realtor, the one we are not going with because he disclosed information to my nosy mother when he should not have, said $129,000 would be a good price to set it at. We bought it for $65,000 in 1998 and have made a lot of improvements over the years. Zillow puts it at $118K, though Zillow doesn’t know about the remodel. Once we get the price set we can put up the sign and take some more photos and get it on the internet.
Someone cut the lock and broke into the shed out there and stole the lawnmower and a small can of gas. It was a piece of junk, hard to start, fifteen-year-old machine, so I don’t know why anyone would want it. They were the only things left in the shed besides some empty boxes. We are thinking about putting up a dummy security camera on the back of the house, pointed at the shed and a dummy dome camera right above the shed door. The house has a security system with all doors and windows wired or on the motion sensor, but without a fence surrounding the back yard anymore, we have had trouble with kids breaking into the shed. They just never took the few items in it. We think they were just looking for a place to make out or drink beer. It’s annoying, though.
This week has been a little bit busy so I haven’t blogged as much as usual. A lot of small things got done, the best of which was installing real lighting in the rabbit shed. We’ve been using a couple of those stick up round lights that you tap the center on, but they were just helpful enough that you didn’t trip over your own feet, but not helpful enough to see into the feed bins on each cage. Now we have lighting that is bright enough that we can see to do every chore in the rabbit shed. This is nice because as the days are getting shorter we have had to do things before the sunlight faded. Or the rain light, since it’s been raining all week and that pretty much eliminates outdoor light around six right now.
I like to keep the rabbits on a schedule that has roughly 12 hours between visits when I’m not expecting a litter or checking on a new one. Well, more like 11 and 13 hours, since 8 a.m. is when they get checked on in the morning and 7 p.m. is when I like to check on them in the evening. Even 8 a.m. has been dark during the rains so the new lighting is also helpful in the mornings.
Phoebe’s new litter is doing great. They have all of their fur in except around their noses now and have visually been growing well. I don’t weigh them until they are 3 weeks old, because it stresses the mother’s out to have them out of the cage that long. At 10 days I will change the nesting box material, but other than brief checks to make sure they are all alive and thriving, I pretty much leave them alone. They are in the popcorn stage right now, where if you disturb one it sort of leaps up in the air and then falls back down again. Not the best time to be holding one anyway.
I forgot to weigh the four remaining kits of Phoebe’s first litter on Sunday. Well, I weighed kits on Sunday, it was just the wrong set, Piper’s Thursday borns! Oh, well. So I did it yesterday, but the weights won’t be accurate to the 13 week point so I’m not posting them. We will be slaughtering them tomorrow and I will post the before and after weights. Or at least 3 out of the 4. One hadn’t hit 5 pounds as of yesterday. If it has hit 5 pounds by tomorrow than we will do it. It was only a couple ounces short. Otherwise we will give it another few weeks and process it with the biggest of Piper’s kits.
We did wean the last of Piper’s kits yesterday and I think she was happy to be on her own. She is a little grumpy when pregnant, though not mean or aggressive or anything. For now we have all six of that litter in one cage, but tomorrow after we slaughter we can divide them into cages of 3 and 3, even if we still have one left from Phoebe’s litter. And tomorrow will be sunny so they can all be out in tractors as well.
It’s been almost a week of downpours so they’ve been confined to the shed. They really want to come out of their cages. We let the ones who really want out play a bit on the shed floor. It seems to be hardest for Starbuck. He has so much energy. One of the things I want to have as an option when we move, though it might take a few years, is a covered area we can move the tractors to so they can have some outside time in bigger pens where they can run around even when the weather is foul.
It is time to start putting a light in with the chickens as egg production is starting to drop off. I know some folks don’t believe in doing that, but we made the decision to do it a couple of years ago. The animals here need to earn their keep. They are happy and healthy free-rangers and yes, the light in the winter may shorten their lifespans a bit, but it is a trade-off we have decided to make. If we had double or triple the hens and still got enough eggs from them to feed the family, we would not do it, but we don’t, so we do. They hide half their eggs anyway. The light just helps us to even the playing field a bit more.
I need to go and pick some apples once the weather clears up. The trees are starting to drop them and I wanted to make the attempt at making apple juice and apple syrup this year. I’m not sure if I will do applesauce or not. We still have some left from last year and the husband is the only one who eats it consistently. When he remembers we have it. I hate to let the apples go to waste, but if I make and can juice, that should not happen.
The chickens ate all the grapes so that isn’t something that will need to be dealt with this year. There weren’t a ton anyway. We still need to dig up the last of the potatoes. We are supposed to have a few okay days starting tomorrow, so hopefully that can get done, as well. Unfortunately my knee is swollen. It does this on occasion with no provocation. It started swelling yesterday and now it looks and feels incredibly tight and full of fluid. My old doctor retired at the beginning of the year. When my knee would do this in the past I would go to him and he would drain the fluid out with a syringe and then if it needed it, shoot it with cortizone. My new doctor doesn’t do that. I don’t even care about the cortizone. I don’t want it. I just want the fluid drained, but that’s old hokem medicine or something. Young whippersnapper. At least the office told me over the phone so I didn’t have to pay for a visit.
Hopefully it will drain on its own like young whippersnapper claims. In the meanwhile, I get to limp. It’s not bad enough for the cane though. And no tremors. At least at the moment. If it gets too much I will go to the specialist who did the surgery on it in ’09. He will drain it. I wonder if there is a folk medicine cure for this. At the moment I wouldn’t disagree with rubbing chicken grease and turmeric on it and dancing under the light of a full moon if it would help. I draw the line at leeches, though.