My first revelation this morning: “farm” type chores are *gasp* peaceful and fulfilling. Some of my closest friends know that for the past few years, I’ve struggled a little bit to find that inner peace that we’re all after. Right now, on our happy little plot of land, we’ve got Sasha, the vegan dog (she’s a terrible hunter, so I’ve decided it must be so). We’ve also got Peabody, who’s a guest and his new girlfriend, Princess (Princess and the Peabody, get it?). Think that’s it? Oh heck no. We’ve got 3 egg laying chickens, who are still too young to lay, 8 almost-ready Cornish cross birds, 30 Freedom Rangers and 2 Bantam Silkies. HA! Other than the garden which invites the random rabbit, visiting cat and occasionally the neighbor’s dog, that’s it, I think.
ANYWAY, I was out tending the flock in three different pens this morning, and realized that while I wouldn’t classify it as FUN exactly, I was content, happy, peaceful and able to just enjoy the quiet of the morning. That’ll change in two weeks when the kids are out of school, but still. Maybe they’ll sleep in. A mom can dream, right?
We’ve been making strides towards being more self-sufficient and knowing where our food comes from and how its raised or grown. Frankly, I didn’t think I’d like it much, because I don’t generally like being in the kitchen, but its COOL! I don’t quite know how to describe the feeling of success when you see the first sprouts in your garden, or you see healthy, happy chickens running around and doing their instinctual chicken thing (they’re penned, but we give them fresh grass every day).
Peabody. He’s a whole ‘nother story. This guy is a HOOT! He’s an India Blue peafowl who randomly (at least to us humans) adopted our neighborhood back in January. Toolman, our youngest, came home from school one day and says “Mommy, I just saw a peacock while I was getting off the van!” My reaction? “Suuuuuuuuuure you did. I’m glad you’re using your imagination, buddy!!” So we went about our day, didn’t really give it a lot more thought. Several days later, Blondie took something outside for me, right after it had given us a dusting of snow. She comes FLYING back in, shouting that there are HUGE bird tracks in the snow and that she saw a peacock! They can’t both be crazy delusional that imaginative, right?
Anyway, this crazy bird has provided TONS of enjoyment. He squawks, so far no one cares, even when its early (although really, he doesn’t seem to get moving more than 20 minutes earlier than we do). He fans his tail, he sneaks up on us, he hangs out with the chickens, and will squawk if no one is out talking to him. So, we found him a hen. She’s a mature female who so far doesn’t think much of this captivity thing. She’s tame, and has been raised on a small farmette in northern Maryland. We all think she’s pretty cool so far. Peabody….I think we may have mis-classified him. He’s not a peafowl. He’s a giant chicken. Big weenie is too afraid to get close to her! We’re letting her acclimate for a while in a big pen, and then hopefully she’ll be allowed to roam with him. She also raised peachicks last year, so we’re hoping for some….although it may be next summer, if the move stressed her too much. Its so cool to keep learning new things about our critters though, and a GREAT experience for the kids. They’re helpful and funny…and want to spend as much time as possibly with the birds. And yes, they do understand that some are for meat, and chose not to name those. The egg hens have names like “Speedy,” “Vulture,” (its neck looked funny for a couple weeks) “Alaska” and “Cottonball.”
Besides growing a garden, I got hooked on making our own yogurt, thanks to Star Confections. Lilli made it sound so easy that I ran to the store and took the plunge. She’s right. Its WAY easy, so very tasty and quite a bit less expensive. I’ve been able to perpetuate the cultures easily enough (thank heavens for Mason jars!) and the kids think its the best thing since…well, Peabody. We’ve been mixing a spoonful of raw honey into the plain yogurt and it sweetens it just enough. The kids We all have a bit of a sweet tooth.
Don’t worry, DB Impressions isn’t going anywhere. We’re working to find a good balance and that’ll be a good thing for EVERYONE! High school senior season starts really soon, so things might be a little hectic. Who doesn’t need something peaceful to balance that out?
Princess and the Peabody will most likely get their own post soon. Don’t worry, there are LOTS more pictures!