Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love and Raccoons

Welp, since my last series of posts, I have been thinking about love. Pointing out errors in the church brought a magnifying glass to be focused upon mine. I have been guilty of formulas and idols, and selfisheness, and wasted time myself- and each day brings new opportunities to repeat them. It is life breath to me that for the church and for me, His mercies are new every morning. We are all to love one another because love covers over a multitude of sins. Loving people beyond our tiny circles is opposite from the direction our human natures would drive us toward, at least for me. But I want to and I know God will help me.

With a heat lamp and feed, the mallards decided to stay with us through the winter instead of migrating south. We started with six, 2 male and 4 female. One day in December one of the males disappeared. No trace. Then later the other male and a female disappeared for two days; however the male came back. So there are now 3 females and a male.

Two of the females have built their nests and laid eggs. One chose a spot just behind the fence and inside the cow shelter right under the heat lamp (in place to keep the cow's water line from freezing). She has 15 eggs in her nest. The other has built a nest right under the hay feeder. She has barricaded herself so far in you really can't even see her. We predict we will see ducklings in early March. Fortunately the male and female that aren't on a nest have started visiting the creek so we hope the ducklings will be led down there in the spring; otherwise I am going to have WAY too many ducks in my yard.

Last night when Cory got home and began his nightly check on the animals, he found something had gotten into the one nest and stolen an egg or two . All indications point to a raccoon. Caramel (the cow) seemingly did his best to get the raccoon away from the nest as he tore two hole through the fence to shoo away whatever was in there that shouldn't have been. This morning the trash can was knocked over and trash spread through the yard. Definitely a raccoon.

It looks like night vision goggles and camouflage are next. We just laugh and laugh at the things we find ourselves doing.

On the cow front, being castrated has not prevented Caramel from attempting to mate with Buttercup EVERY 2 MINUTES. If Caramel and Buttercup were humans, I feel quite sure she would take a restraining order out on him. Notice how in this picture he is only one step behind her but acting totally casual?

He is one step behind her all day long... just trying and trying. I feel terrible that she has to be fenced in with him. I was worried when we have him butchered that she would be lonely but I think she will be absolutely relieved. We never did dehorn her, which I hope does not prove problematic in the future... but for now I think it helps her when he really gets aggressive.

After one particularly irritating altercation, I convinced Cory we needed to kill the rooster... but we have never gotten around to it:

"Hey, what do you want to do this weekend, honey?" "I don't know, how about spend a whole afternoon with blood, guts, and feathers?"

You can see why it keeps getting put off until later. On particularly cold mornings, more than once, I have opened my door and found the chickens standing right there. This is the view of the rooster through my current (ugly stained glass) door.

He's just out there... waiting for me....waiting for me to not have a stick in my hand- little stalker. Actually I think they get hopeful I will bring out a treat everytime I come out. They have food in their coop but they much prefer it to be sprinkled on the ground so they can scratch for it.

One morning I opened the door and all three chickens were standing there in the front row, with all four ducks right behind them. Just patiently waiting. Who knows how long they were standing there. Some mornings the rooster actually pecks on the door. Bizarre.

In other news, I- who rarely ever gets a cold- have been knocked down with a bug for over a week. The worst only lasted for a few days but it keeps hanging on so I have been resting a lot. The boys have been loving the addition of even more free time. They never run out of things to do. Here is my spice jar being used in some type of battle. I find army men in my shoes, legos in my laundry, horses in the sock drawer and darts on top of everything imaginable. I feel quite sure they are doing some serious college level critical thinking activities when they work out all of these battle scenarios...so I don't feel bad resting when I need to.....

But of course I couldn't just do nothing..... so I have been working on my business- making lots of progress! I am so very excited about that.

I read The Four Hour Work Week a week ago. I LOVED it...gleaned a lot of useful help from it for my business and read a lot I could relate to... very easy read- highly recommended. Not everything in it is for everyone, but there is enough useful information that it would be worthwhile for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.

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