It Has Begun…

Last week we ran a Freezer Camp for the cornish meat chickens.
The ones we did could have used a bit more time to bulk up, but we’re going ahead with getting them done by the end of this week.
And it’s the last time I’m raising cornish chickens.
I’m so done with these guys.
The last few years, the quality of chick seems to be declining.
I don’t know why, and I’m not accusing the hatchery of anything.
We just haven’t had them grow as well as they should and this year we’ve had far, far too many broken bones.
Not just legs either.
And then with last week’s thunder storm, we lost more than 15 of them because they piled up on each other in the coop (even though the coop was wide open and they were free to come and go as they please) and smothered each other.
So, out of 75 chicks, once I finish butchering them this week, we’ll have 35 birds.
That is ridiculous.

Meanwhile, my home hatched roosters?
Not a single loss.
28 in the bachelor pen and when the thunder was rumbling, they were screaming right back at it.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
So next year we’re focusing on home hatched/raised birds.
No more cornish meats to die on a whim or because a fly farted too close to them.
Hardy dual purpose backyard crosses, bred for size, flavor and hardiness.
And maybe we can encourage people to come back to eating slow food through our breeding program.
The roosters are best cooked low and slow…they’re crockpot food, not fast frying.
But that long slow cook extracts all the nutritional goodness out of them, so it really is the best way.
For when we want bbq, I remove the breasts, brine or marinate them, and then roast the rest of the carcass.

So I hope we can encourage people to embrace slow food (which with the prevalence of instapots these days, doesn’t even need to be slow) and move away from the supermarket chicken.
Who knows…we’ll see.
We simply can’t bear the financial losses that go with cornish anymore.

But what goes with running a Freezer Camp is the inevitable roasting of backs/necks/carcasses, making bone broth and then the canning of the meat bits and broth.
That’s where I am today.
On the roasting part.
So the house, even though it’s hot af again, smells like delicious roasted chicken.
Needless to say, we’re having some sort of chicken dish for supper tonight.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The garden is ramping up well.
Beans are producing.
I have the rows of royal burgundys to pick and can. Same with the yellows.
I have to get more mulch in around the pintos…they’re starting to blossom, and the weeds are fighting hard to take over.
So I’ll pull weeds, feed the geeses and mulch, mulch, mulch.
We had a small meal from the Painted Pony beans.
They were tasty, but I was disappointed with the strings. I hadn’t realized how tough the strings on them were.
So I’m on the fence about growing them again.
Love, love, love them for the name and provenance (named for the American Paint Horse…and we know how Wolfie feels about them APHA gals, right? πŸ˜‰ ) but if they’re tough and stringy, I’ll find a better heirloom bean for us (royal burgundys).

I’m eating radish seed pods like crazy.
Nom. Nom. Nom.
I did not know before this year how damn tasty they are!
I’ve marked out a few plants that I’m going to let seed pods dry on so that we have radish seeds for next year, but aside from those few, I’m eating, eating, eating.
The black radishes are huge.
Size of my fist and bigger.
So I plan to ferment some.
Fermented radishes are yummy.
Really, really, yummy.
And easy to do.
But we’ve never had huge ones like this that I could ferment…and we’ve always just eaten them from the garden with salt, or in potato salad. Now I have enough to ferment.
That’s on the list to do this week.
Might even sneak a beet into a jar with some radishes.
*drools* I love the idea of fermented radishes and beets together.
Hopefully it tastes as good in real life as it does in my head.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And now off to work for me, because I have 19 chicken carcasses in my oven waiting for me…but to finish the post with a picture of my APHA gal…because no matter what, I will always love her and will never have a day where I don’t think of her. ❀

❀ Cookie ❀

Blessed Samhain

Light the fires
Burn them bright
Open up the night
Dance once more
With loved ones lost
Hold them close
Until they must go
Bid them farewell
For another year
Wish them Peace
Remember them still
See the Veil close
And know
They’re there
Waiting
Loving
Remembering

 

Blessed Samhain to those who believe.
Happy Hallowe’en to all.

Odhinn 2003 ~ 2019

Pretty Kitty ❀

We lost our old man on Wednesday.
16 years old, been with us since he was 6 weeks old.
We’re all a little lost without our big boy’s booming voice calling out for deer, duck and jerky.
πŸ˜₯

Just wanted to edit to add…

Thank you everyone for condolences and hugs.
It’s much appreciated.
We’ve been expecting Odhinn’s passing for a while now…he’s had a couple of strokes, and I’m pretty sure it was a heart attack that did him in this time.
The past 2 years with him were our bonus years, where we watched closely to see if the good days were still more than the bad ones.
In the last year he had the luxury of all the deer he could eat and he learned that he loved duck as well…we let him eat what he wanted, and enjoy the little things that made him happy.
We knew we were on borrowed time, we just hoped we’d have more.
And now our Old Man is no longer in pain, and is enjoying long naps in the warm sun with all the deer, duck and tuna (because hoooo boy would he sing when a can of tuna was opened!!) he wants.
❀ ❀ ❀

Monday Morning Ritual

Monday mornings, especially now that it’s warmed up, means coffee on the deck, with a toast to my favorite Girl…

Lovely bum!

This past weekend, on the hottest day of the year, her skull finally made it from the cage to the maceration tub.
Along with some other bones.
Now, we wait.
Change the water every couple of weeks.
And wait some more.
Hopefully, with the heat of summer full upon us now, maceration won’t take long, and I’ll have my sweet mare’s skull clean and ready for decorating.
And I know it sounds cold and awful to be cleaning her skull, but I have been a bone collector for years…longer than Hubby and I have been together.
Truth is, if I *didn’t* keep Cookie’s skull, I know I would regret it.
😦
I always knew I would keep hers…I just thought it would be another 15 years from now before she gave it to me.

 ❀

Monday mornings remind me how much I miss her sassyness, her demands for coffee and gingersnaps, those breaths of horsie breath in my face…

34 weeks today.

From her colic 2 years ago…it really was the beginning of the end for her…all the money and vet visits in the world just prolonged things, and we still had no answers until the very end.

And I still miss her like it just happened today…

All Time Favorites

With this prompt and post, the Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post is no more…
*sigh*

Since it’s the final installment of the Photo Challenge, the theme is
All Time Favorites, with an eye on sharing an all time favorite photo…
I can do that.
πŸ™‚
Favorite photo from a favorite session with a favorite edit of a favorite horse…

A little before…

The idea here was to make editing for a black background portrait as minimal as possible, so I walked her into the shelter, stood her where the light was the best on her face/side, handed off the lead rope to The Kid and stepped back…

It’s a lovely image as it is.
Of course, I’m biased because of that whole “favorite horse” thing. πŸ˜‰

But, a wee bit of time editing and it went from a lovely image to my favorite photo of her ever.

After…

One day, I’ll have this image printed as large as I can afford…
This is one that deserves a special place on the wall.
πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

And now, I have to wander off and find a new source of inspiration for those days when I just don’t know what to write.

Sharing for Thankful Thursday at Brian’s Home…

I’m thankful for the memories The Daily Post has helped me create, and the doors participating opened as I found new blogs to read and new folks dropped by.
I’m thankful for the new friends and old ones.
I’m thankful for life, for love, for my world and all those in it.
πŸ™‚

It’s a great day to be alive
I know the sun’s still shinin’
when I close my eyes
There’s some hard times
in the neighbourhood
But why can’t every day be just this good?
~ Travis Tritt

 

(A little musical inspiration for the day)

13

Monday was Cookie’s 13th birthday.
I had in my mind for a while, long before she passed, that I wanted to do a cake smash with her.
This was supposed to be her year for it…

Instead, her herdmates enjoyed her cake for her.
Seems like it should have been a bittersweet shoot, but it turned out to be great fun. ❀

Hubby offers some cake to Sable…

He mighta smooshed it into her muzzle a wee bit…being it’s a cake smash and all… πŸ˜‰

Ruby’s turn…you can see icing on Astrid’s muzzle…

That tongue…lol!

And then Hubby set the cake down, so all 3 could enjoy it at once…

Ruby:
“Y’know what I like?”

“CAAAAAAKKKKEEE!”

And then our dear sweet Blonde Girl had a moment with her friend’s halter…
πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Comedy Plus, image-in-ing, and Create With Joy.