There Was a Plan…

For this weekend.
It’s the May long weekend here in Canada.
Typically this means it’s time to get the garden planted.
Meh, where I am, waiting another week or two is a good idea because of those sneaky frosty nights that love to kill tomatoes and peppers just for a good time.
But, there’s other things that need to be done to get ready for the mass exodus of plants out of my house and into my garden…
That’s what we were planning to work on this weekend, so that during the week I could get seeds in and then plants go in next weekend.
*sigh*
If’n you wanna hear God laugh, tell Her your plans.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Friday The Kid’s phone crapped out.
Dead as a doornail.
Nothing more than a smart phone shaped paperweight.

So I go looking to see what we can replace it with and what local cell stores are open.
Because the virus, y’know.
Gotta make sure the small town stores close and funnel folks into the big city to do their business.
Bcause that absolutley makes sense, right?
Those of us who’ve stayed *out* of the city now have to go *into* the city to take care of things.
Effing brilliant.
Said no smart person ever.
πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

That was Saturday shot to Hell.
Didn’t even come away with new phones…we figured ours are on their last legs, so we’d upgrade everyone at the same time…but…there’s some network blather that made it so that the technician helping us couldn’t port the number from Kid’s old phone to the new phone and someone at a different location had to do it and we couldn’t have the phone ’til it was done…
Essentially, it’s a stupid system and when they get to ours it might take an hour to do or it might take 5 days.
They don’t know.
πŸ™„

Today we were going to work on the garden.
Until…
I woke up with seasonal allergies kicking my ass.
Yes, I know it’s allergies.
No it’s not SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus.

So I took a Reactine.
Fuck.
What a mistake.
Non-drowsy my shiny metal ass.
Normally I take the Costco brand of Reactine.
Same medicine in it, different carrier, clearly, because I *never* get drowsy on the Costco version.
But the name brand stuff?
Yeah, can’t say the same.
In fact, I’m feeling side effects so bad that I called off working on the garden.
I just can’t.
The allergy symptoms are gone, but the side effects…drowsy, foggy, drowsy…are kicking my ass.

And so, tomorrow for garden work.
And if the allergies are acting up again, I’ll stick with my Costco brand allergy pills.
Plus, they’re a whole lot cheaper than the name brand.
200 Costco allergy pills for $18.99.
Or 48 Reactine pills on sale for $38.99.
Mind boggling.
Seriously.

In other news…

The meaties, 2nd hatchers and turkey poults are doing very well.
Getting big.
Next weekend they’ll move to the meat chicken house.
In fact, they’re don’t even have heat on during the day now.
It’s too warm in the brooder with it on…so we’ve added a wire section to let cool, fresh air in for them to enjoy.
Soon they’ll have the fun of running around outside. πŸ™‚

Now, one of the joys of the easter egger/barnyard mix chicks is the interesting colour combos we get.
Like this eagle looking one:

Kinda cute little fella…

“I am the albatross!! I will destroy you all!!”

Sure ya will, little buddy…

Gonna have to grow a wee bit more before you do…
πŸ˜‰

Out 43 first hatchers are now mixing slowly with the adult chickens.
And next weekend the eggs in the incubators should start hatching.
I did realize though, that my next round will only be with the big incubator.
I have 3 muscovy duck eggs in the small one, and they take up to 35 days to hatch, compared to 21 for chickens.
So, they have to stay in for another 2 weeks, leaving me with one working incubator for another round of chicken eggs.
*shrug*
I didn’t think of that, just wanted ducklings, and now I gotta deal with it.
And we’re letting the muscovy hens hide eggs so hopefully they’ll hatch them out and not let them rot.
Fingers crossed.

Ahhh, Monday

Feels like it’s been a while since I last posted…
Ah, because it has. πŸ˜‰

Hubby is still off work.
We still have no idea how long that’s going to go on.

Spring is finally, slowly working it’s way here.
We have another forecast day of chilly and then off into double digits with some spring rain and a whole lot of sunshine coming.
Hooray!
We need both for the pasture to grow.

The 2nd round of chicks are 14 days into incubation.
Fingers crossed (because I’m too lazy to candle the eggs) for a good hatching.
My first 43 are growing amazingly well.
This week, once the temps go up, they’ll move to the duck house in the poultry yard.
They’re fully feathered now, so ready to be off the heat lamps.
That’s a good thing, because with the impending hatch, and the fact that my meat chickens…and turkeys!! I took the plunge and ordered 10 white turkey poults…come next week, the brooder needs to be ready for those chicks.

I ran a smaller batch of eggs in the big incubator this time.
It says it can do 56 eggs, but I found that too many of the eggs ended up on their ends instead of turning properly, so the plan was to drop to 48 eggs, making them fit a bit better.
Well, I only had 40 eggs that were incubator worthy when I was ready to start, so that’s what I did.
Which gives me the potential for 64 chicks this round…
Still a lot of birds!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Then I’ll clean the incubators and start all over again.
I know it sounds like a lot of hatching, and it will be, but it’s really looking like our animal protein for this coming winter is going to be poultry.

Our latest duck additions are fitting in nicely as well.
The boy has discovered his hormones and is loving having 6 ladies to chase.
The girls are showing signs of wanting to nest (as well as signs that the boy has been working, based on the lack of feathers on the backs of their heads!) so we’re hoping for that warmth to hurry up so we can get them into their own yard/coop.
They’ll be taking up residence in what was the pig yard for the summer.
And dang it, I want duck babies!

The Merry Mares are well.
Anxious for spring and fresh green grass.
Tired of hay.
Tired of snow and chilly rains.
Ready for sunshine and warm naps.

Ruby’s ears say it all…

I’ve transplanted the peppers.
And the tomatoes.
They’re waiting under lights to go in the garden.
I’ve found a few closer to home, not in the city garden centers to shop at this year.
Including one that has a new-to-me bush that will be added to our expanding next spring food forest…
Nannyberries!
Native to the area, like moist/wet soil.
Perfect for one end of the strip of land I want to expand into…
The fruits are edible right off the bush, good for jams/jellies/baking and wine.
They had me at wine and moist soil. πŸ˜‰

And I revived my sourdough starter out of the fridge.
My yeast store had been getting low before *waves hand* all this started…
And then suddenly the world went stupid and everyone and their dog now bakes.
Plus since I typically buy the 2lb brick at Costco, and it’s damn near impossible to get into the place right now for all the lines, I just can’t be bothered with searching yeast out anywhere else.
Sourdough does just fine.
Feed it, make other stuff with the discards, make bread once a week.
*shrug*
Been doing it for years, just got lazy and tucked the starter away a few months ago.
At least I have it now.

So long asΒ  there doesn’t become a run on sugar, so that I can keep my carboys filled with wines, we’ll be doing just fine.
πŸ˜‰

Chicks!!

Just a couple pics of the new chicks…

It ain’t easy getting a decent shot with the red heat lamp in there, but I tried.

There’s so much attitude in this picture…what is with chicks and giving me attitude??!?
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

They’ll stay in the brooder for a few more weeks yet, while their feathers come in some more.
Then we’ll move them to their own house in the poultry yard ’til they’re ready to fully integrate into the rest of the flock.
We’ll watch for roosters, band them, then start sending them off to Freezer Camp before the boy fighting starts.
And that will continue with each hatch through out the summer, until the freezers are filled for winter.

Farm Stuff

Loooooook…

Just look at my pretty, pretty hatching eggs!
😍😍😍

Hatching eggs

There are blue ones, pale green ones, a couple pinky shaded ones, a super dark olive green one and some lovely speckled browns.
Fingers crossed they hatch well and give me some more coloured egg layers.
Incubators go today…I’ve just got to finish collecting today’s eggs and then they get fired up for round 2.

My chicks from the last hatch are growing like crazy.
I will admit, I have been worried about them in the brooder in some of the more oddball weather moments…but after we lost the initial two, everyone else has been doing very well indeed.
So 43 going forward from that hatch.

Garden wise, the peppers are up and looking good…
We have sweet red bells and jalapenos.
Not a lot of either one this year, because for just our use, I’m the only one who likes peppers.
Next year that may (or may not) expand, depending on interest.

peppers

And this morning I was greeted by these little beauties:

tomatoes!!

Just a small assortment of variety this year.
Ropreco pastes, brandywines and bush beefsteaks.
Smaller plants, but heavy fruiters and short seasons.
We don’t have a long growing season here, so I’m adapting our plant selections to that.
All of them are heirloom, so I can save seeds for future use.

We’re still planning a makeshift greenhouse build for this year.
Fingers crossed.
It ain’t gonna be pretty, but hopefully it’ll get the job done…while we plan for a better one down the road.
Wind is our biggest issue, after funds.
Building something that can stand the crazy prairie winds is going to be a challenge.
We’ll do what we can though, because that’s just what we do.
πŸ˜‰

Life Goes On…

Today I pick up 2 dozen hatching eggs from the farm this hen came from…

Lemon chicken…she does what she wants.

She’s a hilarious hen.
Acts like she’s a dog, goes where she wants, does what ever she wants.
And I let her get away with it.
πŸ˜‰

She was in a batch of easter egger chicks I bought 2 years ago.
That batch of 18 gave me 5 hens.
We ate rooster that winter.
And kept one of them for fertile eggs the next spring…that was The Highlander.
The Highlander turned out to be an asshole.
Oh he was crazy handsome, but at some point in his life, he decided that going for my face with his spurs while I was picking up eggs was a good idea.
So I made soup.

This year, I had wanted some more colourful hens, and was watching for the same lady to post chicks for sale.
But then, she posted hatching eggs…well…I has incubators.
So I asked for 2 dozen eggs.
And today I get to pick them up and fire up the incubators for round 2…once I have enough collected from my hens to fill the big incubator.
Tomorrow should be fire up day.
πŸ™‚

In other news, the tomato seeds are breaking the surface.
Yay!
I’ll be babying those a long for the next 4-6 weeks, until they can go out in the garden to grow like crazy.
And yesterday I told y’all we finally got things figured out to get our mail done.
I have my seeds now.
I have plans to go forward with a huge new garden next spring…gotta wait ’til next spring because we already made the lease agreement for the big field for this year.
Next year though…look out.
Even if it’s only zucchinis and squash.
I’m working on growing food on a much, much larger scale.

Canada Geese

The geese have returned.

We’re right in the flight path of thousands of Canada Geese.
Which means they often land on our field in the spring and in the fall.
If it’s snow geese in the spring, we’re happy, because our fall hunting tag is valid for spring hunting of snow geese.
In the fall, we don’t care what lands, Canadas, snows…they’re both good eating.

One side effect of the geese arriving though, is sleep deprived horses.
Unless you’ve lived next to a hoard of honkers, you have no idea how loud they are.
And, at all hours.

This ^^^ is the face of a pissed off at the geese honking 24/7 horse.
She’s actually lying in the straw pile (from February’s bale explosion) trying to nap.
But those geese…they never stop honking.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Today we’re dealing with a snow storm.
I was a wee bit worried about my chicks, outside in the brooder.
But they have 2 heat lamps, a whole lot of feed and clean water.
They’re bopping around in there just fine.
We did lose 2 of them earlier this week.
It happens sometimes.
1 was really small, the other was normal sized, but it died under the heat lamp.
Either it was crushed in a pileup or it just wasn’t a healthy chick.
So far though, the other 43 are doing amazing!

Next run of the incubators is coming up…hopefully this weekend I’ll hear from the woman with the hatching eggs I wanted.
And then, it’s collect eggs from my birds and go.

I’m looking forward to that.
πŸ™‚

Ahhh, Tuesday…

Typically, people dislike Mondays.
I have no problems with Mondays.
I kinda dig a nice Monday morning, with hot coffee on the deck watching the sun come up, listening to the mares chew hay (or snore πŸ˜‰ )and hearing the roosters awaken the entire coop with their rambunctious crowing.
Mondays can be cathartic.

Tuesdays though…
Good fricken’ Gods, Tuesdays can bugger off to Hell for all I care.
Tuesdays are a challenge, no matter how much I wish they wouldn’t be.

Today is no different.
I told y’all last week I did the taxes.
Yay!
I tend to do a paper filing because it’s easier for me to go back to the guide as I need to, to make sure I understand what exactly I’m doing.
But that also means mailing in our returns and waiting for the refund(s) from there.
Of course in this difficult time, Canada Revenue Agency is pretty much shut down.
Not so yay.
So here I am, sitting on 3 returns (because The Kid has filed for the first time ever this year) that I need to mail in, and I have no idea when they’ll get around to processing them.
On the CRA website, they say that if you efile online, turn around with direct deposit can be as short as 2 weeks.
Well, we could definitely use the refunds to stop gap the shortages from Hubby’s work being shut down.

I made the attempt, one more time, to run our taxes through an efile program, in the hopes that I can send them in electronically.
Ahhh, but then…Tuesday strikes again!
Keep in mind, I’ve already done the paper work, so I know exactly what the end number should be.
For all of us.
Yeah well, turns out the 2 different programs didn’t recognize the provincial family tax credit, and refused to accept my rental income without a detailed breakdown of input costs and expenses (oh and zero for both wasn’t acceptable, even though it’s bald assed prairie land that I do nothing to except collect the cheque at the end of the farming season from the guy who works it)…
By the time the programs were done, I had wasted 2.5 hours of my life, I had no refund (even though I should have had a small one) and Hubby’s was almost $1k short of what it’s supposed to be.
FFS.
I didn’t even bother trying The Kid’s.

I give up.
I’ll mail them and hope some time before 2021 we see our refunds.
*Someone* is going to have to process paper returns.
I’m not the only person in Canada that sends in paper returns.
I can’t be, right?

In the meantime, here’s a lovely photo of our Sable dozing in the mid day sunshine…

(I’m working on The Streak again…lost it at 91 days…today make 4 days.)

Edited to add:
Can’t mail them, because I don’t have stamps and there’s nobody manning our post office.
Which also means the seeds I ordered?
Sitting there…because the box doesn’t fit into out p.o box.
Oughta do me a whole fucking world of good…next summer.

At least Hubby can mail the returns and the packages that need to go out when he goes to the city for groceries on Friday.
Hopefully.

This is walking the line of fucking ridiculous.
😑