Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mountain Music

It's an antique store that I can be found haunting quite frequently. There's something there for everyone in my family - old military gear, linens, dishes, architectural pieces, books, etc, etc, etc. It's a treasure hunt for everyone! Every time I go in, this little lap dulcimer is sitting in the exact same spot, begging to be played. I pluck a few of the out-of-tune strings; I tweak them just a bit to make them sound a little better. I tell myself, if it's there next time, I'll consider. I resisted, again and again.

I finally decided to get the dulcimer. I needed something new. So I loaded up whoever wanted to adventure at the antique store and headed off. There it was - still sitting. And it's MINE! It's my precious. Okay, I'll stop. As I meandered through the store cradling the dulcimer in my arm, a lady asked me if I was buying it. Me: "Why, yes! [insert big smile]" Other Gal: "Oh, I guess that teaches me to put something down! [laugh]" As I was paying for my new toy, the gentleman at the cash register commented on how many people look a the instrument, but never actually materialized their interest.

Well, sir, this instrument is going to get some much needed love. I'll take it into the music shop in town to get it in perfect working order, and then I'm going to learn me some mountain music on my dulcimer. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

A New Perch

Guess where our turkeys have decided to spend their nights. 

Don't worry. We shoo them into the coop at night so predators won't get a bite of our Thanksgiving investment. ;) 

Here's Tony!

Because our cats are so photogenic. ;) 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Turkey Talk

We've done turkeys before. The first year we tried to free range great whites. Bad idea. They grow so fast that their legs can't support the weight. Then they end up just sitting there with their faces planted in the food dish. Such American birds... The next time around we gave broad breasted bronze a chance. The only issue that arose - we had to use the saws-all to cut the carcass just to fit it in the turkey roaster since the toms grew to be 40 pounds each (and we had 4 toms and 1 hen. The boys duked it out over the girl... I sense trouble). This year, we're trying out a heritage breed - Bourbon Reds.

I've always like turkeys. Despite their dorky, almost dinosaur-like mannerisms. (I think I've been hanging out with the mini-man. I'm starting to compare everything to dinosaurs!) Maybe I like them because they're dorky. Who knows? 

But these birds, they're even more turkey than the turkeys that we've done before. Before we shut them into the pasture, they roamed around the house, derping and trilling in their own special sort of way, and sitting in all the landscaping. No more! Get those turkeys off the porch! Shoo them off the deck! They leave a mess and destruction in their wake, and there's 12 of them. So after some shuffling, they ended up staying in the pasture with the walnut tree and llama. They :really: liked the walnut tree. So much so that they decided that it would be their new roost. They would climb up to the deck, hop up onto the rail, and fly into the walnut tree. Well, that lasted for about two weeks until they decided that they liked the deck railing more. NOOOO!!! 

Well, things were reshuffled, and the turkeys have been contentedly enjoying their new pasture with a rock pile. Yeah, they like to roost on that now. :P 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fowl Play

If you're petrified of chickens, I'm sorry if you have nightmares after reading this...

With every truck load that we take to the butcher, chores become that much easier. Or maybe it's just a matter of perspective. Either way... We've got the annual chicken invasion in full force. There's chickens in the field, chickens in the blueberries, chickens in the orchard, chickens in the pasture, chickens in the coop, chickens in the barn, chickens in the brooders, chickens in the garden (where they're not supposed to be), chickens eating the flowers in the garden, chickens by the front door, chickens in the chicken tractor in the pasture in the farm. Okay, I'll stop. ;)

I think I've got birds on the brain. It makes sense - we had over 300 meat chickens  running around at the same time (and that's not counting the layers or the other poultry that we have). We had a mad dash trying to crank out chicken tractors to accommodate the masses. I think we're crazy.

With the sheer volume of meat that we have cruising the hood, we've seen some weird stuff too. But nothing quite like the dinosaur bird. Yeah, if I believed in evolution, this bird would be getting in touch with its original reptilian state. Yet it's a runt of a Cornish Cross, if you can believe that. Let's just say that doing chores in that chicken's pasture is never boring, and if I had a soundtrack to my life, the Jaws Theme would be playing. Chickens peck, to be sure, but this mini-monster has this thing with toes. It will hunt your little piggies down and bite HARD with no thought of letting go. This dude wants your flesh. o_O So I dart to-and-fro to quickly get those birds food and water. But the other night, Mom needed to count the bigger meat birds in that pasture to give the butcher a close estimate of how many we'd be bringing in the next day. I didn't warn her in time. Next thing I know, that little bird is chasing Mom all over the pasture for a good 10 minutes trying to get a bite. It was a youtube moment - if only I had the camera handy. I guess I was laughing too hard to even think of grabbing the camera. :P

Not to sound morbid or vengeful, but I think that we all look forward to a certain chicken dinner in our future.