Friday, June 8, 2012

Guineas, Chicks and Lock-Ins

I feel like I'm caught up in a whirlwind!  A few nights ago our Boy Scout troop had their quarterly Court of Honor.  That's when each scout is recognized for their accomplishments for the past several months; they're awarded merit badges for the work they've completed and rank advancement as they climb the proficiency ladder towards earning the highest honor of Eagle Scout (of which only 3 percent of all boys involved in scouting ever achieve). The ceremony is always a fun family night as the young men are honored - we've become a close knit group of families with our troop, some of us having been involved for as many as seven years. After the awards ceremony we enjoy food and fellowship, so before driving into town I had to make Friendship Bread - it was long overdue - thankfully the starter is quite forgiving. You're supposed to make the bread on Day 10 and I think I was pushing 14! While I was at it I made two loaves of Zucchini Bread as well.

There are 12 precepts in the Scout Law:
A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.  We understand that there is an unwritten 13th rule: A Scout is Hungry!

                                             And sometimes pretty silly!

This was also the last day of school for the year so a Lock-In was planned at the Scout hut following the Court of Honor to celebrate. Bob volunteered to chaperone overnight so after the ceremony I was on my own.
Earlier that day, besides making bread, on my way out to milk I was greeted by a multitude of chickens and a brand new Mama Chickie with 16 baby chicks!  I had Joel catch 13 peeps and bring them inside for safe keeping.  Too many chicks and the mama can't protect them. In our area there are many hawks, foxes, feral cats, possums and other predators that would eat baby chicks in a heartbeat.  My hope is to raise these hens and hopefully re-ignight the setting instinct in my chickens.

And then there are these - 13 brand new guinea keets.

Both of which are in the house right now and stink to high Heaven and their bedding has to be changed every day!  But they are darlin' aren't they?!

I'm finding myself so exhausted these days and I'm caught in a Catch 22: We're working hard getting many needed projects done, but we're so tired that we're not enjoying the farm. We'll never be as young and strong as we are today, so I feel a push to get the work done while we're able and get the farm set up and working the way we'd like.  These are some of the plans we'd like to see accomplished:

* Hydroponics system in the greenhouse using our tilapia tank
* Grey water system to water the "downstairs orchard"
* Finish the horse paddock and round pen
* Clean out and organize the three barns and semi to use the space more efficiently
* Year round gardening
* Hydroelectric system - power production to help become more self sufficient using the creek.
* Sheltered workspace and other maintenance and building projects: Honey House, Reloading Room, Outside Kitchen
...and on and on and on.

And then of course there's the daily maintenance
* watering
* keeping fences tight
* mowing orchards
* honey bee upkeep
* feeding, watering and milking of livestock
....and on and on and on.

There has to be balance. There's no sense working every spare minute and not taking time to enjoy what we have, so here's what we've decided - it's time to get Back To the Basics.
 “On the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made”  (Genesis 2:2-3)
So from Friday night until Saturday night - (...and there was evening, and there was morning - the seventh day,") we will rest. We will relax, we will do our necessary chores ie feeding, milking, watering ..., but we will take some time to enjoy THE HOMESTEAD LIFE.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God”  (Exodus 20:8-10)

Maybe now I'll get to enjoy Lucy and Dixie!

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