Monday, November 27, 2006

Introducing .....Doc!

We've lost two more chickens, a Buff Orpington and Gobble our bustled Rhode Island Red. We decided to look at a livestock guardian dog, and were considering a rescued Pyr/Anatolian Shepherd, but we decided the size might be too much for us. So, we looked at the English Shepherd. They look like they have the qualities of what we need in a dog, herding, guarding and hunting. We went to Shreveport on Saturday and brought home Doc Hudson, Doc for short. You can see more photos at
Here is one of him and John.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Introducing Button

In my last post, I posted photos of the chickens that we had lost. Since that time, we lost 2 of our oldest ducks to a early morning raccoon attack. This happened on October 6. The next day we hatched a lone duckling. He/she is doing great and is cute as a button, hence the name. Here is Button the day after hatching.

Here are photos of Button at 2 weeks

and almost 4 weeks, as well as his first bath.

Note, the pan he is in for his bath is the pan he was in right after he hatched.

Other bird updates

All of our original hens are of laying age now. This week we had one day of 12 eggs. Chickens need about 14 hours of daylight to lay eggs, and each egg takes about 24-26 hours to process. So, with the days getting shorter, our egg production will be getting less. Hubby is looking for sources to sell the extra eggs to, so if anyone's is interested, we do periodically have eggs available. Right now all are brown eggs, except for two hens that lay light green eggs.

Our latest batch of chicks, 44 total, are living in cages in the garage. With the cooler weather, we haven't decided the best time to integrate them with the flock. The cages are too big for the hen house, but we could have enough room if we were to add more roosts. The outdoor pens will be too cool for the the chicks. So, for now they're in the garage. We've only lost one chick out of the group, but we do have one that is having problems, not sure what, possibly neurological.

One last comment. We have some really goofy geese. They have learned to fly and have made it out of our fence. But, they are too "dumb" or "stupid" to figure out how to get back in. They are alot of fun to watch and seeing them fly is wonderful, but we may have to be clipping some wings sometime in the future.

Guess that's all for now.


Wow, its been a while since I posted last. So, I'm going to be posting updates and photos today.


John started Awana with a friend of his this past September. He seems to really be enjoying it, and was so proud on the first night when he got his vest. To get the vest, the children have to memorize the core scriptures and lessons that Awana teaches. Here is a photo of him in his new vest.


Halloween was pretty eventful for John this year. His school had a party and a fall festival, and on Halloween night we attended the festival we've gone to every Halloween since he was two. This year, my mom went with us. Here's a photo of her and "Spiderman".

Five more years.....until AARP!

Yes, that's right, five more years to the big 5-0. It doesn't seem possible. I don't feel this old, but its here. My body does seem to be feeling it though, just ask the family. I guess that's all for today.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Photo Tribute

Our chickens that we lost this past week.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

When it pours

That's how life has been at our house this past week. It started out good, on Tuesday I went with John to his first PTO meeting. When we got home, I realized when I got home that the reluctance I was feeling might have a different reason. Hubby was putting the birds to bed when we got home, but he couldn't find one of our first and oldest hens, Thomasina. He was furious with some of the roosters because they had her so frightened aand harassed that she was hiding from them. So, since he could not find her, he left the three of them out of the pen for the night. The next morning one of the roosters could not be found and Thomasina was also still missing.

Hubby's 56th birthday was on Friday. On Wednesday, we drove to Cameron, Texas to pick up an order of Delaware chicks. They joined our week old "Rainbow Pullet" group from Meyer Hatchery. Because we had so many roosters, the plan was to buy more girls to keep the boys happy and also to sell farm fresh eggs. They are all adorable. That night, Hubby found evidence of the demise of Thomasina and Salvador Dali (formerly Dahlia, until he underwent a sex change).

Saturday, we celebrated Hubby's birthday and had a really good time. When it came time to put the chickens to bed, we couldn't find Willie (a gold laced Wyandotte, aka Rockstar). Hubby found him a few minutes later. He'd been killed and it was still light outside. It made us rethink what had happened with Thomasina. Maybe she was actually attacked instead of hiding from the boys.

This morning, we patrolled the area to see if there was any evidence of problems from the night before. As I was rounding the corner, I found Mr. French (Buff Orpington). It was a terrible sight. I won't go into what it looked like. I let the birds out, then couldn't find one of the ducks. So I looked for her, and finally found her. But, about 30 minutes later, Hubby found the body of one of my favorite girls, Lacy (gold laced wyandotte). Lacy was low girl on the totem pole. She was just starting to finish feathering out, it had taken a long time. She also like to ride the backs of the sheep and spent a lot of time in and around our garage. She will be sorely missed.

Well, the day just got worse and worse. John woke up feeling bad, so it was an at home day for him. I still don't know what was really bothering him. Around 12:00 noon, it started raining and rained off and on for hours. The ducks have a new pond behind the barn that they can actually swim in, pools of water everywhere and mud like quicksand. To top it off, the pen that we've been keeping the chickens in (a large dog kennel with tarp) is collapsing under the weight of the water on the tarp. If we have any more rain tonight, it might be totally collapsed tomorrow. Because of this, we spent over an hour running around in the rain, through the pools and quicksand rounding up chickens to put them in the barn overnight. Most of that time was with just about 3 or 4 chickens. Have you ever tried to run or walk with mud over the top of your shoes chasing a wet chicken. We're lucky that neither of us fell in the mud.

So, this was our week and our day. I sure hope it drys out some tomorrow.

Have a good week!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Labor Day...a year ago

Wow, its hard to believe that last year on Labor Day John picked out a beautiful little kitten at Petsmart. If you go in my archives and look at September 6th, you will see a photo of him on the day we got him. He has turned into a beautiful loving cat with two major flaws. He puts Count von Jausenclaus to shame in the jaws and claws department. He ambushes us on the stairs, attacks us when we go to pick him up, and poor Tiger gets jumped every time he sees him. But, we all love him to death. And I think Tiger even likes him when he isn't jumping on him. I am posting a photo of him and Tiger from one of the rare times they actually slept close to each other.

Other updates:

John's first day of PreKindergarten
August 17th was the first day of John's K4 class at a local private school. He goes on twice a week, and they are providing a Kindergarten curriculum. He has to wear uniforms, so I'm posting a photo of him in his daily uniform. They also have a dress or chapel uniform which consists of a white shirt, tie, red knit vest and blue pants. I'll post a photo of it when he wears it for the first time, which is on Tuesday.

Swim lessons

We also had our first round of swim lessons. John did well, even went down the slide twice on the last day into 12 feet water. But, he needs to work on some things, including his concentration and paying attention. Here are a couple of photos of him at swim class and with the slide. We also bought one of those Easy Set pools at a discount and put it up after his swim lessons. He was delayed in being able to use it because he developed Scarlet Fever right after the swim lessons ended.

Coop is under construction

Well, we finally are going to have a more permanent home for the chickens. Hubby has been working hard at it, but with the heat we've had the past month, it has taken longer than expected. But, the door and ramp went on today. We just need to finish the interior wallboards, paint and trim. We also have to figure out the best way to treat the floor. I took a number of photos of the chickens, ducks and geese today and will post them in photobucket, hopefully tomorrow.

Here's the link for now.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

John's rodeo career ... mutton boy takes a fall

Well, this happened on July 9, so its not so recent, but the story was asked for, so here it is. We've been working with the lambs, trying to tame them and they are enjoying the interaction. However, they are much more interested in the greenery around their yard than the harsh dirt in their pen. We've had so much to prepare for at the farm, the sheep came before we were really ready for them, so there are no other pastures fenced for them to graze in. So, our wonderful, smart little lambs have been escaping by crawling under the fence. They throw their whole bodies into in and make it through. Now, this wouldn't be too much of a problem because the area they're busting into is fenced along the perimeter (about 250'square, with a chicken/duck area inside). But, hubby has fruit trees as well as 20 new trees that we planted around the house. That's what the lambs are going for. So, on May 9th, Sunday morning about 8:15, Napoleon (the ringleader lamb) came under the fence by the new chicken house that hubby was building. Hubby was showing John and I how he could now sit on Napoleon. Of course, what 4 year old wouldn't want to do the same. So, crazy parents that we let him sit on him. At first, he slid off, but wanted to try again. Napoleon was very calm, let him sit on him, hubby stepped back, and Napoleon bolted. Bloodcurling screams later and John had a gash on the back left side of the top of his head. So we took him to the emergency room and he had 3 staples put in. Surprisingly, I was very calm during the whole ordeal. And he was really good. I took him in this past Monday to have them taken out.

Updates: I've been putting up blinds, pictures and have been searching for the right drapes for a couple of rooms. Besides the mess, the house is becoming to look like a home. We have 16 new baby quail (week old) and another sick bird in the house. One of the adult quail had an eggbinding episode and prolapse. Not pretty, I won't go into details, but I'm surprised she's still alive.

Goldie, our chicken that was attacked by a hawk is now a full fledged hen. We have a very small light green egg from her. So we now have green and brown eggs. Her "sisters" should start laying soon too.

I haven't done anything at the old house lately. Stuff keeps happening for me to use as excuses, but the main thing is, its depressing to go over there, and quite overwhelming. I enjoy being in the new house, so it makes it harder to drive the 30 miles to work over there, eve though I'm there usually for other reasons.

For those of you who know my mom, she took a fall at Denny's about a month ago and broke the bone in her arm that goes into her shoulder. It's been pretty painful for her, but she seems to be on the mend.

We have our first "party" next week. My book club is meeting here. It will be the first time in about 10 years I've been able to host book club in my home. We're reading books that pertain to chickens, Still Life with Chickens by Catherine Goldhammer, Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte or Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance by Martin Gurdon. I gave the girls a choice between the three. It ought to be interesting discussion. And no, we're not having chicken or lamb for dinner.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cock a doodle doo!

This was one of many firsts that we've experienced this week at Windy Acres Farm. Our 7 week old Buff Orpington rooster is warbling his first crow. He beat the Black Australorp who started with a single sound yesterday. Mr. French's crow was definitely a very watered down version of the famous "cock a doodle doo". The boys are also beginning to spar. It looks like we may have as many as 4 roosters from this group of 17, possibly 5 if one of the Wyandottes turns out male. So far, everyone is getting along well.

Other firsts:

John and I can actually pet the lambs. We started giving them grasses through the fence, and they will now come when we call. The two boys love having the ears and noses scratched. The largest lamb, Napoleon, even comes up the fence to "hug" me and ask for more. Last night, we got them to eat grass from our hands inside the pen. This is another big conquest, usually they run from us.

Goldie, our Americauna/Easter Egger/Araucana pullet who was injured in a suspected hawk attack, ran up to me the other day and squatted for me to pick her up. This is the first time any of the chickens have done this because they wanted to. We have a few that like to be picked up, but it is usually not their idea, its ours.

Snakes! We've found two snakes, possibly poisonous (Copperhead?) in the past 4 days. The first one was curled up in the nest box (cat box top) that we use for the chickens. It looked like a blackened banana peel. I was looking inside for eggs and saw it. Charles came and "took care" of it. What is really scary is that John likes to pick these up when a chicken or duck is inside. He could easily have done that and might have been bitten. Last night, I was getting ready to put John to bed and Charles was watering trees. I heard him yelling and waving his arms. He said there was a snake (he said rattle) and wanted me to get his gun. I hate guns and don't want John any where near them, but here I was running with a loaded shotgun out the front door, through the chicken pen to give him the shotgun. He said he almost stepped on it. Pretty scary. He wasn't sure it was poisonous, possibly a Copperhead or maybe just a rat snake. It was bigger than the one on Sunday. Definitely scary. The scariest part is that both John and I were walking in this area a lot on Saturday and Sunday.

Tuffy has finally found the cat door from the kitchen to the breezeway. He's been going out there a few times this morning. So that's another first. He and Tiger also escaped last night during the ruckus with the snake. If John hadn't seen Tiger outside, we would not have known to look for Tuffy.

And the last first. Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the fire at the Biblical Arts Center. The Dallas Morning News had an article about what the future has in store. They plan to rebuild it. In a former life, the BAC was where I enjoyed the best job of my career. It always felt like a mission to create the exhibits and work with the artists there. Now the office that I worked from is probably nonexistant. It was right behind the large Miracle at Pentecost painting. Charles and I loved the place so much that we were married there on May 9, 1998.

This might not be considered a first, but was really sweet and cute. It was the first time we saw anything like this. One of our 7 week old goslings (Toulouse) was "kissing" or nipping the female lamb, Josephine, this morning. It looked so sweet. Well, Louis (Josephine's twin) got jealous and put a stop to it. But it was really neat while it was happening

Well, I guess that's all for now. Just thought I'd share.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Life with chickens, ducks, quail and sheep

Wow, it's been over a month since I posted the last message. Not much has changed, but we are adjusting to life on the farm. All three of us look forward to being with the birds and the sheep. When I was first approached about having chickens and ducks, I thought my husband was crazy. He even mentioned wanting to have 50 of the things. I thought maybe 2 or 3 would be fine. But, once we got into it and I joined a few Yahoo groups and started really looking at them, I got hooked. Now, I'm not sure we have enough! There are so many different types of chickens out there it is amazing. And personality, wow. You just don't know what its like until you experience it.

So, each evening our highlight of the night is sitting in the chicken pen watching the chickens run and chase grasshoppers, chase birds, see ducks swimming in their pool. All I can say is I feel peace and I look forward to this every evening. I am planning to post some new photos in photobucket, or here on the blog, but I need to resize them for display, so it may take a few days. I'll just give a teaser right now, a picture of John with our 5 week old Toulouse goose, and some other goofy photos of John enjoying life. (I was just able to add these today, 6/25/06. Here is the photobucket link for future photos:

We've had another supposed hawk attack. One of our Americauna/Aracauna/Easter Egger chicken was attacked about a week after Dax. But, we've been able to nurse her back to health. She sleeps inside at night, but we let her out with the others when we can be there to watch her. Because she's bare backed, she stands more chances of being attacked by the other chickens. We've lost a few quail, both to heat and escape. We did lose Ethel, the mom of most of our quail. And we also lost one of our Gold Laced Wyandotte chicks.

The sheep are slowly letting us touch them. As long as little mister is not around, I can actually put my hands on the face of the largest lamb. We've named them, Napoleon, Louis and Josephine. Kind of goes along with being French sheep (Rambouillet). We haven't named many of the chicks who are now 6 weeks old. The Buff Orpington rooster is Mr. French, and we plan to name his girls, Buffy, Jody, Sissy and Mrs. Beasely. But, we haven't come up with names for the Black Australorps or Gold Laced Wyandottes. A few of the ducks have names, but not many. We have Mud Duck (the only brown one), Cha Cha (a tall solid black duck, possibly a runner), Daphne (female Rouen or Mallard). The older chickens are Thomasina, Henrietta, Missy and Mollie (Barred Rock), Greta and Gobble (Rhode Island Red), and Merry and Goldie (we were told Araucana, but probably Easter Egger or Americauna).

Well, guess that's all for now.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Our first casualty

We set out new pens tonight to give the chickens and ducks more space, and boy do they enjoy it. It was great fun to see the ducks splashing around, with everyone having a good time. But, I noticed that the sheep were acting funny and hadn't eaten much. This is very unusual for them. Our littlest dog, Dax, had really seemed to enjoy the farm. He even liked the sheep and went straight up to them, slept near them, etc. Today, he was sleeping in the yard, or we thought he was. Something didn't seem right, so I went over to check him and found out that he was dead. We're not sure what happened, we think its possible that a hawk might have caught him, or maybe the sheep did something to him. Anyway, we are now without a wonderful little dog who overcame a lot of hardships. He was severely abused when he was a puppy to the extent that we are sure he suffered brain damage. Because of this he never did well with potty training. His bones creaked when he walked because the arthritis was so bad. And he had allergies that caused his skin to itch and become irritated. Despite all of this we loved him dearly. He will be sorely missed by all of us. I was telling John tonight that while I was pregnant with him, we used to get Dax to howl just for the fun of it. He had the funniest high pitched howl you would ever hear. Our dear boy, we will miss your sweet smile. May you be running free of all skin problems, with a clear head that brightens your loping gait that has no pain. We loved you.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Anyone having trouble reading the blog?

I'm having trouble viewing my blog, so if you can, please email me and let me know if you can see it. I may just be having trouble viewing it because the best we get on dial up out here in the country is about 14 kbps. But, all I'm seeing is a white space where text used to be.

Well, we've been here almost a week and everyone seems to be settling in. The cats have made it downstairs a few times, but they stay mostly in the master bedroom area. It sounds like a thundering herd of buffalo up there when they "playing". Of course, it depends on which cat you ask whether they're playing or not.

I now have the daunting task of emptying the other house. I'm hoping to clear out one room a day, which means I should have the house emptied by Monday of next week. But, we'll see. I'm the world's worst procrastinator.

John's MDO is having an awards/graduation ceremony tomorrow, so we are going to attend. He has learned quite a lot this past year there. Its hard to believe its over. He can now write his name, some letters and can read letters and numbers. They also can be credited for getting him potty trained. It sure wasn't me.

On another note, my cousin's daughter is not doing well. She has a young baby and has had complications ever since his birth. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Her name is LeeAnn.

Well, on for the next week. Have a good one.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

We've moved!

Monday was moving day for most of our large furniture items. The house is still packed like sardines, but all of us are now in residence at the farm. Things are a little different than originally planned. The dog room is currently used as a brooder room for 15 chicks, 9 ducklings, 4 goslings, and 18 quail, as well as the temporary home for all of the 20 adult quail. The babies are so adorable. I've taken pictures but the camera fell in a sinkhole on my desk at the old house and I haven't found it yet.

Our other residents, Tuffy and Tiger the cats, Tipper, Tara and Dax the dogs, and Uno and Dos the Cockatiels are doing fairly well. Surprisingly, the pet that has handled the move the best is schitzo Dax. He likes to talk to the sheep, goes right up to them in his staggering loping way with a goofy grin on his face. They actually looked like they were talking yesterday until one of the sheep butted him away. But, he continues to go toward them. Tipper and Tara seem bored, and Tipper has become quite the escape artist. Tuffy and Tiger have barely made it out of the Master bedroom, but they're becoming a little more bold. Tuffy actually made it to John's room and visited with him tonight. Our birds, Uno and Dos seem to really be enjoying life in the living room. They've been shut away for so long in the old office at the house. We just can't get them to keep quiet. The house still echoes because of the tile and wood floors.

John and I are still adjusting. We have yet to be able to relax and enjoy living at the new house. Every night and day have been spent on something to do with the move. John's schedule has totally been destroyed, so we're working to get that back in shape. He was rolling at 2:00 this morning for at least an hour. He does have a cold and cough right now so that takes care of some of it.

Yesterday was our eighth anniversary. We were married on May 9th at the Biblical Arts Center. Its so sad to think that the lovely place we were married doesn't exist anymore. We celebrated with a sick child. We tried to go to Red Lobster, met with a barf bag, cleaned up, then tried IHOP, met wtih the threat of another barf bag, and finally just got groceries and hubby cooked eggs and bacon. Tonight we ate at a local steak restaurant and had a nice time.

Guess thats all for the update now. My next few weeks will be to get the other house emptied and ready to sell. What a daunting task.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Update - Are we in yet?

I've had several people ask if we've moved into the house yet. Weeeeellll, no. Do we want to be, yes. But, I have 12+ years of my stuff crammed into this house and garage and am just now making headway into sifting through it. And that doesn't include hubby's stuff that is here. We were full when he moved in and every nook and cranny is stuffed to the brim now. We have bought a few pieces of furniture that are slowly making their way to the house. Hubby has been there for almost two months, finishing the wood floors, etc.

We've added to the farm menagerie. Three Rambouillet lambs joined us last week. They're very cute, but kind of skittish and aren't comfortable with us yet. We are anticipating a hatch of up to 56 quail eggs this weekend. I purchased 48 through the mail, so we don't really know how many will hatch. And we are also expecting a delivery of 12 chicks, 5 ducklings and 4 goslings around May 4th. So, we are swimming in birds right now.

I'll try to get some updated photos of the birds and also the lambs posted soon.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Photos of finished interior

Here are some photos of the interior of the house. None of them really do the house justice, but they are a good representation. Most of the rooms with special features are included. More photos can be seen at All of the house photos should be at the front of the blog.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

It's finished... the house anyway!

Barring any unforseen problems, the house is now finished. I'm not sure when we'll be completely moved in, hopefully before Easter. I just now have to get my act together and get packed up. We still need the fences installed before we can move the dogs down there, so hopefully they can do that quickly. I finally think I have some good photographs, so I will try to post them later on tonight.

We have added to our farm population - six 3-4 week old pullets - 2 Rhode Island Red, 2 Barred Rock and 2 Araucana. So, we now have eight chickens and nine ducks after adding have four cute ducklings. Another batch of quail hatched on Monday, bringing our total to 18 babies and the two parents. We're busting at the seams with birds right now, but its fun and John loves interacting with them.

Well, that's all for now.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Rain, rain go away!

What a wet weekend! We haven't seen this much rain in a long time. The news just stated that Waxahachie has had almost 8 inches of rain. We have a lake in our backyard and our chickens may have to start swimming soon. But, the biggest problem, we've sprung leaks at the new house. Some may be serious, most are around the windows. And, this was the week, our builder was going to turn the house over to us. Yikes! I'm just glad we got this rain now instead of after the closing. Almost all of the work has been done on the house. Charles spent the weekend at the house trying to finish the wood floor. He spent alot of time mopping up water, but there are only two rooms left to floor. So, we still have some dog doors to install, the screen doors on the breezeway and the fencing to go. I just hope we get some grass in before we move the dogs down there or we will have a horrible muddy mess when they go outside.

I've been looking at washers and dryers and was amazed yesterday when I decided to do some research on them. We have a second floor laundry room, and have planned all along to get a new set of front loading w/d. Because I couldn't make up my mind between two, I started looking into them and was amazed to find out that some of the models don't work too well on the second floor. They can vibrate the whole house. Some of the models are recommended to only work on a concrete floor. This is not something you hear when you go to buy them, so it was a surprise. Since yesterday, I've been reading alot and have determined which one to try for, but I've got to make sure whoever installs it can level it correctly, so my decision on where to buy it may change. Just something I thought I'd pass on, because it was a surprise to me.

Quail update: We hatched a new batch of babies on March 7th. Ten hatched, three with problems. Two of those did not make it, and the third has leg problems, but is very strong and healthy, so I don't know if it will make it. It may never walk right. We also lost one of the Valentines babies yesterday. I don't know if it died because of the power going off Friday night (scared and trampled), or if something was wrong with it. I think it was the last baby to hatch, because it was one of the smaller birds.

I will try to post photos of the house soon. Its turned out real pretty, but its kind of hard to take photos that look good and you can really see the rooms. We have a ton of work to do to move in, which should be within the next couple of weeks.

Friday, March 17, 2006

House almost finished!

Well, the day is almost here and I'm no where near ready to move. We've been so busy dashing around buying the last minute stuff that we haven't even started packing. But, we're down to punchlist time and as soon as the fence is in for the dogs, we'll be moving down there. Charles plans to start staying down there now, and still has to finish the wood floor. There are only 3 1/2 rooms left to floor. We've both been down with pneumonia for a few weeks, so that has slowed the process. I'll post photos either this weekend or early next week. It is really looking good. Just wanted to update for those that are interested.

Quail update: We had a new batch of quail hatch around March 10th. This hatch had 10 babies hatch, 3 with problems. Two of those have not made it. We still have one who will probably never walk. We've separated him, and hope to get him up and going. He's healthy, eating, drinking, but his leg is dragging. This is sometimes fixable, but we don't know where its heading. The original hatch has 6 healthy almost adult babies that are doing great. We're very pleased with their progress. Our two chicks are also growing into beautiful hens, and should start laying in about 6 weeks or so. I'll post updated photos of them soon too.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Photos of Quail babies

On Valentine's Day five baby Coturnix quail hatched. A "surprise" sixth chick hatched on February 17th. Hubby was planning to take the unhatched eggs out of the incubator and saw the little fuzzball running around. It may be hard to see him in the photos, but he is the smallest one. Here is a link to our quail babies. They are almost a week old now, and are already getting wing feathers. They all seem healthy and happy.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Valentine Babies!

After two failed attempts, we now have five healthy, walking, pooping, chirping, eating and drinking quail babies. They are cute little brown butterballs. Either we are finally getting this incubation thing going, or Fred and Ethel (mommy and daddy quail) are just getting stronger. They run all over their brooder box and are just adorable. I'll post photos of them later.

Coturnix quail are bred for both meat and eggs. The Coturnix hen will lay up to 300 eggs a year, usually in Ethel's case about one a day, sometimes skipping a day. We really have no interest in eating the eggs and will not be killing them to eat or hunting them, but we'd like to have a bunch of quail at the farm to enjoy. These little quail have very sweet sounds and are not too flighty. So, we just incubate what she lays and hope we'll get a few babies in the process. We do need to get some eggs from another location to keep these little guys from inbreeding too much.

House update: The wallpaper should be finished today. The builder has been hanging lights, so the house is getting its character. Its very colorful. John's room is adorable and the wallpaper in the downstairs bath is really pretty.

They put in the pipe for the propane tank yesterday. We have to get a mail box, because we are actually getting mail. We also should be having the final concrete flatwork done, probably nextw week.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Chickens, quail and others, oh my!

I haven't talked much and have never introduced our newest additions to the farm family. Right before Christmas, we adopted a pair of Coturnix (Pharoah, Japanese) quail. This pair had been living with a lady who loved birds, but found she just couldn't take care of them anymore and was interested in giving them to someone who would be willing to incubate their eggs. Coturnix hens are prolific layers, usually laying one egg a day. We've had two hatchings (6 babies) of their eggs, but sadly none of the babies have survived. Tomorrow starts our third round, so hopefully by Valentines Day we might have some babies that will be strong enough to survive. Around the time of the first hatching, our friend contacted us about a pair of chicks that someone brought to her door. She asked us if we'd like to have them, so we brought them home and housed them with the quail until they got so big they were in danger of hurting them. They are now outside in the duck pen. We've named them Thomasina and Henrietta. The two quail are Fred and Ethel. I have a few photos of the chicks online at the following link -
I still need to take updated photos of Fred and Ethel. They are looking tons better that they did when we brought them home.

This weekend, we are also expecting to receive about twenty-five quail from a rescue operation in California. The birds are just a small number of over 5,000 quail that were found in deplorable conditions at a slaughter house there. They are coming by van to deliver the birds to us. So, we have to get cracking on building pens for the ducks, quail and chickens. It has been a fun month or two, we hope everything will go smoothly when we move to the farm.

House update: Our granite countertops are in and are very pretty. The type of granite is Volga Blue and is very dark blue with peacock color blue shiny pieces randomly through it. I have yet to take a photo of it that shows it to its best advantage. In fact, that is one of the reasons I don't have current photos of the painted rooms yet on the blog. Its very hard to get good pictures of vacant rooms, especially in small spaces, so I'm goint to try to work on them. Charles has laid the floor in the master bedroom and hallway. It's looking really pretty. John's room is adorable and the two upstairs baths look great, just the way I thought they'd look. The master is still missing the clawfoot tub though. It will be installed with the rest of the plumbing fixtures. I meet with a wallpaper hanger on Monday, so hopefully we will have all the wallpaper finished next week.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Four Things Meme

I was tagged here

Four jobs I've had:
  1. Ice cream shop
  2. Bank Teller
  3. Museum Curator
  4. Mom (the best job)
Four places I've lived:

  1. Dallas Metroplex
  2. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  3. Brazosport area, Texas
  4. Lubbock, Texas

Four websites I visit daily:

  1. Yahoo Groups (Moms, Chickens, Pets, etc)
  2. Ebay
  4. Google (I look for info on lots of different stuff, right now mostly house or kid related)

Four television shows I love to watch:

  1. 1. Desperate Housewives
  2. Greys' Anatomy
  3. Extreme Home Makeover
  4. All My Children

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Chicken Fried Steak
  2. Sliced tomatoes
  3. Enchiladas
  4. Seafood

Four albums I can't live without (at least for the moment):

I'm terribly boring and can't remember the last one I bought, probably kid related though.

  1. The Wiggles Big Red Car (when we're in the big red truck)
  2. Styx Paradise
  3. Phantom of the Opera
  4. Les Miserables

Four DVDs I can't live without (at least for the moment):

  1. Anything Thomas the Tank Engine
  2. Phantom of the Opera
  3. Gone with the Wind
  4. Showboat
Four places I'd rather be:

  1. Grand Canyon
  2. Colorado
  3. Mountains
  4. London
Four people I am tagging to do this meme are:

I don't know anyone else that does blogs, so I'm sending it to my book club and my mom's group.

This little exercise really shows you how boring my life really is.

Starry, starry night

Yesterday, we had the first party at the new house. My son turned 4 on Wednesday, February 1st. Its hard to believe four years have gone by. We had mostly family over and his best friend. They seemed to have a blast. One of the nice things about living out there is it is great for kite flying, no trees, houses to crash against. We gave John a huge dragon kite and after a little bit of tweaking he was flying it really good. After dinner, we went back down to the house. As we got out of the car, I looked up at the sky. It was clear and you could see stars everywhere. It was so beautiful, quiet and still. We went up to John's new room and looked out his window to see the moon. Many people have wondered why we want to live so far out from town. This is definitely one of the benefits. I can't remember being able to see stars like that from my home, and the moon is usually behind the trees.

House Update: We now have a septic system and one flushing toilet. Wood flooring is being laid. I will be meeting with wallpaper installers sometime this week and we will be purchasing all of the hardware (door, cabinet, bathroom), and the last of the lights. We hope to be moving in by the end of February.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Well, the upstairs has been painted. John's room turned out so cute. Charles built a window seat with bookshelves on both ends, painted it white and the rest of the room is blue. We also have tile in John's bathroom, the laundry room and partially in the master bath. I think the paint looks great, Charles isn't so sure. They should start staining the kitchen cabinets by Monday. The electricity lines were dug so we now have real electricity running to the house. The septic system is another story. We're trying to get a conventional or low drip pressure system instead of an aerobic system and are having trouble finding someone who will install it for us. Seems to be too much rock where they're drilling and they seem unwilling to drill in a different location. We're hoping that we will at least have a flushable toilet installed for John's birthday party in two weeks. Its not looking too good right now. Hopefully, things will pick up.

Glory be! We have thunder bumpers going on. Some much needed rain is falling as I type. We've been blessed with good weather during the house construction, but Texas is sorely in need of this rain.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Recent Photos - stairs, cabinets, fireplace

Here are photos of the fireplace, stairs and kitchen cabinets. The painter starts tomorrow. We have have set up a phone line, electrity and propane services, which have yet to be installed. Still waiting on septic, flatwork and the final plumbing and finish out.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Showers and cabinets!

Friday the showers were installed in the master and downstairs bathrooms. We used cultured marble and they really look nice. Hubby wanted something that really looked like marble, so we chose "walnut swirl" for the master and "grey swirl" for the downstairs bath. Our cabinets have also been installed. Here are photos of the vanities for the master bath. I will post photos of the kitchen cabinets when I can get photos made of them. The stairs will be installed on Monday and the painter should begin painting by Wednesday.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

We celebrated last night with family at our house. We played board games and just had a good time watching John enjoy himself. My parents bought blowers with balloons, noisemakers and party poppers. John got a kick out of these. We started the tradition last year and hope to continue it in the years to come.

We finally selected our wood for the floor at the house. We bought Bellawood Brazilian Mesquite. Its really pretty. It has a golden tone, but also some red in it. We plan to match the color when staining the kitchen cabinets, doors and trim. We're still discussing the tile in the rest of the house. We also have selected wallpaper for the kitchen and dining room and are going in the right direction for the downstairs bathroom.

My baby will be four years old a month from today. It's amazing how time flies.

Well, have a Happy New Year.