Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blue Moon

I was wrong about the Firebird's position on the varsity soccer team.  He has been first string, a starter playing outside mid.
I also had the camera settings wrong, been making a lot of mistakes lately! 
Mostly I have been trying to forge my way ahead by backtracking, and that seems to consist of finding out I never want to do (whatever) again!
Hopefully a new door will open ahead and the path forward will become apparent. In the meantime, I try and enjoy the moment and make do with what is available.
We had a rooster appear in our dooryard this week. A young handsome rhode island red. I thought he wandered down from the neighbor, who has chickens and at least one rooster, so I tried to shoo him up there, but he didn't want to go.
A short while later he seemed to be heading in the direction of another neighbors who also has poultry,( in the mornings you can hear the roosters calling up and down the road, it is funny) so Willow and I shooed him that way.  A little while later he was back.

We have three roosters of our own, separated into two groups, and no room for a fourth. Our flock is locked in for the summer, so we weren't having any fights, and the newcomer was well behaved and not trying to be a bad bird. We all sort of admired him, truthfully.
As soon as I saw him I thought of my old Boss, and a couple days later I was answering an email from her and asked about her rooster. She had taken in three Red hens and a rooster a couple years ago someone dumped at HER neighbors. She told me her rooster had died, and agreed to take the newcomer off our hands.
I saw him in the goose house around noon and shut him in. That way I could catch him. I put him in a carrier and drove him over to the farm. He was very happy! The hens looked happy! Everyone was happy!
Willow and I saw a large spotted fawn and an enormous doe on the way there, and then two wild hen turkeys and a large brood of young turkeys.  Then we learned the peafowl at the farm had hatched some chicks, and saw three cute peafowl chics!
Here are some pix Willow and I took of the last soccer game.
Number 2 in this shot by Willow looks to be trying to trip the fast Firebird up before he can beat 14 to the ball

This was right afterwards, the Firebird had the ball and something happened with 14 and he was down.  Willow snapped this pic just as he fell, and he lept right back up and took off again, but the pic of him flat like that is a bit unnerving for this mother.

I took this lo-res shot of him coming down from a header, boy he sent that ball high! But when I looked closer it looks like the guy from the other team is trying to elbow the Firebird on his descent. Maybe he was just trying to keep his balance. I have overheard a coach(not ours) encouraging his players to play rough, so I pray the flashy Firebird doesn't become a target on the field.
The coach from the best team in the league was at the game watching. The Firebird played with his son in 8th grade. The coach commented to me that the Firebird was coming right along and nodded approvingly. So now I am in the unenviable position of wanting the Firebird to slow down and not draw so much attention to himself. He'll have the toughest guys on him. He's still my baby, after all.
He had two assists on goals and we won the game. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

The downslide of August

Lost one post during a cracking thunderstorm out of the Nor'East-atypical for this time of year. I thought it would miss us, cursed the touchpad blue when it highlighted then deleted unrcovereably several hard-typed paragraphs, then blessed the powers that be when the storm barrelled down atop of us with seconds between lightning and thunderbooms.

Now to recover lost thoughts and not highlight and delete again in a random moment....

The Firebird made the high school varsity soccer team, yeah! He's subbing second string right mid, not my favorite place for him since he is so agressive with the head butting of the ball, and I am convinced that someday in the near future the soccer heads are going to realize that this is simply NOT good for the brain, and ban head contact.  I mean, you can't touch the ball with your hand, but you can slap your brain silly banging the ball into the goal..and this is "football"...jus' sayin'.

And being one of the underclassmen, I am totally comfortable with his low starting rank, I knew that to be a given if he made the upper team. For the team to function well, he needs to be accepted by his teammates when the team knows he can do it, he will get more field time. And, as a parent, the less time he spends on the field with those strapping 17-18 years olds the better his odds are of surviving the season...:D

The Freshmen parents were telling me they were a bit frightened of the Firebird during summer soccer. I remembered the year before watching him join all those big boys in high school, and sympathized.  But the Firebird is big for his age now. He just went through a big huge health scare causing me to pull him from the NorthEastern soccer invitationals-but everything looks good now except for some seasonal allergies.


We've had fleas really really bad this year.  I have always knocked them down with two frontline treatments and blamed flea-infested visitors. This year I Frontlined at the first sign of a flea.  Then repeated in a month, while the flea population exploded. Now it was ourselves that were the carriers. I saw fleas hopping off my pants in the doctor's office.  the dentist's office, Lord help the laudramat, (where I think we got them this time)

The cats caught on quick, and refused to touch the floor upstairs. Then downstairs. The dog stopped coming upstairs and whined on the steps. The trick to Frontline is that it gets in the animals blood stream and stops the cycle after the flea bites.  Well, my animals ain't no dummies, because they were NOT going anywhere near those fleas.  Pity the stupid humans, who took another month to dance across the floors eventually taking to tiptoeing over the furniture and end tables and quickly wiping legs off into buckets of soapy water or keeping a vacuum handy in every room and vaccuuming three times a day.... OMG!!!! Thank God it's been beautiful 80's because forget pants and socks...unless you want to spray insecticide on them.

I contemplated malathion, onced used successfully on a bedbug infestation that took care of every insect for ten years. (forget the 30 day half life on the MDOS)  I contemplated bombing. I thought about the stuff on the shelf at Wally world for spraying everything in your house for bedbugs and fleas,..(probably developed after I called that big chemical company 10 years ago about their perimeter spray and told them I was using it and they kept repeating, "we don't recommend it for that use" and I finally said, "well, I am using it!"

We got just about everything those two years-we had all been living rather reclusively and then I was in University and the Willow in day care and the Firebird in the public school system. Oh yeah. I was never sure if that violent intestinal upset was a roto virus or a stray flick of campylbacter jejundi I flicked across the lab table from my innoculating loop...but it was the threat of head lice at day care that had me pull at least two of us out of that public bacterial swamp lol.(In other words, I stayed at home until Willow was ready to go to Kindergarten)

I had a friend recommend Pine Sol on everything for the fleas including carpets and furniture with a spray bottle...which I meant to buy today and forgot, dang., It is two week's past the second month treatment and I think they are tailing off a bit...I hate ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, black flies, bedbugs, lice, any of that nasty stuff. Obviously something must be bugging me... hehe

***Like the price of feed, for instance. I swear to god the price of a fifty pound bag of layethe cornpellets was $16.50. Yes there is a drought, but corn was $ 6 for a 40 pound bushel . So how the heck is feed that high?

I bought a 50 lb sack of whole corn. I had stopped graining the goats for a couple weeks when pasture was good, and thought I would just give a bit of corn to supplement.  Then I ran out of layer pellets for the chickens at the same time. Ok, this is really cheap to say, but it cost me $4 in gasoline to get that bag of feed 10 miles away, so I decided to tide the (free range ) poultry over on the corn  in the meantime.

Here "Free range" means the birds get to be outside. Not running around the yard. Which is what free range means to me. Anyhow, my birds get daytime access to an enclosed pen, where they get the stray bug or worm and lots of garden thinnings plus their grain. Well their grain for their 2-3 eggs a day was getting pretty high.  A bag lasts us about ten days for the two ganders, 7 hens or so, three when you get a couple dozen eggs for $16.50 that is sort of pricey. Free range (sic) or no.

So they were on corn and thinnings for two straight days.  The first day I soaked the corn overnight and then put it in the blender.  Poor blender. Corn milk. That took while.  The chickens thought I was nuts when I put it in the pan.

The next day I realized I had this ancient grinder that I have used to grind leftover meat bits for the pets(real ground chicken, yuym)
So I did the dried grain in that. The grain did grind, every full stroke forward I had to do a half stroke back to free the whole kernels up, and it took forever and I felt I was skimping everyone. So we threw in some crushed stale potato chips and some raisin bread crust ( don't all children hate crusts to the delight of their animal friends?)

Anyhow, while the whole corn is preferable for the goat's digestion, I preferred the ground product for the poultry, so I decided to give in (to modern convenience)and buy the pellets today.  When I arrived home I looked at the ingredients:

Processed corn by-product, Plant protein by product, and then vitamins. What the heck?????BY_PRODUCT?!?!?!?!

The Willow came in tonight with four more eggs. Our eggs prduction on straight corn doubled for two days.  Screw the over-priced by-product crap!!! I am going with grain and a handful of stale frosted flakes!

Anyone for breakfast? :D

We'll have it on the patio- the fleas aren't so bad out there.