Thursday, March 21, 2013

Birds on the Farm

Since moving here, I have seen the following birds:
Turkey vultures - landed back behind the kitchen and was hopping around - I tried to shoo it away but it just hopped and hopped into the woods. I'm sure something ate it as I think it had a problem with its wing.
Hawks - several kinds just can't identify them from the house.
Doves - have seen them up closer to the road than to the house.
Red-headed Woodpeckers- can see and hear these guys around.
Crows - there are so many that one morning it seemed like it was Crow-mageddon. The squawks were heard up from the creek so loud with so many crows cawing that I was having a "The Birds" moment and ran back into the house.
Blue Jays - they are big and obnoxious but so pretty!
Eastern Bluebirds - one was caught trying to get into my bathroom. Was perched on the ledge when my husband managed to get a picture.
Carolina Chickadees - this one seems to hang out the most in the bushes.
Cardinals - males and females - we have some FAT red dudes hanging out here. They like the pig feed and will drink from their water trough.
Sparrows - they are so small and so colored as to appear as an undulating mass in the brown/green grass.

Snow Days from March 8

It snowed about 6 inches total around the house on Wednesday, March 6th. I was going to cuss the groundhog but really, what kind of person uses a groundhog to predict the weather? I might has well start throwing chicken bones and rune stones around.

School was closed for two days and had a late start this morning. It wasn't too bad because we never lost power and we have a decent sized house so people can avoid one another if need be. The twins actually played nicely together and Andrew played hide and seek and other games with them as well.

If it weren't for the PHI-redaction project from hell for work this week, it would have been just about perfect! :-)

Took some video of the pigs - they will be 8 weeks old on Sunday and they are getting bigger. They all travel together around their area. Although if you startle them, it always seems that three will go one way, and the fourth will go the opposite direction and then look back as if to say "Aw dang it, GUYS?!" 

I have two rubber feed dishes for them to share - I had to get something small enough for them to reach into but tough enough for them not to destroy. Three of them were fighting over one dish while Martha, the smallest, was happily and quietly eating from the other dish, enjoying it all to herself! LOL


Random Stuff

Done this week: I built a handrail for the stairs that lead from my office to outside. The home owner's insurance policy is going to be cancelled if we didn't get that and a missing brick repaired on one of the defunct chimneys before the end of the month. I FREAKED out because they sent us a refund of the balance before the policy was supposed to end. So how fun is it going to be to have to get that check deposited so I can pay them again? Yeah not because my closest bank branch is like 50 miles from here. Joy.

Also had the oldest son build me some cold boxes. We used extra lumber lying around the property again and I had taken the 9-paned windows from the rent house for this reason so all I had new were the nails. My design, his labor. He built those while I fixed the handrail.

Recently finished painting the kitchen cabinets. After I put in a new counter, sink, and faucet, I had to do something about the god-awful ugly cabinets. They were painted a baby-shit green with a pearl or metallic glaze?

Like shiny baby shit is a pretty color?

In addition to painting, I popped off the rounded molding detail attached to the faces of the doors and drawers (you can see where they used to be in the picture), filled the nail holes with some putty, sanded, painted, sanded, and painted them bright gloss white and found beautiful coke-bottle green glass reproduction depression glass knobs. Now I'm going to paint the walls a tame aquamarine.

I have seedlings all over the house now - cabbages, cauliflowers, peppers, tomatoes (14 kinds), lettuces, herbs, and onions. I'm trying to get a price to get someone to bring in a dump truck of top soil and some compost (if I can) so I can get the raised beds built. I don't have enough space in the cold boxes for all the plants I'm currently growing. And I have more still to plant but need to wait til their times... :-)

We had snow today, yes the second day of spring was heralded with about a half inch of snow. My middle child grumbled the entire morning. Truth is, the school district has had two-hour delays with less on the ground and this morning I was very surprised that I wasn't woken at 5am ish with call from the school district. The bus driver showed up on time as the roads were clear - another reason the middle child grumbled. He saw the clear road and realized that there would be no turning around.

Since last I wrote I pulled boy twin from school. They were under-programmed to deal with his sensory processing disorder and ridiculous intelligence. It worked fine at first because he was put in a special ed (and these kids were true "speds") class where he was doing nothing. Then he was tested for reading placement and the main special education teacher discovered he was reading with comprehension at the 6th grade reading level. So then they tried to mainstream him and all hell broke loose. As the principal put it, "The honeymoon is over." All his negative behaviors started manifesting - hitting his head, running, screaming, and threatening other people (in this one, he was within his rights - there was one little "extra" sped-ish kid who would just sit and STARE at James - for a kid with sensory issues, that is a giant freaking NO NO and she did deserve a smack up side the head but I never said that to him). So, he's being homeschooled now. He does some math on the iPad, and some handout work that I've found but I think I'm going with the unschool method for him. Normal learning environments don't work for him....the challenge for me is to keep him challenged without frustrating him because he's wicked smart and he's a giant sandy butthole with anger issues at times. I need to find him a social skills class but being out in the middle of bumfuck VA doesn't lend itself to that sort of social situation. He hates writing BUT he will happily take dictation when I need to create lists. He doesn't want to read UNLESS I find subjects that interest him (like ancient China did recently). He doesn't like people much but does like the one boy who's his age and lives right at the end of our driveway so I'll let him invite neighbor boy over whenever he wants to play games and have snacks. I think I'm going to sign us both up for a yoga class in Yogaville. I think I need the exercise and the adult interaction and he could use some grounding in his own body and some techniques for self-calming.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dinner time with the pigs

Two dinner dishes and three of them are fighting over one. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the fighers, Martha, the littlest, is happily and quietly eating all alone.