Blame it on the Rain

Blame it on the Rain

In this case, it, can be just about anything.

The lack of hay in our hay shed.

The increased tempers of the boys that have spent too many days in close quarters.

Hulk-sized mosquitos with Hulk-sized appetites.

The fact that it has been too long since I’ve updated the blog.

It’s all the rain’s fault.

As you most likely know (I’m just assuming here that you either a.) already know me or b.) are related to me) we have been getting a boatload of rain.  Lots-o-rain, to be specific.

It’s quite ridiculous, actually.

You’re probably thinking that a lot of rain is a good thing.  I used to think so too.  However, too much of any good thing usually ends badly.

Except for chocolate.  One can never have too much chocolate.

The moral of the story, kids, is that the rain has delayed just about everything.  Slogging through inches of water only served to double the time needed for daily chores.

Things are slowly getting back to normal.  The rivers and creek are back down to reasonable levels and the basement is slowly drying out.  The garden is still squishy and the weeds have really benefitted from this time.  Yay!

I do have two happy updates.  Okay, so maybe three.

UPDATE #1: Elwood continues to improve.

In our last episode, you will remember that Elwood had developed an icky-gooey abscess on his ear.  He has shown tremendous improvement as you can see from this picture taken two weeks ago.

Healing Ear Abscess

Elwood has an ear for improvement.









UPDATE #2: Heidelberr Farms lives up to its name.

I may have had to pull on the hip waders a time or two, but the blueberries have to be picked.  I’m just thrilled that the blueberry plants are being so productive.  This has been the best year ever.  I don’t know if it is because of or in spite of the rain.

Ultimately, I don’t care why they’re producing so well so long as it continues.  My pancakes depend on this.  And so do I.


Blueberries. Sweet blueberries.









UPDATE #3: More chickies!

Because Rosie and I are gluttons for punishment, we have hatched another batch of chicks in the incubator.  We have four hatchlings to date and another prospective four that went back in the oven to finish cooking.  In another week, if all continues to go well, we hope to have our first hatched Cayuga ducklings.  But since it’s not wise to count your chickens…or your ducklings…before they hatch, we’re just thankful for this batch of four so far.

The downside of incubator hatching is that we either have to raise these chicklings and ducklings inside for the next 4-5 weeks (bye bye, downstairs shower) OR we have to graft them onto another broody hen.

As you might imagine, since my first encounter with the Hens-of-Death, I’m not terribly excited about this prospect.  Even so, it has been a beautiful (albeit terrifying) experience watching the HOD’s fiercely nurture their little brood.

Hatched chicks

Hey Chicky Baby

So there you have it.  Here’s to hoping for normal-ish weather.

Whatever that is.

Until the next time, my friends.  Stay safe, be blessed, and don’t count your chickens until they cross the road.


When Kinda-Bad Things Happen to Kinda-Bad Alpacas

When Kinda-Bad Things Happen to Kinda-Bad Alpacas

It is a fact of life that, given enough time, things are going to happen.

I would like to say that this is especially true on a farm, but I think that’s a bit of an overstatement. A farm is no more susceptible to bad things happening than any other place, whether the workplace or the homeplace.

(A homeplace is a thing, right?)

Anyway, back to bad things happening.

I have come to accept that there will eventually be sickness, injury, loss, and death on the farm. After all, there is sickness, injury, loss, and death everywhere else. This is one of the consequences of living in a fallen world, this lovely blue marble of planet earth.

Do you follow me so far? Good things happen. Bad things happen. ‘Tis all currency in the game of life.

Now just because I know that injury will happen. And just because I am semi-okay and/or resigned to the fact that there is no escaping it forever, well, that doesn’t mean that I like it.

Especially if it’s Elwood.

A common theme running though my head at random times when, in my mind’s eye, I see the potential for damage is please don’t let it happen to Elwood.

And then it happened to Elwood. He recently developed an abscess on his ear.


Elwood has an ouchie.

He could have been bitten by some various insect. This year has been horrible for biting flies and other various bloodsuckers (political and non). Then again, Elwood’s temperament often lends him towards mischief with the other boys. He can be one to push and push and push until one of them finally has enough and has to finally get all up in his business to make him stop.

(Exhibit A: Where Elwood attracts grossness because he simply doesn’t recognize when to let it go)

alpaca spit

Exhibit A: Elwood-the-Pest gets his comeuppance


See, Elwood is like the pesky little brother that no ever wanted. Elwood is Bobby Brady crashing Greg’s date at the drive-in theater and leaving wreckage in his wake.

Which brings me back to the original point of UGH.


Why did it have to happen to Elwood? Don’t get me wrong; He’s not a bad alpaca. He’s just…difficult.

Believe me; as a former difficult child, I know difficult.

I will watch him closely for the next week or so, just to make sure things don’t get worse. I have confidence in Elwood’s ability to get better mostly on his own with just a bit of extra support. Thankfully, alpacas have pretty effective immune systems, but they can also be unique and a little bit tricky. Because most all drugs are used off-label, there is always a bit of an unknown element involved when using them.

Which is a big reason why I do not use them except as a last resort. I do all I can to avoid having to use antibiotics on the farm. They’re great and they definitely have their place. That is why I will reserve them for only the most stubborn issues so that various buggers don’t become resistant. Use them too much today and they won’t work tomorrow.

That would truly stink.

The current plan is to irrigate the wound, spray it with colloidal silver as a natural antibiotic, keep fly ointment around the area, add homeopathic remedies specific to abscesses to his daily water and manage to do all of this without him climbing over us to get to the rafters.

Easy peasy.

If it weren’t Elwood.

In other news, I’m very thankful that we did not incur much in the way of storm damage after last night’s storms. I’m also thankful that we did not take on any additional water in the basement. This alone is a minor miracle considering that my sister has been working overtime vacuuming up the water as soon as it pours in for the past few weeks.   Did I mention that I really love her?

In other, other, news…more severe storms predicted tomorrow.


Here There Be Dragons

Here There Be Dragons

I nearly died yesterday.

Now that the adrenaline has died down, and my hands have stopped shaking, I can finally tell you my story.

It was a giant dinosaur.

It was a rabid wolf.

It was a screaming freight train.

Fine, it was a broody hen.

You happy now?

Death-by-hen, while extremely cool-looking on a headstone, is a terrible way to go.

Compounding the problem is the simple fact that I was heading off not one hen, but two. Yes, we have two co-mamas sharing a litter(?) of six chickies. Three chicks were naturally hatched and three incubator-hatched chicks were introduced to the Hens-of-Death (HOD) in a daring 3 a.m. ninja chicken raid.

The past 21 days while the HOD’s were brooding their nest, and even in the day after the little hatchlings hatched, they were content to play a game of strict defense. Puff up. Growl a bit. Hunker down and protect the chicklets.

Maybe it was adding to the team ranks. Maybe it was rabid dinosaur wolf DNA infused into the incubator chicks during incubation. Whatever it was, the game play of the HOD’s switched from defense to take-no-prisoners-burn-the-thatched-roofs-and-rip-out-their-faces offense.

I assure you that there was much flapping, and thrashing, and screeching, and the HOD’s were also making a fair bit of commotion too.

Oh sure, you can laugh now. But I can assure you, if you ever face the wrath of the HOD you will be screaming, flailing, and doing whatever it takes to survive too.

Just be sure to stay away from the edges of the broody area.

Here, there be dragons.

Welcome to the Journey

Welcome to the Journey

Hello world!

Thank you for finding your way over here to this small piece of the interwebs.

There is a lot of pressure in crafting the perfect first blog post.

A lot of pressure.

However since I don’t know that there is such a thing as a perfect blog post, then I suppose I will be happy just to have a first post at all.

I will resist the temptation to divulge too much right here and now.

Slow and steady, my friends.

There is a long road ahead of us on this journey and there is no race to the finish.

Instead, let’s just enjoy every step of the way.

Picking the dandelions as we go.

Feel free to bring a friend…