Quick Takes, Feb 6, 2014

— 1 —

It occurred to me as I milked Lucy this morning that while I waxed lyrical about how she “stood perfectly still for me” as I learned how to milk her, this isn’t true at all!  In fact, I wrote a whole post about how scared I was when I first started milking her, because she stomped her feet while I was milking her!  Isn’t it funny how things always look so much better through the windows of the past?  I guess I was just looking through love-tinted glasses.  Awww.  :)

— 2 —

I’m happy to report that quite a few more chickens survived than we originally thought.  At last count, we have 12 left, including enough Penedesenca’s and Ameraucana’s to breed this Spring as we’d originally hoped.  We also still have our little polish hen, who belongs to our friend Michelle and is a favorite around here (I don’t have a picture of her, but if you’ve never seen a polish you should really do a google image search!  They’re adorable!)  Some chickens are still missing, and I don’t really expect that we’ll find them, but considering that the Pene’s and Ameraucana’s are almost impossible to get ahold of, and that we were hoping to raise chicks to sell, I’m very, very thankful.

— 3 —

We’re now on the official hunt for a dog.  We’ve been playing with the idea for a while now, and the attack on the chickens sealed the issue for us (we’re about 99% sure it was a neighborhood dog who killed them.)  We’re doing research into different breeds and we’re looking for a very specific type of dog.  We’re looking for an indoor/outdoor dog with a strong protective instinct who is easily trainable and doesn’t wander (obviously all dogs wander, but some are particularly prone to this, as we discovered when we tried to train our Great Pyrenees out of her natural instincts.)  We’re looking for an animal who is good with other animals (ie. no breeds who are bred to hunt birds and small game), and one who is equally good with children (ie. no Jack Russell Terriers [tend to be snappish,] or Border Collies [tend to herd.])  Personally, I vote in favor of a Pit Bull Terrier, but they have so many stereotypes against them that too many people (including Jon) are fearful or suspicious of them.

At the moment, we’re leaning toward a German Shepherd, but if anyone has any suggestions for us, we’d love to hear them!

— 4 —

Just as we started searching through classified ads, I found the following ad in our local paper:

Clipboard04

I have wanted a cavalier for a long time, but we’ve never gotten one because there aren’t many breeders around here and they are very, very expensive.  We really do not need two dogs right now, but I couldn’t help calling to find out how much these dogs are!  I’m actually kind of hoping they’re expensive and then I don’t have to live in the agony of “should we/shouldn’t we!”

— 5 —

We had another incident of God’s amazing timing (see here and here for those stories!) last week when I made it to the end of the driveway and halfway into the road and then ran out of gas!  I’d just told the kids to pray that we’d make it to the gas station, because we’d been running low but the light hadn’t come on yet (little did I know that the van doesn’t have a light that comes on!)  It was literally half a second after the words were out of my mouth that the van sputtered and died.  Thankfully, we did indeed have enough gas to make it to the gas station, in two gas cans that were both almost completely filled.  This is without question a divine intervention, as Jon and I are probably the least likely people to be prepared for just about any disaster, and we rarely ever have spare anything laying around here (unless you count spare couches, bed frames and microwave ovens laying around in our junk pile.  We have plenty of those.)

— 6 —

I’ve discovered a great way to get my kids to do just about any job around the house/farm, especially those jobs that are really gross and I don’t want to do them!  We just call it a “dirty job” and suddenly the kids are excited and ready to dig right in!  Mike Rowe, from the bottom of this momma’s heart, I thank you!

— 7 —

Speaking of television shows, the kids have really gotten into this Alaska: The Last Frontier show (have you seen it?  It’s really great!)  It’s a little (okay, a lot) over-dramatized, but it’s a great show and it does my heart good to see the kids pretending to work around the house doing farm chores and hunting and harvesting food.  You can believe I’ll be taking full advantage of this and sending the kids off to play “stir the compost” and “bring in the firewood” and “weed the garden.”

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For more quick takes, visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary

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2 Responses to Quick Takes, Feb 6, 2014

  1. mommatango says:

    If you want a guard dog for your livestock, there are breeds made just for that. Google: Livestock Guard Dog (LGD) and I kid you not, it’s an actual breed. Also, Great Pyrenees. The breeds you mentioned will likely not do the trick. These LGDs are happiest to live outside, with your flock, and will protect them from any danger but they are sweet and loyal to the human family. :-) I’m looking at getting one because we’ve lost 2 hens to hawks in two weeks (one today!). Sad. Good luck!

    • Rina says:

      Thanks for the suggestion, and I’m sorry to hear about your chickens! We actually had a Great Pyrenees and loved her, but she was true to her breed and roamed all over the neighborhood. Then we put up electrical fencing for her but, again, true to breed she went through it. She started chasing cars and then my neighbors horses and we had to find her a new home. We DEFINITELY want to get another Great Pyr some day, but we’re going to need to live in a place big enough for her to roam!

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