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Spring on the Farm

 I’m
told I’m a terrible blogger, because I’m supposed to write more regularly, and
keep it short and to the point. But I write when I feel inspired, and then I write
essays with too much introspection. So shoot me. I’ll try to adhere to proper
blogging standards from now on for all those friends with the short attention
span, but for all that I understand the appeal of brief blogs, I can’t help but
think if all you’re doing is sending out short reports of what goes on in your
days, what is the point? Does anyone really care what I had for lunch today?

 Anyway – It’s spring, and I am long overdue on a farm update. Here goes.

 As the winter began to fade, I was bummed that my female
peacock no longer had a mate. Peacocks are not like chickens that lay eggs all
year round. Peafowl (the official term for a peacock) only lay in season, and I
knew spring was coming and I’d have some unfertilized peacock eggs soon – and
we already know my family freaks out when I feed them a peacock omelet.

 So when a friend ran across a gorgeous male peacock for sale
at a flea market and sensed he could talk the seller down to a slick 80 bucks (I guess
the global economy crash has affected the peacock market as well) he called
Mark and asked if he should pick it up for me. Mark made arrangements, and I
came home from a yoga seminar to an unexpected bonus birthday gift. I was
delighted.

 I named the new bird Elmer, (because I want this one to
stick around). Elmer adjusted to his new digs quickly enough and began
spreading his tail and flirting with Prism (my female) and I was privy to more
than a few peep shows of peacock passion.
 
Spring came and Prism began laying eggs, (which I can attest are
fertilized) and she’s been sitting now for two weeks.

 Yesterday, I pushed her aside (which made her really cranky)
to check out the nest. There are 5 peacock eggs under her, and two chicken eggs
from my dopey Rhode Island Red that is always laying her eggs in the wrong
place.
  I removed the measly
chicken eggs because chickens hatch in 21 days and peacocks in 31, and Prism
won’t know the difference – once chicks hatch a mother will only wait two more
days before abandoning the nest to raise her young. Can’t have her bailing on
the baby peacocks just to raise more trouble-making Rhode Island Reds.

 I was standing there with these two half developed eggs in
my hand in a moral dilemma. I could throw them into the woods for some creature
to eat, but they were probably only a few days from hatching and that felt a
little like murder.
  So, I shoved
them under one of my nesting chickens, but as I drew my hand away, I heard a
slight peeping. I looked closer at her eggs. One was cracked and a new chick
was making its premiere. Cool. This morning I checked again and there are three
healthy chicks in the nest, and a few more eggs still under her that may or may
not hatch. This will make the third chicken I have raising a few
spring chicks – not that I need more chickens, but I can’t resist the pleasure
of watching motherhood in process. I have them in cages all over the place. Crazy, but fun. 

 My turkeys are huge, stupid and totally attached to me. They
throw themselves against the side of the cage when I walk by, trying to follow
me. The plan to eat them is curling up at the edges, as you probably knew it
would. Meanwhile, they are stinky and rather a nuisance to raise. I don’t know
what the heck I’m going to do with them. I thought of putting them in my huge
chicken run, but they are simply too messy– perhaps I’ll just open the cage
door and see how they fare roaming wild around the barn. But first I’ll wait
until they are fully-grown. I want to hear them gobble and see them all puffed
up like the preening turkeys you see on thanksgiving décor before anything
happens to them. Seeing them change and grow and interact is half the fun.
     

 I am forever starting animal projects out of curiosity, then
cursing myself because I want to scale back rather than get more involved. Ah
well – might as well enjoy this stage of life while I can. I’m quite sure I won’t be
playing around a barn forever.

 My Angora rabbit had a litter and I took all eight beautiful
babies to the feed store to swap for a store credit. They sell the rabbits for
50.00 each, but I am given 10.00– which is perfectly fine with me. I really
just want to find the rabbits a good home. I even wrote a two page “how to care
and feed your angora rabbit” document to go home with each pet. Linda, the store owner, laughed at me for being so worried about their fate.  Originally, I
planned the litter because I wanted a second female angora, but on second
thought, I decided to adhere to my “scale back” plan. So I also gave the store
one of my adult male angoras to sell. I go into the store everyday to visit him (and whisper apologies into his cage for sending him away).
 
Then I pick out plants for my new garden to use my credit – plants are a
temporary responsibility and I’m leaning in that direction now. Got some big rhubarb plants last
week and stuck them in the ground in my new raised beds. Maybe by next year I’ll
be trying out some of those rhubarb recipes I keep cutting out of Gourmet
magazine. I’m ready for some new cooking exploits, and the best part is, if the Rhubarb isn’t happy, I won’t feel any guilt about it.

 This is getting too long, and I imagine my readers are starting to crinkle their brow as they think “get on with it” – so I’ll wrap it up.

My llamas are for sale, but I haven’t gotten any calls. I’m
committed to having fewer creatures to care for by winter, but scaling back is heart wrenching. I really love my young llama, so I’m on the fence with this
whole “lose the llamas” thing.
 I’ll let fate decide.

I’m selling one of my two horses – the high-spirited, high maintenance
one. I’ll keep the quarter horse as long as I live in Georgia. That animal owns
my heart. One horse is a joy. Two is simply too much work.

Donkey is fine, and remains my favorite. He’ll be the last
animal standing in Ginny’s world.

 Speaking of donkey, I should write about my book (entitled,
My Million Dollar Donkey). It rests with four agents now, and another spoke
with me at a seminar last week and asked me to rewrite the opening (she was
giving me a critique) and said she would like to see the entire book after I
make some suggested changes. So, as always, it is still a waiting game. I could
talk more about my writing, it’s going well – but that would break my new blog
rule, so you’ll have to wait.
  

Had lunch with Kathy last week. Great to see her, but she won’t  be returning to her reading studies anytime soon. That is one project that ran it’s course. Sniff.

Times
up.

 

About Ginny East Shaddock

Director of Heartwood Retreat Center, Ginny is also a writer. This is her personal blog with essay form writing about life and reflection. My entries are often lengthy and random, because I'm not here to promote or sell anything. I'm not expecting followers - just find this format a good place to think with the pen.

3 responses »

  1. Thanks for the farm update. I was wondering. I orginally gave you 3 years to return to the city from the farm (in my mind of course). I’m amazed you have lasted this long!

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  2. My greatest strength (and my greatest weakness) is my ability to hang in there long past the period anyone else would….Tenacity is my middle name.

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  3. ヴィヴィアンネックレス

    1 つエアボーンを覚ます必要があるな。m。マラソンを実行します。(ほとんどの女性と男性は勝つことはありません素晴らしい方法マラソン彼または私達がより古く育ちます。しかし、素晴らしい方法 PR を設定することができる !個人の記録を維持できるだけでなくあなた最後の援助からの進歩を遂げます。(それは通常あなたと考える人々 は、自分で言うの現実の世界で再生方法です。

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