Friday, August 20, 2010


I am on the mend. I'm not (much) of a complainer when I'm sick, but this one has been a toughie! Yesterday, J even called out from
work to take care of me and the girls, as I pretty much hit that level of sickness where you just become good for nuthin'.
J did a great job. The girls were happy to have their Pappa home. The chickens didn't starve. I didn't have to make my own hot tea. Other than nursing Nugget, nothing was required of me. Other than being woken up a few times by Beans to find out if I was feeling better, I slept most of the day away.
Oh, that was nice.

Feeling better is nicer, though. And while I'm not 100%, I am better than good for nuthin', so J headed off to work while i begged the girls back to bed. "We are laying in bed like slugs today!" I declared.
They weren't buying it, though they did humor me for a short while. And they were content to have a low-key day today.
The weather helps.

Yup. I'm gonna say that autumn is creeping in on us.
The temps hover in the 60s. The nights dip into the 40s. Dark happens each evening, earlier and earlier each day. The chickens turn in to roost before I even head out to lock them up for the night. They fluff their feathers in a huff at the chilly air I let into the coop in the morning.
As I went about the daily chores, I noticed the leaves turning yellow, and noticed more than a few piles of leaves falling to the ground.

This IS my favorite time of year.

When J called from work today, we found ourselves simultaneously longing for hot apple cider. I'll have to see if I can find some this early in the year. Now if I could just find a pumpkin patch, I would feel complete.
Alas... I've had no luck locating one in Interior Alaska. (Though I am futiley trying to grow them in my garden!)

As the sun sinks in the backyard, I realize it won't be long before I need a lantern to accompany me to the hen house at night. And a coat.

We had a fire in the wood stove last night. A little too warm by the time we were settled, really, but the season is coming.

For those who have asked:
No, we haven't gotten Internet at home. The iPhone manages to pick up the 2G network (yes, the TWO G), as long as the wind isn't blowing too hard. (No. I'm not kidding. Or exaggerating.) Hopefully that explains the sudden increase in typos, strange formatting, and occassionally bizarre sentences and words that don't make sense (darn you, auto-spell!) They drive me crazy, too. I am normally WAY too fussy and ahem, retentive, to tolerate poor grammar, incomplete thoughts, or otherwise incongruent writing. Unfortunately, if I try to spell-check, proofread, or edit, strange and bizarre things happen- like my posts get eaten.

Farm News:
the old hens are coming out of their egg strike. Thank goodness. I actually had enough eggs to scramble some
the other day, instead of rationing them out for baking.
The new hens are still not laying.
It shouldn't be long though... The new roosters are desperately trying to court the ladies. This is a sure sign that the roosters think the gals are old enough to start leaving the potential next generation in the nest boxes.
Also, the new roosters have been testing out their vocals. Seems we have four new roosters in our flock. Their pathetic new crows are giving Ricky Bobby the fits. He spends most of each day at the fence that separates him from these new "enemies", crowing out his own place in the barnyard, and puffing himself up to look twice his actual size. Poor fellow. I remind him several times a day that these new boys are stewpot bound. He cares not.
I hope our neighbors don't hate us by butchering time.

Getting dusky. I am off to tuck the hens into bed before it gets too dark.

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tupped Up

Sorry for the lack of posting. The girls definitely decided my life would not be complete without their cold. I've been mouth breathing all week and really would just prefer to be in a hot bath or sleeping than anything else.
While moms don't really get sick days (not the laying around in bed all day, luxurious hot bath soak types, anyway), Beans has been bringing me juice boxes and tissues while Nugget pats me on the head and says, "Oh! Baby!"
J has proven himself as the best husband in the world... taking over homestead and farm chores (because chickens don't care if you are sick), doing the "hard" (monotonous) work with the kids, and even cooking a couple meals, and doing it without complaint. I haven't even once heard how he could be out stalking moose right now. That IS a good sick day!

The girls are tucked in early tonight. J even volunteered to wash the dishes and lock up the chickens. The tea kettle is going and I am just the right kind of tired and sick to hunker down under a good momma-made blanket (MY momma, that is! Makes me feel like she's here tucking me in on a sick day) with a hot tea and a new knitting book- until I get sleepy enough to doze off and sleep some of this cold off.

Meanwhile, the woodstove is crackling. It never made it out of the 60s today, and the evening air is around 46F.
The sky is overcast and rainy. The perfect day for sleeping off feeling crummy.

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What A Tease

Oh, Autumn!
Such a tease.
I was folding lovely, cozy, warm long sleeves today... In 80 degree heat.
Ok, so I feel a little sheepish compaining about a "measley" 80 degrees when most people are sweating in 100+, but for us... Well, it's uncomfortably warm. And after such wonderful football weather, too!
That is the nature of early Autumn, though... Especially in Alaska.
The sky still holds promise, though. The sun hangs a little lower in the sky these days, and the willows and aspens have started to change color. I wonder what the drive to Fairbanks is going to look like this week? Seems like the drive through Salcha and up to Fairbanks always shows a little more progress through the changing seasons.

The weekend passed uneventfully.
Well... Mostly.
The girls woke this morning and each of them let out a series of sneezes, complete with boogers hanging to the chin.
A virus.
Just what I wanted.
On the other hand, it explains why no amount of consolation, story reading, or Popsicles made anyone happy last night, and why I was up a half dozen times tucking everyone back into bed well after everyone should have been dreaming.
Ah, well.
Sick girls are also sleepy girls, which usually means a very S-L-O-W pace here. When the girls are sick, I throw all rules and routines out the door. We eat Popsicles for breakfast. And maybe lunch. And dinner. We watch movies all day. We drink unlimited quantity of juice (at least until a couple hours before bedtime, because otherwise I am guaranteed to be up several times in the night for the potty). I offer healthy food and stories and such, but other than nap time and bed time, I force nothing on sick days.

With the girls content to drain juice boxes and watch "The Bee Movie" for the zillionth time in a row today (Beans' favorite), I attempted to ignore my own throat tickling and begged my own case of the sniffles to be on account of dust or something.
Moms don't really get sick days, ya know.
I grabbed a pitchfork and headed to the chicken coop. It needed cleaning. Bad. The scent of ammonia was enough to clear my sinuses, and I shoveled manure out of the coop. I also fussed a bit, trying to make the nest boxes look like very attractive places to lay eggs. I do hope the hens start laying soon. A $25 bag of organic feed and a $8 bag of barley once a week starts to add up. Time for some of these gals to earn their keep!
While most of the birds scrambled off in a panic when I entered the coop, a couple poked their heads back in through to door to check on my progress. They are content to listen to me talk to myself out there. I tried asking them when they would start laying eggs. They only clucked dejectedly in reply. I hope that means, "tomorrow" in chickenese.
Meanwhile, "Tommy Boy", the largest of our two turkeys, has taken to following me around like a lovestruck teenager. He comes to the fence and coos at me. If I'm in the yard, he fans his tail feathers and struts around like he's the king of the hill. When I tell him he's not my type and shoo him off, he sulks, and then chases the hens around the yard. Then he comes back and coos at me, as if to say, "See how big and tough I am? Give me some sugar, baby."
Yes. I know I personify my Thanksgiving dinner too much.

I collected a few meager offerings from the garden, including our first ripe tomato fro
the greenhouse. Beans and I aet half of it, and added the other half to our dinner. Beans wants me to be sure to say we had steak soup for dinner. "Because I'm do not like beef stew, ok Momma?"
For the record, the ingredients in "steak soup" are the same as "beef soup" but if calling it "steak soup" means she eats something besides Popsicles today, well then, steak soup it was.
Nugget decided the only thing worth eating today was momma milk. So it was.

The house is quiet. The ceiling fans have a steady rythym as they move warm air around the house. Both girls have a little nasaly, wheezy snore as they doze in their beds. The sun sinks a little lower than this time yesterday.
I sip on hot tea. Alas, I can no longer pretend that I don't have the girls' cold.
Time to tuck the birds in for the night, and then do the same for myself.

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails