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The gangs all here

From left to right, Butters, Kirby and Malcolm, in a moment of harmony.

Last week, our cat Malcolm didn’t show up to come in for breakfast. He had been a bit whiny for the last few days. I couldn’t remember when I had last seen him the day before (the cats have a cat door so they can let themselves out – but not back in, after one too many live mice in the house incidents). I called for him and searched the yard, but almost immediately suspected he was gone. He’s spent most of his time in the past almost 7 years either eating, sleeping near me or sitting in my lap. He was always the first one to came in for breakfast, if he even went out at all. Read the rest of this entry »

DSC08493watermarkWe’ve been working on a lot of spring projects as we wrap up February and move into beloved March. The break is over. Let the craziness of spring begin.

When we moved into this house, built in 1995, it had a front and back deck. The inspector mentioned in his report that both of them needed to be replaced. Well, not only was that obvious (you could see the wood rotting away in places), but in an effort to bring new life into them in order to sell the house, they had been painted a color that I can only describe as mauve. They were poorly designed, not to our taste, and downright hideous. But…so were a lot of things IN the house. Like every single light fixture, and the 1970’s wood stove, complete with orange and avocado green tiles. So it has taken us some time to get to the decks. But this winter, my sweet sweet husband tore off the old front deck (some of it literally using his foot), put in new piers and framing, expanding it considerably, and when the weather and money permitted, worked on getting the new decking in. This one is even attached to the house with actual concrete anchors rather than just nailed into the siding. Read the rest of this entry »

DuckTubSwimAccording to one of my duck books, exposure to water over their backs at an early age (three days) activates a duck’s oil gland. That way, as they lose their baby fuzz and their new feathers come in, they already have a functioning oil gland, and can waterproof themselves. If this is not done, the oil gland does not activate until the ducks are about 8 weeks old. In my mind, waterproofing = better insulated, so the sooner the better. Read the rest of this entry »

DucksGrownUp

Fully grown Anconas

It was just about a year ago that I picked up my peeping box of ducklings from the post office. Based on the ship date, I estimate their birthdays to be April 21st. Here’s what I have figured out during my first year of raising ducks. Read the rest of this entry »

duckeggsFinally! We found our first duck egg on the morning of the 20th. I had hoped they would start laying around the 9th, but the information you read on when ducks start laying is always given as a range. It depends on the size of the duck and the time of year. For our Ancona ducks, it turned out to be almost exactly 5 months (they were born on April 22nd or 23rd). The next day, we found two eggs. And so far, that’s it in terms of who’s laying, but we have gotten two eggs every day since then. Read the rest of this entry »

Do you ever have one of those days when you just feel crabby, for no apparent reason? Well, last Saturday was like that for me. Every little slight was like itching powder on my brain. I’m generally a pretty calm even keeled person, so this was a bit unusual for me, and I must say, I kind of embraced it. Sometimes, it just feels good to throw a shoe into your closet door. Grin. Read the rest of this entry »

Can you find the chicken in this picture?
bluesprucechicken
Read the rest of this entry »

IrisRoseColor

I’m personally a big fan of traditional blue/purple iris, but this one is just stunning. It’s been fun to see what all the colors in the yard are. Evidently, Walla Walla had a famous Iris breeder for a lot of years, and many yards here locally bear the results.

Yup, right now everyone seems to be living in peace and harmony. We’ll see how long it lasts. No one has gotten stuck in a fence this week.

We managed to trim the feet of Elmo, the one goat who we will keep (as a gift) from my friend whom the other goats are on loan from. Elmo (recently renamed Molly) was a rescue and her feet were way overgrown. Trimming feet is definitely a two-person job, and we’ll have to do it every week for a month or so, removing a little bit more each time, until they are back to normal. She took it pretty well.

The young sheep are growing fast! Soon it will be time to ween them. Read the rest of this entry »

NewSheep

American Blackbelly/Soay Sheep.

Wow, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. On May 5th (while having a Kentucky Derby Party at the house) we had 6 new sheep delivered. They are all girls (ewes). Three adults and three little ones. We found them on Craig’s List. I know, not how you are supposed to buy livestock, but they were the right breed at the right price, and they were delivered. Read the rest of this entry »

Rabbits and ducklings and goat (heads), oh my.

Here’s an update on the goings on at Miles Away Farm.

AnconaDucklings

Seriously, could we be any cuter?

The three turkeys (Bourbon Red’s – heritage breed – same species Barbara Kingsolver raised in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) and 16 Ancona ducklings (they sent one extra) arrived last Wednesday. I bought them from Strombergs, and they mailed them out Monday morning from Minnesota. The Post Office called me about 9:00 am Wednesday morning to say “come get them”. They were all fine, and hungry, and seemingly none the worse for wear, which never ceases to amaze me. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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