Thursday, October 30, 2014

Critter has been born

As many of you know, and the rest of you probably guessed, the Critter has come into the world. As of now I don't have any great pictures to share so those'll have to wait for Tuesday when a real post comes.

I'd say he came into the world in the usual way, but I don't think 27 hours of back labor without pain medication counts as the usual way. He's 8lbs 9oz, and 19.5" long, or was as of Monday night just before 9 when he was born. We're going to be coming home from the Hospital today, and are looking forward to having Critter at home.

Right now I'm very happy that he's here, and the Lady of the House is amazing to have gotten through all of that the way she did. There's something very interesting to me about the lifestyle we've chosen in homesteading that the day before she went into labor I was splitting and stacking wood with a group of great friends, and the day she went into Labor just as she was beginning labor my hands were covered in blood showing someone how to kill and butcher rabbits. Just over 24 hours later, I was holding my son. At some point when I've had more time to think about how to talk about it here, and the life and death cycle that is implicit in homesteading, but can be really made apparent in moments like this.

I'd like to give special thanks to our friend Annalise for taking care of the animals for us while we were out delivering the Critter. She was kind enough to not only get pictures, but a video of one of Dawn's kits learning how to be a bunny. You can watch it below if I uploaded it properly. If not, I probably won't know for a few days, but I'll try to fix it ASAP. Credit for the photos and the video to Annalise.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

More rainy day thoughts: Why we started, how we will continue.

Another day of rain, this time it's a significant down pour. As we call it in this area a Noreaster, in Texas we'd call it a gullywasher. It's not the best sort of weather for a 45 - 50 degree day, but it'll help the water level for the area which is low for a number of the reservoirs. The chickens aren't getting time out wandering and free ranging because I don't want the high winds that have come with it blowing them around the yard and getting them injured or lost, unable to find their way back to get dry and warm. They objected strongly as I left this morning for work, I could even hear their objections in the car.

Since without photos there isn't much to talk about homestead side other than that the Lady of the House still hasn't given birth to the Critter, and we're going to be doing another work day Saturday, I'm going to have another day of thoughts on Homesteading.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Learning about Critter care, and the Monster egg.

 Today is another day pre arrival of the Critter, and we've settled into the routine of being on alert and are trying to just keep ready to go without stressing out. It has actually given us some time to have a lot of good experiences, learn a lot, and for the Lady of the House and I to read a lot about the impending Critter care. For instance we went to the Cloth Diaper Swap & Shop put on by the Simple Diaper & Linen service  which ironically has a longer title than URL. The beautiful pallet arbor bench Above is from the art space near the swap and shop.

We for a very reasonable price managed to get enough more cloth diapers to have a sufficient stock rather than a just barely feasible stock. We also got to observe the Cloth Diapering 101 class which was very comforting and gave us a lot of ideas about what we needed to know that were accentuated and helped by advice from friends who have cloth diapered. We are now a lot more confident in what we're doing, and while that may be an illusion, we'll take it, delusion can be very useful.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rainy day thoughts on homesteading and hobby farming, and which we are.

On this rainy Thursday there is a lot going on, but not a lot to talk about it looks like. It is a good reminder of just how much the weather affects our day to day life, and controls what we can and can't do. Today though, it isn't changing what we were going to be doing. Almost all of what we are doing is preparing for the arrival of the Critter with house cleaning, and baby stuff preparation. Other than doing daily animal chores we haven't been doing anything really "homestead" related. At least, not homestead related beyond the fact that we live there. No photos worth getting from today or yesterday, so it's another old photo post.

Actually, on that note I wanted to think about homesteading and hobby farming. Before going on with the discussion let's set out some definitions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More wood, green beans, and community

Still no critter, and another late(ish) post. This time it's because it was just a very busy weekend, and I am unused to having my patterns changed. Having Monday off which you'd think would put me in a better place for getting things done did nothing of the kind. Instead I found other ways to fill my time, and didn't have the pre planned preparation time in place, so blog prep didn't get done. Ahh well. A re used picture from last year shows what we're starting to look like, even if the weather tries to fake us out with 70 degree days, the 30 and below degree nights remind us winter is not just coming, it's close.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dawn's kits, and still waiting.

Dawn gave birth Tueseday night, and when I got home I reached in and felt around. I felt a couple moving kits, and Dawn was unhappy with what I was doing so I left her alone, and checked again in the morning. When I checked then I found one cold and dead normal kit, one dead kit with the back of it's head missing and the brain showing, and two normal healthy kits. The rabbit with the part of the skull has anencephaly which means a large part of the brain or skull missing. The Lady of the House promptly did some research, and found that there may be some correlation between tomato blight, and the kinds of birth problems we've been seeing. There is some correlation between feeding alkaline plants and the kind of problems that we've been having so we want to do more research into that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A lost litter, and a distracted life as we wait

Right now I'm not going to beat around the bush, our focus is preparing for Critter's arrival. Trying to organize the house, get a solid inventory of what we have and what we need still in terms of small person care. By the by, if you've never had a small person come into your life before, it's a lot. Especially if you want to minimize the environmental impact you're going to cause with a small person, and try to feed the small person well.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Chickens, wood, and babies. Now with pictures.

As promised, today we have photos from around the homestead. We've finally been letting our chickens wander the property and do their thing, and they are quite different in behavior than the chickens we had around before. They don't have to be coaxed to come to garden beds with scratch, they're curious, and they are an unruly bunch that make quite a rapid impact on the grounds.