What an absolutely gorgeous weekend we had! It was cool (mid-80s), it was so sunny that I didn’t see a single cloud in the sky from Friday to Monday, and we had three million adorable baby chicks hatch on Saturday and Sunday.
(Well, more like fifteen, really. Expect loads of pictures for Thursday.)
There were two chickens – the white Silkie and a yellow Buff Orpington – sitting on seventeen eggs between them, and all but two hatched. We have one grown rooster and he’s apparently been a busy, busy boy. I never would have expected to have that many fertile eggs. We didn’t particularly WANT that many chicks, really, but when those hens go broody, they aren’t kidding about wanting to hatch them some babies, so Fred piled a ton under them assuming that one lone rooster cannot possibly spread the lovin’ around to 40 grown hens. We were wrong, of course.
There was one chick who had a hard time hatching, and you are NOT supposed to mess with chicks who are having difficulty, you’re supposed to just leave them alone and let nature take its course. Fred, however, cannot possibly leave well enough alone, so he brought in the chick and helped him the rest of the way out of the shell, and put him in the incubator.
The chicks that Fred “helps” are always named “Lucky”, because we’re always hopeful they’ll make it. They don’t always, in fact they usually don’t – I think only one Lucky has actually made it – but you can’t blame Fred for trying. This little guy was in a heap on the floor of the incubator for most of Saturday evening, and then he got up on his feet and stomped around for a while and demonstrated that his lungs were functioning just fine. When Fred decided he was doing well, he took him back out to the coop and put him in front of one of the Momma hens and Lucky didn’t hesitate to climb under her and go to sleep.
Sunday morning Lucky was bright-eyed and moving around, but mid-day Sunday he started winding down, and by Sunday evening he couldn’t even open his eyes, so Fred euthanized him. The rest of the chicks were doing well, but Monday morning when Fred took the trailer out to set up in the pig yard (the pigs are going to freezer camp next Monday, and Fred starts feeding them in the trailer the week before so that when it’s time to go, they’ll go into the trailer easily. Yes, we use their love of food against them.), I followed him out and peeked in the maternity coop to find a dead chick laying in the food and Momma Silkie surrounded by a bevy of babies, all of them having a bit of a tizzy.
Anyways. Uh. Sorry, I didn’t mean to go on about the damn chickens for so long. There’s nothing cuter than a wee baby chick, though, let me tell you.
Saturday morning was when I took my last antibiotic, and Sunday morning began my reunion with my True Love, Diet Coke. I swear to god, I took my first sip of Diet Coke around 7 am, and for the rest of the day it was like I was on meth. I cleaned! I did laundry! I snapped a zillion and sixty-three pictures! I watered the plants! I cleaned and refilled the hummingbird feeders! I cooked! I cooked! And I cooked some more! (But I didn’t cook meth. My house smells like cat pee often enough without that special scent added to the environment, thanks.)
Let’s see, what did I cook? I cooked Green Tomato Chili!
A year ago, or thereabouts, when I first wrote about the Green Tomato Chili, I said that I didn’t have a dutch oven, so I made the chili in my crock pot, and declared that it was just fine.
I was so, so wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong – the Green Tomato Chili was perfectly fine, but this year I DO have a dutch oven, and I made it using the directions Jenn gave me, and HOLY COW, it was SO much better. I also used steak instead of ground beef, and tossed a couple of small cans of mushrooms in, and OH SO GOOD.
To go with the Green Tomato Chili? Cornbread! Now, Fred has some strange belief that cornbread cannot be sweet. So instead of arguing with him over this fallacy, I made a batch of regular cornbread for him, and a batch of sweet cornbread muffins for myself.
Sweet Cornbread Muffins recipe here. If you want the recipe for the regular, non-sweet, non-life-affirming nasty-ass cardboard-tasting cornbread Fred loves so much, you’re shit out of luck. Go Google it up, that’s what I did!
Then, since I was planning on grilling burgers for lunch on Monday (which I think I do just about every Labor Day), I made a batch of Justin Wilson’s Slaw (it’s always best when it’s aged at least a day), and a batch of Potato Salad, too.
While I was waiting for the potatoes to cook for the potato salad, I wandered out to the garden and picked all the split, half-rotten tomatoes off the tomato plants in the garden and the raised beds as well, and then I tossed them all to the chickens. There is nothing our chickens love and adore quite so much as tomatoes, half-rotted or not.
I waited impatiently for Fred to wake up from his afternoon nap, and then I made him help me carry the big-ass cat tree from the foster room to the front room, and a smaller cat tree back up to the foster room. The big-ass cat tree is awesome, and the kittens like it a lot, but the problem is that the big-ass cat tree is about a foot taller than my reach, so if a scaredy-cat wants to get away from me, she knows she only has to go to the highest level of the cat tree and I can’t reach her and either have to go get the stepladder (which only serves to terrify all the other cats, when I go stomping into the foster room, stepladder in tow) or just stand and unleash a helpless stream of obscenities in my sweetest, softest voice in hopes that it will persuade her to come and be grabbed by my flailing hand.
Then Sunday morning I made Fred do all manners of things I’ve been wanting him to do for ages and ages, such as (1) hang a curtain rod in the foster room and (2) fix my shower so that it drains in a more timely manner and, uh, that’s all I can remember. I was going to make him put hair color on my hair, but I had already taken a shower because I forgot that I need to color my hair due to the graying of said hairs. I wanted him to put up another shelf in the foster room closet, but apparently the installation of said shelf required more work than he felt like doing, and I was so grateful that he’d gotten the curtain rod put up that I let that one slide.
OH MY GOD DOES IT SEEM TO YOU THAT I AM BABBLING AT YOU IN A BABBLING AND UNORGANIZED MANNER BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE I CANNOT KEEP THREE THOUGHTS STRAIGHT IN MY HEAD AT THE SAME TIME AND SO I AM GOING TO BABBLE ABOUT THE CATS AND POST THIS AND PERHAPS BY THE TIME IT IS TIME TO POST ANOTHER POST POST POST AM I SAYING POST A LOT?! I WILL HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO THE METHIMEANCAFFEINE FLOWING THROUGH MY VEINS IN A MANNER CAUSING ME TO ACT IN A DISORGANIZED BABBLING MANNER AND PERHAPS I WILL MAKE MORE SENSE TOMORROW OKAY SEE YOU TOMORROW THEN BYE BYE!
ALSO, HABANERO-EATING MOTHERFUCKERS, HABANEROS ARE COMING IN LIKE GANGBUSTERS (PERHAPS THEY TOO ARE HITTING THE DIET COKE PIPE AGAIN!) SO HABANERO JAMS AND HOT SAUCES SHOULD BE AVAILABLE BY OCTOBER 1ST LOVE YOU BYE!
Bolitar and Rhyme: Unadopted.
I blame the holiday weekend, and will likely go visit with my sweet boys in the next few days. Last report I got, from Jean who happened to be in Petsmart on Friday, they were curled up together in a non-scared manner on top of their litter box.
On Saturday, I opened the half-door at the end of the hallway upstairs and gave Martin, Melodie, Moxie and Dodger the run of the house.
They were distinctly underwhelmed.
Martin eventually made it downstairs and did some exploring on Saturday, became a little more comfortable on Sunday, and by mid-afternoon on Monday, he was helping the big cats clean their plates at snack time (the upstairs foster kittens get their “snack” of canned cat food first thing in the morning. The big cats downstairs get theirs mid-afternoon.). The other three have been down several times to look around, but they’re more comfortable hanging out upstairs. It’ll take them a little more time to spend any real time downstairs, which isn’t surprising – they think of upstairs as “home”.
The biggest surprise to me is how well the big cats have dealt with the little cats. Reacher and Corbett genuinely like the little cats, and have been seen playing with them and giving them the occasional lick on top of the head. Neither Reacher nor Corbett have Bolitar’s drama-queen nature, so aren’t picking on the babies.
So far, so good!
Corbett’s got a bit of the ear floof going on. Nothing like his half-brother Gus, but certainly a bit more floof than your average cat.
2009: I like to think that the chickens are sitting on their eggs thinking “Why do I keep craving birthday cake…?”
2008: No entry.
2007: Pretty good for kittens I was absolutely positive would be unadoptable due to their feral nature when I first saw them, ain’t it?
2006: Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straightened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin’?
2005: I didn’t get any pictures of it, but last night the stank coming off Rambo’s hindquarters was so strong that we finally gave in to the inevitable and gave him a bath.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: IT’S NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS WHO IT IS.
2000: Am I not an ass-kicking WalkAerobics diva?