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Friday, February 26, 2010

Update: New School Days

Completed my first week of substitute teaching last week. Actually subbing feels pretty good; at the end of the day I walk away without the crippling-to-carry-takes-hours-to-check student work. Just me, the truck keys, and my lightly packed bag ( lighter still 'cause bottled water and lunch are gone). No prep for the next day either!

 I stand amazed at the current crop of high school students in the small nearby town I've signed on with. I'm not used to students sporting beards and moustaches! The "young folks" are polite and well-spoken, save for two I met that day. Quite a difference from my old school district.Not saying that some of the students in my old district weren't polite, but overall, I'm very impressed with these kids from a town that has to remain nameless for security's sake, and ethics reasons, too!
The only problem Friday was concerning water fountains ( "bubblers", for the northern readers); where are they hidden in a modern school? I checked several hallways to no avail. Maybe in the bathrooms? That sounds too awful for words. I did find the teacher bathroom, and was very glad of that.

Next time at the high school I'm going to locate them, just for information's sake. I prefer bottled water in a school situation; you never know what germs lurk in the fountains of public schools. Everything seems to be spotless,though, wherever I look. Whatever germs lurk, I'm avoiding them. My resistance isn't as current as it used to be, out of teaching two years.

I found everything at the elementary school just fine. Seems like home, except you have to be "buzzed in" like at a jewelry store, and all outside doors must be opened with a key card. Don't get between buildings without one, or you'll be making a trip to the office -- probably from the far end of the campus, besides. Security sure has improved in the schools.

Next week is pretty well booked, no problem my being on crutches as far as the schools are concerned. Friday is open, so I'll decide what to do if called on that day. Maybe I'll work, and maybe not. I get to choose these days!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How Much Hay Fits Into a Rabbit's Mouth?

More hay than you think fits in a bunny mouth. Bonnie is building her nest rapidly in these photos. Her kits will be born in just a few hours. Unlike every other rqabbit we've had hers were born in the afternoon. She did manage to get them in the box, but Art had to snuggle them into her fur-lined nest, and cover them. Apparently she's a first time momma, despite her large size. When Art was through settling her babies, she hopped into the nest box to check on his work. It seemed suitable to her, so out she leaped. With the female's litter in the next cage (born Thursday), the baby bunny count is at 40. Two more does due next week Friday, and we'll have close to 50. Then the re-bred does due in two more weeks, but not soon enough to wean for Easter.
I'm actually relieved, in a way, even though I'd aimed for 100 bunnies. The Kleins (wire cutters) have disappeared, and we need some time to build some large holding cages for weanlings. After the sales, the rest will be grown up for meat. Momma needs a new freezer!

Waiting for the next two does to build their nests. No matter how many bunnies we have, it's still exciting!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happiness is...

...seeing another of my articles published in BackHome magazine!

Note the blue box with "Earn Bunny Money" next to the title? Inside this issue is "Makin' Money with Bunnies". The adorable grandson, "Spud", has his picture at the start of the article. He's clutching a bunny, hanging on for all he's worth, with a strange smile. I think he's saying to himself, "Don't drop it, don't drop it. Hang on until  Nana gets the picture."

Just a short blog today. Computer is acting up again, so hang in there with me readers. I may disappear, but count on my being back ASAP.

Today is my first subbing job; I have 1/2 day at Reynolds Elementary, grade 4. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Baby Bunnies

This morning Buttercup has birthed  seven in her first litter! Good going, girl! These will be palominos, golden with white feet, tails, and undersides.  She pulled an amazing amount of hair,as you can see. I pulled it off them to taker the pic and covered them quickly. It's cold and getting colder. Poor "pinkies", hope their fur  grows in quickly!

Two other does have kindled (given birth) in the past two days. We have a total of 27 babies now, and six more does due in the next week and the week after.  Will we get 100 bunnies to wean and sell by Easter? Stay tuned for developments!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Speaking of Ducks

Bird Fever  Strikes Again                    

Indian Runner Ducks, originating in long ago Indonesia, appear caged in the photo above. I really liked watching our "Runners" as they zoomed about their pen. They looked like wine bottles, standing tall and elegant. They also provided numerous delicious eggs for baking-- especially cornbread. We also enjoyed those eggs fried, scrambled and as omlettes. I miss those runner ducks.

 They're used frequently to train sheepdogs for trials because they move as a flock; they moved as a flock the day they got into the green bean patch, and the crazy lady came out and chased them. The beans must have been delicious, there were only leafless twigs left when I found the gate  open. They laughed as they ran from the arm-waving maniac. Not funny, I thought at the time.  The resulting eggs had yolks so orange they made me chuckle. I got to eat those beans secondhand, so to speak.

Francois was a crested Runner. His pom-pom would bobble crazily as he ran. Crested birds are almost as good as feather footed chickens as far as I'm concerned. The crests range from a tuft of feathers to a tophat like Francois'. If his technique with the lady ducks had been better, he would have been a ladies' man, but he was just eager. Annoyingly eager, according to the females as they ran from him, shreiking duck epithets.

The "bird fever" calls me (see prior post). I must have ducks... Muscovy, spotted Magpie, Campbells, Pekins, and Runners.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

No, I Didn't! Really! I Didn't! (yet)

Up front, I need to tell you these are chicks from a past order.  Maybe eighteen months or two years ago, OK? So, Art and Matthew, heave a mighty sigh of relief, I'm not hiding any chickens at this time. Or ducks. Or Guineas. Or geese, either.

Aren't they cute? Look at the grey one with feathers on it's feet; I love feather footed birds. How adorable they are as they speed around their baby enclosure, bright-eyed and alert. Remember how happy I get watching baby birds, guys?

Menfolk of HomePlace! Gird your loins and prepare for spring! The hatchery price list has arrived. Color plates of the birds are available online at

Our current crew of chickens are laying again, its true, but what will happen next winter? We will be eggless again, feeding gluttinous chickens on sabbatical. I know, I picked them, but they were examples of breeds we didn't have. I knew they weren't known for their laying abilities.

Let's get some good layers, Please? Australorpes, Rhode Islands, Barred Rocks, Americaunas, Silver Dorkings? Something?

What about ducks? We have no ducks, either. I miss having geese, but it may be too late for them. Don't worry, I'll check online!

OMG. I have "bird fever" again. The source of contagion is that price list, sent in an innocuous white envelope. I've got it bad. I could be cured with an order of birds, though. Awww! Look at them in that brown shipping box....