Pages

Friday, June 15, 2012

I've said it once, and I'll say it again.

Homesteading ain't for sissies.  And neither is getting old.  So, if you're an old homesteader does that mean you are some kind of hondo-woman?  Hmmm.  Mehbe.  My mornings have been in a rut.  Get up at 4ish (can't help it, honest); let dogs out and (quietly) yell a Bernie to NOT rip down my fence to get at the rat trap.  Iron, knit, wash dishes, or whatever until 6.  Feed dogs/cats.  Walk dogs.  Check rat trap (always full - they are either stupid or in a rut, too).  Feed me.  Let out Chickens One and then Chickens Two (the Fricassees).  Feed and water same.  Feed goaties.  Feed sheepies.  Do a little bonding (iffy) with Camel-girl.  Water things. Pack lunch.  Shower.  Dress for work.  Put loaded rat trap in car and deliver to neighbor for part two of catching rats (don't ask and I won't tell).  Drive to work.  Where, I bet, NO ONE ELSE had to deal with rats before breakfast.

At least some of my chores will be lighter after Saturday.

Because of the fate of my friend, M's, Red Rangers, I did not put mine out 'on pasture'.  Too many varmints out there with blood in their eye.  So they have been living (cozily) in the smaller coop with a nice, safe fenced-in area.  This worked out well in the beginning but, as these meat-specific birds go, they are now lumbering around like small, feathered Godzilla characters.  I have been trying to train them to go into the coop at night by turning on the interior light to make it look all homey and welcoming.  I must be out of my mind.  Some do stagger up the ramp and go in.  Some go partially in, then think it's just a swell place to turn around and plop down in the doorway to see the sights.  Which completely blocks access for the rest of the ignoramuses.  So, every night for the past 6 weeks, I have been chasing the Stubborn 5 (as I call them) who refuse to go in, and heaving placing them gently in the coop.  Which results in much hoopla and banging around.  Then I turn off the light and all is blissfully quiet.  Well, Saturday is F-Day (as in Fricassee) and all but three are heading off to Kamp Kenmore.  I am keeping a breeding group because I will never EVER raise 15 again.  And, get this, I am participating the processing.  With my neighbor, the Lithuanian Lawnguy, and Kay.   They both have experience in this type of thing.  I do not.  But, not being one to back down from a new experience - no matter how gruesome it may be - I am taking responsibility for what I eat.  I get to do the plucking.  Oooooh.  Gritty details will be forthcoming.  But no pictures.  I may be a sissy, after all.

18 comments:

  1. Wow, it makes "hefting boxes for a friend who is moving" sound almost blissful :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Holy moly! That's quite a morning "to do" list. (Understatement!)

    Kudos to you, though. I'm so glad I found your blog. It's good for me to read about what it's like before taking any big steps in the homesteading direction. Right now, my little backyard garden is about all I'm prepared for! ;)

    Good luck with the processing too. I'll be interested in reading about your experience, Susan.

    Have a good weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey, there's nuthin' wrong with including pictures of the trip to Camp Kenmore. (Love that . . . Camp Kenmore . . . LOL!)

    You remain my homesteading hero. I could NEVER do all you do and keep your up-beat, wacky, love-of-live outlook. Plus (if possible) your writing is getting wittier by the post. Wish I could write like you. (And get up as early as you do.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your daily "before work even starts" routine makes my head spin. As MamaPea says, you are my homesteading hero. I'm glad Paul doesn't read your blog very often otherwise he'd be telling me what a lazy sloth I am (which, I admit, is true at times).

    Hope your first butchering day goes well. And don't forget to keep those livers!! Mmmmm, fried chicken livers! My mostest favoritest part of chicken butchering day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sylvie - I cannot WAIT to heft boxes! Sounds like a walk in the park.

    RS(Me) - Well, I'm glad you found my blog, too! If for nothing else than to show you what NOT to do as you venture forth in homesteading.

    Mama Pea - Oh, just pshaw, shucks, and dagnabit. I have been working on maintaining 7 hours of sleep but it is very tricky when it's still pretty light at 9p! I just wanna stay up 'til dark!

    CR - Liver, feet, all that good stuff. I'm tryint to look at it as an anatomy lesson. Tell Paul to mind his own beeswax - you are anything but a lazy sloth.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Susan, I tip my hat to your willingness to "take responsibility for what you eat." Too many are willing to do the eating but want nothing to do with what comes before, which is a cop-out IMO. Me, I pick fruit and vegetables. I have no problem "plucking" them! ha

    ReplyDelete
  7. I actually took a $50 poultry processing class! I could write a book on that experience! I'm really glad I did it, tho. I now just "help" with the butchering of my meat birds...but I have a much greater appreciation of the fellow that does the "dirty deed" for me. I trade him 3 to 1...I get three he gets one.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Michelle - I have wavered since teenage years on the vegetarian/omnivore dilemma. Who knows? If I can't take this, then, hellllo veggies!

    Lynda - That's what I did with my neighbor. He's the one who will do most of it and I've worked out a 4-to-1 trade. It's a win-win. And Kay buys hers for what it cost me to raise them. That would be a win-win-win.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You do too much....seriously!!! I could never get all that done on a daily basis!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I remember when we raised rabbits when the kids were young. We explained that the parents could have names, but he babies were going to be dinner. One Sunday when Becca was napping and Matt was busy in his room, Bruce butchered them, and then I dressed them and brought them in to freeze. They were hanging off my fingers via their hocks. As I walked in, Becca was sitting in the living room, having awakened from her nap. She said, "Wha's dat?" I said, "These are the baby bunnies, Becca." To which she replied, "Easter bunny. No clothes on. Eat it!" Matthew then thundered down the stairs and requested to see the heart, lungs, and liver. I guess we did all right preparing the. Bruce and I were still slightly nauseated from the whole process.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I haven't processed my own birds yet, but I did just process my own rabbits. It was easier emotionally than I expected. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sometimes chickens, we love em, are just stupid :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good grief, just reading about your early morning exhausted me.

    So funny about those chickens not wanting to go in at night. You can't bribe them in with some scratch?

    Processing isn't "fun" but it's one of those necessaries. I never post photos either though, LOL. Seems to be enough just to blog about it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sure is a full morning! And your right, it "ain't for sissies" Hard work, but worth it.
    Plucking, isn't so bad, but the gutting, yuck! But we have a plucker...and my husband does the gutting! Have fun, um if you can!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've got 34 meaties in the yard right now, terrorizing the bugs and seedlings. (Mind you 3 hens just lost their heads for less, but they were psycho) I bought a fantastic, fabulous, much coveted WhizbangChickenPlucker off of ebay, as it cost the same amount that driving all the way to town to have them processed would have. I hate the processing, but I love the dinners! What can I say? Mine go in the shed at night just fine...maybe your guys are just too lazy to go up a ramp??? OH btw....I am impressed you get up at 4. I can't even wake up to pee that early!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've got 34 meaties in the yard right now, terrorizing the bugs and seedlings. (Mind you 3 hens just lost their heads for less, but they were psycho) I bought a fantastic, fabulous, much coveted WhizbangChickenPlucker off of ebay, as it cost the same amount that driving all the way to town to have them processed would have. I hate the processing, but I love the dinners! What can I say? Mine go in the shed at night just fine...maybe your guys are just too lazy to go up a ramp??? OH btw....I am impressed you get up at 4. I can't even wake up to pee that early!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good for you for participating in "the deed!" I wish I had some neighbors willing to show me how or even access to a poultry processing class like Lynda did! You are going to have some mighty good eating with your homegrown chickens! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Kamp Kenmore! Sounds, um, interesting...

    ReplyDelete