Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rabbits

We've gotten a few more rabbits since I last posted anything here. I am breeding satins for show, meat and pelt. I like pretty colors and the satins give me that in spades.
This is Nora's latest litter. Nora is not a purebred but I couldn't part with her when we transitioned into the expensive bunnies. She's an amazing mother and has such a sweet personality. For some reason the weather has made this breeding season very hit and miss. Nora only had three kits, but she's got enough milk to feed a dozen. My sister had a New Zealand rabbit who wasn't able to feed all of hers, so we fostered two of them to Nora. The white kits are a bigger breed and older than my satins. See what a difference feed makes to kits?

They are more active by the day and their eyes have finally opened, almost a week later than they should have. They are now 2 weeks old and starting to explore outside of the nest box.

I have two more litters that weren't cooperating for pics today. One litter of 8 consists of three coppers, three gold tipped steels and two booted broken gold tipped steels.
The other litter of 3 has a black, a broken black silver martin and a broken chinchilla.

Out of 18 kits, only 4 are approved colors for show. Fair this year might be difficult.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Trying this again...maybe?

   I've been doing more and more homesteading type of things that someone recently suggested that I write a blog. Yeah that one made me chuckle.
 
    Anywho. The bees are getting extreme as are my reactions to them. We have nearly sixty hives now with 20 more queens arriving next week for splits. When you have that many bees, you are bound to get stung. Often. Last year I got to a point where I would swell quite badly with each sting and the last few made my throat feel fuzzy. I am thinking an epipen is in my future. Just in case things go downhill in a fast way.
  

   We are expanding our product line to include honey, creamed honey in several flavors, lip balm, candles, heel balm, woodworkers crème, anti itch cream and a few others. We have been doing so many local events that I also bought an observation hive so people can see the queen and watch her lay. HUGE HIT! Kids in particular loved being able to see a queen bee and watch bees work up close and personal without the risk of being stung.
  

   We are selling our honey in several local stores and have been super busy keeping up with that. We got on average of 800 lbs of local honey plus we bought 2,000 lbs of honey from another beekeeper in Utah. It's all almost gone for the season so I guess we're doing alright.



   One of the biggest obstacles this year has been the weather. It's still snowing off and on. The blooms are way behind and some plants just never blossomed at all. We had our bees in a remote yard and at one point had to snow shoe in to check on them. So we are spending more time and money feeding the bees this year. That's ok though. The more we feed them now, the more honey they will give us later. We are going to try for almond pollination next year. We will have to move the bees to California in November to keep them strong enough to take to almonds in February. Leaving them here, they get cold and shut down brood production so they end up not strong enough during almond season. Not sure how I feel about that. I don't like turning over control of my bees to someone else. We'll have to see how that one goes.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Cathartic writing

I recently encouraged a friend to write a blog. It's cathartic to write it out. With no filters. Just write. I realized I missed it. So here I am. Currently our area is under massive fire emergencies.  Our property is good but the smoke is thick on the air. We've got hundreds displaced. My county is very rural. The largest town has a population of 3000. It's a lot of ranches and farms and sprawling property. It's also a lot of poor. They depend on their property to sustain them. They grow their own food, well water and many only have rudimentary power access. So now they are left basically destitute. Our rural area also means we are a largely volunteer firefighting zone. With older equipment and lack of easily replacing. Honestly it breaks my heart. I wish I knew how to help.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gonna give this another shot

I haven't posted here in over a year. Life has gotten crazy and I need a way to let it out, so here goes!
    The bee business has taken off and we are up to 22 hives. We rescued three swarms last year and gained lots and lots of experience. We have plans to double or triple our hives this year and hopefully make some money at this.
   Water is so expensive that a garden might not be a reality any more. I am going to try for a small one and see how it goes.
   I started a new job at a pawn shop and really enjoy it. I have a wonderful boss who has been a friend for years. I can be at work when the kids are in school and home when they are. Even though they are much older now, they still can't be left home alone.
   We have three goats that provide meat and milk for our family. Daisy is the oldest and had twins last year. She and her daughter Rosie are both bred to a boer for kids this summer. Walker is a pet and since we can't eat him he is being trained as a pack goat for hunting season.
   The rabbit situation has changed, I now have satins rather than a bunch of rescued mix breeds. We ate one of last years baby rabbits and the whole family really enjoyed it! We have three purebred, pedigreed satins for the kids to show and one satin mix that I keep because she's such a good mother. Right now I have 12 kits that are a week and a half old. They are just starting to open their eyes and jump around.
 


Friday, February 6, 2015

Dreaming about seeds.

Every morning I wake up and see my land out of my window. No neighbors, no strange cars driving by. Just my fences, my pond, my room to grow. I've started dreaming about gardens and greenhouses. Dreaming about fruit trees that I want to plant and compost. I feel oddly free here. Less stress and worry. Less pain. Less fatigue. I'm ready to be me again.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Rural vrs Urban gun woes in Washington State

I have beautiful acreage. My kids love exploring, even in the snow. My husband is so content, down to his soul. Which is a beautiful change after years of working in a job full of danger and stress and frustration. Years of holding the lives of his friends in his hands and seeing problems no one would solve took a huge toll. So this move was for more than just getting the land we wanted. It was to give him a chance to breathe, to rest, to have some peace.

He has found all of that here. And our girls are thriving. Our teen has blossomed out of her shell into a confident geek. Our little kinder is a huge hearted ball of fire and loving school.

On to me. I love our home, our town. I love looking out at the trees and enjoying the quiet. I've found great doctors so far. The smaller house means more time to write. I found my local RWA chapter so I can connect with other writers. I found a gun club and woman's shooting group.

One interesting tthough. I594. We hadn't closed by election day so I wasn't a Washingtonian yet. The breakdown was interesting. Almost every rural county voted it down and the urban passed it. I think the rurals saw some of the coming problems. And problems are showing themselves as the vague language truly hits home. Road crews, police, large construction sites are impacted because flare guns and certain nail guns fall under the law requiring a background check to transfer. Leagues, ranges, classes are impacted because of the transfer wording.

I think it could get very interesting in this state. Some LEO have said they will not enforce this. We will see I guess.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Homestead time.

Finally am not in limbo an able to share my life again. For a good long while I had to be very mum about things because we were trying to get moves in place and ready on our time frame rather than due to the choices of others.

We are now the happy owners of over 20 acres in North East Washington State. We are within spitting distance of the canadian border. We have pasture and timber. We are withing a few hunderd yards of a large lake. We have a pond. The house is smaller and one story making things much easier on me. We are finally able to really homestead. Grow and raise and make and be. I get to put my knowledge to use. I get to improve my health. I get to get back to writing. My girls are in schools with only 400 kids. The nearest town where they go to school has a population of 3000. It's awesome. So look forward to some posts on my new chapter. I plan to explore so much. Making my own soaps and body products due to my chem sensitivity, growing a garden, canning it all, hunting more, shooting more. Very excited.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Victim shaming is shamful.

Recently two very big stories dealing with abuse have hit the news. First the arrest of Sons of Guns patriarch Will Haden on multiple sex abuse charges including the rape of a minor. Then the video of Ray Rice knocking out his then fiance Janay in a pretty brutal elevator fight.

Both stories have shocked their respective communities and the world. Story after story floods my facebook and twitter. A dear friend works in the domestic violence sector and has had almost non-stop interviews.

The thing that has pissed me off though is the victim blaming bull crap. Why did Stephanie Haden stay quiet all these years? She could have done this or that........ Why did Janay marry him? What was she thinking?

Seriously? !? Many victims go throuh a slew of emotions and have a journey they have to travel. They can feel shame, feel denial, disbelief. They can blame themselves or feel like they deserve it. They don't feel safe sharing or don't feel like they will be heard.

It is not for us to judge. It is not for us to force them to tell their stories or accept help. It is not for us to rail at them for making a choice we think we would make differently when we are not walking their road.

I have no real memory of what happened to me. I had years of nightmares. Of being tiny and faceless men. I have the suspicions of my grandmother.  I have my biological mother's police record from the years that followed and her behavior with me that makes those nightmares and suspicions a whole lot more plausible.  That explains a lot of the weird hangups and frustrating issues that have interfered with my life and relationships that took a whole lot of therapy to face. Sometimes I can talk about it but sometimes I can't.  Sometimes the words or thoughts choke me. They press on my chest, they confuse me, they make me feel weak and inadequate.

So please, when you read a story, or even hear something from someone, please just listen and love them no matter what. No matter the path they are on or the choice they are making.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

My thoughts on Robin Williams

I tried to think of a witty title. Some catchy phrase or comforting words to convey my thoughts and pull in readers but honestly every article or blog I've seen has covered the gamut and almost all have just felt off. I feel like so many of the pieces I've read have fit into two categories. They either approach things as a tribute and a "he's free" vibe or they bash him as selfish or cowardly.

To me both are wrong, harmful, and so incredibly dangerous. I've battled with depression my whole life. Before my illness had a name and before I had a support system who supported, believed, and encouraged I attempted suicide. Depression, anxiety, bipolar or any other mood disorder is so much larger than a quick fix. It is often a life long battle. I can't know his thoughts, no one can, but I know debilitating illness. The news of his Parkinsons diagnosis I think sheds more light on his motives. No matter what drove him we must be careful in glorifying or condemning. Instead we have to focus on helping others. On his life. Those are the stories I've liked most.

To me the most important part of this is that he hit a point where he felt so hopeless that he made the ultimate irreversible choice and that we must all make sure that we love those around us so completely that they know that no matter what battle they face they are never judged, never alone, and never forsaken. We must listen. We must love. We must be the light in their darkness.

We must also be willing to talk, to seek help, to count on others when we feel lost. I've been in med changes recently and it has brought back some pretty hard core anxiety attacks. At first I was very resistant to even talk about them. I hate adding more issues for the people I love to see. And that just made them worse. I had to count on the people I love, even at 3 AM.

Be a light. I hope I am.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Beautiful You.

Lately a lot of media has been about how the media impacts women. Which honestly does not help much. Either we are being shown horrible standards of beauty that are just not realistic or we are being told that they are lies by being shown more unrealistic images as examples of what's unrealistic. It's very rare to actually have an ad campaign that has healthy images or behavior. 

I have spent all my life hating my body. I could fill a book with things that bug me. As I grew up I never heard that I was beautiful.  I never heard that I was amazing. I was told to lose weight, to exercise,  to be active. I know my dad never meant it to be hurtful. He genuinely saw it as constructive criticism.  To a girl though and mixed with the bombardment of media it was enough to build a woman full of self hate.

My husband took that woman though and he built her up. He taught me that I was worth something inside and out. That I have beauty. He taught me I am amazing. To the point where I actually get taken by surprise sometimes when I look in a mirror. The beautiful woman I feel like now gets surprised by the disheveled hair or the stain on my shirt from cooking dinner. I double take when I notice that annoying pimple or flour on my hip. I no longer feel frumpy even if most days I'm in cotton pants and a tank.

I've realized mirrors are a huge enemy. They can suck confidence faster than almost anything. So my advice to you is this: surround yourself only with people who lift you, toss out the mirrors, and give media the finger. Be beautiful you. Because you are amazing.