Today I've thought a lot about how wonderful this place is. It's as though someone asked me to make a list of everything I'd want in a home, and then custom made it just for me. It's old, but well loved. Some of the floors are tipped and the walls have cracks, but I swear it just exudes peace and a long history of love. The yard is huge, the house is manageable, there's always something new to discover. The kids keep wanting to take the metal detector out again. Maybe tomorrow.
On a sad note, this morning I found three eggs, and the duckling (dead) in a nest on the ground. This was our last hen-hatched duckling. I really thought she was going to make it. I have no idea what happened, but all of the other ducklings also died in the nest - so it has to have some kind of commonality. I don't understand why this is happening, so I have no way to prevent it from happening again. Perhaps next year we will just take the eggs away and not let the ducks hatch their own.
Peg-leg Sue continues to struggle with basic tasks. She's absolutely filthy. I did try to bathe her in the kiddie pool today but she was not happy and I didn't make any progress. She's got mud caked on her face now and I don't know how to clean her up. I did discover that if I set her by the food, and then gently hold her bad leg, she wobbles a bit but is able to eat for a lot longer than when she's constantly losing her balance. She is still not fond of being picked up, but she's getting better. I wish I had another clean place to put her. At this rate she's going to look like Pigsty from Peanuts... She's already halfway there.
I was out in the barn doing chores and I stopped to check in with the paralyzed rabbit. Yes, she's still here... I haven't gotten to processing her and I've been worried about my method considering he rpotential spinal injury. I don't want her to suffer if I botch the slaughter, and since I don't have a back-up method, I've been putting it off. She gets food and water daily. I have her set up in a big open air cage so she has space. The bottom I put two 12"x12" ceramic tiles side by side and she rests on them so her feet don't end up sticking out of the cage. I check in with her daily, talk to her, pet her, clean her up (remember she can't move her back half, so while she does have bladder and bowel control, she can't go to the corner to go potty). Today she was in an odd position - not the one I left her in. Since she can move her front half a little to get closer to the food or move away from it, I figured maybe she just tipped over. I touched her back right leg to move it and she pulled it out of my hand! Wait - what? I touched her leg, squeezed her foot gently, and tried again to move her, and no response. I didn't imagine in, right? So I started to clean up her space and she kicked her leg out again! I got her all situated and set back to a comfortable position, and as I petted her, she was flicking her tail! I'm trying not to get too excited because she still hasn't moved her left leg, and she's still not able to get her feet underneath her or make any coordinated movements, but... She can move! Even just a little... that's amazing!
I've noticed that Sushi really hasn't been eating lately. It's been about a week now, I add his one cup of food, but he hasn't eaten what was there before. He's eating some, but not his entire ration, which is odd because he's a plump buck and he loves his food. His body condition is still good, teeth are as they should be, his claws are a little over grown, but that shouldn't mess with his ability to eat. Normal poops, clean butt, no sniffles. I'm not sure what's up with him. I'm keeping an eye on him though.
Which reminds me, one of the newer ducklings isn't doing well. I found him next to Sushi's cage, all the way across the barn from where the others in his group hang out. He's been there at least 24 hours, and didn't try to get away when I came and picked him up. He was soaked in stinky fluid underneath (likely he laid in Sushi's pee spot), so I brought him out to the pool and let him swim a bit. He drank a bit and moved around in the pool. When the embden goslings came they forced him out (they can be bullies). But then he just walked away and stood there for a while before laying down, like he was too exhausted to walk. So I brought him to the food bowl with the chick starter feed (in case he didn't like the transition to the flock feed). He didn't eat it, but laid next to the food bin. Tonight when I closed up the barn, the other 13 ducklings were out in the barn, and this guy and Peg-leg Sue were huddled up in a corner. I'll have to go check in on him in the morning.
I had hoped to order guinea keets and a couple turkeys from the hatchery, but today they announced a bad hatch this week for turkeys and took them off sale. Well, I don't want 15 guinea keets, even if they are on sale, and that's the minimum to avoid an additional charge. So it would seem we'll be waiting to order guineas and turkeys until next June. Assuming we still want them by then. You never know - maybe I can find someone local.
And in other news, I finally gave up and modified my hair. Having Asperger's means I am adverse to change much of the time. When my life-long hair lady retired a couple years ago, I stopped getting my hair cut (not that I got it cut often anyway). My hair is thick and it works great in the winter to keep my insulated... but in the summer, it's terrible. Today I have #1 shave the back of my head (under my hair so you can't see it unless I have my hair up in a ponytail). So much better!! Now when I start to get too hot I just throw it up in a pony and the wind cools me off! Today I actually resorted to soaking my head, neck, and face in hose water while out watering the gardens because it was just too hot. It was only 85 degrees, but it was humid.
There's no sign of rain in the forecast. That means tomorrow I have to go out and water the fruit trees. Tony jokes we have a nice row of sticks... I wasted so much money ordering fruit trees, buying them locally... Something like 14 fruit trees (average $20-$30 each) and we have two with green leaves... Two. I'm so disappointed with myself. I can do better. I don't know if we will have the funds to replace them next year. It's also going to be a pain in the butt because each of them was landscaped in with mulch and everything, and all that needs to be torn up and replaced then too. The strawberries never came up either. I think all those online garden places are frauds. The only company I ordered from that actually sent me live plants that are still thriving was Baker Creek. They're good people there. Gift certificates for Baker Creek are on my birthday and Christmas list from now on, and I'll pay extra and start with smaller plants to assure they aren't just dead sticks like the other companies send.