I think at this point that Chesterton quote pretty much sums up our life as a family. Case in point–living in Panoche.
Last Thursday, Spence, who had never had a chance before to try hunting anything, had the opportunity to shoot two wild boars that were hanging around our neighbors pastured pig operation trying to get in with the sows. He did very well, killing them both with only three bullets from about 100 yards away. When he drove up to the house with them in the back of the truck I felt very proud of him for killing them so quickly, and somewhat disgusted by the smell of the boars. With the help a of another neighbor the two wild pigs were butchered and the meat distributed to a few different people in the valley. We only kept 10 pounds or so, being a little squeamish about the smell. . .
I may have married THE most useful man on the planet. He can dance ballet and modern and swing and a pretty good waltz, juggle, make homemade beer and soda, chop down a tree with gusto, drive in the snow, and looks pretty damn good on stage. And apparently hunt wild boar like an old pro. What on earth did I do right?
Our little valley has had some rain. A dribble really, but better than nothing. SO much better than nothing! There is finally a shimmer of green on the ground everywhere. If only more cloudy dribbling would happen soon we might have some real grass out there. Grass–you know, that stuff cows like to munch on and children like to run through? And it’s green? And smells good? Sounds so nice I could almost put my face down in it and eat some myself, like old Nebuchadnezzar, gone completely batty at the sight of real pasture.
And the girls have named some of our chicks. They are rapidly outgrowing our brooders, and Spencer is working to build them a coop so that we can put them out of our mudroom for good. Funny thing, the chicks in the top brooder are much more flighty and shy than the chicks in the bottom brooder. Haven’t figured out why yet. Here are some favorites:
Pooster the rooster. Named by Chub, who is obsessed with poop right now. That’s normal, right?
Espencina on the right there. If you know Spencer’s hair, you know why this one is named after him.
Friendly. She likes to roost on my fingers and have her chin rubbed. Ugh, I promised myself not to get attached to any of these girls. Failed at that.
Goggles. Cool looking bird.
Goldie in the middle there is very flighty, and the only chick who looks like she will turn out all white. Her creamy yellow feathers look pretty stunning with her green legs.
This one doesn’t have a name yet but she is really haughty looking. Maybe we should name her Snobby. . .There are already two named Queenie (Queenie 1 and Queenie 2) so we can’t name her that. I couldn’t get any pics of them though, they are in the top brooder and too camera shy to catch a portrait of.
There are also Fluffyhead, Cocoa, Silver, Snow, and Johnny the rooster–none of whom I could get a good pic of. Then the rest of the flock hasn’t and probably wont get names, all 40-odd of them ( we told our landlord we were getting 30, but we are assuming some may meet an unfortunate end via coyote or hawk, and a few are going to meet a more fortunate end in our own digestive systems. Yum).
Oh, and we built an extension onto poor Golds’s cage. This is him in his little porta-run. He can only be in here under supervision because the not-so-little critter can dig or power-hop his way right out if he feels so inclined. He really is a sweet bunny though; very glad we trucked his furry butt with us from MD, as miserable an idea as it seemed at the time. You know, being for all purposes homeless with your kids and cat, might as well throw a rabbit in there! Now that we are settled in somewhere for the time being, he makes a great animal for the girls to play with.
So there you have it. The cat is doing great, the kids are getting big, the chicks are getting big, Spence is managing the dairy now as well as shooting wild pigs, and I am working on making a garden when I have a spare arm. To everyone who told us that you can’t make a living farming, well, there’s this: