Monday, January 21, 2008

Spring must be coming, my catalogs are here!

Things are looking up at Crosswinds farm. I don't normally share a lot of personal information here, but the last 6 months have been a bit of an adventure for us, to say the least. On August first Gary was informed that the company that he worked for was downsizing, cutting back it's workforce, and he would be out of a job effective immediately. No severance package, no more company car or insurance. After the initial shock wore off, we tried not to get too worried as we were confident that he would find something quickly. Over the last few months, Gary has had lots of interviews and job offers....if we would consider moving. But being that we have our feet firmly planted in our fertile Iowa soil, coupled with the fact that I would have to enlist the services of a convoy of semis and potentially an ark to move all of my animals, of course that was not an option.

Keep in mind that I have worked from home for the last, ohhhhh, 20 years or so, by myself, uninterrupted except for the occasional cat jumping into my lap or something of that sort. And now having my dear hubby, who is not used to being home all day, here for 6 months of "quality bonding time", was a bit of an adjustment for both of us. So I am ecstatic to report that after 6 months of diligent job hunting, sleepless nights, and endless budget revisions, he has secured gainful employment with a new company that is a great fit for our family and our lifestyle. Woohooo! Now we can turn the heat up in the house over 60 degrees...I wonder why we haven't had many visitors lately.....

Now that I have become accustomed to Gary being home for all these months I will have to readjust when he starts back to work on February first. :(

With that stressful chapter of our lives behind us, I am turning my thoughts toward spring, and focusing on positive things. My gardening catalogs have started to arrive, and that always gets me excited about the coming season. There is something so hopeful about perusing through gardening catalogs, planning a garden, and dreaming of spring lambs. I just received my 2008 Murray Mcmurray (chicken) catalog, so I am creating my wish list for new chicks that I will be ordering this year. Some of you, (like our dear wise-arse friends, Steve and Sue, that recently gave me this door mat) may be wondering if I really need any more chickens..

...don't be silly, of course I don't need any more chickens, but I have come up with a few good rationalizations to help me justify adding a few hens to the mix:

1. I do sell eggs at the local farmer's market and with the skyrocketing price of eggs, I really do need to bolster my flock a bit. They at least have to pay for their own feed! Hmmm...if I had less chickens maybe they would use less feed.................

2.I like to have my colorful hens wandering around as insect control since I don't use any chemical pesticides on our property. And it is so much fun to see how many people will stop by to let me know that my "chickens are loose". I am assuming that they are concerned about them not being confined, and are not referring to my hen's moral character.

3. When I ordered my chicks last year, they were out of one of the breeds that I wanted, so I HAVE to get some Blue Laced Red Wyandottes this year. And a few more Araucana/Americanas that lay my pretty colored eggs.

4. When you order chicks they have a 90% accuracy on sexing the chicks, so even though I ordered 25 female chicks last time, I end up with a few males which I end up giving away because I don't keep any roosters. And I don't eat anything with a face or a mother so they had to find new homes. Now I need to fill in with a few more hens, right? (Factoid: You do not need a rooster for hens to lay eggs, they will lay regardless, the eggs will just not be fertile).

For those of you who have not had the adventure of ordering chicks, it is pretty much like ordering anything else from a catalog...except it's a box of chickens...and postal workers call you from your local post office and say "hey, we have a chirping box here for you to pick up".

This is how it works, you thumb through the catalog, pick out your favorite chicks and pick the dates when you would like delivery, then send your order (FYI don't mark the box that asks if you want a free rare breed chick with your order, that is their way of getting rid of all the extra boys). They ship the chicks within a few hours of hatching. The chicks absorb the yolk sac prior to hatching and that is all the food and water that they will need for their little voyage. Then Voila, you have your box-o-chickens. There is a minimum order of 25 chicks so that they can keep each other warm. Don't panic, I will be splitting my order with a friend...I'm not keeping them, really. Why don't you ever believe me?


Unknown said...

No talk of the Seed Saver's catalog!? I am, once again, ashamed of my lineage.

Crosswinds Farm said...

That is an excellent point Justin! I better order a catalog....or maybe take a road trip to Decorah where they are based out of..or both.

Michelle said...

Corinne, I had no idea you were going through such a stressful time! Congratulations on the new job (and paycheck), and a brighter new year.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting.
You are an excellant writer. This is actually better then some of the papers I read.
The photo's are great also.
You deserve all the good things you are receiving.
The secret to happiness is finding the joy in all the things around you. You have that.
Glad to hear things are going good for Gary.
Say hi to all your family for me.


Crosswinds Farm said...

Thanks Michelle!

Thanks Tom,I am glad you like the blog.
I find joy in the things around me because...well...simple things amuse simple minds :).

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