Monday, August 31, 2009

And the Winner is ...

I posted a long time ago about a family contest - a race. The idea was that if I could pay off my car before YoungerSon got his braces, I win (or at least I will be able to make my car payments payable to the orthodontist - which is as close to winning as the Transposzing parents are gonna get with this one.)
When the race started, YoungerSon still had a whole bunch of baby teeth. At the initial consult, the orthodontist said the baby teeth would have to be out before the braces could go on - and we were just hoping that some of those teeth would hang in there until my car was paid off.

Well, today the braces went on - even though YoungerSon still has one lonely baby tooth left (no fair!). My car is still a couple of months from being paid off - BUT - we paid off DearHusband's car last month.

So who won the race?

The orthodontist, I guess.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Girl ...

... you'll be a woman soon. (we hope!!!)



















Our "little girls" are now officially bigger than "the ladies" (they are a heavier breed than the red hens). I'm thinking it's about time for these freeloaders to get to work.

"When will my pullets finally start laying?" is the most popular question on the Backyard Chickens online forum which I frequent. The best answers I have seen are:

... the day after you give up on them ever laying
... the day you break down and go to the grocery store and buy eggs
... the day you sit down and do the math, figuring out exactly how much you have invested in your first egg.
... the day you think that you might be hungrier for fried chicken than you are for eggs

The more serious responders have posted "clues" - things to watch for when they are getting close. Wilma and Betty have met most of the criteria - though it seems they are still a bit pinker in the comb than the ladies, whose combs and wattles are a very vibrant red. Hens need about 14 hours of daylight to lay eggs and with fall soon upon us, the days with 14 hours of daylight are waning, if not already past. We had thought we wouldn't use artificial light in the henhouse to keep them laying in the winter - but we made no firm decisions about articifial light in the late fall. Technically, winter doesn't start until Dec. 21, right?

Twenty weeks is the average age for the first egg from Buff Orpingtons. By my count, they will be about 19 weeks this weekend.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Scenes from a Vacation

My family and I returned on Sunday afternoon from a lovely week of vacation at the Medayto Lodge in Spicer, MN - it's becoming an annual summer tradition to spend this first week of August with our extended family on DearHusband's side.

It was a relaxing week and members of my family spent it fishing and reading and hiking and swimming and napping and talking and eating.

Here are some visual highlights:




Fishing is always on the agenda for our boys, and they got a bunch of it in.


















We had a couple of rainy mornings toward the end of our week, but we managed to find indoor activities during those times. Happily, the rain events usually ended within just a couple of hours.



















On one of the more overcast days, my BIL announced that he was going to take the boys and go fishing at a nearby weed bed on the lake. Months ago I had seen directions online for how to make a St. Brigid's cross from reeds and had always wanted to try it. So I asked him to cut me a good handful of them while he was out there. When they returned, I found the instructions online (we were able to get some spotty internet service there), and I was amazed at how easy they are to make. So I made one - and then I showed some of my other rels how to make them and we made ALOT of them!



















The evenings were especially lovely!





















We are already looking forward to next year!