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Feather Ornaments

23 Oct

Start with dead ring-necked pheasants.  Have your husband skin them instead of plucking!  Thanks to Jay I had two adult males and a hen.

Add some cardboard circles cut from a cereal box, scissors, a glue gun.

Cut and paste.  I  tend to use 6 or 8 feathers per round.  Three rounds, each smaller than the last.  Contrast, contrast, contrast!

Running out of feathers is not the problem.  The toxic fumes from the glue gun drove me outdoors from the shop, and then the breeze sprang up.

For the middle: a small antique button, usually one with a metal loop back which is hammered flat.  To finish,  glue heavy black upholstery fabric slightly larger than the circle and sandwich black cord between the board and fabric for a hanger.

Squirrelkin, Squidgum, Squidjum, and Soap Foam

5 Sep

The Castile girl and I have been having disagreements about what to call and how to spell different ideations of the babies.

Last night and this morning the little squirrels are up to about 10cc total of their milk replacer which is about half Esbilac and half heavy cream.  A combined total: one takes about 6 cc and the other about 4cc.  Then the next feeding the one which took 6cc takes 4cc and visa versa.

Rather than a syringe, I have found that a glass 1 ml pipette works best for feeding.  Last night and this morning I used a 2ml pipette for the first frantic dose.



The smaller one with a broken upper front leg one now has a rubber tubing splint  wrapped with masking tape and with the elbow joint also taped so the arm can not slide out.  That baby is not as happy; pain, probably.

They are housed in a tissue box in the large cage the three flying squirrels used this winter.

A stray antler, a 2.5 inch diameter log chunk, a dry washcloth they use as a latrine,  a couple pieces of dog food, a raspberry and a dab of peanut butter on a spoon complete their abode.

They are fed about 6 times per day and have noticeably gained weight, though I did not weigh them upon arrival and have not yet done so: making their food, feeding them and then cleaning them and the tools up is absorbing plenty of time.

This morning at about 3AM I was washing pipettes.

For a few months we have been using a home made soap solution in a Bath and Bodyworks dispenser that makes soap foam: an ounce or less of a mix of Bronner Eucalyptus Castile soap  , a Tea Tree oil soap  ,  and water, sometimes with a little food coloring for fun.  Those soaps were forms of delayed gratification impulse purchases on my part.  But they have been useful and a very little goes a very long way in the soap foam distribution method.   The Castile soap foam solution cleans the milk fat from the inside of the glass much better than dish washing detergent.  It works well for cleaning eye glasses, too. And, it was first made in Spanish Castile from olive oil and plant ashes.

Anyway, as cleaning progressed,  I recalled that much of my adult life has been spent feeding milk or other food to young creatures.  My MS thesis research involved different strategies of milk replacer delivery and weaning to orphan lambs. That was over 25 years ago.  There have been  more lambs, along with kittens, squirrels, birds, and of course children since then.  It is still fulfilling for me as much as for them.

How to Look like a Million

24 Jul

It is not hard.  Especially in farm country.

For your perusal: this group of dryers, bins, weigh scale, and transport chutes  are used to  dry, store, and move grain (wheat and corn mostly).  The footers for the pad of the largest bin are over five feet under the soil surface.

Treeside Trim

15 Jul

6 big guys with 2 big trucks and 4 small electric chain saws and 2 big chippers  came and trimmed branches.  Was wishing for some little boys…

Big Tractor for those with Small Boys

4 May

This tractor with the thirty-foot disc and cultipacker was working last year’s chisel-plowed alfalfa field Monday.  The Case tractor has double sets of wheels and weights on the front.

The disc folds up when traveling on the roads.

Then the rain came.  A tractor with a stone picker came and went.  This big rig remains.

Water or Gas?

27 Feb

I vote water. For now.

This article in today’s NY Times pushes me off the fence.  This past summer I listened to acquaintances in PA tell about roads degrading under large trucks,  noise, farm land prices soaring–pushing those who wish to farm off the land, contaminated wells.  To drill or no has been a big controversial conversation in this county for the past few years.  And we, Jay and I,  have been on the fence.  Why should the rest of the world provide us with what we have at hand? Why should they bear all the stink and heavy lifting?

But it seems data has been hoarded and problems not revealed.  If we say “No”, the engineers and chemists and geologists will go back to their skills and technology to come up with a less damaging method to extract the gas.  And tell the truth this time.

The Word for my February World is Snow

25 Feb

Waking up I looked outside and said “Again?”.  Yup.  We had a couple or three new inches this morning.  Now we have a few more.  And it is still coming down.  It is pretty.  But the roads are terrible.  And who needs aerobics when the driveway has to be shoveled three times a day?  Ellie sent me a little note this morning:  “A good day to quilt”.


Yesterday Jay and I took a road trip. We bought some lovely grapefruit at a Mennonite grocery.  This little tool is a serrated curved knife which cuts the juicy segments of citrus fruits apart from their papery cover.  I had never seen one until a few years ago. They make eating grapefruit even more pleasurable.


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