It has been a very chaotic and eventful last couple of weeks. Thankfully we've all survived here (so far, anyway), but I am still looking for a way to turn 24-hour days into 30-hour days. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.
Probably the most worrisome of all the events was when my beloved 13 1/2 year old Aussie woke up one morning and couldn't keep his balance.
I called my vet who asked me to bring him in and once he took a look at him, he decided we should first treat the problem as an inner-ear infection. If the antibiotics didn't work, we'd then know we were dealing with the effects of a stroke.
Thankfully Charlie is slowly recovering. He gets eardrops twice a day and oral antibiotics three times a day, and while he's not very happy about the doctoring, he is in great spirits. He can now walk and even trot around the place a little. He does fall down still every so often if he's not careful, but he seems happy and able to make his way around pretty well, so I think ol'Charlie will still be around for a while.
The second major event around the farm here was my decision to let the turkeys be used for their intended purpose.
To be honest, I'm still a little bummed about it. I do miss their gobbling around the place and seeing the pretty toms strut their stuff, but it was for the best. One of the hens was no longer able to walk and another was limping, and soon, because of their weight, they would all be in the same position. A friend of mine knew some people able to process them appropriately, so we loaded them all up one morning and that was it. I did find out that the large tom dressed out at 35 pounds!
By the way, if a sales clerk at a retail farm store tells you that the unmarked poults are "regular bronze" (meaning NOT double-breasted), don't believe them! I never would have gotten these guys if I had known they were not heritage turkeys.
I don't plan on replacing them anytime soon. To be perfectly blunt about it, turkeys eat a LOT and therefore there is a LOT of mess around that I'm just not willing to deal with again. Chickens are much easier to clean up after, and they just as good of a job taking care of all the insects around the farm.
The third major event of the last couple of weeks has been the start of classes. I'm taking Spanish, Anatomy & Physiology, CPR and a CNA class so I can be licensed to work over the summer and get the clinical experience I need to start my medical career. I was told online classes could be intense, but I had no idea until I actually got started just how truly intense they can be. For example, I had my CPR class all day Friday, then came home and immediately started online homework, finally went to bed at midnight, then got up at 6am, did chores, showered, and did homework and took two online tests until 2pm when I had to stop to get ready for work. I then went to work, got home at 2am and pretty much fell into a coma. I'm still not sure that I've fully recovered, although I only had three hours of online homework this morning, so at least my Monday hasn't been too terribly intense.
Then there's my new computer. Thankfully I got it last Monday and I am very happy with it! I really appreciate my brother's help with picking it out. It was sort of a pain to have to have it built but it got here much more quickly than their estimate, and it was a good thing, too--with all this homework due it would have been even more difficult to have to travel to the library all the time.
I was able to also get all of the new windows for my house except for the two large windows I plan on installing on the south side of the house in the living and dining rooms (to let in extra light). Right now I'm just waiting on gathering up some funds to hire a carpenter to put them in and also to rebuild the front porch. Once those things are done, I can get the second floor completely stripped out and it will be ready for wiring, duct work, and insulation. Progress is slow, but steady!
In the meantime I've been trying to get outside during this gorgeous (winter?) weather!! I've been able to get the old pump house cleaned out--the LAST building that needed to be organized since I moved here. This morning I moved all of my horse medical supplies out of the old barn (that is close to falling down now) and into the tackroom in the new building. It's also getting close to the time that I need to get Bambi in a pen by herself so I can start increasing her feed. She's getting the cutest little baby belly on her! I'm so used to old broodmares that are massive by now, but I am glad she's stayed fairly small since she's such a small, maiden horse. I'm not worried about how big the foal is--I just want her and her baby to get through this in perfect health. This will be the farm's first/last baby in a very long time, so it's going to be quite an event! For those who might have missed the earlier announcements, Bambi is due to foal in mid-April. The sire of the foal is Almighty, whose webpage can be found here: http://www.paintedprairiefarm.com/. The foal will be double-registered APHA/AQHA, HYPP N/N and OLWS N/N. Needless to say, if the foal and Bambi come through the foaling healthy, it would be great to get just enough chrome to make regular registry in APHA as well!
My little farm just keeps plugging along, no matter what happens and day by day it gets just a little bit better. It's not always easy, but I can't ever say it's not worth it.
Living the dream,