Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Dryer is Sick

We've had some sickness in our house this week and unfortunately I think the dryer is now under the weather too. You can tell by the photo that the dryer apparently threw up. I feel so bad for it. I hope it gets better soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Henry is 3!!!!

Henry actually turned three last Thursday, but we went out of town that night and didn't return till the following night.  Then we had General Conference all weekend.  So his party was tonight for Family Home Evening.  I wanted to try another Frozen Butter Cream Transfer, and since I have vowed "no more fondant cakes until I can get rid of this stupid tile countertop", this frosting-only technique was the perfect solution!

The Arthur cake....hand-piped top using FBCT technique

He's happy

Took him a few tries, but he got them blown out

He's actually trying to read the card!

He seems pretty pleased with this one.

And this one.

It's a pillow.  It's a pet.  It's a Pillow Pet!!
Can't believe my baby is three years old.  Now, if I can just convince him that the Terrible Two's are over...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chicken a la Death

Sad, sad news around the Finlayson homestead.

A couple of weeks ago, I walked out to the pasture to feed the chickens some leftover pancakes from breakfast.  I thought it was unusual that they weren't greeting me at the pasture gate as they normally do.  I went to open the gate when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement.  Not chicken movement, mind you.  Large animals movement.

Two big dogs were in the pasture, apparently with no way to get out.  My heart sank.  I looked around and saw piles of feathers everywhere (among other things, but I'll spare you the gory details).  I couldn't see any live chickens anywhere.  I yelled to the kids to go get Rick, and he went running for the BB gun....not that that would do any good now, but that's how we usually scare off stray dogs.

the lone survivor
One dog somehow got out, but the other hid in some downed, dead trees at the far side of the pasture.  We tried to find any survivors, and found only one.  Our rooster, missing feathers and toes and with various surface injuries, was hobbling around.  Poor guy.  All his girlfriends.  Gone.

Some of those chickens we had had since our very first batch of chicks five plus years ago.  Some of them, honestly, I will not miss.  They fly out of the pasture and mess up our garden.  But we had 10+ new chicks that we had recently acquired to replenish our now retired (no longer laying) chickens.

I felt so bad.  Not just because we lost them but because I had heard dogs barking earlier in the morning and should've checked outside then.  Maybe I could have saved some of them from this grisly fate.  I also felt sick that perhaps our lack of attention to the pasture fence perimeter could have been to blame.

So we decided that we would clear out some brush from around the fence and start trying to atone for our lack of care.  It's a big job, and is still not done
(we lost a lot of ornamental pears on that fence line
several years back and have yet to clear them away).  When we got to the area where Bad Dog #2 was hiding, I was ready to just smack that dog into next week.  But after careful observation I could see that she was terrified.
I started to forgive her.  She's a dog.  She found a way in.  She ate what she found.  She followed her instincts. I'm mad that this whole thing happened, but can I blame a dog for being a dog?

Now, if it had not been for the Valentine's Day massacre of '06 (we lost half our chickens through dog attack that time....and I cried like a baby) I would not have been prepared emotionally for what happened.  I was, and still am, deeply saddened by the loss of our ENTIRE flock except the rooster.  But it happens.  It's life.   No one cried.  We just dealt with it.  We were sad.  We made plans for a better coop/fence in the future.  But we dealt with it.  For us, this was an emotional loss and the loss of luxurious, home "grown" eggs.  I can only imagine how devastating this loss would have been to a pioneer.

We will rebuild.  If you don't rebuild, the dogs win.