Tatanka, Screen Replacements and Molting Chickens (plus a few other things.)

aug 20 2014 011 It seems a bit early to me, but there are several chickens who are molting. Bud jokingly told me that it looked like one of our chickens had gotten eaten by a predator. Even though I knew the feathers were from molting, I had to go count the chickens. Yep, all there.

When chickens molt, it takes a lot of protein to make the new feathers coming in. The protein that would normally go toward making eggs is being utilized elsewhere. Consequently, they stop laying while molting and the amount of eggs we collect goes way down.

I have been buying eggs from the Soap Lady. Her son has about 75 chickens that produce eggs which they sell.Β  So the other day, I got in my car, and drove down the gravel road to her house. She is about two miles away. We have to drive about 20 miles an hour on the gravel road. It seems like it takes about 10 minutes to get there. (If you want to do the word problem and figure it out, go ahead, but I’m not going to waste the brain power to do so. I’ve always hated word problems.)

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I had already called the Soap Lady first to ask her when would be a good time to come get the eggs. She said anytime was fine. When I got there, she said she hated to charge me for the eggs. (I have been buying a lot of eggs from her lately.) I already insisted that she take more than her original suggested price (which was ridiculously low.) I told her that if I had something to ‘barter,’ I’d do it, but the way I saw it, with one of them out of work, they could use the money, and we could use the eggs. She seemed satisfied with that. I feel like I’m getting a steal for those good, healthy eggs. As I returned the egg cartons from the last eggs I’d bought, I apologized that Grace had gone bonkers one evening, climbed up on the counter, and used one of the egg cartons as a toy and mangled it. She waved it off. I took the two dozen eggs from her and headed back home.

Aug 19 2014 030

I was hoping I would see the Tatanka at the fence by the road. I mentioned in one of my last few posts that the Mennonites have Buffalo. I don’t know why. They haven’t said why, and I haven’t asked. I suspect they might have them to keep the grass mowed. It’s time consuming to brush hog acreage, and it’s also costly to hire someone if you don’t have your own tractor to do it yourself. The Mennonites keep their homesteads very tidy looking. We’ve heard that the son who owns most of the acreage burns the underbrush once a year. I don’t know how it’s done without starting a forest fire. I guess that remains to be seen. The pasture, I guess, is managed by the Buffalo.

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I just snapped these pictures quickly. I kind of felt like I was doing something wrong, somehow. I was on the road, and kind of in the driveway to their church (which is right across from this hill.) I think the buffalo are magnificent-looking. They are huge! When I got out of the car, they started coming toward me. I think they might have thought I had a treat for them. (Again…there’s that ‘treat vibe’ I give off.) I was kind of alarmed at first. When they saw I didn’t have anything for them, they stopped. I noticed there were several calves in the herd.

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Here is a buffalo joke for you that Bud told to me today:

What did the Buffalo say to his son as he was going off to college?


(Yuk, yuk, yuk.) πŸ™‚

The view up there at the top of the hill where the buffalo roam is one of the best views around these parts. I’d like to go up there one day at sunset and take some pictures. This picture is facing west, and the sunsets up there are spectacular.

Aug 19 2014 040

In other news, I do home repairs! I repair things! You have to understand that am completely un-mechanical.Β  I hate instruction manuals, and I become completely paralyzed when something breaks or I have to put something together. I’m more of an ‘assistant’ when it comes to repairing or building something.

Something possessed me the other day, and I decided to try my hand at replacing the screens. We have a number of them that are busted out or have holes in them. It was really much easier than I had anticipated. I highly urge you to try it if you have some screens that need to be replaced. If I can do it, ANYONE can do it.

Here are the steps:

1) There is a rubber string thingee that holds the screen in place. Find where the end of it is and pry it out with something sharp. I used the knife that Bud bought specifically for me (because every country gal needs a sharp knife.)

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2.) Pull the rubber string thingee that holds the screen in all the way out, and remove the old screen.

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3) Measure the new screen material over the frame and cut the new piece.

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4) Make sure the screen is lined up straight. Take the end of the rubber string thingee, press it over the screen into the groove at one of the corners to get it started, and then use your screen replacement tool thingee to press it in all the way around.

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5.) Using a utility knife (or your country-girl knife,) trim the excess screen material close to the rubber string thingee.

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6.) Take the finished screen, and hold it high above your head as you proudly walk inside the house (watch out for the ceiling fan) to show your hubby what you did, while singing the ‘March from the Nutcracker’ as you strut around with it.

Seriously…if I can do it, YOU can do it. This was monumental for me. Hey, Everybody! I repair things!

Aug 19 2014 029

My fried okra came out okay. I chopped it in pieces, I beat an egg and put the pieces in the egg mixture and let them soak for about 15 minutes. Then I dipped them in cornmeal with a little salt and pepper. I fried them in coconut oil (my frying oil of choice.) Next time I will use bacon grease (as suggested by a friend.) They could have used a little more salt, and I bought Bob’s Red Mill Organic cornmeal (to avoid the GMO’s) and it was pretty course. It made the cornmeal part hard to chew. It kind of felt like eating those hard unpopped kernals at the bottom of the popcorn bowl. I’m looking forward to trying it again with bacon grease, a little more salt, and some finer cornmeal. The chickens didn’t seem to mind eating the leftovers, and it sure looked pretty!

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We continue to work on the house. Bud has been working on the counter for the pantry. I put Tung Oil on the walls and floor. I think it made the floor, especially, look a lot better. It will help protect the wood from termites and other bugs.

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It was more than I hoped for, seeing that it’s an old floor, and was never really intended to be bare as a floor.

It has been hot here, but we are determined to live here without air conditioning. Everyone comments on how much cooler it is down here in the ‘holler.’ Today, there is a heat index warning. Thankfully, it always cools down at night.

That’s all of the news from Lake Winnipesaukee. ‘Hope you all are having a good week.

aug 20 2014 023

10 thoughts on “Tatanka, Screen Replacements and Molting Chickens (plus a few other things.)

  1. I am soo proud of you for tackling the screen. I may try that myself. but—maybe not. And the buffalo are gorgeous hunks of animal. I did not see a pic of the calves or one calf. Bet they are cute. If you come upon them again, maybe you could snap a quick pic for me.

    The last pic of your chicken drinking water – is that a running stream that runs all the time? Looked so cool and beautiful.

    Right now and for the last half hour we have been getting lots of thunder like a big rain was coming, but it sprinkled once for a couple of minutes -just enough to wet the concrete- and it is gone. I have been praying for rain so I wouldn’t have to water so much. Perhaps we will still get some.

    Your wood looks rich after you put the oil on it. The grain stands out.

    I just sent you something about a possible hurricane. Please pray that it doesn’t come our way. There is nothing definite at this time, but it does give us time to pray.

    enjoyed your new post and the pictures. It is beautiful up there.

    Love you


    1. I added another picture of the Buffalo. It was one I had intended to include. I think it’s one of the better pictures of a buffalo, to be honest. I just didn’t get it in there the first time. It’s the picture that includes the tractor. There is a large buffalo looking at the camera and the calf is lying down behind it. I didn’t get any pictures of the calves standing up. I’m hoping to go up there one evening, and maybe I can catch the calves being more active. The sun has a tendency to bleach everything in the picture out, so maybe the details will be better too.

      The stream that the chicken is drinking out of is from the spring, and it is ice cold! It’s so cold it’s painful to stand in it. The spring is contained in that little house in a reservoir, and when it is full, the water spills over out into that stream…so yes, it runs all the time. The old owners said it never ran dry all the time they were living here.

      I will pray about the Hurricane. The good thing is that most of their first projections are never right. Hopefully it won’t even come into the Gulf.

      I love you, too, and thank you for reading!


  2. Oh kara, this post is interesting and lovely all the way through. I have some sad sad news for you. I’m so sad about it. Rich recently bought me 15 new chicks. I had them upstairs tucked away in the garage all set up in a big rubbermaid bin. Someone left the upstairs slider open and in less than a day they were eaten, all but 2 of them. I am crushed. I only had them for 3 days.
    The wood floors are so beautiful. I love wood floors, especially dark ones like that.
    Proud of you for the home repairs!!!
    Bub’s joke made me laugh.


    1. I’m sorry to hear about your chicks. 😦 I would be devastated. Are you going to get some more to replace them? I’m hoping to get some chicks when we get our new hen house built. Bud said he’s thinking he’ll start on it in September! I’m very excited about having a new, more secure and larger place for them.

      Thank you for your sweet comments!


  3. I so love your posts, I find myself looking forward to f your new posts, you have some of the same interest as I!!
    Your okra looks delish!! Great job on the screens too! My husband works crazy hour right now, so I’m doing things around here now too, so I know it it feels to work it!!
    Hope your chickens hurry with their molting, however it’s nice you can get good eggs from the neighbor while they are busy with the molting thing!! LOVE the buffalo joke! The buffalo are really pretty, I bet they eat them?!!Buffalo taste like -beef if I remember right?!!


    1. Yes, we really DO have a lot of the same interests! πŸ™‚ Thank your kind words. I considered that they might eat the buffalo, but I’m hoping that they don’t. I have seen Buffalo meat for sale in the whole foods market, so I know that some people do eat it. I would imagine that you are definitely stretching yourself doing things your husband might have normally done. It really feels good, though, to conquer those things like that, doesn’t it? It feels empowering. We can fix stuff, man. πŸ˜›


      1. I like to be miss fix it! I was always the one my mom called on when she needed something hung up or small jobs! I actually wish I could do more…. if it comes to electric, or plumbing, or building something, well lets just say I’m glad Rob can do that!
        I marvel at how easy he makes it look when he’s fixing things, and I’m really thankful he can do what ever he needs to do to fix the hard stuff. I’ve been filling nail holes and painting today ( I’ve been doing all easy stuff ). I’m amazed at how many holes people put in the walls….
        Hopefully we’ll both do the insulation this weekend if he would ever get a Saturday off… so different then the boat life , but there are ups and downs to both ways of life that’s for sure! Have a good Night, Kim


        1. You go, girl! I feel your pain at filling in nail holes. At least you are not having to pull nails out of a wall. 😦 ‘Hope you have a great day today, Kim.


  4. Lol! I personally would love to see a video of you prancing in all proud to the march of the nutcracker! I’m proud of you for repairing your screens! People here in our area say that it will be an early winter, because the animals are shedding their coats early this year.


    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚ I usually have some sort of mental block where it comes to fixing things, so this was a monumental thing for me. I’m thinking the early winter must be it, too. I’ve also heard that the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a severe winter. I remember reading in ‘The Long Winter’ by Laura Ingalls Wilder, that Pa noticed the beavers were building ultra secure and large homes and predicted they were preparing for a harsh winter. It turned out to be true! So I think God prepares the animals and it’s worth watching. Our weather here has been strange, and we have leaves here that are already starting to turn yellow. I’m hoping it won’t mar the ‘peak season’ of the leaves, because I’m really looking forward to experiencing a real Fall with Autumn leaves. When we were here at Thanksgiving last year, we missed most of the fall leaves. Most were brown and on the ground. That was cool, in and of itself, along with the Fall-ish weather, but I want the whole shebang this year. πŸ™‚


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