Monday, June 6, 2011

Back to Daniel's Farm

Daniel really loved this place. One of the reasons I did not get a chance to travel as much as I wanted to with him, is that he loved the farm and the animals so much, he did not want to leave much. He enjoyed people visiting, and if you could get him OFF the farm, he would enjoy where you would go, but he loved coming home to the farm. He was a "Day Trip" man. I used to try to get him to go to more places, but he tended to get carsick as I did when I was younger. Oddly, if I drive it doesn't seem to be a problem for me, and I think Daniel would probably have grown to be the same.
You may recall that last year, our few Rhode Island Red chickens and rooster began hatching eggs. The rooster is the one Daniel personally selected and brought home two days before his passing. The rooster (or competing hen ?) killed the first two, and in order to save the chicks, we took each of the eggs from them and placed them into a commercial incubator. We had nearly a hundred percent hatch rate, and as a consequence, we were left with about a hundred chicks, half male and half female. Although we plan to sell some, this leave us in dire need of housing for them. In Virginia, chickens need lots of ventilation, and it helps if you can structure something which can be moved around for cleaning. This week I began to think that a large fenced dog kennel, in a protected edge of forest area, with perches and a doghouse styled home, for inclement weather might be a good idea for some of them. Nice looking dog kennels are quite expensive and so I began looking in livestock sale newspapers and dog breeder newspapers for a used one.They apparently sell very quickly. Finally, I went on Craigslist and found one that had just gone up for sale. A man bought one for his dog who had puppies and now that the puppies have all found homes, he was selling it. Adam and I drove a couple of hours away to see it. Then we bought it, disassembled it for transport in the truck, and brought it home. Now we are in the process of identifying the private clearing near the woods where we will place it,and then we must prepare the area. From working on this yesterday I have tick bites, mosquito bites, chigger bites, and some poison ivy from the place where we bought the kennel. We will need several "housing clusters" for these animals, who already supply all our eggs and eggs for some of our neighbors. Since we have plenty of roosters, I will sell them to good homes at the farmers market, the next time I can get up and get all the way there by 7 am ! Most people really appreciate beautiful and healthy Rhode Island Red roosters. They also watch over their hens quite well.
This morning as I slept I was dreaming about visiting an Hispanic family somewhere, and they were speaking to me in Spanish. Then, someone patted my left foot as I was sleeping, and this was unrelated to the dream. I woke up to see what was going on. My husband was asleep, and the cat was in another room. I am left wondering if Daniel or Dad patted my foot, and woke me from a deep REM sleep. Thus far, I do not know what this means. I am also getting the phrase "water damage"in dream. Again, you may think I am a bereaved mother grasping at straws or you may think I am paying attention to things told to me by people I love who have passed. It's your choice.
Tonight at dinner when I saw my daughter and told her about the 4:30am "foot tapping", Stephanie reminded me that Daniel used to pat someone's feet while they were dosing or sleeping so as not to startle them. I do so hope it was Daniel. I love and miss him so.

After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. ~J.K. Rowling

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