Friday, March 23

6:30am – 400 balls of fluff arrive via USPS

We were half-awake and stumbling out the door on our way to low mass when our post office called us to say that our shipment of chicks had arrived. Dad and I went to pick them up after dropping off some of the kids at mass. The post office looked deserted when we walked in and the desk was closed off. I could hear the person back behind the wall of postal boxes sorting mail so I asked through the wall (a little timidly since it seemed a strange thing to do) about picking up the chicks. The lady met us around the back and helped us load up 4 boxes filled with chirping fuzz balls. We drove the birds home and set them up in our sun room with heat lamps, thermometers, and little dishes of water. The temperature is very important since it must stay around 90-95 degrees. In preparation for the chicks David had built a (very elaborate) brooder “cabin”. My uncle, cousin, and grandparents all helped with the process which included first moving the mammoth brooder outside and near the house. Once David had finished installing the water-feeder, and feeding troughs, heat lamps, thermometers, etc. we moved the boxes out and transferred the little chicks into their new home. Most of the chicks are broilers which we will raise for meat and the others are Rhrode Island Reds which we will be our egg layers. David and Dad are building portable structures to house them once they outgrow the brooder.

Wednesday, March 21

Happy feast of St. Benedict!

I am squeezing this post in before the feast is over...just barely. Today is a big feast day for CC monastery and the monks really made the most of it! High Mass was beautiful -the organ was played (which is normally suppressed during lent) and it seemed that almost half of the congregation was assisting at the mass. Today's feast commemorates the passing of St. Benedict from this world and his entering the next.

Here are a few links if you want to explore more:
Rule of St. Benedict
'The Online Guide to St. Benedict'
Wikipedia on St. Benedict

Thursday, March 15

Planting veggies and taters

It felt really good to roll up my sleeves and get a little dirty planting potatoes. I think in all 8 rows were planted today and each row was about 50 ft long. Most of the family was outside working early: Gemma was planting carrots and lettuce, David and Dad were constructing the chicken brooder (about 300 chicks are arriving in a few weeks), mom was organizing stuff in the boxcar, Tommy was pushing Rosie around in the stroller, Joey was stopping up holes in the boxcar for wasp prevention, and Kateri and I were planting potatoes. The sun was shining very warm for most of the day and at one point I lay down right there in the dirt and just soaked in the sunlight ... it felt so good. Kateri helped me plant the taters by placing the small wedges of the seed potatoes (one every foot) in the canal I was digging . After a row or two she decided she would rather play with Nutmeg - our adopted baby girl goat. She and Nutmeg are best buds and they play together for much of the day. After lunch Joey and I together finished the last of the rows and now we are just hoping for a little rain tonight so we won't have to go out and water the seeds tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 14

Monastery Work Day 2007

Even though I was up in Tulsa for a nutrition class with the CNHP (Certified Natural Health Professionals) my Dad and brothers spent the day helping the monks at the yearly monastery work day. Able bodied people with a willingness to work come from all over the area to help the monks with jobs around the monastery grounds. Apparently there was quite a crowd helping for the event from the stories and pictures. The main reason for this post is to share pictures that the monks posted on their picassa page from the work day. To view the pictures click here.

Friday, March 9

New baby oberhasli goats

I walked out this morning with a bucket of grain to move our oberhasli dairy goats out to pasture. The goats know the routine very well - they follow me from their night shelter to the pasture and when we get there they get grain. So I opened the gate to let the goats out and I noticed that "Ari" (one of our two pregnant does) was not looking nearly so "round". I looked again and everything about her seemed just fine (I was a little puzzled) and then I heard a little bleat and looked just behind her. There was the cutest little fuzzy goat ever! The Oberhasli kids look so different than the boar goat kids. I was shocked since I was not expecting to see the babies yet and everything had gone so smoothly. I ran back into the house to tell the good news and bring new on-lookers to enjoy the spectacle. I found the other baby goat still inside the shelter and brought it out with it's brother (both turned out to be boys). Our other goat "Teeka" is expecting her babies at the beginning of April and hopefully she will have at least one girl. But even that does not matter so much now since I am so thankful for healthy baby goats and a healthy mamma.