Friday, June 10, 2011

the egg and I

First, I have to show you my latest garage sale find, a $5 clock:

I LOVE it!  It is supposed to play the Westminister chimes on the house.  You know, it goes "DUM dum DUM dum...dum dum DUM dum..."  Can you hear that?
Notice I said it's supposed to play it on the hour.  Because this clock is quirky, and it chimes exactly four minutes AFTER the hour.  At first, I didn't know what to make of that...Maybe I should take it back down and mess with it a bit?  Should I take my $5 clock to the shop and spend a lot more than $5 to get it fixed?


As Luke used to say when he was just a little guy, "I gike it!"  I gike that it chimes four minutes after the hour.  It fits us.  We are all a little quirky, from the dad down to the three year old.  None of us are perfect and that's okay.  When my clock strikes at four minutes after the hour, it always makes me want to smile...

Now, on to the eggs.

Long ago, when I used to dream about being a farmwife, I read the book "The Egg and I."  And I LOVED it!  I'm pretty sure when I was really little, I also saw a movie from this book.  This is the one that has Ma and Pa Kettle in it, but it was the wife in the book that I admired so much and wanted to be like.

Well, here I am many years later, and my life is consumed by eggs...  and more eggs...and MORE eggs...

See all those eggs in the buckets in the first picture?  They were gathered over the last week or so.  This doesn't count the ones we've eaten, the ones in the fridge, and the four eggs I give my kiddos each day to feed to the two dogs and two cats (whose coats are looking better all the time).
These are the eggs I put in buckets to refill the second incubator this week when it finished hatching it's latest batch of eggs, (the first incubator is in the second picture, completely filled with more than 200 eggs.)
But...the second incubator is an old one that I bought well used many years ago.  I had some trouble getting the fan working when I turned it on this spring, but after Bill messed with it a bit, it started turning.  But the trays would not turn automatically, so I've been running my hand over them once a day and hoping for the best.
But this weekend, it died.  It died completely full of eggs...Great...
Amazingly, some of the eggs did hatch, and I have gotten a few chicks, but they are kind of weak.  I stuck the rest of the eggs that were trying to hatch in the bottom of the good incubator.  The others are a complete loss.  Too bad.  I broke a few open, and there is an egg full of baby chick, but it's dead.

So now, I have all these new eggs, and no where to put them...

So I decided to sell a few hens.  I have so many.  Twelve sold yesterday, and I have two more people interested.  I don't want to sell a whole lot of them, because maybe, just maybe, I could get another incubator??  Sure I can...they cost about $600...

So, we keep gathering, we'll feed a few more to the dogs, we'll eat more ourselves.  Mary Susannah is making egg salad for lunch:

 I have three grandchildren staying with me, and the chickens are a great draw, especially for grandson Mikey, who likes to gather eggs for me.  Today, we got the few chickens who survived the broken incubator, and put them in the chick room along with the many chickens who hatched out a couple of weeks ago:

I'm not in a huge hurry to sell the baby chicks, they grow up and I get ten times more for them once they are laying.  So we keep gathering eggs:

Eating all we can, feeding the dogs all the can, selling a few hens so we won't drown in eggs.  This is what I dreamed of all my life, right? 

I sort of quit the chicken business when my Dad got sick.  I sold all the hens, and decided not to do this anymore.  But I guess I just love it too much.  I'd love to do more, but the lack of good fences stops me.  So I'll stick to chickens, and build it up.  I've got a bunch of little ones and grandchildren who love to help me right now.

One drawback to farm life, hornets...

Tommy's been so brave about the whole thing.  And my salve that I made last week seems to be keeping the pain at bay anyway!
He's still sweet, even if he doesn't want me to take his picture:

So we are off to the water park, camera in hand tonight, egg salad sandwiches to eat, cookies and desserts made with lots of fresh eggs.

I'm in the market for good egg recipes, if you have any!!

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