Sunday, April 14, 2013

Off to a Slow Start

This spring the major focus for the AdventureFamily has been the construction of our "Someday House".  This is a term lovingly and longingly adopted by a group of fellow military families while discussing our hopes and dreams of someday settling down and belonging somewhere, owning a home we would live in for more than a few years, and generally enjoying the lives we have been working toward, well, all of our lives! 
I think I left the saga with the drilling of the well and praying for our home loan to come through.  We are still waiting, although the wheels have been slowly turning.  We have to get our building permit in order to close our construction loan, and the process has been long and arduous, with the expected errors and delays slowly accumulating.  I think we have all of the knots untied for the moment, so now we wait for the permitting office to do their thing, so that we can do our thing and finally close that loan.  That will be a wonderful day!   It is a little nerve wracking having such a large detail unresolved... it's hard to build our someday house without money!
This last weekend we towed the camper out to be our home base this summer.... Camp 9 Trees has been established for another (and hopefully the last!) season.  We had surprisingly little work to do, although AdventureDad did get some weeds sprayed.  We had a lovely drive home through the blooming apple orchards in the Columbia River Valley, and a beautiful wildflower show through the desert around Hanford.  We ran into a little surprise on the way home with a snow storm over Snoqualmie, and arrived to sun in Gig Harbor (something we never take for granted!). 
Here at home the excitement has been the arrival of the spring chicks.  We started out with the 3 that we had planned.  Then, I discovered that they had given us the wrong breed for one of them, so I went and got one of the right breed (it was one I really wanted to try), so then there were 4.  Just a few days later, Marshmallow, one of last year's hens, became broody.  That means that mother nature was telling her she needed to sit on some eggs.  The problem is that we don't have a rooster, so our eggs aren't fertile.  A broody hen will sit on the nest, not laying and eating and drinking very little, until a chick appears.  That left us with two options;  1.  Employ a "broody buster", a bare wire cage up on blocks with no nest or cozy spots that makes it impossible for a hen to nest.  It only takes a couple days to convince them that being broody is a bit too tough.  2.  Give her some fertile eggs to hatch.  Guess which option I chose?  No, I could not resist the temptation to watch instinct in action and allow her to hatch some eggs.  We have been wanting a Sussex rooster anyhow, so what better way to get one?   So, I drove to the farm where we got Marshmallow and bought 3 Sussex and 1 Orpington egg (another breed I want to try), in hopes that one of them will turn out to be a rooster (the story of egg choice is a bit more complicated, but I will spare you the details!).  So, Marshmallow is now happily installed on her nest full of eggs, and we have 14 more days to go to see how successful she is as a brooder.  If she is a good one, and we end up with a rooster, our days of buying chicks are over :-).  So, instead of 3 chicks, we have 8.  The story of my life!
The stakes marking the house site

The Stakes Marking the Shop Site
The View From Our Future Great Room

Marshmallow Brooding