Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Plans for 2008

The first day of 2008 is nearly past and it has been a good day. We spent the day with Hubby's family eating a traditional meal of black-eyed peas that are supposed to bring good luck to the new year. Before we left, Middle wasn't eating her breakfast. She said she wasn't hungry. I had toasted cinnamon-raisin bagels with cream cheese for her and she didn't want it. Hmm.. offered her a favorite: pop-tarts. Still not interested. I knew then that she wasn't feeling 100%. She felt warm and we debated going to dinner at his parents' house, a 2+ hours drive one way and I was worried she would go downhill once we got there and I didn't want to pass her illness onto her cousins.

We decided to ask her how she felt and if she wanted to stay home or go to Grandma and Granddaddy's house. She said she was fine and wanted to go. So we went. Stupid me, I didn't think to bring along any medicine because I was reminding myself not to forget the other stuff we were bringing. All 3 girls and me konked out on the drive over, which in itself is quite unusual. Once we got there, both Middle and Youngest were burning up and after checking their temperatures, they were both over 101. Should've stayed home.

After convincing Middle to chew and swallow a baby aspirin and hiding Youngest's in a bit of chocolate, we ate, we talked, we left. Poor Hubby is coming down with a head cold and so far, Oldest and I are feeling ok. We came home to a COLD house and quickly started a fire in the wood stove. After shivering a bit, the house warmed up and the girls were put in their beds. Hopefully the girls will feel better tomorrow, as will Hubby and I hope, hope, hope that Oldest and I don't catch their ills.

On a brighter note, I am already dreaming of a better future for my family this year. I am thinking of what I want to plant in the garden this year, where I want to transplant my rhubarb (they didn't do well in their current location) and the new kitchen garden I have been dreaming of for awhile now. We will have the main garden area, which will have the tomatoes, squashes, melons, corn and such. The smaller kitchen garden will be right outside our back door and will have herbs, snow peas, cherry tomatoes and a few other items that will be used nearly daily in our meals. There is currently a blue spruce tree planted there by the previous owners and it is too close to the house. We will try to dig it up and transplant it, but if it proves to be too big of a task, then it will be cut down. Hopefully, we can save it and it can grow happily elsewhere.

The first year we moved, before we bought a tractor and had a chance to till the bigger garden area, I planted 10 tomato plants in that area and they did so well, that I know a small kitchen garden would be just perfect there. I can better keep an eye on some of the plants that got ravaged by the groundhogs and deer, knowing they won't come so close to the house and the cats will help keep them away anyway. Truthfully, I don't know if I will get the bigger garden extensively planted because by the time Spring comes and it is time to plant, I will be 7-8 months pregnant and if my previous pregnancies were any indication, I will be HUGE by then. I think I will be able to do my corn and squashes, melons and cukes, but I think that will be all for the big garden. I'll mostly concentrate on the smaller kitchen garden which I think will be more manageable for me and my big belly.

I've also been thinking of getting some egg-laying hens for our own fresh eggs and to help peck at the bugs around the garden. I need to get Hubby to build a coop first. Our old neighbors had chickens and I don't know if they ate the eggs, but we sure enjoyed watching them peck and seeing the rooster strut his stuff. I need to read up more on what it requires to raise chickens before we make our decision, though.

I have hope that 2008 will bring Hubby a new job, and will bring us lots of joy and love. We are already happy as a family, I just want stability in the financial department. The fact that I still dream of things just tells me that I am optimistic about our future.


Karen said...

Happy New Year! I'm dreaming of spring too. :) My cousin has about 40 chickens and I get some of her surplus eggs when she comes up from MO. Those eggs taste far better!

Sparx said...

Oh! I'm so envious, I really REALLY want a kitchen garden! Good luck moving the spruce, it sounds like a good plan to move it or cut it down. If you cut it, perhaps you can honour it by cutting from it your yule log for next Winter Solstice. We used to have chickens when I was a kid as well - SUCH a good idea. Get a rooster as well and let them raise a clutch once in a while - my parents used to raise the roosters for meat which also helps the old pennies...

Dana said...

We always had laying hens when I was growing up and I wish I had them now. There is such a huge difference in the taste of store bought eggs and "home" eggs! We used to feed them all of our kitchen scraps, including the egg shells!

jenny said...

Karen-- A Happy New Year to you, too! :o) I need to do my research on how many chickens I would need to produce an adequate number of eggs. There are lots of signs on mailboxes here and there selling eggs and I want to make sure we don't get too much and waste it. We DO go through a lot of eggs around here, though.

Sparx-- I guess where you are, a kitchen garden isn't possible. A chance you'll move away from the city any time soon? Well, if you are ever over here, you are more than welcome to stop by for a spell and partake of my garden! :o)

That's a good idea using the spruce for a log for winter solstice if we can't save it. It's a pretty tree, and not very big yet, maybe 12 feet tall or so.. I'd guess it was planted 10 years ago.

Dana-- My mom had chickens when she was a kid and to this day, is not a big fan of eating chicken because she had to help butcher them and seeing headless chickens hopping around spurting blood sort of ruined it for her. She told me lots of tales of farm life and instead of scaring me away, I want to embrace it! Go figure! :o)

DJ Kirkby said...

Oh happy new year to you all. Hope everyone is well now. Raising chickens is great, nice healthy food too. Cleaning the coop out is gross though.

Wendy said...

Raising chickens is a lot of fun. We have six hens in our suburban backyard. My neighbors all think it's pretty cool. I'd love to have a goat, too, but our property is probably too small for even a dwarf breed.

If you can find it, the book Keep Chickens is where I got my start, and since it's just about keeping backyard laying hens for personal use, it fit our situation. We're not ever going to be a commercial egg production facility.