July 1 – We’ve been having unseasonably hot weather here the past week or two.  Normally we have average temps in the 70s.  This week has been topping out at 95, with heat indexes and heat warnings.  Have to keep the chickens hydrated!  That little brown one there is an Ameraucana/Easter Egger I picked up when I bought some fancy layer pullets.  I chose her because she was sooty grey and black and I thought she’d be pretty.  She is, but she’s certainly no longer sooty colored.  Those EE chicks are funny that way – they look like one thing and turn colors.  Chicks that look nothing alike as chicks will grow to be similarly colored as adults.  It’s a crapshoot.

When I go to take goose pictures, I often get one like this as they come to check out the camera.  Often they will mouth the camera strap and tug on it.

July 2 – Had to go in for a pre-employment physical and drug screen.   This turned out to be a Very Good Thing, as I found my old doctor there (he actually did my physical).  He had left the clinic at which he practiced.  I wasn’t happy with the replacement (though I haven’t met her yet, and now never will because my old doctor will let me establish with him at his new practice!).  So, this made me happy.  I don’t see a doctor often, but I always liked him because he *LISTENS* and lets me talk all the way through.  He lets me have some say in my care and responds to what I say is going on.  I need that in a doctor.  So yay!

Chicken comparison picture.  On the left is Baby Chicken, a fully grown large fowl pullet.  In the middle is one of my fancy egg layer pullets at 6 weeks old. The white is a Cornish Cross meatie cockerel at 6 1/2 weeks.  They grow so fast.  I’m having very good luck with them this year – their feathers are keeping up with their growth spurts for the most part.  Sometimes if they get too much to eat, they outgrow their feathers and run around half naked.  I prefer them feathered.  I do have a couple pullets in the group and plan to keep those to grow my own meaties from.  While the crosses don’t breed true, they still should breed bigger than say just an Orpington, so it will be interesting to see what we get.

July 3 – I found an ice shaver at the Goodwill over the weekend (YAY!) and bought some snow cone syrup.  I was dismayed that they (of course) are made with high fructose corn syrup and lots of chemicals (but they taste soooo good – I love cherry snow cones).   So I googled and found a recipe for homemade syrups.  1 1/2 cups of sugar plus 1 1/2 cups of water, brought to a boil and boiled for a minute, then add two envelopes of kool-aid in your favorite flavor.  So far lemon-lime is winning, though the black cherry is very good.  True, there are chemicals and artificial colors and such in kool-aid, but it was less than in the syrup.  And these taste very good.  Next up will be orange and grape, I think.

July 4 – David was gone and Cadillac isn’t having fireworks until July 7, so it was a quiet day and less quiet night at home.  Henry went after Sadie, and I caught her jumping away.  The dogs keep their eyes on the geese lest they be goosed.  Phoebe can’t get in the pool anymore because the geese have gotten territorial about it.  They also will chase the chickens away from the waterer, so I have to make sure there are a couple options for water in the yard.

July 5 – This strange toad showed up today.  I call him strange because he came in the house and later jumped at me as I was walking past.  Finally I put it in a cool place in the shade.  I hope it stays around.  I like having a toad around.  While I haven’t seen our resident snake, I did find a shed skin today as well, so I know it’s out there too.  I’m glad to have these critters around eating bugs and small creatures.

July 6 – First Farmers Market tomatoes!  Since mine got a late start and are still growing, I picked up a small box of fresh tomatoes because I was craving a BLT.  The BLT represents a huge departure for me from my childhood eating habits.  Before, the bacon was the only thing I would eat.  That lettuce would’ve been too green (I only ate iceburg), the bread too brown (white bread only), mayo was icky and raw tomatoes were a big NO.  Now I can’t think of anything better at this moment in time.  Isn’t that a pretty sandwich?  I was sorta planning to make some bread for it, but it’s too hot still.  I understand the garden fresh tomato thing, and this year I may even be one of those folks who stand in the garden and eat one out of hand…

July 7 – This morning I was getting the kayaks out of the barn AT LAST, and noticed this on the lattice chicken gate.  Wolf spider with many many tiny baby spiders.  I was quite fascinated.

You can see her eye!!

Lots of tiny baby spiders.

And later, while hanging laundry, I found this tiny yellow spider on a clothes pin.  I have taken a picture of such a spider before, but this one appeared to have a face on its back, so I needed a new picture.

What appears to be a fence post is the end of a clothes pin.

So, I got the kayaks out so we could go watch the fireworks from Lake Cadillac.  Yay!  We think they’re the best seats in the house.

I also got a very nice picture of us on Instagram and I think this link will take you there.  I’d download it from my camera, only I don’t have the cord with me.  The water was a little bumpy so my long-exposure fireworks photos all turned out squiggly – colorful but squiggly.  It was a lovely evening and this is now a holiday tradition for us.  Picnic dinner on the lake while watching the fireworks.  This year they had live music (a Bob Segar tribute band) again, but it lasted longer into the evening.  We also got to have dessert with friends because I texted her we were on the lake and she invited us over (Thanks, Candy – that lemonade cake was the bomb!)  I was able to get out of my kayak at a dock, which was an achievement.  David then lifted them straight out of the water, which I don’t think I could’ve done.  It was just a lovely lovely evening and I felt full of love all through it.  The fireworks finale made me happy because at the end there was a round of cheers and applause from everyone on and around the lake.  Good times.

Also, more video bonus reward for reading this far!  The geese getting happy in the kiddie pool.  You can see them here!

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