To say that we’ve had a lot going on around here would be – – an understatement.
When hubby’s uncle suddenly died, we made the last minute decision to load up the fam and take a road trip to Oklahoma. That whole ordeal can be quite the doozy, even with 4 little fairly well-behaved monkeys like we’ve got. We do it all screen-free, too, folks. Yes, let me translate: anywhere from 16 hours to 20 hours in the truck with 3 children in the 3rd row, parent and baby in the second row, and the other parent driving – – and we use nothing but books, toys, food and creativity [and gasoline] to get us there. AND we arrive with our good sanity still intact. So that is PROOF that it can be done! [Be encouraged!] Anyway, it is tough/an adventure to make it all happen. I chose to see it as an adventure. 😉 We made it in time – the evening before the funeral, and we got to spend several days there with the family before heading back. We were gone for 10 days. The last time that we had gone out of town like that was nearly 3 years ago, so this was definitely a trip for us.
While we were gone, the animals were fed by my sister, and she did her best to water the gardens but we still lost several [okay, a LOT] of plants in the process since we didn’t pay her ask her to do anything extra: weeding, extra attention to certain vulnerable plants, etc. You are going to think I am nuts, and I probably am, but when I came back and saw the homestead here, I was a.) ecstatic that none of our chickens and ducks were dead, and b.) literally in tears that we lost a couple of rows in our garden, our expensive grape plants were totally dead and all of my seedling flowers had bitten the dust. Oh, and my new hanging baskets that were full of flowers had also mostly died out. I’m telling you…I was depressed over this! Not to mention, our son found some kittens that had died [and it totally freaked him out because they had started to, um, decompose]…and shortly after us returning home, the second set of ducklings-on-the-way were seized and eaten by what appears to have been a demon possessed raccoon.
*Sigh! You read that right. Remember when I wrote a while back about how Margaret Hatcher was expecting again? Yeah, well, she did a fabulous job with her nest. I mean, she faithfully sat on all of the eggs [I think there were about 13] for WEEKS! She sat through the wind, rain and sun…and would only get up to eat, drink and have diarrhea. What? Gross? Well, I saw her, okay? That’s what it looked and sounded like, if you can imagine a duck with diarrhea. Okay, so maybe she didn’t literally have the nasties, but she would have to go bad after all that setting and staring at the ground for most of the hours in a day. Here and there, I think she would notice when an unfertilized egg would start to go bad – and so she’d bust it open. Maybe she even ate the yolk from it, too. I watched her do that some, and then continue to sit. Then one day, we found a duckling still in an egg – and it didn’t make it. I don’t know what went wrong, but these sorta things happen a lot with hatching. I know, I know…it doesn’t make it any easier for the Momma Duck. The story just gets sadder. Not long after that, I went out one morning and found Margaret gone from her nest. It looked as though she had poked around through every egg and finally noticed that not a single one that was left was even fertilized! Oh my! Now…I am by no means a duck expert, but it seems like she would have known a lot sooner that most all of her eggs were unfertilized. Or am I wrong? I just question her setting on them for so long before figuring it out. We were all so sad over that because we had begun to prepare for more baby ducks and were eagerly awaiting their hatching.
And – you just read the other part of this story. Both Daisy and Margaret started new nests after we got home, but when they got off to take a break one late afternoon, a raccoon came and snatched up all of the eggs. I found the remains over on the opposite, far side of the yard. NOT PRETTY. So that’s it for now with the ducklings scenario. I’m not sure if what will happen next. We still really want both girls to hatch new ducklings this year!
Ah, but back to the yard sitchy. I have to say that this is all not so much my sister’s fault as it is…um…no one’s? It was impossible to have planned to suddenly go out of town like we did, and there was really no time for me to prepare my plants for me to be gone so much. I just hate that they missed me so bad that they dried up and spirited away!
So now you know where I’ve been. Gone and back again…and sad and upset over the loss of a family member…and then to come home to see how much we’ve lost around the homestead. It’s certainly a setback, but the only two choices we have are to either give up [which ultimately is no fun for anyone] or to pick our mess up off the floor and start all over again. Let’s go with option #2! That means we need to get busy!
We are expecting house guests just any day now, and the family has been busy preparing for their arrival, in addition to regular everyday busyness. I’ve been working on a few home projects, part of which you see below. Stay tuned to see what happens next around here!
Have a great, new week!
P.S. I still want some new ducklings in my life. If you have any extra, send them my way!