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Archive for January, 2014


{snort} NOT!

Have you ever been so busy that you look down and when you look up, a few months have gone by? That seems to be part and parcel of my life these days. While there’s non-stop activity, there are things that are actually getting done.

Coop #4 has been moved into, I’m glad to say. While we still have some modifications to make to get more ventilation, chickens and guineas have been moved over for a while now. In the event you ever move chickens and/or guineas, don’t get discouraged. It took 4 days for all of them to put themselves to bed, which was pretty good, considering. {Considering, as in, guineas do not like change, so that they actually did it at all is a major win in my book!}

This meant tearing down the original coop, which Hunny wasn’t happy with. His initial design was basically what we had before, just the grande-wrap-around-horseshoe version of it. Because of the size and time involved, it rained before it was complete. Ya, I know.  It seemed like the never-ending battle to get done, and thus its name, The Coop That Would Not Be Built, was dubbed. I was not sad to see the old one go, honestly.

One of these days, I’ll get around to posting old coop and new coop info. There’s so much to catch you up on, it’s almost overwhelming. I vow {energy willing} to start updating on a more regular basis. I just need to sit down and do it.

Much of my day revolves around collecting eggs. Because we free-range 100% of daytime hours, that always means I am out hunting for eggs. While most of the girls have figured out that the nesting boxes are the best place to lay, I do have a few rogues in the bunch.

Just last night, I crawled under the shed {and it’s LONG!} and finally found the pile of eggs the dogs had been eating. What was left were 26 eggs. *sigh*

When the house well froze during the polar vortex and Hunny had to thaw it and then insulate it, I found a stash of really nasty rotten eggs.  vomit I counted about 8 that hadn’t been eaten by wee little dog. I don’t think they were all bad, just the ones at the bottom.

Earlier today, I found a small stash of 4 eggs, which could have all been laid today. With reduced laying during the shorter winter days, I’m getting about 2 dozen eggs a day…………

Here are some of the more interesting stashes I’ve found:

Pile of fencing posts that I had to move around to even reach the eggs.

pile1

plie2

pile3

pile4

pile6

These are the small well-house eggs.

well2

well1

And, my personal favorite, the barn eggs.

barn1

barn2

These were laid by one of my girlies who likes to lay up high- she’s even dropped an egg from the rafters in the guinea section of the coop! There’s another one of that breed that likes to lay under a tarp in the hay shelter. 😆

Either way, while I don’t necessarily mind the egg hunt, it is a total time sucker. And, lest you think chickens are totally stupid, it never fails: just when I find the nest, they move it. They realize that something has found it, so it’s time to move so they don’t get eaten. Pretty smart!

In the next installment of the “Crazy Chickens Saga,” I’ll tell you about one of my chickens who’s broody. We found her sitting on a clutch of 20+ eggs way up top of the hay loft. We did manage to move her, eggs and all, down to the nesting boxes, without losing any arms or fingers. She’s definitely the meanest broody I’ve ever had! {She’s so mean, she’s still sitting on those eggs because I didn’t think it was safe for US to try to get them out, lol.}

So. That’s what I’ve been up to. While I’ve had to deal with wacko folks because of the polar vortex, painting all kinds of things outside, and trying to stay sane, I have not, in fact, fallen off the face of the earth. 😀

What’s going on in your world?

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Alaska and nursing. Her father. These three things are all Gwyn Hillerman wants; all she needs. Even being abandoned and left by her mother and sister hasn’t changed Gwyn’s feeling on her valley. This is where she belongs. It’s what she loves.  allthingshidden

She also loves the peace of the valley, and the natives that share it. Both are threated when hard times hit the lower 48. The Great Depression was so far away, yet now hits close to home, as homesteaders are shipped in by the hundreds.

The Matanuska Project aims to settle two hundred families in the valley- in HER valley! Gwyn is simply overwhelmed with the news of colonization in her back yard.

Her father, Dr. Hillerman, is the only doctor; she, the only nurse. And they’ve done just fine up ’till now. But this? There’s no way they can serve a community of that size on their own.

A world away in Chicago, Dr. Jeremiah Vaughn is stunned when his medical license is stripped from him. Despite a life saving attempt of using the new intravenous anesthesia, the patient died from her fatal wound, and her wealthy husband was out to place blame where he could.

Jeremiah’s first thought is to go to his fiance, Sophia Hillerman. The grim face of the butler gives him a clue that his conversation isn’t going to be pleasant. To his complete shock, the usually graceful and engaging Mrs. Hillerman greets him coldly and accuses him,  “How dare you drag my daughter down with you! You doctors. Always so selfish, so-“ Cut off by his affianced, she continues her mother’s tirade with animosity, “You’ve ruined everything, Jeremiah. Everything. And now you’ve tarnished my name and my family’s name along with yours. I can’t believe you would embarrass me in such a ghastly manner. it is totally unacceptable for someone of my station.”

And just like that, his engagement is off. With stunning clarity, he sees Sophia for who she is. Learning Sophia doesn’t even care about him, leaves his heart in shreds. How could he have been so blind?!

Adding insult to injury, his own family isn’t much better. Suggesting he leave town for a while while his lawyer cousin works to get things straightened out, his parents give him some money and send him on his way. “His loving parents were too embarrassed to have their disgraced son remain in Chicago.”

Jeremiah’s been let down by everyone he thought loved or cared about him; his fiance, her mother, his own parents- and God. He was done with all of them. He’s done with women, and he’s done with God. The one place he felt he could escape to was waiting with an invitation- Alaska.

His mentor, Dr. Hillerman, was desperate for help with the new colonials. Jeremiah was desperate for a change of scenery. If it all works out, Jeremiah could practice medicine was his cousin was getting his medical license back, and Dr. Hillerman would never need to know his daughter had been engaged to Jeremiah.

The only problem with this plan is Gwyn. The more Jeremiah works with her, the more he sees the stark difference between her and her sister and mother. And- the more he falls for her.

Gwyn can’t figure out why Jeremiah is constantly on her mind. She doesn’t mind him, and he certainly tolerates her, but there’s nothing more. Even though she’s being stalked by a crook hiding out in the new colony, that doesn’t mean she’s in love with Jeremiah. Of course not.

Can they both survive the trial that lie ahead for them?

~~~~~~~~~~~

I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit frustrating, though, the back and forth over when Jeremiah should spill the beans. I often thought it seemed like there were two different people writing, and I was not surprised when I looked, to find that there were actually co-authors. My only issue with this e-title was that again, the double ‘f’ was missing, which is frustrating. Since that’s a formatting issue and not a content/storyline issue, I’m not knocking because of that.

I’m giving this one 4 out of 5 stars. I’ll definitely recommend it. I think either of these authors write very well; there were just parts that didn’t blend as well as they could have.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review.

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[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQhJVZenjPw%5D

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12 years old is a terrible time to lose one’s father. Drew ought to know. Having his father killed in action started the momentum that sends Drew’s life spiraling. Things settled for a while, then life changed again, uprooting him and his mother. As a high schooler, Drew watches his football career go down the tubes after a car accident leaves a teammate dead. The investigation didn’t turn up anything to charge Drew with, but his soul was imprinted nonetheless.  cloakoflight

College finds Drew and his best friend, Ben, at the same college. Ben, as nerdy as ever, has some serious work going on with his physics professor, who has gone missing. And, to top it off, Ben has some concerns about what was found during the last experiment with laser light acceleration technology. He’s determined to replicate the experiment to see if he can discover what happed to Dr. Waseem, who shut down the equipment and forcefully told him to leave.

Drew isn’t sure they can duplicate anything, but he figures he’d better go along and back up his buddy. What a difference a single decision can make…….

After the accident in the lab, Drew is rendered blind. He’s trying to cope with being told he’ll never see again. Ben visits him; running scared. Dr. Waseem’s body was found, and Ben figures he’s next. Drew was not surprised to learn later that Ben has also vanished.

And then- Drew’s vision starts coming back. And, it’s not the same. He can still see the other dimension the lab experiment revealed, but he doesn’t need the laser or the equipment. Is he losing his mind?

Throughout the years since his father’s death, in addition to his mom, one constant has been his dad’s team member, Jake. Drew confides in Jake, only to find a psychiatric doctor waiting for him at home. While Jake does believe Drew is sane,  Drew knows he needs to leave to protect his family. Knowing his mother is in good hands, and with years of Jake’s training under his belt, Drew knows it’s time.

He needs to find Ben. Before he heads out, he pays a visit to a long-time friend who’s kept his interest since high school- pastor’s daughter Sydney. Before he leaves her at college, they find themselves in the middle of a shooting- and Drew cannot believe his eyes. He sees the Invaders from the other dimension pushing the shooter to shoot. Even more astonishing, is yet another Invader that interferes, which allows Drew and Sydney to escape.

As time goes by, Drew’s wondering about the forces of evil grow stronger, and he finds himself time and again in a position to affect the outcomes of those acts.

Can Drew sort it out and get to the truth of the Invaders? Are they after him?  Can he find Ben before it’s too late?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The concept of this book was intriguing. It was a bit dry, though. The writing covered a lot of territory; many years, which I understand as laying the ground work for the characters. It did not take me long to figure out what was going on. I will say, though, that the ending was terribly abrupt. It looks like this is going to be a series, but gosh, I really wish things would be left a bit more tidy and not completely ‘unfinished’ feeling.

The author clearly knows his Bible, though. There’s a good portion of the book that goes chapter by chapter and correlates events with scripture. Because this title was interesting enough, I’m giving it 4 stars. I’ll also keep my eye out for the next title in the series and give it a go if I get a chance.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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