Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Because Izzy asked

I know it has been some time since I have published anything. April to be exact. I could say I just got busy and that would be true. But the truth is I was struggling with a lack of desire to garden or do anything else on this small "farm". As a result almost everything in the garden got planted late. Potatoes, peas, onions, pumpkins, zucchini, you name it. Except the corn. I managed to start that in pots and transfer it to prepared beds and that worked great.  My good friend K asked me if I was perhaps depressed and I guess I was/am. More so then than now. I also felt like blogging was just a waste of what little time and ambition I was able to muster. I hate the feeling that I am pushing off my stories onto friends and family. I have had not one person ask why I am not blogging so I think it must be true. Except Izzy. So Izzy, this one's for you.

Most of you know we had 18 Sebastopol goslings hatch this last spring. All four adults were perfect parents, there was tons of excitement, and the babies all healthy........except one. It became evident that one of the babies was not able to quite keep up with the rest. She would try but would soon just give up and sit down panting and it was apparent that her little heart was having a hard time keeping up with her. Sometimes I would walk out to where she was sitting and carry her to her family so she wasn't alone. She soon ended up in the house with us and my daughter named her Holly Go Lightly after the character in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Holly for short. I knew she couldn't possibly live very long and actually expected her to not last more than a couple weeks but I was determined to give her a happy life while she was here.

Holly had the best personality perhaps because she was raised with more human interaction. She gave great goose hugs and could talk up a storm and would call to us from her box in the bathroom that was in the laundry/mudroom just outside the kitchen door. Of course once she got someone's attention she would beg to be let out of that box. As a result we ended up carrying her around in a baby sling fashioned from a long scarf tied around our necks or watching TV at night snuggled up in someones lap. Even the man was pressed into babysitting. Nestled in a big towel Holly would watch the news with him on the computer. Sometimes she was allowed to wander around the kitchen but she didn't like the dogs much so that didn't happen as much as she would have liked. During the day after it warmed up and the grass dried off I would take her out to be with her family. I also made sure she was always fed separately and would hand pick dandelion leaves for her. She loved those. Being the smallest she was pushed away from the communal food.

To make a long story short Holly became my baby. Always looking for me to come out in the yard and telling me when she was ready for breakfast or dinner.  It took her longer to grow up. She was late getting feathers, didn't try swimming for a good month plus after her siblings and had to put up with some bullying but handled it pretty well. She had a favorite brother that she would cuddle with and follow around too. Here are pictures. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
For awhile the other babies had to take turns keeping Holly
company in the house. 

Holly riding around in her scarf. 

The family at play
He was her favorite sleeping partner

Holly loved her brother and he didn't seem to mind

Holly is the little yellow one. What a difference. 

Holly admiring herself in the mirror....

and yelling for company from her bathroom basket.
This always got my attention. 

Holly was a happy little thing and made me smile every day. Her siblings grew so fast, became beautiful fully feathered beauties that were sold to good homes. Holly was never going to another home. It was still evident that she had a defective heart and I couldn't have sold her in good conscience nor did I want to. She did eventually get her beautiful feathers although not as many as her siblings and I could tell the effort of growing was taking its toll on her. One day in July Holly asked to be put in the chicken coop. This was usually her way of asking for her dinner and it was late afternoon. We had been out in the yard working all day so I fed and watered her and went in to take a shower and start dinner. When I came back out less than an hour later Holly had died. She was 3 1/2 months old and had lived much longer than I thought she would however I was still devastated. I still miss her funny little self around here.

But life goes on. We have added 5 Lavender Orpington chicks to our flock and after my late start in the garden I have been a woman on a mission. I have been putting in raised beds for vegetables (I got sick of fighting our sandy soil) and renovating the landscaping around the house. Right now the man and I are replacing the rotting decks (plural) on our house and I am harvesting and canning out of the garden. Our weather has been unseasonably hot and dry this summer so I am actually getting red tomatoes! and corn! The new lavenders are sweet as can be and growing fast. We will see how they do with the rest of the flock.