Monday, May 06, 2024

more rain and cats and bits


bit of here and there hobby farm rant - some day I will want to come back and read it all, I know
Our elderly tortoiseshell, Minion, does not like the rainy weather at all - and the chill that comes with it.  She also will not stay inside for long unless she is bundled up on top of someone, one of us, or the big Manx boy, Loki.  They curled in the carrier tray for my mail truck today, that I need to get out there - but I also feel it would be good to vacuum the truck or at least clean it a little before I go to the work of carrying this back out there (sans cat) and putting it back in.

I am still hoping to return to the book I was reading - after finishing some Romanian, Czech and a good swath of the remaining Welsh lessons on Duolingo.  We do need to go get some groceries though - and everything has gotten so expensive - this is an example of how a former programmer, who is not that good at calculation, does the shopping list.  Of course, Mark doesn't like it when I do this - because we always spend more than the allotted amounts, but I do it anyway, because I need to feel I have a handle on what the costs are and what we are using.. and then I see how much above that we tend to spend on snacks et al...

Heh, and there is 'American Cheese' and there is 'cheese' .. the type we cut up and add to the pizzas to make them actually stretch out to be a full meal.  


budget geekery post trip breakdown by cost 

the meat in that trip will probably last for a long time, as we freeze it and then parcel it out as needed until it is gone - and today, it was fairly gone, one third of the meat was regular price, and the rest of the 2/3 of it was clearance meat that we will freeze and make multiple meals out of


When I cook for myself it uses up things that are already in the cupboard not on this list - that only get replenished once in a while, like canned beans, dry split peas, rice, oatmeal etc.. and garden greens and peppers and zucchini (some from garden, some from farmer's market) that I freeze and should use more of but sometimes it sits there forever.  A really common meal for Esme and I is a rice dish, peppers and onions and 'other veg' and a few eggs.  Sometimes I buy a kielbasa and cut it up in the freezer and add it to those meals.  She has gotten to liking a salad of lettuce, tomatoes and black olives with a rice dish on the side maybe in a tortilla.  We were making ramen bowls with soft boiled eggs and extra veg in it for a bit but for summer now we haven't done that in a little while.

We also all eat eggs from our chickens several times a week and I use them for baking, and give extras to dogs, which they enjoy immensely.  We will get a slab of bacon once in a while and cook that up with eggs, or make toasted egg sandwiches for everyone.  Sometimes, I will make pancakes from scratch to go with scrambled eggs.  Pancakes are one thing I have always done well but it takes time to go about it properly.




(and Minerva, and Daphne dog, as well...)

The chicken feed is about 15.00 per week or so -we get it from an Amish store now because the goat feed we got from the co-op was bad once, solidified and the goat would not eat it, and then we gave it to the chickens with their chicken feed (which was co-op and seemed okay) but one of them died.. and we couldn't tell if it was the bad feed or what... so we started getting it from this other place, and it smells fresher and everybody eats it with gusto compared to 'oh, yay.... food' from the other supplier.  We supplement the chicken feed with lots of weeds, lespedeza, chickweed, lambs-quarters, clover, dandelion and whatever those huge nettle-looking things are that don't have any spikes... and a bit of the goat's hay (her other food is pellets of alfalfa'/oats which are 10.00 about every two weeks or more.. the dogs have a bag of food that is 35.00 every three weeks or so, but they eat eggs and whatever we happen to be eating they get whatever we don't put up for leftovers).   

blind goat, Melody - with Loki cat, outside beneath a tree in the fenced yard

(we adopted her from a farm because she had gone blind and needed bottle feeding.  The owner could not care for her with all the other animals to take care of, and now she lives here with our dogs and cats and comes inside for pellets and a brush down, sleep on the floor with the dogs a bit, and then go back out to the yard - she has a dog igloo she sleeps in and sometimes the cats join her there for company)

I feed the cats dry food (about 15.00 every three weeks) but they also go through one stack of tuna (1 can every 2 days) because the dry food alone was causing skin problems for our elderly cat.  The 'for cats' wet foods they don't like much, so it isn't worth it to buy it when we can buy a cheap brand of tuna and also have that for our own food if we don't use it for them.  I was feeding them a bit of egg every night as well (Cooked) but the elderly cat got where she left it every time so I make sure she gets the wettest bits of the tuna can and her dry food and that has done much better for her.  I should still make the egg for the two younger kittens though, as they ate it and had no issue.  

The Manxes are siblings, from barn-cat lines, and fixed at a young age, and are inside-outside cats catching mice on the property.  We had hoped that Minion, the elderly tortoiseshell cat (she's 15 now!) would teach them 'the ropes' and she has.  She has a touchy relationship with Lyffan, the female cat, but they do sometimes lick each other's head.. it just ends in hissing and 'go to your side of the room'.. but Minion and Loki (the boy cat) are often curled up together - she uses him as a hot water bottle.

They love to present mice, moles, voles, even grasshoppers to us, and spend a lot of time sitting watching holes or even under the doorway of the garage etc.. I saw Lyffan catching small frogs yesterday, which is funny because her name means 'toad' in Welsh (lyffant, actually).  They are doing well and Loki especially doesn't seem to be lacking for any calories at all.. most often you can find him lying on some patch of floor holding it down, in between mouse hunts outside.  Lyffan goes in her spats, between not wanting to come in except for meals and then running right back outside, to parking herself on Esme's dresser like the Queen of Sheba and spending half the night with her, or with me, as a blanket on my feet..  Esme can pick Lyffan up and walk around with her, something she doesn't like anyone else to do.  She will go from running a little skinny to looking like a round poofball, which follows suit with all the other Manxes we've had before.  The vet said she had an extremely short spine, no tail AT ALL, and sometimes we know that can give them digestive problems, so we keep an eye on that.

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