Friday, July 19, 2013

The Mother Duck and Her Baby Ducklings?

Sitting Duck

One of our young female ducks had made a nest in the window well on the north side of our house.  Every once in a while she would leave her nest to go and get something to eat and drink, but she would never be away for too long.  Once she was happy, she would head back to her nest and just sit.

So as time went on we seemed to forget about her.............. until ............. the day that Cooper went out to see how she was doing.  Was she still sitting?  Had she abandoned her nest?  Did some night creature get to her and eat her?  Well, after going to check on her, he came back into the house and he said in a sort of low and quiet voice, "I think I saw a dead baby duckling in the window well."

"Oh, no" I said, and all I could think of was why?  How is it that it seems that ducks can't make it happen?  Why do people have to interfere by taking the eggs and putting them in an incubator and let them hatch in a way that is so unnatural?  How is it that ducks have been doing this since the beginning of time and now we have to take the eggs away from the mother because she "can't do it herself"?  It's amazing how fast these thoughts were going through my mind.  It was a sad time for us.

As soon as Cooper told us the news, we all jumped up and went outside to see the poor baby duckling.   And as we were walking slowly toward the nest so as not to upset the mom, we watched to see how she would react.  As we walked up and stood around the window well, she was letting us know that we were getting to close by hissing at us.  Emma was the first one to try and pick her up, but then her dad told her to get back and he would do it.

The first few times they reached in to try and pick her up, she was not happy and was trying to bite.  And we all know that she was just trying to protect her babies and keep them safe because she’s the mother duck, and she doesn’t want any harm to come to her little ones.  But we had to see if there were dead ducklings and if so, how many.

So my husband quickly put his hand in the window well and snatched her up before she even knew what was happening.  And what a surprise we had!  We didn't see any dead ducklings!  We saw 13 little peeps scatter as if the world was about to end!  It was so exciting!!

So see, God's amazing creatures can "do it themselves!"  Thirteen baby Muscovy ducks add to our world.

If you would like further reading, below are 2 articles that I have found interesting.  And I have to say, that what these articles are saying is true because we can go and work and play in our yard without having to swat mosquitoes.  Sure, we'll find one here or there, but it's not like our neighbor's yards!!  So, are mosquitoes territorial?  I think so.  Just another topic for research. 

Quote taken from:  Muskovy Ducks

  "The Muscovies original name was "Musco Duck", because it is known as the "Mosquito Duck",for eating Mosquitoes.The Russain Muscovites was one of the first to import them.
One of the main reasons they were brought here several hundred years ago, is to help keep down the mosquito and bug population, and that they do, and do it well. There are billions of insects on a acre of land, and the muscovy ducks are worth their weight in gold at eating mosquitos and insects. They eat the mosquito larva right in the water, and they nip in the air and eat the ones flying around. They love roaches and eat them like they are candy, they eat flies, and maggots and do a lot to keep down the fly population."

Quote taken from:  Backyard Poultry

"During the more than 40 years that we have been in business, I must confess that we have bred and hatched some pretty interesting fowls. However, absolutely none can compare with the uniqueness, the adaptability, the pure pleasure, and the usefulness of the Muscovy duck. Because many people think that this is a “strange” poultry specimen, I would like to set the record straight."


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kombucha Tea


Well, it's been almost 3 years since my last glass of kombucha tea and I have been craving it ever since!  And for the past, I don't know, maybe 4 or 5 months, I have been looking for a "scoby" or "mushroom" as I like to call it, to make some more tea.  Well, I wasn't very successful until my friend, Elise, found out about 2 weeks ago that a mom, Jenny, from our church had one.  There is was.  So close and yet so far.  

After patiently waiting for a week to receive the mushroom, it was, at last, placed in my hands.  And oh, was I excited!!

When I first heard of Kombucha Tea, I was intrigued.  A little scared maybe, but still curious.  When I tasted the tea for the first time, of course I was nervous.  I'm pretty good at eating just about anything, within reason of course, but I have to say I wasn't overly excited about the thought of drinking something brewed at home that started from a mushroom.

I can remember the day, like it was yesterday, when my friend, Elise, had me take the mushroom out of the jar and put it in my jar to take home with me.  That was not an easy thing for me to do, I have to say.  I started to get light headed and I thought I was going to pass out.  Really?  Why would a slimy "mushroom" do that to me.  I have no idea, but it did.  Thankfully, I didn't get sick, but it took me a while to get over touching the thing.

I'm over the "slimy" thing now  and I can touch it without too much of a problem.  I don't remember if when I tasted the tea for the first time whether I liked it or not, but as you can see, it has grown on me.  I like mine a little bit stronger then others do, so there is a little flexibility with the taste.  The longer it brews the stronger it gets.

Once you have a mushroom and while the tea is brewing, it grows another mushroom so now you have two.  You can either give it away or use it to make another batch so you can have more than one batch brewing at a time.  I sometimes have kept two mushrooms in a batch instead of one.

If you would like information on the health benefits of Kombucha Tea, here is a link that will tell you just about anything you want to know about it.  Food Renegade.

And the recipe comes from Nourishing Traditions where you can also find more recipes for home brewed drinks.

Kombucha Recipe from Nourishing Traditions

Tea Bags

1 cup of white sugar

Boiling Water

Sugar Added to Water

Tea Bags Added to Boiled Sugar Water

After Sugar Water has Cooled

Mushroom and "Mother" added to Jar to Brew
Now I have to wait an agonizing 2 - 3 weeks for my refreshing tea, served over ice, to be ready to drink.  I hope it goes by FAST!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

C-Thru Ruler Problems

It had been a few days since I last worked on my current drafting project, and as I was trying to remember all that I had been doing, I couldn't figure out what was going on. My measurements were not matching up.  What?  How could that be?  Did the paper shrink or something?  No, that couldn't happen.  I work really hard at making sure that my seam lines, darts, etc., match perfectly, but for some reason as I was going over my work, I kept finding lines that were suppose to match up - not matching up - and it was driving me crazy.  How can I be so off when I know that I have checked and double checked my measurements before?

I don't remember why I bought a new ruler or what caused me to check my new ruler against my old one, but I did, and I was very surprised to see that the two of them were not the same size!  Really?  I thought I was going crazy?  Well, that explains why my measurements weren't matching up!  Who would have thought that The C-Thru Ruler Company would sell rulers that aren't the same size; the B-85.  Maybe mine are the only ones.

I don't know anything about this company, but I have to call them and see what they have to say (it's nice that the phone number is on the ruler, so that's easy).  So now the next time I pick up my rulers, I will have to figure out which one of the rulers is the correct one.  Should I have to question all of my other rulers and tape measures as well?  Oh, bother.

I know that there are people out there that might think that 1/16th of an inch is nothing, but it is when you want everything to be as close to perfect as possible.  And now I'm wondering what else has been messed up because of the discrepancy.  

Here are some pictures of the rulers and you can see that they are off!  Ugh.


Rulers lined up to check accuracy.

Hash marks starting to go astray.

Other end of ruler 1/16th of an inch off!!