Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hal a freakin' luja

So I think the duck is now well on her way to being better. No doubt it is all due to the SB's dedicated physical therapy regime. Several times a day he would stretch her foot and toes. That and the antibiotics and the neosporin seem to have put us on the path to health. As a reward for all the time and energy we have been spending, we got 10 eggs this morning. From 9 ducks. I don't know how that happens.... But whatever. The duck still isn't strong enough to be loose with the others. Ducks don't know the meaning of personal space and so just run over one another willy nilly. I am afraid her good leg will be injured if she is left out in the fray. But hopefully it won't be long. Now that she is feeling better she is considerably less inclined to spend time quietly alone.

Big day at work tomorrow and Thursday. Hopefully after that a few days off to enjoy the beautiful weather and get the potatoes in the ground. The seedlings are coming up nicely in the basement and in the garden. We have a bit of leftover kale in the garden. We also have spinach, but every time the ducks get into the garden, they run right for it and eat all they can before I shoo them out.

So far the bees are OK, but I need to keep feeding them....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

If wishes were ducks.....

Still wishing and hoping the duck better. My efforts seem to have come to a standstill however. I am administering antibiotics twice daily and the duck is strong and getting pretty fast for a one legged duck. She still won't put weight on her foot and the foot is non responsive. The SB has been trying some therapy, but no dice. I have put out another call to my friend. Crikey.

We had squash and cream over pasta with leeks from the garden and cured pork that we made. Fresh sage and a little garlic and we were good to go.

I am dead tired. I forgot that in the lighter months we don't come in until dark. Which means we just finished dinner. Bed time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Some progress

OK, so the duck is showing some small progress today. The leg is moving, though she still isn't putting any weight on it. I attribute this to the SB's regime of physical therapy and my remarkable ability to force (by will mostly) antibiotics into a duck. As she feels better, she is more feisty and less snuggly. I suppose I should recognize this as progress, and on some level I do. I guess I am willing to give up my close relationship if it means she is on the mend.

Still upright after several more hours of moving rocks on Sunday. Luckily, the job was completed when I got home today and I just had to help the SB unload the last pick up truck of rocks. Halla freakin' luja.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Progress

The duck is still not using her leg. The SB and I gave her a little more rigorous physical therapy last evening. Moving the leg back and forth and up and down but avoiding the joint that is swollen. I suppose there could be more than one problem...We'll keep working but I am back to not being very hopeful. She does seem a little more energetic. So maybe she will get bored with sitting and be motivated to try to move around more. Right now, she is in the garden. We have a bed that is covered in straw waiting to have potatoes planted in it. Until they arrive, it is both duck haven and heaven. She is searching under all the straw and finding delicious tidbits and lots of dirt. Sometimes, I think that ducks actually eat more dirt than anything else. It seems to work for them.

The rock moving went pretty well yesterday. I feel it today but am not nearly as sore as I expected. I guess that comes tomorrow. After moving more rocks today. It is always worse the second day. Oh well, better to be crippled at work than at home for the weekend.

I planted seeds yesterday. Lots of seeds. I'll post a list soon...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Still Waiting

So I came home mid day yesterday to meet my friend H. She is trained as a vet tech and she met me to discuss the duck foot issue. The duck was no better. After a thorough exam, she found a thorn in the joint above the foot. The joint was swollen and warm. The diagnosis, joint infection. The remedy, 1/2 ml of Tylosin (an antibiotic safe for birds) twice a day. Lots of water and treats, special time in the garden doing things she likes and warm compresses twice a day. I love that part of the treatment plan includes "special time". The good news is that it isn't a slipped tendon, which could have been REALLY bad news. The duck, I am pretty sure now that it is Louisa, just got her second dose of antibiotics. No change as of yet, but hopefully we will see the swelling go down soon. Have you ever tried to give antibiotics to a duck? No? Apparently neither has anyone else as there is very little about the logistics of getting liquid into a duck. With cats, you can brave teeth and claws and pry the mouth open, or at least you can start there. Or better yet, bury a pill in a treat. With ducks, the lower bill fits snugly inside the upper bill. I tried Open Sesame, but that didn't work. The other complicating factor is that you don't want to shoot liquid into the mouth b/c it can get into the lungs, which is very bad indeed. Birds don't do well with liquid in their lungs. Even antibiotics. So, although I am relieved to have some idea what is going on (and eternally completely and totally grateful to H for coming to our rescue), it is hardly the end of the anxiety. I did manage to dose this morning on my own, and remarkably, the duck doesn't seem to hold a grudge. I am putting the liquid in her mouth at the front of the bill so that she can swallow it. I think that is the right thing to do, though I am still concerned I might get the liquid down the lungs. And, I am afraid that too much time has passed and getting her to use the leg again is going to be difficult. Hoping that when she feels better she will give it a try again. We may still need the physical therapist.

In other news, I put my spring seeds in this week. Broccoli raab, mustard, lettuce, spinach, beets, chard, kale, turnips and parsley. I may need to water today. It has been so sunny and the weather SO delightful. Truly, it is the perfect time to be in C'ville. The flowers are making up for lost time and blooming without regard to standard timing. We have the earliest of crocuses still blooming with the daffodils.

The bees are flying. They don't seem to be taking any of the syrup I have left for them though. This is an independent lot, I must say. I think I may need to re-queen this fall ... That is going to take some research and a little hand holding I am sure. Have you ever tried to find the queen

We have a large project of rock moving happening this weekend, so I expect I will be pretty much incapacitated for the majority of next week. Oof. The SB has been moving lots of things around to get ready for the installation of some gabion walls that are coming via "the network". Seems like we find salamanders under just about everything. Which is nice. I don't know where they have been hiding in the last years of drought, but we have seen more in the last 6 months than we have in the previous 5 years. We loves us some salamanders here at the Urban Farm. The first two on this page is mostly what we see....

This time of year, especially, I think of the goats. I think of what an excellent thing it would be to have a dairy goat. I don't know that it will ever happen, but I dream on. Right now, I think that chickens might be the next step. The ducks don't do that well with kitchen scraps, and it would be nice to pass those along to some chickens. Though I guess we could get into some worms. They are definitely not as cute as some exotic chickens though. I have entered a couple of drawings for free chicken coops. I figure, if I win, it will be A Sign. I don't know what we will do with more bird poop though. Truly, a garden can hold only so much... Any interest in a load of poopy straw, just email me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Side work

So over the weekend we had some kind of duck injury. One of the grey girls started limping. By the end of Saturday, we had to confine the lot to give her a rest. Usually a little confinement and some moderate exercise take care of any leg problems in a few days. This was different. By Sunday AM she couldn't put any weight at all on her leg, she was using her wing to brace herself for walking. We needed new measures. I confined her first to the pen with a few of her mates (who were less than excited about being part of the cure since the rest of the ducks were out frolicking in the mud puddles). Later I moved her to the duck house with her own food and water. Luckily we built the duck house so that there is an upper door that can be left open for ventilation and light.

I have been doing twice daily swim therapy with her (not swimming with her, just getting her to the water). I have a rubbermaid container filled with water and I put her in a couple times a day. The water is deep enough that her legs can move freely. The hurt appendage seems to move ok, but she still can't really put any weight on it. In the morning she can go a few steps before she lays down. Each morning it seems to be a few more, but the progress is s-l-o-w. From what I read on the internets, this could be several weeks. It could also never heal up I suppose. I am trying not to think too deeply on that score.

She doesn't seem to be in pain when she isn't using the leg and as yet, not too depressed to be inside while her compatriots are dashing about in the yard. She does look forward to their company, except for the boys who take advantage of the fact that she cannot outrun them at this point. Bastards.

Cross your fingers and hope for her speedy recovery. She is a lovely little thing. The only good part is that she is getting used to being handled. She doesn't love it, but tolerates me being around while she swims. She even nibbled on my sleeve this evening.

The dark mornings are not helping with the therapy program. Not enough light to swim before 7 and not much time after if I am going to make the bus. We do try to do a longer session in the evening....

The SB fears my obsession with the recovery.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Missed me, didn't you?

Because some other people didn't post pictures, I decided to post a couple from last Sunday's dumpling wrapping party. Which rocked. I had the lucky chance to get a dumpling tutorial in advance. SHG got one via the internets. We all shared what little we knew and dove in for some culinary adventure....

Some of the first dumplings... Different shapes. We all had different fillings, chicken, shrimp, beef, tofu....

By the end we had many dumplings. We divvied up the goods so we all have some of each variety. In between, we ate salad, sesame noodles and dumplings and wine. We desserted on chocolate and more wine. And birthday biscuits. We also has some smashing mead, but that was earlier... as an appetizer. And which I am thinking about in the event that we get honey this year....

This is leftover beef dumpling filling after being fried in a pan and then having vermicelli and an egg poured over it. Fried up good like a frittata. It was the SB's dinner.

And speaking of the SB, I now have his laptop set up as my new computer, changing out the old iMac for this newer version. I hope that, once I figure out the new set up, things will be considerably faster, so that I can more easily post pictures.

And below, a gratuitous duck picture. Because I can.
That is Gloria in the front - brown with the spots on her chest. She is my favorite.


So I woke up yesterday to the simultaneous sounds of the cat wanting in, and the ducks wanting out. It was not yet 7AM and it was pouring, hence the enthusiasm for the cat to be in and the ducks to be out. No rest for the weary.

Thursday night was the first night of the spring peeper chorus. One of my favorite sounds forever and always bar none. This morning I saw a hawk eating something in the yard next door. I was glad it wasn't one of the ducks.

Thursday night was also the first night of the Latina speakeasy take out restaurant. Order ahead, pick up at the specified time. Pay what you will. Amazing. Delicious, and oh so nice to eat homemade food without having to shop cook or clean up. Plus it was a delightful surprise as we had no idea what we were having. Turned out to be fried plantains, stewed chicken and a citrus salad-y thing. Oh my.

Yesterday we drove out to the Valley for a pick up of duck food and pork. We managed to run into Maynard who totally hooked us up with a 10# pork belly, some unsliced hog jowls and a few other things.... pork tenderloin, ground pork, and a HUGE bag of chicken backs for stock. My freezer is bustin' at the seams. This makes me happy.

The ducks are in high form. We went from 4 eggs a day at the beginning of the week to 8 this morning. I am going to try to make some pasta. Today or tomorrow. Really, I know that I keep saying this but the situation will be desperate soon, so I do need to get on it ... Plus, who doesn't love fresh pasta. I found a simple and delightful sounding recipe in a book that I have that is basically a green olive and mint pesto. YUM.

We also need to eat some serious squash. We have two milk crates full in the basement that need to be used. I think we will roast some with our pork tenderloin and I hope to make some soup with the chicken stock from the Valley chicken. If you have good squash recipes, send me to them via the comments section.

Which brings me to the comments section.... Thanks to those of you who have left comments. I am going to have to remove the anonymous option as I think it will prevent some of the spammers from posting bogus crap. It is so demoralizing to see that there is a comment and then realize that it is someone's advertising spam.

Rejoice, for it is spring.