Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Butchering Freedom Rangers

WARNING! If you are squeamish about seeing animals being butchered then please skip this post.

So the day finally came when our Freedom Ranger Chickens were big enough to be butchered. I will take you through most of the process in this post.

This is one of 3 cages loaded with our chickens.
My husband said "We picked them up in a little box and it takes a trailer to take them to be butchered."

Why are the looking at me like that?
They really were not hard to butcher for they did not have the personality of my laying hens and roosters. If you raise chickens you understand what I mean by personality when it comes to a chicken.
This is the killing cones. You put the chickens in head first and slit their necks letting them bleed out till dead. I did not photograph this part of the process because, well this was the hardest part for me to watch.

This is the scalding tank. It is made from a water heater and runs on propane. I forgot to take a picture of all the gauges on the back. Anyway it heats the water to 149 degrees.

Then we dunk the chickens in two at a time until their feathers pull out easily.

This is the inside of the chicken plucker. This was so amazing to me how fast it pulled the feathers from the chickens.

The chickens were put in and with the plucker running and as it spun some water was sprayed in and wa-lah, featherless chickens.

The chickens were then taken to the butchering table. I did not photograph the step by step process at this stage. Maybe that can be an idea for a future post.
Oh that was a good size rooster.
My husband is the one facing the camera.
After the guys butchered them they gave them a good rinse and then I took them and packaged then in plastic wrap and freezer bags.
In the end, on this day, we put 33 chickens in our freezer.
Thank you to Rick for letting us use all of your great butchering equipment. Thank you to Shad for all of your help. Thanks to my hubby for putting up with these not so bright chickens, I know we will appreciate it the winter when we have roasted chicken or chicken noodle soup. By the way the term homemade chicken noodle soup will have way more meaning for us now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

On the road to better health

It came to my attention that I had not posted an update to by Heart Issue post. The cardiologist could not find anything wrong which was a blessing. The great thing is the past 1 1/2 weeks I have had no chest pain at all. I believe this is an answer to many people praying for me. The pastor from my church even sat in the waiting room during most of my cardiology appointment. When my husband finally went and told him things were going good and he could go home he said "God is tired of listening to me anyway" I told him the following Sunday that he prayed so hard they even undiagnosed my Mitral Valve Prolapse, which I had been told I had about 15 years ago. Not often you go to an appointment and get an undiagnosis!!

I still have occasional dizzy spells and headaches which they think is due to being anemic. I purchased several supplements from Beeyoutiful and they seem to really be helping. My symptoms are bothering me less often and I have more energy than I have had in a very long time. It is nice to feel I can better keep up with my husband, house, and kids! I am not good at remembering to take my supplements so I put them in my window sill above the kitchen sink and I take some when I wash the breakfast dishes and some when I do the supper dishes. This has helped me be more regular in taking them.

So here's to good health!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Musical Instruments

Bill and I made a very, very large musical purchase this past weekend. It included about 50 instruments. Some of them are pictured here and there are even more that are not. I am now in the process of finding out more about each instrument and the values of them.

My new Mandolins

This one is a Wynn, I know that Mr. Wynn just recently passed away in August.

Bills new Banjo

There is everything I think you need to build Violins

And here are the 33 violins that were included!!

So now I cant wait to learn to play the Mandolin which I have been wanting to do for a while now and Bill has been wanting to play the Banjo. We will soon be jammin together!!
If you have any knowledge or advice about Violins please let me know. I will eventually be selling most of them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

So in a few days I will go and visit the Cardiologist. I am nervous and am praying that it is a very minor thing. I have been trying to pinpoint if anything in my life is setting this off but I cant come up with anything. So I will just patiently wait for the test to be done and see what they have to say. Thanks to all who have been praying for me and my family. A lot has been going on the past week and a few people have really stepped forward in prayer and help and it has made a huge difference.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


What is the matter with me? Well according to the Dr. possibly my heart. A few month ago I began having mild chest pain, dizziness, and frequent headaches. I finally went to the Dr. last week and was sent to have lab tests done. I assumed I was anemic and I was right.

But that is not all. I guess the chest pain cannot really be connected to the anemia problem. So I now have a appointment scheduled with a cardiologist next week. Back when I was 19 or 20 I had some heart problems and was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse. I cut way back on my caffeine intake and eventually I rarely had any more trouble with it. This chest problem does not feel the same. At times it gets a little scary. Of coarse the Dr. told me that if the pain increases between now and my appointment to go to the ER. It is a little frightening. Enough so that I had a review talk with my 10 year old about using 911, better safe than sorry.

To treat the anemia problem I have ordered products from my one of my favorite companies. Check out all the great products they have to offer. We used their immunity pack during flu season last year and had a definite decrease in illness.

Well I will update you as things go.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This is our new dog Belle. She is an Australian Shepherd that my husband rescued from the local shelter. I am amazed that this dog was abandoned as she is very well trained. It is obvious that she was dearly loved at one time. She walks perfectly on a leash, she sits with a hand command (which took awhile to figure out), she speaks, and shakes. I have been teaching her to lay down. She may know this already but I haven't figured out a command that the previous owner would have used. She doesn't like to have me out of her sight, she is my new shadow. This dog is wonderful. About the only bad thing is that she is very old, the vet thinks she is around 9 or 10. But she is in good health and hopefully we will have many years together. I wouldn't have picked any other dog.
Thank you dear husband for not only getting me a dog, but picking such a wonderful addition to our family. If anyone reading this is considering getting a dog, please go to any of your area shelters to find you next pet. You never know you may get a wonder dog like mine.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Recently we invited the Soarin' Eagle Raptor Rehab to bring some birds to Wing Haven and do a educational event for us. It was so much fun to see these birds up close. We had to call them early this spring to help with a rescue and you will see that at the end of this article. All of these birds that they bring to events are injured badly enough that they can not be released back into the wild. They are then worked with to be used for events like this one.

This is Ruby a Red-tailed Hawk. She was injured and cant see very well so would not be able to hunt for herself.

When she is held up in the air she loves to put out her wings and catch the breezes.

I love this picture of her tail. She is just now getting her adult feathers. The striped ones you see are her youth feathers, then you see the red feathers that make her a Red-tailed Hawk, next you see a white feather that has come in showing she has an albino trace in her. I just loved the way she looked at me as I took this picture.

This is a Red Shouldered Hawk.

It had to have part of its wing removed due to an injury as you can see in this picture.

What a beautiful creature.

This is a Great Horned Owl. I love all the different colors it has in its feathers to help in camouflage its self.

See the way it is acting in this picture.

It was acting that way because it didn't like the feathers that Holly Meyers is holding as she told Native American stories relating to raptors. When she put it away the Owl settled back down.

My kids loved this one. It was a little Eastern Screech Owl named Houdini. This is full size and was so adorable.

Houdini had been caught in the grill of a car after being hit and was pulled from there to rescue it. It is now blind in one eye.

Look how tiny and cute it is.
Early this year Bill and I were on our way home when we say a semi pulled over along I69 near our home. Then we saw the driver sitting in the grass next to a young Red-tailed Hawk. It was clear that the hawk had bad injuries and luckily Bill had recently met Holly Meyers of Soarin' Eagle Raptor Rehab. So we gave her a call and she and her husband David met us on the highway to rescue the hawk.

It was so sad to see it so helpless after being hit by a car while hunting for food along the highway.

As you can see from this picture it's right wing is badly broken.

Here Holly checks the birds injuries while her husband David hold it.

Sadly we found out two days later that this birds injuries were to severe and it had to be put down. Despite the loss of this beautiful bird is was wonderful seeing the rescue and being part of it. All of these people volunteer to do this and what they do is wonderful.

My dad and my girls

On fathers day we traveled to Ohio to have a short visit with my dad. I tried to take photos of him with the girls. Is it that impossible to get a picture of 4 girls who are all smiling at the same time. Let take a look and see.

UMMMM, I really don't know if it can be done.
OH see the M&Ms on the table. That is the final evidence of my dads bribery of my girls. Every time he sees them, since my oldest was old enough to eat M&M's, he brings each of them a bag. I mean every single time. They will actually ask if we are going to see the grandpa with the M&M's if they are not sure which one we are going to visit.


Over the weekend my husband yelled to my daughters to come out on the porch and see something really cool that he had found. I went out to find this slug leaving its trail on my brick floor.

To show just how big it was we decided to take some comparison pictures. This one includes my 10 year old daughters hand.

This one is with a very large banana.

This was a huge slug. We got distracted by something then came back and it was gone. I wonder just how big can slugs get?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Living Deeply Rooted

The idea of being deeply rooted came to me many years ago. I first wanted to use the name Deeply Rooted Studios as a label for all the crafts I make. Now this name did not come to me just by chance, this name has great meaning to me in a couple of areas of my life. My family life and my christian walk. These two things also blend themselves together as you will see as you read on.

I feel like Bill and I are two trees growing next to each other. As the years pass our branches grow closer and closer to each other and get more and more tangled with each other. This is what is above ground for all to see. The fruit from these two trees is beautiful also. But the greatest thing is what is going on below ground. The roots of the trees used to be really shallow. The slightest wind or storm could make these two trees groan and want to lean away from each other and topple over or even break a branch off occasionally. But over the past few years a change has taken place. These two trees roots have begun to grow deeper into the ground and twist around each other to help each other stand strong. Now when a strong wind or storm comes these two trees just sway together as if dancing and the wind just makes them stronger. Also their roots going deeper in the ground helps them to stand strong in their faith.

The Bible talks about trees growing deep roots in order to bear good fruit. That is what these two trees are now doing. As their roots dig deeper and deeper they are growing stronger and hopefully the fruit they bear will show that they have deep roots.

Four of these fruits are seed bearing by the way and we are praying that some day when these two trees are ready to let go of them they will have deep roots as well.

So this is my story and image behind Deeply Rooted as I am daily trying to live deeply rooted.

8/2/12  Wow this needed a little update.  We added a fruit to our trees a year ago.  So there is now 5.

Freedom Rangers

After raising chickens for the past 5-6 years for egg production by husband Bill and I began talking about raising chickens for meat. We had friends who had raised Cornish Cross and after witnessing their birds I was completely turned off by the idea. Cornish Cross grow too fast for their bodies to keep up with. Many of them dye from heart attacks or they cant stand up to eat their own food. Now I know these birds are being raised to eat but I do desire to eat something that was raised in humane conditions and had a healthy life.

A friend of Bills passed a magazine article on to us that discussed Freedom Ranger chickens. Freedom Ranger chickens were first developed in France in the 1960's. They were developed for the French program, Label Rouge, which takes pride in the high quality of their birds. Many restaurants in France use Freedom Rangers. These birds came to the US in 2000 via a hatchery in Canada. Within a few years this hatchery closed down and now small farms are choosing to raise these birds instead of the Cornish Cross.

Freedom Rangers are great foraging free range birds. Many rave about the taste which is due to their slow growth and free range ability. Freedom Rangers will have a long body, small breast and longer legs (I like dark meat better anyway). I am willing to sacrifice the final dressed weight of the bird in exchange for taste and quality of how they are raised and processed.

So we finally decided these were the birds that we would start this adventure with. A group of us ordered a large quantity of chicks through JM Hatchery. The first batch we got was 24 and then 25. We have only lost 1 chick so far. They seem to be good healthy birds.

These chicks were from our fist purchase they are about 4 weeks old and will soon be going to an outdoor pen that we will be building this coming week. We are working on plans for a chicken tractor setup that can be used during the day then move them to a safe pen at night.

These cute little chicks are about 1 1/2 weeks old. We just picked them up 3 days ago.
So far things are going well with this little experiment. I will use this blog to keep track of our progress from now to the dinner table (YUM). So keep checking back as the weeks go by.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sydneys Painted Lady

About a month ago we had attended a butterfly and fairy display at the Botanical Gardens in Ft. Wayne. One of the things Sydney brought home was a caterpillar of a Painted Lady Butterfly. A few weeks later we got to let the butterfly go outside.

Today we went outside for some of our school time and Sydney was getting ready to do her bible study. She looked down to see a Painted Lady Butterfly on her Bible.