Thursday 30 November 2023

TTRPG startup and Chicken tending


chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter and banana

November has been an odd month. It kind of seems like nothing has happened, but every day has it's own ups and downs and they all add up. Let's see, What can I tell you...

I have done a little bit of baking and canning but not much. Just some meat to have on hand instead of frozen and some broth for the canning, and a batch of cookies for game night.

close up photo of polyhedral dice
 Our neighbours that come over for a monthly board/card game night are now coming over weekly to play a table top role play game called Cypher. Since it wouldn't be a proper RPG group without scheduling conflicts, I wasn't really surprised that we had to keep rescheduling for one reason or another but after a couple weeks we all got together last Saturday for session-zero. Hugslut is going to be running the game for us and we spent all Saturday afternoon teaching the neighbours (who have never played any rpg before) how to play, and we got to make our characters. 

There is a human sized fairy who can hover/glide with her wings and does magic with dreams/illusions, a necromantic elf who fights with a bow or a rapier, a human sword&board fighter who focuses on protecting the lil guy, and a human water wizard who's good at healing as well as blasting people with water. This weekend we'll be starting our adventure together.


The garden is done for the season and I need to take down the temporary electric fence so it doesn't get blown down/iced to death. The garlic was planted in neat little rows and I hope to inter-plant with some greenery or quick crops like radishes in the spring.

If you can't see what's wrong, I'll feel better that I missed it until it got this bad.

Jennifer caught my eye a few weeks ago by staying indoors even when the rest of the chickens went out to scratch. I thought it was just because her moult was going so rough for her and she didn't have enough feathers to stay warm(her backside was nearly naked) but taking a closer look at her that night I found out she had a bad case of scaly leg mites.  (Sorry for the bad photos but she was not interested in standing still while I got close with the phone lol.)

After the first treatment or two her legs looked like this: 

The white scabbing is starting to turn black with healthy pink skin under.
She got to stay inside for a week eating as many high protein treats as she wanted alongside her regular pellets to help her grow new feathers and scales. Every day I gave her a foot bath to make sure she didn't get an infection, and to loosen the scabs. Then I re-coated her legs with vaseline to smother the mites, and since she was very well behaved and I didn't want her to be stuck in the hospital cage all day, she got to wander the living room most afternoons. By the time she went back out to the coop she was looking much more feathered and her feet looked like this:
Lots of new pink skin under just a few scabby bits. It only took a few more days for her to loose the last of the bit black bits, and just two days ago she laid her first egg since she started her moult in Oct! The girls reduce their egg production when growing new feathers but the rest were putting out at least one a week. I just figured it was because her moult wasn't going well. Turns out the moult stressed her enough for the mites to get traction and then the infestation caused even more stress on her system (etc). I'm glad she's recovering so well. Makes me feel like I have a handle on this whole chicken thing.

The rest of the flock are doing well. Kelly still hates Marsha but there haven't been any more injuries. Isabella and Romeo seem to be running interference and trying to keep them away from each other.

We've had our home energy assessment and the solar folks have come to put the braces/rails/frames? up on the roof already but the next steps are a month or two away. The greenhouse will be installed any day now. With the weather and fires and such they're running a bit behind this year.

What else.....

Now that money is coming in again we've ordered some wall mounted nightstands so we can replace the cardboard boxes we've been making do with, and we've been discussing the possibility of meat rabbits in the spring pretty much every time I look at the price of chicken in the grocery store. (It's almost always more than beef!).

The weather's okay for November. We'll get a day or two of -1C where it snows and then it'll melt a day or two later, some heavy rains that only last a day, the usual.

That's probably it. Hope you're all doing well and hopefully next blogpost I'll have some photos that aren't chicken feet to share. :-)

Chickens scratching around near their favourite bushes.

Sunday 5 November 2023

Lots of updates

Hugslut got a new job!
It's a work from home programming job and she starts tomorrow. :-)
Also, A LOT has happened. This is not all in order, they're grouped by category.

We have a family doctor now! Her office is about an hour away which was expected. We went for our intake assessments and got sent for bloodwork. The blood taking office only 10 min away didn't have any appointments available for a few weeks so we decided to go into Yarmouth for it because I wanted to hit Canadian Tire for canning jars anyway. We got to see the trees starting to change colour and stopped off at Anchors Away for lunch on the way back. The wildfire damage is of course still visible, but the speed of re-greening makes me smile.

What I found REALLY interesting is that as soon as I booked our bloodwork in Yarmouth, I called our Doctor's office to book the follow up appointment and they booked us two days later. That's right, no waiting two weeks and calling to be told "no news is good news". Instead, they automatically get the blood work results in the system and will talk to you about the results! (results = we could stand to loose weight but neither of us are dying yet)

This month we also had our home energy assessment which means we're all set for getting the solar panels and other updates/improvements we want to get done.

Realizing that we were having a hard enough time getting people to come to games night(there's some folks who come regularly and we're very happy to see them but I was hoping for a larger group by now) Hugslut and I decided to run RPGs for each other. It's uncommon to have one player and one DM but Hugslut had a hanging thread of a character from the last D&D campaign I was running in Ontario, so I agreed to create a campaign for her in Cypher System and she was going to run a Traveller System scifi game for me. After I ran a calibration/prelude session in Cypher and we made up some characters for me to choose from in Traveller.... We had game night and our usuals expressed interest in playing a TTRPG with us! Hugslut's going to run a D&D fantasy style game in Cypher system starting Nov.11th and I am so hyped for it. :-)

I've been running a freshness/longevity experiment almost since we got the chickens. Every once in a while I'd tuck 4 nice fresh clean eggs in a dated carton and put them in the downstairs fridge. These are from May 15th so they were in the fridge for 5 MONTHS and are still perfectly good!

I did a BUNCH of canning including discounted Thanksgiving turkey(chicken prices have been ridiculous lately) red relish, 3 kinds of pickled beets, some beet chunks, some carrot slices, and about 3 dozen jars of carrot bits. I also shredded a bunch of carrots for future carrot cakes and cleaned up a whole bunch of carrots that are now in the refrigerator for fresh use.

We got our first snowfall Nov 1st. Waking up after Halloween to a winter wonderland was not something I expected at all. The forecast said rain all day but instead it snowed all day even though it was about 4C. I had to shovel a space to open the shed door. The new girls had never seen snow before and the main flock know the local weather patterns because they were raised on the same island, so the chickens all decided that they were going to stay inside and wait it out.

All the snow was GONE within 36 hours of it falling which is what I was expecting, but I was really surprised how early in the year the first snow arrived.

InjuryAll healed up.

The chickens have been fighting again. Kelly just has a hate of Marsha that she will NOT drop. One day I went out to check on them and found Marsha looking like she dunked her head in koolade.(thankfully it looked worse than it was). She didn't seem to be bleeding anymore so I let her be for the day and that night I tried to clean her up a bit. I didn't want to reopen the injury so I didn't wind up doing much and she looked kinda bad for a few days. I kept an eye on them and it seems that I have to keep everything topped up to prevent squabbles. Even if there's at least a day's worth left, if the chickens decide the food or water or whatever is "running low" they get very cranky with each other. She's all healed up now and just has a lil black scar on her comb.

On the topic of Marsha's comb, I'm even more convinced now that Lily is simply much younger because I've discovered Marsha's hidden nest. She's laid SEVENTEEN eggs that I didn't know about! They were hidden between a strawbale and the wall and I only looked there because I spotted her coming out of the small space.

They're blue shelled like I expected and they are so tiny they're adorable! As I mentioned before, most of our eggs are officially "extra large" size so after weighing these I looked it up and they all fall in the "small" size which means it takes two of them to make one of our normal ones. :-)


That's all for now I think. Thanks for reading and I hope you're all doing well.