Turkeys and Bamboo

So, on Saturday I headed to Anacortes to purchase some turkey poults.  I drove via Bayview where the tide was quite low.

I bought three Narragansett turkey poults to replace the two poults that we lost to eagles (plus one extra, just in case).  I had the beagle with me, and she was very curious about them on the ride home.

And when I got them settled in a rabbit hutch in the barn (because the existing turkeys and  chicken chicks immediately attacked them), the young peacock was also curious about them.

Here they are in their hutch.  They seem to be doing well.

Today I cut down some bamboo in the orchard that was crowding out some of our fruit trees.  They went to the sheep and goats for trimming.

They will supplement the older bamboo bean poles in the garden.

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My Covid and Quarantine

As I mentioned, I started getting sick with a sore throat and cough on June 8 and tested positive for Covid-19 the following morning.  I was able to secure a prescription for paxlovid that same day and start it.

What I didn’t mention is that I likely broke my toe the same day I got sick, just to add to the fun.  Here’s the bruising a couple of days later.

So I went into 10 days of quarantine due to my being immunosuppressed and likely to have prolonged viral shedding.  So I have been on our property ever since.  The cold symptoms resolved rather quickly, but I have been feeling ill.  Generally tired but with minimal exercise (like walking) I often feel sick.  It is hard to describe, but I will suddenly feel dizzy, weak, nauseous and extreme fatigue.  I need to sit or lay down right away.  I have also been having sweats and chills, but no known fevers.  This has been interfering with my sleep.  I have had some mild shortness of breath, but my oxygen levels have been good.  Some days are better than others, and I suspect my adrenal insufficiency is a big part of the problem.  I increased my dose of prednisone to 10 mg twice per day for 2 days per the UK recommendations (the US ones say only to increase for fever which I didn’t have but still felt quite sick).  Then I tried to drop down to my usual 6 mg, then tried 7 and 8 mg and was on the couch those whole days.  Now I am on 10 mg and can mostly function.  This is so frustrating because I had gotten down to 6 mg, the lowest in over 2 years.  The plan was to drop down over ~ 1 month to 5 mg, get retested, change to hydrocortisone and then try to wean off completely.  All of this hard work appears to be out the window.  I am hoping I might be able to wean a little more quickly this time but who knows.  The other frustrating aspect to this is that Covid-19 has been known to trigger reactive arthritis.  If that happens I am really back to square one from April 2020.  But I am on Infliximab infusions so hopefully that will help.  But, of course, that is why I am immunosuppressed, and the plan was to wean off this medication as well.  This virus messed up everything, but it is my own dang fault getting it, letting my guard down after 2 long years.

Anyway, as I am spending a lot of time on the couch, I have watch a lot of television.  I often paired this with knitting.  I binge watched All Creatures Great and Small.  I watched some Queen Elizabeth biographies due to her Jubilee (which I couldn’t find a good way to watch live).  I have watched a lot of Mariners games.  I have hit up other TiVo  and Netflix items.  And daytime television.  With that I have been watching the January 6th hearings, which has been interesting.

Plus I watched the CNN Watergate series.  I have been fascinated with Watergate since I was a kid.  Not sure entirely why, but Doonesbury likely had a lot to do with it.  Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the break in.

When I do feel up to it (usually in the mornings) I do take on some chores.  Our list is huge this time of year.  I have to pick things that I can stop suddenly if I start feeling ill.  So I did make some tallow candles.  I used the molds I got for Christmas, and they are so much better than my old ones.

I also washed Donna’s and Diddley’s fleeces.  I have been spinning some as well.

I put up netting in the “pheasant pen” for the turkeys.  It took longer than I thought because of the obstacle of the grampa shed and we were a little short of netting so I added twine to some of the ends to make it work.  This went into the afternoon, and I was feeling ill but finished it anyway.  The turkeys had been in a pen but escaping it.  I didn’t want the remaining 4 to get killed by the eagles like the earlier two had been.  So there was some urgency.

I also slowly over several days got the tomato hothouse in order and transplanted some starts in there.  I have been doing some slow weeding in the garden and transplanting other items outside as well.

One thing I have noticed is that Ryeleigh has taken to chasing the barn swallows.  It is hilarious.  She will never, ever be able to catch one.  But it is good exercise for her.


Yesterday she howled at a cedar tree in our front yard all morning long.  I looked in the tree and couldn’t see anything.  I do know that the squirrels love to tease her though.

Starsky and Hutch continue to be cute and grow.  Now I need to apologize.  I hadn’t considered the implications of using the names of police detectives (albeit fictional ones) on animals whose name is used derogatorily for police officers.  I just thought they were cute names.

There are lots of chicks right now.

There are many nests of barn swallows now.

Our hatchery chicks are doing well.

I am wondering if this could be a Bielefelder chick.

If this could be our surprise chick.

And if this is a Golden Laced Wyandotte chick.

But the really good news is that the hen setting on eggs in the hay loft has hatched them.  This is my first view of them.

Tom fashioned a short fence around the nest so we would not have any more falling chicks, distracting the hen from setting.

It worked really well.  I believe we have 15 chicks and only two unhatched eggs.

I moved them to a rabbit hutch to keep them safe.  They seem to be thriving. They are mostly black with some yellow, but there are a least a couple of brown ones.

Because I tended to feel the worst in the afternoons. Tom ended up doing most of the cooking.  But he was able to come out of his quarantine, and we had a long planned Father’s Day trip the mountain trailer.  So he went on the trip, and I am holding down the farm cautiously.  For food, I made these Low Carb Enchilada Meatballs using our pork sausage and hamburger.  Now I have leftovers.

I also tried to learn how to poach eggs.  I got half of them right, which is an improvement.

And today the peacock was putting on a show.


Then the younger peacock joined in.  You can really see the difference in size and development here.

So that is my illness/quarantine experience.  I am doing better.  I am not feeling sick as often, I am sleeping better and getting a few things done.  I am still not right (especially tired), but the trajectory is good.  So I am hopeful.  The plan is to return to work on Monday. Wish me luck!

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Slave Holding Ancestors

During Black History Month this year, I had started to contemplate whether my ancestors had owned slaves.  I have never considered it since most of my ancestors arrived in the country after the Civil War or went to more northern states where I had assumed slavery did not exist.  But as I learn more, I realized that slavery wasn’t abolished in the northern states very quickly.  So I started wondering.

In addition, I have been running across other articles dealing with this same issue.  There is Grenada: Confronting my family’s slave-owning past and Harvard pledges $100M to atone for slavery role which had been in my local newspaper.

I have learned it is somewhat difficult to find out this information.  Tax records and probate are some of the best ways to look, as slaves were considered property involved in these transactions.

So what I found was this tax information regarding David Jenkins from the Historical Papers and Addresses of the Lancaster County Historical Society, Volumes 26-27:

From this it seems very likely that he owned slaves.  David Jenkins (1731-1797) is my 6G grandfather.

From the Lancaster County Historical Society Historical Papers and Addresses, Volume 15 he had quite a history, much of it honorable.

One of his grandsons (and not a direct ancestor to me) was John Carmichael Jenkins who even has a Wikipedia page.  He was clearly an owner of many slaves.  He died of Yellow Fever at a relatively early age.  Just desserts, if you were to ask me.

But I just found out also from Volume 15 that Adam Reigart, another Pennsylvania ancestor owned a slave.  He is another 6G grandfather to me.


Adam Reigart was another apparent American hero.  He was the owner of the Grape Hotel, the secret meeting place for Lancaster’s Sons of Liberty.  This photo is from this source.

“Call to Arms” at the Grape by Charles X. Carlson

He became a lieutenant colonel in the 88th Pennsylvania volunteers and was under the command of Col. George Ross.

Per this volume, slavery was not completely abolished in Lancaster County Pennsylvania until 1840.  This is much, much later than I had thought.

So there may be living descendants of these slaves, possibly with the last names of Jenkins or Reigart.  I have to live with this possibility.  I also have to live with the possibility (or probability) that the advantages my ancestors obtained from their possession of slaves were passed down through generations, maybe even to me.

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