A Kansas Sunrise ~ and a Giveaway!

No, this isn't today's sunrise.  

This morning's sunrise was rather uneventful.  So I pulled this one from my photo archives - one of the most glorious sunrises I've yet to see out here on the Kansas plains.  The shades of red, orange and purple were stunning on this crisp November morning over a year ago.

Don't you think so?

If you haven't yet, don't forget to subscribe to my blog so you can enter my Grit magazine subscription giveaway.  Read the original giveaway post here.  When you subscribe to my blog (see left sidebar to subscribe) be sure you enter your email address correctly - Feedburner will verify your email address by sending a confirmation email with a link you have to click to prove you are the owner of that email address.

The contest is open to family and friends alike, U.S. and Canadian residents only.  And I've decided to extend the deadline to enter.  You'll have until Tuesday at midnight, PST, to enter the giveaway.

So get subscribed, and reply to the next blog post you get in your email to be entered in the Grit magazine subscription giveaway!!

Livin' the Country Dream ~ A Giveaway

I know it's not everyone's dream to live in the country.  It's always been my dream, and I sure do love where we live.

 Frost on the grass - appealing photo to me right now
with our 100-degree plus days!

For my readers who long to make an escape from a crazy, chaotic city life, and my readers who already live in the country, I have a fun offer for you.

I'd like to offer a subscription to Grit magazine to one of my lucky readers.  This is one of my favorite go-to, rural living, how-do-you-do-that magazines - and other times, it's my country dreamin' kind of magazine.  Whether you already live in the country, or you're just dreaming of a country life someday -- Grit magazine has something for both camps. 

[On a side note, I'm lucky to be part of the Grit family and blog on their website.  Check out the link to my Grit blog (in the right sidebar) when you have a few spare minutes.]

Want to win a year's subscription to Grit magazine?  Here's how:

Make sure you subscribe to my blog and when you get your email announcing my new post, just hit "reply" and in the subject line put "Enter me in your Grit giveaway!"  If you already subscribe, you can reply to either of today's emails.

If you don't subscribe to my blog yet, it's easy to sign up.  You'll see "Follow Oz Girl by Email" in my left sidebar.  Enter your email address and follow the instructions.

That's it.  You've got til midnight PST Sunday to enter.  I'll pick a winner Monday morning using randomizer.org.  Contest is open to readers of the U.S. and Canada only. Please note, this giveaway is not subsidized by Grit magazine.  I will buy a subscription for the lucky winner!

This is my first blog giveaway in a long time. I've decided to offer a country item giveaway every month for the next 12 months.  It might be a magazine subscription, a country themed book, or a too-cute-for-words country item.

Stay tuned, and stay subscribed to find out!

I'll be posting a Lazy Sunday Morning photo tomorrow.  I've got my fingers crossed for a fantastic country sunrise.  :-)

Changing the Subject to DOG

If you've never visited my friend Neil's blog, Life With Dogs, I'm going to give you the best excuse EVER.  Do it now.  Click the link and watch a short video of dog vs pool.

And then bookmark his blog to get your daily dose of everything DOG.

I'm still crying I laughed so hard ....  it's short, only 1:46.  DO IT NOW.  I guarantee your best laugh today.

Two Keets Left

The one I saved yesterday is on the right.
#2 is behind him.

Solution to secure brood light.
Who cares about the stupid windowsill.

P.S.  The remaining eggs will continue to incubate through Sunday.
If nothing happens, then I guess nothing is going to happen.
Sunday will be day 28, max days for guineas.

So 2 may be all we get.

Bad News Today

I just awoke to a note left by my hubby on the kitchen counter....

Bad news. One of the keets is dead.
The light fell off and was in brooder.
Not sure how long it was like that
but one of the keets was under the light.
I will try to put a screw up there
so that doesn't happen gain.

And so, now, I am sad.  I think it was the first keet who died.  I just visited with the 3 of them last night when I got home from work.  I never did get a photo of the 3 of them together.

I will get a photo of the two who are left later this morning.  The one I helped yesterday is still alive, as is #2.

I don't think any of the other eggs are going to hatch, for reasons unknown.  I will give them until Sunday, which will be the full 28 days incubation.

#3 Made It!

With just a little help....

ok, maybe just a little MORE help....

#3 finally made it out of his shell!!

And that's a story for another day.


Poor Number Three

Click to enlarge -- you can see the additional cracks in the egg.

He's trying so hard, but he's really having a hard time getting out of his shell.  I can sympathize with the poor little bugger... goodness knows, I have a hard time cracking these shells myself when I cook with them!  Guinea shells are the toughest shells I've ever known!

He's not a quitter, I'll give him that.  He's been working on that hard shell since Tuesday afternoon.  I can still hear him peeping away this morning.  If only those two cracks (horizontal and vertical) would give way for him! My guinea book says they can take up to 2 days to hatch, so he's approaching that timeframe this afternoon.

I've got my fingers crossed for him!!

Now We Have Fred AND Fredonia

At least they have each other now!

Aren't baby animals just so cute?!

No. 3 is trying really hard!

Introducing Fred... or, Fredonia?

It's late, I just got home from work.... hubby got Fred out of the incubator while I was at work, and set him up in a small brooder.  Looks like two more eggs are trying to hatch, so hopefully by tomorrow morning, Fred... or, Fredonia.... won't be alone!  He's quite the noisy peeper, and he's pretty good at drinking his water and eating a little food already.  Fred looks like a lavender guinea.  It will be interesting to see if we get any pearl guineas out of this hatch. 

We Have a Peeper!!!

Click on photo to enlarge!

We have an egg starting to hatch!!  Even though the peep is low, I could hear it through the closed bedroom door in our kitchen.  I had just checked the eggs several times this morning, and nothing was happening.  Now, lo and behold, we have our first egg starting to hatch! 

BUT I have to get ready for work now.  

Luckily, hubby is on day shift this week due to a class he is taking, so he will be home by 5:00 at the latest.  The egg will only be alone for about 4 hours.  Hopefully the little bugger will hatch by tonight, and it will be a healthy chick.  I've read that guineas can take up to 2 days to hatch.  And under no circumstances are we to help it hatch.  I've got that burned into my brain from all my reading.

I'm so excited... I sure wish I could stay home and watch it hatch, but hopefully one of the other eggs will give me that opportunity.

Hottest Summer Ever Marches Forward...

Has it really been a month since I posted last?  I continue to set new "blog absence" milestones.  *sigh*

Our hot, hot summer continues with temps over 100 every.single.day.  I've given up looking at the 10 day forecast.  Each day forward I am only rewarded with the sight of yet another 100-degree day at the end of our 10-day forecast.  Suffice it to say, I am looking forward to autumn very, very much!!

The garden is doing fairly good, in spite of the high temps.  We set up a soaker hose amongst the corn and the cantaloupe plant.  Yes, the cantaloupe plant that we had given up for dead has bounced back with a vengeance.  There are at least 5 good size cantaloupes ripening and we're expecting our first juicy harvest by next week perhaps?

The two spearmint plants that were, for all intents, dead, have also put forth new leaves from their roots.  The four roma tomato plants are bushing out and beginning to get buds, although I think the heat is really sapping their energy to produce fruit.  We also have a row of pumpkins and a good row of pickling cucumbers, which have begun to produce small cucumbers.  Not enough to can yet though.

The guinea eggs are incubating, and due to hatch sometime this week.  Time to get the brooder back out! I put 13 eggs in the brooder initially, and through candling, removed two that didn't appear to be fertile.  Out of the 11 that are left, I still have doubts about one egg, so that would leave 10 good eggs.  This week should provide the answer, and I anxiously await!

The chickens and the guineas are surviving the heat, although they walk around panting most of the day.  Some days we replenish their water twice, just to ensure it's cool enough for them.  We've set up two fans in the coop trying to keep the air cool and circulating.  That's Nater below, our one pearl guinea, telling us she's not happy with something - it seems they are always squawking their disapproval over something!

The original clutch of guinea eggs under our north tree break is still there - one of the guinea hens has added one new egg to it this week.  But we haven't seen any of the hens sit on the nest in over a week, so I'm presuming they won't hatch out.

The pond has pretty much dried up.  We have a puddle there this morning, but only because we got some pretty heavy showers last night.  In the past month, we have been very fortunate to have two days where we've received pretty heavy downpours, which really help to green everything up, if only for a short while.  I know the horses really love the pasture after these rains.  We've been refilling their stock tanks with water every 2 days or so; in a "normal" summer, we probably refill them every 3-4 days.

This will certainly go down as a scorcher of a summer!

I am really looking forward to autumn (did I say that already?!) and getting our fall garden planted.  It was so enjoyable to work with my spinach last fall, when the temps were mild.  With the row cover, the spinach did great well into early December.   This fall, I've already got my seed supply ready -- carrot, radishes, lettuce and spinach, and perhaps some green onion too.  Only a few more weeks to go and I can start planting!  Yippee!!

I'll bid adieu with an early morning photo that makes our greenhouse look alive with light.  I'm also looking forward to utilizing this little greenhouse more over the winter and definitely next spring!

P.S. One more photo I almost forgot about .... CiCi and Baybee have finally worked out their differences.  They are now sharing the air-conditioned guest bedroom!  :-)