The back of Serendipity is finished.  It looks sort of odd, but the flanges are the sides and will be Kitchener stitched to the flanges of the fronts.  Since this version is a cardigan there is a right and left front which are getting close to being done and will also have flanges for the sides.  There are 8 repeats of the pattern, one for the neck, one for each sleeve, two for the sides, and three for the bottom of the sweater.  The front has seven repeats of the pattern, 3 and a part of one repeat for each side;  the V-neck of the sweater will take the place of the eighth pattern.  Next week we start on the sleeves, I think.  We are moving right along. 

By the way, the puffed up part in the center should go away after blocking.

Our poor Mama geese are working so hard sitting on their nests and hatching their little ones (the first 11 arrived on Sunday).  What is a mother to do!   The problem is--what does a mother do when she has a gaggle of little geese running around but still has 2 or more eggs in the nest?  The little goslings can't get back in the tire nest and will suffer from hypothermia and die from cold if she doesn't brood them and the eggs will die from the same thing if she gets off of them!  This is where family--sisters, Aunts, and mothers come into play.  We had three geese in the same little pen.  Two were in tire nests and the third had her eggs on the floor.  The prospective mother on the floor brooded the goslings on the floor while the mother hatched the rest of the eggs in the nest.  They don't seem to care whose babies are whose and will steal nests, eggs, and goslings from each other.  This morning we moved the two mothers with all their eggs hatched and a total of 21 goslings into a new pen where they can enjoy the outdoors, but still have a little building for shelter.  Poor Mack has a bunch of terrible bruises on his arms from the ordeal.  I wore leather gloves, goggles and a very loose coat so fared much better.  Two of the goslings in the picture are female, the other is male.  Pilgrim geese are sex linked so you can always tell the males from the females.  Males have orange bills and blue eyes;  females have gray bills and brown eyes.  Hey--do you  know anyone who would like to buy some goslings?

This morning when we looked down to the pond we saw two ganders fighting!  Big Deal!  Right!  It is spring and that is what males do--they fight each other for dominance. Any time we look out there will be two, or three, or more fighting.  They grab each other by the neck and run round and round making a weird honking noise until one is victorious.  Then they are best friends again. 

What surprises us is geese (the females) fighting over nesting sites.  They are absolutely vicious!  The prime nests are in tires we have set up.  Two or three females and several males will jump on to the goose in the tire or any of the other nest sites and pick and pick on her.  It is horrifying to watch.  The side affect is that eggs get kicked out of nests and are ruined.  The picture is of an egg that was accidentally kicked out of a nest. 

We thought we had all of our computer problems fixed, but new ones keep popping up.  First, we had to get a new computer, then we had trouble with our host.  Now we seem to have something which reduces our access on a totally random basis.  Sometimes we can get on, and sometimes we get a message that says  our page is no longer available or has been discontinued.  Who knows?  IT seems to be working again--so HOORAY!
We have had a problem with our website the last couple of days (at least, I hope it wasn't longer).  Fortunately, an alert customer called and told me.  We think we have it fixed, so should be back and running as usual!

No, not Thanksgiving!  We were walking our dogs, as we do every morning and noticed that the hill across from us was moving-like the wind was blowing tumbleweeds across our fallow field.  Only, there are no tumbleweeds in Ohio, at least not that I know about.  We got a little closer and looked a little harder--the gray blobs were wild turkeys.  There must have been at least 100 of them.  They were on two knolls and in  the valley and gully between, sort of flowing slowly to the woods.  We got closer and could see their long legs and their gray bar feathers.  All of a sudden a big gobbler stopped and stood watching, like a guard as the females trotted past.  Just about as quickly, another gobbler came up and both toms puffed up like you see in picture.  They strutted and tried to intimidate each other.  After the others passed by and were safely in the woods the two toms, still bickering and fighting, disappeared into the woods.   Spring is finally coming! 

On the way to work today we say about 12 wild turkeys in a field just before Marrtown Rd.  It is wonderful to see them!  Not to many years ago they were very rare birds i

Or is it  smelly problems?  Something has been eating the eggs at night--goose eggs, duck eggs, chicken eggs!  Whatever!  Scarfed right out of the nests.  If they aren't locked up in a  pen or cage of some sort, the eggs are gone by morning.  All the birds are very frustrated.  The cold has been bad enough, but now in addition, we have the midnight thief.  Possum, raccoon, skunk, crows-all like a fresh egg whenever they can get it.  Crows are very clever they will grab an egg in their beak fly up into the air with it and then drop it to the ground.  They then swoop down and eat the contents.   Of course this happens in the day, so the crows are off the hook.  Since it got warm we have been noticing a horrible skunk smell in our shed.  Traces of skunk smell are on the nests and pretty much all over.  Hmm, I think we know the type of thief.  Now comes the hard part--how do we get rid of it or them?  In the meantime, we have hardened all of the nests we know about.   It is too bad we can't attach a smell instead of a picture.  Or, maybe it is a good thing.   Isn't he cute!  It is hard to get too angry.
Today is Pi day--that is right, the mathematical pi--3.1415 (get it March, 14 2015).  It is particularly unusual and special because of the year 2015.  I have always loved math and am thrilled that there is such a thing as pi day, however, if you don't like math or know what pi is, you can always celebrate "pie" day with your favorite flavor.  Just thinking about it makes me want pie.  I may have to make one this weekend.

On another note, attached is a picture of one of our outdoor cats, Vinnie, trying to talk us into letting him into the house last week--it is hard to believe this picture was taken last week.  And yes, the cats have a nice warm corner of the chicken house with a heating pad and a heat lamp.  He was very tired of winter when this picture was taken and I think we were, too.  Of course, Vinnie dislikes the rain even more, but he doesn't like to get wet while he pounds on the door.

Pictures of the poor geese in the latest snow.  In the first picture Spotty is asking "When will it end?  The second picture is LG eating out of my hand.  It is ironic that of all the geese we have, LG, the only wild one, seems to know his name, comes when I call him and eats out of my hand.  I can't help but think that he must have been raised by a human.  None of the other geese eat out of my hand--but then again, if they try LG attacks them.

I managed to get a picture of Bomber with his head in a bucket--but the rest still more or less applies.

My plan was to write about Bomber and the Bomberettes today.  To do the post reasonable justice, I needed photos of the subjects.  They were nowhere to be found in the barnyard this morning.  I looked in the shed, the chicken house and various other pens.  No show--nowhere to be found!  I took my camera and huffed back to the house to get ready for work.  Needless to say, I was a little irritated.  As I stepped out of the shower I gazed out the window and there they were strutting around and showing off for who or whatever would look at them.  Darn, and there just wasn't time to go do the photo shoot.

Your curiosity is probably piqued at this point so I will explain.  Bomber is a rooster and the Boomberettes are 3 hens.  They are all half Buff Orpington and Buckeye.  They have been really annoying me--whenever I open one of the grain storage bins (garbage cans with sacks of feed) they swoosh over my head (or anyone's head, I would suppose) and dive head first into the sack of food.  They stay there head first gobbling food down with their tails stuck up in the air until they are fished out.  This is all very frustrating, especially when it is cold.  Who wants to grab a rooster or hen and extract them from grain bags when it  is  below zero-- or any other time for that matter.  They will also perch on the edge of buckets as we are carrying the feed to the feeders.  They poke their heads as deep into the feed as possible, clutch onto the rim of the bucket with their toes, and fan their tails to stay on board.  After many frustrating episodes, we have discovered that they like being picked up and carried around so now I am thinking they may be trainable. This is very surprising, because I always thought Bomber was mean--and he is, when it comes to other roosters.  He has killed or run off several other roosters.  Two have taken refuge with Merlot the pea hen and the others are gone.   When it comes to people, so far, he isn't too bad.  I don't know how long his friendliness will last--us handling him and fishing him out of cans and all.  For now, we appear to be training--either I am training chickens, or chickens are training me.   I am not sure what advantage there is to having a rooster or hen perch on my arm or on the edge of a bucket I am carrying, but who knows?  I will try to get pictures tonight and add to the post tomorrow.  In the meantime, you can imagine!

Oh, by the way, Bomber started this bad habit and has trained the Bomberettes to follow his example!