Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois | Mercury in retrograde is effing with us- big time.
We to a big leap of faith, quit our jobs are moved to the the heart of the Shawnee National Forest to follow our dreams of self sufficiency and to make a go of living off the land… Can we help you feed your family?
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Mercury in retrograde is effing with us- big time.

Mercury in retrograde is effing with us- big time.

It’s been ages since I’ve last posted, we’ve been knee deep in sickness and live upheaval. October has sure kept us scrambling but we’ve come through it. Here is what we’ve been taking on, one step at a time:

In mid October madness began… there was a steady rain that wouldn’t quit.
Then a chick went missing, with feathers left as evidence of misfortune. First we thought our dog, snowball, was to blame.
Next we heard the hawks… A few days later Everly witnessed the hawk swooping down and a dead chick was Sprawled on the lawn. 

Days later our prized rooster went missing and our favorite hen was under attack. We rushed out to save her and discovered an injured chick… our hen remained missing for a few hours then returned unscathed. We were able to save the injured chick… Also, this unfamiliar husky dog showed up. Here is Adalyn with our favorite hen:

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Border Collie- SnowballDid Snowball (Everly’s Puppy) kill birds, did the husky kill birds or was it just the hawks? We had no idea. Snowball’s herding instincts drove her to chase and kill birds before.

Days later we processed a few of our turkeys that were well overdue and had the opportunity to shuffle poultry pens. I moved our remaining two turkeys to a goat pen, put our remaining chicks in the poultry tractor (where the turkeys were), then I undertook constructing a net covered run for our remaining 11 adult chickens.

The husky dog returned again and I found Dixie and the husky with two escaped adult chickens cornered in the bushes. After restraining the husky, me and Dixie rounded up the escaped chickens, secured the pen a bit more and took a rest. Dixie did so well following my commands and helping me get the chickens rounded up!

School bus time had come. Me and Addie went out to wait & swing for a bit – then a hay truck went speeding by the house, Dixie went off after it and ran right under the trailer it was towing. She died just as the school bus was pulling up. Both girls had to see her laying in the road but they took it amazingly well. Death is no surprise or shock on a homestead. 

A single day went by incident free- we hibernated on the couch and grieved for Dixie. We were all VERY sad and feeling lost without our homestead guardian and watch dog. Then Everly was scheduled to have her first field trip ever. Their school bus was in a crash (no kids on the bus at the time- thankfully) but we had to make alternate pickup arrangements since they were down a bus. Holy retrograde madness.

“When we say “Mercury is in retrograde,” what we mean is that the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky. Of course, it’s not — that’s just an optical illusion. But to astrologers, this illusion works some perplexing magic in our lives.”

For the next week remaining in the retrograde we stayed home and didn’t deviate from routine if we could help it.

Things have been smooth sailing since, until today when the husky showed up again and played a chicken to death. I actually saw it with my eyes this time and went out to intervene. The chicken was dead (she was the mating partner to our prized rooster that also didn’t make it), broken neck it seems. I left the kids inside and managed to take the dead chicken away, tie the husky up, reach it’s owner and explain what happened. The husky’s owner paid us for the dead chicken and felt super bad, now I’m fixing to process this hen so we can eat her this winter.

The retrograde seriously brought lots of death to this homestead! But then we also have lots of life beginning too…

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Oh and we still have two more massive turkeys that need this done: (aren’t those faces priceless?!)

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