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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lost Chick

The little chick made it through the night with the big hens. It lived through the day, running to the hens and terrified of  me. When it disappeared into the bushes at the retaining wall, I could no longer see it. It knew how to hide since it quit cheeping, too. At two days old, it was a smart little chick. This won't happen again.

The four in the house are doing well. I think the store-bought chicks are more fragile than farm chicks. Both come from incubators, but the farm chicks mamas are free rang. The store-bought chicks get sick too often.

Your turn
Have you noticed a difference in chicks from different sources?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

4 AM Sunday Morning

I am sitting here in bed with a laptop that I must hold together and might burst into flames, self-destruct. So, here is three days of news or something.

The computer got too hot I hd to turn off the computer! So, now it is 2 pm on Sunday.

Friday, I decided to get chicks, so I went to the country to get them, five. They were tiny little puffs of yellow. I brought them home, put their box in the house AND forgot them for three hours. They were fine.

I gave them oats and water. I almost drowned one. These chicks make absolutely no noise. I ws going to keep them under the table for three weeks, but cannot plug in a lamp. So, they are in they same box with newspaper, food and water.

Saturday, I took one of the chicks out to show Thelma and Maggie May. I put it on the ground in  sunny place near them. THEN, it cheeped continuously. They both came closer. Maggie May...folks, the "a" is stuck and I will not correct or edit from here on out. Anywy, Thelma seemed to listen and stay back. Mggie May charged and even tried to get to the chick when I snatched it from the grass.

Sturday night, I took one chick and a red light to the pen. I put the chick to Thelma's left. She would not let me open her wing. In the day, she is more cooperative. She had that wing clenched to her side. The chick ran to her. In the meanwhile, Mggie May is trying to see and get to the chick because she can hear it cheeping.

I shut off the light and left.

About 4 am I went back to check on them. Maggie May ws stnding on the thin edge of the box where I cut a door. The chick was underneath her, sort of running around. Thelma was trying to look under her to see the chick. At least. they were not killing her.

I awoke just before noon today. Finally, I went out, expecting the worst. The chick and the two older hens were existing peacefully. When I went to the gate, the chick fled through the chain link. Then, she ran to the picnic table, then to bushes too thick for me to enter and probably have poison oak!

So, I figured a cat would get the baby. Not so. Not yet.

Just now, I heard the chick cheeping continually. I looked out. Maggie May and Thelma and the chick were on this side of the house. The older ones are panting in the shade. Baby is running across the rocks. Then, to the hens and beyond. The neighbor's fence is warped so there are dozens of places she can get through. She runs from me but not the hens.

Mggie May and Thelma seem not to have a maternal pin feather in their bodies. However, they are not hostile. That is good.

Okay, heard the chick and went out. The big girls were gone. I tried to catch the chick. No luck. They are just ignoring her, obviously!

I am going to put something around the inside of the pen so the chick cannot get through and escape. Three-day-old chicks can really run. And, this one can survive for almost 24 hours without me or shelter. sigh The outdoors is hotter than their box.

The other four go out in three weeks!

I know how I should have done this!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

It's So Hot that...

chickens in the shade

...I washed my hair at 6:30 on Wednesday. It is now about 24 hours later. Guess whose hair is still damp 24 hours later. I started sweating as soon as I got out of the shower and have not quit sweating. Sweating is one of the things I do best. Living in the South gives me plenty of occasion to practice sweating. I excel.
Last night, before I went to bed I took a hand towel and wet it with cold water and pulled it across my back and shoulders, then rubbed it over the rest of my body. I could not sleep, so at 5 am, I resorted to the cold towel and went right to sleep.
. . . the chickens refuse even to come out of the shade, even for food. In the picture above, I am on the other side of the clotheslines, calling them. Their mouths are open and wings raised to try and cool themselves. Yes, they have cool water and plenty of shade.
The computer is over-heating, so bye for now.  The low last night was 75 and the high was 94...way too hot for me.
Your turn
How hot did it get at your place? Are you chickens panting? Or dog or cat?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I Frightened the Nurse

When I awoke after anesthesia, I was alone in the same room where the procedure was done. I heard someone and said, "Is it to over?"

The nurse shrieked and gasped, "You SCARED me!? When I asked her why, she said she did not expect me to be awake and talking.

Before and after the procedure, I watched patients being wheeled out of the area. All were pale, had eyes closed, and looked like they were dead to the world. Yes, they had the procedure done.

She said she might as well take me back to the room since I was awake, that she was going to take me back later.

I went to  bed at 8 pm while exbf was here still doing things for me. When I awoke at 2 am, I felt fine, but now I am sleepy again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why Am I the Last to Know?

Thinking ahead to my second cataract surgery, I commented to exbf that I needed to get the names of the drops for my eyes, since I was allergic to both drops last time. I remarked that if anyone was going to be allergic to something that anyone would be me.

He laughed, telling me what the nurse said when I came back after my endoscopy last time. The nurses wheel patients back to their little room immediately after surgery so another patient can be rolled in and get final prep.

As soon as I was wheeled back in and the nurse spoke to me, he said I opened my eyes and said, "I want something to eat. I'm hungry." The nurse remarked that, "People don't wake up talking, just mumbling things no one can understand."

He laughed (last week) at the fact I did things differently, even when under anesthesia. What I want to know is why he did not tell me what happened then instead of two years later. ??? I always ask him what I said as I was coming out from under anesthesia!

Tuesday, later on this morning, I go for another endoscopy. I am not thrilled! The problem is my blood sugar drops until I am confused, woozy, cannot think, feel panicky. Fasting is not what I do best. THEN, they will not be able to find a vein due to no liquids. Last time, they finally gave me sugar in the iv. So, this time I arranged to get it before my blood sugar drops.

Late Monday night, I bought a few groceries with a some good deals. I will post those later. If you have a Sprouts Farmers Market, look for deals this week.

I always pack a "lunch" for exbf because I tell him he would rather pass out than go buy a coke or crackers. He is diabetic but thinks the rules don't apply to him...until it's too late. So far, I have diet Coke, cherries, bottle of water, 2  packages peanut butter crackers, apple, dried apricots. Since he must be there for at least four or five hours, I will put other things in tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I must ply Thelma with calcium--egg shells and calcium tablets. Monday, as I tried to pick up her egg from the nest, the bottom of the egg was already broken. I tried to pick it up three times, and each time it crushed more. Hopefully, one will not break inside her and kill her.

Your turn
Do you know if you say strange things coming out from anesthesia? One person said his gentle, Christian grandmother was cursing like a sailor before she awoke from surgery, saying words she would never utter when awake? Are you one of those people who are allergic to many things?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Thoreau on Clearing Land and Planting

Alabama sky Saturday

Sorry 1st Man
I had to go out in the country on Saturday and was overwhelmed at the sight of the pure blue sky and white clouds. The eleven-year-old girl I showed the sky said she loved how the trees seemed to rise up to meet the sky.

Now, some of Thoreau's writing:

[12]    I think that there was not more than one house on the road to Molunkus, or for seven miles. At that place we got over the fence into a new field, planted with potatoes, where the logs were still burning between the hills; and, pulling up the vines, found good-sized potatoes, nearly ripe, growing like weeds, and turnips mixed with them. The mode of clearing and planting is, to fell the trees, and burn once what will burn, then cut them up into suitable lengths, roll into heaps, and burn again; then, with a hoe, plant potatoes where you can come at the ground between the stumps and charred logs; for a first crop the ashes sufficing for manure, and no hoeing being necessary the first year. In the fall, cut, roll, and burn again, and so on, till the land is cleared; and soon it is ready for grain, and to be laid down. Let those talk of poverty and hard times who will in the towns and cities; cannot the emigrant who can pay his fare to New York or Boston pay five dollars more to get here, — I paid three, all told, for my passage from Boston to Bangor, 250 miles, — and be as rich as he pleases, where land virtually costs nothing, and houses only the labor of building, and he may begin life as Adam did? If he will still remember the distinction of poor and rich, let him bespeak him a narrower house forthwith.

I suppose turnips and potatoes made a good dinner in the woods.

Your turn
Have you ever heard of planting as the land was cleared by burning? Don't you wish land cost little now?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Free Clothing

About 7 years ago, I was the happy recipient of 21 men's shirts from Freecycle. I sent several to big grandson after conferring with my daughter. She may have used them for rags or set them out on the sidewalk as free. I don't care. They were all in excellent shape and excellent brand names.

The rest I gave to exbf. He picked out what he liked and what fit him. He is still wearing them. I think he took 10 shirts. A few months ago, he had on really nice jeans, the kind that are just a big baggy in the leg and pegged a bit at the bottom. I complimented the look, the fit. (maybe they are out of style). Since I had never seen them, I questioned him.

He worked as the guy at the gas station at Sam's club. Now, he is a greeter. A regular customer came in one day and asked him if he would like a stack of pants. He had lost weight and thought exbf might be able to wear that size. I think the guy had six pair. He gladly took all the guy offered and all fit.

I found unused socks in a free box one day. He wears those, too.

So, the exbf is practically clothed for free. He is easy on clothes at his job. He cannot mow his yard or mine. But, all old clothing is saved for work that might damage clothing.

Neither the shirts or pans had stains, holes, or any signs of wear. It's not that he will wear anything! He has okay taste and looks good in his free, barely worn clothing.

Your turn
Do you have anyone in your family that is lucky enough to get free clothing? Does your family rebel against free clothing, used or new? Got a spectacular free clothing story or a mundane story?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Maggie May, Burger King, and JC Penney

Today, I took out some of the chopped pork and slaw from the dinner. I dumped it in a heap. Thelma started eating. Maggie May grabbed  a portion that was larger than a golf ball and smaller than a tennis ball. She stood for about five seconds then ran to a corner. That is what my hens do, grab a big piece of something and run to a corner where they can eat without so much guarding of their food.

Before I could move away, Maggie May was back to eating with Thelma. She had deposited the large portion in the corner to assure she would have more than Thelma. Oh, the reason she could get such a large portion of chopped pork is that I took it to them cold from the refrigerator.

Maggie May cannot find the door to the pen, but she knows how to hoard food!!!

Since I became ill this last time, I have been frequenting Burger King several times a week. Still, I lost weight. I get a Whopper jr, light mayo, only tomatoes, only lettuce. When the order taker hears my voice, the screen if filled in automatically. Yes, I lost 20 lbs eating there. I never buy fries.

Last week, the person at the window where I pay was hanging out the window--arms and all the torso she could get out the window. There was no ac in the place except for where customers eat. Tuesday, the situation was the same. When I went inside to get a number, they gave me a number that could only be reached with the store phone. When I asked the woman why the ac was not repaired, she said she could do nothing except report it to maintenance. I assured some could and someone  Ought to be able to have it repaired by Wednesday. I told her I could and would picket the place, that I knew how to get a permit. Then, it would be in the papers, probably making national news.

We went round and round on this point. Then, I told her that the no ac was impacting the lives of the employees. They had to drive home exhausted from the heat, cook for their families, take care of babies, go to school and study. She kept repeating that she could do nothing. I suggested she contact the people with whom she would not connect.

"When someone passes out and hits his/her head on one of the sharp metal or floor surfaces. that will be a workplace accident." I pointed out that I have proof that I called and people can hear me, that I was sitting in the restaurant, using a loud indoor voice, and customers were listening. So, maybe it would be partially her fault for refusing to do more when it was over 90 degrees in the South.

This was about 3 pm Tuesday. At 5 pm Wednesday, the ac had been working most of the day. On the phone, I was polite, reasonable, and firm. I kept saying things like, "So Wednesday it should be fixed?" "Wednesday is the longest I will wait." "I know how to picket and have done it before,"

I am so happy I don't have to picket in this heat! I would have to take my walker AND a lawn chair. But, I absolutely would have done it.

JC Penney left town  6 weeks ago. So, I need to see if I can justify a 25 mile trip to use the $10 coupon. I also have a coupon for $10 off a $30 purchase. There will probably nothing I need at that price. Maybe I will see another customer making a large purchase and offer it to someone else.

Tonight, I brought home green beans, rice, and meat for hens from the church dinner. The hens were thrilled.

Your turn
I know your chickens fight over each morsel as though it were the last food on earth, but do you have a chicken that takes food away to hide it in a corner to hoard it? Remember, Maggie May took bread from Thelma and stacked it on top of the piece she already had?

Have you ever helped employees at a place where you did not work? Picketed?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

$10 off $10 Purchase

good coupon
This coupon came in the mail today.  Depending on how they count tax, I might quite possibly get something for free or at little cost. So, you know where I will be tomorrow!
Your turn
Did you get one of these in the mail?

I Did Not cook Dinner

Dinner out--half-eaten

I received one of those cards that offers a free dinner on Monday if you come and listen their little talk to sell you something. It was a subject that interested me. More about that later in another post..
The restaurant was Jim N' Nicks, a chain in Alabama. We had our choice of quite a few dinners. We both chose a bbq plate. The sides were slaw, baked beans and mashed potatoes. Who eats mashed potatoes with bbq? Naturally, The waitress gave me the only side I did not order--beans. So, she brought me mashed potatoes with gravy, quite tasty but not bbq fare.
It was delicious. I DID NOT HAVE TO COOK DINNER!
Of course, I brought home a huge box of leftovers for Thelma and Maggie May.
He came here to do things to help me, but brought no work clothes. What is with that? He gets so filthy when he even moves the hose. But, at least he is not afraid to get dirty. I am not complaining about the man getting dirty, but he could do nothing he usually does, like put chicken water and change their pinestraw. He did hook up my new antenna--the Leaf. It barely works to pick up stations. Bummer.
My friend G came over to help me sort things for less than an hour. Her being here is a stressor. The two of them here at the same times is sooo stressful. It is not anything they do; it's my problem. lol Both of them know this, so this is no secret.
We had a horrible but short thunderstorm here. The news was on as the storm moved through, and pictures of damage here was on the news. That was fast! The hickory tree right outside the picture window was bending limbs to the ground. The wind was tornado quality in my yard. During the storm I wondered where the hens were. As soon as it was over, they appeared and were scratching at the newly wet ground.
The temps were in the 90s until the storm went through. Low 70s was a relief.
Your turn
Do you ever get an invitation to these infomercials with a free dinner? Do you go? Was it stormy at your house?

Monday, June 8, 2015

KMart Deal and Stabbed in Walmart

clothespins from China
These Kmart clothespins are of much lesser quality than the clothespins made in USA until a few years ago. The spring is inferior. However, this is what we are left to buy. I asked an employee to tell me where were the clothespins. She showed these to me, and I asked the price--on sale for $2. That is half-price, so I got two packages of 96. Your Kmart might have the same clearance price.

arm, just above my wrist
As I approached the electric carts, I felt a horrible pain in my arm. I cried out in pain as I looked to see why I hurt. A man with two tiki torches in his cart had run into me with the torches. My arm was sort of horizontal, not hanging by my side. I had lifted my arm to put something in the electric cart. The man was almost as shocked as I was. He kept saying he was sorry while I was working with horrible pain.
Just imagine if he had hit a child in the face. He was not guiding the cart with any awareness of the protruding tiki torches. He hit an area with bone underneath the skin. An eye might not fare so well and had skinned places. The end of the tiki torch is cut on a sharp angle to help to stick it in the ground.
I filled out an accident report even though I am almost 100% sure this will cause me no problem. However, I don't know what germs might be lurking on bamboo.
I pulled off all the skin shaved up (see picture above). There was only one pin-sized dot of blood on the Bandaid they gave me after they brought peroxide for the wound.
Yes, I know it looks minor, but the surprise and the sharp, severe pain combined to frighten me before I turned to see what was hurting me. The place is barely visible now but I think there will be a bruise. I feel quite sure that more damage would have been done if the veins in my arm took this blow.
This is not the first time I was minding my own business and stabbed by someone walking by! Am I just a target? 
Your turn
If you use clothespins, did you realize they are made in China? Have you noticed they don't last as long? Have you ever been stabbed/injured by someone not intending you harm? 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Problem Solved

missing "e"
While this missing key may look like a problem, it is actually beneficial. Anytime I had to type an "e" in a document, Sometimes, I had to hit the key very hard. When I do that, my whole hand tenses, causing lasting pain and stiffness.
I am one of those people who does not pound the keys so hard. I just barely touch the keys. Therefore, typing causes no fatigue or pain in my hands and fingers.
Last night, I poked around under the key with no luck. Usually, I can use a business card and extract dust bunnies from under keys. Once, I pulled a 10" hair of mine from under the keys. That did not work last night. Finally, I pried the key up and it popped off. There was gunk under the key. Some residue remains at the top right corner in the picture above..
back of key
People talk about popping keys back on. I really don't think that will work here. There are two minute clip-like things, but too small for me to work back onto the space for the key.
I don't want to invest in canned air! I know about it. Maybe you use it.
When I had a pc in the other room, I never brought food or drink into the room. The office chair in there was prone to dumping me out backwards, so I used the computer and carefully got up. Now that I have had a laptop in front of the tv and sit in an easy chair, I guess I am a pig.
There is a 1960 movie on TV with Tony Curtis, Dean Martin,  and Janet Leigh. I am struck by how many times they must find a phone. I remember those days! I have been sitting here wondering how we would manage without cell phones.
Your turn
What do you do with keys that have been popped off the keyboard? Can they be put back on by a professional?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Need Ideas for Outdoor Faucet

Hens eating dinner of corn and oats
This is the outdoor faucet that I had installed last December. I just this week have gotten limited water use. I have lived here since 1977 with NO outdoor faucet. I do have a sink in the basement with a faucet. However, the trip down the steps is too treacherous for either exbf or me to chance. The price was only little bit more than a faucet on the house which would involve more water lines in the basement and drilling through thee one foot rock wall.

With no water at all, exbf had to carry a gallon of water from the house to chicken waterer. Now, the water is six feet from the waterer. Plus, I can now water any "garden" without filling a watering can or bucket. Before, I had to carry water out of the house or go into the basement to hook up the hose and wrangle the hose up the steps and across the yard.

I need ideas for an area around the faucet, especially where the water will hit the ground and be muddy. I am looking for a relatively splash-free solution. I do not want standing water or mud.If I put in small stones, I know the chickens will scratch them out. I am looking to do this cheaply with a strong feeling for aesthetics.

bricks and cap blocks

The step at the right is the bottom step. Then, the bricks and cap blocks extend about six feet. It is not long enough but it keeps me out of a stream when it is wet or raining. 

horizontal is granite slab about three feet long
The other two flat rocks I put there, intending to put more.

concrete was here when we moved here
There are several of these rough paths around the back yard. This one went to the tree that is no longer there. I will not remove this, of course.

rock in front yard
This flat rock is in the front yard and can be removed along with others.

behind shrubs
My monster rock is about 18 inches on the long side and is a good 5 or 6 inches thick. 

My aesthetics are quirky. I made myself a walk to the side door I use by using cap blocks I had, antique bricks, pavers someone gave me and some slabs of granite.  I have gotten compliments on the walk. Some people just look at it and continue. They probably feel sorry for me. Others suggest I buy matching material. This was free and suits me just fine.

There are a dozen or so bricks around here, some in the chickens' pen or around the outside of the pen. That is one idea. 

I have ideas involving all of the material I have around here. I just don't want anyone to have to walk in mud, do not want the area to attract digging hens. One thing I am thinking about doing is the leave a crack between huge stones where the water will run or drip.

And, I am going to spray the silver part of the pipe. I have all sorts of spray paint colors, so that is a "free" or "no money outlay now" part of the project. Oh, I am going to lay a weed block down, something water will go through but will blocks weeds.

Very important part--there must be nothing that will trip exbf or me. Any brick will have to be low sort of dug in or stomped into the ground so neither of us will step on it and cause it to flip or an ankle to turn.

My best idea is a group of bricks where the water falls with the larger, more stable rocks around it. The bricks will probably be lower, but that is no problem since no one will be walking there.

Two Men and a Little Farm has a water and rocks post today. Read it if you wish, but please come back and help me.

Your turn
Do you have any other ideas that are either cheap or free? Keep quirky and aesthetics in mind.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why Exbf is an Ex

We met on the internet in 2004 and emailed and talked for about a year. At his first contact, I told him I was dating someone. He said friends were a good thing. So, we emailed for a long time. It was all platonic. He never crossed those boundaries.

When the other guy dumped me, it was a I invited T up to visit me. I cooked dinner for him because he was always telling me by email how good what I was cooking sounded. After that he kept my yard immaculate and I cooked dinner for him and sent home leftovers. Almost two years later, he told me he did not want to be my bf anymore.

My 45th class reunion was coming up (2009), and I told him I wanted him to go with me. He refused for several weeks. He went to one of his reunions and it was the worst thing that ever happened to him. I xplained he would not be "on" and would have nothing to prove. He didn't even have to talk. I told him that people do things they don't want to do for someone they love. The next week is when he broke up with me. I cried because we had not argued in months.

He said he would help me as long as I needed him because he knew I needed help. Just last year, 2014, was five years since the breakup. I asked him if he thought he would be helping me for so long. He sort of laughed and said he never thought it would be so long.

Two years ago, I told him not to mow my yard again because of his hip and how he had to struggle. He does less and less as time goes on.

He is 62 and has never been married. He thinks an argument is the end of the world. He does not take conflict well. But, when I am right, I state so. For instance, I needed coolant in my car. He was putting in water. I was stomping around telling not to do so. He said, "It is summer so you don't need antifreeze now."  Then, when I quit arguing so I would not kill him, he followed me around telling me how I was wrong! He would not let up. So, I yelled at him. I managed to put a bit of antifreeze in the car. Well, the next day I took it to a radiator shop, and a guy there helped me by putting some in. Maybe he drained some out. 

Your turn
Does this clear it up? Any other questions?

Rough Day

Tuesday was the kind of day that drains me for several days. xbf came at 9:30 and frind's husband was coming at 10 to work on plumbing. I was up, bathed, dressed and exhausted by 10 when she called and said it would be around 4 or 5 pm before they could get here. sigh

The guy who mowed last time was coming at noon. I had already called him and told him not to come until 3pm because there would be children in the yard.

At 1 pm I had an appointment for a haircut. Exbf hung out six towels and a pair of pants for me, things from a load I washed on Monday.

I struggled to get dinner and served that about 4:30. Around 8 pm I discovered that I had not put the two cups of cooked rice in the taco casserole. Friends came at 5 or so. He worked on under-sink plumbing and there are still two leaks. As they were standing outside talking, they told me the guy was mowing.

When I rushed out to check the blade height, I found he had scalped my front yard!!! When I reminded him to raise the blade, I told him how unhappy I was with what he did. I made him put the blade height as high as it would go. He wanted to mow more and change the blade height "later'' after he had mowed more....grrrrr. I had to insist several times.

I have not viewed the job because I did not have the energy to walk to the back. Besides, I did not want to talk to him nicely if it was not better than the last time. It was almost dark when I went out to see where he was. He was using a weed eater. He had walked home with mower and come back to weed eat. He still charged me $30. Sweeeet!

The towels on the line stayed there for 5 hours and were still very wet. when I brought them in. The humidity is a killer. It saps my strength. Sweat dripped into my eyes as I sat inside in air conditioning!

Around 7 or 8npm or so, I lay down and woke around 2 am to find I had slept on a bag of cherries. They are now all mush. Wednesday is soon enough to deal with those.

Today, as I went to the car which I had parked on the street, Maggie May followed me, talking all the way. Exbf saw m coming back. He remarked that Maggie May was following me like a puppy.

Tomorrow will be a do-nothing day for me. My skin hurts. It really is discouraging not to be able to do things I could years ago, even a few years ago.

I discovered I can get a movie channel--gettv. It is all old movies, just what I like. My antenna costs me nothing per month, a good price.

Your turn
Do you ever have a rough day exacerbated by humidity and too many people?