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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Won Three Ribbons at the Fair!

Today was Senior Day at the Fair. I managed to get the closest parking space and only had to walk about 40 feet to get to the closest building, the one art and canning was housed. I found my two blue ribbons and one white on canning and dehydrating. The potholder did not appear to be there at all. There were better ones. So, I probably did not get a ribbon for it.

Next year I will crochet lace edging, maybe make some dolls clothes. We will see. I really did not get to see much because I needed to just get to the car so I could sit.

One of these days, I should wallpaper a wall with the ribbons I have won since I was eight-years-old.

The hens are alive for one more day. I went out tonight and both had put themselves to bed in a Rubbermaid box. So, I won't have to go out into the cold, dark night to save them from themselves. Hopefully, they are trained. Still, I will put hardware cloth around their pen. 

Stupid raccoons! I saw a possum ambling along over near the side door, far from the hens.

Your turn
Tell me something interesting, funny, or just plain crazy. Got possums?

Fertile Eggs Without a Rooster

It seems that a hen can lay fertile eggs without a rooster daily mounting her. When I read this, I decided to investigate. After googling the information, there was no way to copy and past to my blog.
There are varying reports of how long a hen will lay fertile eggs after she and the rooster part ways. The length of time she can remain fertile depends on the breed according to the published information. Some breeds can lay fertile eggs for forty days.

My hen that is laying still has bare skin just in front of her tail where the rooster mounted her. A rooster and two hens were together! She is laying eggs that I suspect are fertile.

If I owned an incubator, I would try for chicks! If anyone near me has an incubator, I would be willing to give them the eggs to hatch.

Every night since I got them, I have had to go out in the dark and relocate them from sleeping right next to the chain link fence. Remember, that is how the raccoons got the babies and the full grown hens. These chicks and hens this summer are the only ones I have ever owned who had this strong desire to sleep next to the fence.

Last night, I could not catch Janis Joplin. So, at 3:30 am I went out for the second time and caught her and got her into the sleeping box. I had to replace the little one from the laying box to the sleeping box.

Tonight, I went out and found both sleeping in the laying box. Okay, I will settle for that. Maybe tomorrow, I will lower the boxes, hoping the little one can get to the higher box. She makes a mighty jump as it is. At sunset, I will tape a cloth over the lower box, the one for laying. Hopefully things will sort themselves out!

Your turn
I know hens will develop a habit if a person keeps placing them in the right sleeping quarters. Have you built a new hen house and had to carry them all to their new home after dark? Or, have you helped them develop a habit you want?

Monday, September 28, 2015

What I did this summer

I went to the doctor way too many times. I took too many antibiotics. Finally, I complained mightily to the doctor that something was wrong, really wrong because this was too much antibiotic use.

Nothing was grown or canned around here. I did dehydrate a few things.

Of course, my allergies acted up. The Zyrtec was working. Then, it had no effect. So, Claritin it is now.

Getting exercise should be at the top of my to-do list. Walking enough is just not possible. However, I have maintained my weight-loss of the late winter and spring. I was trying, so it was not just a fluke.

Of course, as you may remember, I had a heat stroke, suffered again from the heat a few weeks later. getting the car ac fixed twice fixed my heat problem

What I did not do--go to yard sales, make free money for Christmas, do any mystery shopping, grow anything, go to PO for anything, read anything. I did nothing I ever do to amuse myself or make little dribs and drabs of money for Christmas. Looking back, I was barely living and am sure people are annoyed at my lacks.

When my computer gave up the ghost, I could no longer post. I went to the library computers
once, but I could reach my blog or anyone's blog. They obviously don't allow blog reading. It may have something to do with the child molester/perv who used the computers in the library and the FBI took over the computers for three days. Just guessing.

It was a miserable late spring and summer. I am just now feeling more normal. So, that is almost six months lost.

My skin was not the same starting in the summer. ???

I was not entirely miserable as it sounds. But, it was difficult to keep an optimistic, sunny disposition when weekly some WM employee would refuse to help me. One stated he "did not buy this disability stuff of mine."  I pondered lots about the state of my health!

My birthday, Sept. 11, was spent in bed. I was too ill to even get up. So, I went with it and rested. My friend brought me a cupcake/tort thing with a candle, sang "Happy Birthday" and gave me a gift. She brought me a pack of five indelible markers. She thought she might have carried some home. She did drop one without a top into a box. I told her we were not going to waste time looking for it. I certainly did not hold it against her. (Once I mailed my marker to my daughter in NY.) When we found a week later, the marker that skittered to the bottom of the box, it was dry. So, her gift was a nice, practical thing to receive.

I bought Harper Lee's book, Go Set a Watchman with money I saved from a Christmas gift last year just for this purpose. However, I could not read it without the other lens in my glasses.

Surely, I did other things this summer, but nothing remarkable.

Yesterday, my friend told me I looked so much better and acted well, not so sickly as I had been.

So, that's it Sonya Ann! (She asked.)

Sunday was my youngest child's birthday. She's 45. Happy  Birthday!

Your turn
Have you ever had a miserable few months?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Janis Joplin lays an Egg!

Janis Joplin is the larger of the two chickens, the Dominicker. Today, I was in the front yard and heard her egg  song, long and insistent. Since I brought her home Thursday, I was surprised that she laid an egg today, Saturday.

Eventually, I went to look for the egg, but it was nowhere to be found. It was not on the ground, in the egg-laying box, in the garbage can, in a cardboard box I am collecting paper plates I have left with food. Hoping she had not eaten the egg, I left the pen a bit dejected.

When I went back to feed the two, I did find the egg in the box I designate for laying eggs. I always wonder how new hens figure out which place to lay an egg. This hen laid a very small egg for her size. It is not a white egg, but is a very light beige with a slight pink hue.

I have spent $8 on eggs since my layers were carried off--$5/doz at the grocery store and $3 for 9 eggs at the market. The guy promised me a dozen, but his 60 new hens are "on strike." This new hen will have earned her keep in a few months.

Of course, I will have to pace my scrambling of eggs so I can have enough to bake this season.

Yesterday and today, I got major decluttering accomplished with the help of my friend. I also found a new woven potholder that I did not make. My niece might have made it. Since I made one two weeks ago, I feel rich with two new potholders.

An egg and a potholder in one day! YAY!

Your turn
Do little things put a little zip in your life?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Chickens Today

Yesterday, I asked the woman who sold me the two tiny pullets to bring me two more, explaining how the last two she sold me were pulled through the fence by raccoons. Today, I went to her work to pick them up. She brought them to the car and I paid her and thanked her.

Two minutes later, I carried them to my pen. Since I did not want the mean hen to peck them continually, I decided I would let her out of the pen and just let her fate be determined by the first predator that came along. I did recant.

I put the box of chickens in the pen, went into the house for oats and returned. Devil-hen was walking on my feet to get food. I lured her from the pen and sprinkled oats. She rushed out to eat but rushed back in when I tried to close the door. So, I stepped out of the pen and so did she. Then, she tried to get back in when I went in. This is the hen that I shove back into the pen repeatedly when I try to get in or out of the pen.

Finally, she was locked out. She was pitiful trying to get back in...sigh. When I opened the box, I was shocked. I had gotten two tiny Rhode Island Reds the last time and asked for the same this time. She only had on RIR and asked me if I would like to have a Black Star or Dominicker. I tried to give you a link for Wikipedia, so you could read all about the Dominique I chose.

This Dominicker was huge. Plus, she is laying now. On the other hand, the RIR is tinier than the others. She said the other pullet she promised was actually a rooster. She had failed to tell me the Dominicker was large, so all was well after the initial shock.

At any rate, I had to go to the doctor again for fasting blood tests. Yesterday, he seemed surprised I had not fasted. Since this is a walk-in clinic and he did not know I was coming, I wondered why he was surprised. However, he is so nice and such a good doctor, I said nothing and promised him I would come back today. I did.

After the blood+letting drawing session, the wanted a urine sample! I assured them that after fasting and going twice since 1 am, I was dry as a bone. Since I had to go to Walmart to get the prescription I could not get yesterday because I could not afford it, and I had a bottle of water with me, I told them I would return. I did. Walking funny, I rushed in as much as I could rush, and told them, "I am ready NOW!"

When I got home, the white devil hen was sitting in the back of the house in a ladder that fell down, just like she had found herself a nest.

I won't lie. My head wanted to leave her out for the raccoons. My heart would not let me. She follows me around the back yard like a dog. So, she went with me to the pen, trying to rush in when I opened the door, backing off when I tried to pick her up. Finally, I managed to trick her and picked her up. She is sooo heavy and so loud. She frightened the other two. I put her in garbage can jail. She was banging around trying to get out to peck the new girls. Usually, she just sits down.

In order to be able to catch the new girls, I sat outside the pen, waiting for it to be dark enough so they could not see me coming but still light enough for me to see them...ha! The Dominicker tried to roost on the waterer. The little one followed and flapped for almost a minute trying to maintain her precarious foothold. Since the waterer did not work out, the Dominicker flapped hard and tried to stick to the ceiling by flapping. When she fell straight down with a thump, she was through looking. She decided she would sit down on the ground near the little one.

I had removed the top Rubbermaid box and put it on the ground. So, I grabbed the large bird and stuffed her in. She made not a sound. She is going to be a good bird. Then, I picked up the little one and put her in. She made little sounds, but did not resist. Success! I covered their doorway with a broken chair and a metal pan. Later, I took another oven rack out to use instead of the pan and chair.

All three are safe tonight. Tomorrow, I will put the white Devil-hen in the yard and keep the two new ones in the pen. A friend promised to put up 1/2 inch hardware fabric, but I cannot afford it yet.

There are pictures, but they will be posted later. promise

Wikipedia states that in the 50's Dominiques were almost extinct. That is strange to me because my relatives we visited in Mississippi all had Dominickers. I remember that because I thought it was an unusual name.

If you live near me and have spare 1/2 hardware cloth, let me know. If you live near to me and want a huge fat hen, let me know.

Your turn
Have you ever had Dominickers? Have you ever heard of them?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fair Entry

Right now, I am working on my one and only fair entry. I have dehydrated sliced okra and tomatoes and onions are currently in the dehydrator. There is no way I would eat okra. However, the result in a pint jar will be pretty.

Two pounds of frozen, sliced okra, five Roma tomatoes, and one Vidalia onion just fit into a pint jar. When rehydrated, there should be five or six servings.

Maybe I will enter dehydrated bananas. If I can have two dehydrated entries, I will use the bananas.

I should have crocheted something. One year, I built a birdhouse and won second place.

Your turn
Are you entering anything in the fair in your area? What have you entered in the past? Have you ever eaten okra, tomatoes, and onions together?

And Then There Was One

I went out in the middle of the night to check on the two remaining chickens. The little one was gone. There were no feathers, almost like she was spirited away. After spending thirty minutes in the pen, searching for her and for a breach--nothing! Obviously, this carnage happened at dusk, not dawn.

My friend has been helping me sort and organize food in the kitchen. She moved a bookcase in the kitchen for more items. When I get my photo system on the computer or ipad, I will post the bookcase with a little gingham curtain over the front. Of course, I put the curtain up with no hardware, the cheap way. The curtain only cost a quarter, Martha Stewart, and from a yard sale.

Yard sales are everywhere on the weekends. But, this year, I have only stopped at one. When the woman yelled to get out of the car because everything was $1, I just kept going. I like quarter items!

Your turn
What is your summer find at a cheap price?

A Trip to the Oncologist

It's coming up soon. And, I dread it! My allergies bothering me, making me sluggish. Blood sugar is not under control. I don't want to write now. But, I will.

I lost another hen. This means I must go out each night and close them up in the garbage can where they choose to sleep. It was a raccoon. I think the raccoon comes in that time of the morning when the hens are out and raccoons have not yet decided to retire. One of the new pullets was pulled through the fence. The mean devil-girl from the broiler house is limping around.

She is so mean that the little pullets hide in a corner behind the garbage can in daylight. That is where the raccoon attacked. There must have been more than one raccoon. I wish I had a critter cam and a baby monitor AND a shotgun. 

How mean is she? She chases the little pullets around the pen, pecking them repeatedly. Mostly my hens just peck the newcomers when the newcomers stand too close. They sleep all cuddled at night. Daylight is different. The pullets are interlopers in her eyes.

I am trying to find someone to dress her. I will even allow the person to keep the carcass to eat. I am in no mood to learn how to dress hens, especially since I never intend to do so, EVER.

My friend has come to help me clean out things that need to go and to organize the rest. I am physically unable to do so myself. The kitchen is almost ready to take pictures of it and post. Well, when I get my photo program on this computer.

I have to go out to the chickens and face the possibility of coyotes and raccoons scaring the living daylights out of me.

Your turn

Have you gotten anything spectacular accomplished? Okay, mediocre accomplishments are worthy of a comment.

The days are so pleasant, neither hot nor cold. The humidity is very low.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Heat Stroke

I wrote this a long time ago. But, here is the story of the heat stroke.

That is what the doctor said happened although I did not see him until a week later. The heat in the house was so terrific that the poor little chicks succumbed, too. Plus, I was just too ill to even properly tend to them. They did get adequate food and water. I will start from the beginning.

At 3 am I decided to go to WM to get milk. The next day at 1 pm I had an appointment to get my hair  cut. I figured I could be home and asleep by 4 am, sleep until 11 am, wash and dry my hair and make the 1 pm hair cutting.

I left the house with a my purse and cell phone that has a house key attached. It was so oppressive out that I ran back in to get a cold bottle of water. I tossed the phone and my purse down as I went to get the water from the refrigerator. Then, I hurried out the door holding the water but no purse or cell.

It took me two hours to get help. I ended up walking eight blocks. In the previous post I said the chicks succumbed to the heat a few weeks ago. No, it was when I actually was ill and not just feeling blah from the heat when I had car troubles.

Since I did not have my inhaler, either, I felt a little panic. But, the bottle of water helped me through the ordeal. Yes, I did leave to get milk, slept some, washed my hair and made the appointment for the haircut.

The story is long and complicated, so far in the past. Now, I just don't feel like relating the search for a phone.

The older I get, the worse the heat bothers me! Even the heat from heating the house or car in the winter is a problem.

Your turn

Have you ever had a heat stroke? Does the heat bother you?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

More about the car and chickens

The hottest time of the year and no car ac don't work well together for me. So, the heat overcame me. I spent four days in the bed, barely existing. It was so hot in the kitchen where the chicks were. I barely looked at them. They, too, succumbed to the heat.

Then, I met a man with a broiler house. I was able to get two free broiler hens from him. They were pitiful looking. They had no feathers on their bottoms. The feathers on their backs were just the bottom part of the feather shaft. Neither could walk very well.

One Friday, I went out to many feathers and only Maggie May who looked sad and was skittish. She wanted to spend time with me. Thelma was gone. I felt like a failure. The next Friday, Maggie May was gone, leaving many feathers behind. I was puzzled because there were no bodies.

The next Tuesday, a teen neighbor came to the door, asking if I had seen his three cats. He rattled off their names and descriptions. He said a neighbor on the next block was also missing a cat. I told him about my hens. I had seen a chicken hawk on several occasions. His friend saw two eagles. (No, not eagles around here.)
Now, I pay $4.98 in the store for eggs. A vendor at the farmer's market sells his eggs for $4. Tuesday, I will buy from him. Since my hens are not laying, I eat less eggs!

Your turn
Have you ever rescued a broiler hen? Other than cover for the hens, how would you deal with a chicken hawk that does not involve guns?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Okay, back again!

Now, I also have a laptop. it is either feast or famine around here! Right now, I am sitting in Walmart where it was purchased for me. It had icons I could not fathom! Since I said I was back before, I had alternator trouble, purchased a faulty alternator, dealt with an annoying auto repair shop. All this was in the horrific heat because my ac needed repair, too. So, the heat knocked me out, laying me low for three or four days.

in the end, it only took four alternators, two shops and Autozone (a godsend).

This has been rough since I was dealing with a new physical problem, unresolved as yet.

I have lots of pictures! I really don't know how to get Kodak back.

Plus, several good grocery deals came my way.