Monday, June 28, 2010

Cloister Flock

Friday night I finally made the move and took my laying hens over to my friend Rhonda's house so I could move the surviving Buckeyes out to the coop.

It was no easy task.

I got home around 4:30 and Bryon was taking Grace to swimming lessons from 5-6. I really wanted to get them loaded up into the dog kennel and over there before dark. Rhonda lives just outside of Diggins so it was only about a half hour trip one way, but I was ready to get it done.

As soon as I got home I changed clothes and drug the dog kennel out to the coop door. The hope was I cold just open up both doors, throw in some feed and they'd all five march right in.

Not so much.

It was hovering around 8,000 degrees Friday evening and by the time I was done chasing them around inside the chicken yard, I was drenched and only had three of the five birds in the kennel to show for it.

The other two were ambling around the yard perpetually out of reach.

I set the kennel in garage and turned the fan on them and figured I'd just have to wait until they went to roost to catch the other two.

I probably could have had more success but after spending 10 minutes locked in the chicken yard one day, I was loath to repeat that performance especially since it would be TWO HOURS before Bryon & Grace would be home.

I went out a couple more times and tried to lure them close enough to catch but those last two were wily.

After Bryon got home, I asked him if he could try to help me catch the last two and mercifully they followed us right out to the chicken yard and walked in after I threw in a couple of handfuls of feed.

He caught the last two, we successfully got them into the kennel with their cohorts and I was off to Diggins with the first flock of chickens I had ever raised.

When I got to Rhonda's I was relieved to see how good her flock of Barred Rocks looked and how nice the accommodations were going to be.

One thing that surprised both me and the flock was her VERY LARGE BARRED ROCK ROOSTER.

Keep in mind, my flock of hens had never SEEN a rooster before. They were veritable virgins. A cloistered flock as it were.

That Rooster started carrying on. My hens started carrying on (still in their cage) and we had to move them out of sight of one another so we could carry on a conversation in relative peace.

Suffice it to say, that by now, Monday, (three days later) those hens are more than likely sufficiently soiled.

I told Rhonda she was going to have some funny looking chickens soon.

Welcome to the world ladies.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Penny Saved...

We've been doing the whole slug bug thing ever since the Superbowl when those new VW ads came on and reminded us of the slug bug game. I have to say I'm tired of it because Bryon and Grace are much better at it than I am and it SEEMS as though I'm usually the one getting slugged.

The rules are fluid depending on who's playing, the time of day and the moon phase.

Grace made up a game of her own called Jeep O Jeep in which you are supposed to say "Jeep O Jeep" and announce the color whenever you see one.

Jeep makes a lot of different vehicles it turns out and Grace can recognize the name now but mostly goes for the little typical looking, soft top Jeeps.

She announced a few weeks ago that when she turned 16 she was going to drive a slug bug. A yellow slug bug.

Then last week she upgraded it to a RED slug bug with a convertible top so she could put the top down because that would be really fun. Well, YEAH, it WOULD.

Who WOULDN'T like to drive a red convertible slug bug at 16? Uh, everyone! That's who would like to drive one.

I foolishly thought my first car would be a red Mercedes convertible sports coupe.


Not so much.

It was, in fact, a 1974 Ford LTD with white vinyl interior.

Now, I realize as an ADULT that beggars (or 16 year olds) can't and shouldn't be choosers. I was damn lucky to have a car. Any car.

Yet, it was GREEN. PEA GREEN. And the person before me had been a smoker so the car reeked of tobacco and was embeded and stained onto the vinyl interior.

So I took a toothbrush and some cleaner to the thing and it sparkled... on the inside. The seats, however, were then so slick that I HAD to wear my seat belt or ride two other passengers in the front with me or when I rounded a corner I would slide all the way across the bench seat to the other side of the car.

That was a dream deferred as far as the convertible sports coupe went.

I wouldn't drive a RED vehicle until 2002 and then it was a Mitsubishi Montero. Luckily, my ego has never been too wrapped up in an automobile or I would have had to have a LOT of therapy after that pea green LTD.

We told Grace if she started saving NOW, she could probably save up enough money to buy a slug bug when she turned sixteen. And if she DID save up the money, she could buy what she wanted to drive.

Bryon has since vetoed a convertible (sensible parental unit that he is). I think I'd let her have it. You are only cool once.

Or in my case, never.

I told her to go and gather up all her money in her room. It was scattered in three or four different piggy banks, jars, lying around the book case, in buckets and boxes and cups.

She did and ended up with a surprisingly large bag of money.

Today I took it to the bank and cashed it in for her and deposited it into her savings account. She had $262.68 lying around her room!

That took her total account up to a whopping $398.34.

Pretty good for a five year old.

Of course I looked on Craigslist and a 2000 Convertible VW Beetle SALSA RED is around $8,000. She's going to have to save some more pennies for that.

I'm sure she'll change her mind a million times before she's sixteen but if she doesn't...

maybe she'll give me a ride in it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fatal Attraction?

Seriously, I walked out of the house (working from home today) to put some boxes into my car and there on the back step lay the dead red hen.

I'd let Ruger out to "run off" any unwanted visitors because I KNOW he can't get to the chickens, young or old, so what the heck is going on around here?

Was the chicken already dead in the woods and Ruger found it and presented it to me as a gift? Was it alive and roaming around and he found it and killed it? I looked that bird over but good and couldn't find any wound that would have killed it. May have had a broken neck but who could tell after they are all dead and floppy anyway?

So I made my SECOND trip of the day up to the dumpster with a dead chicken.

The last five hens are in the coop and will stay there for a while, the last five Buckeyes are in the tractor and in the garage again and I have the live trap outside waiting for some bait. If it weren't so hot and I weren't so lazy I'd schlep back up to the dumpster and retrieve one of them for bait...hmmmm... maybe not.

It took my brain way too long looking at that dead hen to register what the heck was going on. I had a real Fatal Attraction, bunny boiling in the pot, moment there

More Chicken Drama

Well so much for eleven chickens. Last night when I went to put up the hens, one was missing. The dark red one. I waited until after dark just in case she was straggling for some reason but still no little red hen.

This morning when I went out to take care of the animals I saw one little Buckeye lying down in the middle of the chicken tractor. It didn't get up. Then I started counting. Five live Buckeyes left and the oddball was gone too.

I don't know what got them but all we found was one dead mangled bird in the middle of the tractor with no feet, one foot outside the door and a few feathers.

Bryon thinks it was a big boar raccoon. He thinks it got under one of the little spaces where the ground isn't exactly level and grabbed them one by one and ripped them out of there.

I don't know WHAT happened but I'm mad.

Now I have to figure out what to do with the remaining five... put them in with the hens or back into the garage for a while?


I'm thinking I'd like to have a new raccoon skin hat.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

And then there were eleven...

I moved the new chickens out to the back yard today and as I was dragging them along from the garage to the yard in the tractor, I accidentally ran over one and smucked it. It was sort of rolling it's eyes around but I figured it was toast and suffering because I smucked it good so I just popped it's head off and put it out of its misery.

I was bummed out but the tractor just started rolling along too fast and I didn't realize it was under the thing until it was too late. So, one less chicken now.

Of course it wasn't the one ODDBALL chicken I some how ended up with. I'm pretty sure that yellow chicken is a Buff Orpington. It will definitely be one that will get eaten because I want to keep the line of Buckeyes pure. You would THINK that the hatchery could have gotten that right.

I'm going to send a picture of them all together to them. I don't expect they'll really do anything about it. They might refund me $2.50 but big deal.

So now I have eleven chicks instead of twelve and the rest of them seem to be doing great out there. I'll have to be more careful moving the tractor around or they are going to have to stay out of the way one... or both...

Sometimes I'm my own worse enemy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

20th Wedding Anniversary

Today is our 20th Wedding Anniversary.

I Googled and the internet says that we are to exchange platinum and/or china.

Since Bryon is in Dallas all this week for "training" I suppose we'll just have to settle for Chinese food when he gets back.

Funny thing is I was in Telluride with Laura during our 10th Anniversary listening to bluegrass music in the mountains and now on our 20th Bryon has been banished to the hot hell of Dallas.

We are just not meant to be together on those big milestone anniversaries.

Twenty years ago today Bryon's dad, Gary, married us my Mom & Dad's back yard in Bolivar in the gazebo. It rained earlier that hot afternoon and mercifully cooled off just enough to make it tolerable and keep my much hair sprayed hair from totally plastering to the side of my head. You see the volume there, you don't get that without some serious Pantene my friend.

Kathy Wolf was my maid of honor and Chuck Aderhold was Bryon's best man. We had a party and a keg of beer in the shop when it was all said and done.

My pink dress came from JC Penny's ($85) and our rings came from Sears ($40 each). Years later I replaced that gold band with a $10 silver one from a booth at the Ozark's Empire Fair (I don't wear gold anymore).

The entire wedding including the keg cost $500.

We spent the night with Mom and Dad and then left for a long weekend in Eureka Springs the next morning to start our life together.

We have had a good run. We have a blessed life.

Here's to another 60 years together.


This little piggy went to...

the VET! The Huggler boys stopped by to take their pig to the vet to get fixed since Bryon is gone all week.

Cost of "fixing a pig" = $6
Catching it first... Priceless.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


We finally got our pigs!

Bryon saw an ad on Craigslist this week and when he called it was actually for an Amish man in Dunnegan in the community I used to work with for the blood drives. One of his friends had put the ad on Craigslist for him to sell the baby pigs he had. Amos' pigs were already gone (within hours of the posting he said) but he directed us to Moses who he thought still had some for sale.

I used to pick Moses up in the big CBCO 16 passenger van so he could go to the blood drive in Humansville from time to time and had to use his barn lot to turn the thing around in because I was too chicken to try to back the thing down his long driveway back onto the highway between two blind curves.

Turned out he had plenty of baby pigs for sale.

After several phone calls (they finally have a phone at the Shadyside Bulk Store for five families to share) the time for pickup was arranged and Bryon and his Dad went down this morning and picked them up.

We got a boar and a gilt (boy and girl). The boy's going to get his nuts removed very, very soon ;)

They are pretty cute but still getting adjusted to their new reality.

Last time we had pigs we got them in late July and they were butchered in January. So hopefully we'll have these finished out by December and won't have to have them too far into the cold winter weather.

Now that we have a good reliable source for feeder pigs, next time we'll get them earlier in the spring I hope.

Mmmmmm do you smell sausage?

Sweet Teeth

Well we have officially failed as parents. Grace has THREE cavities.

She has been complaining about her back tooth hurting when she eats candy or drinks something cold. I thought she had a dental visit already scheduled coming up this summer but when I searched my calendar for it nothing came up.

Bryon called the dentist to check and nope, nothing scheduled. The could, however, see her at 9:30 am that morning. So the two of them took off to the dentist. An hour later Bryon called and asked if we should let her have nitrous because she had THREE cavities in her permanent back molars. Great.

The dentist said he'd noticed her back molars where pretty chalky and flaky looking at her last appointment but hoped they'd end up coming in stronger. No such luck. He said that happens when children have a high fever while those teeth are forming. Graces has only had ONE high extended fever so I guess that's when it happened.

He said if she was 16 he'd just cap them or crown them but since she has lots more growing and tooth development ahead he'd just fill them as needed.

So, that means MORE brushing and flouride rinse for her. Bryon said she did GREAT getting the first one filled and didn't have any problem at all. Grandpa has to take her Monday to get her other two filled AND to the doctor for her pre-kindergarten physical.

Last night the Shockley boys stayed with us and as we were all sitting on the couch watching TV Grace said, "Hey, my tooth is really wiggly!" Sure enough her THIRD bottom front tooth was hanging by a piece of skin. We didn't even know it was loose! Her top one has been wiggly but not that one. So Bryon took hold of it and POP it was out.

The Tooth Fairy came again last night while all the kids were asleep and they all piled in the bedroom this morning at 6 am to tell me Grace had money.

Yeah, 6 am.

Thanks Tooth Fairy.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You might be a Redneck...

If you put an air conditioner in your tent when you go camping... I can't believe I left that photo out of the last post, but here it is :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bennett Springs Birthday Boy

We spent the weekend camping at Bennett Springs the past few days on Bryon's Third Annual Birthday Camping Trip with the Hugglers. It was HOT but we all had a good time despite the rowdy bunch of rednecks that pulled in Saturday afternoon and proceed to cuss and abuse their wild children the rest of the weekend.

Bryon's birthday is actually TODAY (happy 42 for him now too!). The men fished, Grace played on the playground with a motley crew of rotating kids and swam in the pool two days in a row.

I read my smutty vampire book and generally sat around, ate snacks and drank tea in the shade.

We didn't exactly rough it thanks to Bryon's ingenious redneck ingenuity.

Yes my friend that is indeed an air conditioner in our tent. We paid for electricity and By God we used it. It was swell. Not very environmentally friendly, but I didn't get a sick headache from the heat so TOTALLY WORTH IT. No I am NOT ashamed, only sad we never thought of it sooner.

One poor kid in camp had a horrific bike wreck going down the big hill out of the campground. The park folks said at least one kid a summer ends up in the ER in Lebanon going down that hill. Aaron is lucky it wasn't him last year because he rode my bike down it with Bryon balls out and ALMOST wiped. He was lucky. This poor kid was NOT. Grace came over and told us all about him when he showed up on the playground Sat afternoon all bandaged up and bloody still. We met his Mom in the bathroom with him and she said they took him into St. John's in Lebanon and got him patched up. They were from Illinois. I told him chicks dig scars and she said that's what everyone was telling him. I told him he was like the camp hero now. She said it was only the third day with his new bike.

I'm betting he doesn't get on it again for a while.

Everyone that fished caught fish... except for ONE who will remain nameless. You know who you were :)

I snuck home Saturday afternoon while Bryon and Grace swam in the pool to check on all our animals and feed and water them again in the heat and snuck in a quick shower. It was swell too.

Grace met a sweet little girl named Taylor and played with her and family's two little dogs for a long, long time.

Grace and I went on a little walk and found lots of wildflowers and busy bees and butterflies.

Good weekend. Just never long enough.