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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ok now who has the snow, cause it sure ain't up here where it belongs!


Well you would think by now we would be covered in a few feet of snow, but tonight we got a huge down pour which I know by morning will be ice on the roads.  I keep waiting for the snow like what we had in October, but it seems to have gone on else where.

I think with my bad shoulder its probably a good thing that I am not having to carry in the firewood, but I keep waking up hoping to see the snow.  I am sure there are many around here that are not looking forward to any snow but then again if you live in Massachusetts what do you expect?...Florida weather?...

I am doing better with the shoulder pain most days, today was not too bad, but I will tell you I never knew simple movements we take for granted could be so painful when you have a damaged area.  This getting older bit doesn't seem to bother me but I sure do hate all the aches & pains that seem to come with it for me.....  who knew a heating pad would be a best friend?

I hate taking drugs if I can keep from it so I am a fan of heating pads & ice packs but I did find a medical lotion for pain that has cobra venom in it...OK that sounds really bad, but other than the weird taste in my mouth, it works really good for the shoulder & arthritis I have in my ankles.  Even the pharmacist said if people get stung by bees for arthritis this should work out fine for me.....We'll see how it does in the long run & over the winter.

Cagney & Lacey seem to be adjusting just fine to their new home. I actually let them out of their cage yesterday since they seemed to not be afraid of the other chickens.  I am very happy to see they are eating everything I put in their feeder for them.  Poor things are literally skin & bones under all those pretty feathers.
Hopefully soon I will get some pictures of them up for you as they are quite pretty plus the newest babies that were hatched last July have gotten bigger & I want new pictures of them as well.  Indora grew to have white around her comb while the rest of her is mainly black.  Reminds me of a skunks strip on each side of her comb. its fun to see how they will be one color when small but then totally change as they grow.  Sometimes I can't remember who is who when this happens....

I am hoping by the end of the winter to have Cagney & Lacey fattened up enough that they will lay eggs for me.  I think if they get healthy that CeeCee will mate with them & maybe I will have a few new babies in the spring from those two.  should be interesting to see what colors show up.

Well next Wednesday I will be picking Thomas up from the Reserve Center in Hudson, Massachusetts....He is now I think in country but have no idea where he is or how he is, but I am sure he is tired from all the flights & waiting for flights to get back.  I have all his Yule gifts wrapped except for the popcorn popper I just got him. He loves popcorn so thought this would be a nice gift for him, plus now I can pop corn for the chickens...Yeah its really for the chickens but I will let him think its all for him. I am sure the 'kids' won't mind sharing with Thomas as long as they get some also while he is popping it.

(Added Saturday) Just found out they are still in Afghanistan, seems while its snowing the civilian pilots can't fly the planes...so...he is now suppose to get in country on Monday but not sure if he will be home actually on the 21st.
Didn't go to therapy today, dealing with a migraine & if any of you have them you know driving & thinking are hard enough without having to have therapy on top of it.  Now these I will take pills for since after nearly 40 years they found a drug that actually works for me.  I started getting them at age 17 & they would go on for up to 2 weeks at a time.  Talk about pure hell!  I can't tell you how many times I stayed in bed, in the dark for days on end, no eating, no talking, no moving.  Around the age 37 they started to go away some, instead of days/weeks I'd  have one that would be semi-bad for a day or two...then by my 40's I got them only a few times a year.  Well with the change of life they have decided to come back but now my doctor finally found a drug that I can take that makes me loopy but I don't have to hide in the bedroom as often.  But forget about driving!  You really don't want me behind the wheel of any car while on them.....not that I would be speeding but I would be driving so slow you could walk faster than I would drive.

I must say I am happy medicine has advanced to where people like me who have these headaches can get relief even if we move in slow motion for awhile.

I pretty much am prepared for the winter, the 'kids' all have feed, heat lamps & a well supplied medical kit ready for them.  That's all I worry about around here cause I know I will be fine no matter what hits....but the chickens need to be happy & comfortable...its not like they can put on an extra sweater when they get cold even though I am making little knitted sleeveless sweaters for them...Yeah laugh all you want, but they love them when they get used to them being on.  I even have some cashmere scraps I am working on for them...I need to felt them before I sew them into sweaters so they will be more

I am not the only one who does this, just the other day I saw on the web, a chicken in a knitted poncho that as so cute.  My biggest worry is they will trip over the things so I am always working on making mine better but since the chickens are all different sizes it means I have to make each one to fit the chicken I want it for.  the bigger fluffier chickens I don't worry about but I have some that don't seem to have as many feathers & those are the ones I make the sweaters for.  Porgie my little Serama is not used to it being so cold & I rally worry about him.  When I pick him up he is shaking so hard you know he is cold so I have made one for him that will go one him later today when he comes into the house to visit.  this will be his first winter & I think even with the heat lamps he will stay colder than the others.

Well its time to go get some more coffee so I shall close for now...Until next time have a wonderful chicken day!.....M'

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Having the whole world at your finger tips

                                                          Saint Augustine, Florida

I find it amazing that with the push of a button I can open the whole world up to see.  I can find out what is going on in any country if I feel like it, look at real time pictures of places & watch videos on my computer.   How is it you can connect to anything you want yet feel so alone?  I keep up with my friends either by phone or email or if feeling really wild will sit down & write a letter by hand.

I go through these periods of time where I don't know who, what or where I am.  Its not like being body or mind tired, it goes deeper than that inside me & I wonder what in the hell I am doing.  Am I suppose to be doing more?

Its funny in my younger years, I never seemed to have a moment to myself so any quiet time was wonderful. Now it seems to be all quiet time & no one knows I am here.  Maybe its because of the consent shoulder pain that has me so blue, because everything else seems to be fine.  The chickens & cats are all doing well & are healthy.  I even went & got 2 new hens today, that were going to spend the winter outside so I made a deal with the guy.  I would take the 2 hens he had & give him eggs in trade whenever he came by for them.

I have worried about them all Fall & knew they would die if I didn't do something, since he only fed them table scraps & had no real place for them.  He wanted them for eggs, but would not get them chicken feed that would make them healthy enough to lay.  So Cagney & Lacey came with me today & are now settled in a nice big hay filled cage, with lots of feed & cracked corn in the shop.  Until the other 'kids' get used to them they will stay in the cage for about 7 days, then I will hopefully be able to release them to be with the others.

Tomorrow I will check them, dust them for mites & do a medical inspection of them.  You would think with the 'kids' I would be a very content person, but I seem to dip down into this darkness that makes me wonder if I am doing all that I should be.  Plus I hate not having anyone my age around, being every ones Momma at times is so hard.  No they don't ask me for things, it my mind set with them.  I can not see them as equal age friends but as my children who I worry about & want to take care of. I love them but its more of a Mothers love than a friendship love...if that makes any sense to you all.

Soon Thomas will be home & I worry about that even.  will we go back to the same way things were before he left, him up in his game room & me down stairs?  Will we go days without speaking to each other again or me doing all the talking, while he watches TV & doesn't really hear me?  I know part of our behavior towards each other is because we have been together for over 20 years so its like there is nothing new to say.  but I hate when I want to talk or feel lonely & I have to fight the TV, computer or his games to have him pay attention.

One of the reasons I got so into the chickens was because I felt so lost & needed to feel connected to something, even if it only has 2 legs & runs to me for treats.  When they feel sicky I can hold them, nurse them as best I can & know I tried to help.  But when I am sicky or need to be hugged, held or listened to I hit a brick wall.

I am not feeling sorry for myself, just realizing that things are not how I saw them 20-30 years ago.  I thought by now I would be a grandmother, a good wife & friend, who had everything she needed to be happy & content.  Now I am not talking about material things, those I don't care about, but I thought my insides would be at peace finally.

I am blessed in a lot of ways thought, I have a wonderful little Sister,who is always my best cheer leader, a son who is healthy,working & making it on his own.  I have a hard working husband who never complains when things are tight or hard. But most of the time I feel so disconnected & separate from everything.  its like I am in one place & everything else is in another place & I can't seem to meet up with it.

I know I have a part of me that wants to live like a pioneer woman, I feel best when I am doing things the old hard way.  I do best when things are tough & I feel alive.  No electricity, no problem, no running water, no problem, washing clothes by hand also not a problem.  But I get this odd feeling of not being part of the world when I have to just push buttons to get things done.  Its like I was born at the wrong time or have been here before & remember what I was then & it doesn't fit with what I have to do now.

No I am not drunk or on drugs right now, The person who writes all these fun stories about her chickens ect is me, but there is a side of me that never feels she's in the right moment of things.  Its like that sock the dryer eats & you never find...I feel like that missing sock, I know I am suppose to be in that dryer with its match but somehow I got sucked into a dryer void, just sitting there waiting for the dryer to let me come home again.

To be part of the pair, but my thing is I no longer know what the pair is I am to be with.....I do know that in time things change & I will change with it but days, weeks & months of feeling disconnected is hard to fight.

I also know that this time of the year is a very hard time for me emotionally, its the time I think of my Mother more than normal, she passed away when I was just barely 11 & even 41 years later I still miss & long for her. Each year, I think it will be easier on me but then it hits hard all over again, so I sort of stumble through the months until I am back to being fairly normal.  I know many people go through the blues during the holidays like I do & eventually work their way out of it.  So I hope those who read this realize that even this crazy ole chicken lady has her hard times but I promise I will get through it, I always do plus my kids need their Momma to bring them their treats each day.

until next time have a wonderful chicken day & a safe & peaceful holiday...M'













Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bumps, bruises & just too darn cold!


Ok, I know the sunflowers have gone for the season, but who knew me, who loves the cold would be freezing!.....Right now I have on a sweater, long velvet dress, leggings & socks & still can't get warm!...Now I want to know why my change into a Crone has decided this winter loving girl now has to be cold all the time?

Where are the hot flashes when you need them?  Did I mention I have on fingerless gloves also?  maybe should put on a hat to finish out the outfit.

My biggest fear is the summer is going to come & I will be out there sunbathing....will not be a pretty sight & I hate to sweat, but if I am cold now & there is no snow on the ground, the sun is shining what will I be doing next?

Things have settled down here & the chickens aka 'kids' are doing well.  Since it has cooled off they are laying like crazy.  I am getting so many eggs I have 3 neighbors now getting them, which I might add they really enjoy.  Today I gave one a doz of green & light blue eggs from my newest layers & they are so pretty...
Who knew eggs could be so much fun to just look at?

Can't wait for Thomas to get home the 21th so I can start up the baking for him & use more of the eggs myself.  I have a bunch of wonderful gluten free bake things I want to do.  we aren't gluten allergic but my little sisters boyfriend is so I find recipes for her & some are really good so I have started making them because of how healthy they are.

I ordered some oriental beans from my Co-op to sprout this winter for us & the chickens.  Since we get so much snow & they can't get to grass, I thought this would be a easy but good treat for them throughout the snowy months. Plus its another good treat for them.  I also bought about 3 pounds of beef fat to make into special chicken suet.  I was able to find a huge suet holder at the feed store for the bigger coop, I do have the smaller ones that will work well in the 2 small coops but wanted a bigger one for the 12 in the large coop.

My neighbor Kelley's husband got a 8 point deer a bit ago & I asked them to give me the rib cage since they were not going to deal with it.  I took bolt cutters to the ribs & snapped them off & have them in bags in the freezer to throw into soups & stews plus trimmed about 2-3 lbs of meat off the under side of the spine that will be excellent for chili. After I got all I could from it, all was left was the spine area, so took that out to put under the shop for my 3-4 wild cats I have out there.  They have been here since I moved here & I try to give them things like this to help them out & they re-pay me by getting the mice.

I screwed up my shoulder this summer moving frigs & wood stoves so finally got into physical therapy.  It's working out well, but I never knew all those simple movements you normally do during the day can cause a fire in my arm.  Yeap, am slowly learning what not to do or to do differently.  Last night Monk kitty decided to play with some yarn & got it on the steps so when I was taking a dish to the kitchen I fell down 2 stairs & landed on the elbow of the bad shoulder....Cussed up a storm while everything turned gray.....so today has been  no movement except for the exercises, the therapy lady is going to have a field day this next week with me.

Thank goodness a neighbor was out & I got him to take the 2 feed bags of chicken feed to the shop for me & dump it in the big barrel I have.  Or it would have just stayed in the car until I ran out of feed in the shop.  For his help he is the one who got the green & blue eggs.

Still have not been able to get any pig fat to make my lye soap with.  Everyone who is having their pigs butchered is keeping the fat, so hopefully soon I will be able to get some because I really want to make soap with the ash lye I made this summer.  I may have to just make it in the house on the wood stove if too much more time passes since I do not want to be out in the snow cooking it, if I am cold now I will be a frozen girl out there with a wooden paddle stuck in my hands & no way to get back into the house since I am sure the chickens can't carry me in.

Well I hope all of you are doing well & getting settled in for this winter & all the holidays.

Until next time have a wonderful chicken day....M'