This-N-That On Monday…

Another weekend has quickly come and gone.  It was a cloudy, dreary one, but at least it wasn’t hot!  Believe it or not, we haven’t seen the sun, in our neck of the woods, in almost a week, but it hasn’t bothered me since the temperatures have been mild.

Baby, the cat, survived her spaying surgery, and was back at home late Friday afternoon.  Baby didn’t look so good when I picked her up, but she was fine by Saturday afternoon.  She spent Friday night in the laundry room, again, but went back outside the following day.  I’m so glad the surgery is behind us, and so thankful for the ‘glue’ they use, these days, instead of stitches!

Ed got a little work done on the chicken coop, but not much.  It took us a while to decide how we were going to build it, and, by the time we figured all of that out, we had to quit.

You see, Ed and I were scheduled to keep our two oldest grandsons, on Saturday, while their parents attended a wedding.  Of course, there wasn’t much ‘keeping’ to it.  Chase took a nap, while Caden and our granddaughter, Madison, who lives next-door, watched ‘Super Mario World’ videos on YouTube! Eventually, Chase woke up, they all played with each other, ate supper with us, then went home.

Speaking of grandsons, this weekend,  I saw a video post, on Facebook, of our grandson, Evan, taking!  He said, “Da da. Da.  Bye bye Brad.”–just as plain as day, and I almost fell off the couch when I heard it! Evan’s not even eleven months old, yet!  Both of Evan’s parents like to talk,  so I guess he is destined to be a ‘talker’, too.   It’s times like these when I’m most thankful for social media, and the fact that Jennifer keeps her iPhone handy 🙂

Much of our town spent this weekend mourning the loss of three of its citizens.  Two members of one family died, in separate incidents, on Thursday, while a third, unrelated person, passed away Sunday morning. The first lady passed away from a fatal blood clot, following recent shoulder surgery, while an elderly, gentleman relative passed away from causes unknown.  A young high school teacher died of complications from Schleroderma (an autoimmune disease), yesterday morning. I didn’t personally know any of the deceased, but know some of their family members.

In other news, Ed had to add another cardboard box onto the ‘chick condo’, this weekend!  These chicks are growing like wildfire!  They’ve quadrupled in size, with no end in sight!  We now have three large boxes hooked together, and could actually use a fourth, but we’re out of space.

The chicks are three weeks old, today, which means it’s time to lower the temperature in their ‘chick condo’ by five degrees (to 80 degrees).  I had to switch to a smaller wattage of bulb, but only had yellow bulbs in 60 watts, instead of the usual red ones I’ve been using.  What all of this means is, last night was another sleepless night!  Since the yellow bulbs are brighter than red ones, the chicks thought they were supposed to stay awake all night!  There’s nothing quite like listening to chicks pecking and scratching all night…  I wonder if they are feeling as tired as I am!

I’m happy to say, the pears are almost gone!  We’ve picked up literally thousands of pears over the past month or so, and I’m ready to be done with them!  We gave away pears to anyone who would take them, but we threw away more than we could give away.  I made pear cobbler and pear tarts, and I put pears in the freezer.  I’m tired of pears!  It was the same way with grapes, this year.  We couldn’t pick or use them all.  I’ve fed grapes to ‘the girls’ (my hens) until they’re sick of them!

Before I go, I just have to say…  Just when I think this world can’t get any crazier, it does!  On Saturday, I looked on Yahoo and noticed the #1 trending topic was…are you ready for this?…Vagina Cookies!  Of course, being the curious sort, I had to click on the topic to see what the story was.  According to the story, some mother, thought it was a good idea to make and decorate cookies resembling  vaginas, then sent them to school for her child’s second grade class to have for a Friday snack!  Oh my word!  Of course, the teacher told the mother she couldn’t serve this inappropriate snack, then the mother got mad, ranted and raved, and even demanded that her child be removed from this teacher’s classroom!  In the end, the story said, out of desperation, the teacher scraped the decorative frosting off of the cookies and served them anyway…  If this story is true, I’m at a loss for words, except to say, What is this world coming to?

That’s it for me, this cloudy Monday!  I need to get up and get moving.  It’s already time to redecorate the ‘year round tree’ for Halloween, and get ready to celebrate my daughter’s birthday on Wednesday!  Where oh where did the month of September go???

 

 

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Published in: on September 29, 2014 at 8:38 am  Comments (4)  
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Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It’s Friday and a few fragments is about all I can stand to write today!  I’m running on just a few hours sleep, thanks to Baby, the cat.  I feel a nap in my future!

I had to confine Baby to the laundry room last night, because she was due for spaying surgery at 9, this morning.  Baby is an outside cat, and she didn’t take kindly to being confined!  She was fine as long as I sat with her, but the moment I’d leave, she’d start scratching and meowing.  This scenario went on until well after two, this morning!  At 1 a.m. I was stretched out on the floor of the laundry room, trying to keep Baby quiet so Ed could get some sleep.

As I type this, I’m sitting beside three connected cardboard boxes, containing eight growing, rowdy, baby chickens.  They’re all flapping their wings, scratching at the bottom of the box, and generally making a mess.  Why am I sitting here?  To make sure nobody picks on ‘Della’ while she’s in the same box with her sisters!  Slowly, I’m trying to incorporate Della back into the flock.  It’s going to be a long process.  For some reason, I’ve noticed that Della’s twin sister, Dixie, seems to pick on her the worst!  Go figure!

Della has been doing better since I added ‘chick grit’ to the chicks’ diet, this week.  The grit helps with digestion, which, in turn, helps with her constipation.  Della still looks like she could use a little Preparation H, at times, so I’ll have to keep my eye on her for a while yet.  What an experience raising this flock has turned out to be!

As I’m typing this, one of the chicks almost flew out of the box–and the side of the box is almost 2 feet high!  It’s a good thing I have the top of the boxes covered with netting!  Crazy birds!

Yesterday, Ed finished putting the tin on top of our chicken run.  Now he just has to build the coop for the chicks to lay eggs and sleep in, and make sure the tin on top of the run doesn’t leak when it rains!  Only three more weeks until we can put these babies outside! Yay!

You won’t believe what my daughter and I saw yesterday!  We were on our little dirt road, waiting to pull out on the main highway, when we looked to the left and saw a HUGE bald eagle sitting in the middle of the four-lane highway!  That’s the biggest bird I’ve ever seen!  He was having an early lunch of dead armadillo, before a pick up truck drove by and caused him to fly.  The eagle tried hard to take his lunch with him, but dropped it in flight!  Now I’m all anxious.

You see,  I had ‘eagle troubles’, about ten years back, when an eagle was spotted hanging around our farm.  My smaller cats suddenly began slowly disappearing, one kitty showed up severely injured (had to euthanized), and, finally, I came home from work to find my favorite Siamese kitty dead in the yard, with its tail skinned and its insides missing–telltale signs of a large predatory bird.  We never actually caught the eagle in the act, but were pretty sure that’s what the predator was.  Now,  I’m thinking that ‘Baby’ or ‘Jo Jo’ will be prime targets, not to mention my free-ranging hens!  As I’m writing this, I recall Ed recently mentioning that all of the wild rabbits have disappeared.  Now we know why!

We don’t have much planned for this weekend, other than working on the chicken coop.  I hope the weather is nice, and we can enjoy a slow, relaxing weekend.  Soon the month of October will be here, and it will become very busy.  We have three October birthdays to celebrate, in our family, as well as other various fall festivities taking place throughout the month. I’m a bit sad to see September go. Time is passing so quickly, these days.

I’ll be linking my Friday Fragments up at Half-Past Kissin’ Time, and I really appreciate Mrs. Fours taking time to host this Friday meme.

I’ll be back, bright and early, on Monday!  Have a great weekend!

Published in: on September 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm  Comments (6)  
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‘The Man With The Can’ Continues…

If you are a regular reader here, you are probably familiar with our continuing saga of the cats at Ed’s late parents’ house.  I’ve posted about  ‘The Man With the Can’ HERE and HERE if you would like to catch up on the story.  Today’s story picks up where the last story left off.

 100_3920Trouble

Let me begin by saying that ‘Trouble’ is still alive and doing well for a cat of her age.  Ed began giving her 1/2 can of cat food, along with her dry food, after her last health issue.  Trouble absolutely loves canned cat food!  Every afternoon you will find Trouble sitting under the carport waiting for her evening meal.  Recently, she’s picked up the bad habit of coming to meet Ed’s car, which worries us somewhat.  Trouble knows our vehicles, and, sometimes, will start to head toward Ed’s car, while he’s waiting to turn in off of the busy highway.  It would be easy for an accident to happen now that she’s started doing this.  Sigh.

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Jo Jo

‘Jo Jo’, the gray kitten who found his way to our house, about a year ago, is alive and doing well.  He’s become a full-fledged tom cat, these days. He picked a fight with every cat on the place, once his testosterone kicked in!  I’d love to have him neutered, but he’s become a bit skittish since his hormones kicked in.  He’s not gentle and loving like he used to be.  Besides, I once had a bad experience while having a ‘skittish’ cat ‘fixed’, and I’m in no mood to go through that experience again!  (My cat attacked the vet tech, and it cost me a lot of money (and heartache) when they kept my cat under quarantine for 10 extra days!)  The bottom line is, ‘Jo Jo’ will not be getting neutered.

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the new kitty (at its worst)

Which brings me to the cream-colored kitten we adopted back at the beginning of the summer.  As far as I know, this kitten is the only survivor out of the litter of ‘Rainbow Kittens’.  If the circumstances had been different, and we hadn’t been able to bring it home, I’m quite sure this kitty wouldn’t be alive today.  It had a respiratory virus, a ton of fleas, and was nothing but skin and bones, covered with fluff when we brought it home.

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kitty growing and getting healthier

The kitty turned out to be a ‘she’, and after giving much thought about what to name her, I decided on the name of ‘Baby’.  It fit her perfectly, since she’s “the baby” at our house–and she knows it, too!  After a lot of time and TLC, ‘Baby’ has finally grown into a healthy, beautiful cat.

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Baby (a couple of months ago)

Now, Baby is technically Jo Jo’s niece, since his sister gave birth to the litter of ‘Rainbow Kittens’. They’ve actually got a family connection.  From the day we first brought Baby home, Jo Jo took a real liking to Baby!  Unfortunately, Jo Jo’s testosterone was kicking in about then, and he kept trying to do ‘nasty things’ to our little baby!  It was pathetic.  Poor Baby just thought Jo Jo wanted to play with her!  After much scolding, on our part, and some thinking on his part, Jo Jo finally figured out Baby wasn’t old enough for sex.  Since then, he’s become her best friend and protector, while biding his time for her to mature!  The two eat together, daily, and can be seen playing together each morning and afternoon.

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Baby and Jo Jo

Speaking of a ‘family connection’, Baby has a family connection with another cat at our house, too!  She comes from the same descendants as our cat, ‘Charlie’, whom we got from Ed’s parents, quite a few years ago. Baby and Charlie’s family connection is quite evident through their appearance!  The two, also, share the honors of being the youngest and oldest members of our feline family.

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 Charlie and Baby

The months have passed quickly, and, now, the time has come for Baby to go to the vet to be spayed. There’s no way I’d not have this done, especially with Jo Jo lurking around waiting! I’ve taken dozens of cats to have this procedure done, but it never gets easier.  I do not like caging my babies, then leaving them in a strange place!

Please keep ‘Baby’ in your thoughts and prayers (and me, too) as we begin our ‘spaying adventure,’ early tomorrow morning.  I’ll be glad when it’s over, and Baby is safely home again!  Actually, the real adventure will begin tonight, when I have to keep Baby in the house, but separated from the baby chicks!  Wish me luck 🙂

Published in: on September 25, 2014 at 10:23 am  Comments (6)  
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Falling Into Another Hodgepodge…

I don’t know about everybody else, but I’m glad it’s finally fall!  I’m lovin’ the cooler mornings and evenings, even though mid-day still gets a little too warm for my taste.

Speaking of fall, how about we ‘fall’ into another edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge, shall we?  As always, many thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for furnishing the questions and hosting this great meme!

1. It’s fall. Y’all. My favorite season of the year! What’s something you love to do this time of year that makes you feel it’s officially fall? And unrelated to that, do you ever say-‘y’all’?

I love driving around and seeing everybody’s outside fall decorations.  The bales of hay, pumpkins, scarecrows, and mums let me know me it’s officially fall.

outdoor-halloween-decoratin

photo via Google

As for saying ‘y’all’, I was born and raised in the south, and, yes, I say ‘y’all’ all the time!

2. When did you last have a falling out with someone? Has it been resolved?

The last time I remember having a serious falling out with someone was about two years ago.  It took us about three months, but we finally resolved things between us.  I try to avoid conflicts, if possible, because it’s easier to avoid conflict than it is to resolve it.

3. A song you love with the word ‘fall’ in it’s title?

If you’ve never watched it, this is a music great video of ‘The Boys of Fall’, too!

4. What’s something you’ve recently let ‘fall by the wayside?’

Unfortunately, the last of our garden has ‘fallen by the wayside’.  When my back began to hurt, and Ed’s thyroid began acting up, we had to put gardening on hold.  The weeds have been growing like wildfire!

5. When did you last attend an event, read a book, watch a movie, try a new recipe, or visit a shop-town-tourist attraction that fell short of your expectations? In what way?

At first, nothing came to mind.  Then I remembered back when I used to be a fan of Tom Cruise.  Two of the worst movies I ever paid to see were both Tom Cruise movies–Eyes Wide Shut and Vanilla Sky.  Both movies made absolutely no sense to me!  Shortly afterward, I stopped going to see Tom Cruise movies.

6. Describe a time you said or thought, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

This question made me think about our grandson, Evan. He can fall asleep in a New York minute, any time, any place–just like his mama can.( I have a couple of  pics of Jennifer sleeping, too, but I’ll keep those private 🙂 )

10628378_10202151822630189_6471400366751680461_n Evan

(photo borrowed from Jennifer’s Facebook page)

7. Was today better than yesterday? Why or why not?

No, today (Tuesday) was not better than yesterday.  The day began with our dog breaking through the baby gate, three times, to get on the front porch, where he’s not allowed. (What is it about our front porch?!)  Next, I discovered a second baby chick (Della’s sister, Dixie) with a case of ‘pasty butt’, so I had to deal with that!  Third, that skunk came back into our yard– again!  Give me a break!

Random:                                            

Lately, I seem to be having more than my fair share of ‘animal woes’.  As if dealing with the dog,  baby chicks, and a skunk isn’t enough, on Friday, I have to take our youngest cat to be spayed, too.  She’s an outside cat, so this means I have to find a place inside the house to keep her for a couple of nights.  Normally this wouldn’t be much of a problem, but I’ve got eight baby chicks in the house already, and cats and baby chicks don’t mix!  This should be interesting.

Also, as I mentioned, above,  the skunk came back.  Unfortunately, this made the third time within a week! We’d previously noticed that the skunk moved slowly and would fall down every few steps, so apparently something was wrong with it.  In the interest of safety, Ed sadly made the decision to shoot the skunk.  When he did, the skunk let off that disgusting skunk spray.  Now everything around our yard reeks of skunk spray!  I think I just might scream!

Published in: on September 24, 2014 at 7:08 am  Comments (10)  
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Another Weekend Has Come And Gone…

It’s sixty-six degrees on this bright, September morning, and I sure do like it!  Finally, it’s beginning to feel a little bit ‘fallish’ here in the south.  It’s about time!!!

Another weekend has come and gone, and I’m feeling tired.  My tiredness is probably due to our flurry of weekend activities–or it could be due to the fact that I’m getting old[er].  Maybe both?

Ed and I managed to have a little family time with all of our children and their families, off and on, throughout the weekend.  Our daughter and her family ate Friday night supper with us.  Then, on Saturday, our youngest son, Brad, and his family stopped by for a quick visit before heading over to visit Jennifer’s family.  Brad and Jennifer were only here for a couple of hours, but, somehow, all of the family managed to stop by and see them for a few minutes, while they were here.  It’s good that we all live so close!

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Evan- almost 11 mos.

Little Evan, the youngest grandson, is walking everywhere, and now has four teeth.  He has quite a personality, and the only time he’s still is when he’s asleep.  I purchased two baby gates in an effort to make our family visits with Brad and Jennifer more enjoyable.  I think the gates helped a lot.  Oh, if only we could transfer some of Evan’s energy into Ed and me!

Speaking of energy, even though he had none, Ed managed to get over half of the chicken run covered with tin!  I felt bad for him, but he ‘pressed on’ for several hours before he finally gave in and stopped.  If you’ve never had thyroid issues, let me tell you–they suck!  Your energy level is zero, and I won’t even get into the sleep, body temp regulation, or other health-related issues.

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Ed – working on the chicken run

‘Della’, our sick chick, is still with us–living in her own little box, alone.  Unfortunately, she continues to have ‘issues’ with constipation.  I did put her in the box with her sisters (twice) for a short time, yesterday, and she seemed to enjoy that.  She scratched and pecked with the best of them!  Once she began trying to go to the bathroom, I had to remove her, because the others noticed, and wanted to peck her rear end.  (notice Della’s house, next-door, separated by Plexiglass)

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Della (front center) – visiting with her sisters for a moment

All of the chicks (except Della) are growing like weeds.  They’ve grown their wing and tail feathers and are beginning to fly, so we had to upgrade them to a larger, deeper, brooder box.  Ed spent part of Sunday afternoon building a ‘chick condo’ out of two cardboard boxes.  (I don’t know what I’d do without Ed’s help!)  We may have to add on to the condo as the chicks continue to grow, but, for now, it’s good.

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Ed –  working on the ‘chick condo’

In other chick news, over the weekend, several larger chicks pinned ‘Pixie’ (the runt of the flock)  down in a small space in the brooder box (before we upgraded).  They were pecking and attacking her, when I happened to walk by. Had I not been there, I feel sure they would most likely have killed her.  I’ve noticed that ‘Pixie’ seems to have the opposite problem as ‘Della’, and suffers from diarrhea.  I’m hoping we won’t have to add another isolation box!

I’m a bit frustrated with this chick business!  I didn’t have near this many problems with my first flock.  If I had, there probably wouldn’t have been a second flock!  I must have had some ‘beginners luck,’ back then.  I didn’t know a thing about raising baby chicks, and had very few problems.  Now, I’m experienced and educated, but things keep happening!  It seems there’s always a ‘chicken challenge’ around here.

Speaking of ‘chicken challenges’, you may be wondering about my three older hens, aka ‘the girls’.  They’re free ranging, and loving every minute of it!  Our yard may never be the same, since I’ve discovered chickens love to scratch grass and eat flowers…  It’s a good thing our grass is hardy and I’m not attached to my flowers!

The girls only return to their coop to lay eggs (usually 1 or 2 daily) and to sleep at night. Unfortunately, in addition to eating flowers, ‘the girls’ have developed the bad habit of hanging around the front door to wait for treats! (my fault for starting it)  See what happens if we don’t keep a baby gate up on the front porch…

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Do ya’ think I might be a ‘redneck’ from ‘Gooseneck’ since I have a chicken peeking through my front door, while eight baby chicks are currently living in our game room? Nah, I’m just a country gal who loves and enjoys her chicks 🙂

Have a great Monday, y’all!

Published in: on September 22, 2014 at 10:15 am  Comments (8)  
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Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

What a week this has turned out to be!  All I can say is TGIF!  I’m a bit late in posting these fragments, but I figure better late, than never.

Ed’s off today, and I would have loved to have spent the day at St. Simon’s Island–but we couldn’t! When you are raising baby chicks, you can’t leave them unattended for very long. Instead, we made a speedy trip to Lowe’s to pick up building materials for the new chicken coop and run.  We could have spent the entire weekend on St. Simon’s for what we spent at Lowe’s! Ha!

Speaking of chicks, I’ve been up and down with ‘Della’, the sick baby chick, all week.  She continues to have ‘pasty butt’ (constipation) issues, and continues to be in solitary confinement, for her own protection.  I’ve tried, twice, to incorporate her back into the flock, but the others peck at her mercilessly.  (Chickens are notorious for picking on the weak flock members.)  At this point, I’m not sure what Della’s prognosis is.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cleaned poor Della’s ‘pasty butt’!  She’s become well acquainted with cotton balls and Q-tips, often needing help during the middle of the night 😦 Every time she needs to poop, she makes these pitiful little sounds that remind me of the noise a dolphin makes.  When I hear those little chirping sounds, I usually check on her to see if she needs any help.

Della outgrew her shoe box home,  this week, so Ed made her a larger home from a cardboard box.  He even put Plexiglas in one side of her box so she can still see her sisters, but they can’t peck her.  It’s been sort of sad to watch Della sleep beside her flock mates, with that piece of glass separating them.  She seems satisfied just to be able to see them.

In other news, I’m finally feeling better!  I began taking some cranberry gel caps, and drinking extra water.  Within two days, I began feeling better, which tells me the back/abdomen pain I was having must have been kidney-related.  I plan to continue this treatment for another week, then see what happens.

Ed, on the other hand, isn’t feeling much better.  His thyroid levels are low because he has inflammation of his thyroid.  He’s already taken one round of anti-inflammatory drugs, but they haven’t seemed to help.  After 9 days, we finally heard back from the doctor’s office, telling Ed his thyroid levels are low…excuse me, but we pretty much knew that already! My question is, what do they plan to do about it?!  (Their solution: retest!) These days, it’s become a sad situation concerning proper medical care 😦

We have a dozen cats, we have a dog, we have eleven chickens, and now, apparently, we have a skunk hanging around our yard!  Our daughter saw a skunk eating out of one of the  cat’s feeding bowls yesterday–in the middle of the afternoon!  She said the skunk was eating, then rolling around in the grass–like a cat would do!  YIKES!

Speaking of skunks, this week, my hair dresser told me, if I decided to let my hair color grow out, my hair color would be the reverse color of a skunk!  My sides are gray, but the top and back are still dark.  Ha!  I think I’ll stick with coloring my hair for a while longer:)

Speaking of gray hair, yesterday, I received my first little retirement check!  Hooray!  (I haven’t worked in nine years, but just now got old enough to draw the retirement I’d paid in when I worked.)  When I opened the check, I immediately noticed that no taxes had been deducted from it.  When I called TRS to ask why no taxes were withheld, they told me it was because my income was so low, the taxes wouldn’t calculate!  Now, that is sad!  I guess I’ll be dealing with the tax man in January.

That’s about it for today’s fragments.  I’m linking up with Mrs. Fours, at Half-PastKissin’Time.  Have a great weekend!

Published in: on September 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm  Comments (8)  
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Growing Old Gracefully With The Hodgepodge…

Today marks the 190th edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  I can hardly believe it!  That’s a lot of questions, a lot of answers, and a lot of visiting back and forth, but it’s still fun!  I don’t know about you, but I think The Hodgepodge is aging with dignity!

Apparently, our hostess, Joyce, is celebrating a birthday, this week.  Happy Birthday, Joyce, and thanks so much for all you do!  May this next year of your life be the best one yet!

Here are today’s questions, along with my answers:

1. I’m celebrating a birthday this week so a question relating to aging feels appropriate. Douglas MacArthur is quoted as saying, ‘You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” Would you agree? If not why not?

I have no idea whether I agree with this [very long] quote or not!  It’s all just too much for my aging brain to comprehend, today.  I recently turned 60, you know 🙂

I will say this, as time goes by,  we’re all going to age, but some people are able to do it more gracefully than others.  Health and life style play a big part in the aging process, as well as genetics–but sometimes it’s just the ‘luck of the draw’.  (For instance, I’ve dealt with health issues for the past 20 years, while my brother, who’s 9 years my senior, has always been as healthy as a horse!)

The bottom line is, if we live long enough, every one of us will be ‘old’, in the end, some bodies just seem to handle the process better than others.  My goal is to grow old as gracefully as I can, take care of myself, and make the best of the body I’ve been given.

2. What remarkable feat, interesting piece of trivia, or historical event occurred on your birth day and month? Not necessarily in your birth year, just the same date/same month.

Thanks to Google, I found several interesting tidbits, that captured my attention!  They are:

8-30-54 (my actual DOB) Hurricane Carol kills 68 people on the US East Coast.

8-30-76 –  Tom Brokaw becomes news anchor of The Today Show

8-30-79 – President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a rabbit on a canoe trip in Plains, Ga. (Ha!  How’s that for an interesting piece of trivia?)

3. Describe a time or circumstance where you wanted to ‘have your cake and eat it too.

The circumstance that comes to mind took place last October 30, when I wanted (and needed) to be in two places at the same time.  Our youngest (and last) grandson, Evan, had literally just been born, when we got an emergency call from our daughter, concerning our oldest grandchild. It pains me, even now, to remember that day.  Tearfully, we left our newest grandson, without ever even getting to hold him, and returned home where we knew we were needed the most.

4. What’s something you do that makes you feel young? Something that makes you feel old?

The last thing I did that made me feel young was to go out to eat, at a local restaurant, on ‘Senior Citizen’s Night’.  Ed and I were some of the youngest patrons in the place.

The last thing I did that made me feel old was watch my grandchildren use modern technology with such ease.

5. When did you last do something that was ‘a piece of cake’?

The only thing that comes to mind was our family get-together, last Friday night.  Brett, our oldest son, picked up some pizza for supper,  and Brandy, our daughter, hosted everyone at her house.  All I had to do was walk across the yard and enjoy the meal along with everyone’s company.  No hosting, no cooking, no clean up–a ‘piece of cake’!

6.  Beef, wine, and cheese all improve with age. What’s something else you’d add to that list? (not necessarily food or beverage) 

I think babies improve with age!  They’re precious, but so tiny and helpless when they’re first born.  Then, as they grow, they begin to smile, coo, walk, talk and do all those other cute little things that melt our hearts, and make us love them so!

7. If I were to have a giveaway when we hit Volume 200, what should I give away? By my calculations we’ll hit Volume 200 on November 26th, the day before Thanksgiving, which means whoever wins would have whatever it is in time for Christmas.

Perhaps, a small gift box (think shoe box size) filled with a few favorite holiday things ( ideas: decorative note pad, small decorative towel,  scented soap, small candle, perhaps an ornament–a Hodgepodge, if you will!) Or perhaps, some kind of gift card would be better? (Amazon sells a Hodgepodge of things!)  Some Hodgepodge participants might even be willing to donate toward the cause. (I would)

Random:

Here’s my ‘year round’ tree, decorated in honor of back-to-school!

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Published in: on September 17, 2014 at 7:13 am  Comments (9)  
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A Little Of This And A Little Of That On Monday…

Monday sure comes around often, these days.  My stomach is churning and my head is whirling because I’m running on two hours sleep (see reasons below).  Can I have a weekend do-over?

I mentioned ‘love bugs’ on my last post, and several blog friends didn’t know what love bugs are. Lucky them!  Love bugs are these small black flying insects that remain ‘hooked together’, even when they crawl or fly.  They travel in swarms, and seem especially attracted to certain things. They splatter all over our cars whenever we travel, and if they’re not washed off promptly, their residue will mess up the paint.  Here’s a picture of some love bugs:

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Aren’t you glad you don’t have love bugs at your house?

Here’s what our front porch has looked like for four long days.  All of those disgusting black specks everywhere are love bugs, and we even had a fan blowing on the door to discourage them! I think it’s safe to say, love bugs are attracted to our front door.

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disgusting love bugs are everywhere!

In weekend news, Ed and I didn’t really do anything special, but we did go over to our daughter’s house, Friday night, for some pizza/family time with our daughter, oldest son, & their families. I think everyone enjoyed that!  The three oldest grandchildren get along very well, and always have a good time when they are able to play together, which is usually quite often.  I’m glad the three of them live close to each other (and to us!).

Ed and I still weren’t feeling our best, but Ed managed to forge ahead and do some prep work on the future chicken run for the new chicks, while I watched.  I gave him my moral support, and kept him company on his frequent breaks.  It’s about all I felt like doing.

Ed’s prep work involved removing the old top soil from one section of our existing run, and replacing it with new top soil from the garden–one five-gallon bucket full at a time!  It was an all day job, and Ed would never gotten it done without the help of his little tractor, ‘Allis’ and her dirt scoop!

We’re now ready for step two, adding a tin roof, which Ed will probably do next weekend or the next. I hope we’re both feeling better by then!  The last step will be building a small chicken coop for the chicks to sleep in.

Speaking of the baby chicks, they had been doing great, but I ran into a problem Sunday.  I’ve been very diligent about checking on them every hour or two, but Ed and I needed to do a bit of shopping.  We were gone a little longer than we’d intended to be (6 hours) and when we got home Ed noticed that the white chick named ‘Della’ had developed a case of ‘pasty butt’.

I picked Della up, and cleaned her little fluffy bottom, but I quickly discovered that Della had major problems.  Apparently, she’d gotten very constipated during the day.  This is what happens when pasty butt goes unchecked, and it can be deadly.  Poor Della wasn’t looking so good, so I pulled an all-nighter, checking back and forth, and cleaning her bottom with a Q-tip when I need to.  Her little bottom looks horrible (think hemorrhoids) from all the straining, so I’ve had to isolate her from her sisters, who would gladly peck her to death because of her red bottom.  Sigh.  Times like these are the ‘down side’ to raising chickens.

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poor Della, in isolation (at least she can still see her sisters)

The good news is she made it through the night, and after seven hours, of stressing and straining, I think Della got herself cleaned out.  I have no idea what today will bring, and she’s still in isolation.  She looks a little better, but not much.

The other good news is, ‘Pixie’, (named by Cathy of Tales of the TCKK Family) the runt of the flock, is hanging in there.  At least she hasn’t suffered from ‘pasty butt’–yet!  Last night was the night to lower the temperature in the brooder by five degrees because the chicks are now a week old, which was another reason I pulled the all-nighter.  I had to keep monitoring the temperature, and raising or lowering the heat lamp accordingly.

One last bit of news from the weekend.  I participated in my first Facebook yard sale!  I decided it was time to let go of some of the grandbaby items I’ll no longer be needing.  I listed a total of six items, and managed to sell all but one.  It was an interesting experience.  It turned out that one lady, who bought four of the five items, works at the hospital with Ed!  This morning, Ed left for work with a car full of baby stuff 🙂

That’s it for today!  I hope your weekend was less eventful (and less stressful) than mine, and I hope we all have a good Monday!

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 8:04 am  Comments (6)  
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Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It’s been a l-o-n-g time since I wrote five posts in one week, but I’m on a roll so I’ll just go with it. I enjoy linking up with Mrs. Fours for Friday Fragments whenever I can, so here goes…

Ed and I have not been feeling very good lately.  I’ve had back/abdominal pain since last Friday, and Ed’s thyroid apparently has gotten inflamed, causing him some issues.  On Tuesday, he made us both appointments to see the Nurse Practitioner.  Our appointments were for the same time, and we saw the Nurse Practitioner in the exam room–together.  After 42 years of marriage, this was a first!  Oh, and the Nurse Practitioner that we saw happened to graduate with our daughter!  Talk about feeling old!!!

Ed got a prescription to help heal his inflamed thyroid, while I had a urinalysis performed to rule out a possible kidney infection. My U/A didn’t show much, only a trace of blood. The NP didn’t really know what to make of this, and neither do I.  My back/abdomen is still bothering me, but I’m taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, for now.  The NP recommended that I drink lots of water, to flush the kidneys, and come back if the pain worsens.  Alrighty then!

Recently, I saw a post on Facebook that really hit home:

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Of course, Ed and I are a little past middle age, but this applies to us, too!

The baby chicks made it through day two with only one incident.  One of the Delawares had a small case of ‘pasty butt’. (Yes, it’s an actual condition)  I had to gently moisten her fluffy butt with a wet paper towel, then remove the dried poop so it wouldn’t clog up her vent.  Afterward, she got a quick blow dry of her rear end, and was as good as new.  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Those little ‘Delawares’ are still being feisty, and I even caught one of them trying to fly out of the brooder!  I’ll be covering the top of their box with some netting soon!  I switched the warming light over their brooder box to a red light bulb, and they rested quietly last night, thank goodness.

Recently, when I visited with my granddaughter, Madison, she wanted me to watch a show with her called ” Barbie Life In the Dreamhouse”.  I’d never heard of this show before, but I agreed to watch an episode, because, after all, who doesn’t love Barbie?! Apparently, some genius has taken Barbie and all of her friends, given them personalities, and made an entertaining little show. If you watched Toy Story 3,  and the scenes between Barbie and Ken, you have an idea what the show is like. Funny stuff!

I had a strange experience with eBay, this week!  I’ve shopped on eBay for ten years, and bought hundreds of items, but never had this experience before.  I bought a music box from a seller, then later received an email and a refund because the guy said he dropped the music box and broke it while trying to wrap it for mailing!  Rats!  I really liked that music box, too…

One last thing–love bugs!  We’ve been plagued with massive swarms of them for over a week! Yesterday, the entire front door of our house was covered in them–even the door knob!  Nobody around here loves a love bug–not even the chickens 🙂

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on September 12, 2014 at 8:21 am  Comments (11)  
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The New Arrivals…

The baby chicks arrived safe and sound yesterday morning!  They made their journey from a hatchery in Ohio, to our house in Georgia, in about 40 hours.  (What a way to begin their first day and a half of life!)  The post office called me to pick them up just after 8 a.m.  I could hear my babies chirping in the background, so I knew[at least] some of them had survived the trip!

I quickly filled the chick dispensers with food and water, turned on the heat lamp in the brooder box, then headed for the post office.  The post office had only been open for 10 minutes when I arrived to pick up my new baby ‘girls’.

After filling out and signing a little paperwork, I was soon headed back home with my new babies.  On the way home, I prayed I wouldn’t discover any dead little bodies when I opened the tiny box. The baby chicks chirped during the entire trip, and I marveled at what a sweet sound they make.  I noticed one chick chirped much louder than the rest, who seemed to be chirping in sweet harmony.

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 box of chicks, before I opened it

Upon arriving home, I took a deep breath and prepared to open the box, which turned out to be a somewhat difficult task. Once I removed the four staples holding the end flaps down, I removed the lid, then let out a sigh as I admired what was inside! There in the box were eight precious baby chicks, all living and breathing! God had answered my prayers.

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 chicks immediately after I opened the box

The baby chicks were nestled in a bed of straw-like material, and the inside of the box was surprisingly warm to the touch.  I’d worried that they might be cold during their journey, but they seemed to be okay.

The chicks hadn’t seen the light of day since they were hatched, on Monday, so it took them a few moments to become acclimated to their new surroundings.  I quickly picked each one up, and examined it before gently placing it into the warm brooder.

Before I put each chick down into the brooder, I dipped its beak into the drinking water, to show them what water is.  Some began drinking immediately, while others were a little slower to catch on.  Within thirty minutes, everyone was eating and drinking.  What a miracle, that each chick somehow knew what to do!

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 chicks warming up under the red infrared heat lamp 

Upon opening the box, I noticed one chick appeared to be a little smaller than the others.  This chick was the last one to drink and eat, and was a little unsteady on its feet for part of the day.  This chick will probably be the runt of the flock, and will probably be the last in pecking order, if it survives.

Much of  yesterday was spent going back and forth,  trying to regulate the temperature of the brooder, and trying to keep the chick’s water supply clean. (They’re not choosy where they poop!) By mid-afternoon, after changing to a larger watt bulb, I finally manged to stabilize the temperature around the light to around 95 degrees.  Keeping the water clean will be an ongoing process!

I’ve read that chicks bond with the first thing they see, after hatching, and will consider this thing their mother.  This might be true, because the chicks seem to have no fear of me at all. (The chicks I previously bought at Tractor Supply were afraid of me, at first.)  The book Are You My Mother? comes to mind 🙂

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chicks doing what they do best–eating and drinking

Yesterday, the chicks ate and drank a lot!  In fact, they ate and drank more than they slept.  As they continued to eat, I could almost see them growing, believe it or not.  Wing feathers are already beginning to sprout and grow.  These babies won’t say little and fuzzy for very long!

The new flock consists of three different breeds of chickens.  There are three Australorps (black chickens), three Plymouth Barred Rocks (black/white speckled chickens), and two Delawares (white chickens, with just a touch of black).  All of the chicks are supposed to be females! (there’s a 10% chance of sexing error)

Personalities are already beginning to emerge, and it appears that the two white Delawares are going to be smart and feisty. I’ve read a few reviews about Delawares being a bit aggressive to other chickens, but I read some very good reviews about them, too.  I decided to take a chance.  I sure hope these don’t turn out to be ‘mean girls’!  Worse yet, I hope they don’t turn out to be ‘mean boys’!  There’s nothing meaner than a white rooster!  I’ll keep you posted with future developments 🙂

Morning update:  I’ve discovered who my loud chirper is, and it’s turned out to be one of those feisty Delawares!  (Wouldn’t you know?)  She woke me up at 1:30 this morning.  When I went to see who was making the fuss, there she was–standing among all of her sleeping sisters, while chirping at the top of her lungs!  I’ve decided to call this lively one, ‘Della’. (short for Delaware)  I’ll call her sister, ‘Dixie’. (short for Dixie Chick)

The smallest baby chick is still with me, and I’m hoping she will catch up and begin to thrive.  Any suggestions for a name?  If she makes it, she’ll grow up to look like this:

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That’s about it for today’s news on ‘the new arrivals’.  I’m sure more news will follow…

Published in: on September 11, 2014 at 9:27 am  Comments (6)  
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