Today marks the seven week anniversary of Ed’s retirement. It really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Thankfully, we had four beautiful days in a row, this week, with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s! Unfortunately, all of that has changed now. It’s a cloudy 46 degrees!
We’ve had lots of activities going on this week. First of all, Ed began a new outdoor project. He’s putting some extra electrical outlets near the places [in our yard] where we normally place our outside Christmas decorations. Now we won’t require the use of so many extension cords, and the decorations should be safer, too. We tripped a few circuit breakers last Christmas! This project is time-consuming, so I’m counting on it to keep Ed busy for a few more days.
Ed tackled another project, this week, too. He built a removable partition for one end of the chicken coop. This will give us a place to keep any hen, who isn’t feeling well, away from the other hens. Putting up the partition will make an instant isolation coop. Speaking of the chickens, we’ve had a little more ‘chicken drama’, this week.
For a while, we’ve been noticing our three older hens have what can only be described as a case of ‘the nasty butt’. (sorry if that’s TMI) I kept thinking time would take care of this, but it kept getting worse. Finally, I read when this happens, the solution is to wash their behinds, then put probiotic in their drinking water. Well, I gave them the probiotic, but wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of washing their behinds! I read if this condition goes unchecked, it can lead to more serious illness, and, sure enough, one of the three eventually got sick. Unfortunately, there was nothing left to do, but wash some nasty chicken butts!
When it finally warmed up to 70 degrees, on Monday, I decided it would be a good day for tackling the nasty deed. One by one, Ed and I caught the hens. I held each hen in my lap, while Ed gently sprayed water on her bottom. It took a while, but, eventually, Ed got every hen’s behind clean. (By the way, he wore gloves, and I wore a trash bag, while tackling this nasty job!) We sprayed the cleaned area with a wound treatment, and each one of the hens went merrily on their way. I worried a bit about the sickly hen, because she really panted the entire time we cleaned her, but she survived intact. By the next day, all three butts were fluffy and pretty again! The sickly hen still isn’t feeling her best, but seems better than she was at the first of the week. Who knew keeping chickens could be so ‘involved’?!
a blanket nest
In other chicken drama, our rebel hen continues to lay her eggs on the dog’s blankets, under our car port. Not only that, but she’s fashioned herself a little nest out of part of the blankets and some straw! It’s quite a sight to see a chicken sitting beside our dog, but neither seems to mind. Rebellion is contagious, because, on Thursday, a second hen started laying in the blanket nest, too! Oh, my! This might be a problem.
Chicken drama wasn’t the only drama going on around our house, this week. ‘Jo Jo’, the formerly feral tom cat got into a nasty fight with something, and came home with one eye all messed up! Since he’s formerly feral, he won’t let us do much of anything for his eye, and it looks bad. We’ll be surprised if he doesn’t lose sight in it. Hormones are raging, and being one-eyed hasn’t stopped ‘Jo Jo’ from trying to mate with our cat, ‘Baby’! Thank goodness, ‘Baby’ has been spayed, and just thinks ‘Jo Jo’ has lost his mind, as well as his eye!
squash, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage
Those warm, sunny days, this week, have done wonders for my plants! The garden peas have begun to sprout in the garden, and the plants I’m keeping in the laundry room have benefited greatly from spending some time outdoors in the sunshine! I do believe some of them have grown an inch! Only four more weeks until I can transplant them!
One would think that spring has officially sprung, by some of our activities, this week. First of all, I wore shorts! Then, I opened the windows and aired out the entire house! Finally, I had to actually turn on the air conditioner for two whole days! We dusted off the grill, and had bar-b-que chicken for supper one night. On Thursday, Ed dusted off the lawnmower and cut our grass, too! It’s too bad the warm temps didn’t last. Our high for today is predicted to be 46 degrees! I’ve put away the shorts, and brought my sweat pants back out. 😦
I hate to end this post on a sad note, but the entire week hasn’t been a happy one. My long-time readers may remember the little boy named Alex, that my daughter kept in her home, a while back. Alex stayed with our daughter, Brandy, while his mom worked. He was with her from just before his first birthday, until about three months before his third birthday.
Alex was born very premature and had a lot of problems because of it. He was developmentally delayed, had an eating disorder, and was totally deaf. Eventually, Alex learned to walk, and was able to get cochlear implants so he could hear. Alex never conquered his eating disorder while he stayed with Brandy, and would often throw up while eating or immediately afterward. Eventually, it became too difficult for Brandy to continue to keep Alex, in addition to home schooling her daughter. The picture, below, was taken about the time Alex stopped coming.
Alex with his mom, October 2013
About a year ago, little Alex’s mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We were devastated when we heard the news! Sadly, she lost her battle with this horrible disease, yesterday. She was just 30 years old. I am so distraught for little Alex, who has already had to conquer so much during his short life. You know, sometimes life doesn’t seem fair.
Alex’s mama will be laid to rest on Sunday. Meanwhile, Alex just celebrated his fourth birthday. So sad!