Hello Again Hodgepodge…

It’s time for that little mid-week distraction, known around here as The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  It’s brought to us by our gracious hostess, Joyce, From This Side Of The Pond.  (Thanks, Joyce!)

1.  Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?

No, I can’t say that I made anyone laugh yesterday, but someone else made me laugh.  I overheard a phone conversation between our son, Brad, and my husband, Ed, concerning a cockroach.  It was funny!

2. What’s a simple question with a complicated answer?

Why is the humidity still so high underneath our house?  Sigh.

3. Rhododendrons or azaleas…you have to choose. Are either currently blooming in your yard?

Azaleas.  There aren’t any azaleas blooming in our yard because they all bloomed in March.  To tell the truth, I’m not sure we even have any rhododendrons in our neck of the woods.

4. May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job?

Yes, I once worked as a waitress (at my uncle’s store/restaurant).  My experience was horrible, and I only lasted about two days.  I’d rate the experience 1 because I hated almost everything about it.

5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men?

For [older, heavier] women, leggings should be outlawed.  For [all] men, those awful saggy pants, with straddles down to the knees, should be outlawed.

6. Name a writer who inspires you….now tell us why.

Our Hodgepodge hostess, Joyce, inspires me–and, yes, I do consider her a writer.  Joyce writes about life, and her words come straight from the heart. Oh, how I wish I had Joyce’s way with words!  She’s definitely an inspiration to me.

7. What well-known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?

I don’t know what my plans are for the rest of the week, but there’s a part of the song, ‘Knee Deep’ by Zac Brown Band, that keeps running through my head:

Wishing I was knee-deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze and it don’t seem fair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair…

Guess where I’d really like to be today?!

027

Ed and I were on St. Simon’s Island, last Wednesday, and it was wonderful 🙂

Random:  “Broody Hen”

As if Ed and I haven’t had enough things to deal with, now we have one more–a broody hen!

One of the hens in our new flock of ‘girls’ has gone ‘broody’.  Broody is a term used to describe any hen who wants to sit on her eggs and hatch baby chicks.  We don’t have a rooster to fertilize our eggs, so poor ‘Broody Hen’ would be wasting her time by sitting on the eggs.  (We don’t want baby chicks, that’s why we don’t have a rooster.)  ‘Broody Hen’ has been dominating the nest, and causing all sorts of chaos in the hen-house.  Something has got to give!

This week, we’ve been trying different remedies to break our hen from her broodiness.  We gave her a cold water bath, on Monday.  The bath didn’t seem to help, but now I know where the phrase “As mad as a wet setting hen” came from 🙂

On Tuesday, we put ‘Broody Hen’ in solitary confinement, with a fan blowing a gentle breeze on her.  The desired result is to keep her away from the nest, ‘cool her off’, and break the broodiness cycle. So far, no luck, but sometimes this can take several days, so I’ve read.  Besides, our temperatures reached well into the 90’s yesterday, so it was difficult to cool off!

We’ll see how today goes…  At least the other hens can lay their eggs in peace while ‘Broody Hen’ is chillin’ under the breeze of her fan!  At night, ‘Broody Hen’ is allowed to join her sisters back in the hen-house.  Of course, milk jugs, filled with water, are sitting inside of the nests–just in case ‘Broody Hen’ feels the  urge to sleep on a nest!

Advertisements
Published in: on May 20, 2015 at 7:35 am  Comments (12)  
Tags: ,

A Little Update On ‘The Girls’…

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my chickens, aka ‘the girls’, so I thought I’d post an update.  I’m happy to report, with the exception of ‘Della’, who died at 3 weeks old, the chicks I ordered through the mail, in September, are alive and doing well.  In fact, three out of the seven have already started laying eggs!

100_4634

I have to admit, this flock of chickens has certainly been more challenging to raise than their predecessors.  While everything seemed to come naturally to my flock of little red hens, this mixed flock has seemed to have trouble with almost everything!

For a long time, I kept a red light bulb inside of their chicken house, and would have to turn it on at dusk just to get the new flock of ‘girls’ to go inside.  Once inside, they seemed to think it was party time!  I could see inside of their house, from my kitchen window, and two hours after dark, they’d still be walking around in their house!  I finally took their light away, but they continue to put off going in their house until it’s almost too dark to see outside! Meanwhile, their older red sisters, have happily roosted in their own house each evening, well before dusk!

Once the new girls finally go inside of their house, they often can’t seem to make up their minds where they want to sleep.  We had two roosting bars, side by side.  For a while, the chickens slept in different spots on the roosts every night!   They seemed to have trouble establishing a pecking order or a sleeping spot.  Ed finally raised one roosting bar a little higher than the other.  After that, five hens started sleeping on the highest bar, while two sleep on a shelf, next to it, that’s meant for supplies, not for sleeping!  The older red sisters established a pecking order, early, and have slept in the same spots since then.

100_4840

Some of this flock of chicks didn’t seem to know what was going on when they first felt the urge to lay an egg.  We watched, with great interest, as the first hen paced in and out of the hen-house, several times, but finally laid her first egg in the dirt!  Some of the sister hens soon followed, but utilized the nesting boxes we’d built and filled with hay, instead of laying in the dirt.

I’m happy to report, everyone is laying in the nesting boxes, now, but, one hen, in particular, seems to get upset when I gather the eggs!  The new hens have already laid 3 dozen eggs, since January 9th!  Most of the eggs laid are small, about the size of a golf ball, but, so far, two of them have had double yolks inside!

One new trick some of the new hens have learned is how to ‘squat’ for me whenever I enter their coop.  (I believe it’s because they think I’m a rooster)  Whenever a hen squats for me, I’ll reach down and rub her back!  I’m not quite sure what she’s expecting, but a back rub is what she gets!  (None of the older girls have ever squatted for me before.)

You may recall, I first began raising chickens three years ago, with a flock of six little red hens.  Over the course of two and a half years, we’ve lost three of the six to various illnesses.  Late last summer, we decided to let the remaining three hens go free during the day.  The girls now free range all day, but return to their coop at night, where they are locked up (as protection against predators) until the next morning.  So far, so good.

Of course, we had to add some wire fencing to areas around the yard that needed chicken proofing (like my flower beds),  and I’m wondering if they are going to find their way into our garden come spring.  Time will tell, if they will get to continue enjoying their freedom!  These hens stay in a separate housing area than their younger sisters, but can often be seen trying to get into the pen with them.

100_4854

These red hens have laid literally dozens and dozens of eggs, during their lifetime.  They kept three families supplied with eggs for over two years!  They are called ‘Red Stars’, and are bred to lay more eggs than any other breed.  I thought the girls’ laying days were over, but, lo and behold, some of the hens have started laying eggs again! I’ve gotten 5 eggs from them over the past couple of weeks.

One interesting thing I’ve learned about those little red hens is they can tell time!  They’ve learned that I go outside to give them an afternoon snack every day around 4 o’clock.  If I’m ever running late, I’ll find them waiting for me beside the front steps!  They look forward to their treats.

Another interesting thing about those little red hens is they know the sound of my voice.  Whenever I go outside, and call, “Chick, chick, chick” they will come running, as fast as their short, fat legs will carry them!  One of them will still sit in my lap if she gets half a chance, too.

One thing’s for sure.  If you have chickens, there’s never a dull moment, and there’s always something to do!  Someone once wrote, “Chickens are like the worst of dogs and cats.  You have to let them out, and you have to clean up after them!”  This is true, but I love spending time with them, and we sure do enjoy those farm fresh eggs they provide.  It’s a win-win situation, for me.  I like to refer to my girls as “pets with perks”!

 

 

Published in: on February 13, 2015 at 9:04 am  Comments (5)  
Tags:

Wednesday Hodgepodge #195

October is rolling along, which means it’s time for another edition of The Hodgepodge!  I hope you’ll enjoy Joyce’s questions, along with my answers, today.  You, too, can join the fun by clicking the button at the top of this post!

1. What’s your favorite time of day? Why?

I really had to think about this one!  For me, it was almost a toss up between nap time or bedtime. Ha!  I finally decided that early evening is my favorite time of the day.  I always look forward to relaxing at the end of the day by getting my bath, putting on something comfortable, then settling in for a little television watching with Ed.

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender…which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house?

It’s not that old, but I think our toaster might need replacing.  Lately, it’s become unreliable. One piece of toast will pop up barely toasted, while the next will be almost burned.

3. It’s National Grouch Day (October 15)…what’s something that makes you feel grouchy?

I get very grouchy when I’m hungry!  I will go from happy to grouchy, quickly, if I can’t eat when I’m hungry.  Just ask my family!

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you’d like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?

I’ve never been to Canada, but I wouldn’t mind visiting.  I’ve always thought it would be neat to  see Niagara Falls.

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?

I remember ravioli being one of my favorite foods, when I was a child.  No, it’s not still a favorite. It’s funny how our tastes change, isn’t it? (That change is not always a bad thing!)

6. Do you cry easily?

I don’t know if I’d say I cry easily, but I cry a lot easier than I used to.  I’ve become more sentimental and compassionate with age.

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?

Yes, I’ve actually started my Christmas shopping.  Last week, I ordered a doll that my granddaughter said she wanted.  It’s the only gift I’ve bought, so far.

Random:  

I’m suffering from ’empty nest syndrome’, once again!  On Tuesday, the ‘baby girls’ (aka the chicks) went to live outside in their new chicken house.  I don’t know who was happier–me or them, although I must admit, the house is a little too quiet without their little chirping sounds! Story about the move coming soon…

In the meantime, here’s a peak at what the ‘older girls’ have recently been up to:

100_4454
playing hide-and-seek among my Halloween decorations…

One of my older girls has been sick for a few days (with crop troubles), while another one is going through a difficult molt.  No eggs for fourteen days and counting….  Let me tell you, store bought eggs taste bland after eating farm-fresh eggs!

Published in: on October 15, 2014 at 7:35 am  Comments (8)  
Tags: ,

A Few Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

So, the week began with lows in the forties, but is ending with highs up to ninety!  What’s up with that?  Sadly, I have turned the air conditioning back on, and am wondering what happened to fall?!

This week, our daughter-in-law posted this picture of grandson, Evan, on Facebook, along with the caption: “Crazy hair, he don’t care!”

10603385_10202322532017817_97374567124789171_n Evan

I laughed out loud when I saw it 🙂  I’m so thankful for Facebook at times like these.  His shirt sorta’ says it all, too, doesn’t it?!

The house has been too quiet since ‘Della’, the chick, passed away.  I’d grown to listen for the little chirping noises she made each time she pooped.  I still miss that little feisty chick, but her sister ‘Dixie’ has taken her place with being feisty!  Yesterday, ‘Dixie’ actually flew out of the brooder box!  I have the top of the brooder box covered with netting, but ‘Dixie’ spotted a hole and went for it.  Luckily, I was standing right there, and caught her as she landed on the top edge of the box.  Bad girl!

My ‘older girls’, the big red hens, are currently molting.  There are large piles of red feathers all over our yard!  Since the hens are going through a molt, this means they’re not laying any eggs either.  It’s been six days since I’ve picked up an egg!  It pains me to think about buying a dozen eggs, but I’m going to have to do it soon.

It’s been a long work week for Ed.  They’ve been dealing with hospital inspectors all week.  I know he’s glad today is Friday!  Dealing with inspectors is no fun!  Fortunately, it only happens once a year.

10294340_10203338817927160_2117525693380201673_n Chase

Chase (photo borrowed from Facebook)

Our little grandson, Chase, spend most of the morning with me on Wednesday.  He’ll be three in December.  I love the age Chase is, because he says the funniest things–like when he interrupted his mom’s conversation to ask ” What does crap mean?” (His mother hadn’t said “crap”, but he’d apparently heard it somewhere.)

I’m dying to have a wiener roast!  I just love sitting around the fire pit roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.  The unfortunate thing is, the mosquitoes are still so bad, it’s hard to enjoy being outside.  Maybe the next cold snap will kill those little aggravating blood suckers!  In the meantime, I’m ready to have a wiener roast ASAP!

One of my readers asked if we are finished with pears yet.  The answer is “No.”  We’re nearing the end of them, but there are still pears hanging in both trees.  I wish we’d had time to count how many pears we’ve picked up, but I know it’s been in the thousands!  I made some pear turnovers, this week, using crescent rolls.  Yum!

‘Baby’, the cat, is completely over her spaying surgery, and is as good as new.  It’s been two weeks since her surgery. She’s running and climbing trees like nothing ever happened to her.  ‘Jo Jo’, the tom cat, is still her ‘best bud’, and the two still spend a lot of time together.  Thank goodness no kittens will come out of this friendship!

We have no big plans for the weekend.  Hopefully, Ed will finish up the chicken coop and our new ‘ girls’ will finally be able to spend some time outside!  I’m so ready to see them go outside, and they’re ready, too…  They’ve been about to scratch a hole in the bottom of the brooder box all week, trying to take dust baths!

That’s it for this version of ‘Friday Fragments’.  I’m linking my fragments up with Mrs. Fours over at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.  Have a great weekend y’all!

Published in: on October 10, 2014 at 7:44 am  Comments (10)  
Tags: , ,

A Few Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

fftccom200x200_zps70bcba96

Here I am at the end of another busy week, which means it’s time for a few Friday Fragments.  The days sure do go by quickly, don’t they?  I’m joining Mrs. 4444 at Halfpastkissintime for Friday Fragments.  Speaking of Mrs. 4444, I’d like to send Happy Birthday wishes to her, because her birthday is tomorrow!

On Monday, I spend the majority of the day sitting on the couch!  After such a busy Easter weekend, I needed some time to rest.  By Tuesday, it was back to business, as usual, since I had a doctor’s appointment early that morning.  Fortunately, I got a good doctor’s report, and don’t have to go back for six months, unless I have any problems.  I sure hope I don’t have any problems!

Speaking of problems, one of my ‘little red hens’ is sick 😦   She’s the runt of the flock, and has always been smaller and a bit frail.  Yesterday, the ‘boss hen’ started to pick on the sick hen, so I’ve had to isolate “little sister” from the rest of the flock.  Sigh.  I so hate it when things like this happen!  It doesn’t look like “little sister” is going to make it, which makes me sad.

On the brighter side of life, I had the opportunity to go to St. Simon’s Island yesterday, and I took it!  My daughter was taking our granddaughter and her little girl friend, and invited me along.  It was a beautiful day, and I enjoyed sitting under my favorite oak tree, once again.  As always, the view from under my favorite tree was beautiful–and inspiring!

P1010199

I ran out of media storage space on my blog, this week!  This meant I couldn’t upload any more pictures until I purchased more storage space.  It took me five years to run out of free space, but I sure hated to have to pay for more!

Speaking of five years, I celebrated my 5th ‘blogiversary’, this month.  Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?  It seems like just yesterday when my son, Brad, and I were getting this blog up and running.  Here we are, five years later, and Brad’s married, for almost 3 years, with a son of his own, and living in a different town!  Meanwhile, I’m still blogging 🙂

5 Year Blogiversary

It’s shaping up to be another busy weekend.  The garden needs hoeing, the roof needs patching, and we’ve got a dance recital to attend.  I’d sure appreciate your prayers for Ed’s safety, as he attempts to climb on top of our very slippery tin roof to patch that tiny nail hole that’s causing our leak. Sigh.

I’d love to stay and ‘frag’ some more, but a list of Friday errands is calling my name…

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Published in: on April 25, 2014 at 9:15 am  Comments (9)  
Tags: , , ,

It’s Just Me On Monday (Again)…

Acting Balanced
Happy Monday, y’all!  I’m going to jump right into the ‘Monday Quiz’, this morning,–for inquiring minds, who may want to know a little more about me…

Thanks to Heather and Wayne for hosting!

Today’s questions:

1. National frozen food day is this week – are you a big frozen food shopper?  Do you freeze your own veggies or fruit?  

National frozen food day?  Really?  Who knew?

No, I am not a big frozen food shopper.  I’ll buy a few frozen items , but not a lot of vegetables or fruit.  Occasionally, I’ll buy some frozen creamed corn, brussel sprouts, or tiny lima beans.  I usually buy fresh fruits, or, occasionally, I buy some canned fruit.

As for freezing veggies, yes, I do freeze vegetables every summer, and sometimes I’ll freeze peaches and pears, too.

2. What annoys you?

Ha! Ha!  (Do you really want to get me started???)  

Here are just a few of the things that annoy me–in no particular order:

Disrespectful or poorly behaved children, people who get in the ‘express checkout line’ when their cart is full, rude people, political ads, poor drivers, and people who brag.

3. It’s Wine and Food Festival week here in Charleston, do you have a favorite type of wine?

No, I don’t drink, never have.  There are too many alcoholics in my family tree.

4. What do you think is an appropriate age for a first cell phone?

These days, many young children have cell phones, and I, personally, don’t get it.  The ramifications of giving a cell phone to a young, irresponsible child could be devastating. (I’m thinking of inappropriate pictures being emailed or unrestricted access to the trash on the internet)  Our children only got a cell phone after they began driving–so they could call us, in case of an emergency.

Two of our children  did really well with their cell phones, and never abused the privilege.  However, the third one loaned his to a ‘friend‘ (and I use this term loosely) who promptly used it to make an excessive amount of phone calls, while it was in her possession!  Needless to say, the minutes on the plan were exceeded, and when the phone bill came, it was huge!  Fortunately, our son was able to pay us back.

I’d wait, at least, until a child becomes a teenager, before turning them loose with a cell phone.

5.  My question for you:  Do you have an interesting tale to tell concerning a cell phone?

~~~~~~~~~~

It was a beautiful weekend, in our neck of the woods, and Ed and I took every opportunity to enjoy the great weather!  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and temperatures rose into the 70’s.  I spent most of Sunday afternoon, sitting in a chaise lounge chair, watching Ed cook ribs on the grill.  Life doesn’t get much better than that!  Ed’s ribs were delicious, by the way!

Spring must be getting near, because our pear trees are getting ready to bloom.  I sure hope we don’t get another freeze, once the blossoms pop out!  We’ve had an abundance of robins and cardinals visiting us, lately, too.  One particular pair of cardinals visits daily, to eat the bird food I leave for them.  The male is unusually vivid and beautiful.

Over the weekend, Ed and I continued doing some yard work.  Our yard borders woods, on two sides, so we cleaned up a bunch of leaves and fallen tree limbs.  Our ultimate goal is to get some grass growing on those two sides of our house.  It may take a while, but we’re working on it!  The first step was getting the straw, limbs, and leaves raked up.

Our son, Brad, and his family had planned to come for a visit, on Sunday, but their plans changed because baby Evan had tummy troubles, and wasn’t feeling well.  Our little fellow turned four months old on Friday.  Technically, his 4 month birthday would have been on the 30th, but there is no February 30.  Anyway, I’m sure he’ll have grown a couple of inches by our next visit!

“The girls” reached a milestone, on Sunday, when they laid their 2000th egg!  That’s a lot of eggs for a tiny flock of just five hens.  Actually, the ‘runt’ of the flock doesn’t lay on a regular basis, so  just four ‘ladies’  actually furnished the majority of those eggs.   I’m planning to write a ‘my girls’ update, soon, because there’s never a dull moment with that crew!

Well, that’s a brief glimpse into my weekend.  So how was yours?

Happy Monday!   It’s going to be a cool and cloudy one, here…

Published in: on March 3, 2014 at 9:05 am  Comments (11)  
Tags: , ,