Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Chicken Post

Its been a long, long time since I have done a chicken post. I always mean to write one but then something else comes up. I wanted to show you something I got early in the summer that has been a life saver for my chickens.

I was loosing about a chicken a week. I was getting pretty discouraged. I had gone through every chicken book I have and looked online. My chickens had these symptoms. They just stop eating and just stand and drink and then they starve to death and die. Over and over again. I had thirty hens and now I am down to seventeen. I was reading one day and there was this little sentence that talked about how chickens need Lacto Bacillus. I didn't even know if they had a product like that, I had spent so much time at Tractor Supply looking at stuff for chickens but I had never seen anything like that. Ron happened to be going that day and he found locked up in one of the cases. I don't even remember ever seeing it either.

I had a hen who was going to be the next one to die. I thought a day or two at the most. She was my first young hen to exhibit these signs. You just mix it in the water and that's it. 1/3 of a teaspoon to a gallon of water.

I did it and my sick hen just stood and drank and drank. She was so sick I didn't expect her to get better because that is one of the signs of the sickness they just drink and drink.
About a hour later I went on the check her. She was eating like she had been starving, she just stood and ate and ate. I watched her a bit. I came back in because she even looked brighter in her eyes.

That evening when I went back out to put them to bed. She looked like a new chicken. She had lost that pain in her face and the next morning she was eating again and all of the other chickens had not been their ole happy selves, they were drinking too and today, almost September, I haven't lost a single hen in two months.

She has always been a quiet hen. Now she is my shadow. Where ever I am I will look around and she will be standing there watching me. She never sang much but now she sings quietly all of the time. One day, I was out watching my chickens. Ron came out to see what I was doing. He asked me how my hens were now. I was telling him how much healthier they were now. I said, " See that hen right there, you can't believe how pale she was and now she has color  in her face and look how happy she is." Then it dawned on me as he looked around with sort of a blank look on his face, that they all look the same to him, but he was trying to be a good sport about it. Of course, I had to laugh and say, " Oh I am sorry."  Point out the one to him that was not a pale face anymore.

I love that wherever I am they will be with me quietly scratching in the dirt or pretending they aren't watching me. I love when I am working in the garden or the flowerbeds they all lay down and sleep. When it gets a bit cooler and I take my sewing outside and sit, they all come close and want to chatter or take dust baths.

Last night though, when I went out to check on them I couldn't see a single hen in the yard. I could hear a hen in the hen house screaming. I knew something was up and Ron said, " Oh my gosh, will you look at that hawk!!!" Sure enough a Red Tail hawk was perched on the door of my chicken coop. I suppose reading recipes out loud. I ran and yelled and he gracefully flew up into the tree above my chicken coop, I am sure laughing all of the way. My poor, poor hens were so afraid. They were as far under the nest boxes against the wall as they could get. I talked and talked to them to get them calmed down.

Miss Broody

You know what that means right? September is here. The hawks are returning to their winter hunting ground. Which also means, no more chickens alone in the yard unless I am out there. Poor girls. We have ten thousand doves around and that hawk always wants chicken.

I can talk about chickens all day. I know that since I like to keep around thirty, next year will have to be a new chick year. That is a very nice thought to think about chicks being in my future.
Have a lovely day,

The ruler of the hen house
“Self-pity is the hens' besetting sin," remarked Mr. Payton. "Foolish fowl. How they came to achieve anything as perfect as the egg I do not know! I cannot fathom.”
― Elizabeth Enright, Gone-Away Lake

Monday, August 29, 2016

Almost September

Sometimes in order to write a post, I have to take my camera outside and go for a walk. Somehow this helps clarify my thoughts and helps me to think about what I want to say. I can see that September is just around the corner. I walked out the back door down to the garden. Last week, a skunk had a party in the garden and dug everything up. I took out my tomatoes and we saved what we could of Ron's peppers. Mr. Skunk didn't touch my tiny little sunflowers.

My chickens of course have claimed it for the dust bath area and when I let them out for a little rest and relaxation this is where they come for a bit of time in the sun.

As I continued my walk out the back gate to water the trees and my chickens in the coop. I walked around the corner like normal and I see that my shed door is standing wide open. My first thought was, " Did I leave it open yesterday?" I know I didn't because Ron and I were out there last night when the sun was setting. I realized there were foot prints that were not mine or Ron's and they were fresh. So I put on my tracker hat and began the reconstruction of the invader. Nancy Drew would be proud.

First I back tracked to see where they had come in, they had come over from the new neighbors next door. They walked from the fence first to where Ron's shed is, walked up the ramp saw that the lock was on the door. They then turned and walked towards my shed, looking at the tractor and the lawn mower. They continued on going up the ramp to my shed, opening the door. Nothing that I could see was touched or moved. This is where I think they got scared off.

I am going to tell you why I think this. Since school started, Peter still works full time at the T.V. station. They let him work and go to school and even pay for it. Today he has school in the afternoon so he leaves for work at 4:30 A.M. so he can work his eight hour day and then go to school.

Back to my Sleuthing. Just my idea mind you. Peter went outside to go to work. The would be invader, heard Peter. As I tracked him or her, though I think it was a him because his feet were big. I followed him out in the pasture and the way his foot prints were long strides like he was running, the heel of his foot was deep in the dirt. As I followed him he ran to the back of our pasture to the back fence where he went over the fence to the people who live behind us and what I think down their driveway and out.

I walked again and looked over the fence. Without doing a further investigation and going over the next door neighbors fence to see where the foot prints started from I have to leave it here. I have my suspicions. I just think really it was someone being nosy as nothing was taken or moved.

 So another day, I am thankful nothing was taken. No one was hurt. Its almost September. Fall is on its way. I have new ideas and designs beginning to dance in my head. Colors are finally coming back to my mind for new wool colors. There is just the hint of cooler days each morning. Laughter is around every corner and joy is in my soul.

Have a lovely day,

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Still Smoky

August is rapidly coming to a close. (Yay!) Fall is on the calendar. Which means I have almost made it through the hottest year on record. Depending on the weather man and statistics. For winter though, I do hope the Farmers Almanac is right rather than Mostly Accu Weather. There I go talking about the weather for a whole paragraph.

Ready for a sidewalk picture? Oh good. My life seems so boring right now. I have a story coming really soon in this post.

Sidewalk first.

 Its not clean or anything yet. As long as you can see--- one giant sidewalk with a curbs. I can't wait to go on a walk.

Sorry, but I had to insert a fall picture since fall is now 29 days away.

Now my story.

Just to break up the monotony.
When they started the road work they told us that at some point they would be pouring a driveway. When they did that we would not be able to get into our driveway for 4 days or so. We would have to park on the street. In the above picture, you have seen my front yard. Its a hike from the road to the house. Saturday night the man I call Mr. Red Truck, told Ron that they would pour our driveway on Tuesday morning.

That was fine. School started on Monday and I knew I could do my errands on Monday and not have to worry about anything. The first day of school started like they always have. Hectic. When we got up Monday morning though, the milk I had in the fridge was sour. I had just bought it on Friday. I really did try to drink my coffee with sour milk too. It didn't work.

I got Ron off to work. I ran from the garage to the shower, I got in my car at 7:09. I wanted the boys to have milk on the first day of school. Just so you know how my mind works. I ran again through the grocery store. Praying I didn't see anyone I knew. I got back in my car to go home at 7:24. Driving home I was going through my day in my mind. Doing my mental check list. I pulled into the driveway and there was a man walking away from the front door. I stopped my car, and asked, " Can I help you?" He said that they were going to be pouring the driveway and we needed all of the cars out on the street.

To make a long story short. Wires had got crossed and Monday was the day. We moved cars and it was no big deal. I got my groceries in the house. When I finally stopped, and thought about it I had to tell you my little insignificant miracle. At least for me. The spoiled milk that was a gift in disguise. If not for that milk, I might have not made it to the grocery store and back in time. As it was every thing worked out like clock work. So I ended up feeling so thankful for that turn of events.

I think I am badly telling this story. Earlier this summer I think I have written about this before. But a verse I have heard and known for years changed my life. Its this. " But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

All means All. Not sort of or maybe or when I get my act together. All! So this summer, every time something would come up that would cause my insides to quiver and panic set in, I would consciously bring my mind back to this verse. I would in my mind remember all my needs. I have lived for so long in a state of quiet desperation, waiting to live through the next crises or the next ax to fall, I am never calm and quiet. I feel stressed and anxious. I was so tired of it that when that verse came, I decided every single time when I feel that panic feeling beginning to creep in again. I would transform my mind by renewing it. I have known this for years and years, but somewhere along the road I forgot. 

Now back to my story. Now you see why that the sour milk was a sweet little blessing in disguise? All summer there's been these little things that in the past would have discombobulated me and caused me to be filled with fear and doubt. But just that little verse has helped me to remind me of things out of my control. (Which we know we are never in control.)  as gifts rather than hindrances.

 This week is a new week, a new kind of normal. Schedules changing and lots of juggling. I hope you have had a nice week so far. Its been a bit cooler and that is always welcome. 

I hope you have just a wonderful rest of the week. 


" Summer is almost over, but I prefer to think so in the midst of sunlight and the brimming garden, not in the night. Nobody should ever say good-bye to summer in the wakeful hours of the night. Better to take the blow while the zinnias make a flare of color and the cosmos are beautiful in the sun, promising that there will be another summer." ---The Book of Stillmeadow, August. Gladys Taber


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Days

My first summer sunflower. Finally. I have waited all summer to get some blooms. These little guys would look great lining a border. Or in a small pot. We are in the midst of our fifth heat wave. I have lost count of the fires. This morning the air is thick with smoke and it smells like burning trees and houses. The sky each morning is so red. Soon though, the rains will return.

This morning as I was opening blinds, the first thing to see was a line of men across the street. Staring at my house. That is the way it looked from my vantage point. They were going to get the ground all ready for cement. We will have sidewalks. Just like town.
When I was a girl, I wanted to skate. So bad. Everyone was skating. We lived out in the country and the only place to skate was the sort of road we had. Which didn't work that well. My Aunt and Uncle lived in town and they had miles and miles of sidewalks to skate on. I would sometimes get to go over and skate.
I loved living out here and having my horses and the lovely freedom I had, but having a sidewalk life would have been perfect. Now I think by the end of the day, real sidewalks!!! I think I still have my rollerblades.
I just don't know about trying them out. It hurts a lot more now when I fall down. Which I still do with regularity.

This summer Ron and I have been learning to make Kombucha Tea. We made our Scoby which took a few weeks. Once we had that then we brewed more tea and now here is our latest batch.

Its growing another Scoby. We are going to be getting it put into bottles just as soon as it has the flavor we want. In the meantime we have a lovely health/food/grocery store called Lassens in town. I make my weekly trek over there to buy bottles Kombucha Tea. It just so happens to be in the same shopping center as Hobby Lobby. I have been watching for this rooster who I named Wallace to go on sale. He did and now he is gracing my dining room table.

I love his polka dots!
Do you know it is hard work trying to make a house look all comfy and cute? I find I have got really rusty at that skill. Most of my walls are still bare.

I have been AWOL from my blog because my pictures have become all scattered and I end up being at my wits end trying to find where they have gone. I take them and then they disappear from the place they used to go and do you know that on my computer right now I have a war going on between Google, Microsoft and my Norton virus scan. All are fighting for control. I am the one who ends up being the one who can't use my computer. Writing a blog takes me so much longer right now. I need to tell my webmaster but he is so busy working right now, I just hate him to have to come home and look at my computer. I make him do other things like watch Bigfoot videos.

I hope you have a lovely Thursday. Time to go outside in the smoke and ash and take care of my hens.
Poor girls. Summer has been hard on them. Fall is around the corner. School started back yesterday and Elliot and Peter return to school on Monday. I have my new planner and my new Bible Study. I am ready for September!
Have  wonderful day,

"To start with there was Shora. Shora was a fishing village in Holland. It lay on the shore of the North Sea in Friesland, tight against the dike. Maybe that was why it was called Shora. It had some houses and a church and tower. In five of those houses lived the six school children of Shora, so that is important. There were a few more houses, but in those houses lived no children— just old people. They were, well, just old people, so they weren't too important. There were more children, too, but young children, toddlers, not school children— so that is not so important either".---Meindert DeJong The Wheel on The School.

Best book ever!! Anything written by Meindert Dejong is a feast of wonderful thoughts about life. They are children's fiction but I think you must be an adult to appreciate them.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Odds and Ends

Flowers have been pretty sparse this year.  I have a few but not like in years past. My days are spent in trying to ignore the front yard. Yesterday I no longer could pretend it wasn't there and started weeding my Amazon like flowerbeds. Its nice to see that buried deep within the grass and weeds are my Black Eyed Susans making a come back. We took all of them out last fall because they were just so over grown.

The road work continues. Tractors, water trucks, asphalt and cement trucks. Road graders and all things construction.  That is a reason I try and ignore the front yard. This is how our sunrises look right now. Can you see the smoke? There are so many fires burning now in California that this is how it is pretty much every day. One evening as I looked out at the sunset, the ash was raining down like some nuclear winter.

I manage to keep myself busy. I didn't grow any beets this year, I thought why don't I just start buying beets at the grocery store every week and make a jar or two each week. So this is my first week of beets. It is nicer than doing a whole field of them like I did last year at once. I also made these pickled carrots. When William and Makenzie got married in January, the caterers brought  marinated carrots as a side dish. I just loved them and found them in the Mexican food section at the grocery store. I decided that this summer I was going to make them myself. So yesterday was my first attempt. I will tell you if these are good in a week or so.  Not to mention I told Emilie yesterday that I was just going to can beets for her Christmas present and she said that would be the best present ever. So starting Christmas planning now. *wink*wink*

This is my current rug. I put it on my floor frame because its just too hot this summer for having the wool and burlap on my lap. I am almost finished. I need to get it done, because my thoughts keep turning to fall and pumpkins and all of that stuff.

Pattern by Brenda Gervais
Its so nice to work on a counted cross stitch that I can finish in a few days. Working on something that it so big like His Eye is on the Sparrow is hard because sometimes I feel like I can't get any place very fast.

Time to get out in those flowerbeds. We are supposed to be back to record temps by the weekend. Above 110 on Monday, so I would like to get my front flowerbeds finished before the weeds are as high at the railings.
Have a lovely day,

“ The summer,' Randy explained. 'I'm going to appreciate it. I'm going to walk in the woods noticing everything, and ride my bike on all the roads I never explored. I'm going to fill a pillow with ladies' tobacco so I can smell it in January and remember about August. I'm going to dry a big bunch of pennyroyal so I can break pieces off all winter and think of summer. I'm going to look at everything, and smell everything, and listen to everything so I'll never forget -- ”
Elisabeth Enright---Four Story Mistake.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

For My Friend

I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the "God of all comfort" was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.

 As the earth needs the clouds and the sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.

When he leads thro' some valley of trouble,
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.

Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning.
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows. 

Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
"Hereafter Thou'll know what I do." 

As we travel thro' life's shadow'd valley 
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.

So we'll follow wherever he leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.
---From Streams in the Desert for August 9th.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hello August!

August. What can I say. Okay one good thing. Maybe two. It only comes around only once a year. And its  the month before September.

 I posted this on my Facebook. I thought you might laugh like I did.

Yesterday it was only 105. It felt like a nice spring day compared to how its been. Every day being 109-111. August the month when everything gets crispy crittered.  Hooking and anything to do with wool is at an all time low. I picked up my hook last week and just having the frame on my lap you would have thought I was working out with weights. I was so sweaty. The water in the pool is at 90.

I am working on His Eye is on the Sparrow. Well, that is not true exactly. I put in one design and then promptly sit for 30 minutes taking it out. I took one little motif out 4 times yesterday. I finally decided I would just wait until the whole thing is done on page two before I put it back. Since its August I took out fall designs I didn't do last year because of all of the rug hooking I was doing. I was looking at them right before bed, then the power went out. I just sat there in pitch black, wondering if I was going to spend the night in the 90 degree pool. Then the power came back on. It happens once a  day since its been so hot. I leave my computer off because its not good for it. My computer is ancient.

We didn't paint this weekend. It was so nice to not paint. The road work has made everything outside so dusty dirty that I washed and cleaned the cushions, tables and chairs. I washed the porches and the sidewalk. Of course today it will all get dirty again, but it was nice having it clean for a day. Ron chopped down a dead  tree and I started stacking firewood. I got the wood pile all straightened. He cut some of the stumps for tables out in the pasture for me. 

I hope you have a lovely Monday, that your August is a nice one. In spite of it being well August.
I do hope it isn't too hot or muggy. About the best thing I can say for August is all of the back to school supplies are in the stores. I love all of those back to school pens and pencils and paper and notebooks.
Don't you?


    “If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete.”