Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another Sunday

And I'm grateful to have another Sunday, believe me. 

I still don't have my appetite back... I was able to eat some breakfast, a half bowl of cereal this morning, but could not get lunch down at all.  I have a potato baking in the oven right now, I think it will be bland enough, and I'll go slow.

Keith is gone now for four days, taking part in a another segment of incident management training.  He is on the far west border of Kansas, out near Colorado, and called to say he had arrived safely.  I am "batching it" with the animals until late Thursday night, when he will try to get home.  Veterans Day is Friday, and he has a holiday that day, and wants to celebrate it since he IS a veteran.  We have a wonderful parade in Leavenworth, which is, after all, a Company Town. (The Command and General Staff School is quartered at Fort Leavenworth).

After I got home from visting the craft shows, having lunch with my sister, and doing the feed store run and grocery run yesterday, I rested for a bit.  I had decided that with Keith gone, I will get the house ready (meaning clean) for the holidays.  Right now our kitchen table is so full with things to sort out, that you cannot see it!  I will be eating the potato in front of the computer!  It is dark now, though 6:11 PM, because we set the clock back to normal time last night, so I will have some light by which to do chores in the AM, and a bit of light if I come straight home tomorrow night.  Since Keith is gone, I will need to, as Hannah will need to be let out of her crate post haste.

We are expecting a LOT of rain in the next 3 days... 100% chance tomorrow, 90% on Tuesday, and 60% on Wednesday.  We need it badly, so the ponds around here can fill a little.  I worry about the bison herd abandoned on the pasture across the highway from us... they have no one watching them except a very few ladies who are with the Humane Society. They are not fed and there is one pond on the property, and the owners have moved on.  Supposedly bison are smart enough to go through fences when they are in great thirst, so I am hoping that brings things to a head and someone DOES something about them.

Yesterday, after I had caught my breath for a few minutes, I went outside to get something from the car.  As I reached the end of the porch, a hawk, either a female sharp-shinned (they are larger) or a Coopers with the brakes on and talons extended swooped down on the pasture.  I yelled as loud as I could "Hawk Hawk Hawk" so Butch and Reddy, who I had put out shortly before, had a chance to duck for cover.  I know now how we lost Eagle. 

I had the camera in my pocket, but could not get it out in time, as the hawk pulled it's talons back up and took off toward Troy's park-like back yard.

It is hard to tell the two hawks apart... Coopers and Sharp-shins look alike from a distance, but have subtle variances.  When your heart is in your throat it's hard to tell.

I love hawks, that's the crazy thing... who couldn't?

Here is my Hannah sitting on the couch enjoying the sun this afternoon

She looks pretty forlorn, but was not... she often sleeps sitting up now, her head hanging lower and lower until she lays down in a heap with a sigh.  She is stranded if I go outside and leave her on the couch, as she can no longer jump down.   I hate to have to crate her tomorrow, but the big dogs will need to stay in because of the rain.

This bantam buff cochin pullet has been on this roost for 3 weeks.  I have lifted her at least five times, and she flaps and flies down and gets all excited, and the next day, I find her just like this.  She HAS to be eating, or would have died long ago.  I have NO CLUE what is going on in her tiny little chickenbrain.  Does she think she is setting?  She watches all the other chickens with interest, and at night, they line up alongside her and go to sleep.  But THEY get down and lead their chicken lives!   I keep expecting to find her dead under the roost, but so far, nothing.  She does not have a mark on her, and I don't think there is a blocked egg or she would have died long ago.

I have been bringing in these two at night now, because the weather is getting colder and they have a shredded roof above their pen. 

You know Butch is blind in one eye, but he is my little buddy.

Our problem is that Rambo, The King of the Henhouse, does not like him.  Ram can go up to the rafters, walk across them, and drop down on the feed room side.  Once there he is not smart enough (or strong enough) to fly back up and go back over, so he is stuck.  He torments Butch.  Butch was in the window sill today, waiting to be rescued, when I went out after church.   I took Butch and Reddy out and put them in the pasture... and ushered Ram back on the other side.  Two hours later I went out for something, and One, the white rooster, was on the feed room side.  Now, these roosters are five years old... they have been around me all that time... but when I have to touch them they FREAK out.  He flew into the dividing wall... and promptly got his curved spur caught in the poultry wire and hung sideways, screaming and flapping.  I finally figured out where the wire was caught, got him loose, and he flew still screaming into the coop side as I opened the door.  The Ungrateful Thing.

By the way... we are now Lilly Three, Possums Zero.  Yes, the juvenile that was eating on our porch this week was killed and dismembered by the Huntress. There is a big pool of blood on the deck, and I'm hoping the rain of the next few days washes it away.  We intended to trap this juvenile in our Haveaheart trap and let it loose out at the county lake, but as Keith says, Lilly has blood in her mouth now, and that won't be happening to any more who venture into the yard.

We had a pow-wow yesterday and decided that next weekend, Keith and Chris will put up plywood on the roof of the new henhouse, Tyvek it, and put it to rest for the winter.  We need to accumulate some savings to finish it, as it was badly underestimated, though "built to the strength of an E5 tornado".  Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful... but it is taking far longer than estimated as well, and winter is nigh upon us.  We are going to batten down our hatches and make do with what we have for the winter, and then finish it next year.  Next year will also bring new floors and flooring in the house, it's about time the humans in this family had something!

And this greeted me when I went out to put some hay out this evening.  I threw some into the shed, as the llamas are the first to head in when it rains, we always laugh about that.  They don't like to eat soiled hay, but it is along the walls, and they can lay inside comfortably and pick at it tomorrow while it pours. 

If you look closely, you will see that Aztec has gotten herself over the bungee cord that is supposed to keep her out of the pen, and is stuck.  She tried various ways to get out when she saw me coming, and finally reconciled herself to waiting for me to help her.  I had to laugh, because she was like a naughty child getting caught.  She loves to eat the chicken feed in the bowl in the pen, hence the bungee. As Butch and Reddy will be spending the next few days inside, she can go in and out as much as she wants!  We are putting a new "roof" on the pen this weekend.


  1. Goodness girl! You came back with a vengeance...such an active lifestyle. Enjoy.

  2. Chickens take more of my time than my other animals combined. But they are so fun and full of personality, I just enjoy them. I hope the hawks leave yours alone. Predators, be gone!

  3. I hope you start to feel much better soon.
    Terry at Moondance

  4. I know you'll be missing your husband/helper while he's gone and you are still not feeling well.

    Critters, we'd be rich if we didn't have any.


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