This afternoon, I was able to leave the office a little early so I could go sit with my sister until her husband got back from an all day meeting. I found her sitting up in her hospital bed, in a caftan, and able to speak clearly and lucidly... what a blessing! She was in some discomfort, but we had a good conversation about "the old days" and I was grateful for this nice time with her. Her home health care nurse has told her he cannot explain why her bloodwork is staying so even, because when she was sent home at the end of February, beginning of March, we thought it would be just a short time before hospice was needed. I'm so grateful for this extra time, and her lucidity. Those of you who have had terminal family members will know what I mean.
I hope if I ever get the bad news she received two short years ago that I'll be able to react with as much grace as she has. (and fight!)
Here's a homestead tip from General Sherman (aka Sherm or Sherman) about the right way to carry a waterer. Most of us... including Keith and I... carry the waterer by it's bale, on the top (on the left). The proper way to carry them is separated, and by the comfortable handle on the inside of the can. I can't tell you how many bales I've broken in the last 20 years carrying a heavy waterer. Not pleasant in the cold of winter, let me tell you!
Sherman and Grant have stopped fighting, by the way. The red turkey, however, is pretty dominant and going after the hens and roosters in the little henyard. All three boys spent the day in the pasture, but I think I may have to move the red out completely for sure.
I have had but one egg in the little henhouse this week, and tonight, found something as I got home that I wish I had waited to take a picture of before disposing of it. It was a shell-less egg, held together only by the membrane, and was laid by Rockette, the gold laced Rock. I should be getting at least
four a day from there, with the four big girls who have just turned one year old, and several little eggs from the smaller birds.
I am not sure if it's the turkeys, or the three new hens in there that has thrown everyone off. I had something else odd last night (and didn't get a picture)... one of the "new" old hens in the little henyard (there are three)... shot yolk out her eggbed. It landed on the ground, and Sherman scuttled to eat it up. I followed her for a minute, and she calmly shot the rest of the yolk and the white out, and then bent to eat it. I could see a small piece of shell sticking out. I was able to pick her up, and she looked clean otherwise, but I kept her in the nursing cage all night, letting her back out this morning. So tonight, I found her alone in the hutch in the four x four pen in the big henyard. I forgot she had been in the little henyard and did not know where to go, and carried her around and put her in the big henhouse. I'm sure she'll wake up in the morning as if she always lived there, but I am watching her.
The little hen crossing the middle of the yard, white with a black tail, was Teeny's only chick to survive the possum and hawk attacks from last summer. (This was taken on Sunday)
Tonight, here's how I found her when I got home:
Yes, she's gone. Keith came out and put on plastic gloves and picked her up and we looked her over, and couldn't see anything. In fact, we weren't 100% sure it was Teeny's baby, because we had a six year old hen that looked about the same. However, Teeny's baby has not looked good for at least three weeks. When I would sit in the henyard at night, I would catch her in the 4 x 4 pen, her eyes closed, a little hunched up. This is a sign of trouble, for you new chicken owners.
She was too young to lay, but it could have been almost anything. We think she had been dead most of the day, and maybe fell dead from the rafters this morning, in fact.
I tried to post last night for over an hour, but the internet would not cooperate. I would have posted one of these:
That's Iris "Batik" beginning it's bloom season, one of my favorites. I'm embarassed to show you the whole bed, since there are about 20 tree saplings growing in there. Hopefully this weekend we'll be working in there while the boys are here helping us.