Sunday, April 10, 2022

Back from the Edge

I have good news!

The illness was not covid, or flu.  I am diabetic... I have been on Metformin for 18 years.  

Six months ago, my doctor added Trulicity, a once-a-week shot.  I began experiencing side effects almost immediately... fatigue, no energy, diarrhea (constantly and without warning) and no appetite, and when I was able to eat, I could not keep it down.  I became dehydrated over and over. Finally, last month, a nurse practitioner at the walk in clinic where I go told me it was time to go get hydrated at the emergency room. 

So, I saw my own doctor for an hour, face to face.  He told me that the AMA recommended a month or so ago that if someone was on Trulicity, that they take no other diabetes drugs.  He stopped the Metformin that day. 

Friends, within 24 hours I felt better, even though meds stay in the bloodstream for a month. 

Within 48 hours, I felt like I was back to normal. 

I have been full of pep, getting over 8000 steps a day on my fitbit... I am able to not just do chores but tackle some of the projects around here, too.  I have thanked God and my doctor over and over. I was getting a double dose of diabetic meds, and a double dose of the side effects. 

I actually had talked to my son about funeral arrangements! 

I am helping again at the National Agricultural Center, and in fact, I am rehabbing one of the exhibits.  I would not have been able to do it even three weeks ago.  It really is a miracle. 

Thank you for all your prayers, I appreciated them. 

There ARE times I can't get the steps in!  Those two look for an excuse to pin me down. 

Last time, I wrote about how I was changing the way I feed wild bird seed.  I have a friend who is The Bird Whisperer.  One day, I contacted her on Messenger, to tell her what was going on, and that I could not keep buying the expensive feed. (She also used to buy it).  She told me that she only put our FOUR cups of feed a day, and when it was gone, it was gone.  She told me she was feeding ONE fancy feeder, stocked with only one kind of feed to attract specific birds and that the feeder had a cage around it to prevent larger birds from getting in.  She is going to keep me appraised of how it is going. 
We talked about hummingbirds... we both feed them.  I am going to put two feeders out, and that's it.  I keep them scrupulously clean. 

So... what I did was go to Walmart, and found a nice young woman employee to help me lift a 50 pound bag of black oil sunflower into my basket, and a 40 pound bag of Pennington deluxe mix into the basket. I got up to the checkout, and asked for help loading it into the basket... and was sent to the "money services" counter for customer help, because I was told the utility people did not answer radio calls.  The wonderful assistant manager himself came out to my car and lifted the heavy bags for me, and I spent right at 50.00.  I have only used half of it... I bought it last Saturday, a week ago yesterday. 
When I got home, I pulled the bags off onto the ground and then bucketed the grain into the can, mixing it as I went.  Here is my report:  The birds are eating it just as they did the more expensive brand.  There is some wastage, but not much.  I have trained myself to NOT look over at the feeder, so I won't be stewing about who is or who is not eating.  I put a bucket (about eight cups) on the feeder in the morning, and about a half scoop in the Frisbee on the ground I feed the squirrels on. In the evening, I pick up the Frisbee and pour whatever is left on it on the feeders, so that the late-feeding cardinals have a meal. 

They are the last to eat daily. 

Cardinals and cowbirds. 

I am using a small Rubbermaid square container and putting 
one container of finch mix on the small platform feeder, along with some mealworms mixed in. I have noticed the last two days that the birds are not eating a lot of it, so I only put a bit out this morning.  We have had high winds many days in the last seven, and the wind is back up today. We are facing severe storms, too, this week... and I suspect the wind is discouraging the birds from eating. 

Now, if graphic pictures bother you, don't look.

My tiny little black Silkie hen was killed by the two Silkie roosters 
last Sunday.  I saw them fluttering about from the kitchen window and went out to see what was happening, but I got there too late.  She was still warm.  I could have wrung both their necks.  It is spring, they are in Breeding Mode... I didn't dream they would kill her, though they had killed one other hen last summer, also a Silkie.  They are in with the seven red production layers, but cannot reach them... so... I feared for Olive, the tiny Silkie left with them. 

Olive doesn't even weight quite a pound, and already had a bare back and a plucked clean head from being chased by them.  I removed her and let her spend the rest of Sunday in the brooder pen where I keep Brutus, Mary and Martha, also Silkies... but they would not accept her.  So... she spent the week in the big hen house, in the second brooder pen.  She acted so dejected that I borrowed a cage temporarily from the Ag Hall, and last night, I put her back in her own house. 

I did put her down with the other birds this morning, but the roosters immediately chased her outside and jumped on her while fighting each other, so she is back in the pen, you can just see her on the upper right.  I have checked on her three times today, she is not happy... but I do not want them to kill her.  My goal is to get a rabbit hutch and put it in there, and she can have a nesting box and some space to scratch in.  

Did I say that all this catering wears me out?  Truth. 


Zoey is sitting like this right now, watching the chickens scratch around in the yard.  She seems so happy here, and I hope that is true.  She comes to the side of the bed after I get in bed at night, and stands up and hums to me, telling me she wants on the bed.  Then she gets over on "her" side and sleeps soundly unless one of the cats jumps too close to her in the night.  In the morning, she rolls on her back and gives me baby eyes until I rub her tummy for her. 

Things are greening up, fast.  I sent my John Deere large lawn tractor away to be cleaned up and tuned up for the season, and cut a bit when it was returned on Thursday.  I thought I would cut today, but it is so windy I am waiting.  
If you click on that, you can see the chickens sunning themselves in the garden. 
There are three out there right now, laying so still in the sun you would think they had died. 

Like this! 

Singleton is still the boss of his dad and his brother. 
However, he also is the rooster that goes in earliest.. he was at the Ag Hall three years ago, and they got used to going in at four.  He leads his little flock of two hens back to the big henhouse early on, like 6 PM.  I was used, in the past, for the flock to stay out until dark.  Now... I go out with treats at about 6:15, and the red hens follow me right into their house, and I give them their treats and lock them up.  
There are only seven hens, all old, left in the big henhouse.  They know it is treat time, and start to move in.  Ferdie and Buddie follow them, and within thirty minutes, they are mostly in. Buddie keeps his dad out for a while, and then I go out, make sure they are on the roost, and lock the doors. 

Martha, Mary, and Brutus get carried in as soon as the red hens are in. 

I like getting them to bed early. 

2/10s of a mile separates me from Highway 24-40.  I cannot see the highway, except for gaps in the trees.  Directly across from where my road comes out, there was a large farm when we bought this place in 2005.  The people there lost part of their frontage when the highway was widened.  The man who owned it bought buffalo, and put them on the pasture.  He did nothing with them, and when he died, the daughter moved out and the buffalo were, in effect, abandoned.  Their pasture has slowly become covered with red cedar.  A few years ago, three broke out and were killed on the highway. 
Neighbors at the back complained that they were breaking out over there, looking for grass.  The "owners" live in another suburb in the next county, and I believe want to forget them. 

Two years ago, they sold the front thirty acres to a developer, including the house and barns, and he cleared the acreage.  

I have asked the local Humane Society to look into it, and it seems everyone's hands are tied.  I called the sheriff's office once about them, and was told "they are wild animals that can take care of themselves, little lady".  He actually called me "little lady".  I don't know how they are going to take care of themselves with one small pond and all the acreage turned over to cedar trees.  As you can see, there are at least two big bulls left.  I happened to have my camera in the car one day last week and turned out to go to the post office before going to the ag, and was surprised to see them so close to the front. 

I just realized all the pictures are blurry... I apologize. 

Bullseye, the birds can see you. 

Zoey wants everyone to have a good week!