Sunday, December 11, 2022

I Have an Excuse

Good heavens. 

Almost a month has gone by since I posted! 

I have an excuse.  

I have had one eye surgery to remove cataracts... on my right eye.  I had put it off for three years, and thanks to two friends, Carol and Mary, and encouragement from many others... I finally took the leap. 

I was a nervous wreck... I still am. 

There is an abrasion in my right eye, and I am trying to keep it lubricated because it hurts, but people... I CAN SEE.  I can see 20/20 from that eye!  I can lay in bed and see the communications tower in the wild area across from my bedroom! 

It's a miracle.  

Wednesday, I get the left eye done.  I am wearing my glasses with the right lens out, and I know it must look crazy, but I can see to drive. 

I took little Zoey to the vet this morning in heavy fog, but I could SEE. 

It's a cold and foggy morning, and I have left the chickens in for a while.  They are all old, except for the seven now almost two hens.  The cold is hard on the older birds. 

That was a cold morning two weeks ago.  I have quit opening the pophole for a while... the warming light is right across from  it, and my old girls and one of the old roosters are under it all day, just about. 

Susie the Speckled Sussex came out one sunny morning, but she is rarely venturing out now. 
You see she is showing her age greatly, her face is washed out, and she is hunched up against the cold. 
She talks all the time, little trilling noises.  As of this morning, she is still with me. 

Where once there were so many birds.... there are now only four hens and two roosters. 
(one rooster is on the dark on the right under the roosts, the other hen was in a nest box). 

The two little silkies are in their pen in this house, too. 

There used to be twenty some birds in here just a few years ago. 

In the old hen house, it is even lonelier, only Singleton and the white Ameracauna hen live in there, 
and she has just started laying green eggs again. 

That dreadful dirt on the walls was from when the starlings used to invade that house.  The popholes you see on the back and side used to stand open, and the starlings would come in, eat all the food and drink the water, and make a mess.  There is wire across the openings now, because the pen is down on the outside. 

Wanda lives in the big hen house.  She eats all her meals in there, and there is a heated water bowl. 
She does come out off and on during the day, but sleeps in there every night.  I feel better knowing she is safe. 

Teenie looks so mean in this picture... but she is not.  She is actually very small, she and Wanda did not get very large.  For some reason, she and Mama hate each other and I have to keep an eye on them. 
Teenie hangs out by the big hen house but I think she sleeps in the shop. 

Mama was the mother of the four kittens born here last year.  She was neutered and returned to me. 
She has gained a lot of weight, but I believe she was little more than a kitten when she had her kittens. 

I found Molly like this when I got up one morning! 

Coco, who does chores with me every day. 
Coco is always, always underfoot. 
Zoey does not like her and chases her all the time, so I am always having to keep them separated. 
Coco comes in, and I put her in the office, but... about 3 AM she cries to go out.  
On the porch, she has a heating pad in a chair, a heated cat house, and a dog house with straw. 
She waits for me to come out and goes all over the yard with me. 

This is Alien.  I call him that because he is the cat that appeared in the pasture at the feeder. 

Three times now, I have seen him on the outskirts of the yard.  
This morning, I was setting a bowl of dry cat food in the garage, and I saw legs on the other side of the mower.  He was in there and waiting for me to leave so he could eat.  
He is going to be trapped at some point. 
 (and neutered and returned). 

My traps are on loan right now. 

You can just see him in this picture, he waited for me to leave so he could come eat from the bowl yesterday morning. 

Here he is eating in the pasture last night. 

(yes, the feeder is still there) 

And a half hour later... I thought I was looking at Molly on the old walnut stump... and realized it was Alien! 

That's the first time he has presented himself, really, in the yard. 

I see you, Mr. Coyote. 

A week ago, I was putting the food bowl down in the garage and I noticed something in the dog house in there. 

I assumed the possum was sleeping, because they are mostly nocturnal. 

The next day, I saw it was still in there and got concerned. 
I am respectful of possums... but not afraid of them. 

I prodded it gently with a pole.  Nothing. 
I prodded again... and realized it was dead weight. 
I got a rake and gently raked it out, and it was, indeed, dead. 

It was a beautiful older female I had seen around here for weeks, and I had seen her in the shop just two days before, eating some cat food. 
Opossums have very short life spans, as little as one to three years, and they are prey to so many animals. 

I suspect she succumbed to old age, because it sure wasn't starvation, she was quite heavy. 

I carried her down to the third tier of the pasture... remember, we were tilled for planting at one time.... where I could just see her from the deck.  
I saw two coyotes sniff at her. 
She is still there, intact. 
I feel horrid about it. 

I don't have the strength to bury her. 

I may just take a shovel and move her closer to my brush pile today, it makes me feel bad to see her laying out in the open. 

I should have checked for babies, but I could not imagine she would be pregnant at this time. 

I put Big Santa up, and a small three foot tree on the porch. 
As of this morning, Big Santa has sprung a leak and is leaning in submission against the deck railing so..... he is being replaced with Big Frosty! 
I bought  Santa and Frosty on sale at the PX at Fort Leavenworth four years ago.  I did not even see any this year.  I am going to deflate the rest of Big Santa here in a bit and bring Big Frosty out from the shed and set him up.  I sure will miss Santa!  I am the all-natural Christmas lover, but I really enjoyed blow up Santa. 

Bullseye may be a little spoiled. 

I see you there, too! 

Best fifteen dollars I spent at Amazon this month.... 
my vintage Merry Christmas banner!  

I'll be back, thank you for reading! 



  1. You're so very welcome!

  2. Glad your vision is better. My mom has told me what a difference it made for her. Those coyotes--I hear them all the time out here, but with the llamas, they don't get too close to my buildings. Thank heavens.

  3. YOU ARE A SAINT!😌❤️

  4. Hari OM
    Wooohooo for the eyesight; and your new banner. The cats are all looking good - as is the coyote! All the best for Wednesday... YAM xx

  5. So glad you are getting those cataracts removed; yay for better eyesight!

  6. That's wonderful that you have your eye sight back in that eye. Glad to hear it. My old hens are looking so bad. They haven't laid in a few weeks and went thru a molt.

  7. Glad your eyesight is improved with one surgery down and one to go! Great pic of you btw. Love seeing all the animals except coyotes ;). Wanda is adorable!!!

  8. I'm watching a coyote at our place too. Sorry about your possum. I think they're funny.

  9. Mary Ann, I'm so happy you had the cataract operation, brave girl! I remember that feeling of 20/20 where I could see even the leaves on the trees. I still only have to wear reading glasses after I had mine done ages ago but there's not quite the sharpness of the first years. Take care while recovering from the second surgery and look forward to enjoying the results you'll get from having done both eyes. As always, I am so impressed and touched at your loving care of all the critters in your life. I admit to tearing up looking at your aging chickens but it's wonderful that they are living out their remaining time with someone like you. And I did not know that possums had such a short lifespan. I do know they are such good helpers and we've always put out food for them. I'm sorry your Santa is fizzling out, he is cheery! I go out on our front porch every evening to see the large Santa that a neighbor catty-corner to us has in his yard. I think he has a tiny elf standing beside him. I love your Christmas banner!
    Take care, Mary Ann, love to you!


I love comments!