Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Desert and deluge

It is January 13 and I'm putting the hens on notice. Not one of our nine hens has laid an egg since Christmas Day, and that was after getting only one egg a day (25 total) until that point. One of the neighbors who wanted all the eggs I could spare would be happy to take any of the hens off my hands for stewing. I hate the thought of doing that, but they are all five and half years old and feeding them costs money.

Yesterday was a wash-out, as in inches of rain. I bought myself another rain gauge but it isn't properly mounted yet, so I can't tell you how much fell here. But it was definitely a "splish-splash, I was takin' a bath" every time I went outside kind of day. Except for one period, remarkably, when someone came for a riding lesson in the afternoon. It was still windy, but neither humans nor horse got wet. What a blessing!

Things are quiet again on the home front; we took Brian back to college last Sunday. Well, they were quiet when he was here, too, just not a a relaxing way. It is stressful when an able-bodied young man stays in bed until after 3:00 p.m. when he has things he has been asked to do at home and paying work has been offered by a neighbor. Arghhhh. Anyway, while he was checking back in, Poppy and I waited in the truck and I amused myself by playing with the Portrait mode on my new iPhone's camera:
We left at o'dark thirty; the humans were tired.

I should have spent the waiting time walking her; Sunday I didn't meet my step goal. Granted, we had ten hours' driving time, but I could have walked more. I did get a lot of spinning done on the drive, though, finishing the fiber I had with me:

I also got some fun pix of Brian clowning around with his dad before we left, and Brian saying good-bye to Poppy, as well as a photo of a becalmed Columbia River on the way home:

I will admit to spending far too much time the last week monitoring numerous news sources to keep up-to-date on what is happening. As more and more comes to light (the number of "stupid criminals" who filmed, live-streamed and otherwise documented their criminal activities is both horrifying and wonderful – in terms of evidence), our nation looks more and more broken. Evil is in our midst, top to bottom. "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirit in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12. But "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 That's what I choose to focus on, even while staying informed of the awfulness.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go out into the beautiful SUNSHINE and work my two horses!

That's it for now from . . .


Mama Pea said...

Hoping you can get back to a more normal (stress-free?) routine now. Although, during these turbulent times, I don't know how any of us can remain stress-free for any sustained period. :o(

Debbie said...

noooo, not the girls in the hen house!!

Great photos of Brian and Rick.

The b & w's of Poppy, excellent. She knows how to pose for the camera.

Stay dry!

Happy spinning.

Michelle said...

It IS a bit less stressful now, Mama Pea, turbulent times notwithstanding. You and I both are blessed to live in the country where our lifestyles are relatively peaceful and unaffected.

Oops, I forgot about my friend who would make housepets of all the animals and never sell a one – much less send anything off to be EATEN! As for my model, she really DOESN'T like to pose; I have to be quick!

Retired Knitter said...

I totally agree on the growing awfulness that is being unveiled. My personal opinion is that this destructive element has been there for quite some time - during many administrations but only found it voice under the current administration!

If Trump left behind anything good - it was the unveiling if those who wish us harm and the inspiration for some to FINALLY to do something about it. The news is filled with not only the political consequences but also the financial and cultural impacts on Trump. I lived through the 60s and early 70s and there was plenty there to be upset and depressed about, and we survived that. Whole segments of my generation were damaged or killed by the Vietnam war and the embarrassment of how our citizenry treated those drafted into fighting (and dying) in Vietnam and the appalling reaction when they returned home. The assassination of 3 high profile leaders. The drifting of a generation into anitcultural attitudes and behaviors (and who are now the baby boomers.)

We will survive this time but not without shock and anger and some damage, I fear. But we will be stronger for a time at some point in the future because of this experience - when we will be tested AGAIN by something else. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Trite but true.

Loved the pictures of your son and his father. And of course Poppy! Those furry family members who keep us sane in time a great change and sorrow. God knew what he was doing when he gave us the dog!

Retired Knitter said...

Oh yes ... I missed commenting on the hens! Yikes.

I am definitely NOT meant to have livestock - ever, never!!

And before any life stock readers comment on my eating habits - yes, I eat animals (but less now-a- days), and I understand their value to society and the food chain. I just choose to not own any - because once I look into their eyes (stupid eyes in the case of chickens) I would be unable to eat those creatures. I am a product of my upbringing I fear. Maybe if I had been raised on a farm .... :-)

Tim B. Inman said...

My 4 hens stopped laying at Halloween. They went to freezer camp just before Christmas. Not an egg in between.... They were 3+. My grandmother always started new chicks every spring, and harvested the 'old' hens throughout their second winter. Chicken and dumplings for Sunday dinner is a fond memory! She wasn't doing them for a hobby. She was feeding a big family. They only lay really well for a year or maybe two. I should be doing what she taught me. I'm running a pet rest home instead. I will get new chicks this spring.

The country will survive, but it is a lesson in people, isn't it!? As a student of both history and law, our system was built around people and situations exactly as we have experienced. The system seems sound. The people are questionable.

And finally, Poppy has a pink harness on. Does this snap into the seat belt buckles? I found a 'buckle lead' that I can use with Annie. It has a leash clip on one end, and a seat belt buckle clip on the other end. Wonderful!

Hang in there.

Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm said...

I've never had chickens and never wanted to because in half dozen years there needs to be a hard decision. Decades past I would "help" Aunt Bonnie with that task but I'd rather pay for eggs a farmer is selling. My sister wants chickens and I'm supporting her. The Bible verse is one I remember often, daily even, and nothing is a surprise to God. Thankfully!
Your spinning is perfectly amazing; well done!

Michelle said...

You're right, Elaine. Even though I was too young to pay much attention in the 60s, things were more unsettled then in a lot of ways. Although if the insurrectionists had managed to hang Mike Pence and others as they threatened to do, I think our current situation would have 'won' the race to the bottom over the 60s. As for the hens, if you ever looked into one's eyes you wouldn't think they are stupid! Some of them DO look downright calculating and menacing; they have a certain dinosaur quality....

Tim, I've had hens in the past who kept laying (very occasionally) older than this, but yes, they are past their prime as layers. They can't free-range because of Poppy, who wants to chase anything that moves, or I'd turn them out to at least clean up bugs. A quick and humane end is probably best, but I may have to keep my three beautiful black Australorps just because. As for Poppy's harness, I do use it as a 'seat belt' as well as a walking harness. I have a very short leash (2' max?) that I clip to her harness, then feed the seat belt end through the handle loop before fastening.

I do like chickens for the creatures themselves, Sandra; always have. None of my current ones are hand-tamed, though, 'just' chickens. A friend who likes to raise chicks but not have hens may raise some for me; that would be when the 'hard decision' would have to be made. So many nuggets in the Word of God to keep us sane and at peace!

A :-) said...

I sure hope that Brian has a better semester . . . The photo of the river is so calming :-)

Jeanne said...

I hate to be so late in commenting, but better late than not at all, right?

I enjoyed your photos of Poppy, both the black and white and the color ones. She's such a beautiful girl! Your new I-phone does a great job! The one of the Columbia is quite amazing.

I've never lived with chickens, so I don't have a real idea of what they're like. I've learned a lot from you, and others who've raised them. I had to chuckle at Tim's comment that his went to freezer camp. He has quite a sense of humor.

I still shudder at the treatment our military people got when they came home from Viet Nam. It was a terrible way to treat people.

I pray that Brian will do better at college this round.

Have a good weekend, my dear friend!

Retired Knitter said...

Ok - chickens with dinosaur eyes. Yes, I probably wouldn’t make a pet of them! Haha!

I do remember being terrorized by a mother hen and her baby chicks once. I was in Key West and chickens run loose there. I was sitting at an outdoor restaurant enjoying my meal when they arrived and I thought they were so cute and I started dropping crumbs for them. When I decided to stop - they didn’t agree. I finally had to be rescued by the waitress who THEN cautioned me about feeing the wild chickens! Haha. That made a big impression on me.

Retired Knitter said...

As far as the 60’s - the assignation of a President is a pretty low bar to reach. And it changed the way a president is now protected. No more riding in open cars waving to the crowds. Now they ride in vehicles called The Beast - which can protect a riders from bullets and bombs. And the Secret Service changed all of their protective services after THAT failure. They managed to keep a black president alive for 8 full years - and I am sure that President Obama was in someone gun sights, sadly. And Trump - they kept him alive too as I am sure there are far left crazies who would have welcomed a shot at him. I don’t want any elected official killed, ever! No matter how stupid or dangerous they are. Just removed from office in disgrace is usually punishment enough. But it seems that now-a-days removing someone from office is next to impossible.

I suspect this insurrection - although it wasn’t successful in its intent - will change (once again) the way various events are held. Our National Leaders will be further removed from the population they are elected to serve. That is not a good thing.