Friday, July 30, 2021

Lions and tigers and bears; oh my!

Make that "lion" and "Deckers" and "pters" (rhymes with "bears," short for pterodactyls); oh my! I know; if you have to explain the joke, it's not funny. 😉 At least you know what this post is about!

Chuckie is our ever-present little lion. The other day I was moving a hose around the lower yard, rescuing heat and drought stressed landscaping plants, when Chuckie scooted up the cherry tree and did his best 'siren call' to lure me over. I can't bend over to weed or harvest in the garden without getting a cat tail in the face. And he often beds down under the Japanese maples just outside the front door so he can be 'Chuckie-on-the-spot' if I step outside. Worse yet, he has figured out how to open the front screen door (it's one of those retractable 'invisible' screen doors) to let himself (and BUGS) in and Poppy out, which hampers my efforts to cool off the house late at night and in the early morning. 😖

Poppy doesn't mind if the house is warm; unlike me she loves summer. She'll ask to go out on the deck in the morning and BAKE in the hot sunshine for awhile, then she'll come in and claim our bed. In agility the heat actually helps her listen better by sapping a bit of her frenetic energy; too bad class is postponed on the hottest days!

This week we got to try something new; we went to a coursing practice. Two human friends and one dog friend went along; it was a great girls' night out. There were a lot of different breeds there, some new to the sport like us and some experienced; Poppy and her friend Glory both got to try it three times and did great. I took some video and photos of other dogs; unfortunately, I didn't have anyone to document Poppy!

From top to bottom: Pharaoh hounds (newbies), Dalmation (newbie) , Greyhound (experienced), Cardigan Welsh Corgi (newbie), Flat-Coat Retriever (newbie – Poppy's friend Glory), Poodle (experienced)

Last night Poppy got to play with her sister. The way they ran and tussled you'd never know it was in the 90s! Poppy's been practically comatose today, though. A tired terrier is a good terrier!

The chickies are now integrated into the flock. On Tuesday I removed the nursing cage that protected them and supervised for quite awhile. They explored inside and out, sticking together in their new, bigger world. At most the older hens are delivering an occasional peck when a youngster is near; none seem to be putting any energy into persecuting the babies. Nevertheless, the chickies spent Wednesday and Thursday entirely in the henhouse; I was glad to see them out in the run checking out some fruit and vegetable offerings today. I've renamed my Whiting True Blues. Chippy wasn't a good name for my lovely dark peeper, so she is now Spangle and her 'sister' is Splash. The other two are still Kate and Lottie.

One last thing. Blogger's "Reading List" feature hasn't been working for days, so I can't see the latest posts from the blogs I follow. When I have time, I click on each individual blog on my list of followed blogs (160, although some haven't posted in years) to see if there are new posts, but that's laborious. I really miss knowing at a glance when my blog pals share something new!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, July 23, 2021

The screaming meemies

Well, the chiclets are home . . . but Poppy was nearly homeless! I can kid now, but earlier was a different story.

It started out shortly after we turned out of our driveway. Two deer crossed the gravel lane right in front of us, and Poppy started bark-screaming. She had seen these same two deer in our upper pasture when we got home from agility last night, and really wanted to get out and chase them then. Seeing them again just sent her over the edge, which in turn nearly sent ME over the edge!

When we got to Kate's (my chickens' foster mom 😉), Poppy got to play with her good friend Glory. We went for a walk up the hill off-leash, she got her feet wet in Glory's 'swimming pool,' and there was plenty of romping. But when it was time to catch the chickens and put them in the dog crate I brought, we thought it best to tie up the dogs, both of whom are a little too interested in feathered peepers. They were together on the front porch, close enough to interact and even play, but when I walked out of sight, Poppy started screaming again. Oy. It was most annoying; Kate even got after her.

Once the chickens were loaded in the crate in the back seat, I had Poppy jump into her side of the back seat to be 'buckled in.' She immediately zeroed in on the 'birds in the box' and started trying to gain access. Clearly THAT wasn't going to work! So Kate moved the chickens' crate to the front seat, and we headed for home, with Poppy periodically exploding with more screaming, "I WANT THOSE CHICKENS!!!" I finally had to pull over and put the chicken crate in the trunk to save what was left of my jangled nerves, shortening temper, and damaged hearing.

When we got home Poppy was deposited in the house so I could get the chiclets moved in. First, though, I cleaned the henhouse and put down fresh straw. Then I set up the 'nursing pen' next to the inside waterer, with a perch and food, installed the chiclets, and hand-fed them some treats. When I checked on them later, I was able to reach in and pet Chippy, Lottie, and Dot; Kate is more skittish. At bedtime, everyone was on the roost.

On the left you can see a much-larger adult

All that screaming is exhausting, apparently; Poppy has been very quiet ever since we got home:

That's it from the noise-exhausted at . . .

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The longest month

Good grief; July is lasting forEVer!!! I don't have anything against the month (other than that it's summer); two of my favorite people were born in July, after all. But it does feel like it is taking up more than its fair share of the year.

Then again, I guess that means more homegrown food. As worried as I was that we weren't going to have a garden this year, it is shaping up to be one of our best seasons here. Last night I picked the first snow peas, after thinking they were just beginning to bloom. That has happened with several 'crops,' including English cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. (It's amazing what you find when you wear you reading glasses to the garden! 🤣)

ONE potato plant has blossoms

No glasses needed for the zucchini; it's producing abundantly enough for us, neighbors, and friends, who are all welcoming the offerings as I am picking them young and tender. Another neighbor let some get away from her, so my chickens benefitted.

Our new 'chicks' are now beautiful young birds that come running to my friend for mealworms. I was planning to bring them home week after next, but got a text from my friend tonight asking if we could move them tomorrow since she has to leave town for a funeral. Okay, then; hopefully introductions will be trauma-free! Here are the last photos Kate sent me on July 12; I'm sure they look much different now. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be seeing that for yourself soon!



Last Sunday I worked on skirting fleeces, finishing all of the five reserved by one repeat customer which leaves only one to do before the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in October. I took photos of the first one I did (Bridget) and the last (Vienna).

I had a new perspective as I did it; I've been asked to judge fleeces in the Shetland show at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival in September. I do NOT feel qualified but have been talked into it, and while I'm in the area, I'll get to visit relatives that I haven't seen in decades, too.

This year is turning into "The Year of Extended Family," and I love it. Since the funeral/family gathering in Alaska, my cousin who lives in Salem and I have met up three times; we're really enjoying our visits. Now I get to anticipate a visit with my mom's first cousin and his wife in Wisconsin!

That's it for now from . . .