Tuesday, April 10, 2018
A Mouse in the House--Again...
9:27 pm edt
"Mouse? What mouse? I'm half blind," says Henry.
There is a mouse under the floor of the bathroom shower and the scratching
skittering sounds are making the cats crazy. I suspect this is the same brazen rodent that ran fast as a race car through
the living room last week with three cats and one dog in hot pursuit. He successfully evaded all of them and made his escape.
Based upon previous experience with shower dwelling
mice, the problem is that once under the fiberglass floor, the not-so-clever fellows forget how to get out and eventually
expire there. FYI: It takes about three weeks for eau de death to dissipate or for me to just become nose blind to the stink.
I suspect that Miss Pittypat, (the most recent feral feline to show up here) is a better mouser than the four fat freeloaders
currently in residence.
I first saw the calico
a couple of months ago crouched in the field north of the barn. It was one of those rare sunny days and what first appeared
to be a round rock was actually Miss P. trying to warm herself. I spoke to her and she bolted, not to be seen again until
this week. The poor creature was eating bean nachos that I'd brought home from a disappointing dinner at a Mexican restaurant.
She ate the entire Styrofoam container of the dismal fare (rejected by the hens). She was later seen fleeing from the
garden shed where I'm now putting more appropriate cat food. The plan is to trap and spay her and then if she is so inclined
she can live comfortably at the barn. To be continued....
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
BACK TO WORK!
7:33 pm edt
Until very recently, the girls in the hen house have been on an unauthorized
extended holiday. ‘Not a single egg for months on end. I had to resort to purchasing eggs in addition to buying chicken
chow for the free loaders.
The store bought variety was very disappointing indeed. While the carton proclaimed
the eggs were from "cage-free" hens, this designation has little bearing on the quality and taste of the actual
egg. It's all about their diet and there's a huge difference between cage-free, but incarcerated and free-range chickens that
peck around eating a natural diet. But, it is important to boycott companies whose eggs are produced in poultry concentration
camps where the birds have their beaks burned off, are stuffed into tiny cages and subjected to a cruel existence before going
on to an equally-cruel slaughter.
Anyway, the holiday here is over. Nearly all the girls are cranking out beautiful
tasty eggs each day, but apparently no one told Goldie they'd gone back to work. Today, as if to make up for slacking on the
job, the pretty little Araucana laid not one, but two eggs although the bonus egg won't qualify as Grade A large. I think
she was just showing off.
I used to keep a lot of chickens and sold eggs. A little hand-lettered sign at the
end of the drive brought a steady stream of customers who found the lively flock performing their happy hen dance very entertaining.
That was then. These days the five hens and Randy Rooster are all I care to keep. They provide enough eggs for me and a couple
of friends and they're still happy to put on a show for anyone who stops by. Life without chickens would be empty.
Friday, March 16, 2018
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.
3:43 pm edt
Despite the wildly fluctuating temperatures of late, it's clear that
spring is just around the corner. This time of regeneration makes most people deliriously happy, but I'm a bit sorry to see
the end of winter. Yes, there are inconveniences associated with my favorite season, but there's an unmistakable beauty beyond
the snowy landscape. Winter is when much of the human race stays inside and out of sight, so dreamers like me can pretend
the world is not so over-populated, so loud, nasty and chaotic. But, now the snow is gone and ugly realities that lay hidden
for a few months are again revealed. In rural areas like this, the societal statement made by road trash diminishes spring's
Last Sunday was sunny and mild, so a couple of
friends and I, armed with wheelbarrows and trash bags cleared about a quarter mile of a heavily-littered local roadway. Three
distinct categories of trash filled our bags; cheap beer cans and bottles (connoisseurs of good beer don't
drink, drive and toss), fast food containers and plastic water bottles. We worked until the bed of my truck could hold no
It felt good to give Nature a helping hand, knowing
new vegetation wouldn't have to compete with all the non-biodegradable rubbish. As we worked a few people in passing cars
waved or gave a thumbs up. One lady rolled down her window and yelled, "Thank you!" All in all, it was a gratifying
day. When we finished the tree-lined road minus the rubbish looked lovely. Soon the seasons first flowers, yellow coltsfoot
would brighten the edges of the pavement and maybe even the moods of passersby. The world could certainly use a bit beauty
I thought about the sort of people who roll
down a window and deliberately pitch rubbish into Nature's face. What do they think becomes of it -or do they think
at all? In my opinion, those who have no respect for the environment lack self-respect as well. Maybe a polite reminder would
provoke some consideration and just maybe they'd stash their trash instead. After all, if just one person changes, the world
changes, right? I made a couple of PLEASE DON'T LITTER signs and posted them.
As if to say ‘kiss my ass,' within 24 hours freshly-strewn trash sullied the clean roadside. Beyond the visual
desecration, this act spoke volumes about the mean spirited vindictive behaviors that seem so dominant. It's hard to
remain optimistic, but as J. R. R. Tolkien wrote regarding this elusive state of mind, "Still round the corner they may
wait, A new road or a secret gate."
We can only hope.
Friday, March 9, 2018
9:03 pm est
A Series of 'Unfortunate Events.'
10:30 am est
It's been noted that I've seemingly abandoned this blog and I guess
that's true. The end of 2016 launched a series of ‘unfortunate events' that put blog posts at the very bottom of my
priority list: The health issue that dominated 2017, the well that went bad, the tree that fell on top of my truck, the fire
that destroyed the tractor, the back injury that put me in hospital, the disastrous trip to Nova Scotia..., just some of the
major events of the year. Surely 2018 would be better, right? Sadly, the series of‘unfortunate events' weren't over.
On Tuesday, March 6th my wonderful dog Ernie took his final breath.
It seems only yesterday that the big black and white puppy and his ten littermates came into
the world, but it was actually eleven years, two months and one week ago. That's not long enough to love a pet. Like so many
animals these days whose lives end too soon, cancer was the culprit. Ernie is buried in the dog cemetery at the corner of
the pasture. I,Tess, Julie, the cats and even the bad asses miss Ernie's happy face. There is little joy at this old farm
these days, hence the neglected blog.