Where to begin? It's been terribly hard--no, make that quite impossible
for me to write anything for months. I've struggled with assignment obligations, procrastinated pursuing viable subjects
and proposals and have found it easy to totally ignore this blog. What I needed was a good kick in the butt, but it
seemed no butt-kickers were anywhere to be found.
Instead, the winter brought with it a seemingly-endless series of disappointments
and inconvenient events. Maybe a change of scene was in order, I thought. Hoping to simply relax for a week in
the Sunshine State where I once lived many years ago I boarded a plane and left the snow and clouds of gloom behind, but
the trip was not relaxing. It was disappointing for a variety of reasons and I was happy to return home, even with the
luggage damaged by the airline that promised to replace what they had ruined. Back at home I ‘relaxed' for about
a week with the flu (another ‘gift' of air travel). The airline did send a new suitcase, but it was a cheap piece
of junk and I've had to purchase a new case at my expense.
The bad asses recently discovered another way to destroy
the barn. Metal had been applied and painted to cover the wood siding they had reduced to rick-rack last year. The repair
made things look tidy and I was pleased that it seemed to have curtailed their demolition project, but while I was recuperating
(in truth, lying around feeling unmotivated and eating great quantities of chocolates), the bad asses were discovering that
painted metal was really kind of tasty.
Pushing his lips against the 12" aluminum strip along the bottom of the barn
and squinting his eyes in order to appear sincere in his chosen line of work, that being paint removal, Corky has again made
the barn look like crap. It will require still more repair and more paint when/if spring ever comes.
The night before
I left for Florida vandals bashed my mailbox. This is a common pastime in rural communities, although it's hard to fathom
how this can be fun. I can't begin to count the number of times this has happened over the years, but mine was just
one of several destroyed that particular evening. Alas our diligent police force caught the culprits. T. replaced
the mailbox while I was away and upon my return the father of one of the trio of mischief makers called with the boys in tow.
They were forced to confront their victims, pay for the damages and to apologize. They also washed and waxed the police
department cruisers. I applauded the responsible parents and was impressed with the remorse and sincerity of the boys
who I believe learned a valuable lesson. I praised them for owning up to their actions and urged the police chief not
to impose any citations.
Last Saturday the mailbox was hit once again. It was one of about a dozen hit
this time, but I'm certain the trio of boys was not responsible. As I repaired the damage (again!) I told myself that
after all, it was just a mailbox, not the end of the world.
Determined to move beyond life's little bothers I have limited
exposure to the news which is depressing enough to drive a person to drink (to excess...). I have forced myself to sit
at this computer and work on paying projects and I have stopped eating chocolates. The dogs and I have resumed daily
walks in Ranger Rick's woods.
Daffodils are poking through winters mud and when I open the door to send the dogs
outside in the early morning hours, spring birdsong greets me. Things are actually looking up, I told myself.
Then I ran into
a casual acquaintance at the feed mill and during the course of our conversation she offered to give me three chickens she
no longer wanted. I forgot to mention that shortly upon returning from Florida, Gladys the equestrian, swimming, flock
matron vanished without a trace. I suspected a hawk for not a feather was to be found. Of all the hens to meet
such an untimely end, why did it have to be Gladys? New chooks would be a welcome addition to the dwindling flock.
Only two were hens, but I found a good home for the extra rooster who gained a robust harem of seventeen hens and happily
adjusted to his new digs.
Here at home the two new girls were fitting in nicely and laying lovely turquoise eggs. Optimism was
slowly creeping back into my life. It may seem strange to anyone not so enchanted with chickens as I am that the arrival
of a couple of hens could evoke such a change of attitude. Perhaps it was just coincidental, but to me the new girls were
symbolic of good times to come--until today.
Tess holds the undisputed title as the worst dog I've ever owned. (Don't be fooled
by that ridiculous collar with the pink poodles on it.) No need to go into the litany of this creature's shortcomings, but
today she outdid herself. She killed one of the new hens and she did it just for fun, sort of like kids who bash mailboxes,
only worse. The dog from hell has been severely admonished and to say she is keeping a low profile would be an understatement.
here at the Peaceable Kingdom is not peaceable at all and while I am trying desperately not to wallow in a trough of anger
and depression, I'm finding this difficult. If only there were some chocolates in the house....
to believe that only six short years have passed since that sunny autumn day when I discovered the tiny speck of black and
white fur peeking from the tall grass. I'd nearly run over it with the tractor, but leapt off and found the kitten that
came to be known as - what else? - Tiny.
She was only about six weeks old, desperately thin and dehydrated and I knew she had not ended up huddled next to the fence
post on her own. Tiny was just the latest ‘dump.' I snatched up the mewing little pile of bones and installed
her in the intensive care unit of the hay room until I could get her to the vet the next morning. That's how it all
began, and now it's over all too soon. Tiny is dead.
The little ball of energy was quickly installed in the critter family and loved by all; humans, dogs, cats and even the bad
asses. No one could resist her friendly curiosity. Tiny never met a creature she didn't want for a friend which
is how she came to lose her tail. The raccoon she sidled up to bit off most of it and two surgeries later she was left
with not much more than a bunny stump. That only made her cuter.
She was a welcomed sleeping buddy with the dogs and other cats, but she and Poppy were exceptionally close.
When this little bundle of joy began to lose weight and lost interest in some of her favorite foods I was concerned, but unprepared
for the vet's diagnosis of renal failure. How could that be? She was so young, but blood tests confirmed the awful
fate that was to befall her.
My mental arguments were as futile as the vet's medicines, the homeopathic remedies
and the special diets in combating the incurable disease. Her decline was swift and heartbreaking. On Monday I
buried Tiny. A pall of sadness hangs over this household. We all miss her terribly, especially Poppy. I
think it must be true that only the good die young.