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Tuesday, March 20, 2018



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.

7:33 pm edt          Comments

Friday, March 16, 2018



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 bright promise.

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 more.

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 these days. 

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.


3:43 pm edt          Comments

Friday, March 9, 2018

9:03 pm est          Comments

A Series of 'Unfortunate Events.'


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.


10:30 am est          Comments

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