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Friday, September 23, 2011

HELLO Autumn!

We had a fun idea for welcoming a most wonderful season,


So here is the inside scoop of our photo shoot...

Take 1:

Ok, not bad..........can we move the signs closer together?

Take 2:

lets try this, what if we move the horses closer together?

Take 3:

that's great! Now can you act like you are exuberantly happy that this is the first day of fall even though your Nana is totally interrupting your riding lesson with her camera and silly little signs and take after take of pictures? Hmm? Can you? pleeeze?

Take 4:


You guys are the best! Thank you!

Whats that? The horses are upset because I didn't get their faces IN THE PICTURE? make the horses happy

Take 5:

Happy Autumn from our place to yours~

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sick Chick

One of the hens "martha stewart" (so named because of her extreme attachment to cleaning and arranging the hay in the hen house) got all droopy and began to walk like a penguin, all straight up and down instead of like chickens normally walk.

Many Google hours later made it pretty clear that martha had an egg stuck umm..somewhere.

Treatment is very warm baths to relax the muscles

In case the egg had ruptured and caused an infection in the abdomen Martha went on antibiotics. 3 days of hot bathes and 0 signs of an egg made the peritonitis the more likely culprit.

You haven't really lived until you try to pry open the clamped beak of a highly unwilling chicken to force down a liquid antibiotic that is necessary but dangerous since chickens inhale liquid into their lungs very easily.

After 3 nerve wracking days of this I found a way to inject a strawberry with the drug instead and just let her eat the strawberry!

Much easier on both of us!

She was so weak that she had to be separated from the hens and the rooster because they were beginning to peck at her which (thanks again Google) is a response designed to keep the rest of the flock from catching what the weak one has. So Martha moved in to the big house and lived on a heating pad covered with a layer of newspaper to soothe her sore tummy.

She turned down every food imaginable except the strawberries and was losing weight rapidly UNTIL in desperation I tried butter.

She loved it and would peck diligently while I held a stick of butter in front of her.

That gave her protein, fat and much needed calories, hooray for butter!

So therapy became antibiotic laced strawberries, fresh water, a heating pad and BUTTER.

Not a bad gig for a chicken except for the fact that she started to refuse water....and food...and would turn and face the wall.

Her belly (which had been swollen and hard and red, was getting smaller. The antibiotics were working so what was wrong now?

After consulting my good friend Dr. Google still once more I found a very interesting article that helped me diagnose this latest development. It seems that of all the herd/flock animals that exist, chickens are the most dependant on interaction with the group. On a scale of 1 to 10 they are the tens of group therapy. In short, Martha Stewart was suffering from depression.

Late afternoon is "chickens gather on the deck time" in these parts so that might be a good time to reintroduce Martha to the flock that had tried to peck her to death 3 days earlier, right? Yes? No? Am I throwing her out the door to her death?

Oh the stress of it!

I looked at the chickens on the deck.....I looked at martha standing there all wilted and facing the wall........

Time to see what would happen. I lifted her up and sat her in front of the door and opened it, figuring it would be better if she made her debut on her own two feet rather than me dropping her from the sky so to speak.

Turkey Lurkey on the left, and mz martha rubbed necks and talked - no pecking whatsoever.


Even Gregory Peck, the rooster, came over and settled in beside her making little friendly noises.


So therapeutic supervised visits for two hours in the late afternoon were added to the strawberries - heating pad - antibiotics and butter regimen.

Today martha spent the whole day outside with her peeps and all was well. No antibiotics, no strawberries, or butter, just chicken feed and fresh raw cream for the probiotics to counteract all the antibiotics.

As twilight set in I was curious to see what martha would the rest of the hens and the rooster began heading towards the chicken house, martha stewart stayed behind anxiously peering in the window at her newspaper covered heating pad.

"stop taking your stupid pictures and open the door" she said.

and in she hurried, as fast as her little legs could carry her

back to the safety of her little warm lair for one (?) more night...

Small town Saturday Night

The three Musketeers and I

took some time this weekend to paint the town red.

there were Shirley Temples

and fine dining~

some minor trepidation at trying new foods
(ribs instead of chicken nuggets)

Followed by a trip the the local artists Co-op

looking at things from a different perspective

Then off to the childrens theater for a live play.

How the average American child waits for the action to start

Meeting the cast...

and strollin on the boulavard in search of ice cream

a perfect small town hot summer night.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just Another Day (in paradise?)

I woke up to a hot morning sun.

We have reached to end of another summer.

A time when everything feels overblown...

the weather

the fields

the garden.

I stepped out of my door and into morning air that felt like walking into a bathroom just after a shower has been running, all hot and steamy.

My bare feet were conscious of the quickly drying grass as I made my way to my garden.
In the humid simmering heat I walked, feeling all earth mothery.

The rich ripe ground which has been giving and growing all summer. The over blown flowers and smells of grass thick in the air, layer over layer.

The nearly spent garden succumbing to morning glory vines and bumble bees now stealing center stage from the peppers, the last fruit standing in a dying garden.

The shade of a nearby tree, long green leaves hanging low, made a pretty picture. The hay fields lush and green spread out in every direction, hot sun over head didn't penetrate my verdant little glen under its massive branches.

So beautiful, so lush, like a hot house garden, butterflies included.

Still caught in the spell of my earth mother - the planet and I are one mood

I rounded the corner, tripping in the process over my pajamas and fell,

landing on one knee in this

Well, at least this is how it looked after I fell on it.

Apparently, my earth mother self temporarily forgot that a hot summer day is not all about last fruits, butterflies and verdant glens. Its also about ants and bugs and sticky heat...

and chicken poop.

My mood was gone in an instant...

impulses to take pictures of a summer morning vanished,

replaced completely by the beauteous wonder of a solid wood door with air conditioning on the other side

(and an inadvertent picture of oneself in the door handle taking a picture of a door handle)

ahh the miracle of forced air ducts! And freezers with ice - and iced coffee!

And a battery operated laptop with which to write down the tale of my conversion.