Month: March 2014

Chick talks “Birds and Bees” A Cautionary Tale

It’s spring…kind of…and I’m thinking of the birds and the bees. We already have the birds, specifically the chickens, but we have no bees. We have fresh “free”eggs and wouldn’t it would be great to have fresh honey, too?

My husband hates bees. Hates…them! Every year the conversation between us goes like this:

“I’d like to get some bees.”

“If you got bees, who says they won’t just go next door? They sting. Why do I want anything that instinctively wants to harm me? For what?”

He had a point. (Pun intended.) So, I decided to table that discussion for next year…since currently we’re nursing our rooster back to health. (Soooo, we’re back to “just” having the birds!)

Thurston, the rooster is on my enclosed porch as he’s healing from a hawk attack. He was just doing his job to protect his ladies and BAM! He was scooped up and fought his way out of the talons of a bully chicken hawk. He’s now wearing a (custom made by moi) cone of shame to deter him from pecking himself to death.

So yesterday I went back to my second home, aka the feed store, to get medicine and food. (Just a reminder to those thinking of getting chickens for “free eggs”…there’s no such thing as “free”!) Since I knew what I needed I went directly to the order counter and paid for the goods.

“You qualify to receive 6 free baby chicks!”

“No…no…no. Oh, their so cute! I already have the heat lamp. My husband will give up his shower for another month, again. I’d just need a bag of crumbles….”

I slapped my own face and said…”NO!”
The sales lady said she understood and quickly walked away. (She basically dropped the chicks and ran!)

“I mean, I have enough to take care of right now!” (Did I just say that out loud?)

Feverishly I grabbed my supplies and exited the store. Surely someone else has had that same reaction…surely. Embarrassed, I scrambled out of that parking lot and insult to injury, my tires may have spun some gravel. (No one was harmed….that I knew.)

There’s so much to know when having chickens. Mine happen to be pets so I don’t cull them when they’re ill. I treat them. In fact, my husband almost died when he heard I’d taken Thurston to the vet…in my car. (I left the sun roof open. Gosh!)

I can’t believe I was able to walk away from then but sometimes you have to know your limits. I mean, they weren’t the kind of chickens I really liked so that helped! The saleswoman who knew me hollered as I was leaving the building.

“Next week we’re getting Buff Orpington’s!”

“Really?! I love these birds! Maybe next week.”

Did I really just say that? I was so proud I didn’t get the chicks and expressed my pleasure to the hubs in being able to walk out without a half dozen chicks. He was relieved, too. Then I told him about next week’s arrival of Buff Orpington’s and shockingly…he spoke…

“We’ll, since you’re not doing the bee hive…”.

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Chick takes Courage

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

When my mother died. I was in my early twenties. She blanketed my fears. She encouraged me. She made all things pretty. If I made mistakes, she talked me through them. We were a team. But, then…she was gone.

After graduating from college I thought I’d get married like all of my friends. I didn’t.

When I finally met my soul mate, I was 33. I thought we’d have children. We couldn’t.

As life progressed, I thought we’d expand our family but it didn’t happen like I’d dreamed. We had so much love to give. Why wasn’t this happening?

I was told I was so talented. Why was my life not like the fairytales like those of my friends? I would compare myself to them…2, 3 and 4 kids. I had “nothing”, or so I thought.

I had faith in God. He says “Take courage…”. My mother always reminded me of this. Now…it had meaning. It had meaning to me. I’m taking control of my life…finally. (I’m a late learner, but I’m thankful to be able to learn!) I’m taking the courage afforded to me by my faith in God. I just had to believe in Him…and and then I asked Him.

Recently, I entered two writing competitions. I didn’t win. I entered. I took courage. (Finally, I took courage!)

I had an ailing hen. I had to induce vomiting to get the thing that was constricting her breathing out…I did it. My rooster, Thurston, was attacked by a predator. I had to bathe and attend to his wounds. I did. (I didn’t say I wasn’t shaking the entire time, but I did it.)

Without trying…without caring…without loving…without faith, what is this life?

Life may not happen as we imagined it; but isn’t it more important to have faith, hope and love? In fact, fear is actually “False Evidence Appearing Real”.

Take Courage! Live!

Do you take courage? What did you do that required courage? If not, what will you do to receive your courage and conquer your fear? You don’t have to win everything to have courage.

Take courage!

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”
[Psalm 27:14]

Chick Not Prepared for Pup Emergency, on the whole

Tired from work, I was in auto mode when getting home.

1) Let dogs out.
2) Let dogs in.
3) Feed dogs.
4) Let dogs out.
5) Put chickens in coop.
6) Once inside, notice tube of half eaten medicine container on floor. Wait. WHAT?! (PREPARATION H, to be exact…it was not my medicine, by the way…as far as you know.)

Shocked by this, I thought, it had to be our beagle-Lucy who had shredded the tube of Preparation H. She was known to get into stuff, specifically food, when left alone.

Panicked I called the poison control center for children.

“Um, Hi. What happens when a slightly overweight, um…child…I mean, a dog the size of a small child eats a tube of Preparation H? What do I do?!”

The phone fell silent. Well, I thought I heard someone laughing with her hand over her mouth until she said, “Ma’am, we don’t treat dogs.”

“Her name’s Lucy. She’s like a child to me. Does that count?”

There was that stifled laugh again….After she contained herself, she gave me the number to a poison control center for dogs.

I called. They needed my credit card number before they could speak to me. Although I understood, I tried to ask the question quickly…thinking they’d heard this before now and maybe she’d have a quick response. (Because of her snickering on the phone, I began to think the girl from the children’s poison control line was pranking me!) No such luck in getting help for free, so I just hung up and looked for Plan C.

Plan C: I knew my friend Pat had dogs…lots of ’em! She’ll know what to do.

After her uncontrollable laughter…and after explaining that the Preparation H wasn’t mine, she agreed to call her friend Bart, who was a Vet.

(Finally…Thank God! Relief was soon to come for Lucy…pun intended.)

Bart needs the ingredients for Preparation H.

“but the tube is in a million pieces….”

Pat could not stop laughing. Lucy followed me through the house just panting and carrying on as if she was about to get a treat. It really didn’t seem life threatening, but I didn’t want to wait and see what might happen if I didn’t act to find a solution.

The nearest pharmacy was nice enough to read me the ingredients over the phone. When I thanked her, she started laughing. (I’m glad everyone is having a good chuckle at my expense!)

Just after hanging up the phone, Pat rang me back since she’d spoken to Bart again. It turns out, his wife was pregnant and he found a tube of it “on his ‘wife’s’ nightstand”.

(Right…Apparently, “we” don’t use this medication…”others” do.)

Bart tells Pat to feed Lucy some rice. That would help bind her. He advised that this medication, if eaten could cause vomiting and diarrhea.

We immediately got the rice going. (Lucy was so happy. I could have sworn she was smiling!) We babied her. We loved on her. She even got the choice spot in our bed. She could not have been happier.

With four dogs, Lucy was the rival of the other dogs. They stared and wondered what they needed to do to deserve this kind of royal treatment.

It was 2 a.m. Lucy was laying on her back with all four legs in the air. She was in heaven.

At 2:15 a.m I heard a dog trying to hurl. It didn’t sound like it was coming from the bed…It wasn’t Lucy.

In the end, it was our dog Bud…old faithful. He was 10 years old. He never got into anything when we were away from home. This time, he got into some Preparation H. Who knew why?!

So, in the end, we learned that even an old dog may have a few new tricks up his sleeve!

It wasn’t my tube of Preparation H! (Maybe it was…) Do you believe this? Has anything like this happened to you? I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a note!