Thursday, December 24, 2015

Confused or Considerate?

Here it is, Christmas Eve Day. In Ohio, we are enjoying a balmy 55 degree day with not a snowflake in sight. The wood burner is dark, I'm sitting here sweating, and thinking about opening the windows. (However, I'm sure that within the next few minutes I will be feeling a little chilly, so the windows will stay closed. At least for now.) Yes, it will be a Green Christmas this year. No complaints here.

My opening paragraph is completely off-topic, because I'm really going to write about chickens and cats.  We have two cats. They are supposed to be outside cats, but one, Rascal, is working her way to becoming an inside cat.  OK, she's practically an inside cat. Our other cat, Lutrell, is an outside cat. Hubby made them some very nice boxes, stacked one upon the other, which sit on our deck. Lutrell, our yellow cat, makes the most use out of them. Rascal is usually inside, or finding herself locked in the garage (which was the case last night.)

We also have about a dozen chickens.  They were fenced in,  but after we got some hogs, and after the hogs rooted all around the fence line, they made a way for the chickens to escape.  When the chickens get up in the morning, usually around 7:00 or so, they make a bee-line to my flower patch where there just happens to be a bird feeder, and scratch and dig for all the fallen sunflower seeds. They eventually make their way to the deck and find the cat food dish, and peck away at any remaining food that has been left there by Lutrell.  (Chickens LOVE cat food!)  When I get up in the morning, usually around 6:00, I feed Lutrell, so he can eat, unmolested, before the chickens arrive.

The other morning, as I opened the door to the deck to feed Lutrell, I couldn't believe it.  There was a chicken.  I call her "Little Red", short for Little Red Hen. I asked her what she was doing up so early, but she just clucked at me.  I told Hubby, "The chickens are up already.  It's still dark outside."  He was amazed, too.  So, I let Lutrell come inside, just to eat. Otherwise, the chickens scare him away and eat his food.

Yesterday morning, while going through the same routine, I heard a rustling noise as I started to feed Lutrell.  I looked in the direction of the noise, and saw Little Red emerging from the cat box! (You have got to be kidding me!)  So again, Lutrell got to eat his breakfast inside.  Later on, as I was getting ready for work, I glanced outside, and this sight caught me eye:

Wait. What? Oh my goodness! Crazy chicken!  Then my eyes were directed to the lower box.  At a quick glance, I thought it was Lutrell, sleeping.  But, upon closer inspection I saw this:

What in the world is going on??  And, for how long?? (This explains our recent low egg count.) Apparently, for a week!  And, Lutrell has been doing his part being a surrogate father, by keeping the eggs warm...if only we had a rooster!

Ever since the time change, the chickens have been going into their coop to roost, usually around 4::00, as soon as it starts getting a little dark outside. Last night, before going to bed, I decided to check the box to see if Little Red was spending the night on the deck. Nope, both boxes were clear. I felt around for an egg just to be sure.  Nothing.  Good. Maybe she was done with venturing down to the cat boxes.  Au contrair.  This morning, as I went to feed Lutrell, who popped out, but Little Red! And yes, she left another egg!

While I appreciate her thoughtfulness and consideration on making egg gathering easier, all the chickens will have to pay for Little Red's crazy adventure. They will have to stay locked up in the chicken coop for a few days until she remembers the proper place to lay her eggs.

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 18, 2015

A Pity Party

I  know we're in the Christmas season and thoughts are to be centered on the reason for Christmas, which in fact is the birth of Christ the Savior, and not gifts, but I need a few moments, only a few, to give myself a little pity party.

Why I feel the need to put this on my blog, I'm not entirely sure.  But, sometimes, ya just need to write something down, and my blog posting has been so random this past year, I'm fairly certain it won't be read by too many.

So, here's my sorry story...I was passed up, again, for a full time position at my place of employment. I've been there for just over three years working part-time.  I will say that I work in a great department, and the competition is fierce.  But, I do have seniority by at least six months over everyone else, which obviously has no merit. I tried very hard to assume I would not get the position, which is pretty much what I am already doing now.  But, naturally, I kept thinking how nice it would be to be making twice my current income, and have the benefits of insurance.  Then I would shake it out of my head, saying, "You won't get the job".  But the sneaky little "Yes you will" kept creeping in. Sigh.

When my manager called me in to tell me, she said it was a very difficult decision, but no, it wasn't me. She said I interviewed well, she could tell I was being honest in my answers...blah blah blah. It wasn't anything I did or didn't do blah blah blah.  So sorry.  I went back to what I was doing, then about 10 minutes later she called me back into her office. Curious. (Did she change her mind? No, that's ridiculous.) She decided to give me some helpful hints for next time.  I'm just paraphrasing, but apparently I'm not assertive or confident enough when dealing with confrontational patrons.  Which is somewhat true because I've never been told exactly how far we are permitted to go to appease grumpy patrons before we get the manager involved. But, I guess I'll work on that, and see if I get in trouble on the other side. We had a very nice little chat, which lasted for a good 15-20 minutes. It was something that she didn't have to do, and I appreciated it.

However, this is what Hubby and I think it is...I turned 60 (eek I hate to see that on paper!) last month.  I would be willing to bet that that is 90-99% of the reason why I was passed over.  Who wants to work full-time after 60, for Pete's sake?  Who wants to hire someone 60 years old full-time? Even though I'm probably healthier than most who are working there. That's just a guess on my part. I am on zero medications, do yoga, and do other various physical jobs working around our little farm. But of course, my age could never be an official reason for not getting the job. It's funny how, at a certain point, age is no longer considered for experience, but instead, seen as a detriment.

At this point, I don't know who got the job, but I have narrowed it down, in my own mind, to two. One is in her 30's, the other in her 20's.  I'm OK with the previous one, but I will be so annoyed (nervous giggle) if it's the latter one. Simply because she is such a know-it-all.  Which is probably the exact qualifications they are looking for, come to think of it!

OH WELL. Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be.  So, tomorrow when I go in to work, I will give her sincere congratulations, (alright, it might be through gritted teeth and a forced smile),  but I will say it, none-the-less. I will not be consumed by resentment and disappointment.

And, I know that when I get home from work, my granddaughter, Sweetie Pie, will possibly have arrived to spend Christmas with us.  I still have my wonderful Hubby, my awesome kids, and my precious Sweetie Pie, and they are my world.

But, for right now, for the next 10 seconds, I'm going to give myself a pitiful little pity party. If you are still with me, and care to join in, feel free.

Ready? One, two, three, all together now!  Awwwwwwwwwww.

Thank you. I feel so much better now. On with life!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In One Week

Things have been a little busy around here.  Hubby had a week off of work, so he built a garage. His first one ever.  All by himself. It's still undecided if my contributions were helpful or a hindrance. If he told me to go up, I'd go down.  If he said go to the right, I'd go to the left.  I don't do it on purpose, it's just that our brains think in totally opposite ways.  I do try.

Last summer we put in the foundation for our garage.  We did hire someone to dig the foundation and lay the block.  We scheduled the cement truck to come, which turned out to be on the same morning as his aunt's funeral.  The funeral started at 11:00, the cement truck came at 8:00.  The goal was to have the cement truck guy take his attachment and go around the foundation, filling in the  openings on the top of the blocks.  But this guy was a bit of a butt, and said he couldn't do that.  He wasn't too willing to let us fill up our five-gallon buckets and hand pour it all into the blocks. He said it couldn't be done. He had seen a crew of three men unable to do it.  Well, he had not seen us work.  Hubby told him to start it up, time's a wastin'.  We had a funeral to get to.  (And, now, we had a point to prove!) We carried bucket after bucket after bucket, barely stopping for breath.  When I faltered a little, my job was to smooth off the tops, and scrape off the sides.  Hubby just kept going.  The guy had to be impressed, seeing two old people run around like that. And, yeah, we finished, showered, and got to the funeral with just a few minutes to spare.

We intentionally let the foundation sit all year, so the ground could settle. Friends have asked us if we were ever going to build the garage. We have a plan, people! The inspector was out last month just to check in on our progress.  I told him we planned to build it in August.  He said he'd check back next year.  Oh ye of little faith!

So, this is what we have been up to:
Day 1 - Framing

Hubby in action

Day 1 = Framing complete

Day 2 - Rafters

Sorry for the blurriness

Day 3 - Roof and sides getting covered

Day 3 - Windows, doors, and headers added

Day 4 - All covered, shingles delivered, ready for inspection.

Day 5 - Windows installed, all wrapped, and ready to leave for a family gathering

Day 6 - Roofing

Day 7 - Roofing complete

The next goal is to lay gravel, and pour cement.  That will probably happen next week.

I hope you are reaching your goals.

Till next time,

Monday, July 20, 2015

Happy National Hammock Day

Did you even know we had a "National Hammock Day"?  Honestly, who comes up with all these "National-something-ridiculous-to-celebrate Day"?  Maybe it's just someone desperate to come up with blogging material! Although, I have no problem with National Donut Day or National Ice Cream Day.  Just sayin'.

This is how my hammock looks this morning. Wet and soggy.  Our rainy days have out-numbered our sunny days this summer. (However, someone told me that our June was the hottest June on record. I think they're lying!) The last beautiful day I remember was July 4, which was perfection.  We had rain before that, and, it seems, it has rained every day since.  But, I digress. It's National Hammock Day, not National Complain About the Rain Day.

I have been able to use my hammock a few days this summer, and, let me tell you, it is glorious.  The other day our daughter was enjoying our hammock. She comes over more to use the hammock than to see us I think. She said, "When you and Dad die, can I have the hammock?"  Uhh, sure! But, I hope we out live the hammock!

Anyway, if you are fortunate to have a hammock, I hope the weather will cooperate and allow you to enjoy the awesome feeling of being suspended in the air, gently rocking back and forth, with a lovely breeze, snort zzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Life at the Library:You are a Treasure #1

I've been told that if you ever visit Disneyland/World, and you are told that you are a treasured guest, don't put a feather in your cap, because it is not a good thing! So, I am going to borrow their verbiage and apply it to some of our more "special" patrons, I mean, treasured, patrons.

Our library has four different departments: Genealogy, Reference/Adult Services, Children's, and Circulation.  Reference/Adult Services is located upstairs, and is where you will find the real librarians, those with an actual degree. The librarians are the only ones who are allowed to look up books on the computer to see if they are available in our library, or any of the 30 libraries in our system.

I work in the Circulation Department. When we are in the workroom, we discharge all the items that have been returned and put them back on the shelves. When we work "on the desk" out front, we assist patrons wishing to check out their items. And, by "assist" I mean that we spend most of our time showing them how to use the self-check out machines. We also issue library cards and collect fines. Most times, it keeps us hoppin' at a pretty good clip.  When we are not assisting patrons, we are cleaning and checking all the dvds and cds that have been returned. Sometimes patrons will forget to put the dvd back in the case and return an empty case. Sometimes the dvds look  as if they had been used as coasters, or for serving plates for children. Sometimes I simply do not want to know what the dried up, sticky, unidentified glob is that is stuck to the dvd.  So, that is a very basic description of what my job entails.

The other day, two women came up to the Circulation Desk, ready to check out their items. They had  several dvds, and I was taking them out of the security cases. I noticed that one woman had chosen two "express" aka new release movies, which are 53 cents each. I told her it would be $1.07 for both movies. She looked at me, horrified, and exclaimed that she did not bring any money. So I explained that we sometimes have other copies in the free movie section, which is upstairs. Then she said, "Well, can you look it up for me?"

I explained that no, I was sorry, but she would have to ask the librarians upstairs to do it.  She just looked at me and said, "Well, what do you do?"  My "Sarcastic Self" wanted to say, sweetly of course, "Why nothing. Absolutely nothing!"  But, my "Professional Side" (and the side that wanted to stay employed) said, sweetly of course, "This is the Circulation Department. Upstairs is Reference. We have elevators."

In the meantime, her friend walks over and says, "Since you don't have any chairs around here, I'm just gonna sit on your desk!"  (Hey, I can't make this stuff up!)  As she's plopping her big behind on the desk, I'm motioning, speechless, at all the empty chairs that are located all around the library.  She responds with, "Those are all too far away. There's all this empty space right here!"

Oh. You mean this area for foot traffic?  Yeah, let's just put a chair right there.  The first woman managed to get her one free movie checked out, while her friend managed to get herself off  the desk. Then they left. I'm pretty sure they were thinking that I was lazy and the library was inconsiderate with the chair placement.  You are a treasure, ladies! Bless your heart, and have a nice day.

As I write this, I'm getting ready for my son and granddaughter's visit. I'm getting a little panicky thinking about everything that I have to get done before their arrival on Saturday.  My Sweetie Pie will be here for two weeks, so it's highly unlikely that I will have time to blog during that time. She keeps me pretty busy, but I love every minute of it  .Hopefully, I will be a little more regular at blogging and visiting. Bear with me until I get back into the blogging groove!  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Stars and Stripes Forever

Today is Flag Day.  June 14, 1777 was the day the Stars and Stripes was adopted as our National Flag.  In 1916, President Wilson issued a proclamation making June 14 Flag Day, and in 1949, an act of Congress made June 14 National Flag Day.

Hubby and I have plans to install a flag pole on our property, sometime, hopefully before we die in the near future, so we can see Old Glory flying every day.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures from the past, and for your listening pleasure, you may enjoy the great John Phillip Sousa March, "Stars and Stripes Forever", played so wonderfully by the U.S. Marine Band. It should stir your patriotic heart, and get your toes a tappin'.  And, for an extra tidbit of information, "The Stars and Stripes" is our National March.

Twenty minutes later...I guess you will have to enjoy the music without the pictures.  I can't figure out how to get the pictures from my little thingy-ma-jiggy...the stick thing, whose official name I can never remember...they showed up where I could view them, but when I needed to download them, they are no where to be found.  This is a cry for help to my Official Blog Adviser!  I know, I can hear you now..."Oh Mother!"

Anyway, it's Flag Day, so show your colors!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

This Will Never Happen Again!

I know the rule is never say never, BUT, I'm quite confident that this particular event will never happen again. In fact, I'm quite surprised that it even happened at all! So, what is this momentous, once-in-a-lifetime  event, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.

Back story:
Hubby and I have a little six acre mini-farm.  We are raising our own beef, and chickens, (for the eggs), and now we have added pigs to our little e-i-e-i-o farm.  Two nights ago, we picked up two Berkshire feeder pigs.  By definition, a feeder pig is generally 40 to 50 pounds.  When we arrived at the farm, the farmer was plowing his field. He jumped off his tractor, greeted us, then pointed out the direction to drive. We offered to give him a ride on the tailgate of the truck, but he declined, saying he had been sitting on the tractor all day, and he would just meet us there. By the time we arrived at the barn, I turned to see four more people following him, which turned out to be his wife and three daughters.  We picked out the two pigs we wanted, and the girls grabbed them and put them in our make-shift pig transporting cage.  Hubby joked about making it out of pallets, but the farmer just replied, "Hey, that works just fine". Later, I noticed that he had done the same thing with his pallets. Great minds!
Wood pallet pig transporter cage

 We got to talking to him, and were happy to discover that he farms by the Joel Salatin method. He then gave us a quick little tour of his farm and showed us the turkeys his daughter is raising. One daughter is studying to be a herbalist, another daughter is working on breeding Heritage breeds, especially chickens and turkeys.  (Not sure about the third daughter.)  Anyway, he showed us the turkeys. Red Bourbon turkeys.  I'm not a huge turkey fan, especially eating, and I've not paid too much attention to the different kinds of turkeys, but, let me tell you, the Red Bourbon male is one beautiful bird!  I wished I had my camera with me, but then again, I wasn't sure if they would want me to take its picture.  But, I couldn't take me eyes off of it.  I told  Hubby that I would like to have one of those around just to look at it.

So, after our nice visit, (He even offered to help us when butchering time comes around, yes, we plan to eat our pigs), we left with our two pigs, and more knowledge.

When we got home, we drove them into the front pasture, with the intention of keeping them separate from the cows and chickens, for now.  First, we gave them their little earrings, then we set them down out of the truck.    Piggy Number 1, who shall be named Bacon, hightailed it to the back corner of the field, with Piggy Number 2, who shall be named Porky, close behind him.  The cows quickly came running down to see what all the ruckus was about, and they had some cute moments getting to know each other. The pigs continued running the fence line back and forth, together (key word), saying "hi" to the cows, then running away from them. The chickens were unimpressed.  We made sure they had bedding, feed, and water, then said "goodnight" while they continued snorting and grunting around.  All was well.
Pigs have about two weeks of cuteness in their lives

Look at those cute little tails!

Who are those intruders??
A bit blurry, but wearing their earrings

So far, no disaster, which is a bit miraculous.

The next morning, Saturday, began at the ridiculously early hour of 5:30.  Ugh. I know! But, we've kinda gotten used to that early hour.  Maybe because we're usually in bed by 9:30.  It's a vicious cycle.

We had two more pigs to pick up from someone else.  These pigs are mule hoofs, another Heritage breed.  Hubby left by 6:30 to go get those little piggies. This time I stayed home because I had to leave for work by 9:00.  Remember my definition of feeder pigs?  Yeah, well, these little piggies are no where near that weight. They truly are little piggies, maybe, 20 pounds. Tiny.  (But, cute.)  Hubby was back home by 7:30 a bit irritated disappointed that the pigs were so small. Not only will it take longer to reach the desired weight of about 300 pounds, but we weren't entirely confidant that our fencing, which was designed for larger animals, would keep them in.. We also decided to wait till they grew a little before they got their earring, which was about the same size as their ears.  Did I mention that they are cute?
Trouble is coming...
I grabbed one, which was an armful of squealy, squirmy bundle of pork.  I put him down, and he took off running. Fast. Hubby put the second one down, and he took off running in the opposite direction. Fast. They did not stick together at all! We watched them for a few minutes, admiring how cute they were, then it was time for Hubby to drive out of the pasture.

 I am the official gate opener/closer, whichever is needed at the time.  As Hubby drove towards the gate, I ran to open it, keeping an eye on the one pig that was closer to the gate than I wanted him to be, but I did not think it would be a problem.  I thought wrong. (Here is where the disaster part kicks in, just in case you were wondering.)

The next thing I knew, that little oinker  had made a bee line through the gate at 80 miles an hour. The last thing I heard was Hubby yelling, "How could you let that pig get out?"  Umm, he's faster than I am, and I wasn't expecting him to make a run for it?  No, I did not say that.  I don't think I said anything.  Apparently, I did a funny little dance, then just took off running after that dumb idiot.  He ran through our property lickety-split, then through the neighbor's corn field.  Beyond the cornfield is a little woods, which I think he managed to veer around, then into a field of clover, which was about 24 inches high.  Little Oinker is about 12 inches high. You see my problem?  I kept envisioning my bacon running away, and Hubby killing me if that happened.  Hubby saw a 100 dollar bill with wings on it. Not sure if he was envisioning killing me.  I didn't ask.

Now, allow me to pause here, just to make this long story a little bit longer.  I'm nearly 60 years old, and I haven't run since I gave birth to my last child 30-ish years ago.  I've tried to run from time to time, but, well, I have this little embarrassing problem. I'm sure you can guess what it is. Don't make me say it!

So, I'm running like a madwoman, after this pig. No time to be embarrassed. No time to be vain. Meanwhile, my dignity is dribbling down my leg. I'm focused. Eyes on the pig. Eyes on the pig. I don't know what happened to Hubby, but suddenly I see him out of the corner of my eye.  He's been behind me all the time.  As the little escapee turns toward Hubby, Hubby tries to corral him back towards me. He's getting closer and closer, and I suddenly realize what I must do. I must hurl my poor, old body down on top of this pig. I've never been able to comprehend the idea of tackling in football, or sliding in baseball. How do you just make yourself hit the ground?  I don't get it.  But, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that is what I had to do. (And, here is the "this will never happen again" part.) So, I took a flying leap, didn't even have time to pray for a safe landing, and landed right on top of that football sized pig.  I didn't stop to think of the possibility that I might have squashed it to death.  I held onto that little trouble maker until Hubby came up to me, and grabbed him. Disaster was averted. My life would be spared. I had redeemed myself.

More than one person, okay, everyone who has heard this story, has expressed that they would love to see that on video.  I am not among them. In my mind's eye, I looked very graceful as I stretched out and floated through the air, landing gently on the stupid idiot. I don't want my vision to be shattered.
Anyway, Hubby carried him by one leg, because they are squirmy little stinkers, and we didn't want to chase him again.  And, do you know what? The nursery rhyme is true.  He went "wee wee wee" all the way home.
The Mule Hoofs look like footballs with feet

Everybody getting acquainted

Ferdinand just wanted to say hello

I see bacon and sausage and pork chops and pork loin and spare ribs and...

Darlene  (I accidently deleted my fancy signature, so I'll just have to type it in this time.)
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