Goldie

So how did I end up with another foster chicken? (My third in three years, by the way.)  My neighbor Amy and her daughter were in their golf cart on the far side of the neighborhood where there is a lot of new construction going on.  They saw a chicken in someone’s yard and asked about it.  Apparently the chicken had escaped from her farm and was trying to survive in a residential area.  Amy got some help from a couple of kind construction workers and she captured the chicken, put her in a pet carrier and brought her to my house. (Where else, right?)  So Jim and I got to work modifying Buster’s playhouse into a temporary home for our new friend.

Hey, look!  KITTY, BUNNY & CHICKEN! :)

Hey, look! KITTY, BUNNY & CHICKEN! 🙂

Jim made a perch for her and I made a nest from a cardboard box and some straw.  We rigged some pet fencing around the coop so she could have some room to scratch and look for bugs.  I made a mad dash to the farmer’s supply store the next morning for some organic pellets and VOILA! We were in the chicken business again!

We named her Goldie.  She’s a buff orpington, the same breed as Daisy.  She is a mature adult but I have no way to tell how old she is.  She was dirty and tired and very scared.  She was obviously not used to humans trying to be kind to her so we kept our distance and let her settle down.  A chicken on the run has no time for preening and usually gets fitful sleep so she really was a mess.  She instinctually jumped up on her perch and fell asleep at dark.  The next morning she awoke with the sun and started making those wonderful clucky sounds.  Soon thereafter she settled in her makeshift nest and sat there for the next FIVE HOURS!

Do you, mind?  I'm trying to lay an egg here.

Do you, mind? I’m trying to lay an egg here.

It usually takes a healthy chicken about 30 minutes to an hour to lay her egg, but I suspect this girl had not had an opportunity to lay one for days so she had a lot of work to do in order to complete the job.  Sure enough, after a very long time, I looked in the nest to find a little present.

Good girl!

Good girl!

Of course Amy got the first egg since she was responsible for this whole thing.  How was it Amy?  Did you scramble or fry?

Now the coop and the cobbled-together chicken fencing was terrible looking.  We had to fix something up quick and the best we could do was not a pretty picture.

Mulder thinks it looks OK.

Mulder thinks it looks OK.

Immediately I started begging, whining, asking Jim to let me buy one of those cute catalog coops that look like little farm houses or barns.  He put his size 8 1/2 down and told me that those coops are crap and he wasn’t about to buy one for a chicken we may not be able to keep anyway.  Besides, he said, “If we are keeping her I can build her a coop.”  Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  I have no doubt that my husband can make a fabulous coop (he’s done it before) but his time is very limited and it takes him a very long time for a construction project of that kind.  I feel certain that given time and diligence, I can persuade him to buy a well-made, aesthetically  pleasing coop, but not anytime soon.  So I had to make due with the messy contraption in our back yard.  I went to work with some pliers and took apart the pet enclosure that my pal loaned me, (Thanks Susna) and I made a chicken run with sections of doggy fence and metal twist ties.

It won't make the cover of Southern Living, but I think it looks pretty nice.

It won’t make the cover of Southern Living, but I think it looks pretty nice.

But what about the HOA you ask?  But what about the grouchy neighbor?  Well, I’m hoping that I can get by on a technicality since it’s only ONE chicken.  The word POULTRY appears in our HOA rules, and that word is plural. Do I have a case?  Any attorney friends wanna weigh in on this? The other reason I may be able to keep her is that I think the urban chicken movement is a bit more well-known in 2015 than it was back in 2012 when I had to find new homes for Rosy, Daisy & Violet.  Either way, while she is in my care, I’m going to enjoy the challenge of turning this skittish chicken into a family pet who likes people and kitties and bunnies.  The grape therapy begins tomorrow. 🙂

 

 

Spring Has Sprung!

Our yard is a muddy mess after one of the coldest & wettest winters in my memory.  We recently got to work making it presentable on a rare warm, sunny day.

These guys were NO help at all!

These guys were NO help at all!

While we worked in the yard, some lovely ladies dropped in to bid salutations to a few of our cute animals.

Brenda- my sweet neighbor and two of her beautiful granddaughters.

Brenda- my sweet neighbor and two of her beautiful granddaughters.

Little Vivi wants no part of that furry brown thing with the floppy ears!

Caroline, however, recognizes a handsome gentleman when she sees one!

Caroline, however, recognizes a handsome gentleman when she sees one!

Caroline is one of my awesome pet sitters.  She and Buster are BFFs.

KITTY NEWS: Although G.T. never came back to our porch we see “Orange Kitty” on a regular basis.  She is a beautiful girl (We think she’s a girl–we can’t get close enough to tell).  Like G.T. was in the beginning, she was super shy and would only eat food from our porch at night. She would run like crazy if she ever saw us.  We still can’t touch her but she doesn’t run anymore, and if we’re late giving her food in the morning, she MEEEEEOWWWRRRRRRs really loud to let us know we’ve dropped the ball.

People are so hard to train.

People are so hard to train.

CHICKEN NEWS:  Miss Daisy continues to enjoy farm life with her second Mommy Debbie.  She and her boyfriend Claude are inseparable and roost together every night.

Do I barge into YOUR bedroom???

Do I barge into YOUR bedroom???

I wonder what Daisy would think of the new pet my neighbor Amy brought me yesterday?

Meet Goldie my new foster chicken.

Meet Goldie my new foster chicken.

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Just remember! I was there FIRST!

 Don’t worry Daisy.  You can NEVER be replaced in my heart.  Now go keep an eye on Claude.  Buffy looks hungry!

More on Goldie tomorrow.  It seems like I am forever destined to be the “Chicken Lady”.

🙂

Tina’s Paradise

While I was home last month for my mom’s birthday party, I took the opportunity to visit a high school pal who has a beautiful farm.  Tina was raised in the country, and her whole family farmed, raised animals, participated in 4-H and rodeo.  She and her sisters wore hats and boots to school when the rest of us were just playing Urban Cowboy.

I still have the hat.

I still have the hat.

She was a very smart cookie and graduated 2nd in our class.

Right behind THIS loser!  Hi Roy! :)

Right behind THIS loser! Hi Roy! 🙂

Tina and I ran in different circles in High School.  She was a hard-working, good girl who knew what was important for her future and I…wasn’t.

Quite possibly the only photo in existence of Debbie & Tina. I'm background right turned away from the camera FOR ONCE!

Quite possibly the only photo in existence of Debbie & Tina. I’m background right turned away from the camera FOR ONCE!

This was “Hillbilly Day” and we all had on our overalls, straw hats and blacked-out teeth. (No offense to any hillbilly readership!)  In the back LEFT of the photo is a future Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader!  Hi Cynthia! 🙂

Tina met her sweetheart at a 4-H event when she was in middle school and married him shortly after high school graduation.  Tina’s daddy insisted that she go to college before she was married, but this plan didn’t suit my friend, so she did the next best thing.  She married Jeff and THEN went to college.  The young couple had three boys in rapid succession, (Jeff jokes that his mojo is so powerful he only had to walk by his bride to get her in the family way!) and all three grew into strapping young men.

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All three handsome, college educated and SINGLE! What’s wrong with this picture???

They all graduated from college and moved back to work the farm and manage the many other family businesses.

And two of them moonlight as Super Heroes!

And two of them moonlight as Super Heroes!

I asked Tina and Jeff to tell me all about their various businesses but the list got so long, I’ll just say that THESE PEOPLE ARE VERY, VERY BUSY!  The brothers help with all the Dickens’ enterprises, and I recently became interested in an event that happened on the Lazy D farm.  One of B. J.’s cows gave birth to twins.  She got sick and was unable to nurse them, so the whole family got involved in keeping the babies alive until a surrogate moooooommy could be found.  It was hard work, but the twins soon got a reluctant mom to come nurse them. The B’game family visited on a very nice sunny day and were treated to a great lunch, a tour of the farm and some fun walks down memory lane.

B. J. Cousin Connor & Chase.  Brother Corey was absent this day.

B. J. Cousin Connor & Chase. Brother Corey was absent this day.

The goofy one on the left is my offspring.  I’ve joked with Tina for many years that she has a very nice bachelor farm; and I’m only HALF joking when I say that I’d be happy if one of them called me maw-in-law.  🙂

Hannah got to pet a baby cow!  I hear they're actually called "calves".

Hannah got to pet a baby cow! I hear they’re actually called “calves”.

B. J. said this lady was not too happy being recruited as a milk supply at first.

B. J. said this lady was not too happy being recruited as a milk supply at first.

Later on, she got into the job and became a very nice adoptive mom.

Later on, she got into the job and became a very nice adoptive mom.

My hat is off to B. J. and the whole Dickens crew.  What a lot of work!

My hat is off to B. J. and the whole Dickens crew. What a lot of work!

I have a feeling that Tina never gets bored with these three “ne’re do wells” about.

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Her husband Jeff is no mud-fence himself, and I can tell that Tina still likes her “manly-man” of 31 years.

Although he is certainly not afraid to explore his feminine side!

Although he is certainly not afraid to explore his feminine side!

I really loved Tina’s tricked-out greenhouse and garden shed that Jeff built for her.  It looks like a little playhouse.

You really should paint this pink Tina.  I hear it's all the rage.

You really should paint this pink Tina. I hear it’s all the rage.

Again, thanks Tina and to the Dickens clan for showing us around.  I graduated with a weird and wonderful group of kids from Dear Old PHS back in 1981 and I could actually write a blog post on all of them and never run out of material.  (OK, 96 posts anyway)  You really don’t realize who the “cool ones” are/were until you get old what an idiot you were back then.  Thanks for the hospitality Tina, and for being one of the coolest.–Deb

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One DICKENS of a family.

Peep Show

Now get your mind out of the gutter!  I’m talking about baby chicks! 🙂

We went home last weekend to celebrate my mom’s 74th birthday.

Homecoming Queen PHS 1959

Homecoming Queen PHS 1959

Mom lost an eye to disease many years ago, so she wears her “Cool Rays” indoors and out.  I think it gives her a mysterious hipness to which I can only aspire.  Over 40 family members attended the party given by my sister “Bob” (long story) and a great time was had by all.

As always, when I go home, I am witness to the new and weird adventures of my 81-year-old daddy.  I told him to try to look “legendary” and this is the result.

Guess who gave him this shirt?

Guess who gave him this shirt?

Dashing Naval Aviator who stole the Pegster's heart and dragged her from Small-Town Mississippi to GUAM, and promptly began production of yours truly.  :)

Dashing Naval Aviator who stole the Pegster’s heart and dragged her from Small-Town Mississippi to GUAM, and promptly began production of yours truly. 1962

So, here’s the baby chick part…

Jim and I were sitting in bed at Peg & Bill’s casa drinking coffee and discussing important matters,  (Did you remember to bring the camera?  No, I told YOU to pack it!) when all of a sudden, Daddy appeared before us with two peeping handfuls of cuteness.

I had to wash this pillow case later.

I had to wash this pillow case later.

These are his miniature BB Red chicks that he hatched in a spare bedroom and were now living with their siblings in a homemade brooder he invented from cardboard and a heat lamp.

As usual they prefer Jim.

As usual they prefer Jim.

I herded them back to my pillow for some "mommy" time.

I herded them back to my pillow for some “mommy” time.

This is our little "chick", holding a chick.

This is our little “chick”, holding a chick.

The whole family has tried to discourage Daddy from hatching any more babies, but he will not be persuaded.  He loves hatching the eggs in his incubator and watching them grow in the brooder until he can take them to the barn to join the ever-growing flock.  Although this may sound morbid, Daddy has discussed his wishes for the chickens when he passes to the great coop in the sky.  I’ve been given the name of a farmer who will come get Daddy’s birds and raise them in a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.  I’m pretty sure he hasn’t planned as well for his human offspring, but this is none of our concern. (Or so I’m told)

I will tell you that it took all of my self-control not to bring these two little pecker-heads back with me.  They are miniature versions so they would take up very little room in my back yard, but I couldn’t be sure that one or both weren’t roosters so I couldn’t chance it.  Plus I haven’t forgotten the wrath of the grouchy neighbor who had an aversion to urban chickens.  Sigh.

I did not return home empty-handed, however!

EGG-cellent!

EGG-cellent!