Friday, January 01, 2021

It's 2021 (and nothing much has changed)

I've been hearing freezing rain and sleet on the windows ever since I got up at 3 AM.  It's 5:30 now.  I wish it were snow, because snow doesn't usually make me worry that we'll lose electricity, which at our house means no water, no lights, no flushing... and all that goes with that.  Nine times out of ten, it doesn't happen, or else the outage is brief enough that it doesn't affect us much.  We shall see.

The first thing I must tell you is that my "dead" hen was somewhere in the chicken house very much alive; last night I went out thinking to collect one egg and found two hens and two eggs... and of course, the useless rooster.  I swear I looked in every corner of their small section of the chicken house, including on the nest.  The only thing I can figure out is that she somehow got around the canvas curtain that keeps them out of the south half the chicken house and spent the night there;  Cliff had put up a canvas to keep the chickens out of the junk he has stored there.

About neighbors and killer dogs:  My past has taught me that one does not want to start a feud with the neighbors; no good ever comes of it; now if they were to hurt Gabe or me, I would definitely do something about it.  

The lady of the house over there breeds German Shepherds; most of the time, all of them but one are in kennels.  Once a day, for a couple of hours in the evening (same time I let the chickens out), they are turned loose.  A couple of them run over to the timber at the back of our property and chase deer, which means no hunters will find any deer around, because they've been chased out daily.  The grandson did tell the neighbors about that, and the lady simply said, "Yep, that's what they do."

I wish they'd do it on their own property.

So that tells me she doesn't care and has no plans to change anything.  If another hen had been killed yesterday, I was planning to simply give the hen away and have Cliff kill the rooster (nobody wants a rooster... they're everywhere).  I only let them run free for an hour or so in the evening, and I wouldn't have to do that, but they're so HAPPY when they get a little freedom, and that makes me happy; if we built a pen, they'd eat all the grass and it would only be bare dirt yard; oh, they'd have fun scratching for bugs, but they do love to eat grass and white clover, which makes the yolks of the eggs a bright, healthy orange.  

Meanwhile, I'm thankful my two pet hens are alive.  Take that, 2020!

Oh, but 2020 had a last laugh on me when I went to the mailbox.  There was a bill from St. Mary's Hospital mailed to Cliff, saying he owed $14,145.85 for a surgery done in October 19, 2019.  The last surgery he had at St. Mary's was in 2013 when he spent eight days there after his gall bladder exploded.  I tried to call them, but it was New Year's Eve.  So, no luck with that.  I did a search on my blog to find out what we were doing October 19, 2019:  We were on a bus trip with our tractor club.  And that, by the way, is one of the perks of having a blog.

I've had a lot of Topsy's popcorn the past three weeks:  the oldest granddaughter always gets us a can of it with half caramel and half cheese.  We were just finishing that can when our daughter brought us another, bigger can, half caramel and half cheese again.  That one wasn't quite empty when, on Christmas Day, Cliff brought in a can of Topsy's with nothing but cheese popcorn in it, because that's usually the kind I pig out on.  It still tastes good to me, but please, people, no more until next Christmas!

So as I was eating some of my cheese popcorn last night, Blue-the-cat started getting friendly with me.

Never mind my little mess.  I TOLD you I was a slob.  Sometimes I crop stuff like that out (true confession), but I couldn't do it with these shots.  I'm just being real here, as Pioneer Woman used to say before her sponsors made her take all the good stuff out of her blog.

This is as close as Blue got to it.  I kept saying "no", and he finally backed off.  

I like to read through the Bible every year.  I have three translations, or versions, of the One-Year Bible.  That gives me some Old Testament, some New Testament, a Psalm, and a proverb each day.  If one portion of my daily reading doesn't inspire me, a different portion will.  Last year I read the New International Version; this year I'm going back to my roots and reading the King James Version.

I'm still learning to right with my left hand.  When I can't think of anything else to practice on, I write down a good portion of my daily Bible reading; today I chose the first Psalm.  Here's how that looked:

I hope all of us have a wonderful year.  I'm thankful no chicken died yesterday, and also that we don't owe a hospital even $10.

We've made it to another year!  

I leave you with a video from Tipper, of Blind Pig and the Acorn.  It's pretty long, but you should at least listen to a minute or two of it to hear her lovely southern accent.  She is the woman who sent me the ring made from a fifty-cent piece.


  1. I don't read Pioneer Woman, but her sponsors made her take good stuff out of her blog? What? My cat loves anything cheesy! I'm glad your chicken is alive-good news.

    1. Her blog was very entertaining and funny. She has a new book out, "Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere". I'm on the hold list at the library, but I'm hoping against hope the book has some of the stories that got taken out of her blog.

  2. Northern AB gal12:56 PM

    Wow, that's a lot packed into one blog post. First, so glad your hen was safe. Cannot believe the attitude of your neighbors. I'd be awfully tempted to lay in wait with some kind of deterrent when they strayed on my property. We lucked out when we moved here, our closest neighbor is a bachelor and doesn't get much company. Unfortunately, he has Parkinson's and has sold his quarter to his nephew with the stipulation that he can live there as long as he is able. Hopefully that will be a little while longer. Once the nephew moves in the activity level will go up! Popcorn and Blue story made me smile. Cannot believe how well you can write with your left hand! I listened to Tipper's video, very interesting. We went to many "watch" services growing up. We were always told, "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise". I go to bed early these days but seemed to be getting up later every year, especially during the winter when it stays dark till at least 8 AM. I'm disappointed at the direction that Pioneer Woman has gone, so very seldom go to her website. Sometimes it is hard to dispute the saying, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, especially this past year. Not bitter, just calling it as I see it, lol.
    Stay safe and healthy and keep on blogging!

    1. I don't bother reading Ree's blog either. But boy, before the books and then the TV show, she was so funny... and REAL.

    2. Northern AB gal2:48 PM

      I was not aware that her sponsors were whitewashing her posts. Sad. Money talks I guess. Like you, I was in from the beginning and it was entertaining back then.

  3. I'm not much into feuding with neighbors, most definitely, but I'm an "animal person"... which means I like animals more than most people I've met in my lifetime (present company excluded! xoxo). Plus... if a neighbor lets their German Shepherds loose, to wander onto other people's land and kill the animals found there, then the chances are good I wouldn't care about being friendly with them in the first place. Besides, I work very stealthy! Those neighbors would never know where their dogs went. If they asked me I would say I never saw them! >:-) *haha* Spoken like a true animal rescuer, by the way. Much love & many wishes for a wonderful new year~ Andrea xoxo

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Northern AB gal2:54 PM

      Donna, in the meantime have you thought about carrying pepper spray. I carry it always around here in case of bears or grumpy moose, lol, but I don't take it off when I go to town in case we run in to some "sketchy" dogs off leash when I walk him there. He loves trips to town and walks along the paths so he can check for "pee mail", it's the highlight of his week :). Do you have a cattle prod left over from your cow days? That might work if they got close enough.

    3. Thanks for the idea! I will get pepper spray.

  4. I would be tempted to put a rope on their collars and tie them to a nearby tree to keep them away from my chickens and Blue.If the neighbor said anything I would tell them I was protecting my chickens

    1. At least one of the dogs is very threatening sometimes. He sees me and Gabe at the chicken house, which is right by the fence of their property, and has several times come over growling in a very threatening way. He nipped at Gabe once, but as far as I could tell, didn't break the skin. I have a feeling if you tried to get a rope on one, you'd get bitten.

  5. I too loved Pioneer woman, but it has changed so much anymore. My daughter gave me her new book for Christmas. I haven't started it yet.
    your left handed writing is improving so much. wow! My mom, brother, niece and now my grandson are all left handed. I always wanted to be too and tried but couldn't begin to even read what it said.
    I would not be happy with those dogs coming at me and chasing my chickens, dog or the deer. It is illegal in MN for dogs to chase deer and the owner can be fined. However, I am happy your chicken was "re-incarnated" haha! Wendy


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