About Me

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

In a year's time

I have learned some things about poultry and I have learned some things about myself.

First the birds:
  • Hens, I have learned, can be quite particular about their brooding grounds. The anticipation of those first eggs...
  • Even though they tend to poop where they eat and sleep - they have a fine appreciation for cleanliness/fresh hay.  
  • They like the rain.
  • They put themselves to bed before it gets dark.
  • Hens like to chase and eat bugs - and they are good at it!
  • They like me best when I am holding food.
and now, me:
  • When I put my mind to it, I can stay on topic - mostly.
  • This blog has been and hopefully will continue to be a good creative outlet.
  • My photos have better quality when I take them with Aaron's fancy camera takes rather than my "Ah, it's good enough" camera.
  • Amazingly, I was able to keep pretty upbeat or at least neutral topics. (i.e. I didn't use my creative outlet as an outlet to deal with annoyances or irritations {i.e. I didn't b*tch.})
  • I prefer to "farm" in mild temperatures, in the daylight, when it is not raining and there are few mosquitoes.
  • I have grown more and more hesitant to order eggs out at a restaurant.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks my first year with Kathy and Eleanore.
Happy Anniversary, Ladies!
Thanks for all of your hard work.

When I went up to the coop this morning to deliver their anniversary cards, this is what I got in return.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tragic Comedy or Comic Tragedy?

A couple years ago, Aaron invited Dave to come live at our house. For a while Dave was greeted on a regular basis when we returned home, " 'Sup, Dave?!" or "Dave! How's it going?" and once in a while upon our departure, "See ya later, Dave."

Through the years Dave just didn't have the same luster and shine that he used to. None the less, Dave remained.

Last night I went to water some plants on the front porch and came across Dave. Not an unusual place to find him, but he wasn't looking very good.

If anyone is having trouble with the fact that our lawn gnome was named, you probably didn't watch David the Gnome during your youth.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sunday's Visitor

With the pitchfork in hand I headed up to the coop to perform a hay exchange. A dark shadow in the brush behind the coop caught my attention. I was ready to take on this demon if need be. After all, I was armed. I think it started to approach me first. I paused. And then the demon wagged its tail. I pat my hand on my thigh and the happy creature came over for some lovin'.
I noticed how skinny she was and how old and tattered her collar looked. So back down the hill I went with a friend in tow. I got her a bowl of food and POOF! it was empty. She hung around for a little while while I tended to the chickens. She was very interested in my small flock.

When I was finished I called the number on her lone tag. The operator there called the owner. No answer. At this point the two of us are hanging out on the front porch. There may or may not have been bones involved. A couple of hours later the owner called us and said that Skinny Minnie here was not actually her dog. She had found her as a stray, kept her for a little while and then gave her to a foster. The foster kept her for a little while until she found a more permanent home.

After an early afternoon of phone tag and a calm evening with (newly dubbed) Roxy resting in the living room with Charlie - the what-ifs crept in.

What if we don't find her owner?  What if she was abandoned?  What if I fed her too much today?  What do we do with her tomorrow while we are at work?  Are we ready for a second dog? More importantly does Charlie want another dog? If we take her to the vet and don't adopt her will we still be charged?

After dinner I took some recyclables to the new bin and Roxy was right on my heels on the way out of the house. She decided to go meet the neighbors. Then all of the sudden runs down to the street while 2 cars are passing. (This rarely happens.) I said a 4 letter word in front of my neighbor and his kid - Sorry!- then chased after the little black dog. One of the cars stops and the driver side door opens...

(At this point a lot of thoughts are going through my mind and I am probably being unfair and extremely judgemental so I'll just say...)

Hoppy was reunited with her lady and Sir Charles still has sole reign of the kingdom.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Doing our part

...with the cart. The City of Knoxville has decided to let 20,000 households sign up for free curbside recycling. (There are still around 3000 carts available - click the link!)


When I first heard the news I was very excited. Last week when our giant "cart" arrived (it is more like a garbage can, but bigger) my excitement was renewed.

For the past three years or so, Aaron and I have been above average recyclers. Admittedly, sometimes we got lazy and the collections in our homemade bins would overflow, and recyclables would hit the regular ol' kitchen wastebasket.  It really is amazing how much waste can be recycled. At our recycling highs, we would hardly have enough trash to take down to the street each week. But for the most part, we did well and made trips to the nearest recycling center every so often.

But now... the recycling center is coming to us!

Would it surprise you if I told you I had a song for this post?

Re Re Re Re Re Re Cy cle
Re Re Re Re Re Re use it
No No Do not trash it
No No Don't abuse it!

I cannot take credit for that lyrical genius. I learned that from a man named Ray Cycle. He wore green tights and a matching green cape. Here is a little sumpin' sumpin' about him  Recycling Superhero Zaps Trash With Song

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do Spoiled Chickens Make Rotten Eggs?

Last night on my way home from work I had to stop by Tractor Supply. Instead of walking straight back to the 50 lb bags of layer pellet, I perused. I looked at some clothes and boots, books and magazines, feeders and traps... and then I came across treats. Treats for my chickens. I debated between the pecking block and a bag of mixed seed. The pecking block is basically 20 lbs of mixed seed stuck together in the form of a cube.

I picked it up.
I put it down.
I picked it up again and read the label.
I made a "hmmmn" face.
I put it down.
I picked up the bag of mixed seed.
I made a slightly different "hmmmn" face.
I walked around the aisle and heaved the 50 lbs of pellet into my arms.

This morning Kathy and Eleanore were treated to a delicious breakfast of mixed seeds and vegetables.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This weekend I ran in the Firefighters 5k in Sweetwater, TN.  This year, on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the goal for the race was to have 1 runner for each of the 343 FDNY members who gave their lives.  I shared my bib number with Jose Guadalupe. I did not know him. Today I know a little more about him, though only through what was shared about him after his death.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chinese Lanterns

Last Saturday I went with my mom (and my dog) to Ijams for a wildflower walk. It was put on by Knoxville Parks and Rec. I learned a few names of flowers and weeds that I didn't know before and also solved the mystery of the plant residing where my carrots should be.

Chinese Lanterns.

I don't think they are very drought resistant. But, if they did survive the dry spell followed by a gully washer, they might continue to ripen and turn red. After that the pod will kind of deteriorate into a lace that surrounds a red ball.

I wish I took these last two pictures. But I didn't. Google Image Search didn't either, but that is where I found them. (I have gotten really lazy about credit where its due. My apologies well deserving artists!)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life is just a bowl of cherries

Or in this case, cherry tomatoes.

Last week Charlie and I were on a walk around the neighborhood and we met one of our neighbors for the first time. She asked if I wanted some tomatoes, that the rain had knocked down her plants... (which seemed odd last week because we actually haven't had any rain for weeks on end until just this past Saturday) anyway I could come back around and she would have some picked for me.

Charlie and I continued on our walk and I thought about what I could do with 4 or 5 tomatoes.

What I should have been thinking about was what I could do with 4 or 5 pounds of tomatoes. Roberta had a produce bag full for me, enough to fill my second largest mixing bowl.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Action! (trying again)

I am experiencing some technical difficulties. In the end though, I suppose it doesn't really matter - I mean, I am filming chickens, and talking with them. My interview skills among foul could use a little work though.

Lights Camera...

Sorry, No action. At least not yet. Apparently I uploaded the video from my camera onto the computer and failed to download to the Picasa album...

But maybe you are curious how the hair fixing is going? Maybe? Anyone?
Well, I haven't resorted to an unkept pony tail yet.
Here is a sneak peak (on a day I remembered to take a picture!)

Seriously? I didn't get that one moved over either?!  You'd think it was Monday.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Self Imposed September Challenge

This photo - courtesy of Glenn Myers - has inspired me to do something about my mane.

I wear a pony tail for some portion of every day. Sometimes it hangs from the center, sometimes it sits over one shoulder. Most of the time, it doesn't contain all of my hair, as detailed here with the whispies at my forehead, ears and neck.

In my defense for this particular shot... It was early. I mean EARL-Y when I got ready for this event (Storm the Fort Tri). Somehow though, I feel like this is probably how disheveled I look on a regular basis, regardless of waking hour or race day. (Feel free to keep any comments to yourself unless its a complement. Self realization, even in terms of vanity, can be kind of a doozy.)

So here is my challenge for myself:
Every day for the month of September I shall attempt to fix my hair in a manner appropriate for the place I am going. (I'm not ruling out pony tails all together. I'm starting to get serious about running again.)

Attempt is the key word though. I don't have a lot of hand-eye-mirror coordination, nor do I have a lot of product knowledge to achieve or maintain desired look. I'm going to try though and eventually reveal my results through pictures taken along the way.

Wish me luck!