Chickens in the Basement

I love to write and I love to laugh. When I write, I get to the point quick. My stories would fit on the back of a postcard. They usually make me chuckle. And you know what they say, "It's all about me!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh, Faux Pas!

Today, the boys and I went to the mall for haircuts, dinner and shoe shopping. After finishing up at the mall, we were heading back to the car. Going up the escalator in Belk's, Rick asked where we were going next. I nearly fell off the escalator when "Dickless" came out of my mouth. I was not speaking quietly, either. The guy we were passing in the opposite direction looked at me in stunned disbelief because I was speaking to my children in such a crude fashion. I must have looked pretty stunned, too, because I couldn't believe I had said it either! I burst into embarrassed laughter (also not quiet), which progressed to snorts and tears. Rick was the only one who heard me (other than the poor man on the down escalator). Obviously, Will wanted to know what was so funny. Since "dickless" is not in my daily vocabulary, I couldn't say it again. Rick was thrilled to do so. I continued to laugh through the parking lot, into the car, out of the mall parking lot and into the parking lot at DICK'S. Will reprimanded me over and over. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to maintain my composure when the man in the shoe department asked if he could help us. I promise, I did not call him dickless, but I sure did think it!

You'll be glad to know that no photos will accompany this blip from my daily life!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Blonde Moment

I told my Mom, aunts and cousin about the conversation Kim and I had and my lack of understanding her analogy of vision loss. All 4 of them thought the same thing I did. How does her brain know it is 9:00. Blonde-ness is inherited! By the way, none of us have blonde hair!

Another Bird Story

The hummingbirds are coming in pairs now. They survived the snap frost last week. Within a few weeks, they will be having sword fights over our table on the back porch, trying to keep all others away. One hummingbird really needs to drink 2 cups of sugar water all by himself.

Talking Dirty!

Tony read my post about the nasty toilets in our house. It dawned on him that he was rather tired of our plunger-required toilets. As fate would have it, a plumber came in to his office the same day, and Tony told him about our dilemma. The plumber told him about a toilet that complies with the water conservation laws, but has a wider hole to "allow a football to pass." The plumber's words, not mine! It will be installed in the next few weeks. Yea!

Diet Coke Rules!

It has been three weeks since I started drinking two cups of water before I'm allowed to have a Diet Coke. While I have cut back on the number of Diet Cokes I drink each day, there is another advantage, too. Before, I would get up 3 to 5 times every night to pee, usually only a cap-full, but the urge was enough to wake me up. I noticed earlier this week that I have been sleeping through the night without any bathroom trips by the light of the television.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Babies!

With just 3 hens, Ruby, Cora Bell, and Shakira, and 1 rooster, Skippy, I figured it's about time to add to the brood. The Girls are 2 years old, Skippy is 6 months. The Girls are not patient with Skippy. They won't snuggle with him at night. They huddle at one end of the perch and Skippy sits at the other end all alone. If Skippy tries to move in once The Girls are asleep, whoever is on the end surprises him and pushes him off the perch.

I think I have figured out the meaning of hen pecked. Before moving into the hen house, Skippy was living in a birdcage in my garage. Every morning, he would wake Riley Dog up bright and early with his adolescent cock-a-doodle-doo. He moved in with the girls a few months ago and immediately ceased making any noise. I imagine he cranked up the first morning in the hen house with his wake-up song and The Girls immediately grabbed him by his boy parts (his wattles! Get your head out of the gutter!), and told him, "Don't ever do that again!" So far, he hasn't.

Over the last 2 weeks, I have heard Skippy cock-a-doodling in the front yard. When I looked out to confirm it was him, I noticed The Girls under the bird feeder eating leftovers. Skippy was hiding under the bushes under the window, cutting loose! When he was done, he quietly returned to the girls.

Whew! That was a long explanation leading up to my decision to get some new babies! Brother Dave had gotten some fertilized Aracana eggs and had them in his incubator. Thinking that Skippy needs some Young Chicks to hang out with and not knowing when The Girls' chicken ovaries quit making eggs, I asked for a few samples. Brother Dave sent me 8 chicks in a box when my Mom came for a visit last week. They are adorable!

Riley Dog spent 30 minutes hanging over the box staring at the babies. I'm not sure if he was thinking "Aww! How cute!" or "Yum! Chicken nuggets!" I was proud of him for not reaching into the box for a sampling!

Until they are big enough to hop up on the perch, they will live in the basement under a heat lamp until then! I'm taking bets on how many of these chicks are roosters. My record has not been good. Out of the 15 eggs The Girls have hatched, only 3 have been hens. I am guessing 6 out of the 8 will be boys...and that is optimistic!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blonde Moment

My friend Kim called today. We were talking about a friend who, at age 35, had a stroke most likely caused by birth control pills and smoking. She lost vision from 9 to 12. As we continued talking, I was trying to figure out how her brain knew what time it was. When I asked for clarification, Kim very sweetly said, "No honey. It's like the hands on a clock. Where the numbers from 9 to 12 on a clock would be, she can't see anything." Kim tried hard not to laugh at her stupid friend. No hope for me! I blew a snort through my nose!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


While moving a small piece of liriope out to a garden bed in the yard, I stumbled across the snake I saw yesterday. Sadly, when he was looking up at me from the ground, he was telling me that I had run him over with the lawn mower. It seems I exaggerated a little in my post yesterday. He was probably no wider than a pencil and maybe 12 inches long. However, parts of him were missing. I think he shrank in death, sort of like the Wicked Witch of the West when a bucket of soapy water was thrown on her. Riding lawn mowers have that effect on snakes!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Afternoon in the Garden of Good and Evil

Yesterday, I wrote about my favorite sign that spring is coming. My hummingbirds are hitting the feeders about 5 times a day while I'm looking. No telling how often they come when I'm not looking. With all of that excitement, it never occurred to me that my least favorite thing comes out in spring, too.

With the weather absolutely perfect today, I have painted furniture, dug a trench by my garden bed, hauled away the dirt, flattened the tire on my wheelbarrow, moved a Daphne plant from one location to another, pruned dead sections off of shrubs and cut the grass. It was while I was cutting the grass that I broke out in a cold sweat. It happens every time!

There in the grass, in the section I had just cut, was a snake, it's head just above the grass, it's body as big around as my ring finger, and long enough to loop around on himself a couple of times. I'm not sure if he was running from me or if I had already done the running (over top of him). All I know is I wasn't hanging out to get a better look or making a run for my camera so I could post a photo of him! These photos were borrowed from Google!

I made myself stay outside after I saw him, sort of like getting back on the horse that threw you, but every time I dug up and earthworm or a root sprang free of the ground, I was ready with my shovel to chop and run.

Before you shoot me a nasty e-mail on the merits of snakes, I know, I know! They keep mice away; they do all kinds of great things for your yard, etc. etc. I don't kill them (on purpose), I just don't like them!

Where are my hummingbirds when I need them?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Another Bird Story

Yesterday, I bought three new hummingbird feeders. I just couldn't get the old ones clean. Plus, some sugar-buzzed raccoon had broken off most of the little perches while sloppily drinking the contents on my front porch! I hadn't seen any of the speedy creatures yet, but wanted to beat them to the punch. In years past, they show up before I'm ready and stare at me through my kitchen window with that desperate "I need a fix" look. I mixed my potent brew--equal parts of water and sugar--and searched my cabinet for red food dye. No luck! I figured I would give it a try since folks have told me in the past that the dye really isn't needed.

I put one feeder on the front porch and one on the back. Then, I waited, and waited, and...No hummers! Off to Food Lion this morning for taco fixings and red food dye.

Trying to add red food dye to feeders that have already been flipped is not a neat and easy project. I thought I was gently flipping it upside down, only to have sticky sugar water all over the counter, sink, floor, and me! With both feeders eventually a bright red and free of sugar water on the outside, I put them back on the porches.

Not even ten minutes later, I glanced out my kitchen window to see my first bright green, red-throated male hummingbird. I think those tiny, hyperactive helicopters really do like red!

Spring really is on its way! YEAH!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Welcome to the Neighborhood?

There is an unusual phenomenon that occurs every year in the Bayleaf area of Raleigh. Behind the Fire Department is a water tower. On top of the water tower, turkey vultures roost for about a month out of every year. When at their peak, there look to be hundreds of these large birds hanging out up there. By April, most have already left the area, but a few can still be seen at the top of the water tower. Have a look at the photo...My boys and I have had an on-going discussion about how much bird poop is piled under the tower. Surprisingly, I saw very little. Maybe the fire department hoses down the area regularly?

The weird thing...these vultures have started roosting lower. They perch on the stone entrance to George's Glen, a new subdivision still under construction. I have seen them roosting twice, both days were rainy and overcast. Double dreary!

Today, there were 8 vultures sitting on the stone wall on the right of the entrance and one sitting on a post to the left of the entrance. I saw no dead animals that might have drawn them to the area. Maybe the birds are predicting the Addams Family or the Munsters are moving to the neighborhood.

This is a close-up of one of the turkey vultures. he is looking back over his shoulder. Their faces have an eerie prehistoric look.
Ya'll know I love my birds, but these fellas gave me the creeps!