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!"

Friday, April 30, 2010

Melvin PeepPeep Speck Spike

My new baby...Ooops! Shakira's new baby is such a cutey! He stays right beside Shakira. They spent hours kicking up hay and pecking bugs! Yum! While they were snacking, I took the opportunity to remove the other 6 eggs that didn't hatch. She didn't seem bothered by this.

Later in the day, I stumbled across a pile of eggs in the bushes. I think Chrissy and Ruby had been stockpiling their eggs together. I moved the pile of eggs to the henhouse...19 in all.

Cora Bell has no desire to be a mother.

Tonight, when I went back to the henhouse to make sure everyone was tucked in and safe, I found Miss Shakira perched on top of that pile of 19 eggs. Melvin PeepPeep Speck Spike was snuggled beside her peeping happily.

Ruby is the smallest but the toughest!

Several of you asked how Shakira got her name. When I first got chickens, I waited until they were older to name them. That way, I knew if they were boys or girls and knew a little about their personalities. Cora Bell was a dingy chick from the get-go. She was named after a girl I knew in high school. Ruby got her name because of her red feathers. Plus, she's a spitfire! If she could have a sex change, she'd be completely happy as a rooster! The song by Shakira was out at the time. We were singing it all the time. I imagined Shakira as being somewhat aloof and unflappable. Hence, Shakira got her name.

Shakira is a gorgeous black with green highlights!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Posted Too Soon

After I posted yesterday, I walked out to the henhouse to check on the girls. When I opened the door, this is what I saw. Cora is such a good buddy to Shakira, but if she were required to sit on a pile of eggs, she wouldn't make it more than 12 hours! Not a mothering bone in her body!

On the floor in the corner sat Shakira. She has been in this dang blue box for 26 days!
And, what did I see peeping at me from under Shakira's wing?

This cute little fellow! He's so little!

Can you tell how small he is?

I introduced him to water and he had his first snack. Shakira feasted on my hand!

These are the remaining six eggs still in the nest. They have until Saturday...

On the way to the dump this morning, I didn't even make it out of my driveway before I had to stop and take a photo. This cardinal jumped from one chicken head to another.

And this guy was on the windshield of my truck. I guess I need to clean my window since you can't see the garage door through all the scuzz! He hung on for nearly a half a mile!
NOTE: Did you notice I'm already calling this cute little chick HIM? I didn't realize I was doing that until I re-read the post! Does anybody have a good name for this cutey?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Natural Bird Houses

The chickens have been loving this wonderful weather...all but Cora Bell and Shakira! Shakira is still sitting on eggs that should have started to hatch last Saturday. Cora Bell is keeping her company. Skippy is out feasting on bugs, grubs and grass! I suspect the girls are glad to have him out of the house! I'm giving Shakira until Saturday. If no eggs hatch by then, I'll take the eggs from under her. Poor girl! A month of hope and faith!

My Siberian Irises are blooming! Valerie, these are the seeds I sent you. The photo has made them bluer than they really are. Regardless, they are beautiful!

I've been cleaning out gourds this week and preparing them to turn into birdhouses. These are bushel basket gourds. The can get much bigger than this. My friend, Beverly, makes the coolest bowls out of these! She grew the large one and gave it to me. I think the smaller one came from the Farmer's Market.

I think these are my favorite. They are Apple Gourds. Although, if these were apples, they would feed me for a week! These came from the Farmer's Market, too.

These are Amish Birdhouse Gourds. I grew these in the cemetery last summer. They have been piled in bowls and baskets on my front porch waiting to dry out. Once they were dry, I spent a morning scrubbing off the mold. And, viola! A birdhouse ready for a nest!

Now, I have so many seeds, I don't know what to do with them all! I plan to plant some more in the cemetery this summer, but if I plant all of them, I'm afraid it will look like Kudzu is taking over! So, if anyone would like some of the seeds, let me know which kind you want and I'll send them to you.

Happy Spring!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What Do You Think?

A couple of months ago, I bought a truck load of old barn wood. Tony has all of the equipment to make picture frames. My plan was to get him to teach me how to make frames. I would pick up vintage prints and make very rustic frames for them.

The sun worked against me and the print on this photo, but the frame looks really good. I like the nail holes, knots and age of the wood.

Here's a better photo of the print.

This hummingbird bee is a page from an old book. I love the graphics. I think this frame and print is my favorite so far.

This is a square frame with a crusty old mirror in it. It's hard to get a photo of a mirror to show the details.

So, what do you think?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beauty...Even in Death

My favorite moth is the Luna Moth. I had never seen one of these beauties until the boys and I were out for a walk one day and I found one clutching the side of a curb. Thinking that it would get stepped on, I picked it up with plans of taking it to a bush where it would be safer. Instead, my presence frightened the creature and he took to the air. Within seconds, a huge crow came from nowhere, clamped its beak over the body of the green moth and sent its glow-in-the-dark wings fluttering to the ground. I was mortified! I had assisted in the murder of this beautiful creature.

Luna Moth (pre-murder)
One of my favorite artists!

As it turns out, I now live in a house that is where Luna Moths come to die. They are attracted to the security lights behind our house. Every morning, I find at least 4 wing parts. I don't know if it's bats or some other night creature that finds these moths so tasty.

Here's my dilemma. I find these beautiful wings in the back yard. They are so pretty, I can't just leave them to rot. I have been saving them in a ziploc baggie. I have no idea what to do with them! Does anybody use these wings as a craft? Rachel at Two Dog Pond, could you use them between two pieces of glass as a pendant? Anybody? I'll send them to anyone who thinks they can use them.
Pile of Post Murder Wings

Upper Wings

Lower Wings...Love their tails!

If you can use these, leave a comment and I'll get in touch with you about mailing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chinese, Cheesecake and Cats, Woohoo!

Tonight, we got together with my mom and niece to celebrate April birthdays...
Will, Rick and Mom. We meet in the middle between Wake Forest and Nashville in Bunn. The choice is pizza or Chinese. Both are take-out restaurants with a couple of tables in them. We had Chinese tonight. Yum!

We had a great view of the Family Dollar from the restaurant!
My cute niece, Erica, brought cheesecake for dessert. My dorky boy goofed up this photo!

Mom is a cat lady. Her cat, Samson, hates me! Take a cat to the vet just one time and he never forgets! If I walk behind him, he lets out one of those low, guttural growls. If I scratch him on his head, he swings one of his de-clawed (thank God) paws at me and hits hard enough to leave a bruise. Actually, I think the only person Samson likes is Mom.

For her birthday, Mom got three well behaved, non-growling, no shedding, vintage McCoy kitty planters!
With sedums and cactuses in place as tales, I think they are awfully cute!

Although, this one is slightly obscene.

And, instead of a tail, this one seems to be spraying green leaves towards the coffee pot.
Good thing Mom's brain doesn't reside in the gutter like her daughter's...until she reads my blog!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Favorite Rock

We have trails down the hill in our back yard. In one of the darkest sections of the woods is this huge rock. Seeing the striations in the rock makes me think this rock has been in my backyard since the dinosaurs roamed there, too.

Even with a trickle of light through the trees, flowers still manage to grow.

No dirt, just cracks and crevices.

Yet something small and delicate and pretty still grows!

This is why I was walking in the woods! Somebody had to hold the camera!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Atomic Reminders!

This morning, when I got home from yard saling (nothing to brag about), I found a huge box on the front porch that had been left by the FedEx guy! Since Riley Dog had gone yard saling with me, the FedEx guy must have been comfortable leaving the box on my porch instead of throwing out of his moving truck! Don't know what I'm talking about? Click on FedEx guy!

But, I digress! Inside that huge box was this smaller box.

Inside this box was a fabulous atomic style vase! I won it in a giveaway from Leah at Storybook Ranch! I immediately ran to the yard and cut a pile of my orange azaleas. Their stems are long, so they really look good in this vase.

It is much taller than I thought it would be. Since most of my vases are on the short side, this one will be perfect for a big, center-of-the-table arrangement!

And the clear glass of the vase works so well with my menagerie of clear glass containers. A girl can never have too many jars, refrigerator dishes or vases! Thanks so much Leah. If you haven't been to her blog, stop what you're doing and go NOW! No, wait! Finish reading mine and then go see Leah!

While I was cutting and arranging flowers on my front porch, I looked over the railing and saw Miss Crissy pecking around under the holly bushes. On the chicken front, Shakira has one more week until her eggs start to hatch. I can't wait to see those cute little chicks! Cora Bell has been keeping Shakira company every day. They have been buddies from the beginning (3 years!)
Leah, thanks so much for the vase. I love it!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pain in the Butt

Terri and I did our usual two mile walk today.
Riley Dog was a little slow, so I didn't over-do it.
However, a little later, I walked out to the mailbox and realized my right butt cheek was killing me.
The only way I could get any relief while walking was to lift that butt cheek from where it met my thigh.
I didn't see what I looked like, but know it was NOT attractive. I will not be venturing out in public until I get used to the pain or it no longer hurts.
I have no intention of winding up on America's Funniest Videos and earning somebody else $10,000 because they videoed me hauling my right ass cheek around the mall.
You know, my butt cheek is big enough to put a sling around it, hence, no photos with this post.
But, I think the other end might have to tie around my neck. Ben Gay on the hind parts sounds a little too close for comfort. Maybe I'll just stick to Aleve and stay out of sight for a day or two.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April...The Month of Birthday Cakes!

Today, my youngest baby turned 14. I still think of him as the baby and he gladly fills the role. His birth was much easier than Will's. However, both of my boys were born the size of toddlers! Rick showed up at 10 pounds 2 ounces.

Rick is amazing when it comes to computers. He has created video games, knows how to design websites, and has won some awards for the things he has designed. He is so far over my head that a fall back on my pre-hearing aid days and just nod and smile for fear of looking stupid!

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

White grape juice and brownies, YUM!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How Rude!

I'm a southern girl, born and bred! The rule for southern girls is simple.

Never be rude!

Don't get me wrong, it does not mean you can't be a smart ass. There is a difference. A smart ass is funny, sarcastic, states the obvious. Rude is just mean.

HUGE azaleas in my Mom's yard.

Well, today, I crossed the line. I didn't mean to say it and didn't even know I was going to be rude until the words were out of my mouth. I immediately slapped my hand over my mouth and tried to take them back.

More of that pretty lavender!

I was on my way to Nashville to visit my Mom. With less than a quarter of a tank of gas, I figured I better hit the last station before driving into the country. I pulled up to the pump, whipped out my credit card and studied the scanner. No pictures of how to swipe the card. I flipped the card in every direction, but couldn't get the stupid computer to accept it.

The man at the pump next to me offered to help, but couldn't remember how he had run his card through. I had no choice but to go to the lady in the box and ask her to run my card. I asked if she could hold my card until after I pumped and then run it so I could fill my tank.

An arrangement for the porch!

She said,"I can't do that. You have to give me a specific amount." Hmmmm! Not the answer I wanted to hear.

"Okay," I said, feeling rather frustrated, "then how much is the middle grade of gas?"

"I don't know," she said, looking at me rather impatiently.

That's when it happened. My mouth opened and some rude stranger inside of me said, "Well, you aren't very helpful, are you?"

Ladyslipper orchids multiply like crazy in her yard!

How I managed to tell her to put $50 on the card and sign it, I'll never know. The heat of embarrassment coming off of my face was hot enough to blow the place sky high!

Am I the only one that thinks this looks like a scrotum?

To the lady in the glass box in the Lowe's Grocery Gas Station on the Highway 98 By-Pass in Wake Forest, I am soooo sorry! I promise I will never come back!

NOTE: I tried to soften my bad behavior with pretty photos from my Mom's house!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Flowers, Cleaning and Gatlin Cannons...What Do They Have in Common?

My yard!
Last month, Rick had to make something from the Civil War. My devotees to the history channel were all over that assignment. Rick and Tony built a life-size Gatlin Cannon. But, once the grades were in, we had this huge cannon and nowhere to put it. What's a Mom to do? Flip the barrels into the air, drill a hole in the front and turn it into a bird house! Bet nobody else in the world has one of these!

Next week, these will be wide open ferns!

May Apple and Little Brown Jugs

Bleeding hearts!

My Lady Banks rose is in full bloom on the front fence.

Close up!

I'm not sure what these are called. The blooms remind me of hydrangeas.

My uncle, Larry, rooted these and most of the other azaleas in my yard. I think they are called spider bloom azaleas.

My favorite orange azalea in front of my kitchen window. They smell so sweet.

Wanna look closer?

I found this little fellow in a puddle of water under the porch. He was looking a little stressed. I scooped him up and let him catch his breath. Look at the pollen on his back leg.

Then I helped him over to a flower. Happy bee!

Wasn't the word CLEANING in the title? This is the side of our garage...

Before Tony came along with the cherry picker and the power washer!

He took the day off to get this WWWAAAAYYY overdue chore done!

Doesn't this look so much better? He managed to get the whole house done today. The poor guy was in the bed before 9:00 and even took an Aleve without being told to.