Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Martha Polo

Somehow female chickens just suggest old-fashioned names. I mean what someone tactlessly referred to as "old lady" names: Bessie, Agnes, and Harriet, for example.

Our girls are named Edith (she just looked like an Edith), Nona, Lois, and Gladys. This is the bird who will stand and stare you in the eye and deliver a squawking monologue. She somehow named herself--EG calls our nosy, pushy neighbor "Gladys Kravitz," and the bird seems to have much the same personality. She even will run to the door of the coop and spy on us to see just what we are up to.

Anyway, one of the girls is always industriously scratching, looking for bugs, pecking at new things, and busily investigating in a wonderful chicken way. She aslo doesn't kowtow to Dr. M, the rooster. I named her Martha, or rather, she named herself, after the biblical Martha, who didn't take time to sit at the feet of Jesus, but instead did all the work and then complained about it.

I tend to be a bit of a Martha myself.

What I have started doing lately is letting the chickens out of their run if I am home and out in the yard. Martha has discovered the joys of the garden and all its insects, so that is always her first destination, and lately she has graciously refused all attempts to get her to return to the run when it is time. This morning, Martha the Explorer zipped out of the run as soon as I opened the gate and took off into the garden. Apparently, she was in the mood for breakfast out, followed by some aerobics for the both of us as I attempted to chase her back inside.

I guess I can't really blame her.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Last night Nita, who hadn't taken her medication for hyperactivity yet again, was playing with her baby doll, which had been excavated when Nita and her dad cleaned her room. Let me add that half my dishes were in there, along with much of my knitting yarn, two pairs of scissors, some rocks, many many food wrappers, and an abundance of schoolwork, only some of which belonged to the owner of the room.

Anyway, Rocky bumped the baby doll, and Nita insisted that Rocky apologize to the doll. Rocky refused, saying that it was only a doll. Nita was in a snit, accusing Rocky of child abuse and told Rocky that the doll was going to come downstairs in the night and get even. Rocky stated this was not possible, but I mentioned Chucky, describing Chucky's midnight roving and mayhem.

Rocky told me this morning he didn't go to sleep until after three this morning, but he said it was because his chin itched and had nothing to do with the threat of the baby doll coming down for him.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Whippet Thin

I just read an article describing Cameron Diaz in this manner. Please note: This is a term which will never be used to describe me. I am not nor ever will be a sight hound: whippet, greyhound, Saluki. Nope. I am not lean, by any stretch of the imagination. I will not run long distances, unless I am chased by a bear, and let me add that, at some point, I will determine that the fate at the jaws of Ursa has to be much better than all that exertion.

I have been sitting here, trying to determine what breed of dog I would be. I am definitely not a poodle. I would hate to think that I was a bulldog. Not that bowlegged and don't have an underbite. Not a Saint Bernard. I am more compact. Puggle? No, don't think so. Not quite so appealing. What I would like to be is a Collie, all blonde hair and gorgeous face. Or maybe a golden retriever, but I am not that happy all the time. I guess I am a chocolate Lab, much like my beloved Harry here, stocky and stubby, lover of food, and athletic only when necessary, making his own rules about fetch. In fact, we say he is not a Labrador Retriever, but a Labrador Taker-Awayer.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I have finally made a career decision

It is kind of ironic after all the construction I have done lately, but I have finally chosen a career.

I want to blow things up. As in those people who come in, set the explosives, and then cause a building to implode. As in destroy. Planned destruction.

Let's face it...if I goof and the building doesn't blow up exactly right, I can say, "Hey, you were blowing it up ANYWAY." Talk about a good margin of error. And right now I could use some margin of error.

While it may not be as rewarding as a wrecking ball, but I think using demolition charges might be rewarding enough.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pics of peeps and their coop

Well, I finally finished the bulk of the coop. I still have to bury the hardware cloth around the building, but the perimeter is finished. I need to stain the guillotine door. I need to build a little ladder for the girls and Dr. M to get inside. And I need to figure out a lock and latch for the gate. I need to finish laying the floor and build a divider indoors. But for now, the gang can go in and out, and I know they are relatively safe when we are not home.

Here are a couple of the chickens. That is Dr. M, the rooster, in the foreground, and my favorite hen, Martha, with him. Martha is named biblically--she is the one who is eternally working, scratching, digging, and who doesn't sit at the master's feet. In fact, this Martha more or less keeps the master in line. In the background are Edith's chubby chicken thighs. I don't know, but these hens (actually, they are still pullets), because of their appearance, call for old fashioned names. So far, we have Gladys (she talks a lot), Edith, and Martha. The two new girls we picked up yesterday don't have names yet. More on them later.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gender Identity Issues

Wow. I've been gone a long time--nearly a month.

I have been putting up a six-foot fence and configuring a chicken fortress for the girls. I'll post pictures soon--it is a good thing that chickens are not architecturally critical. If you consider that I could use a hammer, pliers, and screwdriver, and knew the difference between a flat head and Phillips screwdriver, and that was all, it is pretty remarkable that the fence is up.

And has stayed up so far.

Second, I have been writing the dissertation, which is a difficult task. I can respect that; if writing this thing was easy, there would be more Ph.D.s out there.

And, finally, three of the pullets are not girls after all, but are boys. So, we will keep one, but the other two have to go back to the breeded. Of course, we named them. One of the boys, Ollie, appears to have Houdini blood in him. That chicken will be inside the chicken tractor one second and outside it the next, with no feather out of place.

I'll miss him, but as much as he gets out, he would most likely be hurt or lost, so better I lose him to someone else's dinner plate than to lost him to a raccoon's midnight cravings for extra crispy.