I think I have finally convinced the chickens to stop laying their eggs between the two fences.
However, one of them has found a new place – in the neighbor’s yard.
I texted my neighbor to tell her there was an egg behind their unused chicken coop. I told her either she has ghost chickens that are laying eggs, or it was a thank you gift to Rosie (the neighbor’s dog) for not eating the chicken when she wandered next door.
In either case, it has only happened once. The chickens are now laying their eggs in the coop – for now…
This week has been quite pleasant here in Texas. Last week was not. We had the second snow storm of the season followed by ice. An event that had not happened in many decades.
We were warned and people took great pains to protect their chickens. I was not one of those people.
I do care about my chickens but wasn’t willing to enclose the coop, put a heater in it or bring the flock inside. I told them it would be cold and encouraged them to huddle up when the coop had icicles.
During the coldest days, I went out several times to make sure they had food and water. It was cold enough that their water froze solid so I would pour hot water over it to thaw enough for them to drink. A few hours later, it would be frozen again.
I tried to cover some of the duck pen when it started sleeting. I used a big blue tarp which apparently was terrifying to the ducks. They would not go near that corner of the pen. I finally went back out in the sleet and took it down. The ducks were much happier. As soon as the duck pond started to thaw, the got in and swam around the chunks of ice. Silly ducks!
I learned that the hoe I use for weeding works great for removing ice when I cleared a path across the back porch. I was determined not to fall on my multiple trips to the chicken yard.
I am happy to report that I did not fall a single time.
And we did not lose any chickens or ducks.
I’m hoping that means we passed the test and do not have to repeat that experience ever again.
I’ll take the Texas summers over these crazy winter storms any day.
The tree in the middle of our front yard finally had to be cut down. It had been slowly dying for several years. I was sad mainly because a family of woodpeckers lived in it. I enjoyed hearing them and wondered where they would go.
The man who cut the tree down left a rather tall stump that just cried out for a bird house (at least that is what I heard).
I put in a request to my mother who is an avid garage saler. I figured someone was probably getting rid of a bird house for a good price. Sure enough she brought one to me.
Beekeeper Brian thought it was a little silly, but he put it on the stump because he loves me.
I smile every time I look out the window or pull up to our house.
One day I saw a bird perched on top of the house. I wondered if perhaps it might take up residence.
Over the years we have had several different house guests. The most recent was Bill, the Chinese student, who spent four years with us and is considered one of our children.
Since he went off to college and our daughter Rachel moved to Huntsville, it has just been Beekeeper Brian and me. We’ve grown accustomed to being alone in the house. Perhaps it would be best if our next guest moved into the bird house out front.
The sunrise was particularly beautiful this morning when I went outside to feed the chickens. I don’t always pay attention to it but this morning the sky was bright orange.
By the time I finished getting all the birds their breakfast and got my camera, it had changed.
It was still pretty. In fact our daughter posted pictures from her window in Huntsville.
I thought of several things as I completed my morning routine.
I wondered how many sunrises I have missed because I have not paid attention. After all, the sun rises every morning and if it isn’t raining, it can be a very pleasant sight.
And then I thought about how quickly the sunrise changes. Our daughter took a progression of pictures this morning to catch the many stages of the beauty. That reminded me how quickly time moves. Whether it is a beautiful time or an ugly time, it will not last forever.
That was a comforting thought as the pandemic and all the changes it brings continue on. It will come to an end.
Of course I was reminded of a song from the musical Fiddler on the Roof called “Sunrise, Sunset.” The parents sing it at their daughter’s wedding. The chorus says:
“Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset,
Quickly fly the days.
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze.
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Quickly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears.”
The sunrise and sunset both pass quickly, as does the time in between them. I need to pay closer attention so I don’t miss anything.
I understand that the area between the fences is a nice, safe area however retrieving the eggs is difficult. I do have my multi-purpose net so I can reach between the fences but when the egg is near a thorny vine, the net gets stuck.
There are enough challenges in my life without egg gathering being one of them.
Chicken Wrangler Sara (the one who feeds you, gets you water, and rescues you from all manner of dogs.)
I was kind of hoping the New Year would bring a little normalcy. On Sunday, January 3 Beekeeper Brian and I both tested positive for COVID. We only had mild symptoms but were still put in quarantine for 10 days.
My hope of being back in a routine became a struggle to teach music classes from home.
Then on Sunday, January 10 it snowed.
That may not sound like a big deal but in our part of Texas, it hadn’t happened since 2017. This snowstorm produced the 5th largest amount of snow on record.
We measured 4 ½ “.
This may not sound like a lot unless you are a dachshund whose legs are only 4 inches long.
The chickens were not fans either. They sent a scout while the rest stayed in the coop.
Got some interesting pictures I never could have imagined – chicken prints in the snow.
And, of course I built the obligatory snowman. It’s not too bad.
Putting together music programs has always been somewhat of a challenge. This year it is exponentially harder.
We cannot perform before live audiences so we must record all the students in advance. We did this for the Veteran’s Day program then had some technical issues at the last minute, so the classes were unable to see the performances.
The principal is determined to avoid this and asked me to plan the Christmas program before we left for Thanksgiving Break. I gave him an outline of what each class would do and spent the week of Thanksgiving filling in the details.
When we returned, he asked me to have all the recording done before testing started the following week. It was a stretch but I put together a recording schedule and started working with the classes.
I decided to do bucket drumming with the 7th and 8th grade classes. It would reinforce rhythmic concepts and they seem to enjoy hitting on things.
Not having the budget to purchase official buckets, I gathered cat litter buckets and the students spray painted them red and green. This took multiple days, but the result was pretty good, and most of the paint landed on the buckets.
The students also wrapped the drumsticks with red and green electrical tape.
All was well until the school closed for two days. That put the recording behind schedule. There was no one to do the recording due to absences in the office staff. I kept practicing with the classes and put recording on hold.
Then the principal decided to proceed with the recording even though testing was happening in my room. We recorded in the cafeteria.
All was well until the 7th and 8th graders had to switch to remote learning for two days. I adjusted the recording schedule, again, and took the remaining buckets home to finish the painting. Then the decision was made to keep 7th and 8th grade off campus until after Christmas break.
So now we have red and green buckets all ready to go and no one to play them.
I guess we can use them for Cinco de Mayo.
The rest of the program was recorded and is ready to be shown on Friday.
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