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Archive for July, 2018

Fourteen

HE thinks it was a hawk or an eagle. I think it was pack of salivating rabid wolves with red eyes. Whatever it was, there was nothing left of my poor chicken but a scattering of feathers near the back field. I had a hard time rounding them up that evening. A few were huddled in the pole building, a few in the coop. One went so far as to scoot into a corner as far as she could go. I talked to her softly, trying to soothe her fright, and she looked back at me as if she understood my words. I checked the corners of the coop for predators. Raccoons, weasels, and even skunks will kill chickens. Hawks, eagles, and salivating rabid wolves, too. Sadly, I counted fourteen. Down two. I herded the frightened stragglers in and locked the coop down tight for the night. I checked the long grass by the creek, in case by some miracle they were alive. I whistled down the rows of corn, tall as I am. They usually come when I whistle. I sat on the back steps until it was dark. Sadly, I went inside. Fourteen. Later, I thought I would check one more time, so ventured outside with a flashlight. Looking for a black chicken in the dark is kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack, but I found her, huddled up against the big old garage that shares a wall with the coop. Fifteen. I smiled as I shooed her inside, trying to get her into the coop by way of the back door. Having witnessed the recent tragedy, she was skittish and wouldn’t go in. Standing in the middle of that old garage, I was skittish myself, having awakened a bat by turning the light on, and he was flying around and around the rafters. My mind could have been playing tricks on me, but I swear that bat was salivating and probably rabid, and it had red eyes. I left them both inside the old garage, safe for the night. Bats do not kill chickens, but could possibly cause an old Farm Woman to die of fright by flying too close to her head. The next morning, she scooted right inside about the same time that the corner-hiding hen was taking her last breaths. Probably died of fright…or old age. Back to fourteen again, and in the blink of an eye, too. Life is short, even more so for chickens. I’m glad the last words she heard were kind ones.

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The fitness tracker that I wear on my wrist recently bit the dust. It was a gift from my very fit daughter and son-in-law, who own a gym. I liked it just fine, and yes, it is possible that she was switched at birth. It was easy to use, easy to program, and had an matching app that I downloaded to my smart phone. It kept track of the number of steps I took each day and how many hours I slept each night. By the way, neither the steps I took nor the hours I slept were ever enough. Looking for a new one was harder than one might imagine. What size screen would I like? Should it track calories, steps, sleep, AND notify me of texts to my phone? Well, no, thank you. I have a phone that I paid way too much money for that already notifies me of texts. Since I don’t give two hoots or a holler about knowing the exact second I receive a text, I turned the notification sound off right away. What I wanted in a fitness tracker was just what I had, but after three years and advances in modern technology, it was impossible to find. I am also pretty cheap…er…frugal. It is bad enough that my phone cost more than a few cars I have purchased in my life, and I just don’t want to pay a lot for something that is really just a glorified wristwatch. Finally, I found a similar one and syncronized it with my phone. It has a few more bells and whistles than the old one did, but I thought it would do just fine, and it did. It did until I noticed that one of the bells and/or whistles is a feature that gives off a soft “beep” if it senses that I am not moving enough. I haven’t figured out how turn that vexing little devil off yet, either, but I’m working on it. I almost wish that someone would invent a tracker that would give me an electric shock every time I opened the refrigerator. Now THAT, I would buy. In the meantime, please excuse me…I’m off to take another walk.

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Powerless

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that it has been a long time since I sat down and read a book from cover to cover. I used to be an avid reader, finishing at least two or three books a week. Nothing too intellectual for me, though. Notice that I didn’t say that nothing IS too intellectual for me. There is a big difference between the two. I prefer light mystery and humor, with an occasional bit of gardening or chicken rearing thrown in, and hopefully the latter has a bit of mystery and humor thrown in, too. Somehow, I’ve been bamboozled into the dark abyss of a device called a smart phone which makes me anything BUT smart, along with leading me into the temptation of social media. That, my friends, is a time-sucking brain-numbing thing which has no use except to put you in touch with long lost lost shirt-tail relatives and old acquaintenences, many of whom: A) Think that everyone wants to know their darkest thoughts about politics and those who don’t agree with their particular politics. B) Share recipes by the dozens for things they have never even attempted to make because how could they, when they spend so much time on social media? (Was that a statement or a question? Please see above about not being too intellectual.) C) Share WAY to much information, some of which only their priest should hear after being prefaced with the words “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” Yes, I was reeled in….hook, line, and misspelled drama. Until my electricity got knocked out by an early morning storm, that is. No power means no lights, no TV, no WiFi, and even worse, NO COFFEE. Thanking my lucky stars for a motorhome with a generator, the coffee got made and I went back to the house, cup in one hand and phone in the other, until common sense settled in. Actually, it was Barney the Chihuahua who settled in, putting himself between me and the phone. He doesn’t like it much. Besides, I didn’t want to drain the battery and have to trek out to the camper to fire up the generator to charge it up again. That wouldn’t be very intellectual, either. With nothing else to do, I picked up a book and started on page one. It was one of those grab-you-from-the-start-laugh-out-loud novels, a gift from my daughter who knows I love this particular author. Strangely enough, it was just like meeting up with an old friend. No power also means peace and quiet in the house. There were no sounds from the TV, no hum of the refrigerator, and only the peaceful snore of an old dog in my lap which was more comforting than disturbing. In fact, when the power returned three hours later, I was so engrossed in the book that it didn’t really matter. I got nothing else done that day, until after I turned the last page. Some of you might say I just substituted one time-sucking brain-numbing thing for another, but I actually felt refreshed and energized, and even managed to make dinner and tackle a few weeds in the garden that evening. I think I need to be powerless a little more often.

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