Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Things do change...

Well, my late dog, Cadie, used to pee in the yard and my current cat, Eddie, pees in the yard, as do I.  I'm a bit more discrete and hide myself in the woods (sort of) but I admit, I pee in the yard.  Why waste all the time running into the house when you can simply pull down you zipper and let it happen?

Things have changed since the "girls" arrived.  When they see me in the garden or yard, they gravitate to me; I'm guessing since I am the person always delivering food to them. Check out this pic and as I am peeing, they congregate to see what's happening.  No worries, my pic is "g" rated.  Just funny that they appear so interested.  I was pulling weeds in the garden and suddenly there were 3 chickens walking single file down the rows checking on me(and no, I don't pee in the garden). 

Oh, the joys of summer:  chicken walking the property and me and the cat peeing in the yard. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

What the Cluck???

It was a busy Monday, full of chores and errands and it was time to clean the inside of Nancy's vehicle after the oil was changed.  Nat vacuumed and I wiped the interior and armor-alled the inside and it was looking pretty-pretty-pretty good when we noticed 2 of the chickens were on the outside rather than the inside of the fence.  Not knowing how they got out, each one of use grabbed one, placed it on top of the fence and forced it to fly the necessary 5 feet to hit the ground.  Rather easy looking for them. 

Then I coaxed one of them back to the coop area with some treats thinking the others would follow.  She  started procking and strutting and I looked at this one's band (the girls now have leg bands thanks to Mel and her idea of putting different color velcro leg bands on the them) and notice it's the blue one, not one of the original yellow one I had caught.  Hm-m-m-m.  Listening closely (I still have teacher hearing) I start to hone in on the rustling in the pussy willows which is next to the neighbor's property.  Peeking around one of the bushes, there are 3 chickens making their way next door.  I call for Natalie and I grab 2 while she grabs the other and we march to the coop and lock them up safe and sound.

Such a racket when I go to leave.  All sorts of opinions given and calls and cackles and I swear one gave me "the wing".  A lecture was in order but by this time they were too busy eating their feed.  Tomorrow I will give them the full lecture about responsibility and respecting one's neighbors.  I'm sure they will change their new-found ways.  I'm so glad I am an experienced parent!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ramblings in June

Summer has started as has my retirement and a few days into it I have a list of about 40 things I want/need to do.  Before I start in my list, here is a pic of what the "girls" are doing, every day.  Impressive.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More pics

Thought someone had taken pics of the party but none are on the familycamera.  I do have a pic of the cake Nancy had made.  Also I'll include updated chickies and a superb spinach-goat cheese with shredded basil made by Nat this morning.  Incredibly good although I am biased using the "girls" eggs.  All that feed and worms and bugs and bread and cereal and yogurt makes for very tasty eggs.  Lucky us!

Retirement party day and a funny story

The girls are filling out nicely and there are pics from the retirement party.  Check out the Chickghetto and the girls in the pics that follow.

But I now officially enter phase 2 of my life. Never really seriously considered life after teaching but feeling like I have lost my "touch" and affection for working with students (for a myriad of reasons, most of which is our dumb down society where if one isn't constantly stimulated with something new and exciting, then it's so-o-o boring. I use to say, kiddingly, if it's not about me, don't waste your breath. Unfortunately that statement has become the new normal with our youth.), I need to move on to something else.

So this older guy is in Burger King last Friday (the day of my r-party) and while chatting innocently about the weather, he finds out I retiring and rips into me about not have a set plan.
me: I'm taking a gap year to hang out and find where life takes me.
guy: won't work! You'll be looking to do something in 2-3 months.
me: Well, I am going to some travel with my wife.
guy: Do you travel with her now?
me: No, because I was working.
guy: You won't now either. It just won't happen. Look, I know, I did a study of this. I'm retired from 3 jobs and now have my 4th job. When you retire you loose your sense of identity, your reason for living, you end up sitting around. I know this is correct.
me (last question, and yes I know I'm foolish for sticking around this long): What do you do now?
guy: work at the liquor store 20-26 hours a week. Can't wait for the schedule to come out so I can plan my week, great place to work and ...
me: I have to leave now.
guy: Good luck but remember what I said.
me: Yeppers...

Talk about a WHEW moment! Day of big retirement party, are revved up, tons of people will be milling about the pool and deck with drinks and food. Nice music, family, friends, colleagues and this stranger is pissing on my parade. Through my mixed metaphor I start wondering is this karma at work, is he sending out a valid warning to me? Then return to planet earth and start thinking this guy has probably been FIRED from 3 jobs and he's calling it being retired. Now the fiery lecture starts to take on more meaning.

My attitude is God has always taken care of my family and myself. No need to stop trusting Him in leading me in a direction. I know I will be able to make choices as I move along.

So on this day 1 morning daughter #2 is going to make me an spinach goat cheese omelette using the "girls" eggs and then we'll head to the mall and I'm going to get me an Iphone.

Chickghetto pics and the girls

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I've not posted in a few months basically because I've been lazy and the paperwork and decisions and meetings and appointments for retiring from teaching have been numerous and at times, tiring.

In any case, here's the situation:

Buck, the man who I buy eggs from is going out of business.  We've been enjoying his fresh eggs for years, along with his veggies.  But since he would now have to charge $4 a dozen due to the rising expenses of feed, he simply cannot bring himself to sell eggs at that price.  I told him that's what is charged at local farmers' markets but that didn't sway him.  He's old school and I think he want to play with his toys meaning his tractors and jeep basically anything that has wheels, engine and moves.

So, I notice he has a small chicken coop for sale.  Hmmm, I'm retiring.  I like to putter around.  I like to eat eggs.  I like a challenge.  BUY THE COOP!  And I did.  So now I'm in the process of building a "run" for the chickens to hang out in.  Cutting wood and getting fence attached and it's important the coop and fenced in area to be mobile.  I want to be able to move the coop around so I added heavy duty wheels to one end and the fenced in part will be free standing.  Hopefully all will be done by the end of the weekend and I can get the chickens early next week.  Pics to come!

My neighbor, 2 houses away just put in a chicken coop.  Her coop cost about $800 plus about another $300 for the fencing and walls and roof (her husband wondered aloud how long is it going to cost him $200 an egg, I reassured him it would be down to $20 an egg in no time...) and mine is the used $150 total cost variety.  Thus, the name Chickghetto, as suggested by my sarcastic/smart assed daughter #1. 

The neighbor is a yoga teacher who is about 20 years younger than I and I am taking grief from my wife that I am just taking this opportunity as an excuse to hang out with a younger woman.  This was fueled by my neighbor spending some time in our pool(with her son) on a hot, lazy Memorial Day afternoon.  We sat in floaties in the deep end and talked about, well, chickens.  Hardly something I would call flirting.  But that hasn't stopped my wife or kids or family from taking every opportunity to jab at my new found affection:, raising chickens. 

My wife regales family, friends and workers with stories of my newest hobby(ies). My brother send over an empty chicken carton with the name of the egg company covered and my name imprinted on the top.  I get emails now with comments like, "...eggactly what I was thinking...".  Or don't you feel all "coop-up"? I deserve all such treatment for it the tables were turned, I would be even more abusive.  I don't often act my age...

Off I go to construct the "run" and will post pics later.  Then off to Agway to get feed and nesting material.  Fun?  I just need to cut the wood eggactly as possible...