You want me to…WHAT?!

FYI: Raising chickens is not for the faint of heart!!

During Labor Day weekend, a friend of ours gave us their sole surviving chicken. Sadly, dogs had destroyed their other birds. She’s a very pretty, fat and fluffy, black and white hen. We put her in her own coop area so that our flock could become acquainted with her through the fencing before making any attempts at integration. I would visit her multiple times every day, offer her treats, and talk sweetly to her. Regardless of my sweet talk, she would stay as far away from me as possible. I mean, she would spastically and frantically run circles inside the run — like I was chasing her with an axe and picturing her on our dinner table! This went on for about three weeks, along with a couple attempts to merge her with the group, which resulted in gang pecking and me breaking up the West Side Story street fight with a stick.

Then, surprisingly, one day last week, she was different. With her treat in hand, I entered her run area and she ran towards me! This was new. Strangely, she stopped at my feet and hunkered down to the ground. I wondered if she was hurt or sick. When I bent down to check her, she let me pet her. Wow, I thought, she’s really taming down and getting to like me. I was so excited, I had to run and tell hubby, “The new chicken let me pet her!” The next day, the same thing happened. Too cool! Then, it hit me. No other hen had ever behaved this way around me and I wondered if she could be, umm, you know — amorously motivated. I asked my husband, “Can hens get — horny? Is that possible?” He said he imagined that they could. I mean, why not? If a female praying mantis can devour her mate after sex, why couldn’t a female chicken be horny? Seemed plausible.

Well, my brain couldn’t stop questioning this possibility, so I consulted my friend, Google, for the true answer. My search led me to a discussion on the backyard chickens website titled: Excuse me – horny hen? As it turns out, hens can be horny! Who knew?! The obvious solution is, of course, allowing her access to a rooster so that he may service her, scratch her itch, and otherwise make her happy. It’s only natural, right? I read further and learned of an alternative method to soothe a horny hen — without a rooster. I never would’ve imagined something like this: “If you cannot have a rooster where you live, move, get rid of the chickens, or reach down and put a finger and thumb on each side of her tail feathers and lightly squeeze and wiggle side to side — she will get up and shake it off just like the rooster was there. BUT, she will be back the next time you enter for more of the same. LOL.” WHAT?! I’ve heard of animals receiving artificial insemination, but artificial sexual relations?! I’m not about to be a hen’s surrogate lover! I mean, give a chicken a hand job?! Nuh uh. Not gonna happen.

Yesterday morning, as I was walking toward the coop with my daily treat delivery, and mentally preparing myself to receive another dance-with-the-feathered-pants from our horny hen, I discovered that she was not in her run area. What the…?! Did I leave the door open? No, it was still locked. Where in the heck could she — ahhh, I see. The little fence I’d placed between the two runs had been knocked down and she had escaped her safe haven. She must’ve been extremely motivated! Fearful that I was about to find her lifeless, hen-pecked, blood-soaked body, I ran to the main run to look for/rescue her. But she wasn’t with the other chickens. She wasn’t under the coop either. Curious. As I stood there pondering the possibilities, Frisky, that’s her new name by the way, popped her head out the main coop’s doorway. Well, look at that! I guess she decided it was time to integrate and was determined to make it happen.

Last night, just after sunset, I checked on Frisky and found her perched on top of her mini coop. I went inside, gathered her in my arms and while her claws nearly impaled my arms, I carried her to the main coop and placed her in one of the nesting boxes. I watched through the little window with my iPhone flashlight as she left the box and surveyed her possible sleeping spots. It took her a few minutes, but she finally claimed her place on the roost with the other hens. Yes, it would appear we have successful integration!

As of this morning, Frisky is mostly happily cohabitating with the others. There is definitely a pecking order with those old biddies and they certainly let her know it; however, she seems safe and content. I haven’t witnessed any interaction with the rooster…yet. While I’m not hoping to watch such chicken porn, it might be kind of nice to know that she’s being, umm, satisfactorily serviced by our rooster.

I tell ya, this farmin’ stuff is BRUTAL!

A little perspective

Yesterday, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself for having a hearing impairment and having to wear hearing aids to hear people speak; for having feet that swell all the time and not being able to wear the shoes that I’d love to wear; and, having to wear glasses to read.  

Then, I saw a woman leaving the hospital, dragging her life-sustaining oxygen tank behind her on two little wheels.  I watched her through the windows until she was out of my view as she slowly walked toward her vehicle.  That moment certainly gave my self-pitying a jolt into perspective.  I imagined that this woman would gladly take all of my physical problems if that meant she could breathe without having to lug around her constant companion.  

“Seek and ye shall find.”

If you seek something to be pissed about; you shall find it.

If you seek something to scare the shit out of you; you shall find it.

If you seek something to prove that the world is a horrible and scary place; you shall find it.

If you seek to find and expose mistakes made by others; you shall find it.

If you seek something to make you smile; you shall find it.

If you seek something to renew your faith in mankind; you shall find it.

If you seek to find the beauty in this life; you shall find it.

If you seek something to be grateful for in this very moment; you shall find it.


I strived to, and did better!

In Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, he refers to life’s difficulties as “situations” instead of “problems.” He explains that if any situation makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from it, change it, or accept it totally.

Remember, in a prior post, I mentioned that I’d been striving to do better with my impatience behind my car’s wheel? Well, without being aware of it, I utilized Eckhart’s method.

First, I realized I can’t remove myself from driving. Well, that is, unless I get a chauffeur (which I’d be more than happy to accept). My life does not exist exclusively in my house, it’s in many different cities. Therefore, driving is a requirement.

Second, the situation cannot be changed. The fact remains, there are many drivers on the road who insist on moving below the speed limit, thereby blocking numerous others who want to get to their destination. Others feel it is their divine duty to control every car lined up behind them.

So, that left me with one option: acceptance. At first, I felt like I would be admitting defeat, that impatience was the victor, and I was a failure. Then I realized it merely is what it is. I have totally and completely accepted the fact that I am an impatient driver. I’ve embraced the realization that if a car on the road is poking along and I can safely pass them, I’m going to continue to do just that.
Surprisingly, with this acceptance, my patience has improved. What?! Yes, it did. It filled me with a feeling of peace, and I’ve discovered that I don’t rush quite as much. Of course, I still pass slow drivers when it’s safe to do so and go my merry way. Overall, driving is now a less stressful task, and I’m on my way to actually enjoy it. Wow.

This Monday, on my way home on the 6-mile country road, I encountered three very slow driving vehicles. Of course, one by one, I passed them all. I drove a couple miles further, and as luck would have it, I spotted a turtle in the middle of the road. By the way, I need a bumper sticker that says, “I stop for turtles.” Anyway, I stopped to save the little guy from imminent destruction. As I was carrying him to the side of the road he was heading toward, all three cars that’d I passed came along, slowed down, and allowed me to finish my life-saving turtle placement. One guy, driving a small white pick-up, stopped and said, “So you were in such a hurry to pass everyone just to stop and get a turtle out of the road?” I could’ve used some choice words, ignored him, or flipped him the bird; however, with my newfound acceptance and inner peace, I responded, “I am what I am. I didn’t hurt anybody,” and he drove away. I smiled.

Communing with ducks

Since mid-winter, there has been a group of ducks that regularly visits our pond. The most we have seen at one time is seven. Would that qualify as “flock” of ducks? Anyway. I think they were a neighbor’s ducks, initially, but they like our pond, so we basically share joint custody now. I love it, too. I often admire them from afar as they paddle across the pond, flop their wings then shake their tail feathers upon leaving the water.

There were four ducks on our pond’s dock today, all preening themselves after their swim. I was pulling a large tree branch to the fire pit in our field and, after I dropped it off, I decided to see just how close I could get to this herd of ducks. In the past, merely walking in their direction motivated them to get back in the water. I casually walked over to check my mother’s memorial tree, which was roughly 30-40 feet from the band of ducks. They didn’t move. I slowly stepped a few feet closer while pretending to look for 4-leaf clovers in the grass. They didn’t move. This was getting exciting! I walked to the water’s edge, still about 20 feet from the dock where the mob of ducks remained quite content, and they again didn’t move. Every few minutes, I’d sidestep a foot or two closer to the dock, glance their way, then pretend I didn’t see them.

After several minutes of this maneuver, I was close enough to the dock that I could touch it, and they weren’t budging, but I waited a little longer. Sidestep once more, look at the troop of ducks who were still calm and happily sunning on the dock. Then, I went for it. I sat down on the dock, my back to the array of ducks, fully expecting that that would send them into the air, or into the pond. But, I didn’t hear flapping wings or the splash of water. I slowly turned my body around toward them and was a mere 6 feet from this gaggle of ducks. They didn’t fly away! I brought my legs up onto the dock, sat Indian style, and we communed with each other for 20-30 minutes, right there at our pond. The two largest ducks actually fell asleep, one perched on a single leg.

I enjoyed this interaction so much, communing with the gang of ducks, but all the while I was thinking, I really wish I had my camera. These would be some excellent photos. Next time, duckies. Next time!


These are the few ways we can practice humility:

To speak as little as possible of one’s self.

To mind one’s own business.

Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.

To avoid curiosity.

To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.

To pass over the mistakes of others.

To accept insults and injuries.

To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.

To be kind and gentle even under provocation.

Never to stand on one’s dignity.

To choose always the hardest.

~~Mother Teresa

Memorial Day

The day our nation set aside

A time to honor all who’ve died

They gave all for you and me

Home of the brave, land of the free

Countless battles and many wars

Bodies sent home by the scores

Flag-draped coffins brought heroes home

Yet some of them remain unknown

Let us give thanks to each and all

They that answered our nation’s call

For every conflict that was fought in

May they never be forgotten

By: Vonda Newsome 5-24-2020

I woke up at 7:41 a.m.

Then, I spent over an hour, creating a board on Pinterest to help promote my blog. I followed the directions, saved it, and now it supposedly exists in Pinterest land…somewhere. I’ll be danged if I can find it, it doesn’t show up in any search I tried. It probably posted on a secret government website! But, hey — long as they read it!

Keeping an eye out for a cavalcade of shiny black vehicles.

So, how’s your morning?

Homemade COVID masks: Modify yours to snuggle your nose

Note: This blog shows you how to modify existing masks using a common household item.

I’ve purchased several homemade COVID masks for my family, which were created by two lovely women, Andrea and Eve. I’ve also made a few of them myself during this lockdown. They all work but have an irritating side effect. My glasses get steamed up with my every exhale. Can you relate? I’m sure you can. While this is a much lesser annoyance than say contracting the virus, it is an annoyance. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with a solution. Wiping my lenses with Rain-x windshield washer fluid was one method I tried. While it did nothing to stop my exhales from steaming up my glasses, I suppose if someone sneezed directly into my face, that moisture would bead up and drip off of them. So there’s that. I actually thought of using one of those skinny metal bristles that city street sweeper machines leave in their trail. That may work. However, the only time I’ve seen a street sweeper this year was on TV. Not gonna help much.

While making my morning java a couple days later, the Universe dropped the answer on my kitchen counter.  Use the metal closures from bags of coffee! Thank you, Universe! 

To test my theory, I modified one of the masks I’d purchased from the lovely women. Not one of mine, of course. Hehe.

Enter my husband’s U.K. Wildcat mask!
See that nice little white metal strip on the top of the bag?
You’re gonna want to peel that baby right off.
Next, select where you want to place the strip and sew a pocket for it, being very careful not to disturb the pleats.
Now that you have your pocket in place, cut a small hole and start feeding the strip into it. Note: Don’t worry if you cut all the way through the mask, we’re gonna fix that hole in a minute anyway.
Work the strip through until it is centered on the mask.
Now, sew the tube closed on each end of the strip to keep it from sliding around, again being careful of the pleats, and definitely don’t sew through the metal strip.
See that little hole?
Well, we’re just gonna zigzag stitch that sucker closed! And, it’s done. Took less than 5 minutes.
My sexy hubby demos the mask without the metal strip. He’s so accommodating and cooperative.
Here’s the mask I modified. Hubby easily bent the strip securely around his nose.
Voila! A homemade COVID mask, modified to snuggle your nose by using “common household items.”

I’m just going to go ahead and apologize to every supermarket, coffee chain, grocery store, as well as to all the online stores, right here and now. If you start noticing that a number of your coffee bags are missing their metal closure strips, I am genuinely sorry. While it was my idea, dropped on my counter by the Universe, to share my “how-to” with the world, this idea is based on using products that people would already have in their home — like I did. That is what I expect of you, my readers, too. Use what you currently have available in your home, please. 

Disclaimer: I have shared my idea. What you do with this information is 100% up to you. But please use it wisely. I mean, we all saw what happened with the toilet paper!! Oh, and let’s not forget the ice cream licking trend that caused mass production of sealed ice cream containers. I am not responsible for anyone, or any group of people, swiping all the metal coffee bag closures from all the grocers’ shelves. 

Second disclaimer: If anyone else has come up with this idea, I did not steal it. I haven’t even Googled it or searched YouTube for ways to modify these masks for nose snuggling. I was determined to come up with a solution on my own. However, when the Universe provides an answer, it’s often heard by more than one person. Don’t believe me? Research the most famous inventions, and you will see that often there are two people from differing parts of the world who each claim to have had the idea first. 

Do you have a friend or friends who follow the example of their Depression-era parents? I’ll bet you do, and they have likely saved each metal coffee bag closure strip that entered their house. They are all in a ziplock bag or being held together by a rubber band, just lying there in a drawer, waiting patiently. I know it! They save all of those lil strips because someone “may need this one day.” That someone is you

In conclusion, you’re probably wondering how you will keep your coffee bag closed without that little metal strip, aren’t you? Easily!

That’s what your mother’s old clothespins are for, for goodness sake!