Overcoming Bloglessness




“Grandma, can we make a fork?”

“Sure, Honey.  Let’s make a fort.”


Source: Hideout





These are my two new layers, the inseparable Lulu and Molly.  They aren’t dropping eggs yet, but I expect they’ll be putting out by summer’s end.

Lulu Laakenvelder is the white and black.   She’s an escaper; the only one in my flock of five motivated enough to fly to the top of the henhouse and over.  Sadly, she’s not clever enough to fly back in.   The crow hollers to let me know when the bad girl is out.  Once free, Lulu misses Molly so she sits and mopes on the other side of the fence.  Lulu’s grounded now; I had to clip her pretty little wings.

Molly’s plumage is green sheen on black.  She’s the better bug hunter and more content to stay in the henyard.




Betty and Penny and Fanny tolerate the littles, but they keep to their own little clique.   Fanny is the most assertive; the littles fear Fanny.  Penny is the kindest.  Betty’s indifferent.

The red hens are the best layers, rarely missing a day.  Betty takes frequent long breaks from laying when she’s broody; wishing for her own little babies.  Sorry Betty.  No roosters allowed.

These days I  count on two eggs a day.  When Betty’s up to it,  three.  By summer’s end I may get five eggs a day.  What do I do with all those eggs?  I give them to my neighbor who pays me with empty egg cartons.  I cook eggs for the crow and feed ’em to the hens and the feral cat.

The flock has reached maximum capacity.  I know, I said that when I only had three hens, but this time I really mean it.

Really and truly.




Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.

Source: Layers


The Black Haboob

The horizon was dark when I first looked out the kitchen window. A storm was moving in from the west. I went about my Swiffering, returning to the window time and again to check the storms’ progress. Every time I looked, the storm was closer. Close enough to see that this wasn’t your typical tempest. It wasn’t in the sky at all, but churning low over road and pasture like an ominous black haboob; black like oblivion.

The dream came to mind off and on that day. The Tempest. One might think a dream like that a warning, if one believed in such things.

I told my husband the dream over morning coffee.

That night he had a stroke.

We were watching Jeopardy in our side by side recliners when he had a terrible bout of coughing. After that, he wasn’t the same. He couldn’t move his right side. His speech was slurred. I called 911 right away.

I forgot all about the dream for a couple of ICU days. Then it dawned on me; the dream had come true. Or was it coincidence?

He’s home now, walking without aid, every day a little better. He can’t write or drive yet, his speech is improving. He’s cooking again and he fixed our leaky faucet.

We’re in good spirits, so aware of how it might have been, so aware of how much we love each other and so
thankful for good medicine, EMTs, nurses, doctors and scientists, friends and loved ones who helped us survive the ominous black haboob.

Source: Misstep



Bird Stuff

Daily Prompt: Now You See Me

You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will. When and where will you use this new superpower? Tell us a story.

I’ve have been using my superpower. Haven’t you noticed? I’ve been disappeared most of the winter. I just kind of got unbloggy; distracted by holidays, Scrabble, TV, jigsaw puzzles, naps, baking, sewing and bird stuff. My brain is full of bird stuff.


1000 pieces = 2 days to completion.

Fowl Fashion Update


Betty, Fanny and Penny

The hens would rather not touch snow, but when the sun comes out, who can resist a little walkabout?   Their coop is warmed by heat lamp, since  Betty was molting when the artic air arrived and Fanny has had foliage issues since I got her last summer.

Here she is in July, dehydrated and underweight with no pants and a big scab from being pecked on in an overcrowded henyard.


Ta-da!  Here’s Fanny now in her new finery.  She still has a small bald patch in the wayback, but that will fill in too.  By summer, she’ll be fully feathered.


These hens are good layers.  The heat lamp helps with winter production.  I’m getting three eggs most days.   Some eggs go right back to the hens or the crow, scrambled or hard-boiled.

Raven gets raw eggs.  I bet he’d like ’em scrambled too.



Full moon over Taj Ma-henhouse.



Taking a snowbath.

The name Suki didn’t really stick.  My husband consistently calls her “Crowbar”.  I allow that because it’s better than what he was calling her, which was “FUBAR”.   (F@#*^d Up Beyond All Reason)   Don’t call her that!
After reading about a crow named Chicken (CORVUS, by Esther Woolfson)  I started calling her Chicken. Or Crow.  “Suki” has become her formal name; the one she would use on important legal documents.

Crow stays busy all day, bathing in  snow, climbing her tree, caching and uncaching food and watching flighted birds soar by.   At night I bring her inside, to her crate.  One recent evening she stepped off her tree onto my hand and rode all the way inside!  That had never happened before and  I was plum tickled.  She’s done it a few times now, but she won’t do it every time.

In the morning, after scrambled eggs, I open the patio door and let her walk out on her own.  Here’s her route.



I’ve learned to keep my hood on when cleaning or feeding the owls at bird rehab.  A great grey owl deliberately befouled my hair!  And a barred owl smacked me upside the head as I exited his chamber.  He didn’t hurt me; his talons were not in kill position.  He just flew into the back of my head for reasons untold.  Maybe just for kicks or maybe he didn’t like my outfit.  I promise not wear that orange camo hoodie again.  It really is hideous.

Great grey owl

Great grey owl


Winter Crow

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

Now it’s winter and the snow is as high as little Crow’s eye.


The chickens won’t set foot on the snow, but crow doesn’t mind. She buries her head in the powder and plows, fluffs up her feathers and flaps her good wing like she’s in water.  Nothing refreshes like a snow bath! Or maybe she’s making crow angels.


Crow bites at falling snowflakes and contemplates the wintery world.






What is your worst quality?

Daily Prompt: Flawed



“What’s my worst quality?”


“What’s my worst quality?”

He looked up from his tablet, over the top of his readers to see if she was serious.

“C’mon, answer the question. What’s my worst quality?”

Such an obvious trap; too risky to answer, like Do these pants make my butt look big?” It could only get ugly. Why is she trying to start a fight tonight?

“What’s my worst quality?”

“You ask stupid questions. And you’re standing in front of the TV.”

“Oh, really? Well, it’s for the Daily Prompt.”

“Great. Can I play my game now?”

“Oh, by all means! Play your precious game! I’ll just be in the other room, entertaining myself. Alone, as usual.”

“Aw, crap. We gonna do this again?”

“No, no! It’s fine. Really!”


“You just let me know when you have time for me.”

“Yeah, well don’t wait under water.”


Out of the Closet

Liz and I were home alone on Thursday evenings while Dad and Donna played volleyball at the school.  For and hour and a half we had the house to ourselves.  We cranked up the stereo that we weren’t supposed to touch and tried to dance like go-go girls.  We pounded on the piano.  We ran down the stairs and took flying leaps onto the back of Dad’s swivel rocker, knocking it flat on its back.  I’d don Dad’s gorilla mask and scare Liz.  Every time.

One Thursday evening we played Hide and Seek. I hid in my bedroom closet and waited for Liz to come find me so I could scare her.  I waited, but she didn’t come. She must still be looking downstairs. I stayed put, determined to gorilla Liz.    

Waiting was boring.  There were pens in my closet which gave me the brilliant idea to write on the inside of my closet door.

It was a party in there.  The hippies in my closet penned groovy free love messages and the horny teenaged boys scrawled scandalous invitations. Timothy Leary was in there. All my many girlfriends were in there; lots of popular girls and party girls and we all wrote like we were high. We wrote knowing that no one would ever see it.

Liz had not come looking for me. She was not about to get gorilla-d. Again.

Flash forward about 30 years. 

I’m at work, looking over an application and see that the applicant lives in my childhood home.  I make the mistake of revealing that.

“Oh!  Are you the one who wrote inside the closet doors?”

Oh, the shame! I should’ve pretended I knew nothing about it, but he would’ve known, the way my jaw dropped. I could feel myself turning red.