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



Chicken Promenade (not a recipe)

Daily Prompt – Select one of your daily rituals and explain it to us: why do you do what you do? How did you come to adopt this ritual? What happens on days when you can’t perform it?Source: Daily Ritual


Walking the hens has become an evening ritual; at least, the hens think so.  Peek out the kitchen window about dinner time and you’ll see Betty pacing to and fro, practically climbing the fence, anxious to be let out.  Fanny and Penny stand back and look longingly toward the house.  Poor things.

After dinner, after wine and the news I commune with the chickens.  I serve them yogurt or spinach or some special treat.  After  treats they gather at the gate, expecting it to open.

“Okay,”  I tell them, “but just for a little bit.”


Princess Granddaughter enjoyed our evening ritual too.   We walk the hens all the way around the house.


Neighbors driving by may wonder about me.  I don’t think they ever walk their chickens.   I make it look like I’m just pulling weeds or watering the garden while the hens are out, but I’m keeping an eye on the biddies; watching for danger.

My henyard is plenty large for three hens, but the grass is greener and more plentiful on the other side and there are bugs and room to run and almost fly.   It’s good for their mental health and well being.

Minimum standards are inadequate for my little flock.   The henhouse and coop has been remodeled and dubbed the Taj MaHen House.  Thanks to my husband, the builder and to Martha Kennedy for the great name.  They have a new waterer,  heated so it won’t freeze this winter.  Yesterday I bought a large metal feeder at a yard sale for five bucks; a real, farm style feeder instead of the one I made from a wine box and duct tape.  Mine worked fine, but it was small.


Betty (the black and white, barred rock) is a complainer, clucking all the time, but she’s stealthy silent when we go “outside”.  She’s an avid hunter and gives it her all when she sees a grasshopper, running as fast as she can, almost flying.  She’s the hardest one to round up too; defiant when it’s time to go in.  She gives an egg almost every day.

Fanny still has a bare midriff.  It’s going to be a cold winter for her if those feathers don’t come in soon.  She’s not well dressed, but she’s a nice hen; a reliable layer.  She’s the most daring too, having flown to heights the other hens never dreamed of.   I see her sizing up the fence from various vantage points.    She landed on my back when I was bent over, scooping poo.


Pretty Penny is the shy one,  not comfortable out in the open.  She often hangs back, hiding under the utility trailer while the other hens are exploring.  She’s even leery of her shadow on the fence.  Like Fanny, she’s a reliable egg layer.  She tolerates being held better than the others.


There are only three hens now.  Wilma wasn’t getting better, after her mystery illness.  She quit laying pretty green eggs.  She lost weight and became too weak to go on.  I gave her a last meal of applesauce and handed her over to my henchman.  She was my cuddly hen.   C’est la vie.


So that’s my evening ritual; a relaxing little sundown stroll around the house with the hens.

Unless it rains.



Daily Prompt – First Crush

Who was your first childhood crush? What would you say to that person if you saw him/her again?

Source: First Crush

Mark was not my boyfriend;  just a boy and a friend, although we did try to mate once, under his bed.

Thomas was nice; a sloppy kisser, but he had hamsters.

I adored Jeff, the cutest boy in second grade. When I accidentally shoved my extra large pencil up his nose the other kids scared me, saying he might die of lead poisoning, but he still invited me to his birthday party.

I liked Randy, but when he asked a boy on the school bus to ask a girl to ask me if I liked him I yelled No! loud enough to hurt his feelings.  I’ve always felt bad about that.

I’d apologize to Randy.

Jeff died on a ski slope.

Thomas, how many hamsters do you have now?

Mark, you still like it dust bunny style?