Sunday, July 31, 2011

Today it's all about food

Friday night I made one of my homemade pizzas with the usual toppings, sauce, mozzarella, red pepper and sausage. For some reason I do not understand, last night's pizza looked like a Mexican hat. It puffed up in the middle and all the toppings melted down to the edge. I guess, in my quest to make an ever thinner crust, I disturbed the delicate balance of the perfect pizza. Still tasted pretty good though, with a nice French malbec.

Then, Saturday morning, one of the girls gave us our third egg, so we had our first "homegrown" egg breakfast. All of their hard work is much appreciated.

Poor Mr. Roo is still stuck at the bottom of the pecking order. He spends the night on the lid of the trashcan that holds their food. They won't allow him up on the roost with them. In the morning, they chase him for no good reason at all. Luckily they spend most of their time outside, so he can have some quiet time in the Chicken Shack eating and drinking in peace.

They'll work it out eventually. Just wait till he gets bigger, girls!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A frightened Mr. Roo arrives

Anita dropped him off today. He's at least a month younger than the girls, so they are picking on him, but I think he'll be OK.

On arrival, the girls chased him around the yard, while he was frantically looking for a way out. Big Mama was all puffed up and flapping her feathers at him, but she didn't peck at him like one of the other black girls. Poor little guy was trying to find a way back to his momma, Anita.

The big photo (above) was the last taken. By that time, he was hiding in the Chicken Shack, the girls outside, going about their business. We had a nice chat, and I assured him that he would be happy here, eventually.

Funny thing was, as Anita was leaving, she said her husband Frank asked her how she knew he was a roo? She didn't, but I think she's right. He's got that boy strut that none of the girls has, not even Big Mama.

The Dump is gone!

In less than 72 hours, Mr. K took it all away. That's him out there this afternoon, proud to pose for his photo, a full dumpster on the right.

I was out there with the Chicken Girls watching from the shack as Mr. K and 2 young helpers were trying to load the frame onto a trailer, but they made me too nervous. The heavy steel frame that was the base of the mobile home, was almost twice the length of that trailer (above) and probably three times the weight. They pulled it all away with a pickup truck. I went back to the house, and when I returned about an hour later, it was all done and gone. Absolutely amazing! It would have made for some great photos, but I just couldn't watch.

We did get our second egg from Big Mama yesterday, same size as the one from the red girl. Big Mama wasn't feeling especially photogenic today, so I caught 2 of the red girls posing instead. Click on the one with the stump, an SLW is hiding in the weeds behind the red. They all like to hide in there on hot days, and we've had our share of those lately.

If I go out there in the morning without some apples, they all peck at my feet as if to say "Hey, what up? We can't pick them from the trees ourselves!" In the bottom photo, Sweetie is saying thank you for the recent delivery. We don't really have names for them yet, and may not ever, but Sweetie has been the friendliest from the beginning, and Big Mama made herself the boss pretty early on. The other black ones I can't really tell apart, and the other red ones just haven't told us their names yet.

The Husband is going back to NJ tomorrow for his Mom's 90th birthday party. I wish I could go with him, but somebody has to stay here to pick the apples for the girls. And maybe, just maybe, Lester, Sophie, Dave and Willie need some love and food as well.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Dump is almost down and a second egg is coming soon!

Mr. K made further progress yesterday afternoon after I took that photo. Apparently he had a flat tire late in the day, and came back after fixing it to finish some more. By the time I got out there this morning, almost the whole thing was knocked down. He had to wait for the dumpster to be emptied and returned before he could load it up again. He had a young helper for an hour or 2, but still he has almost completed this job by himself in less than 2 days. Says he will definitely be finished by tomorrow. Wow!

While I was out there talking to Mr. K, the girls were very squawky and chatty, unusual for them. When I went to check on them, they were trying to tell me something, gathering around my feet. Then I realized it was Big Mama who was doing most of the talking, and now, while I was sitting outside, she was sitting inside in the nest box trying to give me an egg. Poor girl is having her big moment while the big tractor is right outside her door making all kinds of noise! No wonder the girls were in a tizzy!

I think this is her first egg, pretty sure it was one of the red girls who gave us the other one. She seemed kind of puzzled as to what was going on. One of her "peeps" was standing by her side, offering support. So very cute, these girls!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Here's the deal on The Dump Demolition, and Mr. Roo

Dave the Dump Destroyer disappeared a few weeks ago. Four phone calls from me were not returned, so I told him that he was off the job if he didn't call me back by the first week of July. He didn't, so I got some prices from some others: Mr. Kelley the Snowblower, and Shotgun Mike. Mr. Kelley had the best price, so he won the job. As soon as I tell him to go ahead, guess who calls me back, 2 weeks too late!

He accepted his pink slip over the phone and went on his merry way. I didn't even complain that it took him 5 months to do half the work, and that Mr. Kelley expects to have the other half done in 7 working days. That's how long we have paid for to have the big dumpster out there. Not including the cost of the dumpster, Mr. K is actually charging us $50 less than what we would have paid Dave to finish. This photo is after about 4 hours of Mr. K's work. I call that progress.

It will just be so nice to have this thing finally gone!

Young Mr. Roo was too shy to be easily captured last night, so he can stay with Anita until he's ready for his trip to Lester's Flat. It will actually be better if he grows up a bit before we introduce him to the big Chicken Girls. We are all patiently awaiting his arrival.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our first egg!

As Uncle Jack said, it DOES feel like we had our first baby. The parents of the Chicken Girls are very proud of them for producing their first egg, even if it is only one, and very small. I put it in the box with Anita the German Lady's full-grown chicken eggs. Guess which one is ours?

I met Anita at my first impromptu yard sale (the one where I made a big $15.50). She has 80 chickens, including 5 roosters on a very picturesque property. There is a 6th rooster that she has convinced us to take, saying that he will do his best to protect the girls from intruders of any sort. He is young, and supposedly very sweet. I went to pick him up today, but she said she will only be able to catch him in the evening, when they go inside to roost. I left a cat carrier, and I might pick him up as soon as tonight.

There is news on The Dump's destruction, but it will have to wait for my post tomorrow. I also hope to have young Mr. Roo's photo by then. I almost caught him with my cellphone before Anita came to the door, but when he figured out that I was not she, he high-tailed it out of there but quick.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sometimes I am SO stupid!

I saw an add for a system clean-up/virus protection software program called MacKeeper right here on my own blog. Only $38.95 and it does so much! I have NEVER had a virus on any of my Macs, and never had a system problem that required any techie assistance. So, stupid me, what was I thinking? This program embeds itself all over your computer and it is very difficult to get rid of...especially for me because it turned my screen to white. I guess that's what they meant by "clean-up"!

I started up the old iMac and wasted hours online over the weekend trying to find others with a similar problem. I found plenty of folks who had a problem with MacKeeper, but none were exactly the same as mine, and none had a solution other than to "uninstall" it. I did, but magically still found the evil ZeoBit hiding on my hard drive in funny little places. MacWorld and Apple support forums were very helpful in directing me to the proper hiding places to dispose of every last trace of ZeoBit and MacKeeper, but I still had to make a trip to the Apple repair guys in New Hartford—Connecting Point. What wonderful geeks they are, and they didn't even charge me!

I am still having some "white screen" issues, but seem to be gaining on the problem. Thankfully I am not very busy with real work right now!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2 humans, 2 dogs, 2 states

I didn't realize until I went looking for photos from last year on July 19, that The Hub and I were separated (geographically, not maritally). He had already left his job and moved to Lester's Flat with Sophie. I was back in NJ trying to get packed up with the Lester as my helper.

Photo of the big black dog is submitted as evidence of his penchant for tomatoes—green or red doesn't matter. I think this time last year is also when I was fighting the battle with the army of squirrels, who also didn't seem to care if the tomatoes were ripe or not. Squirrels won. Not one single ripe tomato from my last NJ crop.

Age is finally catching up to the big Lester. He is 13. He had one really bad day last Thursday, where he barely reacted to the chimney sweep coming in. He just hunkered down and hid most of the day. I thought I was going to have to get Steve the Sweep to help me carry the 75 lb. old guy to the car, but Lester rallied and made it to the vet without incident. Blood test showed that his liver numbers were slightly higher than the last check a few weeks ago, but the vet couldn't find anything to explain his sudden lethargy. Lester was magically improved the following day, so we stopped looking for answers.

Photo #2 is of a happy Sophie, always content to sit outside and watch the world go by in NY. Sometimes she'll wander a bit, but for the most part she stays (unlike the big black dog).

Headed out with the 2 of them right now for a good swim in the creek. Nothing like a swim on a hot day to cheer up an old Lester. Sophie...she'll stick to the shallow water, thank you very much.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The boxes, the Chicken Girls and The Dump

The weather is always full of surprises up here in the North Country. As I was typing my post the other day, the sky turned black and thunder started booming. I had to give up mid-post to protect my iMac, which does double duty as a TV now that we don't get any local channels without cable. If we lost the Mac, we would truly be out of touch with the universe. We even use it as a radio sometimes because the local stations tend to fade in and out.

The photo here was taken in the midst of that booming thunderstorm. It blew over in about 10 minutes, pouring rain and streaking lightning, and just that fast it was gone and the sun came out. If you look closely, there is a big fat rainbow over the top of the garage. Closer still, and you might see the hawk flying in the rain that was still coming down.

I am sorry that the weather seems to be my most frequent topic, but the only other things going on at Lester's Flat right now are the boxes of stuff still waiting to be unpacked, the adventures of the Chicken Girls, and the Disappearing Dump Destroyer. I haven't seen him for over a month even though he claims to have been out there a few times. He threatened to have everything "knocked down" by the end of May, but we are no closer to that point than we were on May 31.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Foggy night at the Flat for the Fourth

Actually these foggy photos were taken on the third of July. It is difficult to capture the eeriness of the fog rolling in and blanketing everything with a blur.

For the Fourth of July weekend: we celebrated on Saturday by watching the fireworks on Canadarago Lake from our kitchen window. Sophie is petrified of loud noises, and especially fireworks, so we stayed home to keep her company. Maybe also because we had nowhere else to go...

We went to Steve's house at Oneida Lake on Sunday for a picnic. The Husband wanted me to be inspired by Steve's amazing feat of building his own HUGE log cabin on the lake. Stunned probably better describes my reaction. As far as inspiration for the 2 of us to build our own goat shed or new chicken shack—I can't say that I feel any more prepared to begin that little project, unless Steve wants to come and help out.

On the Fourth we hooked up with yet another of The Hub's cousins: Terry and Kimball, from Florida. We spent a very pleasant afternoon on Greg's boat on the lake, and came back for some dinner at Greg's after.

I am giving up on this post for now...big storm approaching.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chickens and yard sale and goats

All seven of us are still here...but we're not sure we remember who that woman is.

The Chicken Girls are still hanging in there, although they gave me the evil eye when I first went in to see them. It had been a good 3 weeks since I had visited the Chicken Shack. They are noticeably bigger, and definitely more willing to venture outdoors. We have an old car roof that we dragged from the back 40 to give them some shade, and I think that helped to lure them out there. Still no eggs though. They should start laying in the next week or 2.

I am making some progress in unpacking. I already had some things loaded up and labeled for a yard sale, so I added a few pieces of furniture we had bought for The Dump, and had a little unadvertised sale today. It was a picture-perfect day for sitting on the front 40 and reading a book (Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan).  I made a measly $15.50, but it was a nice relaxing day. I extended the sale an hour or so just so I could finish the book.

My first customer today was a woman who said she started with only 6 chickens, and now she has 80. She offered us a very nice rooster for free. (Do we dare? How long before our chicken population increases?) She was also proud to talk about her 2 goat girls. I am still in goat denial, but The Husband could convince me any day now.