About Me

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I am a 42 year old woman that is about as happy and content as one person can be. My husband of 21 years and our 15 year old daughter live on five and a half acres out in the country. We moved from the city four years ago and never looked back. I homeschool our daughter. We also love our animals. Our daughter has a miniature horse and two rabbits. We also have a border collie, two cats (again), two pot belly pigs, four peafowl, three emus, 2 llamas and an undetermined number of chickens, lets just say ohhh about 200. I have many breeds, from layers to fancy chickens. I love poultry shows, I love fowl in general as I have come to find out through having more than just chickens. Chickens will always be my first love though. I do show some of my birds occasionally.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday Dinner, Rooster Diagnosis


MMMmmmmmm....can you smell that? That is the smell of my pot roast in the crock pot cooking away all day. That is one good thing about cold weather. One pot warm meals...chicken and dumplings, chili and cornbread, pot roast. What do you like to fix for a warming meal in the winter?

I broke down and turned the heat on yesterday. I couldn't stand it anymore. I was chilled down to the bone. It got down in the thirties here last night so I had to have it on anyway.

The cotton is gone, the wind is brisk, the leaves are falling, the days are growing ever shorter. I guess I have to face it, its fixing to get cold and dark, period. I guess that just makes me appreciate Spring and Summer all the more.

Well, I got two answers about the rooster. One person said that it was rare and he had never actually seen it, but if a chicken tries to vomit the crop may come with it. Then this afternoon I got another response from a man that asked a man he knew that is a Poultry Science teacher and a Poultry Veterinarian. He says that it is a prolapsed esophagus. How this comes about I have no idea, but I did ask him, so we will see what he says.

Its five o'clock, time to go outside and do some things, feed and water some critters, cover some more pens, this and that. See y'all tomorrow.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Sleep...Sunday and Other Talk

I sure do have my hours turned around...I should be asleep. I did stay up long enough to watch Heroes, but I should have been sleepy afterwards...but was not. Cleaned up the kitchen and folded some laundry. Now I am feeling a bit sleepy, but it is almost 11:30...so that will put me at about four and a half hours of good sleep before I have to wake Ian up for work...which is just not enough, so once again I will go back to sleep from six a.m. til Phoenix decides to rise and shine...which has been anywhere from 8 to 9 a.m. Is he spoiled or what? Roosters outside have been crowing for three hours and here he is sleeping in. I can't blame him...I mean it is cold out there in the early morning light, why not just stay under the covers and in the pillows (yes, literally for him) where it is warm and dark. I don't mind him waking later...he is a good snooze button for me.

Anyway, on with the weekend happenings. Sunday we got up and Karen and I fixed eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, and brown sugar and cinnamon toast with honey...with either milk or OJ to drink. After breakfast we discussed this and that...eventually I had to make the planner out for school for this week so the kids were playing games and Karen slipped off to sleep on the couch into a nice naptime. I made the most of it and got most of the planner done. I finished study sheets this morning for History, Geography and Science.

Later I set up the cake and we sang a Happy Birthday to Shelby...had yummy cake and icecream. Soon after Karen and Tiffany had to be going. Tiffany had some studying to do and I think some homework. I sent them home with two dozen eggs, two big jars of kosher pickles and some cake. After they left I started on supper...and the rest of the day was business as usual.

I did get a single pen covered and almost all of the row of five pens covered for wintertime. We have no cover here so it is essential that I button up the pens against the cold and winter. I don't use any flimsy tarp either. I get the heavy duty stuff. It can get really windy here and combined with the cold it could kill smaller chickens like my Serama. I will be getting one of those 250 watt heat bulbs to hang, probably two...since I have two pens full of Serama out there now. Speaking of which I have to get pictures of the newbies. Still havent done that. I will see about doing that in the next day or two.

I do have a bit of sad news. My young Golden Phoenix rooster of five months old is going to pass on with my help. I don't know what happened. He was fine last night when I fed and watered. Today about noon I went out to check on everyone and I found a horror. I will spare you the pictures I took of this as weak stomaches may not make it through seeing it. I took the pictures to try to get some feedback on a few chicken people friends and a chicken message board, but so far no one can tell me what has happened. You ask what happened. Well, quite frankly it looks as if he threw up his insides...his crop at least anyway. The crop is the first place food goes before it goes to the stomach...it is a kind of shall we say "waiting room" for the food to go on down the pipeline. It is hangin out of his mouth and there is nothing I can do for him...and no one can tell me why on earth such a thing would happen. There will be no recovery from this I imagine. So I will put him down out of mercy and it is the humane thing to do. He is suffering terribly I am sure.

On a lighter note...goodness I didnt mean to get so down. On a lighter note Halloween is just around the corner. Lots of candy and trick or treating in the square, games and a costume contest. Small town fun...I love it. We never did find Shelby a girl pirate costume she really wanted or liked so I guess she will just have to wear the one from last year, which was a pretty costume, nothing wrong with it, she just wanted to be something else. She is not too bummed about it though thank goodness. She is already planning next years Halloween! She wants to dress up as Hanna Montana...go figure...lol.

Here are some pictures from the weekend...





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Tiffany feeding Peter his carrot, and Shelby feeding Buster his carrot...these two rabbits are spoiled already..being cuddled and hand fed.


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Thanks to everyone for wishing Shelby a Happy Birthday. :)

On Saturday...

Good Monday evening. One more week folks, then its gonna be dark so early. SIGH......

Had a good weekend. Saturday Karen and Tiffany came to spend the weekend. Karen and I left Shelby and Tiffany to their own devices for a little while while we went to go pick up Shelbys cake. Picked her up a few last minute things. She needed something to open after all. She got her Spyro game and her hair done up, but you have to have something left to get. :) I got her a Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus poster. I had a little stuffed black horse stuck back I got from Tractor Supply. Its head moves up and down, tail wiggle and it walks, sorta bumps along with a little snorty sound. She loved it of course. I got a High School Musical gift bag that had a little place on it you push and it plays a song from what else...High School Musical. ;) A nice Daughter Birthday card from Ian and I too of course.

Saturday evening we went out to Sonny BBQ and stuffed our faces right and proper with lots of meat.

I had seen a sign, but you know how you see something and it is in and out of your sight and mind before you really have time to think about it. It was a handmade sign that read "Nightmare On The Mountain" "V.M.F.D."....Tiffany and Karen said we ought to go. Well that would be fine, except there was nothing else on the sign....that would let someone know where it was. What was VMFD? We all sat in the truck on the way home trying to figure it out. About two miles from home I blurted out "Vinson Mountain Fire Department!" Ian said that was a good one, but he didnt know that the mountain in Rockmart had its own fire department. We got home and looked it up on the internet and found they have this thing every year on the mountain...and yes, they do indeed have a fire department! So we took off up the road for the VMFD...lol.

Got there and of course buying the tickets was for a good cause, the fire department would use it for new equipment that was needed and such. At ten bucks a pop that was alright. They had a really cool little set up.

We had to stand in line for a while, it was a bit breezy and cool but we survived. We had a bunch of fifty something adults come up behind us, thirteen of them to be exact...and the man heading up the line was stinking and I DO mean STINKING ass drunk. He smelled like he had been dipped in whiskey...ugh..and loud mouthed...foul mouthed. Even the other mildly drunk people with him told himto hold it down that there were kids (Shelby and Tiffany) right in front of him. Then he went to smoking a cigarette right there in the line, even though his friends told him there were No Smoking signs everywhere. I was afraid with all his bumping and bobbing around he was going to end up burning someone with his cigarette.

As we got up to the front of the line...as I suspected they were sending groups through the haunted woods, and we were going to have the misfortune of going with Mr. Drunkie. OH NO, not gonna happen. I informed one of the guides that we would like the five of us to go without the drunk crowd behind us. The drunk crowd wanted to go all together anyway...so they took five more folks from behind them and put us all together...thank goodness.

It was cool! There was lots of folks jumping out at you, lots of banging and the whole trail was webbing with dead leaves hanging down from some of the webbing to drag across the top of your head...creepy crawly feeling! Lots of fog and strobe lights...I LOVED it, they had someone dressed as Micheal Myers and started the music from Halloween...you know, the movies. He was great! After that there was Freddy...but he was only as tall as me...lol..and I am five foot four, so he just wasnt that intimidating...I was a little disappointed as that was my teenage scary movie favorite. His costume was great though...his knives on his gloves were even metal and klinked together. It wasnt really scary scary...but is was FUN scary.

Must have been a lot of fun cause we all talked about it all the way home and then pulled out some old Freddy and Halloween movies soon as we hit the door. ;)

More later....with pictures...I got to go out and feed and water before it is DARK!! Hope everyone had a great day today.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Just Some Pictures

I reckon this will be my last entry for the week. We have company coming for Shelby Saturday and I need to get on things around here. You know how it goes, got to get things clean and straight for company.

I wanted to leave you with some past pictures of the girls before we moved.

We used to take a couple of the girls to Petsmart with us. The buff orpington here with Shelby is Sweetie Pie. She was always so well behaved.

The Speckled Sussex is Raine. She was very laid back too.


Shelby with Sweetie Pie Raine in Petsmart

Hmmmm...what do you girls have there?



Ah haaaa...watermelon!



Helping out with the yardwork...








A few more pictures...


chickensandhouse Buffonstool closeup

Thats all I have for now...I will miss everyone and I am sure I will have plenty to catch up on when I get back on Monday. Until then I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and remember what Dad at the Tomato Garden says...SMILE!!! :)

Remembering Our House Hunting in 2004-2005

We had a price range in mind when we looked at the houses for sale we thought we were interested in. Something was always wrong, and I mean bad wrong with the property when we got there.

One had a stagnant swamp out back...a perfect rectangular one. Someone had tried to make a pond. When it rained, you guessed it, it flooded the back area. The house was nice, but who wants to live with 10 billion mosquitos and their babies squirming in that water?

Another one USED to have a pond in the front yard. It was five acres, but there was one area that was always muddy. All the houses on higher ground had a run off, and it all came to a halt in this yard. Not to mention there were railroad tracks wrapping around the back half of the property within spitting distance. Can you imagine the noise? We get a LOT of trains through this area. About one every thirty minutes at night.

We had picked out all these houses to look at online, but always found disappointment when we got there. These two stuck out in my mind just now. Finally we decided we were just going to have to bite the bullet and up the price we were going to pay. When we did, all things came together almost instantly, almost. We had to go through a couple of overpriced houses that werent worth the money, or one I found that I absolutely loved that had already been sold. I still think about that house...have a picture of it, let me see if I can find it.

Oh Linda, you know what, I am glad you reminded me, I have a terrible memory..but I will go out there today and get you all the seeds I can get into an envelope. Email me your address again, I think you had once, but you know I dont know where I put it.

Paula, you know what, your admission would have been a great idea for kids, BUT, I had to keep my flock as secret as I could. It was not legal to have any chickens in the city limits of Forest Park. I knew the Animal Control lady well, and she did turn a blind eye, but she told me if anyone ever complained, well, I would have to do something about it. Luckily no one ever complained. We had a lot of latinos in the area, and not to stereotype, but they do love fresh chicken, and I didnt want any of my girls missing and ending up going to dinner permanently. Some of the kids around there were not too trustworthy and very well could have stolen one just for the fun of it had they known about them. So, I kept it quiet and did a pretty good job up until just before we moved. I had a huge yard sale and well, lots of those folks ended up seeing one or two girls that wandered up to see what the excitement was.

Donna, you know my story well. Donna is the one that got me into journaling. You see, when I first got internet way back when I frequented a Country Living Forum. I had country living in my heart years before we were able to move, so I was a wannabe I guess you could say for a long time. People come and go on a forum. Things and people change. Long story short, believe it or not, once I was actually moved to the country it seemed I was not as accepted in the forum. I was inexperienced at this new life, but I thought I would fit in better. I didnt, so Donna helped me to move on. Fern was also very encouraging and I have them both to thank for putting me in Jland. I really do love it here more than I ever did at that forum. So thank you Donna, and thank you Fern. :)

There had been a house listed for a while...I had seen it on the listings several times...and so had Ian. Ian said he dismissed it because it had a paved driveway. Even though it was five and a half acres...he thought with a paved driveway it MUST be right up by the road. I really like the house. It had everything we wanted and more. I big front porch, a screened in back porch, lots of open land, a garage. I wanted to see it. So I called our agent. She went out to look at it and called me back right away. She said we better get out to that house RIGHT NOW and look at it. She said it was not right by the road and it was perfect, but it was hot, and a lot of people were looking at it, so we hopped in the truck and came out right away.

This was it. We were home. It even had a pool. A dream home. Shelby could have the whole upstairs to herself. It had two bedrooms, one for a playroom, one for a bedroom. Had a complete bathroom upstairs. Wonderful. Her own little retreat. Downstairs all the rooms were huge compared to what we were used to. We didnt necessarily want more rooms, just bigger spacious rooms. It had that, and so much more. Oh it was just perfect.

I had been packing anything and everything we could do without for months, so moving was not a problem. With a few friends and a big UHaul truck we had everything moved in two days. I had prepared for this day and here it was. I had even made that chicken house to where I could disassemble it easily from the corners of the walls and easily transport it to our new home, now thats thinking ahead.

As of April 1st, 2005 we were the proud new owners of our dream home that we will be in til Ian retires, in the country. We had arrived.

When we arrived we had in tow, twenty five chickens, Tip our border collie, two old cats, a cockateil, our iguana, and Tyler, Shelbys Flemish Giant Rabbit.

Today, we have over a hundred chickens of a vast variety of breeds, two pot belly pigs, a miniature horse, two more rabbits, and all mentioned above except we lost one cat to old age back in the Spring.

I want more, I always want more, but we are looking into having a real barn put up by next summer before we get anything else...like a llama. ;)


pretty house

Here in this picture above is the only house that I really loved before we found our house now. The only reason I like this one better was because it had fencing, but we have fencing now, so it doesnt matter. This one was sold and when I pulled up they were moving in already.

Here is our house...we still love it and feel so fortunate to live out here where it is so beautiful. I remember being that person that drove by places like that...thinking I never would be living in a place like that.


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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Growing Chicken Hobby Story Entry

Thought I would do another entry on the past. How I came to have and love so many chickens. I haven't done one since I talked about the Black Austrolorps and the Barred Rocks went outside.

As usual I put the new ten in a holding area that was attached to the end of the existing run. Doing this gives the older girls time to investigate the newer girls without there being a lot of squabbling and hen pecking. After a couple of weeks I let them out and put them all together. There was very little arguing amongst the new and old. I was glad to see my plan had worked.

Winter came...we were looking looking looking at houses. We started out looking down south on I75...no, just too much development. We would be crowded out in no time and besides Ians commute would be pure and simple hell with five million of his closest friend going north to Atlanta on I75, and there is a wreck guaranteed almost every morning to slow you up. Then we tried looking out towards where his Dad lives...after much debate and not finding what we were really looking for we decided against that as the Newnan area was growing up by leaps and bounds too.

Well, there was West...towards Alabama..but we would have to go past Paulding County. It has exploded with growth in the past ten years. Okay. We found an agent exclusive to that area. She was great. We had five houses lined up to look at that next weekend. We looked at all, but none were just right.

Now back to the chickens. I knew we were getting close. We had the money to get the house...we just had to find it. It was just going to be a matter of time before we found that right place. So...about the end of January new chicks came in to the local feed store. This time he had the cutest little chicks, so cute you just couldnt help it, you had to have them. So I got five. Five americauna chicks. These are the kind that lay blue or green eggs. I have had both colors come out of these hens.

So, here they are in the box still from bringing them home. So...total head count including these...twenty five chickens...in the city limits...in a neighborhood. (GRIN)


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Shelbys Day and Cotton Harvested

Good Thursday morning. :) I have a smile on this morning because the sun is shining out there this morning. It is crisp and cool, but I dont mind as long as the sun is shining. We had three days of rain...and even though we need it...I like it to take breaks in between so we can have a little sunshine.

Yesterday Shelby and I had her and appointment to get her her first perm. She turned thirteen yesterday! So grown up. So we got there and they couldnt do it. You see, if you look in the pictures of her, like with the llama at the fair, she has heavy blonde streaking in her hair. She likes for me to do that to her hair, and it does look good, but evidently the combination of perming and that bleach frost in her hair will cause her bleached parts to fall out, burn up.

Now I don't know about any of you, but when I was a teenager and in my early twenties I got perms, and I had my hair blonde all the time...I bleached, use hair color, all of that, got perms. My hair never fell out. But, rather than take a chance, having to sign a waiver that we wouldnt sue them if her hair fell out in order for them to do it, we will wait and let the frosting grow out, and then get a perm, if that is what Shelby wants. She still got her hair layered and trimmed up so it looks a lot better. I told her if she wanted to get some hot rollers or a curling iron I would help her and show her how to use them. Might look at that today when we go to get groceries at Walmart. The big thing I liked about a perm was you could wash and just let it dry, pick it out some and go.

So then we went to Gamestop. Shelby is a big gamer, She has all those systems, Wii, PSP, Nintendo DS, PS2, and so on. She picked out the newest Spyro the Dragon game for Wii. She also bought another game we had been looking for for some time, she bought that herself with her allowance money.

Went to lunch at Stevie Bs...that is like Cicis buffet pizza place, but SO much better.

Stopped by Tractor Supply and got Derby some bales of Bermuda hay to eat. Got him an apple flavored salt lick while we were there...browsed around the store for a bit trying to wait on the rain to slack off but it never did.

Got home and she popped in her new games and played away, happy as could be. I was going to take some pictures of her getting her first perm, but I guess that will have to wait, if she still wants one. So that was how we spent her birthday. She will be ordering a cake today for Saturday.

Last year we had a BUNCH of folks over, with a BUNCH of her friends. It was fun at first, but then the two girls, the twins...they get kind of out of control, really hyper, and that got everyone else hyper. Long story short there was much screaming and yelling, doors slamming, and before it was over someone got their hand slammed in the door and one of Shelbys beds got broken. They were jumping up and down on the twin and the full, the twin had a wooden frame and well, it broke. I was pretty pissed. Not to mention the upstairs looked like a tornado had hit it.

So this year I told her to pick someone she really wanted to have over to spend the night for the weekend and we would all go out to eat where ever she wanted to go, have cake and hang out. So Tiffany and Karen are coming over. She decided on Sonnys BBQ all you can eat ribs for supper. So we are ready for the weekend.


Well its official...Fall is here. The cotton is gone, the fields look so barren. Ian and I were talking about it, and when this happens it is a sign that Summer is really gone...thats it...its all over.

Here are a few pictures of them harvesting the cotton. They were pretty quick about it this year so I almost didnt get any pictures.



Cotton picker above and a closer shot right by our fence below...



Next two pictures are the bin they dump the collected cotton into...then they pound it down with that red arm thing you see...it is SO loud. BAM BAM BAM...all day. I didnt get any pictures of the baled and covered cotton as soon as they did it they had a truck come in and scoop it up and take it away.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stock Dog Demonstration At The Fair and Ponderings

Good afternoon. It is raining here...and raining. The wind is blowing too. I sure wish it would slack off some for a little while. I know we need it though. I need to go to the feed store but I don't see myself driving in this. Maybe it will slack off soon. Time to get out the muck boots I reckon.

I got sticker shock when I called the Tractor Supply in Hiram. They keep Bermuda Hay when they have it available, really clean good horse quality. Last year it was six dollars a bale. When I called to see if they had some because it is time to get Derby some for the winter now that the grass has gone dormant. It is now ten dollars a bale! I should have expected it because with the drought there has not been a good hay season for most. Got to have it, so I will pay it. Better get as much as I can now too as I don't know how long they will have it in stock.

I got a question for horse owners. Why does Derby stand out in the wind and rain? Its obvious he doesnt like it. He backs up and paws the ground showing his dislike for it all. Why doesnt he go into his barn where it is dry? We are going to have to finish up the front of his house I guess and put him in it when it is raining and at night when it is cold. It isnt cold here right now, but I know sooner or later it will be and he cant stand out in the cold and rain like that. Why doesnt he have the good sense to go inside? Even the pigs know to go in their house during the rain. Even the chickens take shelter. Why doesnt Derby?


This is the last entry for the fair pictures.

When we got there and Dewey started his show he informed everyone that Tip (that is my Tips Daddy) did not make it through the summer. In July he began to cough up blood and he said he knew it was time. So he had him put down. It was actually quite miraculous that Tip lasted as long as he did considering when it was discovered he has cancer that he was only supposed to live a few more months at the time. He got another year and a half or so before the cancer took him over. He was a good dog, dedicated and loved to work. Sometimes I think that is what kept him alive longer is his obsession with working the sheep. He had a notebook for everyone to sign their names that always came to see Tip every year. We signed it of course. He says the fairgrounds will have a plaque made up with his name on it in honor of him and have it placed for everyone to see when they come to the fair.

Dewey has another dog now. She is a Kelpie. A little known breed, there are only about 2500 in the US. It is an Australian breed...supposed to be a mix of border collie and dingo he says. You just thought that border collies were hyper...this dog was so gung ho I thought she was just going to explode where she stood...lol. She is only seven months old and he is still working with her so she is not ready to be working fully yet.

There are also pictures of Tips half brother Victor, and her half sister Bow. Victor is good, but Bow has more of her Daddy in her, you can tell she is really focused.




Monday, October 22, 2007

A Conversation Overheard

I have a high school education. It is no secret. I didn't want to go to college. When senior year students were asked what they were their goals for the future mine was not a typical answer. I wanted to be a mother and a wife. I wanted to be what they call today a homemaker. I am pretty good at it these days too.

The reason I mention my level of education is because I am in fact just average. I don't consider my self worldly or scholarly. I think I am a reasonably intellegent person. I am still learning things today, so my mind is not stagnant. For someone not to know first grade basics as an adult still floors me, even though I know it is out there, but a WHOLE FAMILY OF THREE GENERATIONS? But wait, let me explain before I get ahead of myself.

I would not expect someone from another country to know or really care how many states there are in the United States, nor would I expect them to know and name each and every state. I would expect someone that has been raised in the US and is a typical American to know these things. Especially how many states there are.

So what am I talking about. Well, on the way back from the fair we stopped at Broadway Diner in Stockbridge. It is a very nice diner that has any kind of food you can think of from Breakfast food toGreek to American to Mexican cuisine. A very unique place. Ian, Shelby and I were sitting there at our table eating our meal when a family caught our attention in the corner booth. You just about couldnt help but hear their conversation because it was just so....well, DUMB. There was Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, and a girl, a teenager. Out of all these folks, there was a thirty fourty minute conversation that went something like this.

How many states are there in the United States?

I don't know, lets see I think there are fifty two.

No, no, I think there are 48.

No, there are fifty states.

No, I know there are at least 52.

Okay well lets name them all then...someone write them down as we name them.

(Now I will spare you the headache of listening to them all try to name the states.)

Isnt Puerto Rico a state? (WHAT??????????)

Yeah yeah, I think it is.

What about Hawaii? Is it a state?

Wait, what about Mexico, isnt it part of the United States? (?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?)

What about those islands, you know...down there...Cuba? Or something? Are they part of the US?

(Waitress comes) Hey lets ask our waitress, she will know. How many states are there in the US?

Waitress: Umm fifty.

(There is more debate, so much that the waitress starts to doubt her own answer, says she will have to go back to the back and ask some of her coworkers)

Now I hope she didnt go back there and ask. I am thinking she went back there to tell what a bunch of nincompoops were at her table.

This went on and on...Ian and I kept raising our eyebrows at each other and laughing quietly.

Finally they get up to leave and the Grandpa starts to ask me. I looked at him with a small grin and said,

"Well sir, there are fifty states. I better know these kinds of things as I teach my daughter, she is homeschooled."

He tried to debate with me, but I was having none of it. I told him there were in fact fifty states. I knew at one time Puerto Rico had tried to become part of the US, but it didnt happen.

So Ian goes to pay the check. We wait about ten or fifteen minutes for these ninnies to straighten out who was going to pay what and squabbling over what who was going to pay and who was not going to pay for this...on and on. Finally our waiter came up and took Ians check and got us out of there.


Now I would expect that SOMEONE would have known how many states are in the US out of that whole bunch...but no.

Makes me glad I homeschool. Good grief. What are they teaching in school?

Now if I sound snooty or self righteous I am not trying to come off like that at all. I just could not believe that basic information about where you live is not known by people that live here. Even immigrants coming into the country legally have to take a test...and I bet that is probably one of the questions they have to know.

Okay...so hope you all got a laugh, or a cry, or whatever emotion this evoked out of this entry. For me, I had to pick my jaw up off the restaurant floor when I heard it.

Just A Few Rabbit Pictures From The Fair

The rabbit exhibit was set up where it was kind of hard to get any good pictures. Last year I took a lot of pictures but because of the wire they have to put around the cages to keep little poking proding fingers out it takes away from the pictures...so I just took a few. The Dutch rabbit was in the petting box so I could get a good picture of that one.


Cat Out Of Luck and Getting The New Serama

Lots of odds and ends racing through my mind today that I want to get down in my journal...so here goes.

Remember that black and white cat that Tip chased up that tree? Well, it has been back a lot...mostly at night. I think it was hunting mice because it was hanging around the row of breeder pens. That had to be the only thing keeping it around is mouse dinner every night because I wasn't feeding it. Made me nervous being around the pens and would have rather it just moved on.

Well it evidently ran through its nine lives rather quickly because it ran out of time and out of luck. The other morning I headed out down the road to go get some animal feed and down at the corner there lay a cat right in the middle of the road on the two solid yellow lines...smushed. It was the cat that had been hanging around. That problem solved itself I guess huh.


Let me tell you about going to get those Serama chickens.

I found the house with no problem. The man lives about thirty minutes from me...not far considering anywhere takes me thirty minutes to get there. I was greeted by four little yipping dogs...of various breeds, one I remember a poodle, one a shitzu (sp?), and two others. The older gentlemen came out the back door and waved them all away hushing them up. I came in the fence as he told me they shouldnt bite me...and that he had the one that would bite me in the house. Even though they were little dogs they still made me a little nervous. You just never know with other folks dogs.

I got my carrier out of the truck and we went through another gated area where he had about ten pygmy goats, various large chickens...some ducks of various breeds..and the bantam chicken enclosure along with his collection of pigeons. Those were some cool looking pigeons. All the feathers around their neck and head swept forward instead of smoothing back on their body. Some had a hood of feathers on their head...neat looking.

At one time this enclosure was very neat...but over time the door to the entry way had fallen off and he was just blocking it with a rubber coated wire shelf. Which didnt really work, the ducks jumped it. The goats jumped it.

After you passed through the first door about three feet into it there was another doorway. This one you had to step over and into. It had a door missing too. At one time it had two doors that met in the middle and closed up. Now there was another rubber coated wire shelf hanging longways where the missing door to the right side was. It kept falling off. When you get into the enclosure there is a raised pen with a wire bottom. It was kind of nice to have something like that, BUT the little walkway in front of the raised pen, which was completely enclosed...was just littered with hazards. Old buckets, pieces of broken wood, broken containers, an old glass panel from a screen door. The floor was littered with poo and dry dry dirt. Now I know it has been dry, but you have to manage all this with something. If it had been me, I would have covered the dirt and poo with hay to keep the dust down.

So now we are in there with standing room only for the two of us. He is more or less disabled as his arthritis is so bad in his back that if he tries to do much his spinal cord gets pinched and he loses all the feeling in his body from the waste down. He had this net, it was a fishing net, with a WAY too short handle. What I was supposed to do with it I have no idea. I had no reach with it. Some of the chickens were in the raised enclosure and some were loose in the little area we were standing in. Everytime I tried to do anything the dust would kick up in there like you wouldnt believe. Now you know that it wasnt just dust. It was poo dust too. Had to be.

It took me a total of an hour and a half to catch nine birds. You see the ones that were loose kept hiding in all the mess and trash pushed under the raised pen. I ended up getting down on my hands and knees on that nasty dirt floor. I asked him for something to put my knees on and he got me a couple of empty feed bags. He kept apologizing that he could not do more to help me catch them. You see the whole reason he was getting rid of some was because he just cant maintain all there is to do with his animals anymore.

After catching them all I was covered, and I do mean covered in a layer of dust and dirt. Several times I had to close my eyes and stop breathing when the chickens would freak out while I was trying to catch them and kick up all that dirt and dust.

Now I am not a pansy girly girl. I work hard outside and I am not afraid of dirt, mud, sweat and stink. BUT COME ON. After I paid the man and left I started to feel nauseous. I didnt feel too good at all. I figure it was breathing in who knows what. I called Ian and told him I was a biohazard and coming straight home straight for the shower.

Some folks don't seperate their new chickens from old, but I do. I quarantine new chickens for several weeks until I am sure they arent carrying any disease or whatever that could transfer to my flock. So on that same note there was no way I could go feed and water my flock til I showered. I felt so bad. I felt sick and so nasty. After a shower and a bite to eat I felt better. The next morning I did wake up and felt dizzy and still somewhat nauseous so I went back to bed for a couple of hours and it did pass.

I dont have any pictures of the new birds yet. It is raining steadily all day today so that will have to wait. I got Dwain four of the birds and stopped by on the way down to drop Shelby off to spend the night at my parents house last Thursday. So I have five. They are really nice birds and I weighed them and they are all Class Bs so I am looking forward to showing them in February. I may stick with showing smaller birds as they are just easier to transport. We will see.

I felt for that man. He knew his body was not going to allow him to do the things he wants to do, but he is still fighting it. He told me his daughter wants him to get a power chair, but he said that would be like giving up. He is afraid if he stops walking he wont be able to get back up again...and he is probably right. That is what happened to my Grandmama because of the arthritis.

A few side notes. I never saw clean water for any of the animals. I never saw any water for that matter. There was one small dishpan inside the first door into that enclosure, and it was filthy. The man was complaining because the ducks kept getting in there, but ducks NEED water, they were only seeking out what they wanted the most. Then there were large plastic drum barrels of water...I imagine full of mosquite larvae. He made mention that he needed to cover those back up as a few of his chickens had fallen in (probably desperate for water to drink???) and drowned. I saw no water in the enclosure and no feed bowls or anything of the sort. Out in the yard area where all the goats and big chickens and ducks were there was junk everywhere, broken glass, broken boards, old plastic. It was just a mess. I know it is hard to keep up with everything. Even I fall behind and leave a mess til the next day to clean up if I have worked on something and I am tired, but this stuff was everywhere. He kept telling me to be careful and not to trip and fall. I am notoriously clumsy so you better believe I was careful.

Well, that is all on that...and this entry is getting pretty long..so I will close now.

I hope everyone is having a nice Monday. We are getting some much needed rain here, and it is a good excuse to stay inside and enjoy the company of my JLand pals...reading up on all y'all and your lives.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Y'all may or may not remember back in the Spring I ordered some chicks through the mail from McMurray Hatchery. When you order, you have an option to get a free mystery chick. Well of course I wanted my free mystery chick. (They call it a RARE chick, but I don't know about that. This one is a Golden Laced Wyandotte, not that particularly rare.) Anyway, we ended up with this here...at the time he had no name. Matter of fact he didnt get a name til the rooster I brought home from Collinsville Trade Day was named Everett. Sometimes the name comes right away, sometimes it takes a while.



Remember I mentioned he was pushing Gabby while she was trying to eat on that fence post...he thinks he is supposed to be fed special like that too..and well..here he is sure enough...getting his own little pile of food...but some of the girls soon join in.


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If he would just grow that tail on out by February I sure would like to show him. He is just such a pretty young man. He is already just a big big huge guy. He is really quite sweet though...doesnt have an aggressive bone in his body..unless Everett comes around. Funny, out of all the roosters wandering about...those two are the two that don't get along...and well..Everett runs, and he is smart to do so...because he will never stand a chance against Pete. For the most part they coexist fine, no one gets hurt. Here is one more of Pete...and one of Everett I just took. Everett is a Silver Spangled Hamburg.

Pete has that one feather on his wing twisted around. It is firmly in place though...as I have tugged on it to try to get it to come off.


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Now I dont have a "Delmar" yet...but I imagine there will come a time when I do have one. If anyone is wondering...those are the three main characters in 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou', one of my favorite movies.

Some of my chickens just stick out more than others, they develop special personalities that set them apart from the rest.

Gabby is always surprising me. While I was getting in the groceries I had the screen door to the porch open and she followed me into the kitchen...and back out to the truck, and back into the kitchen...lol...she is just a character.

Chickens sure are fun. I will have new pictures of my new additions and Shelbys two new bunnies soon.

Busy Few Days...Llamas at the Fair

Sorry about that, sometimes the days just get away from me! Its been a busy few days. Shelby went to spend the night with my parents Thursday night. On the trip to and fro I stopped in at Dwains and dropped him off two cockerals and two pullets, nice Class B Seramas. He has quite a collection going now of that breed. Some were babies from my stock...and wow my guy and three girls really threw him some good colors. Some look totally unrelated, and really pretty too. While there Dwain gave me a dutch male rabbit, he is fixed, and another male rabbit that he didnt want or need. He wanted a hutch a woman had, but had to take the rabits with the hutch. These two bunnies are for Shelby. Now, the story of how I got these birds I will have to tell in a seperate entry...because I have to tell you ALL about it. OH yes, there is much description and detail ahead. I got myself some nice Serama too...but I earned it, believe me. More to come on that later.

Being in the middle of the road all day on Thursday my last stop was meeting Ian at his work to pick up some lumber. You just wouldnt believe what they throw away there. Lots and lots of 4 x4s, and even more 2x4s. They use them on pallates to seperate paper I think. One guy at his work was able to build a whole BARN out of all they throw away! So, we loaded up what they had left, so much had already been thrown out. Ian is going to build me a second chicken house with the wood. After loading that up we went home, he changed clothes and I went out to feed and water everyone. Since it was just the two of us we took off in his little tiny car, he offered to drive, and well, there IS only room for two in there...and went to the local pizza wing joint we like and had all you can eat wings for supper. Getting back late we soon crashed out and slept good.

Thursday is our usual grocery day, but we didnt go, so Friday morning I headed out for the store. Took longer with just me going...and I had to unload it all by myself when getting home. Those two liter drinks are still sitting out there in the back of the truck. ;). By the time I got it all in and put away I took a sit down break at the computer for about an hour, cleaned up the house, I was tired. Got the critters fed. Ian picked up Shelby after he got off work.

Shelby actually missed me. :) She told me so and gave me a big ole hug when they came through the door. What a sweetie. Made my whole day to hear that. She did have a good time at Mawmaw and Gaddys though. They took her shopping for her birthday at Barnes and Noble. I know, not where you would expect to take a soon to be thirteen year old for her birthday gift picking, but she loves books.

So, here I sit on a Saturday morning...Shelby is sleeping...I am catching up on journals and having my coffee, Ian has gone off to work, and the sun is out and it is going to be a wonderful day.

Now, onto some pictures from the fair!

Today we have pictures of beautiful LLamas. I love them so much. The thing about them is, they are SO loyal to their owners, love their owners, but are so standoffish to strangers. Well, this one down below here with Shelby was just the opposite. What a HAM! They had him out on the floor out of his stall and he will stop and POSE, stand perfectly still and look at the camera for you when he sees someone with a camera! In all fairness he is well socialized. His owner takes him around to nursing homes and hospitals and such. He will give a kiss if you ask him, and a hug...here he gave Shelby a kiss, she was just thrilled to be able to get personal like that with a llama. Usually they just dont warm to people they dont know.


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I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend. It is sunny and mild here today, going to get outside and enjoy it in a little while.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Derby and Chores

I think my days are getting better now. I actually got a few things done yesterday. Course there is always something to be done around here. I don't know what people mean when they sit and say they are bored, that is unknown to me. I have to keep a steady pace and not start to feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. I can only do so much in one day. I could take a lesson from Fern. He runs a real farm, and there is so much to do, way more than I have to do...but he manages to pace himself and not feel overwhelmed, at least that is what it seems like. Only so many hours in a day.

So what DID I get done. I will tell you what I got done. I raked out all the old hay in Derbys barn and put down fresh wheat straw. He was pulling it out of the bale while I was raking out the old, thinking I had brought him a treat. I think at first he was afraid I was going to tell him not to eat it. He would snatch a mouthful and back off, waiting for me to scold him. I told him it was alright that he could eat it if he wanted. Once I had it down as bedding he lost interest in it though.

The farrier came on Monday to trim. Says Derbys back feet look great, but he will always have that seedy toe on the front feet. As a result he is bearing some weight on the back of his front hooves...so he said he would see about shaping them up next time he came. When they put all the weight on the back half of the hoof it cant take that forever and begins to sort of spread out. I showed him the supplements I had been giving him and he said it couldnt hurt for him to have them but that usually hoof supplements were for horses that didnt have a good hard solid outer structure and that was something that Derby does have is solid hard hooves. But still he said it wouldnt hurt. Overall he said it is just going to be a matter of maintenance of his feet, taking special care to make them last as long as they can.

While I was talking to him we got to talking about the horses I saw at the fair. I asked him why some draft horse owners have their horses feet shaped square and some are traditional. He said when they are squared like that they tend to make a more dramatic "clop" and its showy to have that loud clop. He was right about that, you sure knew when they were coming. He said he shoed for the Budweiser horse team for a while before the team moved to Florida. He said draft horses feet are a lot of work but Budweiser sure did pay well. After the team left and moved to Florida they began giving people his name and telling them to use him that he did a great job. Pretty soon he was overwhelmed with business for doing draft horses feet. He didnt mind except he said for instance working on those eight Budweiser horses took a total of three days to do alone. So he had to back off from doing draft horses, it was just more than he could handle. So that was pretty interesting, and made me feel confident to have him as my farrier.

Well I sure did get sidetracked didnt I? ;) So after I got Derbys barn tended to I put fresh hay in all the nesting boxes for the chickens to lay their eggs in. Oh I found some eggs some of my old girls had been hiding on me...one bunch in the flower bed and when I went to pick up some siding laying against a fence I found another bunch. They were all old, you could tell when they clacked together they sounded hollow. I carefully picked them all up. I didnt want to break a one and have a stink bomb let loose!

The chicken house roosts inside needed replacing badly. Two boards had broken under the weight of all those chicken bodies...so I rounded up some heavy duty wood to replace the flimsy ones. I found the battery to the hand held circular saw dead, and the spare dead also, so I had to saw the ends off the boards by hand, what a job. After measuring and cutting I got all the boards in there and nailed in. Everyone seemed pleased with my work as many chicken rears were sitting on the roosts at dark.

So you see I am getting some things done. Oh and I finished mowing the back..yeah, that too. All this after cleaning up the house, doing laundry, dishes, and homeschooling. Thank goodness we had leftovers. I love leftovers, gives me more time to do the things I want or need to be doing.

Here are a couple of pictures of Derby enjoying his new bedding. He has actually been using it to lay in for now instead of his own personal toilet. ;)


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More Fair Pics, Cattle Today

Got to thinking, and you know they didnt have any of the old tractors displayed thatpeople have restored. They always have the new ones, but you know we didn't make it to see those either. We were there from ten that morning until almost 8 in the evening. Missed the petting zoo somehow too. Ian says we always end up missing something. You know there are so many animals there that takes up a lot of the day...that is our favorite part is seeing all the animals. We don't even fool with the rides an games..thats not why we go. 

Today I am showing some cattle pictures...all Dairy cattle. I think the beef cattle had been shown already earlier in the week. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Now What?

I am afraid to make any more entries right now! My old Monday Photo Shoot is back, which is good, but now my new Monday Photo Shoot is gone! Will it be back too? Or is it gone into oblivion forever?

I wish AOL would stop monkeying around...who is running this circus anyway?? Monkeys???

Poor Dad, he lost his entry from this morning! So he is making a new entry also.

Paulas entry from today disappeared, wonder if it is back?

What is this a magic show??? Well I don't like it, it is not very entertaining.


Some Pictures From The Fair

Hmmm...I took a LOT of pictures from the fair Friday. So many that I decided to put them in the little Album Window thingie instead of trying to post them all from a picture host. That way you can just pick the ones you might want to see up close and click on those.

Well, here are the first batch...yes, there are many more! Some of my favorites I will save and show up close, that have a little story to it. I have one about a llama there, and also an update on Tips Daddy and the stock dog demonstration. I will save those for later.

Hope everyone is having a great day...we might get some rain, but probably not...the chance is slim to none.


Monday Photo Shoot AGAIN

My entry disappeared! So did a LOT of other peoples entries from yesterday...so here is my

John Scalzis Monday Photo Shoot.

His topic this Monday is lounging...anything or anybody loafing, lounging about.

Here is my contribution to this Mondays Photo Shoot.

My daughter was hanging out on the screened in porch with our pet house chicken Phoenix. When I asked her why she was torturing the poor chicken by holding him in such an awkward position, she explained to me that he was not being restrained at all...and to prove it she removed her hands and he just layed there giving me a look like "Can't a rooster relax?" LOL

I also included some pigs lounging at the Georgia National Fair that we attended this past Friday.


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Hmmm it would seem that Johns Monday Photo Shoot post is missing also, so I reckon I will wait for him to repost it before I can enter it huh? GROAN.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Photo Shoot

Todays Photo Shoot from John Scalzi is to show a picture of something or someone lounging..so here is my contribution to taking it easy. :)

I knew what picture to use just as soon as I went to Johns Journal and found out what the Monday Photo Shoot topic was.

Here is a picture of our pet house chicken Phoenix and my daughter lounging out on the screen porch together. When I asked her why she was torturing him by holding him in such an awkward position she informed me that she was not restraining him at all but merely holding him in place...all the while Phoenix is giving me a look like "Hey, can't a rooster relax around here?"

To prove that she was not restraining him she let go of him, and there he lay, kicked back with not a care in the world, not even a twitch to get up. Spoiled rotten. :)


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I would like to throw in a few lounging pig pictures from the Georgia National Fair we attended this past Friday..they sure look tuckered out.


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Catch Up, Disappointment, and Gabby

Wow I am gone for three days and come back and I have so many entries of everyone to catch up on! I promise I will get to everyone...I always do, just sometimes I fall behind. I had a new visitor, Barbara from Life and Faith in Caneyhead. Went to visit her and I really enjoyed reading her journal so far. Sam, glad you liked the picture of the plane...it was quite a shocker to look up and see that thing over my house though! I didnt hear it because the mower was too loud, so to look up and POW there it is in your face! WOW.

I have some bad news about the Poultry Show. So, I finally decide to go, and I had a message left by the president of the club heading up the show that told me it was cancelled. :( You have to have judges for the show, and one had just had heart surgery two weeks ago and was just not up for it. The other one had shingles real bad and was in a lot of pain...so he wasnt going to be able to do it. I think that left one judge...and one judge cant judge all those birds all alone. So...he told me in the message they would try to have it in the Spring maybe. Too bad, my oldest Serama roo is really in prime condition right now. At least I found this out before I started dusting my birds for any bugs they might have, then bathing them and keeping them in the house on shavings in boxes. Boy that would have been something to go through all that just to not go.

I have lots and lots of pictures from the fair on Friday, but I will make that on a seperate entry. I will leave a short entry here about Gabby. I told you I would talk about her later, well its later. ;)

I didnt handle my new layer chicks as much as I did the first chicks I ever had. Its just hard to give twenty five chicks all your attention equally. Some chickens are just special...I think they are smarter than others. Some chickens are afraid of me, won't let me get too close to them...others come up to me and let me pick them right up, but just for a minute, then they have had enough.

When I first put the new layers outside they were in a holding pen for a month or so until they got big enough to be let out around the other older hens. Once I let them out there was a pecking order to be established, which is usually not that big of a deal. Gabby seemed to be getting the short end of the stick because her tail feathers and back feathers didnt want to fill out. That left exposed skin. Any fussing and there would be exposed bloodyskin, which attracts the attention of more birds. Chickens can be very cannabilistic. They are attracted to blood and I have seen birds kill another by eating it to death, taking it down. It is not something I want to see, ever. But it has happened.

I ended up taking Gabby into the house and in a holding pen for a couple of weeks while she healed up and grew some more feathers. We didn't pay a whole lot of extra attention to her...but I guess it was enough for her to realize that humans were nothing to be afraid of. In fact, she will seek me out if I come outside and hang out with me.

She thinks she is special, and well, she is. Everyday when I go out to feed she jumps up on the fence and gets fed by hand and I put some feed on the end post. The other chickens still don't really let her into the flock, she is somewhat of an outsider, so they often wont let her eat with them and she has to go get her food last after everyone else has eaten. This way she gets to eat first actually. Pete is this way also, my young Golden laced Wyandotte rooster I got free with my order of layer chicks. He wants to get fed personally on top of one of the laying houses, he will follow me around and hop up to his spot to get fed.

Gabby often will fly up onto my back if I am leaned over looking in a pen or doing something else that requires bending and squatting. She will get up on my shoulder and ride around for a little bit while I am doing chores. She is just different, and I like that about her.

I say chickens that lose their fear of humans like this are smarter than the average chicken. They are smart enough to know I am not going to hurt them, and often benefit from my attentions. Chickens love to be massaged under their wings, it feels good! Bonnie, Clyde, and Phoenix all love it, and I have started doing it to Gabby and she loves it too.

Here is spoiled Gabby on the WRONG side of the fence...she is so bad...lol. Oh by the way, she is a Columbian Wyandotte.



Gabby eating off the fence post...



and Gabby getting pushed onto the food on the fencepost because what you don't see is Pete trying to get to that food.



I hope everyone is having a nice Monday...it is mild and sunny here today. Loving the Fall weather, even if it is too dry.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Late Night Entry

Hmmmm...once again I have managed to write a garbledy gook type entry...he he...I have GOT to start going back and reading what I wrote and be more careful. Its not a big flubbub but I wanted to clear up something just in case Hollie thought the Poultry Show was at the Georgia National Fair...because Paula interpreted that...but that isnt the case. They are two seperate events. Now you would think that as big as the Georgia National Fair is...and all the different livestock shows they have, that they would have chickens...but it is not so! Can you believe it??? They have horses of various breeds each day doing shows, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, llamas, rabbits, even cavies! But no chickens. :( Sometimes there are a pair of chickens in one of the exhibit hall areas just to add flavor. They get stuck next to the Mama pig with all her babies in a metal crate thing that keeps her still so she doesnt roll over and kill the babies I guess.

Anyway, the Georgia National Fair is in Perry, Georgia, and it is going on right now through Sunday. If there was ever a fair to go to it is this one. It takes all day just to see all the exhibits and shows, no time for the rides and games, which is something I would rather miss anyway. You can do those things at any county fair.

The Poultry show is in Hamilton Georgia on October the 20th.

Okay now that I cleared that up, let me show you all something. Do you see this plane below? I was mowing the front today, looked up and this GIGANTIC ENORMOUS U.S Air Force (you could read the dang logo on it it was SO LOW!!!) plane came floating over my house! This is not the first time this has happened. We have had some old propeller planes come over real low also..smoking the whole way...very worrisome. Now I didnt have my camera on me then, but I watched and it was going to circle and make its way back...so I ran in and got my camera and waited. Sure enough, here they come from the south...straight for me. Then they veered to the right before they got right up on me...so this picture is the closest it got, but let me assure you...this was actually far away compared to when it came over my house. THIS PICTURE IS NOT ZOOMED!!!!! AHHHHHHH! Scary huh? I have called about them flying too low...assuming they were coming out of Marietta...but I was told without giving them an ID number on the plane they couldnt tell me a thing. Well...I didnt get a number, but it sure was close enough to read US AIR FORCE on the side...and I am NEAR-SIGHTED! That would mean I am not supposed to be able to read things that are far away..well I sure could read this! Is that nuts or what??? Scared the poor chickens, all roosters sounding the alarm of danger, set the guineas  off to screeching.


  I got outside today..mowed for a long while...felt good to get out in the sunshine and breeze. Had me a shower to get all the itchy grass that blew all over me...and I am winding down now. OH BTW, the guinea that got loose and ran off...remember I took two of them over to my neighbor? Well it did come back, Jim caught it and put it back in the pen with the other one...she wants to let them out...I say NO...not yet. They will run off...keep them penned for a little while, its not going to hurt them.

Alright, time for bed you sleepyheads...night night...sleep tight...dont let the bedbugs bite.