Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, August 29, 2021

I know that some of my friends totally get why I got rid of my chickens, and still, others don't quite understand.  They are thinking, 'if you like them so much, how can you get rid of them?'

It's complicated.  

I got chicks 8 years ago, for my two oldest grand daughters.  Ill advised probably, because they live a ways away, and didn't get to see them much.  The responsibility was all mine, as I knew it would be, but the joy of seeing them experiencing the raising of chicks was rare.

Then in 2020, I got 24 new chicks, and then for the next 12 weeks, the responsibilities multiplied.  Keeping them safe, keeping them warm, checking their butts daily for sticky butt.

But even when they were grown and integrated with the rest of the flock, there was feeding and watering (carrying water) cleaning the coop, and at least 3 trips a day out to them, to let them out, lock them in, get eggs, and sometimes, more, when a squawking alerted me that maybe something was trying to get in to the chicken yard.

The expense, food, grit, bedding.
Finding homes for all the eggs...........22 a day at the end.
Probably eating more eggs than I normally would, just because there were so many!!

Occasionally beating back the rats, that always reappeared.

Beating a hawk out of the chicken run, with a stick.

And always, always, worrying about them, and occasionally losing the battle, when some predator did manage to evade all the barriers I put up.

In the end, with other stressors in my life, I realized that my friend was right when she said, "you need to lighten your load".

It was time.
The first couple of days, I missed seeing them out there, hearing their conversations.

Then I started revamping the coop, making it into a playhouse.

And as the days went by, I felt this enormous sense of freedom, relief.  A lightened load.

I am glad that I experienced them for 8 years.  I have fond memories, but now, my mind is a little less cluttered, I have less worry, less responsibility.  I think that if we listen to ourselves, we know when it's time for change.

Sitting in the hot tub, there are two treetops that are directly in my vision, an apple tree, and a pear tree.   They have some dead branches sticking up into the sky, and I have sat there and pondered how to get them trimmed, and the get the dead stuff gone.
Then I watched, and realized that those bare branches are the perfect landing place for birds, especially the mourning doves, who are a little bigger, and need more room.  They don't have to bypass the heavy foliage, they can just swoop in and land.  Once again, things are not always the way they appear at first glance.

DH plants way too many tomatoes, that he really doesn't take care of once they start producing.
I've nagged him until he has brought bags of them into the house.  I wash them, cut them up, put them on a pizza tin, drizzle olive oil over them, salt and pepper, and roast at 350 for an hour.  When they cool, I put them in gallon bags in the freezer.  
They will be perfect for the weekly soups I make all winter.

Today there were so many, I cooked some down with some onion and garlic, for dinner.

Part of my washer/dryer project involved me moving everything around in my sewing room.
The desk I used to have my sewing machine on was too big and had to go, so I brought down a table from upstairs..........the only problem being that it had a drawer all the way across the front, which made it hard for me to get my legs under it.....and impossible to use the knee apparatus that raises and lowers the presser foot.
So I took the drawer out, sawed off the supporting board, went to Joann's with a coupon, and bought that little rolling drawer unit, for all the minutiae that was in the drawer.

It works, and didn't cost much either.

Goldie never gets much mention, but he's a really nice boy....he's lived here for years now, and he seems really happy.
He picks the craziest places to sleep, and this box is his latest.

But a chair is always nice, too.

Moving the washer and dryer, has snowballed into other things.......mostly down sizing and reorganizing my kitchen.
There was a cupboard on the wall to the right ......that got emptied and removed........
there was a free standing cupboard under the window, blocking the heat vent, and that also got cleaned out and is gone.

Now I want to swap these two out....put the fridge on the right, and the cupboard on the left near the back door.   Since there is an ice maker in the fridge, that occasionally works, I am going to have to have my plumber come and do it.
That's for another day.

My pantry is not huge, but oh my, it is wonderful.  I can't believe all the stuff I had crammed into the little cupboard space that I had.  

This will allow me to have clean lines in the kitchen, without the clutter, and that makes me 
very happy.

Sometimes I am amazed at how little it takes to make my little world ok.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Here I am.

Sorry I have been so absent here.  I have been in recovery mode, and it has not been that much fun, and it seemed to take so much energy.
That being said, I am amazed at what I have gotten done, by simply orchestrating, and getting lots of help.

For a long time, I have seriously disliked my stackable washer and dryer.  They were in a space in the dining room right around the corner from the kitchen, in a place that was built specifically for them.  I never liked them there, and I never liked the front loader washer one bit.  So while I was resting that first couple of weeks after knee surgery, it occurred to me that it might be time for a change.  On one of my first trips to Physical Therapy, I swung in to Lowe's, and bought a new washer and dryer.  ( I didn't actually "swing in", limped/hobbled in is more like it)
They weren't to be delivered until August 3rd.
I put the stackables of FB Marketplace, and soon they were gone.
I had to do some calculating, and moving stuff around, but my new Maytag washer and dryer are now in the sewing room, and I love them.  I took everything out of the storage space, behind the blue insulation board, so I just need to cover that up.

The space where the old washer and dryer were, is going to be a pantry.  I have an old house, with a kitchen that has very little storage, so this will be a great improvement.   It should be happening next week, carpenter is coming.  I can't wait to see it, and show you!

When I stopped being a chicken mama, I said I wasn't going to bother with the coop.  But then I decided to just put a few things in there for my grands, and soon it was a project.  DH took out the boxes and roosts, and cleaned it quite a bit.  Then I paid someone to power wash it.......which turned out to be a wise decision.

So:          power washing $100
                          used Pottery barn table and 3 chairs $50
wingback chair $30
Rattan chair below $25
string lights $20
Dollar store trip  $20
Stick tiles from Lowe's for the floor $30

Those faces ............well, priceless, right ?????

One thing I realized is that I never noticed how much stress I carried worrying 
about my chickens, and whether or not some predator was going to wreak
havoc out there.
What I have realized is the huge relief it is NOT to worry about them.
So I think that this is a great lesson.  We aren't aware of the weight of stressors, we don't 
know how they have impacted our lives, until they are gone.
The absence of stressors is keen..........and a good thing.   I need to remind myself of 
this often.

I admit to a bit of online shopping during recovery mode, to amuse myself.......this is a mini electric spinning wheel........which I have yet to master.  I'll keep you posted.

My appetite is still not right, after 2 months.......I can't explain it.

This pizza that I made last night, was very good, but I could only eat a little of it.

Food is a mystery to me still.

The pizza........pesto, then some fresh, uncooked spinach, then slightly sauteed mushrooms and onions, then feta cheese and a little garlic powder.

My knee is better.  It still hurts 24/7, and it's still swollen, but I can do most of what I want to do, within reason.  I can't walk long distances yet, and riding in the car a long time isn't fun. PT is a mix of feeling stronger and being tortured, yet I still look forward to it.
I am determined to get past this, and I know that I will.  The hard part is keeping a good attitude, and staying positive, when your life is not the same.  We are such creatures of habit, aren't we???  But reading and planning help me make it through.
We never know what we can do, until we have to.

Above all, it has made me grateful, again, for what I have, and appreciative of so many things that I often don't notice.

Sometimes, I just sit, and listen to the quiet, reflect, and feel myself being restored.


Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts