I’m not good at Mondays. Come to think of it, I’m not good at Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday either. I’m very good at Friday afternoons, Saturday and Sundays. Unless you want to count being productive as being “good” at it, in which case…I’m not so good. Hey. We all have limitations.
It wasn’t a bad weekend. The BORBs made it to their new home with their new people and it turns out that they were not a chanting, axe-wielding, hood-wearing, satanic cult. Nope…just a little girl who is raising chickens for 4H who currently has 30 pullets. THIRTY. The BORBs are going to be busy young roosters and they’ve already sent me a note asking me to forward their mail and to please stop worrying about them because with 30 girlfriends, they don’t see a problem with this new situation at all.
The rest of the flock, back at our place, has calmed down considerably since the two buff colored bowling balls are out of the picture. Yesterday, at “WEED TIME” there was no fighting, no pecking and no chicken screeches that typically occurred whenever any one of them approached a pile of weeds being eaten by one of the BORBs. In other words, there’s peace in the valley. Cluck Norris has reclaimed his post as high-ranking rooster but still spends most of his time preening by himself, watching the flock from a distance with one eye on the sky and reading “YOU TOO CAN BE A SCARY ROOSTER”. He’s such a loner and it seems as though he WANTS to be friendly, he’s just so suspicious of everything and everyone. I think I need to take him to the bookstore for a different book…perhaps “PARANOIA WILL DESTROY YA”. Either that or we step up the hugs and compliments during the nightly “YOU MUST LOVE US OR ELSE” chicken boot camp that Greg and I are running.
Vinnie, (he’s the barred rock that we think is rooster that’s in drag as a hen) and Cluck have actually had a couple of those ridiculous rooster showdowns where they get in each other’s face and fluff up their hackle feathers in an attempt to look bigger than they are. Cluck is very good at it (you know…he’s reading that book). Vinnie gets all fluffed up for about 4 seconds and then turns around and walks away like “It’s good dude…no worries…and why are you such a GROUCH.” Vinnie, if he is a rooster, is obviously low man on the totem pole…or rooster pole…or whatever chickens use.
We’ve had a LOT of storms this past weekend. On Friday afternoon, after I snuck out 15 minutes early (OH STOP IT…I’m salary), the first thing I noticed was that the sky was a bit…mmm…OMINOUS and by ominous, I mean freaking scary looking. I live just five minutes from where I work, and by the time I was three minutes into the drive, it was raining drops the size of saucers. I can deal with rain…I sort of like it even when it’s a downpour. However, I turned a corner and suddenly was hit with winds that rocked my SUV (and not like the way The Foo Fighters rock it, I might add) and the rain became so heavy that it was impossible to see the road. Because nothing will stop me when I’m heading home on a Friday, I just kept going but was a bit concerned when mature trees were…um…in shapes that they aren’t normally able to achieve. Later on the news, it was reported that we’d had 120 mph straight line winds that had moved through the area which apparently is what caused the tree origami during the ride home. Fortunately, we had no damage to the large trees on our property, but much of the area had not fared as well, and damage to homes, trees and property was very heavy. I’m just glad I was in the car because my hairspray only goes up to 110 mph winds.
The rain (and over an inch fell in about 15 minutes) flooded the front walkway to the house because one of the drains that are strategically placed in various areas to PREVENT flooding, was stuffed with maple tree seeds…you know, those stupid helicopters? They’re ruining my whole groove because they are EVERYWHERE and you absolutely can not sneak up on the chickens when there are seed helicopters crunching under your feet. I could have driven around to the back of the house, but then Tom’s truck would be between my SUV and the house and of course I had no umbrella…not that it would have helped in the hurricane force winds. So, I called Tom.
“Hey I’m sitting in the driveway and the walk is all FLOODED.”
He knew I’d sit in the car until next week instead of slog through the water in my work shoes, so he came out in the deluge and dug helicopters out of the drain while I skittered around trying to avoid deep puddles and screaming because I was getting wet. He’s a good egg.
The rain also meant that my weekend plans of getting the garden in were pretty much washed out…almost literally. The entire weekend was predicted to have repeated bouts of this storm nonsense which meant that the plants that I still haven’t thinned would go on to be unthinned and unplanted for yet another weekend…if they hadn’t blown away in the 120 mph winds.
Rain always makes me panic a little about the chickens. I’m firmly convinced that if they don’t have the wherewithal to come in out of the dark, that I’ll find the whole lot of them standing in the rain looking bedraggled and sodden. Nobody likes a wet chicken. In the past, whenever there’s been even a HINT of rain, I’ve raced outside to the coop to make sure they were all safely contained inside…or called Tom and Greg obsessively until they went out and dragged them inside and locked up the coop. Fortunately, during the huge wind/rain event Friday, they were all snug in their coop. With the rain predicted for the rest of the weekend, I was pretty sure they were going to have to spend the weekend inside the coop which meant I was going to have to entertain them…because I’m insane. So, I made the decision that I was going to let them go outside over the weekend and if it started raining, I was going to let them figure it out.
Saturday afternoon, it started to sprinkle. The sprinkle, quickly turned into full-out raining. I’ve strategically set up the chicken run (again because I’m insane) so that I can see it from two different vantage points, the sofa and the deck…and since it was raining, I was NOT on the deck. I looked out from the window behind the sofa and there they stood…in the rain…in the run, fluffing up their feathers and looking slightly annoyed. I decided I wouldn’t watch…if they were going to drown in the rain, I didn’t want to witness it. I didn’t watch for all of 30 seconds before I was back at the window….because I’m insane.
The run was empty. They had gone inside! Apparently, when I didn’t show up with a sack of scratch, they decided they’d had enough of standing around waiting in the rain and had broken camp and gone to the coop. My shriveled black heart swelled with maternal pride. Apparently they also know, that no one likes a wet chicken.
The rest of the weekend was fairly unproductive. I ranted about the rain and garden, ranted about stuff on the island in the kitchen, and ranted about having more laundry than the people on “19 Kids and Counting”. I finally settled down on Sunday and baked some of the BEST chocolate chip cookies I have ever had (no lie) and baked some bread. Sunday afternoon, on one of my visits to the coop, I found Greg outside the fence of the run showing them a power tool. I think I’ve severely underestimated them because they were FASCINATED. Greg held a drill outside their reach and spun the drill bit several times which I honestly thought would send them careening into another county. They were fixated by the sound and the spinning bit. Vinnie edged closer…and closer…and Greg stopped spinning the bit for a moment. Vinnie ran up…pecked the drill bit and took a giant step backward just to make sure that it wasn’t going to get him when it started making that insane WHIRRING noise again. They stood and watched with one eye while Greg talked to them about power tools, never taking their eye (just ONE eye) off the spinning bit. He’d stop it and they’d edge closer to see what it was…he’d start it again and they’d all take a step back, but not really in fear…because they were hopelessly curious about that tool. It was sort of fascinating. I might give them a list of things to do that involves power tools! However, I’m not letting them go to Lowe’s with my credit card anymore.
So, the weekend summary is this: 120 mph winds and torrential rain will screw up your hair and your shoes if you have a tree full of helicopters in your yard. Chickens, although they act as if they have no brain, will stand around in the rain waiting for you to take them in only if they think they’re going to get handfuls of “CLUCK YEAH!!” scratch, if they go inside. Otherwise, they will go in just fine on their own, albeit with a surly attitude because they didn’t get any “CLUCK YEAH!” scratch. Also, chickens love power tools and I make the best chocolate chip cookies, not only on the PLANET, but in the universe.
I’m participating in Homestead Barn Hop #159!