rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “chickens”

Sun’s Gonna Shine in my Backdoor Someday

Well, hello there and in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’m back., sorta. I have been on the mend for several weeks now and with my current medications, the severe bouts with RA are dwindling. This is what has kept me from my writings for several months. I can certainly empathize with anyone who suffers from this immune system irregularity. It is said you can’t really know what another person feels unless you walk in their shoes. My feet are firmly implanted in the shoes of a sufferer of RA. But now, after many doctor visits, specialists, x-rays, MRI’s, medications, and all those wonderful prayers, it appears that this old “ritus” character is going into remission.  I continue to improve; however, my treatment plan still requires medicine.

For the better part of four months, I was unable to drive. The “Rancherette” did all the driving. I might add, well appreciated. Now that I have some degree of mobility, I can drive my truck again. A few days ago, I was returning from a trip to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and with the modern day conveniences of satellite radio, I was listening to my type of music. I am a huge fan of Bluegrass music. At that particular moment, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were sounding off to an old tune that seems to fit my situation, at least the opening line. I turned the volume up. Being alone in my truck, I am allowed to turn the volume up loud. Not so much when the “Rancherette” is with me.

The tune, “Sun’s gonna shine in my backdoor someday”, speaks for me, especially here in the middle of August, in Texas, where the temperature is a balmy 103 today and a heat index approaching 110. And since my back door faces west, I can feel the brunt of that heat.

Living in a rural area, I am exposed to many facts of nature. As I was driving home, I noticed a lonely oak tree in the middle of a pasture. Mind you now, this was not a large oak tree. It bordered on a twenty to twenty-five feet umbrella. A nice enough shade but not very large.

Standing underneath this canopy was a small herd of cows. They were huddled so close together that I doubt one could slip a sheet of paper between them. At first glance, they appeared conjoined. I am well aware that cows prefer the shade to the hot sun. However, they were so tightly packed together that I cannot believe they were feeling any cooling effect. Cows have a “pecking order” just like chickens. If one does rank high enough in that order, then they do not share any benefits. They are left out in the cold, except in this case outside the parasol of the shade tree. There were two or three standing in the sun just on the edge of the shade. I assume the “leader” had the best spot.  And if I had rolled down my windows, I probably would have noticed a scent of bovine methane. They must ignore that aroma or maybe they do not have a good sense of smell. I noticed one cow standing in the tank, (if you are from South Texas or pond if you are from somewhere else). I figured she (or he) was the smartest cow of all, not to mention, the coolest. One can learn a lot from observing cows.

But that tune by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs means to me that “someday” has arrived. The sun is shining through my windows and doors and the sky is so blue and the trees are waving greetings at me when I walk out the “back door” without my cane and the cottontail rabbits stop and wiggle their noses at me.  The birds chatter a “welcome back” chirp. The kennel dogs seem glad to see me, even the chickens seem to recognize my voice. Yessiree, God is good. And because we need a cooling down and rain, showers are quenching the thirst of the plant life today and the temperature is hovering around 72 degrees in the middle of the day. God is indeed good.

Hunters and Gatherers

The old rancherwriterpoet has not been around lately. Maybe you noticed, maybe not. Medical circumstances have prevented this old drugstorecowboy/wannabe writer from some of his usual activities.

He has reached a point in his life that calls for a time of observation. For example, little things that originally had no clear-cut basis for consideration have now become seemingly a big deal. Discovering in these past few weeks, simple things I previously performed on a daily basis are not always easy tasks to perform. Sometimes, they become complicated, difficult, and even impossible.

In the earliest of days, eons ago, man was declared the hunter and woman was declared the gatherer. The roles of man and woman were clear. “Me Tarzan, you Jane” I am not making a judgment for or against that thought. I do not necessarily subscribe to the “me Tarzan, you Jane” setting, however, as a man, I have always felt I had a role to perform as a “hunter”. This was ingrained in me as a youngster. There were roles for the male and roles for the female. After all, boundaries were established and not to be crossed.

Well, that was then, this is now, and it never became clearer to me than in these past few weeks.

This “hunter” is here to tell you that in our household, the “gatherer” is perfectly capable of performing the tasks of not only her perceived responsibilities, but also those that I considered to be solely in my domain. In fact, she has stepped up the game. As I said, I am in a time of observation and I have observed the carpentry skills she has acquired, her chauffeuring ability, and her lawn maintenance proficiency. She has the leading role of managing the dogs, the chickens, the cooking, the grocery shopping, and auto upkeep and without a doubt the excellent care she affords the “hunter”. That only scratches the surface. Without the capable assistance of the “Rancherette” this old “Rancherwriterpoet” would have had a most difficult time.

I am making progress toward a time when this “hunter” can once again share in the family tasks alongside the “gatherer”. It will be a challenge, she is very good at what she does and I am so very grateful to her and to God for her.

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a that says:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up…

I doubt  Solomon wrote that with my circumstances in mind, but I claim it. I can say for certain, I am blessed.

Not Our First Rodeo

So, the big day came and went. To which big day am I referring? Why, the South Texas Classic Poultry Show in La Grange, Texas. I thought all folks knew about that event. Well, chicken folks in the state of Texas for sure. We were looking forward for several weeks to the trip and finally the day came. It was about a four and half hour journey in the truck with eight birds in the rear seat all properly resting in their properly vented traveling lounges properly fitted out with feed and water. Why do we call chicken feed, “feed” and dog food, “food”?  Or, cattle feed, “feed” and cat food, “food”.  Just wondering.

There were two roosters and six hens, separated much as if one would separate two or more siblings who insist on asking the proverbial question, are we there yet? If one can understand chicken talk, then those are exactly the phrases coming from the mouths of these birds. The only good thing (If you can call it good) is they did not mention having to go to the bathroom every ten miles. Well, maybe they did and I just ignored them. I recall that with my children back in the day.

The two roosters, named Zorba, the Silkie and Cowboy, the Cochin, were dueling tenors. The hens were the backup singers for those two. They covered all the chicken hits in alphabetically order, beginning with, “Ain’t Nobody Here but us Chickens”. A couple of times I had to quiet them down, once when they began doing the “Chicken Dance”. It was way too crowded for that. Try getting that earworm out of your head. Long before we arrived in La Grange, I just about had it with chicken songs. I decided to mention a phrase I have used before. “CHICKEN NUGGETS”, I yelled. They thought it best to refrain from any more musical interludes and remained silent the rest of the trip. I did hear a bit of mumbling back there, but I was calm.

Upon arriving, we ventured to the Fayette County fairgrounds to “coop in” as they say. You place each bird in a separate cage with your identifying number on a card, furnish them with gourmet feed (or is it food) and small containers of water. They are now bedded down for the night. And, luckily, we adults did likewise, at a local hotel, (I won’t use their name, however the chickens had it better).

At precisely Nine A.M., the next morning, the judges begin their job of inspecting each bird in the building. That was an exhausting all day affair. However, it did have its rewards.

If you recall from a recent post, A Day at the Spa, the “Rancherette” invited her fine little Silkies and Cochins to a day at the spa. That was a significant ceremony for it worked wonders on these fluffy birds. The “Rancherette” outdid herself, three 1st place awards and a Best of Variety prize.  One had a comb tht leaned a bit to the right. I wonder if we should have combed her wattle or wattled her comb. Needless to say the”Rancherette”was happy, I was happy. Having spent a couple of days at the Fort Worth Show, (with awards) the “Rancherette” and the “Rancherwriterpoet” were old hands at this. One could say this was not our first rodeo.

After a brief tour of the La Grange area, a visit to Walmart, (That should be on everyone’s traveling list) a meal at a local BBQ stable, tailgating in the parking lot with the birds, resting a bit and afterwards heading home. The birds gloated all the way home. I was calm, I just let them have their say; after all, they were winners. All in all, it was a great trip. Who can argue with that?

A Day at the Spa

Around the Fuzzy Chicken Ranch, things have been hectic, hence the silence from this writer about such. The first of the year we ventured to the Fort Worth Live Stock Show.(THIS THING IS LEGENDARY)

In addition to all the sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and swine, the poultry show also displays several different breeds of poultry and waterfowl.  I might add this includes Silkie chickens of which the “Rancherette” proudly raises. She wanted to “show” some of her Silkie birds. This was her first show and it gave her the incentive she needed to explore the world of “showmanship”. It was a successful endeavor. With first place ribbons in hand the task turned to preparations for the next “Big Shew”. The pressure is on.

Now the “Rancherette” has been very busy lately, what with the chickens molting and such. It seems one cannot deal precisely with a molting chicken when the goal is to get them ready for the “Big Shew”. If feathers are falling out, (a natural process) then there is not much you can do as far as grooming a chicken for the “Big Shew”. For those of you who may not have knowledge of such a venture, it involves quite a bit of effort on the part of the “Rancherette”.

Such efforts should be rewarded with a day at the spa. You know, the place where one can be pampered, massaged, a new hairdo, nail polish, skin rejuvenation, and whatever else one can get added to the procedure. Well, that is exactly what the “Rancherette” desires. Sooooo,

Each prize winning little Silkie will have their personal day at the spa. Around the Fuzzy Chicken Ranch, pampering is quite normal for these birds, especially, since they have won ribbons. The first thing they are pleased to enjoy is a bath. Giving a chicken a bath is not quite like washing a dog, but somewhat better than washing a cat. It is more like washing a dust mop. In fact, we have a Silkie rooster named Dust Mop. However, he is not intent on having a spa day. He has other interests on his mind. Especially, after the little hen comes home from a day at the spa. Granted, cats and dogs do not have the same physical features of Silkies, beyond that, however, there isn’t much difference in the procedure. Feathers or fur, it is pretty much the same.

Apparently, since chickens are notorious for taking dust baths, being submerged in water is no big deal. They enjoy, so I have been told, having their little feathers stroked with all sorts of bath washes. The smellery the better (I know, it is not a word).

The “Rancherette” works her skills around and underneath the feathers to ensure each part of the feathery physique is manipulated. (This is the skin rejuvenation) The wattle must be combed or is it wattling the comb? Whatever, the color must be enhanced. Having enjoyed this, the chicken begins to cackle her appreciation. Soon thereafter, the little fluffy fowl will be wrapped in a luscious bath towel. Then, the Master Blaster is utilized. This is a device especially designed to remove water by the application of warm air to the body. Some folks call it a hair dryer. This particular one is a smaller version than that used for the dogs.

After the water is removed, the little hen looks lovingly at the masseuse as she begins to work her magic. She stretches the little wings here and there, above and under, around and over and then repeats the process, Who doesn’t like a massage every now and then? I am not sure when the nail polishing takes place; however, talcum powder is generously applied for a brightening effect. It has a smellery aroma as well. This addresses the “hairdo”.  Pampering, that’s what I call it.

At this point, I am not sure who receives the most pleasure from this experience, the little Silkie or the “Rancherette”. I do notice that the other feathery creatures are standing in line, cackling, “I’m next”, envious of the first one. I also see where the dogs in the kennel were creating a ruckus, howling and agitated. I think they want their turn in the spa as well. That is, except for the Airedale. Thankfully, we have no cats around the Fuzzy Chicken Ranch.

The “Rancherwriterpoet” might as well stand in line, too. He could use a little spa treatment, perhaps after the “Big Shew.”

That’s How My Day Went

Various situations have occurred the past two months, preventing any posts to my blog. I will not elaborate on those circumstances. I am just picking up the past two weeks, starting with how my day went.

Day One.

So the “Rancherette” and I are sitting around discussing what new projects we can accomplish around the old homestead. Having constructed the last of three chicken coops, our attention turned to some, much needed, repairs to our little farmhouse.

“It needs new paint”, I said. (The “Rancherette” moonlights as a painter.)

“It needs a complete makeover”, she said. We should hire someone to put new siding on the house, she said. “You can supervise”, she said.

So, the plan began to take shape. Except, I said, “I can do it, myself” (not the staining part). Famous last words”!  she said.

I immediately sprang into action. Got out my measuring tape, my quarter-inch scale pad, a sharp pencil, and engaged my brain. Must have a materials list, you know. I walked around the house, measuring and visualizing the steps that will be required, writing down the information as I went. That was how the Sunday afternoon went.

Day Two.  

Pardon me if I go off subject for a moment.

Around our little Silkie chicken ranch, we have several roosters. They all have names, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Dust Mop, Bloopety Blue, Goldfinger, and Tallyho. Goldfinger was once Goldilocks and Tallyho was once Tallulah, until we heard them crow. And speaking of crowing, they will crow on command, Seriously! Except for Mick and Rod, who refuse to crow at all.

So after my morning session with the “boys”, I turned my attention to the “running” of the dogs. Their daily constitutional is of utmost importance. It requires less attention to the sanitation of the kennels if they are allowed some freedom each morning.

While I am closely monitoring the canines, the “Rancherette” is tending to the “girls”, the female gender of chickens, who also have names. Just to name a few,  Sassy, Beauty, Baby Splash, Frosty and Rag Mop, who coos when the “Rancherette” sings R-A-G-G… M-O-P-P…, RAGMOP.

The “Rancherette” visits with each little hen every morning andthen  turns her interest to the two groups of baby chicks. They are kept in separate pens, the “Pre-K” chicks that are about two weeks older and the “Toddler” chicks, kept in their toddler pen. They do not have names as yet.

So, Monday morning, after the chores of tending to the chickens and running the dogs, I suggested we make a lumber run to the big “Blue” box lumberyard. I grabbed my list and off we went to the big “Blue” box lumberyard. Did I mention I also needed a new air compressor? 

After spending a couple of hours (and X-amount of $$$), we returned home, feeling exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. That was how Monday went.

Day Three.

Bright and early Tuesday morning and very excited to get started, I rushed through my chores with the animals and turned to the process of transforming the exterior of our home. I began by unloading some of the lumber and arranging the siding for the “Rancherette” (AKA, painter-deluxe) to start the process of staining prior to installation. She was spending her “girl-time” with the very friendly little Silkie hens and waiting on me. Sorry to say, I had to interrupt her session, as you will see next.

At this point, I will not go into describing each and every step, however, the first step of demo involved removal of some rotted wood. This being accomplished, I set up the table saw to rip a board into what is called a “water table trim”. This item can be purchased, however, it is quite expensive. Thus, I decided to manufacture this trim myself. About 10:30 A.M., The world changed dramatically. Without noting the graphic details, I was ripping the “water table trim”, and my little pinkie and ring fingers on my right hand, made contact with the table saw. Fifty plus years I have been around power tools, never having an accident of this nature. I must tell you, no matter how experienced you may think you are, it definitely is not enough if you do not remember to be SAFE!

Thanks to the “Rancherette” for her driving skills to the emergency room, the doctor thinks I will not lose my fingers, or perhaps only the tip of my pinkie. I will know for sure next week. It would appear that I am lucky  to keep the digits on my right hand. It has been quite a Summer to remember, what with new skin (Skin Cancer removal),  new eyes (cataract surgery) and now in the Fall a couple of finger repairs, I feel sort of like the “Bionic Man”. Rebuilt and even better than new.

And that was how Tuesday went. I can’t wait until Day Four. It will be here before I know it. In the short-term, I think I will go spend some time with the roosters. They may give me something to “crow about”.

Be safe out there.

Poodle Home Security

So during the past few months, I have had a tooth pulled, finished the 3rd chicken coop, gone through cataract surgery, (hooray, my vision is excellent), experienced flooding from the May rains, (now back to the August drought), and gained a new resident, (not counting all the chickens that come and go). I have much for which to be thankful.

In the meantime, I got behind on my writing. Not having the ‘muse’ sitting on my shoulder, I must take action and determine a subject for another fine piece of literature. Then it comes to me, I mean literally, he comes to me. Apollo, our Standard Poodle, places his head in my lap, looks at me with his big eyes and says, “Write about me, Dad”. He calls me Dad through the voice of the “Rancherette”.

Apollo firmly believes himself to be the dominant character in this household. He has rules, his rules. Several years ago, he became a business owner. He established Poodle Home Security. He is the CEO and the lead investigator. He is quite adapting at fending off the UPS and/or FedEx drivers. He allows no cars to enter our driveway unnoticed. The weekly refuse truck should not tarry long or perhaps suffer the consequences. He wards off squirrels, bunny rabbits, gophers, etc., which threaten us from time to time in our yard. Even evil spirits are subject to his menacing bark. Occasionally, when the cattle in the pasture across the road begin to chase their food truck, he hurries them along. And, we always know the comings and goings of our neighbors.

Once a day, he makes his rounds in the back yard. He checks his PeeMail, for messages, and replies if necessary.

PeeMailHe also inspects the kennel dogs and their surroundings, much like a drill sergeant with his recruits. He is constantly barking orders. Some recruits are a bit more stubborn than others are. This only increases his authoritative nature.
He alerts us to storm threats, issuing warnings of severe thunderstorms and comforts the “Rancherette” when there is lightning followed by thunder. Yes sir; we have the finest Poodle Home Security money can buy. Life could not get any better, or so Apollo thinks.
Enter his new trainee, Alfie the Airedale. So named for she looks like Alf, the alien from the TV series in the late ‘80’s. Notice the eyes.

AlfAlfie the Alf

Unbeknownst to Apollo, he is going to have to work overtime to shape this “recruit” into a lean fighting machine. She already has one strike against her. She is not a Poodle. That can be assuaged as long as she takes her training seriously. I dare not forget, Apollo is an  equal opportunity employer.He does not discriminate when it comes to hiring.  However, if she expects to wear a detective badge for Poodle Home Security, she must immediately realize this is serious stuff. The offenders that drift into Poodle Home Security territory do not necessarily have treats in their pockets. They do not have squeaky toys under their arms. Not everyone she meets will come bearing gifts.

She does have the ability to keep the little Silkie chickens in line, as long as they stay on their side of the fence. That is fortunate, a good first step. However, I’m thinking that the Silkies do not pose any threat to the Rancher or “Rancherette”. She is also good at urging the lawnmower along, digging holes, and chewing doorposts or any other inanimate object that gets in her way.
She is smart, already learning from Apollo that water tastes better with ice cubes in it. Not bad for a rookie. She has quickly become adept at frisking pockets. In case you have something in there that is not allowed, like doggie treats, she will promptly confiscate any items not allowed. Occasionally, for training purposes, certain objects are left in the bark of trees and other locations for her to find. She is very good at searching out those items. I might add, they smell like cheese and her smeller is superb. However, I think Apollo must work with her on her attention span. She has so much to learn before taking her place in the barking order.

I have heard that when life deals you lemons, you should make lemonade. I am not a lemonade aficionado; however, I suppose I could learn. I can use rainwater to make the stuff if it ever rains again. That is, if Alfie hasn’t stolen the lemons. We probably should have done a background check before “hiring” her. Apollo, you still have work to do. Poodle Home Security 2

Shopping is So Exhausting

Yesterday morning, the day began much as every day begins. Up at the crack of dawn (only because I had to go to the bathroom), letting the new kid on the block, Alfie, the heirdale, outside along with her mentor, Apollo, the Poodle, then waking up the rest of the Poodles, Italian Greyhound and the two Cairn Terriers. After all, they need their time out of their kennels for their morning constitutional. 

Next, I check on the Silkie chickens. We have seven four-day-old chicks in the brooder, one chick healing in sickbay, nine juveniles in the condominium, which they share separately with four adults. Nine teenagers reside comfortably in the mansion on the hill. Much of this happens before I have had a full cup of coffee. It was an exciting morning, and all before breakfast.

So, finally, I’m sitting down to a bowl of cereal and a banana, (potassium, you know) before the television watching GMA. They have a segment called Deals and Steals, where various products are featured with the prices usually cut in half or more.

The “Rancherette” perked up.

“I must go to lunch with my best friend, “Rosie, the Realtor”, today,” she said. Bear in mind, she was not asking for permission, it was a statement of fact. It did not require a permissible acknowledgment from me. Nothing the “Rancherette” does, requires any sort of permission. In fact, I suggested that lunch with “Rosie, the Realtor” would be the thing to do. It is my duty as a loving spouse to support any endeavor the “Rancherette” attempts.

So the requisite phone call was made, plans were discussed and somewhere during the course of the morning, the “Rancherette” dressed in her finery, (she always dresses in finery.) Soon thereafter, the “Rancherette” left for her luncheon date with “Rosie, the Realtor”. I cannot speak to whatever transpired after the “Rancherette” left. I realize that when “Rosie, the Realtor” and the Rancherette” get together, all bets are off

.Gloria's

And so, on for lunch.

Food

Me, I had exciting plans of my own. Since I am supposed to be a writer, my plan was to sit down before my computer and begin punching away at the keyboard. Occasionally, I form paragraphs that make sense. However, earlier this week, a small storm invaded my backyard. The grass has been growing at a record pace since we have had so much moisture this winter. I am not complaining, for we need this and more. I empathize with those of you who are in dire circumstances. But the grasses grow with all this much rain. And to think, I fertilized this past winter and early spring. As I sit at my office window and look outside, I can almost see the grass growing. However, it is too wet to mow with my riding mower. Unfortunately, it is not too wet for the small push mower. You can probably guess how my day went.

After a day on the town,   the “Rancherette” returned, home. I witnessed the trunk of the SUV open. It opened wide. There were packages inside. Many packages. Hmmmm, I thought, this looks like much more than lunch. Besides, lunch has been over for several hours. It was time for dinner. 

Poor girl, she struggled with bringing in all those packages. I could not help for I had to restrain Apollo. He wants to bound out the front door each time it is opened. So, in she came, lugging all those packages. One would have thought it was Christmas. As I recall, there were two purses, shoes, clothing, (the “Rancherette” does dress in finery) a new pillow, and not to leave out the dogs, two new toys. They were very excited. The “Rancherette” was excited. I was excited.
I can only imagine how excited “Rosie, the Realtor” must have been, and Bob, her unassuming spouse.

Later that evening, the “Rancherette” commented, “Shopping really wears you out,” Silly me, I had not noticed. At least, she has a new pillow on which to lay her head.

Me, I’ll stick to push mowing the entire backyard. It is not nearly as exhausting as shopping. 

A Chicken Wrangler’s Poem

 

I got an invitation to write this cowboy rhyme,
‘bout the Chicken Wranglers who ride from time to time.
So I sat down in my cowboy corner and in my cowboy chair
I searched my cowboy brain and wrote this cowboy prayer.

“Lord, bless the Chicken Wranglers, the ones who ride the range
And keep them little chickens safe, away from critters strange.”

I wrote this with my trusty cowboy pen.

A Chicken Wrangler’s Poem

The old chicken wrangler moseyed out her back door
She had chickens to tend to and that’s always a chore,
They scratch and peck and preen and dig holes in the dirt
As the cantankerous old “Roo” just sidesteps while he flirts.

The old chicken wrangler or sometimes, “Rancherette”
Comes to see this “Roo” as something of a threat,
So, she speaks very softly, but she carries a big stick
‘cause this ornery old rooster is often just too quick.

He’s just about one of the best of the breed
Worth every nickel she’d spent on his seed.
He has all the makings of championship stock
Old Cap’n Kanga “Roo” reigns over his flock.

But a wrangler can’t have just one stud in his herd
And this chicken wrangler? She needs a brand new bird.
So from her Silkie flock way up on the hill
Comes a nice Blue cockerel that gives her quite a thrill.

This brand new Silkie rooster comes with Silkie chicks
Bringing with his hatch a brand new bag of tricks.
While pullets scratch and peck and preen and dig ‘round in the dirt
“Big Blue” is just a crowing, still learning how to flirt.

So a Chicken Wrangler’s work is almost never done
and cleaning all that poop ain’t never been much fun
But wrangle on they will ‘cause it’s built inside their genes
and just like kids, they love ‘em, even when they’re teens.

                                                                                 Pete Robertson                                                                                                               March 2015

Evil Twins

I try my best to help the “Rancherette” with chores around our home. I believe it is the right thing to do. At my age, I don’t always get it right, but I still know how to do the right thing. So, I try.

Sometimes, I help with the dusting of furniture. Sometimes, I miss a spot. Sometimes, I help with the vacuuming. Sometimes, I miss a spot. Sometimes, I wash the dishes. Sometimes, I miss a spot. Sometimes, I make the bed; sometimes I miss a spot, uh corner. Every once in a blue moon, I will cook something, however, that is generally left to the best person for that chore. Did I mention the “Rancherette” is also a “Bakerette?” Which is very good, except for my waistline.

I realize that there are chores around the home that usually fall to one gender or the other. But, it does not have to be that way. For example, I usually tend to the yard work. However, the “Rancherette” did not get her name by sticking to housework, only. She draws plans for a chicken coop on a napkin, I build it; she paints it. That is what we call sharing. I consider it a privilege to help around the house.

However, there is one area I tend to stay clear. The Laundry! It so happens, in our little farm house, the laundry room is also in my bathroom. I see the laundry appliances every day, morning, noon and night. They are evil. They stare at me. I undress for my shower, they are watching. I shave, they are watching. I brush my teeth, they are watching. Anything else I do in my own bathroom, well, I’m telling you, they are up to no good. Consequently, I almost never do the laundry.

It seems, every time I do put something in the washing machine, it loses it. Not all of it, only part of it. That very nice pair of socks, the washing machine ate one, only one. What am I supposed to do with only one argyle sock? I can’t replace it; they only sold one pair at Walmart, and then discontinued that style. But that is another story.

That wicked machine will turn my tee shirts wrong side out, and then, since the “Rancherette” does the folding she has to take the time to turn them back the right way. I’m sorry about that, but it is that revolting machine. If she accidently folds the tee shirts that way, then I wind up putting them on wrong side out. How on earth does that machine do that?  I’m telling you that machine is up to no good. It even turned my “whitey-tighties into a pale pink. How stupid do you think that looks at the gym?

Occasionally, it will throw a temper tantrum. Have you ever seen a washing machine throw a temper tantrum? Well, it bounces up and down, crawls all over the place, rolls over and spits up bubbles on the floor. No, I’m not talking about a two year old. I am speaking about the horrible, obnoxious washing machine. It cannot control its bladder, either. Sometimes, it will have an “accident”. Wicked, I’m telling you.

It also has an evil twin brother (or sister, I’m not sure of the genders) Its name is “dryer”. Washer and Dryer, two peas in a pod, as they say down here in North Texas.

I once placed a nice beige sweater in the “dryer”, another fashionable piece of clothing I purchased at Walmart. The “dryer” ruined it. It shrank so badly, that even Luka, the rescue Italian Greyhound could not wear it.

I cannot even begin to tell you how wrinkled the “dryer” left my pants the last time I tried to use it. The creases in the folds were destroyed and the shirts lost all their buttons. Do you know what it is like to put on a shirt with no buttons? I can understand losing my marbles, but buttons? And you know the one sock that the “washer” did not eat? The “dryer” did. As it turns out, this was a blessing in disguise; I was able to purchase a complete new pair.

Since its evil twin washed the peppermint inside my pants, the “dryer”   went ahead and melted it to the fabric. Conspiracy for sure. Now I have a sticky spot in my pocket. I told you they were evil.

Machines like these are supposed to make your life a little more efficient and I suppose they do, to some extent, however, I am going to stick to my dusting, making the bed and washing dishes, even if I do miss a spot.

If I hear the “twins” calling my name, I’m running outside to mow the grass, or burn leaves or shovel snow, or build something. I think that may be the right thing to do. Thank you, “Rancherette” for your expertise and willingness to fight off those evil twins in my bathroom. They frighten me.

Grendel, My Hero

In my post “A Brutal Winter” Round 2”, I talked about  the “Snow Chicken” built yesterday by the “rancherette” during her morning play-time. I posted a video on FB of her actually building that “snow chicken”. There were several responses to that post. One in particular came from two-year-old John Paul Delagarza, who called her a “snow chicken lady”. I thought that was very intuitive for such a young person. It is obvious that young minds think alike.

Yesterday, all the after-school programs for the dogs was not cancelled, besides they had already decided they were not postponing any afternoon free time, anyway, so I let them loose from their pens for their usual run around. We usually let them take turns getting out to avoid any altercations between them.

Watching each one was hilarious as they discovered the “Snow Chicken” The first one to do so was our little male Cairn Terrier, Grendel. He is the Alpha dog in our kennels or at least he thinks he is. He has absolutely no regard for his limited size when compared with his Poodle counterparts. I recall once when he accidently got loose while Denali, a large male Poodle was enjoying his free time. Grendel thought he could bolster his manhood by defeating Denali. Unfortunately, I was the one defeated as Denali bit my hand, thinking it was Grendel. I am very careful, now, when I let the dogs run.

Anyway, Grendel’s first move was from about 30 feet away. Cautiously he approached the odd-looking monster with the funny-looking neck and fluffy head. He barked. He moved ever so slowly,  closer and closer. Then, another bark, a ferociously sounding bark. He raced around the creature, daring the unknown beast to make a move; even a slight twitch could set him off at any moment.

In the meantime, the other dogs in the kennels were cheering him on. Grendel was feeling his oats by now, strutting nonchalantly around this thing. He was playing it cool. He pawed the ground as he eyed this thing.  The thing just stared back, not making a move. Again, Grendel dared the creature to go away or at least react. And again, no movement. Grendel moved a bit closer, still cautious, however, more confident he could handle anything that came his way.

By this time, the Standard poodles were in full voice, egging him on. They (the poodles) have no shame, they were ready to watch a fight. Grendel unashamedly was ready to go into battle, to attack this obvious adversary if need be. But he was getting nowhere, fast. The unknown critter was silent.

And, then it happened. I’m only guessing, because I have no way of knowing what goes on in the mind of Grendel, but I believe he decided that if this thing was not going to engage him in any sort of combat, then he had only one recourse,

to pee on it. 

First one side then the other, up high and down low. In the front and at the rear. Thus, the “Snow Chicken” began to melt and Grendel had accomplished his part at protecting the back yard from monsters. Feeling ‘relieved” he sauntered back to his pen declaring himself to be the victor.

The other male Poodles were more than capable of helping Grendel when it came time for their run around. However, Grendel, my hero, had already conquered the beast of the backyard. It is nice to know our backyard is protected from “monsters” (and Snow Chickens).

Grendel the Snow Chicken Killer

 

 

 

 

 

The sun is now shining and all is well that ends well. Have a happy day.

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