rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “education”

NO Rooster Necessary

So the “Rancherette” arrives at the post office unannounced with two cardboard boxes of chickens for shipment to Oklahoma. Why these birds wanted to go to Oklahoma in the first place is beyond this Texan’s imagination. I mean no disrespect to the great citizens of Oklahoma, but the best thing ever to come out of Oklahoma was the musical, “Oklahoma”. I’m a sucker for musicals.  I love that musical and Shirley Jones singing. Then there is Mickey Mantle and Johnny Bench.  And I must never leave out Native Americans, the backbone of the state. However, it is not Texas, I’m just sayin’.  And I am now trying to dig myself out of a hole. Before I get mauled on social media, I maybe should change the subject.

As I was saying, the “Rancherette” is shipping “Mille Fleur D’uccle bantams and Silkie bantams to Oklahoma. These birds are show quality and are headed for distinction. “The Rancherette”, herself is a person of distinction and especially in the chicken world. She is an expert, knowledgeable and very professional at raising chickens. The “Rancherwriterpoet” is not a biased person, he is however, rather smart.

Well, she queued at the post office, (which one shall remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the USPS) to ship the birds. While waiting in line, several people were inquisitive about what was in the cartons. Never missing an opportunity to discuss chickens, the “Rancherette” was quick to respond. The conversation went something like this, “Chickens”, she said. And that was all she needed to elaborate about what was in the cardboard boxes. I venture to say, before she left the building, every person in the place knew so much more about chickens than before they came in. They also had in their little hands, “The Fuzzy Chicken Farm” business cards in case there should be any further dialog.

When she approached the counter, the clerk recognized her and mentioned how much she likes chickens.  The “Rancherette” mails all her chickens from this post office. As you might expect, the hens are cackling, I mean the ladies are talking chickens, when the clerk commented that she would like to have a few chickens so she could have fresh eggs but she did not want a rooster. She thought she needed a rooster in order to have fresh eggs. This obviously opened the door (to the coop) for a discussion about when a rooster is needed and when not. In her calm and mentoring demeanor, the “Rancherette” explained that a rooster was not needed for a hen to merely lay an egg. The clerk was dumbfounded at this information.

This is going to take a lesson in chicken biology at which the “Rancherette” is very well versed. I can imagine that the subject was covered in full explicit detail so I want further complicate your day by revealing those elements. If I did, this would need to be rated X. Needless to say, the line behind the “Rancherette’ grew longer as the seminar continued. I find myself wondering if there was participation from those behind her. There was certainly curiosity. I am confident that viable information was presented by a Master Professional and all went home having learned that a rooster is not necessary for eggs or you can buy eggs at the super market. I don’t believe they have any roosters in the back.

Next week, there will two more shipments of birds to some far away land like Idaho and Illinois. Idaho has potatoes and Illinois has the Cubs. The “Rancherette” can’t wait. She will be holding another tutorial at the same USPS facility. She anticipates another great discussion about chickens. Hopefully she does not have to repeat last week’s lesson.  The “Rancherwriterpoet” was not there for confirmation of this conversation, but the expression on the “Rancherette’s” face as she was relating this was hilarious. I found this to be very informative. If you can’t stand the cackling or crowing stay out of the coops.

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Cardboard Boxes

Spring is springing and it is raining today. That’s ok, trees are budding, grass is growing, flowers are blooming, redbuds are beautiful, birds building nests and laying eggs, and our menagerie is fulfilling their destiny. The geese are nesting. Ahh, the geese!

They arrived in a cardboard box through the U.S. Postal Service about a year ago, this thundering herd of geese. Namely three Sebastopol goslings, which have since become like full grown Geese, two males and a female, depending on whom is making the assessment. The “Rancherette” presumes the opposite of my viewpoint. We are sure about the one named Indie, a gander and Shya, a female. I find it odd that a female goose does not have a specific gender name other than a “goose.” The one named Bailey, is the one in question, a “goose” or a gander? But it is a gender neutral name.

Regardless, they frequent our lives on a daily basis, honking, nibbling at the pants legs, flapping their wings in a not-so-subtle way of discouraging your presence or demanding your attention.

  flapping wings

They can untie your shoes, strip the cushion ties from the patio chairs, scare the bejabbers out of you and clearly intimidate you, all the while creating an atmosphere of amusement.  During the mating season, this becomes much more prevalent. You do not want to turn your back on these obstinate, two-legged, pillow-making waterfowl.  Things could get ugly in a heartbeat.

When they were younger they were trained to go into their pen on command. Utter the words, “Geeses, let’s go home” and they would immediately walk ever so slowly into their pen. Actually, they do not walk, they waddle. They stumble over any obstacle in their path, be it a pine cone or a tree root. But the going home part, not so much now they are grown. Resistance has become the norm. Hence, the pants-leg gnawing. We use a child’s rake to guide them home. They will wrest it from your hands, believing it is an orange-colored predator and will bite it to death. If your finger is substituted , they can gnaw ‘til it’s raw. They make excellent guard geese. We already have Poodle Home Security. Now we have a subsidiary company, as well, the Geese Patrol.

Much like the Postal Service, rain, sleet nor snow will not discourage them from their appointed duties, like  swimming in their ¼ acre pond no matter the temperature. They do not mingle with the chickens or dogs, although there is occasional  interaction between the pens. They are very curious birds and intent on observing everything you do.  Always watching, they do not miss anything. The kennel dogs roam freely throughout their portion of the back yard, taking care not to violate the demarcation line next to the fence that separates one from the other.

Alfie, our resident Airedale troublemaker, who has a personal relationship with hardheadedness, can report first hand the effects of encroaching too close to the fence. The other kennel dogs must have observed that infraction and thus, are very reluctant to repeat Alfie’s action. If you ask Alfie, she will show you her scars.

So, here on the Fuzzy Chicken Farm, there is an assortment of poultry and canines. Until the cardboard boxes arrived last year, it was a peaceful co-existence.  We still co-exist; however, it is a delicate arrangement. After all, they are the royalty of the Fuzzy Chicken Farm.

Spring is springing. Beware of cardboard boxes arriving in the mail. It could be a thundering herd of geese. Honk! Honk!

RIP, DEAR PRADA

Yesterday was Father’s Day. It turned out to be an eventful day around our house. I received the customary phone calls and the usual assortment of Father’s Day cards. And I am so grateful for my children and grandchildren. So, thanks to all my family and especially to my “Rancherette” wife.    However, there was a moment of sadness yesterday. If you are a pet lover as we are, then perhaps you may understand. We have many animals around our home. Chickens, geese, dogs, and they all seem to cohabitate with each other, within certain parameters of course. We love each and every one of them. So it is with that certain sadness we grieve a bit over the loss of one.

Prada, a beloved standard poodle, lost her bout with cancer. She was two weeks shy of her 10th birthday. She was an exceptionally sweet dog with a like disposition. In all of her days, I never heard her bark. She never growled. If there was ever a dog that smiled, she was the one. She was shy, yet playful in her own way. Never a cross word with any other dog. She was small for her breed and never had puppies.  She loved peppermints as do all of our dogs. However, she was terrific at “helping” to unwrap the mint. When we let the dogs run from their kennels in the afternoon she would hang around in order to get an “extra”.  It was almost like a game with her. I’ll miss that.

I do not know God’s plan for animals. He certainly must have enough love for each. It is with a certainty that dogs bring about a sense of belonging in the world. They serve a purpose. In my life I have had many dogs and a few cats. I have loved each and every one and each has brought joy to my life in one form or fashion. The remaining dogs in our kennels must sense a loss in some sort of way. I suppose they grieve a bit as well. So this new day breaks and our lives continue and the days move forward.  This will happen again and again. I will never get used to it. RIP, dear Prada.

INSCRIPTIONS

Can you imagine sweethearts putting their initials inside a heart carving on the trunk of a tree? I believe that young people have been doing that since time immortal.  Perhaps, you have done that, etched your initials on a tree. It isn’t just for lovers. But it can be.

On occasion I confess to being somewhat of a romantic. A recent download caught my eye about writings on trees. I composed this poem for my own enjoyment and decided to share it on my website in honor of “The Rancherette”. I hope you enjoy it.

INSCRIPTIONS

Under the canopy of a weather-beaten old tree
stands an antiquated little wooden bench.
I sit serenely on this small resting place
studying the engravings on the bark of the tree.

I ponder the originality of those etchings
and wonder of the hands of these crafted designs.
It is a unique process that guides my thoughts,
mesmerized by the inscriptions of expression.

The impressive creations imprinted upon this trunk
were carved with great expectations.
It is the intuitive genius of the illustrator
to seek approval from the intended.

Immersed in the hush of my surroundings,
I am intrigued at the theme sculpted into the wood,
From my vantage point on this little wooden bench,
I derive inspiration and contentment.

My imagination runs the gamut.
Songbirds warble melodiously and pleasing.
Such creatures of tuneful sound and splendid beauty
should not remain hidden or dissuaded.

These charming feathered friends
submit that romanticism’s in the air
and from the little wooden bench
I perceive that love is written everywhere.

bird-singing

The carvings on this weathered tree of sublimity,
portray the many natures of relationships,
from the corny to the poetic to the sensual,
as I see it from my  little wooden bench.

tree-carving  Pete Robertson
i-love-you-heartFebruary 2017

COUNTDOWN

There is something about the human race and time that intrigues me. Seemingly, we humans are always counting down for some event to take place in the future. Those awaiting a birth of a child face a countdown to a time that is somewhat difficult to determine, nevertheless, the countdown cannot come soon enough, especially for the one giving birth.

Those facing retirement count down the days until it arrives, then wonder how it happened so fast. The students in school count down until summer. Of course, the teachers are much more in the countdown mode than the students. Those waiting to experience graduation, whether it be middle school, high school or college, all count down until the fateful day. In each case there is a transition from one situation to a different development. The middle school graduate counts down to becoming a teenager, the high school graduate counts down to becoming a university student and the college graduate counts down to employment.

New Year’s Day finds most of America and the world enjoying the countdown until 12 A.M., although many cannot remember it the next morning.

I noticed that those in the know have advanced the doomsday clock to two minutes, thirty seconds until midnight. This is a symbolic clock that sends a message of nuclear oblivion when it reaches midnight. That particular countdown is unnerving to say the least.

This past year 2016, social media light up the airwaves with a countdown until the presidential election. It doesn’t matter for which political side you were rooting, it mattered when it was to take place. And the time arrived. One candidate surpassed the other. Certain individuals threatened to leave the country if a particular candidate won. The other side began the countdown as to exactly when that would happen. As I write this the countdown has to be reset each day for I have seen no exits from these personalities.

Then the countdown began until inauguration day. It arrived. Half the nation is happy and half the nation is not. I’m thinking someone should start a countdown as the when the two halves can come together on a common goal. Naaa, too much to ask. But God is in total control. His countdown is the only one that matters.

Until then I have it on good authority that the baseball season is upon us. As I write this, the countdown until spring training is 16 days, 13 hours, 39 minutes, 34 seconds and counting. http://www.springtrainingcountdown.com/#sthash.BcTqhy1P.dpb

Texas Rangers pitchers and catchers report Wednesday February 15. Opening day for the Texas Rangers is April 3, 2017 at home against the defending American League champions Cleveland Indians. 65 days 2 hours 43 minutes 35 seconds and counting:    https://days.to/until/mlb-season-opening-day

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.”

Songwriters: ALBERT VON TILZER, JACK NORWORTH

This countdown works for me. What countdown are you working on?

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