Faulkner’s Only Children’s Book

December 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm (Random Thoughts)

The Wishing Tree was a limited edition print, and is now very hard to find.  However, it has been put online here for all to read and enjoy.


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Free Ranging the Chickens, Part Deux

June 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm (Random Thoughts) (, , , , )

So I’m sitting in my chair having enjoyed Chinese food my daughter had brought home, chickens are happily in their pen in the yard, and all of the sudden, I hear some magpies start screaming. (If you’ve ever heard magpies scream, you know what I’m talking about.)  They keep it up, so I get up and head to the door, and I can see a chicken jumping in the corner of the pen, like she’s trying to get out.  Then the dogs start barking.

As I head out the door, I see a fox standing on the far side of the pen, staring in.  I yell at him to get away, and run down the stairs.

Fox goes part way across the yard, but then stops, looking at me. I’ve clearly interrupted what he thinks of as his box lunch.  But then the magpies start in.  Two of them start dive bombing the fox, driving him out of our yard and into the neighbors.  Husband comes out and points out that they are divebombing him like crazy.  Daughter comes out moments later and asks what’s up- and even though they are clearly acres away, you can still hear the magpies screaming faintly in the distance.  She conjectures that the magpies have a nest up in the tree above the pen.

Either way, they saved some chickies today.

I decide it’s time to take them back in, so husband gets in the pen, lifts it up enough to clear the ground, and starts herding the chickens back to the garage that way, until a couple escape and we let them all loose while getting the pen ready for the night.

We try the rocks in a container thing to get them to come – it’s not effective – yet.

Everyone is caught and put in for the night and clearly just in time – as we come in the house, a big bang of thunder comes across the hills, followed minutes later by a heavy downpour.

And thus end happily the chickies first encounter with a fox.  Chickens – 8, fox-0.

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I am the Alpha Chicken

June 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm (Random Thoughts) (, , , , )

Ummm, how did that come about?  Oh yeah, at the beginning of March, when I bought a handful of chicks to start raising.  Since I am their primary caregiver, they have impressed upon me. And today it was more evident than ever.

Their current pen is topless and bottomless; it sits on boards when in the garage, and we have a framed top that is removable.  A couple times a week we move them out into the yard so they can get grass and dirt and bugs and be in the outdoors – prep for being in their own permanent run.

Today as I was preparing to move them to the holding box as I took their pen out, two of the chickens flew out of the pen and into the garage. At that point, I decided – to hell with it.  I’d been considering letting them free range a bit with supervision – today is the day.  So I tip the pen on its side, leaving all the chickens now standing on their own, free, in the garage.  I start moving the pen out into the yard, and the chickens?  They stand there.  No clue what to d0 with all this sudden freedom but stand about in the very safe garage.

I get the pen out into the yard and come back – a few adventurous ones have stepped out of the garage, but the majority are so not digging this pen free idea.  So I start clapping my hands rapidly, walking backwards, and a couple start following me, and the rest follow them.

Commence the feather pulling and jumping about – literally.  Some try to control the others, pulling on tails and wings.  Others decide to test the freedom, hopping and flapping, getting a few feet away from their starting point.

Free ranging for the first time.

And then, beeline for the area around the pen.  Lots of tall happy grass, lots of wee bugs and flying gnats – everyone is happy.  I sit down on the surround around the old stove that decorates the yard between the trees, and I am in the center of a preschool. Totally toddlers, the chickens wander here and there, staying mainly in a group, but every once in a while coming over to me, just to eyeball me, check that I’m still there, or to peck on my ring.

Not going too far from their pen.

Happy sounds abound.

So after a time, realizing that they will mainly stay together, I decide to go clean the boards – get the old bedding swept out,  scrape stuck on poo off the boards.  This takes but a few minutes, and when I step out of the garage again, a line of chickens is heading straight for me!

Actual distance from where the pen is to the garage.

What?  Not enough bugs?  Not enough shade?  No, there is both, but we’re toddlers, remember? Mommy went out of sight!   MUST FIND MOMMY!

So I walk them back out, sit down with them again or a time, and eventually I decide it’s time for them to go back in the pen.  I move the pen further into the shade (flock has decided they might have a fleeting chance to catch that little yellow butterfly) and once I have it settled, they rush the pen as if it’s going to disappear. For once, no protesting when I pick them up and put them in the pen (except from one) no attempts to fly out when I go get their water and the pen lid.

Oh no – the pen moved! Must check on it!

Babies have had enough free range time for the day.

Husband says I must be the Alpha Chicken.

More pictures of  babies first day free ranging –

Let us in, let us in!

“broken chickens”! Sunning themselves, enjoying the day.

I heard something that sounds like us!

Mom? Mom?

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It’s OK Little Blog…

February 1, 2012 at 9:45 am (Random Thoughts)

You haven’t been forgotten.  I’ve just been paying attention to the new baby blog – In Just A Few Words Every Day.  I promise to pay more attention to you in the near future.

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So I’m Applying for this job today…

August 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm (Random Thoughts)

It’s a job to be a web based advice columnist, especially for relationships.

This I can do – and why, do you ask? Because of high school.  I wrote this part in my letter of application; it explains why I’m so suited to it.

In high school, I always had people coming to me for relationship advice.  I never thought much of it until the day that I, general average kid, group floater, was sitting at a lunch table with the head cheerleader and the school secret lesbian. (Hey, this was 1980, it wasn’t cool yet to be gay or bi!)  The cheerleader was asking me for advice n how to maintain her relationship with her BF – you guessed it, they were the stereotype; he was captain of the football team- post abortion.  The secret lesbian was asking my advice on how to maintain her relationship with her girlfriend, who was in jail.

At this point, my head started spinning a bit.  People who didn’t talk to each other, who didn’t talk to me, were both sitting there at the same table with me, looking at me for solutions.  How did I even get this reputation?  A week later, the toughest girl and bully stoner in the school is crying on MY shoulder because she’s pregnant.  A girl who threatened daily to beat me up half of ninth grade, a year later is looking to me for solace.

Needless to say, high school was a very WTF time for me.  And it didn’t stop.  Even now, people who are complete strangers ask me for advice, especially relationship advice.  They look to me as to what to do next. I have literally been stopped on the street, been in Victorian dress in a museum setting and  been asked what to do, been at an anime convention, been shopping for groceries.

 Now I won’t name names; in fact, I’d have to go back to my HS yearbook to figure out exactly who these people are anymore.  I don’t even know if they are still about, or moved to some forreign, exotic place.  What I do know is that I’m a magnet for those needing advice.  Sometimes I can help, sometimes I can’t.  But people still come to me for this help.

I did learn one other thing – maybe it’s time to put down the sewing and get back to writing.  I can’t even figure out how to log into my Associated Content page anymore, and it’s been at least a year and a half since I wrote on Hubpages, and well, you can see that this blog is lagging, expcept when I get all het up about something.

I haven’t even talked about my new projects or anything in a long time.

Maybe it’s time to put down the needle (sewing needle, twits!) step away from the chat room, and start to serious work again.  After all, it’s almost fall!

(I dunno what that has to do with anything, but I said it anyway!)

Oh yes I do – If I’m not writing Colorado History, who will the kids plagarize for their school reports?  Just kidding. Maybe.

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