Mar. 23rd, 2017 09:06 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
I just now made the commitment - coming the week of April 17th - 8 baby chickens!

3 Astrolorps - black
1 Rhode Island Red - red
1 Delaware - white with black tail and head
1 Barred Rock - black and white striped
1 White Rock - white
1 Golden Laced Wyandotte - brown and golden

I especially liked the idea of having Astrolorps - here is a description from the breeders:
Australorps are the Australian take on the Orpington breed. They are calm and friendly, and excellent layers of light brown eggs. The Australorp's exceptionally soft, shiny black plumage has hints of green and purple in the sunlight. Peaceful and dignified, Australorps are an absolutely delightful bird which we highly recommend to anyone who wants a pet chicken that lays dependably.

I had a mixed flock of about 10 chickens back in 1983 and there was one chicken that was friendlier than all the others. She was an Astrolorp. I named her Dorothy. All the other chickens died off from old age as time went on till I didn't need a chicken coop anymore for just her, so then she lived in a little dog house on a table right outside the back door. She finally died at age 9, or maybe it was 10. I think one of the new chickens will need to be called Dorothy (2).
summersgate: (eggshells)
Baby chicks at the feed store today.

Dave and I visited the feed store just now - him to check on a trailer tire - me to ask about baby chicks. I found out that baby chicks will not be available (individually) after Easter. Though you can special order 25 at a time. I don't want 25. Just before Easter is when I get back from Florida. I wouldn't want to get them now and stick Dave with the job of caring for them when I'm gone. I guess we will have to wait and see what is still available when I get back. Maybe it will all work out if it's meant to be...

Edit: I see now where I can get as few at 10 by mail. That could be an option that might work okay too.


Mar. 3rd, 2017 08:51 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Another snowy day. Pretty. Another day to stay in listening to music on shuffle and work on enameling and jewelry. My goal - have something to etsyize later.

Editing - adding on:
I have fallen into a habit of doing something - painting some enamels on, putting them up to dry, setting things out with solder and flux on them, letting them dry, etc and then coming over to the computer and *wasting* time while they dry. So here I am again. Things go so much slower this way.

I ordered a pound of truffle salt last week - I told Dave about it this morning and he exclaimed, a pound!? It was cheaper by the pound. I am looking forward to putting it on eggs and popcorn. Maybe one of the reasons the thought of a chicken coop keeps coming into my mind - truffle salt is on its way.

A letter I just wrote to the president - I put my own words into a petition that I signed:

President Trump,
Please take care of our earth, water and air. You have a chance to be a good president - one who could be admired in the future. Someday people will either remember you with horror at what you have done and the things you have ruined or with affection for the care you took with our natural world and its people's needs. I'm hoping you will choose the second option.

I hope he reads it. Though that's very doubtful.



Mar. 2nd, 2017 07:20 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
I woke up very early this morning - 5 am. Snowing - did not expect that - though I should have. March is too soon for winter to be over around here.

Looking forward to a big day of jewelry making and enameling. Maybe I will get some jewelry finished and get back to etsyizing things. I did get the last of the stuff added up for income taxes last night and emailed our tax lady to set up a time to see her. I feel like things are getting done - progressing properly.

Talking more with Dave about a chicken coop. I found 3 kits offered by our local feed store that I wanted him to look at to help me choose one but then he said that there is an Amish place on the way to Clarion that he would rather buy from. So good. Maybe I will finally get him on board. I really like the idea of fresh eggs from our own chickens. The vegans next door have said that they would be willing to eat sterile eggs from happy chickens so I could feed the eggs to them too. When I'm not home Rossy says he will help out and take care of them for me. I think that would be a good thing.

Oh good lord - just looked down on the floor - as the day is getting lighter and I can see things better - there are parts of a dead mouse strewn all over. Gad. That is the bad thing about cats. Skye had a mouse in here on Tuesday - still alive and playing with it so I took it outside. I should have taken it farther away. It's possible that mouse found it's way back in the house and this is it. Horrible.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Jan and I walked on the hiking trail on the south east side of Lake Wilhelm this morning. Cold and snowing lightly. At one point we had 3 eagles circling over us in the snowy air. 3 more HERE. )

Came home and looked at online chicken coops. I haven't totally given up the dream of having my own chickens. Dave isn't very interested but I could get one of those little coops and put it together myself - big enough to house 2 chickens. You can even order them online from Walmart with free shipping. It's tempting.

Got terribly tired and took a long nap. Got up around 6 and ate the last of some lentil soup I had made a few days ago. I am trying to remember to make lentil soup once a week or so. It's a very good protein.

Watching the movie Full Metal Jacket tonight. Disturbing. Made in 1987. I must have watched it a long time ago but then forgotten a lot. It's hard for me not to feel affected.
summersgate: (eggshells)
1. Cleaned 4 birdhouse gourds - scrubbed them in the kitchen sink in bleach water.
2. Took a nap.
2. Went with Dave to get gas for his boat - he needs special gas that doesn't have alcohol in it and you can only get it at a station near Cranberry.
3. Ate Chinese at the Jumbo Buffet. It is my favorite buffet in the area.
4. Visited the Mall and went to God's Little Garden for organic foods - got "fake candy" - made with nuts and fruit and no sugar - pretty good.
5. Came home and took another nap.
6. Ate dinner of fried fish and roasted cauliflower.
7. Took a bath with my new bath pillow. It didn't help the stupid tub much - it still feels small and uncomfortable.

1. Lots of rain and mist all day.
2. Saw a big colorful spotted hummingbird in a dream. It was using the new cardboard birdhouse I had just put up for it. I had erected the birdhouse inside a chicken house (cause cardboard can't be out in the weather). I had forgotten to feed the chickens in the chicken house for many years but they surprisingly were doing well anyway. Kathy was with me and we were both so tired we sat down on a bench and I held her head so she could sleep. A group of women who were jewelry customers came in and were looking at the hummingbird hovering around the door of its house.
3. A bird flying forwards in the wind but actually going backwards.
4. Saw Andy tearing a play toy into pieces - white stuffing everywhere.
5. Saw many text messages from Johnny and his fiance as we tried to figure out what we will be doing tomorrow and how we will meet up with them. Gabe and I will be going over to Clarion to do the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" thing with them.
6. Watched some DVD videos about Monsanto and GMOs and corporate agriculture that the lady at God's Little Garden gave us. Disturbing. Feeling outraged and concerned now.
7. Watched Rossy cycle 10 miles on the stationary bike in the living room.

Two clocks ticking in tandem in a quiet room as I write this.

Dumb little sketch - the butterfly might be a pendant someday.

Another thing I did today - Dave showed me how Andy can catch treats in his mouth. So I spent time throwing treats in the air for him.
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
The writing prompt today is "a gray coat" so I thought I would put on my gray jacket and get a spad photo in it. My down coat that I have been wearing the last couple days might work for "gray coat" too - but is more of a greenish gray color.


This photo was taken in a mirror that came with a little old trailer I got in 1983, the year my first husband Pat and I divorced. I got the trailer and had it moved into my parent's backyard so I could have a place of my own while I was living with them and getting my life back together. Jules (age 9) slept in the bed in the bedroom up in my parent's house and I slept in the bed in the trailer. It had no running water (I carried buckets of water) but it had a gray water system that emptied the kitchen sink so I could do very minor cooking there. Mainly I heated water for hot drinks and went up to my parent's house to eat my meals. I worked night shift and slept there in the day time. There was a bat that slept there too, hanging from one of the screen doors. The trailer came with a folding wooden table, a couch, a wooden chair with cushions, an old steel office chair that was made by the Harter company and this mirror - I really treasured those few pieces of furniture. They were the beginning of starting my new life. I loved that old trailer even if it did smell like mice. It was the first time in my life that I was living on my own. I made ecru colored curtains from doilies that I crocheted and then set the doilies into muslin fabric. It just felt so good to me to sit in my little living room down in the pines and BE there. I had chickens too at that time and the chicken house was down near the trailer so I could hear them during the day. My goats lived in the goatshed and my dad helped me put up a fence for them that was between my trailer and the house. I had a new puppy then too - Teddy - a cockapoo, who lived with me there. It was during that time that I met Dave. Walking back to my little trailer holding hands with him and passing under the chestnut trees in bloom during September - that smell will always take me back to those days.

This morning Dave and I took Andy for a walk down to the creek and on the way back I took this photo of a chair I have sitting at the top of the hill. I call it dad's chair - a place for his spirit to rest and look over the lower yard. The goat shed is in the background. The old trailer would be to the right of this chair if it was still there.

summersgate: (eggshells)
33. Name every pet you have ever had...

This won't be easy...

I think the first dog we had when I was very young was named Tippy. I don't remember him though. When I was one we got a dog named Trixy and he was very important to me. He died when I was ten. I had a pair of turtles when I was about 8 years old named Laurel and Hardy. I got a sweet collie-mix dog named Queenie when I was 10. At age 16 I got a spaniel-mix dog named Lady who lived with me through some very tumultuous years. Around age 21 my first husband Pat and I got a pretty black dog named Sugar - she had pups and they probably had names but I don't remember the names - we gave them away. Pat and I had a lot of cats but I only remember the name of one, he was crippled, Quasimodo - all those cats disappeared in a mysterious way. Then we had a yellow tabby cat named Ricky and an all black female named Cecelia. We had about 50 white mice but the only one I named was Mommy Mouse - she was the start of the 50. We also had a cat named Kitty. Later we got a Shih Tzu dog named Meeko. We got a lizard when we were in California but I can't remember it's name. We had a pretty blond puppy named Sally - she didn't live long. We had many more cats, all siblings - Flower, Graymalkin, Pierre, and 2 more I can't remember. We had lots of chickens - I would consider them pets - they all had names at the time but I don't remember most of them. We had Black Heart and King Tut the roosters. I had Dorothy a wonderful black chicken who lived till she was 8 years old. We had a dog named Pal. I got my first goat, Nanny - my beloved. And then we got Greta and Hilda. Nanny had kids that we kept named Rosie and Honey. Honey had a kid named Pee Wee that we kept. Honey was with us for a very long time. Pat and I divorced and I met Dave and inherited his pets, Miss Kitty (Puff), Matt Dillon the Labrador Retriever, Patches the cat, Rooster Cogburn (the rooster) and Midnight the black pony. Dave and I had chickens too - I wish I could remember their names - Hermione is the only name I can remember at the moment. I had a crazy mean poodle-mix dog named Teddy and Johnny had a beagle dog named BJ. We had a gold fish named FeFe that lived for a very long time and grew quite large. We got a sweet tempered mutt named Pup Dog. We had a Lhasa Apso named Tenzing - I used to write about him here - he died in 2012. We had Annie Cat, another pet I have had since I started writing on LJ. We still have Milo and Oo-tapo (a cat I inherited from first husband Pat after he died). And now we have Skye. And we have Indigo (a beta fish) and Yoshi (a bearded dragon) living with us at the moment too.


Mar. 4th, 2013 06:09 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)

yoshi and me 1
yoshi and me this morning

Thinking more and more about the big move coming soon and there is so much about "our new life" that I am excited about - the positive things:
Going to tear out the wall between the kitchen and the living room and make a large combination kitchen/dining/living room that will be L shaped. Add counter space in the kitchen (since we won't be using that space for a kitchen table anymore).
Tear up the carpet in the kitchen (it is just horrible, stained and nasty in so many places) and put down linoleum.
Going to tear up the threadbare 1960's avocado color carpet in the living room and get it back to the original hardwood floors (yay!).
Going to have a studio space upstairs this time around in a former bedroom (no more cold, dark basement studio in that house).
Dave has agreed that we can have chickens! Last year he wasn't in agreement but this year he is on board (another yay!) I love thinking about all the different colors and shapes of the future flock:
Brown egg layers: Barred Rock
Buff Rock
Silver Laced Wyandotte
Rhode Island Red
Black Star
Partridge Rock
Blue and Green egg layers: Araucana
White egg layers: Buff Laced Polish
Golden Polish
White Crested Black Polish
White Polish
Mottled Houdan

Love those names. Back in 1980 and again 1983 I had flocks of mixed chickens and had many of those breeds I just named. The Polish birds have a puff of feathers on their heads like a ball - very cute to see them cocking their heads back and forth. We had one Black Star - the most friendly bird ever and named her Dorothy. We had her a long time and since she outlived all the other birds she ended up living in a dog house right outside the back door.

Dave is talking about getting another dog (a hunting dog this time - a setter or Brittany spaniel) - it is nearly one year since we had to put Tenzing to sleep. I haven't missed having a dog (though I do miss Tenzing) and am really enjoying the 2 cats right now. Tenzing didn't like cats and terrorized them so we didn't get the full effect of how personable they could be. I am enjoying getting to sleep with them and cuddle a lot more. I hope Dave's new puppy doesn't change that but I'm thinking that since it will be a puppy it should work out.

I am trying to concentrate on the positive things rather than the negative (which is the hard work of moving, remodeling, tearing up carpeting, sanding hardwood floors, painting and the emotional work of getting rid of more stuff). Last week I was trying to find the chart - the Holmes and Rahe SRRS (Social Readjustment Rating Scale) that shows how stress can negatively affect you. I suspected that I was under a lot of stress and why I am having these pains in my shoulder. After adding things up I see I am over the top with stress - 319. If you are over 300 you are majorly susceptible to illness and mental health problems. Death of a family member, moving, new job, change in finances, etc, even this mysterious pain in my shoulder causes stress not knowing for sure what it is.

Anyway - more animals coming into our lives while more old stuff goes out!
summersgate: (goatshed)

i am here

journal - surrounded by garlic mustard and with a stick of incense burning

I have a journal (a handmade watercolor book made by Chloe) that I keep down in the goatshed just in case I am there without my other journal with me and I want to write. I have been thinking a lot about chickens lately – talking about them with my real life friends but I don’t think I have mentioned them on LJ yet. I think after Tenzing died I unconsciously wanted to fill the hole in my heart with chickens. Today and last week I was writing about them in the Goat Shed Journal:

April 6, 2012 – Friday
Looks like spring feels like winter – sunny, beautiful – windy, cold. Sebby and Rossy are building a “snake box” to hold a pet garter snake they hope to find someday. I am watching them from inside the shed as they work across the yard. I came here to be outside and to get out of the cold. Life has been depressing and small lately. No positive excitement for me. Though I am dreaming of a chicken coop – that is exciting to think about. I want to put it down here by the goatshed on our property next door. Have a chicken tractor style so I can move it around by myself. I can picture sitting in my lawn chair this summer and watching them scratching around - walking in their funny way here and there, clucking and purring softly. Checking for eggs and carrying them home in my shirt.

April 15, 2012 – Sunday
Warm today - after many cold days! I am sitting in front of my goatshed in the green lawn chair, spring birds twittering in the spruce trees above. I have kind of given up the chicken dream after looking at the baby peeps at Farm Supply yesterday. There was one little sickly one unable to stand and hiding under the edge of the feeder. Every once in a while another chick would come by and peck it. I forgot about death and the pecking order. I’m not ready to face the possibility of death again yet. More animals = more possible death. Do I really want more things/beings to take care of? It is so easy to buy good eggs from Deb. I do want to work in my studio more – be creative – paint. Chickens would take time away from the little bit of free time I have for that now. Maybe later – when I don’t have mom anymore will be the time for chickens. I won’t give up the dream – just postpone it…


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