For those who have been having problems with comments, I just heard back from Sara and she changed a setting and things should be ok now.  If you’ve been having problems, please let me know if the problem is solved.

I’d again like to recommend Sara for any blog design or web design work you may need.  She’s been amazing to work with, and most important to me, she’s been so responsive.  I don’t always know what I’m doing and I fear that she wants to run and hide when she sees an email from me but she’s been fantastic and I have been so happy with her and her work.  I feel so confident with her.  Thanks Sara!

How to Patch a Chicken

You would think chickens could be nice and get along but no . . at least one of them is pecking the others.  Yesterday I took the one doing the pecking out and let her run around outside the pen all day.  Some punishment that was . . she loved it!

She had been pecking all the chickens but one was missing a bunch of feathers.  I had been reading about how to stop them from pecking and there are several products that are supposed to work.  We used them with the chickens in MO, without much success, so I was reluctant to buy more of it.

One thing for sure . . if they draw blood, they will all start pecking and they’ll eventually kill the bleeding chicken.

When I was checking for eggs, the chicken with the most feathers missing had a tiny little bloody spot so I knew I had to take action immediately.

The most interesting “fix” I read was to cover the spot with duck tape.  Because their skin is so dusty, what I read said that the duck tape will not stick to the skin and will eventually come off by itself, hopefully after some new feathers have grown out.

I picked her up and we sat down, and I explained to her what I was going to do.  I was careful not to tape her wings down.

Then I let her run around outside the pen too.  Since there’s nothing green left in their pen, we’ve been letting them run around outside in the yard for a couple of hours in the evenings.  That’s also supposed to cut back on the boredom and help stop them from pecking on each other.  We’ll see.

Of course, Roscoe immediately saw this as a new hen he could go courting.

Here he is doing his little dance around here.  He was in rooster heaven yesterday with three hens out running around with him.

One Step at a Time

We spent all day Saturday . . really . . all day . . cleaning.  There’s just too much stuff in this house.  To some degree, the “stuff” controls me.  That’s not good.  I was thinking about becoming a minimalist.  Really!  I’m tired of every cabinet and drawer bulging at the seams. I’m tired of trying to cram more stuff under the beds.

I came across this blog post on Becoming a Minimalist.  That post got me to another blog post, The Best of Slow Your Home.  There are quite a few things on that list that I already do but there are many things I need to do more.

While reading about the Bird to Bird book, I was reminded of when Chad was in school and he had to write.  He so disliked writing and any time he had a writing assignment, I knew there was going to be trouble.  He was paralyzed at the thought of writing.  If the teacher said “Write a three page report”, he struggled to get one page done.  All he could think about was getting those three pages written.

One summer, I think it was the summer between middle school and high school, we had spent a week in Georgia at a cabin in the woods.  We did a little “exercise” in writing. We decided that we would both write a story about our trip to Georgia and we didn’t set any minimum page count.  Chad wrote something like “We went to Georgia.  We fished and caught a few fish.  We came home.”

I wrote page after page of how we planned our vacation, how we found cabins on line, we contacted folks to see who would allow pets.  We decided on a cabin.  I made out the menu plan.  We drove to Georgia.  I talked about the stops along the way, about a funny incident that happened.  I talked about getting to the cabin and checking the kitchen to see what kinds of pots and pans we had.  I wrote about our trip to the grocery store.

When we compared stories, Chad was shocked to see how our stories differed. It helped him realize how he could more or less make an outline by hitting the high points and then go back and fill in more details, which often results in more ideas forming, which add to the story.

That’s how my cleaning and “living with less” is going to have to evolve.  I’ll start small. I’ll expand on the high points.  I hope I will eventually have way less “stuff” in the house.

No, I’m not getting rid of fabric and yarn that I will use.  I’m not getting rid of food I have stored.  We will use that.  I’m not sorry I bought a new love seat and moved my sofa to the sewing room. I’m not sorry I bought the new stove and have the second stove set up in the shop.  Some things need to be done.  Some things need to be purchased.  I will continue to do those things but I am getting rid of clutter.  I am getting rid of things I no longer need in order to live a good life.

When we bought the house in MO with the lime green kitchen, I found several really cute lime green and white polka dotted candles. Big pillar candles.  I never lit them . . just kept them sitting around looking pretty.  I still have them.  They match nothing in my house but they remind me how happy I was with my lime green kitchen.  Those candles have now been placed in the buck with my emergency supply of candles.  They no longer sit around and collect dust.  They will be used.  I will not mourn the loss of my lime green and white polka dotted candles.

It’s a start.  I have a long way to go.  I may be successful or I may fail at my decluttering, minimalist efforts.  I will not know unless I try and . . I am trying!