Archive for January, 2012

We own seven chickens, laying hens to be precise.  They have a highly engineered, very heavy chicken coop with run that is made of wood and wire.  The coop has a “man-door” and two side doors that allow access to the laying boxes.  The feeder and waterer hang from chains so that they stay, uh, cleaner.  The coop also has detachable wheels that allow it to be moved.  The wheel system has been re-engineered once since we put the hens in it.  All in all it serves its purpose nicely.

This morning, I awoke early to the sound of rain hitting my roof and windows.  I got up, showered, dressed for the day, put wood in the stove, started the coffee, and ate breakfast while the rain came down.  Finally, somewhere around ten or so, the rain let up.  I decided to go feed the chickies and collect eggs.  So, I walked out onto the screen porch and put two scoops of chicken feed into the red, plastic bucket.  I walked off the porch with an expectant Thor looking at me.  Once I got to the bumper of Joshua’s truck, I picked up the stick I had put there and threw it for Thor.  Then I walked toward the slight hill that leads down to the chickens.  I got beside the mid-construction greenhouse and slipped in the mud.  Happily, I did NOT fall.  YAY!

I continued carefully down the slight hill.  Once safely at the bottom, I turned toward the coop.  *slip*  That one surprised me, but still I stayed on my feet and did not spill the feed I carried.  So…I get to the chickens, who started to talk to me as soon as they saw me.  There were six in the run, which meant that one was in one of the coop’s three laying boxes.  After feeding the chickens and talking with them, I opened the far laying box.  No eggs.  I open the door to the first two laying boxes.  No chicken but there were eggs.

Anyway, opening the laying box must have startled the one chicken because she proceeded to read me the riot act and protest my intrusion.  I apologized and headed up to the house with the eggs.  On the way into Janine’s trailer, I decided to visit the freezer to see if we had any popcorn.  And there, I discover a bag of no longer frozen pepper stir fry.  Since Janine went to the freezer many days before, I figured that the peppers needed to go to the chickens.

So, back down the hill to the coop I go.  This time I was very careful about where to place my feet and did not slip once.  The irate chicken was still irate when I arrived.  I opened the bag of veggies and poured them out on the ground.  The other six chickens started eating and talking about their treat.  Suddenly, out comes the no longer irate chicken who immediately started enjoying the treat.

The moral of the story: Irate chickens will shut up when presented with a treat!


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Today is Thesaurus Day

So, I thought I would rewrite some common sayings using the thesaurus.  What do you think?  Can you come up with some of your own?


Up @#$! creek without a paddle.

Up that old, familiar, fecal tributary depository without a via form of locomotion.

A beautiful thing is never perfect.

A gorgeous item is in no way ideal.

A closed mouth catches no flies.

An unopened oral cavity captures zero Musca domestica.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

A feathered critter in the palm is equal to a pair in the shrubbery.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

ALincolncoin collected is a copper secured.

Be careful what you wish for.

Be wary what you anticipate.

Be true to yourself.

Tell no falsehoods to ones customary self.

Love conquers fear; you are not alone.

Very strong liking surmounts anxiety; you be not unaided.

Bloom where you’re planted.

Blossom in the place that you’re living.

Hang up and drive.

Return the phone to the base and journey by vehicle.

Change is inevitable; struggle is optional.

Adjustment is expected; resistant is not obligatory.

Clouds gather before a storm.

Overcast skies join prior to a cloudburst.

Curiosity killed the cat; satisfaction brought it back.

Inquisitiveness slayed the feline; fulfillment returned it.

Take the bull by the horns.

Grasp the male bovid animal by the cranial spikes.

The pot calling the kettle black.

The pan proclaiming the cauldron obsidian.

Every picture tells a story.

Each depiction relates a narrative.

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My dog, Freya

I’ve written many times about my dog, Thor, who was hit by a car many months ago now.  Thor has made an excellent recovery.  Today, I wanted to write about Freya, my Lab/Akita mix.

Freya was born in the Spring of 1996.  She lived with friend, Jeff, until time to deliver her first and only litter of puppies.  She gave birth to seven puppies in the middle of the night in my bathroom.   I was there with her through it all.  The smallest puppy would fit in the average adult’s hand with room to spare.  He was black and did not live long.  The other six puppies were born big enough to take up most of a shoe box!  They were huge!  It amazed me that she had that many that size in her, especially since she is a true runt.  That is to say that she is closer to the size of a smallish German Shepherd than to either Lab or Akita.

The funny thing about the six surviving puppies is that there were two each of brown, blond, and black & white.  In each pair, one was a female.  In each pair, one was long haired and one short.  Not all females had long hair.  We found good home for the puppies once they were of age.   I even saw one about two years later playing in the park near Radford University.  The owner recognized me, and she brought the puppy-now-dog over to say hello.

Shortly after finding homes for the puppies, Freya had surgery to see to it that no more puppies made an appearance.  I was very concerned that she might have scar tissue because of the size of the puppies and the difficulty of the delivery.

Now, Freya is fifteen years old.  She has cataracts in both eyes.  She still loves to play in the snow.  She goes out to greet visitors, and still gets in the way of cars coming up the driveway.  She has a girlish figure with a very nicely defined waist.  Oh, she carries a couple extra pounds, but hey, who doesn’t?

This morning, I went to the door to let critters out/in whichever was wanted.  Freya was lying in front of the door.  When she stood up, her back right leg would not straighten all the way.  She lifted it and shook it several times before walking on it.  It finally did straighten, and she walked without difficulty.  The thing is, this is the first time she has ever had a problem like that one.

I knew old age would catch up to her one day.  I mean, she already does the old lady shake that involves only the shoulders and head rather than whole body.  Still, I was, well, surprised and a bit hurt.  She’s been a part of the family for all but about a year of her life.  I know that soon enough she will exit this life, but I’m hoping she’ll be around for many more years yet.  BUT, only if those years are good ones!

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I was asked for an interview by AREN (Alternative Religion Education Network) for their newsletter, ACTION.  I’ve been a member of AREN for many years and have enjoyed reading ACTION whenever time and life allowed.  A while back, a request was sent out to the members to recommend people for interviews.  I recommended Dr. Susan Kwilecki who teaches religion at Radford University.  As it turns out, after her interview, she recommended me because I’ve spoken in her class on “Cults and Sects” many times.

Personally, I don’t consider that I’m interesting enough for such an interview.  Also, I really don’t do much in the Pagan community.  I don’t go to festivals or gatherings.  I do enjoy having small rituals here at home or at friends’ homes.

I talked with Janine and Frank, who are of the opinion that I ought to do the interview.  So, I will.  Look for me in an upcoming issue of AREN’s ACTION newsletter.  I’ll post the link once it comes out.

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Intellicast.com tells me that we are under a flood watch.  I remember my mom calling shortly after I moved up here on this mountain.  She was concerned when she heard that my county was under a flood warning.  Her concerns came from the fact that my house did flood when I lived in Glasgow, Virginia.  Here in Floyd County, Virginia, there are a few areas that can and do flood, like along Thunderstruck Road.  At my home, the only thing that can flood is the driveway near the creek.  So, the only thing we worry about is being able to make it out once the storm is done and the water has flowed elsewhere.  Repairing the road is a normal life event.  Anyway, when my mom called to voice her concern, I told her that if it flooded at my house that there had best be another Noah.  Noah and the Ark are one of the few stories from the Bible that I know.  It is one of the popular stories that is told fairly often and with few changes.  My home is at 2600 or so feet above sea level.  So you can see why I make that statement.  IF there is ever a flood at my house, we’ll need a boat to get to safety.

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Thor Update

Those of you who were reading my entries months ago will remember my dog, Thor, who was hit by a car.  He wore a splint for many weeks while his fifth metacarpal healed.  He also had other injures that have also healed.

In many ways, we were hoping two things.  One, that he would learn not to chase cars.  Two, that the healed injury to his paw would slow him down if “One” did not happen.

Well, “One” did not happen.  There is just too much playful dog in Thor.  He sees chasing cars as a game.  We are working on training him out of that notion.  We’ll see how that goes.

“Two” did not happen either.  He has healed so well that he is about as fast as he was before his injuries.

On the bright side, watching Thor do his happy puppy dance and playing fetch with him are priceless parts of every day.

So, here’s to Thor:

May the Lady and her Lord guard and guide you, Thor, so that you may continue being the playful, wonderful, healthy dog that we all love.  So Mote It Be!

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Let dogs and cats out, in depending on their mood.  Carry wood in from out on the cold, screened-in porch.  Trip over cat.  Drop beside woodstove, which scares a cat.  Repeat until wood storage area is full or until toes & hands are frozen or whichever comes first.  Let dog in.  Pet dog.  Unfold blue, metal chair and place in front of woodstove so that I don’t have to bend over for too long.  Pet cat.  Pet dog.  Move dog and cat out of the way.  Open woodstove door.  Discover that woodstove is full of ash.  Go back out onto screened-in porch to get the stock pot with the small hole in the bottom that is used as the ash pot.  Pet dog.  Move cat out of the way.  Place in front of woodstove door and get ready to empty the ash out of the stove.  Move ash pot to let two cats and a dog go by.  Return ash pot to ready position.  Pick up ash shovel.  Pet dog.  Fuss at meowing cat.  Pet cat.  Use shovel to empty still hot ash out of the firebox and into the ash pot.  Pet dog.  Call teenage son to ask him to carry the now full ash pot to the garden to empty it.  Pleasantly surprised when son does so immediately.  Pet cat.  Put empty cereal boxes, torn up pizza box and junk mail into stove with kindling wood on top.  Pet dog.  Use lighter, pet dog.  Use lighter to start fire.  Pet dog.  Close woodstove door.  Pet dog.  Wait to make sure wood catches while petting dogs with either hand.  Push dog out of the way to open woodstove door to check the fire.  Pet dog.  Relight the fire.  Close door and pet dog.  Move out of the way to let dogs trade places.  Pet dog.  Listen as woodstove starts to chug along nicely.  Pet dog.  Fold metal chair and place against wall.  Pet dog.  Trip over cat.  *Phew*

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