One thing is not like the others.
Since I'm a fragile little old lady, demure and retiring in my ways, and living alone and helpless (yeah, just try it), I finally figured it was time to step up the home front security and installed a motion sensor. By 'installed' I mean 'set on the ground'. It scared the bejesus out of the chickens when they heard it and frankly, it's so fucking obnoxious, I'm hard pressed to use it even with the irritant factors on both side of me. But probably after more hijinx either from Girlyman and Pegger on one side and the Alzheimer's Hospice on the other (which is ramping up for some summer fun with the inhabitants crawling out of their windows and setting off fire alarms), and after I've heard the ice cream/crack dealer truck's rendition of Turkey-in-the-Straw for the nine zillionith time, I'll probably just turn it on some night. And enjoy.
Loathe Thy Neighbor
I just had 11 glorious days away from the Paycheck Generator. Usually when taking time off, I set forth grand goals which I then feel shitty about for not having achieved. This time, I just had one task and it was one that took up the bulk of the time, but mission accomplished. This will be my fourth summer in this house and the front yard has been an area that I have not embraced and have sort of let go to shit. The previous inhabitants had a completely different vocabulary of plantings than I do and this year I just decided, fuck it, and if it offended me, I plucked it out. In the process, my wonky back, weakened by my hulking over the keyboard all day, got better, I got some sun and when I went to bed at night, I felt - righteously - tired. Next door, GirlyMan and The Pegger, whose every utterance is delivered with the conviction and projection of The Word, had me seething for the first couple of days, but since I buy earplugs in bulk, they're not scarce around my house and they did the trick. Last year, between them, the insidious ice cream truck and the guy over at the Alzheimer's hospice with Buckets 'O Phlegm, I was often driven in to the house. But no mores, I tells ya! No. Mores.
The weather was perfect most days and the chickens spent all day rototilling and over this last weekend, their freakish moratorium on laying ended with Ester, who produced a dark (they're always darker when they had a bit of a hiatus) brown egg, while Beulah stood a foot away and screamed at her the entire time. Beulah's eggs are still falling out of her, shell-less, so she has reason to be bitter, I suppose. But with just one of them laying again, it's a huge relief. It really doesn't take a lot to make it all right in my world.
As The Chicken Turns.
It's been a crazy fortnight or so in my universe. Actually, a good week of it was just decompression. On Saturday, April 24, I held my first 'official' Waggle Dance, my musical salon/workshop (when I told a person at work I had started a salon in my home they said I didn't know you did hair.....). While attendance was basically just family, it was a wonderful evening full of sweetness, acceptance and overall fabulousness. The next day there was a real slackening in the tightness inside me that has been there for so long I'd forgotten it's not natural. So, there will be Waggle Dances every two months and I've already begun researching new numbers to perform.
The chicken sisters continue to worry. The only egg action is the occasional egg-less one that falls out of Beulah (and is promptly dispatched by Beulah and Esters, with Butters looking on wistfully). I've got oyster shells available to them all the time now, not just occasionally. On Sunday, I opened their coop and Butters didn't want to come out. She just stood there, with her tail drooping. Not good. I took her up to the porch, away from the other two, who can be no fun to be around if you're a chicken who's feeling crappy (I would assume). I thought this was it and all the other plans for the day were dashed and I spent it with my pretty girl who is barely a year old and dying far too soon. I held her on my lap on the back porch for an hour or so, crying great buckets of snot and freezing my ass off. I moved her to the house, where I propped my feet up on my desk with her in my lap and attempted to read and then just finally took her to bed with me. I put her on a towel and petted the curve of the back of her head. She would doze off and I would doze off and wake up to find her just silently regarding me. We spent about 4-5 hours there and she finally started getting restless and I took her out on the back deck and she crapped a phosphorescent green crap and suddenly was her old self.
So: I will endeavor to remember that chickens, just like me, just like kitteh-brothers or the sister-dog, have days where you just don't feel up to snuff. It does not mean THE END IS NIGH!!!!!! So, I'm happy to say Butters seems completely her old self, limping is gone, just overall good. They are still not laying one damn egg, but I reckon they'll get around to it when they bloody well please.
Last night they all came in the house and when I called Butters, she came right to me and wanted in my lap. This is a first. I guess since we've shared a bed, we're now officially BFFs.