Today was all about chickens. I went to a Community Supported Agriculture farm (CSA) and spent two hours learning about backyard chicken husbandry. It was quite fun and entertaining. The teacher was from Grass Valley which is a wonderful hippie/back to the earth sort of cool town where he builds backyard chicken coops. He brought one to show us, it was quite nice.
A law was recently passed allowing Sacramento peeps to keep three chickens in their backyards, so there’s a lot of interest. The eggs we like are between 4 and 5 dollars a dozen these days and that’s a LOT of money. The organic free range eggs taste so much better than the force-fed cramped-cage eggs that I can’t make myself buy the latter anymore. I’m sure the nutritional value varies a lot, too. It makes me want my own chickens.
I haven’t quite got Bob talked into it, I think he’s afraid I’ll make him do all the work (which is a very real fear because his doing it all is a real possibility). Regardless, I really like fresh organic eggs. I don’t like the idea of caged chickens. I was in one of those factory barns once in Porterville. Bad.
There are two chicken rescues (I’m not making that up) that get their chickens from the chicken factories and are within driving distance of here. I’ll probably go that route and pick up a few Buff Orpingtons if they have them. If not, I will probably get chicks. I saw a lot of chickens today, and the Orpingtons seemed to have the best personality. Lots of different kinds. I used to know about them, a little, but have forgotten virtually all of it.
Since we have to put up a fence around the pool (Katie will be walking soon) and maybe we can figure out where to put a little chicken coop and have that fence be part of their run. Matt the chicken coop guy showed numerous variations on that theme. Lots of places we could use, but predators will be an issue and we have to keep that in mind as we design the chicken space. We have raccoons and skunks and hawks around here, all of which love to dine on chicken, not to mention our three bird-centric dogs. I could probably teach Goob and Sissy to leave them alone but Lewi would be a lost cause. He is not a very good learner about things he’s emotionally involved with. Serious small-dog syndrome.
I also saw two very fresh lambs today at the farm where I took the class. A couple of hours old. Their ewe mama was more or less ignoring them, so they bleated piteously on and off the whole time I was there watching them. They were sort of gross. Not really as cute as one might think. Also saw many chickens and a humongous potbellied pig which I did not get a picture of. He had scary boar tusks but I was informed that he was the farm mascot and very even-tempered.
In other news, the man I was married to for 17 years and the father of my only child died this week after a short illness. It was a blow to my son, and even to me, more than I thought it would be. I saw him a few hours before he died, he was mostly unrecognizable, lots of tubes and extremely bloated. It was bad, but I thought, “That old fucker will pull through this, no worries.” And then my son called me, sobbing at 2:30 a.m. and gave me the news of his father’s death. Very sad — they were quite close. He died intestate which was lame as he’d already had one hearth attack. Word to the wise: if you have diverticulitis, do what the doctor says. And if you feel really bad from it, make them admit you and KEEP YOU in the hospital. I think the survivors (not including me) are looking at filing a malpractice suit. Also, people, MAKE A WILL. Husbeast and I are working on that right now, as well as possibly increasing our life insurance. We would hate to leave each other in the state my ex left his current wife. 😦
When I was at the hospital I finally met the current wife, and I liked her. I feel bad for her, she obviously loved him. Fuck.
In other, other news, I was in class all week learning about HTML5 and CSS3 and jQuery. It was very hard and at least two of those days I had trouble concentrating, mostly due to lack of sleep from what had been going on with the ex and son. I suppose at my age the people around me are going to start dropping like flies. Nevertheless the class was interesting, albeit over my head. I’m not a developer, and it was a developer course, but I liked it and now I will be able to speak a little more intelligently to MY developer, and also I know what’s around the corner for web development in general.
—- Cat butt update
Shawn in Sevilla wrote about her fat cat and his nasty arse… we have that going on here, too. Scuff is the fattest thing on 4 feet and can no longer reach her bum for cleaning purposes. We’ve started doing it for her because she was really, really GROSS. I had to clip the fur around it. She was fine until I clipped her little vag a tiny bit. Ow. But she didn’t go away, and I kept cleaning and clipping and Bob scratched her head and she purred through the whole thing. She is now all ecstatic about it each time, spreading her toes and purring and just generally getting a big charge out of it. Heavy sigh. Bob laughs and makes dirty jokes. He always gets the clean end. I’ve been doing this twice a day, and putting antibiotic on the little clip spot, just because it’s nasty back there and we don’t want any infection. Seems to be ok. No more vet bills for awhile if we can help it. But seriously, cleaning a cat’s arse is just not what I want to be doing with my time. Diets all around are in order, I think.
PS, I’m not really doing a weekly wrap-up, at least not weekly. Maybe just weakly.