Monday, December 04, 2017

Chicken Time

Okay, I'm gonna do some shameless self-promotion here!!  If you are so inclined, please follow the link I'm going to share and purchase your very own 1st Annual Girls of Dragon Valley Calendar!!! Brought to you by popular demand on Facebook.  I think you'll enjoy it.  I told the girls that if they are not going to lay many eggs....they gonna have to make me some money some other way!
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

All You Can Carry

 Boy, time just flies by here like lightning!  Just about the time I thought I might have more to post about, Life throws a monkey wench in it all.  About 3 weeks ago, Fred (my elderly neighbor) had a small stroke and Allen and I have been very busy since taking care of him.  I take mornings up until about noon and Allen takes over from there. Of course, it varies and some days I end up going up there well into the night.  But then it's reversed some days too.  Fred is doing better but still needs help with some meals, washing dishes and laundry and taking to doctor's appointments.  Some days I don't have to do too much but then some days (like today) I was up there for quite a while.  I don't know if I ever mentioned it on this blog before, but Fred is also a notorious hoarder.  Something that afflicts many folks these days.  Allen has asthma and I have bad allergies, so it's a struggle for the both of us to say the least.  We've kinda made a dent in the worst of the filth though, so it's slightly better now.  Well, rats don't jump out of the kitchen drawers at you anymore, I'll say that.

So, I am still trying to get more into doing my art and have actually opened an Etsy shop.  It's small now but I hope to add more soon.  I've included a few photos of some fun little things I've done lately.  Now, these are not any kind of high art and I don't pretend for them to be.  It's just something fun that I've enjoyed doing.  And it helps me practice with the idea of taking random scrap and making them into totally unrelated objects.  They are very much like puzzles and it helps my brain and thinking processes.

 Finding these old vintage cheese graters is actually quite a challenge nowadays.  I've managed to locate a few.

I really like the big dragonfly.  Most people show these hanging on walls (like on Pinterest) but I like mine standing on legs!  I don't know....makes him seem more ready to fly away or something. Ha! I like his little curled up feeties too.  Did you know that a real dragon fly cannot walk?  Their legs are only for standing and grabbing.  They can't actually move them in a walking motion.

Before Fred had his stroke I had also managed to do a bit more work on the kitchen, running all the backsplash tile and pouring the last bar top counter top.  I'll try to post photos of that soon.  I looks great. 
I've been keeping up my running and exercising but have not entered any more 5Ks.  I hope to do that but they've either been too far away, too expensive or in the morning and my mornings are spent with Fred now.  At any rate, I need to do the running and exercising no matter what.  I've been doing a lot of yard work also.  Since switching to the Sinemet I have been feeling better for the most part, although I still have a bad day every so often and I still have issues with driving very far. One great thing is that my right shoulder has started to loosen up!  I've been to the Doc about it and he said it was "frozen shoulder", which happens with some Parkinson's folks (and others as well), and it had gotten pretty bad.  I really had a lot of trouble showering, washing my hair etc.  But since starting on the Sinemet it's slowly loosening up and today I was actually able to do 3 sets of tricep dips in my workout!!  Yay!! something I've not been able to do in a very long time.  Unfortunately, I've been quite tired since I've been helping Fred out so much and my tremors are noticeably worse on some days.  If I get tired or upset they start up real bad and that's been an issue but hopefully things will improve and I can get a little more rest.

I will try to post again soon but ya'll know I say that every time and then never manage to! ha!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Growing Her Wings

 Whew!!  I have been really busy lately!  Which is a great thing.  We are beginning the height of our growing season here and have lots of stuff coming in from the garden now.  So, you know that means picking, canning, freezing, drying and so on.

 Most of the garden is doing well but some things got off to a real slow staart, like the tomatoes and okra.  We've had plenty of rain!  But that's makes for not so much that slows down some veggies.  We are finally starting to get a little of everything now.

 I guess I put this up mainly for the little birds!  They are about the only ones that ever see it!  The little phoebes and bluebirds have been working their little hearts out this year though...catching lots of bugs for me.

 I think we will have a much better corn crop this year.  We added amendments to this plot all winter long and it seems to have helped a lot.  Can't wait for some fresh, hot buttered corn on the cob!!

 Just a little sampling of what we are getting so far. 

 We also did a bit of landscaping while we had the neighbor's backhoe.  This area was really lumping and horrible; filled with rocks and stumps.  It was about impossible to mow, so I had Allen dig up all the stumps and grade everything.  We also expanded the little wet weather stream bed and I am slowly lining it with flat rocks to make it more attractive when it's dry.  It looks pretty nice actually but this photo isn't very good.  The edges are lined with irises in places.
We also cut out several old, crappy trees and expanded the cleared area, which you can't really seee here.  We intend to plant another apple tree and possibly a plum and cherry.

My annual row of zinnias in the garden is finally  blooming!  There are a few other flowers mixed in but the zinnias kinda dominate.

Thank you for all the kind comments in the last post.  I wanted to respond here to a couple of the last ones made, so to be sure they would be seen.  And also, please, please note this:  my blog is set so that all comments made after 3 days of the post publishing, must be moderated by me.  I have to physically post them.  Blogger does NOT always tell me when some people comment.   I don't know why.  So....I don't always know that I a comment has been left unless I go to the blog dashboard and check specifically for that.  I forget to do this frequently because not a lot goes on here anymore.  I recently discovered a comment from last year!! that I never knew about and never published!  I would never skip a comment on purpose (unless the person was just being a total and complete, useless ass in their comment), so if this ever happens, please know it is not on purpose.  My memory is just not what it was and sometimes I forget to look.

Since March the doctor has had me trying a couple of different meds and dosage amounts etc. and it's had me all over the place at times.  But that's just natural.  They have to try lots of different things for each person to find the right combo.  Anyway, he doubled my dose of Mirapex lately and I had a very bad reaction to that and went I dropped back down to my low dose it seemed to throw me in a another horrible direction!  It was quite unpleasant.  So, after wrangling around with the cost of another drug (there was no way I could begin to afford it) he put me on a very, very low dose of Sinemet.  This is actually helping a lot and I feel much better.  I still have a lot of pain and stiffness but the brain fog is better and just feeling more like doing things and with a better outlook.  My skin has cleared up great and doesn't hurt all the time and I can swallow food easily now.

Tammy asked about a support group and I have looked into that.  Unfortunately, there is only one anywhere around me and that's at UAB, of course.  On a good day... UAB is at least 45 minutes away, usually 50-60 minutes, so that's not really something that would work well.  I still don't often feel "clear" or "on" enough to drive in Birmingham traffic. If you've ever been or lived here you'll know what I mean! lol!  So.  I did find a good online support group though, that I like very much and is very helpful.  So, that allows me some contact with folks that truly understand my condition.  They are very encouraging and a lot of them have some pretty wicked sense of humor, so it's fun.

So, that's part of what's going on.  Hopefully I will be back soon with some more activity!!  I hope you all are enjoying your summer!!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Hello Hello!!

 Anybody still out there??!!!

 Ha!  I truly did not mean to be gone this long but I guess life, mental fogginess, apathy, spurts of busyness and everything in between has gotten in the way.  I have been feeling better lately in many ways but still seem stuck when trying to come up with anything to post about.  Maybe I've just gotten so used to the instant post and response of Facebook and similar sites that blogging seems sluggish to me.  I do know that there are many days I have trouble with typing still.  Spend more time trying to correct mistakes than actually typing.  I'm also having trouble with words more often.  I forget or just can't think of the specific words I'm trying to recall.  Of course, everyone does that to some extent but it's getting fairly frequent for me and, as someone that is used to writing fairly easily in the past, it is very frustrating.

 Unfortunately, I just don't have that much to post about it seems.  We did have our annual heavy rains and flooding, as you can see.  They just came about 4 months later than normal.  But that's fine.  We are out of our horrible drought at last.  I think there are just a few tiny area of minor drought over on the west side of the state but for the most part we seem to have recovered.  As you could see in the first photo also, our garden is doing really well.  And many of the flowers are going great this year. 

 I am struggling horribly to get back into any art business though.  Sales for all kinds of things have just plummeted.  You may recall that Allen and I had a booth in an antique/ junk mall where we were making halfway decent sales.  Well, that just all tanked, so we shut that down.  Many others in that same mall have shut down also. I'm looking into online sales, like maybe Etsy, but not sure how that's going to go.  I'll give it a go most likely.  Some people do really well and some don't.  It seems like just sort of a gamble. You never know what's going to be a seller these days. So that's really been a bummer to me.  I've never, ever had trouble making money with my crafts or construction or anything.  Now, it's just all a bomb.  I really don't know what to do.  But it's just one more thing helping me to feel about useless.

 I am having some moderate success selling produce from our garden and eggs.  I mean, it ain't nothing to make any kind of living but it helps pay my incidentals and buy a few groceries that we don't grow.  I'm going to tell you the truth...I feel cursed.  Honest to God, cursed.  Like there is some kind of blackness settled here.  I even smudged and salted the house in an effort to clear things.  It did feel better afterwards and I have had more energy to do things but everything just seems a dead end.  I have a feeling I know where it's coming from but I have no solution at this point.  I'll just have wait it out I guess.

I do not mean to abandon this blog but it's just very hard to formulate a meaningful post anymore.  My brain is just pulled in several different directions at once.  It's hard to concentrate. Typing just now I am suddenly having an excruciating time getting these words out and typing correctly.  I was doing pretty good there for a while and it's like, 2 seconds ago everything just crashed.  If I were to leave this written as is and uncorrected, you would not be able to make heads or tails of what I was trying to say.
I went to back to my neurologist on Monday and he wants to up my Mirapex dosage to see if it doesn't help this brain fog and stuff a bit more.  I'm also having a great deal of trouble with my right side and right shoulder.  Everything on that side has just become so stiff that I am having trouble functioning with some things.  I have a lot of difficulty washing my hair, getting dressed etc. because I can't raise my right arm very much.  So, went back yesterday and had an MRI and X-rays just to rule out an injury.  I don't think it's any kind of injury because when it started I felt so bad I generally didn't do crap around here.  Hard to injure yourself laying on the couch. 

So, I am really still struggling with many things.  A lot of it is emotional.  Parkinson's is a very, very difficult diagnosis to accept.  It's especially hard when you feel so alone.  It's a scary disease and no one wants to hear about it or talk abut it.  If they even believe you have it to begin with.  You want to tell people what's going on with you; why you're so slow, why you're hurting so much, why you are having trouble talking...but then, you figure maybe it's best to keep your mouth shut because you know they are judging you the whole time if you don't act like that person on TV that has Parkinson's acts.  Frustration is rampant.  I feel like I'm stuck in Groundhog Day.  Except every day I have to get up, do my exercises, run until I just can't anymore, just to get my brain to pump out enough dopamine to get my head clear enough to understand what I'm doing for the day and maybe have enough energy to do it.  Then I go to bed exhausted and it all resets itself during my sleep.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Over and over. 
And it's only me to cheer myself on, to pat myself on the back when I do pretty good for the day, when I fight back and don't just totally succumb to the whole shittiness of this condition.  I post a few photos on Facebook so that 2 or 3 people can tell me I'm doing okay.  That maybe I'm not falling so far behind that I'll never catch up.  But it actually helps.  A kind word goes a long way, even if it's not in real time.  You take what you can get, ya know?
I will improve. I will get better.  I will finish my house and I will have a happy, productive life.  There's a season for everything I the ol' saying goes.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

I Won't Back Down

 So, things are chugging along here.  We have almost all the garden in, except for just a few things, and it's all going gangbusters.  Should have taters coming in soon to join the radishes and lettuce.

 The broccoli plants are growing well but not showing any signs of heading up so far.  This has been such a weird year, weather-wise though, I'm not sure what they are going to do.  If nothing else they will become chicken feed and that's okay.  I'm always looking for fresh stuff to feed those bottomless pits.  We are also getting lots of lots of eggs!  The girls are in overdrive! lol!

 We should have a very good crop of blueberries this year and hopefully, cherries also.  Even my rhubarb came back this year and is really putting out the stems.  Remarkably, it has lasted several years here, so I might be able to actually cut some this year.

 Love me some Easter Egg radishes.  They are so pretty.  I also planted some of the "watermelon" variety of radishes but they have not finished yet.  They are about double the time as these Easter Eggs; which  are a very early type.
I'm not sure if we are going to try to sell at the farmer's market this year.  I did better just selling from home last year and advertising on Facebook when I had stuff available.

 In some other good news, the university I attended recently purchased one of my sculptures for it's permanent collection.  It replaced another one of my sculptures that was supposed to go in the collection but the university wanted to give that one to a very generous patron.  This patron had bough the original sculpture at one of the alumni auctions on the premise she got to keep if for a year to enjoy herself before handing it over to the school.  Now, she gets to keep the one she loved so much, the school still gets one for it's collection, and I made a little money and have 2 more items to add to  my CV.

 I also ran my first official 5K and came in 2nd in my age group (45-49)!!!  Woooo!! I was so excited.  I was 4th overall amongst the women and if I remember correctly there was about 126 women in the run.  The week before my back had decided it hated me and became so stiff I could barely get around.  I was sure I would just have to forfeit the race and this thought was very, very upsetting to me.  I was very discouraged and heartbroken at that possibility.  I mean, the race was nothing; I knew I would not win anything but I wanted to be able to just do it.  I kept working, stretching, soaking and being very, very careful with taking my meds until I got to the point I thought, well, I can give it a try. Honestly, I wasn't even sure the morning of the run.  Thank goodness it was a late afternoon/ evening event because I do better at that time of day.  Anyway.  We went and I was just going to be happy to not finish last. LOL!  And amazingly, did way better than that!

Now, I'll tell you, in the same month, I've also been rejected from 2 art exhibits (one of which I really had my heart set on), passed over one run because of feeling bad and have hurt excruciatingly bad since running this one.  I guess the success/ failure rate is about 1:2 right now.  A number of things in my life have not turned out like I thought or had hoped.  Not even close on a couple.  But you just have to keep trying, keep going, and like I kept telling myself during that 5K....just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And if I get to where I can't move my feet...I'll crawl if I have to.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Warm Enough

 It appears that Winter just sorta gave up shortly after the first of the year and Spring came rushing on in.  Not that I'm complaining about no cold weather, mind you.  But it has been pretty weird.  We did not get the flooding rains we always do around the end of December/ mid-January.  We got some heavy rains but none even close to what I have recorded every year since living here.  Despite all that, we have made up a good deal of the terrible drought this area was in.  I think we are listed as still in a 'slight' drought, but not anything near what it was.
Most things have bloomed out already but a few things, like my forsythia bushes, did not bloom at all.  They just went straight to leaf. Very odd.  The dogwoods started blooming in March. I think that is a first.  It's so nice now that I'm tempted to go ahead and set out some warm weather crops but I'll control myself.  We may be in for a frost next week.  I have got all the spring crops in though!  Very excited about that and even have a good crop of broccoli that I managed to start from seed!! That's also a first. lol!

I have felt well enough since being on the new meds to do some hardscaping too!  I have put this off way, waaaaaayyy too long but have it finished now.  Just need more fill dirt.  It's the main entrance to the garden in case you can't figure it out.  I always assume people know what these photos are of and you can't do that! Anyway, I poured a concrete curb to finish the boundary of the brick paver pad, dug out a bunch of dirt and replaced with gravel and crushed limestone fill.  Packed that and then laid the remainder of the pavers.  The block coming off at right angles is the beginning of gravel paths that will go around the entire garden perimeter to form a flower/ herb bed on the outside edge.  Make sense?

Nothing is flat around here so I have to step or terrace everything.  The pavers are sand-set by the way.

 Little bit different angle.  I was very pleased with how it came out. When the garden soil and gravel paths are filled in there will not be quite that big off a drop from the paver elevation. Maybe only an inch or two.

 A real nice, older gentleman down the road has let us have use of his backhoe.  I did some welding for him on a couple of occasions and I guess he was pleased so he told me if I wanted any of his old equipment that he didn't use anymore to just ask.  I wasn't really sure he was serious but I said, Sure, I'll take that old backhoe if you ever want to get rid of it!  He said, Okay! Haha! I was kinda flabbergasted.  At first he said he's sell it and then he just said, if you can get it running (it's pretty old) that we could just use it however much we wanted.  Just keep it running and not tear it up.  Good deal! Allen got it going and drove it over to my place, where it promptly died.  But Allen can get most any machine going again and he got it running enough to get up to his place next and then fixed it up a lot.  It runs pretty good now and we are taking turns doing a good bit of landscaping.  Will sure save me a chunk of money when I go to dig the footings for the next half of the house.  No, I don't have the means for building that yet but it must happen at some point.

 I repaired a larger bucket that came with it and we put that on.  This was a complete break and separation here but me and Allen worked with it and got it closed up enough I could get a good weld going.  For the most part, if I can step across it I can weld it.  lol!  And you believe that, right?  That's a very, very old brag for a welder.  And no, I will not give up welding.  I do weld now with a respirator and/ or a stiff wind blowing across me and will do so as long as I can hold my hands still enough to run a bead.

The violets are especially pretty this year and very, very prolific.  My herbalist friend came to visit the other day and told me how to make a syrup from them to sooth my lungs and throat.  I have a lot of issue now with coughing and hoarseness.  This is common with PD and it's very frustrating.  Hopefully this syrup will help a little.
Well, like I said, I am feeling better but still not quite up to my old days.  I hurt a lot and have a lot of stiffness all along my right side.  I joked that my left side is too loose and shakes and my right side is too tight and hurts! I'm slower than I used to be due to this but I'm still chugging along.  Mainly I want to do stuff and am excited about things again.  I can take some pain in exchange for that.  I'll try to get back soon with maybe some progress in the garden and maybe even the kitchen!!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Shake It Off

Hey!!  I'm actually back here in less than 2 months!!  Woo!  I'm on a roll now!  Actually, I told ya'll I would try to post again soon because I felt I would have an update in the next couple of weeks...and I do.  Back in late October I went back to my primary doctor for some new blood work and then in February went back once more after new symptoms and issues became very troublesome.  I will go ahead and tell you that I have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.
Now, I am going to explain the issues here and this post may be long but I'm doing this for a specific reason.  1.  In case the information may help someone else and ...2. To clarify things for the few folks that read my blog and actually know me in real life.  I want it to be very clear that this is NOT something I just pulled out of my ass and one day decided, hey, I'm gonna have Parkinson's.  Trust me, I don't want this crap disease.  And yes, there is a real reason I'm making this clarification but that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Ya'll know for about 2 years I strongly felt that I just had arthritis of some sort. I had many symptoms that went along with that; pain, stiffness, etc.  Arthritis runs in my family.  A couple of the doctors I saw said, yes, it's possible.  The hitch was, though, that every time they did an X-ray etc. they would all say the same thing..."there is some small erosion/ degradation in your joints but it just doesn't seem like enough to validate the amount of pain you are describing".  I heard this several times.  Plus, my blood work just didn't back it up.  In fact, when I did go back in October my sed rates were perfectly normal and inflammation markers were as low as they measure.  I was like, wth?  Well, by February I was having all new issues.  I couldn't swallow food well.  I didn't necessarily get choked but the food just would not go down often times.  No matter how much liquid I tried to wash it down with and all that.  A few times it got kinda scary.  The pain and stiffness I've had in my hips/ rear end area started moving up into my right shoulder and arm and down into my feet.  Within 2 weeks my shoulder had become so stiff I had trouble getting my shirts on and off.  The tremor in my left hand also became much more noticeable at times and often moved down into my left foot if I got upset.  And I was getting upset a lot.  Sometimes about stuff that didn't really seem to warrant that kind of anger when I thought about it later.  I have no doubt that many of you all noticed that some of my posts over the last year or so often sounded angry or very frustrated.  There are a number of other issues; gastrointestinal, etc. that I just will leave at that....One reason I haven't posted much is because typing had become pretty difficult due to my hands jerking or just feeling like I couldn't control them.  I drop stuff constantly.  My handwriting also became smaller at times and would run down the page, no matter how much I tried to control it. Something just seemed very wrong.  I did look up some stuff and that's when I saw the connection between muscle stiffness/ pain and Parkinson's and the fact it most often presents it's self in your shoulders and moves across into the neck area, along with several other of the new issues I was experiencing (trouble swallowing etc.). Most people think of the tremor as being the main thing but it's not always.  This would really explain why no pain or arthritis meds ever helped me. 

There is no definitive blood or imaging test for Parkinson's, unfortunately.  Basically, if you have the symptoms and have exhausted all other possibilities, which I had, then they simply give you a dopamine agonist drug and if that helps, you have PD.  Most of these drugs are not used to treat much else, so it's pretty conclusive.  In reading I discovered that there is a natural dopamine supplement that you can get over the counter and one neurologist in a forum I was studying said a few of his patients used it with good results.  So.  I ordered some and started taking it.  Sure enough, within 7 or 8 days many of my issues had improved significantly.  With these results I emailed the neurologist on the forum, told him all this info and asked him..."Do you think that it is a reasonable thing to think this could be Parkinson's?" .  He said  'Yes, that if the L-dopa helped, then I "most likely had Parkinson's, unfortunately."  I took this info back to my primary doc and also noted to him that I had 2 uncles with Parkinson's (they were brothers) and that I had been a welder for 27 years.  He did a little exam and said a visit to a neurologist was warranted, with the strict orders I also tell the new doctor my family history and that I was a welder.  I then emailed the great doc I had gone to at UAB, explained to him my findings and that I was trying to get in to see a neurologist in the St. Vincent's system. (My insurance basically told me that they were one of the few systems I could go to.  They now considered UAB to be too expensive.)  Anyway.  This doc emailed me back and said he could agree with that diagnosis and offered to help me get in to see either of 2 colleagues that he really liked. I took him up on that offer and quickly got an appointment with the one closer to me.

March 2 I went to see this neurologist.  I liked him a lot.  He was very thorough, we talked for about an hour.  He did 2 physical exams and on some of the balance stuff I was all over the place and I have a bit of neuropathy in both feet. He actually called the doctor at UAB during my visit and consulted with him for a while, came back in and we talked some more with a few more exercises for me to do.  At approximately 10:00 a.m. on that Thursday morning he gave me an official diagnosis of Parkinson's and prescribed Mirapex for me.  This drug is only used to treat PD and restless leg syndrome and as you can see...the label clearly states what he prescribed it to me for.  He also told me to continue the L-dopa supplement if I wanted to, since it had helped and what I really liked....he greatly advocates exercise as an effective treatment and also suggested I consider boxing therapy!  Apparently they have had very good results with such and it sounds fun.  You don't actually box another person but simply use the hanging bag and it also includes jumping rope, running and lots of balance related boxing training.

So.  There you go.  It sucks.  I will admit I bawled my eyes out after talking to the first 2 doctors and ended up blubbering about not wanting to lose my mind.  Since PD is the drastic loss of dopamine to the brain there is a heavy mental aspect to it.  By the time I was actually diagnosed I had sort of calmed down and wasn't crying anymore.  One thing my new doctor tried to emphasis with me is that Parkinson's progresses very, very slowly for most people and it is not fatal within itself.  Both my uncles lived to be in their late 80s.

So.  Yes, I am very glad to finally have an answer despite the fact the answer sucks wind.  Yes, I am very glad it's not cancer and it's not going to kill me.  However, the idea of having a disease that is slowly destroying my brain and for which there is no cure (unlike some forms of cancer) is not the happiest thought and the ol' "well, at least it's not cancer" response is probably not the best thing to say to someone you know that has just been diagnosed with something like this.

I have noticed a bit of improvement in many of my symptoms already...eating is not so scary anymore I'll tell ya that!  Although I move more slowly and it takes me a while to do stuff, I have felt much more like doing things and have made some nice progress in the garden lately that I'll show ya'll later.  Just having some of the apathy and brain fog lifted is worth a LOT.  I still have a great deal of pain but am hopeful this will get better now.  I will try to post here more often now.  For one, I hope to be doing more to actually have something to post about.  Secondly, I have an easier time typing now....for the most part.  Some days I'm off a little and have more of an issue with the tremors but lots of days are better as far as that goes.  So, thanks for reading and I appreciate all your comments as usual.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Spring (Among The Living)

 Hey, folks...!  Yes, I am still amongst the living...I did not even realize that I had not made one post this year... I mean, I knew it had been a while but sorta shocked to see that.  My header photo is out of date and everything...

 Spring is basically here as you can tell.  An odd year for sure but we have been enjoying the warm weather.  What more can you do?

 This is going to just be a photo heavy post for now.  I'll have more updates and info in a couple of weeks.

 Just wanted to let ya'll know I was still around and had not given up completely on the blog.  Close...but not completely.
 A big thank you to those that emailed me over the winter to check on me...I really appreciate hearing from anyone.  I'm not able to get out a lot these days and I enjoy hearing from folks.

 Was a tad windy today at times when I took these!

 A lot of these are of the new girls that are now just about grown and are getting to enjoy their first days out in the yard with the big girls.  We've been letting them have the run of the fenced garden since there is not much of anything planted there now but that will change soon.  Very soon.

 The big, or I should say... older girls, have been enjoying going into the garden too and having baths in the raised beds.  That will also end soon.  Big Bertha and Ms. Bea both passed away during the winter.  I think Bertha's old heart just gave out.  She was about 9 years old.  She spent a happy day out in the yard like normal  and then went into the coop for bed.  She just laid down in the floor and died.  She and BeaBea were really close, and close in age also, and less than 3 weeks later Ms. Bea just quit eating.  She looked healthy as could be but she just quit.  I tried various meds and food but she wasn't having it.  She just wanted to go on and be with Bertha and Scooter again I guess.  I put her in a nesting box one night because I didn't think she would last much longer and she had passed away the next morning when I went to let them out. Both of them just seemed to drift off to sleep and not wake up.

 The new girls are a rambunctious bunch though~!  Into everything and very smart.  Took them less than a hour to find the house and basement, along with all the treats..on the first day we let them out into the yard.  And, at only 4 months old, one or two of the Red Stars are already laying!  None of those little pullet eggs either....they just popped on out the big, real deals!

 So, anyways....I'll be back after  while..

Hope everyone out there is doing well and enjoying nice weather too.