Archive | February, 2018

Random Acts of Kindness…

2 Feb

Image My youngest daughter had to write a personal narrative essay regarding an experience that they had or knowledge of someone performing an act of kindness. I was going through her grade book and saw that her teacher had graded this essay and posted comments about her writing. I pulled up the essay and it brought tears to my eyes. Several years ago, we were cooking breakfast with our church’s youth group. We would arrive at church early and prepare pancakes, sausage, coffee, hot chocolate, tea or juice for fellow worshippers. Donations were accepted, we had a blast and it helped to raise money for the kids to go to youth events. One very cold morning as we were pulling into the parking lot, I noticed a tall young man walking with a big backpack, hood pulled up. He was hunched over in the shoulders like one does when trying to stay warm. As we all tumbled out of the Suburban, I told my nephew to run and ask the young man if he would like to come and have breakfast with us. My nephew looked at me incredulously and asked “do you know him?”, I replied “not yet”. My family went into church and ran upstairs to get things going for breakfast and I waited for the young man as he walked across the parking lot. Once inside the church, he took off his backpack and asked if it was ok to leave by the door and where could he go wash up? I showed him the bathroom and told him to come upstairs when he was ready. He looked at me and apologized for not being showered or shaved. I told him that we just wanted to get him warm and there was no problems, he looked just fine! We gave him hot chocolate and then a heaping plate of pancakes and sausage. He told us how he had arrived in our little town, walking from the local bus station over 2o miles away and he was on his way home due to a death in his family. He thanked us and went on his way. Boy, did I catch flack for inviting a seemingly homeless person into church! I was asked if I knew this person, were the kids and people safe upstairs with him, etc. I could not believe what I was hearing! I did not even think of the other scenarios mentioned to me, I heard that still, small voice nudging me to invite this young man into our fold. I have learned never to question it and have regretted the few times I have not followed up on the nudge. What a flashback to read my daughter’s essay and realize that the little things that we do, get saved into memory banks. Sometimes our own, but more importantly our children’s. I pray there are many more deposits like this for her as she grows up into the beautiful young woman God means for her to be.

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Mizz Pepperpot

1 Feb

After carrying hot water and oatmeal out to the yard for the Chicky Girlz, next is filling and hanging their feeder up to discourage other critters from looking for free meals. Having to be careful where I walk, the hens and their accompanying roosters crowd in. Each feathered little face peering over the next jumping up eagerly awaiting the daily hand feeding of scratch. Exiting the yard and pulling the gate closed, I step into the grain room and gather tools for cleaning the coop.

Recently I decided to change from straw bedding for the coop floor to using construction sand. Initially I worried that in the low temperatures the chickens and roos would be cold without the straw.
Check out this link below for info.
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/09/chicken-coop-bedding-sand-litter.

One thing I noticed right away, no more poopy eggs! The nest boxes still have straw, freshened every morning for their comfy arranging which seems to encourage laying. I have also started using dried herbs, just a pinch in each box to keep it sweet and fresh. Ideas here: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/p/spruce-coop.html

Some of the Chicky Girlz have a full ruffle of feathers looking like ruffled old fashioned pantaloons along with their feathered feet and the straw and poop would stick to their pretty adorned feet.

If you dare to compare, coop sifting is rather like cleaning a rather large catbox! The sand does work best with daily sifting and there are some great ideas and pictures on the link about sand for bedding. I used 3 bags of sand and it took visits to 5 stores to find the construction sand. The smell is much less, rodents are not attracted to sand in the coop like they were when I was using straw.

After finishing the coop tidy detail, I wanted to freshen those nest boxes with some of the nice, soft straw we get locally. Picking up the bag with the straw in it I open the bag, reaching my hand inside to grab some straw and much to my astonishment a very loud Squawk booms out from inside the bag! I almost dropped the bag and carefully peering inside a gray and black checkered hen named Miss Pepperpot glares at me, guess I surprised her too!

This Chicky Girl is a 2 year old “Fluffercauna” . Around our little farm a Silkie and Ameraucana cross is called a “Fluffercauna” due to the extra feathery “hat” of feathers atop their heads and their legs and feet appear as bloomers with little featherdusters attached.
Nothing like a tiny hen to bring you to sitting fast with that kind of surprise! All is well, against her loud protests (pretty some of those squawks were swear words) I settled her into a nicely fluffed nest that she could not resist.