Sunday, May 23, 2010

1st Night on the Roost

Mother Hen decided last night was the night to finally establish her position in the flock. I don't know how she did it, but she herded those three little chicks all the way to the top of the roost. She wouldn't allow another hen on the roost with them. The top roost was her roost. Tonight, however, was a different story. The Amerighana hen, Dolly, went to the far end of the top roost and gingerly sprang up to take her place. I have watched her with the other Samatran hen, Francine, and have thought she may become the alpha hen. Time will tell, but they are funny as all get out to watch. When they were all on the roost, it was Freckles (Mother Hen) and her three chicks, Daisy (the Amerighana) and Daphene (The Rhode Island Red) on the top roost, Francine (2nd Samatran Hen) on the 2nd roost and poor Daisy (the White Leghorn) on the bottom roost.

I know people passing by on the back street who see me with my camera by the chicken house must think I'm some kind of fruit cake!

We had a great visit with my sister, Yvonne and her husband, David. I felt so bad yesterday, though, we came home early just because I wanted to be home. I felt much better today. Tomorrow starts a whole new week of the radiation treatments.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alpha Hen

This was so interesting, I just have to share it. We only have two of the samatran hens left since we gave The Sultan and his favorite hen to a friend. One hen, Mother Hen, is separated all day with her three biddies from the other hen and the three pullets in a day pen. Because we separate them, it's kind of a rigamaroll to get them all back into the roost area at night. The one samatran hen who is allowed to roam free during the day with the three pullets has established herself with them as the alpha hen. Mother Hen is shut up all day in the day pen with her biddies. At night, we wait until the 3 pullets and the hen are on the roost, then we open the little gate from the day-pen and the roost for Mother Hen and her babies to come into the roost area where they have a little brooder box, which I shut them up in after they come back in.

Tonight Cary and I had a meeting to attend and arrived home after dark. Mother Hen was still out in the day pen, the biddies had squeezed through the fence and were nesting in the brooder box, and the other samatran hen and three pullets were on the roost. When Cary opened the little gate for Mother Hen to get into the roosting area, she didn't go into the brooder box to her biddies right away. Oh, no! She jumped up on the roosting poles and gave the other samatran hen a good peck!

I think her message was "Who the hell do you think you are? You think you're the alpha hen? In case you've forgotten, you're not! I'm still in charge. So there!"

Talk about the "pecking order".

Ana and I have named the hens. Funny how it wasn't important to name them as long as The Sultan reigned supreme. The Mother Hen is actually named Freckles because she's black with little white spots on her. The other Samatran hen is named Francine. She has wild looking eyes and somehow the name Francine just suited her. If you'll recall, she tried to nest and get babies going but something always happened to run her off the nest! I think that's why her eyes are so wild looking. We have a white leghorn pullet we named Daisy, a Rhode Island Red pullet named Daphene, and an Ameraucana we named Dolly. The Ameraucana will lay either blue or green eggs. She has funny feathers around her face. It remains to be seen who the real Alpha hen will be as the pullets grow into maturity. I'll try to post pictures of each hen later with their names. They really are interesting to watch.

What is that old saying? "You can the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl." That's me!

Love to all,
Linda Gail

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First Radiation Treatment

My first radiation treatment went well. They promised it would be quick and it was. This week because I'm starting on Tuesday, I'll have just 4 treatments. Then again Memorial Day will garner me another 4 day week. Wish those 4-day weeks were toward the end of my treatments, but glad to get them either way. Of course, I must complete 30 treatments, regardless.

Last week I spent two days and nights at St. Augustine with members of our book club, "McIntosh Undercover". We had read "Bloody Sunset", a true story about a murder that occurred in St. Augustine in 1973. We looked up two of the homes mentioned in the story and talked to a local shop keeper who remembered the murder and had a definite opinion as to "who done it". We had a fun time just relaxing on the beach, playing balderdash, and shopping.

Best to all,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I didn't realize it had been so long since I had posted. We have had Olivia for the past week, which has kept me really busy. She will be going home in the next day or so. Of course, we'll miss her the minute she's gone!

Well, the 4:30 to 5:00 a.m. wake-up calls by The Sultan lost him his tenure with us. We found him a new home and allowed him to take one of his hens with him. There are other pullets also at his new home. I really hated to give him up, but between having to pen him and the hens and his incessant crowing, we made the decision to let him go. There are just some things in life we have to do!

My scar tissue issue is now labeled axillary web syndrome. It is also called "cording". The scar tissue where the lymph nodes were removed is drawing causing some discomfort. I am continuing to do exercises and find that I feel better after yoga classes.

My radiation treatments start on May 18th and will continue through til the end of June. These treatments are 5 days a week except for holidays for 6 weeks. While the treatments don't last long, it is a trip to Gainesville every day. Please pray that my skin will hold up and I will be able to tolerate them well. My sister just completed her treatments and had to have a 6 day rest before the end because of damaged tissue. I told Cary with all our modern medicine and science, these treatments seem primitive to me.

I have tried unsuccessfully to load a little video Ana helped me put together of my wildflowers. I have enjoyed them immensely, especially the poppies. The heat of the last week have pretty much spoiled them, but they were quite beautiful for two or three weeks.

To each of my friends who are mothers and to my daughters, "Happy Mother's Day". I believe a mother's impact on the lives of her children cannot be underestimated. William Ross Wallace wisely said, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world". I was just thinking yesterday that I wish I had been as good a mother as I am a grandmother! But like all mothers, or parents for that matter, I did the best I could at the time.

Love to all,