So how did your Monday start? This was mine. Funny story too, and very likely exactly what I needed to kickstart not just my week, but ME. I have recently acquired an addition to a certain 1$ auction on Facebook. This group and all of the available treasures being offered have given me a lot of joy in recent weeks. Soon I even plan to start selling some of my own stuff on this site to justify the buying I am doing. In my own defense I do have a huge house to furnish. So this morning I find myself off to pickup an antique table that I just won for $2. I am quite excited as these runs to collect my new found treasures, like I said are bringing me joy. Well, I made a bad decision this morning when I chose to go down a road that was marked CLOSED DURING WINTER. Now, we all know what they say about making assumptions. Well I made one and YEP, it DID make an A$$ out of me lol. I assumed that the road would be not winter maintained - as in not PLOWED, but we only had an inch of snow. Fact is, it's due to the insane hill that is shear ice! Let's just say, I never made it to the table and will have to find another way to collect it. Fred to my rescue ❤ for sending out a tow truck! I was back on 4 wheels and rolling in just a couple hours. I had plenty of time to stew over my silly decision while I waited. In hindsight, I was able to shake my own head. See kids, just goes to show you're never too old to get excited about something and make a bad decision lol.
Having shaken that off as the start of my day, I feel ready to take on the week ahead. Each week I kind of toss around ideas in my head of what I will write about. This week I admit I was a bit stumped for a bit until I started to look at the stories that were coming together to round our this weeks post. I have had the usual incredible animal interactions, but this past week I think I achieved a milestone in my life and can say that I am no longer afraid of birds. At the beginning of the pandemic I decided as a covid challenge for myself I would start to raise my own chickens. I have had chickens as a child and even had some boarded with us for awhile. I can look after chickens, but I NEVER trusted them. I found birds frightening in the least and normally would just avoid them as much as possible. Choosing the breeds I got was important, but mostly I wanted the opportunity to raise them from chicks from a trusted hatchery. I picked up my 6 Bielefelder chicks when they were 10 days old and I have watched them grow into the beautiful hens they are now. I surprised myself that I COULD bond with birds and am even proud to say that I am no longer afraid of them! I am building special relationships with each of them and really enjoy the time I spend with them. One hen in particular has really captivated me, and I truly think that without her being the way she is I wouldn't have had such a positive experience. Attila the Hen as we've named her prefers the company of people to that of the other hens. She loves to roost on me and will hang out for as long as I let her. I used to have to go find her, but now I can call her and she comes! She is only about 6 months old and already a massive hen. I hope she stops growing soon or I won't be able to fit her on my shoulder anymore. I haven't caught Attila laying yet, but know for a fact that Helen, Lizzie and Chicka Khan are all laying! I am finding 2-3 eggs each day now and they are all very different in size, shape and colour which I find fascinating! Same breed, same feed and environment, but very different eggs. As each hen starts laying I am sure the variety will be spectacular! Come on Black Copper Maran hens! Lay those black eggs!
Speaking of my Black Copper Marans, which are the second breed I am now raising. I was starting to notice something VERY obviously different about one of my hens that had me stumped for a bit. The behaviour and energy of Cluck Norris was starting to stand out to me but I still couldn't figure out why. Well, turns out that Cluck is a ROOSTER!!! I felt so silly when it finally dawned on me and I swear I heard that old Sesame Street song "One of these things is not like the other..." playing through my head. At first I was confused and thought I had to be wrong as I bought 12 hens that were hand chosen for me by my friend that I bought them from. It was then that it dawned on me what happened and I LOL'd with delight at this hilarious accident. When I picked up my BCM pullets, I also collected an order of pullets for a friend. That order consisted of 5 hens and 1 rooster....well shucks lol. Obviously an easy mistake but it did take me months to realize I had done it. Now I have a rooster I don't want, but will keep as I am VERY bonded to him.
So if you thought this chicken story is amusing, it gets better! My volunteers, family and I spent all summer coming up with creative and awesome chicken names for our flock. Not sure if ever posted the final names list, but our hens are: Henrietta, Henny Penny, Attila the Hen, Bok Bok Choi, Helen, Lizzie, Cleopecktra, Chicka Khan, Eggelyn, Karhen (the h is silent), LayD Godiva, Henneth Paltrow, Eggy Azalea and CLUCK NORRIS. So tell me, how is that after all the names we chose we actually settled one name that was after a man. We specifically assigned the name to the wimpiest chicken we had as a way to help build up their ego. We didn't know at the time that Cluck is in fact a rooster and now has the BEST rooster name EVER!!! So many things about Cluck's behaviour make so much sense now. Like why does Cluck talk so much more than the others? Why is Cluck's tail so different? Why does Cluck have beautiful wattles when no one else does? It would eventually become totally obvious in time when Cluck started cock-a-doodle-doing, but I am glad I figured it out first. My plans to get a rooster in the spring were just solved! One more thing off my list 😁
I started writing this week's post about fear and I want to circle back to that. Several years ago when my late husband Geordon became sick, I decided that fear wasn't going to stand in my way any longer. He died at age 46, and I was a widow at 37! I started to examine the things I was afraid of and challenged myself to explore them to see if perhaps I was just standing in my own way by giving into fear. I was once VERY claustrophobic and struggled even being in stairwells and elevators. I challenged that fear while visiting my Mom in New Mexico and went and explored the Carlsbad Caverns, which is a pretty insane experience. It was intense and there were moments of absolute sheer terror, but I managed it to come away from the experience with a drive to challenge more. Since then I have met, interacted with and even HELD a tarantula named Rosie who taught me that spiders aren't THAT bad, but they still need to keep those freaky 8 legs to themselves! As well as tackling chickens this year, I also very recently started putting myself a little more in the forefront. It has been very easy for me to deflect attention off of myself and direct it to my goats, thereby escaping notice. That will only get me so far in life. I now realize that my herd is the way they are because of me and that means I can't hide anymore. This past week I REALLY put myself out there when I volunteered to do a virtual farm tour for a group of seniors through the Active Living Seniors Centre new Virtual Village program. The catch? I was LIVE for an hour! Yikes! Anyone who knows me knows I have a potty mouth and profanity does tend to come out of it often. I was terrified I was going to swear! I am happy to say that didn't happen, and I survived talking with a camera in my face for that long. I plan to continue to find my bravery and do more to showcase just what it is I do all day here with this crazy group of animal friends. I successfully experimented with Instagram and Facebook live this past week and will be doing that more. The work never ends here and I literally do work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week to make this all possible. Living the dream? Perhaps not for some! For me though, it fits just right! Why not examine some of your own fears to see where they may be holding you back in your own life? We don't grow if we don't seek to improve and change things in our life that don't serve us. Fear can immobilize us, stop us in our tracks and keep us from moving forward. It weakens us, destroys our immune system and we can easily become stuck in the emotion of fear - especially in our current world. My advice is to always PUSH. Learn to question everything and push yourself, your boundaries, belief systems and thought patterns so that you continually grow. Until that day we take our last breath in this life, we are all still children after all!
Until next week my friends, ~ Angee