Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chicken's Run

Late yesterday morning this is what the thermometer said.

But with the 30-50 mph winds it felt a lot colder.
Since it was so nice out and the snow was about gone and not raining, Wifey decided to let the chickens run free for the first time in over a month.

I wish I would have had the camera ready for this event, but alas my poor old brain wasn't quite awake yet and was shut down to all but the most basic needs, breathing, pumping blood, sight (well just enough to keep from stepping on pets), tasting the unleaded coffee, and grunts for speech. I have a raging ear infection AGAIN, and it has inflamed my sinuses, throat and lungs.
Yes just like last year. I hope this isn't going to be an annual occurrence.

Anyway it was complete mayhem. Chickens running and flapping and flying, only to be caught by the strong winds and knocking the rest of the chickens over. It looked like the KEYSTONE COPS of the old silent movie days, only not so silent. With screaming cackling, and clucking, and when the rooster tried to flap his wings and crow, the wind caught him and he was dancing around on one leg and flapping furiously, trying to keep his cool in front of the ladies.
But the hens were running and being pushed by the winds and soon scattered all over the yard.
They had their own agenda and didn't have time to worry about the stupid rooster or what he was doing, or looked like. They were FREE AT LAST!!! And searching for anything edible.

Run Girls, Run!

They headed straight for the compost pile.

And finding little there, moved on, except this one Rhody who was bound and determined to dig up something.

Mr. Roo and a couple of his main squeezes stuck together.

For a little while anyway, but as the winds picked up in the afternoon called it a day and retired to the warmth and shelter of the coop. Content with their few hours of freedom.
Today the winds were back and it snowed. Who knows when they will get out again.
But they sure provided us with plenty of laughter yesterday.
There is nothing like having a few chickens around for real country entertainment.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How Different!!!!

This was the morning of Dec.21

This was yesterday Dec. 27

This was today Dec. 28

This was the afternoon of Dec. 21. Blizzard snows and 30mph winds.

This was again the afternoon of Dec. 21

This was today. What a difference 1 week makes here in Michigan.
The rain and warmer temps started on Christmas Eve day Dec.24 and continued until it peaked yesterday with rain and 60 degree temps.
Today we have a weather alert for high winds and flooding and temps in the upper 30's with 30-50 mile an hour winds.
Yesterday we mucked out the chicken coop and rabbit pens, and tried not to fall on all of the wet ice. When we got to the coop we discovered that someone had left the male's rabbit pen open. I won't say who it was.....but Wifey says I may remain nameless, but not blameless!!!
We got all 4 male rabbit's back in their pen with out too much trouble. And I finally installed the hinges on the top of their pen and wired the feeders to the sides of the cages so they can no longer tip them over. Now I need to figure out a way to keep the waterers more stable so they can't be knocked off either. The only feeders and waterers we could find have real poor design for attachment to the cages.
Today we stacked firewood after hauling in what we could. We have used over half of the 4 face cords we had delivered on Dec. 5.
That's over $130 for 23 days. I guess I will need to cut a lot of wood this spring to season for next year. At least 5 full cords. I don't think I have enough trees to fill that order.
Three days ago Morris went out and hasn't returned. His brothers Merlin and Fraidy Freddy miss him almost as much as Wifey does. Today I drove down the road in both directions looking for any signs of him and found none. I hope he is just out "catting around" and didn't become coyote chow.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


By day this mild mannered boy.....

Played with his cousins and sister..........
While around him my side of the family got together to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. Everyone was talking...... (son Eric and 2 of his cousins)
and eating....... (great-nephew)
reminiscing......... (both of my sisters, my dad and his wife)
and having a great time....... (my BIL with camera and Santa hat)
Well, OK, not everyone!!!! (sister's cat)
Presents were opened.... (great-niece, Aden & Ethan)
and played with. (great-nephew & Ethan)
And then my family came to our house and we celebrated Christmas at home too.
We had a light supper of assorted crackers and cheeses and meats and sweets. And then got down to having the kids open presents.
Things were progressing well, paper was flying and squeals of delighted children's voices were filling the room. Then Ethan opened up a present from his Uncle Eric & Aunt Andrea.
Now maybe you have read before in Angie's Blog about Ethan's love of SPIDERMAN, but his eyes bugged out when he saw the Spiderman costume he just opened.

He started pealing off his clothes and got a little help from his Aunt Sarah.

Until he was transformed into Spiderboy....
Well, ALMOST!!!!
He was frantically looking for his Spiderman GLOVES!!!!
Which unfortunately did not come with the costume.
Luckily, Wifey had gotten him a pair of Spiderman slipper socks.
We hurriedly found that present and gave it to the frantic boy and......

"VIOLA"....instant Spiderman Gloves!!!!!
Sadly, since his transformation, our grandson probably won't be seen for weeks now.
Wifey told Ang that she is going to look pretty funny taking SPIDERBOY grocery shopping with her for the next month or so.
Oh, and Aden wasn't left out. She got to wear the INCREDIBLE HULK mask that was another present to Ethan from his Uncle Eric, which instantly transformed her into....
THE GREEN GOBLIN, Spiderman's foe!!!
Oh, yeah, the "TATT's" aren't real....they were a gift from Aunt Sarah.
Today Wifey and I celebrated a quiet peaceful Christmas at home with a traditional turkey dinner & all of the fixings.
And Warren...My hibernation weight is now attained and I will be ready for that long winter's nap shortly! I got in a little practice today, ya gotta work your way slowly into a full hibernation mode.
Oh YEAH, I'll be ready REAL soon!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a.....

NOPE...Not a white Xmas

A warmer climate!!!!!
After Friday's storm Wifey was bound and determined to get to the store to get some supplies for Xmas. I went out and cleared about 8 inches of snow off the truck and tried to break a path out to the road. (their had been a few pick-ups down the road earlier)
The snow had really drifted towards the end of the driveway and I was scraping bottom.
After much back and forth action, I finally made it onto the road and realized that their was NO way that our low riding van would ever make it, either out of the driveway or down the road.
A little while later the snow-plow came down the road and put more snow at the end of the driveway. I then called my son and asked him to come and plow us out on his lunch break.
But Wifey couldn't wait and so here she is getting a start on it, the old fashioned way.

She just shoveled enough to get a running start.

And that's as far as she got.

So, MORE shoveling.....
Almost to the road!
Well we made it out and by the time we got back Eric had plowed our driveway and then some.
We managed to bring in some firewood and get ready for Sunday's Storm which started Saturday evening.

The wind changed directions a full 180 degrees and temps dropped.

Visibility was an iffy thing at best.

And the snow just continues to fall as the winds howl.
By afternoon things were really bad, we had to shovel through 3 ft drifts to get to the chicken coop. It takes about ten minutes to care for the animals and by the time we were done our path had drifted back in completely!!!
So we had to shovel our way back to the house.
Just about dusk our son Eric again showed up and plowed again. He said our road was a mess.
About eleven last night the winds died down and are just starting to pick back up.
And it's snowing..... again!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday

Oh those many years ago! I can still remember them like yesterday. You were my pride and joy then and you still are. I hope you had a great day.

Love, Dad

Friday, December 19, 2008


Harley is P.O.'d this morning!!!

Why you ask?

Well early this morning it started snowing. AGAIN!!


And it's COLD outside!!

The wind is coming out of the north-east and poor Harley has nowhere to get out of the wind when he is out on the chain. So it was a very quick potty break for him this morning and right back inside. No time to smell the morning air or get into a tussle with Bear.

Harley is sick and tired of winter already and it hasn't even officially arrived yet!!!

You can't see it but the fine snow is falling horizontally and visibility is poor.

And it's only supposed to get worse as the day progresses!!!
And we are supposed to get 6-10 inches of blowing and drifting snow!!!
With another storm in the forecast for Sunday!!!

The birds are waiting their turn at the feeder.

Don't they look uncomfortable too.
Harley finally went back to sleep after pacing for a few minutes.
Sounds good to me.
I think I will join him.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


After seeing so many others do these Meme things I figure it's about time for ME to give you a few facts about ME.

I HATE to be interrupted when working on something. This wasn't always the case, but since I can no longer multi-task due to some brain malfunction, I have a hard time concentrating on what I am doing.

I ADORE my grandchildren and get very frustrated when they have to put up with a GRUMPY GRANDPA.

I LOVE to cook, but hate to clean up the messes I make while doing so. I don't do dishes. (well not that often anyway, may 2-3 times a year, if I have to)

I like to build things. But not the same thing twice. Woodworking is my favorite hobby, I just don't have a shop to do it in or I would do little else. Some of my other hobbies are collecting foreign money, knives, old bottles, and various other "junk"(as my wife calls it). I like to engrave glass, re-build old guns (especially old military rifles), build plastic models, make fishing supplies and reload ammunition.

I go fishing when I can and dream of hunting again.

I enjoy genealogy and have done a lot of work on my family tree and corrupted others into starting their own. Family and it's roots are important to me. I lay claim to my 1/4 Irish-Norman heritage but am just as proud of my 1/2 Hungarian one. I am also 1/4 Welsh-English transplants from France.

I dress comfortably not for looks. If I'm not in my dirty ripped up "grubbies" then I must be dressed up for company. Shoes are worn only if absolutely necessary. And I shave only when I "have" to. If left up to me I would look like I belonged to ZZ Top. Yes I could be a hillbilly, and if not for my wife keeping me in check, probably would be. I've eaten porcupine, raccoon, muskrat, and rattlesnake, but don't know if'fn I could eat 'possum.
I've made homemade wine so I suppose settin' up a still and makin' 'shine wouldn't be out of the question.

If I could get my family to join me I would pack up and move to Arizona or New Mexico, away from cold weather and high humidity.

I've read enough books to fill a library.

My computer is my friend and keeps me in touch with my "family".

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter Wonderland Excursion

We had to make a trip to our favorite bulk food store about 20 miles away. As the passenger of this ride I grabbed my old camera I keep in the van, and started snapping pictures. I thought maybe some of my WARM weather readers might like to see some of our Michigan snow. The snow started in mid November and has stayed with us through warm ups (40 degreees) and rain. The second photo is looking right at the sun, through the clouds of course, which gives the appearence of it being lighter out than it really was.

After stopping at the store we decided to take the stuff our daughter wanted over to her house.
On the way we spotted these draft horses and cow, and this nice frozen stream.

One of the new wind farms cropping up in our area.
Have you ever noticed how fast a barn goes to ruin after it's no longer being used?
When I was a kid, every farm over 40 acres had at least dairy cows.
Now there are plenty of fallen barns dotting the landscape since the small farms have been forced out of business since the early 1970's.
35 years ago this ruin was a prospering farm. Now its just a pile of rubble in a woodlot. The magnificent house, barn, and outbuildings are just moldering wood and cement. All that's left standing is the silo at the far left. Just too sad for words.
And speaking of SAD. This photo was unbelievable. Just to the left of my radio antenna is a deer
Running as fast and hard as it can from whats chasing it, just to the right of my antenna was this.
That's 2 snowmobiles. As we stopped to let that poor deer (winded, with tongue hanging, and stumbling) cross the road, and they high-tailed it back to and around the edge of the woods.
I have words for people like this, but I can't print them here.
But let's just say I wish that I was driving the snowmobile and they were in the place of that poor doe.
There were plenty of deer out yesterday. This bunch was a little further down the road.
A cold ride for some of our local Amish. (I would NEVER make it as an Amish man)
The big village.
When our daughter say's she lives in the middle of nowhere, this is what she means.
Our destination.
Then back through town and heading for home. About an 80 mile round trip in the beautiful winter wonderland.