A Chicken Tender Comes Home To Poop

So I can now add chicken tender to my resume. I just returned (though the actual returning occurred last night, but ‘just returned’ gives it the sort of out-of-breathlessness that it really doesn’t need, but I digress and it’s only the second sentence) from the land of sketchy internet service and no cell reception. Yes, I was goat herding again, along with horse feeding and cat whispering.

But this time, there were chickens. Three of them. In case you were wondering, all chickens do is eat, poop and lay eggs though I’m not sure of the exact order. These are not free range chickens though they used to be free range but if they ranged free here, they would be coyote food, so they are in a little chicken coop. Of course, by ‘here’ I mean ‘there’ because I didn’t bring the chickens home with me.

The chickens laid their eggs during the day in a straw-filled covered kitty litter box in the coop. In the evening, after herding goats into the barn and feeding horses, I would collect the eggs, scrape chicken poop  and turn the kitty litter box around so the chickens couldn’t get in there during the night because if they did they would poop in it. Apparently, chickens are like cats and people and prefer privacy when pooping.  I can’t say that I blame them.

My hair stylist (though I’m not sure my hair has a style as I just let it do what it does best which is hang) is also a chicken tender. She says she spreads the chicken poop in her garden. I didn’t do that. I just scraped it off the tray that lined the bottom of the coop into the pasture next to the coop. There’s also horse poop and goat poop in the pasture because horses and goats aren’t that picky about where they poop.

Do you know what other animal isn’t picky about where they poop? Frogs! After being gone for a couple of weeks, my front porch had quite a bit of frog poop on it. Yes, those cute little tree frogs are pooping machines and they like to poop on my porch. There’s not frog poop on my porch now because I swept it off before I started writing this.

I don’t know about you, but after dealing with all that poop, I’m a bit pooped but I did want to give you the straight poop on chicken poop.

 

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A Thought Becomes Me

I’m lost in thought. Or is thought lost inside of me? So many thoughts chase each other around. Are they trying to build on each other or are they simply trying to become something other than what they are? And what exactly are they? Half truths or distantly remembered platitudes or a snippet of dialogue or the terrifying task of putting feelings into words. I don’t know and I can’t figure it out which is probably why the previous sentence isn’t even a sentence in the truest sense of the word. Or the only sense of the word, since I believe a definition of sentence would be something along the lines of a word or group of words conveying some type of thought or action and containing both subject and predicate.

An example may be in order. But not an example of a sentence because examples of sentences are everywhere here if you know where to look. And by the simple act of reading, you know where to look. (I had to go back and add the comma in the previous sentence because I wasn’t sure that you would pause where I paused as I was thinking the thought that became that sentence and if you didn’t pause where I paused then you might not experience my thought the way I experienced it. Of course, that might not be such a terrible thing.)

So far, every word is an example. Darkness falls. That’s another example. But where does darkness fall from? Are we applying a metaphor? Are we equating darkness with a curtain that comes down over a window or a stage? But not all curtains fall. Some are pulled together in some way. And the way the light leaves a space when a curtain falls or is closed is not the way we experience the change from day to night unless you’re on the equator. If you’re on the equator the change from day to night or night to day is quite abrupt.  I know because I was there once with there being the equator or thereabouts. It’s not like there’s a sign. But I was told I was about twenty miles from the equator. South, if you crave details or are a stickler for directions.

I didn’t check the coordinates with a GPS because GPS wasn’t a thing back then. Nobody even talked about it. Though some people must have been thinking about it because enough satellites were launched to get us to where we are. But it’s not dark where we are or where I am but it will be eventually.

And that’s the problem with ‘darkness falls.’ It’s the gradual eventuality of it on most parts of the planet.  Something to do with being tilted on an axis, I think.  Darkness doesn’t so much fall as it becomes. It is an ever changing state. It slowly becomes more dark until it becomes more light. Light and dark are just different versions of the same thing. One cannot be without the other.  Light and dark define each other.

We are all light and dark. Not necessarily equal parts of each and probably not even a constant state. (Not every group of words masquerading as a sentence is really a sentence. I have no excuse. My high school English teachers would be appalled.) And of course, we’re probably all a little tilted on an axis, too. I’m less appalled by my fondness for sentence fragments but that probably has something to do with the tilt of my axis.

Perhaps the axis is ever changing the degree of its tiltiness. Tiltiness isn’t a word or it wasn’t until I just used it in a sentence. I’m pretty sure that’s all that matters. Mainly, because most things don’t matter. It might even be that nothing matters. But if nothing matters why do I care if darkness falls, or wraps around us or slowly becomes? Though darkness doesn’t become everyone and not everyone becomes dark.

I suppose I care because darkness gets a bad rap. Many are afraid of it. Most don’t want to embrace it. But there is a depth to it. Much the same way there can be a brilliance to light. And while most tend to want to step into the light, darkness offers a respite or perhaps just invisibility. It becomes a place to be lost in thought. Or a place where thoughts come to play and lose themselves in the inky depths.

Lifted from Gocomics.com

Lifted from Gocomics.com

A Free Safety Meditates On The Redundant Way

So, about a month or so ago, I last posted and in that post that last I posted I said that I was back. Apparently, that turned out to be less than true. This, of course, is assuming that true is not an absolute. I like to think that it is an absolute though there are times when it seems a bit ambiguous and I am always surprised when I like ambiguous truth.

In my defense and it bothers me a bit to think that I feel a need to offer a defense, so maybe there should be a better phrase than ‘in my defense,’ but since I can’t think of one as I’m typing this, I’ll stick with the ever so popular defensive position, but not the safety position I played on a college powder puff team, but the one that goes something like ‘at the time I wrote it, I really had every intention of writing more…..’

I’m sure most people have figured out I’m not great with intentions, though again, the free safety in me feels the need to add my intentions are typically good or well intended which isn’t the same as well attended. If I had been attending to my intentions, my intentions would have become actions because I would have been attending to all those things one must do to turn an intention into action. Of course, one must know what all of those things are and I don’t, so that’s a problem. I think I may have Intention Deficit Disorder. I’m going to start telling people I have IDD.

It’s possible that the problem is I’ve been so very busy with all of the things I do when I’m not writing that I haven’t had time to write. It’s also possible we won’t be bombing Syria but I’m not holding my breath on that one. Let’s just say I’m having difficulty accounting for all of my time.

I took a class on meditation because I wanted to see what it was about. It was about meditation. We did a bit of it. My left foot fell asleep. I did leave the class with the intention of meditating each and every day because that’s the redundant way. And I did meditate for about fifteen minutes the very next day. Of course, that was about six months before my last post so that was one well intended but not well attended intention. Like I said or wrote, I’ve got IDD and I’ve got it bad.

Or maybe not so bad, because I did acquire a DVD course on mindfulness and meditation though not because I want to be mindful about how I’m not meditating but because I want to be more mindful and thus meditate more or maybe I want to meditate more and thus become more mindful. (I should probably figure out what I want.) I’ve watched 6 lectures so far and those of you who might recall I don’t always do things in order will be pleased to know that I am watching them in order because I will do things in order when it makes sense to be orderly and in this sense it did. Of course, lecture 6 was the one that told us to actually begin daily meditation. It suggested that one not proceed with the lectures until a daily habit has been established. I watched lecture 6 three weeks ago. I haven’t watched lecture 7 yet.

Again, the free safety in me wants to add that the lecturer in lecture 6 who is the same guy in all of the lectures but you couldn’t know that for sure which is why I told you said that establishing a daily practice might take some time. Clearly, he has known some IDD sufferers. This IDD sufferer meditated three days in row after watching lecture 6. SInce then it has been a day here and a day there, but not everyday and the last day was at least a week ago though I can’t remember the exact day. I really have no excuse or explanation though some might argue this post is some sort of an explanation. And they might be right about that.

So clearly, I have not been meditating. So what have I been doing? I fed a hot dog to a great blue heron. Twice. Though it really only took a few minutes each time so I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it except that it was cool or frio  if you speak Spanish and I don’t though I know ‘frio’ means cold or maybe cool. Do Spanish speaking people saying ‘Es frio’ the way we say ‘It’s cool?’ I don’t know. But I’ve spent time wondering about it.

I’ve also been shooting the next door neighbor’s cat. With insulin. The cat’s diabetic. But again, it only takes  a few minutes every twelve hours. I only have to do it one more time. Until the next time my neighbor goes out of town. And I’ve only done it a couple of days so, again, not a huge amount of my time.

And while I haven’t been holding my breath on the Syria bombing thing, I have been calling my congressmen (and yes, all three of them are men) and sending them and the White House emails asking them not to involve us in someone else’s civil war as nothing good will come from it. Yes, I think the use of chemical weapons is deplorable though I think the use of ALL weapons is deplorable hence my reluctance to lob bombs. At some point we need to stop the perpetual war machine that we have created. And now seems as good a time as any to begin that process.

I seemed to have gotten off topic and don’t really know how to end this post so I’ll just say thanks for reading though I didn’t say it so much as wrote it.

Happy trails to you……….and thanks for reading.

Observant Goat Didn’t Find Chicken Tender’s Freshness To Be Inappropriate

So I’m back from goat herding and cat sitting though I didn’t sit on any cats. There were also a couple of horses that demanded my attention twice a day or three times really because this year unlike previous years they received the added treat of beet mash with their evening oats and chaff and the beet mash had to be soaked in water for about an hour before doling it out because apparently beet mash is best consumed in a wet state which would be Florida the last few days or weeks. The weather guy said we’ve had about 15 inches of rain since June 1st. That’s probably why the ground is so wet and my backyard sports waterfront property but not water sports because it’s really just a bit of standing water which will be gone after a couple of sunny days.

Some of you may recall that whilst herding goats and sitting with cats, I was to experience life as a chicken tender but not the deep fried kind, but the scatter chicken feed and collect just out of the chicken fresh eggs kind. Sadly, or happily, depending upon how you feel about my getting the chance to be a chicken tender (I remain ambivalent), there were no chickens to tend as they failed to reach full chicken status. Coyotes are suspected in the murder of all the chicks. All that remained were feathers and a bit of blood. Happily, in this case though I was sad for the little chicks, I never had to see the evidence.

My only regret in not being able to list ‘Chicken Tender’ on my resume or curriculum vitae if you want to get all Latin about it, is I didn’t get a chance to sample a fresh out of the chicken egg. I wonder if it tastes different from the ones in the carton from the store. It’s hard to know how fresh those eggs are. Sure, they put an expiration or ‘sell by’ date on them but we have no way of knowing when that sell by date was stamped on the package and I think that would be useful information. Maybe they should have a ‘stamped on’ date as well as the ‘sell by’ date so we would know just how fresh those eggs are.

Of course, the really observant observer would note that not being able to list ‘Chicken Tender’ on my resume was also a regret so not only was ‘only’ inappropriate in the previous paragraph, it was untrue. Of course, the really observant observer would have to be a longtime reader or maybe have just read whatever post it was where I said I was looking forward to being able to list ‘Chicken Tender’ on my resume because not everyone can claim to be a professional Chicken Tender. I could embellish my resume anyway with my Chicken Tender claims because people often embellish their resumes but I tend not to do that.

While I was in the land of NO cellphone reception and intermittent and slow internet access, I celebrated a little blogaversary. The previous sentence is untrue. Not the part about the NO cellphone reception or the intermittent and slow internet access or even the blogaversary part, but the celebration part. I didn’t celebrate. I didn’t realize it had even come until it had already gone. There was no sexual innuendo in the previous sentence though I’m sure some of you were thinking it and apparently so was I or why would I even bring it up?

I did celebrate my birthday yesterday. I turned 29 for the 27th time or 39 for the 17th time or 50 for the 6th time. Yes, I’m thirty twenty-six! It’s how I like to think of it because forty sixteen doesn’t have the same ring to it, probably because it used different words or in this case numbers which happened to be words. You might not think thirty twenty-six is a real number, but that’s because I spelled it out with letters instead of using the Arabic symbols for the numbers. I wonder if Arab phobic people will ever insist we stop using an Arab system of numbers and go back to Roman numerals. I don’t think most people could cope with that.  Not to mention all the calculators would have to be changed. And phones and computers. I have difficulty keeping the ‘L’ and ‘D’ straight not that they are in constant need of straightening but I can never remember which is 50 and which is 500 and that might make a difference in a calculation, though I don’t pretend to be a math wizard which is why I often spell numbers instead of using the symbols. There is some sort of style rule that applies, but I don’t pretend to know that either.

Instead, I celebrated the anniversary of being expelled from a warm safe space into the harsh cruel world by robbing other creatures of their lives. It seemed fitting. Yes, I went scalloping yesterday. We endured a brief downpour in the river on our way out to the gulf, but once out there, the sun appeared and the water was warm and we collected bivalve mollusks. Then we anchored outside the channel near the mouth of the river and separated bivalve mollusk meat from the shells and tossed the shells and guts overboard to be eaten by other sea creatures which may even include other bivalve mollusks. Sea creatures are not picky eaters and sometimes practice cannibalism. And you thought this paragraph’s opening sentence’s use of harsh cruel world might be a bit harsh. Sadly, it was not though it was a bit prophetic and sad. But only for the scallops.

I guess what I’m trying to say and it took almost 1000 words, or M words if you’re feeling all Roman numerally, to say is, I’m back.

This is my best scallop picture ever! And yes, the ever is redundant. There can only be one best. And this was it and it happened on the last day of summer.

This is a picture of a scallop. I didn’t take it yesterday because I didn’t have an underwater camera yesterday but I took this last year when I went scalloping with an underwater camera. There were people there, too, it wasn’t just me and the camera and the scallop.But it’s not a problem that the picture is a year old because scallops still look like this. Evolution isn’t relatively slow, it is extremely slow.

 

 

Big Pile Of Dirt – Last Of The Dirt On Cousin Unrelated To Squirrel Edition

So some of you may have been wondering about the status of my big pile of dirt.  And one of you inquired about the status of the elderly, blind slightly senile cocker spaniel I occasionally watch.  Happily, the big pile of dirt is no more. Sadly, neither is the cocker spaniel. Fortunately, the dog’s demise did not happen under my watch. That would have been awful.

I would have updated you sooner on the big pile of dirt, but I got sidetracked by the dog death which freed up my Memorial Weekend allowing me to head out of town. Of course, I would have been out of town on the holiday weekend if the dog had not died because the dog lived out of town and I was supposed to watch him that weekend.  But instead of getting paid fifty bucks a night to watch a blind dog wander around a house bumping into things, I got to eat homemade though not made by a home, but made by me from ingredients that did not come premixed in a box coconut cake with seven minute frosting with my cousin and her sister who is also my cousin and her (the first cousin mentioned) child and grandchild. It wasn’t nearly as confusing as it may have sounded. But it was deliciously fun.

But before I left for the big weekend, I concluded my dirt shoveling. I had been wondering what to do with the last of the dirt as I had more than I needed when a friend called and asked if I had any dirt left. I said I did and she said she’d like to have it so I said come and get it. She and her husband came over and her husband and I shoveled the dirt into the back of his truck. It just about filled up the bed of the truck.

I have some post-dirt pictures of the completed beds. Now I just need to repair and extend the drip irrigation system. That’s my next project and I got the stuff I need to complete the project from the Drip Depot on Friday, so I hope to get that done before heading off to herd goats next week.

And in other though not completely unrelated news, the Friday morning of the Memorial Weekend I saw the bobcat kill a squirrel. It’s Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom out there with there being my backyard. I told my cousin (the first one, not the second one) and she was sad for the squirrel but I pointed out that bobcats have to eat, too.

So here are the pictures of the last of the dirt but not the bobcat because I don’t have a telephoto lens, but if I did you would be looking at a picture of a bobcat carrying a dead squirrel in its mouth as it headed back to the swamp.  Sadly, or happily, depending on how you feel about dead squirrels, all I have is pictures of dirt and flower beds and an egret.

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This is how it looked at the beginning of its last day. I had shoveled a bit of dirt between my last post and this picture but didn’t relate the details because there is just so much you can write about dirt.

This is what it looked like after all the shoveling was done. The shovel has lost its purpose. I'm a little sad for the shovel.

This is what it looked like after all the shoveling was done. The shovel has lost its purpose. I’m a little sad for the shovel.

This is the largest of the beds I created using the shoveled dirt, edging, mulch, plants and other stuff.

This is the largest of the beds I created using the shoveled dirt, edging, mulch, plants and other stuff.

This is the other side of the bed in the previous picture and yes, I know the side of the house needs to be cleaned. It's on my to do list. I hesitated to even show you  my dirty house but this post is about dirt and I like the palm shadows.

This is the other side of the bed in the previous picture and yes, I know the side of the house needs to be cleaned. It’s on my to do list. I hesitated to even show you my dirty house but this post is about dirt and I like the palm shadows.

This is another bed I added along the side of the house, plus you can see the bed I created around the palm trees.

This is another bed I added along the side of the house, plus you can see the bed I created around the palm trees.

This is a better picture of the palm bed. I planted a couple of tiny bougainvillea. I'm hoping they grow big and climb up the palm trees.

This is a better picture of the palm bed. I planted a couple of tiny bougainvillea. I’m hoping they grow big and climb up the palm trees.

This is a picture of the egret I took on the morning the squirrel met its demise in the mouth of the bobcat. I took this right before the squirrel killing. Sadly, or happily, depending on how you feel about photographers capturing the natural order of things, without a telephoto you wouldn't have been able to see the dead squirrel.

This is a picture of the egret I took on the morning the squirrel met its demise in the mouth of the bobcat. I took this right before the squirrel killing occurred. Sadly, or happily, depending on how you feel about photographers capturing the natural order of things, without a telephoto  lens you wouldn’t have been able to see the dead squirrel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Gumdrop Confronts Stage Fright And Exits Stage Right

So some of you may remember that I began tap lessons this past fall and I have been spending my Tuesday evenings learning to tap dance with five middle school girls. You may also recall that I decided early on not to participate with my class in the annual recital. Because I am not twelve. I did tell Ronnie, or Miss Ronnie as she is called by all of her students except me because, again, I am not twelve, that I would help at the recital and would do anything except dress, apply make up to or style the hair of small children.

I wouldn’t say I don’t like small children. I wouldn’t say I like them either. I’m like Switzerland. I’m neutral on the subject. I don’t spend much time around small children because I don’t find them endlessly fascinating. My fascination with them lasts about thirty minutes and then I’m ready to talk with an adult. Which is not to say you can’t have interesting conversations with first graders. I like to be very literal with them. I got to do that today when I conversed with a seven year old gumdrop.

Now, I’m not talking about a seven year old gumdrop you can eat because who would keep a gumdrop that long and I don’t talk to inanimate objects except for those times when I do. But this was not an inanimate object. It was  a seven year old girl dressed in her gumdrop costume for the gumdrop number that was danced to what sounded like polka music. I had half of the gumdrops lined up ready to go on the stage.

Seven year old gumdrop (SYOG): Me and Kayla have stage fright.

Me: You shouldn’t be afraid of the stage.

SYOG: That’s not what it means. It means afraid of the audience.

Me: That would be audience fright. But you don’t need to be afraid of the audience either because you have that big stage between you and the audience.

The SYOG was speechless. I also like to think I cured her stage or audience fright because she performed as well as one would expect seven year olds with short attention spans to perform.

The reason I was lining gumdrops up on the side of the stage was because a couple of weeks ago Ronnie asked if I would be willing to help at the recital and I said of course and she said good and that I was going to be the Right Stage Manager and she would explain everything at the dress rehearsal. I thought that seemed like an easy job. After all, the stage doesn’t move and I don’t even have to manage all of it. Just the right side. I think I can do this.

And apparently, I can, because the dress rehearsal was today and there were no major mishaps or mishaps of any kind on the right side of the stage. I passed out and collected props, lined up gumdrops and forest pixies and disco mice in the wings and even had to collect the disco mice ears mid routine as they ran off stage before running back out to do somersaults which apparently cannot be done while wearing disco mice ears.

And when the dress rehearsal concluded I collected all the props and laid them out on the table to be ready for tomorrow’s performance. So if all goes well tomorrow, I can list Right Stage Manager on my resume along with goat herder.