Friday, September 10, 2010

It is finished.

RIP, brave Sussex.


Well, the Speckled Sussex showed up in the garage yesterday. She can walk, but most of the left side of her hind end is gone and/or mangled. The dead flesh is, um, crawling with those larvae that God hath ordained to clean up dead things. The vet hospital I called gave me a protocol to follow for treatment, but it did not kill the critters as expected.

Brave Sussex is peacefully resting in the garage, burning with fever and fighting for her life. She has lived this long, which is admirable, but I am seriously considering taking her to the block and burning the carcass.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I wondered when our first loss to predators would be. Last night some crafty critter made off with two of my hens--the speckled sussex and one of the partridge rocks. Yesterday the pen's position made the door impossible to secure in the usual way, so I used the rope attached to the front. It was not very tight.

This morning when we went out to the pen, the door was ajar. Two birds were gone. We did find some piles of feathers in three places, all of the speckled sussex. The partridge rock vanished without a trace.

I feel sick. The coop feels emptier. And it was my fault! That's the kicker.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My cup runneth over.

Me: Oh, it's 2:45 already! The Mission Thrift Store closes in 15 minutes. I really have to get there today.

[Jen gets in truck, speeds to town in 10 minutes.]

Me to Lady Behind the Counter: "I know you're about to close. I'll be quick."

Lady Behind the Counter: "Oh, take your time, dear. I'll close when you're done shopping."

[Jen makes a quick tour of the back room, doesn't see anything new.]

Me: Why did I come today? What is here? Oh, that's right, check the front room by the kitchen gadgets.

[Jen rounds the corner of the bookshelves and sees what it is she came to get: a nine-tray Excalibur dehydrator. Jen nearly screams, but keeps her cool. Striding forward, she picks it up and marches to the checkout.]

Me to Lady Behind the Counter: "How much for this? I don't see a price."

Lady Behind the Counter, With Furrowed Brow: "Hmmm..."

Me, Boldly: "I'll give you twenty bucks for it."

Lady Behind the Counter, Happily: "Sold! What is it, anyway?"

[Jen explains that it's a dehydrator that she's been wanting. Only then does she think to actually look inside it. All the trays and their plastic meshes are accounted for. No liners.]

Lady Behind the Counter, Plaintively: "Oh, I've been wanting one of those! I didn't see this when I came in today. My birthday is next week. You could give it to me."

[Jen explains that there are other dehydrators that come through the store--smaller, round ones--that will do as fine a job as this one.]

Lady Behind the Counter, Optimistically: "I will post a 'Wanted to Buy' add on my church's bulletin board. Someone probably has one to get rid of!"

Me: "Good thinking!"

Zack and I thought long and hard about purchasing a second Excalibur. A week ago we made the decision to go ahead and get one from the manufacturer on sale. But then my neighbor Margaret told me about a dehydrator she saw at the thrift store in Waynesville; she'd have a friend make inquiries and report back to me. As of this afternoon I still hadn't heard about the Waynesville one, and I still hadn't "pushed the button" on ordering the new one.

Why in the world would anyone need two nine-tray dehydrators? I've been making lots of yogurt, and I use the Excalibur to incubate the yogurt. But that leaves any other dehydrating to wait. Now, I'll be able to dehydrate in one and incubate in the other. Besides, "Two is one, one is none, and three means you can share." Now I have basic redundancy for my favorite method of food less than 10% of the sale price.

Call it luck if you want. I believe that I am blessed beyond measure by God, and that it's very often the little things, like finding this dehydrator, that remind me of this. I don't deserve ANY of the many, many blessings I've been given in this life. But I receive them with thankfulness and praise to God. My cup runneth over.

May I never love the gifts more than the Giver.