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Thanks for the links and ideas. I was out of town (!!!! ) for 10 days. I've had my shots and was 2 weeks out. My sister had been on mom duty for a solid year. Mom is wonderful...but being each other's main contacts for a solid year was a bit much. My sister makes good money and had rented a condo in Santa Fe to "work from home" from there for a month. SHe also had a plane ticket she'd had to cancel a year ago. So, much as I hate to take charity from my baby sister, I went and had a wonderful time. Mom her shots (well one of them...) as well. I stayed in the living room with a kiva fireplace. It was really nice to see them and new things. We did outside things like hiking at Tsankawi cliff dwellings and Bandelier National Monument (were I worked in 1984 on an archaeology dig...good lord I'm old!!). We hung out with my elderly aunt a bit (one shot, and so we masked up) and her artist friends who were fully vax'd. They took mom and my sister and I through the mountains in the area. They are members of a local pueblo and shared some amazing history and stories. The restaurants there were really good at spacing people out and using outdoor space. SInce my sister was the only one at major risk, and she wanted to go, we did. She worked about half the days from the master bedroom with a view of mountains and I hung out with Mom and talked to her. My aunt drove in most days for time on the balcony enjoying the view. It was interesting how different the visit was but kind of the same....too much food, too much relaxing but lots more hiking and walking outside. It was strange to be in Santa Fe and see NO traditional vendors at the palace of governors on the main plaza. THe Pueblos are still locked down/closed. They all, that we saw on our drives and hikes, have concrete barriers, signs and guards at the entrances to the communities. So if anyone left to sell on the plaza, they wouldn't be allowed back in. Hard choices have been made.

With all that, we did have a great time. SOme museums were opening up with timed appointments, masking, distancing. I actually LOVED that. We went to the Georgia O'Keefe, IAIA and a few more. It's the first time in years I've been to a museum where people were QUIET!!!! and really focussed on the art or other exhibits. I miss that. Didn't do much shopping other than the sunday artist market (limited capacity, doors open, people outside, masked, distanced and so on). Also the farmers market...same system as the artist market....lots of space and air.
Did find pinon (pine nuts) at ONE highway stand. Wrong season and turns out most of the harvesters are pueblo folks. So they may be harvesting but aren't coming in to sell. Cost me 3x what it cost last year (I was in Santa Fe just a week before lock down in 2020 so had an interesting direct comparison).

My colleague at work is fully vax'd, so is his wife and grampa so he's taking a few days to go see grampa who hasn't had a good visit in a year. Lives 8 hours away. The kids will be kept outside and at a distance as much as possible but the impact of no visits is as hard on health as anything at this point maybe.

My mom and sister have 2 or 3 more weeks in SF but I'm home. People on the airplanes were mostly well behaved but there is a demographic who will NOT wear a mask. I do, vaccine or not. People don't need to spend their mental energy wondering why I am not masked and, well, it's a free country. If I want to wear a mask for the rest of my life, that's allowed. I probably won't but it is handy not worrying about whether I have stuff in my teeth or boogers. It also keeps me from biting my nails.

Anyway, I had folks baby sitting the chickens and they kindly parked vehicles here off and on so things look good and no evidence of trespassers. The chickens had 11 eggs in the coop when I got home! Must be getting 5 or 6 a day. I borrowed a larger hanging feeder, and a little seasonal creek is running by the coop, so the baby sitters didn't have to come every day. They put a golden plastic easter egg in one of the nest boxes. Very funny...the hens are not convinced!
I am still cheap despite my luxury vacation (which was 90% mooched from my sister) because as I drove home I noticed piles of woodchips by the side of the road. THe next day I took a rubber tub with me to work and picked some up for the coop and the garden...that's a good 50cent savings!


The Tribe gave us the whole day off today (good friday?) but I have work meetings on zoom that hopefully I can do from home. Plenty of chores like turning 2/3 of the big garden and cleaning out the lower garden a bit, finding sticks for garden labels, and cleaning the coop.


Sorry for the long post! I don't post when I'm on vacation. I kept up with exercise and yoga, but nothing else from my daily routines. HOpe you all have a good easter if you celebrate it.
 

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That sounds like a wonderful trip! All things I'd love to see. I've never been to the Southwest.

I think I know which demographic you're referring to. 🤬🤬🤬

CDC put out new travel guidelines today for people fully vaxxed and 2 wks past final jab. Bottom line for us seems to be, in 3 wks we will be free to move about the country again! Things are slowly improving.
 

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SD: enjoy moving about!

I was on a zoom meeting today and think I heard a hen showing off after laying an egg...UNDER the wee shed. I guess there is no point putting on clean clothes if I have to crawl around sealing up whatever holes they made in the fencing to get underthere. and find the eggs.
 

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We plan to! The camper thinks we retired it, so we're hoping to get it out again soon.

Enjoy your Easter egg hunt. (Kidding.) I don't envy you that task. I'm sure it will be almost as much fun as the day we had to change the fuel pump on the motorhome, laying on the ground underneath it during an epic army worm infestation. The stuff of nightmares.
 

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that sounds like a lovely vacation! to see all the museums and family. I agree mental health and seeing some people is a must. yes those people are all over the world.
 

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ew...army worms!
Martha: I keep reading that mental health, and maternal/newborn health has suffered during the pandemic. I really hope people are able to find support. I'm going out of my way with my vaccine to try to support those who haven't had it or choose not to get it for their own reasons. It's a bit of a strain on my introvert nature...like teh artist friends in Santa Fe who kept hugging me. but I understand that they can't hug their real relatives and I'm just a substitute for them. Trying to visit elders in the community more too. Tiring but the extraverts have had a hard year so now maybe it's my turn!

Off to my egg hunt. I have a child's size rake that works well for egg retrieval in tight spaces, but I still have to lay down in mud and/or poo
 

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army worms!! never heard of that! Family is nice but know some older folks who are still mobile are well at this point don't care...and if you are 94 well their choice but still careful. like my neighbour in her 80s doesn't see a lot of people anyways and so by xmas was come over. but then we talk but don't hang out all the time anyways. and was her grandson that was the one who got covid etc by not caring so ... we look good! life is always a balance.

Maggie thought of you when ds came home and said did you know our neighbour at the end of the block on corner have chickens. said is that why they put up that fence. solid 6ft high..so people can't see and coyotes can't. apparently the chickens were fussing over a coyote when ds was around so how he knows. and some other people close by too. said have told dh that the old raised playhouse would make perfect pen lol just floor left so just a nesting area and chicken wire needed lol dh is noooo. but one day it will happen.
 

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The army worm infestation was epic. We almost crashed our van because so many got smashed on the road it was like driving on ice. They spun little invisible strands so they'd be hanging in midair where we could get a face full of them. They made coccoons everywhere, all the buildings, all over the trees, on cars, anywhere. They ate and killed all kinds of vegetation. They stunk when they got smashed, and it was impossible to avoid walking on them. They stained clothes and other things if they got smashed on them. The only ones who enjoyed that summer were the bears. It was a horror movie in real life.
 

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M: love the idea of a playhouse chicken coop!!!! So many opportunities for amusing adaptations. Go for it!
SD: GROSSS!!!! I HATE running into anything web-like with my face. I get flashbacks of my childhood basement in the midwest when we'd hit spiderwebs in the half-dark (saving money on electricity apparently).

So, I'm having a real-world easter egg hunt. The blue-egg laying hen is seriously hiding those eggs! Crawled around looking under the shed where I heard a hen cackling after laying an egg...nothing. Checked all the piles of straw on erosion issues (sometimes they lay in there) and the random tarps laying around (sometimes they lay under those) and nothing so far. Cripes.

For fun, I made some neon green boiled eggs. I'm not a big easter person, but wanted to make deviled eggs later and have tons of eggs to eat even without the blue ones, and I found some green food coloring I forgot I had. So, I boiled up the white eggs with green food coloring. They are quite pretty really. I used a pan that is enameled and black on the inside so I didn't have to worry about staining it. Of course, I stuck my finger in the egg water to see if it was cooled off and now have a green finger and finger nail.

The green boiled eggs are easier to identify than when I don't use food coloring so I might keep using a bit of food coloring until I run out. I don't have anything else to use it on anyway.

I did clean out the coop this morning and use woodchips I found along the road on the floor. Smells good! Piney. While changing it, I found a HUGE egg...clearly at least 2 yolks. And a banty sized egg, but brown and my banty lays white eggs. So I have an over achiever and an under achiever. The roosters were fighting again too. Need to get rid of one of them. A friend wants one but doesn't want to come get it and I won't be near her place for weeks. We'll see...might have soup before then. She wants the nicer rooster, but if I do soup, it will be the meaner one.
 

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wow that sounds so gross! only thing close to that is those inchworm things that we walk into hanging off a tree from a thread but birds get them so not too many. that is a cool idea for the eggs. ouch poor hen lol

lol no playhouse anymore that was taken down cus over one winter the raccoons used it as a poop place. kept the roof take off shingles and turned them straight up so the slats were vertical. put one at the back and one at the side corner to help block neighbours view. want to put grapes or something up will see. the floor is a roof now.
 

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Well, Clyde, my lesser rooster, has a new home!

He was getting beaten up by the older bigger rooster (who has giant talons) and Porky, the aging and HUGE barred rock hen.

My friend/yoga-teacher had been wanting him since last fall for her bickery hens but we just hadn't made it work. I finally put my mind to it and she met me at the laundromat which saved me 20min of driving. I caught Clyde on his way out of the coop yesterday morning and stuffed him in a filing box. Taped it shut REALLY well and we were off. Chickens are surprisingly calm in the dark so it seems to work better to use a vented cardboard box than my cute chicken hauler. Also, he's too big now for the little hen hauler I made out of an old beehive box.

My friend sent a picture and video of him in his new home:
58408


the video is red because his new home is HEATED! also fully fenced yard and some dogs so he won't be expected to deal with predators as much (dogs not in with chickens). The bigger rooster here, Fabio (muscley idiot with a blond mane that flows in the wind), likes a fight and seems to do better with predators...hopefully.

Pearl, my white leghorn...great layer!, was bleeding all over the coop a few days ago! I found this out at night when I was checking on them. They were fully bedded down and she didn't seem distressed. My coop is tiny and I can't get in there while it is winterized (screwed the mobile door shut so it would be so windy), so I didn't try to make her leave as that would have been more traumatizing. Just saw a blood spot on her belly but figured it was NOT her period.
THe next morning when she came out I saw she has 3 piercings through her comb! Not peck marks like a chicken fight. Piercings like something with LARGE talons grabbed her and she got away. Dang! She was completely calm and the cuts were clean as a whistle so I left it alone. Fabio often tears her giant comb up while doing his business and it heals up. I wouldn't choose a hen with such a large floppy comb but these are free giveaway chickens. And she seems to not be bothered by it all. Anyway, she's healing up fine.

I am once again, after a 3 week break...getting blue eggs IN the coop. Pru must have been hiding them somewhere. Some day I will come across a big pile of them. I have looked everywhere and nothing. I did find one of Porky's giant double yolkers by the woodpile. Not in a next or straw. Just plopped on the ground. She's old. Maybe the o-ring is no as snug as it should be? Like when I sneeze and pee a little? Maybe she sneezed and the egg just popped out.

Gertrude, the one with all the character, has been oddly subdued. I hope she's not saving up shenanigans for the future.
clyde.jpg
 
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