Barefoot Dreamer

I had a dream this morning…the kind that stayed with me all day. I was at a lake, it was a lake up North. The water had a green hue to it and there were a pair of ducks hanging out. I acknowledged that I have been seeing and hearing mallard ducks lately, I even had a pair in my backyard Tuesday morning. I was talking to someone I couldn’t see. I noticed that I was barefoot and I had to restrain myself from putting my feet in the water, the thin layers of ice on the top of the water were the only thing that stopped me. I looked to the left and noticed a large tree with no leaves on the edge of the water. In that tree was a large eagle’s nest, it was partially hidden even without the leaves but I knew what it was. I got super excited when I realized that there were eagles in the nest.

I turned to get to my camera and there was a large wall of earth behind me. I was a little nervous but I put both elbows on the grass and pulled myself up. I could see my camera and when I reached for it I heard a voice say “sometimes it’s okay to just witness the magic.” So I laid in the grass and just watched as one of the eagles flew overhead. Then I woke up.

The barefoot thing has been coming up a lot lately. When I was out taking pictures last Saturday with my neighbor I kept thinking to myself “why did I wear tennis shoes? I wish I could take them off” It was pretty chilly this morning when the dog got stuck outside and I chose not to wear shoes when I went out to get her unstuck. My feet were pretty darn cold when I got back. I guess I am feeling the call to connect to the earth in a big way. Especially now that I am dreaming about it.

We are in the middle of a cold snap at the moment so it will be some time before it’s technically barefoot weather. The little chicks still don’t have all of their feathers so it will definitely be next month before they are outside full time. I am so glad that I found power by coffee pet bedding  I can’t believe how great it helps with the smell!! Of course you know I will figure out how to DIY it, especially since I have a coffee connection.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday, it’s been a heck of a week….Zia

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Absolutely Not!

At the end of the day yesterday a couple came in off of the street. I knew they didn’t belong and were up to no good but there was nothing I could do about it at the time. She tried to distract me by telling me she wanted to make an appointment. I sent her up to the front desk while her partner sat in optical. I went in my office to put away the statement I was in the middle of reconciling. I could hear him touching the frames. I immediately went back out….I was gone less than a minute.

I started straightening frames, etc. and I knew, he knew, that I knew, what he was doing. He didn’t care and I will never forget that shit eating grin he gave me. She came back from the front desk where I heard her declining to make an appointment at “this time” she walked right up to the frames closer to me and said “baby are these designer frames?” I looked at him and I looked at her and I said “yes, these are Vera Wang.” I stood there, not budging an inch. She looked at me and then looked at him and said “I will look when I have my appointment.” As they were walking out, I could see frames sticking out of his right short pocket.

I had to stop Force of Nature Girl from going after them. The young doctor snapped their picture while Force of Nature Girl banged on the window. I made her stop and call the police.The funny not funny thing is….these two were on foot. They moseyed down the street at their leisure. We could even see what street they eventually turned on…such balls!

My coworkers are amateurs and thought they could just leave. I stopped to talk to one of the doctors when I saw the police car pull up. Thankfully the brand new girl saw the police car and drove to the back and told Force of Nature Girl as well as Crude Girl so they came back in. I let the police officer in the door and told her I would tell her what I knew but I wasn’t filling out a police report. I have reached the life time quota on that so absolutely not! Since the other two came back in, it wasn’t an issue.

Today I had to identify them in a photo line up. Remember that shit eating grin? It made it easy peasy to identify him. His grin was cockroach-esque….that same level of evil. She wasn’t as easy but thankfully she had on a distinct set up with her mask. The pictures the young doctor took helped some too.

The funny not funny thing…they had just left the small jail at the police station up the street for shop lifting at a major retail store. We just happened to be on their walk home…jeez Louise! Such bullshit and it was their entitled attitude that made it all the worse.

THEN….my kids came home from their father’s and I found out that the grandmother made the Boy dispose of a robin’s nest…with eggs in it. That is against the law!!!! I would take a bird over a human any day and she just murdered baby birds. I am so upset about this! It’s bad enough that I have to listen to the wounded Girl daily as she no longer considers that woman her grandmother and that woman always has something to say…every…single…day. I have no respect for anyone who doesn’t respect nature….not that she ever deserved my respect but still…

The vermin are back next door, they even have a car that looks like it was in an accident hiding in their back yard. I won’t have them disturbing our lives or the lives of the chickens once they’re outside. The Girl has heard coyotes the last couple of nights. Even the woman who owns the sustainable shop in town who lives close to me asked if I heard them the last couple of nights. Now I need to worry about a coyote proof coop for my girls. The Girl is worried about the beagle but I don’t believe they would go after her and if they did we are always right there waiting for her to finish her business at night. The coyote is a trickster so I guess I need to figure out a way to trick the trickster.

I feel like predators are everywhere right now, literally and figuratively…..Zia


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Beyond Bothered

I talked to my aunt last night and it was a long one…almost three hours. I didn’t have any specific questions but we did talk a lot about food. All aspects of food really, growing, preserving, cooking, as well as recipes. It wasn’t until we started talking about family members that it got disturbing.

My cousin…the one who I unfriended on Facebook (when I had a real Facebook) after she discarded the sweet boy that she had been kicking around since high school. I think they had five or six kids together. Anyway…since then, she had a couple new kids with her new husband. They are currently separated.  My aunt told me that she went on Facebook and was horrified at what she saw. Apparently my cousin had a miscarriage. It was early on and if you have a weak stomach please stop reading now.

She posted pictures of a blood clot in the center of a white cloth. There was a ceremony of sorts. She held the blood clot and said some words. Every one of her kids held the blood clot while crying. Not only did she name the blood clot, she had people come over to release balloons and even ordered a tiny head stone. My aunt is concerned for her mental state.

I get it…everyone mourns in different ways. But seriously…she was pregnant for half a second. She’s not supposed to be having babies anyway. Of course she was told this after the first couple and she kept having babies, ignoring the doctor’s advice.  She’s an RN so she knows better, but you can’t tell her anything.

This led to a discussion about her mother, my other aunt…the one who changed my grandmother’s will. This aunt has four children and only treats one of them well and worse than that…she only treats that child’s children well. Did that sentence even make sense? Her youngest daughter (a cousin to me) is only two weeks older than The Girl. The youngest daughter had a baby at 14 or 15 which makes him about 8 or 9 now. My other aunt treats him horribly. She calls him names and tells him things like “you creepy little shit, you’re going to grow up and be a serial killer.” WTF? If my mother was alive she would put her baby sister in her place like no one else could.

This brought up a painful memory for my aunt. She told me that when she first brought my uncle home that my grandmother took a picture of my mother off of the table and said “this is a picture of my prettiest daughter.” My future uncle said “no ma’am I am marrying your prettiest daughter.” Good answer! Why would my grandmother do this to my aunt? My mom was long gone and in Ohio by then with at least two, maybe three kids. I’m not sure if they were married before my youngest brother was born? The words that haunt me the most were when my aunt said “I wish I knew why mom never loved me.”

It made me want to get in my car and drive seven hours just to give her a hug. If it wasn’t for the whole long distance driving thing, I might have just done that. Why would my grandmother do this to my aunt? I never saw this side of my grandmother so I was stunned. Both stories were a lot to take in.

Now my story about my neighbor and her friend telling me where there were wild violets seems less exciting. I picked them and made two batches of jelly and a simple syrup. The first batch of jelly didn’t set, the second one did and the simple syrup was a fail too. It was too sweet and I used honey instead of sugar which changed the color, so it wasn’t even pretty. I wasn’t too upset about the time I spent picking the violets that were a fail, but the twelve canning lids that were wasted…that hurt. It’s been a year, you would think that canning lids would be back by now.

It’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? All of it stayed with me through today….Zia

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Room For Discovery

The chicks are growing fast! Their nighttime crate was becoming very small and the clear plastic tote they stay in during the day was starting to become cramped. Someone gave me a suggestion…a playpen…which was genius!

I made my first Facebook Market Place purchase today. I was a little leery about going to her house but I did it anyway. It was a nice house in a good location plus I gave Big K and Force of Nature Girl the address and a half hour window to wait for my text. The young mother wasn’t too concerned and I was greeted by her 4-5 yr old daughter when I got there. I think her husband might own the business next door which explains her level of comfort.

The playpen was listed for $20.00. There was a tear but the young mother who was super friendly attempted to stitch it up. I think I will go back over it for good measure. Except for the tear it was in great condition…clean…no smells, etc. She even gave me the suggestion of buying a fitted crib sheet to fit over the top after she found out why I was buying it. That was a great idea and will help stop the chickens from trying to escape. However…it does not stop the cat who has already tried to land on the sheet once. He freaked out, the chicks freaked out, I yelled…it wasn’t pretty.

This will be their last temporary home until their coop is ready and it’s warm enough. It will be nice to not have to take them from their small cage up to the bathroom. Although I will miss them running around while I am getting ready in the morning, it is better this way. They have room always now, not just when I take them out. Don’t get me wrong, I will still take them outside, there just won’t be shuffling from one container to the next. I put a giant heavy duty lawn bag over the mat in the bottom so I am hopping to be able to whisk broom and dust pan the pine shavings to get rid of their poo. Fingers crossed this works because it will be easier and save me beaucoup time.

I thought I knew the pecking order but after watching them for a bit in their new habitat, I’m not so sure. My first instinct is to yell “hey! no fighting in there!”  Which I have done more than once. Now I am making myself observe more while I let them do their thing. If I could only figure out how to NOT have the cat do his thing? He is not a fan of the chicks.

I took the old crate and tote outside and gave them a good scrub. They should fit inside each other to take up less space. When I get new chicks next Spring I will have a system prepared that works. I want a Sapphire Gem next year, I already have a name picked out for her “Cussy Mary”. I just finished The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and wow…what a book! Cussy was the main character and if you have a chance you should read this book…it’s a good one. My pick for book club isn’t until October and I already let the group know that this will be my choice. I liked it that much….

I have checked almost everything off of my list today. I still have two breakfasts and two lunches to food prep, and I’ve been cooking down a ham bone all day. I don’t eat beans but I think I found a recipe for soup that will work without them? Fingers crossed…I’m about to find out. Have a great night….Zia




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What Do You See?

My dreams have been off the charts the last two nights!!! Last night’s were exceptionally disturbing… I was at work (not a familiar place) and I really liked my coworker, we were friends. I was looking for a specific tea and not finding it when a man came up and found it right away. We then sat down on wooden bleachers to watch the show. There was a magician and his young apprentice who were performing. I don’t remember anything about the show. The next thing I know I am on a grassy path and there is a woman. She has these mirrors all lined up and she starts spinning them and that’s when I heard the screams. My friend and coworker was trapped in one of the mirrors, as well as the tea man, the magician and the young magician with no words. She asked me how I was going to stop her? Once the mirrors were broken those inside would be lost forever.

That is all I remember…talk about disturbing! What in the world could that possibly mean? It stuck with me all day…  Saturday night was full of wild dreams as well. Lunch with an old coworker, a dentist cutting the grass in my backyard, his blonde wife reminded me of someone but I can’t remember who? Bees hovering in my face and then three down the back of my shirt, I wasn’t stung thank goodness. There was a hot Scottish guy and then Cockroach appeared. Lots of wildly randoms in my Saturday night dreams. Who knows what tonight might bring?

Today, work was work and it was definitely a Monday. I had more good patients than cranky ones so I can’t complain but there were moments….Zia

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One More Month

This applies to a few things…one thing is my Ancestry membership, I let it ride for one more month. I have found a lot and twice as much needs to be verified, one month isn’t enough…at least for me. Talking to my aunt every other week helps me too. I recently joined an Appalachian group on my secret Facebook and that also keeps me interested.

My aunt talked about a stack cake that my grandma used to make with dried apples and molasses. Someone posted this on the FB Appalachian group and there were a ton  of comments. There are many different recipes on this page which gave me an idea…I think I am going to start trying some of these recipes but in a paleo type way. We will see….but it seems like a good way to connect with the ancestral energy that I seem to be experiencing.  It’s a thought….

The baby chicks are growing pretty quickly! I am currently looking for a playpen for the chicks to live in for the time being. I figure about another month before they have their feathers and it’s warm enough outside for them to transition to a coop. When I was sold the giant bag of pine shavings I was told it would last three months or so, they did not know about my nose. I am more than halfway through the bag and these are St Patrick’s Day chicks!

Yesterday I ran to the farm where I buy my eggs. They were having a “rent a chick” program and one of the girls at work was interested. She was hanging out with Force of Nature Girl and couldn’t pick up the chicks and asked me if I would for her. It was no big deal to me so I said yes. I had no idea she wouldn’t be picking them up until after 6:30pm!! These were little meat chicks and they needed to be under the heat lamp. I don’t leave the house with the heat lamp on so the Girl and I were home for the day. We did get a lot accomplished that we most likely would not have attempted if we were running errands….but still.

My life seems to be revolving around baby chickens….mine and the borrowed ones as well. The beagle is still in mom mode and was confused when the new little nuggets were picked up. I was sent a video with the baby chicks and my coworker’s kids and the beagle was on high alert and started looking for them…she is a nervous chicken mom.

I can’t say that I blame her….those little meat chicks just pass out wherever they are. More than once I thought one of them died only for them to just pop up like they were playing dead. I was so glad when she picked them up! My four chicks are layers and they don’t behave that way. It was a learning experience for us all.

I have discovered a new Youtube channel that I can’t seem to stop watching…Appalachia’s Homestead.  Patara is pretty awesome as well as down to earth. I have learned quite a bit and I have only been watching for an hour or so. It’s very inspiring! While I don’t have a homestead, I do know….start with where you are and work with what you have….Zia

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April Fool’s Day

Mother Nature had the last laugh today…..

A lot of people were complaining but the way I look at it….the Forsythia plants were brighter and the buds on the trees were more prominent. Sometimes a late snow with the cloudy skies is the perfect backdrop to illuminate the early signs of Spring. Fingers crossed that tonight it won’t get too cold…lots of trees are in bloom right now. I think it will be okay but I’m not an expert.

The only thing I’m an expert at these days is cleaning up chicken poop, but that’s okay. They crack me up! You should hear the pitter patter when I leave them and run downstairs…they sound like every little mini monster in a bad B horror movie. I’m mostly sure I have the pecking order figured out but I’m still observing.

There’s not a whole lot to do in the bathroom when the chicks are having their free time. I blog or go on I have started to play some music on my phone when I am on my laptop and I think it’s funny how they have the songs they like. They really like Rising Appalachia “Cuckoo”, Fleetwood Mac “Landslide” and Rising Appalachia “Resilient” …not the official video.. a clip in a winery. They are pretty picky these birds of mine.

Has anybody else been having wild dreams the last couple of nights? Bright lights but not lightning…smoldering trees with no fire? Spirits in the attic (spirit guides?) coming down into the living space (every day world?) I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that one? It feels like lots of messages but I’m not sure I am understanding them? I try not to stress about it? I’ll get what I need, when I need it.

There has been a lot more this week but for some reason I am having writer’s block in the bathroom? Maybe tomorrow I will have the Girl sit up here for a bit and then I can write some words….Zia


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Flight School

In one of the chicken books that I picked up from the library it said that chickens can live comfortably for the first month or so in a small crate or a box…not my peeps! Every morning when I get ready in the bathroom I let them out so they can run free.

The bathroom is the best choice because it is the easiest to clean and I can keep the cat out. The Barred Rock and the Rhode Island Red are bigger than the other two and like to run and flap their wings getting a little lift. Monkey see, monkey do…the Americauna and the Australorp run as fast as they can while flapping their wings and nothing, it’s pretty cute.

This morning when it was time to put them back in their oversize plastic tote, they were all four nestled together on my right foot. I felt bad disturbing them, plus it was super cute. Now I’m sitting on the toilet (lid down) with my feet propped up on the plastic tote while they are running around. Tomorrow it will be nice enough to take them outside for a little bit.

Not only do I want them to be used to being handled…I want them to be happy. It’s not like they can tell me but still… I want them to know there is more to life than just laying eggs. I am sure I have generations of ancestors who are putting their palms to their foreheads asking “why are there chickens IN the house? It’s not like I have a little homestead so this will have to do until they get their feathers and I get my coop.

The smallest chick is the Black Australorp and she will grow to be a regal beauty. I wanted to name her Black Betty so I can sing “bam ba lam” to her but in this world….it’s not a good idea. I even mentioned it to a patient last week who has chickens. She made a face and I said “that face you just made, that’s the reason I didn’t name her that.” It’s a sad world when you can’t name a chicken after a song. I ended up naming her after the dark queen of the enchanted forest who was one of my favorite characters from Once Upon a Time.

That was something I wanted to talk about on Friday before the Classic editor fiasco. Thankfully that’s resolved for the time being. Whoa…incoming…maybe I should have named this post “blogging with chickens”?  It’s good though…they need their exercise. I think I need to buy a folding chair, this is not a comfortable situation and they are not even two weeks old. I think I will be blogging from the bathroom for a bit. They are worth it though…I am completely attached to them.

Today was pretty busy at work, hopefully tomorrow will be a bit more chill. The weather is supposed to be beautiful….Zia

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I’ll Take It!

It might be a temporary fix but I’ll take it!!! I received a tip to view this post  and it worked!! I am very grateful to Ray for the tip and to Maggie for the detailed “how to” post.

After almost nine years (the other day I mistakenly thought it was 10) you’d think I would be better at this?  Clearly, I am not and yet, it doesn’t stop me from showing up.

Just like today when I stopped at the eagle’s nest….

I couldn’t get the right angle around that branch but it doesn’t matter….I saw the eagles, I took a picture, even if it’s not the best…it never gets old. I had a nice conversation with two people while I was there. One was a professional photographer and one a hobbyist like me. We shared eagle stories and talked about other nests. It was the best fifteen/twenty minutes of my day.

I did most of my weekly running around solo today because the Girl went to the outlets with her friends. I was able to wander through the stores unchecked so I was out longer than normal. I didn’t buy anything extra, I just took longer looking around.

I felt bad for the baby chicks home alone so we spent some time out in the yard after I came home. They tuckered out pretty quick and hopefully they won’t be up when they should be down. When I’m done here, I’m going to take them upstairs to the bathroom so they can run around a bit. I know they “technically” don’t need a big space to run around but I feel better when they do. I found it interesting that they pretty much stayed around me when we were outside. It works in my favor since there is only one of me and four of them.

Someone shared a new song with me today. If Metallica had a baby with Bluegrass, this is how it would sound. I kind of like it….  The Girl thinks the lead singer looks a little like Jason Momoa…I don’t see it.

That was my day today…Zia


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Where is My Classic Editor?

WordPress, what’s up? Where is my classic editor? Are you taking a cue from our government and taking away my choices? I’m not loving it! Honestly….I am going to have to think long and hard about this. I have tossed the idea around of going to another site, maybe this is the push I needed? I had a whole lot to say but I seem to have forgotten everything in my utter disappointment….Zia

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