04/07/07 to 05/06/07
My Easter chick rental went well.  On Saturday, April 7th, I rented out all 10 chicks
that had hatched, and made $90.00.  Then late Saturday and early Sunday we
had 4 more hatch so we, uh, I mean Sam, had some to play with.  We ended up
with one Serama from the Ebay eggs, and three from our own flock.  That was all
that hatched, out of almost 60 eggs, we got 14.  What a bummer.  Here is the size
difference between the Serama and our chick.  Just look at the feet.  Wow!  We
named the Serama "Flower" and the other one in the picture is "Hatch."   
Here is Flower taking a nap on Sunday evening.
On Tuesday, 4-10, we decided to let Sam get accustomed to guarding the chicks.  
He couldn't understand why Richard kept holding him back.  He really wanted to
cuddle one of the soft babies.  
(Mo, Wobble, Hatch and Flower)
After being loved and squeezed and taken to show-and-tell, the first 4 rented chicks
came home on Wednesday.  The only one of the four that we had named was our
first to hatch, Big Tex, and he came home renamed "Banana."  They also returned
Sparkle, Tiger and Lily.  

Sam quickly became bored with the 8 chicks and would wander around the house
yowling.  Richard spent a lot of time outside setting up a bird buffet for me.  He is
building a slat roof over our back deck, and set the main cross beam so I could
hang feeders.  I have started getting a ton of birds!  So I don't bore those of you who
don't care about birds, I'll put them on a new page.  
Click here to see the awesome
birds of Rambler's Roost.

On Sunday, April 22nd, after Sam had annoyed us all weekend with his mournful
howls and bored yowls, I finally convinced Richard that we needed  to get him a cat.  
We went to Wayside Waifs, interviewed about 20 of the 200 cats, and decided on
one they had named Sheena.  Then they wouldn't let me adopt her!!  I had put on the
application that I wanted her to be an indoor/outdoor cat.  First they tried to counsel
me that I was bad, and shouldn't let the cat outside.  I suppose I could have lied and
said they were right, and I wouldn't, but damn, I shouldn't have to do that to "rescue"
a cat.  They said I couldn't adopt her, I threw a fit, the women who had helped me
pick her out came to my defense, there was a big fuss, and they said I should come
back to get her the next day when the supervisor was there.  I sent Richard, he told
them what they wanted to hear (he's a lot better a that than I am) found out the
woman who wouldn't let me adopt her was no longer working there, and came home
with our new cat.  
Well we couldn't let her keep such a silly  name as Sheena, so we started trying out
all kinds of names.  We started with Cindy (she has a mark on her lip, a la Cindy
Crawford,) Heidi (she kept hiding and slinking around the first few weeks,) Missy,
Miss Kitty, Girlfriend, Sasha, Shasta, and now today we're finally back around to
Cindy.  I thinks she is the worlds most beautiful cat.  She was real thin when we got
her, this picture was taken several weeks later, after she quit hiding, started loving
us, and plumped up.
We had found a perfect, playful cat to be Sam's buddy.  And she tried to be his
friend too, but Sam decided he didn't need a friend anymore.  He was trying to be
an independent boy, but that yowling would still sneak in every now and then,
enough to teach our quiet new cat Cindy to yell at us.  Great.

On Wednesday, April 25th, one of the chicken renters, Karen, called me to say that
the other chicken renter, Bobbi, had taken her chicks outside over the weekend,
and they had mysteriously died Monday and Tuesday.  Karen had already lost one
of her three chicks (early on it wasn't acting right, so she took it to the vet!!  He said
it had a birth defect and needed to be put to sleep.  She cried for days.  At least the
vet didn't charge her, sheesh, renting chickens is harder than I thought!!)  Karen
didn't want to lose the other two, and the death of Bobbi's three chicks made her
decide it was time to return them.  Richard left for Texas Thursday morning, and
Karen brought the chicks back to me Thursday afternoon.  So now I was in charge
of 10 smelly chicks who needed to be transferred in and out every day plus have
their box cleaned, two cats that wouldn't play with each other, but both wanted all my
attention, 2 goats that need milked twice a day, 4 in total that needed fed, watered,
and entertained, and 12 hens to feed, water and gather eggs from, and one nasty
Rooster to try to avoid.  I guess that wasn't enough work, because I decided that
while Richard was gone I would do some of the remodeling that I had put on his
Honey-Do list so long ago.  
I had the bathroom all torn out when he called me on Sunday, April 29th, to tell me
he had found some new friends for Sam, but he didn't know what they were.  Great.  
He was supposed to be down in Texas working, and now he had found some
critters to play with!
He had been cleaning up near the barn, and had found a piece of plywood laying on
the ground.  He picked it up and found a nest of what he first thought were pack
rats.  You remember how much trouble we had with pack rats?  He was going to
dispatch them, but took a closer look and decided they couldn't be rats.  They had
just opened their eyes, were grey-black, with short stubby ears and short stubby
tails and flat faces.  He grabbed two, carried them up to the house, and called me.  
We speculated about what they could be, with him describing them and me looking
on-line, describing back to him what the baby pictures of our suspected critters
looked like.  We thought possum, rat, even armadillo.  (I know, it sounds crazy, but I
figured it was possible that armadillos weren't born with that shell.  Poor mama
armadillo!  My web search proved that armadillos are indeed born with shells.)  I
suspected that, with our luck, they were possums, but we finally decided they were
probably grey foxes.  I told Richard he should go put them back, but it was late, and
he still wanted to play with them, so he didn't.  
The next day he discovered that the mom critter had come and taken away the
remaining two critters during the night (BIG surprise right?)  I told Richard he should
still go leave his critters and see if mama would come get them too, but he still
wanted to play with them.  You know where this is going by now right?  Yup, to town
he went to buy baby bottles.  So much for getting anything done down there!

He actually got a scare on May 1st or so, when a tornado touched down just a few
miles from our land.  He knew it was coming, and the neighbors had called to tell
him to get down off our little hill, but he was slow about it, and saw the tornado as he
was driving out!  That would have made his clean-up project go a lot faster!

While he was down in Texas playing with unidentified critters and running from
tornadoes, I was here doing pre-remodeling demolition.  I had done a fabulous job
tearing stuff out, and was ready to start painting on Saturday, May 5th, when I
remembered that I don't paint.  Seriously, I'm really bad at painting.  So I threw away
the soggy paint roller, and thought about calling a painter.
Sunday, May 6th, it was still raining, hard.  I went into the basement and discovered
a soggy mess.  After realizing I can't put the house back together by myself,
wearing myself out doing all the chores morning and night for weeks, and then
finding the basement with little rivers running through it, I decided it was time to call
for back-up.  Being the great guy that he is, Richard packed up his critters (which
he had pretty much decided were foxes) and headed home to rescue me.