Chicken Run

It feels like I haven’t written in forever. Mostly it’s because I began to have problems with my laptop overheating a couple of weeks ago. After only a couple of minutes, I could feel the heat building up and almost burning my fingers. I was afraid that it would cause a meltdown so I ended up taking my laptop to a repair shop. They “blew out” the accumulated dust, crumbs, and cat hair. I told them that most of the icons on my taskbar had disappeared and the others didn’t work, so they kept my laptop. Fortunately, EJ let me use his laptop when he was at work or sleeping so I wasn’t completely without the use of a computer.

The repair shop “refreshed” my laptop which basically means that they took it back to its factory settings. They said that most of the programs I had installed would be gone, but I’d still have my photos and documents, which is what I cared mostly about. When I got my laptop back a few days later, however, all the photos, videos, and documents were gone. 😦 No, I hadn’t backed them up because every time I tried, JJ would complain that my uploading was affecting his ability to get online.) I was sad that everything was gone–although I still had the stuff I had uploaded to FB and this blog. I remembered after a bit that my computer had two accounts (a glitch that happened when Windows 10 was downloaded and installed) and I realized that the laptop was automatically signing onto the other account rather than the account that had my photos. With the help of Microsoft Tech Support, I was able to sign on to the other account and–Yay!–all my photos and everything was still there! Tech support also helped me delete the other account so it won’t be a problem again. I’ve been busy trying to reinstall my various programs and such. I still have a few small problems which I will contact Tech Support about to help me resolve.

Now I am uploading my photos to the “cloud” to back them up. I think JJ now realizes the importance of my doing so.

We have accepted an offer on our old house! With all the effort and money we have poured into the old house, it is disappointing at how little we are selling it for. However, at least we won’t have money going the wrong way–on utilities, lawn care, and our loan. The buyer is paying cash for the house, so I won’t be totally relieved until we actually have the check in our hands–because I know things can always go wrong. Every time I see a severe storm warning for that area, I find myself praying that it doesn’t damage the house and prevent the sale. Meanwhile, we have taken several trips downstate to get the rest of our possessions out of the house. Mostly they are EJ’s tools and other stuff that was in the basement or garage. Some of the items were large–such as toolboxes, file cabinets, ice fishing sleds, etc. which took up space in our vehicles so we have had to made multiple trips. The only items left in the other parts of the house was our elliptical, treadmill and some old bookcases. We gave the treadmill and bookcases to our neighbors the last time we were at the house so we didn’t have to try to transport them. It’s very exhausting to drive several hundred miles to the house, work for several hours, and then drive back and unload everything. We will be totally relieved to get out from under the burden of the house and to cut our ties with the life downstate.

My Rooster Whacker
My Rooster Whacker

After I read that the chickens consider me part of their flock, and that sometimes the Alpha chicken (usually a rooster) will try to seize dominance over their human member, and that it’s important that we don’t let him because he will turn mean and attack, I carry a cane with a rubber “foot” on it whenever I go into the pen. I call it my “rooster whacker.” Whenever it looks as if the Alpha rooster is getting a little sassy and rebellious, I give him a gentle but firm push to let him know that he is NOT the boss. So far he’s been pretty good. EJ jokes that I’ve become a “sadistic guard” but I really don’t hurt the rooster at all. They are much harder on each other than I am on them. It really is in the rooster’s best interest to learn to not sass because if he turns mean….! His fate will not be good.

Last week as we were putting the birds to “bed” for the night, one of the younger chickens sort of half flew, half climbed partway up the side of the cage. Afterwards, the roosters kept looking up as if they were plotting their escape. I thought, “Oh, my goodness, they really do plot to escape just like in the Dreamworks movie Chicken Run! EJ and I realized that we needed to put netting over the top ASAP to prevent their escape. We hadn’t yet gotten any netting so we used the snow fencing we had bought to put up along our driveway in the winter. I took this video while EJ was fastening the fence to the other side of the cage:

Last night I was late putting the birds to bed. I usually herd them into the garage at 9 p.m., but it was 9:30 p.m. before I realized that I hadn’t done it yet. So I went out to the garage and found that they had all put themselves to bed. The ducks were in the bottom of the coop and the ten chickens were all in the upper story of the coop. I laughed and closed the large garage door.

Peeper, Cuddles, and some chickens.
Peeper, Cuddles, and some chickens.

We finally bought a swimming pool for our ducks. EJ built a nice wooden ramp for them so they could easily get into it…but they totally ignored it. So yesterday I dug a level shallow hole the size of the pool, set the pool into it, and used the extra dirt to build a dirt ramp around the pool, and then the ducks got into the pool. They quickly get the water dirty so I dump it out and refill it every day.

JJ has begun working in the deli at the grocery store. The deli people all really like him and kept asking that he work with them. He says he likes it. Today he texted me: “They [the manager] called me into the office and told me I was doing a fantastic job and that the night managers had nothing but good things to say about me, and to keep up the good work.” He said he got a 50 cent raise. Woo hoo!

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