EJ’s Autumn Birthday

Yesterday was EJ’s birthday. Well, not exactly. His birthday is actually in early Spring when the trees are still bare and there is often snow on the ground, but he declared that yesterday was his birthday because autumn is such a beautiful season with lots to enjoy.

Tunnel of Trees Route

Originally we were going to drive through the Tunnel of Trees, which is very beautiful in any season but especially in autumn. But EJ fell at work and hurt his knee last week, so we decided not to take any long drives. We heard today (from JJ’s girlfriend) that the traffic was bumper to bumper through the Tunnel of Trees yesterday because it’s such a beautiful scenic drive and the weather was awesome. We are quite glad we took roads less traveled.

We were going to just stay at home yesterday but then EJ saw at Facebook that a nearby ski resort was offering chair lift rides to see the autumn colors from higher up. We thought, hey, it’s close by and won’t take long so let’s just go and do it. So after looking up the location on Google Maps, we hopped in the Xterra and made our way there. We knew we were in the right place when we saw a long, long line of people stretched back, back, and out of sight toward the parking lot. I exclaimed “Oh my goodness! Look at all the people!” Then we saw that the line of people went under the bridge we drove across and stretched forward, forward, out of sight toward wherever the chair left was. We couldn’t see where the line began or where it ended. EJ said, “By the time we got on the chair lift, the leaves will all be gone from the trees!” So we both agreed to keep driving. We are both very flexible and don’t mind if we discard Plan A and go to Plan B, or C…or even K.

We meandered on winding roads through vividly colored forests to the town of Gaylord. The trees seemed especially vivid and beautiful this year. Since it was EJ’s sort of birthday, we stopped at Jay’s Sporting Goods. After EJ looked at the items he was interested in, we stopped to look at game/trail cameras. We’d love to have some for security and to see what wildlife goes through our property. We know very little about such cameras, but the salesman was very knowledgeable, and after we explained what we wanted, he helped us choose the best camera for us.  We didn’t buy it yesterday. We will buy it when we have some extra money.

Cops & Donuts

A Cops & Donuts bakery was next door to Jays–in fact, you can enter the bakery through Jays–so we went in and ordered pasties, coffee, and a donut each. This “precinct” isn’t as wonderful as the original bakery in Clare. The one in Clare has a lot of character, and a feeling of excitement, and the employees look like they really have fun and enjoy their jobs. The one in Gaylord is smaller, nondescript, and the employees didn’t look like they particularly enjoyed their jobs. I think when we go to Cops & Donuts, we will head for the one in Clare, even though that’s further. But we enjoyed our treat.

Protected Apple Trees

This morning–well, actually more like noon because we had a leisurely morning drinking coffee– EJ and I went outside and fenced in our six apple trees to protect them from the deer. We have three t-posts around each of tree. We measured how much fencing we needed, rolled out the fencing and cut it with wire-cutters, and then fastened the fencing to the posts. We didn’t fix the fencing to the posts permanently so we can take it down in the summer months.  I think that when the fences are covered in ice and snow this winter, it will make an interesting landscape.

Sassy Rooster checking out the new hens

JJ’s girlfriend stopped in this afternoon with her daughter and a friend to give us her two chickens. JJ had originally planned to come with her, but he had to work and isn’t feeling well. K was sad to give up her pets, but we told her she can come visit any time she wants.

Our coop is divided into two sections. The chickens are in the back section and the poultry supplies are in the front section. We are keeping the new chickens in the front section for a few days. The old and new chickens can see each other through the dividing fence, but can’t intermingle. This can help them all adjust to each other. Even so, I read that there will be some pecking and bullying when they are all put together as the chickens work out the pecking order, but it might be less severe to ease them into the flock.

After JJ’s girlfriend left, we went to the store. EJ put gas in the Suburban while I went into the store to buy a couple of items. We then went on to the hardware store because I can’t find my little paint roller so I needed to get another.

EJ putting the other hinge on the gate while the curious chickens watch.

Once at home, we banded the new hens with different colored bans, but we will need K. to tell us which one is Agnes and which is Inez (or is it Ines?). I gave the chickens fresh water and gathered eggs while EJ put the other hinge on the large garden gate, made out of a dog pen. I came into the house to do a few tasks while EJ did a little maintenance on the Suburban.

Finally, our tasks done, I made popcorn and hot cider. Hannah saw an opportunity and shoved her nose into EJ’s bowl. She got banished to the bedroom while we finish our popcorn in peace.

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