Saturday, December 27, 2008

hennys... hennys....

My guinea hens have been my "tragic-joy".. I never really liked birds, I appreciate them, but never liked them. I like seeing the birds fly about the field on a summer's eve, I like hearing birds singing in the morning, I appreciate fresh eggs, and bug control, but for me and birds, that's about it. UNTIL my guinea hens... now you all know about Ed and I trying to wrangle them in at night... trying to get them out of tall pine trees, making sure that they are safe from hunters of the night... and the fact that I am down to five of the seven... makes me pretty protective of them. Well, on the 23rd... two of my hens actually spent the night outside. For the most part, they stay in now, they don't like the snow, but that day, two went out, and somehow couldn't figure how to get back inside. The last I saw of them was in a tall pine... since I have been thru this before with one or two of them... I simply gave up and hoped they would make it thru the night.
The next morning (Christmas eve day)... one hen had at least found her way to the top of a closer tree. The hens inside kept calling to her, but she would only answer back and not attempt to get out of the tree. I don't know if she didn't want to be in the snow, or she didn't know where her friends were... but I ended up shooing the three outside, and when she saw them... she flew from the tree and joined them. This of course, still left one outside, but the day was bright and sunny and I figured she would eventually come in. During the afternoon, we began to get rain... and then the wind began to blow. Christmas eve we ended up having quite a storm, the wind blew very strong (enough to knock the power out for five hours!!!) and I was quite certain that the one lone guinea hen would be blown away.
Christmas morning when I checked in at the barn, Betty said she thought she had heard a hen outside somewhere, and when we opened up the stall doors, there she was. I couldn't believe she had made it thru the wild night!!!! I was pretty happy to see her.
Today, Ed and I came up with a way of fencing the henny's in their stall. It meant taking chicken wire and closing off the top of the stall, so they can't fly out. It was a difficult job!!! but we managed to do it. Beside from being able to completely lock them in, it will also help keep the barn cleaner... they are birds, and you know they don't care where or when they poop... so they have made a big of a mess. I feel much better tonite knowing that I can (for the most part) control them, or at least once I get them in their stall, they'll stay there.
I'm not sure they're so happy about it... but... too bad!!!!!

and so it is Christmas....

If the truth were to be told, I was actually "dreading" Christmas a little this year. There have been so many changes this past year, and not being in "my" house for the holidays, I really wondered "how I would do with that". Please don't misunderstand me, I love being on our farm (well almost on our farm) and I am beyond thrilled that Kas and Nate now live here, and not only do we see them often, I don't have to worry about them making that long trip back to North Carolina..... and as much as I try to tell myself that "I handle change well"... I don't!!! But I am happy to report that Christmas was just wonderful.

The day started out with Betty calling me from the barn (because we were running late and hadn't gotten that far!!!) to say that she had all the horses fed and mucked out!!!! She said it was a Christmas present to herself to spend time with the horses and a have few quiet moments in the barn. Not only was that a wonderful surprise, but it caught us back up on time!!! We then went to Kassy's and Nate's for Christmas breakfast with the family. This is something that Ed and I had been doing for the past 20 or so years, so it was so nice to have the same tradition.

I was able to hang the kids stockings by the fireplace, as I have always done, and just being "home" felt really good. We opened gifts together with the kids and the Flagg's.. and just had a "non-rushed" morning together.

From there, we went to my parent's house to visit with them and my sister's and nieces... again, a tradition that we have done for many years. The kids came with us and visited for awhile before going onto other extended family's homes.

My Mom has been collecting Santa's for many years, this is a picture of part of her collection. It takes her a whole day to get them all out and set up!!!

And what is Christmas without kids. Well, we have kids, but they are all big now, so it is just wonderful to have our little niece, Naomi, to spoil and watch. Being just 2, she really didn't "get it" this year, but we spoiled her just the same.

When she arrived with my sister, she was sound asleep, so Rachel laid her down on the bed. But after an hour or so, we just had to wake her up to open gifts!!!! (meanies!!).... I am sure my sister would have been just as happy to have her napping, but we couldn't stand that!!!! Fortunately, she had enough sleep that she woke up happy and was ready to open her gifts.

I am glad to see this "child being brought up right!!!" She got a "my little pony" as a gift and fell in love with "her" right away. I asked her if she was named Mocha, but Naomi quickly said..."NO, auntie Sue... it's my little pony!!!"... oh well, I tried!!!I told her to bring her pony up to visit Mocha and she said.."ok, I will"....

After that, it was time to think about heading home. The day had zipped by for me, but I had doggies waiting at home, and horses waiting to be brought in... and in both cases, I am sure it was a long day for all of them. So home we came, got everyone "taken care of" and spent the evening quietly together. A nice ending for a very nice day. And I can't help but think of next year, and the idea that we will be in the new house and settled in on the farm....I hate to say it, but it will be here before I know.