Of Grit and Bone 6/10/2017

Read this earlier post if you’re curious about the title (Of Grit and Bone)

Monday evening of this week I had an encounter with a raccoon.

Back story: We have (4) laying hens.  I separated one of them from the rest of the flock recently because they had started to  peck on her.   In case you’ve never been around chickens, they really do have a pecking order and they can be vicious.   The chicken they were picking on is my personal favorite. She is a broody hen….(the impulse to sit on her eggs until they hatch.) That trait has all but disappeared from most chickens. As chicken breeds have been genetically manipulated and bred for specific traits (ie. fast growing for meat, or designed to lay lots of eggs, etc) one of the  unintended consequences has been they have lost their motherly inclination… Things are not any better when it comes to the roosters… by and large, they  have forgotten how to do their courting and mating rituals and  become brutish….Historically, farm chickens would do courting and mating rituals (much like a prairie chicken or wild turkey).

It is really rather disturbing.

Anyway, I went out before dark to lock up the broody hen and there in the doorway to the hen-house, was a raccoon. It  ran into the small area with my broody hen sitting on the perch, not three feet above.  I’ve never heard such a scream, and I’ve been around plenty of raccoons over the years.  It sounded almost demonic. Another (5) minutes and the hen would have been history.  I ran back into the house to grab my 12 gauge, but by the time I returned, the raccoon had escaped into the bowels of the barn.


Thursday morning, I got sucked into the middle of a domestic dispute.   Husband and wife were going at each other right in front of me.…and in an unguarded moment, I said something to the wife. She looked so broken and humiliated and said something about him doing this in front of me…

That was a mistake.

I know better….

Yesterday morning I wound up in the ER.   Got nicked by my skill saw on my forearm.  Could have been much worse.  Forty five minutes and three staples later I was back in the saddle.

After my trip to the ER, I crawled  into a 4 ft high attic  to move loose, dusty  insulation.  Temperature was forecast to climb into the 90’s  so wanted to get that part of the project done while it was still cool.

It took the better part of two hours…..reminded me of my days on the farm mowing bales of hay.  You would be covered with dust and chaff…absolutely no air movement.

Good thing I love my job 🙂

This morning my siblings and I went out for breakfast with my parents.  Dad celebrated his 85th birthday today.  What a gift to still be able to hang out with both of my parents.  I don’t take it for granted we  get along.  That even came up in passing while we talked. One of the branches of our family is relatively well off financially, but lots of interpersonal conflict. Before the old man died, he owned  7 farms.  Take a 160 acres farm @ $8,000 an acre times (7)…you get the idea.

How was your week?

Describe it in 10 words or less.  DM

29 thoughts on “Of Grit and Bone 6/10/2017

  1. Let’s see how this goes– Debbie dog sat, job interviewed, and had her furnace condemned.
    Yes! Ten words exactly 🙂
    Incredibly glad the saw incident wasn’t worse.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh DM, what a question. We are due to be out of this place on July 11th. I will be going to the older daughters house where I will be sharing a room with one of the granddaughters until I can prove that I am not a credit risk and present evidence that I truly do have money to pay rent. Then there’s the issue that what I need may not be available…so I have an ever-enlarging list of possible places to consider spanning many more miles than I want to contemplate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think the answer’s yes. I didn’t know they nest in the ground, and I was in an undisturbed piece of property thick with dewberry vines, piles of mowed grass debris, and so on while taking photos. In short, I was in a place no one ever disturbs, even though it’s right in the middle of town. The bumble flew up from the ground, and that was it. They’re generally peaceful and don’t bother me at all, so I decided I must have come close to a nest. I even had on knee-high boots, and that bee knew it. It made straight for above the knee, and sent me running!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I had that happen on a construction job once…disturbed a nest of those stinkers in the ground. As I recall, I just got it once. It was scary. they are so much more aggressive than a honey bee. (and bigger)


    • Agree! For me, that season of my life felt like we were hacking our way through the Amazon Jungle…had a compass so I knew which general direction to move, but most of the time, could not see 10 ft in front of me….BUT eventually, I(we) did pop out into the clearing…to sum up those years in my life in a word….mentally exhausting….Always good to hear from you Lisa. DM


  2. That said, whoaaa! What a week! Glad you survived it and made it to the 85th birthday celebration and discussion. Sounds like some really good stuff on top of the tough stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great the saw incident wasn’t worse. I hit my thumb on it this fall, there was nothing to stitch. I only went to immediate care to get an antibiotic, since my nurse wife thought I had hit the bone.
    Yours sounds much worse, mine was a half inch chunk (still missing, I’ll add). I can’t see how you hit your forearm though? Glad you’re OK. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am right handed, but when it happened, I was on a step ladder, cutting through an existing roof…took the saw in my left hand to cut cross wise/ the blade caught and jumped out of the hole..I had chosen to used my older/ junk saw (because I didn’t want to beat up my good saw..well..the junk saw has a guide that doesn’t go back automatically…get the picture..so I had a wild saw in my left hand and my right forearm just happened to be in the way….complete stupidity on my part.


  4. Horse show prep, calm 10 year old girl anxiety, lost a chicken, lost 2 barn cats, hit 94 degrees, snakes (!), clean stalls, fill waters, fill waters again, watch garden not grow, watch friends dog, watch friends dogs around chickens and barn cats…. oh am I over 10 words? How about…. EXHAUSTING. I know you get it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel your pain. Did the 2 missing barn cats ever show up? Did they leave because of the visiting dogs?..and you can’t leave me hanging about the snake..I need details 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, haven’t seen a sign of the cats. We have the worst luck with barn cats, and Im not the type of person that handles that well. I get attached too easily 🙂. No, they were missing prior to the visiting dog. Oh, and snakes! It’s the season. Saw two on the property. One slithered in front of me into the wood pile and I then heard a distinct mouse shriek of fear. Never experienced something like that before. And I don’t do snakes very well either!

        Liked by 1 person

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