Winding-down summer

Alot has changed with us lately.  We finally sold the scooter and bought a car.  I know, I know, we were supposed-to be a car-free family.  That would’ve been a much easier option living in a larger town or city, but we actually have to travel a distance for some of the things we want, and a scooter won’t carry three of us at the same time.  That has always caused some problems with us as far as getting Tal watched by someone, or one of us staying home with him.  Also, we are watching a friend’s daughter before and after school, so we need to be able to drop her off and pick her up.  We bought a silver 2001 Toyota Echo, 2-door, manual shift.  It gets excellent fuel mileage, probably low 40’s,  and has been taken good care of.  It was owned by the maintenance chief at my shop. 

Funny thing about us getting sick and not being able to ride, and then purchasing an automobile:  suddenly, there are people riding bicycles and using them for shopping and errands in our town!  I have seen several commuter-specific bicycles, plus the obligatory mountain bikes, some with trailers.  I even saw a classic three-speed one day.  An older lady was riding it on a small road outside a neighborhood development, at somewhere between a leisure and fitness-level pace.   

We all got sick with stomach problems, throwing a wrench in our riding plans and abilities.  Cyclingchicken wants to get back on hers, but is trying to work out the details on how to go about it because she found out she has a hiatal hernia.  I have only been riding back and forth to work lately, a distance of maybe 200 yards round-trip. 

Ruckus, our free-ranging rooster, is doing fine, but we have had predators take his hens several times.  I built a new house for him, up off the ground and fortified with fine mesh wire.  I think that will help.  Now that there have been predator problems, he is able to convince his one hen, Fuar, to go to bed earlier than dark.  I want another hen for him, preferably a game hen. 

I have been butchering young roosters lately, two at a time, to reduce the number of chickens we have to feed.  We have a pretty good idea which two roosters we want to keep, so whenever one we don’t want to keep begins crowing or fighting too much, I take care of them.  I don’t like the taste and texture of rooster meat, so we have been cooking them and giving them to the cats.  That reduces our cat food costs. 

Dipstick, a Cubalaya/Golden Phoenix mix is top candidate for being kept.  So far, he has a calm demeanor, isn’t concerned with Tal, and helps Benelli by doing a head-count before bedtime.  Pepper is a young Old English bantam cockerel, white with black flecks.  He is very good about being held, loves to eat scratch or chick starter out of a cup, and is beginning to crow.  He has that cute almost-strangled crow going-0n.  We have room for only 4 roo’s in our yard, so if those two survive, they will join Benelli, our Millifluer Duccle’, and Blue Man, our Blue Bantam Cochin. 

We are also watching our friend’s 11 year old Dachsund, Buddy, during the week, and he goes back on the weekends.  He neither eats or drinks while our friend is away at work, and does nothing but sleep.  Coming over to our house, where someone is home all the time has given Buddy some pep, plus we are feeding him some Wellness puppy food to put some weight on him.  He has dry skin problems, and I am hoping they will clear- up with some attention, brushing, and good food.  We’ll see. 

Summer is starting to wind-down.  It’s starting to get cool in the morning and evening, so we can spend more time outside with the chickies, kitties, and walking Buddy.  School just started back.  I am looking forward to the fall…


2 thoughts on “Winding-down summer

  1. We have a 2003 and 2001 Echo. 🙂 It’s a great little car. We live too far (and it’s way too hilly) to ride bikes to town. BUT hubby works from home, so our trips to town are limited, though sometimes it seems like we go every day. However, we do so much less driving than we did in Phoenix (just visited there and spent several hours in the car over the course of a week).

    Anyway, love the idea of feeding chickens to the cats if you have extras. I love the strangled practice crowing of a young rooster. Just heard that this morning and it made me laugh and wake up in a great mood. 🙂

    Does your little man go to school or do you guys homeschool/unschool? Just curious. 🙂

  2. I love that first time crowing, too. I end up training them to crow on demand without realizing it. Every time they crow I squeal and tell them to do it again. They obviously like my reaction and do it again.

    I homeschool little man. Right now we are learning the sounds to the letters and addition. I am just concentrating on reading, writing and math with him. He knows: I, a, am, an, if, in, on, of and the by sight. He is also getting the word he is sounding out quicker.

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