Day Off

Chicken egg vs. Turkey

Saturday, January 22, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon” is Waning Gibbous; February’s “Snow Moon” rises @ fullest on February 16.)

They’re here! Two hen turkeys and two Rhode Island Reds (variations).

I hurried to get them after receiving a text from Josh, their then-owner, saying his dog had just killed one of the three hen chickens I intended to adopt.

That blew a hole in my day off. My plan was to start building a coop for the fivesome, but suddently it became imperative to get them from Josh’s place. I needed to borrow housing for them, so hitched a trailer and took off.

We managed to load into the trailer a small coop, a dog kennel, and fowl care paraphernalia, feeders, waterers, and food. Josh joined me later at my home, bringing the turkeys and chickens. Grant and Bill, my neighbors, arrived to help with unloading and setting up.

Those three are long-time friends. It was Bill who facilitated the transfer of birds after learning that I wished to adopt a hen turkey. Josh and his wife intending to sell their home wanted to relocate the birds. Additionally, their recently-adopted dog has turned out to be an effective chicken killer. The dog’s last victory got us moving to transfer quickly the remaining birds.

My current chicken flock houses with my twin Dwarf Goats. The two species get along well. Often one or more chickens are hanging out on a goat’s back or just riding along.

Breeze, Poppy, Bill, Grant, Josh

The imported dog kennel allows newcomers and current residents to integrate while keeping safe both flocks. Josh managed most of the setting-up. He established the small coop at the back of the run, set up a feeder and waterer, placed the nesting boxes, and transferred birds from carriers to the coop.

Grant’s height lets him easily retrieve items from high places, and he did. Also without effort, he looped an extension cord over a tall opening. That prevents the cord from tripping humans and becoming a chew-target for critters.

The final result isn’t gorgeous. It works though until there’s time enough to make it better.

Coop, nesting boxes, & birds

About today’s caption photo. One of those girls straight went to work. That huge egg appeared on the coop floor moments after Josh installed the turkeys.

We finished the job just as dusk closed in. Then thankfully, Bill and Grant walked with me to retrieve the horses. We returned in near-darkness, each leading an equine. I prefer not to walk in the darkness alone with three large animals. In little light they see perfectly, notice quickly what’s around or ahead and sometimes startle me.

Our last look at the new coop found a quiet group. One chicken had settled on top of the coop, one turkey was parked on the perch, with the other turkey and chicken atop the nesting boxes.

And, that was my day.

Dear Friends: Wise Bill suggests pausing my plan to add two baby ducks. Diana

A “Chicken Chick”

Friday, January 21, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon” is Waning Gibbous; February’s “Snow Moon” rises @ fullest on February 16.)

Next week, the feed store where I work will have in stock live baby chicks to sell. Workers have been arranging brooders, setting them up, hanging heat lights. Customers are excited, and so are we cashiers.

There’s not much cuter than one- or two-day-old chickens. The store might offer baby turkeys and ducks, too.

I’ve already been arranging to adopt a couple of six-month-old turkey hens. They’ll be a satisfying pair.

In a move that surprises myself, I’ll bring home two baby ducks. It’s because I’ve eaten duck eggs and found them delicious. I’ve asked duck owners (while checking-out customers) about their experiences of having ducks. All say ducks are fun, they love having them. They say ducks easily are satisfied with a “kiddie pool” to play in. One woman has a duck that loves being harnessed and taken for walks.

Yesterday, the store gave me a surprising opportunity, to move from my position as a cashier, and instead, to handle the business of incoming chicks. I’d take care of them and assist customers interested in them. Additionally, I’d become a back-up person for the Animal Health Department. I leaped onto those changes.

Essentially, they offer a crack at representing a profit center and selling in real-time. I love animals, by nature am a sales type. Everything new should be fun. Plus, it’s a heady moment with my efforts and potential being noticed

I’m stoked!

Dear Friends: Ahead, my favorite “stuff”, new experiences and more learning. Diana

Twilight Surrounds

Farm ‘neath The Cascades

Thursday, January 20, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon” is Waning Gibbous; February’s “Snow Moon” rises @ fullest on February 16.)

Today is an early to-work for me, so this is a short good morning. A good thing, too, as my brain does seem blank. Impossible, though, for always my wiring is firing.

I’m focusing ahead, on getting outside, feeding animals, and appearing on time at the store.

Actually, I’m thinking about Susie’s and my recent moon chase, remembering an interesting place where the mobile was parked. The tiny off-road spot intersected three roadways.

Road west
Road south
Road north

I love seeing road curves. They suggest the possibility of a surprise laying ahead. They’re compelling, hint at secrets, fascinating to speculate on.

My recent blog about our Wolf Moon Chase featured some of our best photos, the glorious moon, and a few twilight surroundings. I could have included the atmospheric road-trio.

Today’s a good day to blog about them. They’re lovely, and give my slightly on-hold brain a rest.

For fun, an overhead capture

Completing a circle is our Moon Chasing Mobile, in its tiny parking spot. Susie has grabbed a camera, is poised for getting an early shot of just-rising Wolf Moon.

Dear Friends: Many of my best-remembered photos are curve captures. Diana

Too-Smart Virus

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon” is Waning Gibbous; February’s “Snow Moon” rises @ fullest on February 16.)

At my part-time job, one among our cash-register team became infected with Covid. She’d not been vaccinated and worked a couple of days with Covid while considering it a cold. Afterward, she was away from work for several days. Now working again, she says she’s fully recovered.

She’s young and seems recovered. A number of workers in the store haven’t been vaccinated. I can’t help wondering if others might have been affected by working alongside her during her active bout with the virus.

I haven’t noticed personal symptoms of illness. I’ve received the requisite three jabs, and wear a mask while in public and at work. However, I’m in a vulnerable group, associated with age and background health. I’ve accepted the known risk of “being out there” because working part-time with others is meaningful and worthwhile.

Without going into the yeas and nays of ignoring or dealing with Corona Virus and its mutations, I applaud Joe Biden’s recent anti-virus move. I’ve ordered the virus test kits he’s making available online. The Post Office will start shipping them next week.

Those at-home kits will allow self-testing for the virus, at the earliest signs of a “cold”. A positive result will justify seeking early care in the game.

Receiving home-based tools to recognize the virus helps. Additionally, our health care system must be prepared and capable of providing care to those who come forward after self-testing. Health care capacity is a huge issue, maybe a future blog topic.

First, let’s get those self-tests. They will by degrees boost our assurance.

Dear Friends: This “smart virus” has and still alters worldwide social systems. Diana

February’s “Wolf Moon”

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon” is Waning Gibbous; February’s “Snow Moon” rises @ fullest on February 16.)

Susie and I missed an earliest sight of the rising Wolf Moon for not finding an unemcumbered horizon. Upon spotting an already rising moon just above a horizon of trees that lined a huge field, we hurried to park and start capturing.

This rise was unique for occurring in still-daylight. So early, that by turning we could witness a spectacular sunset.

Farther away by hundreds of yards sunlight illuminated a portion of the Cascades, and in the foreground these dozing drafts.

The magnificant moon continuing to rise, appeared smaller with increasing height.

We’ve photographed nearly a year’s worth of moonrises, and never in so much remaining daylight. Yesterday’s unique evening gave us enough light to photograph the moon, our country surroundings, and parts of the mountain range.

As the light faded, and in a scene reminiscent of the long-ago Movietone TravelLogs that closed with a waning sunset, we bade farewell to the sun.

Except for its reflecting light, revealing January’s fullest moon. We enjoyed seeing that while hanging out and talking in Susie’s Mobile Moon Chaser.

Dear Friends: So much beauty out east in the middle of “nowhere”. Diana

Eatin’ Right

Monday, January 17, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon” rising tonight, this month’s fullest moon.)

A customer at my register said she has a dog, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. I asked her to bring the dog in the next time she’s in the store. She agreed and asked for a bag of duck food. “Yes,” she said, “I have a couple of ducks, inherited them not long ago.”

“Do you eat their eggs?”

“No, they lay eggs but I don’t eat them.”

“I’m curious because I’m about to adopt two hen turkeys from a fellow who used to raise ducks. He says turkey eggs taste a bit gamey but are better than duck eggs, which are way too gamey to eat straight from the shells.”

“That’s interesting and something I’ve not heard.” She removed her credit card from a reader, laughed and said, “I’ll bring you some duck eggs.”

I laughed, too, “Good!” As she turned to leave, I added, “When my turkeys are in place, I’ll bring you turkey eggs.”

We waved and that was that. Weeks ago.

Yesterday, a fellow cashier radioed while I was in the break room. “Diana, can you come up front? There’s someone here to see you.”

As I headed toward the registers, a woman stopped me. She held a leash attached to a beautiful big dog. “Diana,” she said, holding out a small package, “I’m Katherine, we talked. I’m bringing you duck eggs.”

Well, I was blown away. She held out a package with three white large eggs.

She pointed to them, “One for some reason is much bigger than the others,” she shrugged, “but I want you to have them all.”

I was touched by her kindness, her generosity. “I’ll cook one tonight for dinner and let you know how it tastes, whether it’s overly gamey!”

Her dog, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, is a stunning knockout. The breed isn’t common in this area. Since it’s against store rules to play with my cellphone while working, here are photos from the internet. In them as well as in real life, this is an athletic dog with a substantial muzzle and long wirehair half-hiding expressive eyes. The facial structure and deepset eyes are very appealing.

I enjoyed meeting Katherine’s sweet, energetic dog.

About those duck eggs: I poached the biggest, which by-the-way had a double-yolk. I gobbled it–Totally Delicious!

Folks like Katherine who care about their animals are why I love working in that feed store. The store now is preparing to start bringing in baby chicks. Maybe I’ll adopt a couple of ducks!

Dear Friends: I’m a “bird person”, love those smart critters, they give us their all. Diana

Behowling Moonlight

Now the hungry lion roars
And the wolf behowls the moon,
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores
All with weary task foredone.

(from: Pyramus and Thisbe)

Sunday, January 16, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon”, now Waxing Gibbous, will rise tomorrow as this month’s fullest moon.)

The now waxing moon is gorgeous in a sky that’s clearer. Early today, Wolf Moon is visible straight over west and setting behind the Cascades. Our warming weather and inviting atmosphere will provide good conditions tomorrow as Susie and I experience and photograph the full Wolf Moon.

Fortunately, I’ll be off from work tomorrow and free to chase that moon.

I’ve been considering the moon’s continuous appeal and subconscious significance to humans since time immemorial. My thoughts about the moon might be perceptive, but too little so to grasp its forever impact and meaningfulness vis a vis humans.

So, I’ll embark on research, part of which will be re-reading some Shakespeare works. He describes as well as, or better than anyone, “Moon’s impact”. I hope to build a larger narrative around Susie’s and my moon chasing experiences this past year. I’ll be looking for history and intelligence to enlighten and strengthen our experiences.

At the very least Susie and I will learn. At the very best, we will design a narrative to share with everybody.

Dear Friends: While watching Wolf Moon use your imagination, sense your feelings. Diana

Future Shock

Saturday, January 15, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon”, now Waxing Gibbous, will rise as month’s fullest moon on the 17th.)

This will be short for I’m due at work in a couple of hours. Before leaving I have animals inside and outside waiting for their food. On these early-to-work days I arise earlier than usual to write a blog, and sometimes like today, become involved with the news and lose track of time.

Briefly, I’m reading a special edition from “The Economist”, entitled “The World Ahead 2022”. It’s a worldwide summary of trends in leadership, technology, finance, weaponry, space, potential threats of war, and all else causing wonder. Every chapter is laced with fallout from the pandemic, social divisiveness, tensions among superpowers, and supply chain woes.

A big deal is what might evolve in terms of our working lives. People working from home raise challenges about how to keep everything fair among all employees. In other words, those who choose to return to the office have an advantage of being able to suck up to the boss.

Future worries are hampering my creativity. At the bottom line, 2022 may be a game-changer. Here in America, the mid-term elections will affect all our lives.

These days, a question rages, what is Democracy?

Dear Friends: Happily, the moon will glow, has a dependable schedule. Diana


Friday, January 14, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon”, now Waxing Gibbous, will rise as month’s fullest moon on the 17th.)

Recently, I enjoyed a couple hours on Facetime with my longest-time friend, Jan. She still lives in Kansas City where I spent my young adult years. Over time, our lives moved in different directions, but periodically, we re-find and rekindle deep connections.

We matured in a city that offered easy availability to culture. We centered our activities in the City’s Plaza. We hung out around large fountains studded with magnificent sculptures, spent time at the Nelson-Atkins Art Gallery. We discussed art and its impact, watched movies old and new, and delved into creativity’s deep messages and meanings.

With Jan and me, there’s magic of freely talking, mutually appreciating and learning.

It’s one thing, needing to express perceptions and feelings. That needs an environment that invites open exchanges. Art and movies can create one.

Jan and I spent hours at The Atkins staring at canvases. We loved works by Thomas Hart Benton, a modern, timeless artist who lived in Kansas City. Benton’s works flow visually. They poetically capture moments and a timelessness that expresses an “always”. We delved into his brush strokes, intentions, messages.

It was the same with films–seeing, feeling, thinking, analyzing, discussing. We parked perceptions in our brains for more developing later. We were young, enthusiastic idealists.

This week via Facetime, we nodded to fading idealism, but shared non-fading enthusiasm for creativity and style. After discussing current cultural trends, we assigned ourselves “movie tasks”. In upcoming weeks, each will watch films the other considers fine. Then we’ll meet and discuss via Facetime.

It’s a relief to speak freely, listen actively, not fearing of someone diminishing enthusiasm. The best label for individuals feeling connected, appreciated, and valuable, is therapy.

Dear Friends: It’s off to movies, via streaming, and creators’ visions, via YouTube. Diana

Circa ’60s

The Ronettes

Thursday, January 13, 2022

(January’s “Wolf Moon” is Waxing Gibbous, will rise as month’s fullest moon on the 17th.)

This morning, I’m steeped in rock ‘n roll, listening to music featuring Ronnie Spector. She was lead singer of The Ronettes, a 1060s vocal trio. They were a powerful trio who transformed girl-group music. One of their biggest hits, “Be My Baby”, is a best-example of early big-music producing.

Listen to them:

Yesterday, this great singer died from cancer, at age 78. Her big voice, similar to that of Mama Cass, was correct. A pioneer, she transformed “girl-singing” in times when getting ahead wasn’t easy for for women in general, and much harder for women of color. She married her genius helper, the crazy music producer, Phil Spector. His creative backup sounds helped to make her a singing star. She paid a price of long personal abuse from him.

Early technology made The Music Business a fantastic, wonderful avenue of pursuit for talented young people. The scene wasn’t all-pretty, with entrepreneurs like Phil Spector moving things along, creating chaos.

Technologies continued to advance, bringing the personal computer, and more. Technological changes offering new creative avenues tempted talented youths. No longer was music the only potentially progressive path for promising individuals.

I grew up in times that brought new musical individualism and progressive technologies. Both still are powerful social factors. But technologies have and keep-continuing to affect us all.

It’s joyous, hearing the Ronettes. As evidenced by Ronnie’s story, the group’s sounds don’t represent “simpler times”. Instead, its sounds and success recall a hopeful era preceding the onset of highly-complex technology.

Dear Friends: Modern societies hope that ahead offers new-hope eras. Diana