Lessons Learned: Part 1

This is what I have learned from the new household members so far….

  1. I am smarter than a chicken.
  2. I am dumber than a puppy.
  3. Chickens go poop a lot.
  4. Puppies go poop a lot.
  5. According to everything I have read, the chances of a chicken dying a terrible death is about 98%.
  6. According to our puppy’s behavior and choices for interactions, my personality is less engaging than a pine cone, a stick, or a weed in the ground.
  7. I can make clucking sounds like a mother hen and two of the chicks come running over and stretch their necks out to visit with me.
  8. The sight of #7 makes your grandchildren laugh really  hard while other family members question your sanity.
  9. There is great love to be learned from our animals.
  10. Lists usually stop at ten items, even when you don’t have a 10th item.

My unmet in-person friend Mark Mayes is a remarkable songwriter, poet, and author.  Here is another one of his songs on Soundcloud, “Georgie Boy”

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?

Back in 1953 the great Patti Page had a number hit in America with the song, “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?”  They say it sold two million records and in the UK, Lita Roza had a hit with it too, going #1 there also. More than just a commercial success, it also provided a vision into what our relationships with canines might look like in 2016. (Check out the song/video here)

A very odd thing about the United States of America is that anybody can have children.  It doesn’t matter if they are drug addicts, thieves, mentally ill, chronically homeless and/or borderline abusive.  However,in the USA,  if you were to go to an animal rescue shelter or a high-priced dog breeder to get that special little puppy, you very may well have to sign a seriously binding contract complete with seriously expensive fines for violating that contract which states you agree to provide your new puppy/dog  with 20 minutes of daily exercise, daily teeth brushing, weekly fur/hair brushing,  animal socialization, an environment that creates a healthy emotional landscape and an opportunity for exemplary physical health, monthly visits to a veterinarian, and a pre-puppy adoption agreement in case the married owners get a divorce. Oh yeah, you might also have to be interviewed by the organization’s board of directors.

I don’t have a problem with any of that; I just wish we took our human “puppies” as seriously.

Let me now introduce to you….Gracie…the cutest puppy ever!  We brought her home today.


And, don’t think for a minute I have forgotten my duties to the 3 day old chicks.  I went and bought this book today.  Someday I am going to be able to communicate with these chickens without even using my big boy voice!


Day One

Well, the big day has arrived with a few changes.  My soul sisters, the new chicks (see previous blog) are here now.  But, the box I built for them is way too big. I probably could start raising cattle in it. Also, it is cold, for our area, so the garage is too cold even with a heat lamp. So, I now have 8 chicks in my home office complete with a new brooder cage.


So far, so good. I figure that the first fresh egg will probably have cost me about $1,000 U.S dollars by the time I get their outside area protected from the skunks, possums, foxes, raccoons, mountain lions, hawks, bears and Gracie.

Who is Gracie, you ask? The Golden Doodle puppy we are bringing home on Saturday morning. Photos soon.

This was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid.  Little did I know that it would end up representing what working life was really like, minus the sheep. Sam and Ralph going to work!

Got to get back to the chicken ranch….




gone crazy

I think we, as human beings, might have some animals that we have some inexplicable spiritual bond with…..I know, sounds really weird.

In our front yard we have a very overgrown area that I have refused to clean up because the quail live in there and they are protected from the predators, including our own two cats. Twice a year, I get to see the brand new baby quail (I don’t care what their scientific name might be…ok,it is Callipepla californica which sounds like a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song) run around following their parents.  This almost brings tears to my eyes.  The joy, for some reason, runs so deep I can’t explain it nor even understand it.

California Quail
Male California Quail (Callipepla californica) with chicks


Unfortunately though, very unfortunately, these birds are not the deepest of my feathered soulmates, although I wish they were. For me, it is the common … chicken. We raised some a  a long time ago.   I would sit out and watch them and laugh, really laugh, at their behavior.  I would find it hilarious how a hen would lay an egg and then strut around as if to brag about it…every time…and the other hens would look upon her with true admiration.  I know, maybe I am reading too much into it, but that is what happens when you have an animal soulmate – ya get each other.

Now on the other hand, I understand what a total pain in the ass raising a few chickens can be and this has kept me admiring the quail. We even cleaned up a tiny bit of the overgrown area and put a swing in there so we can sit among the birds.  It is very, very calming. (Until the thieving, drug dealers drive up the street and I start obsessing about their death by mountain lion. See a previous blog.) However, it lit the fire of the chicken spirit in me and now I have become obsessed (meaning I’ve gone crazy) about getting six chicks from the local feed store.

This afternoon I went to the local feed store, bought the pine shavings, the chick feed, the heat lamp, the watering tray and the feed tray.  I then went to the lumberyard and bought the material to create a brooder for my soon to be feathered spiritual sisters.  (Hopefully, I IMG_0903 don’t get a rooster. I don’t have the same spiritual bond with those guys!)  I was pretty proud of my carpentry until I discovered I didn’t buy enough for a bottom.  So tomorrow, after work, back to the lumberyard I go.  Being a humane human, each little chick will have 3 square feet, 3 times the recommended area, for the little ones as they learn to eat and drink.  I already have a great place picked out for their permanent home, under tall fir trees, that will be cool in the summers and plenty of room to roam.  I saw a great little red chicken coop that eventually will be their chicken palace. These are going to be lucky chickens.  Hopefully, the feed store will have some available to purchase tomorrow.

Now the title of this blog is “gone crazy” and there is probably enough proof of that already in the previous paragraphs and the other blogs I have written, but here is one more piece of solid evidence for you….tomorrow, we are looking at a puppy.

Yep, gone crazy.


I really like this group a lot, Annabelle’s Curse.  They have some great music on Soundcloud.  This is one of my favorites, Premonition. Please support them,… seem like good people too.