A quick recap of 2011:
The Post Office did not work me to death, but it took me half the year to recover from 2010, when the Post Office did. You know it's bad when you long for the return of the ten-hour days.
Still no sign of the flat-sorting machines they've been promising since, oh, when I started at the P.O. a little over four years ago. Which also means I am still a PTF. We occasionally hear their rumblings, though, so who knows. Maybe next year.
The Pendragon campaign I wanted to start in the spring finally got going in December when I acquiesced to reality and gave up on the Vortigern idea and just settled on Hampshire in 485 instead.
Our great plan to increase egg availability to the neighborhood by increasing our flock worked, kind of. Yes, we have more eggs. So more people stop by to buy them, so it's just as difficult to get them as before. And when we added more hens we quickly realized it's either the lawn or them, and that our current coop collection was inadequate to house that number of birds—I think we had 25 hens and pullets at one point! And, we got tired of having to be out in the yard at dawn and dusk every day to let them out and shut them in. So we made plans to build a new coop.
Now, the hubs and I are each capable of building a chicken coop, but if you know us...We finally hired a handyman neighbor to build it. During construction we moved the old coops out of the way, to the perimeter of the yard.
The funny thing about raccoons is, normally you hardly ever see them. But for sure they are watching you. I don't know how it is that function follows form in the case of the masked raccoon, but they are experts at casing your joint and robbing you when you goof. So one night, when one corner of the very heavy chicken coop door was unlatched, they very quietly pried up a corner, reached in a paw and grabbed the closest hen. Since the flock roosts by seniority, Marilyn Wyandotte had the plum spot furthest from the door...and right by the unlatched corner. We didn't hear a thing, so for her it was a quick death. But Frenchy Buff Orpington was second and evidently put up a fight, because we all woke up for that one. We got a call the next morning from our neighbor asking us to remove the carcass...Sigh.
The next night some of the poultry were understandably hesitant to enter the Coop of Death, and spent the night outside. Oh—part of the night. That woke us up, too. Ameraucana feathers everywhere.
So we evacuated the poultry to my step-daughter and son-in-law's coop in Northtown. One of the Jersey Giants made an escape attempt; maybe she got eaten, maybe she's living in someone else's yard now. But she's out of the flock.
The new coop is up and running, and while little paws have explored every inch of barrier, we have had no losses. And the sweet, sweet open-air design means no more dawn/dusk trips into Poo-land. Like I said, sweet!
Lots more happened around the Mighty Small Farm, but that's enough for now. Have some photos:
The day after the hubs left on his nearly-month-long sojourn to the Yukon, I fell off a horse. I was out of commission for about a week, and this paltry bruise is the most I have to show for it. Ripped off!
Hubs at the Arctic Circle...They were gonna go for the Arctic Ocean, then realized the road depicted on the map is only passable in the winter, frozen. In summer it's a morass.
I tried to get him to go as a mail man, but our uniforms don't come with the stylin' mustache, so Mario won out.
Everybody loves the variety pack of colors that comes with an egg purchase from the Mighty Small Farm, but those Ameraucanas aren't the brightest bulbs in the hen house. But I'm totally sold on Rhode Island Reds.
So I decided that moving large parcels and hampers of mail all day wasn't enough exercise, and joined Humboldt Roller Derby. This is my pal, Scrappy Scrappy Joy Joy, at her firsts scrimmage in Hayfork.
The Times-Standard continues to provide excellent amusement bang for the buck.
Souvenirs of Marilyn Wyandotte, an extremely bossy and handsome hen...Oh, and we got new furniture.