I'm a mentally ill person raising another mentally ill person. With chickens.

Posts tagged ‘weather’

Chicken Sh*%

Ugh, today is the first day I’ve really had a hard time getting motivated to write anything. Or do anything for that matter. I just want to sleep and watch bad TV.  Maybe it’s the weather, which is not pretty.

snowy yard That’s my yard under between 4-6 inches of snow, which is now blowing around all over the place.  We actually did work outside yesterday before it started snowing, but obviously we missed a few things, like the table and chairs and the tiki torches. Oops. We did put insulation in the chicken’s coop (it’s the blue and white shed) and put plastic around their run. There are still some bugs to be worked out in the coop, because a little snow found its way inside the front doors and into their run. I opened the door to their fun for a while today, but they wouldn’t go out there, probably because the snow was right by their little door, and chickens are snow blind so they were most likely scared. I’ve spent most of my day worrying about them, honestly, because it is COLD. And because they aren’t usually confined all day and they don’t get along very well. I suppose they will have to learn, winter here is LONG. I have read a lot about chickens in winter, and some people don’t heat their coops or insulate them or anything. Even in Canada! They claim that chickens adapt, which I suppose is true, they’ve been on the planet, and domesticated, for thousand’s of years. But these chickens are my babies! So I’m worried, and I added insulation and a heat lamp, and I’m probably going to order a larger, safer heat source before the temperature drops below zero later this week (yuck!). I did get three eggs today, and found them before they were frozen, so that’s good, I guess. One of my big red chickens is sneezing which makes me nervous as chickens have very sensitive respiratory systems, but I don’t want to give her any medication until I have a better idea what the problem is. Keeping chickens is fun, but it can be a bit of an all-consuming hobby too. And like parenting blogs and websites, there are a million chicken blogs and websites out there too, most of which don’t agree with each other. I mostly use Backyard Chickens and The Chicken Chick for information, because if I start looking around much more I get overwhelmed. I have a friend in North Dakota that has been kind of a chicken mentor for me too, which is nice, because most of my friends think I’m a crazy person with the chickens.  I have no Me and Bernieidea what they’re talking about.

Sorry, that was probably more about chickens than you ever wanted to hear, but that’s where my head is at today. I’m a little worried because I have been sleeping a ton. It could just be the time of year. I know from experience that Spring and Fall are not good times of year for me as far as my mood goes, so maybe it’s just a seasonal low, but it’s frustrating to be so tired all the time. The doctor’s office said I need to exercise more, which I’m sure is true, but I am getting more exercise with the chicken chores than I have in the past. And I seem to have lost weight, because my clothes and bras fit better than they have. So who knows? Mood disorders are weird, and just when you think you’ve got it managed something new comes along.

A bit random today

Feeling old today because when I turned on the computer Google reminded me that the Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago and I remember that day.  I feel even older because trying to explain the Soviet Union or East Germany to a nine-year old is exhausting (and I did not do it well).  The cold war and the Soviet threat–and the threat of global nuclear holocaust–were such a part of being a child in the 80’s that I don’t think most of us really noticed it much except in movies and TV and maybe Pepsi commercials. I wonder how she’ll look back on our whole Global War on Terror?

The chickens are mostly winterized, so I figure it probably won’t snow. We’re upgraded to a warning from a watch and to 7-11 inches possible from 4-6, but so far there’s no snow, so I’m making my daughter do her homework. She insists that there’ll be a snow day tomorrow so she doesn’t need to do it. I told her the quickest way to make sure we don’t get any snow is to not do your homework. She didn’t believe me, of course, she said “weather doesn’t work like that”, but when it comes to snow days it totally does.

My son had the state Special Olympics Bowling tournament this weekend.  It’s a big tournament, it started Thursday afternoon and ended today. There were opening ceremonies and karaoke on Friday and a banquet and dance on Saturday. We had some concerns about him being allowed to participate because his behavior earlier in the week was so bad, but Thursday rolled around and he was totally fine, and he was fine the whole weekend even though it was crowded and loud and the schedule was not what he was used to. So that got  me to thinking and I looked back over my emails from his teacher to see if there was a pattern to the outbursts at school and their kind of is. They all happen during or right after an activity he really doesn’t like including gym, SPURS (a therapeutic horseback riding program) and their job skills activity (which is cleaning the cafeteria). So I should probably talk to the teacher, right? Except we had this exact conversation last year (right around this same time) and it led to an extensive round of meetings and a very detailed CAP plan, but not any actual changes. He still spends most of his day in the self-contained classroom, he still has to do a job that he would never do in real life. So I don’t know what to think about school for him. I just don’t know that he’s getting much from it, except irritated. He’s supposed to be getting job and independent living skills but I just don’t see that happening. I guess we have yet another meeting coming up in December so I’m going to try to figure out what our options are.  Part of me would so love to be done with the endless meetings and bureaucracy that is Special Education, but I don’t want Alex to miss out on services he may need just because I’m over it all. So we’ll see.

I couldn’t help myself:

Winter bites

http://www.keloland.com/weather/alerts/index.cfm?z=SDZ006

It’s official: we have our first winter storm watch.  Sigh.  I’m not ready. I’m never ready. I’ve lived here since 1996 (which was the worst winter in 100 years) and every year it’s hard to wrap my mind around winter. It’s just so LONG here.  There’s a good chance that the snow we get on Monday will still be here in April, and that’s a bit depressing. So is the fact that we regularly get more inches of snow than I am tall. I’m not ready mentally. I think for the most part we are actually ready physically. We got new siding and windows over the summer so our house is toasty. And my car has a remote start and 4 wheel drive, so I can get around in just about anything. Our snow blower works (I know that a snow blower isn’t a necessary thing everywhere, but it is here). I have a few more things to do in the chickens’ house tomorrow and then I think we’re all ready for a snow storm. I suppose I should go to the grocery store, but I’m going to try to avoid it.  It’s so funny, people hear the words “winter storm” and they flock to the store like they just heard of the coming apocalypse, even though they’ve lived here their whole lives, we live in town,  and they know that worst case scenario they’ll be stuck for 12 hours.  It’s just ingrained in everyone: winter storm = buy bread and milk, just in case. Oh that reminds me, I need coffee, because that is one thing I absolutely couldn’t survive a winter storm without.

My daughter is brushing my hair while I type. It’s not as pleasant as it sounds because my hair is evil and full of snarls. So it will be relaxing for a few seconds and then all of sudden “ouch”.  I’m just going to let her keep doing it though, because at least she’s not doing an “experiment” in my kitchen. She informed me that the whole top of my head is gray hair. I suppose it has been a while since I’ve been to the hairdresser. I normally have blond put in all over to hide the gray (my natural color is sort of brown) but I haven’t had it done in a while because its expensive and honestly, no one sees me. Sadly, my daughter isn’t the only person to imply that I’ve let myself go. I ran into a friend of my husband’s at the grocery store and he commented on my hair and no make-up saying he was “concerned” because I never used to go out like that. And while its true, I didn’t, I don’t know that it was his–or anyone’s–place to comment on it.  I don’t think it’s a huge big deal: If you know you’re going to go home and clean up chicken poop you don’t put a whole lot of effort into your appearance.  I can look nice if I need to, I just don’t think there are that many occasions where I really need to these days.

So before I go shop for snow pants for myself (weird, right?), I wanted to share this:  http://aeon.co/magazine/health/the-shame-of-poor-teeth-in-a-rich-world/?Src=longreads

I came across it the other day and it really spoke to me, because I, like a lot of disabled and retired people, do not have dental insurance. I haven’t for years, so I have “Pennsatucky” teeth too. Not from meth use (although I have been asked about that at the dentist!) or lack of brushing them. Just water without fluoride growing up and a LOT of strep infections and antibiotic use as a child. It’s not something that bothers me a ton, unless one of them hurts, but whenever I’m asked “what would you do if you won the lottery?” my first answer is always: Fix my teeth.