Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year! (plus a chicken update)

Neighboring Pond, 2007, Oil on Panel, 8x10

Been meaning to post for a few days, but to be honest I have been enjoying some time off from the computer, and from trying to think of some fascinating and witty things to write about. Heh.

We have all just been hanging around the house, staying up late, sleeping in (well, late for me is 7am, for everyone else it is 10am!) doing jigsaw puzzles and playing with our new toys. By the way I love doing jigsaw puzzles. I only do them once a year, usually around or just after the holidays. I would love to do them more often, but I feel guilty thinking of all the other things I should be doing. So I allow myself a few weeks in the winter. It's definitely an activity where the process is why I do it, the finished images are usually quite a letdown. Even the nice ones still look, well, they still look like a jigsaw puzzle when they are done.

Oh and I have a really thrilling chicken update. We have already had quite a bit of snow and cold weather this winter so the chickens have been pretty cooped up, not even able to leave their hen house let alone their little yard. The last few days have been milder and they have been outside, so I have been able to get a good look at them. The other day I noticed that one of them had blood all over her bottom, just dripping out of her vent (where the eggs come out of). And when there is blood chickens turn into cannibals! She had a line of chickens following her, pecking at her bottom, making it worse. So she is temporarily living in our garage until she heals up. Then yesterday, I noticed that our Naked Neck chicken had a big laceration on her chest, with stuff coming out, (it's like a bad movie, seeing that). She was acting fine, walking around, eating, etc, but today I noticed that it is bleeding a bit and she is now being followed around by the "peckers". So I guess she will also be a guest in our garage as well, but I have no idea what to do about that injury. I think she needs stitches! And Doug thinks I am crazy to even consider taking her to the vet. I guess we'll see if the cut heals up on it's own (doubtful as it is gaping open), otherwise I guess we may have to euthanize-especially if more stuff comes out.


And on that lovely note, I wish you all a Happy New Year! I suspect I will be sleeping when the big moment comes, unlike when I was young and chose to party in a bar all night. But I hope that at least a few of you out there will be doing something fun on New Year's Eve!


Karen Jacobs said...

Geeze, Tracy, fun IS sleeping all night! I'm a puzzle fanatic also but try to confine the activity to our lakehouse where there's no computer. I've taken to leaving them intact, stacked on individual cardboard to show the g-kids that all the pieces really are there. No help from here re the chickens... I remember watching my grandmother wring their necks in the morning and have them ready for supper that night. I'm still in awe!

Jeanette Jobson said...

Oh yes, the fun of chickens. They are very cannibalistic aren't they? Turkeys are the same way. Chickens actually killed one of the little goslings we had the other year,horrid things.

But yes I did the same when we had chickens here. I can't let them suffer.

Unknown said...

Best wishes and a very Happy New Year to you and your family, Tracy.
The story about your chickens give me the grandma used to have some but that seems to have been in another life...I can only remember that I hated them because of their smell and they always picked at me which I was not fond of

gary rith said...

so glad I met you in 2007, happy 2008 Tracy!
btw--the honey is nearly gone, the NY TIMES the other day wrote about how much better it is for a cold than cold medicines

Martha Marshall said...

Vets do take care of chickens, I believe. Having them as house guests may get you so attached that you'll end up having to take them in.

Yes, I remember my mother wringing a chicken's neck and then dunking it in boiling water to get the feathers off. Don't think I could, though.

I hope you have a great new year with lots of art sales!

Tracy Helgeson said...

Karen, you are right of course, what a luxury after all these years of babies, to have a whole night's sleep. But guess what-now the kids are just old enough to want to stay up! I was awake until 12:05 last night:) And clearly your grandmother was very talented. I could never do that, even if I could bring myself to eat our own chickens:)

Jeanette, I haven't been able to actually euthanize, but I am sure the day is coming when I'll have to...

Petra, my husband is a bit creeped out by the chickens too. I enjoy them and their antics, and but I get that icky feeling when one of them is ill, knowing that I'll either have to do something unnatural:) or deal with a dead animal somehow.

Gary, thanks and I expect you and Maude to be visiting us this summer! We have heard that about the honey too and you can bet everyone in this house has plenty of it every day. Just in case illness strikes:)

Martha, yes, our vet will treat them, although he says there isn't much he can do about the injury the Naked Neck has. Just separate her and see if it will heal up on it's own. I don't think I will get too attached to having them in our garage-I have to park outside now and we have had about 2 feet of snow in the last few days. I want my garage back! I hope you have a great year too!