Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Fair To Remember

The Spring 'Chicken Swap' at an Ohio fairground is quite the regional event!  A relative invited us to go since she wanted some peacocks and thought that if we saw chickens then the good husband might relinguish and eventually change his mind.  I had a plan you see...I told him it was a 'farm show'. Well, in his mind he envisioned farm machinery, and in my mind (and in reality) there were lots of animals. 

He agreed to get up early and even agreed the night before when she called to confirm our meeting time since we were going in the same vehicle.   Oh how things drastically changed when 6:30 arrived, and he abruptly refused to get out of the warm and cozy bed.  What? You just confirmed last night!  The bad husband blamed it on Sammy as he is the only dog without an electronic collar and Sammy would need to be let around noon to relieve himself.  Of course I had that planned out...the bad husband's brother could come and complete the simple chore, but noooo, that wouldn't do.  The real reason was the desire to return to lala land.  Fine, I threatened to bring home oodles of  baby chicks, goats, lambs, etc.  I could tell in his voice that he wasn't quite sure if I was serious and laughed nervously...Kritter Keeper was very upset at being stood up!
The morning traffic at 8:30 was backed up for miles.  Unsure of the cause and not familiar with the area, my friend stayed in the left lane passing hundreds of vehicles, mostly pick up trucks with lots of empty cages in the bed that told us we were close. I noticed absolutely no cars coming down from the north and told her pass the entrance since we couldn't get in the right lane and enter from that direction.  We saved probably a half an hour and avoided polluting the environment with another idling engine.  Luckily a shortcut allowed us to quickly park within walking distance. 
So many people! And, so many little cages containing roosters, chickens, goats, ducks, turkeys, puppies, etc.  And...sad to say, so many men resting newly purchased rifles on their shoulders.  Not to mention the hand guns that dangled from trigger loving fingers of the opposite sex. Those were not the visuals I preferred to see.
                                 (The black lab puppy in the back looked just like our Sammy!)

We stopped, looked and cooed at so many furry babies.  The breedy chickens were fun to see in person and much better than the images on my calendar.  I am glad I went but I left with a heavy heart knowing that some of the animals were not treated well. 

The miniature horse had dull eyes and showed no interest when I softly spoke.  A set of mini donkeys stared blankly into space.  The tiny black pig screamed as the fat lady in the wheelchair pulled it up out of the cage by it's little hind leg.   I kindly verbalized my dislike ....'oh no honey, don't do that, you'll hurt it!'  She smiled at me and gave the pig to my friend to cuddle.  The Great Pyranees owner had no clue if her litter of 8 pups were susceptible to hip displasya. Her perplexed look gave me my answer.  A dozen of ducks were stuffed into a small cage and I voiced my concern in a louder than normal tone to my friend....'oh that is awful, look how small that cage is with all those ducks!'  My peripheral vision saw the scruffy owner turn towards me noticing my pointed finger.   Sometimes a word or two said in a kind way or not directed at a specific person may provoke a positive change.  Who knows...but I do know I wouldn't buy these poor animals. Thankfully the peacock man was of a different type. His fowl was pricier but he knowledgable.  Brochures, website, business card, all helpful ways to connect with the new owners in case a question needed answering.  The peacock man was from Indiana and his birds were healthy and seemingly relaxed except for the two nervous pheasants who finally calmed down.  Poor things.  So out of their element.

                                                        (i loved the bronzed peacock!)
                                                            (learning how to clip the wing)
(learning how to properly administer meds)
It was interesting.  It was a different setting.  I learned a lot.  But I probably will not return though I was able to photograph affection for the animals.  I'm pretty sure the pair of hens cuddled in loving arms of a cute young couple with small children will be fine.  The new owner of a sweet little mini goat was wearing a harness instead of a collar which offers a more humane way to lead an animal. A young man was cuddling a goat unafraid that his outward display of love will harm his manly reputation.  The tall burly motorcycle man gently lifting the tiny min pin smiling broadly was pleasant to see though he did not buy the pup.  I am left wondering...did the sweet little jack russell that was shaking with fright, and all alone find a good home?  Will those little ducks be offered fresh water to swim in and the freedom to spread their wings? Or will it be like the person I met a year ago...

...who in the past bought several chickens from this fair and locked them in a small pen outside preventing them from free ranging, preventing them from eating delicious bugs and allowing for frost bite.  She even left them with no water (I watered them when I was there).  I live in an area that can be mean with neglect towards animals.  I also live in an area that is home to so many loving people who adore their furry or feathered or scaly friends.  So, I choose to hope that the beautiful animals I saw last Saturday will find better homes and be able to live lives full of love, good food, quality shelter and humans who are humane.  
Oh, and we teased the bad husband before we got friend happily relayed to him that I found a nice Amish man and that I wasn't coming home for awhile.  Now that would be an 'affair to remember!' ; )

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Beautiful Bloggger Award!

Thank You Stephanie!  Please check out The Life of a Farmer's Wife for a truly cool farming blog located in the will learn a lot when she blogs about cotton or peanuts, etc. 

1. You must accept the award.
2. Thank the person who gave you the award.
3. Add a link to the person who gave you the award.
4. Paste the award on your blog.
5. Write 10 things about yourself that others might not know.
6. Pass the award on to 10 others.

Okay here goes....
1. I am the youngest of five girls...poor Daddy!  I was the tomboy and played sports.
2. I hate cigarette parents smoked and Dad died of a heart smoke!
3.  Dad was driving a Toyota Camry when he had the unexpected heart attack.  The car zoomed backwards down the snowy driveway and stopped short of going down the steep hill with the front tires still spinning.  No rubber was on the treads and the whole yard was full of smoke.  I often wonder, did the car go out of control and cause the heart attack...he had just seen his cardiologist two days prior.
4.  Dad's mother, my grandmother died a couple of weeks before her 100th birthday...I would like to reach a happy healthy one hundred!
5.  My husband and I have been married since 1993 but we lived together 5 years prior so all together we have shared 22 years come this September...Yeah!  Love you good husband!
6.  I have always loved the Old South, but of course not the slavery...I love the architecture, the clothing, the 'genteel' manners (well, the ones who had them...), the food, the gardens, the old trees, etc.  When I was 8, we traveled down to the Gulf and I saw abject poverty for the first time...don't get me wrong, we were plain middle class folks...but these people were living in run down shacks...I remember crying when I saw them....
7.  I love old things...people, homes, furniture, dishes, letters, recipes, photos, diaries...I think we can learn a lot from age and hopefully it will make us better.
8.  I really miss my ancestors (grandparents, etc.) and think about them a lot wondering what the ones that I never met were like...what were their days like, what did they love, etc...
9.  I love to laugh and tease people.  My poor vet can attest to that as I gave him a hard time when baby Bridget had to go in Saturday morning.
10.  I am very observant.  I can read people very well.  If I ask a question, just by watching them most times I will know the true answer as to how they choose to answer, which words they say and how their bodies react.

There you have it...nothing too exciting probably just like so many others.  Now I get to pass it on!  Okay bloggy many already have this award and there are a couple on my list that do not have any awards on their blogs but each is well worth your click.   I wish I could meet all my blogging friends, as my chosen are special people and offer such interesting prospective to life.  Check them out, you won't be disappointed!

1.  Chocolate and Marmlade Tea
2.   Flat Creek Farm
3.  Life on Sunny Ridge
4.  Thoughts From a Yodeling Goatherder
5.  Chippewa Creek
6.  Michelle Palmer
7.   Blessed Country Mom
8.  Cottage Farm Villa
9.   Rural Rambles
10. Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer (Willard, if Dad were still alive, this would be his fave. He lived only a couple of hours away from you!)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Turkey Time

The turkeys are learning! Awhile back I blogged about trying to teach the turkeys that it is safe to eat in the corn yard and that I am not a threat when they see the strange creature with two legs, two arms and two noisy buckets scattering yellow goodies all over the ground.  Tis the season for making babies and I was blessed with a gift from God to see a spectacular tom display his beautiful feathers early one morning.  I am quite sure there is correct terminology for his behavior so my apologies to my more knowledgable readers. Ok, I decided not to be lazy and look up some info....he was strutting...intending to attract females (obviously) who largely ignored him and scare away other males, which must have worked as I did not see any other toms or gobblers.

A few days earlier, I saw two toms by themselves checking out the corn yard for the first time.  I wondered about those feathers dangling from their chests and originally thought maybe they were molting (the horses, dogs and cats are shedding) or they were in a fight (the deer are always 'hooving' eachother), but something in the back of my mind told me those were males and (I looked it up) that is their beard!  It grows longer with age however, my source says they could live up to 13 years but most die after two years or so...strange.  No explanation as to the early deaths unless it is resulting from the hunters.  Speaking of such individuals, yesterday morning I heard a gun shot close as I was in the barn.  But due to being slightly downhill and in a brick building, I am unable to tell the direction of the shot.  It was tinny in sound and I have heard that gun before.  Little Bear, when frightened, trots down to the barn to get me, so I walked up to the house with her to discover Nugget and Coty were nervously awaiting for me on the back porch which tells me it was close to the house... damn the soul that continues to trespass on my property.  It angers me to no end knowing what a stray bullet could do...  Sammy was out too, and the idiot could have shot him...So off I go up the woods along the deer paths but found nothing.    Of course I won't, this man is good at hiding, he is a hunter....I did scare off my turkeys and some deer so he must have already left after hearing my angry words or he was not in that area, etc.  Alas, I got some decent exercise as I walked up and down some hills, covering about 50 acres.  I was down with a severe cold  for 9 days prior so this was good for me to get back in the swing of things!

I now have a lone female who frequently visits the corn yard now, so perhaps she has found a safe place to nest close to the house....Sammy, don't you dare go in the woods now! (and yes, Sam is off the 'deer' hook.  Many thanks to my educated readers who enlightened me on deer carcasses...I saw it again yesterday and it is now obliterated)....Have a Happy Easter and enjoy a wonderful holiday with your loved ones!

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