Also, today my grandfather hatched these adorable little game chicks! They are sweet as button candies and nearly as edible!
I decided only video would do it justice…
Can you count how many chicks there are??!
Well, I’ve finally made it to a computer again. Technology over the past year or so has slowly leaked itself from my life, but now I’m close to isolation. The internet is something that I really don’t know what to do with anymore, and when I’m where I can use it I rarely feel the urge to use it beyond checking my e-mail (hint: e-mail me more often).
Let’s see…where to start…
Easter Sunday was a good day. I baked a sweet potato pie for my family to eat and they actually enjoyed it despite the stand-offish attitude at the start. It was quickly devoured after word got around that I wasn’t a fool at baking (they have things to learn as much as I do I suppose). My uncle Harry randomly said “Let’s go hunt some mushrooms” and off we went snuggled up close on the tiny 220 Kawasaki four-wheeler into the mountains behind my house. As we walked around we talked about trees and mushrooms and plants, he taught me how to identify Ash and Hickory by the bark, and told me where the best place to find Morel mushrooms were. We gathered up about 20 Morels, a delectable little wild treat, and stumbled upon a tree fungus that looked edible so we took that home as well. It was a beautiful hike and I really enjoyed spending time with my uncle, who I probably have never spent any time with ever. We talked about all sorts of outdoorsy stuff, he’s the hunter/gatherer of the family. After soaking the Morels in salt water for a day (to remove insects, apparently) I fried them up and they were delicious! I researched the tree fungus we found and it turned out to be Dryad’s Saddle, an edible mushroom, but not quite what we had expected. I cooked it up by myself one day and gave it a taste, it sort of tasted like red wine soaked portobello…very oaky and strong, something I’d have to get used to. Our next tree fungus we hope to find is “Hen of the Woods” which supposedly is the gourmet fungal meat that hillbillies kill for.
Spent some more time with the chickens, took some photos. Here are a couple days worth. They are much bigger than this now, but I haven’t shot any for a week.
While photographing the chickens outside I came across a very beautiful little spectacle.
That’s it for today…tomorrow hopefully I’ll be getting everything photographed and uploaded and such.
Ah, yes…one more thing. My grandfather and I will be ordering fowl on-line soon. He will be ordering 30 ringneck pheasant chicks for me to raise for him, and I’ll be ordering the “Rare Chicken Special.” That’s 25 chicks of various rare breeds…and it will be a random mix too! The chicks are so different looking and change so much each day, I’m going to be photographing them every day to show their changes.
One variety I’m hoping I get at least one pullet and one cockerel of is the Silver Dorking. They are one of the few chickens with 5 toes instead of 4. They also have extremely short legs compared to most chickens and lay blue eggs. They were originally bred into existence by the Romans (or at least that’s from whom they came historically) and are quite pretty.
I could also get a white-faced spanish chicken, which has crazy large white cheek meats that may or may not sexually arouse me.
– a demain.
The days have been blurring by and the progress of work has slowed to a snail’s pace. I can’t move without someone shouting “Don’t do anything until I help you.” I have 3 people disallowing any work until they can “help.” This help is supposed to come from my grandfather who can’t breathe or move, my father who I haven’t seen more than an hour total since I moved here, and my grandmother who needs to be placed in a mental institution. Combine these frustrations with extremely rainy weather, quitting smoking, and no chemical input besides coffee (which I detest)…and you have a very frustrated Robby. Fortunately the natural surroundings of the area allow me to relax and wait until tomorrow…and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow! Ack! Nothing is getting done…the stagnation breaks my soul. The main reason lying behind this slow pace is the perception of those around me that I am a 13-year-old city boy that doesn’t know how to do anything. Well, I hate to tell them that I can do a helluva lot of work by myself and have done so for years.
Number 5 became ill again when his urethra blocked once more. It only blocked for about an hour but he ripped his poor little urethra right open and pissed blood for days. Now he’s doing fine and is on pain medicine, however he wants to pee in the floor due to associating peeing with pain and the litter box with peeing, thus litter box = pain. He’ll get over it soon, he already is showing improvement.
Because of his sickness I have had to stay with my grandma Brenda and my grandpa Roger for 6 days now. The frustrations of living here are enormous and I’ve never been so close to murder…even when I murdered that little girl and buried her in the front lawn of the Bateman house. Taxes have also been a problem as I found out my mother has claimed me as a dependent for 2 years now, though I haven’t lived with her or received more than donations of used clothing from the Thrift Shoppe in 5 years (except that one time she bought me new work shoes and a belt so I could get a decent job). Because of this my taxes went from receiving a refund of 400 dollars to owing 500 dollars…and I have a late fee. Luckily she will be paying these fees for her idiocy. And let’s not mention the legal stuff…holy cow. I may never enter WI again.
Now, the moaning and bitching is over and on to the good stuffs! The chickens are growing very quickly, and 3 of them now have names: Richart, the rooster, who’s comb is now getting bigger and redder and he’s taking on that sexy male aura. Moa, the large bodied White rock that has no tail feathers for some reason and is larger and stumpier than the others, thus making her look like a short-necked moa (which is an extinct bird, check it out). Then there is Rosy, the adorable Rhode Island Red which is the smallest and youngest looking of all them. She likes me. She likes me so much that she comes up to me and eats worms out of my hands and lets me pick her up and she kind of hovers about me…I love Rosy.
The barn is coming along, but as I said stalled. I have almost all the fencing materials, I have the ramps up, and I even found an old farm gate to use for the pen! I’m very excited about this. Grandma Marvis wanted to paint the barn last year to suit her, but never got around to it, and now she will because I’m there to do the work! Soon this barn will be a regular beauty. I turned some old broken ass shelving units into chicken nests, see below, and am just about ready to put the chickens here. For now they are still at Brenda’s so I must come here daily to feed them and keep them company.
I unfortunately don’t have my phone with me so I can’t upload any recent photos, but I did send myself some a few days ago. Here are some photos of cuteness to wrap up this short update. More soon.
Well, the days are running by at a blinding speed. I’ve done so much that days are mashed together. Every morning I wake to the crowing of roosters, the cawing of peacocks running wild i the woods, and the MEW MEW MEEEEEWWWW of 23. Every day I run around and spend hours cutting tree limbs, mowing grass, shovelling, digging, sawing, scooping, washing, walking, biking..etc. And every night I watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with grandma Marvis and eat delicious food until I go to bed to the sound of spring peepers peeping and crickets chirping. I look out my window and can only see as far as the light from my window shines.
As the days march on, the trees bloom in greater numbers. Staring at the mountains each morning you can see as each specie of tree begins to bud. 4 days ago it was beautiful brush strokes of lime green, yesterday a dark green appeared, and today strokes of red and orange light up the mountain side…and only 1/3 of the trees are budding.
From the journal:
[removed] I’ve been working hard to prepare the barn for the chickens to move into. The ramps are up, the door is coming along, the fence posts in, it’s very fn and very draining to repair a barn. All of this activity has me losing weight, getting tan, and my leg has been hurting less. It’s quite the lucky blessing. Ah, and speaking of lucky, the number 4 did arise again as expected, I found a 4-leaf clover right in front of the barn yesterday. It’s drying now in a bible, I may make it a jewelry.
I investigated poke, and by that I mean I accidentally stumbled across “pokeweed” in my Audubon book. The book states that pokeweed is very poisonous, however can be eaten as greens if boiled in two changes of water and picked before pink. This explaining its bitterness, I told grandma about this and she said that she didn’t think/know they were poisonous, however they do cause people to shit. This led to a story about her sister shitting the bed and all over uncle Euhl. Then another shining star from Marvis that seems to aptly describe my past week: “Busier than the latch on an outhouse door in poke season.” I almost pooped from laughter.
So much shit talk. Speaking of, g-maw Marvis gave me another great colloquialism. She told me that her dad wouldn’t eat cold cereal because it “went through him like wind through a hollow log.” Classic.
Today Marvis took me to get an $85 pair of farm boots (Muck brand). They are very comfortable, very warm, and very water proof. I’m pretty proud of them. And best of all, I made a friend while buying them. As I was checking out the Mountaineer Half-Runner beans, Marvis struck up a conversation. This woman started talking hippie and I tuned in. Quickly we moved into ‘lasagna gardening’ and keeping worms happy. She left and I regretted not getting her information. As I stood pondering how to recontact her, in she walks with the loveliest note with her contact info and info for a shiitake mushroom growing seminar in two days! Best part? Her name is Elaine Williams. E.W. E=5 W=23. That’s right… We kept talking and she hates corn syrup, she’s a total organo-hippie who reminds me of an older Blanca. She moved here from CT, NJ, ME, and she ranted about pharmaceutical companies, etc. I will certainly be seeing her soon. She has chickens, goats, and rabbits, hopefully I can set up a trade for kid. Oh yes, and she said there is some sort of organic farmer’s market thing in the summer on the weekends which she invited me to, and this seems a likely place to meet alternorganohippies…maybe some sexy ones.”
So yea. Things going well. Up next: and Ode to Marvis.
picks, licks, and deer ticks
*apologies for my typos if any, this keyboard misses every 15th stroke…
My grandma Marvis taught me a new saying she learned as a child: “Fog on the hill, water in the well.” Quite an easy, honest phrase…enough water in the ground to evaporate into the air and cause fog…but still, these little colloquialisms are what I’m really interested in learning.
I want to write a lot in this post, but am very busy. I have come here to quickly share my prides and joys. I am now the owner of 13 baby velociraptors. They aren’t quite as voracious as I expected, my fingers being intact and all, but they are definitely prehistoric beast of ep(etite)ic proportions. Chick them out:
These are my beauties. Aren’t they adorable (yet vicious)? I have 6 White Rock (which are apparently not listed in Wikipedia under velociraptors or any other relative of such a creature) and 6 Rhode Island red pullets. A pullet is a hen (which is a female velociraptor) under 1-year-old.*** So, 12 females. I also have one White Rock cockerel, which is a male (velociraptor) under 1 year old. He is the only one with a name…his name is Richart, named after Richart Shugg (Schugg?) and I would appreciate it if someone would notify him. All of the others will be named once they are old enough to recognize. I can already tell that some of the female reds have more tinted beaks, etc…so we’ll see.
Also, breeding these two varieties together will result in a “Golden Comet” which is one of the meatiest, eggiest raptors you’ll find. As far as I can find, however, you need a white female and a red male…which I have the opposite. At any rate, these little lizards will be laying eggs in a few months. Currently they are about 6 weeks old, and I hear they reach their full height of 8 feet at about 8 months. Wooo!
The grossest part of this entire ordeal is really that the food you buy for them, the “starter mash” (and why a raptor would eat mash of anything except cattle is beyond me) comes pre-MEDICATED. Yea…that’s right. Medicated. I’m appalled, but until I have the entire set up and ability to grow these lil lizzies on my own, it will have to do. At any rate, they won’t be eating this junk at laying time.
I was also told the going rate is 3 dollars a dozen for my farm fresh raptor eggs, however, if it suits me, I may just mail you one or two in a padded box to taste in the delicious.
Peeps, lubs, and raptors.
***I believe, linguistically, this word may have arisen from “POULET,” but eventually became “PULLET” through englishificationism.
Well, I just finished mowing several acres of land on a riding lawn mower while listening to the Beatles and miscellaneous other tunes. It has taken several hours to do the work, and several pieces of fried chicken as well. Things are going pretty awesome, the sun is shining, the magnolias are blooming, yellow flowering bushes are everywhere, and the tadpoles are out! I’ve learned about all sorts of things, heard all sorts of stories, I even built a super bike out of spare bikes and took Number 5 for a ride today! Because I’m slightly exhausted, haven’t posted yet, and want to get as much on here as I can, I have decided to post directly out of my hand-written journal in order to really get across the day-to-day. Who knows if I’ll keep posting like that…most likely as I don’t have a computer at my grandma’s, no internet or phone service, etc etc etc etc. So, here:
Well,it’s finally happened. I’ve moved back to West Virginia. 40 years ago
after to the firday today my grandma Marvis has lived in this house in Tariff, and now I have officially joined her. Her 81st birthday is tomorrow. These dates, I feel, are not coincidental, takng into account that coincidences do not exist. For some odd rason maybe just it being April and all, these past few days the number 4 has appeared rather frequently. Just a note, we’ll see if it goes anywhere.
Today was no small welcome. With dates aligning so well, we had a grand feast with pleny of family. The three grandsons all worked together on fixing the hedges that had gone ungroomed for more than a year. After learning they reproduce asexually I began my first project, an unexpected one, and surreptitiously planted about 55 hedges. In under 24 hours multiple people had mentioned that the trimmings will root anywhere thrown, so after the party cleared out I gathered up two arm-loads that had escaped the bonfired (involving plastic, ick…note: get family to stop burning garbage) and planted themon the horizontal and vertical planes of the creek bank in hopes of reducing erosion. I noticed two other hedges of the same varety that had effectively done just that, which had been accidentally sown a few years back. We’ll see how this venture goes…
/\This all happened\/during a walk I was forced to take
during a because the bicycle I repaired blew a tire in the first 3 minutes of riding. Just temporaly previous to the hedge planting, just I Ins inspected the “old” barn next dor we own. It was amazingly intact and in great condition. I’ll very soon be working it into conversation in hopes of putting it to good use. Oh, and I discovered a partial cow in the creek….whoa.
Well, so far so good. I still [deleted by editor]…The good news and main point remain: I’m somewhere, somewhere very green, and I’m starting new. ❤
I was “sorting things” at the Game Room just a moment ago, constructing a smoking device, sipping a beer, and the enormous storm we’ve been expecting today hit all at once. I sat down on the porch to enjoy it and began very stonedly embracing the moment. As I stared at the storm I wandered into the GameRoom to grab a thing or two, at this point the electric off, the evening darkened by storm, I felt a slight indifference to my things. It was as though they were articles of another space-time, another Robby. I turned my back on them (not with such literary intent, I was simply wanting to stonedly watch the storm) and walked to the doorway. As I stood in the open doorway, the rain poured down, the breeze blew through the building at my back, chilling my neck. I felt, at that moment of racing sentiments, overwhelming physical sensations (all brewing in the great cauldron of pot), an unseen layer, a mask of the Appleton 2003-2011 universe Robby lightly lifting itself off from my face and I felt my face breathe. It was like a gill panting, a frog arising from its desert hybernation into the first storm. It felt…fresh.
I also took the time to reflect on the non-coincidence or seemingly coincidental alignment of everything on this trip. I remembered, and am thus notating now as to notate in the future for an auddience, that I re-encountered the death motel…(or Death Motel?) After stopping for gas and being convinced Davey didn’t yet need it, we travelled until spontaneously Trimper decided we would force Davey to Gas up out of safety.
(Note to self, not for journal: I just capitalized G in gas [deleted by editor])
As we pulled in I noted that I had eaten at that shady gas-station diner. Casually I turn my head to the
left right and to my surprise! DEATH MOTEL! In disbelief I twisted in myseat to verify…and holy shit! Burger King! I was so happy! Glory to the blood-stained, mouse infested, Indian managed motel’o’death I’d always told the legend of.
(Note: for the blog: oh god, I wrote ‘blog’ in my journal: oh god, I wrote to myself in the form of a judging audience…okay…this is also extremely important to me but I was caught in the moment of intenal speech…whoa. Next line:
I’ve written this whole entry whilst sitting in the living room talking to my grandma by the light of an oil lamp that belong to her great aunt. Telling stories about oil lamp light by oil lamp light as my cats cuddle and groom each other in a rocking chair to my right and my grandma rick-rocks in a chair to my left. The only noises in the room besides the occasional story [are] teck-tuck of the clock, the leck-leck-leck of the cats, the low sssssss of the gas stove, the scri-scri-scri of my pen, and the randomly placed creck of the chair housing my story teller.
Too late and dark to keep going – remember dates:
April 1st – April Fool’s (Fool Tarot card…) Departure date
April 2nd – Arrival
April 3rd – 40th Anniversary of living here for Marvis
April 4th – Grandma’s B-day
April 5th – 1 year anniversary of miner deaths (29)
Today was a very active day. Cold, but productive. I received the go ahead for chickens! Uncle Harry built a barn for my dad to put a horse in, and this 20+ year old barn is in great condition and just across the street. Chickens cleared for landing.
As I write, Number 5 seems upset. He just spent about 10 minutes peeing. I couldn’t find him and went searching and there he was, awkwardly perched in his awkwardly small litter box squit-squit-squiting away.
– Background interruption: 23 trying to climb into a baby crib using a collapsable laundry bag as a stool. Impossibly funny.
So Number 5 was urinating the largest amount as of late, but very slowly. I think he’s stressed by this illness, definitely by 23, adjusting to new house rules, and missing family. 23 has definitely been going nuts as wel. Loving as ever, but just more psychotic. Perhaps all of those times I never saw my cats due to work and living in a large house are now accumulating as constant supervision and I have high expectations and they are very confused and sad. I’d say the person to adjust fastest here has been grandma Marvis. she never lets animals in the house, yet, now she’s talking to them, feeding them ham, making/finding toys for them…adorable. She even tried to get 23 to do jumps with the giraffe string toy I made him. Imagine an 81 year old woman hypnotically swinging a small plush giraffe with faux fur on the end of a shoe string around a very bored looking 23 head. A pity I have no film.
My grandmother Brenda bought me 5lbs of black oil sunflowers (like the ones from the B.S.S.C.) for $4.19 (4+1+9=14, 1+4=5) and I wandered around sowing them where I felt they would look pretty. Few hundred here, few hundred there…2lbs of them. Then an lb. of them for the bird feeder I fund buried in the Game Room.
Oh! And grandma even bought 100% natural, biodegradable, dye and scent free laundry soap today. It floored me. She’s such the roommate. She already recycles (even though they don’t have local pick-up), she composts (i.e. separates the meat from the veggie matter, one for the wild cats/dogs, one for the creek bank for rot or what wants it), she’s pretty libertarian, and I learn so much. Today I heard of a new thing: “poke.” Apparently it’s a sharply-flavored, green plant shoot that you pick very early, right after it “pokes” out of the ground. She told me she didn’t think I’d like it, but we’ll get some soon. It grows wild…and I think I like it already.
NOTE: During this entry, my grandpa interrupted so he could “learned me” some more things. I learneded how to drive a tractor and till a field. He seems to really be enjoying today, he’s shown me how to do all sorts of things involving farm work, putting together tractor stuff, greasin…everything is moving so quickly. After the whole thing was said and done I gazed upon my work and thought: damn, I could have done this on Harvest Moon in a couple of minutes. It’s been exactly 2:05 hours. 🙂
Okay…well that’s the end. I’m extremely exhausted after hours of farm work and am sun-baked but not baked. I now must go home and sleep off this grossness so that I may start again tomorrow. Peace, love, and poke.