Hi Top and Glenn, the chihuahua of roosters

I sat up all night with Hi Top. I was afraid if I didn’t, she’d die when I wasn’t looking. I can’t think of any metric by which she could be said to be doing well. She’s not doing well.

I force fed her some homemade electrolyte solution a few times. Wasn’t prescribed by the vet but I think she’s probably only swallowing half her meds, if that, and I won’t repeat the smelly details on what’s going on with her – it’s in the last post if you’re interested – but there’s no way she’s not dehydrated.

I’ve also never seen a chicken look at someone with actual hate before, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I got when I maneuvered the medicine dropper into her mouth and pushed the plunger. That or the most iconic “I am so done with you” chicken face ever.

I really need her to be ok, esp. after losing Raven earlier this year. Raven and Hi Top are (were) my two special girls.

Hi Top and partial view of Raven’s butt last year

So I didn’t get caught up on communication last night yet again, y’all, despite pulling an all-nighter. I’m really sorry. I’m just getting pulled in so many directions this week – well, for the last month, I guess. It’s kicking my butt, but I’m still among the healthy and living, unlike plenty of folks who started out 2020 that way but got interrupted, so I complain only sheepishly. But I’m starting to feel a little punch-drunk with the nonstop action lately.

In peripherally related news, when I went out to do dawn chores, Glenn, the black frizzled rooster, was giving the other boys a worse time than usual and generally being a bully. When I catch him doing this, I call this Glenn Needing a Hug; he gets picked up and toted around under my arm as I finish morning chores while I talk to him very calmly like he’s a small animal and make sure all the other chickens can see this happening.

Glenn: 14″ tall and definitely not bulletproof.

I want him to not panic around me or the prospect of being handled, but I also want him to know who’s in charge, what side his bread is buttered on, and that he isn’t actually 10 feet tall like he thinks he is. (He’s also not the head rooster, though he occasionally acts like he is, and Joe, who is the head rooster, is generally too busy doing his job to even take the bait when Glenn runs at him. He just dodges slightly out of Glenn’s way and goes about his business.)

This is Dickhead Joe, who’s the head rooster and who is not a dickhead at all. He’s a very good rooster. That was just kinda where my daughter was going with the chicken-naming at the time.

Well, the little shit took a run at me when I was going to pick him up for his “hug.” This is basically rooster fight mode – they kind of square themselves up and do this sort of flapping little run towards their opponent, chest out, almost leaning back a little as they move forward to make their chest protrude. It might seem kind of cute if you haven’t had to deal with the bloody aftermath of a rooster dustup before – they will eff each other up – and it *does* seem kind of cute when Glenn does it, ’cause he’s like a teacup rooster – at least at first.

We call this one Pretty Boy ’cause I guess we ran out of creative juice that day and, well, he is pretty. He’s Glenn’s favorite target for bullying.

But even teacup frizzled bantams have spurs unless you do something about them, and spurs suck no matter the size. While he kind of seems like a chihuahua – they tend to be forgiven more easily for bad behavior that could get a larger dog in a lot of trouble – the fact remains that bad behavior is bad behavior. Now, he didn’t actually “complete” the forward movement part and run at me – perhaps because I wasn’t responding in kind, ’cause I’m not a freakin’ rooster – but he sure did square up, and he was not cornered, which might have made it explicable.

This is simply unacceptable behavior towards a human being. We have an excellent rooster who is great with people and is vigilant, protecting and warning the rest of the flock from danger and treating the hens decently. We have zero reason to tolerate asshole roosters, and we have a zero-tolerance policy for roosters that are aggressive towards people. There are too many good ones to put up with a shitty one.

But I wanted a black frizzled bantam rooster, and I got a black frizzled bantam rooster, and it’s this little asshole I ended up with. And you can’t just pop down to the pet store in November and go pick up a new one. But I need a black frizzled bantam rooster. He might be a little shit, but unlike most roosters, he earns his keep merely by existing and being a chicken. I use his feathers to create charms, art, and implements for customers; they are ingredients in several of my formulas; and I use them in uncrossing and spiritual cleansing work for clients. I *need* Glenn (at least until I can replace his narrow little ass, if that ends up being necessary).

Now, I will give them a shot at redeeming themselves, and the first step is Rooster Needs a Hug. After a round of that, we see if they try that crap again or if they’re suitably chastened. Actually, that’s the only step, because I’ve never given a rooster a second chance if he ran at a person again after a first round of Rooster Needs a Hug. The one and only time I’ve had to do this before, we rehomed him before we had a chance to really assess a behavioral adaptation. (We just had too many roosters and it wasn’t fair to the roosters or the hens.)

So I’m not sure if Rooster Needs a Hug did any good or not. I kind of doubt it. Glenn is very, very full of himself and he seems to think he’s bulletproof. We’ve been very lucky; our roosters have been extraordinarily well-behaved. They’ve nearly all been home-hatched barnyard mutts, too. Glenn is the only storebought one we have :/ I understand there’s a widowed black bantam hen in Forestville, California, who would probably appreciate Glenn’s company lol… but in addition to that being on the opposite coast from me, practically, I don’t know if the humans involved would be so keen once they learned of Glenn’s appalling manners.

But I’m gonna threaten to put him on a train with a steamer trunk and send him to California every time he pisses me off now, I’m sure – at least until spring when I can shop for a new one and find him a new home if need be. I hope it’s not necessary. But I just had to get the one with “personality.” :/

Ok, time to go get the death glare from a very weak Hi Top šŸ˜¦

glimmer? thud.

Hi Top was not eggbound, thank God, but she’s got some weird infection and some sort of fluid retention thing going on. The vet did not say the words “vent gleet” or “prolapse” so that’s good, but she has two meds, is in isolation, and is not any better (or any happier) and there’s still plenty of worry mixed in with my relief that she wasn’t eggbound. I got to kind of enjoy that mingled relief/anxiety thing (mixed with a little nausea over what we had to pay for this diagnosis) for about 20 minutes.

Then I got the news that two family members just died this morning from COVID, within an hour of each other.

I have one grandparent left, and she has no idea what’s going on. I don’t know if it hurts her feelings that none of us come in and hold her hand anymore or not, but it seems like it would have to. And it’s hard to explain why we can’t from the other side of a thick sheet of plexiglass. I don’t know what’s going through her head, but I know what this pandemic is doing to our elders is just especially cruel and it breaks my heart.

But as much anguish as it gives me to think of all the people dying without any family gathered around them, I’m grateful for the caregivers and medical professionals who are doing their best and risking so much to do it. This has to be horribly difficult for them as well. They have my thanks and my prayers.

Everything about this sucks.

(deep breath)

I am in the middle of two consultations that I should have delivered last night, along with posting a custom listing, finally getting the incredibly patient E. her light setting report, and making a big dent in the emails.

Since 8 p.m., I have had three hours of sleep, one unexpected visitor who stayed a while, one rooster with a bloody foot who is very human-averse and hard to catch and who I’ve so far only managed to hit with Blu-Kote from a distance, four (yes, 4) separate hawk sightings necessitating installation of new hawk deterrent measures over three acres, and a hen who is still acting weird on day 3 and who might be egg bound, which means she has to go to the vet *today.* (The condition is fatal if untreated, and this is Hi Top, the ISA Brown whose face greets you when you see a mailing list signup form. She’s not just any old hen.)

Hi Top as a teenager with her sisters Freddie and Starbuck in the background and some random chicken butt I can’t confidently identify from this angle

I’m freaking out a little. Both our vehicles are out of commission and we have access to a borrowed one, but it means only one of us can knock out errands and neither of us can go finish this painting job that the customer wanted finished last week. And my back is still pretty twingey.

And then two adults here need to vote today somewhere in all of this, and meanwhile murder hornets, civil unrest, and mutant crawfish in Europe who can reproduce by essentially cloning themselves. If this were a screenplay, nobody would buy it because it’s too unbelievable.

Meanwhile, I have a case of the ass about some shitty feedback on Etsy for shipping time from buyers who didn’t read the shop policies and/or didn’t think giving me a chance to respond should happen before shitty feedback. Now that kind of thing is going to happen when you do this – I should know, I used to sell on eBay – but my anxiety brain doesn’t care and wants me to go into “sky is falling” mode.

And the housemate we had to evict who turned nasty on us is heading over here right now to get the last of her things.

So a couple of things:

One, if you have a moment and grok how a chicken can be important to somebody, Hi Top could use some prayers.

Two, I pretty much reserve coupons/specials for mailing list subscribers only, but I’m making an exception today. If you’ve purchased from me this year and have NOT been AN ASS and left negative feedback about delivery times recently, esp. considering we’ve had THREE hurricanes and a death in the family in 6 weeks, I’m thanking you with a discount on your next purchase. If you haven’t made a purchase before, you’re welcome to use the code, too — as long as you read the TOS/shipping info and aren’t AN ASS about delivery times šŸ™‚ Coupon code is NOTANASS and it’s good at the Etsy shop and at the main shop through 11/30.

Three, I’m also going to give away at least one email reading/consultation this month. I’ll post details in a separate blog post. Staying busy and helping people is one of the best cures for panic and self-pity that I’ve found, so that’s gonna be my MO. That and breathing.

local stuff going on, delays

Communication and shipping both are a little slow right now, I’m sorry. There was a sudden and quite unexpected death in the family late Sun night/early Mon morning. I’m just not processing things at top speed right now. If it’s not a message or call distracting me, it’s my own train of thought or memories.

But it is still business as usual around here, just with a little added delay to account for my brain being kind of scrambled. I sort of feel like I got hit by a truck, and a crapton of emails came in between Friday and Sunday, like maybe Etsy’s algorithm decided I existed again so I could show up on search pages.

But I’m here, I’m working on it, and I’m not ignoring anybody! I’ll keep working on getting orders and services completed and out the door. There is, however, another hurricane headed our way that we’re keeping a close eye on for the next few days, because 2020 is nothing if not on-brand with the pummeling, so we’ll see about that.

(We only just this week got mostly cleaned up from the last hurricane. Not totally, but mostly. And now here we go again. This is starting to seriously suck.)

internet

In theory, our ISP fixed our broken line or whatever Friday evening.

They also replaced our modem.

In practice, the internet is now about as fast as me tethering my phone to get online. (That’s not very fast in case your phone is not an antique like mine.) And I randomly get booted off for random amounts of time.

The cable that is supposed to be buried is not buried because of the road paving that has taken a year at this point. And they aren’t even done grading the road. So the cable is just lying there on top of the dirt waiting for a truck or a dog or a meteor or some oblivious kid on a dirt bike to run over it and render our decrepit DSL totally non-functional.

Grr. Anyway, so after a week, I finally kind of have internet again if you squint and are very patient, and I’m spending some of my Sunday indoors to try to get caught up on the communication and updating stuff that was too hard to do on my phone last week.

So it’s not the speed of light, but I’ll get there eventually.

Also, does Alabama have a non-fuzzy, green-pod-having version of meadow vetchling? or what the hell am i looking at?

img_20200614_080822578-1

internet status

They can send a repair person on Friday.

Until then, it’s me trying to navigate everything with my phone, so if you’re waiting to hear from me, please don’t take it personally. If you’re upset and want to hex someone, hex Century Link, quite possibly North America’s worst internet service provider.

still no internet

no internet yesterday or today. The joys of country living. (This happens every time we get a storm, which is one of the reasons I can only promise to ship once a week.) I can use my phone to answer (short) emails sent to seraphinstation@gmail dot com, and messages sent through the seraphinstation.com storefront’s contact form will route to that inbox. I can answer (short) Etsy messages sent through seraphinstation.etsy.com.

I can put up item listings that use stock photos or existing photos (like most oils) if they don’t require much typing.

While I can technically reply to facebook messages at facebook.com/seraphinstation, facebook is a data hog and I don’t have unlimited data, so I’m only going to check in once or twice.

Waiting to hear when repair person can come out.