5/7/09 (Thursday)

Attention, people with mad graphic design skillz! Reader Anita has a family member who has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer – some of you may have heard of IBC, but it’s not nearly as well known as the breast cancer we always hear about. You won’t find a lump because it doesn’t present itself … Continue reading “5/7/09 (Thursday)”

Attention, people with mad graphic design skillz!

Reader Anita has a family member who has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer – some of you may have heard of IBC, but it’s not nearly as well known as the breast cancer we always hear about. You won’t find a lump because it doesn’t present itself that way. Most women who are diagnosed with IBC find out when they’re already in Stage IV. There is NO Stage V. It can look like a rash, or a bug bite, so many women pass it off. It’s very aggressive, and the prognosis isn’t good.

Anita started up a web site for Sherri, We Love Sherri, and they’re looking for someone to design a banner/ logo so that they can get a Cafe Press store up and running.

This is where you talented graphic designers come in! The only design elements they’ve come up with so far are:

1. a Berry (we call her Sherri Berry)
2. a pink ribbon

She says, Sherri is not working right now b/c she’s so sick, and she’s got 2 kids. We’ve had a couple of charity events for her, but of course, they don’t bring in a ton of money. I don’t imagine the t-shirts, mugs, etc will either, but I feel like I need to do something- anything. It’s all very sad and awful….

Who’ll help out? Email welovesherri (at) gmail (dot) com

And, thank you!



One of these days it will stop raining, and I will be able to mop my floors, secure in the knowledge that the cats won’t run outside, get muddy feet, and then tromp all over my nice, clean floors.

Yesterday was not that day. Today won’t be, either.

I meant to do some cleaning yesterday, but it was rainy and crappy outside, so I snuggled up on the couch with the kittens and Miz Poo and watched Grey Gardens (the movie with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, not the original – though now I’ve added the original to my Netflix queue).

I actually thought that watching that movie would motivate me to get up and clean and declutter the house (if you’re not familiar with how the inside of Grey Gardens looked, there are some pictures here), because seeing TV shows about hoarders always makes me freak out a little and feel like we’ve got WAY too much shit and usually a cleaning frenzy commences.

Yesterday, though, I looked around and the house was relatively neat and organized, and I shrugged and said “Looks okay to me!”

(I bet that’s the first sign of being a hoarder, not seeing the mess that surrounds you. Someone’s probably standing on the front porch right now, ready to come in, remove 1,000 pounds of trash and junk from the house, and capture 450 cats and carry them off to the shelter.)



So, last week I said that the maternity/ little chicken yard is like a freakin’ Peyton Place. First, let me re-introduce the Mommas:

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Red Momma and her two babies.

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Buff Momma and her one baby.

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Silkie Momma and her four.

You’ll note that Buff Momma has one baby. After I found Buff Momma’s baby snuggled up under Red Momma three or four times in a row, it became clear to me that Buff Baby was rejecting his Momma. I don’t know if Red Momma bribed him with better food or the idea of having siblings in the form of Red Momma’s babies (who were getting ready to hatch) were what convinced him that he’d rather hang out with Red Momma, but his preference was pretty clear. Then Red Momma had her two babies, and now she’s got her two and Buff Momma’s one following her around all the time.

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Coparenting as they stroll around the chicken yard.

Sometimes Buff Baby will follow Buff Momma around if she asks very nicely, but most of the time Buff and Red Mommas stick pretty close together. I know that Red Momma is letting Buff Momma think they’re coparenting all three babies, but Red Momma’s babies have no interest in what Buff Momma has to say.

George Momma hatched two babies, one little yellow baby and one little black one. And then, because these chickens are HORRIBLE mothers sometimes, the little black baby got into the nest box where Black Momma was sitting patiently on her eggs, and guess what Black Momma did? Did Black Momma take George’s baby under her wing and love and snuggle it and teach it how to eat?

Why, no. There was no loving and snuggling and teaching from Black Momma. What there was, was MURDER. Black Momma pecked the intruder to death. TO DEATH.

And in the next nest box over, George just SAT and did NOTHING.


Poor little baby.

I’d like to say that George watches over her remaining baby with a close eye, making sure the baby is always near her and safe, except that that’s not true. MOST of the time George watches over her remaining baby closely and makes sure it’s safe, but if George and her baby are in the coop and one of us is outside tossing scratch to the chickens, that baby is ON HIS OWN.

However, if the baby manages to find George, George will cluck at it to show it where the food is and what’s okay to eat, and if another chicken gets too close, George loses her shit and runs it off. Apparently George requires a lot of personal space.

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George Momma and her baby.

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George Momma and her baby. See that white chicken on the left bottom of the picture? That’s one of the older chicks. It’s getting too close to George’s baby, as far as she’s concerned…

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…so she ran it off.

Earlier this week, we found a dead chicken – one of the six week-old ones – in the maternity yard. It didn’t appear to have been chewed on (ie, not killed by a predator), so all we could guess is that it got too close to a baby, and one of the Mommas attacked and killed it.

If you ever thought of mother chickens as being sweet and maternal, get that thought right out of your head! They’re vicious bitches! It’s a fucking SLAUGHTERHOUSE over there. I told Fred that he needs to build a row of single-nest chicken coops, each with its own little yard, so the goddamn mother hens can’t get into each others’ nests and the babies can’t wander into harm’s way and get VICIOUSLY MURDERED.

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The Mommas still see Charlie as no threat whatsoever, apparently. She’s like the mascot of the maternity coop.

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See how Charlie gets all up in Silkie Momma’s space? Silkie baby’s all “Who’s that, Momma? Should I be scared?” and Silkie Momma’s all “Oh, that’s just Charlie. She won’t bother you.”

I would like to take a moment to apologize to Silkie Momma, though. She actually does a really good job of keeping her babies around her, now that Fred fixed the ramp into the coop so that they can get in there on their own. So far, all four of her babies are still alive. I guess it just took a day or two for her to figure out that whole mothering thing.

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Keeping an eye on the babies.

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Is it just me, or do the babies look like her security detail? Especially the two in the back, gazing off into different directions, alert for the possibility of a concealed weapon.



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“Look, okay, you know what? We’ve been over and over this frickin’ CSS code, and I don’t know how to explain it any clearer. I think you’ve just not got a head for CSS, lady. It’s hard for me to use the mouse without opposable thumbs, but I will if it’ll SHUT YOU UP.”

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Beulah works on her modeling poses. This is her “concerned” look.

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The wide-eyed innocent.



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The look on Tommy’s face is cracking me UP. He’s like “Oh, THIS ONE again. She keeps following me around!” and she’s like “You’re purrrrrty!”



2008: I choose to believe it recovered and took flight.
2007: “GodDAMN I’m good-looking. Why am I taking orders from this old hag? Am I making enough money to put up with this over-polite shit*? I think NOT. GodDAMN I’m good-looking.”
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Questions answered, and a meme.
2003: Once again, pot-kettle-black.
2002: You can imagine the temper tantrum that followed.
2001: I would have preferred a candy bar, but unfortunately, we don’t got none o’ them ’round these parts.
2000: No entry.