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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chicken changes, walking, taxes

After listening to several YouTube videos yesterday I go the strong impression that the major factor contributing to our decreased egg production has to do with the roosts we have provided for the hens. I talked it over with Mama during lunch yesterday and we decided to do something about it. So, I stopped by Lowe’s on my way home and bought some shelf brackets that were wide enough to give me about twelve inches of space away from the wall. I took apart the roost I had built and used those pieces to make the roost a single rail on each of two walls. I also put a small roost outside for the chickens that do not like to go into the coop to roost. All I was able to get done was one side of the coop but I have all the brackets I need to do the other side on Thursday. I went out to check last night well after dark and all the chickens were stretched out on the rail attached to the wall where the original roost had been. Not one was on the rail on the other wall. They are creatures of habit. Fortunately, the one eight-foot roost was ample space for all of them. It may not work out the same on the other side where there are more chickens. It will be interesting to see if that helps make them happy enough that they start laying again, but if not, it will make cleanup even easier for me and Mama.

After eating a bowl of soup Mama had made for a Ladies’ Meeting at church, I worked on the music schedule for next week’s services and then went out to walk for a while. By starting at the front walk and going to the end of our road – as it joins the major county road – I can walk one mile in a round trip. I typically do one mile and call it good but for some reason last night I felt like I should keep going. On my first trip, I shot a skunk that was foraging at the very edge of our property and on the second trip I shot an armadillo. I could hear hogs in the bushes but they did not show themselves and the coyotes I could hear in the distance got very quiet when the first shot was fired. They started up again about an hour after I had gotten back to the house. It is interesting to hear Sam and Sasha howling at them when the pitch of their yapping is too high.

Early into the second trip, I saw Victoria turn onto our road so I stepped off the road and shined my flashlight at my feet so she could see me as she approached. It did not seem to matter because she flew right by me on her way home. That did not surprise me because it would not normally be a good idea to stop to talk to someone walking a dark road – especially when a lady is alone in the car. But, what I found out later was that she did not even see me. She was busy texting a friend as she flew past me. I told her it was a good thing I had stepped off the road. Texting while driving is still one of the things that really scares me about the culture we live in today.

As I waited on Mama to get home I started to lay out the paperwork and receipts for income taxes for last year. Even with the abundance of items I have collected there are still a few things I need in order to complete the spreadsheet I create each year for our tax accountant. My plan is to have all this done in two weeks so Mama and I can take it all to him. We are still using an accountant in Amarillo and at this juncture it does not make sense to try to find someone else; especially with the severance pay given to me by ConocoPhillips and pulling money out of our 401k. I may look for someone closer next year, but not this year.
Besides, it is a good reason to visit Chase and Makaila.


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