Hectivity: Cross between hectic and activity.
It has been a long time since I've written, but never fear, I've been busy. The days are flying by and I'm trying to absorb the fact the first week of March is past already and I don't know where it's gone. Let's see if I can fill in some of the missing hunks of time:
The Rosebush lamp is finally off the form and I'm in the final stages of cleanup and detailing work. I am working on a post of the whole process, complete with time lapse videos (if I can figure out how to upload them) for my next post.
In the meantime, I'm working on another lamp, a tiny little 10" Peony cutie with only 386 pieces.
|Teeny little form|
|Part of first repeat|
|Colored-up pattern to help me decide on glass shading|
|All the light parts of the glass cut out of the pattern with a craft knife for windows and glass selection|
|Here's the Laburnum form|
|And the Peony & Laburnum together.|
At this point, you may or may not be wondering: "Karen, what do you do with all these lamps?" Well, maybe you weren't wondering that, but one person who has been questioning my sanity is my dear 90 year old mother. She still cannot figure out why we want all these lamps around the house.
So, here's the deal: Joel loves stained glass lamps as much as Carl and I do, and has purchased much of the glass that goes into their construction and assists in the cutting process. Even our younger son, Dave, has a fondness for a few of them. I'm making the shades for heirlooms, something that hopefully will be passed on down through the generations. Then again, I could be wishful thinking, because maybe no one in the next generations will want them with my wacky sense of color...but still, the idea that something may outlive me for awhile pleases me. And because I just love flowers and glass. And because when Joel moves out, we may be left lamp-less. (And because I am a bit 'touched in the head', as Mom would put it.)
Let's see....what else has been going on.......
Skiing has been a constant this winter, I've done quite a bit of it just around the farm here at home. Good exercise, but, I imagine, not enough to impress my Doctor of 10 to 15 miles a day fame.
Company, we have had many visitors and nothing makes the time fly faster than good company. We've been so blessed to see our friends this winter.
I've also sat down to wrestle with the seed order which is going to be very late getting in and the income taxes, which are organized but not done. (Yes, I know April 15 is closer than I think.)
Then there were three days spent writing an article for a friend, plus two or three snowstorms necessitating my presence behind the snow blower (I have to keep my Snow Blower Trails open!) Today we are in the midst of yet another blizzard, so I know where my time will be spent yet again. This has been a long winter. (I'm not complaining, I need the time for glass work.)
Oh, yes, then there was the Great Chicken Theft. We have had chickens for around seven years now and (had) six hens in our flock. They are like pets. I have let the 'Girls' roam free-range for years, but they always have a coop to go back to. In the summer, when my seedlings are tiny, I keep them in a fenced-in pen, but in the late summer, fall and any time in the winter that they care to venture out of the coop, they have the run of the place.
I have had chickens killed by predators in the past, with neighborhood dogs being our Number One worst offenders, followed closely by possums. One of my favorite hens, a bantam Cochin we named Gertrude, met a horrific end when a possum caught her during a raid of our old henhouse. We built a new, improved henhouse later on and acquired a full-size Cochin hen who had the same coloring as Gertrude, and our sons nicknamed her, Mega Gertrude, or Mega G, for short. Mega G came to us along with Sadie, another humongous gray hen who later died of old age, along with several other chickens. Ann knew a lady whose children had raised chickens for 4H but had outgrown them as pets, so I took the aging flock off her hands. Chickens are so nice to have around and their eggs are wonderful.
By and large, we've been lucky with the hens lately. Until last week. We noticed opossum tracks around the yard, but they are usually nocturnal, so the hens should be safe in their coop at night. Last week Tuesday night our cat, Screech and dog, Teddy, were in an uproar. There was something outside and we didn't find out what it was until Dave moved his car. One opossum down. It was a big one. (I am not a fan of possums, I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone, but good riddance to the nasty varmint.)
I breathed a sigh of relief, good, now I don't have to worry about the chickens. Wrong.
Last week Thursday, we were invited out to a restaurant on a spur of the moment. I had been working on the Rosebush lamp and lost track of time, so I dashed to get ready to go. I normally go out and lock the Girls up just before sunset, before any sneaky predators show up. Since we were running late, I asked Carl to lock the coop up for me, and he obliged. We went to the restaurant and had a good time.
I didn't think about the hens until the next morning when I went to open the door for them and found two of the Girls sitting on the split-rail fence. They had been out all night! Oh, dear.....something's not right here. I opened the coop door cautiously and three more hens came flying out in a panic. I then came face to face with a horrible sight, our beautiful hen, Mega G, was lying dead on the floor of the coop, feathers strewn everywhere, and badly mauled. I will spare you the extremely gruesome details. Suffice it to say, I was devastated. And then alarmed. If Mega G was dead INSIDE the coop, and the coop was locked, then the killer was in the coop TOO! But where?
I shut the coop door behind me and gingerly looked around and soon spotted the killer, curled up in one of the nesting boxes. The big opossum was glaring at me from the box with his teeth bared and making ominous hissing, growling sounds. OH, I was livid! I wanted to yank the nasty thing out of that box by his rat-like tail and do unspeakable things to him, but got the better of my temper. Carl and Joel were going to be home at noon, so I removed poor Mega G's remains from the coop and slammed the door shut and left the murderer locked inside. We'd deal with him when the troops got home. And, we did...and I will once again spare the details.
Carl was very sad, he didn't realize he should have taken a flashlight with him to check on the hens before shutting the coop door the night before, which is something I always do, and had inadvertently locked the varmint in the henhouse with his helpless victims. Though Mega G was a big hen, almost eight pounds, chickens are blind after dark and easy picking for blood-thirsty varmints. We will all make sure now to take appropriate precautions before putting the Girls to bed at night.
And as to the identity theft....there are WAY too many blood-sucking varmints out in the world that are even scarier than opossums. Yesterday I received a phone call from a man claiming to be representative of an online computer store. He wanted to know if I had purchased a computer component to be sent to New York state in the amount of $434.45 and did my credit card end in blah, blah, blah, blah.....? He said he thought this might be credit card fraud.
I said, no, I hadn't authorized any such purchase. I wasn't comfortable giving out my information over the phone, so he gave me a number to call him back after I checked with my bank, which I did. There were already two unauthorized transactions pending. I had not lost my debit card, but apparently, someone, somehow let a varmint into our Coop, too!
I had our bank account frozen and the card destroyed, and when I called the representative back from the online store, he said he had already gone ahead and cancelled the transaction since it was apparent I didn't authorize the purchase. Alas, though, as of today, the charge is still showing up on my bank account, so I'm afraid this varmint is not going to be as easy to capture.