Settling In, Clean Chicken Coop, Puzzle and Walks

Monday April 29 and Tuesday April 30, 2024

Dear Diary,

I woke up at 4 am and immediately started writing my blog. I had a lot to process from yesterday and writing helps me with that. I wrote and wrote until Angel woke up at 7 am. She crawled in bed with me and curled up next to me. I finished writing at around 8 am, we got up and went downstairs. Trish was still in bed and I checked on her. She was awake and I made her some chai tea. I fed Bits, made a smoothie and made breakfast for Trish and Angel. I put the laundry in the dryer and started another load. 

As soon as Angel finished eating I got her started on her school work. She didn’t do school while we were traveling and she was prepared to do everything she could to get out of doing school today. She cried, she pretended to be tired, she had to use the bathroom several times, she acted like it was too hard for her, she didn’t understand how to do it, she cried some more. It took 2 hours to get the first few pages done. Then she accepted her fate and got into the doing the last few pages and got them done in record time. 

When she finally finished school, she played a new game on her phone that my sister downloaded for her. It’s a game other people can play together called Township. Trish said it educational because it teaches how a town works and everything needed to keep it running. I downloaded it too and the educational part is questionable. Angel sat on Trisha’s bed with her and they played on their phones together. I sat with them for a while playing on my phone but I could only tolerate staring at a screen for so long before I started to feel my brain turning to mush. 

I got up and worked on the puzzle Trish had started. I was feeling tired so I went upstairs and took a nap. I slept for 2 hours. When I woke up it was 1 pm. I called Christopher and talked to him a while. I showed him a picture of the breville juicer I had bought at the thrift store in Price, Utah. We discussed whether the juicer would make almond milk like my namaJ2 juicer at home does. I looked it up and concluded it didn’t. I would have to make almond milk with my vitamix blender and strain the almond pulp with a cheese cloth. Now to find raw almonds and cheese cloth in this town of 951 people. 

I got off the phone and walked to the store in search of both items. It was cold and windy out and I loved it. It was already starting to get hot and sticky in Texas and I was soaking up the cold crisp air while I could. First I walked to a little Mennonite store figuring they would have cheese cloth. They didn’t have cheese cloth or raw almonds. I walked to M&W grocery store which is a grocery store, a hardware store and a liquor store all in one. As I was walking through the hardware section of the store there was an older man looking at water hoses. As I walked past him he turned to me and asked me if I thought he could hook two 10 feet hoses together. I said that should work. He said that he wanted a 20 foot hose but all they had were 10 feet hoses and 35 feet hoses. He asked if hooking two 10 foot hoses together didn’t work, could he come kick my ass. It took me a second to realize what he had just said. I started laughing and said sure. He laughed and said maybe he should just buy the 35 foot hose. I told him that’s what I would do and he said in that case that’s what he will do. 

M&W also did not have cheese cloth or raw almonds. They did have already made almond milk for sale next to the cows milk. They had almond milk, coconut milk and oat milk which was impressive for a tiny grocery store. As I was looking at all the plant milks and reading the ingredients, a lady that works there was stocking the shelves next to me. She saw me reading ingredients on the almond milk and said the oat milk had the best ingredients and that’s what she drinks because she can’t drink cows milk. She was friendly and talkative and told me it was because of her that they started carrying the plant milks. She can’t drink cows milk and she’s the one that got to choose which plant milks they ordered. She did a taste test on them and said the oat milk is by far the best. I looked at the oat milk and it had the least “non-food” ingredients. I told her, I was searching for cheese cloth and raw almonds to make my own almond milk but couldn’t find them in town. She said they usually carried cheese cloth during the canning season and she didn’t think that they had raw almonds. I thanked her and bought the oat milk. 

When I got back to Trisha’s. I started beans cooking in the instant pot and worked on the puzzle some more. I did more laundry and organized the kitchen, finding a place for all my stuff I had brought. Angel and Trish were still in the bedroom either on their phones or watching TV or both. Trish had been sleeping off and on. Her sleep was restless from the pain of her healing ankle. She liked Angel being in there with her keeping her company. I thought it was good too but Angel needed to do something else besides stare at a screen. 

In the early evening, the sun came out and the wind died down. I asked Angel if she wanted to walk to the park. She did and wanted to ride her bike. Little Bit was excited to go too. He had been restless all day. He was used to having other dogs to play with and he had been insisting that I play fetch with him in the house. I would play fetch with him for a few minutes at a time, which was not nearly as long as he wanted me to. 

Angel rode her bike and I walked Bits to the park. It had turned into a beautiful day. The sun was out, trees and flowers were in bloom everywhere. I took pictures of flowers and flowering trees as we walked along. When we arrived at the park there was another girl there who was Angels age and they played together. I let Bits off his leash and he went wild. He ran as fast as his little legs would take him to one side of the park. Then he’d turn around and run back. He’d run circles around me and run to the edge of the park again. He’s used to being a farm dog and running and playing with other farm dogs. Being cooped up in a house was driving him crazy. It was driving us all crazy. Angel had turned into a screen zombie and I kept finding little projects to do or was distracting myself with the puzzle. It felt so good to be outside. We live outside most of the year. Being outside is much healthier for us is so many ways, mentally and physically.

We stayed at the park for about an hour. Walking home towards Trisha’s we came across a community pond that had a list of the fish in it. Rainbow trout was the first on the list. You don’t see those in my part of Texas. We passed by a lilac bush that was just starting to bloom. The smell flooded me with childhood memories. It has been years since I’ve been to Idaho in the spring and I had forgotten about lilacs. I picked some of the flowers and told Angel to smell them. She took a quick sniff and then plunged her face into them, inhaling as much of the scent as she could. The smell is so heavenly. Later on, I looked up whether lilac bushes would grow in Texas. They will not. It’s too hot for them. 

When we got to Trisha’s I made dinner for everyone. Beans was on the menu. I ate some too but I missed my salad. I don’t feel as good after eating beans as I do after eating salad. Trish put on The Wizard of Oz for us all to watch but she promptly fell asleep and I went to the dining room to work on the puzzle. Angel was the only one that watched it. 

I messaged a friend who lives in a mountain town 30 minutes away let them know I was in the area for a couple weeks. They said they would stop by in a while. I played fetch in the yard with Bits until they arrived. We talked and told stories of adventures for a couple of hours. After they left, Angel and I took a quick bath and went to bed. We played the Township game on our phone until 11:30 pm. We turned off our phones and went to sleep. 

I woke up Tuesday morning at 7 am. I had slept deeply through the night. I felt well rested when I got up. I had only brought 2 pair of pants with me and I had washed both of them last night. I went downstairs and transferred the clothes from the washing machine to the dryer. I fed Bits, made a smoothie and made Angel breakfast. Trish got up and said she had slept restlessly again. She wanted to take a bath and asked if I would help her wash her hair. I started Angel on school and set up the bath for Trish. She got in and I helped her wash her hair. When she got out and dried off Trish asked if I would put her hair in a braid. Angel said she wanted a braid too. I braided both of their hair and Trish went to lay down again. I helped Angel with school which went much better together. She had settled into the fact that she was doing her schoolwork in the mornings again and didn’t fight it. 

When she finished her schooling we got dressed in our now dry clothes. Then I drove 20 miles to my sister Missy’s to let out her chickens. She had just bought that house but before she could move in, she got sent to Morocco for a work trip. The previous owners had left her their chickens, so she asked if I would feed and water them every 3 days. I was happy too. I love farm sitting. 

When we arrived there, the chicken coop was really dirty, which I had been warned about. Also, it was much too small for 6 chickens to stay in all day and night, at least in my opinion as a freedom lover. I let the chickens out and went in search of a shovel. I found one in the garage and started shoveling out the chicken coop. It was thigh deep in crusted chicken poop but it was easy enough to shovel out. It was small and didn’t take me as long as I thought it would. Once I got the floor scraped clean, I took out the nesting box and cleaned it out. There was fresh bedding in the garage. I put the nesting boxes back and put fresh bedding in them. I put bedding around on the floor and it was finished. It looked so nice and smelled much better. I gave the chickens more food and water and left the door open so they could go back in that evening to nest before dark. I would come back at dusk to close them in for the night. As I was getting ready to leave, it started snowing. Barely but it was still snowing.

I drove into the little town near Missy’s called Cambridge. It’s even smaller than Council with a population of 347. I was in search of ripe bananas. The bananas at M&W in Council were really green and it takes a long time for bananas to get ripe up north. I needed ripe bananas in 2 days. I only had enough ripe bananas for tomorrow. The grocery store in Cambridge was even tinier than the grocery store in Council and of course it was a hardware store, liquor store, grocery store all in one. I love those kinds of stores. I ran in to look at bananas. They were also all green. I grabbed 3 bunches anyway. I will ripen them in a paper bag with an apple in it and put them next to the pellet stove. That will speed up the ripening process somewhat. 

I decided to explore Cambridge while I was there. I drove down some side streets, then started following a road heading out of town. The road turned to dirt and I kept going down it to see where it would end up. I could have looked on my gps but I was in adventure mode and didn’t want to know where I was going. I wanted to find out through exploration. The road went on a long ways and was headed either north or northeast, in the direction of Council. I had a feeling it would loop around and connect to highway 95 right before it got to Council. The drive was beautiful, I could see it was snowing on top of the mountains. It is so comforting to see mountains in the background. It’s what I saw in the background my whole life until I moved to Texas. 

Just as I had figured the road came out on highway 95 right before Council. I drove to Trisha’s and brought in the bananas. I put them in a paper bag with an apple and put them by the pellet stove to ripen. Then we went to the library. I walked and Angel rode her bike. The library was really neat. They had a really big children’s section.  I asked up front if they had a story-time. They said they didn’t. There was a family there with 2 kids that looked to be around age 7 and 9. The kids were playing chess and since it was a school day and they weren’t at school I guessed they were homeschooled. Angel started talking to kids and I asked the parents if they homeschooled. They said they did. I told them that we did too and we were in town visiting my sister for a couple of weeks. They said they were having a homeschool get together tomorrow at the library at 12:30 pm and invited us to join them. I thanked them for the invitation and said we would be there. 

We left the library and rode/walked to the thrift store. The thrift store was awesome. I wanted to get another pair of pants and long sleeve shirt for both Angel and myself. I had only brought 2 of each and 3 of each were needed. I also wanted to get another puzzle. I was going to finish the one I was working on today and we would need another one. I wanted to find an unopened puzzle but there weren’t any. There was a 1,000 piece puzzle with horses that Angel liked. I got it and took the risk of it having missing pieces. Angel got a few toys and I got a few other knickknacks. All of it only cost $5. I love thrift stores. They are so much fun. 

Trish was asleep when we got there. Angel played on her phone and I worked on the puzzle. I called Christopher and talked to him a long time while I putting the puzzle together. When I got off the phone I made dinner. Angel had bean tacos again and even though I planned on making a salad, I didn’t and I ate beans again. I worked on the puzzle for a few more hours. I was determined to get it finished today. At 7:45 pm I drove to my sister Missy’s to put the chickens away. When I arrived they were already in their coop and all I had to do was close the door. They seemed happy to have a clean coop with clean nesting boxes, of course that could have been just me projecting my clean coop happiness onto the chickens. 

When I got back Trish was asleep again. Angel took a bath while I worked on the puzzle some more. When she got out, Trish had woken up. I read aloud four chapters from The National Park Mystery Series book 4 to Trish and Angel. I took a bath and Trish went back to sleep. Angel and I worked on the puzzle together until it was completed. We went to bed at around 10:30 pm and played our Townshipgame until 12:30 am. That’s it! That game has to go! I didn’t get one word of my blog written all day. We turned off our phones and went to sleep. 

Thank you for reading my blog and being a part of my life. I dearly appreciate you.



P. S. This blog post was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Leave a Reply