LeeLee’s Story – (Mystery Photo Friday Answer)

The answer to Mystery Photo Friday – it’s a rooster comb! ๐Ÿ˜€ Meet LeeLee, the beautiful boy who stayed still long enough for me to get a good shot of his rose comb.

I originally named him Leeli, from The Wingfeather Saga books (because the character used a crutch to get around, and LeeLee had foot problems and couldn’t stand for a while after he hatched), but he ended up being a rooster, so I changed it to LeeLee.

His toes were curled when he hatched, and we aren’t sure why this happened. Two chicks ended up with curled toes (both have full use of their feet now).

You can see in the photo of young LeeLee how bad his feet were. Within a couple of days, he managed to learn to walk.

Within a couple of weeks, his toes straightened out a bit.

After that, when they started flying around, I put a stick in the cage for him to practice perching on. Then when he outgrew the small stick, we upgraded to a mop handle. He would fly up, and grip with one foot and not the other, and sail right off and land in the pine chips, poor guy. Often he took the other chicks with him and there would be lots of squawking. But as you can see, he turned into a beautiful rooster and he can stand just fine! Here, I caught him in mid-step. ๐Ÿ™‚

After a while, he was able to grip it, and now he can grip the roosting bar and the little perch I have up for them outside with no problem! (He’s the white rooster on the perch – Jules Verne and Patriot are the two on the ground having a bit of a disagreement through the wire. )

Also, say hello to the beautiful hens! Avi, Siren, Guinevere, and Banshee are the hens most visible in this shot.

Hope you’re all having a good week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Struggling Makes Us Stronger (my eggs hatched and what I learned from it)

When researching about eggs hatching, the advice I found was that the chick should be left to break out of the egg on its own, because the struggle makes the chick stronger. Otherwise, it will be weak.

I don’t know how accurate this is, but chick #13 spent two days trying to get out. I prayed for the little fellow – whether hen or rooster – I didn’t want the little thing to die in there. Some people said, if the chick couldn’t get out on its own, it would always be a weak chick and weak adult, and it was better for it to die in the shell because they don’t want weak chicks. I don’t know how true this is, but I also didn’t care. I just wanted the little guy to have a chance to live.

Side note: as someone who once cared for a hen who lost the ability to use her legs (and has a blind hen now), I didn’t care if the chick ended up being a weak chick, I still wanted the little thing.

On day 2 of chirping in the shell,ย  the egg pipped (the chick cracked the shell) but the membrane wasn’t broken. I was afraid the little guy couldn’t breathe and would suffocate in there, so I risked it. (If broken too early, a blood vessel can break and the chick could bleed to death. I figured since the little guy was trying to break it, that he was ready to break out.) I gently peeled the shell back and broke the membrane. I saw a little beak come up and start taking breaths. I knew then, that was the right thing to do. The weak chirping got louder and more insistent.

As for helping him all the way out, I decided to give him a chance. It said online, some people play bird sounds to encourage the chick to come out. Why do that when I had the 12 siblings in a cage right nearby…

I opened the bag of mealworms and the chicks had a feeding frenzy. The one still in the egg started going crazy and the egg was moving and rolling around.

I hadn’t seen a chick “unzip” that fast – unzip meaning pecking its way out – after the first break of the shell. He was out in just a few hours after I broke the membrane.

And out of the struggles, new life! And what an adorable life. โค (Sadly, the eggs this chick is next to didn’t try to hatch. Some showed all the signs of not being fertile – which is weird because we had a rooster – and three had undeveloped chicks inside that died before reaching the hatching stage. So #13 was the last one of the bunch.)

(So cute after drying out! โค )

This whole experience made me think of our struggles.

When we are surrounded by a sphere-shaped trial, we only see that. We don’t see God, watching above, in infinite knowledge. We are trapped inside the struggle. When the chick wanted to get out, instead of freeing him completely, I only gave him what he needed – an air hole. But he wanted to be out NOW.

Doesn’t that sound like us when we pray to God about trials and struggles? I know it sounds like me. I want out of a trial NOW. I don’t want to struggle anymore. But God knows best. But will I trust Him?

Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,

Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:4-6

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,ย casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.ย (First Peter 5:6-7)

Cast your burden on the LORD,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.ย (Psalm 55:22)


It’s hard to trust, but He sees all and knows what is best. And these verses read as a command. Trust in Him.

Back to the chick – because this made a baker’s dozen, I wanted to name her after a cook or a chef. I thought about Chef Boyardee, but that was a man and I didn’t want to doom the hen with a male name. ๐Ÿ˜… T.R. Noble suggested Julia Child, and I loved it. But…

…Julia Child was the first to start crowing. So… meet, Jules Verne, the rooster! (Nickname, Julie.) He’s not weak at all. He’s a fighter. He hatched a week after the first hatched (I expected him to be five days later because I put him in five days after the other eggs) and I guess he has to be tough because he was the youngest.

(I’m fairly certain that Patriot is in the front and Julie is on top of the water dispenser,ย  but they looked very similar at this age. ๐Ÿ˜… Baelfire is the red rooster.)

Because of answered prayer, the little guy not only lived but he is thriving. ๐Ÿ˜€ He’s not so little and cuddly anymore but he turned into a beautiful rooster. ๐Ÿ™‚

What I’ve Been Up To (with photos)

Long time, no see, eh? Well. Here is where I’ve been, in a nutshell. Erm. Eggshell.

Yes. Eggshell.

Because this happened.

I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know if the eggs were fertile, and I wanted to make sure the eggs had chicks inside first. ๐Ÿ˜… And then I wanted to make sure they were happy and healthy before giving an update, and now they are almost three months old and so big. I guess you all can expect a lot of chicken photos over the next while…


And then a lot of time has gone into gardening:


Aaaaand then I also met this kitten, fostered her for four days, and found her a lovely woman who wanted to take her home:

…and I found out recently that the kitten is actually a boy. XD The woman who adopted him works at my vet, so whenever I go to get meds for my pets, I also get updates on how the little guy is doing. ๐Ÿ˜€


Also, I’ve had days where I wasn’t up for doing much so on those days I read a lot. XD

This is my current reading stack, but if you want to see what I’ve been reading this year, here is my 2020 reading challenge page where they are all listed: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/20906860


So I’ve had a lot on my plate. I’m aiming to ease back into blogging this month! ๐Ÿ™‚ But next month is NaNoWriMo and I plan to write the first draft of a 50K novel so we’ll see how blogging goes that month. XD I hope you all had a good summer – or as good of a summer you can have with covid around. ๐Ÿ™‚

El Camino – The Way (storm damage photos)

We had some bad storms come through Easter Sunday. We were out of electricity from Sunday night through Thursday night.

One of the neighbor’s tree – or what’s left of it.

We’re all safe. Our house, the henhouse, my cat’s run, everything is okay.ย  And everyone is okay.

Another of our neighbor’s trees – or what’s left of it.

I was outside bringing my plants inside right before the storm. I was on my way inside when I heard a noise that sounded like a freight train. I thought it was a tornado coming, so we headed inside. And then we lost power.

It went over and we could hear the snapping and a few loud crashes. These trees no longer have tops – and I haven’t found them yet. They are just gone. I guess they were blown away.

We heard one crash in which there was a definite sound of metal. Dad thought a tree fell on his workshop, but the shop was fine. Then I knew what happened.

I’ve been praying for the past year or so that the dead tree near my grandpa’s El Camino wouldn’t fall and crush it before we could try to have the dead tree taken care of. We hoped to restore it.

And then this storm happened. God answered my prayer – I prayed specifically, and He answered! He is good.

How did He answer, you wonder? The car indeed looks crushed. Well… the car IS crushed. Do you see the tree in the center of this photo? The one standing? The one with the bark damaged? THAT is the dead tree. It’s still standing.

The tree that crushed the car was over 100 years old – and very much alive. It’s an oak too. I thought those trees were strong, but it was uprooted.

My heart is still as crushed as the car is, but I’m grateful that it was the only damage. It could have been so much worse! We lost several other trees – snapped or uprooted – but they didn’t smash anything.

โ€œBecause narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

The car was named “The Way” (el camino in Spanish means “the way” or “the path”) but there is only one true Way – and that is Jesus. The onlyย Way. He leads to life. And He protected us from the storm. It was just a car, even though I was attached to it. It won’t make it through the fire – I can’t take it with me. And it isn’t The Way.

Jesus said to him, โ€œI am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

I’m determined to keep my eyes on the True Way. The One who protected us during the storms. He is good! โค

Angel – Life Updates

This is the post I promised back in my It’s been a while post.

Back in 2004 – yes, 2004, I had her for over half of my life! – my dog brought me a present.

My dog brought me a kitten. We still don’t know where she came from for sure. This is when we first met! We had her in the back of our truck.

Here is the dog who brought me Angel. Her name was Grunt. (Don’t let five-year-old me name animals, okay? ๐Ÿ˜‚) Not long after she brought me Angel, she got hit by a car. I was crushed. But Angel helped me get through that. I thank God for bringing me Angel. โค

Getting back on track, my parents said no animals in the house – that lasted a whole three days. ๐Ÿ˜† It started raining so we brought her inside, only until the rain was gone. And she never went back outside again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here, you can see her on dad’s back. One of her favorite places to hang out. ๐Ÿ˜‚

She was officially an indoor kitty! And she made herself right at home. ๐Ÿ™‚

After we found her, we no longer needed to put a star at the top of the Christmas tree – we had an Angel up there. ๐Ÿ™‚

She had her crazy moments. Here we destroyed a paper sack and a newspaper. ๐Ÿ˜†

She had such patience – she put up with younger me. In this photo, she let me bury her with my plush animals. Can you find her?

She had favorite places to sleep. On top of this TV was one of those. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mom cleaned out the cabinets and started reorganizing and afterward, we couldn’t find Angel. Here is where we found her. ๐Ÿ˜‚ After this, Angel wasn’t allowed in the kitchen much unless we were present.

Mom washed the towels and put them back in the drawer and here is where we found Angel. ๐Ÿ˜‚ She started opened drawers and cabinets and emptying everything – or sleeping on stuff we didn’t want her on. ๐Ÿ˜‚ My parents bought baby locks for the drawers and cabinets after this.

If we couldn’t find her – she liked hanging out on top of doors. Just had to be careful when closing doors. Didn’t want to accidentally smash a paw or knock her off the door. ๐Ÿ˜‚

One of my favorite photos of her. Makes me laugh every time. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I caught her mid-yawn.

These two are two of my other favorite photos of her. ๐Ÿ™‚ Those eyes!

 

I thought making this a collage of the two of us over the years might cut down on post length. ๐Ÿ™‚

The avatar I’ve used for the past few months, this photo, is the last photo we took together before she died. It was New Years Day.ย  Yes, that is the same shirt I was wearing in the first photo of this post. I found it and thought it would be fun to have our photo taken together with it for nostalgic purposes. I didn’t realize it would be our last.

She will be missed. I treasure the memories we made together. โค

I took potatoes for granted.

(In light of Coronavirus / COVID-19 , I felt this post was needed today – I’ve moved Angel’s post up to another day. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

It was weird to see signs such as these in the supermarket.

I took full shelves for granted.

I took being able to go to town for granted.

I took paper products for granted.

I took potatoes for granted.

When you’re no longer able to get things you buy regularly, you suddenly realize how much you took for granted. This was last Monday; I don’t know what the state of the supermarket is today. I’m thankful we bought potatoes the week before.


โ€œTherefore do notย worryย aboutย tomorrow, forย tomorrowย willย worryย about its own things. Sufficient for the dayย is its own trouble.”ย Matthew 6:34

Through it all, God is faithful.

The God who created these intricate flowers is in control. Through it all, He is in control.

The God who created mushrooms is in control.

The God who created bugs is in control.

The God who created frogs is in control.

The God who created cats and kittens is in control.

The God who created dogs and puppies is in control.

The God who created the heavens and the earth and everything in them is in control.

The God who created works of art like this is in control. The Creator of all is in control, even when it feels like everything is spiraling. May we trust Him during this hard time. โค

How are you all doing? Are you in quarantine where you live?

If you have time during this quarantine, I highly recommend this short movie from Living Waters. Its only 29 minutes long. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Miss Monkey – Life Updates

This is one of the posts I mentioned I’d make in my It’s been a while post. I lost two cats, Miss Monkey in November from the wild cat population and the other in January, our 15 1/2 year old Angel. This post is for Miss Monkey. ๐Ÿ™‚

Miss Monkey is the one on the left. You can see how scared she is. This photo was from before I tamed her. It took a few months before she trusted me. And then soon after, her brother Lion decided to trust me too. (The other cat here is Mama Kitty, you may remember her from the post, Mama Kitty – Life Updates.)

It was really hard to get photos of her because her favorite thing was to be held or be on a lap. ๐Ÿ˜… But these are the best ones I saw.

She was also scared of the camera flash. Those eyes!

But then she quickly decided that she didn’t care as long as I was holding her.ย ๐Ÿ˜† She started purring and she grabbed onto my shirt because she didn’t want me to put her down. โค

Of course, it was during a holiday (Thanksgiving) when she got sick so the vets were closed. She died on Black Friday, which was kind of fitting since it was a dark day because of her death. She was 11 when she passed away.

The last thing she did before she died was use every ounce of strength she had and pull herself into my lap (I was sitting on the floor). My heart couldn’t take it. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

It was hard to look back through the photos at first because it still hurt so much, but time has dulled the pain a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚ I miss her but I can look at these happy memories without bursting into tears now.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you all have a lovely Monday! โค

P.S.: As usual, I’m behind on responding to comments but I plan to do that this morning! ๐Ÿ˜€

P. P. S.: If you want to see the chickens and Jackie, I’ve been posting photos and videos the last two days on instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/peneloperoyalpayne/ You may also see one that heavily hints at another post I intend to write this week. ๐Ÿ˜‰