Welcome to Antler Valley Farm

Chasing Chickens and Running from Bees!

The Saturday after Hurricane Irma swept through we went to the property to measure a few things.  Ok, to measure a lot of things like cabinets, vanities, lights, etc.  All the million little things that I take for granted every day.  Someone measured and remeasured all those things to make sure they fit in the house we live in now.  Well, now it’s our turn to measure and remeasure everything to make sure it fits on our new house.  So, we went to get the measurements.  What fun!  No, not really.

On the way out there, I casually mention that the shelter is really full and we should take a few minutes and go rescue a puppy.  The kids would love it!  Ok, I would really love it too.  I even gave Jim my best pitiful look.  It didn’t work.  He was not interested in a puppy until we move.  Realistically, I know he’s right, but I still want a puppy!!  Or a baby.  And Jim has definitely said NO to another baby.  So, a puppy is the next best thing, right?  Yeah, that argument didn’t work with Jim either….

We drove up to the housesite and Jim says, “There’s a chicken.”  I was looking in the woods and not really paying attention.  “Will a chicken do?” Jim asks.  Wait, what??  A chicken for what???  Low and behold, a beautiful brown chicken was pecking around in our driveway!  How neat!  But where did a chicken come from???  Who knows.  Who cares?  We found a chicken!

Of course I had to feed it and then try to catch it.  That must have been hilarious!  Me sneaking up on the hen and her stepping away.  I’m a slow learner so that went on a little longer that it should have!  At times like that, I’m really glad that Jim doesn’t have a smart phone to video me and my stupidity.  However, he has a great memory.  And he will never let me live down the memory of trying to catch a chicken while he laughed so hard he had to sit down.  I am so glad I still amuse that man.  Right?  After all these years he still finds me amusing instead of annoying…most of the time.  Again, thank you Lord!

Eventually, I gave up and we went to measure our stuff.  As we began measuring, guess who walked in the door?  Yep.  The chicken.  Only I moved to fast and she walked back out.  So, when we finished in the house, I left the door open hoping she would walk in.  I knew I would have better luck catching her in the house.  My evil plan was going to work.  I just knew it!   Wa-ha-ha.  (That’s supposed to be an evil laugh.  My evil laugh sounds about that bad in person too actually!)

A few minutes later I walked in and there she was.  I slammed the door and we began our dance again.  Only, that chicken is smarter than me….and a much better dancer too.  She was quite light on her feet while I kept tripping over wires and plumbing.  She kept ducking back and forth between the stud walls that had plumbing and wiring in them.  I couldn’t even get close to her.  And she knew it.  I think she might have laughed at me a few times?!?!  Seriously chicken?  I am trying to give you a wonderful new home.  Why won’t you cooperate???

She even tried to fly out the windows.  Poor bird!  If she saw me reaching for her I was promptly pecked and she flew the opposite direction.  Not nice, bird, not nice!

At one point I saw Jim through the window laughing at me.  I asked if he would like to help.  You know what he said in between chuckles?  “No thanks, dear.  It sounds like you’ve got it all under control in there.”  Really????  I think he was just enjoying the show.  Honestly, who can blame him??  Again, I am so glad he doesn’t have a phone to record my stupidity!

Eventually, I wised up and got a box.  I shooed her away from the wall and threw the box over her.  It wasn’t pretty but it worked!  And she only pooped in the house once!  Win, Win!

We couldn’t leave her out there all alone to be a coyote snack so she got brought to our house.  She even laid her first egg on the way home.  Jim was thrilled with the egg.  He said all animals should be that productive.  I don’t think he realized that she was probably just that scared.  But Jim was happy with the egg and I was happy to have chickens again.  Or a chicken again.

How sweet of her, she laid an egg!  Everyone meet Spunky.  Spunky likes attention on her terms.  I think she must’ve been a cat in a former life….

So, Spunky was back at our house “chillin like a villain” as my kids say.  And once she calmed down and realized we weren’t going to eat her, she did quit pecking us.  She has even became a little bit affectionate.  A little bit….sometimes…when ever she decides.

The next day we returned to the farm and were a little disappointed that we didn’t find any more birds!  Spunky needs a friend.  She might get lonely, so she needs another hen to keep her company.  Right?  Right.  But there were no more chickens out there.  So sad.  I asked Jim if maybe we should check the animal shelter for a friend for Spunky.  Ya know, a four legged friend.  He still didn’t buy it.  Can’t blame a girl for trying!

A few weeks later, we did find out that Spunky was our plumber’s chicken.  She had climbed up on Doug’s truck and made the trip from Bostic on his roof.  Brave bird!  He had tried to catch her and couldn’t and then he had forgotten to call us.  In the end, he graciously gave us Spunky.

Maleah was thrilled she didn’t have to give up Spunky! 

After all the disappointment of not finding another chicken we decided to try to get some work done.  Jim started the dozer and he began working on clearing a spot for a run in shed for Desi and Minnie.  Exactly where that spot was going to be was still up for debate but we had a general area.  So Jim started his dozer and got started.

Irma was not kind to the old barn and so it was headed for demolition soon.  I was heartbroken all over again.  Jim was not.  He has had plans for this spot ever since we bought the place.  He wants to build a shop and a big parking area for his equipment.  Sometimes I don’t think there is an ounce of nostalgia in that man at all!  He’s such a guy..

Jim knocked over  a few trees and hit a bees nest.  A large bees nest.

He moved to a different spot and knocked over a few more trees and hit another bees nest.  Then another nest.  After running into 5 bee nests, Jim finally called it a day.

However, look how happy he is to be on his toy and knocking stuff over again!  Jim loves his dozer.  I wonder if he will ever let me on his dozer??  At this point, I’m thinking not….more like NEVER!


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