Tag Archives: CoyoteCrow Farm

A Season of seasons

26 Feb

It will take a Season of seasons to know this place I now call home.

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To know which trees or bushes start the parade of autumn and where the yellow, orange and reds are the brightest.

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How shadow and light tracks along the land and in the cabin.

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Where does the sun decline behind the mountain in each season? When does Orion and his dog Sirius first rise in the east and come visible to us earthbound admirers?

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I have learned which directions the wind blows and what the covering of snow reveals of this slope of hill in this winter.

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It has been a long and sometimes difficult fall and winter. And so the Wheel of the Year turns. I have witnessed two seasons…fourteen more to go for the full Season of seasons. A small sample size to know how the rest will unfold.

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Recently I woke late in the night and unable to sleep rolled over to catch my breath in wonder. Orion and Sirius were framed neatly in the liquid velvet of the dark sky. Although the nearly full moon was not yet visible from the bedroom window, the hanging icicles glowed as if lit from within. All in the glory of the moons refracted light.

I watched the familiar stars move westward from an unfamiliar vantage point and felt comforted. Past and present with change and timelessness are bound up together in this life and this future. For now the heat of the wood stove and warm glow of light emanating from the windows keep the cold, chill winds at bay…I can’t wait to see what adventures await!

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Here at CoyoteCrow Farm.

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All will be well!

25 Apr

I find myself very grateful tonight for so many good things and people in my life. Even though I am leaving an almost perfect situation for my first traveling PTA job it has given me confidence to move onto the next one.

A big thank you to the staff especially the Rehab Team for making it easy to fit in so quickly. I feel like I’ve made some real connections there and there’s already been talk of road trips down to my new placement on the South Shore and out to the Berkshire’s this summer.

Being able to spend this time with M&D my in-laws has been a real gift for both Frankie and myself. They have offered to keep Frankie here for the next week til I get situated in my new digs and job. They have been so generous with their home and time. Frankie and I are going to miss them greatly when we move.

I am thankful too for my company recruiter (A.L.) and company for reacting so quickly to the changing situation and getting me a new job and place to live so as to make the transition as smooth as possible. In fact my wife wants to send A.L. flowers for taking such good care of me!

As always I appreciate the love and support of my family and friends. They mean the world to me. And of course, my wife Elizabeth is always foremost in my love and thoughts. Thanks, Babe for holding our center, our home together while the world spins madly about us. All will be well!

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Oh, and I’m really thankful we have our small third of an acre CoyoteCrow Farm that will in a few months produce with some hard work our very own home grown fruits and vegetables. Not to mention in 5 or 6 months some backyard grazing chickens laying more than enough eggs to eat and sell.

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You Go Girls!!!

Sights from a weekend home…

22 Apr

The Rehab team from work went out for drinks and dinner after work on Friday. I decided on the way back to Lexington to throw a few things together and head home. I just couldn’t wait til morning. I arrived home about quarter to 11. The lights were on and Tanner and Zelda met us at the door.

Even the Maeve and Nisha came racing down the stairs. The homecoming was on. Except for my wife. I had arrived after pumpkin time and she was sound asleep upstairs and never heard a thing! She eventually made a bathroom run much later and realized I was home.

I’m used to the whole a party is happening but dead to the world for 3 or 4 hours after first falling asleep thing since my sister was exactly the same way. I swear there are some people who are so susceptible to the sleep dust imbedded in couches and beds.
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The chicks are looking fluffy, feathery and happy.

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Some more more brave than others.

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Zelda, our “timid” dog… the one we thought would be frightened the most… Is the one most intrigued and protective.

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She growled and got between Frankie and the chicks when he got a bit too interested and not in a good way. He was trembling with excitement and licking his chops.

Really don’t be fooled by that oh so innocent face… He was harassing the cats within minutes of returning home on Friday night. There’s a reason one of his nicknames is Frankenstein!

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And Mr Big Bad Backyard Hunter, Tanner has run off in a panic every time we’ve tried to introduce him to the chicks in the past 2 weeks. Now this is the lad who has killed several squirrels and chipmunks.

He has a favorite tree he hangs out under to study them and stalks the back fence for any critter that moves beyond it. Tanner once leaped over some fencing I’d put up to go after the bear tracks in the snow. And he runs away and hides from baby chicks… go figure.

The incident with him escaping to chase the bear was one of several that caused us to have professionals in to put up proper fencing.

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In hindsight, what a great idea since it will provide another layer of protection once the chickens move outside into the chicken coop. It’s really coming along. It should be done by the end of the week.

Spring might be a little behind up in the Berkshire Hills but it’s starting to gain some steam.

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The rhubarb, blueberry bush and pear tree’s are showing promise.

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Driving back to Lexington on the Mass Pike this afternoon in the rain looked like this when I ran into traffic near Sturbridge.

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Welcome back to the eastern part of the state. But all will be well on CoyoteCrow Farm out in the Berkshire Hills.

Missing Family and Homestead!

12 Apr

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That’s our buddy Steve working on siding our house a few years ago being supervised by Zelda our eldest dog. (she’s 10 now… Where do the years go!). Z-dog absolutely adores “Uncle Steve”. As his daughter puts it “my dad is Zelda’s sweetheart”.

During my nightly phone call with my wife last night, Elizabeth mentioned that while she and Steve were working on the chicken coop yesterday Zelda was practically glued to him. Sometimes I think she’d leave us for him!

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That’s our sweet, sweet boy Tanner. My layoff from work last year hurt him the most I think. He was a so called 3 time loser when we adopted him from the Humane Society. A few weeks of training and he took to being a PT dog like a duck to water. Actually Mr Pretty Paws hates getting wet. So think of a similar analogy but without water!

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Our beautiful Maeve kitty. She loves to race me to the bathroom from wherever she is in the house just to sit with almost doglike adoration at my feet. Yeah, I know… weird.

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Miss Top Cat, Nisha. The only one in the house who doesn’t acknowledge me as Top Dog. It wasn’t til Elizabeth came along that I understood our difficulties at the beginning of our relationship. As one who has a dog soul I had no idea cats didn’t think the same way.

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My beautiful, beloved wife Elizabeth. Our individual talents and understanding of life complement each other astoundingly. The way we found each other is nothing short of a miracle of universal proportions. Because there is no way we would have found one another any other way than the improbable way We did. I swear to you it was FATE plain and simple.

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I’m a bit bummed I’m missing the rapid growth of our chicks to chickens. From what I understand this is the time they grow and change the most. In all probability I won’t recognize them next weekend they’ll have changed that much.

We all do what we have to at this time to make us stronger as a family. But don’t doubt for a moment our love and commitment to each other or our goals and ideals here at CoyoteCrow Farm.

The Adventure Begins…

8 Apr

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I just went for a walk with Frankie. He felt the need to mark out his new digs… I gotta say he’s really loving all the fire hydrant out here. We don’t have any in our back yard. I know he really needs a haircut.

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A very pretty sunset tonight but I already miss the hills of home. We arrived mid-afternoon and have made a cozy place for ourselves here in my in-laws finished basement.

Thanks Marja for making the bed while I unpacked and put everything away. My wife will tell you it’s the first thing I do no matter where or how long I’m gonna stay. It makes me feel settled. It’s nice to be with family.

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Speaking of settled the 6 I mean 8 chicks arrived safe and sound yesterday afternoon. And my wife Elizabeth says I’m not to be unsupervised around animals… Huh! Her explanation was since our coop will be big enough for 8 why not? Check out Elizabeth’s blog for pictures of the newest additions to CoyoteCrow Farm.

Because there are additional chicks I get to name one more. Captain Janeway has made herself known. She’s the second one to the left. (of course it’s another Star Trek name). The rest aren’t named ’cause they haven’t found their personalities yet.

Janeway is already herding and watching out for the other’s, meeting all the predator’s of the house first, hopping up on the feeder’s to survey her domain and generally taking charge. I feel so proud (sniff-sniff) of my girl!

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Morning will come quicker than usual for me so it’s time to get ready for bed. Tomorrow my new adventure truly begins. The alarm is set and the GPS has the directions programmed in. G’night everyone. Good Dreams and Good Fortune for all.

Updates: Chicken coop and Job status

3 Apr

Digging holes in the back yard.

Hard to believe but this is the beginning of the back yard Deluxe Chicken Coop.  Just a quick word here about my buddy Steve who’s building our chicken coop.  He and I have been friends since school in the mid 90’s.  He was taught the construction business from his Dad and then went back to school to be a PTA.  We’ve been friends ever since.
I got him his last PTA job and he’s done a fair bit of on the side construction work around our home over the years.  Now Steve has got his quirks like all of us but dang if he isn’t an absolute artist when it comes to building stuff.  The rock below he wrestled out while digging for the chicken coop posts.  Not something my wife and I could have done.

An enormous rock dug out from the back yard.

In fact he’s a perfectionist when it comes to his PTA and building craft.  My wife and I as well as a number of others would rather have him do our home projects than anyone else.  He’s just that good.

Aligning it just right.

Yeah, just right.

My job has been to stain and stain again the framework that Steve’s already built.

Here's how a deluxe chicken coop begins.

There was more to the framework than I imagined.

More framework.

Tomorrow I’ll help put the framework together on the cinder blocks and then the roof will get attached.  The week old chicks Elizabeth and I will pick up on Saturday in our NEW truck will have a truly deluxe home after they’ve grown a bit.

Finally, there's a truck in the family again!

We traded in the Rav 4 today because she wasn’t serving the needs of CoyoteCrow Farm (CCF) any more.  The Rav just wasn’t big enough to haul bales of straw and cubits of soil for our chicken and gardening requirements .  And as my wife knows I’ve been whining about having a truck again since she’s known me.
As for my travel PTA job that starts on Monday, the paperwork train keeps rolling merrily along.  I’m keeping up as best as I can with all the requirements.  It’s slowly getting actually real to me I’m going to be mostly away from home for 3 months.  My heart is becoming more loving to my wife, my friends and the dogs and cats I’m leaving behind.
As the Bob Marley song says, “every little thing gonna be alright”.  My Irish/Italian heart knows this is true.  After so many gypsy years in my younger days and then being in one place for the last 15 years I feel a bit disconcerted.  Like my Elizabeth I am comforted in knowing I’ll be with family during my time away.  But still… I’m gonna miss my home and loved ones.

Life gets hectic at times.

3 Apr

Here's what hectic looks like.

OK it’s official… life has become more hectic than usual right now!  In less than a week (April 9th) I’ll start a new employment adventure otherwise known as my first PTA travel job.
Over the past few days there’s been an incredible amount of back and forth phone calls, emails and faxes to get all the information to where it needs to go.
My recruiter Ashley has been very supportive, patient, and informative as to what needs doing.  And luckily for me this is an area where my wife excels.
In addition to gathering all this medical, legal and professional history for the new job, I’ve been helping our talented buddy Steve put together the deluxe chicken coop for the back yard.  Did I mention Elizabeth and I are attending a chicken workshop and getting 6 chicks this Saturday coming?
The chicks will be living in the downstairs bathtub to begin with but eventually will be living in the back yard.  Pest control this summer and fresh home laid eggs in 6 months.  How cool is that!

Back yard chickens during my Honduras trip.

Apparently they’re easier than dogs and hens don’t need Roosters to lay eggs… just to fertilize them.  After spending 2 1/2 weeks volunteering in Honduras this summer and not sleeping for days I can assure you they start crowing at 3 am not dawn.  Did I mention there are chickens and roosters every where in the area I stayed in down in Honduras?
So if any of our chicks are boys their names will be Dinner.  I have names for my 3 hens already–in honor of my life long love of  Star Trek.  Uhura, T’Pol and Seven of Nine.  After 2 years of my wife’s gentle but persistent persuasion I’m all on board now.  Chickens-r-us!  Our little CoyoteCrow Farm is growing.

Working on another family reunion.

And in the middle of all this I’m trying to pull together another Clan Gathering for June.  I seem to have become the heir apparent to my Aunt Pat.  Some of my cousins have taken to naming me Aunt Pat 2.0 since I have all the email contacts for the family.
Aunt Pat was known as the family BVS (Bureau of Vital Statistics).  I’m very excited about this gathering as it will be centrally located at my cousin Mary’s home and it looks like it will be well attended by family from around the country.
We are a close knit and loving family from the Aunts and Uncles down through the cousins kids and grand kids.  I can’t wait to see them all.  Yeah, it’s gonna be awesome.

Me, Rob and Trish at Grandma's house

Me and my full siblings… aren’t we adorable.  We still are… just sayin’  BTW, behind this couch was my very first “Fort”.