Tag Archives: dogs and cats

Of Recalibration, Gardens, Bees and the return of Spring 

2 Jun

So today I realized it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here.  But you know, Life has a way of getting in the way…wood stacking, shoveling, sweeping, doctor and dentist appointments and of course work.  I tend to get caught up in what needs to be done.  But as my beautiful wife reminded me the other day, it’s also important to take time for the things you love!

we laugh a lot…still, after 14 years…my redheaded wife and I. 

chicken antics.   

my beloved pups.  

and our crazy, hunter supreme cat…Oliver T Posh.

So in the past few weeks I’ve been trying to incorporate more of what I love into my life.  See above and below photos.

Music, photography, and walking/hiking our land with my canine and feline friends.  Some  of my favorite things!

First fire of the season a few weeks ago

Full moon rising over the hills to the east

The flowers are blooming and the first of the garden put in…that’s mostly my wife.   And after years of research and a little bit of trepidation, my honeybees have arrived and been installed.  I am now a beekeeper!

That’s a lot to be grateful for!


2 much needed days off.

8 May

After working 6 days my first week at my newest assignment I took a few well deserved days off. Two days spent with family and my boy Frankie have rejuvenated me enough to make it to the weekend. I will head home to the Berkshires, my wife and dogs, cats and chickens.

Yesterday I had a lovely day hanging out in the sunshine. My father-in-law D showed me and Frankie all sorts of places out this way to go hiking and kayaking.

Today I realized I was close enough to visit an aunt and uncle in the town I grew up in. And there were nice conversations with my brother and sister. All in all a nice 2 days!

Here’s a great little video from my wife’s blog of our 2 big dogs (Frankie is only 14 lbs), the new almost finished chicken coop and our rapidly growing 8 chicks.

Reaching for Nonsense

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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.
The chicks are looking fluffy, feathery and happy.

Some more more brave than others.

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

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!

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.

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.



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


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

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

Working to find a new rhythm for new circumstances!

15 Apr

Today was a day of getting caught up… with sleep, laundry, grocery shopping, taking my boy Frankie for a long romp and a bit of work homework.

I also was able to squeeze in some of my beloved Red Sox and Celtics games as well as get caught up on some of my corespondents on emails, Facebook and WordPress.

My clothes are laid out, lunch made and meds set up for the morning. I’ve even managed to grind the coffee beans for the French Press in the AM

Slowly the new routine is coming into focus. I’m convinced it will get better with practice. Again I say, my heart is grateful for my wife holding down the home front of dogs, cats and brand new chicks and supervising and helping with the new chicken coop at our small CoyoteCrow Farm out in our Berkshire Hills of western mass.






Road Reflections and Metaphors

14 Apr

Well the first week of scary Rt 128 (the highway that circles around just outside Boston, Massachusetts) turned out to be not that scary.

Luckily, I have to drive north in the morning and south in the evening. Looking at the traffic heading in the opposite direction is way scarier. Although I did get a taste of how it could be a couple of times this week.

Once when it rained a wee bit, the traffic slowed considerably and was even stop and go a little. I kept thinking really? What happens if it rains hard or heaven forbid snows? But hey what do I know, I’m just a country mouse a little out of her element!

And then last evening after work there was an accident complete with police and fire trucks arriving on the scene. There was the usual squeezing to the right to let the emergency vehicles pass and then to the left to pass the accident itself. At one point someone was either going too fast or rubbernecking too much and wacked into the back of a fire truck.

Good thing the cars involved in the accident were off the road. I could just imagine if they were in the middle of the highway how backed up and snarled the traffic could get. But I’m starting to feel like I’m getting a handle on the normal traffic patterns on my new daily commute.

This our GPS Gertrude. Named by Maggie, my wife’s Grandmother when we visited her in Illinois. Maggie said she sounded like a Gertrude especially when she was “Recalculating” directions. My Mother-in-Law has leant me her GPS for the duration of my stay because as she puts it “I already know where I’m going around here”. I have named her GPS NotGertrude. This GPS is more up to date.

I used NotGertrude for most of this week instead of listening to a book on my iPod so I had plenty of time to think on my ride to and from work. I will be keeping NotGertrude in my car from now on since Friday evening after work was when the accident on the highway happened.

I was following a new friend from work someplace off the familiar road to grab a bite to eat. My friend had to call me to let me know where to get off because the traffic was so snarled up I couldn’t actually follow her.

So anyway time to think on my new commute. Here are some observations and metaphors during that free brain time.

Does anyone else think Water River a funny name for a river. I mentioned this to some one this week and they said “Well, it’s been rather dry lately is there actually water in the river?” I look every time I pass the sign and yup, there’s water in the river every time. Kind of a redundancy if you ask me. Out in Phoenix, Arizona there’s a Dry River and yeah, it’s usually dry. An oxymoron if you think about it.

Here are some of those highway observations as metaphors for life.

Don’t be timid about getting on the highway… stomp on the gas or they’ll never let you merge. Make sure you’re in the correct lane for making the right route connections. Stay in the middle lane as much as possible… it allows for changes as circumstances dictate. Sometimes you need to go fast and sometimes it’s more prudent to slow down.

And whatever you do, don’t get behind big trucks. They don’t allow you see see the signs of what’s coming up on the road ahead. As much as it’s safely possible (remember the car that plowed into the fire engine) allow cars to merge into the highway or lane. It’s good karma for when you need to merge. Just sayin’.

On the home front, Elizabeth and the dogs, cats and chicks seem to be doing well. They all seem to be missing me as much as I miss them. Well, all except the chickens since they don’t really know me yet.

It really is a good thing Frankie is out here with me. He’s been such a comfort for my doggie soul. A touch of home so to speak. And my wife is right… we would so have 4 rather than 3 dogs if he wasn’t here!


One week down… 12 to go!

Guest blog by Elizabeth

11 Apr

Hello, this is Elizabeth, guest blogging for my darling wife.

Weez is three days into her new “adventure” job.  She sounds like she’s having a great time.  She likes her coworkers, the commute is much better than we anticipated, and my parents seem to be enjoying the company of both her and Frankie.  As we all could have guessed, she’s fairly exhausted, so passed along the blogging responsibility to me, at least for tonight. 

Highlights from today: no one tried to beat her up at work today!  Apparently, her famous charm hasn’t had time to work its magic on all her new patients yet–one of them was a bit belligerent yesterday, from what I hear.  Also, Weez enjoyed a lovely date night with my parents at a Thai restaurant (it is Wednesday, after all.) 

All in all, my darling wife is doing very well, making friends, enjoying her colleagues, and doing her usual magic at work.  Since her tiredness meant that she was having trouble finishing her sentences on the phone this evening, I offered to put up a guest blog to keep all you loyal followers informed. 

Thank you all for checking in! Between the two of us, we’ll try to keep something coming here for you all.


P.S.  Keep up with chicken adventures on my blog, Reaching for Nonsense.

Quick time

10 Apr

Just a quick note tonight because as the title suggests everything seems to be going at supersonic speed. The hardest part of every day is getting to bed on time and getting up before the sun even arises.

So far (crossing fingers and toes) the commute has not been difficult… considering tough traffic at home means 15 cars are backed up for the turn left onto West street!

Frankie seems to be adjusting though I can tell he misses my wife, home, our other dogs and the cats. Especially the cats as there’s not any one here for him to really harass. He made a few friends on one of our walks tonight.

I miss Elizabeth and home as well… But I REALLY miss the fenced in backyard. Between the 3 walks daily with Frankie, working 40 hours and using the stairs at work, I’m gonna be in great shape once my assignment is over. Silver linings!

I like the Rehab team a lot as new folks are hired and coming on board. It doesn’t hurt that most of them are real dog lovers. My supervisor is trying to find out what we need to do to get Frankie to work. Good stuff.

My wife is keeping me updated on the chicks on her blog

Yup, it’s that time again to work on getting some sleep… tough for a night owl like myself.


Holy Day of Obligation

5 Apr

Oldest Catholic Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

To the millions of Roman Catholics around the world today is Maundy Thursday of Holy Week.  One of the most important days of the Liturgical calendar year.  It commemorates the last supper of Jesus with his disciples before his Death and Resurrection  on Easter Sunday.  It is a Holy Day of Obligation.
However for other millions it is also a Holy Day of Obligation because it’s the Red Sox Opening Day of the 2012 baseball season.  I got a lot of thumbs up from folks and even a wave, a nod and smile from a police officer on duty on North Street as I drove by a road construction site.

I try to get to Fenway Park to catch a game at least once a year.

I was wearing my official Red Sox jacket and green baseball cap with the old fashion red B.  Yes, I am a true red blooded 3rd generation member of Red Sox Nation.  My Grandmother rooted for Babe Ruth in a Red Sox uniform.  This is a special season because Fenway park is the oldest and turns 100 years old this year.

Hand knit Red Sox.

Even a broken ankle couldn't stop my Red Sox love!

I make the entire family participate in the celebration of the return of baseball.

The dogs are all decked out for opening day.

The dogs are pretty good natured about it bit the cats are like, “Why are you doing this and we hate you for it!”

Maeve is a so-so fan.

Nisha is so NOT a fan.

My wife likes to say she’s a Red Sox fan by marriage.

Yeah, that's a pink hat.

Heck, we even have the stuffed animals getting into the act!

In memory of our Beloved Apricot Sara.

So for me today the excitement of finishing the chicken coop and the coming chickens on Saturday and the impending start of a new job on Monday all take a total back seat.  Elizabeth however has the predator proof bathroom brooder all set up and planted more seeds for the garden.  I guess it’s kind of good she’s not as obsessed about baseball as I am.  But you know what they say about gardeners and Baseball fans (especially Red Sox fans)… Hope springs eternal!

Changes are a coming

2 Apr
Life is usually predictable… you know these are the days you’re scheduled to work, this is when vacuuming, laundry and wood stacking are gonna happen.  And then BAM all of a sudden your ordinary life changes.  Have your circumstances and events ever become unpredictable and completely out of your control?  Well yeah, that’s kind of what’s happened in the last 2 weeks for me.


First I got sicker than I’ve been since I was a kid… I’m on my second course of antibiotics at this point.  I also promised a coworker to cover him at work this week while he took time off…  still not feeling right but hey a commitment is just that.  And then after 3 months of trying to find a traveling physical therapy job I got a long awaited opportunity.

Unexpected opportunity

I’ve been saying to my recruiters, “Just get me a phone interview and I’ll take it from there.”  I got my first interview and now I have a 13 week travel PT job on the North Shore of Boston.  Thanks to my awesome In-Laws’ generous offer I’ll be staying with them during the week and coming home on the weekends.  It’s a 2 1/2 hour commute.

They love their grand dogs not just Z-dog.

Our travel dog Frankie will stay with us during the week.  (He’s small like travel shampoo or toothpaste.) My wife is afraid if I don’t have a dog with me on a daily basis we’ll end up with a 4th dog ’cause I won’t be able to be dogless for that long.  My In-Laws agree with that plus they love their grand dogs.

Frankie the ultimate gateway (drug) I mean dog!

Even though I’ve adapted to more change in my lifetime than most people it doesn’t mean I’m completely immune to it.  I’m a fairly confident adult in my talents and skills.  But there’s a bit of anxiety in leaving my daily routine and home environment for the unknown.  And being a country mouse I’m also anxious about the traffic and commute of the Boston area.

The Unknown

But this I do know, I will do well with whatever happens in the next 3 months…  It is nothing compared to where I have been and I know I can endure anything for 13 weeks.  I will miss my Wife, my dogs and cats left behind and my home terribly.  But I do this for us and what we have.  And there’s a very good chance I will enjoy it as well in my Irish lucky way.


There’s also a chance I’ll be napping quite a bit for the first few weeks of Boston area commuting and 40 hr work weeks.  I ask that those of you who are following along with my blog adventure to hang in with me.  I will continue to share my journey as often as I can but change is just that… change and I can only promise to roll with it as best as I can!

I’m back!

26 Mar

Looking out the back door.

Ok, I think I’m ready to re-join the world of the living bloggers!  The picture above represents how I’ve felt for the last week or so.  Sudafed, upper respiratory and throat infections will do that.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a growing movement to get back to some of the old skills of our grandparents and great-grandparents–canning, gardening, chicken raising, hand powered tools and herbal lore.  I also wrote of some of today’s accomplishments I wouldn’t want to be without–computers, the internet and medical advances… like antibiotics.
I tried to tough it out last week like a big girl but by Friday I realized I needed more help than the Sudafed and herbals could give me.  I could barely swallow and ate almost nothing last week.
My Doctor took one look at my throat and immediately prescribed an antibiotic and steroid.  My throat was abscessed and almost closed on one side.  I am very grateful I live in a time and place where these medicines are available.  Years ago it was called quinsy and people died of it before modern medicine.  Crazy thought that.
Not a long post tonight since I’m back to the training wheels here.  I thought I’d throw out a few observations from the past week.
I’m over the lack of snowshoeing this year.  I live in the Northeast–it will eventually snow again.

If I hadn’t been so sick last week I would have been tempted to go out kayaking.

Kayaking in Finland.

Or taking the dogs hiking.

No hesitation for spring this year as she takes her giant leap forward.  Windows have been opened for several days and nights to chase away winter’s stuffiness.  The peepers have started their nightly chorus as the stars and planets chase the spin of the heavens.
Well no hesitation til the last few days.  Last week it was in the upper 70’s during the days and 50’s at night.  Tonight’s low is expected to be 15 and tomorrow’s high 36 degrees.  The wood stove is lit cause 57 degrees inside is a bit chilly for comfort.
The skies have been exceptionally clear this week.  Just after sunset, the moon, Venus and Jupiter cling close together following the sun and Mars is bright high in the sky.  Later Orion is visible towards the western horizon with his dogs in hot  pursuit.  As the night progresses the twins of Gemini rise up and finally Scorpio with mighty Antares (not Mars) moves south as dawn approaches.

4 out of 5

There are some who think we’re a wee bit crazy for living with 3 dogs and 2 cats.  But I gotta tell  you it was a real comfort last week when 4 out of 5 of our babies would hop up on the bed to lend me warmth.  They all took turns in providing me solace when I really needed it.  I really believe they care as much for us as we do them.
Well dang it, all last week when it was so warm, not a hint of skunk smell.  I just went out with the dogs and as they were romping about the back yard (with the temp at 25 degrees) there was that smell of skunk.  Luckily, they all got back to the house when called without any skunkage.  A big Thank You to the Universe for that!

My beautiful wife.

And speaking of Thank You to the Universe, an enormous one is due for my wife.  Without her attentiveness, herbal knowledge and ability to navigate the health system it would have taken me much longer to recover… especially given how stubborn I can be in “toughing it out”.
Well that’s it for now from our little corner of the world here at CoyoteCrow Farm.  I’m hoping to get back to my daily blog now that I’m feeling somewhat “normal.”  All right, I order all of you who actually know me to stop laughing at the term “normal.”  I’m back!