Picture of Helen - April 2009 - after raccoon attack
One of my favorite things about blogging is to be able to go back and see what was going on in my life a year ago - this is the post from a year ago today....
I'm happy to see that I've made changes in my life, and I'm taking care of myself now....
I was absolutely stunned by your outpouring of sympathy at the passing of dear Helen.
I'm here to tell you what happened.
I'm surprised at how saddened I was at Helen's death.
I really enjoyed nursing this little chicken.
She needed me.
I needed her.
Saturday morning started in the usual way.
Sleeping in til 7.
As soon as I was coherent enough, I began doing yard work.
I've made this elaborate list, lining everything out that needs to be done, week by week, day by day, in order to keep my on schedule for the Lowell Garden Walk in July.
The next three weeks will be rough.
I noticed late morning that Helen was a little more to herself than usual.
Her tail was a bit drooped.
"I gotta keep an eye on her", I thought.
At noon, I went off to my Beekeeping Class.
Yes, folks, I'm getting bees.
Scary, isn't it? My cousin Jim tells me I might as well learn to juggle chain saws while I'm at it.
That really cracks me up.
Here is the president of the club, Mark, showing us how to use the hive tool.
Here we learned how to light the smoker.
Smoke - good.
Fire - no good!
(You have to say that like Frankenstein to find the humor)
The Vice President, Ed, taught us the proper terminology of the hive, so we didn't call him up and say....'Um, Ed....like that little thingy on my hive is glued with honey, what should I do?"
Please note the observation hive behind Ed.
Aaron's been at it again with the camera.
He was so encouraged by all of your comments!
The rest of the pics in this post were taken by:
The following text will have nothing to do with the next five photos.
I hope it doesn't confuse you!
Keep up people!
I got home from bee class about 5:30.
I promptly put my hive together.
Although my sister-in-law and niece were visiting, I found it impossible to sit after sitting in bee class for 4 hours.
I decided there was enough time to finish cleaning the chicken coop before dark.
Helen was now in the nest box.
I thought she might lay an egg.
Her first egg ever.
You see, Helen has never layed an egg.
I really don't know why - but I'm assuming it had something to do with the raccoon attack.
She was barren.
Another thing we had in common.
We understood each other's pain.
She sat in the roost box, with her vent pulsing a little.
I picked her up, and even with my gardening gloves on, I could feel she was burning hot.
I do believe animals have a sense.
All the chickens knew.
I didn't know yet.
Aunt Jemima watched as I removed Helen from the coop.
Scarlett seemed extra worried.
No name (He's since been named Buddy) was even concerned, and he's normally quite aloof.
Mrs. Puffington nearly worried herself sick about Helen.
Even the cat looked on, a bit grief stricken.
I didn't think too much of this. Helen has been so frail, and has had to come in the house before, and even wore a diaper for a bit.
If you never read that post - click here.
In a sick way, I looked forward to babying her, and nursing her.
I put antibiotics in her water, put her in a nice, clean, warm place.
She expired sometime in the night.
I just couldn't believe my eyes.
Glenco handled the arrangements.
I'm still not really sure what exactly happened, but I'm tending to think that perhaps her body finally formed an egg, and she couldn't lay it.
I was so worried about the other chickens.
I watched them carefully all day Sunday for signs of illness.
They are all fine.
It was Helen's time.
Even in her death, she taught me a great lesson.
In the midst of the busyness I'm experiencing right now with the garden - which seems to be of paramount importance - in the grand scheme of things - it's meaningless.
I've been experiencing above average fatigue and joint pain.
I know I'm overdoing it.
I'll be doing a full post on this subject very soon (like - when it rains and I can actually be inside!)
Our days are numbered, and I really want to spend my days to the fullest, and that doesn't necessarily mean work. It's all in our attitude, our mindset. I'm so work oriented.
This must stop.
(I'm happy to report that is HAS stopped! I am much better at managing my time - even though I stay incredibly busy - the stress is gone - my health has greatly improved over the last year - )
So teach us to number our days, so we may receive a heart of wisdom.