I’ve been feeling better this week.  The weather is slightly drier and cooler (whew!).  This time of year down here is like February for everyone up north – you don’t go out much, and when you do the weather drives you back inside after a little while.  At least I don’t also have to shovel snow, I guess, just slap mosquitoes and no-see-ums.

Our friends who are moving just sold their house and are on their way to packing up….how often does another homeschooling family live just around the corner and also have three children about the same ages?  We’ll miss them alot.  Mirin and Rose will really miss them.  It’s so nice (and unusual these days) to have friends you can walk or bike over to visit, without your mom having to be involved arranging a “play-date”.

Ms. Penny’s house next to us is empty and for sale, too.  Her family put it on the market as soon as she was out, but I have heard that she is very happy in her new old person home, so it ended well.  Her family are the sort that calls code enforcement on the neighbors, so I spent all last week razing the yard with clippers and a borrowed mower (not enough elbow-room for scythe).  It’s hideous, but legal.  Funny how you can’t have overgrown grass, but it’s fine if it looks like a wasteland.  We just love wastelands, monocultures, and sterile enviornments devoid of all life.  That’s the ideal we are constantly working towards, aren’t we?  Perhaps we should stop to consider this….

But this is becoming just as uncheerful as ever!  A funny thing happened with Matilda the other day.  A chicken from the coop circulating the garden got out because the wire is rusting and breaking and needs replaced.  It was extremely wet and bedraggled from having been out in a rainstorm that afternoon.  It happened to run into the milking area when I tried to catch it, and immediately began picking up spilled barley.  It was doing good work, so I left it while I milked the goats and set everything up for Matilda.

Matilda came down, and freaked out about the chicken.  She charged in and tried to trample it.

If I were the chicken, I would take that as a very strong hint to go very far away, but it didn’t seem to take it that way at all.  If anything, this seemed to encouraged the stupid thing.  It disappeared briefly into the Spanish needle bushes, but as soon as Matilda was clipped in and I had started milking, it came out and started staggaring around, pecking at grasshoppers and things.

Matilda went hysterical.  She was terrified of the thing.  I was flung back, milking pail in hand, yelling for Ethan, while she stamped and kicked at it.  This flustered the chicken, and it ran back and forth under all her feet, which was probably the worst possible thing it could have done, except maybe fly at her face.  Ethan came over and chased it out again, and got it back into the garden where it promptly began scratching up the new fall garden beds.

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