Unseasonable weather, happy chickens & skunks

Okay. Enough of the soapbox exhalations about what a mess we're all in. The warm days have been celebrated by even the grumpiest of the New England curmudgeons that wander into the store each day. They can't help themselves though and often feel inspired to leave a benediction behind asking the powers that be to give us a winter that will shine with mercy upon us.
Have mercy. On me.
If it wasn't for the few perky people still out there shopping in these dismal economic times, I don't think that I could make it through the day. We are far from the days of the great depression. No one likes that they have to tighten their belt. And this frustration is magnified while the "top" grows fatter and the rest of us focus on getting lean.
But I digress. (again!)
The chickens are still laying plentiful and the afternoon sun has them playing like kids in a schoolyard. The nights do get cold though and leave their water bucket coated with a half inch of ice by morning. Fresh water and a few trails of scratch get them moving and talking. With the many treats that we give to the girls, they are most excited about bread. Plain, ordinary, cheap bread. Nothing I would eat. In fact, they seem insulted when given a nice grainy piece of hardy dark bread. No, they want the King Size loaf type cheap white enriched bread. (enriched?)
The skunks, which are so plentiful around here that they for the highest road kill numbers of any creature in the state (even higher than the abundant gray squirrels) have settled down for winter hibernation. But then you will see the young and dumb ones who don't have enough sense to go to sleep and you'll see the rabid ones who just can't help themselves (The Walking Dead?) For us mere mortals, it is hard to tell the difference.
Tradition and need finds thousands of New Englanders performing the ritual of buttoning up and all of the many chores associated with winterizing. Jim, who can't hear a lick, was saved by his still intact peripheral vision when a rabid skunk charged him like a Rhino on the flood plains of the Zambezi. Like any other person in this kind of situation, Jim ran up onto his second story porch and lowered his garden hose to nudge the skunk's departure.
Seriously!
The skunk grabbed it with his teeth and severed it in two. (D'oh!)
Twice! (Double D'oh!)
Flowing with more bright ideas, Jim ran down the stairs with a plastic bin and held it in front of him. He dropped it over the skunk and ran inside to call animal control, only to return and find an even more mad and rabid skunk running about his yard look for revenge. I don't know how Jim escaped the putrefying spray of a good skunk dousing but he managed to re-crate the poor creature and put a cinder block on top to keep it contained. Four hours later animal control arrived to animal control.
Exciting, eh?
My only chore today is covering the Karmann Ghia garage with a giant tarp to protect her until Mid April when cruise season will begin once again. The skunks will come out of hibernation and the store will begin selling grass seed and spring type items. Now, I'm not one to wish my life away, but I can't wait.


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