Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Sad Day

I lost a chicken this fall. Not lost as in she ran away, but lost as in she was killed by a hawk. Poor thing. 

I just happened to look out the window when I saw feathers flying. That was when I saw the hawk using her beak to rip the chicken apart and then spit out the feathers. As soon as I started walking toward the coop, she flew away. I wouldn't have hurt her because I know raptors are federally protected, but I'm glad I didn't have to figure out how I was going to get her out.

I know it was just a $4.00 chicken, but she was my favorite $4.00 chicken. She was the one who would run right over to me when I came into their area - checking to see if I brought treats. And while the others were much more skittish, she always let me pick her up.  That's probably why she was the one who got eaten.

I know I can't complain too much. In all the years we've kept chickens during the summer (we started in 2015) this is the first time we've lost one to a predator. We've had predators try - we've scared away three raccoons and a fox over the years, but this was the first time one of them made it into the run. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020


About two weeks ago my bicycle disappeared from my front yard. Bicycles get stolen on Mackinac all the time, but rarely from dead end streets way out of town. So it was odd that it was taken from my yard, and after most of the workers had left for the winter. 

Often, missing bikes get "borrowed." Most of the time the missing bikes turn up. People take them to get home late one night and then abandon them in the bike racks at their employee housing. Which is why I took that picture of my bike last June. It was my "just in case my bike disappears I can put it on the Island Residents' Facebook page asking people to keep an eye out for it" picture.

My husband and a few friends did the housing circuit with no result; the assumption being that my bike was in fact stolen and taken from the island when whoever took it left for the season. I resigned myself to its loss and knew I'd need to pick out a new one in the spring. Just to be safe I filed a police report and the very nice recording officer offered to look for it since I was in quarantine.

A couple of days ago, my husband and I took a walk (masked and with the permission of the Health Department.) We had to stop at my parent's house to check on their snowmobiles - lo and behold what did we see but my missing bike! Apparently my daughter borrowed it, left it at my parent's house and completely forgot. Even asking her to check the bike racks at school to see if it might have been left there didn't jog her memory! To her credit though, as soon as she saw it in our bike rack (complete with her old bike helmet) she admitted her mistake apologized.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020


I made it seven days. Seven days out of quarantine, five of them at work. And then, someone decided to come to work sick. Sigh.

This person thought, despite having to fill out an online questionnaire each and every morning before coming in to school, that their sore throat, headache and general feeling of crappiness, was "Just a cold." Had they accurately noted their symptoms, they would have gotten this message:

I know because it is the same message you get when you check the box next to "Have you been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid 19?" Which I now have to check; again. And it's so incredibly frustrating. I'm kind of in awe; I mean who thinks going into work with even mild symptoms, in the middle of a global pandemic, is a good idea? Who?

And I tried to remain distant, I really did. In fact, my seat at lunch was eight feet away from the others in the room. (I'm nerdy, I measured.) Safe, I thought, but the health department disagreed. Four members of the staff, one substitute teacher and an entire elementary classroom are now quarantined.

So, I am teaching from home. Again. Praying that my family and I stay healthy. Again. The high point of my day today was my walk to down to the Medical Center, in the rain, for a Covid test. Thankfully, I managed to find a little beauty along the way.

For the record, I support the LMAS District Health Department  100%. I understand that quarantine is an effective strategy to stop the spread of Covid-19, and I'm following their guidelines because I want to keep others safe and healthy. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Halloween 2020: Covid Style

This year I had a mouse and a traveler on the Oregon Trail. (He tells me, he wasn't just any old traveler, he was a specific character from from the musical The Trail to Oregon!)  We decided to go cheap on costumes for 2020 since we weren't sure trick-or-treating would even happen this year. All we bought was my son's vest, which set us back $4.00 at the thrift shop. (I made the mouse costume for a dress-up day or a play at school years ago.) When we finally decided that we could make trick-or-treating happen, the kids didn't care what their costumes were just as long as they could celebrate.

We made sure the kids could go out and collect candy yet remain socially distant. One end for rapping on doors and one end for retrieving sweets, all while staying 6+ feet away. Sadly, we decided to save them just in case they need to be used again next year.

The kids built this contraption so we could safely pass out candy. I dropped handfuls of candy into the top of the tube from up on the porch, and it came out of the worm's mouth and dropped into an awaiting candy bag. (It's supposed to be a sandworm from the movie  Beetlejuice - one of my kids' favorites.) It was a huge hit, especially with the little kids. 

The haul was a little lighter than normal, but that wasn't surprising. Instead of the normal 10 - 12 pounds, each of them brought home around eight pounds (a little more than 3.5 kg.) - still plenty for a smorgasbord of treats while we watched Hocus Pocus. (We watch it every year on Halloween.) 

Look closely at my son's haul... Notice anything interesting? Yup, someone decided to give him a White Claw. We're not sure if it was an accident or a trick, but he willingly turned it over to his dad as soon as he got home. If something like that was ever going to happen, 2020 was the year.