Read An Excerpt from my book

We have a Title!

I did a poll and we have a title!

“What?”, you ask. “Why do a poll for a title?”

Because I wanted to know what people would pick up off a shelf. After all, a book isn’t much good if no one reads it.

It will be called (trumpets please):

Setting the Wastebasket on Fire: When Chickens Bloom in the Widow’s Garden

Very Cold Days

Here is a timely excerpt, considering the subzero weather we just lived through.

Blog: January 2, 2011 – “Very Cold Days” 

Very cold day #1 

Everyone survived the night pretty well, including the baked sweet potato I put in the coop to add warmth. The chickens did not eat it, suggesting it was a welcome companion. 

They also seemed to appreciate that I covered their run in plastic sheeting to keep out wind and snow. That made it easier this morning, when it was 0 degrees, to eat their morning oatmeal. I have to crawl into the coop now to open & close the inner door, but honestly, it’s more comfortable messing with the latch with some shelter from the wind. 

In sum, they survived the night, ate breakfast and went right back to bed. Today is forecast to be around 10 degrees with overnight temps below zero. I wonder if chickens get cabin (coop) fever. 

Very Cold Day #2 

It was minus something (maybe -9°) last night and didn’t quite make it to 20 degrees today. The sweet potato has been mauled. It appears to have been demoted from Companion status to Food status. Chickens can be ruthless. 

The birds seem thirsty. I bring out water every few hours, which freezes before the next watering time. They all stand around and drink as if delaying the next leg of a race. Specklehead has transferred her determination to eat hardware to a determination to eat ice. She picks up chips, bashes them on the ground and eats the shards. I even saw her plunge one unfortunate chip of ice into the water bowl, where she pecked at it until it came apart. Ruthless, I tell you. 

No one knows how the chicken brain works. After the sun set, all the other chickens had gone to bed but she was still pecking away at the halffrozen water bowl. I have no idea why she has decided it’s a good idea to eat ice on the coldest day she’s ever seen. When she put her foot in the water to improve her aim, I finally picked her up and sent her to bed with an admonishment to avoid encasing her feet in ice. This is the problem with having been hatched in an incubator. Her mother never had a chance to tell her to keep her feet dry. 

Everyone seems to be handling the cold temperatures well. Someone even laid an egg! It’s supposed to be zero again tonight but will warm up to 39° tomorrow. We’re all looking forward to that! 

And Another Announcement

I ran into an interesting problem while thinking about how to market this book.

  1. The book does include a lot of stories about widowhood and the accompanying grief, which may make people want to talk about grief;
  2. Though I may be an expert in living with the Chickens of Iniquity, I am not an expert in dealing with grief and won’t have anything useful to say.

Luckily, I am acquainted with an expert in grief. Lana Paul of Lighting the Way Grief Recovery has agreed to work with me on marketing. We are going to start a group on Facebook to discuss using chickens as a positive way to recover.

Lana says people often sink into bad habits to deal with grief, like drugs or alcohol. She likes my story of using livestock instead, and we thought readers might like that too. Lana will be available to help readers deal with their own grief, since I can only help them deal with their own chickens.

Stay tuned for more.

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