Just In: Chicken Fatality Report

They, whoever they are, say death comes in three’s.  Since I last wrote about my chickens, one more has died, which brings the number of fatalities to 3.  It was the little chick I was worried about before.  The antisocial black one with a little yellow spot on its head who stood in the corner and stared.  She didn’t even get a proper burial in the chicken cemetery.  I watched J-Dub carry her by her legs and toss her over the barbed wire fence into the pasture. Apparently, we’ve become desensitized to chicken death.  It’s just the way it goes.  My husband says, “If you’re gonna deal with livestock, you’re gonna deal with death.”  He’s right.  Nothing lives forever.  And what is it that old Augustus McCrae says in Lonesome Dove when young Sean gets bitten all over with water moccasins, “Life’s short.  Shorter for some than others.”

But I must admit it’s a bit embarrassing to confess how many I have lost.  I feel like it’s my fault.  The first thing people say when they see me is not Hi, How are You, but rather,”So how many chicks have died now?” And then they look at me like I have Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy or something.  I am hoping the death spree is over.   One died on Wednesday, one on Thursday, and one on Friday.   I now have 14 surviving chickies, and I’m feeling pretty dern good about the health of these 14.  I haven’t seen Ol’ Spaz, the seizure thrower, convulse in a couple of days,  and Molasses, the one who got trapped under the water trough seems to be doing just fine.  I even think she may not be as bow-legged as she once was.  Truthfully, I can’t even recognize her anymore.  I’m confident these 14 will survive.  At least until I put them outside and a chicken hawk or bull snake gets a hold of them.  But for now, they are safe and sound in my spare bedroom.  For now.

I get a kick out of them.  They are quite enjoyable and provide many laughs for us.  When I put fresh straw in their box, if by chance there is a little piece of seed head that even faintly resembles a bug, one of them snags it up and starts running, thinking they’ve really found a treasure that they’re not sharing.  As soon as the other chicks catch on that their sister has a jewel, they begin chasing her around trying to nab it.  They start grabbing at that little seed head, pecking it from each other’s mouth, even playing a little game of tug o’ war, all the while, peeping loudly.

After watching this sport, I got a little nerve and decided to give them something “real”.  Something they would forage for in the yard.  A tasty morsel to fight over.   I scraped some mud off the bottom of a big flower-pot and found 4 earthworms.  Scrumptious, juicy, wiggling earthworms.  I took the smallest I could find and tossed it in their box.  At first, 2 or 3 chicks circled the worm taking turns pecking at it.  They displayed a little curiosity, but not any real gumption.  Not until this bold little chick walked right up, pushed her way through the circle, grabbed the worm in her beak with one peck and away she scrambled with the others right on her tail feathers.  After a couple of circles around the box, a zig, a zag and a fake-out, she quickly found a spot in the corner, tipped her head back, and swallowed the worm right down her gullet.  Thinking she was Hot Stuff, she strutted around, sharpening her beak on the box.  In a few minutes, the others laid down for a nap, but not Hot Stuff, she was loaded up with protein and feeling fine and frisky. 

I have since put in  a couple more worms, and every time a few of them circle and peck until  Hot Stuff struts in, nabs the worm and eats it whole.  The funny thing is she’s the smallest of the bunch, but definitely the most fearless.  It will be interesting to see if she turns out to be the most dominant chick in the coop.

Well folks, that’s it for today.

Tune in next time for more Tales From the Chicken Ranch for the latest fatality report and our special segment, “What’s on the Menu?”

Until Next Time,

Chicky Mama

Signs of Morning

Morning Time is quickly becoming my favorite time of day.

I can easily say this today, on a Sunday.

More specifically the Sunday after I’ve had 8 days off of work.

Maybe tomorrow morning I won’t feel the same.  Tomorrow.  The dreaded Monday.  More specifically, the first day back to work.  The first day back to work after Spring Break.  The first day back to work after Spring Break and Daylights Savings Time.  The first day back to work where instead of driving 10 seconds to get to work, I must drive 10 miles.

But this Sunday morning was glorious, and I can easily say it was my favorite time of day.

Where I now live, in the mornings, the cows in the neighbor’s pasture lumber their way, softly mooing as they go,  to a barbed wire fence to stare down this county road.  J-Dub says they’re waiting for the neighbor’s feed truck, but I have yet to see it arrive.

Hoping for breakfast.

But their curiosity of me and my camera gets the better of them.

In the mornings, the birds sing softly.  I gaze towards the telephone poles and the fence lines looking for them, but never find them. 

As you can see, there aren’t many trees to perch in.  They must be hiding in the grasses, raising their song of hope towards the heavens.

 

In the mornings, the grass is a little wet from the dew and the fresh breezes gently blow, refreshing me.

In the mornings, I set my coffee cup in the pasture so I can operate my camera.  And the horse poses for his portrait.

In the mornings, the sun warms the blossoms of the fruit trees, giving hope of new life.  And sweet apricots.

Mornings are filled with hope. 

Hope of new beginnings. 

Hope of fresh starts. 

Hope of happy days to come.

Happy Spring!

De-Stressing

Stress.  We all have it.  It attacks us at different times and for different reasons. 
I’ve been feeling a tad bit overwhelmed lately.  When I stop to think about my life, I realize that in the last 3 weeks I have buried my dad and have (am presently) moving to a new house, while not selling my other one.   Two semi-large stressors added to my life.  Then, if you add in the new baby chickens, that’s like additional family members right there, ain’t it?  I’d say they rank right up there with birthing a new baby, wouldn’t you?  I mean they have their own nursery for crying out loud.  I check on them constantly, make sure they’re breathing, and listen to their peeps through the baby monitor. 

Kidding, kidding. 

About the last part anyway.

Instead of packing, cleaning, unpacking my belongings, organizing for a garage sale, and doing things to help RELIEVE my stressors, instead I google stress just to see if I’m really stressed.  You know sometimes I need to confirm my thinking.  If I think I’m stressed, well by golly, I need to prove it to everyone else. 

There’s a little test you can take online.  It’s a simple inventory where you check off a few things that have happened in the past 24 months.  So I clicked away, and discovered that actually I’m not as stressed as I think I am.  So I must tell myself to Get. Over. It. and Get. On. With. It.

In my google searching, I found a little article however that talked of  the small things that actually stress us out more than we realize, and sometimes more than the big stuff.  Things like co-workers and facebook.  Can you believe facebook can be stressful?  Why yes, yes I can.  It is the absolute zapper of time, leaving us feeling more stressed because we don’t have time to do what we should’ve been doing while we were busy stalking and poking others.  This article also says it can play a big part on your emotions, leaving you feeling inadequate when you read that someone just met Their Mr. Perfect, while you’re still waiting by the phone.

So what do I do when I’m feeling overwhelmed, overcome, and overextended?

I hit the road walking.  I unplug myself from the busy world via technology and head out.  Now that we’ve moved outside the city limits, I have nothing but wide open spaces and a long country road to walk.  No cars and no dogs.  Just the singing of the birds and the blowing of an occasional train whistle falls on my ears.

I walk and I pray.  Out loud.  I thank God for everything.  I start counting blessings.  Being out in nature just makes me feel so blessed and thankful.  Lately I’ve been feeling so close to God the Creator.  I’m in awe of Him.

Look at this picture of brown dirt road, meeting green hay field,  meeting blue sky. 

This view speaks to me.

It says, “Hello, I’m God.”   And I speak back and simply say, “Thanks.”

While walking and talking with Him, He grants me peace and lets me know it’s okay.  Everything is okay.  It’s as if He says, “Angel, look around you.  Look at all this.  I did it. Nothing is too big for me. See the size of this Texas sky?”

Let me give you a link to this beautiful song. 

It’s saying what I’m trying to.

Slow as Molasses

I have officially declared myself unfit as a chicken mama.

Someone call CPS. No, not Child Protective Services, ring up Chicken Protective Services.

I lost another chicky.  I don’t know the cause of death,  I contribute it to Mother Nature.  Beneath my electrical pole, it is beginning to look something like a chicken cemetery. 

Two down, Fifteen to go.  And there may be more.  I have one who seems to be having seizures.  Every so often it begins peeping very loudly, flops over, and twitches its head and feet for about 20 seconds.  I don’t know what to do when this happens.  I don’t think I can fit a spoon in its beak. 

I have another I’m very concerned about.  It’s not eating or drinking much.  Nor does it socialize, it just stands in the corner and stares at the box. 

Frankly, if any of them make it long enough to lay an egg, it’ll be a miracle.

I don’t understand why my chicken flock isn’t stronger.  I’ve been taking very excellent care of them.  I make sure their temperature is just right, I give them plenty of food, fresh straw, and water.  

However, I can pretty much bet that I won’t be winning the “chicken caretaker of the year” award.  Let me tell you why.  Yesterday I awoke and the chicks were happy, healthy, and rambunctious.  They only had tissue paper lining their box for the first day (as per the instructions).  Day two suggested giving them some sort of litter; straw, hay, big pine shavings, but not anything too small like sand or wood shavings, as they might eat it and mess up their digestive systems.

I got some hay from a big round hay bale out in the field.  I picked each of the little chicks up, counting as I went,  and set them in a temporary box to get them out of the way.   I laid some fresh hay in their permanent box, then picked them up, once again counting each of them,  and placed them back one by one on their new, cozy, straw bedding.  Then I gave them a feeder filled with chicken starter feed.

Plastic 1 Quart Jar Feeder

I went into the kitchen, heated their water to a pleasant 98 degrees on the stove (as per instructions), and filled their waterer (pictured below).

1 Gallon Poultry Waterer

I checked on them a few more times throughout the day, then I left to come into town (spoken like a true country girl) to take care of some business.  I returned home around four or five in the afternoon and discovered the dead little black chick.  I was distraught.  My husband pulled in the drive and I met him with the bad news.  He buried my little chicky for me.  

After the funeral we were just sitting around the box watching the little chicks. I have a couple of little stools that set next to the box and my butt has almost become permanently affixed. 

I received 17 chickens and two have died so I am down to 15.  Sitting around the box, I did a quick headcount.  I counted 14.  I counted again, and again got 14.  The little boogers are running all around the box, so they are difficult to count.  I announced to J-Dub there were only 14, he counted and said, “No there’s 15.”  I mentally counted again.  Still 14. 

“Jason, I’m only getting 14.”  He counted again and this time, he too got 14. 

“There’s a chicken missing!”  I exclaimed.

“Well it can’t be far,” he answered. 

Just like a mama whose lost a kid at The Walmarts, thoughts began racing through my mind. 

Maybe it flew somewhere?  I looked around the room.  No chick, chick  here.  Maybe I left it in the other box and forgot about it?  I checked the box.  No chick, chick there. 

J-Dub says, “Maybe you miscounted when you first got them.”  I knew I hadn’t.  And then the dreaded thought occurred to me.  What if I squashed her underneath the waterer when I set it in the box?  I carefully lifted the waterer and peeked beneath, expecting to find another dead chicken, but instead out wobbled a little black chick, hungrier and thirstier than ever.  She had been underneath the waterer all day long.  Fortunately, it didn’t set flush to the floor, and there was a tiny little space where she was crouched.  But the poor little thing just isn’t the same.  It’s easily recognizable by its spraddled legs.  I think the poor thing must have been in the “splits” position all day and now her legs are very wide-spread.  She also doesn’t have very good balance and wobbles around like a little drunk man.  Even when she’s standing still, she’s weaving. 

We decided if she wasn’t slow in the head before that incident, she is slow now, possibly even retarded. 

So Ashy named her Molasses.  Slow as Molasses.

She’s a tough one, that’s for sure. 

Me?  I feel awful.  I’m relieved she survived. 

So far.

Junior Chicky Little

The chicks are quite rambunctious today.  Soon they will need a much bigger box.

Yesterday, I didn’t tell you my story of death, but today I must tell you that one of them did not make it.  Nature has its way of elimintaing the sick and weak and I did have a sick one. 

When I first opened the box, there was a little yellow chick who had obviously endured hard trip.  She was very weak and lethargic.  Once I put her in the box, she seemed to perk around.  I later became worried about a little black one who began struggling, then that one perked itself up. 

A little while later, about 2 hours, the little yellow chick laid down, closed her eyes, and never opened them.

We buried her next to the new electrical pole where they dirt was real loose and didn’t take much manpower behind the shovel.

Ashlynn did what she does when little critters die, and made a tombstone for JR Chicken Little.

I had only ordered 15 chicks, and the hatchery sent me 17.  I think that must be their “insurance”  against death. 

So if you are the “see the glass as half full” kind of person, even though we’ve had a fatality, I still have one extra chick than I paid for. 

The remaining 16 seem very healthy and rowdy, so I hope we avoid future burials.

Oh Happy Day

I received a phone call this morning at 6:40 from the United States Postal Service informing me that I had a package to pick up as soon as possible. 

I jumped in the shower, threw on my clothes, and rushed off without a bit of make-up.

Yes, my friends, the day has finally arrived.  The day I have longed for, anxiously crossing off calendar dates, to arrive.

Let’s open the box together!

I wish you could’ve heard the dozens of sweet little peeps that were escaping during the transport to my house.

 There they are.  Sweet little baby chicks.  And one with chicken dookie on his back.

 

Unlike human babies, these little darlings came with instructions!

They shouldn’t be handled for the first 24 hours.

They need a  box with  water and a heat lamp.  The temperature needs to be about 98 degrees.

You must take each bird and dip its beak in the water so they can begin drinking.  Also, make sure the water is 98 degrees.

It does them some good to have a little sugar in their water, and to chop up a couple of boiled eggs to give them a strong start.  Boy, did they like those boiled eggs!

You just need to sprinkle their feed in the box, so they can practice pecking for the first day, later they’ll learn to eat from the trough.

They’ve already grown so much today, I know they’ve gained at least 2 ounces each!

Also included in the instructions, way down at the bottom, was the stuff everyone forgets to mention about chicks, like: how to wipe pasty poop that gets stuck on their butt, and what to do when they pull their feathers out and start bleeding, how to prevent the chicks from pecking one another, and as a last resort for pecking how to cut part of their beaks off!!  I will not be doing that.  These chicks will surely behave.

So dear reader, this is my first chicken post.  I say that because I’m sure it will  not be my last. 

Happy pecking!

Kindred Spirits

Tonight I am dragging in after a wonderful visit with my old friend Erin, not old in terms of years of age, but old in regards to years of friendship.  I hope you know the kind of friend; no matter the distance of time or miles that separates, we seem to begin right where we left off.  Even if it was years before.

We went to supper and ironically ordered same entrée.  As she was ordering, I was thinking, “That is exactly what I want too.”  Afterwards we went to her little house and talked for hours.  Literally for hours.  We laughed and at times even teared up a bit.  We talked about things of old and things of new.  We talked about love and hate.  About life, aging parents, death, and tragedy.  We shared our hopes, our dreams, our hurts,  our mistakes, and regrets.  It was a breath of fresh air to me.

On Monday, a friend whom I have never done anything with, never shared a coke, or gone on a ride came to visit me.  He is mostly an online friend, but true to the core.  It’s the same situation.   We realized we’d been sitting on the same couch cushion for hours just talking away.  It’s as if someone just unzips your skin and reveals your soul, and there is a glimmer, a flicker of recognition in the other. 

My husband says it’s not like me to talk so long, and I have to say there are just some people who I can chat ’em up with. 

Although I can count the number of my friends on one hand, they are true blue.  And no matter the time or distance that separate, we always remain.

So tonight, I lay my exhausted head down and count my blessings, my friends.

A Rare Horse; A Rare Friend

My husband’s horse was born on May 5th.  That’s how he received the name Cinco.  A horse with a sweeter disposition could not be found.  As soon as he saw you, he was lumbering your way to nudge and beg for attention.  My husband sometimes got aggravated with him when trying to work.  “He’s always right in my hip pocket, ” he occasionally complained. 

As fitting as his name, Cinco only lived five  years.  He got sick with an upper respiratory infection.  J-Dub took him to the vet, and they gave him some medicine.  He began to pep up.  Then two days later, I drove out to our place to find Cinco laying down.  Now, I admit I don’t know much about horses, but one thing I know is they rarely lay down.  He wasn’t just resting, he was slowly rolling from side to side.  I walked closer to look at him, and his eyes had a look of illness to them.  I felt very uneasy, but not wanting to be the over-cautious wife who freaks out at a rolling horse, I decided to watch him a while.  He got up slowly, took about 5 steps, and then was back on the ground rolling.  I decided something truly must be wrong.  I called J-Dub immediately.  He was far away in another county, so he called his friend Matt to drive out to check on him. 

In the meantime, Cinco would rise very slowly onto his knees with his hind legs in the air, attempting to get up.  Sometimes he would make it, and sometimes he would lay back down.  When he did manage to struggle to his feet, he would walk for a short way, then lay down and begin rolling.  My husband said it sounded like he was trying to colic.  I didn’t know what that meant.  Matt arrived and when he saw him, he ran to him, slapped his butt and pushed on him, forced him to get up.  He put a halter on him and began walking him around.  Matt explained that when a horse colics, they get a terrible stomach-ache, so they lay down and begin to roll to try to relieve the pain.  That causes their intestines to twist, and they die.  The best thing to do is make them walk. 

As Matt walked Cinco all around the place, I paced inside the house.  I felt helpless.  Shortly after, the vet arrived.  She listened to Cinco’s stomach, then inserted a tube down his throat, and began pumping his stomach.  She removed the tube and drained all this liquid onto the ground, and then reinserted it again for another round.  This continued for a very long time.  The vet then decided to take him into the clinic and keep him overnight.  Rabies was suspected, and possibly West Nile Virus. 

The next morning Cinco wasn’t any better.  They continued observing and treating him throughout that day and the night, but he died there in the vet’s clinic by morning. 

Because the only way rabies can be detected is through a post-mortem exam, and the only way to test is to send an animal’s head into a laboratory, my husband had to drive to the vet’s to pick up his dead, headless horse and bury him.  It was a sad day.  I wish I could have helped him, but there wasn’t any help I could give except my words of sympathy.

The results for rabies came back negative.  The cause of death was never known. 

My husband has been without a horse since November until yesterday when his friend Shawn gave him a horse, and a dang nice one at that. 

Here’s Shawn hamming it up as usual.

This new horse goes by the name Freak because of his rarity.  He is a palamino roan. 

Palamino is a yellow color, and roan refers to little white speckles.

Right now he is roaned from his middle to the back, but in the summer he roans all over.

He reminds me of a Californian surfer with his bleached blonde mane.

What a horse!

But more importantly, what a friend!

My husband and I are blessed beyond words to have a friend in Shawn who sees a need and fills it. 

Thank you Shawn!

 

4th Horseman

In Revelation 6, it says” 

1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

 3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

 5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

 7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Revelation is confusing and bizarre.   There are aspects of it I simply don’t understand.  Maybe it’s to be taken figuratively and not literally.  I don’t know.

 Perhaps you’ve seen the following video, but it was only brought to my attention earlier.  You must watch it to the end.

Some people are claiming the rider on the pale horse is a reflection of something, somehow. 

Me?  I don’t know.  Throughout history mankind has attempted to explain God’s acts away scientifically.

What I do know, is that the Bible is the word of God, and the end of the world is coming one day.  In the end, the good will win and the bad will lose, and we must be ready.  Are you?

 Revelation 21:

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

   14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

   16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

   Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

2 weeks—Memory of my dad #4

Today it has been two very fast weeks since my dad’s death.  I’ve been doing okay, I really have.  My loved ones (and his) have been grieving something fierce, and I’ve been worrying about myself because I seem to be living life just like before February 27th.  I ponder if I’m giving myself time to grieve, if I’m dealing with this like I’m supposed to?  Of course he’s the first thought I have when I open my eyes, even before I begin deciding what day it is, and he’s the last thought I have before I fall asleep where I long him to visit me in my dreams.  He only has talked to me once in my dreams, and he told me he had to go alone, that was pretty much it.  The rest of my dreams have been busy planning the funeral and such.

A few moments ago,  I literally collapsed on the couch with exhaustion from packing, moving, and unpacking my home.  My body is weary and my mind is exhausted, and my little niece who was busy cleaning out her clothes came into the room holding a tee-shirt her Grandpa had bought her.  You know one of those “Someone who loves me very much went to blah blah blah and all they brought me was this lousy shirt.”  Holding it against her chest, she said, “auntie, I have to save this even though it’s too small for me.”  That’s when my eyes welled up and the hurt returned. 

I know I’m going to have days like this.  I know when my mind and body slow down enough, it will hit again.  I’m thankful for my busy-ness right now. 

Thursday I celebrated my birthday and that evening I blogged about my age, and the question of middle age.

Ironically here’s a story written by my dad on the same subject.  Enjoy.

~Trying Not to be Caught in the Middle ~

“Good God, brother, you walk like an old man, what are you 54, 55 years old?” my brother groused as I creaked and groaned my way to my feet.

“Whatever it is, you’ll be there sooner than later,” I told him and made my way to the fridge for a refill.  You’ve go t to give as good as you can take in this day.  And I keep my needle honed for jibes such as these.

Middle age–why do they call it that?  Because we often find ourselves in the middle.  Too young to enjoy the quiet pleasures of the aged, but too old to handle the excitement of the young.

Some wise old sage (I think it was one of my friends) said, “Youth is wonderful, too bad it’s wasted on the young.”  I concur.  It’s too bad the young don’t possess some of the mellow qualities their elders have in abundance.

Three score and 10.  that’s what we’re allotted, and if those figures are correct, then I’ve by-passed middle age and no one even told me I was ever there.  Someone once wrote, “If you pass fifty, be on your guard against impulses, which if obeyed, can lead along a perfumed path to folly and incalculable risk.”   The only impulse I suffer from is to take a nap in the afternoon, and the sooner after lunch, the better.

Having lead a rather active life between the years of one and fifty, and having acted on many impulses, I’m curious as to what the next few years might bring.  Because if I’m going to make a fool of myself, at least I’d like the opportunity to pick my own gig.  So I’ll play the proverbial grasshopper waiting for whatever.

Middle age, according to my calculations, is somewhere between 30 and 65.  To the stripling of – say 16 – then thirty might be middle age.  If you’re a geezer of 80, middle age could be 65 or 70.  It’s all relative.

With the life expectancy being increased daily by the Abflex, people can expect to live to be a hundred by the next century.  Then, by the simple ciphering of numbers, middle age will come at the relative young age of 50.

A friend recently told me, “I’m in the middle, I have too much energy to sit still and not enough energy to move about.”  Then waxing philosophical he added, “You’re as old as you feel.  That’s as plain as your face!”

“Don’t you mean, as plain as the nose on your face,” I asked.

“I said what I meant,” he added.

In respect to his age and mine, I didn’t pursue the matter any further.

So to those of us that have reached middle age, we may as well yield to it and become synchronized with the years.  You can’t kid the calendar.  Be prepared to agree with the fellow who insists that there must be some pleasure in senility.  Maybe after all, age is just a mirage to those of us who no longer have youth in great abundance.  But I’ll struggle, struggle against growing old.  Because the longer I stay young, the shorter I’ll be old.  Anyway you look at it, it’s time to take my nap.

Bob Briggs
August 17, 1996