Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
One of the things I hate about the cold air of winter is the cold air of winter. Now the cold air of winter is not like watching color TV for the first time in your life. Unlike watching the color TV for the first time, you don’t get used to the cold air of winter quick. While watching color TV you do get used to watching it quick. To the cold weather, your body adjusts begrudgingly over a period of time. Now what’s really neat about this begrudgingly adjustment to the cold air of winter is when the adjustment is made, and a warm day comes along.
When it’s been below freezing for several days and then gets into the mid or even upper 30’s, or my goodness, even into the 40’s, we’re now talking shirt sleeve weather here. We adjust a lot quicker to the weather upside than the downside.
Do ya know the significance of the date January 15th? Don’t feel bad, most people don’t. It’s just the low point of the mean temperature osculation of winter. Another way to say that, is from past January 15th on, the mean temperature is on the rise. It’s still gona be really cold, from time to time, but on the average, the daily temperatures are going up. YEY! But don’t pull your coat off just yet.
Being closer at watching weather patterns than most, I’m concerned this winter season. Very little water has fallen from the sky, be it rain or snow, very little in deed. Now we all want a warm autumn season, a mild winter, a White Christmas, and an early spring. When I sat on that 19th day of January, in 50° weather, looking at the weather forecast for the next 48 hours, a 52° temperature swing was coming my way. No projections of snow, just high wind and lots and lots of cold air. Then on the 29th day of January the temperature was projected to be above 65°, and then in the next 48 hours to fall into the lower teens…. And just when I said it’s gona get, on the mean, warmer, it’s headed the other direction. Oh well, that’s why I called it the “Cold Country” when I spoke into the airways, back in the day. Just in case you’re wondering how cold does it get in the “Cold Country” well, the coldest it ever got in Indiana was a bone chilling -36° on January 25th 1994 at Whiteland IN. Now I don’t care who ya are, that’s cold.
One of the things that struck me as being so unusual for that 20th day of January was not the -15° wind chill as much as this was the first time ever that I could remember seeing it that cold and having no snow cover on the ground. Up to that point in the winter, we’ve had less than 2” of snow at the EastWing. 2 inches of snow equate to about a ¼ inch of rain. Now you can see what I’m talking about.
You can always tell when it’s the middle of winter. That’s when all the seed books in the mailbox floods your soul. I don’t know ‘bout you, but I’m telling ya right up, I’ve never grown anything remotely close to the picture in those seed books. And Lord knows I’ve tried. We plant stuff every year from those books, me and the She. And they never look right. It all tastes pretty good, just don’t look like the pictures. I think they send me the taste good seeds, but not the picture kind.
Every year, me and the She, we plant stuff on the north deck. Stuff like Tomatoes, Basil, Oregano, Onions, and hot peppers. They do good, but for sure don’t look like the pictures in the seed books. The She brings lots of hanging baskets of flowers from her florist and we have pretty flowers both on the north deck as well as on the front porch. The She waters and takes care of her flowers all summer long. I take care of the garden stuff. Hers always looks better than mine. Don’t know why, just does. Maybe the She uses better water than I do.
This year the seed book brought a new and exciting item to the EastWing mailbox. Deck Corn, yeah, I’m telling ya, Deck Corn, specifically altered to grow in pots on decks. Two to three ears per stalk, they said, easy to grow, they said. We’ll see, I said. And so Deck Corn is coming to the EastWing north deck. Nobody will be more excited than my son John when he finds out I’m growing corn at the EastWing north deck. Johnny love’s corn more than anybody I know. I think Johnny would even eat Corn Brownies.
Did I tell ya I’m in the long drawn out process of rooster rustling? Yep, rooster rustling, I’m gona rustle that ole rooster fair and square. Seems a neighbor to the west of the EastWing bought the property and started work on renovating “This Old House”. For whatever reason he put a rooster on the property and I’ve yet to see the feller come take of his livestock.
Not wanting to see a fine feathered fowl fall on to hard times, I decided to take matters into my own hands and fashioned a “Save The Rooster” Campaign. All the while knowing that some skeptical souls may very well consider this a veil attempt at a clandestine rooster rustling roundup, yet the best laid plans are put in into motion.
Step one was to acquire rooster rations. Owning a few hundred chickens, and not a single live fowl, I found myself to be on the short side of rooster rations. But not to worry, the good folks at The Feed Barn in North Judson IN fixed me up with enough rooster rations to certainly satisfy the soon to be rustled rooster, and feed the wild birds of winter all at the same time.
If ya don’t know Clyde at the Feed Barn in North Judson IN, ya should. He’s right out there on Hwy 10 just as ya coming into town traveling west, or just as you’re leaving town traveling east. The Feed Barn, ya can’t miss it, coming or going. Either way they’re one the north side of Hwy 10 in North Judson IN. When ya go there, tell ‘em BobbyRay sent ya.
The plan is a master of simplicity. The rooster’s abode was some 1,200 feet or so, to the west of the EastWing property. So I’d put out a daily supply of rooster rations and each day move the daily food a little closer to the EastWing. This morning the ole rooster was only about 300 feet from the EastWing. I expect in a couple weeks or less that ole boy will walk right onto the EastWing property looking for his breakfast.
Now when that happens I’ve already decided I’ve got to change his identify so nobody can accuse me of rooster rustling. When a rooster walks on to your property by his own free will, that’s not rooster rustling. From then on it’s just taking care of God’s creatures that happen to show up at the EastWing hungry. After all, that’s the way I acquired the Gray Lady James ‘bout 14 years ago. The Gray Lady showed up damn near starved to death and pregnant. I gave the Gray Lady food and comfort, the Gray Lady gave me the Pup Baby James, my Mustina, and I kept her for 13 years. All good dogs go to heaven.
It was the Tuesday Morning on January 15th that I’d stopped along the road to bring rooster his morning meal. I got out of the car, took one step toward the food spot when the rooster gave me a Cock-A-Doodle-Do! Much to my surprise, he gave me another. In return, I said good morning to the rooster. After a brief chat over his breakfast, I turned to leave and got the third Cock-A-Doodle-Do of the morning. That ole boy chicken made my day.
As I got back into Mr. Lincoln to continue on my journey to the office/playground, I thought “How cool is that, in rooster talk, hello and good-bye are the same word. In our own language, we also have words that have different meanings, but we don’t have anything that comes remotely close to saying “Cock-A-Doodle-Do” in the morning. When ya can say Cock-A-Doodle-Do and mean it, now that’s truly strutting in high cotton as the sun comes up in the morning. No wonder I believe roosters are such beautiful creatures of God. They Cock-A-Doddle-Do and mean it. We as people, well, we as people just talk about it, but can’t Cock-A-Doddle-Do.
When my rustled rooster steps foot onto the EastWing property, his name will be Roscoe, and he’ll be the Chicken King of the EastWing. The She don’t know that I’ve got a rooster coming down the road, but I’ll have to tell her pretty soon, else she’ll be surprised to see a rooster without a name walking around in the front garden. Now after the She gets over the shock of Roscoe Rooster, I’m gona ask her if I can get some real French Hens. I didn’t tell Roscoe ‘bout the French Hens yet, else he’d be setting on the EastWing north deck when I get home today.
Stay safe in Afghanistan.
From The EastWing, Cold Air, Warm Air, Seed Books & Deck Corn Brownies, Rooster Rustling, Roscoe & The French Hens
I Wish You Well,