A Flock for my Happiness?

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  • #1557614

    Amy
    Participant

    Hi guys, I’m Amy. If you’ve been keeping up with the grab bag ori thread, you may have seen the short discussion of the severe emotional problems I’ve been having ever since breaking up with my ex about five months ago.

    Without rehashing the entire thing, just suffice it to say I am in the absolute depths of despair, and I go to bed sobbing every night, begging God to just let me die. Let the suffering end.

    I’ve had a lot of really wonderful messages from fellow forum members, both on that ori thread and PM’d to me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that support. I don’t really have friends in my daily life (that are around or have time for me at least), so the kind words from people here mean the world to me.

    I’ve gotten a lot of advice, and one recurring theme is trying to learn to be happy alone/with myself. I’ve been told to try to get back into things that made me happy before I met my ex. This is proving difficult for me because if I really truly think about it, I wasn’t happy before I met my ex. I have been very dedicated to education and career building my entire life, and I haven’t really had time for fun. I’ve been telling myself for years that all the suffering will pay off someday when I’ve finally reached my goals. I’ve been all business all the time. I got together with my ex during my senior year of college (thankfully it was the last semester, because my grades really suffered and, for the first time in my life, I was really afraid I wouldn’t even graduate. That’s really strange and hard for someone who has been a 4.0 student their entire life. Instead of useful notes, my microbiology notebook was full of doodles of my engagement ring. I’ve never doodled in my life).

    Anyway, now I’m trying to figure out some other things in my life that bring me any sort of happiness. I was with my ex my entire adult life, so I kind of have to look back to my childhood. That was also a really mixed bag. I was severely abused by my father, but there were some good things too. I’ve always been an animal lover, and one of the best things from when I was a kid was my chickens. We have a chicken coop in our back yard, and one spring, we went to the feed store and picked up a bunch of little chicks. That’s one time in my life I can point to that I was definitely happy. (Too bad that was 22 years ago, but what are you gonna do?) We brought them home and put them in a cardboard box in our utility room with a heat lamp and water dispenser and their little food trough. Watching those fluffly, cheeping little treasures really brought joy to my heart. They were such sweet little things, perching on my arms and shoulders, and not complaining when I’d pick them up and hold them.

    They lived in that box for a time, but eventually they grew to the point that they were able to jump up on the edge of the box to roost. We have several pictures of them sitting on that box edge looking up at us. We decided it was time for them to move outside after they all jumped out of the box and ran all over the house, pooping everywhere (as chickens are apt to do). They had a first rate coop. It had a roof with shingles and everything, and a large fenced area with lots of grass and space, so I’d like to imagine the transition outside wasn’t too bad for them. It was so exciting when they began laying eggs. We had two cylindrical compost bins out by the coop, and the hens would often hop up inside and lay their eggs in the bins. I was so excited to run out there and look for the eggs. I always hoped there would be babies, but every egg I ever held up to the flashlight was unfertilized, and no little babies ever emerged from the coop, so I guess the hens were managing to keep the roosters at bay.

    It was amazing to watch them grow from little tiny fluff balls to t-rex footed adult birds. They were still quite friendly and would tolerate me, still a little girl, running around with them and holding them. I loved everything about them: the clucking, how their combs would flop around when they’d move their heads, their piercing eyes, and how soft their feathers were. I was always so scared when it was time to clip their wings so they wouldn’t jump the fence. My neighbor used to get really angry if they found their way into his year.

    I had one younger brother at the time we got the chickens, and another one was born during the time the chickens were adults. When he was 4 months old, he contracted a rare disease, called infant botulism (which is caused by ingesting a botulism spore. In babies the spores usually come from honey or dust (in adults it’s most often improperly canned/jarred food. If you ever see a bulging can, DON’T EAT FROM IT!!!) My mom certainly didn’t give him any honey, but my neighbor was building a custom home at the time, and there was a ton of dust in the air around our house, so we’ve always figured that was the source.) Anyway, this disease is very serious. Once ingested, the spore germinates and multiplies, releasing toxins throughout the body. It causes total body paralysis and nerve death, so understandably, he had to be hospitalized and put on life support for several months. This was obviously an extremely difficult time for my parents. My mom moved up north to stay with my brother in the hospital full time, leaving me and my other brother (now 6 and 3 respectively) alone with my dad.
    With a child essentially dying in the hospital, my dad didn’t have time to care for our flock anymore, so he asked the man at the feed store if he could find new homes for my precious chickens. I sobbed and sobbed. Now not only had I lost my mom and was forced to live full time with my abusive father, my only friends were gone too. It broke my heart…

    When Melody released the hen and rooster PYOs I couldn’t help but tear up. They look so much like my old friends. I’ve been wishing and wishing I could commission someone to paint me my friends so I could see them again. I haven’t looked into it too heavily because I know how expensive it would be, but I’m getting worse by the day and I feel like I need to do something to try to help myself. So I’d like to at least talk to someone about how much money and time it would take to recreate my flock.

    Here’s a description of them (and please don’t judge their names too harshly. I named them all when I was 5.)

    I had:

    2 Buff Orpington Roosters:
    -Skedaddler (my big tough boy who attacked even my parents, but never hurt me. We kept him for a while, but eventually my dad got sick of being attacked every time he went outside. It wasn’t anything crazy, just feet pecking, but dad had a short temper. I cried and begged him not to, but he took Skedaddler back to the feed store and gave him back to the man at the counter. The man laughed and said not to worry, and that his other roosters would put Skedaddler in his place. Skedaddler proceeded to kicked the butt of every other rooster on that man’s farm, and for his reward, he got his head cut off. My poor boy. T_T He was too tough for this world.)

    -Tenderfoot (the less dominant male. Much more reserved and quiet. Never bothered the hens)

    1 Australorp Hen
    -Blacky (My mom’s favorite. She had beautiful black feathers that shone emerald green in the light. Like color shift paint come to life)

    1 Fryer Hen (not sure of the real breed name. Possibly a Leghorn? She was my favorite because she was yellow as a baby, just like the Easter chicks you always see. I think she would have been white as an adult, but not sure. This unfortunately was just another opportunity for my dad to torture me. He let me get her, fall in love with her, then after a she got a little bit older he proceeded to tell me that she would eventually eat so much and get so fat that her legs would break, so we were getting rid of her. I don’t even know to this day if that would have happened, but how cruel…so he took her away from me before I saw how she would have looked as an adult. I always imagine her being pure white with a red comb and yellow legs)
    -Yellowy

    2 Rhode Island Red Hens
    -Redlandy (Probably my favorite, after Yellowy was taken away. Sweet, sweet girl. Would put up with me being all over her.)

    -Dangercall (She was a bit wild and apt to peck. Still loved her though. Just had to remember to keep her away from my eyes)

    2 Barred Rock Hens
    -Rocky (My little brother’s favorite. She was a sweet girl also. Tolerated being handled really well. Didn’t ever try to peck.)
    -? (I can’t remember her name right now. She’s the smaller one in the picture)

    By my math, this is already $210 just in blank PYOs, so then once we include the cost to paint them all and mail them I’m sure we’re talking probably over $1,000. This would be quite irresponsible of me to spend, so I’m thinking maybe I’d just narrow it down to my absolute favorites.

    I’d at least like to get an estimate for Skedaddler, Redlandy, Yellowy, Blacky and Rocky.

    Just for your enjoyment, here’s a picture of Yellowy, Blacky and Redlandy as teenagers, perching on our porch railing. Aren’t they adorable?

    And here are a few pictures I’ve found on google of the amazing paint jobs some hen/rooster PYOs have received. I think Melody might even have been the artist…

    Attachments:
    #1557662

    GardenNinja
    Participant

    Amy,
    I can recommend a PYO artist: Catherine Knox. I bought a hen & rooster pair off of eBay from her. I have some other pieces by her, too. I don’t know if she is on the forum, but I have an email address. If you like, PM me your email, and I can email it to her. This pair cost me $232.50 + $15 shipping in mid-2017.

    My keyboard is broken. I keep pressing "Escape", but I'm still here.

    Attachments:
    #1557666

    Amy
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply. I’m gonna hold off for now. I was really hoping to work with a forum member. I really love everyone here, and these pieces would mean so much more if a friend made them for me. Plus I’d like to keep the money in the “family” if I can. 😉

    We’re those chickens representations of birds you have in real life?

    #1557667

    GardenNinja
    Participant

    I think she may have been a forum user at one time. People who’ve been around longer than I have may know for sure.
    I have never had chickens, and I’m not really a bird person at all. I just saw the auction and was very impressed.

    My keyboard is broken. I keep pressing "Escape", but I'm still here.

    #1557668

    Amy
    Participant

    I’ll keep an open mind to it. I suppose I should mention that I have social anxiety and I don’t know her like I do a lot of other people here. Sorry to be difficult. >.<

    I am blown away by the sculpts themselves. They look so alive. Like they could get up and start clucking any second.

    Thanks for providing the pictures of yours. They are quite lovely.

    #1557694

    etruscan
    Participant

    I think she may have been a forum user at one time. People who’ve been around longer than I have may know for sure.

    I have never had chickens, and I’m not really a bird person at all. I just saw the auction and was very impressed.

    She is purpleturtle on the Forum. She usually just sells on ebay but she did do a couple of commission pieces for me and was very easy to work with.

    #1557696

    Amy
    Participant

    Oh, I think I’ve at least seen her around, if not talked to her a little bit.

    That makes me feel so much better. Thank Etruscan.

    #1557698

    etruscan
    Participant

    Bodine always is open for commissions though I don’t know whether she has painted one of the chickens before. She is easy to work with.

    #1557716

    Amy
    Participant

    I know bodine. I like her a lot. 🙂

    #1557751

    Bodine
    Participant

    Bodine always is open for commissions though I don’t know whether she has painted one of the chickens before. She is easy to work with.

    Thank you for the vote of confidence.Very sweet and appreciated 😊

    BE EXCELLENT TO ONE ANOTHER & BE GOOD TO MOTHER EARTH🌎
    (Wanted.. Fantasy or Silhouette GB Young Unicorn)

    #1557764

    Suzanne-Marie
    Participant

    Hi Amy🌸
    Sorry you are feeling so sad..
    Growing up I too had chickens, used to smuggle them into my bedroom and my Mom would freak out!! LOL!!
    I can personally recommend 3 Forum members who have all painted for me:
    Bodine is simply amazing; she has done numerous pieces for me; if you wish I can send you photos of some of her work.
    She surprised me with a portrait of my dog, Zarek, a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd who at age 13.3 years had a stroke and had to be euthanized, that shattered me.
    It did so much help me with his portrait; I look at it numerous times a day, and had Bodine also do my dog Chichi,a Black Tri Australian Shepherd who passed 2/13/18; both portraits look identical to my dogs.
    She will be painting 2 more dog portraits in the near future for me, and is almost finished with soon-to-be-mine Queen Of Hearts ♥️ PYO Uni; just needs a glossy finish!!
    She is very easy to work with.
    Drag0nFeathers has painted for me and will do repairs; I plan on contacting her in the Spring when she re-opens. She is also so easy to work with; she painted some beautiful pieces for Windstone that sold quite high on eBay!!
    Tig3rO6 did a hippocampus for me and a wolf PYO for a dear friend; beautiful beyond words!! She was so happy with it she cried. She is very gifted, attention to fine detail, and is so easy to work with.
    She too will be doing more painting for me soon!!
    My email is:
    suzanne_marie@att.net
    Luv every single piece that I have from all of them!!
    Warm Hugs,
    Suzanne-Marie

    #1557787

    Amy
    Participant

    Hi Suzanne-Marie,

    Thanks for the recommendations. I emailed you.

    And that is too cute about you and your chickens. Bless your mom’s heart. Did they poop in the house? lol

    #1557815

    pipsxlch
    Participant

    Aww, I had chickens also growing up. The Brahmas, Cochins and Silkies were all cuddly sweethearts, though the absolute sweetest hen was a generic Rhode Island Red named Pebbles (and my turkey hen named Jerky). We did end up with 4 Buff Orpingtons that a neighbor had when we moved up north, they didn’t want them anymore and heard our chickens. They were all pleasant dispositions, 2 of each gender. Actually we rarely had a mean one.

    I can’t give you a definite timeline for completion- I work a lot- but I’d be willing to do a fairly simple one like the Buff Orpington for you for free, you’d just have to get the PYO, have it sent to me, then pay shipping to you when it’s done. I have done a few PYOs and can post pics, sorry I never was able to figure out setting up a gallery. (should try again)

    Bodine painted a lovely memorial wolf for me also.

    Sorry to hijack, but Catherine Knox/ purpleturtle is still around? I’ve often regretted missing out on one of her unique and amazingly thought out sculptures of alien critters.

    #1557825

    Suzanne-Marie
    Participant

    Hi Amy,
    Thank you, got ur email; emailed you back.
    My chickens started as two; I *think* they were White Rocks, big huge white chickens, Larkie and Pullie; 2 live tiny yellow peeps in my Easter basket !!
    I was like 6-7 yrs old, remember jumping up and down with joy!!
    They were all very tame;came when I called them with treats; laid big mostly double yolk delicious eggs,very snuggly.
    The flock grew into 14, 12 hens and 2 roosters; one rooster kept attacking me, but not my Mom or Dad.
    So I complained bitterly to my Dad to do something ; he devised a plan…
    “Go get your badminton racket; when he flies up, you knock him down with it.”
    Told him I didn’t want to hurt him, or him to hurt me either.
    My Dad says “ it should not hurt him, just scare him”
    He walked with me out to their area; I remember crying so hard,felt like I was walking into A Very scary situation.
    He flew up; I don’t remember knocking him down; my Dad said I did perfect…and he never flew up or attacked me again; in fact he ran the other way….
    Last noc writing this after work I thought someone else had painted for me but could not remember whom until this morning..
    I also recommend Landipan!!
    She did two stunning PYO Uni’s you can see in the PYO thread, very easy to work with; gorgeous beyond words!!
    Landipan I apologize for the late recommendation; just so exhausted after work last noc.
    And yes, they did poop in my room, but was on hardwood floors; usually I got it cleaned up before my Mom came in and had a full-on wig-out. LOL!!
    Warm Hugs !!

    #1557871

    etruscan
    Participant

    Sorry to hijack, but Catherine Knox/ purpleturtle is still around? I’ve often regretted missing out on one of her unique and amazingly thought out sculptures of alien critters.

    Purpleturtle is still around. I see her lurking here sometimes but I don’t know whether she is still painting and/or sculpting.

    https://windstoneeditions.com/members/purpleturtle/

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