“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Friday 4 August 2017


Well as they say...that was the week that was! 
Drama, storms, biblical signs and wailing banshees.
I kid you not peeps.
But before I natter away, I have finally (well nearly) finished the cacti and succulent watercolour I started after my trip to the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.
I think I just need to tweak and add a few shadows and that's it. 
Here's the result... which is an amazing feat considering all that's being going on around here.
This photo is sort of the calm before the storm...quite literally.
The thunder and lightening arrived and the rain came bouncing down.
Why I thought to go out without a jacket on... I have no idea. 
Perhaps I was under the illusion that it was summer. 
No wait a minute...it IS summer! 
Maybe that's why I'm painting cacti and succulents?
Subconsciously I'm wishing for hot temperatures and more sun! 

I also missed a dental appointment due to my new mobile phone, that I haven't mastered yet.
The memo's and diary are still blank, hence missing the reminder, but I'll get there. 
Thankfully, I wasn't in any pain...my appointment was just for a brush and polish.
I didn't even twig when I got a phone call....mainly because I didn't recognise the new ring tone and didn't answer the call; wondering why someone didn't answer their phone.
I know...but in my defence as I said, it's been quite a week.

For those followers of my Instagram and Facebook, I apologise that I may be repeating myself here, but I feel I have to share this lucky chooks near miss.
Say hello to Annie...who's very lucky to be here today.
Not more than an hour after I arrived home from a lovely weekend in Edinburgh...my hubby shot up from working on the laptop shouting 'FOX' whilst dashing for the door in record time, kicking off his flip-flops (thongs) to maximise his speed. 
His cries were ear piercing and certainly frightened me! 
I had no idea that he could either move that fast or get such volume and pitch to his voice!
Thankfully, the fox was terrified too, as the wailing banshee advanced.
Annie, who was joining in with her own squawks as she was dropped from the jaws of the fox, made off to hide in the corner of the patio...then more squawks came from the top end of the garden. 
More feathers flew and my hubby cries changed to rather colourful language 
(maybe he thought he was near enough away from me...or the circumstances certainly called for it)
Chickens were flapping and squawking all over the garden... it seems that we had far more than just four chooks. 
With the fox's escape under the conifer bushes and over the wall, we began to carry out a roll call.
Annie...yes, but traumatised and injured.
Bertha...present... (maybe too heavy for the fox to carry?)
Winnie...present (although hiding behind the rose bushes)
Flo? Flo? FLO?
Oh no...Flo was nowhere to be seen. 
Only a mass of feathers were floating all around the garden and so with heavy hearts and sickly stomachs, we assumed that Flo had been taken.
I was so mad because I'd been telling hubby that he was being too blas√© about them being free to roam, especially when he wasn't in the garden with them...but I had to back off because I knew he was so upset and guilty. 
We scooped up Annie and checked her over...four puncture holes either side of her spine seemed to be the extent of her injuries. We've later found out that her leg is injured, as she now has a limp.
She's full of character and we're hoping that she has a lot of fighting spirit in her too.
She's recovering each day so we're hopeful she'll be fine.
Meanwhile the others were put in lock down!
Later as I was trying to calm my stomach with deep breaths, washing down the patio 
(no blood... just feathers, bird seed and of course poop due to the fright).
A few minutes later my hubby called me to come and look.
I knew I couldn't take any more carnage, so declined, but he was insistent.
As I walked towards his voice and along the path...there he was holding Flo!
His favourite and with a huge grin to prove it.
She'd ran and just missed being grabbed by the fox (her lack of tail feathers are a new testament to her near miss and will be this seasons attire...basically minimal).
Phew... so now they're all together rallying around Annie and safe within the 'folly' walls.
They'll get a taste of free ranging (of sorts) by being in their movable run and we'll reposition it every day...but at least we know that they'll be safe and that's the main thing.

So on a lighter note to finish... here's something that gave us a giggle, this morning...
our 'wonkie' veg.
I would have taken the photo with all the greenery attached, but hubby just chopped them off before I had a chance. Ho hum...it's a work in progress...even after nearly 40 years!

I hope you have had a better week and a brilliant weekend lies ahead.
I think I'm going to lie in a darkened room ;D
Happy Friyay Everyone.
As usual I'm linking up with the Paint Party Friday gang.
p.s. I hope to have a finished completed piece of artwork for next week...see you soon I hope and thanks for popping by :D


  1. Glad your chicken survived! Your cactus piece is beautiful!

    1. Thanks, we are all so relieved that they are all safe too Christine.
      Have a great weekend. Happy PPF to you :D

  2. Love your artwork and so glad to hear the good news about Flo. They all had a narrow escape.Phew!

    1. Thanks Carol...I'm ready to start a new piece of artwork which is always exciting. Flo went missing for over twenty minutes!
      It certainly was a narrow escape and one that I wouldn't want to repeat. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great weekend.

  3. Hi, coming over from my blog "Got a Minute or Two". Enjoyed your comment, and love your cactus piece. YES, you should join us at Scribble Picnic.
    I love your Chicken and Fox story, and so glad Annie is doing well.
    Trust you will have a great week.

    1. Hi Wanda, great to see you. The latest report on Annie is she's eating, drinking and seems a little more alert.
      I will try to get organised and participate in Scribble Picnic...it looks a lot of fun and I possibly need the challenge.
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend :D

  4. Neesie so glad everything with Flo and Annie turned out fine... What a close call... Our neighbor lets his chicken roam free and he has lost several to cars and foxes and he even has a herd dog that keeps an eye on them...

    Love your painting of the succulents... its gorgeous... love all the greens... I'm your considering doing another one.. this time of the waterlily pads... they're incredible.......Hugs! deb

    1. Oh I'd not thought about doing the waterlily pads Deb...good idea.
      I'm currently thinking about what to paint next.
      Annie seems to be making a great recovery which is surprising us all. She's eating and drinking fine and the limp seems to be getting less and less with each day.
      The only thing is she's stopped laying so until that resumes we are keeping a close eye on her. She's quite a character. I couldn't possibly be so blaze about loosing any one of the chooks as your neighbour. I was far too upset when it happened to have it a regular occurrence.

  5. Hi Nessie, Im so glad your Annie was safe! That was close. I love your succulents! You amaze me at how adept you are with watercolors. Have a lovely week!
    ~~ Irene

    1. I wish I was amazed with my watercolours Irene. I feel I know nothing and each time could do better...but maybe that's just usual for temperamental self-doubting artists!
      Thank you for your kind comment...it really does give me a boost. I hope you have a wonderful week too.

  6. So glad your schools all survived and hope this week will be quieter and less traumatic. Hugs, Valerie

    1. Thankfully things have settled down this week Valerie :D
      Hugs to you too

  7. I commented over on your other blog... but then I saw the carrots... they are genius... anyone can grow normal suckers but these are spectacular...

    1. Hehe...trust you to see the opposite view than everyone else Trace. I did see you over at the other blog...thanks...it's nice to have visitors over there. It's quite lonely at times ;D

  8. Goodness me! So pleased that Flo was ok.
    Love your painting and those wonky vegetables !!!

    The weather in the UK has not been good, hopefully the weekend may be better.
    I hope you have a good one.

    All the best Jan

    1. We were all relieved and totally amazed that it has a happy ending. It really wasn't pleasant. Who doesn't love wonky veg? I think they have far more personality but I'm not looking forward to trying to peel them ;D
      We actually have the North wind blowing this way today and yet again it's a cold day. It really hasn't been a good summer.

  9. Wow, Denise, I got so caught up in the tale of the chickens and the fox that I forgot what you had painted and had to retrace my route to see your lovely cacti. Great painting. Great escapes from the fox too.

    1. Aww Faye, it was quite a story wasn't it! Thankfully one with a happy ending. Annie is doing well as far as we can tell. She's eating, drinking and pecking about...the only thing to mend now is her limp. It's much better so we're hopeful. She's stopped laying but who blames her having escaped from the jaws of death!
      Sorry that's possibly a tad dramatic.
      I hope your week is calm and relaxing. Thankfully mine isn't like last week. I don't think I have the stamina for many of those!

  10. Your painting is beautiful. Luckily your bold chickens
    are all right.
    Have a great upcoming week ❣

    1. Thanks Sirkkis, All chooks present and correct. Annie is making a good recovery and other than her slight limp you wouldn't believe what she has been through.
      This week is proving to be much calmer thankfully. I hope yours is too.

  11. Love your little plants...and oh my...what a carrot!

    1. Hehe...thanks Mandy. We have a few carrots with personality shall we say! ;D

  12. That was certainly a week for the books Nessie.!so glad all "the Girls" are okay. The cacti painting is wonderful. Hope your weekend is calmer and warmer. Hugs from all us Girls. :)

    1. Thanks Nan, we were all relieved that the tale had a happy ending too. Annie is recovering nicely. No eggs from her but that's forgivable under the circumstances. She's looking much better and only has a slight limp now. I hope you are having a great week. As to our summer temperatures... I won't go there. The north wind is blowing on us today. Brrrrrr!

  13. Hi Nessie. Wow you have had a week. Glad Annie is OK. I love the succulents you are creating. My heart lives in the dessert so I am happy to see your art.

    1. Thanks Nicole, I'm happy your like my succulents. I'm not so sure about them, but it's the first time I've tried to paint them...so I must be patient.
      Annie is doing great thanks. A slight limp and a few feathers missing is all that's evident from her horrific drama.
      Thankfully things have settled down this week. I hope you are having a great week too.

  14. I am so relieved that you will use a movable pen for their "free ranging"!! Now they'll be safe and you shouldn't have to worry all the time about them. Not that I'd trust a fox not to try to get into the pen, of course. But what a relief that they were all okay and alive and Annie was rescued quite literally from the jaws of death. Whew!!

    Love you cacti painting, too, BTW. I missed an important call--three times they tried to get ahold of me. Granted I was also sick with a fever...but I don't know how to listen to a voice mail or where to read one(apparently I can read voice mails on this new phone, too) or how to put people's names on the phone so I know who is calling (a lot of spam calls recently so haven't been answering anything I don't recognize). So I totally understand the battle to understand new technology. ;)

    1. Precisely Rita...she certainly was rescued from the jaws of death! She's making a great recovery. She's eating, drinking and only has a slight limp now. She's stopped laying eggs, but we can forgive her for that. She's probably retelling the tale nightly when they are all roosting in the coop.
      We are moving the pen around the grounds but securing the base with big granite rocks to ensure the fox doesn't get another chance.
      I'm sorry to hear that you've been sick. I hope you have recovered and are well once again. I'm pretty good with the phone it's just the different ring tones that I'm not used to, although I'm getting there.
      I hope you are having a great week :D

  15. A really beautiful painting! Lovely art!

    1. Thank you Margik, I appreciate your kind words.

  16. Yay for safe chooks! Slightly naked birds are better than no birds at all. I'm sure your hubby has learned his lesson, don't tempt fate especially when fate is a fast fox thinking about chook barbecue! Your painting looks great, good idea to use the white to define the leaves, I wouldn't have thought of that, I'll have to keep that in mind! Hugs to you my friend.

    1. You wouldn't believe it Jenn, but my hubby suggested letting the girls out of the folly to roam about whilst he cut the lawn!!! His logic was with a noisy lawnmower and him in his big clod-hopping boots the fox wouldn't come near. I hasten to add he was immediately told 'NO' and so they remain in safe custody and under my watchful eye.
      I'm not sure about the succulent artwork. I rushed everything towards the end...what's new eh?
      Hugs to you too

  17. Oh dear my heart was pounding hearing this story! So glad you chooks are okay poor things. Lucky they didn't have a heart attack. Imagine the fear! Glad they are safe and have such good loving parents!! Your succulents turned out lovely!! You may not want the kind of summer heat we are having this year, that come with smoke filled skies from the wild fires hundreds of miles away!! The streets are quite quiet with daily air advisories. Send some rain our way will you!! No lightening though. Thanks!!

    Hugs Giggles

    1. Ooh I never thought about a heart attack Giggles. I just checked them over to see external damage! Annie appears to have recovered amazingly well. Other than a slight limp now you wouldn't know that she had escaped from the jaws of death...quite literally!
      I certainly wouldn't want smoke filled skies and wild fires... I've lived with that in the past and it's not pleasant. In fact, it's scary!
      There's no rain here today to send to you...but a rather cold North wind! Hardly been any summer and here we are nearly in mid August. Hopefully you've had some rain during this last week.
      Take care

  18. so glad your chooks are OK!! bit scary :(

    the weather has been horrible, pouring rain and one scared dog from the thunder. your painting is looking good, and yeah you are probably painting it hoping for better weather

    1. It wasn't pleasant Jennifer and I certainly wouldn't want to go through it again.
      We had the thunderstorm but thankfully the weather has settled down now, although I could do without this cold North wind blowing. It really isn't good for August!

  19. Annie is gorgeous -- hopefully her injuries will all properly heal. Thank goodness all of the other hens are fine and I do know what you mean about ""poop". Chickens are pooping machines as are goats!
    Loved reading your post Sugar and you know I enjoy your art work.
    Sandy xx

    1. Annie's quite a character Sandy and thankfully making a good recovery. She's eating, drinking and generally interested in what's going on around her. Her limp has reduced quite considerably so other than she's not laying (which we can forgive her for) it appears she's going to be okay.
      Thankfully I don't get involved with the poop machine...I've delegated that end of the business to hubby! ;D

  20. I'm keeping all my carrots crossed that your Annie is back laying eggs and enjoying life for many more years to come. How scary!
    Happy Sunday
    Wren x

    1. Hehe...all our carrots are crossed too Wren!
      Annie's not laying yet, but we can forgive her that with what she's been through. She's certainly made a fantastic recovery. Just a gammy leg now which gives her a rather comical gait!
      I hope you are having a great week and are ready to nip home for that brilliant welcome that'll be waiting for you :D xx

  21. Well it would appear ours do Adam!


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