Old Hens Know All the Tricks


We started our chicken journey with eight chickens in February 2014. The one-day-old chick is a Buff Orpington. This one could be Eva, Joanna, Ruthie, or Leah. The other four chicks were Black Australorps: Lydia, Ninja, Sarah, and Rachel.

Lydia checks the fenceline for grasshoppers. She is the only one of the original eight that we still have, and she is still laying beautiful, light tan eggs with a purple sheen at least every other day. We have forty other chickens. They may be bigger, faster, and more aggressive, but nobody gives Lydia grief. Old hens know all the tricks.


Sadie is a German short-haired pointer and was born in December 2005. She was a rescue dog and came our way five years later. Her back legs aren’t as strong as they used to be, and her hearing is almost nonexistent. The aggressive tumor in her right eye was removed last year along with her eye, and her left eye doesn’t see so good. But she’s a happy old girl and still runs the paths and deer trails and keeps track of everyone. She loves the dog door because she can stick out her nose and check the weather and the smells.

Sadie loves camping and being outside, but when it’s hot, she loves being in the air conditioning. Old dogs know all the tricks.


Farmer Woman was born way before you all. Her eyesight is lousy, and she can’t see stars at night. She cleans the chicken coop every day and loves to learn new things. She writes novels, established a publishing business, and is a marketer. She drags heavy limbs to the burn pile and is a weather expert.

She loves camping and being outside, but when it’s hot and buggy, she loves being in the air conditioning. Old Farmer Women know all the tricks.



April is National Poetry Month


I’m sure I missed it last year, but poetry’s publicist was busier this year. I see April is National Poetry Month in the US and Canada and is being announced everywhere I read. Except on my cereal box. You still read cereal boxes too, don’t you?

Because Cheerios® has been my go-to cereal since forever, this poem is dedicated to Honey Nut Cheerios®.

When The Chicken Don’t Lay

When the chickens don’t lay

And we have no eggs,

When the north wind blows

And the storm rushes in,

When the chickens have declared

No eggs this week.

When the sun rises

And our plates are bare,

Where is our relief from hunger and defeat?



~ An Original Poem by Judith A. Barrett

Thanks and a lift of the bowl to Grammarly. My favorite of all time editing software.


Spying on Sweet Procrastination

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What do you get when an author who is also a farmer with fifty chickens avoids writing the next chapter of Book One of the SWEET DEAL COZY MYSTERIES because it might be scary?

A sweet chicken procrastinator.



What do you get when an author avoids the final editing of the novel, I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY, because editing stinks?

A sweet, stinky, spying chicken procrastinator.


writing tools

What do you get when it’s blog day on the schedule and an author avoids writing a blog?

A sweet, stinky, spying chicken procrastinator blog.