Sunday, May 3, 2020

Coronavirus Duck Tales

I always said that I could stay at home and never leave my house, and be perfectly happy and never run out of things to do. But I must admit that the last month or so have really put me in a rut. I've had to read the books I already own instead of browse the bookstore, and pretty much the same thing with fabric and yarn and other such colorful supplies. Not that I'm running out, mind you, because I'm not. I just didn't realize that I counted on the pick-me-up I could get standing in the aisles of certain stores from time to time.

Now I've probably mentioned that we have a small flock of ducks, 5 females. We've had them a couple of years and we're down to about two eggs a day now, but that's enough for me at least, and usually we can save up easily enough for bread or even a quiche. We live on the main thoroughfare in our neighborhood, on a large corner lot directly across from an elementary school, and there is a bus stop bench and awning actually just outside our fence. So everybody around here has heard the quacking at some point.

Last night about dusk a knock at my door alerted me to a duck wandering down the street. Was it mine? a very polite teenage boy asked. Well I went to look, and it wasn't. But this boy, two of his friends, and I decided that the lost duck needed to be housed for the night in my duck yard. 

For nearly two hours, the four of us herded this poor animal up and down the street, underneath and then out from under cars and up into yards and finally, all of us --including the duck-- were worn out! We actually caught the duck a few times and it scratched us bloody and escaped under another car. 

Fine. We gave up and all returned to our homes. I was overheated and sweaty and ELATED. It was the kind of fun I remember having on summer nights with all the other neighbor kids. Just doing a thing for the sake of doing it. I was almost giddy from the ridiculous, fun activity of it all. 

So this morning I was SORE. Too sore to be running downstairs over and over, answering the door and explaining that the duck -- still wandering around the neighborhood -- was not my duck. But that was my morning. Because hubby was on duty last night, he came in about 7:30 a.m. so I just stayed in bed (except for the interruptions at the front door) until around 1:30 p.m. I'm so old!

I was kinda bummed again thru the day. I'm SICK of watching TV. There's no positive place for news, because basically the news is full of illness and assholes, giving the impression that the whole world is made up of just illness and assholes right now. I don't find entertainment very entertaining right now.

I stayed up until after dark to put our ducks in their pen, and then something told me to go out front and see if the Muscovy was anywhere around. I discovered that it was in MY driveway, under MY truck. I freshened up the water in the dishpan I set out last night, and put out more duck food. And I don't know what tomorrow holds but I feel like the duck is here to tell me or show me something, and I've got nothing better to do right now than just pay attention and learn.

God bless, stay well, and STAY HOME if you're able.

Duck Mom

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Masks, masks masks! {{please see edit!}}

Did you receive a mask made by me? Here are a few things I want to say. First, thanks for whatever you do that puts you around people at this time. If you're a nurse or delivery driver or any other one of the heroes we are counting on these days, I want you to know that I appreciate you!

Also, don't microwave your mask to "sterilize" it. It has a bit of wire over the nose to help shape it to your face, and I have it on good authority that it will catch fire in the microwave. 

EDIT: Today I threw mine in the washing machine and that little piece of pipe cleaner got all twisted up and actually pushed itself through the fabric and out, so I believe it's best to hand wash in hot soapy water and live dry. I'm sure hanging it in the sunshine and/or ironing will finish off any nasty germs. Use whatever you have handy as a filter.

I make and donate the masks, and am not selling a single one of them. But if you'd like to donate, you can do so via Paypal ( or the Cash App ($TammyHanley). Any donations go just to keep me in supplies -- thread, elastic, slide adjusters and O-rings, sewing machine needles, seam rippers to replace the ones I keep losing, and postage, as I do send quite a few by mail. Any amount is appreciated.

Finally, I'd really love to hear your feedback about the masks, along with any ideas you might have on improvements to the design or just ways to meet different needs. Special requests can be made by a private email ( and will be considered. Unfortunately, I cannot take on large-batch orders because it's just me and my poor little sewing machine chugging along by ourselves.

Stay well! Blessings from my family to yours,
Tammy Hanley