Which, of course, means I should be committed .... elsewhere.
See, my friend, (who, for reasons of her own personal safety shall go unnamed) wanted to add to her tiny "garage band" of hens, but couldn't fill the minimum order requirement. Knowing the degree of my lunacy and that I live on a farm, she logically contacted me to see if I wanted to help her fill her order by taking a few egg machines myself.
"But of course!" I replied, knowing full well my barn is not sufficiently chicken-proofed at this time, but figuring this would light the fire under me arse to git 'er dun. If I know my little chickadees will be knocking down my door end of March, surely I will have said barn fully prepared. Ha.
I've been looking forward to having chickens for some time. I have an arrangement with Henry, one of my Amish neighbors, to build me a chicken coop in my barn, but with the "no hurry" clause added on, which has resulted in he and I both biding our time for years now. But now the time is nigh (how do you spell nigh?) and we must accomplish this item on the To Do list.
Of course, getting the coop built, caring for near a dozen chicks, and eventually gathering eggs will be the easy part. The hard part will be dealing with the carnage that always seems to go hand in hand with chicken ownership. Between freak accidents, disease and predation, I'm hoping for a 50% one year survival rate. If I can do better than that, it will be the icing on the cake. Or should I say, the cheese on the omelette.
I found myself with a rare 20 mins to spare between chores and pick-ups a few days ago, so I sat down and turned on the TV. In the middle of the day. Gasp.
I flipped throught the channels a bit and decided on Animal Planet. Animal Cops Detroit. There came a scene where the animal control officer and the vet were checking out a dog in the shelter kennel. The background noise of yips and barks and whines was deafening. Next thing I knew, our little dog Sophie came running in from the kitchen, jumped up into my lap and buried her head under my arm. She was trembling all over. See, Sophie hails from a shelter. We brought her home from the Chester County SPCA about 2 1/2 years ago. I can remember going there to view the dogs. Amid all the pit bulls and shepherd mixes and mongrels barking and leaping about their cages, sat little Sophie, looking up out of her kennel with those big brown eyes that just melted my heart. She wasn't making a sound, but those eyes said it all. When she first came home to us she was quiet and kept to herself. Over time she has blossomed and is now a friendly, loving little dog that the whole family just adores. I had almost forgotten about her past. Perhaps she had forgotten, as well. But, like any being once traumatized, triggers will always remain. Triggers that can at once conjure up memories and emotions long forgotten. As she sat shaking in my lap, burying herself ever deeper into my arms, I stroked her glossy black fur and told her it was OK. I turned off the TV, rubbed her ears, and scratched her tummy. She was OK again after a bit. Soon it was time for me to go pick up my brood, so I ushered her off my lap and off she trotted, tail wagging.
It was a solid reminder to me that someone can move along day to day, for all the world looking like they haven't a thing in the world bothering them, haunting them. But when they cross paths with a lost sight or sound or smell, old worlds can come crashing back down on them, leaving them shaking. If not physically, then emotionally. And that emotional shaking can present itself outwardly in so many ways. Often, I miss what it is that's truly at play when I witness troublesome behaviors, acting out.
So thanks, Sophie, for reminding me that there are many things in this world that can trigger awful, unsettling feelings, in a dog or a person. Hopefully my eyes can be open to notice the trembling, in all its forms.
Having a glorious birthday filled with wall-to-wall nothingness. After I got the munchkins off to school, that is. I've caught up on my favorite blogs. I've read all kinds of good wishes from my Facebook Friends. I even began work on my New Year's resolution, which is to finish writing my book. I added to it for the first time since the kids let out of school last summer. All right, I only added a paragraph, but hey, I fulfilled the contract of my resolution by starting it. I took a break to bake myself a birthday cake. Fred was planning to take this task on, but I've had my eye on a recipe, just waiting for a good excuse to try it out.
It's a chocolate sheet cake from the pages of my favorite cookbook. To the author, I must address this note: Ree, you must leave the Marlboro Man and marry me. If you have kept abreast of current events you will know this is now legal in some states.
It (my cake) looks scrumptious and I'm having a supremely hard time not digging into it. The only reason I've not done so yet is that I've had the pleasure of consuming a good bit of chocolate in the process of making this deliciousness. Rest assured, no spatulas were harmed in the making of this cake. Batter was poured from mixing bowl to baking pan with the aid of gravity only. Whatever was left in the bowl was all mine. Not a soul around to yell out, "I call the bowl", "I call the scraper", "I call the beater". It was mine, all mine. And when I caught sight of my reflection while washing up after this orgasmic baking experience, I looked like a four year old girl, with chocolate all over my face. I was literally bathed in chocolate. Now that's the way to start off a birthday ....
Goodbye Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Goodbye New Year's Eve, New Year's DAy. Goodbye winter break.
Here we are already a week into the new year, kids back to school, everyone back to business as usual. Christmas decorations, for the most part, boxed up and stored away (save some errant wreaths on the barn that will probably remain there for the bulk of the winter till I can get my lazy butt to the pole I need to retrieve them from on high).
We received visitors from as far as sunny LA and as near as snowy NJ. We did our own share of visiting, which included driving through snow-covered roads and everyone pitching in to dig out Grammy and Bob from the two feet of snow that buried them in good.
The kids got a healthy lesson in patience as they had to wait for Dad to get home Christmas morning. For the first time in years he was on call Christmas Eve, so we sadly kissed him goodbye in the evening and warmly welcomed him home Christmas morn.
Fred and I (along with Aunt Mary) got front-row seats to witness the explosion and chaos (and thank-yous and hugs) of Christmas morning. Long-gone are the days of Mattell and Fisher Price. With the new decade we have ushered in the new era of Apple and Hewlett-Packard. And the kids couldn't be more thrilled with all their new games and gadgets. Once the dust and ribbons settled and the last of the torn wrappings were discarded, the house was filled with a humming, clicking silence as the kids settled into their new electronics.
Soon after the new year was rung in, we gathered around the table (alright, I had to drag some of them kicking and screaming to take part in this family tradition) to go through our "Memory Box". As we pulled out old ticket stubs, visitor maps, wrist bands and other tangible reminders of things experienced in twenty-ten, we reminisced and laughed (and grumbled over being forced to partake in this happy family event). At the bottom of the box we pulled out last year's resolutions and had ourselves a good guffaw at some of the goals that had been set. But a fair number had been met, and so we set about crafting some new resolutions.
I won't list mine, for then they surely wouldn't get met. But I will jot down my hopes: I hope that as the Big Boys turn 16 (in the next couple months) that no one will be killed, maimed, dismembered or in any way traumatized once they hit the roads with either permit or license. I hope that my eldest will turn in at least one of his homework assignments, that he may pass his current grade. I hope for a Zen calm to settle into the brains and bones of my rowdy brood. As a result of the above, I hope for no trips to the ER for broken bones and/or lacerated skulls or for that matter any wounds of any kind. I hope to find more time for myself to write, and to read, or to sit and stare blankly at a wall, my head devoid of thought. I hope that as another child of mine passes into her teen years in a few months, marking my third teenage girl and my fifth teen total, that, quite smply, I will survive.
Like Mr. Rogers used to say (paraphrased), Won't - you be - my Followers?
A Little History
Quite frankly, I don't know what I was thinking at the time. We went from 3 kids by birth to "oh, let's adopt a 4th" without a whole lot of deliberation.
While adopting said 4th (in Kazakhstan), we met a young man of 8 yrs by the name of Borya. Thought he was a pretty nice kid and years later found out we could adopt him too. Only thing was, he came as a 2-in-1 package with his younger sister Ylia. What the hay, said we, and rushed headlong into the adoption process. Again. To adopt two kids that were 10 and 13 at the time.
Started a blog to keep track of where my head was in this adoption game. When Borya and Ylia arrived home, we were suddenly the proud parents of six kids, ages 9, 10, 11, 11, 13 and 13.
That was back in 2009, but I still blog. I figure what doesn't make us laugh makes us cry, and I'd rather be laughing.
Also? We live on a farm(ish) with a few dozen critters. You're just as likely to read a post about the farming side of things as you are the parenting side. Thought you might want to know in case you have allergies or something.
As for the structure of this blog, I pretty much post on a daily basis, and I tend to be all over the place in what I write about, so if it's nice, neat and compartmentalized you're looking for, be off with you now, you won't find it here.
I do have some structure, though, I'm not a total bohemian. I roll like this:
Mon: Mirth Monday. A little somethin' to make you chuckle.
Tues: Sometimes Adoption Tuesday, sometimes A Tip For Tuesday, sometimes random thoughts.
Weds: Wordless Wednesday. Usually a photo or some artwork from myself or one of my oh-so-talented children.
Thurs: all random, all the time.
Fri: Farm Friday. Speaks for itself.
Sat, Sun: More random musings.
Feel free to explore and don't be shy -- drop me a line to say hello, and be sure to add yourself as a follower. Feeds my ego in a big way. I'm very insecure.
Cast of Characters
Meet the fambly:
Our Family in 2009
I'm on Top Mommy Blogs!
An award? For ME?
The Lazy Mom Award for Most Popular Lazy Mom Tip of 2011 is.....