PS: If this link doesn't take you there, and you're game for following even more steps, try the following: 1) Go to FB. 2) Type in 'Mary Birdsong' in the search bar. 3) Click on her photos. 4) At the top, where it says, 'Mary Birdsong's photos' in a grey box, all the way to the right it says 'videos'. Click that. 5) The AIDS Walk video is right there at the top. It says 'AIDS WALK 2011- San Francisco [HQ]'. Click that. 6) Sit back and enjoy. You'll be glad you did. 7) (Optional) Donate to the cause!
Like everyone else, I watched the movie Good Will Hunting back in the day. Great movie.
I maybe watched it once more on TV a couple years later. Still enjoyed it.
So when I saw it on sale for 5 bucks at WalMart not long ago, I picked it up, stuck it on the shelf when I got home and forgot about it.
But a few nights ago, for some reason, I remembered I had it and felt the urge to watch it. More to the point I didn't feel like getting off the couch and I was able to sweet-talk one of my spawn into fetching the movie and starting it for me.
So I watched it for the first time in years. I watched it for the first time since experiencing the joys of parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
And as it turns out? That's what the movie is about.
Will (Matt Damon's character) is a young adult who was a product of the foster care system. As a child he moved through many placements, and was repeatedly, violently abused.
Sean (Robin William's character) was the therapist court-ordered to cousel Will. He had a keen understanding of issues such as PTSD and RAD. Although those diagnoses were never mentioned, it was clear to me during this watching (though I had been oblivious to these issues in the past) that this was exactly what was at play.
Though I began the movie watching from a reclined position with half-closed lids, all full of equal parts cozy and lazy, I ended it sitting fully upright, eyes wide, emotions in overdrive.
OH MY GOD he's been hurt by every adult who was ever supposed to have his back! OH MY GOD he's severing relationships at their first sign of turning into something meaningful! OH MY GOD he's a scared little boy lashing out at the world! OH MY GOD he's self destructing! OH MY GOD he's frightened he's hurt he's angry he's been betrayed he's been let down he's trying to stay in control the only way he knows how he's shutting out thoughts of his past he's not allowing himself to feel loved!
In true Hollywood fashion, he was "fixed" by his therapist in the end and set off to win back his girl, with strongly hinted promises of a Happily Ever After ending.
In real life, of course, such endings really are rather fairy tale, with very few lightbulb epiphanies that set a person right with the world instantaneouly. More accurately, such a person plods along through life healing slowly, and usually only then with the help of a good therapist and loving supportive family in his corner.
While I would love for there to be such a "just add water" fix, I'll remain content with the 'slowly healing' approach, and be glad for it.
And I know of a good movie I'm planning on watching with my boy the moment he returns home.....
Show some good will by clicking on this button to vote for me.
Hope you've all recovered from last week's Farm Friday post. Now sit up. Wipe that little bit of drool off your chin.
This week's FF isn't so juicy. Not juicy at all in fact. All it is is a bit of a chuckle for you. A chuckle about chickens.
A chicken chuckle.
Anway, I have no idea where I found this years ago, but I've dug it up from my archives and dusted it off and I present it here to you for your reading enjoyment. And to whomever I stole this from, my heartfelt apologies. I beg your forgiveness.
Chickens 101: How NOT to Raise Chickens
Chick: A hatchling
Pullet: A female chicken under one year old.
Hen: A female chicken over one year of age.
Rooster: A male chicken over one year of age.
The longing for fresh eggs from your own happy free-range chickens can lead down the path of temptation. Be cautious. Your dreams may become scrambled. Raising chickens for the first time is a humbling experience. When I first called my local feed shop, I was trying to sound like a pro. I asked, "Do you sell pullets?" "Yes", the man replied. "Are they all females," I added. It's been an uphill battle ever since.
Pullet parenthood is as much of an adventure as child rearing, only with more feces per pound of body weight. However, I've been reading quite a bit on poultry matters. (Yes, my coolness just turned over in its grave.) So if I am correct and I am quite certain I am not, here is how chicken rearin' goes.
Go to your local feed store and purchase $10 worth of chicks and $50 worth of food and supplies. Don't forget the water dispensers. Buying the metal ones, never plastic is always advised. Must be country humor. I have yet to see a metal water dispenser.
Next, place the chicks somewhere sheltered, like a bedroom closet. Toss in some highly flammable straw or wood shavings and promptly dangle a glowing heat lamp just above them. Note to self: Update homeowner's policy.
For the next several weeks feed them 3 lbs of food per day and remove 4 lbs of manure per day from the closet. Despite all logic the birds get bigger. As the adult feathers grow in be sure to clip one of their wings. That is one per bird, not just one wing total. If clipping is done late chicks will nest in your toilet. This is a bad thing.
Clipping can be accomplished by tossing your scissors and yourself into the heaping mound of chicks, feces and straw. Grab a wiggling screeching bird from the bile pile. Restrain it with one hand. Stretch the wing out with your second hand. Clip off 50% of the wings outer ten feathers with your third hand.
As the birds grow adjust the heat light temperature down by one degree per day. No, this is not actually possible. That's not my point. You start at 100 degrees for hatch lings then continue down by one degree per day until your bedroom is a minimum of three degrees cooler than the spring blizzard outside your window.
Once you have frozen your ear to your semi-cannibalistic down pillow and the chicks have grown their adult feathers, they can be moved outside to the coop. I estimate the initial closet rearing stage to have taken five years.
Before the move, experience the Joy of Wing Clipping one more time. Feather clipping never works the first time. No one knows why. Still, after all the hassle you probably don't want them to fly the coop in under sixty seconds. Of course, if you're like me, by this time you may be inclined to pack them each a lunch and leave a stack of Greyhound tickets by the open coop gate.
Regarding habitat construction: Hen houses and chicken coops are a competitive art form. Pampering pet birds can be a passion. There are a myriad of websites showing off architectural designs from Chicken Chateaus to Bird Bordellos. The meticulous craftsmanship makes my own home look like, well, like a chicken coop.
Always fashionable, I went with a shabby chic motif for my coop. The nesting boxes are an eclectic mix of stolen milk crates affixed to the wall by anything in arms reach. As for the coop itself, there is a gift for tight chicken wire which eludes me. Quite frankly, my first attempt at a coop looks like Dr. Seuss dropped a hit of acid, blasted some Jefferson Starship and rolled around on the wire with every Who in Whoville. I think I'll keep it.
Inferior design aside, I ultimately learned a thing or two. The nesting boxes are supposed to be up off the ground. That is correct. For those of you keeping score you just spent two weeks cutting back the birds flight feathers only to hang their houses in the sky. It's just sick.
Higher than the nest boxes, you are to build a roost. This is where the birds poop at night so they do not poop on your breakfast eggs. Of course, the roost is usually OVER the nesting boxes, so whatever you do, don't use those perforated (stolen) plastic milk crates.
They say for young birds you should maintain a heat light in the hen house. Then on cooler nights an animal with a brain the size of a bulimic toe nail clipping will make the conscious decision to forgo your nest boxes, bypass the instinctual roost and leap into a tanning bed.
And finally there is the feed regime. I asked several experts and read up on feeding as well. Make sure to give your chickens starter formula, mash, growth formula, start & grow, brood formula, grit, no grit, scraps, no scraps, goat placenta, nothing suggested on the internet, tetramyaicn, no antibiotics, medicated starter, non-medicated starter and never, ever switch in-between.
I may not be Queen of the Coop yet, but I'm working on it. Though I am a zoologist and I still know Birds 101. You do not need a rooster to get eggs. Most folk, especially those who have never kept chickens, will advise you all about chickens. Each will insist you need one rooster to do his manly duties.
Roosters are only needed to make fertile eggs. Hens are all that is needed to make breakfast eggs. Fertile eggs are just peachy if raising chicks was such a joy the first time you want to repeat the whole freakin' process. Years of therapy will follow.
To keep it straight in your mind consider this: You are going about your life. Suddenly massive balls of calcium start stacking up inside your abdomen. They want out. Are you going to hold on to them just because you have not had a date lately?
Yes, I realize my eggs are not all in one basket. Delusional, close-minded people who insist you need a rooster to fertilize your eggs drove me crazy! So did my chickens. And I love every one of the little buggers.
Yes, I can attest, It is all as crazy as the writer suggests.
For that little rhyming action there, you owe me one (1) vote. [By clicking this brown button, of course!]
My friend Lori found this gem, and I just had to repost it here. Honestly, the things people say. Only usually, it is directly in front of your child, showing complete insensitivity and diregard for what the child might be feeling.
Incidentally? I once had a dental receptionist, who knew some of my kids were adopted, ask me,
"Do you get help from the government?"
"No," I said, "but you know my kids are adopted, they're not foster kids."
"Oh, I know. I was just wondering... what's in it for you?"
Don't forget to vote for me by clicking this brown button. Not sure what's in it for you, but at least I may get a higher rankiing out of it. Praise be!
I took my ADHD puppy Fiona to her first obedience class a couple days ago.
The class actually started the week before, but we were happily yelling at our children many hundreds of miles away and could not be there for the first class.
Not wanting my little canine to appear ignorant, I took the time to give her three or four short (5 - 10 minutes) training sessions on my own to bring her up to speed. Nothing fancy. Just yer basics like sit, stay, heel, come. She actually did quite well and picked everything up super-duper fast. Only troubling thing was that she seemed to have no use for praise. She would do a good sit and I would get all stupid, telling her what a brilliant dog she was. She would heel and I would dance around like an idiot telling her what a good dog, good dog she was.
She would just stare at me.
My Aussie? If he gets even a drop of praise, even the hint of an eye twinkle or a smile? He explodes with happiness. Finoa on the other hand, looks up at me dancing a jig and is like,
Sit....check. Heel....check. Down?.....check. Is there something else I can do for you? Are we done here?
It is very annoying to have a dog that is smart but couldn't care less about being your humble and obedient servant.
So anyway, I take her to this class yesterday and apparently all that we missed last week was sit. Today they were going to focus on teaching down and walking on a loose leash.
Walking on a loose leash? I've never had that lesson in an obedience class. You teach heel. But I listened, hoping to learn something new.
What she wanted to have us do was to walk our dogs, but when the dog pulled the leash taut, we were just supposed to stop. To stop and wait until the dog let up enough so the leash had some slack in it. Then walk again and repeat. The hope being, I guess, that the dog would learn if they pull on the leash, the walk would be temporarily suspended. But it seems to me what is being taught is that when the dog pulls on its leash THE HUMAN BEING IN CHARGE has to stop what he or she is doing and wait for THE DOG to settle before the walk can resume.
Backwards. In my humble opinion.
I mean, what's next? Picking up after my dog when it takes a sh.....
Oh, never mind.
Anyway. So the rest of the class started being walked by their crazed hounds and I walked over to the instructor and asked would it be OK to work on heeling since we had already started at home.
She didn't want to tell me what to do, says she, I could have her heel if that's what I wanted to do, but she liked to teach this loose leash concept first.
So I went for it. And rest assured my dog beat up all the other dogs. She walked at heel on a loose leash, because I don't abide with dogs pulling against their collars. She sat at my side when I stopped, she picked up the pace when I did, the whole nine yards. She needed some corrections here and there, of course, but then so did all the others when they were just walking hither and yon wherever they felt like going.
Other people were all like, "Has your dog already had lessons?" and "Wow, how is she walking so nice?" and other blush-worthy words of praise. I almost tinkled.
But the instructor? Not a word. I think she was miffed that my dog looked so awesomely amazing even though we weren't doing what she instructed. Hmph.
Like I said. Annoying.
Sit. Stay. Click.
Image courtesy: Dog Obedience Training... By: Ron Masse, Certified Dog Obedience Trainer
OK, so I'm a good 7 pounds behind schedule on my Clooney Diet.
And if that wasn't bad enough, the date for the premier has been moved up. By a good 3+ weeks!
Not only has it been moved up, it's been moved to Thanksgiving Eve. So now I have to consider all of the following:
1) Is it OK to leave my family for a few days to fly clean across the country?
2) Is it OK to leave on the premise of unabashedly ogling a celebrity?
3) Is it OK to ditch my family on Thanksgiving on the premise of unabashedly ogling a celebrity?
4) Should I still even consider going if I can't get the weight off? I mean, at the end of the red carpet, will there be a pass-through scanner, like you'd find at the airport, to scan for body fat? Will I be pulled out of line and patted down and declared too fat for entry to where the beautiful people are milling about?
So many questions. So many points to ponder.
I don't know I don't know I don't know.
All I do know is that getting back on track with my diet, and accelerating my weight loss deadline to accomodate for the change in dates, is going to take a Herculean effort. Especially given that it's summer, which means road trips and munchies, the occassional (cough) refreshing alcoholic beverage, and yummies on the grill.
Three days away with my girls. Then four days away with the whole fam-damily.
Good times, good times.
But now the work begins.
The bottom and sides of the pool resemble a kiwi in color and texture.
The landscaping around the pool and the rest of the house? Nothing short of tropical. Though to drive past the rows upon rows of corn withering in their fields in NY state, this seems to defy the laws of nature, whatever they may be.
There are weeds taller than I am. Weeds choking out flowers, choking out trees, wrapping their tendrils around pool chairs to pull them back into the thick tangle and never be seen again.
They frighten me.
There are weeds in my vegetable garden, too. At least the ones around the pool patio and growing around the foundation of the house I can spray evil poisonous weed killer on in the hopes of chokng them out. Not so in my veggie garden. Nope. I've gotta pull all those bad boys up BY HAND thank you very much. Course, if I had done things right the first time and laid ground cloth down between the rows, I wouldn't have had this problem. But nooooooo. I left that step out and now I'm cryin' the blues.
I've also got dog poo out the wa-zoo (catchy little rhyme, no?). The dogs, for some reason, decided while we were gone that it was just too much trouble to walk alllll the way to the back yard to leave their deposits. They've changed things up a bit and are now pooping all over the white stones surrounding the deck. So I spent the better part of my morning picking up the dried up poo from the four dogs we left at the house while sweat literally poured from my face, nearly blinding me in the process.
So my first day back from vacation was non-stop fun, between unpacking, doing laundry, pulling weeds, spraying weeds, scrubbing the pool, picking up poo, and running kids to appointments.
I'd like to say I need a vacation, but it's just too much work.
Will you vote for me out of pity? Just click the brown button (like dog poo) and you've automatically voted. Thanks. I feel better already.
Babyface (Buttsky) is long gone. This is their new leader. Cheeks.
This is the ransom money they have demanded.
I'm scared. They carry bags of body parts around with them.
They blindfolded me and walked me down a damp, dungeon-like corridor.
They throttled me and shook me like a rag-doll and threatened to throw me into the waterfall if they weren't paid soon.
But far below I spied a boat. This was my only chance! Like Harrison Ford in The Fugitive, I did a Peter Pan right off the ledge. I landed on the boat and made my get-away.
But I'm not out of the woods yet. I keep looking over my shoulder for Cheeks and his gang. Send him the ransom money to help me make a clean get-away, or you may never see me again! If you can't send money, click this brown button instead.
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.....