Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I know, I know. Who hasn't seen this video of Christian the lion?

Still, in case you're one of the 12 people who has gone without, I feel it is my duty to share it with you. Consider it my public service.



Fred? Can I have a lion cub? Please?

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Adoption Tuesday - A Book Review

I received an email recently from a woman named Karen Henry Clark, who is a fellow-adoptive Mom as well as an author. She has written a children's book about adoption entitled Sweet Moon Baby, and she asked me if I would review it.

So here ya' go, folks, my first official book review:

Sweet Moon Baby, An Adoption Tale, is a beautiful story with a fairytale feel that tells the tale of a child born, then let go by her birth-parents, then found and loved and raised by her adoptive parents.

The simple text of the story, coupled with the achingly gorgeous illustrations of Patrice Burton, will help the young child follow the journey of a baby girl born in China to parents who loved her, but who knew in their hearts they could not give her the life she deserved. As the child is carried by the river, and helped along her path by a few protective creatures such as peacocks and pandas, monkeys and turtles, her adoptive parents across the world wait and prepare and search for their daughter.

Under the watchful guidance of the wise moon, her parents find her at long last, and the three become a family.

I loved so many things about this book: the illustrations, the love for their little girl from both the birth parents and the adoptive parents, and the "caretaking" of the baby that took place along her journey. I followed up my reading with a few questions of the author:

Anne Kimball: Such a beautiful story, and so many wonderful examples of how the baby was loved and watched over and yearned for. However, what can you say to the child that might feel uneasy about the birth parents placing the child in a basket on the river?
Karen Henry Clark: I understand. I had a hard moment of truth minutes after our daughter was given to us. My husband held her as I looked through the documents, and my heart stopped at the words: "Baby found forsaking on steps of leather factory." Instantly I felt the isolation, the emptiness of that night for her. Was she awake? Did she cry for her mother? Does some part of her remember people looking at her and walking away? Because there is no way to know, I tried to create a story to fill the mystery that will always be with her. When I read the final draft of SMB to her, she smiled and said, "That baby slept through all the best parts!" And who wouldn't love to believe they'd been carried past the moon by a peacock?

In the end, I appreciate that literature, even a picture book, challenges readers to ask questions. There is always something deeper behind the thing that confuses us or touches us on the page.

AK: How did you decide to write your story in this style?
KHC: When we adopted our daughter from China, we discovered all kinds of interesting things about how the related books affected her. She never grasped the stories that convey one animal can love/mother an entirely different one. She didn't connect with those metaphorical tales of personification. One autobiographical story about an adopted Chinese baby left her thinking the baby would be returned to China because of a reference to the birth mother at the end, not the impact we would have hoped. So this set me to thinking about the kind of story I'd want for her.

Explaining China's one-child policy and all the social or cultural preferences involved in the subject just didn't seem to belong in a picture book. I knew I wanted her to feel loved, not abandoned. So I decided to avoid the non-fiction approach because that was already on the market. I decided to set the story as a classic, timeless fairy tale. I hoped that note would be immediately struck by the book's subtitle Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale. The characters have no names. The story is meant as a metaphor. I try to keep the elements simple to suggest at the most basic level why or how people decide what they decide. The parents face issues that a child might understand more easily than a centuries-old preference for boys. The adoptive parents wait and pass the time with happy things, instead of writing about failures with foster children or infertility or stacks of forms--real things beyond the comprehension of a young child. The moon represents Hope/Faith/Destiny/God. A certainty that adults can feel and believe in but can't always convincingly explain. And the river is the force, the current that surely moves that baby along home. I felt compelled to show, because of my daughter's early thought about a child returned, the little girl growing up in her new home, happy and loved and cared for by all the wonderful things her birth parents always wanted. And it is suggested that the goodness of China remains with her forever.

AK: Do you ever find that children question the fiction of the forces caring for the baby along her journey?
KHC: Because Sweet Moon Baby is a tale, it presents the important distinction of fiction: A reader is asked to suspend his disbelief. Children are in varying stages of being able to do this. Does any child ask: "If Cinderella falls in those glass slippers, won't her feet be cut to pieces?" or "Couldn't Goldilocks be killed by the bears when they find her upstairs?" The valuable point here, to me, is that they ask the question so the adult can help them understand the overriding theme involved. The significance of the glass slippers is their value as the clue, not as danger. The bears do not represent death, they are self-respecting homeowners who don't deserve this nosey intruder.

What better place to face the potential problems of a river than on the lap of a parent who can guide a child to see that no matter what the potential peril, a kind soul helped? The baby is saved and saved again. A child deserves to have reassuring answers. That is how confidence grows.

Thank you Karen! Beautiful book. Look for it on Amazon.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Yay Mary! Represent!


I'd been saying since I saw the movie last October that there was a good chance that my sister Mary Birdsong's scene with George Clooney in The Descendants would be played at the Oscars when they played the clip for his Best Actor nomination.

And they DID!!!!


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Sunday, February 26, 2012


So tonight's The Big Night. The Oscars.

As you may or may not have heard
oh I'm sorry, have I already mentioned that?(cough)
my sister, actress Mary Birdsong,

was in the movie The Descendants, with George MF Clooney.

And as it turns out, The Descendants will be well represented at tonight's Academy Awards. It's up for:
Best Picture
Best Actor - George Clooney
Best Director - Alexander Payne.

Now, Mr. Payne seemed like a very nice man

name drop-name drop-name-drop

and you all know my feelings for Georgie
swoon-drool-hot flash

and I sincerely hope they both win their categories.

But what I want most of all is for The Descendants to win Best Picture.

Because THEN, Mary can have bragging rights on her resume and , oh well pretty much everything the rest of her LIFE, that she was in an Academy Award-winning movie.

And that would be pretty awesome.

Cheer for Mary! Vote for her sister (that would be me)....
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just a Few Quick Questions....

1) Why, when trying to determine the type of pain a person is having, do the medical professionals ask if it's a "stabbing pain"? Is stabbing so common an experience that the sensation is common knowledge? Am I missing out?

2) In what universe would this be considered fair: a woman gains 20lbs with a pregnancy, delivers a 9 1/2lb baby, and walks out of the hospital weighing exactly what she weighed when she walked in? This happened to me, folks, I'm not making this up.

3) While settling down to watch a TV show with the family, my teen dtr will invariably have her laptop open to chat with friends on FB, her phone in one hand so she can text her 10 closest BFFs, and one earbud of her iphone in so she can listen to her favorite tunes. In this day and age, isnt' ADHD something we should be encouraging, rather than trying to control with medication?

4) Why has my blog been in the 20's on TMB for weeks now? Just a click of this button every day will move me on up the list, you'll see. Thanks!
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Friday, February 24, 2012

Farm Friday - Spring is in the Air

We haven't had much of a winter this year.
Less than 4" of snowfall all season.
Pond never froze enough for skating. Not even once.

I kept hoping for that one good snowfall, but it never came.

Now it's almost March, and I give up.

I've gotta admit, all this warm sunshine does feel nice. The critters agree. The goats have been sunbathing on the rocks and the horses are shedding their winter coats like nobody's business.

And Annabelle, like always, is happy, happy.

My billy goat gruff, Tibbitt.

Annabelle. My belly button.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday - A Guest Post!

A fellow blogger recently contacted me and asked if I had any guest-posting opportunities available.

Since I had never had a guest post on before, my only thought was, hey, if it'll relieve the pressure of having to come up with another scintillating post about colt castrations or egg-bound hens or my plans for managing another stay-at-home-Mom-of-six-kids-scheduling-week-from-hell, well then sure. Sounds like a plan to me.

What do you write about, says I?

Many things, as it turns out. Like:

New York City Real Estate
Doesn't quite apply to this l'il ol' country-bumpkin blog of mine.

Hamptons Rentals

home improvement and the latest architecture
All fascinating topics, to be sure, but in a Venn diagram with my blog? Zero overlap.

design, fashion and travel
Design? Fashion?
As we speak, I am wearing oversized grey sweatpants, a men's quilt-lining flannel shirt b/c I'm chilly and it's cozy, and a plain black t-shirt, adorned only with some stray dog and cat hairs, and a few splashes of the smoothies I made the kids this morning. And slippers. Brown.

But travel, hmmmmm.
Not that I travel much, but you know sometimes we have friends or family visit from out of town and when I start to notice that slightly crazed, twitchy look about their eyes and a little spittle around the corners of their mouths after being held prisoner in this House of Crazy, I think to myself it would be nice if I could point them in the direction of a daytrip.


So I asked ever-gracious Megan if she couldn't perhaps write up a little travel piece for the Lancaster area.

And she did.....

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to New York City Real Estate, Hamptons Rentals, home improvement and the latest architecture, design, fashion and travel. Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

A Guide to Family Adventures in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is a perfect day-trip destination for folks living on the east coast. You may be tempted to stay overnight in one of the many motels in the area to continue exploring the attractions of the Amish countryside.

The Hands-on House in Lancaster, Pa is filled educational and interactive exhibits for young children. They can try face painting, fishing, growing corn and sorting mail in the museum's Post Office. There's an outdoor play area called Mason's Outdoor Adventure Garden that features a sand tunnel, board walks, hiding nooks and sport challenges. This Museum encourages adults and their children to play with the exhibits which are constantly being updated.

Wander through the Butterfly House where over 300 representatives of 25 butterfly species feed on flowers at Lancaster County's Hershey Gardens. Highlights of this 23 acre botanical garden include the rose garden, children's garden and arboretum. The garden was the inspiration of Milton Hershey, who, when asked to build a rosarium in Washington, D.C., decided to locate it instead in Hershey in 1937.

Older kids and their parents will get a kick out of High Sports in Lititz, Pennsylvania. This fun park features go-karts, batting cages, a driving range and miniature golf. There are over 30 waterfalls and plenty of things to see and do in this hilltop park overlooking the Amish countryside.

Take your amateur spelunkers and cavern explorers to Indian Echo Caverns where they'll marvel the intricate and lovely limestone caverns and underground lakes, and pan for gems in Gem Junction. This system of caverns in Hummelstown, PA was first opened to the public in 1929. There's a historical exhibit on the Susquehannock Indians who inhabited the area until the 1670s and the French fur trappers who discovered many caverns in their travels along the local rivers and streams.

Plan to spend several fun and education-filled hours at the Lancaster Science Factory, an interactive museum filled with hands-on engineering, technology and mathematics experiments that show just how much fun the physical sciences can be. There are over 50 exhibits that introduce the principles of electricity, magnetism, acoustics, fluid dynamics and structural engineering.

If you would like to learn more about the history and the lifestyle of the Amish , visiting Lancaster, PA is the perfect place to do this. Take a horse and buggy tour around the Amish country, and then have a family filled day trying all of the home-made treats, and making fun crafts

Whether you're there for the day or a week, you'll enjoy exploring the many attractions and unspoiled countryside that makes Lancaster the perfect get-away destination for many east coast residents.

Thanks, Megan, well-done!

Please take a minute to check her out by following the links in her bio.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Love this picture I snapped last night.

James is cooking dinner.
Patrick is helping Bella with her homework (Well. He stepped away for a moment).
Rosie and her friend are making cookies.
Daniel is making lemonade.
Julie was in the other room embroidering and FBing simultaneously.

Yep, people. This is what a large family looks like.

(On a good night)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Tip For Tuesday

Couple of very clever things I stumbled across on Pinterest this past weekend. Love them!

Clever Thing #1: Mug holder

Clever Thing #2: Built-in Doggie House.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Library Card

I haven't been to the library in about four years b/c the last time I went it seems we managed to rack up over $60 in overdue fines. Figure at a quarter per book per day, even 4 books adds up to $7 in a week. Add into the equation 4 children under the age of 9 and a new house up to the rafters in boxes and, well you can do the math.

But one of the kids needed to reference a book from the honest-to-God library for a school report. So I packed up my pride and most of the kids and drove over to our small-town library and inquired politely at the desk as to whether I still had a vaild card. She clickety-clacked her computer and said (in a rather loud voice for a librarian), "Oh dear, it seems you have some unpaid fines. They're from quite some time ago and it was for a large number of children's books, see?"turning the monitor towads me.

At this point the people behind me are peering at the screen and giving me hoity looks. Trying to retain a shred of dignity, I quickly pull my kids along and tell the librarian, "OK, thanks", with a non-chalant 'I didn't care to check out any books anyway' smile. Not wanting to let it go, she was telling me as I was walking away, "I'm afraid you can't check out anymore books until the fines are paid". I flashed the non-chalant smile once more but kept walking. Actually I walked right on downstairs to the children's section to gather my thoughts, and it was there that I hatched my evil plan.

I casually strolled over to the children's librarian and ever so cooly asked, "If my son wanted to get a library card, would that be through me or something entirely independent?" "Oh, that would be completely independent of you" she replied, oblivious to my scheme. A smile spread across my face as I told her, "Well then my son James here would like to get a library card, please". Before you could say "overdue" she printed out a shiny new card for James. We then took our time moseying through the library, picking out books that interested us and finding the reference books needed for the report. We checked the books out on James' new card, then walked back upstairs to look at one more thing.

Actually, it was just an excuse to walk past the librarian with a pile of books in my arms and watch her puzzled expression out of the corner of my eye.

When I got home, I related the whole story to Patrick. He just looked down at me and said, "You're just takin' down the man, aren't you?"

Now, if we rack up outrageous charges on James' card, we still have Julie. Beyond that, we may just have to adopt a few more children ....

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Mirth Monday - Dane Cook

You never make secret hallways normal height, they always have to be uncomfortable. Like Why the f**k did I build them like this?! Where's my Lab!?!

I HATE it when somebody turns around in my driveway. You're just sitting comfortably watching T.V., you hear a car pulling up like "Who is this?!" It's so disruptive you look out, strange car, you dont know if it's a government official. You start getting concerned "What I dont know this car," then they turn to leave you're like "You son of a bitch, you wasted moments of my life! Moments i will never get back!"

I had to use a public restroom today. Isn't that the worst when you have to, damn it! Why when you walk into a public restroom why is everything f***ing wet? There's puddles, water all over the counter, it's dripping it's like being in a f***ing cave. What happen was there like a shaggy dog in there after a bath? And god forbid you have to use the stall you go in there, you sit down, you try to close the door, which apparently Van-Damme kicked in. Why are they all broken? Who's running in the bathroom like "I gotta sh**... I can't sh** with the door in front of me! F***ing door! I don't like being in a perfect square when I'm trying to sh**!"

You ever do a little delete game? Do you like to do that? You go through, you take your contactlist, sometimes you're just in the doctor's office right? You start scrolling through, you're like...who don't I need? Who don't I need in my life? Where can I get a megabyte of space back right now? And it's kinda fun right? You just scroll Peter, Peter, yeah f**k Peter, BOOM! And you really hit that delete button like you're deleting Peter from existence. Peter is sitting half way around the world eating a steak and the second you hit that button he just turns to vapour: VVVVVVVV!! The fork falls: Tingtingtingelingtingting! The person that's sitting across him is like: "PETER!". Peter is gone. Poof!

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Social - Frog 1

Next one down on my siggy line...

Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (16)
James (16)
Rosie (14)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Eun Hae in South Korea
Felice in Hong Kong
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Blue, Sunny, Cindy-Lou, Annabelle, Fiona, and Sophie; Mamfy, Mali, Milky and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ...

Is Frog 1.

Rosie is our resident frog/toad lover. When she was three years old, she found her first little toad, and she made him her pet and named him Hoppy. Hoppy lived in a small aquarium and we fed him all the bugs we could find. Hoppy didn't spend a whole lot of time in that tank. More often you'd find him wherever Rosie was. Sometimes peeking out from her pocket, sometimes sitting on her arm while she watched TV.

Hoppy was first in a long line; I cannot remember a time since Hoppy that we have not had a frog or toad. We even tried store-bought frogs once. Little tree frogs. Pretty to look at, but bor-ing. Mostly we keep ones that she's found in the garden or the garage or rescued from the pool.

We've had so many frogs at this point that inventive names have become a thing of the past. These last two were simply Frog 1 and Horny Toad, but Horny Toad passed on a couple weeks ago, so Frog 1 sits morosely in her tank.

Shouldn't be very long, though. Spring is on the horizon, and I'm sure Rosie will find a companion for her pretty soon.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Carpal Tunnel (yawn)

(My apologizies for the fuzzy photo. Can't get it to focus for some reason.)

Surgery went fine yesterday. Checked in around 10, left about 12. Quick-n-dirty.

Nothin' but numb for many hours, but then the pain set in. Motrin didn't have enough kick to get me past it, but hydrocodone did. Went to sleep happy.

This morning, sadly, it seems Motrin is all I need. Ah well.

Should be unwrapped and back to normal in about a week and a half.

Thanks for the well-wishes!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Farm Friday - Takes a Break

No farming fables today. I'm off to get sliced to repair some carpal tunnel misery in my left hand.

Versed take me awayyyyyy!

Let you know tomorrow how it all went.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012


Rosie is signed up to go on a People To People "ambassador" trip to Australia this summer.

This means she gets to go on a 3 week vacation while her Dad and I take out a second mortgage to pay for the trip.
And the new luggage.
And the new clothes.

That's OK, though. You know me, just sittin' around with nothing to do most of the time, so it's nice that I get to drive her to the monthly meetings which are an hour away. I love parking my ample hindquarters on a middle school cafeteria bench for two hours.

Apparently, the chief thing the good folks at P2P need to teach is that the kids shouldn't pack any jeans. Some of the best moments of my life have been spent learning this, because they've gone over it in depth
at every freaking meeting.

I've also learned that, as the person in charge of the refreshments committee, I have become the Snack Nazi.

You haven't gotten back to me by the end of the day on the carb you're volunteering to bring?
I will hunt you down.

Tonight was a bit embarrassing for Rosie, though. The P2P leader was talking about dress code (and yes, she reviewed their standing on jeans. Again.) She looked down the line and said, that shirt there would be fine, so would that one, etc,etc.
Then she got to Rosie.
My hussy daughter.
Leader woman said, "Yeah, you wouldn't be able to wear that. Bare shoulders aren't really appropriate."

Poor Rosie. My sweet little tramp in her layered tank tops.

You know that scene in Alien where Sigourney Weaver backs herself very s-l-o-w-l-y into the space suit when she's in that little shuttle with the creepy critter? Yeah. That was Rosie s-l-o-w-l-y easing herself into her jacket after leader lady called her out on her streetwalker's attire.

Walking out to the car at the end of the meeting, Rosie looked down and gasped in shock.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"My ankles are showing! I'm mortified!"

Can anyone recommend a good convent for my little Jezebel?

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - The Eyes Have It

Some new artwork from James....

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Adoption Tuesday

A few facts from Adopt US Kids about kids in the foster care system:

Meet the Children
Children in foster care are regular children who, through no fault of their own, had to be removed from their families due to abusive or neglectful situations.

More than 250,000 children in the U.S. enter the foster care system every year. While more than half of these children will return to their parents, the remainder will stay in the system. Most of these children are living with foster families, but some also live in group facilities.

The Number of Waiting Children
Each year more than 20,000 children age out of the foster care without being adopted. Today there are 107,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted ranging in age from less than a year old to 21.

The race and ethnicity of children waiting to be adopted vary from State to State and City to City. However, the most recent national report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System shows the majority of children waiting to be adopted are Caucasian (39 percent) or African American (29 percent). Children of Hispanic origin account for 22 percent of those waiting to be adopted.

How Adoption Changes a Child’s Life
Being taken away and moved from placement to placement can make children in foster care feel like they can never count on anyone again.

Think about fostering. Think about adopting.

Oh wow. A fellow blogger, Sam from My Barefoot Farm, wrote a post just last night about fostering.

I loved what she had to say:

Now I like to think of myself as pro-life. I believe life begins at conception. I do not like abortions, they kill living babies. I know many, many people preach the pro-life stance.

Consider this. Doesn't pro-life go beyond saving an unborn child? You can rejoice all day that a young, un-wed mother decided to not abort and to instead keep her baby. Pat yourself on the back too, if you wish. Consider it a noble thing done.
But WHO will be there 3 or even 10 years later when that same mother can't care for her child. When that child goes into the foster system. Who's pro-life then?

Love it, Sam. Great point!

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Mirth Monday - Conan O'Brien

“Rev. Pat Robertson says that if more states legalize gay marriage, God will destroy America. He did say that afterwards, gays will come in and do a beautiful renovation.”

“Starbucks says they are going to start putting religious quotes on cups. The very first one will say, "Jesus! This cup is expensive!”

“A study in the Washington Post says that women have
better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the
authors of that study: 'Duh.”

"Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is under fire for a remark he made in Iowa about black people. The remark has sparked outrage among Iowa's black community, otherwise known as Steve."

Chuckle. Click.
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Social - Nick

Next one down on my siggy line...

Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (16)
James (16)
Rosie (14)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Eun Hae in South Korea
Felice in Hong Kong
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Blue, Sunny, Cindy-Lou, Annabelle, Fiona, and Sophie; Mamfy, Mali, Milky and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ...

Is Nick.

Nick is Daniel's cockatiel, but because I have 8 kids to feed this morning, I shall cut and paste a post about him that I wrote some time ago, instead of writin' up something new. Please forgive.

I finally got up the nerve this morning to tackle trimming the nails of Daniel's cockatiel Nick. He used to be a sweet bird, honest. He would ride around on Daniel's shoulder and perch on his head. But we've ruined him. Now he's a nasty little SOB, hence me putting off this long overdue task. To be sure of what I was doing, I got out our cockatiel book and reviewed the section entitled "Grooming Your Cockatiel". Follow along with me, won't you?

"Fortunately, cockatiels are relatively easy to care for when it comes to grooming."
Oh good, because I really don't have a whole lot of time this morning.

"You may want to enlist the aid of a helper while clipping your bird's nails."
Oh shoot. They're all at work/school. That's OK, I'll be fine on my own.

"When the bird is secure, use a sharp clipper to cut the excess nail off"
OK, now we've got a problem. "When the bird is secure". How does one secure a fiesty, scrappy, cussin', flailin' cockatiel with the wingspan of a condor?

"Trim only the tip of the nail where it is hooked."
From this I can only assume the author has only trimmed dead cockatiels.

"The main concern with clipping the nails is that you avoid the quick - the blood vessel deep within the nail."
Oh sh--.

Now I've got a bleeding screaming cockatiel who keeps twisting out of the old t-shirt I've got him wrapped in. Everytime I try to get a look at his claws (sorry, nails) to see if I've gotten them all, he hides his feet with his wings or his beak or twists around some more and calls me an ugly name. I'm pretty sure he's only got 6 (maybe 8) toes or whatever they are, but at times I'm sure I'm counting 20.

I finally decide it's good enough and get him back in his cage, relieved that the job is behind me. But then Nick's mood switches from seething anger to the indignant depression of a martyr. Instead of sitting pertly on his bar, he slumps morosely on the floor of his cage. He fluffs his feathers, trembles slightly. I start to worry. He doesn't look good. His talon (sorry, nail) is still bleeding.

My left arm for a styptic pencil!

I know, I thought. I'll give him his millet spray. This bird would walk over hot coals for millet spray.
I hang it in his cage but he doesn't even look at it. He fluffs his feathers some more.

Instead of going about my business and checking off the things on my To-Do list, I find busy work where I can watch him. He's unchanged, so I scurry to the other room to Google cockatiels to find out how I've killed him and if he can still be saved. All the while I'm wondering to myself if, when Nick dies, I will have time to purchase an identical cockatiel and teach it Nick's full repertoire of whistles before Daniel arrives home from school. Not finding the help I need from the computer, I sneak back to the other room and peek in on him. The bastard is eating his millet, but when he sees me he retreats to the corner and fluffs his feathers.

"I'm on to you!" I scream in my empty house.

I think I need to get out more.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

What's For Breakfast?

So last week I wrote a post about trying to cook more from scratch, and making things that are yummy and let's not forget about easy on the wallet.

First thing I cooked after posting that (for Sat morning breakfast) was PW's Breakfast Burritos.

From, you know, Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond.
(I'm going to marry her someday)

Anyway, I will admit I don't get a pass on the "whole foods" thing, b/c I used frozen hash browns instead of making the potatoes from scratch. I also used bagged shredded cheese. I did not make my own cheese, I did not buy a big block of cheap cheese and then grate it. I used bags (2 cups per bag)I bought on sale for about $1.00 a bag. Cheap, yes. Whole/organic, no.

Took me about 1/2 hour to make, so this is definitely something I could make on a school morning. Also, I could shave that morning time down if I did some prep work the night before, like chop the peppers, mix up the eggs, cook the sausage. For that matter, I could make the whole mess the night before and then heat them up in the oven if I wanted.

Who am I fooling, I would never do that.

If you click her link you can see the whole recipe, step by step, with beautiful photographs. You're not going to get that from me, but in a nutshell I:
Browned the sausage with the diced pepper and onion.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and added some milk and the cheese and some salt and pepper.
Added the hash browns to the sausage and cooked them till the potatoes began to brown.
Added the egg mixture to the pan with the sausage and patatoes. Cooked till eggs were set.
Heated totillas in m/w.
Heaped big spoonfuls of the whole mess into a tortilla and folded up burrito-style.
Yelled "BREAKFAST!!!!!"
Got out of the way.

I'm trying to think how much they cost to make.

$1.50 (?) 8 count tortillas
$4.00 1 lb breakfast sausage
$1.00 2 cups shredded cheese
$0.50 (approx)1 pepper (though Ree used 2 in her recipe)
$0.50 (approx) 1 onion (Ree didn't call for any, but she uses onions in her brkfst potatoes)
$1.25 1/2 bag frozen hash brown potatoes
$1.75 Dozen eggs (I get eggs from my chooks, but this is a fair price, right?)

So that's roughly $10.00, more or less. Not the cheapest breakfast I've ever made, but very filling with eggs and cheese and potatoes and sausage. Fed about 8 people. And yummy? Oh yeah.

Anyway, PW's Breakfast Burritos. They're what's for breakfast.

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Photo courtesy: Pioneer Woman's website

Friday, February 10, 2012

Farm Friday - Cutting Out the Middle Man

We have a puppy.

She is a chewer extraordinaire.

Though our Lab Sunny has her beat in the dollar-value of things chewed, Fiona has left her in the dust for sheer volume.

And she's starting to get creative now. And clever.

She has decided she shall henceforth eliminate the middle man .

Rather than chew socks (or toys or retainers or insert any item here), which we have to replace by spending money, she has now moved on to chewing up money directly.

Last week she pulled a twenty out of my purse, chewed on it for a bit, then neatly ripped it in half. For good measure, she also ate one corner of the bill. It is now, quite literally, dog-eared.

How mangled can a bill be and still get accepted?

I'm going to try to find out....

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Few Tips

Here are a few organization tips I found on Pinterest. Thought I'd share.

It's just how I roll.

You're welcome....

Use a basket to hold cutting boards.

Use a dish rack to hold Tupperware lids.

An old shutter used for holding magazines.

Curtain-rod inside a cabinet door for holding pot lids.

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