Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why I never order retakes

'Cause how can you get genuine awkwardness if they're forwarned??

Blackmail, baby.  Blackmail.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tour Time!

Let's go for a tour of the old (new) homestead, shall we??

Let's put on our "work" shoes...  (hint, hint, need new workshoes.  Like boots.  Birthday coming....hint, hint, hint)

.....and go for a stroll.
  Oh look, chickens.

Pretty trees....

Coming up on the mega wood pile....

Around back of the chicken coop.  (artsy shot here)....

Better look at the mega wood pile....

Around the pool.... (and chickens)

To the garden that's sleeping and waiting for Spring.....

Ah, compost pile....

Pretty colors....

Child crouching in the orchard....

Around the front.....

To the driveway....

Same child, uncrouched, and holding a chicken.....

Geese in the driveway....

Back around the side....

And into the woods....

To the stream.

And then back inside, to make dinner. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quite possibly...

the world's cutest Tiger Scout.

Of course, I may be slightly partial.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Synchronized Sleeping

I think we really need to give them a hand here.

Not only are they sleeping the same way, but they are sleeping on the same leg, too.

Now that's talent, no matter what you say.

Yeah, they do do this a lot, if that's your next question.  I have come to the conclusion that it's their way of being close to me when I'm in the house and they can't reach me.  I realized this when I noticed that if they see I'm in the living room, they sit on the front porch, and if they see I'm in the kitchen, they sit on the back deck.

Pretty sweet, when you think about it.  Not to mention pretty freaking smart.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Belated Revelations

I never really have considered myself a girly girl.  I'm not really at peace unless I'm in the dirt, planting, or helping something I've planted to grow.  I am all for trekking through the woods, I don't mind cleaning animal poo, and sitting in the grass with the bugs seems just right to me.  I don't think you'll ever find that I care what I wear anymore, unless I'm going somewhere I need to be presentable, and I almost never wear makeup unless the situation calls for it.  I gave up on getting my nails done back in my teens.  So I was surprised today to see what I saw in myself. 

I finished work on the pillow shams that go with our bedroom quilt today.  I finished the quilt last week, and wanted to make the shams to go with it.  So I did.  Then I put them on the bed, and this is what I saw:

Flowers.  Girly, girly, flowers.

(And fat cats, but that's not really the point I'm trying to make here.)

And then I thought about the fact that I'm not the only one in this room.  I do, in fact, share it with a man.  What is he going to think?

I know exactly what he's going to think.  He'll look at it and tell me it's pretty.  Then he'll tell me that I make the house so comfortable.  He won't say one word about the girly flowers, not one.  I don't even think he'll really notice.

We just celebrated our 11th anniversary.  11th.  huh.  For 11 years, this man has put up with me and my girly flowers.  And not said a word.  Now that's really something.  So, this post is for you, honey.  I don't know if anyone really wonders how this lasted as long as it did, but if they do wonder, all I would have to say is; how could it not?  I don't know anyone else who would put up with my chicken obsession, my too many houseplants, too much fabric, too many projects at once, earth-saver wannabe, smacking you in the head in the middle of the night because I had a bad dream....about ducks (sorry) self.  No one else would deal with it.  No one.

I know you say you are lucky all the time, but I'm lucky too.  Thank  you for making me lucky, honey.  Thank you for putting up with me and all my weirdness.  And my girly, girly flowers. 

Happy Anniversary.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sharing the Work

We've brought back the chore chart.  Oh yeah, the chore chart.  It's been too long in coming.

Chore charts are tricky.  How do you know how to give money?  Some people just pay their kids a set amount, regardless of what they do or don't do. Others have their children work for the money, and they get paid when they do the chore.  We used to do a little of both.  The kids would get a set amount per week, but then they could add to it by doing chores.  Worked ok for a while, but then we started hearing "Ah, I don't have to do that.  I'll still get my (insert coinage here) anyway"

So that wasn't making a point, obviously.  After a while, the whole system just fell apart.  No one did anything, or I forgot to pay them, and they'd ask how much they had in their allowance, and I'd just make up a number.  They'd forget, I'd forget, and that was that.

Not anymore.  We're trying again.  It's been a while, but I think they're old enough to handle more responsibility in doing chores, and I'm trying to make myself more organized to set up a system and see it through.  I also wanted them to see money really coming in and being saved and to think about what it really costs to have it go out.  To that end, we've set up a bank: HBoM.  Household Bank of Mommy.  I went and closed their bank accounts from their real bank (which was too far away) and deposited their funds in HBoM.  They know how much they have, and so do I.  They can touch the money, look at it, and add more or take it away.  The only deal is that they have to leave 1/2 in there at all times.  But the other 1/2 is there's to do what they will.  There are deposit slips and withdrawal slips and they have account numbers.  The only difference is that this bank will not take a whole load of pennies just because they feel like depositing a whole load of pennies (yes, I've already been asked), and this bank will not let them withdraw money without a reason...and buying gum or breakable garbage toys are not a reason. 

So they have money.  Easy enough to take away, but how do they add?  Chore charts.  They have chores they can do, each has a value assigned to it, and the more they do, the more they can earn.  We have set "pay days", so I don't forget to give them their money.  When they get it, they can do what they like with it.  But they have to deposit some into the bank.  Just some.  The rest is theirs to keep. 

To decide on chores, we let the kids pick their own.  This is what Lorelei came up with:

She may have been a bit ambitious.  Cleaning the bathroom?  Really?  That would be something.  I could cross it off MY chore chart.

Reid had less to say:
Probably more doable, no?

We took their ideas and added some of our own, came up with prices and went with it.  We'll see how it goes.  I have hopes, though.  As long as we all stick with it, it can work. Wish us luck, and I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, October 4, 2010

My thoughts on the egg.


Ever think about them?

I bet not. 

What is there to think about, after all?  You go to the store, you buy a carton of eggs for a couple of bucks, and you take home your nice, white, sterile, presorted, sort-of-tasting-like-eggs eggs.

I know I never thought about it.  Bring home the eggs, and use them.  Bake with them, cook with them, eat them scrambled or fried.  Always the eggs were the same.  White and yellow on the inside.

Did you know that eggs aren't really yellow on the inside in a chicken that's been well cared for?  They're ORANGE.  "Holy shit, look at that color" orange.

I didn't know that. 

Did you know that eggs' shells come in many different colors and they all come in different sizes?  You probably did. 

Purty, huh?  They're even prettier in person.

They also come in different shapes and sizes and sometimes have double yolks.  Actually, we have one girl who only lays double yolks.  It's a bonus.

Having had chickens to care for has made me appreciate them a whole lot more.  Not only are they damned entertaining (no, I'm not afraid to admit that I find chickens entertaining), they are an animal that gives something back to you for your care of them.  I feed them and make sure they are safe and healthy, and they produce wonderful things for us to eat and enjoy.

You know another odd side effect of having laying chickens?  You (meaning me, here) become acutely aware of what it "costs" the chicken to give you those eggs.  And you start to think about how you never thought about eggs before.  I know that I put the carton of sterile white eggs in my cart for years without a thought.  Eggs were eggs.  But they're not, you know.  Those eggs come from chickens who are kept in battery cages, debeaked because they get cannibalistic from not being able to move around, exposed to light 24/7 to get them to lay.  Crappy life.  They burn out quick.  They're not called battery chickens for nothing. 

I never thought about it.  But now I do.  And now I can appreciate the eggs these girls give me just that much more. 
(Blogger wanted to put this picture in sideways.  Who am I to argue?)
So, you want to taste a real egg?  You know where I live.  I'll save you a dozen, and you can come and meet the girls who give you the food you eat.  Maybe throw them a handful of cracked corn as a thank you.  They'll appreciate it, and you'll never look at eggs the same way again, I guarantee!
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