Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I didn't know I had a hole in my heart until a flock of chickens filled it.

I love everything about these birds!  I love how they grew way too quickly from chicks to gangly teenagers.  I love their coop that Dave built and which we have painted to match our house. I love going to Renfrow Hardware in Matthews and getting chicken advice from the real farmers.

I love how the chickens put themselves to bed at night by going into their coop. I love how they still cuddle together in a corner of the coop when they sleep instead of roosting (which I hope they do eventually).

I love how we have (hopefully) finally figured out how to let them be Free Range and still protect them from the local hawks. I love how they explore and peck the backyard as a group.  I even love when Buffy gets distracted by something shiny, and when she notices the flock has moved away from her, she runs and jumps and half flies so she can catch them. I love how it still shocks me to see a multi-colored, speckled flock of birds in the rain garden, under the shrubs or meandering through the sweet potato vines. They are truly beautiful. I even love that they climb on our back porch and peer in our glass door to see what we are doing.

I love how they get excited when they see me walking towards them when they are in their run/pen and how they run towards me when I come outside and they are out exploring the yard. I love how they chase and eat crickets as if they are on a mission. I love how they eat nearly all our table scraps.  This is the stuff we would normally throw away, but now goes to the chickens to eventually feed us again as eggs.

I love how our children all have their favorite chickens and that neighbors will just stop on by to see how to see how they are doing. I love how the neighbor's dog has adopted them and how he sits at the fence by their coop, patiently and calmly watching them.  I love how Patches knows they are part of our herd and doesn't try to hurt them.  Try to herd them?  Yes.

And I love being on Egg Watch 2012.   I love that today, Angel, the Rhode Island Red, laid a beautiful speckled egg, which was her first.

 I really and truly love these chickens.

Monday, August 20, 2012


The events described in this blog were experienced, relived, and written about with a great deal of hand flapping and use of the phrase OOOOOOMMMMMGGGGG.

Please consider this your fair warning that should you continue reading this entry, you, too, may start hand flapping and saying OOOOOOMMMMMMGGGGGG.

Still reading?

Are you sure?

Cause here we go.  Seriously, turn away.


Conor walked in on Dave and me.

(((Hand flapping)))

NO, we didn't have the door locked but in our defense it was only 10:00 at night and everyone had theoretically been asleep for a while.

(((Hand flapping)))

So, do you remember that episode of Modern Family when something similar happened?  Do you remember the debate between Claire and Phil about whether they should talk about it or just ignore it?  Well, I'd suggest that is based on real life.

Pretty soon after our initial PARENTING FAIL, I checked on Conor to make sure he was not actively gouging his eyes out.  He was ok and not obviously traumatized, so we went to bed.

I had a restless night of nightmares in which I'm pretty sure I flapped my hands.  Yes, I know it's not completely unusual for something like that to happen in other families.  But NO ONE recounts their own personal episode to their friends as young adults in college without some horror and psychic wounds.

So the next day, I had to work and Dave stayed home with the kids.  (Have I shared how the twins are out of daycare this summer and we are cobbling together nannies and camps to make it until our new daycare opens?  No?  Well, let that be one excuse for why I haven't posted this summer)

So when I got home, I asked Dave if he had talked to Conor.  "NO!" he replied, his Midwestern preference for denying any issues showing through. (Maybe it's a dude thing--or just my dude's thing--instead of the  Midwest, but I'm going to attribute it to an entire regional culture and annoy everyone else instead)

So, I waited until Dave took the twins up to bed and Conor and I were watching some movie on Family TV.  For some reason, that feels more wholesome, whereas not much of this story does.

"So, Conor, how are you doing?  Are you ok?"


"Last night, I was really embarrassed.  That was awkward!"


"Are you ok?  Do you want to talk about it?"


"Are you going to have more babies?"

(((HAND FLAPPING.  Although I am proud that he knows where babies come from.  Nonetheless, HAND FLAPPING!!!)))

"No.  It's just that Mommies and Daddies do that sometimes."

"Ugh!  I'm not ever going to do that!"

"Oh, you will Conor, when you get older."

"Are you going to do that again tonight?"


"No. But next time, we're going to shut the door and lock it.  We forgot to do that.  And it was embarrassing.  We're going to lock the door next time."

"Yeah, good."

(((Slight hand fluttering)))

"Ok, honey."

And then we watched the rest of the Family movie and snuggled because (I think) he was reassured we were not complete freaks and I was reassured he wasn't going to be irretrievably scarred by the whole event.

So there.  Now you, too, have events, images, and conversations seared into your own brains. I know we didn't HAVE to talk about it afterwards, but I think we should have, pretty much exactly as we did.

Still.  LOCK YOUR DOORS, PEOPLE!  That is the lesson we should all take away here.  Prevention is the best cure!!