Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Raising Chickens...?

Sick of paying outrageous prices for organic eggs, my farm raised Uncle, in the middle of Chicago Suburbia, built a chicken coop and sent away for chicken eggs.

The eggs arrived morphing into chickens until a year later...pop! The first egg. Sadly some of the chickens were eaten by various rodents that broke into the chicken pen till my Uncle had the coop reinforced.

Visiting Chicago with my "can’t-we-get-chickens" kids this week, they were excited to see the birds and graciously offered to care for the chickens when my uncle left town for a week. Our job was easy: Fill the bowls with feed, water, then go collect the eggs. It was like being on a farm…only the farm was a 8 x 20 foot shed.

The first day was scary, the chickens didn't know us and we didn't know them. The second day was scarier, the chickens almost seemed to be trying to attack us. The third day my kids convinced me they could do this job on their own and returned sweaty and panicked: “The chickens are out! They are attacking!”

I ran to my uncles house with a broom and a red towel (bulls follow it, why not chickens?). Then with my kids screaming in the background, I got all the chickens back in the pen. Catching my breath I realized the upturned empty bowls for their water and feed were deep in the pen. I had to go back in. With feed in my hands I ran to the bowls as the chickens charged me with their heads and bodies. Literally they would run on their ledges and launch themselves into the air and then me, sacrificing pain to get me out of their home.

Scratched but not bleeding I closed the pen and left with my shaking children. For the rest of the week, we threw feed in. They were chickens, they didn’t need a bowl! The water I put by the door and filled it with a heavily padded arm.

The question came up about getting chickens and my kids all paused, “What about a dog?”

I wasn’t ready for a dog, but at least the chicken idea is gone for good.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Risiduals of Vacations...

For five days straight at Paws Up Resort, I had one (okay two) s’mores around a campfire each and every evening. (Just typing this makes my mouth water…whoops...sorry...let me wipe off that drool...)

Why did something so ordinary taste so dang good? I was obsessed with them. One night at camp, I almost pushed over two kids to get the last piece of chocolate. Maybe it was that Paws Up is so relaxing? Maybe it’s because at Paws Up camps, you get a butler...who helped me so much, I never had to even think about what to feed my child. (Hmm...what did she eat anyway?)

Obviously addicted, earlier tonight, I turned on my stove, found a marshmallow, saltine crackers and some M&M's....it wasn't Montana, it wasn’t a campfire, but the mere act made me happy.

BTW: If you try this at home, forks and flames don't mix. Flaming hot and screaming do.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Wrong Words....

I often get in trouble to saying or assuming the wrong thing or words.  Not like the politicians lately....but I've been known to confuse what my kids have said to me, forgetting they are children and their "S word" is actually "Stupid."  I've put my foot into my mouth and have even upset some parents.  It's all good, but I couldn't help buckle over in laughter when I read the following story thankful I"m not the only one...

Tony was about 9 years old and staying with his grandmother for a few days. He'd been playing outside with the other kids, when he came into the house and asked, 'Grandma, what's that called when two people sleep in the same bedroom and one is on top of the other?'

Grandma was a little taken aback, but she decided to tell him the truth as she always did, 'Well, dear, it's called sexual intercourse.’

‘Oh,’ Tony said and he went back outside to play with the other kids. A few minutes later he came back in and said angrily, 'Grandma, it's NOT called sexual intercourse. It's called Bunk Beds. And Jimmy's Mom wants to talk to you.'

A Moms Love...

I've had a staph infection on my thigh for almost six weeks. At first it was annoying, then it was painful, and then I couldn't walk....

What was inconvenient for my kids, soon became inconvenient for my husband.

After two weeks, I was desperate and called the only person I knew could help. Superman? Um...close. I called my mom.

Within a day of my call, she flew 3,000 miles to come to my rescue and save my world. She took the kids were they needed to go, she cooked, she cleaned, she fed my family, but most importantly, she gave me the love (I so needed) that only moms know how to give.

Beyond comforted, I knew my mom, with unconditional love and my best interest in mind, was here to help and I could relax and heal. And while it took a long time to get better, I couldn't help think about what I'd have done if my mom wasn't alive anymore.

I guess I'd suck it up? Be brave? Hire help? It was a mushy, teary night of reality as I thought about dear friends who have already lost their mom, even calling two of them to say, barely audible, that if they ever got sick, or needed me, I'd be there for them. Of course, I could never be their mom, but I could do my best to make them feel loved.

Make a note of those buddies you have who may not have their mom. If the time ever comes, make them joyful that at least they have YOU.