Monthly Archives: May 2011

No Tell Chicken Motel

One of our hens has been broody, meaning she won’t leave the nesting box.  She wants some hatchlings.

We don’t have a rooster.  Her cause is lost, but she is determined.

She sits in the box all day and night. We have to reach under her, while she fluffs and huffs her disapproval, to collect the eggs everyday.  I would have thought she’d have given up by now. It’s been weeks.

We have 4 hens and 4 identical nesting boxes.  They all love the same one.

When little mama first started being broody our egg production went from 4 a day down to 1 a day.

There were 2 times I found an egg in one of the usually barren boxes and once I found an egg in the middle of the coop floor. Until recently, the non-broody ladies were just waiting until little mama stepped out for food and water, and then they would jump in and lay there eggs before little mama came back.

It turns out they gave up being patient and decided that they love this one nesting box so completely that it doesn’t matter if there is a hen already in there.

Why use one of the empty boxes when there is a perfectly full one right here?

I have found 3 of them in there at a time clucking, squawking, huffing and fluffing.

There is actually a 3rd one behind these 2.

Yesterday Ami noticed that 2 of the girls were in the box and he came to tell me excitedly that the 2 were in love.  I asked him what in love meant and he said “When you sleep in the same bed.  That’s how you know you’re in love and want to be a family.”  I melted right there where I stood.  Turned to mush.  Done for.

The world through a child’s eyes is a most wonderous thing.

Here, just so he can hate me when he’s older, is cuteness 4 year old style.

Such a serious expression.

Those are mittens on his feet.  You should see him wear them with shoes…little flat thumbs dangling over the sides of the shoes.

And the 3 sizes too big, hand me down unders are completely my fault.  I bought them too big on purpose thinking the boys would grow into them, but they outgrow them mentally way before they do physically. From Benny, to Conrad, and then to Ami, they each would tell me that those were baby underpants and remind me that they weren’t babies.  Will they ever understand that they will always be my babies?

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Filed under Petz on Parade, Rodents aka kids, So Random

Goodies from Goodwill.

I am having an obsession with red and turquoise.  I keep telling myself to reel it in.  I am going to put too much in the house and then ruin my love for it. The other part of me tells me to relax, have fun and if I want to have red and turquoise in every cotton-pickin’ room then so be it.!  It’s like the devil and angel scenario but I can’t tell who is who.

That’s not what this post is about though.  This post is about my other obsession, Goodwill.

Look at how good she’s been to me.

I have wanted a dress form for a long time.  I pictured me having something more vintage with a stand, but RED!  You had me at hello!

I love this globe. Trying to decide If I am going to paint the base white or leave it as is.

The mason jars I got from Goodwill a few years ago.  Derek found me the buttons just the other day.  Ami and I sat with muffin tins and sorted them all by color. That was surprisingly relaxing.  I was actually sad when we were done.

These were all bought on separate trips. I decided it was time to put them and other awesome finds together.

Everything in this picture was bought at  Goodwill (except the papers and pens).

We painted the desk and recovered the seat on the right.

I love finding all of these little treasures separately and bringing them together.  And you know it was all cheap or else I wouldn’t have bought it.

The whole thing makes me giddy!


Filed under Feeling Fartsy, On The Cheap

Benny’s Party

A friend gave me these beauties, in honor of the special day.

We sent 10 balloons, with notes attached, to Benny.

The back of Conrad’s says “This is for Benny”.  He was concerned there would be a mix up and kept asking me if I was sure Benny would get his letters and what if someone else found them first.  Jeremia said he probably grabbed ’em up before anyone else had a chance.

We feasted on Benny’s favorite foods.

Corn on the cob (he preferred it to be on a stick, but I didn’t buy any), baked beans, and macaroni and cheese all washed down with a cherry pepsi.

For dessert chocolate cake ice cream with cinnamon toast crunch.

We made a good day of it.

Thanks to everyone who sent us extra love!

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Filed under Celebrate

A Letter To Benny


Happy 10th Birthday little man!

I don’t know if I have any words left to express the feeling of your absence.  I mentally thumb through my memories of you.  They are more faded than I would like.  Some of them are only there if I don’t look too hard.  As soon as I try to focus on them they vaporize.

I miss you so. If I were granted the wish to see you again I would smother you with kisses. I would count your fingers and toes just as if you were a newborn. I would run my fingers over your familiar scars, rub your head, hold your face in my hands and soak you up for as long as I was allowed. Perhaps it is a kindness that I can’t have a visit with you because I could not bear to lose you all over again.  I used to have these dreams over and over again that you would come to see me, but I was so busy crying and worrying about you leaving again that I couldn’t enjoy you being there.

Yesterday would have been your last day of 4th grade. Would you like school?   Would you be into sports?  Would you be artsy? a book-worm? into riding your bike?  Would you and Jeremia still be inseparable?

Amber and I were discussing and laughing tonight how you would come up to our shoulders now.  We think you would be all limbs, long and lanky and your hair would be one big mop of curls.  Still just as cute as ever!

Would you still love pink and aspire to be a ballerina fireman?

What kind of birthday cake would you ask Dad to make for you? What kinds of presents would you have requested. What dinner would you choose?

I think we will have macaroni and cheese, with corn on a stick, baked beans, and cherry pepsi for dinner in celebration of you.

I wish you could have had the chance to be a normal kid. I wish it had been in my power to make everything better.  I wish you were here to hold and hug and scold and fret about.  I wish I could sit at the dinner table and remind you to eat your green stuff and help you with your homework.  I wish I could sneak in your room and watch you sleep.  I wish I could squeeze you tight and smother your face with kisses. I wish you were here to  blow out your birthday candles and open your presents.

There is a hole in our family where you belong and I wish like hell you were here to fill it.

As I type this I can feel you nudging me telling me you are here.  I know you are.  I feel you.  I see you in so many things.  I am grateful for you.  I love you so completely that I ache to see your face, to feel you nuzzled into my neck while I rock you and rub your head.  Don’t think for one second that just because you would be ten that I wouldn’t hold you like the baby you are to me.

Daddy and I have decided that we are going to conduct as many random acts of kindness (RAOK) as we can from now until June 27th, the anniversary of your death. I cannot believe that you will have been gone just as long as you were here.

RAOK helped us cope after you died.  They are something we enjoy immensely.  One of the things we will do is take a hundred or so dollar bills and stick them in random places for unsuspecting people to find.  Daddy is really excited to put one on a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch at the grocery store.  I think we will probably put one on the syrup too.  I will encourage everyone we know to engage in RAOK because there is truly no better feeling than giving just for the sake of it.

I have been saving this picture for you.  I took it at the fair with you in mind.

I still remember sitting in your hospital room with you perched in your bed surrounded by your favorite toys.  I asked you to hand me “My Little Pony” and you corrected me saying “It’s my little pony not yours.”  Right you were.

My beautiful spunky little boy, I wish I could know the man you would have become.

Thank you for picking us.  Thank you for all you have given and continue to give.  Please stay close with me today and always.  I love you. I love you. I love you.  Happy Birthday!




Filed under Brain Stew, Celebrate


I have had a headache for three days non-stop.  Tension?

Today is the last day of school for Conrad and Jeremia.  3 months with 3 loud, rambunctious, messy boys 24/7 is going to be exhausting.  I am looking forward to lots of art projects and swimming lessons.  I think the key to my sanity and theirs is to have lots of activities planned.

The house is a mess.  I have projects to start, projects to finish, pictures to take, appointments to make, library books to return, dogs groomed, shopping to do, papers to get notorized, and the list goes on.

Tomorrow is Benny’s Birthday. Just typing that makes me cry.  He would have been 10.  I will write more about how we will honor his memory tomorrow.

Keegan, my 18-year-old, graduated from high school this week.  I couldn’t be happier for him.  I wish I could have been there for his big day, but I was not invited.  He lives with is birth father in Phoenix. It’s a very long dramatic story that I may or may not share someday.

I get a much-needed massage tomorrow.  It’s not a fun one though.  It’s 90 minutes of my friend April searching out all of my knots and kinks, and kneading them out.  It is so painful, but well worth it.  If I was more diligent about my stretching and could find a permanent release for all of the emotional baggage I keep tucked away, it wouldn’t be so bad, but alas I am not there yet.

I keep reminding myself to take one thing at a time and breath.


Filed under So Random

Quick, time saving project.

I was mailing a card yesterday and was irritated for the umpteenth time that I had to look for the address labels and stamps.  Why weren’t they with the address book where they should be?  So I took 2 minutes of my day today and fixed the problem.

I used the back of an old greeting card trimmed to size and some double stick tape.

I put the tape on the sides and bottom of the card creating a pocket.

Of course I could have taken some time and made it cuter, but done is better than perfect these days.

I am telling myself the same thing about my latest painting.  I keep wanting to fiddle with it, but it needs to be done already.

I had another one almost done when Conrad thought it would be a good idea to push a thumbtack through it.  That was not a fun day.

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Filed under Feeling Fartsy, On The Cheap

Clever or Not?

I can’t decide if I am clever or too brave for my own good, for hanging these on the back porch.

I checked and re-checked the nail, chain and soldered wire to assure myself they would not fall.  I love how they look but they make me nervous.  I have been trying to decide where to hang them since November.  I got tired of them sitting in the art closet and here they are.  I hope they hold.  I wish there was a symbol for fingers crossed.  I would use it all the time.

**Edit** Derek wants me to mention that I made those and that it is downright “ballsy” of me to hang them there.  I would like to note he did not say that to me the day I hung them.  I may have to take them down.

A big thanks to Meg over at whatever for linking to my s’mores post and sending me HUNDREDS of visitors.  My humble stats page is grateful, as am I.

Meg’s blog is so much fun. It’s one of my faves. Check it out.


Filed under So Random