Saturday, June 22, 2013

Good-bye Cabbage, and Houdini Chickens

We free-range our chickens, just like we free-range our kids.  It's something I really believe in, but I've just found out that they've been eating my little cabbage and broccoli plants from the garden.  The chickens, not the kids.  They've also been laying fewer eggs, which makes no sense since the weather is gorgeous and they're eating like pigs.  Again, the chickens, not the kids.

So, Richard and I came up with a plan of attack.  We wouldn't free-range them anymore, at least not until they quit eating my produce and stepped it up a notch with the egg laying.

Now, our coop is actually an old baby barn.  There's a heavy outside door, and a lighter inside door.  They both shut pretty snugly.  This afternoon I glanced out the window and there the chickens were, pecking away at my plants.  What?!  How?!  Obviously, someone must have let them out.

I rallied up the troops and asked them who had opened the doors to let the chickens out.  Nobody did it.  Wasn't us.  Then how? asked I.

Simple.  According to my eldest, all thirteen chickens huddled together, leaned their collective weight against the barn door and shoved it open.  Just like a scene from Chicken Run.

They did it again today.  Smart chickens.


Summer is here, and I'm tired.  There.  I said it.  I admit that I am not super-mom or super-woman or super-cook or anything else super.  I am behind in school, I am grouchy with the kids and I can't seem to get myself in any gear other than slow.  Maybe it's the fault of lingering on the brink of healthy and sick, or perhaps being back into the swing of lone-parenting that happens on summer weekends.  Perhaps it's attending three births in as many weeks.  It might even just be the normal wear and tear of being the adult in this place.

Richard is cramming as many work hours as possible into the short amount of time left before his surgery.  I'm used to dealing with the kids, but doing it alone at night is a bit more taxing.  I celebrated a successful weekend of single-momness by changing my Facebook status to reflect how we all made it through in one piece.  A real-life single mom took offense, telling me that that was her life day in and day out for the last five years.  In short, shove it, Sister, I don't know how good I have it to be part of a full family with a supportive partner.  Well, yes, I do.  It makes it all the more difficult when the work weekends happen.  I don't think it means I need to feel any less thankful for getting the kids and myself through it without a trip to the ER.  Shove it, Sister, indeed.

Anyway.  Nuff whining.  I am not fit to be around this evening.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It Ain't Pretty....

...but it's borderline acceptable.

With Richard needing extra help around the yard this summer, the job fell on me.
I don't mind.  I just hope he doesn't.

I've never successfully weed-whacked before.  I've never successfully whipper-snipped, either.
So, I think that for a first time, I did okay.

After a half-hour, my legs were unsteady, I was sweating, my
hands shook like jelly and my muscles felt like I'd just bench pressed a water buffalo.
Richard (who has very high standards that he can't keep from enforcing) intentionally
 refused to look my way, which is
exactly what a man who wishes to stay married ought to do.
I'm still waiting for the shaking to stop.

Okay, so the job isn't to professional standards.  Under the trampoline kind of reminds me 
of the time Eva gave herself a haircut.  

Let's be honest, though.  Trimming isn't about pretty.  It's about destroying any potential
breeding grounds for alders and copperhead snakes.  

I think I succeeded at that.

Considering all I had to work with was a gas powered stick and a spinning piece of nylon string, 
I think I did just fine.