...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Monday, August 14, 2017

My chickens are...well...chicken

I raise chickens.

I guess raise might be a strong word for how this is has gone so far.  The story is as follows: I bought a handful of chickens, I feed them, and they didn't die yet.  Whatever word you use to describe that sequence of events, go with it.

Anyway,  we've had our chickens for nearly six months and I feel like we've gotten to know them pretty well.  They each have their own unique personality and that's fun.  We have a couple of neighbor kids who are so enamored with them that they sometimes come over to hold members of our flock rather than play with our children (it's sort of funny, actually).

Our feathered ladies always get excited when we come out to see them because they know that we often bring them treats (like mealworms...yummy!!).

Yesterday, my husband cut up a cantaloupe.  I have heard that chickens LOVE melons and will pick all the leftover fruit off the rind until all that is left is the thick skin (and apparently, some of them also peck off bits of the rind to eat...which is what our dog does -- eat the whole thing, rind and all).

So, I thought I'd bring them a treat.  I already know they like treats (well, honestly, who doesn't).

I spread the melon rinds around the floor of their coop so everyone could get some nibbles in without having to argue over the food...which happens.

And that's when I learned that my chickens are terrified of melon rinds.

Yup, all five of them high tailed it up into their second story dwelling and none of them would come down.

Daisy, most definitely the leader of the group and the one who usually explores new things, would venture onto the ramp, but even she wouldn't go near these vile, supposed "treats."

The girls stayed up in their roost for HOURS.

But I wasn't going to budge.  These ladies were going to learn that cantaloupe is not lethal (generally speaking...I'm sure there's a story somewhere of death by cantaloupe).

And eventually, they must have gotten tired of each other because they cautiously wandered downstairs (Daisy went first).  They were extremely careful to walk around the orange, fruity, invaders (and Devorah threw a squawking tantrum when her toe touched one of them -- no kidding -- diva).  They kicked around the straw on the floor to hide the rinds and then everything was back to normal.

Our dog snuck in and ate the rinds later that day when we let the chickens out to wander the yard

Oh, the adventures of a suburban chicken owner.

On a related note, one of our ladies has recently started laying eggs and I'm sure the others will follow suit very soon.  My kids are still totally enamored with the fun of looking for eggs every day...and if I'm honest, so am I.

Our first ever home grown (??) egg in the awesome egg basket Josh bought for me on our trip to Chicago this summer.  Yup, my egg basket is imported all the way from Illinois.  That's fancy!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Summer of Musical Theater

Four of our six children perform with a musical theater group.  They love it and I love that they are part of it.  

But, being in the group means we travel the Salt Lake Valley during show seasons (summer and again at Christmas time) to perform at fairs, community centers, and other events.

However, it also means that I get to watch my sprites develop their singing, dancing, and performance skills all summer long (and seriously, it takes a lot of work and athleticism to make this happen).  I kind of love that.

And I kind of like showing them off (I really am proud of this crew).

So, lucky you.  Here's some of the fun of summer. via a few of our musical theater performances (the last of which was yesterday afternoon).  

Be impressed (or don't, but keep that to yourself please).  These kids really are great (even if I do say so myself...and I totally do).

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Accidental Carrots

Today I was working in my yard when I noticed some frothy white blossoms growing out of the middle of a patch of Black Eyed Susans.

Now, I LOOOOOVE Black Eyed Susans.  I tried planting them at our old house and I never could get them to grow so I'm kinda thrilled that they are thriving here.

And that's why I wanted to get rid of whatever intruder was edging its way into their territory.

So I followed the stem of the invader down to the ground and used a shovel to loosen the dirt so I'd get the whole root but not dig up my happy, yellow, beauties.

And I got the whole thing.  Right down to the root.

This was the root.

Yup.  It was a carrot.  (I've never had a carrot get to flower before so I had NO idea that this is what they looked like when they do.)

Unbeknownst to me, underneath the canopy of Black Eyed Susan growth, there was a family of carrots happily thriving in the shadows.

I was clueless (um, what does that say about my gardening prowess).  I have been unwittingly caring for carrots all summer and until now I was in the dark about the whole thing (sneaky little creatures).

But, hey, that's a happy accident.  I've never had much luck growing carrots on purpose, who knew I was much more skilled at growing them by mistake.

We ended up with a good little haul of yummy orange friends and they made a delicious addition to our dinner.  Some people around here whined about the unexpected vegetable, but I told them proudly this is something we grew in our garden...even if we didn't know we were doing it at the time.

I'm sure there's an analogy in there somewhere.

Sometimes life gives you weeds, and sometimes it gives you carrots.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nose bopping and other frustrations in marriage

My husband and I had a fight today.

Ok, maybe fight is a strong word.  But we couldn't agree and we both ended up mad and it wasn't exactly pretty.

It all happened on an aisle in Lowes.  We have been building a back yard shed (more on that another day) and we were planning to put some shelving up and we both had different ideas on how that should be done.

We were actually trying to each grasp the other's point of view in the beginning, but we weren't seeing eye to eye and we weren't understanding completely what the other person thought and it blossomed into hurt feelings and frustration.  Josh headed off to get other items and I stalked off to the paint section to look at color samples for paint that we don't need (I mean, there's always something that needs painting, right?).

We were both steaming.

And, to be honest, sometimes that happens.

Our marriage is good.  Like really really good.

Even when I am THE MOST frustrated at Josh he is still my favorite person on the planet (I just want to bop him in the nose to help him see straight sometimes).

But that's just it, we are both people.  We both have ideas and opinions, we both make mistakes, we both get impatient and grumpy sometimes, and sometimes we are selfish and stubborn (I'm pretty sure stubborn came on my warning label at birth).  It's not something to be proud of, but it's just a fact.

Two people living together, going through the ups and downs of life, dealing with kids and houses and cars and the day to day grind of being a human are not going to get along ALL of the time.  They are going to disagree.  They are going to dislike something the other person says or does.  They are going to have to compromise.  Each one is going to get their own way sometimes, and each one is going to have to give in to the other person's way sometimes.  That's the way it is.

And once in a while, it is good for me to be reminded that my very own happily ever after is not a collage of exclusively perfect, pastel colored moments.  There are some dark strokes in there, but that is part of what gives the picture its depth if we stick with it and see it through.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it's good to argue -- but what is good is realizing that not every moment will be perfect and that one dark corner is not worth giving up the beauty of the whole creation.

So back to Lowes, I waited for Josh at the front of the store (after briefly considering the long walk home but falling prey to the allure of air conditioning).  He eventually came up and gently suggested we try the shelving dilemma again.

We returned to the scene of the crime and then we tossed aside our two original ideas and happened on a third option that was completely different than anything we had considered before, but it turned out to be just the solution we needed.

That's generally the way it goes.

Troubles come.  Arguments happen sometimes.  But we're in it for the long haul.  That's something I know I can rely on and there is great comfort in that.

And even when I really want to bop him on the nose, I'm exceptionally grateful he got stuck with me as a partner.  Overall, we make a pretty good team.

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