Sunday, March 31, 2013

18 Chickens and One Sassy Gal

I have fallen for 'chicken math'.

Do you know what chicken math is? It is where you walk into the feed store or Atwood's (a farm store) for a couple of chicks (baby chickens, silly, BABY CHICKENS!) and come out with a lot of chicks!

The sad thing is, you don't just do it once, you do it over and over again! 

And pretty soon, you have 18 chicks... or 80 chicks.

And I am not looking at one more chick thank-you-very-much!

18 is my limit!

Now Steve is building a chicken mansion for my little chicks!

On a very sad note, my dear Aunt Connie passed away last Thursday. Aunt Connie and I were very close for a lot of reasons. She had such a unique personality and whit about her that everyone loved to be around her. She made you laugh. She made you remember - her way.  And she made you feel special. And she loved to talk. Oh, my, did she love to talk!  

I will miss my dear Aunt Con. Let me share a bit of her so you know why I will miss her so much:

When I would call to talk to her, she would often answer the phone, "What?!" Then she would just start chattering away...

Aunt Connie changed our names. Every single one of us kids... My name was changed to Gail, Liz's name was changed to Beth, Lisa's name was changed to Lulabelle, Phillip was Pibs, John Dee was Johnde, Stephenie was My Sweet Little Girl, Jeremy was Brat - probably because he was so innocent, Danny was Dannel, Brian was Damn It, Brian! and Pam was Pammie. Oh yes, the list goes on and on... but she never called us by our given names. And I always wondered why...

Every time we talked she asked how my sweet Steve was and then she would say to give him a hug for her and have him kick me on the butt - because she never did it enough and he needed to make up for it.

When we talked on the phone, she always ended with the last words "I love you. Good. Bye!" 


Short, sweet and to the point.

My brother-in-law wanted to go meet her when he was in Biloxi training. My sister was in Alaska, so John braved it on his own. I told him he should be prepared for anything - that there is no describing our Aunt Connie.

He tells the story that he rang the door bell and this is how it went... 

She opened the door and said, "Are you Shari's husband?" 


"Step in here"

He did.

She looked him up and down and didn't say a word. (Can you imagine what he was thinking?)

She told him to turn around.

He did.

She looked him up and down again - still not speaking.

She told him to turn around.

He did.

She reached over and grabbed his ear and pulled his head around and looked behind his ear. 

She stood back and said, "You'll do. Now sit and start talking. Tell me about yourself and I will see if we will keep you!"

Again - can you imagine what he was thinking?

But that is how she was.

Aunt Connie had to deem everyone 'human' - and until you were deemed 'human', you were a 'child'.  I think Jeremy made it when he was born (he is a red-head and she loved red-heads), and Steph never made it. I think I was 45 when I was deemed 'human'. Steve musta been born human 'cause he could never do anything wrong. Thinking back, I am not really sure that Jeremy ever made it, but I am guessing... I bet he remembers though!

I bet he surely remembers Jason and him pelting her with red holly berries... she swore she pulled holly berries out of her ears and nose for years to come.

Aunt Connie made you laugh - did I say that? She was a HOOT to be around! Oh, I'm gonna miss her.

Steve and I struggled with how to get there - it is a 12 hour drive.  We knew we wanted and needed to go - after all, she has been such a huge part of my life ALL of my life, I can't imagine being without her. So we finally decided to use some of this frequent flyer miles that we have saved for the big fantastic trip that we never seem to get around to taking... and instead, we are using them to say good-bye to a very dear loved one. We will hug the ones she is leaving behind, share our memories of her, laugh and I know I am going to shed a few tears. I think it is supposed to be a reunion of everyone who loves her.

I am so thankful I went to see her a couple of weeks ago. I just knew I needed to. Sometimes we just need to listen to our heart and follow it. Thank goodness I did exactly what my instinct told me to do, because I got to hug and hold her and I told her I loved her again. I am so glad I didn't wait.

It has been a tough 6 months; two surgeries, two moves, two death's... and worlds of other stuff tossed in between.

But nothing compares to losing loved ones; Aunt Connie was a second mom to me and a family treasure to us all.

Uncle Ed - I will say prayer after prayer for you. Thank you for turning Aunt Con's life around and making it so special. She loved you with all of her heart and soul. You are a treasure and I know why she thought you were so special - because you are an amazing man. You were truly a blessing to her. Heck, you are a blessing to all of us - but she thought the world twirled around you - and she actually made me believe that it did!  The thing that amazes me the most is you kept her in line! Well, ok, she may have had me fooled into believing she was behaving...

Oh! And she got her way - are you surprised?  She told me she would have to leave this earth first because she couldn't live without you. I can smiling at us and saying; "Nanny, nanny, boo, boo! Told ya so! Told ya so!  I got here FIRST!"  

Can't you just see her dancing and smiling her smug little smile?  

How can we ever say good-bye?

I can say I love you so very much...


I am just not ready to say good-bye.

I just want to hang out and listen to some more of your stories...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chicken Football

I love watching the chicks when I put a treat in there. There can be a whole plate of the same treat, but if one chick gets a good bite they ALL want that same bite and chase the chick around trying to steal it. We call it chicken football and it is certainly entertaining!

I think it is better than watching the NFL - what do you think?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Here Comes the Chicken Coop!

So I told Steve I wanted a chicken coop like this one but with windows:

And he started building me this one - this is the front door:

I think he is doing pretty stinking good, don't you? 

And yes Todd, he knows the grain on the plywood on the left side of this is not going the right way, but he said this is an interior support wall and he is sure even you wouldn't cut an entire piece of plywood for that little bitty piece... 

This is how he has been working on each of the walls - he builds it flat on the floor of the coop then props it up on the shop wall when he is finished.  He is building all four walls like this then he will pull it all outside, start putting it up and then build the side walls.

This is the back door minus The Poultry Butler door which he still has to add:

And I went to the Habitat for Humanity Restore (I love that place!) and found this solid wood (except the windows) door for $35! I am going to refinish it for the front door of the coop:

Between the front door and the actual coop part, there will be 4' of storage area for the feed, straw and wood chips. Between the storage area and the coop, we will have a regular screen door with hard wire covering so the chickens can't help themselves to the food.  Somehow I think they just might if I don't protect it... 

I am up to 9 chicks now! I got 2 more last night.  :-)

I am pleased to introduce Miss Molly:

And Hazel: 

I sure think they are worthy of the chicken mansion Steve is building, don't you?

I see a game of chicken football in my future.  Don't worry, it is a fun game for the chickens AND their people. I will share a video soon!

Gotta go stare in amazement at... errr... tend to my farm critters. They are so stinking cute!

And just for reference, Raelee took Margaret home with the 7 chicks she bought last night!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2nd Day of Spring...

And I gotta tell you...

Snow and icy precip is in the weekend forecast... 

Can you believe it?

And the 7 day forecast high? Get this:

48 degrees.

The lows in the 20's

It is not yet spring.

But we are definitely having a nice winter! 

Gotta work in the garden today

And buy new chicks to add to our chicks we have

And build a rabbit cage

And watch hubby's progress on the chicken coop!

Pictures tomorrow!



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day of Spring!

And since it is, I guess I had better get a few of my winter pictures out. We had a terrific winter this year - of course, I could always say we wanted more snow, but at least we had some snow. 

Our house is in the background. This was taken from the dam on our pond:

I am not going to elaborate or say a bunch about my pics, I just want to share them:

This was taken at Raelee's new house:

She seems to like it too!  Granny was NOT afraid of that snowball! But one came later that I shoulda been afraid of! Oh darn, I didn't have my camera handy...

And this is why I love Oklahoma!  Not too much snow, but enough to look forward to and enjoy.  :-) 

And we all know, I love snow!

Let's see what Spring brings for us!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

First Come the Chicks

It has been a month since I posted! I guess my life is just not as exciting as it was when I was in Singapore. However, I have to say, it is just like I like it - relaxed and comfortable.

I will try to catch you up in the next couple of weeks, but for now... 

I guess we are now true farmers!  We got chicks yesterday!  

Let me introduce them:

This is Mabel:

This is Shelly:

This is Raelee's chick, Margaret:

Check out her hairy legs! I think she needs to shave!

This is Shirley:

And this is Miss Daisy:

She is kinda mixed up!

This is Aunt Bea - can you tell?


And this is Tattle Tail... errr... Ali:

Ali lets me know when anything in the coop is not up to par or if her sisters are acting up. She also calls me if I have been quiet too long just to be sure I am still at her beck and call!

And this is Stacy:

I have seven chicks and Raelee has one, but more are coming!  

Steve is building me a chicken coop right now. He took a weeks vacation just to do that... and about a million other things he thinks he can accomplish in that time. I will share pics of the coop soon.

I have picked out chicks that lay different colors of eggs because... well... because I can. I hope this is what my egg cartons will look like very soon:

Now how cool is that?  I can't wait!  Gotta get the chicks a bit bigger, but until then, anticipation... 

If.  They are girls.

We bought them as a straight run at Atwood's Farm Supply, which means that we may have girls and we may have guys. They have a way to hold the chicks that is supposed to be tried and true. Who knows if it will work, but we are going to find out!

Obviously, the names are subject to change...   ;-)

Stay tuned!

Singapore Memory Project