Monday, April 20, 2009

My Favorite Stage...

My first-born, Ty, turned 12 this past Saturday. Twelve-years-old! That is so hard to believe. I think, “Do I look like the mother of a 12-year-old?” Don’t answer that. And, yes, it does make me begin to get so very sentimental.

Ty has been an easy child to raise, thus far. I can only hope that he will continue as he is. And, although I wish I could keep him as a young little boy, I am enjoying so much being his Mom.

As a baby, he hardly cried. I could take him anywhere and never really worry about how he would be. He was such a little chunk! The most kissable cheeks I had ever seen. And I thought, “this baby-phase is definitely my favorite stage”.

As a toddler, he never minded holding my hand, and he looked so cute in his saddle-oxford shoes and knees socks. He would play with matchbox cars for hours! Lining them up over and over again. And I thought, “this toddler-phase is most definitely my favorite stage”.

His elementary years (which flew by) I watched him begin to grow into his own person. Gaining so much knowledge, and always hungry to learn more. He continuously would build things with Legos, Magnetics, and Lincoln Logs (STILL DOES!). And, yet again, I thought that was “my favorite stage”.

But, now…this child is changing into “simply Ty”. And, on his birthday, he and I spent time together, just the two of us. Just walking around the square (there was an arts festival). We enjoyed hot chocolate and frozen coffee together from the Coffee Company. And, I soaked up the moments with him. Having true conversation with this young man. I am so excited about his future…..but TODAY, I can honestly say, “THIS is my favorite stage.” Until, tomorrow comes…………

Thursday, March 26, 2009


It has been quite a while since I have blogged......not because there aren't a gazillion stories constantly going in my head....but because I haven't sat down and typed them up. So, I am going to be a rule-breaker (if there are blogging rules) and do a re-post of one from August. One that I had posted through another source (not this one). Just call me a rebel, I guess.....and here it is!

E-I, E-I, Oh, Not In My Car! The past year has brought about many changes in my life. One of those changes includes my son becoming completely fascinated with hatching and raising chickens. I was raised on a farm, but I confess that I wasn’t directly involved with chickens - before now.

Last fall, Ty saved up some money to buy his own incubator, and talked us into ordering fertilized chicken eggs over the internet. (You see, the fall is not the time of year that hens around here are laying.) Out of these 12 eggs, 3 actually hatched, right in Ty’s bedroom - IN MY HOUSE! There names were Gumby, Pokey and Roger.

NOTE: They were contained until being moved outside. Never did I have chickens running through my house.

Now, let’s skip forward 9 months to the present - August 2008. Ty has increased his chicken farm to 14. Earlier, in the spring, Pokey (the only hen of the 3) was found dead. We don’t know what happened. Gumby and Roger are his 2 most special because they were the ones that hatched in his room.

So, it’s Saturday morning, and I am replying to a message from my dear friend, Angela, when Ty bursts into the house screaming for me. I look up to see him running toward me with Gumby in his arms screaming “Gumby’s dying! Call the vet!” I get enough out of him to discover that he thinks Gumby was kicked by a horse and he found him lying on the ground. Gumby’s eyes are barely open. I’m quite freaked out with a rooster in my house - but do manage to call the vet and at least ask if they will look at him. All the while, changing out of my gown into a shorts set.

We jump into the car - yes a dying rooster in the back seat of my Lincoln! I grabbed an old Bob the Builder bed sheet for Ty to hold under Gumby…….Ty didn’t comply.

A most frantic drive to the vet - Ty is screaming and begging Gumby not to die…..Joey calls me on the phone to say, “Surely you‘re taking a D#%* chicken to the vet!?”, of which I sharply reply, “Yes, I am! If something happens, at least he’ll know his Mom tried!” As I put the car in park at the vet, I - once again - remind Ty to put the sheet under Gumby. Ty tells me “It’s too late” and I look down to see chicken dunk running down Ty…..and onto my seat! Obviously, not a time to discipline Ty for not listening….so I go over to wipe some up, and my gag reflexes kicked in….causing me to almost hurl in the parking lot before going into the vet office.

Ty, usually a shy, stand-in-the-background kid, bursts into the office through the back doors…..and went straight to the vet (who shall remain nameless). He was begging him to please look at his rooster. The vet blew him off and continued looking at a horse that was not in immediate danger. You must understand, this is a little boy, crying and begging for someone to look at his pet…..and this guy blows him off. Gumby’s head is now drooping to the side and his eyes are closed. Finally, Dr. NICE WOMAN sees him and SHE takes some time to search for vital signs. She breaks the news to Ty that Gumby is gone and tells him that she understands. She, too, had a pet chicken when she was younger.

Picture us, standing in the hall of the vet. My son sobbing into the gross Bob the Builder sheet…..and along come two toothless men to tell us that, maybe if we blow into its butt a few times, he may come back to life. They also tell Ty that they would give him a couple of roosters (I’m sure that fight). I didn’t respond.

With tears running down both of our faces, Ty picks up Gumby and we get back in the car. Yes, now I have chicken dunk and a dead rooster in the back seat of my Lincoln. Gag reflexes are really not doing well by now.

We get home, and Ty says (while getting out of the car), “Oh, Mom, he’s turning stiff!” and I catch a glimpse of 2 stiff rooster legs behind me. Don’t hurl, Jen, I think.

So, as he has a few last moments with Gumby - I clean, bleach, scrub, and vacuum my car. Seriously almost hurling the whole time.

Then, we all gather round the grave in the corner of the fence to say our final farewells to Gumby. Ty plucks a few feathers to keep in his memory. And, we mark the grave with a stepping stone.

Sometimes I think about the fact that we have buried so many animals and, if our land is ever excavated, they may think we participated in some type of sadistic rituals.

However, in memory of Gumby, we did not eat any chicken all weekend.

Old MacDonald doesn’t have JACK on me!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bridles and Saddles and Sequins, Oh, MY!

When my baby girl was born, I held her in my arms and pictured frilly dresses, bows, painted nails, and Barbie dolls......she is the opposite.....and I wouldn't change a thing. Hey - but we do still have sequins!!!
This is her doing what she loves....barrel racing.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

So, THAT's why they come home so sticky....

Most of the time, I get one day off per week. Yea, go ahead and throw things at me....I don't care! If possible, I go eat lunch with Sadie at school on this day. (This was once also w/ Ty, but now, he is in Middle School and that would be so uncool to eat w/ Mom!)

Lunch is always entertaining, and I encourage other parents to do the same. It is also educational for me......I mean, I learned that kids still do this with their orange wedges:
That's my daughter, Sadie.....isn't she adorable???

I was also able to witness the new school record for eating flaming hot potato sticks w/o a drink being set by Wesley. FOUR BAGS, dare I say??!!! (I learned his name b/c his table was chanting, "Wes-ley! Wes-ley!") Poor kid, if he thought it burned today.....tomorrow morning will be really bad.

Can I say that the lunch workers who scream, "BE QUIET!!!!!" still scare me???

You just can't pay for this kind of entertainment!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

If at first you don't erupt....

Double your ingredients!

Sadie's friend, Emily came why not build a volcano?? Here they go!

First - they gathered all ingredients, aprons on.

Next - Put the baking soda/flour mixture in with red food coloring - in the empty cocktail sauce bottle (that's how all volcanos begin, I'm sure!)

Mixed some water in with the soil (a.k.a. mud) Not their favorite part.....eeewwww...

Form the volcano around the bottle.

Poured in the vinegar.

......and.....nothing....(insert cricket sounds here)....

So, we cleaned it out and used twice the amount.


Erupting Volcano Project......CHECK!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Here's To Life's Little Luxuries!

This long, super-cold winter has caused me to be more grateful to a few things that, in the past I may have ignored……so, here’s to all the little amenities that make living in the 21st century so cozy.

Here’s to you, heated car seats! Thanks for keeping my tush nice and toasty through every journey. Whether I’m experiencing slight(?) road rage, waiting in the car-rider line at school, or singing my heart out to the Jonas Brothers with my daughter, you keep my buns warm throughout.

To you, drive-through service lanes! With the simple push of a button, vacuum tubes transport my bank transactions, car-payment, and prescription meds – and others I can purchase food, from burgers, to tacos, fish and pizza…..all while keeping toasty buns in my heated seats. Oh, and I love the nice ladies that always tell me to Have A Nice Day before I leave.

To you, garage door opener! Once again, another push-of-the-button, and you open to welcome me and my car out of the harsh cold or rain. We live in a small house, and friends will often say to, “turn your garage into a room!”….I think not! I will continue to clear out excess so we can fit in our home before losing the privilege of unloading groceries in a dry room!

And, of course, to you, Central Heating! Not only do you keep our family warm…..the cold winter has caused many to purchase you and / or many of your counterparts to need repair, (YAY!!) which keeps my husband in business....and will help us to pay the utilities to use you.

Wow! How can it get any better than this? I know there are times that we have to make that dash out into the elements…..but we do need an excuse every now and then to wear that cool new scarf, don’t we?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Crow Needs Salt

I'm going to call it an evolution of myself.....instead of what it really is, eating my words.

We've all done it (at least I hope I'm not alone). Making matter-of-fact statements that you later have to recall. One of my most prominent one is definitely "My kids won't act like that!". Oh, yes......those words haunted me over and over, especially when my daughter, Sadie, was born. She was a beautiful baby...but that child had a siren-level scream that would cause factories to evacuate. For about two years, we had family and friends that - for some reason - were always "busy" when it came to doing things with us! (It's okay, friends, I understand.)

Another would be that "I would never go out in public dressed like that!". Yea, well, for those of you who run into me in know the end of that story.

However, I could very well be approaching the one thing that I have fought for years......the grand martyr of them all....."I will NEVER drive a mini-van!!". Now, please, for those of you who drive one, I am definitely not insulting you. You probably went through the same thought-process. I always said it was like "waiving the white flag on ever being cool again". And then I test-drove one. My friends, I can't get it out of my head! The dual DVD players...2nd row captains chairs...doors that slid open with the push of a between me and the kids w/o us all having to balance the backpacks, groceries, and toilet tissue on our heads! NOW I see what you other mini-van Moms are talking about!

It will be difficult letting go of my cute little Zephyr - but, this is "growth" as a Mom, right? I mean, it's not like I'll be forced to wear Mom-jeans......because "I will NEVER wear Mom-jeans".

Now, excuse me while I finish eating my crow.....

Also - I will soon be posting an update on my "Feng Shui" transformation.....bamboo is placed in the east side of my living, I'm sure you will soon be seeing a rainbow ending at my house. :o)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Got Some Jing You Could Spare?

So - I make this crazy New Year's resolution to incorporate more "Feng Shui" into my home and life. Hey, I watch an ample amount of HGTV - so I hear the words all the time, and I figure I'm half-way there. But, I also took a HUGE step by purchasing the book "Fast Feng Shui" . Now, I have an investment, so I am truly committed.

Okay - I will admit that I am still on Step 1...but I am going to take you on this journey w/ me. Now, this is supposed to be life-altering - so, I am totally expecting to be retired on my own island in a is, however "Fast Fung Shui".

One of the main points (um, of the introduction) is that your home (land, office....) must have a positive flow of "chi" throughout. The "chi" is like a river of energy throughout my home. I think my chi is stuck between a mound of a week's worth of laundry, Christmas presents that have yet to find a home, and bills from Christmas that I probably should be paying instead of typing this blog!

Supposedly, my front door entrance defines my career. So, what does the magazine holder overflowing w/ magazines that I keep meaning to read say?........... - okay, I am back now...had to go move that to my "relationships" corner. Maybe they will read the magazines.

Also, there is my "jing" which is the "substance that underlies all organic life" of which we only have a certain amount of when we are born and when it is gone, it's gone. I wish I could go back in time b/c I know that I wasted large portions of my jing on all those huge decisions, like what color to paint the kitchen, or all the crazy fund-raisers I have participated in, or grilling family members to find out who didn't replace the toilet paper, I think I am now jingless.

Wish me luck as I shall trudge through trying to find my chi.......and the mate to this sock would be nice, too.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Think I Am Channeling Poe

Anyone who may think of feathered friends as being boring pets could very well be surprised to know the truth. You may know of our family's colorful adventures w/ my son's chickens - from my surprising flogging to the trip to the vet w/ a rooster ending in a sad ceremonial laying to rest.

So, in keeping w/ our insane path, we have "upped" the notch on bird brains. My nephew, Rob, received a beautiful cockateil for Christmas. A majestic bird w/ a beautiful long tail. Since he & my in-laws were leaving for a trip the day after Christmas, I was happy to "bird sit" for the week. Christmas night, we arrive to pick up "Poco". I wait in the living room for them to pack him up - and soon hear my mother-in-law screaming, "You IDIOT!!! What is wrong with you???!!!! You IDIOT!!!" I run to the bedroom (afraid this anger is directed at my son) to find my father-in-law holding ONLY the long, majestic feathered tail that once belonged to Poco. Apparently, he though that would be a good way to catch him.....not so much. Now Poco reminded me of Don King with only his feathered mohawk standing up. Being a bird that can learn to speak, I know his first word will be "IDIOT!" (Possibly because I am constantly saying "IDIOT" around him to encourage the possibility).

The following day, Joey & Ty leave for a 2-day hunting trip, and Sadie for a sleepover - Now I'm in charge of Poco, the chickens, the quail, and the club-foot duck.

Sucking up my fear of being flogged, I water all the chickens and the duck. But, I make a crucial mistake w/ the quail by opening the top to lean down and fill their water, one of the quail flies up on my head! It seems to linger afraid as I was...forever, wings flapping in my ear....the then up to the rafters it goes. I'm not spider-girl, but I do try to catch it. However, it flies again to where I can't even find it.

Not wanting to ruin Ty's hunting trip, I keep this information (and the barn) tightly sealed.

Upon his return, Ty takes the news well, and even decided to set the other quail free. (He incubated these from eggs.) What should have been a bitter-sweet moment of freedom for the quail ends abruptly as a chicken-hawk swoops down and eats 2 at that very moment! Oh, the grief....

Will our lives ever be free of fowl flubs? ............quote the raven, "Nevermore"........

NOTE: 2 days later, my flyaway quail appeared in one of the horse's stalls! She was taken to the field where the other two remaining were still living.