Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Being Unabridged

This little bloggity blog has been around for a long time. It's like an old friend. Some old friends I talk to a lot. Some I don't really even know anymore, but I still have a fond place in my heart and I wish them the very best that life can bring them. I have a feeling I won't hear much from them again because I have hurt them or they have hurt me. I also secretly hope they don't think I ditched them for something better - when in fact the only ditching I ever did was pretty much for something much, much worse. My own self-absorption, my own depression, my own issues/problems/no-big-deal-who-really-cares-anyway sort of life. For that, I am truly apologetic. I beg for your forgiveness. I want to make it right.

Sometimes, when life smacks us with problems, BIG FAT PROBLEMS, the little things seems to vanish into the background. The small things like coffee with a friend, dropping a note in the mail, sending a quick text to say, "Hey, how are ya?". Truthfully, my mind is constantly wondering "how are you?", but my physical and mental self has had a really hard time of following through on the ACTION part of doing anything about finding out. I am fearful. How do I ask how you're doing, when you'll probably ask me in return (because, you know, you're nice and all...)? I'd have to answer. I'm terrible at saying, "FINE!" and actually acting like I mean it because I suck at lying. I can't do it. Telling you how things have really been is a long, painful story. But if you've got the time, I've got the posts (on another less people-y blog, yep yep).

Another problem: Facebook. Now I love facebook. I love seeing the pictures of my friends, my family, my far-off-acquaintances. It's great. I love the connection it brings me that I never would have had otherwise. But, it paints a terribly distorted picture. A painfully tragic picture of our lives - as it is truly like a book. The cover is gorgeous, well marketed, and makes inferiority complexes rage in the lives of people like myself. However, it's tricky too. I didn't even know I had a problem feeling inferior. But open the glossy, airbrushed cover, and your chapters are probably just as graphic, painful and unedited as mine. Who knew? Maybe the "cover" of my book hasn't painted a very good picture of my actual life either.

I don't mean for my life to seem fake. Seriously, who wants to post crappy stuff that makes people cry? I don't want to be that person. I want to make you smile, I want to make you happy to be around me, I want to make your life better. But sometimes, we don't live our lives to make others better, we also live so that others can bless us. How can I be blessed as I'm going through a particularly stench-filled chapter when I don't even bother to share an excerpt?

I'm trying to work on my sharing. I don't mean sharing on Facebook, because my most genuinely present friends are in my texts, my voicemail, my email. My real life. Facebook is cool for sharing the fun stuff, but it's not ALL the stuff (except we know a few people who do share like that, and boy is it ever exhausting).

I have a third set of old friends. The ones who I still love dearly, yet I don't hear from all the time, but when I do, we pick up just like we had coffee yesterday. We ask the questions, we cry the tears, we hug the hugs, and we live our lives. This old bloggity blog is that friend. Unquestioning, non-judgemental, steady, always there just in case I need to say something, and so occasionally, I do. I value each and every friendship in it's own way - but there's just something really awesome about sharing our stories when others are ready to hear them. For some, it's just not the right time yet and that's ok.

My life is quite a bit different now. I'm on the mend, but I'm still me. I'm willing to share.

So... how are you? And I don't want the short version either.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tough Week

Holding it all together (more like strangling all my emotions in a tangle of ropes) until my husband got home late last night from his week in Utah. 

Two days spent deciding the fate of another in a courtroom. These things aren't easy, and if I wasn't trying to manage my household by text it would have been easier, but it wiped me out. 

Finding out one of my newest employees got so frustrated while I was away that he quit with no notice. This one stung a bit. Things didn't have to be like that. Others were responsible for things that would have made his work more pleasant. I could have done more. Then the realization that he could have done more too - like relax a bit and be flexible. 

Two more days of double booked appointments because of jury duty going long. Hours of extra workload because of missing employee. Hours of missing sleep. 

The phone call one morning that my cat got hit by a car. The Good Samaritan who witnessed it took her to the vet hospital, where she was kindly treated and I was kindly paying the $270 to get her out of there. She's ok, and just needs snuggles. And a broken tooth removed some day soon. And a full time job. 

The visit from my daughter and my Mom, who came up to sit with me for my son's evening football game. Humor heals. So do hugs. Doesn't hurt that they put another win in the books.

Going to bat with the school administration. Again. Feeling that my child shouldn't be punished for a miscommunication between adults. Rules are for a reason, I know this. But, policy isn't always the best way when nobody broke a rule to begin with. Detest confrontation - yet my kids are worth it. 

The notification that came by text that my girl didn't get in to what she worked SO HARD to try out for. Feeling defeated for her, and wanting her to never give up her dreams, but so, so proud that she tried. 

Remembrance Day. Reading so many posts about babies who have been loved by mothers and fathers who never get to raise them because they didn't make it into the world. Two for her, one for her, four for that Momma over there, one for my own Mom... Heart just crushed under the weight of caring so much for those who hurt. Strangely feeling guilty for never experiencing that type of loss. Survivors guilt? What is this thing? 

Feeling a different kind of loss. The loss of a person who sits right next to you. The person who you feel is slipping away, and nothing you try to do is fixing it. It's consuming. Stressful. Terrifying. Sad. 

Then He was home. The phone in one hand, on speaker, and sprawled out on the bed as a guy who has driven too many miles would do. I went to him, buried head in his chest, received hug and proceeded to silently unravel the ropes holding my heart together. I inhaled him and then the welling up became tears and the tears became sobs. All of the sudden and unexpected, it was as if someone turned on a faucet. The kind that has more pressure behind it than you knew about and your whole shirt gets wet. His shirt got wet. 

The voice on the speakerphone just kept going and going. The tears kept coming. Silently, but physically obvious. The patting on my back intensified, and he said "Later dude, I have to call you back."  Bigger hugs, with both hands free, and an understanding face, a warm beating heart. He was home, and so was I. Nobody ever returned that phone call, but I did fall fast asleep for the first time all week. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Day in the Life

A day in MY life, to be exact...

This is just a flower

Sit down on my bed to work on an urgent project for this weekend
Check facebook for messages.
Read messages.
Make mental note to reply to a message.
Facebook makes ding ding sound
Click back to go to facebook wall to see what is going on
Read notifications list
There is one new notification, but it's nothing I'm interested in
Make note that the ding ding sound must be for new notifications
Notice there's a whole video of animated giraffes diving into a pool
Watch entire video

Procede to open up a new document
Type “2015” at the top
Feel thirsty
Grab water bottle and take a big swig.
Water bottle is empty, but I'm still thirsty

Go to dining room to refill water bottle from dispenser
Trip over rug
Pick up rug and lay it out flat again.
Realize that a whole lot of junk just flew out from under the rug

Go to the mud room for a broom
Notice the dustpan sitting in a box
No broom

Go outside to the carport where the broom was used last
Notice the cats have delivered three shrews
Step over new pile of chicken poop
Retrieve shovel from corner of carport
Scoop up shrews and walk to the ditch to toss them
Put shovel away in pump house
Notice cool spider webs in the pump house
Open the door wider to get better light
Spend ten minutes photographing spiders and webs from various angles with cell phone
Hear ding ding sound on my phone, and realize it's probably a Facebook notification
Check facebook
There's a new message
Try to type out a reply, but it takes too long
Pocket the cell phone

Head back to carport
Remember there's chicken poop, so divert route towards hose and faucet
Turn on faucet, and drag hose to carport
Nozzle doesn't work
Spend five minutes trying to figure out what is keeping the nozzle from working
Curse in German
Remove nozzle
Get pants wet because it would take too long to go turn the water off first
Spend ten minutes spraying out the carport with a thumb over the end of the hose

Haul hose back out of carport
Turn water off at faucet.
Turn water back on
Refill water buckets for the pets
Turn water off at the faucet again
Turn water back on
Rinse the tree pieces off of the swing set, because maybe someone will use it before it completely rusts through
Turn faucet back off
Put nozzle back on the hose, because why not?

Walk back to carport with sloppy wet pant legs making a slappy noise
Feet are wet, so dry off carefully when entering the house
Come in to kitchen – feel hungry
Cruise the refrigerator – nothing I want
Look in the freezer just in case – still nothing
Remember that drinking water before eating is a good idea
Go look for water bottle
Notice that the dishwasher is full of clean dishes
Empty the dishwasher
There's junk in the bottom
Clean the bottom of the dishwasher
Still hungry
Check fridge again – still nothing
Check countertops for snacks – gross
Get washcloth from drawer to wipe down counter tops
No washcloths. Or towels for that matter.
Get a paper towel instead.
Use last paper towel wiping off counter tops

Go downstairs for a new roll of paper towels
Notice that the dryer is done
Switch the laundry
Remember that there were no towels or washcloths in the kitchen
Spend the next ten minutes gathering enough towels and washcloths to constitute at least half a load
Peel my wet pants off, and throw into the washer with the towels
Run washing machine, while breaking my own rule of no clothes with towels
Take clothes to my room from the dryer
Trip over the rug
Put clothes on the bed, then go back to fix the rug
Notice that there is a lot of junk under the rug
Realize that I'm really thirsty and I have no idea where I left my water bottle and that I'm wearing no pants

Go to the bedroom to look for pants
Peel off wet socks and hang them over the edge of the laundry basket
Notice the bottom of the laundry basket is getting a bit dirty
Wipe out laundry basket with wet socks
Put on something that resembles pants

Go to the carport to look for water bottle
Spot the broom
Take the broom inside – and pick up the rug.
Sweep entire dining room
Spend five minutes looking in every box and every corner for a dustpan
Give up and sweep dirt pile up against the wall

Go to put broom away in the mud room
Hang up broom
Trip over a boot
Pick up the boot, and the fifteen cousins laying there with it
Line up all the boots
Notice the floor is really dirty
Get broom
Sweep entire mud room

Move empty boxes to carport
Notice dust pan in a box (deja vu?)
Bring dust pan in the house, get the broom, and pick up the dirt from the mud room floor
Throw the dirt and junk into the trash
Hang up dust pan
Hang up broom
Empty trash can, so the junk doesn't land back on the floor

Take trash out to garbage can in the carport
Trip over a cat
Pick up cat
Pet cat
Sit down because now three cats want love
Spend ten minutes petting cats

Go back inside
Need to go potty
Head towards the bathroom
Notice pile of laundry on my bed
Fold seven things
Bathroom break is urgent
Go potty
Notice the bathroom garbage is full
Wash hands
Refill soap dispenser
Notice the toothpaste is still missing

Go to the kids' bathroom to find toothpaste
Trip over a pile of towels
Think bad thoughts
Someone left a gift
Think more bad thoughts
Spray air freshener
Grab toothpaste

Return to my bathroom
Brush teeth
Put toothbrush away
Notice toothbrush holder is disgusting
Clean toothbrush holder
Soap dish is gross too
Clean soap dish
Hear ding ding noise on laptop

Sit down on bed, and check Facebook
There's three more messages to reply to
Start with the last one, because it only needs a yes or no
Remember how thirsty I am
Wonder if I have Adult ADD
Do a search on Adult ADD
Take a screening test
Read the results with much alarm
Feel super duper thirsty

Get up to find water bottle
Notice pile of dirt in the corner of the dining room
Smile, because I know where the broom AND the dustpan are

Go get broom & dustpan
Sweep up pile and take to the trash can
Set dustpan down
Replace garbage bag
Dustpan spills
Sweep entire kitchen
Empty dustpan
Phone rings
Lean broom in one corner, and put the empty dustpan next to the trash can
Answer phone
“Why haven't you replied to my messages? I can tell you were online”
Sorry, friend, I'll get right on it.

Head back to bedroom
Notice water bottle sitting by the dispenser
Refill water bottle
Drink a LOT of water
Realize I need to take my afternoon meds
Take afternoon meds
Read labels on meds
Take with food

Go to the cupboard in the kitchen for a protein bar
Toss wrapper in the trash
Notice dustpan in the corner
Grab dustpan, and while I'm at it, the broom & put them away

Walk back through kitchen and notice that the dishwasher is empty, but there are dirty dishes in the sink
Load dishwasher
Sinks are gross
Scrub sinks
Look for towel to dry my hands
Remember the towels in the kids' bathroom

Pick up towels that are acting as scarves for the toilet
Take to laundry room
Laundry is done (wow, that was fast!)
Switch laundry
Run the other half load of towels

Take clothes from dryer to my bedroom to fold
Realize I only folded 7 things
Finish folding first load, then start on second
Put laundry away

Need to go to the bathroom again
Notice that the trash still needs taken out
Do my business
Empty bathroom trash

Take to garbage can in the carport
Come back inside, and notice the dog needs to go out

Go back outside with the dog
Go check the mail
Pet a cat for five minutes

Take dog back in the house
Feed dog
Wonder why on earth it's after lunch time already

Sit down on bed
Open laptop
Underneath 2015, type a title
Begin to write my story
All I can come up with is “In the beginning...”
I look at it, and it feels dumb
Backspace, backspace, backspace...
Switch over to Facebook for inspiration
Remember about replying to messages
Reply to three messages
Reply to another message that I'll follow up with someone else
Compose new message to someone else
She writes back immediately.
Chat ensues

Switch back to my story while friend is chatting online
Type, “This is a story about me. It's boring. The end”

Switch back to chat, and realize friend said Goodbye and I missed it.
I type “Sorry, I was busy, have a good afternoon”

Go back to messages
One new message, reply quickly
Wonder if friends think I'm rude for being so hasty in my replies
Think about my friends
Wonder what my friends are doing right now
Smile, and laugh because they're probably doing the same exact thing

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Good Riddance

I hated 2014. I'm not sure if I hated it more or less than 2013, but I was pretty much happy to see the door slam it on the backside on its way out. 2014 was a year of getting "Unstuck". We discussed it at church, we discussed it in small groups, and I had been having my heart molded to be able to accept this way of thinking for two years prior to implementing it. However, I'm going to just say right now that getting something unstuck isn't usually pain free. Have you ever had a band-aid stuck to any part of your body? The only time I can remember pulling a band-aid off and it not feeling somewhat uncomfortable, was when it was on a finger and the thing was sloppy wet from washing my hands, so pretty much it was falling off anyway. No pain there. No effort either.

In 2014, the year of getting Unstuck, I found that all sorts of things were painful. Getting out of the sticky goo of my unhealthy attitude stung a bit. Taking my mind and body through a better eating plan sure wasn't easy, and was often downright uncomfortable. Telling people "No" sometimes hurt, and on the flip side, telling people "Yes" sometimes hurt too. All of these things were necessary.

Another painful experience was taking one more step in our marriage relationship to bring things to a place where I was me, and he was he -- instead of us being mush. I learned to choke down the meaning of the word "Codependency", and to begin to set firmer boundaries, and to love people the right way. I also decided to let God love me the way He wanted to, instead of pushing Him away and only allowing Him to love me when I felt I deserved it. That's the nice thing about love... it isn't for those who deserve it. It's for all of us who don't.

Early in the year 2014, I assisted in directing a Women's Retreat where the theme was "Get Out of the Boat". Now this theme wasn't just coincidental, believe me! My 2014 goal of getting unstuck, had begun an entire year before, when we were in the planning and developing stages of this retreat. One of the important things we discussed at that retreat was how to stop falling prey to fear. A BIG part of getting out of the boat, and to start really living, is to stop letting fear rule over our minds. Fear is basically telling God that we simply believe He can't, or He won't, fulfill His promises. We're telling everyone that our way is much better, and that His way is a lie. How selfish of me to believe that I can do things better than the one who created me??

Thankfully, the retreat went well, but unfortunately I was left to practice what I preached. (Good thing I'm not a preacher, right?) As with anyone else, getting out of the boat meant I was going to get wet more than once. Every time I looked away from the Lord, I sank. I have spent many, many hours floundering to keep my head just barely above water, trying to do things my way, trying to muscle my way through life even when I had no more energy left to move. There are times I've felt as if I'd literally leapt over the side of the boat, only to land in a sticky tar pit. Getting out of the boat and getting unstuck go together very well, but there's a fine line. You really have to watch intently where you're going, and stop looking back so much at where you've just been.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Great Lists of Goals. And Kittens.

Way back in January of 2009, I set a goal. Actually, I made a huge list of goals. 101 of them, in fact, to be completed within 1001 days. I know math is difficult for some people, so I'll just help you out and let you know that 1001 days is approximately 2 and 3/4 years. I did ok. Matter of fact, some things were quite challenging and I really impressed myself each time I crossed something off the list. However, I should have called it the "101 in 2180... or so".

As 2014 winds to a close, I find myself going back over that list again with the full intention of closing it down, and starting over. It's been SIX YEARS. Some of those goals were completed within days. Some of them, I'm still actively working on completing to this day. It's quite refreshing to write down goals, and then go back and see how far you've come. I'm going to recommend it to everyone. Now... go do it.

Wait... I'm not done here.
I am also going to recommend that you don't ever throw those lists away. Keep a copy somewhere special, so that when you're in a bad place, you can see what you're capable of doing when you put your mind, your energy and your faith into action. You can do this!

My list included things that others might consider trivial, or silly. For instance, "Adopt another pair of kittens" was listed in there somewhere. Seriously? That's not a huge challenge. I guess for me it was, because my husband DOES NOT WANT KITTENS. No sir-ee! Well, as I was going over my list today, I laughed right out loud giggled a bit when I thought back to the day that my 14 year old man-child came upon a tiny kitten abandoned in the back lot of my husband's new property at work. The man-child son of mine brought forth this tiny baby kitten, fur black as midnight, eyes big and wide like glossy saucers, shivering in the bitter cold, and despite the frigid temps, I completely melted. Then, this man-child son, he looked at us with matching glossy-saucer eyes and said, "Can we keep it??"

"Well of course we can't keep it. The Dad-man says no kittens."

Then I looked at the Dad-man, attempting with all of my might to match the eyes of both my son and the kitten, and I said, "Isn't that right, honey? No kittens?? We should probably put it right back down on the cold rocks where we found it."

*blink, blink*

There was a very pregnant pause, as my other children, who had rushed over and became instantly transfixed by this tiny ball of shivering fur gasped for air and waited for a response.

The Dad-man looked at me with that face that says you have still got a hold of my heart, and he (painfully) said, "Well NO, we can't just leave it here, it will die!"

I promised all sorts of things over the next twelve seconds. I promised the kitten would be his. I promised we would name it "Snap-on" as a way of honoring his partnership with the biggest tool company in... well, anywhere. I said we could get him/her a red collar to match my husband's daily red/black uniform. I promised to love him for ever, and to honor and obey... oh wait, that was a different time. Anyway, the kitten came home on my lap. Or someone's lap. Probably everyone's lap at some point. To make a long story short, not only did our wish for a pair of kittens come true, we were doubly blessed because 21 days to the minute after that growing "kitten" went in to heat, we became kitten parents again! Times FOUR! We are truly blessed *snicker*.

My list also included things that would be super easy for some people, but that were painfully difficult for me. Selling my car. That was a tough one. The really crazy part about it, is that I sold it, but for some reason it's back in my driveway after we bought it back and used it another year! Weird how things come back and bless you once you're willing to let them go.

It also included things that I thought would be hard, but ended up being fairly easy simply because I had written them down and followed through (I guess the hard part for me, is actually following through!) Taking a bag of items from my home to give away each month sounded very daunting. It turns out I got extra credit on that one. I emptied our home of way more than the 34 bags that were required (we're not talking grocery sacks!) of STUFF. Out grown clothes, things I didn't love anymore, things that didn't bless my home or my family. Gone! And, it felt so good to bless others and to be blessed by giving.

Notice the theme here? I've had my socks blessed off!

Even through all these blessings, the past few years have been some of the most difficult of my life. My outlook on things has changed considerably. My faith has been tested. My beliefs have been altered. My relationships with people have changed. My blogging has suffered! I can't even imagine how much more difficult it would have been without the constant reminders that someone bigger than I am, is in control of lots more than I could ever hope to be.

So as I go into a fresh new year, a year begging to be different than the past few, I am excited at the prospect of penning a new list. I want to pay more attention, to be more diligent about following through. I want to be more present, to be more HERE and less THERE. I want to listen more, I want to hug more, I want to inhale deeply the blessings that God has to offer me every day. I want to share more things, I want to be less protective of my heart. I want my family to be proud of their Mom who stands up and does the good things even when those things are difficult. I want to live and I want to love.

Go ahead and check out my Wrap Up post for my 101 goals (please, be kind...)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Duck Fan

I'm a Duck fan.

I'm also a "duck" fan, so today, it seems like a good day to show off!

First, my favorite duck to look at. She's a Welsh Harlequin, and while somewhat shy, she excels at making a racket to let everyone know when I get home. I love her little black bill and her dark eyes. She's a beauty.

 Did I mention SHOW OFF? The Blue Swedish isn't shy... We call him "Sweedy" or sometimes "Sweedy Pie" although I'd never have duck pie. Ever.

Our little Hookbill duck is having a rough few days. She is recovering from an eye injury, so naps are frequent.

The Khaki Campbell drake whose name is... wait for it... "Pants"  *grin*

Wait, how'd he get in here?
(Salmon Faverolles roo, free to a good home!)

I love the blue eyes on this guy. I should have named him Frank Sinatra, but I didn't even know the color of his eyes for the first few weeks. He was running the other way. Now he just naps right in my path.

Here's Frank Sinatra standing up. He's a Penciled Runner Duck, or in this case, Drake.

Ok folks, this is getting awkward. It's about time to move along...

Have a great day!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Back to School

Looks like Autumn is just around the corner. A bright pink sunrise greeted me this morning as I dropped my girls off at school. It was such a beautiful sight, and it improved my mood so much, that it made my husband ask what was wrong with me. 

Speaking of seasons, I'll throw in the obligatory "First Day of School" pictures... (minus the one kid who went off to school before I even got out of bed. Yes, I'm that bad) 

4th & 9th Grade

New High School!!

This one thinks school is "Epic"!

A 7th grader... growing up too fast for my taste :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Emergency Incubator

Long before I ever borrowed a real incubator from my wonderful friend over at Castle Delight Seramas, I had to come up with something to help hatch abandoned eggs. I'm beginning to realize that in a pinch, I do a fairly good job of just going with my gut. There are three major things an egg needs to hatch:
1. Heat
2. Humidity
3. Patience
Here is a method I've used to hatch eggs on more than on occasion that are already pipped or zipped. This means that the chick has already decided it's time to start hatching, but for whatever reason, the Momma hen abandons the nest. 

In tonight's episode of "Where's My Mom", it turns out that Momma hen had a chick hatch two days ago, and like all mothers of toddlers, she went running after it, got tired of running around like a chicken with its... (oh, nevermind), so she sat down on her chick until it fell asleep. And darn it to HECK if a mother of a toddler is going to wake up her sleeping baby to go do anything else! Like dishes. I still don't want to wake up my kids by doing the dishes. 
I got off track. 
So I'm going to show you the cast of characters. It's stuff I have in my home already - that just happened to do the trick. 

1. A nifty re-useable (or disposable, if you sin like that) food container. NOT your favorite Tupperware. Please make sure it's clean. 

2. A heating pad. This is what mine looks like. It has four settings. 1:Warm, 2:Oh that's just perfect, 3:Hey, that's burning, and 4:OUCH, what the heck?

 3. A Meat Thermometer. This sounds distasteful, but it's not to measure the temperature of the chicken, but just the temperature of the air. Now most people who hatch eggs regularly already have a thermometer and hygrometer to keep track of air temp and humidity levels. Well... I'm clearly not "most" people. 

 4. Bounty Paper Towels. They can be something else, I just put bounty because that's what I have a lot of. Matter of fact paper napkins work just fine. That's what I used today. 

Now here's where it gets tricky. You find an egg laying in a nest. It has a pip in it, or a hole where the chick has poked it's little tooth through, and there is no Mother in sight. (Or in the case of mine, she was in plain view, but she was sitting on top of a sleeping toddler and giving me the look of death) I touched the egg, and it was coooold. Now normally I would just slip the egg back under the Mom and wish them luck. But this egg was really cold, and I'm pretty sure that Mom-hen wasn't in any rush to just sit still for another day while her toddler ran laps around the coop. I carefully candled the egg, and saw absolutely no signs of life. I knew it was a wiggly bunch of feet and beak just the night before, so I headed for the house and got my well-organized emergency supplies out of the Poultry Emergency Cabinet. 
Yeah right, I don't even have a hygrometer, I certainly don't have an emergency cabinet. So I was warming the egg in my hands at the kitchen table while hollering to the kids: GET A CONTAINER!
Well, I didn't say that last part. Out loud anyway. 

So the kids fetched me a container, that I'm hoping wasn't previously used for chicken, and some paper napkins, because that's all they could find. I sent another for the heating pad, and told them to fire it up onto the "Hey, that's burning" level while I humidified the container. That's the easy part. Get a paper towel (or napkin) wet, and just stick it in there. Take a box knife and cut an X shape into the top of the lid and poke the meat thermometer into the container, taking care to not have it touching anything in particular, like the hole in the egg, for example. Also feel free to make the cut larger than you need, because it should NOT be completely air tight.  

Within five minutes this is what my emergency incubator looked like. I had no clue of what the humidity was, and just a general idea of the temp. Good enough for me. 

While I was waiting for the container to heat up inside, I did what many chicken people tell you NOT to do. I investigated further. I figured that since the chick was most likely already dead, that I didn't have much to lose. I used a toothpick to chip away a very small amount of shell so I could get a look inside. I poked the beak a few times, and after about six pokes (gentle ones, of course!) and a little sweet talking, the blessed thing moved. I gave it a little more breathing room, and moistened the membrane a bit (it was pretty dried out from sitting in the open air) and then tucked it into the make-shift mini incubator.  
I ended up placing a hot pad under the container to keep the bottom from getting too hot since I had to up it to "OUCH" level for the inside air to get high enough. Then I just kept the heating pad wrapped under and over the container and checked the temp like a maniac for the next couple hours to make sure it was around 100 degrees. If it got too hot, I'd just open the lid briefly. If it got too cold, I'd wrap it a bit tighter. 

This is what surprised us a few short hours later.
Very weak, and very quiet. 

And this! This is what its naughty sibling looks like - the one who hogs all the attention from their Mom 

I'm hoping they look a lot alike in the very near future... although the realist in me will simply be enjoying the minutes or hours that I have been gifted to be a part of this tiny life.

All in all, this emergency incubator kit would only run you about $31.00. Fifteen for the heating pad, ten for the spiffy meat thermometer, a dollar for some sort of paper products and then another five bucks for a container of lunch meat when it's on sale. 

Happy Hatching!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Here a Chick, There a Chick

My chick likes chicks. 

It's the busy time of year around these parts. 
Just ask one of my broody hens. She's been really, really busy. Busy, just sitting there. Must be rough having food and drink delivered to you by a well-meaning 9 year old boy. Not sure why you have to be so mean to him, but whatever...

I've also been really busy trying to keep the chickens out of the humongous garden. I'm glad I don't have to weed it. Every few days a crew of guys come out with their wide brimmed hats and their hoes (the garden implement, people!) and they get to work. In case you're a new reader to this blog - we lease out a big chunk of our property to an Organic Farmer who lives just across the river. He plants, he weeds, we help eat. And apparently so do our chickens. Which is why we're are about to take drastic measures in the form of bright orange safety fencing to keep them out.

But I'd never keep my girl out. She looks pretty standing there by the spinach, don't ya think?

I've also spent plenty of time trying to keep this naughty goat behind that there fence. She mocks me. See that face? She's laughing. I hate that.

hahahahaha! - you think you can keep me in?

Took a little road trip to pick up some Lavender Orpington Hatching eggs yesterday. Something funny happened... I came home with some hatching eggs that already had feathers and legs! Sometimes that just happens, I can't explain it. Thankfully some of the eggs are still in shells, so I'll be incubating those in the very near future. I am excited to help out some of my friends who have been wanting to add Lavenders to their breeding flock. Lavenders are sometimes confused with Blue Orpingtons, which are an entirely. different story. 

The difference between Lavender and Blue, is that Lavender breed true to color. They don't throw splash, or black or anything else that you would get from a Blue Orpington. I'm excited to watch them grow up and since Orpingtons are some of my favorites, I'm thrilled to have more than one color in my yard.

If you enjoy following my blog, feel free to like my Facebook page
- I post lots more useless stuff over there!