Monthly Archives: July 2012

~ Pea Brains ~

We sat watching the Chickens, my munchkins and I, as they gobbled up the scraps we fed them this morning.  Tomorrow is our last day as Chicken-sitters, and we are actually pretty sad about it.

It was a beautiful morning; The sun was shining, but we were cool under the shade of the mature trees.  The chickens were clucking quietly, except for RFH (Rooster from Hell) who felt the need to CockleDoodleDo whenever the hens weren’t preening for him.

And my munchkins were getting philosophical.

“Mom? How big are chicken’s brains?”

“I don’t know, love, but judging from their heads, probably the size of a walnut or a large pea.”

“Can we call them ‘pea-brains’?”

“If your feeling especially mean, sure.”

“I wonder what they call us? In chicken language, I mean.”

At which point the RFH Cockledoodledoooed, with an expression on his face that told us whatever he is calling us is especially mean, too.

Varmint then shared with us that she doesn’t like us calling him the RFH.  It doesn’t sit well with her.  So we changed his name to something less insulting.  Not a lot, but a little less insulting:

Samuel MacPoop.

Samuel MacPoop, the Especially Mean Rooster.

And we named one of the Hens “Einstein”, because she was the only one in the coop who figured out how to break into a cocoa-puff.  We were pretty darn impressed with her and praised her and encouraged the others to emulate her.

Yessir, we sure will miss the entertainment of Chicken-sitting.  We’ve gotten used to hanging out with those silly creatures every morning. We’ve come to love the philosophical questions their existence raise.

But between you and me, I don’t think the chickens give a damn.

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~ Mama’s Choice ~

I was weeding out in the front yard today.  We have woods in front, and we like the natural look.  But every now and again, I go all ‘Mommy Dearest’ on it and start yanking out weeds with a ferociousness worthy of any wire-hanger scene.

Yanking out weeds in the woods.

It’s a little anal, I admit.

It’s also too big a job to realistically complete, so I try to focus on the very edge by the street and the driveway.  I’ve got English ivy and hostas and fern growing there which are quite lovely, but there is also an extremely invasive asian crabgrass that chokes out everything.  I hate that stuff.  And none of the wildlife eat it…it has got no benefits I can see, except perhaps making O2, and I’m not even sure about that.

Now, if you recall, my right knee is in the crapper.  It’s worthless.  Arthritis has settled in fairly badly under my kneecap.  For those of you who have never had arthritis, please believe me when I say having it under your knee cap is like having glass shards rubbed up and down your leg when you attempt to bend it.

So when I’m weeding, I don’t bend from the knees.  I bend from the hip.  This, of course, makes my bum stick out.  I’m the classic bum-waving gardener.

And now that I’ve set the stage for you, here’s what happened today:  I was out by the road, weeding with my bum proudly waving in the air.  I was wearing Bermuda length jeans shorts that are loose enough in the rear end to be able to bend comfortably for long periods of time.  This means, unfortunately, that they are also prime wedgie makers.

I heard a car approaching, but didn’t straighten fast enough, so I was stuck with the choice of staying head down, with my bum saluting him, or straightening and having to either sport the mother of all wedgies or be seen ‘picking’ that mother of all wedgies out from the nether regions.

This, my friends, was a true no-win situation.

I won’t tell you what I chose…..

….but I will tell you that I got a honk out of it.


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~ Critter Vs The Rooster ~

We are taking care of chickens this week.  For a friend. A friend who thinks we are responsible and trustworthy.  A friend who thinks enough of my children to invite us into this wonderfully fowl world of hers.

So we gather eggs.  We change water.  We spread calcium pellets.  We scatter feed.

We watch out for the resident black snakes who are known to show up from time to time.

And we avoid the rooster.

The Rooster.

THE Rooster.

Let me tell you something, my critter is not a calm child.  He is a bundle of energy, full of impulse and joy.

Roosters, apparently, do not appreciate these qualities in a human caretaker.

We had finished up the work and egg gathering portion of our visit this morning, and were embarking on our talking-to-the-hens portion, when Critter, in his usual exuberant fashion, bounded from the door of the barn to the coop.  The Rooster, who was coming in the exact opposite direction, took umbrage to this and attacked Critter’s calf.

There was horrible squawking.  There was gut-wrenching crying.  There was blood.

Fortunately, My Captain had come with us this morning, and hightailed Critter to our car and it’s very-oft used first-aid kit.  Critter’s wound had to be well cleaned because Rooster claws are full of, well, CRAP.  Nasty, bacteria-ridden chicken crap.

Varmint and I stayed at the coop and calmed all the occupants down, with a watchful eye on The Rooster From Hell, otherwise known as RFH.   Frankly, it was already business as usual to them.  Even the RFH, who simply strutted and cocked around like “That’s right!  And there’s more where THAT came from!”

Critter eventually stopped crying and asked me in the most pitiful voice I’ve ever heard him use if we could boil the eggs we gathered this morning so he could eat them for lunch.

“That would make me feel a lot better, Mom.  It would serve him right, too.”

I guess the lesson here is that revenge isn’t best served cold.  It’s best served Hard Boiled.

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~ Habenero Of My Eye ~

My Varmint has always been a Spice Girl.  Since she was a toddler, she’s loved spicy hot foods.  She adds ridiculous amounts of plain old black pepper to food that she finds bland, unless she has access to red-hot pepper seed flakes.  Then she piles those on.

Most kids eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in their packed lunches.  Not Varmint.  She likes Cheddar Cheese and jalapeno Slices with mustard on Whole Grain Bread.

Most people find jalapeno Cheddar Cheese to be more than flavorful.

Not Varmint.

She has to have Habanero Cheddar Cheese.  Thank goodness we can find it easily.

Critter, is the Apple of My Eye.   Varmint,  the Habanero.

My Spice Girl.

My Hot Petootie.

My Red Hot Chili Pepper.


And I sure do love that kid.

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~ Degrees Kelvin ~

I have sunshades for my car.  You know, the kind that is rectangular, has a reflective silver side, and a cheesy Hawaiian flower side?  They really do work.  You put them up in your windshield before you leave your car parked in a 3000 degree Kelvin asphalt parking lot, and they keep your auto at a cool and breezy 2000 degree Kelvin.

I don’t use mine as often as I should.  And it isn’t because I enjoy having the epidermis of the back of my thighs seared to my leather seats.  It isn’t because I enjoy the scent of cooked flesh instead of my mango/tango car scent.  It’s because, even though I do actually understand the definition of Kelvin, I don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept of how in tarnation you refold a Sunshade.

I just can’t wrap my brain around it.

And it’s embarrassing, I tell you!

Have you ever ineffectively wrestled with something unwieldy like that in the compact front seat of an auto while children snicker in the seat behind you?  Have you ever gone to whack those kids upside the head with that sunshade as recompense, only to inadvertently smack yourself with it, sending your kids into a fresh peal of laughter?

Well, I’m not saying I HAVE, but if theoretically speaking, I HAD, it would be an injustice, I tell you.

What’s my point?

I’ll be wearing long pants the rest of the summer, thank you.

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