Sunday, December 30, 2012


Sorry I've been gone. The madness of preparing for the season kept me more than busy! But now, after family visits, good food, child-filled excitement, a Texas white Christmas, 2 forced days off due to illness and a long talk with an old friend, I'm feeling peace returning to my daily life. The snow is melted, the chickens are venturing out of the warm garden shed they've been huddled in all week, and the house is nearly back to normal. With the returned peace of what we've made our daily rhythms, I feel positive change in the air. It could be coming from a warm December sun intent on drying the mud and teasing my Oregon-trained senses into believing that spring is coming, or positive change could truly be on the horizon. Whatever the cause, I am going to fully enjoy this day, doing my best to not get lost in the chores that come with departing guests, but rather smile and dance until the house sparkles in anticipation of the next thing! The new year is coming!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

.right now.

When I get stressed at the state of the world, I pause and take an honest look at my life. My days are spent cleaning up a lot of poop and dirt, but those responsible for the messes are better off for being part of my household. My family can afford and chooses to eat fresh eggs, broccoli, chai tea, and quinoa. We have jobs in fields that fulfill our souls. Singalongs around the piano are normal. Board games, crafts and dance parties fill our time rather than prime time tv shows. We do watch the occasional holiday or classic film and a little mickey mouse clubhouse in the name learning while the kid is awake. And we catchup on pop culture after childhood sleep has arrived, if we have anything left to keep ourselves awake, that is.

I really do live a charmed life. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a small child to dance and singalong to 1st half of Sound of Music.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Cheer

You hear these stories all the time around the holidays. Stories of giving and compassion. I don't know about you, but I always hope that something I do or say at any point of the year has these sort of repercussions while half wondering if these tales are even true. Most humans don't randomly help each other without expecting something, so when we hear of people doing just that it's inspiring. I never dreamt that I would be at the receiving end of the moving holiday story. Today, I suddenly found myself in exactly this spot.

I'm getting ready or another weekend trip for work. It's a 250 mile drive each way, requiring me to be gone at least 2 nights. This is tough on the household, but the bills require it. The day before leaving, I typically get caught up on house work, laundry, clean the coop and the litter box, walk the dog, make sure the fridge is stocked and library materials have been borrowed or renewed. This time it also requires an oil change before the long drive.

Funds are tight. The cost of car repairs sneaks up on those of us living paycheck to paycheck. An oil change can be budgeted for. 3 new tires cannot.

So there we are, Emagene and I, early on Tuesday morning waiting for the lovely mechanics to change the oil and rotate the tires. Being in a friendly bunch, we chatted with a middle-aged woman also waiting on her car. We shared holiday craft ideas, silly stories about my chickens and her horses, talked about the differences between the pudget sound and the panhandle of Oklahoma, the silliness that brings communities together and a variety of other pleasantries.

The customer service rep came over and whispered to me that I desperately need 3 tires. They are separating, showing the wires and beyond bald. I whisper to him that I need to drive to Tulsa the next day and won't have money until after the gig is finished. He mentions looking to see if he has some used ones and disappears.

I didn't think anything of it, but the lady had gotten up while the mechanic and I were chatting about tires. They both left the room. I suddenly knew what was happening. As I was texting my husband about our plans to get me to work safely (involving epoxy and super glue) this lady (who's name i never got) was purchasing our tires. The mechanic came back to see if I had time to wait since the tires were at a different location and told me I was not to worry about the money. I asked what he meant (fully knowing what had just happened) and he simply said: just don't worry about it.

With that, I teared up, texted Pete back and tried, in vain, to find a way to appropriately thank the lady who clearly wanted to remain anonymous.

Thank you, un-named, retired preschool teacher, who had to sell her miniature horse when her husband's job relocated them to north Dallas. May you have a blessed season and coming year!

May you, reader of this blog, find a way to bless others not because this is the season of giving, but simply from a place of love. And may those blessing flow back to you one day.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Addition to the family

It would appear that we add family members once a year, roughly. More accurately, new members join us of their own accord once a year. Artemis found us along a river bank just before we got married, Emagene decided to come along the following spring, the next year that darn rat thought the dog door was for his personal use (thank you Ms Owl for encouraging Rat to move on!), we bought chickens this spring and now, nine months, later this guy decided to move in.

Mr. Kitty.

He has appointed himself Emagene's cat. Approximately 9 months old, or younger. Slightly skittish when outside, totally comfortable in the house. He and the chickens aren't quite sure of each other yet but I've got a great 'sheepdog' to keep that problem under control.

a glimpse of the 'farm animals'
Perhaps we should have called him Oliver. The dog has had a few 'Georgette' moments already. (those need a reference see here.)

.week in photos.

This is more like a week and a half in photos. Thanksgiving equals days off from keeping track of how long a week is...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


So winter suddenly showed up. Thanks, buddy, for the warning! It's been freezing at night which requires a trip to the feed store to stock up mealworms, sunflower seeds and scratch. Or, we could just make our own.

The compost bin is filled with mealworms. Since we use an old trash bin riddled with holes for our compost, scooting it a few inches very couple of days allows a handful of worms to be feasted upon by the girls. They get hopeful everytime I go near the bin. Its rather cute, and frustrating, to be stirring the muck with four birds staring at your ankles!

We always have sunflower seeds in the cupboard of per food. I found a 2 pound bag of black sunflower seeds next to the outdoor birdseed at Albertson's for a couple bucks and give those to the girls every morning as a treat. Lately they've been trying to fly up to the bird feeder to get more!

As for scratch, well I happened across a homemade recipe at Fresh Eggs Daily who's ingredients I happened to have around the house.* So I mixed up a batch and the girls LOVE it!! It's been an hour and they keep looking for that last hopeful bit!

So what did I put in the scratch? Store bought oatmeal, pearl barley, sunflower seeds, raisins, and a multi-grain hot cereal mix no one in the family likes made of flax, soy, wheat bran and wheat germ.

I only give the girls a handful in the morning to warm them up an another handful (about2/3 - 3/4 of a cup) just before bed to help keep them warm on these cold nights.


* More on the benefits of scratch and the original Fresh Eggs Daily recipe here

Thursday, November 22, 2012

.week in photos.

I need to take some pics of the country roads I drive up to Tulsa. But I'm usually on a time crunch and don't want to pull over. If only pictures taken from a moving car were safe to capture or looked descent. Next trip I will plan accordingly.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Birthday Wish

As you all know, my life away from Texas has been visited with death and disease, yet in the midst of that we choose to celebrate life and living to the fullest. Today is my birthday. The greatest gift you can give me is go live and in so doing celebrate the life of another. Be the random act of kindness in a stranger's day. Smell the flowers. Say kind words to yourself and to your children. Believe the words you say. Now go! Live! Raise your beverage high and toast to life! Lechium!

Friday, November 16, 2012

.week in photos.

I spent some time in Tulsa working this week. This means there is a small amount of photos this week for a few simple reasons. 1) if I'm taking photos at work then I'm not working, 2) if I took any photos they would become the property of the company that hired my union (this week that would be Disney) and 3) it would be a violation of my employment contract. With that said here's a small look at life away from work.