Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pick Ax Point Of View

It started a few months ago.  Burn out.  Mommy  burn out.  I woke up just done.  Cooked.  Fried.  It was a glorious Saturday morning and the desire to sleep in was stronger than the black coffee I would need to wake up and get motivated.  I could here the sharp voices of my four older kids in the front room bickering and fighting.  The first words out of my mouth to my husband were....."Do you remember that show Dirty Jobs?  Well I would rather shovel pig poop on a rainy day than to make breakfast for that bunch."  Gary laughed.  But I wasn't joking.  Since then on those special kind of days I think to myself.... I would rather...... fill in the blank, clean rendered fat out of a grease trap... etc. 

Well I have hit that wall again.  Moving to the farm has been fun.  For Gary.  Me, well I am watching from the sidelines with a 20 something pounder on my hip pulling my hair and spraying me with various mashed maliable foods, breaking my back and sciatic nerve, fighting the running list in my head that gets bigger and four wild children who refuse to wear shoes and shirts. 

Today I got my chance after several meltdowns on my end that resulted in some yelling and dramatic driving and a few frustrated tears. 

Gary was busy with a pick ax and I was watching the sun go down with each ray that sunk behind the mountains dinner was growing into more of an idea than reality.  The chickens were pecking and being their usually entertaining selves.  I asked for help so I could just get dinner going.  (this baby is a full time job, she finds things only a microscope could find and then finds a way to choke on them, full eyes need to be on her at all times, and I don't trust the kids for this job when I am distracted.)  I got lost, watching the chickens peck around the grape vines things I couldn't see, hoping they were eating lots of bugs.  When Gary saw this he stopped swinging his pick ax and said in a sarcastic tone that was too much for me to handle... "hey you want a job? why don't you come over here and dig this trench!"  Well I didn't really feel like digging a trench but I didn't feel like contending with dinner sans baby on my hip either so I chose the trench.  Plus  I got enough of my mom's southern piss and vinegar to not let that one slide.  So I traded the 20 pound baby for a 5 pound pick ax... hello duh??  He thought I was joking.  I told him to get to it and the kids needed to be in bed early as they had acted up in school this morning.  Have fun.... toodle loo, get busy.  Well in a few minutes he came out laughing at me, bringing me a half a beer hoping to call it quits, on his end, made a joke that said he didn't have all night..... blah blah blah.  I took the beer and ignored him, sweat dripping from my brow, heart rate up... no wander he has lost 10 pounds.  I felt good to accomplish something, to be alone, to have a job where you could just not think of solutions to everyone's problems.   No tattling, no fighting and a beer... hello!  He came out again 10 minutes later with a sobbing baby her lips covered in white sugar and a pacifier that was obviously not working.  He said he got the point and making dinner was harder.  I made him say sorry took my angry baby and proceeded to make dinner one handed.  I managed to get melons cut, stew reheated, bread buttered salads chopped and baby food ground.  At dinner time Gary led the kids in a round of "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow!"  He told the kids they need to help me more and they all promised emphatically that they wouldn't leave their dishes at the table for me to clear.  Well it is 10 pm, dishes are piled and nobody cleared the table.  I am going to have a bowl of Apple Jacks and go to bed so that I can wake up at 4:30 with Mr. Sun and take care of the chickens and get the kitchen clean, spend time in prayer and if I am lucky make breakfast for me all before getting five kids fed and ready for summer school.  A pick ax is looking mighty fine right about now.   

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Well it's been a while, I must admit.  We moved finally but not 100 percent.  Gopher count is well over 30 now and Gary has earned somewhat a reputation in the hood and is now a hired hand, a gopher assassin of sorts with his sidekick, Mason.  He has done well earning 5 bucks a gopher, we are up to 20 bucks or so. 

We have 16 laying chickens, and 6 more on the way tomorrow.  At first  I didn't think this was a lot, but after tonight I beg to differ.

It was my job to round up the five week old chicks.  We let them free range in our sunken backyard in the daytime and then round them up in the evening.  This little game happens every night, and will continue until Gary gets the permenant coop built.  Hopefully on Tuesday, he better hurry because like I stated earlier, I have six little polish crested black and white bantans on the way.  Oh you know what I am talking, it is a straight run too.  hahahahha  I have learned the language of chicken lingo.  Basically I ordered some very cute, extra small black chickens with a poofy white top of feathers on their heads.  Very adorable.  These will be our fun chickens as we are still not yet sure of the fate of the others.  Lets just say I doubt the others will die of natural causes. 

We also have a four year old  tortoise on the way Monday!  Super excited about that and we added a corn snake to the mix tonight.  Possibly bunnies in the future and another dog? :)

Well back to the point.  Gary is gone and it was up to me to do the nightly chicken round up.  I tried herding them with a stick, calling, bribing nothing worked.  Pizza in the oven, rounding chickens couldn't take more than 15 minutes.... right??   WRONG.  Talk about a work out.  I got 8 in the little coop and couldn't manage the other 8.  I am running around with a stick the big dog is barking wildly and the chihuahua was trying to get my back but the chickens at just five weeks were as big as her.  The door to our house is left open and since they are running around our sunken backyard three or four got in the house, where upon a few kids start to scream, mainly Abby.  One rouge chicken runs into- and I mean literally slams into her closet door, which is a mirror.   This sends her into a fit of laughter and this wakes the baby.  Now I am sweating, running up and down the hill trying to catch chickens and shut the dog up who thinks this is all a game.  I am also covered in chicken germs so I dare not touch my daughter.  Mason is holding her bouncing her very hard up and down, screaming at me something is wrong with her.  Ya, she is tired and you all woke her up.  Anyway...I remember the pizza and become super frustrated.  I now stop what I am doing to take a moment to  yell at the kids for waking Serenity.  I have one chicken in my hands and start in on my lecture when suddenly another chicken flies up and lands on my shoulder, out of nowhere!!!  then craps all over my shirt just a few daring inches from my nose!  I stand shocked.  I didn't know they could fly and what would posses this crazy chick to land on me out of the blue.  The kids all start laughing and cover their mouths in disgust and the giant green chicken poo running down the front of my shirt.  Then suddenly another chicken flies up on me and then another takes the daring leap.  So I am standing there dumb founded to think that these chickens I had been chasing for 20 minutes would have flown up on me had I just stood still.   NOW the kids are rolling in hysterics and start chanting "Chicken lady"  I walk very slowly as not to disturb this symbiotic human/chicken elevator union.  Then two chickens start fighting and get stuck in my hair, I do believe one was on top of my head by the time it was all said and done!  It was all very strange.  Regardless I put them away, the pizza was burnt, we ate it anyway, and a few hours later the baby was back to sleep.  Rough night home on the range.

So in conclusion... 16 chickens are a lot of chickens.  I have an idea !  how bout we get 6 more!!  splendid~

I will have to blog about chicken ortho tomorrow.  We do have one down with a broken leg.