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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In the Bag

"What in the world is in that BAG? What you got in that BAG?"
(He is a Rap Artist for those of you who may not know AND...  you are welcome to those of you that know the song and now have it stuck in your head.)

Do you remember when you were a little kid and you got to attend a birthday party of one of your friends/classmates and they had goody bags for you? Those were the best.

This past weekend I got a goody bag for being in a wedding party. It looks a lot like this:
Actually, it looks exactly like this. This is THE goody bag!

Hmmmn, what do we have here?

A pair of scented, gripper socks,

A set of smell-good-stuff in one of my favorite scents,

and a pretty necklace to wear with my Bride's Matron's dress and then whenever I please.

Thanks, Bride. Thanks, Bride's Mama.

***** CHICKEN ***** and/or ***** EGG ***** UPDATE *****

Egg Count: 0 (probably - It was dark and raining when I got home.)
Hen Count: 2 (hopefully - like I said T'was a dark and stormy night)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Don't Count Your Chickens...

Egg Count

Dwight: 19 (in one day!)
Lauren: 0 (all time)

Current Hen Count

Dwight: 26
Lauren: 2

Starting Hen Count

Dwight: 30 something
Lauren: 3

Traumatic Experiences

Dwight: 1
Lauren: at least 5

Monday, October 25, 2010

Never Enough

Occasionally, at this time of the afternoon I really want
But, in order to get
out of

I need three of


Or a combination of


It is almost too easy when I have enough


Until I go grocery shopping at

and I have to put


to be able to use a cart.

Those darn

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Aaron: Chicken Wrangler

"Yeah. What's up now?!"  were the words Aaron used to taunt Nina after getting her back into the coop.

I would say our average time to catch a chicken used to be about 20 minutes. We have been out of practice since the construction of the impenetrable fortress.

Remember that good idea I had to take Charlie up to the coop with me? It backfired yesterday morning. I was inside the fence with the ladies refreshing the food and water. They were a little more active than they usually are and I guess that intrigued Charlie. He was sniffing around the outside of the fence and got pretty excited, started running the perimeter and making noises that dogs make when they are excited. Nina got startled and went in the coop. Not all together a bad idea. 

The day we bought bigger posts and concrete mix we also bought eye hooks, latches and bungee cords so that I could close my access door from the inside. That bag went missing. 

Nina is in the coop. I am in the yard. Charlie is outside. The door is open.

Don't go outside. Don't go outside. "Don't go outside."

"Oh!" Nina thinks. "Go outside. All right. It is a little scary in here right now."

Charlie is on her six. She is running. She is flying. Charlie is running. I am screaming. "Charlie! No! No, Charlie!"

Nina somehow made it to safety - wherever that was. Charlie got distracted or disappointed, I am not sure which. Either way I got him in the house and started looking and listening for Nina.

Aaron and I walked around the front yard, the fence line, down the road... Nothing. I went to the other side of the fence and walked around my neighbor's yard. Nothing.

We walk back up the driveway and there she is. Just like she was that Friday afternoon. Calm, collected. We followed her as she made her way back to the coop, back to her friend. Now all we had to do was get her inside.

It might be 10 o'clock at this point and we had somewhere to be at 11:00. So instead of pushing her farther into the underbrush, we retreat. About 30 minutes later we check on her again. She is hanging out under the coop, talking with Queen Isabella. There was a lot of conversation between those two. Another unsuccessful chase and we head out.

We get back around 2:30 and try again, this time with Eric's help. We have Aaron with his homemade chicken catcher apparatus, Eric with the fishing net and me surrounded by testosterone wielding  poles and nets. This approach was too aggressive. Again, we retreat.

Another hour goes by and Nina is back to the hen house probably scheming. It's two on one and the bird has the home field advantage. I don't think the briers and prickers bother her. She relies on them for protection. She made a mistake though. She couldn't go back the way she came - I was there. She couldn't go right or left - the underbrush was too thick. She ran out the front and thwap! Aaron got the net around her. Scooped her up and told her with gritted teeth, "Stop. Stop it. Calm down."

I unlatched the door. She walked out of the net and into the yard. I got in the coop with a drill and a latch. We shouldn't have this problem again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


If anyone was curious why the posts weren't as frequent as before there are two reasons:

1. That time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. - I was being utilized. It has been a nice change of pace. 

2. Aaron has been hogging the home computer. He has been working on what we usually refer to as a "Slide show." However, I was thinking about this on my way home yesterday and decided that it isn't technically a slide show since there are not any slides involved. It isn't a Power Point presentation either. I have decided he has been working on a DDA - a digital display of affection.

Being a Myers, he ate this up. He said if he were to speak about the presentation he would be sure to refer to it as a DDA. And I think people would laugh. The Myers kind of people would anyway. And they would think, "Oh that Aaron, he is so clever and funny."

But he's not!                                                                  It's his wife!  

OK. OK. He has his moments.
This just wasn't one of them.

House Guests

This past weekend my dad came from the great state of NC to visit with us. I made sure there were fresh washcloths and towels available, clean sheets on the guest bed, and enough groceries to tie him over before everybody else was ready for breakfast.  For the most part my dad is a pretty self sufficient guest.

This is probably my favorite picture of the two of us. I still wish I could fit there. It would look pretty ridiculous if I tried that now. We are about the same height and sadly I think I outweigh him now. (That is something we both need to work on. The man cannot keep weight on. And I... well, I cannot keep off the couch.)

Myles on the other hand... Myles is my dog-in-law and he is neeeeeeeeeeeeedy. He knows where the food is, knows where the treats are but still insists on having someone get them for him. Even if it isn't time. My relationship with Myles has been a rocky one. He has single-pawedly (with no help from Charlie whatsoever) destroyed a comforter, a tablecloth, a brand new futon mattress, a wind chime still hanging from a tree, a fiber optic Christmas tree and small glass ornaments. Oh yeah, and he once jumped through one of the screen windows into the sunroom.

I know what you are thinking - TACKY! A futon and a fiber optic Christmas tree?

Recently though, Myles has been much better behaved when we are not home to immediately service his needs. And I reward him with praise and affection. He is always a little nervous though - separation anxiety I think. If he isn't busy eating to cope with his emotions, he is pawing at us. Weaving around us like a cat, except less content. If a limb is unreachable for him to paw at, he paws at the door frame, the couch, the cabinet with the dog treats...

Charlie was a very gracious host Tuesday night and shared his toys with Myles. I can't say Loofah Doug was too thrilled about the situation but he kept a smile on his face the whole time.
Please note the number of limbs on the hedgehog.

Don't let this image fool you. He is not as innocent as he seems.
This picture is right on, see how he looks worried?

Wait a minute... Charlie - what is that hanging from your mouth?


So, all of the photographic evidence points to Charlie at this point, but I assure you, he did not behead Loofah Doug by himself. He just took it upon himself to finish the field dressing.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I wrangled some trees, shrubs, briars and brush this weekend trying to let some more light into the coop and the yard. Our property looks better, but the yard of the coop is still pretty shaded. My friend, Emily, (with whom I had lunch with today at Mediterranean Delight) has a friend who keeps chickens and that friend said I should have eggs by now.

D'white brought in his first full dozen and showed them off this morning. They are beautiful.  Tans, browns, greens, whites... all slightly different in size. His flock of 25 or so are producing 7 eggs a day right now. I'm a little jealous, but mostly, I am concerned I am doing something wrong.

In a few minutes I am going to swing by Tractor Supply and look for a solar powered light that I can install in the hen house. Scratch that. I just looked them up to see how much it would cost and saw that they are only available online. So much for almost instant gratification.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Playing Hooky

Have you ever watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off? It happens to be one of my favorite movies.

Do you remember the part where he talks about doing something worthwhile with your day off, otherwise you might as well be at school... or in my case, work? That wasn't really an issue Friday. My day didn't compare to his, but I never felt like I would be better off at work.

My dilemma on my unscheduled days off is usually trying to be convincing enough that my boss will believe me, but not so convincing that I actually end up feeling like crap. Power of suggestion is, well, powerful. Instead of calling with a weakened, stuffy voice, I sent a text message. Something along the lines of "Out today. Not feeling good" the part he didn't get - but maybe he read into was "enough to deal with you." I'll worry about that Monday. 

I hate lying and I'm not good at it. But I just can't seem to leave it at "I won't be in." I think I feel too guilty about it that I have to provide a reason.

I was so excited about not going to work yesterday that I couldn't sleep in - at first. After I showered and ate breakfast, Charlie and I hunkered down on the couch for about an hour. 

Before I went out to lunch - my first real outing of the day - I ran up to check on my birds. Apparently, they weren't feeling very motivated either. It appeared as though they were just getting up. I didn't see them in their yard so I knocked on the access door and they came walking out slowly, stopping to stretch their wings. From this behavior I have decided they aren't getting enough light. It is too late to move the coop to a sunnier area now that the posts are permanent fixtures.  Decisions, decisions.

Oh! By the way, the decision to take Charlie up to the coop with me in the evenings has proved to be a good one. Thursday night we ran off a critter!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

F. U. N. E. X.?

D'white told me on Monday that he got his first 2 eggs this weekend. He said they were kind of small, but that the first ones usually are. He also informed me of a family rule that I might adopt for the Myers Mini Farm. If an egg is just too small, you have to throw it over the house.

Sometimes I feel the need to throw things. However, I realize it is socially unacceptable in most situations and therefore maintain self control. Tantrums may not be pretty, but on occasion, I think they might just be necessary.

For now, the only eggs I have are in the fridge and they came from the store. I am actually a little surprised that I am not overly anxious to collect fresh eggs. That doesn't mean I won't hoot, holler, skip and jump when I get one, it just means I have more patience than I thought.

Did you get it yet? F. U. N. E. X.? I had to ask the sender of the text message to decode for me. My mind really started to wander.

    FU        NE     X?
(eff yoo) (en ee) (ex)
  have you any eggs?

He didn't come up with it himself. If his kids hadn't told him, he wouldn't have known either.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DollyWood - more fun than work!

Melissa, Alan, Haley, and Zac took me to Dollywood.
It was my first time there.
But, NOT my last.

Haley to a little girl and her dad - "You have to be 42 inches or 48 to go on this"
The Dad - "Well, she isn't 48."
Little Girl - "I'm 6!" 

Do you see this? This never happens. I tricked him.
(Nice camera work, Melis!) 

"Mommy, you never let us have cookies."

"Aunt Lauren, put your camera away."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Columbus Day

I called Aaron this morning while I was driving to the gym to tell him "Happy Columbus Day!". He laughed. He said that was the first time anybody has ever told him that. I'm pretty sure that is the first time I have ever said it.

Things I remember about Columbus Day:
  • Nina
  • Pinta
  • Santa Maria
  • Queen of Spain
  • World is round
  • Poop deck
I think the first 5 are pretty self-explanatory.
In celebration of Columbus Day, Mrs.Geddes, (my second grade teacher) had drawn the outline of a ship on the chalkboard. She taught us names of the different parts of the ship like the mast and the hull. She also taught us about the poop deck. In second grade, that was both shocking and extremely funny.  After the lesson we went outside with sidewalk chalk. We were instructed as groups to draw the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. I guarantee each rendering had a poop deck if nothing else.

I would like to add "Eggs" to the list of things I remember.

Maybe the ladies aren't producing eggs yet because they don't have names. I have heard that dairy cows with names are more productive than their nameless counterparts. Whether it is due to the name itself or the way a named cow is treated vs an unnamed cow... that is another discussion. So, from now on the Cinnamon Queen with tail feathers shall be named Isabella, and the hen without, Nina.

There. I expect 2 eggs when I get home.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Great Protector

This is our dog.

His name is Charlie.
Sometimes we call him Charlie.
A lot of the time we call him other things.
Look at his keen sense of smell in action.
(He might actually be enjoying a breeze.)

I am trying to make it an evening routine to take Charlie up to the coop with me. He isn't aggressive toward the ladies and they don't seem to mind his presence too much.
I hope that his scent will be a deterrent to predators.
It has driven me away a time or two.
(Just kidding, Buddy.
I'll be home soon.)

-----------------CAUTION: Rambling-------------

Aaron must have put his collar on him this day*. I always make sure the "T" 's are right side up. Not so much for luck or superstition, more of a tick. 

*I used to think it was unusual, but it actually makes some sense... Aaron or I take Charlie's collar off before going to bed. It originally started to put him in stealth mode because his tags were so noisy. Now it is part of our daily routine:
Collar comes off.
Charlie receives (more) much needed affection.
He wags.
 Things wind down for the night. 
In the a.m...
  "Charlie, time to get dressed!"
He wags.
And does a final down dog.
The collar goes back on.
He wags.
We're all ready to face the day.