About Me

Coming Soon: http://underthebedgallery.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

In case you missed it...

I'm over here now:


writing less about chickens.

Let me know what you think. Over there :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

About Eleanore

I am sorry for the abrupt halt in communication about my birds, or now actually, bird.
I was losing steam writing about them since things had really settled down and I didn't feel it was all that entertaining.
And then I toyed with the idea of spicing things up a little bit.
And then Eleanore died.
And then I was a little bit devastated.
If you can be a little bit devastated.
But Eleanore dying wasn't part of my plan to spice things up.
It just happened that way.

So, if you would like to know what happened that morning, please go here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bye Bye Birdy

I laid Eleanore to rest this morning in the woods behind the coop.

Kathy is dealing with this loss as a free range bird today. I don't think she will like to be alone, so as of Monday she is up for adoption to a good home.

The Myers Mini Farm is back to a one dog household.

Thanks for following.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Burning Question

Some of the 4 of you might be wondering...
Do you, like, even have chickens anymore?

I do. Nothing really exciting is going on, though.

I feel a  blog transition coming on. Get excited. Or just be ho hum. It is up to you.

I'll get excited though.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I think we need more arrows.

Did you know that there are stores that will buy gold?
Did you know that there are places that sell pizza?
Did you know these things before or after you saw the person dancing with the yellow arrow?

I knew before.

Still, I think we could use more arrows.

I think it would really clear things up.

You know, just to be sure.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

In or Out

A few mornings ago I decided to make some eggs over medium for breakfast. One of the yolks broke upon entry to the pan. In a true moment of zen, I calmly started to scramble the eggs in the pan. (Sometimes when I want a fried egg, I want a fried egg, and a broken yolk can ruin a fair portion of my day. I am a little high strung on occasion.)

The yolks and the whites aren't exactly becoming homogeneous since I am mixing with a spatula and not the usual whisk or fork, yet amazingly I am embracing this two color combination and just being careful that everything cooks and isn't slimy. 

On a regular scrambled egg basis I whisk a couple of eggs in a bowl with a fork or small whisk. I whisk the heck out of those eggs, pour them into the pan and then move around with a spatula. (Not a scraper spatula, a flipper spatula - just to be clear).

Action shot - just in case you had trouble imagining my scrambled egg prep.
Well, ladies and gentleman... things are about to change here. My fried egg faux pas was a total game changer. I couldn't believe how much better the texture was. And I didn't even have a problem in the first place. From now on I will be an In Pan Scrambler. Unless I want cheesy scrambled eggs. That is a different ball game.

Where do you scramble? In or out?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Once Upon a Jog

Things I notice when I am out on foot.

Extreme Big Wheeling - quite a parking job!

What for/four? (Get it?)

One of my favorite houses on the route. (I think it might be for sale...)

My training partner.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Climate Controlled Cucumbers

I like to eat cucumbers better than I like to eat zucchini. 
From the looks of my "garden" you would not be able to deduce that.
Cucumber plants
Zucchini Plants

The seeds were planted the same day in the same soil. 
The pictures taken from roughly the same height.
I am/was under the impression that it can get too hot to sow seeds, so I thought I would see what kind of growing conditions our office offered.

 It didn't take long for these to sprout up.
 They are still growing strong in the small pot. Hopefully the transplant into the garden goes well. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Things I should remember...

but usually don't:

1. I enjoy running. I really do. Especially in the morning before the rest of the world is out disturbing the wildlife and fog. (I accidentally just typed God - Sleep in why don't ya! You are disturbing God! Oops) This also includes remembering how I feel for the rest of the day and my improved coping abilities. 

2. I should stop reading the article when the article ends and not keep reading the opinions of people that seemingly have nothing better to do than comment on an article or comment on a comment on an article. What exactly are you trying to prove in this informal publishing medium with bad grammar?

3. Where I park my car. Yep, still struggling with that one.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dear Chick-Fil-A

Dear Chick-Fil-A,

I love your milkshakes but that is not why I am writing.

I would like to address the misspellings on your billboards. I realize that it is a far fetch that if cows could indeed spell that they would spell correctly, however, I think it sets a poor example. A lot of people read your signs - well done on that front - but sadly, not everybody that reads your signs knows that the spelling is incorrect and therefore will probably repeat it.

It appears that Chick-Fil-A is involved in several school programs. Why not continue to project the company's support for education and spell the messages from the cows properly?

Thank you for your time. I will gladly accept any coupons at my home address.


Lauren Myers

P.S. Nice work on the Spicy Chicken too!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Every morning while I am still in bed coaching myself to wiggle my toes and stretch my fingers, Aaron is in the living room subjecting himself to the morning news and weather. (Frankly, I don't think Twitter feeds or Facebook posts are news, but I won't get into that.) The particular station that Aaron watches has a weatherman that could easily be a vampire (old school, not the modern Twilight kind) or a double for Count Dracula given the right cape. The particular station that my alarm is set to features a younger meteorologist with a weather photo gallery with a title that rhymes.

Aaron's main meteorologist tends to report the temperatures for the day as higher/hotter or lower/cooler than NORMAL. 
Normal: conforming to the standard or the common type.

My man on the radio (who is also on TV) reports the temperature fluctuations as deviations from the AVERAGE.
Average: a quantity, rating, or the like that represents or approximates an arithmetic mean.

Aaron corrects Count Dracula every time. Loudly. I don't know why he doesn't just change the channel. But I am glad he doesn't because it serves as my auxillary alarm so I know when it is really time to get up.

While filling out a form for a doctor's appointment the other day Aaron had to fill in the "Race/Ethnicity" blank. We have all had to do this. Technicially though, aren't we all the same race - human? So, ok, that one is a gimme since we aren't filling out a form for the veterinarian. Ethnicity - White. Done. Wait! If you are white are you white hispanic or white non-hispanic? Or if you prefer I can say Caucasion. I heard a comedian ask where Caucasia was becuase he wanted to visit the motherland. Makes sense to me.
This is where I am stumped. If you are from Puerto Rico, you're Puerto Rican. If you are from Africa, you are African. If you are from Europe, you are European. You see where I am going? According to a form I'm white. But where am I from? Wherever it is, it doesn't get much sun!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What to do? What to do?

"The barrio, Carbon Beach. What to do, what to do?"

This line from one of my favorite movies (Spanglish) keeps running through my head. It has been for about a month. Never mind the barrio or Carbon Beach. Just pretty much What. To. Do. ?

Things, life in general, are going pretty darn good. I have had many a time when they weren't. So, while I am thankful for this calm, uneventful part of my life, I am also itching for change.

Sometimes I feel like things get a little stagnant and I need to shake them up. When this happens I decide I am going to make drastic external changes like dying my hair or getting it cut. Drastic usually amounts to nobody can tell the difference but I feel like I went caaraaazy.

Right now though, I can pin exactly what it is I want to change, what it is I NEED to change. I have been and am taking the appropriate steps to make this change happen (this is not about baby making, weight loss, a new house/car etc...), but while I wait I still feel like things are the same. Because, well, they are.

But I want change!

So what am I doing? Thinking about rearranging the furniture.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The days of May (and the 3rd of June)

I collected 19 eggs in May and remembered to bring 17 of them to the house! The other two I set in the grass while I watered some plants and forgot about them for 2 days. Oops.

In other news, Aaron and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary yesterday. This past year was one of my favorites as husband and wife in our bwessed awangement.

I didn't make this. I found it on Etsy and it already had our initials. One day I might buy it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

just words. not about birds

I tend to think of myself as a crafty person, but I am wrong. I love attending craft fairs and looking at crafty products on Etsy, but once I realize that one of these crafts is going to take more than an hour I give up. I also used to think of my self as a Do It Myself-er. Guess what - times they are a changing. I think I turned the corner of "Can't we just pay someone to do this?" after Aaron and I tiled the sunroom floor (with a lot of help from my dad).

2 years ago I bought this tiny purple sewing machine from Big Lots because I was trying to be nice to myself and also encourge myself to be craftier. It is still in the box. About 2 months ago I bought some fabric to recover the hideous throw pillows that came with our new furniture. I got it washed. There are only 2 more steps. 1. Cut to size. 2. Sew. And yet I tolerate the ugliness. But you know what, they aren't so noticeable when they are supporting my head and I am looking at the TV.

Now I have this other project that I think should be done after the roofers and gutterers do what they do - deck repair. I found this Restore Deck product at Home Depot and it looks way better, as in less money, to me than installing a new deck regardless of whose labor it is. Even though it doesn't look all that complicated, I am dreading it already.

Amazingly, I think I could qualify as one of those people with too much time on their hands. I just don't have anything to show for it. I don't feel like I have too much time. But I rarely feel like I have too little. Which is nice. Sometimes I feel guilty about this. Sometimes it is about the cleanliness of the house, sometimes the state of the weeds in the yard, sometimes about less fortunate people and being generous and volunteering.

I don't know what else to say. So, that's all I have to say about that.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Aluminum Pecker

It's not what you think! Unless of course you were imagining a woodpecker trying to get some goodies from our aluminum siding...

It is SO loud.

For some reason, when I hear a tree being pecked upon, I think "Ooh a woodpecker! I wonder what tree it is in..." and the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming.

But when I hear the front of my house being pecked upon, I think "Ugh! Woodpecker! I wonder if it will fly and stay away if I throw something at it..." and my nerves are frayed and my feet are stomping.

Next month when the roofers are roofing, it probably won't be an issue.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

12 Years Ago Today

12 years ago today I graduated from Polk County High School. Class of 2000, baby!

Over the past 12 years I have:
  • held 7 jobs
  • lost 2 family pets
  • got a family pet of my own
  • graduated from college
  • had 4 traffic violations
  • got married
  • attended 8 weddings, 4 as a bridesmaid
  • gained 20 lbs
  • completed 2 half marathons, 6 sprint triathlons, and 1 duathlon
  • attempted to start a farm within the city limits
  • lived in 4 different towns/cities
  • vacationed out of the country to Switzerland

In the last 12 days I planted a garden (or some semblance of one anyway).

and made some progress on my "before" picture.

Today is also my friend Sarah's birthday. Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Buddy and Bunnies

Ooh - it's Meghan's birthday today! Happy Birthday, Meghan!  (You remember Meghan, she is the one that told me about Rabbit Rabbit).

Speaking of Rabbit Rabbit, my rabbit den has been abandoned. A couple of days after Flopsy ran off into the thick of loriope, Mopsy and Peter must have decided to go look for him or hang out in Mr. MacGregor's garden.

One day though, one of the babies was hanging around outside the den, between the fence and the yard and Charlie got a whiff of him/her. Baby bunny didn't know what to do, so I thought I would help. Instead of accepting the safety of my hands, bunny ran through the fence a couple of feet in to the unprotected area of Charlie's yard. Charlie was very intrigued and followed quickly, swatting out a front paw and in "whack-a-mole" style pounded the bunny.

Bunny screamed. I panicked. Charlie let go. Bunny ran back toward the den.

I made a few more unsuccessful attempts to corral baby bunny away from big dog. Once I had some luck and was able to picky bunny up, sighed with relief and Plop! Bunny down! And stunned. And not moving. Oh geez.

I reach for bunny again and he's on his feet. I slalom around the trash cans and try to scoop him out from under the small edge of siding he is using for cover. We do this dance for a couple of minutes.

Finally, baby bunny runs across the driveway up through a flower bed and past shed #1 to safety.

The irony here is: now that the babies are grown they are fair game for "Charlie, get that bunny!" (If he ever actually catches one and then does what dogs do to rabbits, I couldn't handle it. I think he just likes the chase. At least, that is what I am choosing to believe.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dear Mrs. Rabbitt

Dear Mrs. Rabbitt,

I am sorry I picked up your child and assumed that they would feel comfortable enough in my hands not to want to flee. My intent was only to check on your babies and convey to them how I would like to keep them safe. If it is any consolation, Flopsy ran like the dickens and knew to hide in the tallest grass, the thickest of the daylillies and the deepest darkest loriope.

In anticipation of Flopsy's return I have left out some vegetable scraps near the den. I feel confident that Flopsy will be a survivor. I am not as worried about him/her as I am Mopsy and Peter. I can't begin to imagine how they are feeling.

Sincerest apologies,


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Judgement(al) Day

Last week I was at the grocery store in the check out lane with a couple of customers ahead of me. I got the impression that the cashier was one of those people that was overly friendly. You know, one of those people that tries to create a deep and meaningful bond for the five minutes of interaction the two of you might have. (I actually appreciate this behavior more than being totally ignored, although it can be a little uncomfortable.)

When it was time for my groceries to cross the scanner I recieved a boisterous "How are you today?"
-Good thanks.
"What have you been up to?"
-Oh, you know. Working.
"Oh! Where do you work."
-In Oak Ridge.
"Really?! What is the most fascinating thing you did today?"
-Well, I choked on my own spit.
"Oh. Wha..?"
The gentleman bagging my groceries is in hysterics.
- Yeah. I figure if that is the worst part of my day, it can't be too bad.

The man asks if he can help me out to my car. I usually go for it when they ask thinking they probably want a break from the inside or the overly chatty cashier, but for some reason I turn him down. Maybe to save face - even though I wasn't really embarrassed. Perplexed. I was perplexed. Why would that be my answer to a question of fascination? Especially after the judgements I had passed on my cashier about being socially awkward.

Hello, Pot. I'm Kettle.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Not so many words

This isn't the best picture of the Cinnamon Queens, but I wanted to show evidence of Eleanore's improving comb. She is the one on the right. I swear every time she grows in a nice new tail feather Kathy yanks it out.

Charlie watching over the rabbit den totally ignoring his pig ear. Usually pig ears don't get ignored.

The rabbit den.

 Can you see the bunnies? If you find the darkest part of the picture you can make out some gray-ness.
 Peonies - finally!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A little about April

There was so much going on in April I didn't get an accurate count of the egg production. Helping Eleanore get over her illness was priority. And then of course Charlie discovered bunnies...

I did, however, witness something on Sunday that I haven't seen my chickens do before - dusting. They were kicking and scratching the dirt then rolling around in it with puffed up feathers. It was pretty entertaining to watch.

Monday, April 30, 2012


Charlie found something in his yard very intriguing Friday evening. He was nosing around in the flower bed with more excitement than usual and it caught my attention. I watched him for a little bit and didn't approach until I saw him trying to put something in his mouth. Then I intervened.

I saw these little gray bodies wiggling around. I picked up 2 of them before thinking about if their mother would have an issue with that. 2 of these little things fit in one hand. They reminded me of tiny hippopotamus with their wide hips, sleek gray bodies and round ears. They are too big to be mouse or mole babies and not enough tail. They're bunnies!

This is what they look like, but this isn't my photo.

One of the games we play with Charlie centers around rabbits. It goes a lot like this:

"Charlie, Get the bunny!"
"Charlie, Where's the bunny?"
Bwuff bwuff pant.
"Get that bunny, Charlie"
Squeeling, Barking, Running from door to door.
"Are you gonna get it? Are you gonna get that bunny?"
Bark bark bark step step step
Open the door and "Charlie, you get me that bunny!!!"

Then Charlie tears out of the door and up to the backyard full speed ahead. Usually the chase ends when said bunny enters the woods and we call him back, praising him for protecting our yard.

So now we have a rabbit den in Charlie's yard. He has been keeping watch over it - as close as he can get anyway. I have it fenced off so he won't get into it, but so mama can hopefully get back in and feed her babies. Yesterday he was laying in front of the fence just looking, waiting and occasionaly barking, as if trying to get them to come out and play. At least, that is what I am going with. Playing.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Unexpected

When I first thought about getting chickens I thought about how it would change my routine, my budget, my egg consumption...

I expected I would make trips to the coop on a (mostly) daily basis.
I expected I would spend more money on them than I do on eggs. At least to get started. The ROI is probably in my favor at this point.
I expected to eat eggs everyday.

What I didn't expect was how tales of factory chickens would bother me.

There are some children that don't know where their food comes from before it gets to the grocery store. If I had to guess, I'd say they probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about it either. Why would they? As far as they know there is food available there now, there always has been, and there always will be.

Even though I know there is a lot less magic and a lot more work involved to food, I never really thought about the living conditions of the animals that turn into dinner.

Ideally (I think) you would want to treat your livestock the best you can to get the best out of them. I once read an article about pigs going to a sort of "day spa" the day before slaughter. The meat from a stressed out pig isn't as desirable as the meat from a content one.

Recently I have stumbled upon some discussions about chickens. I hear how their feathers are plucked so more chickens can fit into a smaller space. Also, without feathers, they don't get overheated being in such close proximity - how thoughtful. Their beaks are ground they won't injure a neighboring bird.
Another idea is to take a chicken and sever the frontal cortex to stand the bird upright making it brain dead, but more space saving. The bird will be tube fed and tube pottied to keep things clean. Oh and since it is in the efficient vertical position there is no need for it to have feet. Actually it would be more necessary for it not to have feet.

I'm not the type of person to picket outside of a factory, but I am the kind of person that gets easily attached to critters. Now that I've gotten to know my ladies and see their personalities, I am more sensitive to these types of things. I don't think I will stop eating chicken or eggs, but I will be more appreciative and let Kathy and Eleanore know that they should be too.

***Eleanore Update***
Eleanore's comb is almost completely upright again. No more Free Willy hairstyle for her!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kids in the yard

A few weeks ago a coworker's father's goats had babies. One goat had triplets, one goat birthed twins, and the other popped just one out.

I would love (I think) to have a couple of goats. Although, I don't know how my neighbors would feel about it. Nevermind what the city thinks!  Aaron insists if we are to get goats they are to be of the fainting kind.

Instead of 4-legged kids in our yard, we have had a few visits recently from the 2-legged kind.

Ally Wally (Allyson) didn't get in on any sprinkler action with Zac and Haley but she likes to visit the chickens. In fact, I missed her just last night because I was at the grocery store. Stupid grocery store.

Ok -Pity party over. These kids are pretty cute too. And you don't have to watch your step for droppings!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Some more-a Flora


Sage maybe?
Roses and Virginia Creeper



A pile of limbs and overgrowth - the intention: a BEFORE shot.
You would think I really like Iris given how many populate our property but really, I think they look awkward. I will be pretty excited when the peonies open and the dahlias bloom.

Anyway... Sunday is Earth Day so make a point and punch a litterbug! Then politely remind them that everyday should be earth day and you'll be watching them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Little Runaway

Run Run Run Run Runaway Do do doo do do doo doo do do doo do...

I wasn't walking in the rain, but the day I gave Eleanore a bath, Kathy got out. It was my fault. I was aware that I left the door open, I just didn't think anything of it. Kathy and I passed in the coop, I to her yard, she to mine. Oops.

She wasn't really thrilled when I took Eleanore away in the crate to begin with so at this point she was still probably wondering just where her buddy went.

Later in the afternoon I returned Eleanore to the coop. Kathy was still wandering around in close proximity. As dusk approached I figured she would want to go ahead and tuck herself in for the night so I headed back up the hill. She allowed me to get close to her, but not catchable close. Aaron had armed himself with the fishing net and stood guard a few yards behind. Eleanore was already comfortable in her nest so I decided to see what happened if I just left the door open again. Fortunately Eleanore stayed put while Kathy kind of weaved her way closer. I held still with a hand on the door just in case E was feeling frisky. I took a step back and Kathy approached with caution, assessed the situation, and hopped in.

I had no idea how excited that would make me until it happened. I was elated. Giddy with laughter and literally jumping with joy.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Update on Eleanore

Eleanore seems to be doing better. She has a little more sping in her step. More color in her comb. More volume to her voice. Despite all the alliteration, its all true. She doesn't appear as lethargic as she once did. Her comb is starting to darken up again and she is bock-bock-boppin' right along with Kathy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Makeshift Greenhouse

I bought some seeds for my vegetable garden the other day. Cucumbers, Spinach, Squash and Zucchini. I don't think those need to be capitalized, but I like it, makes 'em look stately. It isn't even a sentence.  However, in my mind, those four words actually make a complete thought. Scary, huh?

Anyway, back to it. I bought some seeds.

Then I planted 4 of each (except for the spinach) in a recycled egg carton with recycled soil. (According to my cousin Russ, a soil science major, dirt is what you track in your house, soil is what you plant in.)

Next, I lightly watered my homemade seed starters and put them in a greenhouse. Ok, so it isn't really a greenhouse, its a zipper lock storage bag. But guess what?

 It's working!

Then I remembered I had snap peas to plant. The directions for snap peas say to start in a paper towel. At least, I think that is what they said last year so I went with it.

Then of course I put them folded up into their damp paper towel in another greenhouse.

Is anyone concerned about the spinach? How do you say that anyway? I feel like I am too hard with the "ch" - like I am condemning it. SpinATCH!. Or is it more of a garage sound. You know, like spinajjj? I think I will keep condemning it.    

Oh right, an explanation for why I didn't plant it yet: the package said wait until fall. Feel better?

How about now?