My family's journey down the road less traveled....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Little Boys are Grody...Part II

Boy Oopma is a strange creature.  May I present my first piece of evidence.

As if camo boy wasn't odd enough, he's currently learning about Vikings and has taken to wearing a "coyote" fur vest, coon skin cap and seen going A-Viking.  He's turned their playset into a viking longship and was recently kicked off  by his mutinous crew members. I'll say it again, the kid's weird!!  It seems too, that he's embracing the viking culture in other ways.  Hollywood romanticizes the Middle Ages, but I'm betting money those people stank.  My little guy sure does!!

This is after his shower.  He then proceeded to wash them off in the sink.  Grody.

signed, Deborah the Red......Viking Warrior

Chicken Tractor...

The new and improved Hen's Pen chicken tractor is completed!!  For those of you not familiar with the term, it does not mean a hopped up John Deere sized for a chicken's a temporary, portable chicken shelter.

Two years ago I ventured into the realm of raising chickens and per usual I jumped in blindfolded with both feet.   I bought these cute, fuzzy, little chicks.  I had a brooder set up and what more would I need.  They are so little, I'll have plenty of time to think about the next step.  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, whew!!  Them little, fuzzy suckers grew fast and within a few weeks were using their little feathered wings to escape the brooder and poop all over my computer room.  Not cool man.  The weather was warm enough so I constructed this pathetically sad,  PVC, 4x4 frame and used zip ties to cover it with chicken wire. 

While it served it's purpose, it didn't come without a few headaches.  Namely wind.  Anytime the wind blew over 5mph the little hennys relived the Wizard of Oz and would go flying in their tractor across the yard!!
Guess they know what lies over the rainbow.    

Last year's hatchlings were treated to a much larger brooder and had the luxury of staying in the garage until they were big enough to introduce to the existing flock.  Sadly, they were all eaten over the course of the summer my damn varmints.  Think I'll join Yosemite Sam in the varmint hater's club.  This year's chicks are a different story however. 

Mr. Awesome© and I designed a right nifty tractor for the babies this year.  It's created from 5 separate panels connected by hinges that will allow us to fold it flat for storage when the little ones are ready for the big move to The Poop Coop.  The hardware cloth is painstakingly stapled to the inside and it is completely predator proof.  We even boxed in one end to provide shelter from the wind and rain.  Seeing as it hasn't stopped raining here in Ohio for the past 4 weeks, it was more than necessary. 

Presenting....The Hen's Pen

I know it's crazy to say the chicks were smiling at us when we moved them into their new digs....but really they were!!!

Big grin!!

Tidings from the land of smiling chickens.....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Unlucky Day...

Sunday's are supposed to be a day of rest.  A day spent in worship and to recharge our internal batteries for the upcoming work week.
Nooooo, not for me. This past Sunday was a most unlucky and stressful day...

It begins with an unruly 8 year old boy, refusing to get his sad, sorry, stayed up too late the night before watching movies, butt outta bed.  Needless to say he fiddle-farted (one of my Mom's amazing words) around and dawdled any chance he could.  I found him in his bedroom just sitting on the bed looking at his clothes like he was trying to use Jedi mind tricks to get them on.  The Force is NOT strong with this one.  Needless to say we were late getting out the door and seeing as we needed to arrive at church a whole half-hour earlier than usual for the kids to have a final rehearsal of their dance number, I was a little more stressed than normal.
Sad too, I was hoping to stop for an eye-opening cappuccino.

I barreled onto the freeway and was grateful traffic was flowing around 70 mile per hour.   Or was until I saw the two state troopers sitting in the median.  I, like everyone else backed my speed down to 65 and kept on going.  I watched in my rear view mirror and didn't see either car pull out with lights flashing so I figured I was safe.  After all there were other cars who were cruising faster then me when we drove by.   My luck had just run out.  About a mile down the road I see the cruisers (notice I used the plural) approaching fast in my lane so I get over into the slow lane.  So did the troopers, then the enevitable happened, they turned on their lights.

This was a new experience for me.  In all my 18 years of driving, I have only been pulled over once.  7 years ago and I had back-up in the form of Mr. Awesome and 2 friends in the car with me.  This time, I was alone, save the Oompas and what experience did they have talking their way out of a ticket??  Thankfully, the trooper was very kind and informed me that I didn't have a  front license plate.  After a little looking around we found it on the floor of the car and I was sent on my way with a warning to get it on the front bumper by the end of the day.  Whew!!  I felt like a hardened criminal with both of the cruisers sitting behind me, lights flashing and all the officer's shiny patent leather gleaming in the morning sun.  I was sure I'd be calling my in-laws to come bail me outta jail!!

We made it to church only 10 minutes late.  Hallelujah!!  Worst part of the day over!!

Yeah, not quite.

Kids were surly and nasty the entire drive home after church.  Mother Nature was definitely PMSing and throwing 30 mile an hour winds at us.  My house was a mess and my plans of working in the garden gone.  So, I did the grown-up thing and took a nap!!  Mr. Awesome woke me with promises of finishing the new chicken tractor and fixing that pesky license plate issue so I willingly hopped in the car and ran into town to the hardware store to pick up supplies.  But not before we were pulled over, again!!
This time it was a wet behind the ears, rookie cop, serving and protecting here in Podunk, OH.  He informed us, again, that there was no front license plate and after explaining that I had already been warned about it  and that we were on a mission to the store to pick up parts to remedy the situation, we set off again with another warning and comment that it just wasn't my lucky day.

Thanks Officer, ya think so??

....a tale of warning from your law-breaking friend

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Spring is the season for birth and new growth and well, friskiness!!  At the camp where I work as a cook, the majority of the staff are college-aged kids.  Well, I guess technically, they're adults but to me in my advanced stage of life they're kids.  We recently had a new hire appear on the scene, a 24 year old Army reserve kid who has the girls all a twitter!  Love, or more appropriately, Lust is in the air.  The past two weeks I have been witness to all kinds of eyelash batting, giggling and have been forced to watch otherwise strong, independent girls act all......girlie.  Blech!!

I'll be so happy when the new kid's novelty wears off and the hormonal fog that's hovering dissipates.  I'm gagging on estrogen and pheromones.  I know I acted like that when I was a mere pup and in the courting stages with Mr. Awesome©.  I can say with authority that I am thankful that part of my life is behind me.  Yes, it was exciting during the "getting to know me" stage but as I watch these girls preen and fluff their feathers I am reminded of how utterly exhausting it was too.  I enjoy the level of comfort Mr. Awesome© and I have attained.  Over the past 16 years I've stopped wearing makeup everyday and putting on a skirt requires an event.  Mr. Awesome© hasn't worn cologne in years except for a handful of special occasions and the only flowers I get anymore are on Mother's Day in the form potted plants.  But I still wouldn't change it or have any desire to relive those days.  

Case and point:
I came home from work the other night and was recounting a few of their antics to Mr. Awesome© while we both typed away at our computers and were supervising the kids' evening chores and were generally busy taking care of the necessary tasks at hand.    I looked down at the desk to find that while we were talking, he had pulled all the red Spree candies from the package he was eating and set them out for me....he knows they are my favorite.  Sure am glad I twittered and fluffed my feathers!  I guess stand watching the girls do the same, after all, they're just looking for their own Mr. Awesome©.

.....twittering and preening, Deborah 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Site worth checking out...

I stumbled across as product called Taste Book a few months back.  Through their website you can create and professionally print your own cookbook.  As an amateur chef, this appeals to me...greatly!  I have a sad, old, taped together, 3-ring binder bursting at the seams with old cookbook pages, recipes printed from the web, and a few of Mom's old handwritten index cards.  All crumpled and stained with various ingredients from years of use and abuse.  Every once and again, I'll sit down and weed out the recipes that didn't quite make muster and attempt to reorganize the recipes back into their proper categories.  It lasts a few months then chaos returns!!

I plan on taking the next few months and compiling all my family's favorite recipes into my own Taste Book and then having 1 or 2 printed.  I love the idea that I can have multiple copies of the same recipes to pass on to each of the Oompas.  I remember my sister and I fighting it out for certain recipe cards from my mother's old tin recipe box.  While the professionally bound and printed book won't have the added sentimental value of  handwritten notes and copious stains, it will convey the love and dedication I put into each recipe and into my family.  I'm a big believer in the concept that actions speak louder than words and even though I shout it from the rooftops that I love my family, this helps them to see that as well. My dedication to preparing healthy, delicious food is just another way I can show them I care. 

Here is my book in progress...I hope you enjoy!!

.....good eats and good night.

12 days and counting...

For the first time in my life I have chosen to participate in season of fasting.  I'm not of a faith that partakes in the rites and traditions of a typical Lent fast.  No meat on Friday, no way!!!  However, as my very wise pastor said last week, "Fasting brings out the inner-man".  I believe fasting rids one's mind and spirit of the trappings and obstacles that get between you and God.   I think that any willing sacrifice of something from your life in order to draw your focus back to God is a good thing.  Following the rules and procedures of a traditional Catholic Lent out of compulsion defeats the purpose and negates any blessing you could receive.  Whether you fast 4 or 40 days doesn't matter, it's how you use the time that matters.  Personally, I like the symbolism of a 40 day fast. Call is what you will, it's working for me. 

My fast is far from the traditional no meat on Fridays that my Mom, a childhood Catholic church attendee, had to follow.  I chose to fast social media outlets.  Facebook, blogs and forums that I realized I was wasting countless hours perusing to no end.  I found myself reading blog post after blog post authored my people I didn't know who were, in my eyes, leading way more interesting lives than I was.  I started getting upset that they had things and were going places and doing things that I wasn't.  My conversations with Mr. Awesome© were peppered with," well so-and-so just got 2 dairy goats and a brand new barn and now I want that".  Despite the fact that so-and-so's hubby was a building contractor and was able to recycle the lumber to build the barn for next to nothing and the goats were part of a swap deal.  I couldn't or wouldn't see that.  All I saw was someone had the life I wanted and I was mad.  I was coveting.  Covet (verb)-to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others.  I think God clearly stated that coveting was bad.  Um, help!!

Hello, My name is Deborah and I'm an addict...

I've been Facebook, blog and forum free since Ash Wednesday on March 9th.   I refrained from posting here until I had myself in check because I didn't want to substitute my addiction to the other sites with this one.  I'll admit that it was harder that I thought it would be.  I never in a million years thought I would crave the updates I got or excitement from reading other folk's doings.  I came very close to cheating a few times too!! 

I do have plans to return to the social network of those site after Easter but I know I'll use them in moderation.  I won't be posting updates as frequently as before and I will be happy for the lady on the forum who is finally able to build the barn of her dreams and stock it with the creature of her choice.  I'll see the happy faces in vacation photos instead of the misinterpreted boasting I was perceiving when my I viewed my step-cousin's niece's daughter's trip to Hawaii.   Not that I have a step-cousin with a niece with a daughter. 

Over the last month I've used my newly found free time to read the Bible, pray, spend more one-on-one with the Oompa-Loompas and Mr. Awesome©.  I've cooked more from scratch and found it wasn't as time consuming as it had been in the past.  I made my hobbies more of a priority and set up a permanent sewing nook.  I even took an afternoon to clean out the shed...yuck!  But most importantly, I spent time reflecting on how amazing my life is and how blessed I am to have such wonderful people around me.  We have friends who would wipe our butts and once even offered to do so (it's a long story and involved  Mr. Awesome© being incapacitated), we have family who loves us just as we are and prays for us to excel and become prosperous in this world.  We have beautiful, healthy, talented children who know God, respect their parents and elders and are on the right path for a bright future.  Doesn't get much better than that... (hopefully) inspiring message from my newly free and easy spirit