funny story

Chick has chickens until nature strikes

Moving to a rural community, my husband and I decided to attend a local Chicken Swap and imagine my surprise when I heard, “Hey Lady! Have you ever held a baby rooster?”

I knew this was a place where if you had an extra rooster or you needed or wanted a goat, you could find one.

The kid said if we took the rooster and the hen that we could borrow his crate for a week. As they fell asleep in my arms, I gazed at my husband and $30.00 later, we were carrying them to the truck.

On the way home, we were hungry so we stopped for fried chicken. I felt so guilty. We nervously laughed as we carried the fried “cousins” in the front seat while the 3 month old chicks were passengers in the back.

Over lunch, we concluded our need for a small coop. Back to the “Swap” we went to get the $300.00 coop for up to 6 chickens. That would be plenty of room, or so we thought.

My husband tells his fellow workers of our new additions to which one man tells him, “that rooster’s gonna’ kill that chick! You need more than one chick!” He calls me and says we better get a few more chicks, so I called to do just that.

It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and “the chicken lady” says, “I’ll just pop ’em in your backyard.” I’m fine with that and my husband will be home to help me, so I’m not worried. “And I’m throwing one in for free!” (How nice of her, I thought!)

That evening in the rain, we chased them all from the woods into our newly cramped coop. (By the way, our “free”chick, named “JudEE”, has a hunchback. She’s no different but she does squawk and walk a bit sideways.) I’ve never been more soaked then I was after that little adventure.

Springtime came along and baby chicks were for sale at the local hardware store. I couldn’t resist.
We had to buy in quantities of 6! I then had to buy a lamp and well, they couldn’t be outside! The hubby sacrificed his bathroom and they were soon flying and pooping everywhere! I do mean everywhere, so I bought 6 more. It just made sense, to me. The more the merrier.

So, we built a coop for all 24 chickens! When I say “we”, I mean my loving husband aka domestic associate! That is love. He never said “no”. He loves my love of animals and he doesn’t even like eggs! Thank God, my neighbors do!

And, in time, I let them all out to roam the property or “free range. It was like a movie with all of these chickens of many colors out in the open. The trees were offering a glimpse of green. Ahhhh, I was in heaven. I took pictures and posted them everywhere!

Then, I started counting. Stupid chicken hawks took out 2 of our chicks. The following day, I came across two more limp bodies in the forest. It broke my heart. I dug graves for them and made little crosses to mark the spot. I sobbed while burying them.

A few days later all of the remaining chicks went to the gravesite and took their dirt baths. It was surreal and sad. And this was a daily ritual for days after that. It wasn’t until a week or so later that I learned we’d had a grave robber! They were gone. I didn’t dig the hole deep enough, apparently.

Interestingly enough, they didn’t discuss any of this “National Geographic” reality of nature in my “Chickens 101” class. And this was just the beginning.

That being said, the chick’s are coming to a local store next week. Will you be getting some? Do you think I’ll be getting more? Stay tuned.

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Chick Strangles in shape wear

Recently it was reported that “shape wear” may be hazardous to your health. From personal experience, I know this to be true. Embarrassing…and true.

While I was home alone one day, I tried on several outfits for a wedding.
Determined to make a dress “fit”, I pulled out my shape wear. I (struggled to) put it on and then added the dress. Perfection! I thought. I photographed myself and sent it off to my sister via phone message in another state for approval. Done…or so I thought.

My husband was out of town. I live far from family. I attempted to remove the shape wear by myself.

As it was stuck around my arms and near my neck, I couldn’t get it off OR back on my body. HOLY! I couldn’t even reach my phone because my arms were in the air! I was breaking a sweat. I was breathing heavily. My heart rate was out of control.

What to do?! I decided to lay on the bed. Just breathe. Just relax. Just pray. God, help me. (And, admittedly, I was laughing there…all by myself!)

Thoughts of dying like this crossed my mind. As I was laying there with my arms above my head I just said,”I surrender!” Giggling…I finally relaxed.

And so…I’m here to confirm that shape wear may have an adverse affect on your health. It did mine. Thank God my humor and humility are in check! I guess this means there’s more adventures to follow. I hope so!

What has shape wear done to you?

Chick Can Draw from Horses

In college, one of my electives was “Horses and Horsemanship”. I was from Texas. I wore boots. How difficult could this be for me?

I thought I was going to be riding and enjoying the beautiful, flat, tumbleweed rolling land of Abilene. Well, it was sort of like that. We did clean stalls. We fed the horses. I met some fine cowboys. I made some fantastic friends…and tutors!

Here’s what I did not imagine. It was the most difficult class I had ever taken. Not only was the class work challenging, the terminology was exasperatingly difficult! Then, we had to dress the horse and ride the horse. (God help me.)

After 3 weeks in class, we finally got to ride! I was excited. My “friends” I met in class promised not to let me down and they did not disappoint! They helped me back up on my horse as many times as I fell off that horse. When my horse broke into a gallop with the hint of a race from another horse, I hung onto that baby for my LIFE!

The Professor called me aside after that class. She said she’d never seen someone with such determination, as she helped pull the grass out of my hair and my teeth. I was so proud…until. I was so proud until I finished that grass filled, teeth grinning talk and realized I never…tied…my horse…up. Where was she?! (Later, and I mean hours later, I found that my “friends” had hidden her from me.)

In conclusion, I finished this course. I met some cowboys and cowgirls with heart. I tore muscles I never knew existed. I learned that when you don’t ride correctly, you are actually doing consecutive leg splits, when galloping. (I didn’t know I could do that many splits at once! No one said I wasn’t talented!)

So, what do I do with this now? I take this determination decades later and I write. I do my watercolor illustrations. In fact, I’m writing about a barrel racer in my next book…right now. I admire the sheer talent, drive and determination they have. I’ve met some of the PRO barrel racers and they’re encouraging me! (Imagine that!)

The lesson I’ve learned: Find the lesson in anything that you do. I may not be a barrel racer, but I’m determined, with grass in my hair, to get up and move towards my goals. I will paint. I will write. I will make it and I will achieve great things, even if it’s not on a horse, and it will be for God’s glory..not mine.

Now, Keep MOVING!

Chick Can’t be a Veterinarian

Reflecting on the past is important in order to know where I’m going in the future. There’s two ways to look at this. For one, I’ve made a lot…a dozen or possibly a million mistakes and I believe I’ve learned a lesson or two from those ugly incidents. Frankly, that’s why I am who I am. It’s why I think too much now.

Let’s take my job search, for instance. It’s been difficult after being laid off of the same job twice. (By the way, I don’t think many people can say this…or would admit returning to a job which laid them off even one time…but I digress.)

Because of our rural domain, I decided to interview for a local veterinarian’s office. I mean, I love animals. Sure, my college degree is Interior Design, but I was open to new possibilities! After the interview, they offered me a position which sounded perfect. It was close to home. I would work with humans and the dogs alongside the vet. How hard could this be?

I’m shaking hands. I’m excited! “Oh and you’ll want to come in at the end of this week. On Friday’s we put some of the shelter dogs ‘down’. We’ll just need you to cuddle and comfort them.”

Silence.

I couldn’t hear another word.

“See you on Friday. Don’t worry. You’ll get used to it.”

Returning home, my face was swollen and puffy. I cried for hours before my husband got home. I washed up…put on a happy face and reported with tears the size of alligators that “I got the job!”

Hubby called me repeatedly for the following two days to say,”Call them back…you’re not taking that job. We don’t have a kennel. I know you. We’ll end up becoming a shelter for everyone of those animals on Fridays!”

I continued to cry for two days as I tried to convince myself with their words “you’ll get used to it.”

He was right. I wouldn’t get used to it. I don’t work there and we are currently are the house of 4 dogs and 17 chickens.

Can you imagine if I’d taken that job? I had to examine my past and my present to determine my future.

What’s next, you ask? Stay tuned.

Chick Can’t Do Secrets: The Tree

Keeping secrets from my husband is not just a bad idea. It’s impossible for me.

A decade ago we moved to a rural area. I wanted a fragrant and live Christmas tree. He said to wait until he returned home from a business trip. (He didn’t think I could get it home alone.) Like anyone who tried to start our fireplace alone and ended up meeting our neighbor. (Meeting him because he spotted the smoke spewing from the second floor windows of our house and responded! This same neighbor, who subsequently put the fire out for me…burned his eyebrows & arm!) I decided I could surely get a tree home alone.

Stopping at the local produce stand, I chose a beautiful tall tree. The big bubble glass lights were twinkling. the Christmas music was blaring. The boys loading it laughed loudly but said they’d strap it to my beetle bug. While raining and cold, I happily waved and pulled out onto the rural road. As soon as I gained any speed, that tree shot off the top of my car like fingers struggling to secure an oiled pig!

Reluctantly, I pulled over for a quick cry. In my rain sweat windows I saw the boys laughing hysterically; but the scene wasn’t over yet. I stepped out of my car to drag the tree back to the side of the road…but not until after a semi-truck came along and ran over it…transforming my beautiful tree to “road kill”.

Returning to the produce stand, they could barely contain themselves with laughter and tears. I was crying too, but I was simply embarrassed. The owner said,”How ’bout I deliver it to your home?” Gladly, I accepted but only if he could do it before my husband’s truck was in the driveway. (I wanted the hubs to know I could do this without him!) He offered to bring it in the house but I declined stating that would be more than I could of handled “alone”.

For many years, this “adventure” remained a secret from him, until his mom said,”What about the tree that year?”

We don’t do secrets anymore. (At least, that’s waft he thinks.)

Chick Can Survive a 16th Birthday

So, I was turning 16 years old on September 11th….a number of years ago. My family always invited a few friends over. My mother always made a cake, as that was her hobby and she was terrific at it!
We did church on Sunday the 11th, so I wasn’t expecting much “fanfare” over my day until they could get the parade together at a later date. I mean, it didn’t really matter to me that we celebrated on THAT day.

After our service at church, our youth group was getting together to have a devotional. I loved and still love many of these “kids”! What I didn’t know was the fact that about 50 of my closest friends from my high school would be attending our youth devotional!
Imagine my surprise and jubilation to be “surprised” on my birthday! THAT was fun!

We laughed. We ate. they sang, while Mom brings the cake out with a drawing of a cheerleader…16 candles…and the lettering on the cake said, “Sweet 16 & never been kissed! Happy Birthday Summer!” Oh joy!
After hugging everyone and sharing some cake and ice cream, I exited promptly to the kitchen with Mom. I was drawn to tears. You see, I’d never heard the expression “Sweet 16 and never been kissed”! THIS was not fun. In fact, I was 16 and I truly had never been kissed. Imagine my horror that my mom announced it to 70 or so of my closest friends and family! (Oh hi! It’s me…the girl with the announcement on the cake! Any takers?!).
She hugged my neck and explained it was just a saying. Well, ok…if I didn’t get what that meant, then the other FIFTY OR SO FRIENDS DIDN’T GET WHAT IT MEANT EITHER! (Just thinking out loud for a moment…)

On that day at age 16, September 11th, I remember what a great family I had. I remember the friends I had. I don’t dwell on the birthday cake saying…that much…anymore…I digress.

On this day, September 11th, I count myself thankful that I had never been kissed, yet. I don’t count it all joy that my friends found out about that, but I digress, again!!

I count my blessings. I am grateful for a mother who loved me more than words. I am grateful I had a daddy that said,”no”, when he had to do so. That’s love. And, I’m thankful for my sister, who reminds me to live, to love and to trust God.

I cherish that I still have most of those friends I had when I was 16. God put you right there for a reason…a purpose and I see that, with a thankful heart.

On this September 11th, just know that grace matters. That’s God’s unmerited favor. You are worthy. And, I’d love to have you for a friend, if you want. Happy Birthday…to you, too.

Stupid cake! LOL.

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Chick is NOT a chicken

Chick is NOT a chicken

Yesterday was not my best day as a chicken and dog lover. I read stories all of the time how the dogs and the chickens get along. I see pictures of little chicks sitting on the backs of cats. That is not the story I have to tell today, from here.
We have a backyard for the dogs. We have a large house and outdoor run for the chickens. I love letting the chickens free range, so if I am going to be home, I let them just roam the property. Typically they don’t get in the dog yard. Typically. That is not the story I have to tell today, from here.
Yesterday, I was looking out my kitchen window and all was right in the world. The chickens were doing their chicken scratching and roaming through the woods. I was also looking up whether or not I needed to get plastic surgery for my rooster, Thurston. His top beak had broken off and don’t ask me how or why. I don’t know. They do have Vet’s that will perform a surgical procedure for that, by the way. I digress…
All in all it was a successful day. I completed a painting and sold it. My chores were done. Dinner was ready. In walks the hubs and I was happy. As I normally do, I fed the dogs and before letting them into their yard, I checked the backyard just to make sure there were no chickens there. None. I release the hounds.
I went out with them and Louie who is our 80 pound pup ran along the fence line. He loved to see the chickens fly. It was then that I tried to get Louie back in the house. I do not know why, but Lacey, the 6 month old hen flew right into the backyard. Cue the chase. I mean, I calmly tried to say “leave it”. Didn’t work. So, the chase began. I latched onto Louie. I rode my dog through the backyard screaming “LEAVE IT!”
He didn’t leave it. Now, my husband is with us as I am pinned against the fence, with grass in my teeth. He removes the frightened hen from Louie’s mouth. Believe it or not, Lacey wasn’t hurt. There was no blood. There was no harm done, or so I thought. I just laid there. It was me who ended up injured. I cracked my two front teeth. Yes, I did.
The last time I cracked one of those very same teeth, I was riding a lawnmower. At .05 miles per hour, I ran into a “Neighborhood Watch” sign. (That sign is still crooked, by the way. I wish someone would fix that. They won’t let me touch it. Imagine!) In the end, I got the experience of having an implanted tooth. Do you know that I’m no longer allowed to borrow any lawn equipment from any of my neighbors, nor will they entertain my requests. All of this over one little accident! And, I digress once again.
I’m thankful that no animals were harmed in the aforementioned situation. On the other hand, my body and my teeth feel like I rode a bucking bronco bull yesterday. And, in essence, I did get a taste of how sore a bull rider must be the day after his competition. Ouch. That brings me to a phrase I heard yesterday. “Danger is real. Fear is not.” How does that fit into my scenario, you ask? Because I say so! I am now not afraid of the unknown because I am going to get out there with courage, no matter what the situation is and nothing can stop me.
David of David and Goliath in the Bible, stepped up and without thinking said, “I can slay the Giant.” Don’t think he wasn’t prepared. I mean, he’d had plenty of practice in his everyday life as a hunter. Because of those experiences, he knew just the right size pebble or rock to put in that slingshot, depending on his intended target. He was ready and he had God. He had a God sized belief. He let God lead him and he won.
I posted my traumatic experience on FB in short, and ended it with “Jesus Take the Wheel”. My niece responded with “Dear Jesus, Please take the wheel.” With support like that, I can’t lose…ever. Courage, with God is underrated. He’s got this. Let him have the wheel, as Carrie Underwood so adequately conveys in her song. Change your tune. Have courage.