Rooster Attack

Did you know that Roosters were mean?

I sure as hell didn’t. 

But I definitely do now.

I can officially say, I have been attacked by a rooster.

We have 2 roosters in our flock of chickens.  We are about to have just 1.

Apparently, the black rooster that we have gets a little worked up at feeding time, and I recently found out, can get really aggressive.  For the past week, things have been fine, and he hasn’t laid a feather on any of us.  But for some reason yesterday, that all changed.

Will and I got home right around 6 and we started working on all of the feeding chores that have to be done around here.  When it came time to feed the chickens, we filled up the chicken feed scoop and headed down for the chicken pen.  When we arrived, the chickens seemed to be anxiously awaiting their feed.  They came running towards the gate clucking, and cock-a-doodle-dooing. 

I instructed Will to stand just outside the gate and hold it closed while I went into to dump the feed into the feeder.  Normally, he comes right in with me, but today for some reason (probably god watching over him) I thought it’d be best if he stayed on the outside of the fence.  With that, we opened the gate, I entered the pen, and Will held the gate closed behind me.

At first glance into the pen I noticed the chicken’s water was knocked over, so I went over to straighten it up.  I picked it up, placed it right-side up and then turned around to dump the feed in the chicken feeder.  As I turned around, I heard the cluck of the big black rooster, saw him flapping his wings and coming straight at me.  He looked like a freaking bear when he spanned his wings out and got a little off the ground.

All in one swoop he plucked at my shin one good time with his beak.  Terrified, I threw the feed scoop to the other end of the cage and screamed bloody murder as I took off for the gate of the pen.  I was getting the hell out of dodge and wishing death upon the mean rooster that came at me.

As I quickly exited ran for my dear life out of the pen, I noticed the throb of my shin and the rapid pace of my heart.  I was wearing jeans, so I couldn’t see my skin right way, but I just knew that I had a gaping wound from his razor-sharp beak.   To top it off, I MIGHT also be experiencing a heart attack from the fright of his attack.

As I got my composure together, I gathered up the courage to roll up my pant leg to assess the damage.  I just knew I would be heading to the ER for stitches.  My shin hurt that bad.

I grabbed the bottom seam of my jeans and slowly rolled it back one roll at a time until I exposed my peck wound.

Ok, so my wound might not have been a big open wound that I just KNEW it was, but it was the worst little blood blister I’ve ever seen in my life. 

For the record, it DID hurt like it needed stitches.  I believe the true damage is all internal, and I just can’t see it with my eyes.

I immediately called Wes and told him how the attack unfolded and I laid down the law that the, “Black Rooster has to go!”

Of course, his initial reaction was to laugh.

Sometimes, I want to hurt him.

Then, he made a typical man comment and told me that we could eat him.

Men really think completely different from women.  There is NO WAY I could eat the rooster.  I don’t care what we do with him, or where he goes, but there was no way I could cook the rooster knowing that at one time it was considered one of our pets. 

I quickly told him that, eating him wasn’t an option and he could give the rooster to anyone he wanted, and that person could do whatever they’d like with him.  There’s just no way, I was going to eat him.  NOT happening.

For now, the mean rooster hangs with the rest of the flock.  But I promise you this…if he lays another feather or comes at me again with that razor-sharp beak; I’m DONE!  He can freaking starve for all I care.

I really wish a hawk would eat him.  Or a bear.  Or a panther….or our neighbor. 

Rooster- it’s what’s for dinner.

-EmJ

Daddy’s Boss

I’ll file this one under, “kids say the darnest things”…..

Today, as I was cleaning up the kitchen after lunch I asked Will to pick up his toys from the living room. 

Of course, in response to my request he asked me, “why?”

This is a pretty standard response for him lately, and it is starting to drive me crazy.

I glared at him and I responded in the best way I could think of at the time.  I said, “because I’m the boss, that’s why.”

Great comeback, right? 

Then after contemplating that for a few seconds, my little angel looked at me and said, as serious as can be, “You’re not my boss, you are Daddy’s boss.”

Trying not to laugh, I resonded to that comment with a, “In some ways you are very correct, but what you need to know is that I’m YOUR boss, too!”  Now go pick up your toys!”

And as quick as I could, I leaped for the pantry to take cover so he couldn’t see me laughing at the fact that he says I’m, “Daddy’s boss.”

I’m sure Wes will think this story is just hysterical! 

For now, I’m just going to bask in all my bossy glory. 

I’m going to pour a glass of wine, and give myself a little toast.

The Boss of everyone,

EmJ

26?

A few days ago in my post  And I Proudly Stand Up, I mentioned something about “all 26 of us.”

Most of you know we are a family of 3, so I’m sure the extra 23 count is still leaving you to wonder.

Well, never fret…Here’s the explanation:

We now proudly call ourselves, farmers. 

It’s more like the funny farm around here, but never-the-less we are officially farmers.

In one weeks time, we went from being a family of 3 with 2 dogs,  to a family of 3 with 2 dogs, 11 hens, 2 roosters, and 8 goats.

I know the phrase, “what were you thinking” probably comes to mind. 

Don’t be ashamed, Wes and I nervously laugh and think the same thing on a daily basis.

Truth is, we don’t really know much, if anything, about farming or raising farm animals. 

But we’ll learn.  And we will learn quickly!

One might wonder how this whole farming thing all came about…especially, for two city raised adults with no real farming experience what-so-ever.

Here’s how this all got started:

The Chickens

My husband has a favorite hobby of searching Craigslist at every change he gets.  He found the chickens listed one day online and decided to pull the trigger.

In all fairness, I had been saying I wanted to get a FEW chickens so we could have fresh eggs.  I had mentioned to him that I’d heard there really wasn’t much to owning chickens besides keeping them fed, watered and giving them shelter.  I was sure it wouldn’t be a big deal to take care of them.

Well…What baby wants, baby gets!

By me making a simple statement that I wanted to get a FEW chickens to have farm fresh eggs, lead my wonderful husband to purchase, not 2 chickens, not 3 chickens, but a whole freaking flock of chickens!

I mean, 13 chickens!?! 

Why does it make me a little nervous that they out number us?

The Goats

The goats we’ve actually had/shared for a while.  Wes did a fence job for someone who had more goats than they knew what to do with.  So we somehow acquired 3 of them.  Until recently, the goats were living in our neighbors pasture because our pasture fencing wasn’t complete.

The goats have been doing what they do best; eating everything in sight and pro-creating.  After twins, triplets, a death and a single baby, there are now 8 goats total.  Five more goats than we ever planned on having.

Now that Wes has completed our pasture fencing the goats have a job on our farm; to clear approximately 2 acres of wooded pasture. Our plan is to eventually have a big open pasture, so that my dream of having horses on our farm can come true.

Horseback riding is one of the things I miss most.  It was such a fun hobby growing up, and I’d truly love to get back into it.

So call us crazy…I would, and do!  But we’ve got our little farm going out here and it has been quite the comical project.

Meet some of the newest members of our farm family:

Two Thumbs Up

Last Saturday, Wes and I decided to finally make good on a promise we made to Will.

For the past 3 or 4 weeks we’ve been promising him that since he had been accident free (with potty-training), that we would take him to see the new Cars movie in the BIG theater.

We somehow always managed to emphasise that it was a BIG theater.  So whenever he would ask us when we were going to see the movie, he’d make sure to remind us that it had to be at the BIG theater. 

Will had never been to a movie before, at least not at the BIG theater.  We’ve watched plenty on movies here at the house, but the BIG theater is kind of a BIG deal…at least to an almost 3 year old.

We set off mid morning for a quick-lunch and to see the motion picture.

Will got to choose the lunch spot, so  naturally, we set our course for Chic-a-lay. 

That is not a typo; Will has renamed Chic-fil-a.  It is now known in our house as, Chic-a-lay.  Don’t try to tell him otherwise, because he will assure you it is, Chic-a-lay.

After we finished lunch, our next stop was the BIG theater.  We arrived in just enough time and bought tickets for our 12:15 pm showing of Cars 2. 

Did you know that children under the age of 3 are free at the movies?  SCORE!

The nerd that I am, I made sure to take along my camera. 

I mean, it WAS his first movie experience.

Here’s my 2 dudes walking up to get tickets for Will’s first ever BIG theater movie.

What a face from that little stinker.

Before taking our seats, I took Will for a pre-movie potty break and Wes headed for the snack counter to get pop-corn and candy.

Aside from not letting us forget about out promise of taking him to see Cars 2 in the BIG theater, Will also reminded us frequently that we promised him pop-corn and candy to enjoy during our movie outing.

After dropping $275 on popcorn and candy at the refreshment stand, we headed in to find some seats.

I’m obviously exaggerating slightly on the cost of movie snacks, but can anyone believe what they charge for food at a movie theater!?  Seriously, $5 for a small bottle of water!  I could get a whole case of water bottles for that!

We found some good seats on the top row, and got comfy.  When the previews began Will’s eyes doubled in size and he got the biggest grin on his face.  Naturally, I was too busy stuffing my face with popcorn to remember to take a picture of his first reaction. 

Recreating that moment wasn’t going to happen…so I had to settle for a picture of him attentively watching previews.

Our movie experience was overall positive.  Will loved the movie.  We only had to take him out for 2 potty breaks, and there were only a couple of times when we had to tell him to pipe down.

The family sitting next to us definitely got a kick out of Will and his questions and comments.  The mother and father looked at us a few times to giggle at whatever just came out of his mouth.

Luckily, they were amused and not annoyed.

Before the movie even started his comments were, “I need some more pop-corn” and “Can I have some more M’s?”

When the movie finally began, and at the first site of Mater he said excitedly, “There’s Tow-Mater!”

He followed quickly behind with, “There’s McQueen!”

Then throughout the movie….

 “Where’d Mater go?”

 “that was funny!”

“why’d that car do that?”

But what really got to me, is when he looked up from the screen at Wes and I, gave us each a big kiss and hug and said, “I love you sooooo much.”

Suddenly, the $275 popcorn tasted better, my movie seat got more comfortable, and my heart melted like the M&M’s Will had been clenching in his hand for the past 10 minutes.

I would take him back to see another movie in a second!!  It was a great family outing, and was well deserved my our little accident free ‘Mater.

The only part of this outing that  Will didn’t seem to like was leaving.  This was due to 2 reasons.

1. Because there were games in the lobby area of the theater that he wanted to play, and

2. Because when we went outside it was so bright, and such a shock to his eyes that he could hardly see.

Naturally I had to snap a picture of the whining that took place on our way out.  Can someone say, NAP-TIME!!

Two thumbs up,

-EmJ

And I proudly Stand Up!

Happy (belated) Independence Day, everyone!

I hope that you had a wonderful long weekend, bbq’ing, shooting off fireworks, and finding a nice cool way to beat the heat.

We spent the 4th of July weekend at home this year.  We got some much-needed projects around the house done, I got some last-minute studying in, and we spent 3 whole wonderful days of quality time together…all 26 of us.

If my calculation seems a little off to you, you’ll have to wait a couple of days for a couple additional posts.  Let’s just say our family has grown substantially the last week or so.  That’s the only hint I’ll give. 

If you’re feeling lucky, I’ll open this post up to guesses.  If you’d like to take a shot at figuring out how I got to the number 26, be my guest.  If you are right, you will win….wait for it…..bragging rights!    

That might be the crappiest prize ever. 

Anyway, my big test was yesterday.  The State Examination for the 215 Life, Health and Variable Annuity test.

Drum roll, please!

(insert drum roll noise)

I PASSED!!!  The test wasn’t as bad as I anticipated…probably due to the fact that I prepared so well.  But still.  I was terrified going into it; but the outcome was a success!  I am the newest licensed life and health agent in Tallahassee. 

Now I move onto the Series 6.  Wish me luck! 

Lastly, because the 4th is still fresh on my mind, I want to give a little shout out to all of our troops!  Thank you for all you do, and for fighting to maintain our freedom.

I’ll even sing you a little song for the occasion…

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.

And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.

And I proudly STAND UP!  next to you, and defend her still today

‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this laaaaand….

God Bless the U.S.A.!”

Steven, Randy and J Lo just informed me that, I’m ‘Going To Hollywood.’

Going to pack my bags,

-EmJ

 

Sunlight, Water and Blisters…and the hidden benefits

This year, we harvested a garden. 

Wait.

Does, “harvested a garden” make sense?

Let me start over.

This year we planted a garden.

There, that’s much better.

We live on 6 acres, so we have plenty of space for a nice size garden.  Plus, the idea of planting and eating our own produce sounded like such a healthy, economical idea. 

Little did I know, that getting into the gardening business would actually have more benefit for our family than just putting wholesome food onto the table.

Yes, the vegetables we pick from our garden are nutritional and delicious, but more importantly, the time we spend as a family out in the garden is irreplaceable.   

We use the garden as a valuable educational tool for Will – teaching him about how things grow and the importance of sunlight and water.  What’s best is that he gets to see it all unfold first hand. 

His excitement in seeing the tomatoes turn from green to red, or the cantalope getting bigger by the day is infectious.  His enthusiasm for something so simple, brings utter joy to my heart and really puts everything into perspective.

Our garden work has become a regular part of our family routine, and it is a part of our day that I enjoy the most.

Our typical weekday garden routine goes something like this:

6:00 PM  –  Get home from work and prepare dinner while the munchkin plays.

6:45 PM  –  Eat dinner.

7:00 PM  – Toss the dirty dishes in the sink and abandon them.  Head into the garage to put on our boots.

Will usually hops in his Gator so he can put everything we pick from the garden in the back and drive it back up to the house.  It is one of his official chores.

Side Note: If you garden, or do anything outdoors frequently, I HIGHLY recommend Hunter Wellies.  My neighbors that occasionally stop by, and I mean OCCASIONALLY since we’re all spread pretty far apart and don’t talk to each other much, probably think it is the only pair of shoes I own.  Seems like every time one of them stops by, I’m in my Hunter boots.  I’m also usually wearing a very heinous outfit to go along with them – which is kind of embarrassing.  But no ones outdoor, ruin-able clothes are cute, right?  Anyway, Google them, find a good deal on them (good luck…they’re kinda pricy!), and hit the purchase button.  Money well spent, I promise.

Most weeknights, we spend a good 40 – 60 minutes in the garden after dinner; pulling weeds, picking produce, watering plants, and conversing.  Most of the time the conversation is regarding what’s growing, what’s not, what’s being eaten by our garden predators (stupid deer!), what happened that day at work, etc.

By around 8 PM we are over the garden. We’ve picked what we could, pulled the weeds we cared to, and witnessed one little boy become completely covered, head-to-toe in dirt.   

That same little boy, the one covered in dirt, has also now had a second meal consisting of sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes that he’s picked right from the vine.  It’s healthy and we use no pesticides, so we don’t really mind. 

I swear that kid is a bottomless pit!

After we’re done with our garden work, we usually head up to the house for bath time, bed-time stories, and kitchen scrubbing.

Here’s some things we planted this year in our garden:

Cantelope:

Tomato (all shapes and types):  …I am so annoyed this pic is sideways.

Peppers:

Ocra:

White And Purple eggplant:

another sideways pic; I’m too lazy to fix them. It is kind of a process.

Collards:

Also in our garden, but not pictured:

  • watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • red potatoes
  • squash
  • cucumber
  • Romaine Lettuce and
  • sugar-snap peas

I feel like I’m missing some things…but you get the picture. 

Now, if we can just keep everything alive and protect it from the deer who like to feast upon our hard work at every chance they get!  

Signing off to mend my garden induced blisters,

-EmJ

Don’t Flush

Dearest Will,

Tonight I enjoyed playing word games with you on my iPad.  I loved that you ate every bite of your dinner, and kept your father and I laughing thru the whole meal by doing your eyebrow raise and saying funny things.

I love that when I tried working with you on your “c” sounds, you strongly came back at me with the confident “t” sound.  I would said, “Car, K-K-K Car.”  You proudly responded, “Tar, Mama.  I said it, Tar!”

I love that when you announced you had to poop and you headed off to the bathroom to go, I asked you to call me when you were ready to be wiped.  You responded to my request with, “That’s a great idea, Mama.”

Son, I love you so much, I really do.  But when you fake cried for 15 minutes because I flushed the potty after your poop session, and you LOST it because YOU wanted to flush down your poops…there are no words to describe those feelings. 

Consider this your notice.  I will NEVER flush your poops again.  You can be the only one in charge of that.

Love,

Your loving Mama

Corndog

I recently painted our home office, which covered a new $25 paintbrush in my selected color.  When the job was finally complete, I made the executive decision to clean out the $25 brush rather than toss it out.

This was mainly because Wes was giving me a hard time for even considering the option of tossing it.  Clearly, he’s a lot more thrifty than I.

I really have no idea how things like this happen; how one task of spraying out a simple paintbrush can quickly turn into giggles and games.  I guess it is one of the joys of having an active, curious almost 3-year-old. 

Anyway, in the process of cleaning out my paint brush, my child managed to get soaking wet and then covered in sand.  He basically “corndogged” himself.

If you grew up in a Stich related household, the term ‘corndog’ is a familiar term…and we’re not talking about any food products here.

Stich is my maiden name.  My father is one of twelve children.  He grew up in a huge family, and many terms and sayings they created have been passed down thru the generations.  Corndog just happens to be one of those terms.

Corndog Defined:  There are actually 2 definitions of corndog that come to my mind –

1.  submerging oneself in water, more specifically the Gulf of Mexico, and then running onto shore to roll in the beach sand. 

2. While playing beach volleyball, you are suddenly tackled by the opposing team.  The sole purpose of this attack is to cover the targeted person from head to toe in beach sand, “corndogging” them.  The attack typically takes place just after a team huddle, so the attackers can pick their target.

Apparently, this Stich Family term is embedded deep in our blood. 

While the second definition above is typically, the norm; apparently my child prefers to corndog himself.

He makes me laugh.  His giggle is infectious, and I love him more every day!

OVERwhelmed

o·ver·whelm

verb /ˌōvərˈ(h)welm/ 
overwhelmed, past participle; overwhelmed, past tense; overwhelming, present participle; overwhelms, 3rd person singular present

  • Bury or drown beneath a huge mass
    • – the water flowed through to overwhelm the whole dam and the village beneath
  • Defeat completely
    • – his teams overwhelmed their opponents
  • Give too much of a thing to (someone); inundate
    • – they were overwhelmed by farewell messages
  • Have a strong emotional effect on
    • – I was overwhelmed with guilt

This is how I feel.

No joke!  The past few weeks have been TOUGH; the next few weeks will be TOUGH. 

Here’s why:

A new job on the horizon; The fear of the unknown involving that.

Studying and Tests for licensing needed for the new job; knowing that if I fail everyone will know and it will keep me from my new job. 

A house that doesn’t clean itself, dishes that don’t scrub themselves, meals that don’t cook themselves, and laundry that doesn’t wash itself.

Trying to be an active, involved mother and attempting to keep up with a 2 something year old little boy and remain an integral part of his life, while being spread so thin with all of the other “things” going on in life.

Work. The 8-5 gig.  Stressing that the duties I currently do, won’t be properly handled or there won’t be anyone available to do them, the way I do, when I depart.  (I realize I have a control issue.)

The thought of my baby starting pre-school come August.  It freaks me out and makes me so nervous. Even if it is only 2 mornings; it is 2 mornings in the care of a STRANGERI’m going to puke.

Bills.  Constantly rolling in.

Weight. Could someone please invent a magic pill that allows one to still eat but drop 20 lbs effortlessly? 

…I think I could go on for days.  But the past few weeks, the things mentioned above have really been catching up to me and causing me so much anxiety and headache.  My mind doesn’t stop racing.

I know I just need to suck it up and deal with it.  At this low point, it can only get better right?  …clearly, it can’t get any worse.

I do realize that most of the above stressors and reasons why I feel completely overwhelmed are self-inflicted.

I CHOOSE to leave a comfortable job.  I CHOOSE to start a new job, knowing what all that entailed.  I CHOSE to enroll Will in pre-school to get some socialization with children his age. I CHOSE to build a house bigger than I probably should have, with more mopping and scrubbing real-estate than I ever wanted to clean.  I CHOOSE to not work out – but seriously, I don’t know where I could find the time.

So, yes.  These are self-inflicted stressors…but what was I thinking with them all coming at me at once?

Thinking?  Apparently, I wasn’t.  But it’s life.  Waves of this come and go, just like the tide at the beach.  So for now, I will buckle-up, bear-down, and pray for a successful outcome. 

I’ll pray that I keep my hair and don’t pull it out strand by strand.  I’ll pray that I won’t wake-up, locked in my closet, curled into the fetal position with no intention of removing myself.  I’ll also pray for my family; god keep them from moving to a far-away land to get away from me.

Lastly, I’ll pray for a case of wine to be delivered to my doorstep via Priority Overnight.  Or some Xanax…yes, maybe Xanax is the key. 

So god, if you hear this, send wine…and Xanax!

-EmJ

Home Office Re-Do

I started a project in our home office a few weeks ago.  Essentially, a complete re-do of the room.

I’d like to go on record to say that, I started this project before I realized I was going to be spending the next 2 1/2 months of my life studying for insurance exams.  You see, I thought I’d have time to paint the room, rearrange the furniture, throw together the window treatments, and build a large corkboard calendar for the wall.

I still plan on doing all of those things, but to-date, I can tell you that I have gotten through precisely 1/4 of the above projects.

Anyway, this was day 1 of my project.  Picking a paint color.

Here are some of the elements that I am planning to incorporate into the room:

The current progress of the room is – the walls are painted, the furniture is somewhat moved in and arranged and… that’s all folks!  I just haven’t had the time to finish up the project.

Normally, this kind of thing would really get to me.  I’m the kind of person that wants instant gratification, and I want something to be done thoroughly and completely in one swipe.

But I am trying to turn over a new leaf.  I’m going to try and not let it get to me.  I’m just going to roll with the punches and pick up the project when I have time.  It will get done eventually, right?!  ….right? 

When I have it ready, I assure you I will share an “after” picture.

Until then, I’m going back to the books to study, and tonight I hope to dream about my new home office – the completed version I have dancing around in my head.

I’m also going to dream about my cork-board calendar project.

I found this project on the Southern Living website.  It is called ‘Done in a Day: Wall Calendar.’ 

I have renamed this project for personal reasons.  Mine will be called, “Done in 3 Weeks: Wall Calendar.”  Anyone that has an almost 3-year-old in the house knows why this name change was neccessary. 

Here’s a link to the project:

http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/solutions/easy-wall-calendar-project-00400000052303/

Can’t wait to share an “after” picture of my room re-do!  Till then, I’ll be dreamin.

-EmJ