Big Day @ Weed Acres

I love chickens.

I never thought I would.  But I do.  Chickens became a part of my world in the summer of 2014.  A box arrived from My Pet Chicken through the post {yep, the good ole’ mailman delivers} with 9 two-day old chicks inside.  Unfortunately 8 of those chicks were not peeping {it was a fluke due to weather conditions…or the one left living was a serial chicken murderer…you decide}.   The one chick alive in that box, all yellow & fluffy & cute, stole my heart.  {regardless of her possible serial killer-ness} We named her Frieda Solo.  The following week a replacement box arrived full of eight peeping, very much alive baby chicks.  And thus began the chicken adventure at Weed Acres.

We watched them all grow from cute little downy fluffballs with legs, to happy hens roaming the acres.  By late autumn is was pretty clear that my happy hen house also housed two boys.  Seems Freda & Katondra were actually Fred & well, Katondra {my ginger haired named Katondra & didn’t like the idea of changing it’s name due to a gender change}  On a side note you may be  thinking that I made a spelling error.  Earlier I had said the first chick was Frieda Solo & now I’m saying Freda was actually Fred.  Good story here.  These chickens were named after my two grandmas {because everyone names their chickens after their grandmas} who had the same name with different spellings. It’s a wacky life.  Anyhow, I wasn’t against roosters.  Until I had a couple.  They’re mean.  Nasty. They were violent!  They were upsetting the ladies & chasing me.  They became soup.

Five ladies ruled the hen house.  Frieda Solo, Mabel, Opal, Bek-kah & Myrtle Louise.

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They calmed down after the terror of the violent males was removed and on December 26, 2014 they laid their first egg.  You may think it odd that I remember this day.  It’s not…move on.  Since then, these lovely ladies have been fairly consistent little layers of the most delicious farm fresh, pasture raised eggs ever.

This spring we added some more to the hen house.  Seventeen to be exact.  They arrived though the post with greater success than my first batch, at only 2 days old on April 20.  I had a little fun with them while they were cute & fluffy & little bundles of adorableness!  They LOVED being dressed up in all kinds of fun.

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They officially moved in with the ladies in June after the addition to the coop was complete.  After working out their pecking order battles {it is a fierce fight for supremacy in the hen house, friends} they settled in.  Oh, there are still some scuffles {they are ladies after all} but they seem to get along alright.

So this brings me to the latest news from Weed Acres.  Today is a day which I will certainly remember! {partly because it’s chronicled here & nothing ever disappears from the internet – we say that to the three little Weeds all the time…it’s true.  never.  this stuff you post will haunt you.  some. day}  But today I will remember because one of the little ladies laid her very first egg.  IMG_2156 2At the ripe old age of 4 months 2 days old. I have no way to know which of the 17 little ladies it was, but I congratulated them as a whole.  They were thrilled with my excitement.  That or my red toe nail polish.  No telling which.  It’s a big day at Weed Acres.  A very big day!  Delicious eggs come from Happy Hens & Weed Hens are the Happiest!

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Good Run

Finished up those 8 miles soaked {i am a cheater & a liar! it was only 7.56}.  I looked like I just jumped into the river with all my clothes on.  Every step was squishy under my feet, water bubbling up between my toes.  It was a hard fought finish complete with strange looks from passerbyers, water logged everything & a bee sting.  Yes!  A bee sting.  At mile 2.   Sucks to be a runner.  Why exactly am I torturing myself this way & then taking to the screen to complain about it?  Well…

IMG_2143Twin Cities Marathon.  At the time it seemed like a challenge worth trying.  Today?  It seems stupid.  Stupid!  Who, in their right mind thinks that 26.2 miles of running will be fun?  It’s not.  Well, actually I wouldn’t know.  At this point I have no idea how it will be to go 26.2 miles.  I’ve never gone that far. {and it seems I lie about how far I do actually go-so there’s that}  But I can say with all certainty that the training leading up to those 26.2 miles is dumb.

But I’m doing it, ’cause, well, to be completely honest, I’m a list crosser-offer & I have a training plan with everything listed out & I MUST cross each & every mile off {with rounding allowances of half a mile}.  That and I paid the money to do it.  See, it gets even worse.  Not only am I planning to run 26.2 miles, I actually had to fork over cash to be tortured.  Who does this?  Who?

I know.  I know.  It will be so worth it when I finally cross that finish line on that cool autumn morning {or afternoon, realistic expectations here folks}.  But today, dripping & swollen from that darn sting, yeah, not so much.

And it worsens!  I’m sitting on the edge of a 15 mile training run this week. {rain, rain go away!}  I have never run more than 13.1. So a new distance.  yay {sarcasm dripping heavy!}  Another several hours of my life left on the pavement.  I suppose I’m a little excited to reach a new goal, to set a new record.  To hear my little purple gps watch profusely congratulate my accomplishment, {love that encouraging lil’ gadget}.  But as quickly as it’s said “way to go!”, it’ll tell me to go farther next week.  Never satisfied that purple watch is?  never.

But I am.  I am satisfied with where these little shoes take me. Around the bends of our tiny town & out the gravel roads to the barns & corn fields. It is good.  I’ve been running for over a decade now.  It began as sanity & has morphed into insanity {just kidding…or not…you decide}.  Runners’ high.  I get it & I love it.  Every time.  Even soaking wet with a swollen bee stung shoulder.  Love it.  When it’s over. {it’s true!}

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Homework Wins!

homework winsI’m treading water here folks.  Barely afloat.

I was so determined way back in June.  I had plans.  Plans!  We would be that family.  A mom and her lovely, clean, fresh-smelling, well-behaved children touring here & there.  We would experience culture.  We would enjoy picnics & lake swimming.  Heck, we’d learn to paddle board together.  While smiling.  Picture perfect moments would be occurring.  Regularly.

I sit here in the latter half of August.  Where is that mom with the plan from only 2 months ago?  Where did she go?  She is flopping and a flipping in the water, friends.  Trying to keep this ship above the bottom for 3 more weeks.  Plans?  What plans would you propose?  At this point, getting children out of pjs & fed something besides sugar before noon is the only plan rising to the top of this body of water.  A picnic?  Are you kidding me?  My children would no less go in a body of water filled with sharks than sit in a mosquito infested park with all awful kinds of stinging insects buzzing about us.

It was so dreamy back then.  Back when summer seemed full of potential.  When all I could see was the endless stack of homework & the thought of having none seemed like the land of greatness.

Bring on the homework!  Bring. it. on.  All the spelling words, the projects with last minute trips to the dollar store, the tests, the organizers, the math.  I’m to the point where “i love to read month” even looks appealing {on second thought…keep that}.  But please, pretty, pretty please keep these lazy children busy.  Keep them doing something besides consuming large quantities of food & leaving wrappers & cans & bottle & dirty dishes & general dirtiness all over this house.  Homework wins!  Homework wins!

I realize as I type this, that i am only about 6 weeks away from a school hatred. But let me, please, relish the thought that they will go to school & be not making a disaster of this space where I live for about 7 hours each day of the week.  Let me imagine how amazing it will be to clean the kitchen up in the morning and it remain clean until dinner.  Let me imagine the tv not being on.  The bickering-silenced.  The computers-not eating up my wi-fi speed {glorious}.  Let me imagine sunshiny faces at the crack of dawn, eating breakfast together with no arguing, yelling, rushing.  No last minute “where’s my ________?” as we’re running out the door to my voice yelling “WE ARE LATE!!!  GET MOVING!!!!  NOW!!!!”  Let me imagine Leave It To Beaver Weed style, just for a moment.  It will screech to a halt all too soon & I’ll be complaining.  Bet your bottom dollar on that.  But for this moment.  Let me be a dreamer.  A mommy dreamer.

I love my children.  You may question that.  I understand.  But I do love my little Weeds, adore them, cherish them!  And I love to watch them sleep.  And equal to sleeping, I love to send them off on their way because that gives them wings {that was sappy}.  It’s good for us though.  I miss them then.  Not the first day {or the first month} but eventually I miss them.  And that’s good.  In a weird way.  But it’s good to be tired of their messes{and never-ending talking} & then miss them and wish them home for a while. That’s good.  At least let me think that so I don’t feel like a sucky mom.  Let me!

Three weeks.  No summer dreaming here.  No more museums, no culture, definitely no picnics & forget the paddle board!  I’m already nesting for the school year.  Highlighters & sharpies & new folders.  Hooray!  Let it begin.  Now.  Homework Wins!

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ThredUp

Was it just a couple of weeks ago that I sat for two days in a hot barn while people shared too much & rummaged through our belongings?  It was a delightful time.  absolutely.

When the door closed after that final long, quiet hour of no one, I imagined packing up all the unsold stuff & dropping at my local thrift store.  Unfortunately, great plans at the Weed house sometimes lack follow through.  Bags of belongings have remained stationed at the door {just in case} for nearly a month now, waiting to be taken away.  waiting.

Then, I discovered ThredUp.  And then this little envelope arrived.

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Have you heard of it?  Here’s the gist:

They send you a postage paid polka-dotted package.

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You fill it up with nearly new, name brand, freshly laundered items you no longer want.  They go through your stuff & pay you for what they want.  They will return the things they can’t accept {for a fee of $12.99 paid in advance by you} or will donate them.  You receive your cash & smile.  happy!

They have some specific brands they take and {more importantly} those brands they will not. Everything is listed & detailed here.

I’m not kidding myself.  I know I’m not going to get a ton for any of the things I’m sending in this first batch.  From their estimated payouts they have listed, I’m not going to be swimming in my pools of cash.  But that’s ok.  It’s less work than a garage sale.

And you can shop the site too.  Everything they take in, they resell.  It is a consignment store, after all.  And there are some deals to be had.  I do love a bargain. Why ever pay full retail?  This site has quite a selection at a great price.

Here’s what I packed up & shipped off:

  • 4 shirts from White House Black Market
  • 2 pairs of shoes from White House Black Market
  • 2 pairs of girls colored jeans from P.S. Aeropostale
  • 2 pairs of girls denim from P.S. Aeropostale
  • 1 dress from Gymboree
  • 2 coats from Gymboree
  • 1 sweater from Justice
  • 1 sweater from P.S. Aeropostale
  • 1 shirt from P.S. Aeropostale

Wow!  Full package for them.  I’ll keep you posted on whether it’s worth it.  And if you want to give it try {either buying or selling} click here.

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exodus 14:14

exodus 14.14

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tiny parts…

I was about 14.  I was a GA at my local church.  We were helping put together layettes for the local crisis pregnancy center.  I remember I didn’t even know what a layette was.  Turned out it was all the cutest of the cute things for babies – onesies, diapers, little bitty socks, binkies, bottles, tiny pink & blue hats & blankets.  How could a 14 year old girl not love sorting through all that cuteness?  We meticulously made little girl baskets & little boy baskets, imagining how fun they would be to receive.

I didn’t know what abortion was.  I didn’t know it even existed.  I had only recently realized that people who weren’t married were having sex & having babies.  Naïveté.  The day we delivered our little blue & pink bundles to the crisis pregnancy center I learned all about abortion & pro-choice & pro-life…anti-abortion & pro-abortion.  There was a line with two sides clearly drawn. No straddling the line.  Pick a side.

You may say that I was “brainwashed”, “indoctrinated” into a pro-life position that day.  Perhaps.  Fourteen year olds are quite impressionable, I would agree.  But I’ve done some research since those teen years, and I still cannot find a way to change my mind on this issue.

To me, that fetus is a baby.  Alive from the very first moment it is created.  I cannot believe otherwise.  No argument will change my belief on that.  None.

Likewise, if you hold a pro-choice position, believing abortion is alright, I doubt you will change your belief on that no matter what the argument.

We have all seen the same 4-D ultrasound technology of babies/fetuses in the womb.  We all have the ability to decide if that’s alive.  We all have the ability to determine whether removing that from the mommy’s womb is killing or something benign.

So here’s the thing, we seem stuck.  A line with two sides.  I’ve picked my side.  You’ve picked your side.  Maybe we’re on the same side, maybe we’re not.  Regardless if we agree, we must still be kind to one another.  We can go about without name calling, without degrading each other, without being cruel.  Both sides. We can.  We must.  This isn’t about who’s a moron or who’s an idiot.  It does no one any good to throw those names around.  No Good.

So, per the buzz of today…

Do I care that Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts, if in fact they are? I guess.

But the bigger issue to me is that they have baby parts.  They have baby parts.  From babies.  Parts.

I’m saddened that there are parts.  I’m saddened that in the safety of a mommy’s womb, babies are taken apart.  I’m saddened because I believe these are babies, not just bundles of tissue.  Babies.

Do I believe that tax dollars should fund abortion? No.

So here’s my deal.  I pay taxes.  I have no legal choice to not pay my taxes.  None.  And my tax dollars get all cozy & commingled with everyone else’s tax dollars.  And they pay someone to perform abortions.  These dollars pay for babies to die.  And I don’t want that.  I don’t want to pay for abortions.  I say “defund” simply because of this.  Not because I want women to go without healthcare.  Absolutely not!  I will gladly contribute to women’s healthcare.  But I cannot agree with paying for abortions.  I disagree with abortions.  Fundamentally, from my core.  So deeply is this belief rooted.  I don’t want to pay for abortions.  I don’t.

I think my wanting to defund Planned Parenthood comes from my grief that they are taking the lives of babies, rather than the fact that are possibly selling baby parts.  Tiny hearts and little brains and livers and kidneys and more.  What has been wrong with me?  I should have been outraged already that my government is paying for babies to be killed, regardless of whether the parts ended up in the rubbish or on the black market.  Does it really matter?  What’s better the landfill or a research lab?

But if I truly say that I don’t want to pay for abortions, then I need to look at my consumer dollars as well as my tax dollars!  Thing is, I might be {most likely 100% sure I am} paying for abortions regardless of the feds because I purchase products & services from companies that fund PP.  These are choices.  To have a Starbucks coffee, to buy Energizer batteries…and I’ll have to settle that in my conscience.  And it’s something everyone standing on this side needs to examine & consider before chanting “defund!”  Otherwise, how hypocritical.

To call for defunding, means to look at my wallet, to see where I give my dollars.  Planned Parenthood is funded by all kinds of companies in all kinds of industries.  Not just the federal government.  I must take action, regardless of how inconvenient {heeeelllllllooooo, Starbucks!} if I’m serious about what I’m wanting.  I must also defund.  I cannot be a hypocrite.  Can I eliminate 100% of my choice dollars from going to Planned Parenthood.  I wish.  But most likely some of my dollars will still fund abortions.  It’s an unfortunate part of legal abortions.  But to be aware & make the decisions without blinders on, is necessary.

This is no easy issue.  It’s a “hot topic” for a reason.  It is heated & the discussions surrounding it are intense.  I think it’s ok to be passionate about it, after all it is a life or death topic.  But it must be a civil conversation, no matter the level of heat surrounding it.

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three words

Exactly five weeks from this very moment I will be waking up Ginger, E and BabyGirl for their first day of school!  Five weeks!  Eek!

I know there may be some of you who love summer vacation.  Love the laid-back, non-scheduled, without routine lazy days of summer.  I am not one of you.  I enjoy it for about the first three weeks & that’s primarily due to the lack of homework-which I adore!!  But then sometime in about week 4 I begin to forget the homework battle and begin to remember the comfort of routine.  And I long for those 3 words – Back to School.

Ginger will begin High School this autumn.  High School!  When did that happen?  “Things Count Now!” I keep repeating to him, hoping that he’ll actually listen and understand that “things count now!”.  E will be in 7th grade.  I clearly remember 7th grade.  Clearly.  I remember my locker, my locker partner {hey Nicole!}, my classes, my friends.  I remember feeling awkward, out of place, and hoping to just fit in somewhere.  7th grade was tough.  I don’t know if it’s that way for boys i hope not.  And BabyGirl begins Middle School.  Ugh!  Although just a fifth grader, here in our district that’s middle school.  I have no one at the Elementary any more.  Those year have drifted away.  Sad?  maybe a little.  But she’s beyond over the moon to be in middle school!

So, five more weeks.  All three kiddos head to church camp for a week here soon {yes, all 3-all gone-all week!!  glorious!}  back to school will really be here before I know it.  And you can bet on my complaining at about week three about all the homework & wishing for these lazy summer days 😉  Guess I better sit back and enjoy these moments – all the wrappers and cans everywhere, the popcorn all over the floor in front of the tv, the bedrooms I cannot see the floors of and the giggles from the pool and food that disappears from the pantry faster than I can stock it.  It will be replaced soon with books and pencils and reports and last minute projects…

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& we are His

psalm 100.3

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