Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Want to Hate the Duggars, but I Can't!

Some sick curiosity draws me to the show "17 Kids and Counting". I consider myself a liberal, modern kind of gal. I share maybe .00002 % of the Duggars values. I really want to find a reason to dislike them. I watch them on t.v. and wait for them to say something hateful, or ignorant, but they never do. They are darn charming, actually. I can't hate them. Can't do it!

There is an episode on right now and Michelle and Jim Bob are in a head shop in San Francisco.....hilarious. They are so innocent. They're admiring how beautiful the hand-blown glass bowls and mean tobacco water-pipes are. {If you have ever been in a head shop, then you know that you get immediately ejected if you utter the b-word......I've heard}. They are giving street musicians money and conversing with dirty hippies. I'd be afraid to do both of those things.

Michelle Duggar is actually pretty dang intelligent. I expected her to be backward and ignorant. She's really not. Any time they interview her, I can't help but think "what a smart woman". They try to give the parents questions that they would answer stupidly, but they are never duped. In one episode they question Michelle about giving her female children chores like laundry and dishes, and her boys chores involving yard work. They asked her if she was playing into gender stereotypes. Her response was something to the effect that boys and girls ARE DIFFERENT and that is not a bad thing. I can't disagree. I wouldn't make my daughter (hypothetical daughter, as I do not have one) take out the trash if I had perfectly capable boys sitting around. I wouldn't trust my boys with the laundry, unless I was dying or something. We all knows what happens when boys do laundry...they put too much soap in, the washer overflows, they mix colors and everyone has pink underwear. I think every sitcom has played on this scenario with stunning accuracy.
Perhaps I am backward in some ways.

Don't worry! I'm not going to throw out the birth control and start preaching the gospel.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Mice I've Murdered

I seem to have a rodent theme this month. I didn't plan on that.

An unfortunate downside to living in the country is that every pest in a two-mile radius sees my home as a beacon of warmth and food. We have experienced several waves of field-mice migration into our home. I used to feel bad for them, because they are darn cute! If I saw one, I wouldn't tell my husband because I knew that he would kill it. After all, they aren't maliciously attacking us or anything. They just want to be away from the cold and have an ample supply of crumbs.

My sympathy for them ceased one day this summer. I was changing the crib linens. I lifted the teddy bear in the corner to expose mouse poo. I screamed in horror. You'd think I found a mountain lion hiding there. Since then it has been war. I would use humane traps, but I don't have time to find new homes for pests. I'm sure that they would just make their way back here anyway. My dogs are useless. I've seen them lay there and watch as a mouse scurries past. "There goes Murray", is what I imagine they think as they hold their position on the couch. So, now there is poison in every nook of the house that I'm sure neither a dog or baby can access. I don't like to think about what the poison does to the mice. I'm sure it's not good. I justify my cruelty by the fact that I have babies and animals, and I cannot have them ingesting rodent excrement.

Recently I have noticed some unusual holes in clothing. Not from wear, but from something eating the fabric. A new batch of immigrants had made the laundry room home. I put out some fresh poison. I can't afford to replace clothing from rodent damage, the hopeless stains that Barrett creatively makes, and Gunther's colossal diaper blowouts.

A few days had passed and I had forgotten all about the holes and the poison. I forgot about all of it until I was leaving one afternoon and a little mouse stumbled out of the laundry room. She was dying from the poison. The little thing sat there, her eyes opening and shutting for a few seconds. She saw me, but couldn't move. Her belly was round and full. She was pregnant, poor girl. She had come here to find a warm place for her babies and now poison was wrecking her innards. Guilt consumed me as I watched her die. "I'm sorry" I mouthed.

I am turning full pest-control duties over to my husband. He is much better at being cruel.

field mouse Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday, January 23, 2009

To the Creature in the Woodpile

Do you have fur, feathers, or scales?
Are you vegetarian, or carnivore?
Why do you stay while the dog wales?
I can't take it anymore.

Why is that stack of wood such a great house?
Is it the view? Do you get rodent HBO?
Do you host all-nighters with your friend the mouse?
Is it warm, even in the snow?

It must be great in there,
worth withstanding the non-stop howling.
Are you in the jacuzzi with your i-pod and you just don't care?
Or are you entranced in the latest J.K. Rowling?

I saw you one time.
A running phantom with a tail.
Still not sure if you are red, or spotted, or covered in grime.
I certainly don't know if you are female or male.

I'm tired of the constant baying.
Aren't you?
Dan doesn't like you staying.
He says: "ah booo, ah booo, ah boo!"

I'll pay you to take his advice.
I'll leave five dollars at your door.
You could buy shampoo for your lice.
You could rent a cottage on the Moore.

Please find another place to live.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gravy Baby

Gunther is rarely called Gunther, instead we call him "Gravy Baby", or "The Bitties", or sometimes "Goat Baby". He earned "Goat Baby" by the noises he makes, "The Bitties" because we have a little boy and a bitty boy (he is the bitty boy). He is "Gravy baby" because he spits up a lot, all of the time!! He managed to "gravy" every female member of the extended family between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. I'm considering sewing a burp cloth to all of his clothes.

Don't be concerned about Gravy Baby's health. I have spoken with his pediatrician and we have confirmed that he over eats, and must spew. He is just a bit of a pig. He has this giant belly to confirm his pigginess. At his two month check up his stats were: 25th percentile for height and 75th percentile for weight. Yes, he is short and fat.

At times I shorten his nickname to just "Gravy". I imagine him keeping this nickname. I see him as a strapping young man, driving some big old jeep into the high school parking lot. Some of his friends yell "Hey, Gravy!". He hops out, wearing his football jersey, some girl he flirts with in Calculus walks past. "Hi, Gravy".
I don't think anyone would mess with someone called "Gravy". It's sounds the biggest guy on the prison block, or a linebacker, or like some long-haired kid who moves pounds of pot through his dorm room. Perhaps I should make a point of calling him Gunther.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Birth of a Rooster

At the beginning of my internet hiatus, which began in April, I got a batch of baby chickens. As they got bigger and we moved them to the hen house....I got more chicks. At one point my tally was this: 27 chickens, 8 turkeys (they were supposed to be guineas, but the store was wrong), 15 guineas. All of my poultry was thriving by the end of June, although a snake knocked off a couple. Jason killed the snake with an ax and the poultry murders temporarily ceased.

One evening, at the end of July, I went to close up my chickens in the hen house. The the chickens were everywhere and didn't want to go in the hen house. I noticed a few were missing and I was certain that coyotes had come into the hen house while the door was open, snagged a few, and ran off. There was poultry everywhere! They were trying to roost on top of the garage, on top of the house, in the trees. One desperate hen even climbed on Barrett's stroller while he was in it! Barrett had been desperate to touch a chicken, so he didn't mind. Jason was out of town, so there was no way I was going to get them all inside without help. I called him and he said just to let them roost anywhere until he could get home the next day.

The next evening the chickens were still boycotting the hen house, but we forced them all in. We were sure that they were safe as long as the door was shut. I still get a knot in my stomach when I think of that evening. The next day I opened the hen house door to the most horrific site. There was feathers everywhere, disembodied feet, pieces of my feathered babies strewn about. A handful of chickens and a lone turkey stood at the door. You could hear my sobs for miles. I had locked my babies in a death chamber! I cried all day.

Eventually I mustered the courage to go check on the remaining birds, which were far from the hen house under a tree. My new tally would be 9 chickens, and 1 turkey (the guineas were still babies so they were housed elsewhere). Hank, my glorious red rooster was gone as were most of the other roosters. Hank had been the leader, though. One rooster remained, Antonio, a "fancy" bantam rooster with dramatic contrasting black and white feathers. Antonio had earned his name because he was always hanging out with hens that were three times his size. To me he seemed the Latin lover type, so I called him Antonio like Antonio Banderas.

In the days and weeks that followed a war was waged.We determined that raccoons had broken into the hen house.Chickens were moved to the barn while Jason reinforced the hen house with barn tin, we set traps for the perpetrators, which were caught and brought to justice. Raccoons are a formidable enemy in that they are smart, have opposing digits, and are very greedy.

Meanwhile Antonio had made himself the new pack leader. He called all of the other birds and told them where to go, he watched the horizon for danger, he announced when I was coming with food. Antonio was and is a very savvy rooster, despite the fact that he is small. Of all the tragedy involving the poultry, Antonio is the true winner in a Darwinian sense. He is an ornery little thing and has been known to attack my husband while his back is turned. I secretly find these attacks hilarious. Jason threatens to fry him on a bi-weekly basis. The little S.O.B. is a survivor, the chicken Napoleon. I'm damn proud of him and am Glad that he is now THE ROOSTER.

Silver Penciled Cochin Bantam Rooster Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's Log!

Ren and Stimpy Pictures, Images and Photos

We heat our home with a wood-burning stove. I think that a lot of people in the country do this because propane costs money and wood is usually free. I might add that my husband is...uh....thrifty. We seem to spend an inordinate amount of time cutting wood, loading wood, unloading wood, stacking wood, fetching wood and building fires. My husband does most of the work, but I do have build an occasional fire.
I never took fire-building 101 in college, nor was I ever a girl scout. Fire creation is not a talent of mine. Building a fire is complicated by the fact that the toddler likes to stomp around the stove saying "hot...Hot .....HOT!!", mocking our warnings. The toddler also has a fascination with the fireplace tools, which he tries to hand me at inopportune times. Nothing, however, is more interesting to him than the logs themselves. He will move and stack logs that are as big as he is. I'm sure that he would choose to play with a log over any of his trillion toys.
On "Ren & Stimpy" they used to have a commercial for log and there was a jingle that went:
"It's's log. It's big, it's heavy, it's wood. It's log....It's log. It's better than bad, it's good. Everyone wants a log! Everyone needs a log!"
If you were a kid in the early nineties, then you will know this song by heart. I hope that I've activated that part of everyone's brain and that song is stuck in mental replay.
Anyway, I thought that I was the only one that remembered that song. I began singing it one day while my husband was building a fire and Barrett was trying to balance on top of a log, of course. "Will you stop singing that! It's bad enough that I think about it everytime I'm chopping wood." I guess my husband and I share a bond in the fact that we were both raised in front of the television.

Holla if you remember the log song!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back from the Dead

tupac Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm alive!
Just like Tupac.
A lot has happened and I will explain it all eventually. I'm just going to summarize the events of the past few months for now:
  • Dan killed the groundhog.
  • Barrett has gotten bigger and more daredevilish.
  • We welcomed a second little redheaded boy on October 21st. His name is Gunther Paul and he is thriving!
  • I now share my acreage with 3 turkeys, 8 chickens, 2 guineas, 3 horses, 4 dogs, my husband, 2 little boys, and my transient father in law ( he lives in a camper behind our barn).
  • Dan now obsesses over some rodent living in our wood pile, as he no longer has a groundhog to hate.

I'll get pics of the new baby up soon. I have a lot of catching up to do!