Friday, May 28, 2010

Conversations with God

A recent conversation:

Jayme: Lord? Excuse me - you there?

God: Yep, right here Jayms, what's up?

Jayme: Why is it that everysinglestinkin' time I leave the house without making the bed, or doing my chores, that I get unexpected company?

God: Well, Jayme, I'm really working on you.

Jayme: Why?

God: I want you to not care.

Jayme: Oh - well, how am I doin'?

God: Well, not so good, dear.

Jayme: Does this mean - it's gonna keep happening?

God: 'laughs' - Yep.

Jayme: Great.

God: People come to see you - not your house.

Jayme: But what am I without the house, the garden?

God: Mine.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Facebook and Blogrolls

Just thought I'd invite you to friend me on Facebook.
Been having some interesting chicken conversations, and silliness. With my infrequent blogging, due to garden nonsense, it might be a good way to stay in touch!

I've created a group, so you can search


If I were savvy, I could create a cool button for Facebook. If you know how - can ya tell me?

Also, a note about my blogroll.

It's a hot mess.
I deleted it, trying to clean up the blog, it seemed so busy, and then I put it back on - thinking that you all would still be on there - um, no.

Please don't be offended if you aren't there.
I'm still working on adding people.

Just short on time for the moment.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Great Adventure

Can I just say how much I love my GPS? It's made my life delightful.
I depend on it totally, which I know is wrong - but just let me enjoy the honeymoon.
It hasn't failed me yet, and if I'd listened to it on Monday, I wouldn't have ended up in Michigan accidentally.
More on that later.

I felt that our trip to Tennessee was a pilgrimage in a way.
About a month ago, I woke up thinking of all my family members in the South that I hadn't seen since 1978. I felt we needed to go. I called my sister and she said at that very moment she was thinking the same thing.

We were visiting my father's side of the family. He was born in Murphy, North Carolina. My mom was born in Cosby, Tennessee. I loved going back to where they were from.

Tennessee is BEAUTIFUL.
North Carolina is FABULOUS.
I miss the mountains.
Indiana seemed exceedingly flat and boring on the way home.

One of my very favorite moments of the trip was when Aaron, standing in my Aunt's house said "I never realized my family was so big, I feel like I'm home"
It was a pilgrimage for him, too.

We spent a day in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
I liked Gatlinburg much more than Pigeon Forge.
All that touristy stuff just isn't up my alley.

I'm more drawn to the landscapes, the old farms, the quiet trails.
Where the only thing you shop for is serenity, and the night life is fireflies.

Aaron got to see the dams that his great grandfather helped to build.

Above all, this trip was about family.

I felt a little nervous, considering I'd not seen most of my father's side of the family since 1983, and some as early as 1969.
Would it feel like visiting strangers?

Does she look like she'd be a stranger to anyone?
My sweet Aunt Mae.

She would have a fit if she knew this picture was on the World Wide Web, but I couldn't help but to share it. It's priceless!

Her home was filled with memories of a long, happy life.
She said, "Gary (her son) keeps telling me I need to get rid of half this stuff, but I just don't know which half to get rid of.".

The entire family was so welcoming and accommodating.
If you are reading this - thank you!

Most of the time was spent laughing until we cried.

Aaron fell in love with my cousin Vickie's dog, Buddy.

We plan on returning in October.
Life is too short to let so much time go between visits.

I returned home on Thursday night.
I was still sick. I was sick when I left with an upper respiratory infection.
I had no voice for two days while I was there.
Me without a voice, is kinda like Dolly Parton without a wig.
It just don't happen.

It was good to see everyone when I got home.

My bees were quite busy.

Claudanne learned to fly whilst I was away.
She flies out of her pen everyday now and follows me around the yard.
She dabbles my feet and legs.
I love her to bits.
Isn't she gorgeous?
Maude hasn't taken to flying yet.

My chicken birds still delight me to no end.

The new banty hen, Phyllis, has become my dearest friend.
I've separated her from her babies, I'm not really sure why, but she's a much happier hen now. She is seriously a walking yard ornament.
I adore this bird. Adore, I tell you!

Now, let's talk about what I brought home with me from Tennessee.
I warned you.

I've really been hankering for some guineas.
My aunt had one walking around her yard, and I just had to have it.
My cousin brought me to a lady he knew that raised chickens, quail, guineas, turkeys, etc.
She really liked my purse, by the way.

So, I bought two turkey babies, two polish chicken babies, and then a guinea from another man that we found. Her guineas were all spoken for.

I was on a guinea quest.
I carried the one baby guinea in my bra for two days. I really wish I was joking about this, but I'm not. It was all alone, it didn't seem like it felt well.

When I called Glen on the way home, he heard the baby chickens and turkeys and inquired about them.

"I hope you have a plan" were his words.
"Oh, yea, yea, I have a plan, " I replied.
I had no plan.
Not even a clue.
Where would I put the turkeys and guineas??

Friday morning, I woke up here at home, relapsed - sick.

There were weeds everywhere.
Boxes of baby chickens everywhere.
(Remember the four I bought BEFORE going to Tennessee?)

I just had me a mini-meltdown.

I made a decision, and called my neighbor up the hill that is more set up for large amounts of poultry. She came and got four chickens (the new black ones) and the turkeys.

Talk about breaking my heart.
I feel better now though, more under control.
I can get more - later - when I'm ready right?
I've GOT to stop putting the cart before the horse.

That brings me to Michigan.
On the way from LaPorte, Indiana, where I found a man selling guineas (I got six more, that makes seven guineas in case you've lost count), I pushed 'navigate home' in the GPS.
In my defense, I was talking to my friend, and it was raining - but the next thing I saw was:

Welcome to Michigan.

I don't live in Michigan.

Let's change the subject.

The garden is looking lovely.
It's where I'm at if I'm not sleeping, homeschooling, eating or going to the bathroom.

The strawberries are coming in now.

Aaron is sick with swimmer's ear in BOTH ears.
He gets this every year when the pool first opens.
Poor little dude.
I snapped this picture this morning - things are filling in nicely. This week is 'do or die' I have to get everything planted, seeds, etc. Then it's just a matter of keeping it weeded, watered and fertilized. I should have plenty of time to spruce some things up as well. I'm really not that stressed about it. Ask me if I am next week, if I don't finish what needs to be done this week!

And last, but not in the least, least - my niece Miranda and sis-in-law Sherie stopped by for a visit on Sunday.
Miranda drew this for me - said it was me.
How cute is that?
I'll save it til the day I die.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Headin' for the Hills

This morning, as soon as I'm done with my coffee, and check my suitcase one more time, give a few treats to the chickens and kiss the ducks....

I'm headin' for the hills.
Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.

I'll be visiting the remnants of my father's siblings and some cousins I've not seen in a coon's age.

What I'd planned on telling you was that I was on a relief effort to Nashville to help the poor country stars devastated by the flooding.

I was going to say that I was going to spend the week washing, setting, and teasing all of Dolly Parton's flood damaged wigs.

Why I find that so amusing, I haven't a clue.

I'm not dissin' Dolly. I have some serious Parton love.
I grew up listening to her, Conway Twitty, Roy Clark, etc.
I know almost all of the words to all the classic country music.
Hee Haw was one of my favorite shows as a child.
And I wonder why I was a social outcast. : <>

I can't tell you how many times I've told Glen over and over how to take care of Phyllis (new banty hen) and her babies.
I feel like a new mom leaving for the first time -
'now call me if anything seems irregular' - 'don't forget to check her water and food a few times' - 'keep the cats away from her' - 'I'll call fourteen times a day to check on things'.
It's just me, Aaron and my sister Cindy heading South. I've got Aaron convinced that our family doesn't have running water yet. "I'm really not sure if they have e-lek-tricity or not Aaron".

For all of you friends that laugh at me and through tears say 'Jayme - you are going to end up in Minnesota - (my horrid sense of direction, inability to read maps, etc) laugh all you'd like - I bought a GPS baby.

Tennessee, here I come.
I cannot promise you that I won't come home with more critters.

Thanks for all of your tips and suggestions about the irregular heartbeats.
They are PVC's. I suppose until you experience them, you can't imagine how frightening they are. I hear Heaven is a fabulous place, but for some reason - I don't feel in a hurry to get there.
I started taking magnesium, and it's cleared them right up.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Heartbeats, Butt Splinters and Banty Hens

It's a rainy day here in NW Indiana, and that affords me a little time here on the computer, and time to cook and clean.
God gives gardeners rainy days for that very purpose I'm sure.

I apologize in advance for the randomness of this post.
Please bear with me.

Seems I'm fated to post infrequently now, due to the lovely weather we've been having and no chance of frost until October.

I have fabulous days, make lovely meals, see beautiful garden vignettes that I'd like to share, have deep insights on life's most pressing questions - and yet - if not blogged within 24 hours they become as unappetizing to me as last night's leftovers.

I had the loveliest post written (in my head) about this picture.
I loved the contrast of my old hand on the newness of the baby.

Another great post was written in my head about this photo.
I just love the simplicity of it all.
This is just down the road from my house, and in the fall she has honey sitting out for sale on the honor system.

I planned on telling you all about my chicken purse.
I carried it proudly until it was recently featured on an episode of
Hoarders - Buried Alive
Now I just feel old and dysfunctional.

I've been wanting to talk about my weight loss journey for some time. Key word being 'journey' here, and since I've not been moving on that journey - au contrare - I've not said much. Big surprise. I've had volumes of thoughts on the matter, but decided to spare you the drivel. After getting a LARGE splinter in my butt at a greenhouse as I was trying to get through the aisle (please laugh) I decided I'd had enough, yet once again. I've been eating clean for a week and I'm down 6.5#'s. I want to talk about this, but I can't just yet.

I'll tell you this. My heart isn't right. I've been having irregular heart beats for a week - bad ones. It's making me tired and anxious. I so thought I was going to meet my Maker the other night. I got up and started to the ER, but decided against going. I've had this in the past, to the point of being hospitalized, and as danged annoying as it is, it's benign, and perhaps due to hormones. I've had the EKG's, echo's, etc. I just hate FEELING my heart beat like this. I may go to the Dr. yet.

If your a blogger, you'll understand that it's hard to talk about past things.
Blogging is about now.
So I'm going to tell you about the Poultry Auction I went to yesterday.

I had no intention of going, let alone getting anything since just this past Saturday, whilst getting grass seed at the feed store, I happened upon these little Black Sexlink chickens and somehow brought four home!
All they do is sleep it seems.

The Poultry Auction is smelly, loud and a visual hurricane.
I don't do well in crowds, and I felt pressed on all sides.

Boxes upon boxes of day old baby chicks.
I felt sorry for them.
Born to die.
And yet there is nothing tastier to me than a well prepared chicken salad.

This little old man was just the cutest thing. He reminded me of the man from 'Up'.
We slyly took his photo.

Then I saw her.
A banty hen with six babies.
My heart was beating out of control.

I stood guard by the box, nonchalantly looking around at the roosters nearby like I was interested in them. I didn't want the portly hispanic man at my side to know just how serious I was about gettin' that bird.
I had cash baby, and I'm not afraid to spend it.

The closer the auctioneer got, the more irregular my heartbeat got. I don't do well at auctions. I get confused. I get excited. I bid on things I don't really want. I overbid.
The bidding started at $20. Knowing I only had $46 in my chicken purse, I threw up a little in my mouth. I panicked thinking the chubby senor was going to take her home and eat her.
I won her and the babies at $30.

(cute chicken necklace, no? Thanks Debbie!)

I'll have some better pics of this psycho hen later. I'm just trying to let her calm down. That thing bites me like crazy. Is it just that she has the babies? I'm not familiar with bantams, nor broody hen behavior. So much for my banty fantasies of this little bird being my buddy.
Any advice would be appreciated!

All the chickens at the auctions went home with new owners.
What their fate was, it's anyone's guess.
So many of the birds just looked half dead.
Featherless, sad-looks on their beaks, neurotic.

This was one feisty box of boys.
One was pinkish - at first I thought it was blood - but it was the color of the feathers.

What Fifi would do for that box of testosterone.
Her behavior is shameful.

After the auction, we went out and I promptly ordered a Grilled Chicken Salad.

I have no shame.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

Seems the day just gets started, and before you know it,
the shadows are long.

Computer time is but a luxury right now.
Seems the day has a mind of it's own.
It just goes.

Thought I'd just give you a semi-quick overview of what we've been up to here at the Coop.

I had a baby in my spare time.

No, no no....just joking.

My friend Aisha flew out from Colorado and stayed a few days for a mutual friend's mother's funeral. Did I get one picture of my friend? Of course not - she has a baby! Aaron was in love and said he wants six. I asked him to please wait a few years.

I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking.
I'll share the recipe for these Honey Cookies over on

I spent the day Saturday at the Kane County Flea and Antique Market with my pal Cynthia.
I'd planned on getting a lot of cool photos to share with you.

But once I ran into this, I was too traumatized to continue taking photos.

You aren't going to believe what I found at the flea market!
See that laundry tub!?
I know what you are she gonna use that?
Every day sit my coffee on.

I've been out in the garden a LOT.

Which leads to moments like this.
Legs up on the wall.
Achy, tired legs.
Tired hands.
67 days to the Garden Walk.
I still have a couple of emails to return with your gardening questions...give me another day or two ok?

Lots of schoolin' this week. I'm a little freaked out over yesterday's Language Arts lesson.
I ALWAYS thought that showing possession on a word that ends in 's', you use s'.
Get this - and I still can't believe it.
I'm wrong.
So, a name like James, would be James's. What?? Was Aaron's text book wrong? I always thought it would be James'. Nope. The name Jesus, you do use Jesus', or other 'historical names'.
It said only on words showing PLURAL possession do you use the ' at the end.
Please tell me if this is right.

Had an impromptu bee class.
I'm fascinated with these creatures. I still haven't been stung, and I have to tell you I'm getting rather cocky about it.

Aaron however, was stung.
He took it like a man - eventually.

Yesterday, whilst doing yardwork in my pajamas and ballcap, I had an impromptu visit from my friends Craig and Kathy Collins.
I hadn't seen them in YEARS!
I'm sure I made an impression.
It was the highlight of my day.
They are the kind of people you just want to fold up and put in your pocket.

Today was our 'hitch up the buggy and go to town day'
And just looky what I found in the trash of all places.
Old windows and a ladder.
This picture is a pretty good representation of what my vehicle looks like at any given moment.


On the way home from town, I got a call from Glenco saying Ed the Bee Guy called to tell me that he was removing a swarm from a lilac bush.

I made a beeline straight there (sorry).

It was amazing.
I was surprised at the ease in which he removed the swarm.

That's been my week in a nutshell.
What have you been up to?

Remember - when life stings you - keep smilin'

Added Thursday morning after receiving this link from a pal:

Plurals and Possession

My friends and I were having a discussion the other day concerning the possessive of names which end in the letter 's'. Several of us remembered being taught that, for example, it was correct to use either James' or James's to indicated that something belonged to James. Others in our group were adamant that only James' was correct. Could you clarify the issue for us?

Answer: Forming possession on words that end in s" is much less confusing if you sound out the word. The rule you are trying to remember concerns forming possession on *plural* nouns — not words ending in "s" generally.

Though it ends in "s," "James" is singular: "James is a great guy." To indicate possession, you would *say*, "Fido is Jamziz dog." You would write, therefore, "James's."

Say you live next door to a family surnamed James. When describing the lot of them, you'd form a plural with "es": the Jameses. You would use the "es" because the singular ends in "s," and we couldn't pronounce the double-s: the Jamess. You would *say*, "We are dining with the Jamziz (Jameses) tonight."

When describing a family possession, you'd *say*, "That is the Jamziz car," but you would write, "Jameses'." In this case, you would not need the extra "s." It does not get pronounced. You do not say,"Jamziziz." The apostrophe alone suffices to indicate possession.

Apostrophes, by the way, indicate that something has been left out (don't = do not). What is left out with 's is a morpheme English used to use a long time ago. In 1290, we would have written something like "Fido is Jamesis dog."