Monday, July 30, 2012

World's Worst Blogger Award

I've come to realize that I'm the world's worst blogger.
It's ok.
I really am ok with it.
Is there an award for that?
I'm giving it to myself.

I mean - I start a story - and never finish it -
I start things like the "Pink Chicken Revolution" and then never speak of it for a year -
I have the best of intentions, I truly do.
Life just keeps getting in the way.
Love me.

We came home from camping a day early.
It was HOT.  Like 102 with a heat index of 110.
 There was no sleeping to be had.
I tried to sleep the second night out on a vintage chaise lounge, right outside of the camper.
It didn't work.
MY towels were disheveled on the line and I just didn't care.
Bring on the foil.
I couldn't care.
I wouldn't.

Camping is a fall activity.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

It's Monday am at 5:53am and I have 19 roosters serenading me, and the entire neighborhood.
I may also be the world's worst neighbor.

Today's blog will be short and pointless.
Please reference the first sentence of this post.

At "Art in the Garden" at Gardens on the Prairie yesterday with my friend Laura Snyder.
I just bought that super cute hat!
I feel like the old Jayme is rearing her lovely head again.
I have a list.
It's now 5:55am and I'm heading out to the garden as soon as I hang the sheets on the line.

I have to say - I think I'm more comfortable with this Jayme.  I have to blend the two - the new carefree Jayme - and the old Nazi Jayme.

I'm completely renovating the garden.
I gave away two trunkloads of perennials yesterday.
I sold my loom.
I feel driven.
I got the cutest new pair of glasses you ever did see - pick them up in a week.

Aaron shan't be testing for the GED until August 15th and 16th - so please adjust your prayer and fasting schedules.

It's too light out to be up and on the Interweb.
"Ve must get to vork!"
Happy Monday!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Boy We Call Aaron

Hi Dee Ho!
Me again.

It's 6:43 in the pm on Friday.
I have Paula Deen's basic meatloaf up in the oven with 23 minutes left to bake.
Brussels Sprouts are co-roasting with aforementioned meatloaf.
Aaron requested them.

How many 16 year olds do you know that request Brussels Sprouts?
Reason # 3,456,563,454,524,212 why I love that child.

I truly have no excuse why dinner is so late tonight.
Well, maybe it had something to do with me roaming the dark house up in the middle of the night, nude, having a hot flash. I was gone all day until 4pm, and then when I got home - I just felt the need to rest a spell.

I thought I'd give you an update on the child, it's been a while.

Today we figured out that he has 59 days before he gets his driver's license.
My eyes and nose started burning on the announcement of this news.
I was determined not to cry.

Lord have mercy friends - come the end of September - you will all be hearing earfuls of drivel.  I mean the first time he pulls up and out of the driveway on his own?
Pharmaceuticals will be involved.
On my end.

Aaron is ready for his GED testing.  If all goes the way we have it planned, we will be testing on August 1st and 2nd.
Please mark it on your calendars as a day of fasting and prayer.

Considering that his mom doesn't know where his birth certificate and or Social Security card are since the move, I'm not holding my breath - but I sure hope we do test on those days.

He continues to delight me to no end, and our days are filled with laughter and love.
He's such a flippin' great kid.  He really is.

I'm racking my brain making sure I've taught Aaron all that I want to teach him before he goes out among the English on his own and for good.

I'm asking him things like - 'ok, you know how to do laundry right?  Cooking - you've got that down, and grocery shopping...what else do I need to teach you?'

He claims he's good. 

Yesterday, I had to clean an efficiency apartment that had recently been vacated.
I took Aaron with me to show him what life on drugs is like.

Yep, I'm all like 'OK, so if you ever decide to do drugs, I want you to know what your life will be like - you will be eating food out of a bug infested fridge!'

I made him help me clean the apartment and count his blessings.
That's not entirely true - he seemed happy (although grossed out) to help me.

Yesterday it dawned on me that I'm quite the control freak.
Does this come as a surprise?
I decided that I could never be a rental property owner.  There is much I wouldn't allow.
"Excuse me - you think you are hanging THOSE curtains?  I don't think so!"
I can see myself driving slowly past the property - pointing and shaking my finger - "Move those bikes!"

I'm beginning to think my OCD is hormonally charged.  I'm so 'hormony' at the moment that camping this weekend should be interesting. 
I swear - if I see a picnic table with an over usage of foil - I'm going to lose it!
Disheveled towels on a line?
I'm calling the DNR.

Speaking of camping - we leave soon and I haven't lifted a finger to get ready to go.
The timer just beeped on the meatloaf -
So I reckon I'll take my leave for now.

Thanks for all of your fun, sweet, encouraging comments on the last post!
I'm not closing up the blog - I need my drivel release.
I just thank you for sticking with me - for real.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Someone's Gone Broody

It's me.
I'm just in a mood.

RIP Sweet FiFi 2010
Not a bad mood, not a good mood.
Not an 'eh' mood - just a mood.

It's 100 degrees outside.
It's been unseasonably warm for quite some time now - and there's a drought up here in Indiana.
One match could eliminate the entire garden at this point.

I can guarantee you that the garden does not look like this, and yet I keep posting this picture - much like a woman would do on - take the best photo from a few years ago - and keep posting it like it's current.

Uncle Joe is moving kinda slow.
I do declare I nearly fainted dead away by the time I hung up an entire load of delicates on the clothesline.
I do believe it was dry by the time I finished hanging it.

A year without Roundup is visibly evident now, and the weeds have won the war my friend.
I'm about ready to put little white flags all over the yard.
The zinnias surrender!

I think Scarlett and Aunt Jemima were trying to break it to Buddy gently, that they just 'aren't in the mood' in this hot weather - and would appreciate being left alone.

The chickens are cranky.
One hen was so irritated that she attacked me when I went to take her egg.
Whenever a hen gets agitated and I'm near by - Buddy, the rooster takes it personally and comes to show me who's boss.
Sadly, he is always reminded that I'm the boss.
You can't let roosters sense fear.
They will hunt you down and peck your eyes out.
Not really, but it sure seems like it sometimes.

I did not, and do not cotton to this behavior - and I gave them all a loud lecture threatening to 'put their asses on Craig's List' or in the next pen over where the meat birds are housed,  that I call "Aushwitz'.
"Well maybe I'll just leave the roost door open tonight!  Take your chances with the coons!"
Is this menopause?

The carrying on of the hens when they lay an egg is normally music to my ears - but it's been annoying me lately.
"Shut up already!  So you laid an egg!  Whooptie do!"
Then I realized if I gave birth to something bigger than my head on a daily basis, I suppose I should have some bragging rights as well.

I want to sell everything.
I mean everything.
I want a microhouse and three hens and one beehive.
Maybe two tomato plants.
And a bicycle.
Well, OK - one rooster.
That's it.

I've become obsessed with yard sales.
More so than I was before.
I'm buying up clothes like I'm related to the Duggar's.
This goes against everything I just mentioned in the last paragraph.

I cobbled up a list the other day and felt better, more in control.
Then I took a nap.

I don't know if I'm coming or going.

I am going.
Camping - this weekend.
Returning The Squirrel to it's natural habitat.
Severe storms predicted for our first day there.
Of course there are.

Sunday on the way to get my BBQ splurge meal I lost my $500 trifocals.

We were on the motorcycle and I had my prescription sunglasses on my face, and my trifocals in my shirt.

Doesn't my grape salad look like a monkey face?  Or maybe it does to me cause I can't see anything since I've lost my trifocals.

After I ate, I realized I didn't have them anymore.
We retraced our steps and drove slowly but didn't see them.
Even took the car out - driving ten miles an hour all the way there with the flashers on and me hanging out of the passenger side door looking for them - but no luck.
All I got was car sick.
I would have walked the whole thing - but it's 100 degrees out and it was 10 miles.
There's a possum some where out there rejoicing that he can finally see.
I tried in vain to get this picture to fit right. : -/

Summer honey extraction is complete - email me if you are interested!  I have a few pints extra.
I got stung in the ankle, took two Benadryl and slept for 10 hours while Glenco cleaned honey off of the cat's head and kitchen light fixtures.

I keep thinking I should close the blog up for good, that I've plum run out of things to talk about.
But now, after ranting - I feel better.
So, now I'll go put away the groceries that I brought in an hour ago when I decided to sit down and do this blog post.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Burgers, Freakouts and Meditation - Oh My!

It's been six months y'all - and the burger looks just the same.
In fact - it's looked like this since day five - and I hesitate to keep it.
I will though - it's been amazing people that visit.
In fact, one friend called me recently and said 'since I saw that burger at your house I haven't gone to McDonalds and I've lost 26lbs'.


It's also kept Aaron out of the fast food, and that makes me happy.  So much better just leading by example, ya know?

I actually ate a portion of a DQ Cheeseburger yesterday.
In a moment of 'what am I missing?' I ordered one whilst in town grocery shopping.
My first bite experience - after 17 months without a burger?
I was surprised at how tasteless it was.
Then I saw big brown cow eyes looking at me from the overcrowded feed lot.
Then I thought of pink slime.
Then I wrapped it up and threw it out.

Uh oh - this is weight loss drivel on the wrong blog.

I did want you guys to know that I shared the program that I did - on my other blog - in case you are interested and wanted to have a look see.

I  know many of you have emailed me - and I just haven't had the time to sit and answer, and I apologize. 
That link up there will take you to the answers to most, if not all of your questions, and if you still have any - please feel free to call me.  The number is in the blog post there. 

 Yesterday - I had a mini meltdown - and felt so danged overwhelmed by all that needs to be done around here right now. The house felt like a mess. I am seriously so behind with the bees - Lord only knows what shenanigans they are up to in those blasted boxes.  The garden is entering the pitiful zone.  There wasn't a lick of food up in the house - my mind started going like a runaway freight train with thoughts like "'oh man!  Summer is almost over!  This isn't how I wanted it to go!  Why can't I ever get anything done?  It seems no matter how hard I try, I just can't keep it all together!  What's wrong with me!  I'm Roundup-ing this whole garden!  I think I'll give my beehives away!" and on and on I went - flipping the heck out.

You guys know - you know those days when you just feel like you'll never.ever.ever have another moment's rest?

Now - the old Jayme would have continued to freak out - made some espresso - stuffed herself with cookies - and made everyone else in the house miserable for the entire day while I stomped around freaking out and working.

Wait - did I just type that out loud?

The new improved, more in control of herself Jayme quickly calmed herself.
There is ALWAYS enough time to do the most important.
Can I get an amen?

After I did my workout, I meditated for about five minutes.  It wasn't anything super spiritual or anything - I just sit quietly, focus on my breathing and repeat 'it's OK - everything is gonna be ok'.
I'm a regular guru, aren't I?

I realized that the sister wives weren't coming and it was all up to me.
I calmed myself and purposely did the work at hand slowly - making sure I was present in each task.
When it was time for Glen to go to the dentist, I went with him.
Spending time with him seemed more important than weeding.
I gave Aaron my full attention when he spoke to me.
At the grocery store, I was kind, calm and friendly to all I encountered.
I let people merge in front of me on the road.
I waved people on at four way stops.
I took a thirty minute nap.
I played with the cat.

I decided that getting what I could get done, and being happy while I was doing it was WAY more important to me than finishing everything that I felt needed to be done.

Cause no one likes living with a bitch, let alone being one.

And that's your lesson for the day.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sometimes I Worry M'self

I've had three of the most ridiculous blond moments in the last two days.
I refuse to call them senior moments - but after you read them - you might worry about me too.

It all started on Saturday morning  - when I went to the Farmer's Market with my rickety vintage cart - unencumbered by a purse.  My cash and cellphone were tucked in the leg of my awesome $1 resale shop Columbia hiking capris.

I'm walking down the street and I start hearing the theme song to 'Modern Family' and I think - wow - where is that coming from?  That's cool!  I love Modern Family!

Never crossed my mind that it was my cellphone ringing.

3G cell phones


Later that same night, right before bed, I was scanning Facebook.
Up comes this picture on my feed and I gasped.
Aaron even asked me what happened...

For the splittest of seconds, I thought it was a picture of me - and I didn't remember posing for it - and I couldn't understand why someone would put it on Facebook.

For real.
I went promptly to bed after this incident - realizing it was apparently way past my bedtime.

Now - if that just right there wasn't enough to make you start thinking I'm deficient in some important brain chemicals...listen to this one.

Yesterday - after being highly caffeinated in the morning (yes, I know - I gave up caffeine - but it's come down to caffeine or sister wives - there's a lot to do around here and Glen isn't buying into my polygamy spiel) - I went to the doctor for a wellness check and to order some blood work.  I just wanted to get a snapshot of my cholesterol, blood sugar, etc...

I go into the Medical Center with no incident.
I have my appointment.
I'm happy to hear that I'm the picture of health.  My blood pressure is 100/64 (and that's after espresso) - and I'm feeling pretty good about how awesome I am.

Then - I go to leave the Medical Center.
This is where my awesomeness fades.

I walk to the door and notice the door has a handicap symbol on it and it says
'caution - automatic door'.

So I stood there and it didn't open.
And then I moved around - trying to trigger the sensor to open the door.
Then, as I'm thinking to myself  'You've got to be kidding me..." - I walk a few steps back and approach the door again.

Still - won't open.
I try prying it open.

By now - I'm feeling stupid and hearing the theme song to  'You're on Candid Camera' in the background of my brain noise, and I wonder if it's my cell phone ringing.

I walk away and stand in the corner, and start to wonder how I'm getting out of the building.

I go BACK to the door - and stood there again for a few seconds.
Then I pushed the door.

It opened.
I left.
I left quickly.


I do worry 'bout m'self.

I noticed in the comments that some of you are having trouble finding the 'otha blog' - all my weight loss drivel.  If you click on my before and after picture - it will take you there...or do this

Clicking that link will take you there as well.

Happy Tuesday to you all!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lemon Garlic Chicken

I awoke this morning with a churning of excitement in my belly.
Is it wrong to feel so happy?
So excited about life?
I may be in violation of a town ordinance or two.

Or three.
This picture just delights me to no end.
No matter how often I look at it, it just makes me giggle inside so much - those little legs, oh my!

I broke down and made a list today.
I know - I'm disappointed too.
It's not a ridiculous list, but just a list to remind me of all of the odds and ends that I really need to do - it's going to be a lovely, full, happy week!
The temps here in Indiana have been oppressive.
A string of four days at 100 degrees.
I feared my chickens would roast on the roost.

Two things before I depart -

I wanted to share this recipe with you - and share a decision that I've made.

Since I have been yammering on so about weight loss, life transformation, etc...I know many of you may just not be interested, and yet, I feel that it's SO important and it helps me to yammer - and I just truly am beginning to feel that maybe it's what I was intended to do - reach out to others and help them change their lives for the better - and I do hanker to yammer on about

I'm going to post my weight loss, body transformations on the Leanness Lifestyle blog that I have over there -------->
I think that might be better, don't you?

OK - onward.

I made this recipe the other night, and dad gum it, I'm making it again tonight.
I found it fresh, tasty, easy - and the house smelled amazing the entire time it was cooking.
What more could you ask for?

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans

Even though I eat SO differently now, I truly still love to cook.
It's been a real journey finding the balance in all of it.

A few tweaks I made -
I cut the oil in half and found it plenty.
After cooking the chicken for the 50 minutes it recommends, I took the chicken out, put foil over the cast iron skillet and cooked the beans and potatoes for at least another 20 minutes, instead of the 10 they advise.  I'm not a fan of a tough, hard bean.

Today I'm making it with boneless breasts.

Happy Monday my friends!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


The big cheese - David Greenwalt - and the other Asst. Coaches - Bootcamp Graduation Party 2012

I'm completely rested now.
My heart feels extra full this morning.

I know this blog is 'Tales from the Coop Keeper' and all - and it rather started out about living my life here out in the semi-rural corn fields of Indiana.  Truly, that's still what it is.  I have every intention of talking about chickens, and homemade laundry soap, and gardening, and sharing recipes.

I mean - I have every intention to talk to you about how I'm raising birds for meat and all - and how hard it's been.  I have a buttload of recipes waiting in the wings to share.  All my Aaron drivel has been seriously neglected (he's doing fantastic, by the way).


In the past two years - I just feel that there has been such a change going on inside of me, and I just can't help but to share it - and it seems so much more important than laundry and pie crusts.
For those of you that choose to stick around and read it - I'm humbly grateful.  There's so much to learn from each other.

It's started with a physical decluttering of my house, learning to live without, learning that less is more.  The next thing that I worked on was decluttering my body, and now I'm moving on to decluttering my mind.

baby Jax

I feel that I'm a different person, yet the same.
The new improved Coop Keeper.

I've given up busyness.
It's incredible.
I realized I was complaining and bragging at the same time about how busy I was - like it was a badge of honor - like it made me 'worthy'.

I just had an emotional phone conversation with one of my dearest friends - well over an hour - as I encouraged her to let go of her fears and take the leap to change her life from the inside out.
Sometimes - I feel that I'm on the other side of a river - hollering out - "Come on!  It's not that bad!  The water is ok - ya, there are some leaches and snakes - but you'll make it!"
I like life on this side of the river.
I like it so much I never plan on going back.

Today I wanted to share something with you, that we Leanness Lifestyler's call "My Why".
It's an assignment that we have to do early on in the program.

I'll say no more now - just share this.
I hope that it sparks something in you - and spurs you on to make a change in your life.

After a couple of posts - sharing with you the incredible stories and transformations of a few of my friends, I'm going to talk about chickens.
Pinky swear.

- My Why -

I want to be physically fit so that I'm mentally and emotionally fit.  I want to be mentally and emotionally fit so that I can face the trials and adversities that life brings with strength and grace.  I want to face the adversities of life with a strong mental attitude, an attitude of joy, determination and peace.
I want to be fit so that I'm taken seriously.  I want to be taken seriously because I feel that the things I have to say are important things.  Living life in the present, choosing happiness, loving your family and being thankful.  I want to be taken seriously because I want to feel like my life has mattered and made a difference in other people's lives.
I want to achieve my fitness goals so that I can participate in endurance events like the Chicago Half Marathon. I want to participate in endurance events  to prove to myself that I can achieve everything and anything that I set my mind to - so that I can be proud of myself. I want to prove to myself that I finish what I start, and each success will continue to build until I live a life of fully completing all the things I set my mind to.
I want to lose weight so that I look better.  I want to look better when I see myself in the mirror.  I want the mirror to reflect back to me what I believe deep down in my heart - that I am beautiful.  I am strong.  I am worthy.
I want to achieve the body of my dreams to that I can live the rest of my life to my full potential.  I want to live to my full potential so that I'm not a burden to my loved ones as I age.  I want to be a blessing to their lives, and not a burden.  I want to remain a well of joy, peace and hope that my family and friends can continue to draw from for many years to come.
I want to live my life to the fullest, with energy to spare.  I want to live with energy to spare, because of living so many years, with barely enough energy to finish the day.
I see myself living well into my 90's, vibrant, loving, with goals and dreams yet to fulfill.  I see myself needing no medication, my mind sharp, my body spry.  I see myself living an incredibly full life before all is said and done.  I see myself - youthful, vibrant, full of life.  I see myself active, on my bike, camping - helping others.  I see myself dressed as I've always wanted to dress.  I'm beautiful.

I want to do what I percieve to be impossible.  I want to be on the treadmill finding my strong, I want to lift weights with passion and energy - knowing that the time I spend in the gym, truly gives me strength - physical, emotional and mental strength for the rest of my day.
I see myself at my goal.  I can taste it.  It's in my immediate future.  I'm sculpted, but not ripped.  I'm tan.  I'm toned.  I'm smiling.  I smell great.  I have on fitting, bright colored clothing and I'm surrounded by people I love.  I truly have it all!
I want to conquer my lifelong struggle with food, so that I can pull someone else out of the pit, and give them hope and motivation that it's not too late - they can do it too.  I want to be a living example of abstinence, acceptance and humility.

I want to be free from the addiction of food, so that I can feel that I live an authentic life, that I am who I say that I am, and that I'm not tripping up constantly over the land mines of addiction.
I want to be physically fit, enjoying healthy foods, living the Leanness Lifestyle so that I can help others.  I want to be a part of the feeling that others will have as they begin to change their lives.  I want to give hope transfusions!  I want to walk or run across a race finish line with someone and put the medal around their neck and show them YOU CAN.

I want to train hard so that I'm able to participate in these awesome sounding fun 5K's like 'Dirty Girl' and the 'Color Run'.  I want to feel my body moving freely - I want to feel strong and have endurance.  I can see myself covered in mud with Fi - laughing - bonding - and pushing ourselves past our limits. 
I want to honor my ultimate aspirations daily.
To walk humbly in unequivocal abstinence - to me, that is the hinge that my very sanity is swinging on.  I'm no longer willing to ride the merry go round of addiction.

ps - if you are interested in the Leanness Lifestyle program, I would seriously love to talk to you on the phone - or via email.  Just email me and we'll chat.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Flabber Has Been Gasted

To cause to be overcome with astonishment; astound.

Photo: ahhhhhhh...gorgeous

I'm sitting here in my livingroom - a shell of a woman.
I'm tired.
My throat is super sore.
My back hurts.
Did I say tired already?

I'm astounded at the beauty/goodness/fun/joy/hope that life has to offer for those of us willing to seek it out.

Fiona has moved on to the next leg of her journey.
Bootcamp 15 is officially over - and apparently I'm now 'Coach' instead of 'Coach in Training'.
I gotta get my act together.

There would be no possible way that I could put all that has happened in the last two weeks into words, but I will try in the next few days, and I will let the photos do most of the talking.

If gratitude were currency - I could pay off the National debt - no doubt.

Give me a few days to recover, and I'll be back.
Thanks for sticking around here lately - it's been rather dry, eh?
I'll see what I can do about that.